Things have been slow at my day job, so I’ve been on a tighter budget for the past few months. I got tipped off to a hell of an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up on though, so I headed north for the weekend to do some buying for the shop.
In small town USA lives a guy who’s mother did theatre costuming from the 1940s-1980s. When the threatre closed, she got to keep all 15,000+ costume pieces (talk about a perk!) She died a few years back, but he never held an estate sale. He just hung on to everything, and stashed it in a barn. Until recently, he had no clue there was a market for old clothes.
Eventually someone clued him in though, the word got out, and slowly but steadily pieces have been sold off. When I visited him this weekend, he said there were about 5,000 pieces left. Much of it I had to pass on due to condition issues, but there’s still plenty of very wearable stuff, mainly from the 50s and 70s. And while I won’t leak #’s, I will say this: I got a hell of a deal. I love when this happens, because then I can keep prices lower too : D.
Anyway… it was the shock of my life to come accross such an opportunity. Things like this used to be the norm in the vintage clothing industry, but nowadays most estates get raided by museums and upscale Hollywood shops long before the public is alerted. I was honestly shocked by how much was left. You’d think a big name dealer would’ve purchased the entire lot.
Because I made other purchases from thrift shops, I only had so much room in my car. But believe me, I’ll be back to this secret stash of hidden treasure!
Here are a few pieces from the haul:
Disco divinity! It’s no secret that I love 70s poly dresses like this. And I love the clothes Frederick’s of Hollywood used to make. Best of both worlds. The 2nd picture shows the true color better, which is a lavender.
50s and gathered and floral and full skirted. Oh my. Jewel tones are so underrated.
Have you ever seen a 50s dress where the beading is fringed like that? That was more common with 60s dresses, which makes this quite an oddity. Pretty carnation pink lace, with a full skirt and rhinestones, faux pearls, and bugle beads on the bust. Fun.
Easter everywhere. 50s cutie pie in a large scale check. Lightweight cotton in a cheerful light green and pink color scheme. Already sold.
Colorful + 70s + cropped length = the perfect top for mixing with this springs trends. This one has also sold.
The touch, the feel, the fabric of our lives. Not cotton folks, rayon. Smooth, silky, cold to the touch 40s rayon. Totally luxe; nothing has been made like it since, making this a rare treat. I love the color scheme of this dress. Plus it’s shirred shoulders and lil’ bows.
Obsessed. Vintage Bali crochet stuff is killer! Plus the embroidery and scalloped hems on this piece are pretty sweet.
Serious ‘what the fuck’ moment, in a good way! 50s halter dress w/ a skirting overlayer made of asymmetrical fishnet mesh… which has a beige paint splatters all over it. If Lydia from Beetle Juice time traveled to the Eames era, she would’ve worn this.
Move it, Barbie! Bombshell 50s wiggle dress with a mermaid/fishtail hem. The outer layer is black tulle, which has tons upon tons of lil’ black ribbons and metallic silver threads woven throughout.
Oooooh yeah. I dubbed this dress ‘la Parisienne’ because it reminds me of Miss Pandora, one of my favorite fashion bloggers. I could totally see her in this, rocking some black Louboutin heels so the soles would match the print!
Amazing 60s party dress in a quilted rose print, with an empire waist and fringed hem. I’ll probably end up kicking myself for letting this go.
I can’t help but wonder who the actresses were that wore these, and what plays they were used in. Gigi? South Pacific?
There’s much more on the way of course. Just wait, honey child.
Hope you all had wonderful weekends and Valentine’s Days! I’m so glad fashion week is going on. I can’t wait to see what the fall trends will be.