If you dressed up as Don Draper or a Gatsby heroine for Halloween, you know the appeal of garments from bygone decades. But vintage fashions aren’t just for costumes. When you combine throwback styles (a flapper hat, a disco gown) with contemporary ones, you’ll look both highly individual and modern. “Vintage clothes add style that you won’t find at the mall,” says Shelley White, co-owner of Del Ray’s Amalgamated Classic Clothing and Dry Goods. “Invest in classic pieces — a well-fitted suit, a leather jacket — then pair them with new shoes or jewelry.” Here, White and five other local shop staffers demonstrate how to brilliantly blend the past and the present. Photos: Kate Warren (for Express); Hair and Makeup: Shannon Cusello (for Express)
Shelley White, co-owner
White and partner Gene Elm have been operating this men’s and women’s clothing/accessories store for just 18 months, but they’ve been dealing in vintage for decades. The well-organized spot on Del Ray’s main drag holds ’20s drop-waist dresses ($150 and up), men’s lace-ups and dramatic coats from the 1940s and 1950s. White rocks a ’60s duster ($125, Amalgamated) with a J.Crew shirt and pants ($78 and $69, J.Crew stores), a vintage bag ($75, Amalgamated) and her own vintage ring and necklace and Chanel shoes. Amalgamated Classic Clothing and Dry Goods, 1904 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria; 703-517-7373, amalgamated-clothing.com.
Cathy Chung, left, and Katerina Herodotou, right, co-owners
Above an unassuming barbershop on 14th Street NW, this vintage trove holds the finds of longtime style hunters Chung and Herodotou, who also run nearby Meeps Vintage Fashionette (2104 18th St. NW; 202-265-6546). In an airy room with exposed brick walls, scope out an ever-rotating stock of delicate 1920s lingerie, demure velvet cloches and psychedelic ’60s gowns. Chung pairs an ’80s zebra skirt ($75, Treasury) and ’60s oxford heels (her own) with a new macrame necklace and Loup top ($112 and $75, Redeem, 1810 14th St. NW; 202-332-7447); Herodotou wears a new blouse ($68, shopanthom.com) beneath a ’60s leopard dress and vintage suede boots (both her own). Treasury, 1843 14th St. NW; 202-332-9499, shoptreasury.com.
Anne Fox, owner
Blink and you might miss this snug second-story jewelry trove on U Street NW, the packed-with-bling lair of Fox, a longtime vintage dealer and all-around glamorous spirit. Her stock — much of it picked up on her globe-trotting adventures — ranges from 1920s Czech glass flapper necklaces ($80 and up) to 1950s men’s cuff links. Here, she meshes a 1980s necklace from the wardrobe of soap opera “One Life to Live” and vintage bracelets ($350, necklace; bracelets, $150-$190 each, Legendary Beast) with a new dress by Velvet ($165, Proper Topper, 1350 Connecticut Ave. NW; 202-842-3055) and Frye boots ($318, Frye, 1066 Wisconsin Ave. NW; 202-337-3793). Legendary Beast, 1520 U St. NW; 202-797-1234, legendarybeast.com.
Blue’s Hard Goods
Tara Papanicolas, partner, left, and Andrew Nguyen, owner
If you have a cool older brother, chances are he’d like Blue’s for its worn-in moto jackets, bad-boy boots, rugged denim and taxidermy-heavy decor. Papanicolas sees to the ladies with a pop-up in the back, Los Gitanos Vintage, where she hawks movie-starry 1930s silk gowns and feathered hats. Here, she wears her own ’50s turban and sequined ’70s top with Givenchy pants and a Vita Fede ring ($1,055 and $175, Hu’s Wear, 2906 M St. NW; 202-342-2020). Nguyen dandies up in a ’50s jacket and vest (his own) with Nudie jeans ($200, Blue’s Hard Goods) and a Band of Outsiders shirt ($325, Lost Boys, 1033 31st St. NW; 202-333-0093). Blue’s Hard Goods, 1803 14th St. NW; 202-462-6200, blueshardgoods.com.