Vintage according to the Pros

Hey guys, sorry I haven't posted since Sunday. My computer has been crazy all week!
Anyways, I interviewed two vintage store owners: Doris Raymond from The Way We Wore in Los Angeles, CA, and Leann Townbridge from Meeps in Georgetown in D.C. They have tons of helpful advice and will definately make your holiday and vintage shopping a lot less chaotic!

How many years have you been interested in Vintage? How many years have you been involved with vintage stores?
Doris: I started wearing vintage in the late 1960's, when I was  teenager in high school.  I can hardly believe this is the 30th anniversary of The Way We Wore®, Inc [editor's note: the 30th Anniversary will be celebrated in 2012!].
Leann: We have always been interested in vintage!

What sparked your interest in vintage?
Doris: I am basically a hippie in spirit and it was an inexpensive way for me to dress myself and also express my personality.  It was a quasi-alternative to dressing that became a hobby and then when I moved to San Francisco in 1974, I started selling at the Marin City Flea Market.  7 years later I opened my first store.
Leann:We bought the store in 2001 and the previous owner created Meeps in 1993. Leann and I were big Meeps fans before we took over ownership.

If there is one mistake people make about buying vintage, what is it?
Doris: We often get people who say "Where would I wear something like that?"  The past 15 years or so have been so unique because truly anything goes in fashion.  You can wear sequins and lamé during the day and rhinestone jewelry too!  My motto is if it makes you feel good and looks great on you, why not?
Leann: Most pieces are one of a kind, if you are interested in the item, you might have to make alterations, i.e. alter the length, change the buttons, fix the zippers, add a belt..etc.

Shopping on a budget, what do you think would make the biggest impact on someone’s wardrobe?
Leann: I think vintage accessories make a huge impact. A vintage tie with a unique pattern for men, vintage scarves, hats and jewelry for women worn with new pieces. Mixing vintage with modern makes your style unique. 
Doris: Never buy trends as they go out of fashion and always buy items that transcend time, so you can always wear your purchase.  I would also say invest in good accessories because you can transform a plain garment with a great belt or jewelry.

What is the best advice you have about shopping vintage?
Doris: Establish a rapport with the people you buy from so they can give you really good tips on how to take care of pieces, where to get items repaired, the best storage, etc.  I would also advise people to invest in having their pieces altered, so it really fits well.  That is the difference between looking like something is off-the-racks and looking custom made.  
Leann: Be creative and open minded. Be willing to make alterations.

If you had a friend that wasn’t too interested in fashion but may like vintage, what would you buy them for Christmas? 
Leann: A gift certificate from Meeps!
Doris: That is a difficult question because I always keep in mind the personality and gender of the friend I am buying for.   I may gift a great sweater or jewelry, because it is easier to get the "right" fit and match.
Thanks so much to Doris and Leann!

The Way We Wore is located at:
334 S. La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 937-0878 (p)
Monday through Saturday 11-7
Sunday 12-6
This store is such a dirty little secret of Californians-well, not a secret. The Way we Wore has been featured in Harper's Bazzar, Genlux, and The Wall Street Journal, to name a few! This store, which unfortunately I haven't been able to visit myself but I have heard rave after rave about, looks amazing. They offer tons of vintage and even custom design services- and I can't wait to order from their online store!
Meeps is located at:

2104 18th St NW
(between N California St & N Wyoming Ave)
Washington, DC 20009
Neighborhood: Adams Morgan
(202) 265-6546
Meeps has been featured in tons of publications, especially Lucky Magazine and Washingtonian. This quaint store is one of the cutest and most adorable stores in Georgetown! I reccomend trekking down to Meeps- its worth it.

Photos courtesy Doris and Leann.

1 comment:

  1. This was such a great idea! I love vintage and it's always so interesting to hear other people's opinions on it.
    That tip about buying vintage accessories is a really good one :)


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