Fremont Sunday Street Market

Jonquil & Mr Black designer Jordan Christianson creates old-timey leather accessories like suspenders, bank bags, and spats, but he doesn't limit himself. He recently built a "trash-can dress" of galvanized steel and artfully replicated garbage from Aurora's Dollar Tree Store, with rubber gloves, beauty-advice books, pregnancy tests, and tampons "embedded with fiberglass, probably." He adores the Fremont Sunday Street Market, an open-air emporium of animal traps, optometrist lenses, gilded picture frames, and taxidermy alligator heads. At the underground garage's north edge, the Sunny Jim garment stand is meticulously organized, with so many loads of "amazing vintage pieces. Their back stock makes me gag." Last week, Jordan spotted a '70s-era eagle-and-cactus-scene-emblazoned hippie-fringe suede jacket: "I peed." (Fremont Sunday Street Market, 3401 Evanston Ave N, MARTI JONJAK

Red Light

In the University District and Capitol Hill, Red Light Vintage and Costume is a secondhand fashion store, and its employees have seen some shit: handbags made of hollowed-out rubber chickens, an authentic Vietnam field uniform ("Other than the blood stains, it's in pretty good condition," says Marion), miraculously cohesive assortments of '40s-era Dior turbans plucked from Sodo's Goodwill bins, sequined circus-performer onesies, photo-realistic watermelon-print tank tops embedded with synthetic watermelon scent, and $600 monkey-fur coats with tufts long and glossy ("It feels like human hair—really conditioned human hair"). Oh, and Van Halen's 1982 concert tees, depicting lions in sunglasses with tropical-beach reflecting lenses. "I've already worn through four versions of this same shirt," says Conner. (Red Light; 312 Broadway E, 392-2200; 4560 University Way NE, 545-4044; MARTI JONJAK

Pretty Parlor

I bought my first tie at Pretty Parlor when I was 16, black silk with white pinstripes. I loved to go there even when I had no money just to be surrounded by parasols, chandeliers, and fabric of every hue and pattern. It's like being in the tentacles of a benevolent sartorial jellyfish. Pretty Parlor carries vintage and locally designed clothing. Their slogan, "Where Audrey Hepburn meets Judy Jetson," aptly describes their women's clothing and jewelry. Menswear is displayed under a tapestry embroidered with the word "Manland." Owner Anna Banana can often be found sewing in the store's workshop with her Siamese cat, Vincent, who meows like a friendly car alarm when you enter the store. (Pretty Parlor, 119 Summit Ave E, SARAH GALVIN

East African Imports and Restaurant

Local designer Christine Chaney—who transforms vintage silk scarves into garments that can be worn backward, sideways, and upside down—shops at the Central District's East African Imports and Restaurant. For sale inside: twine baskets, spices in tidy piles, and robes of undyed cotton, loose-woven like gauze, the hems trimmed in bright embroidery. Also, pendants with geometric shapes and wadded metal, topped by a delicate scoop resembling a teeny cupped hand ($15). Christine loves their heaviness, their imperfections, their sense of antiquity. In Ethiopia, they're used as earwax cleaners, she discovered, and she pairs hers with beat-up plastic rosary beads her husband found on the street: "It's more than jewelry. It's a totem of protection." (East African Imports and Restaurant, 2301 S Jackson St, MARTI JONJAK

Lucky Vintage

If I could justify wearing (rather than framing) an authentic vintage Judas Priest Screaming for Vengeance T-shirt, I would happily pay $75 for one at Lucky. They always have a few comparably priced vintage band T-shirts in excellent condition, as well as a huge rack of equally awesome T-shirts in the $10–$20 range. Lucky has an extensive shoe and sweater selection in what strikes me as a large range of sizes. Among vintage shop standards like motorcycle jackets and polyester shirts, you may find ancient leather doctor's bags, Day-Glo mod suitcases, and the occasional pair of roller skates. (Lucky Vintage, 4742 University Way NE, 523-6621) SARAH GALVIN

The Vutique

Capitol Hill's the Vutique is a trim space with mod curtains and tomato-orange walls. Owner Huan Vu sources the upscale-vintage collection from a small group of retirees who'd ritually maintained the garments before entombing them in Tupperware for decades. Haun strategically alters each piece, sometimes for technical reasons (he'll replace elastic—over time the material dissolves into useless powdery strips), sometimes to maintain the modern wearer's dignity (he'll transform skorts into skirts, or slenderize alarmingly poofy sleeves). Other looks are too perfect to change, such as a black suede vest, drippy with metal-tipped tassels. Painted on the back, a shimmery dream catcher frames a shimmery landscape and a shimmery buffalo thinking shimmery thoughts ($145). (The Vutique, 303 E Pine St, MARTI JONJAK


Downtown's Mario's is a vast and spotlessly bright space. It's not a national chain, so it explicitly targets its stock to Northwesterners, and sells luxury gifts and apparel—so, you know, $$$$$. Sale-priced mens' suits start at $550 and come suffused with the cryptic features tradition demands. On the lapel: a buttonhole, but no corresponding button. On the sleeve cuffs: buttons, but no corresponding buttonholes. Only the absurdly expensive jackets have working cuff buttonholes, although there's no reason to ever actually use them. And they make alterations tricky: Because buttonholes are immovable, head tailor Eva Sergeeff must adjust and reset the shoulder seams when she needs to shorten a jacket's arms. It'd be far less hellish to trim the cuff's hem, but that might compromise the customary one-and-a-quarter-inch-from-center-of-lowest-button-to-cuff-edge rule, completely violating the whole thing. (Mario's, 1513 Sixth Ave, MARTI JONJAK

Scout Underwear

In the International District, Kirk Mason of Scout Underwear makes briefs for chubby men, which are the best kind. Unlike commercial straight-cut designs, his waistbands swoop under the belly and higher up the back to ensure a proper fit: "Some people want a little buttcrack showing. I don't." Kirk patterns his knits on the cross grain; this eliminates unnecessary seams while boosting support, and "if you have droop, it helps it settle." Each pair has a pocket to stock with keys and money, so pants become optional, and the elastic's reflective strip ensures nighttime visibility. Available in Asphalt Gray, Safety Orange, Signal Green, and Flare Red ($25). (1419 S Jackson St, Suite 5, MARTI JONJAK


Only at Cairo have I shopped for cowboy boots and geodes while a man in his underwear literally pitched a tent in the middle of the room. This tiny art gallery and clothing store hosts countless music, literary, and performance art events. There is vintage clothing for sale—Cairo seems to favor '80s and early '90s attire—as well as the shop's own screen-printed T-shirts and sweatshirts. These are screened in Cairo's studio behind the store, where they have monthly silk-screening workshops. Locally made art and jewelry is displayed on every surface, yet Cairo never feels cluttered, creating a mesmerizing clown-car-like effect. (Cairo, 507 E Mercer St, SARAH GALVIN