Since the late 1950s, Phoenix and neighbouring Scottsdale have drawn sun-seeking snowbirds from all over Canada and the U.S. These folks bring with them a wellspring of quality wardrobes that often end up in the area’s noteworthy vintage boutiques—making for great shopping.
Start with a visit to Antique Sugar in downtown Phoenix’s Roosevelt Row Arts District. Here you’ll find men’s and women’s vintage clothing from around the 1920s to 1980s. The 2,000-square-foot-space is well organized and curated to help you put together unique outfits. Antique Sugar also carries vintage accessories such as purses, bow ties, hats, scarves and shoes.
If you’re looking for vintage formal wear, a visit to Scottsdale’s Fashion by Robert Black is a must. Run by namesake Robert Black, a fashion-industry veteran and longtime collector of vintage clothing, and his business partner, Doreen Picerne, the shop is a treasure trove of high-end designer gowns and cocktail dresses from the 1940s to 1980s, as well as more informal day frocks and jewelry—all in pristine condition. Price tags here generally sit in the US$150-$300 range.
Retro Ranch is really a one-stop-shop for all things vintage. Inside you’ll find a huge selection of men’s and women’s clothing and shoes, as well as hats, jewelry, art, vinyl records, dish ware, kitchen appliances and beautiful mid-century modern furniture. Settle in and take your time here — it’s worth it.
A Stylish Stay: Hotel Valley Ho
Once you’re all glammed up in your vintage finery, head to Scottsdale’s Hotel Valley Ho. The Edward Varney-designed architectural gem first opened its doors in 1956 and has seen an impressive list of celebs come through its doors over the years, including Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood, who held their wedding reception there in 1957. Do cocktail hour in the retro-cool lounge at ZuZu cafe, or throw on a pair of cat’s-eye shades and relax in style under a cabana at the OH Pool Bar.
[This story was originally published in 2013 but has since been updated.]