In the name of all clothes vintage, you have got to stop by Clever Vintage Clothing. My first exposure to this vintage wonderland was at the Santa Monica Vintage Fashion Expo last year. I loved the quality, and a lot of the items looked like they had been worn maybe once.

The next time I came across Clever Vintage was for a fitting for a vintage show they hosted Downtown. Once I walked down the hall of the Anjac Fashion Building’s ninth floor and saw the racks and racks of gorgeous dresses, capes and accessories of yesteryear, I knew my wallet would soon again be in big trouble, in a good way.

Owner Dave Temple’s beginnings start in the most modest of ways. He purchased a $3 1950’s suit from Goodwill for a school play and pretty much never looked back. He explains in his bio, “Soon the young actor in me gave way to a young costumer and while studying at FIDM, I costumed shows in regional theatres throughout Los Angeles – hunting down fabulous vintage creations up and down the coast. Eventually the ‘business side’ of the business became more appealing to me, and I paired up with a friend to open the famed Get Lost vintage boutique with locations in Fullerton and Long Beach.”

After the success of his vintage flagships, Temple traveled across the country and worked in fashion before coming home to his native Los Angeles and opening up Clever Vintage. Today, Clever Vintage has served as the home for many fashionistas, offering unique, nostalgic and inspired wear for costume designers, stylists and more.

As most vintage shoppers know, shopping is an artform that takes a great deal of patience and an active imagination. It’s important to be able to strike a balance with vintage, hair and accessories. You can find all of that at Clever Vintage.

Just last week Clever Vintage Clothing produced a 1960s fashion show to coincide with the Los Angeles Wine Tasting’s 1960s Soiree at Downtown’s Los Angeles Theatre Center. The party celebrated famed photographer Phil Stern, whose photographs of Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and others chronicled the 1961 JFK inaugural gala. Amongst these precious photographs, guests sampled wine and viewed authentic ’60s fashion offered by Clever Vintage Clothing. From Emma Domb gowns to an Ellen Kaye full skirt dress and a splash of furry-bottom columned dresses, the 1960s were well represented. You owe it to yourself to visit the showroom, but make sure to call first as Clever Vintage is only open by appointment. They offer an online shop via one of the best online handmade and original sites ever, Etsy. With new posts every week, you could easily snag a dress like the early 1960s Dress de Ville Chicago, made from sheer cotton voile. My favorite item on the site right now is the pin-up appropriate shift dress in tones of black, yellow and silver daisy brocade. Or you could always stop by one of the many expos Clever Vintage can be found at, including the Helm’s Design District Vintage Boutique. There, you can find things for $50 and under!

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