Stepping into Pitipua Vintage is like going to visit your stylish best friend. You want to raid the closet and stay a while just to soak up the style.
The store in San Juan, Puerto Rico is a giant treasure box of vintage finds from different decades.
As if that wasn't enough for fans of vintage style, store owners took the styling one step further. They used vintage furniture, artwork and accessories to create an inviting ambiance replicating the looks of different eras. Though my stay in Puerto Rico was only a few days, I suspect this is one place where the hip people of Puerto Rico congregate.
Take a look at this collage below the cash register counter. Those are newspapers decoupaged to form the background of this intriguing piece of art depicting a woman with bird in her hands. Let's take a closer look:
This store reminded me a lot of the Anthropologie stores, where the imaginative styling turns ordinary objects into art and engages customers on an emotional level.
A collection of female portraits hangs above the shoe display, subtly hinting at the link between image and self-identity that shoes often reveal.
Another collection of vintage artwork above this clothes rack depicts women in dresses from various historical periods.
A cluster of decorative, brightly colored plates hangs above another clothes rack. I had to stop myself from grabbing some of the decorative items to take to the cash register so I could pay for them and take them home with me.
Perhaps store workers could have packaged my goods in one of these vintage suitcases?
Oh, wait. You can't go yet. There is more to see in this leopard-print room, whose funky, edgier vibe seemed to blend nicely with the vintage-inspired front room.
Lovely clothing adorned mannequins and other display areas here.
What a lovely dress and outrageously cute belt to wear to a party, perhaps?
This skirt would be great for dancing.
Warhol-inspired purses were among some of the newly made accessories scattered throughout the store, providing opportunities for up-and-coming young designers and others in the indie movement to find a home for their wares.
Remember the jelly shoes from the 80s? Here's the modern, grown-up version in bright, summery colors perfect for the hot Puerto Rican weather.
Let me show you one last room before we leave. Though this houses the men's clothing and accesories, I felt quite at home here. It's no surprise, I suppose, since there were so many good books around:
Old cameras and old books seem to go hand in hand.
Wow! Now that's what I call a wall of inspiration. Old photographs are an indelible reminder that the past never truly leaves us.
Here's the bookcase from afar ...
... and close up.
Well, I hate to say it, but now it really is time to take leave of all this funkiness and remember-whens.
Let's take one last look at this sample of clothing, with its great colors and fabrics.
You can always look up the store on Facebook or Myspace if you want to find out more.
Pitipua Vintage is at Calle O'Donnell 200 in "Viejo San Juan."
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