On the top of my list of stores to shop in when I visit the area is Encore, a vintage clothing and designer resale shop at 521 Congress St. Owner, Rita Prout-Farley has been at this location for eighteen years and has amassed an astounding collection of high end designer clothing, vintage fashions and accessories. On this recent visit I spotted outfits by Yves St. Laurent, Armani, Givenchy, Oleg Cassini, Versace and Lanvin.
Boston Magazine has voted her store best vintage clothing shop in New England three years in a row and Travel and Leisure Magazine has included her in their list of top vintage clothing stores in the world! If you’re fortunate enought to visit, you’ll see why.
The building that houses her treasures is one of Portland’s historic landmarks, owned by the Maine Charitable Mechanics Association, a craft guild originally founded in 1815. And for 70 years it was the home of Carter Brothers, an upscale jewelry store. The beautiful original oak display drawers and cabinets that surround the perimeter are are still intact, perfect for showcasing her stunning stock of vintage hats, jewelry and shoes.
In the center of the store there are racks full of stylish vintage and contemporary designer dresses, evening gowns, separates, coats, etc. I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s quite easy to spend several hours here shopping, there is so much cool stuff to look at and and try on.
Below are some additional shots to give you an idea of the tremendous amount of inventory Rita carries. Definitely a dream destination for any vintage stylista!