Antigua Guatemala has many shopping opportunities, not the least of which is the clothing market, found in the north corner of the main market off Alameda Santa Lucia.
Mr. Yolkobsen, though sartorially challenged, has managed to find an entire wardrobe in the Antigua clothing market, t-shirts, shoes, shorts, pants, which he could wear without repeat for a week. All for about $8 US. But Mrs. Y yearns for something beyond shirts and flip flops and for her, this part of the market rarely disappoints.
Most of the items are used, or slightly worn, but some are end-lots and others are cast-offs from somewhere in the North American sphere. These are the ones I seek out. I have enough t-shirts, thank you.
Floral dresses, some vintage, are my main shopping target, but even if I don’t find that Grace Kelly cocktail dress, I never fail to find a bargain or two, plus it’s a lot of fun to poke around the zillions of blouses, t-shirts, skirts etc. in search of a real treasure.
My prized find is a Eileen Fisher linen coat, in impeccable condition. I got that for about 20Q or the equivalent of $2.50. This so far has been my ultra find at the Antigua clothing market.
Other expats report equally good scores. There’s my friend Sandy, who found a slightly out- of-style, but not too far, authentic Burberry rain coat for about $5. And Annette found a beautiful silk scarf, which she brought back to her hotel only to find the Dior moniker on the fine item, which she has worn pretty much everyday since she found it. She paid $1 for it.
It’s also a great place to go if you find that you need more layers than you brought to Antigua. Though the daytime temperature is usually in the mid-70s, the nighttime clime can catch you short. It’s not unusual for the temp to dip to around 50 degrees so if you go out at 4 p.m. and plan to stay out for the evening, even if it seems warm, bring an extra sweater or layer or you will feel a bit chilled.
The clothing market is great too if you’re just looking for authentic Guatemala gear. I wanted to get a child’s traditional Mayan outfit, striped skirt, embroidered blouse and woven belt. I had promised to send this to my Brooklyn friends in time for their daughter’s fifth birthday. They were enchanted with the child’s outfit I found for her at the Antigua clothing market and reported that she had refused to take it off and wound up sleeping in the first night. I think I paid about $4 for the whole thing. Priceless.