Friday, June 14, 2013

The Downside to Thrifting: Vintage Alfred Angelo

Hey all - I didn't really have a blog post planned for today, but then something happened last night that broke my heart. 

 I have a small confession to make: I have been keeping my eye out for my wedding dress. Now, I can tell you I'm no where close to getting married. At. All. 

However, I'm also a realist. I know that I will want a vintage dress and I know that I will want to thrift it - I wouldn't be me if I didn't. Now, I'm not going to thrift store to thrift store, wedding dress shopping because for someone who isn't engaged, I ain't got time for that! But, I do usually just look through the gown section, see all the Princess Di, poofy 80's craziness and move on to the dishware section, dresses, or whatever department I need to checkout. 

So, last night after taking some outfit shots with Amy, I headed over to one of my favorite thrift stores right near my house - they have a "bargain basement" where most of the clothes are a dollar. I was doing a little searching for a new blog segment (more to come on that later!) 

In the Bargain Basement, I always do a first sweep in the dishware (got to keep my eyes out for some Melmac and Pyrex!) and then head over to the dresses. I turned the corner and literally gasped out loud. There was this gorgeous vintage lace wedding dress. Now, it was fairly yellowed, but the detailing was beautiful and the price was just $2. I figured if fit, I could do something with it; when I looked at the tag and saw that it was Alfred Angelo   - designed by Edythe Piccione: who, I discovered through simple research, was Angelo's wife, who started designing for the company in 1935. 

Now, honestly, I felt a little odd trying a wedding dress on so, I did what thriftaholic would do - texted my most reasonable friend to talk me out of it and went to look at shoes. I walked around the whole store - twice. But, I couldn't get my mind off of that dress. 

So, I gave in. I tried the dress on. Well - I attempted to try the dress on. It was tiny. Now, I'm definitely used to finding too small vintage clothing, so I just sighed, sent up a little hope that it would go to someone who would love and respect it, and put it back on the rack. 

I was back in the dressing room trying on a really cute sweater when I heard these kids yelling through the basement. I then heard this boy who was probably about 12 or 13, saying "OH GOSH, IT IS A DRESS!" I exited the dressing room and walked over to the furniture room. But, I kept hearing this child saying "IT IS ONLY $2. I'M GOING TO GET IT. IT IS ONLY $2!" 

Now, I can only imagine what a pre-teen guy wants with a vintage wedding dress, but I can assume that it has future of dirt or fake blood instead of be transformed to its former glory. 

I'm telling you, they just don't make dresses like that anymore. I wish that I could save all gorgeous vintage clothes - especially wedding dresses, something that someone wore on one of the most special days of her life - but, unfortunately, I don't have the room, money, or sewing skills to fix everything. Plus, I'm pretty sure that my mother wouldn't be too happy if I did. 

However, I have to say - this one hurt. It is so easy to hope that a gorgeous vintage item goes to someone who respects it when you are unable for whatever reason to purchase it, but to know that it and its history won't be appreciated - it can really wound a vintage purist. 

So, I thought I would share the two pictures I snapped of it so that its history, previous owner, and beautiful style would get a little bit of the respect that it deserves. 



UPDATE: I know that a couple of you all found this story just as heartbreaking as I did. Well, the other day, I got a text message from Amy with a picture of what looked like a pile of lace, saying "IS THIS THE WEDDING DRESS?!" And indeed it was. Amy was in her church's youth group room. Their group decided to do a thrifting fashion show for one of their activities. So, while this dress won't be walk down a wedding aisle anytime soon, it will be used to strut down a catwalk. I'm just relieved "zombie bride" isn't its future. 


Anonymous said...

I like to imagine that the little boy is just as enthusiastic about dresses as you are. Maybe he will care for that dress and wear it, and perhaps someday he will appreciate it for its history. Or maybe it is a gift for someone else who loves dresses. Anything is possible, so I choose to believe that the dress ended up in good hands.

Amanda Rollo said...

My heart broke as I read this post. I feel your pain, as I too, want to wear a vintage lace wedding dress one day. I'm so sorry it didn't work out, but one day the perfect dress will come along! Chin up!

Amanda @ Running In Heels

Jessica said...

I'm hoping that Anonymous is right. Maybe the boy really did adore dresses? Fingers crossed. The dress is beautiful and it's a shame it didn't fit. If the sleeves were removed and the hem shortened, it'd be the most stunning little sundress!

If you're interested, I'm hosting a giveaway for a Gerard Yosca necklace from his upcoming collection. Enter here.

Unknown said...

