Welcome to Pretty Parlor! The nostalgic, award-winning boutique sits just off Broadway in the festive Capitol Hill neighborhood. Owner Anna “Banana” Lange recently celebrated her shop’s 20th anniversary and was thrilled with the results of her untraditional celebration.
“Normally, we would host a big party with a fashion show, aerialist and live music,” Lange said. “However, due to the current state of our world, we decided to simply host a shopping event to offer 20% off and serve champagne and snacks. It was a huge success, as we broke our daily sales record and made great memories doing so.”
Growing up, Lange was constantly thrifting and utilizing her creativity by taking clothes into resale and consignment shops.
“I grew up obsessively organizing my Barbie’s extensive wardrobe (both vintage and new – ha!), creating capsule collections and doing all of her interior design”, she said.
Before Pretty Parlor opened in 2001, Lange worked as an art director at Nordstrom and also did freelance work with Eddie Bauer and REI. Her degree in graphic design from Montana State University, along with her passion for clothing, led to many opportunities in the field of fashion and art. It was during her time at Nordstrom when she moved into a charming apartment that eventually led to the concept of her boutique.
Lange got creative and combined her costumes and wardrobe together, which resulted in renting out pieces to friends. She eventually decided to combine both her experience with art and fashion to open her own business.
The boutique today stands as a dream for lovers of vintage and feminine fashion. Inside, you’ll find a portrait of actress Audrey Hepburn, who Lange greatly admires, “Our Lady of the Parlor.”
“Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Funny Face are some of our all-time favorite movies”, she said.
The boutique’s interior also transports you back to the eras of appreciated sophistication, and Lange takes great inspiration from Hollywood’s classic cinema.
“We are also huge fans of the golden age of Hollywood and all the fabulous MGM costumes they wore,” she said.
For anyone looking for glamorous vintage-inspired or true vintage in a variety of sizes, this boutique is the place to go. Shoppers will find a variety of new vintage-inspired reproduction pieces and true vintage fashions from local designers in sizes XS to 3XL. Styles ranging from sequined flapper dresses, 50s fashion, 60s mod, 70s disco and 80s prom dresses can all be found at the boutique. Pretty Parlor also carries women’s coats, swimwear, skirts, pants, shoes, lingerie, hosiery and accessories such as jewelry, gloves, wigs, hats and scarves.
“We specialize in ‘Decade Dressing Head to Toe,’ a term we came up with, means our stylists refer to our library of vintage fashion books to create an accurate outfit for the decade you are trying to replicate,” Lange said.
Pretty Parlor also hosts a bridal boutique where prospective brides can book an appointment for a style fitting.
“Our prices are very affordable, all well under $1,000. Often times our brides get two dresses, one for the ceremony and one for the party,” Lange said. There are also plenty of choices for any bridal party looking to find their dresses for the Big Day, as well.
The boutique also offers a small sampling of men’s clothing and accessories in their section “Manland,” which features vintage shirts, pants, suits, vests, swim trunks, coats, hats, shoes, suspenders, neck and bow ties, tie clips, tacks, socks and pocket squares.
Lange feels fortunate that she gets help from a few family members in running the business. Her mom Barb pops in to help with restoration, mending and tailoring of the boutique’s fashions, while her stepdad helps her with the accounting aspects of the business. Included in the family help is Pretty Parlor’s shop-cat Minz, aka Mini, who can be found sleeping in her pretty pink bed or roaming the boutique.
Not only does Lange stay busy with her business, but she is also a musician, actress, singer and dancer. Lange also recently completed a tour with her band in October 2021 and has even performed with other Seattle musicians throughout the years.
When asked what her favorite decade of clothing is, she said, “1960s mod style, luscious colors and prints of Emilio Pucci makes me weak in the knees.”
“I also love making people look and feel fabulous. Seeing the delighted reaction on someone in an amazing outfit that flatters their figure and personal style is the most rewarding part of the job.”