The lowdown: Nothing sets you apart from Miami's well-heeled herd like a splash of killer vintage. But finding cute fashion that has weathered decades of mothballs, damp attics and dusty closets can be a mission in itself. Thanks to Hollen & Jen's Vintage Showroom, scoring cute gear from times past is no longer a challenge. What started out as a pet project between pals Hollen Rosenberg and Jennifer Sazant, both champions of the vintage cause, has blossomed into three rooms replete with decades worth of fashion.
The 'hood: The showroom is in Bay Harbor, just west of the Shoppes at Bal Harbour, occupying office space inside a Mediterranean revival-style commercial building. The ambience: Upon entering the showroom, shoppers can find accessories covering every surface: chunky bracelets, pearls, earrings, gold chains with deco-inspired pendants, beaded necklaces - prices start around $30. In the “summer room” shoppers can browse dresses, skirts, pants suits and evening gowns that look like finds from the closets of Jan Brady, Betty Draper, Jackie O. and maybe your stylish old aunt Hilda. Around the corner is the "winter room," where all the mink shrugs and stoles (yes, they have several), capes, raincoats, sweaters and other cold weather fashion must-haves are stored. Make sure you have plenty of time to peruse the racks and if you need some tips on how to integrate a piece into your wardrobe, Jennifer and Hollen can offer two unique perspectives.
The highlights: Channel Holly Golightly in gorgeous gowns like the black Bill Blass with cream satin crisscrossing the bust-line ($600) or turn heads in a skin-tight, floor-length Italian strapless number ($600). The ladies have unearthed knit dresses by designer St. John from decades ago and pieces by Pucci, Christian Dior, Givenchy and other big names. But they don't just shop labels. "We only buy stuff that we would actually wear," assures Jennifer, and everything is in great condition. Merchandise spans all decades, from the '20s to the '90s and prices are anything but intimidating, ranging from $20 on up to $600.
Unique pieces like a pioneer-inspired sweater, a mink-collared poncho, embroidered muumuus abound. Like I said, take your time and look around.
The owner says: Hollen's advice on wearing vintage? "Mix the old with the new, and get a good tailor."
Hollen & Jen's Showroom