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DUO NYC Shares Their Tips For Shopping Vintage Like A Pro

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The sister duo behind East Village boutique DUO NYC have been cultivating their aesthetic since childhood. “We grew up in the wide open spaces of Northern Minnesota and, when we were young, we wore old hunting and outdoor clothing (old canvas jackets, quilted coats, broken-in Levis, heavy-knit sweaters),” Wendy and LaRae Kangas recall. Today they bring that love for practical, lasting style to DUO NYC. They opened the boutique together in 2008 to showcase cool indie designers they love alongside a vintage edit. “We stock pieces that get better with wear. We handpick our vintage collection and it’s fun to see our clients choose pieces for themselves that fit perfectly like they’re custom made for them.” 

We can’t get enough of their handpicked edit so we had to quiz the sister duo on all their secrets. Here, Wendy and LaRae share a few vintage shopping tips, their best vintage scores and a mutual love for ’90s music and lip balm.

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Sister duo Wendy and LaRae.

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"Look for simple silhouettes with natural fibers and interesting textures. You'll get more wear out of timeless, understated pieces."

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT VINTAGE? The search for vintage is such a creative process and it’s a rush when we find the perfect piece. We love that vintage allows you to have your own personal style and you’re not going to see anyone else wearing the same outfit as you.  It’s great because we never know what we’ll find and if we’ll ever come across the same piece again. We look for quality-made pieces with natural fibers: cottons, silks, denim, and linen.

WHAT VINTAGE PIECES ARE ALWAYS TIMELESS? Oversized cashmere sweaters, old broken-in Levi 501’s, vintage silk tees and tanks.

WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR BEST VINTAGE SCORES TO DATE? Military green cashmere Donna Karan duster coat, buttery-soft brown leather strappy Marni sandals, and a french linen, boxy tee dress from the early 1900s.

WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 5 VINTAGE SHOPPING TIPS? 

  1. Look for simple silhouettes with natural fibers and interesting textures. You’ll get more wear out of timeless, understated pieces.
  2. Mix vintage with new to keep your style modern.
  3. If you’re not a vintage shopping pro, shop at vintage stores where the collections are curated and easy to shop. 
  4. If you like a vintage piece, buy it. Don’t wait to purchase because, since it’s the only one, it may sell before you return.
  5. Try pieces on and don’t be concerned by the size tag. Modern sizes fit very different than vintage sizes. 

 

THE STORE: DUO NYC

  1. Top 3 selling brands: Dusen Dusen, Lacausa, Revisited.
  2. Something your boutique is known for: Edited vintage and indie designers.
  3. What’s playing on the speakers: Sharon Jones, Alanis Morisette, LL Cool J, TLC.
  4. Something you’re constantly re-stocking: Wish bracelets by Sara Lasry, Manready Mercantile soy candles, and Taylor Ceramics hanging planters.
  5. Your store in 3 words: Curated, vintage, modern.

 

THE OWNERS: WENDY + LARAE KANGAS

  1. Your go-to outfit: Wendy – Revisited knit sweatshirt with a pair of vintage Levis and Robert Clergerie oxfords. | LaRae – Vintage linen button-up, high waist Acne jeans with Still House gold Notus Studs and a pair of vintage stacked sandals.
  2. One thing you can’t live without: Wendy – Lip balm. | LaRae – Coffee.
  3. Favourite designer/brand: Wendy – Japanalia. | LaRae – Sangam.
  4. Something you always carry with you: Wendy – Dusen Dusen sunnies. | LaRae – Clinique black honey lip balm.
  5. Style icon: We both appreciate real people and are most inspired by our stylish customers and checking out street style in NYC.

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Vintage Escada Wide Leg Trousers 

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