Fashion magazines are full of vintage-inspired pieces, but at Meeps & Aunt Neensie's Vintage Fashionette (1520 U St., NW; 202-265-6546; meepsonu.com) you can buy the inspiration–and usually for less than department-store prices. Meeps stocks men's and women's clothes from 1930s gabardine suits to 1950s cocktail dresses to 1970s wedding gowns–plus shoes, bags, and other accessories. Don't miss co-owner Leann Trowbridge's jewelry and dresses. Call ahead if you're after lingerie or wedding dresses–most are kept in storage.
Takoma Park has at least four vintage stores, but Polly Sue's Vintage Shop (6915 Laurel Ave.; 301-270-5511) is retro nirvana. Two floors are brimming with clothes for both sexes. Upstairs you'll find mid-19th century (frock coats, anyone?) to mid-20th (Polly Sue's stocks a lot of '40s and '50s); downstairs is a hipster's paradise of '60s and '70s fashions. There's also a good selection of wedding gowns.
Stacey DiTata, owner of the Remix: A Vintage Fashion Shop (1906 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria; 703-549-4110; remixvintage.com), has a background in fashion merchandising, and it shows. This two-year-old shop for men and women is as organized as any Nordstrom–and the windows are a lot cooler. I Love Lucy episodes play in one corner. Remix's strength is clothes from the '50s and '60s. Bonus: Most items are less than $50. And if it's vintage fur you're after, Remix is your place.
Washingtonian staff contributing to this section were Chuck Conconi, Sherri Dalphonse, Susan Davidson, Mary Clare Fleury, Cynthia Hacinli, Thomas Head, Stephanie Jones, Ann Limpert, Drew Lindsay, Chad Lorenz, Leslie Milk, William O'Sullivan, Cindy Rich, and Jeremy Stahl. Also contributing were writers Cathy Alter, Ann Cochran, and Jenny Sullivan.