You’re wandering La Brea with your friends in search of unique stores when you come across the quirkily-named and warmly-lit The Way We Wore. You and your girls consider yourselves experts when it comes to vintage clothing and accessories, so you immediately see that this boutique is the real deal — no sad bins full of late-’90s castoffs in here. You wander, delighted, amid rows of glamorous costume jewelry and magazine-worthy dresses. When one of your ladies runs up to you with a pristine 1950s black silk organza cocktail dress from Elizabeth Arden, you’re stunned. And when she tells you it’s your size, you practically faint. But this is exactly that kind of place, where the perfect, one-of-a-kind item is just waiting for you to discover it. And when you do, it feels like magic.
Once you manage to regain your composure and resume your search–that dress tucked safely under your arm for now–you realize that some of the pieces are much older than what passes for vintage these days. When you spot a salmon-colored, beaded fish-scale gown from the 1920s that looks like it could have been plucked from the closet of Daisy Buchanan herself, you frantically wave your friends over so you can gawk together. Another phenomenal find.
Intrigued, you talk up the girl at the counter to find out the story on this place. She tells you a little bit about Doris Raymond, who is responsible for putting together onscreen and off-screen looks for much of Hollywood. Everything in The Way We Wore has been personally curated by Raymond, and some pieces are from the turn of the century — the 20th century, mind you. Your new friend points you in the direction of some Edwardian pieces, and you carefully run your hand over the fine, delicate white lace layered above a light pink wedding dress. It’s a tad too conservative for your taste, so you ultimately decide to fast-forward a few years and try on a couple of funky, space-age Pierre Cardin pieces from the ’60s. When you emerge from the dressing room, you see that the same fate has befallen all of your friends — each is twirling around and looking in the mirror with a kind of unshakable awe remedied only by splurging on your newfound treasures. Just go for it, there’s no buyer’s remorse here.