I just returned from 5 days in Los Angeles, & it ended up being — as usual — a vintage shopping free-for-all. It was fantastic, & super-fun to do it with a group of my favourite girls.
I thought it would be only fair to let you in on my top three vintage shopping spots… If there’s anything left, that is! We picked ‘em pretty clean!
1. Shareen Vintage
1721 N. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90012 / (323) 276-6226
Shareen Vintage is my favourite vintage clothing store in the entire world, & believe me, I’ve done the leg-work! It is dress mecca, & it makes me insanely happy. Every time I come here, I leave with two huge bags packed full of clothes. (Hey, vintage is expensive [& obscenely picked-over!] in New York — a girl has to make the most of it when she’s in California!)
Located in a huge, nondescript warehouse near downtown L.A., you would never know the goodies lurking inside. There’s no signage, either; the only hint that there’s anything wonderful going on is the petticoat hanging on the fence.
With an incredible range of clothing, mostly dresses from the 1950’s, 1960’s & 1970’s, it’s a total dream. I have never seen so many pink & turquoise dresses, & believe me, it’s even better than I’m making it sound.
Look, I just think you should go there so I don’t have to keep trying to convince you. Okay?!
What to know: Shareen Vintage doesn’t have any changing rooms, even though it’s in an enormous warehouse, & they definitely have room for them. It’s not really a place for the shy or body-conscious (as evidenced by the number of women roaming around without their bras on!). If you have some reservations about whipping your kit off in front of a room of strangers, may I suggest wearing a slip underneath your outfit? You’re welcome!
Shareen also doesn’t price her garments, so you never really know how much things will cost until you take them up to the counter. The reason for this is that Shareen will often give you a great deal or break on something which she loves you in, but the problem is that she’s not always working. The prices of items are left up to the girls working, who (I think) are a little scared of under-charging in her absence. The good news is that her clothes are very reasonably priced, with most dresses ranging from $25-$47.
I also think her store is best for girls who are on the smaller size. It was perfect for the likes of myself, Nubby & Jazzi, but if you’re a little curvier, you might not have as many options to play with here. Don’t fret, though — plenty of other places have you covered! For example…
3100 Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505 / (818) 755-9559
Playclothes is hidden out in Burbank, over the hill & far away. It’s an enormous store which sells vintage clothing, accessories & homewares, & it is gorgeous. The women working there are super-nice, & it has a bit of a small-town, community feel. While we were there, one woman was asking another for advice on curling her hair, & it was really lovely to hear them help one another out!
A lot of stylists come out to Burbank in search of vintage options, & in fact on the counter of Playclothes, there’s a photo of Angelina Jolie’s character in Changeling wearing a dress from their very store! This should tell you something about the quality of their stock. It’s also extremely reasonably-priced. Skirts ranged from about $20-$40, & dresses from about $30-$50.
Playclothes has some great options for larger girls, & it also has plenty of children’s & men’s clothes… So theoretically, you could outfit the entire family! I picked up a couple of fabulous 1950’s skirts (one of which I’m actually wearing right now!), as well as a brocade shift dress, a triangle-shaped crystal ring & a great pin.
What to know: Playclothes is at the end of a massive stretch of vintage clothing stores in Burbank. You could probably make a day out of just darting in & out of whichever ones appeal to you most.
The original reason we went to Burbank was to check out Hubba Hubba. Before you keep reading, check out the reviews for Hubba Hubba! …Okay, welcome back. Isn’t that nuts?! Jazzi had wanted to go to Hubba Hubba for ages, but was afraid that the woman would go off on her, so we went as a group. Thankfully, Pat was in a good mood that day, & was cooing over us. Honestly though, we were underwhelmed by the selection of clothing, & Pat is an extremely pushy seller (which I hate). I’d say, check Hubba Hubba out just for the experience, but don’t expect miracles! Playclothes is a block or two down the street, & was much more to my taste!
3. Hidden Treasures
154 S Topanga Canyon Blvd, Topanga, CA 90290 / (310) 455-2998
Hidden Treasures is truly a hidden treasure: situated in a haunted house & stashed away in Topanga Canyon, you’d never know about it unless someone told you. Luckily, Nubby & I were informed of its existence because one of our friends, Mary Bee, is the shop manager! We first visited Hidden Treasures last year, & had a truly orgasmic experience!
Hidden Treasures is a great place to go for frothy dresses, 50’s circle skirts & dyed slips. Nubby found a super-cute green dolly dress, & they have a wonderful hat selection. They also sell weird & creepy homewares, like this immensely disturbing but fantastic doll Amy & Kevin bought for Lauren! Get lost in their little rooms, rummage through the racks & enjoy…
What to know: Tell Mary you know me, & I’m sure she’ll be even nicer to you! Mary is also a secret genius when it comes to all things Los Angeles-related, so if you’re visiting from out-of-town, ask her for some recommendations. She has PLENTY!