Thursday, January 21, 2010

Field Trip: Moonshadow Antiques and Vintage

7000-C Carroll Avenue
Takoma Park, MD 20912

If you weren’t looking for it, you wouldn’t know that Moonshadow had vintage clothing. Upon entering, you’ll see a lot of accessories including cuff links, ties, and hats for the men, along with cat-eye glasses and shoes for the women. There’s plenty of jewelry, and there are two whole cabinets dedicated to old postcards and photos. But if you go off to the left and down the stairs, you’ll be met with a carefully-picked stock of women’s vintage.

Owner Karen Leeman, a former special education teacher, has owned Moonshadow for about seven years. “It’s a labor of love,” she says of her more recent calling, and admits she shops for vintage items even on her days off. She prefers fashions from the 1940s through the 1960s, but is willing to break the rules if a piece is extraordinary or fun. For example, during my visit I spied a green cocktail dress fit for Lady Gaga or an 80s throwback party, as well as a cropped jacket made by Target’s Mossimo brand. “It’s got to be cool,” Leeman said of any item in her shop more recent than the ‘60s.

More important than time period, Leeman said, are the construction and quality of a piece. She pointed out the details on a few suits and dresses, and offered a tip for spotting ‘40s dresses: “You can tell by the draping.”

Although each piece is unique, the price tags are far from intimidating. That green 80s dress was under $30, about the same price that you’d pay for a similar frock at Forever 21. Watch the sizing of the items—you won’t be able to purchase something unless you try it on. Due to the sizing of vintage clothing from Moonshadow is best on tiny waists.

Moonshadow is not a consignment shop. Instead, Leeman has contacts across the country who shop for what she wants or needs. Since the store is small, she only stocks items from the current season.
While Moonshadow lacks size, it more than makes up for it in the quality of its vintage clothing. Stop in for a little fashion education.

More photos after the jump.

The tiny area of Moonshadow that's stocked full of great vintage!

This frock has Jackie O. written all over it.

A suit for under $50.

Black velvet skirt...with a bow on the back! 20 bucks!

Hello '80s dress!


Paulette said...

So happy to see this post on Moonshadow Antiques. Karen is one of the first people I met when I moved to Montgomery County, and I very rarely leave her shop empty-handed.

Quarter Life said...

Karen knows her stuff and seemed to light up when I started asking her about the clothes she had in the store. It was a true pleasure to meet her. Thanks for reading, Paulette!

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