Fresh off the heels of my recent vintage purchase at Cafe Bizarre ( checkered white shirt, something of an optical illusion with asymmetrical folding, see below:)
I decided to spend this Friday scouring the sales and new winter collections at some of my favorite fashion hotspots–Dizengoff Center, King George Street, Shenkin, and Allenby. This time, though, I made sure to hit up places I’ve always heard about but have never been.
Can you imagine? Me, a fierce fashion follower, and I’ve never REALLY gone shopping on Shenkin!!!
It was quite the experience.
I decided to go in the opposite direction from Cafe Bizarre (though I plan on hitting that place up again VERY soon) and away from the higher-priced boutiques on northern Dizengoff. Instead, I walked down King George (which is turning into a great area for budding indie fashion shops) and found myself at Dizengoff Center, Tel Aviv’s oldest shopping mall. It was not regular retail I was after, however. I came to conquer Mango, a Spanish chain popular in Israel with fierce European fashion that is hard to come by in little old New Jersey and was recommended to me by many a fashion follower.
Yes, it’s true. I’ve also never been to Mango in Israel, though many of the best Israeli style bloggers and fashionistas find their best pieces there. Unfortunately, I was really disappointed. The store was in utter disarray and while I was bombared with turquoise blouses, gabardine mini skirts, and even a maxi dress or two, I found a lot of the items to be unwearable. I guess that’s where styling comes in right? Afterwards, I was told that Mango is great for certain pieces but must scour the racks, and you must be able to layer. But for me the clothes were so flashy in some areas and so downgraded in others, I think it would require too much time and effort to find the right combination.
While I was tempted to hit up the Castro flagship store in Dizengoff Center, American Apparel off to the side, and perhaps a store like Grip, which sells a few fashionable pieces and a great selection of X-Ray sunglasses (I have two amazing retro looking pairs, including this one I bought months ago and still love like I bought them yesterday.)
But I urged myself on–wanting to see what the stores I heard about on King George and Shenkin were all about.
A friend urged me to hit up Retro at 16 King George, a sweet little vintage clothes shop, albeit a little pricey for the collection. Still, I found beautiful floral print dresses, some 80s movie logo tees and the cutest colored peep toe flats you’ll see in Tel Aviv.
Nothing was in my budget and I wished fervently for a vintage shop with cheaper buys. But I’d still recommend Retro (if you have some dough) as a shop with a style of its own and one that will help you find one-of-a-kind vintage with a statement that will make you stand out in the crowd.
Shenkin Street has the untapped fashion potential that Dizengoff Street doesn’t. While Dizengoff is known for its high-end fashion boutiques, Shenkin is the spot to find pieces that are just as great, for half the price–with a little retail thrown in, too. Of course, not everything is super cheap, but that’s what searching is for, nachon? Urban grit meets vintage chic.
I stopped at Madness and found a great pair of lace up peep toe booties and green with a sheen (a punky top in a shiny fabric with embellished arms.)
For more of that one-of-a-kind kick, the type that makes Tel Aviv proud, go higher up the street and away from Allenby for punchy jewelry at Urbanix (45 Shenkin) or chunky retro shades at X-ray. Sarah from Oh So Arty describes the store.
“The shop itself has an amazing design and looks like a swimming pool. The concept is great, X-ray offers a range of glasses- trendy ones, funny ones, classical ones- at affordable prices. I was really surprised by the low prices since they also promise “the highest level of UV protection approved by the US and Australian Standars Institute.”
Most shades are 60 shekels. That’s about $10-$15 and they’re fun to wear.
There’s also some great restaurants and coffee shops on the street. Ever heard of Orna & Ella. A must if you’re new in town.
I’m not done with Shenkin yet. More to come. Happy shopping!