Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Unexpected Vintage Treasure Trove

 Sunday, we were wandering the abandoned mall on our way to the community, "Garage Sale" in the now empty lower court when the boys decided to take a quick look in the costume shop. I had assumed it was devoted to rentals and props, but imagine my delight when I discovered they have a very large aisle of vintage. Imagine me happier when I found it was all 50% off. The prices were already great, and I would have happily paid six dollars for this dress at full price. At three, it felt like a gift.

 Orange and brown florals and polyester? That's my kind of  maxi dress.

Of course I had the perfect jacket to wear with it because...brown polyester! So easy to match, so easy to care for. I simply don't understand why people are so sneering about the fabric today. Maybe they like to stand and iron clothes, or send them to the dry cleaners. People have their hang-ups, I guess.

We'll talk about the bag, as I know that's what you're looking at.
 Initially, I thought this was a very nice example of a hand-made bag. Upon closer examination I spotted the familiar, "Gaymode" tag on the removable lining.
How cute is that handle? I paid $3.99 for it at Hand-Me-Ups and on the same visit came home with this one as well...
 At some point, a previous owner painted and decorated this box purse. At first, I bought it thinking I'd give it a high-gloss black spray paint and then do atomic designs in pink and green neon on it. Now, I'm less convinced because...orange and brown. What can I say, my taste is clearly stuck in the 70's.
The lining is falling apart, so that will be going soon. There's a peek inside my purse-hankie, compact, lippy,  phone, wallet, and a couple dollars in cash. My grocery list is there as well. God knows, I'd forget everything I needed if I didn't make a list. 
 Outfit Particulars:
1970's polyester maxi dress-Fairytale Costumes, Omaha
1970's Koret of California polyester jacket-Thrift World
Large bracelet-Garage Sale at the mall
Earrings-K Mart
Shoes-K Mart
Both Handbags-Hand-Me-Ups $3.99 each
Fragrance-Cabotine de Gres (I'm still trying to come to a place of understanding with this one. I'm not there yet).
 The rings on my middle and index fingers are both vintage Monet. They are in rough shape, and should be re-plated. I wouldn't do that for just any old rings, but I'm rather fond of these.

The costume shop yielded some great stuff including a pink and silver patio dress from the 50's, a wild 60's pink floral dress, and a blue and green polyester dream of a smock dress. I'll be showing them in future posts. I managed to pull a muscle (getting out of a chair-totally pathetic, I know) running from my neck all the way down my upper back, so I doubt very much I will make it back to the shop before the sale is over, but I can promise it will be in regular rotation now for my vintage shopping-she has great taste in vintage, and the regular prices are quite good!

Have you ever discovered vintage in an unexpected place?


Bibi said...

Love that bracelet!
Were those basket bags really popular in the midwest during the 70's? I rarely saw those shopping thrift in California.
The 'code' words for polyester nowadays is some higt tech sounding term like 'microfiber', 'clima cool', 'clima chill', or 'cool wik'. During the hot months here my husband primarily wears polyester Nike & Adidas golf & tennis shirts made of these supposedly new 'miracle' fibers. He's cool & comfy & I'm happy not to have to iron anything.
India has many shops specializing in vintage saris. All other 'used' Indian clothing gets donated to poor relations or the maid.
Most rich Arab countries have entire souks (usually run by Indians) selling used upscale clothing. It is considered terribly 'gauche' to wear the same outfit twice to Arab weddings & celebrations & such.

Goody said...


It was a brief fad, around the same time as prairie dresses, Holly Hobbie, etc. Maybe '76-77 ? Lots of, "Country-fied" crap that people living in the country wouldn't touch.

The polyesters today are lighter weight than the old Dacron, but yes, everything old is new again.

I have a beautiful skirt made of vintage sari silk with heavy embroidery. I'm currently too fat to wear it (I think, haven't tried) but when you look at the amount of work that went into making it I'm relieved someone thought to salvage the good parts and recycle it into something wearable.

Mim said...

I've never found vintage anywhere unexpected, but I wish I could. It sounds like you've uncovered a real treasure trove.

Curtise said...

Oh I am envying your haul of half price vintage goodies, and that dress in particular - it's fantastic, and suits you beautifully. I don't know why people can be so critical about polyester, I love my vintage polyester pieces. You manage to find some amazing handbags too. Can't wait to see the rest of your finds.
Hope your neck/back recovers soon. xxx

Beth Waltz said...

I like polyester because I remember damp, wrinkled so-called summer weight cotton.

Don't you want to celebrate the moment when you see how well that vintage handbag with the geometric side panels and the floral top marries your gorgeous new floral maxi with the chic jacket! Whoop!

I once found a tiny 30s evening dress (orange and black crepe, with ruffles) displayed on a wire hangar on the wall of a basket shop. Paid $3 just to rescue it from the bin, then gave it to a chic and petite student actress who wore it both as a costume and for dinner dates. I counted it as my contribution to the performing arts.

Connie said...

Wait a second? Vintage is considered a costume? Actually I think some of the clothes in the mall look more like costumes. Whatev. Love the maxi. You look great in those 70's colors.

Goody said...


There's your reason to come visit!

Do you ever get the sense that maybe at some point polyester was trashed in the fashion magazines and people just kept on it long after it was relevant? Some of the young people who are so opposed to the stuff weren't born when Dacron was around.

Yes, I do remember damp cotton-no nostalgia for that!
A contribution to the arts-love it!

I guess around here it is. The only thing I see people wearing that's even slightly out-of-norm is Western wear, but never the really flashy stuff. Mr. ETB has a pair of dress boots he wears with a suit which looks normal enough here but would get strange looks anywhere else.

ThriftyParka said...

Love that dress!!! I wish I could unexpectedly find vintage. Hmmm, I'll have to keep my eyes open. $3 is a STEAL for that pretty dress. I wouldn't be able to not brag, to random strangers, how little I paid for that dress.

Ahhhhh, more purse love. Please keep showing off your lovely purses.

happy thrifting ;)

Goody said...

@Thrifty Parka
I'm so glad you're enjoying the purses. I've been collecting for so long I take then for granted and it never really dawned on me that people would enjoy seeing them.