If you want eye-catching one-of-a-kind vintage jewelry, take a jaunt to Twentieth Century Ltd. 73 Charles Street in Beacon Hill. The other day I was taking a walk around Beacon Hill with my dear friend from New Orleans, Cathy, and the kids. We walked to get cupcakes at Sweet, an excellent destination for a walk, when we walked by a window I ahd never seen filled with crazy vintage hats and sparkles. I stopped in my tracks even though we were in a hurry and decided we must take a peek. We walked down the steps and entered a really fabulous world. The owner, a tall old man with a diamond stud in one ear immediately asked if we’d like to see the “Everyday Tiaras” or “Special Occasion Tiaras.” How did we know we love tiaras? My 10-year-old daughter said “All of them!” She pointed at various crowns and the man handed them to her to try on in the mirror. We watched her saunter to a mirror and then strut around the shop like a peacock, taking on different personalities according to what she was wearing. Brilliant! Even my 8-year-old son, Henry, found something he wanted: a vintage jaguar pin that draped over the shoulder. (I told him to choose between that or the Lego set he saw the other day–he happily chose the Legos.) We tried on hats and handbags and marveled at the endless displays of sparkles. We finally walked out with an “Everyday Tiara” packaged glamorously in a box and a pair of elbow-length evening gloves with delicate pearls that fastened behind the wrist. (I had looked everywhere for a pair of gloves like this and hadn’t found anything decent under $200. These were $50.) Isn’t it wonderful when a simple walk turns into a treasure trip?
Bananas in Gloucester
If you’re looking for a real adventure in vintage fabulousness, try Bananas in Gloucester. There’s a whole lot of crazy going on in this shop, but I love looking at the vintage hats, jewelry, and gowns. I was recently delighted and amazed by the Jimmy Osmond Halloween Costume from about 1976, and my girlfriend got a stunning velvet cloak here lined in satin for $40. And if you don’t find anything, it’s worth the trip to try on hats in the leopard print dressing rooms.