Three reasons to wear retro threads: (1) The crap you buy at Gap and Target falls apart in three weeks. (2) Today's dresses and tunics are designed for those who have never eaten a sandwich or endured puberty. (3) Almost everything nowadays is made out of cotton jersey, making your lady lumps look like smuggled ham hocks and cottage cheese. You could scour Miami's vintage shops for brocade bolero jackets worthy of Mad Men's secretaries, but they're bound to be overpriced for something that comes with pit stains. Instead, wrap yourself in the nouveau vintage designs of Miss Brache. The Miami designer offers sizes 0 to 24 in everything from hip-hugging leopard-print swimsuits (boyshort maillot, $115) to flouncy polka-dot dresses with sweetheart necklines (Dahlia dress, $155). And because they're all handmade to order, you can bet their seams will withstand a few repeat performances of "Y.M.C.A." We aren't the only ones enraptured with these throwback designs. Martha Stewart's wedding website featured Brache's reversible bridesmaid dresses with embroidered petticoats, and BUST Magazine praised her pinup-esque swimsuits, which have been worn by Victoria's Secret model Miranda Kerr. Brache, who refers to her retro threads as "rock-'n'-roll formal clothing that won't piss off your grandma," sells her collection online at Etsy.com.
Cross the threshold of this retro temple of drool-inducing, naughty lace and silk confections and you'll feel as if you're intruding on the sumptuous dressing room of Rita Hayworth, Lana Turner, or any other Tinseltown bombshell of yesteryear we all fantasize about. Inside you'll discover hard-to-find marabou-covered slippers or peep-toe stilettos to go along with frilly panties, curve-cinching corsets, sheer chiffon peignoirs, Victorian-era bras, sexy silk stockings, and a rare, buttery-soft charmeuse camisole. Owner and designer Lauren Arkin also keeps her trove of vintage offerings stocked with beaded period costume jewelry priced in the $10 to $30 range; boasts shelves covered with antique perfume atomizers, vanity mirror sets, and sundry accessories; and creates custom lingerie for her clients. A knockout collection of black-and-white pictures of Marilyn Monroe lines the boutique's pastel-pink walls, heightening the sense that you have stumbled into a sex symbol's private closet. If you're looking to spice up bedroom romps with the pin-up girl in your life or transport your dream hunk to cloud nine, L.A. Boudoir is definitely the joint to visit to get the loins girded for some nasty, old-fangled mano a mano at surprisingly affordable prices. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Red thong and blue thong and orange thong and green thong. If you're looking for such there's only one place you belong. Neon-print Speedos and a gold-embossed jock strap. You won't find any such things at the mall's Gap. Enter the doors of midtown's Creative Male store. Its quirky selection certainly won't bore. Why you need such things isn't our business. What you wear under your suit is a personal decision. Maybe to spice things up in the bedroom, or a bachelor-party gag gift for a soon-to-be-groom. Don't feel you have to stick to boxers or a brief. Be adventuresome with what cradles your man beef.
CJ Urban Wear
Looking to cop a pair of those electric-blue-and-yellow "Entourage" LeBron 8 Nike kicks? Or maybe you've been saving to get your hands on those "Cool Grey" Air Jordan 11s? You could log on to eBay to find a rare pair of sneaks, or you could take a day trip to downtown Miami, where CJ Urban Wear serves up an exclusive selection of athletic shoes in Baskin-Robbins ice-cream colors. One wall features a time capsule dedicated to number 23's signature shoes from the time he entered the league as a Chicago Bull to his retirement in a Washington Wizards jersey. But you need Rick Ross money to shop at CJ's. Most shoes range from about $150 to $300 and max out at $1,350.
