this past weekend i had the chance to visit one of my very favorite
vintage shops, streamline antiques, in lower mills.
almost every time i stop in, something serendipitous happens–
:the stars align: and there just so happens to be the most perfect dress or
a drop dead gorgeous coat that someone my exact size, living years before
i was even a figment in my parent's imagination decided to part with and
leave behind for someone like me to chance upon, covet and love.
here are some of my fortuitous findings:
this dress is puffy, flowery and sparkly.
three ingredients for one fabulous frock.
that is part flight attendant/ part fabulous.
this swing coat (right) has been a winter staple for me in the past,
especially since the collar folds up and over my face
to block out the cold.
love this dress. love this color!!
streamline antiques literally brims with a bounty of beautiful objects
which range from kitchy home accessories from the fifties to
art deco bakelite jewelry, antique postcards and an ever surprising
array of vintage men's and women's clothing.
and when the store isn't brimming with bountiful treasures in lower mills,
it is packing up and paritipating in the brimfield antiques show
three times a year. (may, july & september, thank you very much.)
as an avid vintage store shopper, i feel completely at home amongst piles
of older things and as a young soul, i find that i take great comfort in the knowledge
that a certain piece of jewelry or article of clothing that i am wearing
has a history well beyond my twenty six years.
for those of you whose style is more contemporary,
shopping for vintage pieces may feel more like dress up
or wearing a costume at first, but i urge you to keep trying;
your wardrobe will thank you for it.
here are some tips on vintage buying from
the lovely store owner, lynda watson:
- when shopping for vintage, be sure to take the time to look over the garment carefully before fully committing and always try it on when possible.
- when buying more expensive pieces or shopping online, it is always best to buy from a reputable vintage clothing dearler who can answer questions or concerns.
- make sure to inspect the condition of the garment, especially for stains. most stains will come out with dry cleaning, but this can be pricey and may not always work. decide whether or not you can live with the stains before purchasing, or point them out to negotiate a better price.
- test the strength and wear of the fabric by looking for stress points in the fabric and gently pulling at the seams and less conspicuous spots (such as the hem).
- keep in mind that people were alot smaller in earlier generations, so a size 12 in the 1940's or 50's is closer to a 6 or 8 today. if the item is too tight, you may want to find a similar color fabric to have the seams taken out, which can be an added expense.
- sleeve lengths may also be an issue since arms were also shorter in earlier times. bracelet length sleeves were very popular in the 50's and 60's and were often worn with gloves.
- check to make sure all buttons are present. they may be difficult to match or replace.
- many vintage dresses had matching belts made from the same fabric. these often go missing over time. look for belt loops and if the belt is missing think about whether or not another belt could be substituted, and also use this when negotiating a price.
and if at first you don't succeed, try, try again :)