Wednesday, November 18, 2015

What Price Vintage?

This is going to be a long one, because it's about pricing vintage.  It pertains to buyers/wearers of vintage as well as sellers of vintage.
One very popular question on just about every forum about vintage selling is “How should I price this?”.

Just to get it out of the way, I’ll tell you how I price the items I sell.  I check of similar items online and see how they are priced.  I have to be honest with myself when doing this, (because don’t we all think our vintage item is just the MOST FABULOUS thing?).  I have to admit it when some items are just better than what I have.  Item in mind, is this red chiffon dress from the 50s, which I consider one of the best dresses in my shop.  

I was not letting it go cheaply, so I checked other red 50s party dresses on Etsy.  I always click on “highest price” and go from there.  The first dress to come up was an Oleg Cassini for over 700.00.

…utterly breath-taking.
All of a sudden, mine was not looking so fabulous.

So as I scanned the rest, I found a lot of designer dresses.  Mine has no labels at all, so that took it down a notch or two.  But that’s what you have to do. Be honest with yourself about what you want to sell after comparing it to similar items up there.


I have said this a zillion times:

“If we don’t value our vintage, no one else will.”

Under-priced vintage makes me a little crazy.  

Do you know what usually happens when a flawless vintage dress from the 1940s is priced at 38.00?
Usually another seller comes along, buys it, and then sells it for four times that much.  Yes, it’s true, under-priced vintage usually winds up with a seller who knows its value.
I admit that this doesn’t happen ALL the time, but often that’s what happens.

On the other hand, I had a sale section in my shop that other vintage sellers were welcome to.  Dresses, gowns, jewelry accessories, low-end prices.  I thought everything would sell overnight. 
It didn’t.

I sold two pieces from that section. 

This just goes to show that sometimes, items don't sell if the price is too low!

All right.  Buyers, wearers, and lovers of vintage, how do YOU buy your vintage?  

When a seller states the condition of the item, are they saying “good vintage condition” without stating any flaws?

HEADS-UP people! Red flags should be going off in your head! 

Your “good” may be someone else's “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?”  

Sellers should state every flaw, even the smallest, and if the flaws show up in a photo, (some don't) they should show flaws in photos. 

There’s a process here:
--Seller drives around hunting for treasure.
--Seller selects the best items and pays for them.
--Items must be cataloged or inventoried.
--Items must be carefully stored. 
--Items get repaired, restored, laundered/drycleaned, steamed or ironed.  
--Hours could be spent on stain-removal!
--Items must be researched (this could take anywhere from  10 minutes to more than an hour).
--Items must be measured.
--Items must be ironed or steamed to perfection.  
--Items must be modeled or presented in the most   interesting and eye-catching way possible.
--In many cases, those photos go through intense photo-shopping.

That's not all:

Does a seller tell you how they date things, what makes it 50s?  60s? newer?  older?  Do they give measurements?  (I have seen item descriptions without them *gasp!*)  Is the product ironed?  Well photographed? Shown at important angles with good close-ups? You want to know the history, right? You want to know the fabric? You want background information? Does the seller give enough information to justify the value of the item and make you feel like you’ll get your money’s worth?  With enough information from the seller, the more you know about what you will be getting but also what to look for in the future.  Best of all, you’d know how to identify items that aren’t what they are said to be. 
So the more information you get about the item, the more time the seller put into listing it.   It’s all time-consuming, so consider that you are paying for that time.
I would advise you to accept nothing less from any seller.
Yet another thing:  if you ever DO see a fabulous and flawless vintage item that is under-priced, you’d know enough to grab it while you can!

....I’ll admit there are times when a bargain is a bargain is a bargain.

All that being said, keep in mind that VINTAGE IS VALUABLE!  Plus if you take really good care of it and you get tired of it, you can always re-sell it!

So maybe you don’t care about how old it really is. Maybe you just love the dress/hat/skirt/blouse whatever.  That’s different.

I’ve seen item descriptions that say “Blue 70s blouse”, size M”, and THAT IS ALL IT SAYS! 
I’m not kidding.  That’s all some descriptions say. 
..and these items sell…

Monday, August 10, 2015

The "Fedora"-Thing


It’s been a while.  Did you think I was done blogging? No way!  I still have a zillion things to complain about.

(Moving into a new home took up my time)

So I am back to complain about the whole “Fedora”- thing.

We’re going to get this straight right here and right now.

So if you are a seller of vintage, you would need to know these things and if you are a buyer of vintage, it’s good to stay informed (and NOT be fooled by any seller).



Plus, I love this blog,  Check it out:

THIS IS A STINGY BRIM (a type of fedora):


(do you notice the crown of the hat is flat and round or oval or teardrop shaped?  There’s your biggest clue.

Here’s the one that really gets on my nerves.  Today I saw another vintage shop selling one of these as a “fedora” and I did one of these

We interrupt this blog with some SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION
You will be finding this in my shop in the near future)

…is a “BUCKET”.

