To say I love vintage clothing is an understatement. I have a full-blown vintage fetish, in an almost literal sense. I love smelling vintage sundresses, fingering gorgeous fabrics, rubbing my face against cool, silky slips. Sometimes I go on Ebay and browse the most expensive couture vintage pieces, obsessively clicking on the “zoom” function for some close-up action on pearly buttons and fabulous collars. If vintage clothes are sentient and have a rudimentary version of the internet, it’s probably filled with warnings about a small blue-haired human roaming the Bay Area inappropriately touching them.

    int.      interior all things vintage
So for me, walking into All Things Vintage was, I imagine, what it must be like for a dog to walk into a store that sells cubes of cheddar cheese. Or a cat to walk into a a bedroom filled with shelves of things to knock over. I was like one of those cartoon wolves who see a sexy lady and start howling “Ahh-oooo–gaa!” It’s a tiny space stuffed to the gills with everything I love, all 780 sq. feet of it crammed with gloves and slips and dresses and hats and…oh boy. I may be getting the vapors.

 

glovesslips

The proprietesses of the store, Lucy and Claudia, are absolutely charming, dressed to the NINES, and have been friends for over 40 years. Even better: they were offering all customers macarons and glasses of Prosecco to indulge in while browsing. I’ve heard tell that happens most Saturday afternoons- which leads me to one important bit of info. All Things Vintage is only open every other weekend, so it’s a bit like a special occasion vintage binge. Plan for it, darlings.

 

Now, onto the good stuff. How about this gorgeous I. Magnin dress?
$115

$115

silk ribbon i magnin
I. Magnin has taken on almost mythical connotations to me; my mother told me about visiting the flagship store in San Francisco as a child, and it sounded like a wondrous land of nothing but glorious cocktail dresses.

 

Now, I don’t actually like swimming very much. The ocean is lovely to look at but each wave could be hiding sharks, dead crabs, and clingy seaweed, so I prefer to look, not touch. But I love feeling fashionable on the beach at a safe distance, and for that purpose, I would wear this darling suit in a heartbeat:
2-piece high waisted

$42

Let me introduce you to Bobby:

$54

$54

Gorgeous silk.

Gorgeous silk.

Isn’t she tres chic in her polka dot shirt dress? She’s the store mascot, and I think she’ll let you buy that dress if you ask nicely.

$115

$115

I wish I had the sort of lifestyle where I swanned all over Europe with a bottle of sunscreen, a chequebook, and this delicious 2-piece outfit. Nothing more, nothing less.

And I’m no label-monger, but when I peeped inside, I may have let out a yelp of delight:

emilio pucci

$115 for a vintage Pucci ? Girl, that’s an investment you won’t regret.

$6

$6

There’s costume jewelry, too, for the magpies among you. These bold emerald earrings remind me of that delightful board game that brightened my childhood at the same time it set the feminist movement back a few decades: Pretty Pretty Princess. I was obsessed with winning all of the stick-on jewel-tone earrings. And I would not let anyone, be it sister or playtime friend, stand in my way of dominating the board and being the prettiest princess of all. With these earrings, you can be the prettiest grown-up princess of all! Besides me, of course.

As I was leaving, I noticed a dress hanging behind the front desk, set apart from the other clothes. Turns out it was once worn by none other than Bette Davis! I almost swooned.

bette davis dress
Amazing quilt-like detailing.

Amazing quilt-like detailing.

 

Wearing this very dress! Who'da thought it would be RED from that photo?

Wearing this very dress! Who’da thought it would be RED from that photo?

And it’s actually for sale! How rad is that? You could own a dress that once caressed Ms. D’s divine earthly vessel.
So have at it, vintage lovers! You better run fast, though. I’ll be right behind you.

 

exterior all things vintage

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