Sidewalk Style: Secondhand Rose

Elegant and attention-getting don’t have to be mutually exclusive

Who: Mary Anne Gale, 82

Secondhand Rose, a vintage shop in Georgetown

How did you come to work at Secondhand Rose?
“I used to own my own vintage shop with my partner a little up the street. That was in the 1970s. The owner of Secondhand Rose needed some help, so I thought, ‘Why not?’ ”

What are some of your wardrobe staples?
“Hats! No one wears hats anymore. Accessories are important—it’s really the little things that complete the whole look. You can’t just throw on a dress and expect to look finished.”

Has your style changed over the years?
“Not really. I don’t really shop anymore—whatever clothes I wear now I get from my own closet. I love the style of the 1920s—the drop waist, the flapper look. I always say I wish I were born 15 years before [Gale was born in 1928]. I also have a number vintage pieces, but they’re not exactly things you can wear everyday.”

Why not?
“Well, some things you can’t just wear out on the streets. Some things you only want to wear on certain occasions, if you know what I mean.”

Related >> See Mary Anne in our Fashion’s Night Out gallery

Brooke says:
On a whim, I decided to check out Secondhand Rose. Instead of browsing the clothes, though, I wound up chatting with the fabulous woman who worked there. Despite the freezing weather, she was elegantly clad in a fedora and movie-star sunglasses, and dared to wear tights and heels with a high-slit skirt. Here’s to hoping my style is just as fierce when I’m 82.

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