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Retro Resurgence: Ragstock’s Tapestry of Timeless Fashion


Kaia Kelly

December 9, 2023

Ragstock is more than just an Ann Arbor classic - it is a timeless testament to individuality and sustainable fashion. Since its inception in 1954, Ragstock has been at the forefront of celebrating uniqueness through its eclectic array of vintage and recycled clothing. With a passion for promoting eco-consciousness and embracing diverse styles, Ragstock has become a beloved destination for University of Michigan students seeking both timeless classics and one-of-a-kind pieces. Think, a pair of secondhand Levi’s Baggy Dad Jeans coupled with a simple black turtleneck and a unique patterned cardigan draped over the shoulders, and all for just under $50! Their commitment to affordability and inclusivity shines through their carefully curated collections, making Ragstock a pioneering force in the world of fashion. 

Ragstock’s deep-rooted emphasis on hometown pride has made it a beloved local favorite, especially on Michigan’s campus. With a genuine understanding of the importance of fostering a sense of belonging, Ragstock cultivates a unique connection with each community it serves. Whether you’re looking for a vintage bomber, last-minute themed party outfit, or tasteful staples to keep in your closet, Ragstock has got your back. The hidden gem on E. Liberty is so much more than just a vintage shop - it is an integral part of this campus’ fabric. The store’s ability to capture the essence of the local vibe resonates strongly with students, who appreciate the opportunity to showcase their school pride and individuality through fashion. The racks of Ragstock are a reflection of every Michigan student, parent, and professor that donates a piece of themselves to the store. Ragstock has seamlessly woven itself into the tapestry of campus life, earning a special place in the hearts of students as their go-to destination for both style and hometown camaraderie. 

Us students know it best, there isn’t always room in the budget for a $200 vintage University of Michigan bomber jacket from Depop, which is exactly why Ragstock’s affordable price points make it a safe haven for college students seeking trendy yet affordable style options that won’t break the bank. Understanding the financial strains often faced by college students, Ragstock has tailored its pricing to accommodate varying budgets without compromising their individuality or quality, allowing their consumer demographic to cast a wide net over Michigan’s campus. However, Ragstock’s unsuspecting financial success makes their devotion to affordability and accessibility even more impressive. With their annual revenue coming in at around $2.9M, the quaint clothing store just off of State street doesn’t seem to be doing too bad (Zippia). It is important to note that Ragstock is not unique to Ann Arbor, rather it has locations scattered across the Midwest. Their multiple locations across the region absolutely contribute to Ragstock’s financial success. However, more than their success is about franchising, it’s about the company’s unique talent of making each and every location feel like home. 

Although Ragstock has locations spanning across the midwest, it holds a special place in the hearts of Michigan students. Through a careful curation of styles unique to Ann Arbor residents, each storefront specifically caters to the hometown spirit of whatever city it resides in. Their repertoire of affordable yet eclectic vintage and second-hand pieces not only reflects the rich history of this campus but also resonates with the diverse taste of today’s students. Ragstock has become a one-stop-shop for stylistic creativity, fostering a sense of community, and nostalgia that transcends generations. Ragstock has become a cherished Ann Arbor classic, inviting everyone to embrace their personal style while honoring the timeless allure of vintage fashion.


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