The Vintage Advantage: Clothing Frugally

Vintage Fashion

I’ve loved clothes design since I was a little tyke. I can bring to mind the wardrobe pieces that set me apart; the lavender quilted flare skirt with matching vest, a hand me down from a neighbor, the “Cinderella” blended rainbow dress my mother got on sale, my red Hudson Bay jacket my Dad bought for me on one of his bus runs to Canada. When I started earning money in the Summers to pay for my college education I would save back enough money to buy at least one “cool” outfit. I remember the “poor boy” gray sweater and the black and white check skirt I bought to go with it. It was in high School my sewing skills reached the point that I could fashion my self some outfits. I kept up with trends that were slightly ahead of the mainstream. I made myself a tunic with matching pants when pants were still not allowed in upscale restaurants.One so called upscale restaurant turned me away. I queried, if I take the pants off would I then be allowed in with my tunic mini dress length? I did just that.

Once in art school I became friends with Larry, he was my ride to school (although I had to walk several long blocks to wait for him to pass my area). No matter, as this then gave me a few extra dollars  saved from taking the bus to buy detestable indigestible food from the vending machines at school or enough to spend as Larry and I perused the nearby thrift stores during our lunch hour. It is in one of these stores I made my first thrift store purchase, a black velvet with with white top stitching and pearl snaps western style jacket.  I loved that jacket. I wore it with my soft pink wool pencil skirt, another thrift store find.

While I was a working mother (I no longer had the time to sew my wardrobe) I resorted to upscale resale shops (before ebay). Even with enough money, when I became management, I could not see dropping a lot of money on suits.

Putting it All Together
ebay and Goodwill finds

Today we are on a fixed income and I buy most of my clothes either on online auctions/ vintage sites (Poshmark, Etsy) or Goodwill. Not a downer by any means as this gives a myriad of decades to chose my clothes from versus having to settle on mass market clothes of the current year that all kind of look a like. This year as I will be turning over 70 I decided I no longer want tie shoes for couple of reasons. 1. Pull ons are just that, much quicker 2. I no longer have to hold on the dogs leash while having to retie my shoes 3. My feet don’t like feeling captive in tie shoes. Never a brand name fanatic I realize that often brand names are well made. Recent purchases include Jordache overalls – well made and tough, Born sandals super comfortable, sturdy and easy on and off, Ariat Probaby boots – short with wide tops, great padding and cute to boot!  And I will refer you back to my post on jewelry de jour, lucite. Easy on and off, doesn’t need polishing and cost my under $10.

My daughter Kim came up with this formula on spending money…For every dollar you spend on clothes you should have to wear it that many times. So the Born shoes I picked up at Goodwill cost me $4.99. I found them last week. I have already gotten my money out of them!

I am glad I live in small town Oklahoma where buying frugally is something to brag about.