In a town where every trip to Goodwill yields an armful of unbelievable secondhand finds, it takes a lot for a lone little vintage shop to stand out. But Tortoise & Pearl in Sarasota's historic Burns Court district is about as outstanding as it gets.
With its petal-pink walls and antique furnishings, it'd be easy to dismiss this sweet little boutique for just another regular old vintage shop. But take a quick flip through any of the well-edited racks that line the perimeter and you'll quickly realize there's something way more intriguing happening here. For one thing, everything has a distinct jet set hippie vibe, and second, it all feels weirdly wearable and modern-day despite that. Imagine: floral-printed Marni shift dresses, brightly embroidered Yucateco huipiles, cropped wide-leg trousers covered in tiny polka dots, and gauzy white silk-and-lace slip-dresses. Basically, it's the kind of stuff a modern-day Diana Vreeland might wear to party in Palm Springs. Or maybe even what Jackie O would have worn to drop acid in the desert. Either way, it's pretty fantastic. On a recent trip, I spotted a yellow knit dress covered in an intarsia star pattern, a palm-print Pendleton wrap skirt, and an elaborately embroidered Guatemalan maxi dress — all of which I promptly snapped up.
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Tortoise & Pearl is closed on Mondays and Sundays and only open afternoons otherwise, so plan accordingly; we recommend calling ahead just to be sure they're open.