Friday, November 15, 2013

And the vintage gods smiled down...

I should warn you right-off that this post is full of unabashed narcissism.  Some days on the Homestead you will find me in rollers and wool workshirts.  This past Sunday I was all Old Hollywood Glamour (humor me awhile, won't you).  And if you can somehow stomach all the 1950s hokey posturing, there is a pretty cool story about this outfit.

Once upon a day at the thrift store, the vintage gods were smiling down on me...


My local thrift store is responsible for furnishing a large part of my wardrobe as well as many rooms in my house.  As you can imagine, it is totally hit or miss.  One day I came across a hit - a big one.  A fur wrap made of four mink was winking at me from the display case.  I immediately asked to look at it.  The wrap was in pristine condition!  Each mink had eyes, ears, feet and tails.  Unfortunately it was not tagged with a thrift store price so I sadly, and oh so slowly, handed it back.

I do have a few vintage, fur pieces in my closet, but so far nothing with actual faces on it.  And I've garnered enough gumption to wear my fur out and about; people can think whatever they want.  But I'm not sure I have enough guts to wear something that literally stares back at said people.   I went home and told my husband what I had found.  After gushing for several minutes, Hank asked, "And why didn't you buy it?"  So Ladies, you see, I really had no choice.  I headed back to the store the following week to purchase the mink.

Now here's the really cool part.  While I'm at the counter handing over the most money I have ever spent at a thrift store, the lady in line behind me strikes up a conversation that went something like this:

Her:  "You must be into vintage?"
Me:  "Yes, I am."
Her:  "I could tell.  I love your jacket.  I'm cleaning out my mother's house and have a wool suit."
Me:  "Really?"
Her:  "Yes. It's a beautiful wool plaid with a peplum.  I think it would fit you great!"

Well, when she mentioned "peplum," my ears perked.  Our conversation continued in a similar vein, and I walked out of the store with not only four cute minks blinking lovingly at me but also her phone number.  Two days later I was standing in her kitchen, agog over this suit. 

It has your classic 1950s lines, and it does fit me beautifully.  The suit was purchased brand new by her now 94-year old mother.  Oh, she had wonderful taste!  

The jacket has three-quarter length sleeves and great detailing.  The buttons are fabric-covered with rhinestones around the outer edge.  Little bows adorn the breast pockets.  I was so happy to have a plaid in blue and brown instead of a grey/black combination. 

The skirt is your basic pencil skirt with a side zip.  And I love the little bow at the top of the kickpleat!

To tell a bit about my shoes, they are vintage 1940s suede peeptoes that I purchased at an antique shop last year.  They still have a lot of life left in them!

And I'll go you one better, the dark brown leather gloves were also from this fabulous new acquaintance of mine.  They fit like a glove.  I am simply beside myself when I wear them.

Behind the camera, Hank was cracking up
over my "hula hand motions."

The only thing that would make this outfit better is a hat.  And I just so happen to know where there is a brown wool beret for sale...

So the moral of this story is that you never know how or when vintage will find it's way into your life. A fabulous piece could come from your thrift store or that generous person standing beside you.  Don't ever be afraid to strike up a conversation with the other people waiting in line.  I've been doing this for years, and for the most part, people like to chat.  Also, I'd like to publicly say thank you to the previous generation who purchased quality clothing and kept it in such good shape!  There are a few mends on this outfit, but even the darning was done well "back then."
I sincerely hope that your thrifting trips will be as amazing as this one was!


  1. wow!!!
    what a perfect outfit! love!
    i have a whole silver fox that sleeps in a drawer since years. have to wear him this season. but where can i find such a cool wool suit for my valkyrie shoulders.....

  2. Wow! It's almost like that outfit was especially tailored and hand cut for you!
    Love the mink. You should not care what people think, either. If they know vintage...then they'll know it was from a time LONG BEFORE PETA and Political Correctness... if they don't, well, it's just plain ignorance. Simple fact.

  3. How cool. That is adorable on you!

  4. Love it !!! I have a few mink friends with eyes of my own but have yet to wear them.

  5. I love the suit. As to the furs--very nice. We have minks here, and they kill my ducks, so no love lost for me! So here's my do they hold onto each other? Is there a clip under the mouth of each mink? I've always wanted to know!

    1. Yep, the only predator that has killed our livestock has been from mink. And to think we hear coyote howling all summer long! We caught a mink in the chicken coop a few years back, but they sneak into the pasture and prefer the geese. On the wrap, the front mink has a large clip, but the others are actually sewn together; they don't come apart.

  6. Thank you Sara. Your post is fabulous. I am going to share it with my sister.

  7. Husbands always seem to say that "why didn't you just buy it"! How funny-glad to hear you got the mink and a great outfit. Plus your hair looks good too. Keep up the pictures.
    Christine in Tucson


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