Like snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef or dropping acid for the first time, diving headfirst into the dizzingly vast world of vintage clothing can be a little intimidating. It helps to have a knowledgable sherpa to keep you steady and pointed in the right direction. And as far as we’re concerned, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better vintage guru than Raggedy Threads founder Jaime Wong.
More than two decades ago, Wong got her start flipping throwback grails at L.A.’s legendary Rose Bowl Flea Market, before opening her own standalone shop in Downtown Los Angeles in 2002. In 2016, she cut the ribbon on a second Raggedy Threads outpost in Williamsburg, and it’s been a beloved fixture in the neighborhood ever since—brimming with all the mouthwatering shredded denim, perfectly faded sweatshirts, and pristine souvenir jackets you could ever want.
For the latest episode of #ShopTalk on the @GQRecommends Instagram, we asked Wong to show off all her latest finds and rarest gems. Here are her picks for the impeccable vintage garms worth investing in pronto.
40s pleated denim jacket
If you’re looking to make your return to hard clothes in a vintage trucker jacket or real-deal blue jeans, Raggedy Threads has you covered. “We have an amazing selection of denim, mostly from the 1940s all the way up to the 1980s,” Wong says.
50s Big Mac patched overalls
“People love to find products they can mix with something they already own,” Wong says. “This beautiful pair of overalls from the 1950s has that patina, that wash—it’s already worn in—and you can mix it with your own favorite T-shirt.”
60s Indianapolis Motor ringer T-shirt
Speaking of tees: As you might expect, Raggedy Threads is home to an epic collection of those, too. “They’re already pre-worn, soft, super comfortable,” says Wong.
50s embroidered Japan Sukajan jacket
Wong’s absolute favorite corner of the store? The wall covered in Japanese sukajan—souvenir jackets—made following World War II for returning American soldiers. “They’re really, really cool—all silk or satin, and beautifully embroidered with tigers and dragons.”
Heritage 9.1 Italy alpaca socks
Raggedy does carry a small selection of brand-new goods that fit in seamlessly alongside the shop’s primo vintage wares, including these old-school, Italian-made alpaca socks.
Sofia x Raggedy Threads shop T-shirt
Every year, Raggedy collaborates with a different illustrator on a series of exclusive shop tees. For the 2021 edition, they linked with Milan tattoo artist Sofia Mesisca