Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Vintage Shopping in Washington DC

As implied in my last post, here is my review of a few of the vintage clothing shops in DC (of course, with some show-and-tell of my finds!)

Selection: Moderate-Varied.  The picture on the website will give you a pretty good idea of how big it is.  Mostly spans the 40's to the 70's, and about a third of the items have dates.  LOTS of accessories and jewelry, and also quite a good collection of mid-century slips.  Clothes are sorted into small/medium/large size groups. 
Service: The woman who was working when I went was laid back, but still helpful enough that I didn't feel neglected (I was there with my mom, so I didn't need too much advice).  
Price:  Moderate. Willing to negotiate a price on items that haven't been marked yet, and I got a 10% discount on a skirt that had lost some buttons. (They don't take American Express)
What I found:  A navy hounds-tooth skirt that I'm 95% sure was home made in the 30's (metal zipper, no maker's tag, poorly hemmed) 
Please excuse the non-matching shoes, I seem to have left most of shoes at school. 

Close-up of the buttons and pleats
A white skirt, probably 70's.  Originally it had white buttons, but some of them has fallen off, so I replaced them with navy ones.

Mercedes Bien Vintage Clothing and Decor

Selection: Varied.  Plenty of 70's dresses, but also lots of things from the 30's to the 80's (I even saw a pair of late Victorian open drawers!).  This place also has a couple of great 50's crinolines.
Service: The owner was VERY friendly and eager to help you; it was a bit intimidating for an introvert like me.  She clearly knows a lot about textiles.  This would be a great place to have a big shopping spree.
Price: Moderate-High.
What I found: How awesome is this: I found an 60's stewardess' tweed skirt that was manufactured by Airways Industries (possible Airway Industries, I'd check, but I'm wearing it right now!)


Selection: Limited-Moderate.  Not as many things and mostly 70's with some 40'-60's. Really great scarves though.
Service: In between Meeps and Mercedes Bien. She gave good advice on things I tried on, but didn't run around finding things I might like. (This was perfect for me)
Price: Moderate
What I found: 70's polyester dress