Saturday, April 19, 2014

Vintage Floral Frocks for Spring

In spring 2010, I chaperoned a high school trip to San Francisco.  Among the highlights of our week there - wandering through Muir Woods, stopping by Ghiradelli Square for ice cream, taking a boat tour of the bay, and being berated by a furious teenager for not including a nighttime visit to the Castro on our itinerary - was an afternoon spent browsing the racks at vintage clothing stores in Berkeley.

I snagged two fabulous spring dresses from indeterminate decades and wore them until they literally fell apart in spring 2012.  You can see them in the photos below; the first is from that same trip and the second is from an outing several months later to the Meare at Thorpeness in Suffolk.

I hadn't thought about those dresses since I threw them away while packing to move back to DC two years ago but last week, while walking Charlie, I saw a friendly floral frock on a mannequin in the window of a vintage clothing store on U Street.  I couldn't go into the shop because of Charlie and the dress would have definitely been too small for me anyway, but it brought back memories of that San Francisco trip and of warm weather adventures in England.  To tide me over until I can find an excuse for a rummage in a DC area second-hand store, I had a little poke around the ModCloth website.  I've never worn one of their dresses, but I know they do vintage styles in fun prints so it seemed like a safe bet - and I was right!  Look at these pretty possibilities:

florals for spring

top row, left to right: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4
bottom row, left to right: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

I actually haven't done much vintage shopping in DC - I usually stick to consignment stores like Secondi, which tend to carry more modern styles and/or recognizable brands.  If you want a true vintage experience, though, I've heard these places are great:

Meeps - 2104 18th St NW
Treasury - 1843 14th St NW
Junction - 1510 U St NW
Buffalo Exchange - 1318 14th St NW
Via Gypset - 2311 Calvert St NW

Any other recommendations, DC-area readers?  I know Tacoma Park has some great vintage stores and I'd guess Old Town Alexandria does, too - do let me know where I should go!

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  1. I loooooooove that third dress in the bottom row. I saw it a couple of weeks ago and have been thinking of it ever since! Did you end up ordering one of these?

  2. I used to go to Buffalo Exchange all the time in California, it is great too because you can sell clothes!

  3. Theres a Buffalo Exchange just round the corner from my mom's house in Albuquerque so I spent so much time in there in high school! The majority of my dresses right now (and for about the last 5 years) are from Modcloth. I love it but my only word of caution would be that their dresses tend to be on the super short side, so don't just look at the small/medium/large tag, actually view the measurements (specially that pesky length one.) xx

  4. I've bought a lot of dresses from modcloth over the years, and overall I've been extremely happy with them. I just always have to make sure to check the length because they sell a lot of short dresses. :)


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