Thrifting 101, Part 8: My love for thifting, explained

As you have probably guessed, I have a very deep love for thrift stores. I adore finding treasures that have been discarded by the less discerning. I love wearing fashion for a fraction of what it would cost new. But a huge reason I love bringing home a beautiful item of clothing is because a vintage or thrifted piece always has a story attached to it. An item of clothing that has been around a few decades has a sense of history, and when I slide this clothing on I cannot help but wonder about the story. 

There is a beautiful silk sequined jacket with an ever so slightly pulled seam.

Vintage 1950's jacket; striped blouse from some shop on 2nd Street in Austin; Gap Outlet cargos; Stuart Weitzman wedges; Plato's Closet gold bracelet; Forever 21 black pyramid bracelet; Betsey Johnson watch; heirloom diamond tennis bracelet



You can tell that it has been cared for lovingly and gently. So how did it get this pulled seam? Perhaps a couple returned home from a cocktail party, both slightly buzzed, and the husband became overwhelmed watching his wife take off her earrings. So he slipped up behind her and slid his arms around her, and in his eager haste to remove the jacket tugged just a bit more than necessary and left the seam ever so slightly stretched.

And here is an almost perfect pair of boots.



They are perfectly lovely cowboy boots, except for a deep scuff just above the left heel. Yes, the leather is old, and would be deeply cracked if someone had not lovingly rubbed oil into the leather for years. They would have been adorable on a young college girl, paired with cut-off denim shorts and a T-shirt at the Texas State Fair. This is a pretty common look at the Texas State Fair. Just a little too much beer and a lot of Texas heat left her buzzing, giggling, and stumbling. She had no idea what was coming into being that hot summer day. She did not know that the boy she met who flirted with her and bought her a deep fried Twinkie, (yes, we have those at the Texas State Fair) was going to be walking with her at the State Fair a few decades later, pushing their granddaughters stroller. None of that could be seen that soft, warm night when she stumbled on a curb and scraped her boot. And he caught her before she spilled to the ground, they both laughed then grew quiet, and then kissed for a long time under a big silver moon. 

A sexy, chic little black dress calls to me. You can tell it didn't get much wear. The label is expensive. Someone spent a lot of money on this dress. And the girl that bought this dress could not afford it. She hoarded couch cushion change, brown bagged her lunch, spent several weekends in her small apartment eating Ramen noodles and watching broadcast television. But it was SO worth it when she walked into the company party feeling as glamorous as a starlet on a red carpet. She was so careful with this little dress and swore she would keep it like new until the day she died. But other little darlings come along in life and make overpriced party dressed seem insignificant by comparison. The day she dropped the dress off at the charity clothing drive with her baby boy slung on her hip she didn't give it a second thought. 

A thrift store is not just rows of cast off clothing. It is a library of endless stories.



14 comments:

  1. This is a wonderful post. Seriously. One of my favorite blog posts ever.

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  2. Lovely writing, as usual. I often think about the stories attached to my thrift or vintage pieces too, and wonder what happened to items I used to enthusiastically wear that have since been sold or given away (vintage red wool coat with black faux fur collar and wrist cuffs - WHY DID I SELL YOU?). Do the people who own the clothes I've since parted with wonder about the stories attached to them? New things can be so soulless (unless they are pair of Jeffrey Campbell shoes - WANT). But I digress. Great post, Elissa!

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  3. Awww, thank you Grace and Kimi! I put a lot of work into my writing and I'm so glad you like it. That means so much.

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  4. I love this post! It is my favorite part of thrifting too!
    Thank you for saying it so well.
    Patni

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  5. Very nice post! I love thinking about each item's back story. My most puzzling back story? Items with the in-store tags, but general wear-and-tear... a stylish klepto? :)

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  6. Great pair of boots...I am looking for the perfect pair at thrift shops and I haven't found them yet!! The jacket is so cute and sparkly daytime wear seems to be every where!

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  7. O my gosh! Your writing is so authentic and speaks straight to my heart! This is the exact reason why I love thrifting and to hear someone put it so beautifully is perfect! You have found yourself a new reader and an admirer! I found your blog through the delightful dozen's and I am here to stay! Love your writing style and I can't wait to go back through your past posts! I am a mom approaching my thirties and I am looking forward to seeing what you do to your outfits to make them stylish yet kid friendly!

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  8. I love your stories. Very imaginative and lovely. It will definitely add more thought to my next thrifting outing!

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  9. Great post! Those boots are great!

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  10. cute outfit. I love the sparkle!

    jen
    http://blankwhiteframes.blogspot.com

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  11. Love the jacket so much, it is gorgeous. This is a very stylish and chic outfit.

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  12. I too come up with clothing back stories. Everyone who loves cowboy boots knows the more worn-in the better!

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  13. Can I ask you, please, where did you get those boots...?? Thank you very much for your answer :) Those are beautiful!

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