by Caroline Albers
Tucked away above the lively bustle of 14th Street, the Vintage Vagabond Wardrobe House holds fashion of decades past. The steep walk to the third story shop yields a carefully curated selection of silk, taffeta, leather, and lace. Featuring styles from the 30’s to the 80’s, this chic little shop has a vintage piece for every fashion sense.
Bauble lights hang from the ceiling and hats hang from the walls. The space feels fresh yet romantic, a perfect meshing of old and new. It has all the charm of your grandmother’s closet with all the edge of the U Street Corridor
After meeting at the District Flea last spring, vintage enthusiasts Casandra Marie and Ashley Duffy Grant co-founded the Vintage Vagabond Wardrobe House by combining their two separate collections in one space. Casandra’s Speak Vintage and Ashley’s Gypsy de la Lune intermingle on shelves organized by color.
“Vintage is a snap shot of our past,” Casandra said. “Whether you romanticize about decades past or simply appreciate the value in goods produced half a century ago, you are sure to find something to tickle your fashion fancy.”
Each vintage piece tells the story of a bygone era. Yet with a little clever styling, you can channel the grace and glamour of the past into a thoroughly modern look.
“The key is balance,” Casandra said. “I love taking a vintage piece and partnering it with some modern pieces to create a very fashionable and unique look that still makes sense in today’s world.”
To keep your outfit balanced, try pairing vintage staples with more modern accessories or vice versa. Thirty Seventh social media exec Taylor Harding (COL ’18) bought a floral dress that looks straight out of Coachella.
“I am really excited to wear it this summer in Oregon, where the temperature doesn’t get very high,” Harding said of the long-sleeved frock. “I will be able to wear it with sandals and a sunhat! I definitely already have an outfit planned.”
A single statement piece can also add a unique retro feel to an otherwise contemporary outfit. When it comes to individual pieces, fit becomes critical.
“My recommendation for somebody that is just starting to seek authentic vintage goods is to start with something safe,” Casandra said. “An accessory is a no brainer. However, a vintage dress is also a sure bet. As long as the fit is great, you are sure to feel just as comfortable in something from today versus something made in 1956.”
In addition to a wide array of dresses, shirts, and skirts, the Vintage Vagabond Wardrobe House also boasts an impressive collection of shoes, earrings, and bow ties. With over 500 pieces in store at a variety of price points, first time shoppers will be sure to find their perfect foray into the world of vintage fashion.
“I always get lots of compliments when I choose to go vintage for an event or night out,” Casandra said. “As long as you are confident in what you are wearing you are sure to look and feel great.”
If you need a boost of confidence in achieving your perfect vintage look, the Vintage Vagabond Wardrobe House offers styling sessions by appointment. Take an evening to explore the U Street Corridor, grab dinner or some drinks, and update your wardrobe with some pieces from the past.
“What makes Vintage Vagabond so great is that not only do they have a ton of authentic vintage pieces, but they have things that can be incorporated into any style, whether it’s preppy, girly, or edgy,” Harding said.