Every time a girl realizes she must attend another outing, another date or anything in between, the search for the perfect outfit is on.
And when it comes to dress hunting, the situation is even stickier. Oftentimes finding the perfect dress proves nearly impossible, but fashion figure Shareen Mitchell makes it easy.
The vintage curator, stylist and designer transformed a space near Chinatown into a shopper’s paradise. Shareen Vintage on Spring Street deserves a spot among Los Angeles’ truly hidden gems.
Nestled in an area surrounded mostly by residential houses or industrial buildings, the space takes advantage of its large warehouse-like locale to house hundreds of dresses. When shoppers search for the address, they might stumble upon a closed door with a sign directing them to the back, already creating an air of intrigue.
Naturally, mostly women will journey to the store, but even if men want to browse — or accompany their sweetheart — they cannot go inside. When you enter the store there is a sign blatantly stating no men allowed.
Though it might seem sexist, it’s because of the very relaxed atmosphere of the store, in which shoppers change near the racks — they find a dress and put it on right there. The store also provides many places to sit down when shoppers grow weary. Not to mention, if they burn too many calories walking through the large space, the shop also provides snacks.
The store’s two floors are divided into different sections. There are new arrivals, original Shareen designs, separates, dresses with some damage, mini-dresses, high-end dresses and more. One part of the store organizes the dresses into racks labeled with the time period their styles embody.
Upstairs shoppers can also browse through containers labeled with words such as styling, children, ethnic and home, revealing plenty of different materials and outfits.
For instance, one item in the “styling” container was a bumblebee-like outfit, a striped black and yellow top with a bright yellow tutu bottom. In fact, there are plenty of tutus to be found around the store in a wide range of colors.
Despite being a vintage store, there are plenty of clothes to satisfy even the most modern of tastes. In fact, Mitchell told The New York Times that she was not “interested in vintage for vintage’s sake.”
This updated vintage feel comes across in the store’s description of its content: “Vintage and eclectic clothing for the urban gypsy,” a statement that fits well with the clothing but also the overall image of the store.
At Shareen Vintage, you can find anything from rave clothing to prom dresses to theater costumes. And the customers vary in age, as the store is very welcoming and has clothing to fit any taste.
Besides eclectic clothing and couches, the store also has mirrors decorated with accessories like hats and gloves.
These, along with the hanging paper lanterns, give the impression that you’re walking into another world.
And if a shopper falls head-over-heels in love with the locale, the store is open to make bookings for birthday parties and other major events.
If you don’t want to trek to the store you can shop online or check Facebook for photographs of new arrivals.
The surrounding area doesn’t give any sense that inside a door there lies a huge collection of every dress, tutu, corset or separate imaginable.
You don’t need to travel to a mall or a well-known block of stores; Shareen welcomes shoppers to spend as much time browsing its impressive collection.
Driving is probably the best mode of transportation since no bus stops exactly in front of the store, but even if a shopper doesn’t walk away with her new favorite dress in hand, she can at least say she gave it a good try. And she might’ve walked out of her new favorite store.
Shareen Vintage is located on 1721 N. Spring St.
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Eva Recinos is a junior majoring in English. Her column “Nook & Cranny” runs Mondays.