I am constantly on the lookout for places that provide a welcome reprieve from the Ed Hardy t-shirts, Ugg boots, and booty shorts that are constantly shoved in my face at most retail outlets, masquerading as "fashion". The Way We Wore, a vintage clothing shop in Central LA is just that. A brave, gorgeous little slice of fashion in a very confused, plastic city.
The Way We Wore is one of my favorite vintage shops in all of L.A. Wandering around inside is like being allowed to go through a very stylish old lady's closet. There's an endless supply of dresses, blouses, purses, shoes, jewelry, jackets, swimwear, and hats. Designer and not-yet-discovered. Everything from a 1930's cocktail dress, to a 1980's minidress with shoulder pads is available in this store. I especially love the huge wall of strange art deco purses. I mean, who really needs a purse shaped like a jewelry box with mirrors on the outside? Other than me and you, of course.
Another thing that draws me to this store again and again is the obvious labor of love the entire operation is. Upon entrance, there is no air of superiority. Ask anybody working for help in locating something you have in mind and they will be happy to assist you. Next door, there is a designer's "inspiration library" (by appointment only), overflowing with original patterns, and garmets from the private collection of owner Doris Raymond. Upstairs, the couture rests away from prying hands. Some of the gowns look like they belong in the Costume Institute, they're so unbelivable.
On my last trip, I was even lucky enough to fall in love with a gorgeous sheath. All original tags were still attached to this pretty little handmade floral number from (I'm guessing) the 1940's. The tags say "A petite by Andrew Arkin". I was extremely excited because the dress fit like a glove, and hit at the perfect place just below my knees. Most of the time it's hard for me to find a vintage dress that fits properly upon purchase, because the average size for women prior to the 1960's was an eight or a ten in today's sizes. So, most surviving vintage clothing tends to be nearer to those sizes than mine. If I really love the garmet, I'll buy it and have it taken in, but that usually ends up costing more than the garmet itself!
Anyway, here are some pictures (front, detail, back, detail) from my latest discovery at The Way We Wore. I'm not sure where I'm going to wear it yet. Perhaps on the job interviews I hope to having around October? Be sure to check out their website, complete with gallery and contact info!
The Way We Wore
334 S. La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Your Golden Girl,