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Posts Tagged ‘vintage shopping’

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Not all vintage needs to be professionally cleaned. Many articles can be hand washed, and some can even go in the washing machine, although I almost never use a drier for my vintage. Hand-washable vintage includes simple cotton or linen dresses, skirts, and blouses; woolen sweaters (even cashmere); and knitwear that is unlined. Because vintage lingerie was made to be easily laundered at home, most is hand-washable, even silks and rayon.

Melody Fortier, a vintage clothing dealer and author of The Little Guide to Vintage Shopping: Insider Tips, Helpful Hints, Hip Shops (Quirk Books, 2009).

I have a confession – I love to hand wash. I like the hands-on cleaning, the smell of Woolite, and I particularly like hanging the clothing outside in the sun and fresh air. At the end of each season, I pile up the staples: sweaters, blouses, scarves, etc. and put them in my mending/washing cotton bag. I do any needed mending first and then off to the laundry room sink I go for some meditative hand washing.

As much as I enjoy this domestic task, it is now a luxury because we here in California are in the midst of a serious drought. Year after year since around 2010 we have had little to no rain. A ridge of high pressure just off the coast is to blame. It sits there sometimes for weeks blocking all the rain storms that we should get. It’s depressing.

It takes a lot of water to hand wash, so I fill up the tub less than half full and wash only what absolutely cannot go in the machine. To help keep my vintage (and all my clothing) fresh after a day of wear, I hang it in the bathroom or laundry room and air it out for a day or two. Often I’ll open a window and let the air circulate.

It never hurts to take good care of our clothing.

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I bought this bag at a vintage show from dealer Jula Isola (City Vintage). A structured style with faux fur, this bag hails from the 1960s.

Modern designers sometimes take inspiration from vintage handbags and I can see this one lining the shelves of a Kate Spade boutique. Large and roomy, I use this bag for special lunches or tea out with friends (when we could do that) or daytime holiday celebrations. It will have to stay inside my closet this winter but I look forward to sporting it again in the future.

Come back tomorrow to see the next vintage handbag.

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Chesterfield is around 150 miles north of London. A scenic two hour train ride. We spent a day and night there on our way back south to London from Bakewell.

The town center has a large flea market every Thursday. There you can find all kinds of objects to buy: hardware, silver, books, clothing, jewelry. I was partial to the silver as I have a thing for spoons!

While perusing the market in the rain, I spotted a little shop across the square with a big sign – Ooo La La Vintage Clothing. You bet I hopped right on over.

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Sara Bennett from Ooo La La in Chesterfield, England.

Proprietor Sara Bennett has collected and nicely displayed quality vintage clothing and accessories, mostly 30s to 60s. I was impressed with the array of  Italian mohair and Danish “Sarah Lund” sweaters. Hers is the only vintage shop in town but she says vintage is a growing local interest. (Once a year the market hosts a 1940s festival where everyone turns out in vintage of the era and enjoys live music, dancing, and classic cars.)

Sara’s customers lean toward the 50s, which makes me think of Vintage Life magazine a UK based publication. Sara tells me she follows VL on Facebook. I think VL needs to follow Ooo La La.

Thank you, Sara. Nice to have met you!

 

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Stylist Tyese Cooper. Photo courtesy of Tyese Cooper.

Tyese Cooper and I have crossed paths several times at local fashion shows. Stylish and friendly, I always enjoy seeing her.

Tyese runs her company Tais Elyse out of Oakland and stays busy working as a fashion designer, stylist, and personal shopper.

Speaking of shopping, now through August 7th Tyese is hitting the shops and markets in Paris and London buying up unique goodies for us back home. While she’s still on the road, she’ll post her finds and we can purchase in (almost) real-time. Tyese is doing all the work so we get to kick back and lounge in the fog.  

Click here for the scoop.

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