Lace Nail & Beauty Lab
A model turned designer isn't exactly a new phenomenon. But when 21-year-old Anna Mixon started designing jewelry as a way to remain fashionable while earning a beginner model's wage, the hobby seemed unlikely to turn into a business. However, after Paramore frontwoman Haley Williams wore one of Mixon's pieces to the MTV Video Music Awards, the hand-crafted jewelry — Mixon by Anna Mixon — quickly gained a clientele looking for highly braggable, one-of-a-kind pieces. Mixon doesn't plan on slowing down either. Her signature swooping chains and gunmetal finish have complemented the designs of KRELwear and Nicole Miller and were the highlight of Fashion Week New Orleans this past March. Pieces, which run from a couple hundred dollars into the thousands, are available at Lace Nail & Beauty Lab in Miami Beach, or custom orders can be placed at annamixon.com.
Tattoo & Co. Wynwood
Karli Evans
They might as well call it Tattoo & Co. Body Art Gallery, because the professionals at this Westchester shop have mastered the crafts of tattooing and body piercing like it's nobody's business. They've been around since 2003, proudly (and safely) piercing Miami's counterculture one hole at a time. From Prince Alberts and hoods to nipples, nostrils, and navels, Tattoo & Co. is a one-stop destination for all things gnarly. Prices vary depending on the job, but expect to spend about $55 for a nose piercing. That includes jewelry, aftercare, and the sweet reward of freedom of expression.
Green Machine Tattoos & Body Piercing
Karli Evans
Like a glowing brick of kryptonite, the shop's slime-green paint job dominates the Bird Road landscape. And the work produced inside is unique as well. That's because artist/owner James Rossi and his staff are committed to drawing your idea instead of depending on the generic flash work that covers the walls of most tattoo shops. Rossi is a classically trained artist with a bachelor of fine arts degree and the ability to make your vision a reality. He is covered in ink and has great respect and appreciation for the art form. Describe your idea, and Rossi or one of his team members will take it from concept to completion as you approve every step along the way. The shop is clean, comfortable, and gallery-like, with art hanging on the walls. Rossi grew up in the area, and his neighborhood custom shop is a testament to delivering quality work at affordable prices to friends, neighbors, and visitors alike.
Eazy Street Gallery
[Redacted] — one of Miami's most notorious graffiti artists, hounded by police investigators for two decades — is known to ink here, and his work on skin is as clean, vibrant, and creative as the rich "vandalism" he leaves on highway signs and abandoned buildings throughout three counties. The gallery where he works, which holds graffiti and photography exhibitions in a big, comfortable studio adjacent to the tattooing area, is what Wynwood is supposed to be all about: gritty in origins but polished in presentation. [Redacted] is indeed an artiste, a title that comes with all inherent flakiness, so getting a tattoo from him might require a bit of legwork and patience. And while we're guessing [Redacted] wouldn't want his tag printed here, mention this award when you stop by the gallery. We've dropped enough clues to get you started in the right direction.
Botanica Yemaya & Chango Corp
Once upon a time, about 15 years ago, a young boy in a Pokemon T-shirt astounded those who came to have their fortunes told with his soothsaying abilities. The boy is all grown up now, and they still come from all over the city to have their futures divined in the seashells he tosses in the back storage room. But they also come for the extensive selection of merchandise: religious figurines, candles, potions, fresh herbs, ground egg shells, books for divination, and white shirts, pants, jackets, and hats (including kids' sizes) for that Santería ceremony you and the family plan to attend next week. This is truly one-stop shopping for all of your spiritual needs.
NailBar
In a city where looking good is the norm and staying connected a necessity, the least a girl can do is keep her nails nicely done while multitasking. At NailBar & Beauty Lounge — a loft-like, minimalist space with comfy white pedicure chairs, iPod docks, and back massagers — a girl doesn't have to disconnect. While a nail technician trims your cuticles and rubs your feet with a fruit-scented scrub, sip champagne and catch up on the news — or Facebook — on one of the salon's iPads. Plus NailBar applies gel polish that will last your entire summer vacation. OK, maybe not, but it will last longer than your average manicure and pedicure. Nail treatments here don't come cheap — a mani-pedi combo will set you back $55 — but it's the price you pay for pampering and pretty nails and toes while multitasking.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®