This is also a bucket, but it’s not a hat.

I hope we are clear on that.  Now don’t go making me angry now, OK?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Wearing Damaged Vintage (Oh Yes You can!)

I have been a very naughty blogger.
I have an excuse:  I am currently packing up our whole lives and all my stock for a move to another state.  So yeah, it’s been crazy here.

As promised, I am discussing the wearing of damaged vintage here. 
And YES, you can.

First:  have you ever gotten a stain on the clothing you were wearing in a situation, (like work) where you are unable to go home and change the offending blouse, pants, skirt, jacket, sweater?  For the whole day you walk around feeling like there’s a big spotlight on that stain and everyone sees it, right? 

Self-conscious much?

How about “stain conscious”?

Well many can feel that way, wearing a vintage jacket with a moth hole or fading. 

I’m telling you to forget about it.

Example in mind:  

This is my fabulous swing jacket from the late 40's to early

50's.  I call it my “Lauren Bacall jacket”.

It is SO divine.  
It is an obvious vintage plaid.
It is lined in navy crepe.
It has front pockets on the front pockets!

It has moth holes.

Do I care? 

What do you think?
I wear it all the time (in the right weather, of course) and really, all people see when I’m coming is a fabulous vintage jacket that is unlike anything that’s around nowadays.  Unless you’re standing behind me at the bank (who does THAT anymore?) you just don’t notice. I completely forget about the little bit of damage when I wear it...

…which helps a lot.
It’s really about presence.  In recent-day vernacular, I say “WORK IT!”  If you have a fabulous vintage item with some slight damage, it certainly can be worn, as long as you ACT like it’s perfect.
Convince yourself first, then you can convince everyone else.

A lot of this goes best for young people with eclectic styles, who can get away with a lot.

But if I were younger:
I would wear this damaged cocktail dress as a casual dress with a motorcycle jacket, big scarf and clunky boots:

I would wear this coat with a few moth holes just the way I styled it, grunged up, like the coolest bag lady ever.

I would wear this faded dress (if it fit me) with much the same treatment as the cocktail dress above.  Maybe add a heavy cardigan and sweater tights and lots of knit scarves in the fall and winter but with a military jacket and lighter fringed scarves in warmer weather. (Oh yes, and those great clunky boots too)
I would wear this fabulous but faded purple cocktail dress with faded purple gloves, faded purple fabric heels and a fringed Gypsy shawl.

Guys who have a cool sense of casual would wear this rare 40s vintage Masland safari or hunting jacket with turtleneck and scarf and think nothing about the damage on the leather:

Last but not least, this jacket from the 40s is to-die-for vintage!  It’s a gabardine with HUGE shoulder pads, nipped waist and embroidery on the shoulders.

It’s a mess.
Of COURSE I wear it.  It has fray holes in the sleeves (I roll them up), it had some metal beading in the embroidered area and they rusted and faded onto the fabric.  I don’t care.  I love this and wear it casually.

OK, so maybe this is not for everyone.  This is all about wearing the clothes and not allowing them to wear YOU! There are too many amazing pieces of damaged vintage out there and selling for “as is” prices.  Go get one and then WORK it. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


I just had to add something here.  It's an easy and economic little trick that can save you money and keep you warm while looking stylish.

This is a little ribbed sweater I found in my local thrift shop, on the 1.00 rack.  A lot of thrift shops have racks like this to get rid of older stock.  
Cute little funnel neck, with raglan sleeves, isn't it?  It's a pretty good quality item and must have originally had a higher end price.

I cut it up.

So now I have a dickie:

You may think dickies are for nerds and out-of-style, but they could still come in handy, depending on your needs.

I'll show you in a minute.  Hang in there.

That's not all.

I also cut the sleeves off:

They can be used as leg warmers and they can be used as long mitts.  Long mitts can come in handy if you have long arms (like me) and you want to cover your wrists down to the knuckles under another sweater.  They can keep you warm too.

I am still not done.

When I cut off the funnel neck, I was left with a wide band that looks like a tube top:
This is actually my original purpose for cutting these up.  (I just told you that I do this a lot!)

You may be familiar with wearing a shorter sweater and then bending over and showing the world the waistband of your panties or thong, along with some skin.  Well, this can do away with that, keeping you comfortable and warm and still well-put-together, as such:

Just add the funnel neck, and you get this:

See what I mean?  It takes the bulk out of wearing another shirt or turtleneck under your cropped top.  Also, I know there have been ads on TV that sell these waistband-thingies or whatever you want to call them.  You know the ones I mean? The ones that always say "BUT WAIT!!"
This way, it's a lot cheaper and you get a bit more than just the waist-thingie.

OK.  That's all I wanted to add. 

Addendum done!

Next post:  "Wearing Damaged Vintage"  (oh yes you can!)