100 Word Stories: The Fate of Consignment & Thrifting
When the topic of consignment/thrift shopping was announced as a theme for the 100 Word Story, I was approached with experience after experience surrounding fate. There were meant-to-be-moments in the form of a designer shoe, a motorcycle jacket or a historic cape. There were forces pulling avid style mavens toward secondhand locations resulting in love and shock at first sight. Consignment and thrift stores give us an opportunity for connection. There is no guarantee these shopping experiences will produce a new valuable (often times it does not), but when it does, it is magic. A piece once loved is loved again; a new chapter begins. Below five women, who occupy their style with care and distinction, share their story about fateful encounters with preowned pieces. Enjoy!
In the heart of Pennsylvania, behind a dilapidated building, sits what is one of the best hidden gems off the highway; a forgotten Salvation Army. It was in this building that I came across an unbelievable find. Lying on the lament floor underneath a Members Only windbreaker and a cheetah print trench coat, next to a slop bucket filled with dirty water from a roof leak, I hesitatingly picked up and discovered a 1970’s Yves Saint Laurent Russian Collection dark grey wool cape. In the heart of Pennsylvania, behind a dilapidated building, sat a piece of fashion history.
Everything makes its way back to its creator, even a pair of shoes. They were intended to make a difference. All of the proceeds went to cancer research in London. Someone must have not loved these beauties as much as they intended, so they put them on Tradesy. Ever an avid online shopper for unique pieces, I found them. My princess shoes. They were my good luck charm throughout New York Fashion week, and in the end, they walked with me all the way to Bergdorfs to be held and signed by their creator, and visionary Manolo Blahnik.
It’s not difficult to find good thrift shop treasures. What is rare, is when they find you. The ones that have their own stories etched into their surfaces over decades. Those pieces that take you in and make room to hold your story too. They become beloved friends.
I found her in a thrift shop alongside a dusty highway. Something not unlike a siren call to my heart and the car was quickly turned around.
She was buried in a box quietly waiting. The lady on the cameo. No bigger than my thumbnail. I smiled…and she smiled. Hello old friend.
My love affair with thrifting goes back to high school when I assisted on the costumes for our musicals. I loved finding unique pieces to wear in the sea of American Eagle that my classmates wore. Thrift stores made this quest so much easier for me. Even today I have a special connection with them, I know this sounds crazy, but I just get this feeling when I’m meant to visit one. Every time I get that feeling and head to my favorite local thrift shop, I find something amazing. This blue dress is from one of those destined trips.
Approximately two years ago, I had fallen hard for a beautiful navy moto jacket, but at the time couldn’t justify the purchase. That didn’t stop me from lusting after this gorgeous piece, scoping it out online, looking at photos, I even found it at a warehouse sale in NYC and didn’t buy it (not sure what I was thinking). Fast forward to a rainy morning with a little time to kill, so I drove to a highly recommended consignment store and was reunited with my long-lost love NEW WITH TAGS and one quarter of the price. Some things are meant to be…
Thank you all for sharing!
Header image by the one & only, Rose Colored Creative