Second Hand Saturday: Long Beach’s Retro Row

When I turned onto Long Beach’s 4th street, it was as though the heavens parted and the angels began to sing. I was like a moth to a flame, a pirate to treasure, a dog to a bone- I was a second hander to vintage, and literally, heaps of it.

First stop, La Bomba, the inspiration for my trip in the first place. I am embarrassed to say I’d never heard of retro row until I received Yelp’s handy newsletter last week, which put a spotlight on Fourth Street and sent my heart into a flutter. The newsletter described La Bomba’s famous pile sale as “a good ten feet high and is not for the faint of heart, but it’s what polyester dreams are made of, so climb on in!” What in the world could possibly be better than a big pile of clothes waiting for me to dig through? NOTHING.

       

It was a bit daunting upon first glance, not to mention I was poorly dressed for the task in a maxi dress and sandals, but well worth the dig, it was. As I’ve said before, one of the great thrills of second handing is feeling like you’ve found a one-of-a-kind gem. The pile sale did not disappoint in this aspect. Though items weren’t $1 like they were at the Dee Lux sale or Jet Rag, they were still incredibly cheap at $2-5.  Wanna see what I got?

Who said housecoats were only for the elderly? Bright, funky print, belted and over leggings? Done and done.

Wasn’t sure if this dress would work, but paired with heels and red lipstick, it’s actually quite cute. Now I just need some red shoes!

This skirt was purchased with the intention of making it into pillows, but my aunt (who was kind enough to take these photos) suggested I try it as a dress. What do you think? Better on the couch or the bod?

This shirt is SO 70’s, the collar even managed to stay stiff even after being stuck under hundreds of pounds of clothing. Though I’m not totally sure I’ll be getting a ton of use out of it, I liked the detail and thought, hey, give disco collars a chance.

After about an hour, it was time to tap out. With patience wearing slightly thin and many more vintage spots to hit, we had to move on. Next door’s Replay had us at hello. Why? Here’s your answer: RAINBOW DENIM!

In the above pic you can see a hint of what I scored: a bright, fabulous dress that pressed all my buttons. Pockets, definition at the waist, great pattern, bright colors AND it was under $30!

There were many more shops that we rummaged through like Imonni, Sneaky Tiki, Meow and Liberty. Though it was entertaining, visually stimulating and totally exciting to have so many vintage stores on top of each other, it was also tiring and sadly, quite expensive. I saw a lot of great pieces, but there will always be great pieces and sometimes, you just gotta quit when you’re ahead. Plus, now I have lots to look forward to next time.

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8 thoughts on “Second Hand Saturday: Long Beach’s Retro Row

  1. you look so cuties in that dress (the last photo! )…THE SHOESSSSSSSSSSSSSSs. I think the black dress with the flowers on it are better on the couch, not that you don’t look like a little preshie, but I think that fabric would work better couch. Did you buy any colored denim!?

    • Thank you!! It was such a fun day. Retro row is definitely a must-see (and must shop)! Make sure you plan to go when the pile sale is happening! I believe its the third Sunday of every month, but check the la bomba Facebook page or give them a call. Happy shopping!

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