Monday, June 11, 2012

Vintage Shopping

I had my first experience of vintage shopping back in my mid-teens. One of my best friends and I decided to visit Mabs. For those of you familiar with Adelaide back in the 1970's Mabs was on Rundle St in the East End, along with many other quirky and unusual shops.

I bought a pale mauve 1940's dress. It was way too big for me but it came with a belt so I wore it with the belt tight and the top portion of the dress sitting over the belt to create and skirt and top illusion. The look probably didn't work but I felt good in the dress. I've always been a little different from the rest of the crowd so the dress and the way I wore it was probably reflective of who I was.

A couple of years later I spent a summer with my grandparents. My nana had long abandoned dresses in favour of the polyester pants and blouses so popular with her generation. She was, however, a hoarder. I spent happy hours exploring her closet and finding several 1940's dresses and a beautiful hand beaded cream coloured cardigan. I wore the cardigan until it fell apart.

Over the past weekend, my husband and I renewed our marriage vows. I decided I wanted to buy something vintage to wear. It would be classy and fit into our lifestyle. Vintage hasn't gone out of style; there always seem to be a handful of vintage boutiques. I went to Ruby Red Vintage and Relax in Vintage. At the former, the owner had fun handing me various 1950's dresses, all of which were too small. (I'm bigger than people think.) I was on my way back to the car when I remembered hearing about the latter so I dropped in. It was there that I saw four or five hand beaded cream cardigans. I bought one and brought home my treasure. Everything else I wore I already owned except the shoes which I borrowed from Teenage Daughter. I planned my entire outfit around my new treasure. I'm hoping to wear this one until it falls apart, too.



  1. G'day, Rachel, and welcome back. I hope your long absence wasn't a portent of anything dark... I don't know if you were told, but after leaving that long post, and getting no answer, I was considering "cutting you loose," as we say over here, but our friend Kaz informed me that you were good people, and worth waiting for. Most of her advice is on the mark, and in this case, so far, so good!

    I'm in my 60s, and I still remember around the age of 10, the grandparents had a weekly "thrift crawl" they would take me on, hitting store after store until the money they had allotted ran out. It was like Christmas every Saturday. We don't do so much of it these days, which sounds odd in this economy, but it seems like every time I get a few dollars ahead, my car can smell it, and decides it needs a new water pump, or our declining health requires a new appliance; recently bought Bonnie (Mrs Jack) a dishwasher, as neither of us is really equipped to stand over a sink full of dishes any more. It never ends... Well, I suppose it will at some point, whereupon we can look into that final joyride! But hopefully, not before a few more trips to those wonderful thrift shops.

  2. Hi Jack
    The long absence was a symptom of poor time management skills!
    Like you, I remember those thrift shop crawls with my grandmother and her sisters. They were so much fun. I think it's in my blood. One of my great-aunts was a wonderful seamstress and used to buy clothes in bad condition just to pick off the buttons etc.
    Fortunately I've passed my love of what I now call "treasure hunting" onto both my children. There aren't many things teenagers enjoy spending time doing with their parents but thrift shopping - or op shopping as we call it here - is a passion the three of us share.