It’s time to spice up your closet with a true blast from the past. Vintage-style clothes are back in a big way and chicer than ever. What was once old is new again and the following DC stores offer unique finds from across the globe. Forego that next trip to the boring, overrated mall and sort through the eclectic mixes at these one-of-a-kind vintage shops to find the era that perfectly suits your personality. There’s nothing like stumbling upon a rare blazer that you are certain no one else will have.
1904 Mount Vernon Ave.
Alexandria, VA 22301
Although the store only opened in 2012, Amalgamated Clothing is the result of buying and collecting vintage clothing throughout three decades. Shelley White, co-owner, is constantly finding new pieces for the retail floor because she and her business partner are always looking for unique and wearable pieces that span decades. “Literally everywhere and anywhere we can find quality pieces. We are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. If it’s out there, we’re looking!” The store has items for both men and women. Amalgamated Clothing is considered “true vintage” because it covers fashion from the turn of the century to the 1970s. Golden age style is a specialty of the store – 1930s, 40s and 50s looks. Prices vary, but the average price point for a women’s dress is $80.
Pretty People Vintage
108 N. Patrick St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
Vintage expert Annie Lee of the infamous Annie’s Creamcheese in Georgetown opened Pretty People Vintage in March 2011. The Washingtonian voted the Old Town Alexandria shop Best Women’s Vintage in 2011. Stop in to find that next statement piece that will make passersby turn heads in amazement.
1525 Wisconsin Ave.
Washington, DC 20007
TARI is an upscale consignment boutique in Georgetown that carries irreplaceable vintage and couture pieces for men and women. The target market is elegant and sophisticated Washingtonians who also know how to sport a trend. One trip to this shop will have you walking out with some staple wardrobe pieces that can turn your from bleak to chic.
Related: Best Vintage Stores In DC
1843 14th St. NW
Washington, DC 20009
The Treasury stock is acquired from tons of travel and also auction and estate sales. “Our pieces come from a variety of sources, it’s always like a treasure hunt for us,” said Katerina Herodotou of Treasury. Herodotou says shoppers are drawn toward European houses like Chanel, Gucci and YSL. The jewelry collection at Treasury is exquisite – comprised of costume and fine jewelry. Treasury has specialty dresses that are tough to find. “DC appreciates the variety we offer. Our ’50s and ’60s dresses do well and we also have a great selection of Edwardian and Victorian pieces that are hard to find elsewhere in the city,” said Herodotou. All prices are based on age and rarity, so there is no average price point. However, Treasury prices are reasonable in that they are one-third to one-half those in a city like New York or Los Angeles.
2311 Calvert St.
Washington DC, 20008
Storeowner Isabella Polles opened Via Gypset in 2012, aiming to model it with the idea of what every girl would want her closet to look like. Via Gypset is not exclusively vintage merchandise, a choice that Polles made for a reason. “We carry both current and vintage items so that individuals can mix and match their wardrobe both in terms of style and price points to achieve a unique and comfortable look that makes them feel both special and confident.” The merchandise is collected from all over the world, often coming from individuals, and treated with great care. “The pieces I get from these individuals, I hold very dear, as I understand how hard it can be to let a part of your history go. I take my role as custodian for these pieces of history very seriously and subsequently always try to find the best new homes for them, where they will be loved and appreciated,” said Polles. High-end pieces are kept in storage and seen by appointment only to ensure no damages. Inventory is received daily, so there is always something new in store. There is truly something for everyone at Via Gypset. The clientele ranges from young girls to women in the 80s.
Kelly Johnston is a freelance writer living in D.C. She graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in Fashion Retail and Merchandising and a minor in Journalism. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.