My Fave Vintage Store: Held Over

Now picture Henry and Dad double parked across Haight Street...

Happy New Year!  Ooh, my bad.  My last post was clearly during the holidays and I’ve been a bit delayed in posting since.  Well, this a good segue into mentioning my holiday vacation to the Bay Area.  Along with biking along the coast in Monterey, getting blotto while wine tasting in the Carmel Valley and eating way too much in San Francisco, I managed to find the time to make a quick stop into my favorite vintage store, Held Over, in the legendary Haight-Ashbury.  (Actually it was more like Henry dropping Dad and me off while he double parked across the street.  Dad walked in and immediately back out again to the car giving me just enough time to peruse the racks, try on the items and purchase.)

Aside from the fabulously reasonable prices and impressive stock, what I love, love about the store is that everything in there is merchandised and categorized by campy and detailed image-invoking genres, like “70’s/80’s Sexy Secretary” and “Euro Boobie Tanks“.  I mean, those labels pretty much sum it all up right there.  That also means none of that rifling through a mass of moth-ball scented and odd-hued frocks to unearth an odd gem here and there.  This place is optimum for efficient vintage shopping.

And let’s talk reasonable prices.  I mean, back in the day, I used to find pristine condition slouchy boots for like $30 and now they’re probably like $50, but that’s still not bad considering.  This time, I immediately honed in on the “Leather Shorts” section and snatched up (and later purchased) a pair of mint condition black leather skorts priced at $40.  I found a couple other pairs of soft leather shorts (navy and black) both priced at $28. Honestly, in New York, those would easily be over $100 each.  Considering that I need another 70’s/80’s Sexy Secretary Dress like I need a hole in the head (although really, that could be said for leather shorts/skirts, too), I hit the Lacy Dresses (or something like that) section instead and tried on a beautiful embroidered maxi dress marked at just $55.

This place is on my must list every time I’m in the Bay Area.  During one visit, they were even playing a Best of Broadway CD on shuffle for mood music.  I had a blast trying on “Sexy Secretary Dresses” to the tunes of Idina Menzel’s rendition of “Defying Gravity” from Wicked.  That, combined with three dresses all priced under $35 each was a heavenly experience.

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