Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Where Do You Find Your Vintage Wares?
This past weekend, I visited downtown Fredericksburg, Virginia with my parents, sister, brother-in-law, my niece, and nephew. The town reminds me of the quaint main streets of years past. Fredericksburg is rich in Civil War history and features many speciality shops ranging from furniture, cat-themed gifts, modern clothing, Vera Bradley, candles, ice cream to vintage clothing and even vintage furniture.
I visited one store that was small, yet cute. Most of the clothing was 70s and early 80s. I did see a couple of vintage 50s straw handbags but they were in fair to poor condition. One bag even had visible mold stains on the inside liner. My mom did find a 50s, yellow rayon sheer blouse for me. I bought it along with two chiffon scarves. Despite my purchases, I felt disappointed with the lack of 40s and 50s goods.
I also visited a huge antique "mall." It had everything from Civil War bullets, artifacts, clothing, hats, bags, belts, jewelry, shoes, records, dolls, furniture, and so on. I could have spent hours in there but my family was waiting for me at the local coffee shop and I quickly bought a wide, red faux leather belt and a three-strand yellow bead and off-white pearl necklace.
Most of the clothing and bags were either not my era or if they were 40s/50s, what I found was in horrible or questionable condition. I know that most finds are discovered after much patient searching. But, I have noticed something. Most of the vintage I have found in brick and mortar shops has been not what I call "good." Further, I have way more success finding good quality, 40s and 50s clothing and accessories online. At antique malls, I may find the occasional moonglow lucite bangle or beaded necklace along with a handbag or two but I have to say that I prefer Etsy.com or websites like Woodlandfarmsantiques.com.
So, what is your experience with brick and mortar versus online shops? What have you had success with? Do you have a preference?