Vintage in VA

The highlight of my weekend in Virginia was the beautiful wedding we attended.  In true road trip fashion (you don’t leave Brooklyn for nothin), we decided to check out all the sites in VA! Our first stop upon entering town was the majestic University of Virginia campus which has many massive green lawns encircled by dorm rooms (lucky students). We also visited Thomas Jefferson’s estate, Monticello. Mr. Jefferson was quite the eccentric (granted we owe him a lot for his free thinking ways) and based on the decor in his home,  he had many of the same sensibilities as the modern day hipster.

Thomas Jefferson’s Taxidermy

UVA and Monticello were beautiful properties and though I am partial to Columbia University’s campus, I loved the college town vibe in Charlottesville. There was no shortage of quirky coffee shops, cafes and boutiques. The weekend turned into a bit of a shopping spree though I was able to exercise quite a bit of restraint. Because I like to immortalize my remorse as a reference point for future shopping decisions, let me quickly recap the shopping scene in Charlottesville, VA for ya’ll.

Across the street from the UVA campus, I had to stop at Duo (101 Elliewood Ave) a pretty shop filled with contemporary designers and a decent consignment selection. Half of the dresses in this shop screamed UVA sorority girl to me but an adorable dress in my favorite color caught my eye! It fit like a glove but the conservative length was a poor match for my pronounced bow framed cleavage! 1/2 prep, 1/2 party? Probably a better fit for an aforementioned sorority girl than my domesticated self… Next!

Trina Turk Yellow Bow Dress

Beyond the shops around the UVA campus, be sure to spend some time walking around the downtown mall of Charlottesville where you will find several well-curated vintage stores and a number of home and design boutiques.

My favorite vintage shop was Low Vintage (105 5th St. SE ) which was a treasure trove of vintage clothing, accessories and home goods. The racks were organized by decade and each item had a small tag on it with a detailed blurb about the item’s origin. I could have spent all day at Low Vintage, browsing and reading about each piece’s history; to me, this is what makes vintage clothing so special.  Unfortunately, the Mr. was starving so I didn’t have enough time to get lost in my fantasy land.  I quickly grabbed a 1970’s coral and gold link necklace on a suede cord (widely copied by Jcrew today, go figure) and off we went to grab lunch.

Low Vintage

After lunch, we hit up Vixen Vintage (300 East Market Street) an upscale boutique filled with retro designer gear and a beautiful dressing room. I spotted an incredible brown and black floral printed maxi dress on the mannequin and asked to try it on. It was an original Pucci, and I was transformed into a groovy, 70’s era hostess! It would have been the perfect hostess outfit today, and would have worked just as well as a mother’s day or ladies brunch outfit with cool brown platforms. The girl in this picture below is rocking the same vintage Pucci dress in a different print. Sadly, I could not justify investing $400 in this retro look but, I continue to troll Ebay for a more affordable alternative.

With my vintage dreams crushed for the moment, I set out to pick up a couple of gifts for mother’s day at Roxie Daisy (101 E Water St).  Based on some of the wonderful selections at this store, it looks like all the hype over artisanal Brooklyn products has found its way to Virginia! I found soaps from Saipua, the amazing Brooklyn florist, as well as the One Girl Cookie cookbook (our neighbors in Dumbo). After much deliberation, I decided on some beautiful, hand woven dish towels from Guatemala, and some culinary papers which act as a doily but instead of laser cut white paper, picture a stunning black and white image of a peony. Imagine your next layer cake served on a beautiful  B&W lithograph and you’ll get the idea. A pretty way to dress up the dessert table.

Two passed up dresses, one necklace and a couple mother’s day presents later, I popped my head into Petit Bebe. I couldn’t resist the ultra modern baby hammock in the window! Petit Bebe was just about the cutest baby store I have ever seen! Coming from Dumbo, this says a lot. I encourage you all to check out their website and their pintrest board which is filled to the brim with a french inspired children’s wear and furniture.  I kept thinking about my expectant sister in law, but couldn’t pull the trigger on anything before the baby’s arrival.

Well, we got back from Virginia on Saturday evening and promptly fell asleep at a tame 10pm.  At 4am, I was awoken by the Mr. tapping my shoulder with news that my sis-in-law was in labor!  Looks like I will be taking advantage of Petit Bebe’s website, I can’t wait!


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