Thursday, October 8, 2015

Fix my Wardrobe: Vintage Edition

vintage sweater, vintage jeans, vintage nose
When I was in high school, I spent a lot of time trying to find myself.  Mainly this involved dying my hair different colors, doing drugs, and attempting to experiment with sex.  At some point during this formative period, I became obsessed with Barbra Streisand.  I'm not sure why really, other than the fact that I was a musical theater nerd and I didn't have anything better to do on my Saturday nights than listen to The Way we Were on repeat, but I began to read everything I could get my hands on about Babs.  Let me remind you that this was way back in the dark ages, before "googling" was an acknowledged verb, and you actually had to go to the library to research stuff, but somewhere in my voracious reading I came across an article wherein she discussed how she only wore vintage dresses when she first started out.  

That little nugget of information was all that was required to set me on a path to my next identity.  I became obsessed with finding fabulous vintage duds, convinced that by clothing myself in a manner that echoed Barbra I, too, might find myself on the path to certain fame (I think we all know how that turned out).

For the next several years I haunted all the vintage shops in and around the Bay Area looking for fashion gems.  In hindsight, I think that most of what I chose was more "heinous" than "Hermes", but I did stumble on some cute pieces once and awhile, like a cream silk 1960's prom dress with teal velvet bows and a crinoline underskirt.

When I moved to New York I traded in Barbra and vintage for house music and heroin chic, and strode into the future of my next personality which I like to call "will f*ck for dinner."

Lately, I've rekindled my affair with vintage clothes (though not with Babs).  I have a lot less time to cruise vintage shops than I did back in my high school days, so I have a few go-to spots that rarely disappoint.

shareen vintage
This gem still had the original tag attached
shareen vintage
I love how my 1940's dress looks with modern booties
Shareen, LA & NY
The owner, Shareen, is super wacky, but the woman finds some really stellar duds.  The store, despite being in a giant warehouse, is really nicely appointed, but keep in mind that you're going to be paying more for your vintage clothes because you don't have to pick through a bunch of crap.  Go when she has one of her sales and you might score a really great piece for a few bucks.  This is the place to go if you're looking for the perfect dress for a Mad Men-themed party, as she specializes in retro party dresses and vintage wedding gowns.
shareen vintage
I only wear polyester when it's vintage
The Rose Bowl, Pasadena (second Sunday of each month)
If you follow me on Instagram you know that I love to haunt flea markets for furniture and household goods, but I also enjoy checking out the vintage fashion selection, especially at the Rose Bowl.  There's a lot of crap, but I have stumbled on some cute Boho 70's pieces.  Roll out early and get there before it gets too hot, and be sure to bring a big bottle of water so you don't get dehydrated while on the search for that perfect fringed jacket.

vintage fashion los angeles
I found this skirt on the "Costumes" rack tucked next to a George Bush mask
The Goodwill (specifically the one on Beverly at Fairfax)
I am not a pro at shopping thrift stores, because I tend to get super overwhelmed and can't deal with the racks of ugly sweaters and Juicy Couture track suits, but if you have time and patience you might find some gems.  My friend, Amelia, is the Goodwill shopper extraordinaire (seriously, I think she should start a business) so she consistently discovers really great stuff there, and she's responsible for helping me pick out my "perfect for your next Key Party" skirt.

NCJW Council Thrift Shops
There are a lot of really old, really wealthy Jewish ladies in LA, and they love to donate to NCJW.  Here's the secret: the stores hold back their best donations until their monthly Best of the Best sales.  The prices are more than at the Goodwill, but they often have very high-end designer stuff, especially for men (I got Chris a Dior Tux there one year, and it only cost $60).

Squaresville, Los Feliz
This is the classic vintage clothing store, probably seen in every hipster movie ever made about LA, but they have a consistently good selection of stuff.  It's a mix here, meaning you might find a fabulous vintage frock next to a Forever 21 t-shirt, but they always stay true to their hipster aesthetic.  I don't often get over to Los Feliz because, children, but I make it a point to stop in here whenever I'm in the neighborhood.

Happy shopping!  If you find any great pieces, post a snapshot on the Misadventures Facebook page so I can see what I missed while I was busy having a pretend tea party with my offspring. 

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