Best Antiques Mall 2012 | Brass Armadillo | Shopping & Services | Phoenix

We're clumsy. And so, when we recently knocked over and smashed a vintage Dr Pepper bottle while visiting a friend's very vintage home, we were mortified but not surprised. We also weren't worried about replacing this rare article — we just grabbed our phone and dialed Brass Armadillo, because if anyone had one, we knew they would. They did, and they set it aside for us. When we went to pick it up, we ended up buying a nice boomerang coffee table — even though ours is perfectly fine. We couldn’t resist either the minty beauty of this vintage piece or its unbelievably low price. We ran for the door, though, because we knew if we lingered we’d buy so much more — because this antique mall outdoes all others in the valley, with more than 200 vendors who sell gorgeous and fairly priced antiques, vintage, and Midcentury Modern stuff we just love.

It just keeps growing, like Topsy. Antique Marketplace, which savvy shoppers remember as the old Historic District Antiques on Seventh Avenue, continues to gobble up the other storefronts around it, expanding more and more every time we drop in. That's a good thing, because we always find something amazing, at an amazingly low price, when we do. For our friend who collects vintage pressed glass, we picked up a still-boxed Anchor Hocking creamer-and-sugar set from 1946, for peanuts. For our dad, a set of ancient wooden golf clubs, for next to nothing. And for our very own, a like-new cherry wood French Deco bedroom suite that was practically free. Set up like a museum of gorgeous antique décor, lighting, dishware, and everything old and pretty that anyone could ever want, Antique Marketplace is an ever-growing colossus of antiquing pleasure.

We know where to go for fancier antiques for our great old house, and now we're going to tell you — in good part because you may not know that this wonderful old shop even sells antiques. They do — and good ones, besides. We recently dropped in for a lampshade and ended up staying for an hour to ogle the amazing old lighting fixtures, breakfronts, and side tables. We scored a hundred-year-old cherry wood library table, a lighted lectern ripped from the lobby of an old Deco Miami hotel, and a '20s oil lamp chandelier, too. We're planning to go back next week for that Regency tea cart and perhaps the framed Turner prints, too. Maybe we'll even have a lamp repaired, while we're at it.

Shopping for vintage duds can prove an iffy endeavor in Phoenix, where some stores couldn't be bothered to give a hoot about their products. That's especially true when delving into racks and stacks ends with shoppers exiting in the midst of a dusty sneezing fit. In the case of Melrose district vintage staple Antique Sugar, the clothing couldn't be ignored by the shop owners or vintage lovers long enough for mites to collect — it's simply too desirable. With a sizable men's section (and, man, that's nothing to sniff at) and a plethora of womenswear, Antique Sugar is stuffed with colorful, seasonal pieces that range from bright and ballsy to simple and wearable. What you walk away with entirely depends on whether you're aiming to look like a Betty Boop sex kitten or Mr. Rogers chic.

Yeah, yeah. We know all about food trucks. But there's a new brand of shops on wheels we're excited about: clothing trucks. And we have Ashley Eaton to thank for our newfound obsession. Her white and peach 1961 Shasta Airflyte trailer houses Merry May Shoppe, Eaton's mobile boutique, and travels to festivals and special events such as First Friday to vend her selection of secondhand girly threads. When you're whiling away the hours waiting for Eaton to announce her next big shopping event, check out her blog for fashion inspiration, vintage fabulousness, and Merry May updates.

Misty Guerriero travels the world in search of to-die-for vintage fashion and furniture to fill up Vintage By Misty. London, Paris, Israel, and Spain all make her list of shopping destinations. Where Guerriero's eye for the eye-catching serves her best (in our humble opinion) is in her selection of fabulous baubles, as evidenced by the shop's impressive variety of accessories. From assorted Chanel buttons transformed into costume rings to art deco Guillemette L'Hoir necklaces and Moroccan turquoise armor jewelry, you'll find an array of visually striking statement pieces all vetted by the internationally en vogue shop girl. Accessorize away.

With the frequency that designers use the word "couture" to describe their work, you'd think the stuff magically grew on mannequins. The term actually is short for haute couture, a French descriptor for handmade, custom high fashion that is really, really expensive. And if you're in the market for it, there's one Valley standby that always has it stocked: Fashion by Robert Black. If your aim is to look red-carpet ready, make a stop at the beautiful store, located in downtown Scottsdale's landmark White Hogan building. You'll find one-of-a-kind elegant pieces from decades past and designers such as Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, and Versace. Drooling yet? Yeah, just don't get it on the clothes.

Label lovers who get giddy over good deals on quality products, we're about to let you in on a little shopping secret of ours. Instead of getting bogged down by aimless shoppers and too much filler at places like T.J. Maxx, head to discount department store alternative Poor Little Rich Girl. It’s an upscale resale and consignment boutique chock-full of familiar brands, including Kate Spade, Michael Kors, and Coach. But they land some high-end loot, too, and finding labels like Christian Louboutin, Tom Ford, and Manolo Blahnik is a semi-common occurrence. Between its two locations — one in Arcadia and the other uptown — it’ll be easy to stock your closet with next-to-new pieces that’ll hang around for the foreseeable future.

The only thing more adorable than a little girl's party dress is a little girl's party dress at a screaming bargain. And that's what you'll find — rack after rack of 'em, in fact — at Love Child. We'll be honest: We don't know how this cute little consignment store stays in business. The prices on clothing, shoes, and a limited selection of toys, games, and home furnishings for both boys and girls are that low. And we don't care, as long as Love Child keeps supplying us with Nick & Nora nighties, Gap sundresses, and teeny-tiny wool blazers for a 5-year-old nephew who insists on a suit-and-tie approach to kindergarten. The quality is high, the service is friendly, and we can wardrobe our kids cheap and teach them about recycling as well as good fashion taste. That's what we call style!

Nobody pulls off the hippie-chic look quite like Butter Toast owners Traci Nelson and Jasmine Jarrett do. At once effortless and thoughtfully put together, theirs is a look that is easy to attempt but can be tough to pull off. Those looking to cultivate a Woodstock-worthy wardrobe have a leg up by way of the twosome's boutique, though. It's full of reasonably priced, eclectic vintage clothing and accessories that already have Nelson and Jarrett's style-conscious seal of approval. On their racks you'll find a bounty of bohemian dresses, crocheted shawls, worn-in denim, and floral prints that will look right at home in a field of sunflowers.

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