Best Brand-New Vintage Clothing - 2006
Al's Custom Originals
You can spend years hunting at thrift stores for the perfect '70s trench or '50s swing coat, but when you consider the potential for failure, the lost hours, the gas money, and the knickknacks you'll inadvertently pick up along the way, you should probably just head to North Beach to see Al. The man is a wizard. He has a stock room of sumptuous vintage fabrics and trims, a genius for shape, a total devotion to detail, and a mental catalogue of every issue of Vogue from 1940-75. He can custom-design the best coat of your life, or you can pick one off the racks in his neat, warm little boutique. He also makes delightful, flirty skirts and dresses, and the men's side offers elegantly funky suits and vintage-style dress shirts cut especially for scrawny hipster boys. Clothes this perfect are naturally a bit spendy ($300 and up for a ladies' coat), but past-season items are marked down to bargain-lover levels.