Connecticut is an old state with many old homes and old families, and that means there are attics and wardrobes packed with vintage and antique clothing galore. These treasures are in demand for people who like to dress up for parties, charity events or to show off a signature look. Here are five of the top such treasuries in the state wherein can be found these grand old clothes (and the accessories to match).

Tova’s Vintage Shop
1330 Boston Post Road
Old Saybrook, CT 06475
(860) 395-1955

When Tova says her shop is filled with “100 years of everything fabulous,” she means it. There are lovely collections of antique gowns, vintage suits and “retro duds” from the last half of the last century, as well as prom and bridesmaids’ dresses and the jewelry, handbags and other items needed to accessorize a vintage look. From sweaters and skirts to pink wigs and feathered hats, Tova’s is not only a first choice for those seeking to make a period statement, but also for many local and regional theater companies (and not just in this region but across the nation) who need to dress up their actors for the stage and commercials.

93 Whitney Ave.
New Haven, CT 06510
(203) 777-4434

There are “kooky” treasures galore as the associates at Fashionista in New Haven will happily show customers who enjoy what they call “thrift couture.” Whether seeking a trip down memory lane or just in a nostalgic mood, Fashionista is a vintage clothing bargain hunter’s paradise. There are “rarities, oddities and eclectic beauties” galore amid the racks and racks of treasures that have found a temporary place to “hang” around on Whitney Avenue. Unlike many other vintage places, Fashionista also has clothing for men. This “guys and gals” variation on the traditional vintage clothing store theme makes Fashionista unique – and a great place for the guy who wants to match that grand old gown or disco dancing outfit his gal has picked out.

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Maison St. Germain
107 Main St. N., Unit E
Woodbury, CT 06798
(203) 266-4223

Who says vintage can’t be classy? With its French name, attitude and décor, Maison St. Germain is a Paris fashion salon out of an old movie – or almost (once you get beyond the signs that say “used cows for sale”). Owners Debra and Nicole, the “Vintage Vixens” as they call themselves, have a wonderful collection of lovely things and will hunt down whatever you want that they don’t have. They have more than just clothing, of course, and boast of an international online clientele of customers and suppliers.

Dandelion Cottage
21 Bread and Milk St.
Coventry, CT06238
(860) 742-4298

Need a vintage scarf or period hat? How about a purse to match that 1960s dress or 1970s suit? Dandelion Cottage in Coventry has these and more “recycled finds” for sale. Among its “fabulous finds” are many new items by local artisans, but it is the vintage clothing, hats, scarves, jewelry and other accessories that draw in the customers. It helps that so much of what it has to sell is nicely staged, and that the cottage itself is named for a playhouse in a book written by the owner’s great-aunt back in Michigan in the 1890s.

La Vita Vintage
774 S. Main St.
Plantsville, CT 06479
(860) 621-7799

“Eclectic treasures” is how the staff at La Vita Vintage in Plantsville describes its broad collection of vintage clothing (including furs and hats) and accessories to dress them up. This shop also has linens, toys, glassware, pottery, furniture, art, candles, kitchenware and “collectibles” – which include all kinds of bits and pieces from Blenko Bottles to 1950s Cosmeton sunglasses – complete with original case. Apparently before people hid behind Foster Grants, they wore Cosmetons. In addition to the website, there is a Facebook page that shows off the employees, more of the goods carried and the staff’s personal preferences for all things old.

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Mark G. McLaughlin is a professional and prolific writer with a proven publishing record in a wide variety of fields. An historian, novelist, freelance journalist, ghost-writer, book reviewer, magazine editor, web and magazine columnist, Mark has more than 30 years of experience. His work can be found at