Shareen Vintage

September 19, 2010

As a teenager, I shopped Melrose Ave in the late 1970’s. Vintage shopping wasn’t hip back then, except to those of us without a budget to do otherwise. I learned to pick up key pieces like in jackets, beaded sweaters, belts and 1940’s pumps that would make my humble, poor wardrobe look stylish. Most of these wardrobe staples I still have today.

Times change and by 2000 vintage shopping had become couture shopping with most shops too expensive for my tastes. Most red carpets events have celebs wearing vintage gowns and new, A-List designers are using aspects of vintage designs in their collections. The cost of vintage apparel had risen to the point where it was beyond my means.

Then I heard about Shareen Vintage in downtown Los Angeles where cool vintage apparel was affordable again. I finally made it to a glorious (but very warm) funky warehouse packed with racks and racks of vintage women’s clothing from as early as the 1920’s to as late as the 1990’s all at super affordable pricing. I had a hard time finding anything priced here higher than $100.

Owner, Shareen Mitchell finds unique vintage women’s pieces and gives them new life by cleaning, steaming and mending them at her Downtown warehouse. Her enviable sense of style, instinctively has her picking out great pieces and then offering them to waiting crowds of vintage style enthusiasts.

The pricing here averages 10%-65% less that other vintage boutiques. Shareen wanted to keep her pricing low and provide an alternative to vintage resale stores on Melrose, La Brea and Fairfax avenues whose prices have soared. At her hidden off the beaten path warehouse, she has done just that and scored a legion of loyal followers.

Some outstanding fashion buys include 1980’s Lili Rubin couture evening gown in black and white ruffles at $75 would easily sell at Paper Bag Princess for $500. Another great find that is being shown in all the fashion mags now was a fully sequined A-line mini dress at just $38. An authentic Kimono silk Happy Coat is here at just $42. A 1950’s wool grey coat with a lamb’s fur collar was a steal at $45. I’d expect to pay upwards of $80-$120 for this anywhere else. A 1970’s, faux leopard fur coat was also at just $45. I also found an amazing 1950’s pin tucked “Lucy” dress for $42 and a 1960’s orange paisley mini dress with a pleated skirt was simply killer At just $32 it went from killer to unbelievable.

She had a rack of white a cream colored dresses from Edwardian to 1960’s peasant dresses along with a large collection of vintage bathing suits. There were cocktail dresses galore…. from the 1950’-1970. She even had ethnic dresses from tunics to peasant all in mint to near mint condition.

This downtown treasure is unlike any other store I have been in. There is sense of camaraderie here. As there are no dressing rooms, no men are allowed. Women help other half dressed women with their zippers, buttons etc. They share advice, vintage shopping stories and styling tips. Shareen will happily give her advice and even help style you. But be forewarned, the really good stuff can go quickly…. everyone wants first dibs on her one-of-a-kind gems.

This “no-boys-allowed” vintage clothing mecca has women playing dress up and building their wardrobes with quality vintage pieces all at prices that are way lower than anywhere else. If you love vintage, you’ll have a fashion play date like no other. What a find!

Shareen Vintage
1721 N. Spring St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(323) 276-6226

Open limited hours:
Wednesday 9am-5pm
Saturdays 9am-5pm
Sundays 12 noon -5pm

*** Down the street is the Saint Vincent De Paul Society Thrift store. If you’re a thrift store junkie and have not visited St. Vincent, you are missing out on one of LA’s very best thrift stores. Funky and huge, it is not for the snobby bargain shopper. Only the intrepid, adventurous, no holds barred bargain hunter will do well here. I walked away with 8 red wine crystal goblets for $6.43. Hunting can pay off big here or exhaust you and leave you empty handed.