If you are a lover of the fashion trends of days gone by and want to buy something special to add to your wardrobe, you might enjoy a vintage coat, a pair of gloves, and even a hat. Thrift stores are a great place to buy these items for a fraction of the cost of what you typically pay online or in a local antique store. Because you can try the clothing on in a thrift store, you have the advantage of knowing that it fits, and if you shop in a non-profit thrift store like Eastside Community Aid, then you have the additional benefit of knowing that your money will go to a good cause. This blog post describes several things that are important to know and look for when you are buying vintage clothing.
When shopping for a vintage coat, you should examine it for stains, odors, and any other noticeable defects, in addition to making sure it fits you well. Many vintage coats still contain their original lining, and the condition of the lining is important. If the lining is heavily stained, for example, that can be a problem, especially if there is an odor associated with the stain. Removing the lining is an option, if it has qualities you do not like. However, removing the lining could become a time consuming project or could cause the coat to be damaged, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience with sewing or garment repair. Vintage coats sometimes smell moldy because they have been stored improperly. Unfortunately, a moldy smell can make a coat unwearable. The fit of a vintage coat is very important. Clothing was sized quite differently in the past, so if you try to buy a vintage coat online you might be disappointed to find that your coat is three sizes too small. So, if at all possible, be sure to try the coat on before you buy it. Your local thrift shop volunteers can help you find a vintage coat you love. Eastside Community Aid Thrift shop’s volunteers consistently and carefully examine clothing for stains, odor, and other issues before the items are placed on the floor for customers to see and purchase. On any given day, Eastside Community Aid Thrift Shop, is likely to have several lovely vintage coats that have been carefully vetted by our volunteers. If you find one you like, you can try it on and, of course, inspect its condition yourself.
Vintage gloves can be purchased for wearing or for decorating. If you want to use them for décor, then the condition of the glove is the only real concern. However, if you want to wear them, you really should try them on. Typically, they run small. Leather or cotton gloves might feel a bit tight, but if you can put them on, keep in mind that they can stretch with wear. If you cannot begin to put them on, however, then they are not likely to be comfortable enough to wear, even if you have access to a glove stretcher. Eastside Community Aid Thrift Shop almost always has several pairs of vintage gloves that you can see, try on, and have fun with.
A vintage hat is an item that you might be tempted to buy based on a description or a picture, without seeing it in person. But each hat is like a snowflake, unique in its condition and design, and they are best seen in person. If a hat has netting, for example, the netting must be seen up close and in person to know exactly what condition it is in. If there are flowers or rhinestones, they might all be there but not in good enough condition that they will stay intact. Some hats might have the original tags, and some may be handmade by their original wearer. Examining the tag (or noticing its absence) can give you hints about the hat’s origin. The fun of vintage hats is that you can find anything from an elegant black hat to a vivacious hat full of flowers, netting, and ribbons. If you do not want to wear the hat every day, you might use it for décor or wear it to special events. Some hats can be worn for a night out on the town, and some hats can be a statement piece for any occasion.
It’s easy to have fun shopping for vintage attire. All you need is a discerning eye and a mind open to the endless possibilities. I hope you enjoy the hunt!
- Written by a guest blogger
For the last several weeks, I have been finding lots of coins. They’ve been in the street, on top of trash receptacles, and on the floor in elevators. Fortunately, they have all been heads up. I was taught by my mother that picking up a face up coin brings good luck, while a tails up coin brings bad luck. So I will only pick up coins that are heads up. I feel like I have been having good luck in the last several weeks, and it keeps getting better the more coins I find. The odds against all of these coins being found heads up are very low, so I feel strongly that my good luck is coming from finding these heads up coins.
Those of you who know me know that I am a very logical thinker, not a person who would normally believe such things, but my early training from my mother about good and bad luck runs pretty deep. Here are some of her most popular superstitions. Do any of them sound familiar or ring true for you?
To this day I won’t get out of bed on the other side of the bed, ever; I never put a pair of shoes on a table in my house; and I have thrown plenty of salt over my left shoulder in my lifetime.
I think there are things in this life that we know on some level but don’t know how or why we know them. So, it makes sense to me to do what I can to try to encourage the good and discourage the bad.
Wishing you abundant good luck and none of the bad this spooky season,
Susan is a frequent volunteer at Eastside Community Aid Thrift Shop, where she sorts, prices, and stocks merchandise to her heart's content. Before retirement, she owned and operated a consignment shop for women's plus size clothing in Seattle. Through trial and error and talking with customers, she learned a thing or two. An avid "thrift shopper," Susan loves to buy clothing, especially when she gets good quality and value for her money.
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