Portland Favorites – Living Threads Vintage

Living T

Living Threads Vintage is one of my favorite stores in Portland. The adorable, friendly couple who own it, Christine and Travis, sell vintage men and women’s clothing both in the store and in their Etsy shop. Their wares include pretty dresses from a wide range of eras, a wonderful collection of hats, Pendleton woolens for men, a nicely edited collection of jewelry, vintage shoes, ties, and the odd antique treasure you didn’t know you needed. (A lipstick case from the 1920s? So pretty!)

Walking into the cute little shop is always a treat because Christine or Travis greet you warmly and you can tell they care about their customers. They love talking about vintage clothing but let you shop quietly if that’s what you prefer. The store is very clean; no musty mothball, smoke, or other off-putting scents. They put a lot of thought into curating a collection of interesting clothes and other objects. The clothing is in excellent condition and has been cleaned or steamed.

The merchandise available varies widely depending on what they’ve sourced – you might find a flapper dress in beautiful condition, a dapper gentlemen’s silk scarf, a polyester Nik-Nik shirt from the 70s, or a chartreuse dirndl skirt. It’s a wonderful place for a treasure hunt, and the service is warm and friendly. If you like vintage clothing, do stop by – they’re downtown right across from the Central Library.


Display case full of goodies.

Living Threads interior

Pretty objects artfully displayed

alligator shoes

1940s Alligator Pumps

Photo by Living Threads Vintage

Early 1920s dress with velvet applique. Photo by Living Threads Vintage

Victorian bag

Victorian pocketbook

Art deco sterling silver necklace with glass stones

Art deco sterling silver necklace with glass stones

Living Threads Vintage
1008 SW Taylor Portland, OR 97205


Silly fashion rules – no alligators in the evening?

Alligator shoes - texture

It’s fun to look at old books about fashion and etiquette. One rule that’s always puzzled me is why alligator and other exotic skins are only supposed to be worn during the day, not after dark. Genevieve Antoine Dariaux, French author of the book Elegance (1964) wrote that “Alligator is strictly for sports or travel, shoes as well as bags, and this respected reptile should be permitted to retire every evening at 5 PM.”

Alligator shoes -shape and color

With all due respect to Madame Dariaux, I disagree – my alligator pumps are pretty and elegant, and wouldn’t be much fun to play badminton in. I’d certainly wear them to work during the day, but I’d be just as likely to wear them to an event in the evening if they matched what I was wearing. Not a formal event, but if I were going to a board meeting or out to  a nice dinner, why not?

I found these amazing shoes at Living Threads Vintage, a small little vintage store across the street from the Multnomah County Central Library. Older shoes often come in narrow sizes, which have become much harder to find in physical stores. The skins are in great shape and the shoes fit really well. They are likely from the 40s, looking at the toe box and heel. I think they’ll go very well with one of my tweed skirts! Oh, can one wear tweed in April?!