Best of L.A.

Top 10 Vintage and Second-Hand Boutiques in L.A.

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Wed, Jun 6, 2012 at 8:00 AM
  • Jesse Fiorino, courtesy of Buttons and Bows

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Whether you're looking for 1960s Peggy Moffitt mod couture or 1980s stonewashed denim castaways from the Valley, Los Angeles has a vintage and second-hand shopping scene that's bursting at the old-school seams. In a city known for making old things look fresher than they really are, it's no surprise that L.A. yields some of the best vintage in the country. So whether you're cruising the red carpet, taking road trips to the desert or ordering your third cup of Intelligentsia, retro always rocks.

Here are our picks for the 10 best vintage and second-hand boutiques in L.A.

click to enlarge GOLYESTER
  • Golyester

10. Golyester

Yves Saint Laurent once said, "Fashions fade, style is eternal" -- but he could have been talking about Golyester, a vintage clothing and textiles mecca that has, like the goods inside, withstood the test of time. In business since 1976, and specializing in all things pre-1970s, it's the kind of place where you can imagine the ghost of Joan Crawford peering over Ginger Rogers' shoulder as she caresses the racks of pristine camisoles and pencil skirts. These kinds of finds rarely come cheap -- think $400 for a pair of museum-quality 1940s pumps -- but vintage rookies and the underemployed shouldn't despair. Window shopping will always be free. 136 S. La Brea Ave., Hancock Park

click to enlarge TAVIN
  • Tavin

9. Tavin

Stepping into Tavin is like falling into Joni Mitchell's walk-in closet circa Ladies of the Canyon. Gauzy summer dresses, lace shawls, floral headscarves, '70s Afghani tunics and faded objets d'art make this little treasure trove a must for wistful-eyed romantics and wild poets. Even the price tags are handwritten, with little thoughts penned by store owner Erin Tavin (you'll recognize her by her abundant blond curls). With some dresses above the $300 mark, this is a store for boho jetsetters rather than starving thrifters, a place to pick out looks for that next trip to Marrakech, that yoga retreat in Ibiza or that romantic weekender in Tulum. 1543 Echo Park Ave., Echo Park

click to enlarge The_Way_We_Wore_550.jpg

8. The Way We Wore

There are a handful of vintage fashion personalities in Los Angeles, but very few are as beloved -- or as knowledgeable -- as Doris Raymond, proprietress of The Way We Wore. Raymond carries only the most exquisite pieces from the late 19th century through the late 20th century, but she curates her collection with the eye of a modern fashionista, so you never feel like you're in a museum. And not a shred of snootiness -- Raymond may dress some of the biggest A-listers in town, but she is among the most democratic fashionistas you'll ever meet, and will happily answer your dorky questions about how to get that "Edie Sedgwick vibe" or that "Breakfast at Tiffany's look". So don't be intimidated by the price tags -- just go in, soak up Doris' warm vibes and behold her dazzling selection of 1960s Pucci, 1970s Halston, 1980s Bob Mackie, 1990s Versace and millennial Lanvin. It's a vintage pilgrimage you'll never regret. 334 S. La Brea Ave., Hancock Park

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