143 E. 13th St.
Melissa Howard opened this vintage shop in 2006, decorating the space with her collection of dated Adirondack furniture and primitive objects, like a twenties life vest and worn Chinese checkerboards. The selection focuses almost exclusively on menswear (a rarity among vintage suppliers), drawing devotees from the outer boroughs. The nailed, hardwood flooring, dusky lighting, and weathered, outdoorsy décor give the impression of stepping into an old-world shop from the early twentieth century. Howard scours estate sales across the country for thirties Levis, vintage work boots from the forties, Brown’s Beach workwear, Buco leather jackets, leather U.S. mail satchels, and anything made of Stifel fabric (a rare indigo print that was only made from 1840 to 1930). Rather than searching for designer names or temporarily revived trends, she seeks out rare, well-preserved items with real historic value. Recent finds include an unworn pair of customized boots from the forties, silver Mexican souvenir rings from the thirties, and a batch of oversize leather trucker wallets, once used by drivers to carry shipping documents.