La Ropa

Mar 2011

There is a very unusual type of retail store called La Ropa.  While they may exist in other places, I have only seen them in the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas.  Here there are quite literally hundreds of the stores.  The word ropa means clothing in Spanish.  The clothes sell for 15 to 30 cents per pound. 





Here is a typical La Ropa shop.  It looks very much like a warehouse; perhaps because that is what it is.






Inside, the staff has carefully sorted the clothing into one large pile.  As you can clearly see, the customers are taking great care to avoid damaging the merchandise that has been so carefully displayed.





This shopper is obviously much more interested in quantity than in quality.





These careful shoppers have dug down to the bottom of the pile and are slowly advancing.  This is the recommended way to shop La Ropa; however, beware of cave-ins as you tunnel forward.  Unwary shoppers are often lost for several days. 




Some of the nicer fashions are often modeled to better display them for the shoppers.  Here is a real opportunity for someone to break into fashion modeling.  Here, at least, if you fall down, you have something soft to land on.





Even Marilee found a dress she liked.  Unfortunately, the Dior label was damaged and she had to put it back.





Here some high-end fashions have been sorted out and displayed on a special rack.  The sign on the end of the rack says that cocktail dresses are $10 and wedding gowns are $20.





If ever you find yourself in this part of the country, you must stop in San Antonio to see the Alamo and then come south to the Valley to see La Ropa.