I was THIS CLOSE to renewing my wedding vows last week. My husband came downstairs wearing a vintage tee with a pic. of Lionel Richie and the caption, “Easy like Sunday morning.” It’s the little surprise things that make me hold my stomach, cross my legs, and try not to pee. But, that’s when it really, REALLY hit me; it was a Tuesday morning, and he wasn’t in a shirt, tie, or dress shoes. After 16 1/2 years of the corporate life, the kid MORE than found his cool…he walked away five months ago, and started working to find his passion. That’s the kind of bravery that gives me the “newlywed butterflies,” after almost 12 years of marriage. Well, it’s the bravery AND the Lionel tee. (Seriously, a pinch of round-the-bend crazy goes a long way in the book of ‘e.’) We’re definitely getting back to the basics in every facet of our lives. What is that worth? Everything. To us, it’s worth everything.
THE CHALLENGE: One full year of second hand madness. I’m only buying clothing for my family from a vintage, second hand, or consignment shop. FOR.ONE.YEAR. Want to join me? I’ve been dabbling for years, and it’s time to go ALL IN!
So, let’s make way for my second hand collection/obsession. I’ve never been much of a mall shopper. In fact, I’ve never been much of a shopper at all. BUT, you throw me in a second hand shop, and I come alive. I’ll say it…I’m BLUE-RIBBON good at finding low cost things that I can use for photo sessions, or for simply clothing my family. Of course it’s not the ONLY answer to staying on budget these days, but it does take the bite out of clothes shopping. I may not turn all of you to the “second hand side,” and I’m content with that. But, I’ll show you a portion of my collection that started out as a high school hang-up with vintage coats. Now it covers furniture, children’s clothing, hats, accessories, and it recently blossomed in to our family challenge. Here’s a peek inside my second hand world, starting with all things coats.
I’ve worn them all, and obviously channeled a few 1970′s cop shows while doing it. Might I blow your mind? I paid $3-$9 for each of these leather coats. (And that’s something of which even Starsky and Hutch would approve.)
Furs for $4-$15. Really. Man-oh-man; what’s better than buying things with a little more than the change you find in your couch cushions? (Maybe a sleeve of Double Stuff Oreos, but it’s a toss-up.)
30+scarves and 60+hats didn’t make it in to this image. But, trust me when I say that I can come up with a season full of outfits for the amount spent on one family meal at Applebee’s. Crazy, right? (I’ll save the dresses, skirts, shirts and shoes for another time.) Whew, I’ve got the FEVER!
This children’s wall could have been a city block in length, and I may have JUST been able to squeeze in everything I’ve found over the years. I’m not a “label snob,” (heck, the $1.50, 1960′s purse I just bought can give any Coach bag a run for it’s money…in my starry-eyed view.) BUT, I wanted to make sure that all of my momma/daddy fans knew that there’s Abercrombie, Gap, Lacoste, and Ralph Lauren just DRIPPING from this children’s wall. So, quality clothing for $1-$5.00. My personal faves are the decades-old finds for kids. PLEASE check out the tan London Fog coat with the fur collar and matching hat. There’s a 3-4 year-old boy that WILL be wearing that while riding on the vintage tricycle that’s in the right corner. I’ll be there with my camera and a grin, because that coat has history…AND, it was mine for $3.00.
Yet, I digress. Where are my manners? I don’t believe you’ve been formally introduced to one of my dearest, local loves. Fans, meet Value Village. Value Village, meet my fans. Below is one of my top ALL-TIME spots for feeding the second hand need.
There are two locations in Milwaukee, one in St. Francis, and one in Racine. (I’ll be expecting an update…or an invite if you plan on stopping by THE VILLAGE!) I’ll definitely keep you posted on our family challenge. In the meantime, will anyone be joining me in my year long quest? Do you have images of the treasures you’ve found? Send me your pix and your story; I LOVE to hear thrift details and get ideas for my own vintage neurosis. (However, I’m counting on the fact that there’s no cure for the second hand disease.)
I’m pretty sure my family’s counting on that as well. e.-