Best of Shopping 2008 Vintage

Category: Shopping + Fashion Articles


Best Shop for Whimsical Vintage Clothes

Pretty Parlor
Capitol Hill, 119 Summit Ave. E; 206.405.2883
Anna Lange, owner of this fanciful closet-like shop, is impossibly picky about quality of fabric, pattern cuts and great colors for the vintage threads she stocks. She also repurposes vintage pieces for her House of Pretty Parlor line, which offers unique items such as a Lawrence Welk–era dress reworked into a shorter frock with a modern edge. Nothing in the store is more than $250, but Lange has rules to abide by here. For instance, you can’t just like that pink silky slip you’re eyeing; she wants you to love it if it’s leaving the store with you.

Best Repurposing of Old Fabrics
Pioneer Square, 212 First Ave. S; 206.652.8991
With her house line Vintage Creations, Violette owner Beth Nielsen takes what’s old and makes it new again at her funky Pioneer Square shop: Aging cashmere is recycled into beautiful tops ($128), scarves ($78) and hats ($40); vintage fabric is turned into striking headbands ($18), A-line tops, bib dresses and collared jackets ($84–$198). Alongside Nielsen’s creations are other designers, such as local line T. Spoon’s skirts ($100–$128) and wares by Rika Rika and Velvet.

Best Old-fashioned Dress Shop
Frock Shop
Phinney Ridge, 6500 Phinney Ave. N; 206.297.1638
Frock Shop owner Suzy Fairchild never wears pants, which is why her ladylike Phinney Ridge boutique is the place to find a classic dress, at $200 or less. Score Buenos Aires designer Maria Lizaso’s quirky horse and carousel printed skirts, Tulle and Kersh jersey dresses ($68) and silk dresses by Jenny N ($128). Be sure to keep an eye out for Fairchild’s own line of cute, simple, vintage-inspired dresses ($88), hitting the racks this fall.

Best Shop for Vintage Connoisseur
Capitol Hill, 313 E Pine St.; 206.621.0388
Huan Vu describes his small, nostalgic Capitol Hill vintage shop as a “pharmacy of vintage antidotes for all modern fashion emergencies.” The pieces at Vu range from the practical, like modernized ’80s golf and tennis polos restyled by Vu into a trimmer cut ($38–$65), to the rare, like a vintage Chanel two-piece suit from 1978 ($345). For the revamped pieces, Vu says he tries to make the clothes like they were custom made for the individual.

Best Shop to Find Current Designer Labels Second-hand
Le Frock
Capitol Hill, 317 E Pine St.; 206.623.5339
Score leather Prada, Versace and Gucci bags for heart-stopping prices (most are around $100) at Capitol Hill’s Le Frock—not to be confused with the Frock Shop. Diane Stone’s 18-year-old shop is part Billie Holiday, part Betsey Johnson and all style, with a strong reputation for fashionable clothing and accessories (for men and women), blending new and old, vintage and current designers, international and local. Next time you find yourself coveting a Chloe bag for less than $500, you know where to go.