Every days like an open door
Every nights like a fantasy
Every sounds like a symphony~
Hairspray, anyone? That is pretty much how I felt wandering along West 36th Street, a quaint, shop-filled suburban-type area a little ways from downtown Baltimore. Except replace "day", "night" and "sounds" with "vintage shops". Ohoho.
So what was I doing there? Well, I was supposed to be at Otakon, a huge, three-day anime convention that my sister goaded me into going. So, yes, I went to Baltimore -- in this costume again, as some may recall. I decided, however, to only go one day, and look up a few secondhand shops to burn a couple of hours.
Yeah. Turns out Baltimore is a friggin' GOLDMINE for vintage clothing. W 36th St alone had around ten or so shops -- I ended up spending most of the afternoon there and never once stepping into the con itself. I got some curious looks from shop owners and laughs from locals on the bus while in costume. Time well managed.
Anyways, pictures. I didn't get many because I was in a rush and thought I'd have enough time to revisit each store but I didn't. I only got detailed pictures of one place...
Charlotte Elliott, a multilevel vintage shop with clothes, antiques the works.
I found that most of the shops along the street followed a similar formula:
Multi-level with clothes concentrated on one floor. I liked how they called the clothes floor "The Speakeasy", 'cuz it was like entering a cave. Except instead of getting drugs and alcohol, you get... clothes. Yeah.
Friggin' SO MANY HATS. I felt like there were so many choices that I didn't know what to pick and ended up with nothing. Still, DC shops don't do hats like Baltimore ones do.
Or big sequins for queens.
Or furs. For some reason, all the Baltimore shops had a section with furs, even if it wasn't in season. Or, rather, maybe DC shops pay more attention to seasonal dressing, whereas Baltimore shops just throw everything out onto the floor.
On a random note, I liked the customization of these Keds.
Best of all, the pricing of everything was all quite reasonable. Picked up a patterned blazer for $5. Granted, not everything was that cheap, but all affordable nonetheless.
I feel like every shop in Baltimore is like Polly Sue's -- the unabashedly Victorian era - 60s vintage. I think most DC shops try too hard to replicate a normal retail store in both their atmosphere and stock -- too much consignment, not enough vintage. They should really just embrace the oldness.
Oh, though one shop fell out of the pattern:
9th Life, a much more... kitschy vibe than the others. Still fairly affordable, but had stock more of the nature of old t-shirts, mini skirts and goth-y boots.
It's interesting to see how the decades each shop caters to greatly influence their decor and atmosphere. Okay, rambley post over. The point is, Baltimore vintage shopping = amazing. I regret not spending another day there. Any Baltimore-ians care to vouch?