Lovers! If you’ve been paying attention then you know that I love me some vintage–and when I’m in LA Recess is always the first place I stop! What I love: this is a very curated shop with a mix of modern/vintage/high/low pieces that feels like a friend’s house (comfy couches and chandeliers), prices are great (seriously), and the staff is superb (not only do they know their stuff, there’s never pressure to buy, you get honest feedback–and they aren’t opposed to an impromptu photo shoot if the piece you find is worthy!).
On my most recent trip I sat down with owner Marie Monsod to get the scoop on the store and her tips for shopping vintage!
Q:What makes Recess different from other resale stores?
A: What really sets Recess apart is the mix. We don’t just sell dresses or casual, we have a wide selection of both contemporary and vintage formal and casual pieces at all price ranges, as well as a great selection of vintage accessories (shoes, hats, belts, bags, scarves, jewelry). Our inventory is part consignment/part store-owned, so there is always something new.
Q: Where do you find some of the amazing pieces that are in the store?
A: I shop everywhere: flea markets, thrift stores, Estate sales, personal closets, other resale stores. I go both low and high–really anywhere I can find things!
Q: What tips would you give to people shopping vintage?
A: Vintage shopping is so different than regular shopping–there’s no guarantee of what you’ll find so it’s hard to plan. The first thing is to know your style and what looks good on you–that way you can begin to recognize pieces that would fit into your wardrobe. However, at the same time you need to open and try things–you may find something that you wouldn’t normally go for, but the fit or the material is so special that you have to have it [sidebar–this happened on my trip to Recess and I left with a green dress that I wouldn’t have picked up, but the fit was too perfect to let it get away]. Also think about the outfit–can you wear it with jeans, dress it up/down, think about all the options. Don’t overlook accessories–a vintage accessory can add uniqueness to any outfit, and that’s what makes dressing exciting–wearing a Zara skirt with a vintage belt can set your outfit apart. Every brand has some cool pieces so find things that fit you. I think vintage shopping is special because unlike shopping at the mall you will never find another piece like the vintage one–so if you find something that is perfect and fits–buy it! Don’t let yourself be a victim of buyer’s remorse. That being said, anytime you have you vintage shop you have to be patient–you may not find something and that’s ok. I always say “don’t force it”. Here at Recess we want you to be happy–so if you need a day to think about it, put it on hold, go home, think about it. Don’t buy anything you don’t love just to buy something.
Q: What are some vintage brands we should ALWAYS buy if we see them?
A: Of course there are the usual suspects-Chanel, YSL, Armani, Gucci, etc; but I think any item that has a “Made in Italy” or “Made in France” label is worth investing in. Old department stores also made their own clothing and it is worth buying–Neiman’s, Saks. The great thing about vintage is that the construction is so superior to most of what is offered now that almost any item you can find that has been taken care of will be a great investment–and will last.
Q: What’s the one turn you think people have about vintage shopping and what you would say to them?
A: I think some people can be turned off by the price of vintage, but I think you have to take in to account everything about the piece. Again, most vintage construction is so good that you’re paying for workmanship that isn’t easily found today. You’re also paying for the rarity–some of the pieces are literally one of a kind and you’re paying for that. At Recess we try to keep our prices down, we really strive to be reasonable, but if there is a high price know it can be a combination of these things as well as brand.
I cannot tell you how many pieces of my own wardrobe have come through Marie and Recess, from amazing Gucci tunics to Saks dresses to hats to vintage lion belts. I always feel like I’m getting a good deal–we aren’t lying when we say the prices are reasonable! And the entire staff will be honest–tell you yes or no, help lead you to a piece that may be perfect for you, and make you feel like a friend! So LA–go shop! And if you’re not in LA, no worries! Marie ships everywhere! Make sure to follow Recess on Instagram (@Recessla) and check out their website Recess LA
And here’s a pic of me trying on everything in the store:
Happy Tuesday! XO RA