A few years ago, I became aware of the power and fun of vintage shopping.  I was reading about New York-based fashion designer, Betsey Johnson, and where she shops for the best vintage buys.  Apparently, she loves a place called “Screaming Mimi’s” in New York’s East Village.  Not long after I saw the article, I found myself in that very part of the city, and in the store itself.  At the time, I bought a red velour jacket (at a great price,) and have loved it ever since.

Vintage shops are the homes of special fashion finds.  And as such, they create an atmosphere of magic.  They can transport you to another time, and help free you from the burden of today’s department store shopping, where everything looks the same, and no one store has a distinctive fashion feel.  They’re fun and different, and can help us create our own unique look.

It’s a good idea to remember a few things when vintage shopping:

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  • have  an idea of what you’d like to find and how much you’re willing to spend before you enter
  • think  about the styles and era’s that represent your look (ex: the floating style and printed pieces of the 70’s may be you!)
  •  if  you absolutely love something, get it then.  It may not last if it’s a one-of-a-kind
  • don’t  indulge unless you absolutely love it.  It will be impossible to return
  • go with a friend…it’s more fun

I haven’t been to Screaming Mimi’s, or the East Village, since that first visit and the red velour jacket.  I think it’s time for me to give it another go.


Melissa Kaplan Guarino lives in Summit, with her family of boys, including two teenage sons and a male cat.  She still insists on dressing herself.