Thursday, September 16, 2010

Two Things: Thrift Stores & Thrift Stores

What goes around comes around: This is how it will be the rest of our days. Designers and regular Joes will always be pulled towards the past. Nowadays I feel that everyone is reaching for it even more (present company included). My apartment has not a stitch of modern decor. I even have cocktail napkins that say “I live in the past it’s cheaper there”. So many of us are wrapped up in another time. We yank ideas from various decades that we wish we could experience... I live in a few myself. The 20‘s- yummy! I love the idea of pretty lipstick, sparkles, the perfect throw on beaded dress, living extravagantly, drinkin’ whisky and speakin’ easy. The 60‘s- my parents were under the influence and have unexpectedly morphed me into a flat sandal wearing...crop top diggin’ chick, with a love of music and anyone with a guitar. I was born in the 80’s and I’m a 90’s child who still can’t shake 90210 reruns, so WOW it’s been a whirlwind for me AND my closet. 

Reaching for the past presents a subject: VINTAGE SHOPS.
This has become so overwhelmingly popular, even for designers and celebs. This (hate the word, hate the word, hate the word) “hipster” vibe has taken control of our culture. It has become difficult to stand out from anyone if this has always been “your thing”. 
All of that said, vintage shopping has always been one of my first loves.
If you want secrets...I have them! Even though I said I wouldn’t give any away. Is anyone keeping up? This is a good thing!
SHOP SMART (oxymoron for some, I know). Don’t just run into the first cute&trendy vintage shop in SoHo and pick up a dress that is O-so-fab “you think you saw Mary Kate wearing something like this in a mag just yesterday”. A lot of these places are overpriced, COME ONNNNN!!! If every dress in there is marked $100 you’re NOT shopping smart. Even if you have the money, it probably isn’t that special.
That brings me to my next point: It’s ok to walk away with one piece as long as you are completely in love with it. Give me an estate piece, or a one of a kind chunk of jewelry. Walking out of that cute&trendy vintage shop with something you couldn’t find anywhere else (and the price was right) is your goal for shopping smart.
Now here’s the real deal: From my calculations a lot of what you’ll find in these perfectly merchandised vintage shops, is taken from a regular cheap-o-thrift store. Items have been marked up and made to look extra fresh and trendy. Thrift Stores are my 1st 1st love. There is nothing like scouring the aisles of A Goodwill or (my fav) “A random” and finding just what you need for $5!!! Again, shop smart, check your choices!

Use your imagination or look through a mag. Get inspired and hit the thrift! Some people say they don’t have the patience, in that case...CALL ME! 
(my) Rules for vintage/thrift shopping:
-NO STAINS or holes
-Make every purchase special, remember it has a story.
-Always buy a new head scarf
-Never pass up a vintage/antique clutch, they are great to funk up your event threads.

One Vintage Shop that has NEVER let me down is (a town favorite) Design Archives. They always have something perfect for me (and then some). Check them OUT!


  1. Great advice! My Mom was the queen of thrift shops and vintage as I was growing up, dragging me and my sisters kicking and screaming into the stores with her and sorting thru things for hours with a huge smile on her face. I could not appreciate her approach (the long hours) and her style back then - a posh taste having, clean lines loving, all black wearing, modern minimalist even at 7 years old! But I came around and I get it now: My favorite piece today? A 30 year old, huge vintage navajo silver cuff I wear all the time that always stops traffic, purchased at a "RRL" store, after it had probably been procured from a random cheap-o vintage shop. No surprise, Mom is always right, and always patient.

  2. Umm...where is the thrift store behind you in that picture?!