- PHOTO BY BETH CROOK
In a snug Capitol Hill space with nooks and stairs and bright windows, Throwbacks Northwest has neatly stacked the tall white walls to the ceiling. They've got weed- oriented novelties; clunky metal boom boxes; stacks of cassettes you'd forgotten you used to own, like The Best of Bill Cosby and Bell Biv Devoe's Poison; and tons of vintage sportswear and hiphop apparel. This includes a good selection of men's acid-washed jeans ($30–$50), a wildly luxurious collectible snapback hat embellished with real snakeskin ($700), women's high-waist jean shorts ($20–$50), and a black T-shirt depicting the Tasmanian Devil posed intimidatingly beneath a mass of silvery-purple lightning bolts—these represent the condition of his soul ($25). "I distressed them myself with a sander. It took all day, and at the end of it, I blew my nose and all these bits of denim came out," says owner Mark Musgrave.
There's also a portable sidewalk rack of men's 1960s to 1990s era Hawaiian shirts ($10). The customers just can't get enough of them, Mark says, what with their sizzling shades and boxy cuts, and the frantic prints of neon palm fronds, or swaying pineapples, or vaguely apocalyptic pink-skied landscapes, or cockatoos holding tiny ukuleles, or islands full of mystery. Or, heck—you name it!