Classic clothing: Vintage shopping in Milwaukee
Note: The contents of this guide were checked for accuracy when this article was updated on March 28, 2010 at 11:02 a.m. We continually update the thousands of articles on OnMilwaukee.com, but it's possible some details, specials and offers may have changed. As always, we recommend you call first if you have specific questions for the businesses mentioned in the guide.
Whether you a have a classic fashion sense, a penchant for the past or just seek one-of-a-kind Halloween costume components, vintage store shopping can be a jackpot of treasures. Sure, it requires a certain degree of patience, but that's truly its charm.
Anyone can raid the mall of all its mass-produced glory, but it takes a keen eye to dress yourself as a fashionable blast from the past. Here's a list of vintage clothing resources around town -- make a day of it!
Annie's Second Hand Chic
1668 N. Warren Ave., (414) 727-5586
Annie's cozy, artsy space conjures the sort of joy you experience while rummaging through grandma's attic. The shop is stocked hop with clothing, shoes, jewelry, bags and toys, some of which date back to the golden days of the '40s, '50s and '60s, and others that are contemporary, but possess a certain "chic."
Boutique Vieux et Nouveau
1217 E. Brady St., (414) 287-9049
This tiny second floor shop is way more than just a store. Sure, there are oodles of vintage gems for the hip woman, but owner Heidi Calaway uses her degree in fashion merchandising for so much more, including fashion forecasting, hosting private shopping parties and custom jewelry design.
Dragonfly Vintage Goods & Gifts
1117 E. Brady St., (414) 271-1244
Upscale and affordable, classy and down-to-earth, Dragonfly is a delicate blend of the old Brady Street and the new. Aside from the clothing for men and women, ranging from 1930s to contemporary, you'll find jewelry, movie posters, lavender pillows, cool coasters, fabulous handbags, holiday gift wrap, retro linens, heavenly soaps, candles, journals, aprons, boas and vintage spectacles.
2445 N. Holton St., (414) 263-1991
This Riverwest variety shop boasts a small but well-picked collection of vintage clothing in near-perfect condition. Fischberger's features a fantastic selection of wooden, retro, tin and educational toys, including a Curious George tea set, a wooden sushi play set, jack-in-the-boxes, puzzles, tin trains and space robots, wooden instruments, cute puppets, rubber jellyfish, space guns and more.
2649 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., (414) 744-2540
Luv Unlimited is actually a trading company that buys clothing and other merchandise for cash or in-store credit. It also deals the D.I.Y. wares of about 20 local artists. Come here with a passion for fashion, good music (there is a savvy vinyl selection) and the eyes to accessorize.
2943 N. Humboldt Blvd., (414) 263-1690
This incredibly well-designed used clothing store for men and women buys, sells and trades strictly in recycled fashion. And when they say fashion, they mean it. Nothing in the store is ratty, torn, dirty or full of holes and zillions of familiar and favorite name brands are represented. The fashion is current -- save for a small but fine collection of wearable vintage items -- and everything is amazingly affordable.
Tip Top Atomic Shop
2343 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., (414) 486-1951
The particular style of late '40s through the early '60s is prominently defined by a kitschy-cool tiki influence and rockabilly. Tip Top's got it all, from clothing to cookware, and even the shop's owners, couple Jim and Lisa Dutcher, dress the part, down to the pompadour.
1237 E. Brady St., (414) 372-4744
Yellow Jacket is a boutique bursting with vintage vigilance, where every single item has been hand selected by co-owner Jennifer Rau, professional thrifter and passionate fashion hound. She washes every item, does minor mending and hemming when necessary, rendering perfect every item for sale in her shop. The decade-old store specializes in '60s, '70s and '80s.
Tina | Oct. 2, 2010 at 4:32 p.m. (report)
I find the best variety of designer vintage clothing and accessories at Heir Apparent, which is located in the Riverview Antique Market.
the ever to have in milwaukee was Whiz Bang no body could beat the selections not even to day
I still think the best ever vintage store on brady was Whiz Bang the best selections and best prices - everything was update to look good and great
I know it's not in Milwaukee, but E-Collectique in Saukville, WI puts all of the above mentioned stores to shame. It's worth the 10-15 minute drive north of Milwaukee if you want the best.
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