Vintage is the key to sartorial success. Why you ask? Well… for those without Park Avenue lifestyles (and bank accounts) it’s hard to afford, let alone keep up with the ever evolving trends. I’ve found over the years that integrating vintage into my everyday looks enables me to play into the aesthetic leanings I adore at a fraction of the price. But even more, what I really love about vintage is how it affords me an elevated look that feels more special and uniquely mine. After securing a vintage gem, the likelihood you’ll walk into a room in the same outfit as someone else is very, very slim. And in my opinion, that is a look that is hard to beat.
When traveling to NYC or LA, I loooooove to hit up the flea markets and special pop ups that bring my favorite vendors out into the world. There are the steadfast options on each coast. Worthy of note: LA’s Rose Bowl Flea Market held on the second Sunday of every month, and Brooklyn's BK Flea has some of my ultimate dream vendors to date, plus the bonus of being held every single weekend! Eeeep!
Echo Park Craft Fair, held twice a year in LA, always has some vintage vendors sprinkled into the wildly talented and uber-hip makers selling their wares. Bicoastal, A Current Affair, is truly a vintage collector's dream. If only I could time travel to make it to each and every one of these sales… my bank account would be non existent, but I’d look damn good and die a happy girl!
Alas, when not traveling through space and time, I make the most of an incredible slew of online shops to get my fix. Here are my top 5 vintage dealers that I’m willing to share (ha!) from around the nation and online that help me stay in style.
Proprietor (and master of the most stylish casual persuasion) Elizabeth Parks Kibbey of Collection LA is killing it, I adore her eye (and Pinterest account). In particular, Kibbey is a go to for vintage denim in every fit you can imagine. She has almost single handedly brought back the 1990’s trends we all crave in that effortlessly relaxed,‘Reality Bites’ (yet California cool girl) way. Her dress offerings are always on par with the runways (sometimes even better). You’re bank account will need to be ready for the urgency in which you will want to purchase every single piece she posts online. Prepare accordingly.
My Top Collection Picks of the moment:
- 1920S Embroidered Silk Shirt ($155)
- To Buy: Levi's 517 Size 30-31 ($215)
Perhaps the most artful of the bunch, I die over Desert VIntage’s imagery as much as their actual goods. The Tucson, AZ based shop is a goldmine for sophistication and refinement in a way I find both nostalgic and completely modern in perspective and styling. Buyers beware, their selection is SO sought after you’ll consider yourself lucky if you actually snag a gem moments after it goes live online. Be quick to the trigger, or you’ll regret missed treasures. Trust me, I speak from experience. I’m still heartbroken about this dress slipping through my fingers.
My Top Desert Vintage Picks of the moment:
- To Buy: 1920's Flannel Tee $88.00:
- To Buy: Vintage Saks Woven Hat ($62.00)
Let’s face it, most of us don’t live ‘special occasion’ lives. Shopping for vintage can sometimes box you into the ‘super special’ category, you know the pieces that are a little too precious to wear on the regular. One of my favorite newer shops is Fair Season because they do basics like no one else. I find their sense of style to be the perfect juxtaposition of necessary staples that are never boring. Their selection changes often and their inventory is actually quite deep for an online store. Bonus: their prices are in the range most can afford! Check them out for denim, the perfectly worn in military garb we all can’t live without, and an extensive stock of the tee’s that somehow elude the modern market.
My Top Fair Season Picks of the moment:
- To Buy: Ringer Tee ($36)
- To Buy: 70’s Lee Jeans ($88)
Two spots to keep your eyes on:
Bogart & Moore
When I first landed in NYC I had no idea I had selected an apartment a mere 3 blocks from the Brooklyn Flea Market. That first lonely Saturday stroll down my street revealed to me what would be my favorite weekend past time - cruising the vendors set ups and finding not only incredible clothes, but incredible friends. Bogart & Moore was by far the best booth, the kind that’s eclectic enough to intrigue everyone and playful enough you never wanted to leave. Neanna Bodycomb, the woman behind the badass collection (and now a very close friend) has perhaps influenced my wardrobe’s vintage section like no other. Watch out for her new website/shop (to launch soon) because her one part rocker, one part retro garb is not only sought after, but sells swiftly to her devoted indie following.
Just Say Native
Once a bohemian, always a bohemian… I may have become a bit more minimal over the years, but there will ALWAYS be a part of me hunting for the perfect flowing frocks. Linde Sayles of Just Say Native has by far the most extensive, beautiful collection of Indian gauze and silk printed pieces I have ever seen. Her archives are devoured by designers and collectors alike. What I love most is her eye for the romantic, yet not too fussy. She balances her more bohemian selection with covetable capsules from era’s that span the 1920’s and up. Every time I am in LA, I try my hardest to connect and get an appointment with this bohemian dream queen, even if just to be inspired (did I mention how beautiful her studio is?). Yet to have an online store, you can find her posted up regularly at A Current Affair, her booth alone is worth the ticket in! PS - I definitely recommend following her Instagram feed for DM’able sales. I promise -it’s worth the effort.
p.s. Another reason we love Gretchen and praise her sartorial expertise is because it literally knows no limits!