Vintage and pin-up clothing in New York

As this year began, I headed to New York with Mr Topper to celebrate our anniversary and my birthday, to visit the lovely Rachael Gray, and also to spend a while getting to know the city a bit better. We holidayed there in 2008 and, despite doing only tourist-friendly things, absolutely loved it. This time we had no plan, and the added bonus of Rachael who’d had a few months to get to know where all the cool stuff was, so we got a rather different view of NYC. I’ll spare you all the blow-by-blow account of what we did while we were there, but I have decided to post here about a couple of things I think you’ll like. The first of these is the amazing array of vintage and retro clothing that I found for sale.

Now, as I said before, we had no plan. When we went to Stockholm a few years ago, I made a list of all the places I wanted to visit before we’d even left the UK, and this included the likes of Beyond Retro. However, for some reason it didn’t even occur to me to do the same thing for this holiday. That turned out to not be a problem at all because, on our second day in NYC, we accidentally found ourselves in the rather splendid The Dressing Room on Orchard Street, browsing their clothing, jewellery and also having a cheeky afternoon cocktail at their bar (see photo above). Just down the road from there, we discovered that David Owens Vintage Clothing has plenty of fab vintage coats, jackets and accessories, including menswear. Orchard Street is also home to Daha Vintage where I tried on a couple of beautiful skirts and a 1940s coat (which were all sadly too small). This store also has a wonderful selection of vintage shoes.

In fact, I found that most of the vintage shops I stumbled across in New York had a rather wonderful selection of shoes (in very good condition too), especially Marmalade Vintage where I bought myself a gorgeous pair of Nine West brogue-style heels (see photo). The final place I remember visiting was Screaming Mimi’s on Lafayette Street, where we stopped off for me to try and find an accessory that would co-ordinate with my new shoes. I found a pretty scarf that was just what I was looking for, and could have spent far longer browsing in there than I did. Rachael bought a rather amazing leopard print faux fur coat from Screaming Mimi’s, so I hope a photo of her wearing it appears on the internet soon to enable me to share the joy!

It wasn’t just the vintage stores that caught my eye either – we managed to find a bit of glamorous retro clothing too. Punk store Trash & Vaudeville on St Marks Place seems an unlikely place to find pin-up clothing, but they stock a few Stop Staring dresses and I couldn’t resist buying myself a slinky little polka dot number. Perhaps I should have waited a little bit though as, not long after we left that store, Rachael spotted Enz’s as we walked along Second Avenue. It is an amazing little boutique, absolutely crammed to the brim with pin-up and rockabilly clothing plus some gorgeous accessories. The owner really knows her stuff too! Check out this great review by Vintage Vandalizm. If you find yourself in NYC, I would highly recommend a visit to Enz’s.

I’d not really planned to do quite so much rummaging while I was away, but couldn’t resist sharing the little gems I discovered, in case you find yourself in NYC soon. If you have come across any fantastic little vintage boutiques on your travels, I’d love to hear about them!