Friday, August 12, 2011

Going In Style

Argabrite's          228 N. Main Street

If you weren't among the unwashed masses who trudged around town in bell bottoms and tie dye shirts, then it's possible you may have stepped into one of several finer clothing shops in town.  On the corner of Main and Old Main (College Ave extended) sat Argabrite's (now the home of Sharky's) with a big display window that was sure to have the latest in collegiate attire for the young men in town.

John Norman's          109 College Avenue
Further down College Avenue, on the left, was John Norman's clothing store, and a couple of blocks up Main Street you would find Davidson's Charwood Shop (started in 1959).  These three fine establishments mostly catered to the guys in town who actually dressed up to go out to football games, dances, concerts, or just a plain old date.  The gals in town tended to head out to Gables to shop at either Leggett or Sidney's.

I almost hate to admit it, but I did own a tan corduroy suit back then.  Davidson's was at 117 N. Main for the longest time, and now that spot is the home of Fringe Benefit.

I also want to add one note.  Jim Dymock, who ran Davidson's for seemingly forever, was and is one of the finest people you could ever hope to meet in Blacksburg ... always smiling, so gentle and so kind.


  1. Note added 6/17/2012: Jim Dymock passed away last Tuesday at the age of 82. Thanks for your kindness and generosity .... you will be missed.

  2. Oh no!! So sad to hear of Jim's passing. He used to host a little happy hour upstairs at the shop before games and was such a fun host!

  3. Jim was a class act. He sold me my first adult suit. I had a run in with an ass at Davidson's which he managed through.

  4. Whether it was Davidson's, Argabright's or John Norman's, I always included them on my business route. There wasn't much I could do there to make money...but I loved looking at the ties, fancy shoes and socks, sweaters, etc. I can remember first seeing the proverbial tape measure around someone's shoulders. I don't think these businessmen liked me hanging out in their shops because I can always remember some of them saying: Susan....I hear your mama calling you. I used to believe them and would run home, and then as I got older I finally figured it out and just quit going there. Too uppity for a tomboy like me. I'd just stick to my keds sneakers (or PF Flyers), wrangler jeans and toy cowboy hats. Okay so sometimes I wore my patent leather shoes with my jeans.

  5. Bought my first " I graduated and need adult clothes" at Argabrite's. One Blue Blazer, 2 pair of slacks, 2 dress shirts and 2 ties. Carried me through many years. I still have one pair of the slacks just to remind me what size I was then!

  6. It was so awesome to have these three men's stores downtown. I was seriously the best dressed kid...and when we traveled, I looked just as cool and sophisticated than any of my New York or Chicago kid-friends. I miss those days.