Field Trip: Amalgamated Classic Clothing and Dry Goods, Alexandria, VA

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

I have anticipated checking out Alexandria’s Amalgamated Classic Clothing and Dry Goods since April, when I heard of its opening shortly prior to DCLX and the wonders that awaited me – rumors that the owners have a warehouse where items are pulled for Hollywood movies, that the inventory has real swing era stuff, GOOD stuff, and I was salivating. As I ditched the Saturday afternoon DCLX dance to head over to Alexandria I got a text message from Bill Speidel that the shop was closed. Oh, the disappointment!

Thankfully, I had already planned to attend the International Lindy Hop Championships in August, so I knew I’d get a second chance. I messaged the store’s Facebook page a few days prior to the event to make sure that they would be open and should I send my measuremnets. The answers were yes and yes, and I was elated.

I planned to go on Friday of ILHC and at the Thursday night dance I met Beth Midavaine, who had also planned to take a trip to Amalgamated with Bill Speidel, but Bill had bailed on her, so it seemed that fate would have it that we go shopping together. We headed to Amalgamated the next day with Jason Sager and arrived at the store at noon on the dot. The store was closed. I was frantic. We went next door to a knick knack store owner, who didn’t know why the shop wasn’t open. As we regrouped on the sidewalk, the door opened to Amalgamated and it was, after all, open for business. *phew!*

It took us three hours to get through everything in the store and try on the rack of clothes that Beth and I accumulated through our collective digging through the store. The store itself is small is square footage, but packed with everything good – there was no small rack where the few swing era items were delegated – the entire store was pre-1960′s, so 100% of their inventory was everything that you would want to see in a vintage store. It was glorious! The men’s section rivaled the women’s section in size and magnificence (who has an entire rack devoted to two tone Ricky Ricardo jackets?) and a men’s shoe section that took up an entire table, and included children’s shoes (tiny leather and mesh oxfords!). Owner Shelley White took us through boxes in the back room filled with delicate 1920′s beaded dresses, there were racks of glorious dresses and gowns, plus some very practical items that would be perfect for dancing. The women’s shoes had a good selection of larger women’s sizes, which was great for Beth, who picked up a pair of fantastic 1940′s heels.

I don’t think words or photos will do this place justice, so you’ll just have to go and see for yourself. Until then, check out some of our finds below:

The more choice men’s shoes behind glass.

The more choice women’s shoes behind glass – if you wear a size 5, those green t-straps could be yours!

On closer inspection, the print on this adorable 1940′s suit with giant lucite buttons features winged puppies! Does it get any cuter than freakin’ winged puppies???

Love this green 50′s dress, with a white scalloped stripe across the upper torso to draw the eye up and GIANT POCKETS.

Tie rack includes dead stock ties as well as used vintage ties.

Men’s shoes…

…and more men’s shoes…

Wide leg high waist women’s pants with adorable trim.

Ricky in purples

Ricky in brown and white

A shirt Jason considered…

Beth in a snappy hat

Jason snuggles with a vintage cat pillow.

A school spirited hat

A 1920′s beaded dress in my favorite color.

My find of the day – a 1930′s day dress in green. I’m holding the back because it will have to be taken in a bit, but I can’t pass up a green 30′s dress…

Beth’s find of the day – a gorgeous 1940′s gown with floral appliques and overlays

Love this Asian-inspired shape in a cotton leaf print.

Just about died when this almost-but-didn’t-quite fit

Gorgeous embroidery on this peach 1920′s day dress

A men’s vignette in the store

Another display at Amalgamated

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6 responses to “Field Trip: Amalgamated Classic Clothing and Dry Goods, Alexandria, VA

  1. Ahhhhhhh!!!

    I need to go to this place, like NOW. Plus, I hope someone snagged that peach 20s day dress, because it is just MADE to be worn to JALP or another Gatsby-era lawn party!

    PS: You look freakin fabulous in that green. A+ find!

  2. I drove past it the day before yesterday but it was closed already. Too bad I didn’t get a chance to check it out

  3. Great write-up! Folks, this place is a vintage clothing gold mine! Yes, it has prices to match, but Shelley and Gene are more than fair and you have to ask yourself if you can risk seeing something you love elsewhere at a better price. That’s what I’d call vintage shopping Russian roulette. BTW, Rita bought that dress in the photo before the peach one. And the green beaded dress. Lastly, the items behind glass are part of the store’s collection and not for sale. Otherwise Rita would have bought those green shoes!

  4. I donated those brown pants; let me know next time you’re in town

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