Laura, I am the same way. I wish that I could save every vintage dress as well, and I am running out of room! I am also not engaged, but I bought a beautiful wedding dress for me that was vintage also. I had saw mine and wasn't able to buy it when I saw it because it was in a prom event for Goodwill, although it was a wedding dress. The next day I got up super early, drove an hour to get it..was early, and they let people in even earlier! I ran to get my dress, and it was gone! My heart sank to the floor, and I started to cry! silly, I know over a dress! Well, long story short..the girl was too big for it and put it back, and I got it!tried it on, and it fit me it was made for me. I am sorry that you lost your dress..I know how that feels because I have lost other dresses that I love before. You will find one that fits you perfect, and will need no alterations, and be YOUR dress.
I love this posting and the heartfelt writing in it that IS you.

Anonymous said...

oh I totally have been in the same situation - it's SO hard for me to walk away from gorgeous vintage clothes even when they don't fit me or I have absolutely no use for them - so sad!


Anonymous said...

This is so freaky - I bought an amazing vintage Frech Couture wedding dress today (although I too am not engaged, although I am very close!) although I never normally look. It just fit like a dream and was so special and unique but not at all dated. It was even featured in a vintage book! I splashed out a whole £600 but I think I'll be thankful one day when I get something unique and beautiful for cheaper than an off the rack wedding dress. Hope I didn't jinx my future!!

Liz Lewis said...

Oh goodness, my heart is broken for you. I'm so sorry! I had a dream the other day where I bought a thrifted wedding dress (similar to this one) and altered it to make it strapless. Weird, yeah? Anyway, I think that's what I'll do one day. Good luck with your wedding dress search. Also, don't feel bad that you look at wedding dresses when you're not engaged. Who cares? I'm not engaged, and I love thinking about weddings!

The Dragonfruit said...

Aw man, I'm so sorry! I won't lie, I have experienced this similar type of moment while thrifting. Watching someone else pick up something you know you would've appreciated, that's the worst feeling. Its so tempting to just knock them over and snatch it out of their hands!
Aha, but don't worry, I'm certain you will come across a lovely dress yourself

Trendy Teal

Unknown said...

It happened to me too, but in my case, it was a dress for a 2-3 y/o little girl. Of course I couldn't buy it because I don't have kids. The thrift shop in my country is not as neat as the the ones in your country. Trust me. You need to get dirty to go there. Some dresses/clothes are just put on the floor and people need to dig through those pile of clothes to get the good one (if they're lucky enough). And seeing that beautiful dress treated like that, with nobody can see its beauty except me, just makes my heart broken. I regret it tho. I wish I just bought it, and maybe I could keep it for my future kids.

Well, don't be too miserable. Let's just hope the boy treats it well and will make the use of it wisely :)

Midwest Muse said...

You should've bought it. I did the same thing when I was in Detroit! It was the most beautiful tiered dress, ever! But I didn't want to shell out the cash or creep out my boyfriend. But maybe next time?! When the timing is right, it's okay to be a little weird.

Kati said...

Thanks so much for your sweet words, they made my day!
This dress is so stunning, I love the lace and cut so much! Like something a Disney princess would wear...
Too bad it was tiny!

Have a great day,

Anonymous said...

That is such a sad story! I was expecting it to have a happy ending :( But the dress is beautiful xx

Little Tree Vintage said...

wow, thats absolutely gorgeous. every thrifted item carries a story!

teresweetstyle said...

great post honey, i really love these photos


Lisa said...

HEARTACHE. I can't tell you how many vintage wedding dresses I've tried on that were too, too, TOO teeny (were brides the same species in the fifties' and sixties' as humans that walk the earth today? or some variant strain of homo sapiens diminuitive?), but that 13 year old boy story does beat all for sheer disappointedness post-trying on a too small garment. I bet he chickened out at the last minute on pulling the trigger on that dress. Maybe it still had a chance to get to someone (tiny) who would appreciate it!

Simona said...

Oh no! I hope somebody stops them. It is a gorgeous dress, and I have one rule while thrifting, never let anything out of your hands till you are ready to leave the store. Never, ever!
Cool blog, want to come by on mine, we could follow?

Katie Aman said...

Oh my, you and I sound so much alike! I, too find so many beautiful vintage items that I wish I could salvage. I really want to start a vintage shop one day and then I can save all of the beautiful pieces that don't fit me and make sure they have a good home! haha.
Aw, what a gorgeous dress though. I think the yellowing makes it all the more beautiful :)

Ester DurĂ£es said...

wow that is such a gorgeous dress and only for 2$!! I love its colour and the lace details! Too bad we don't have thrift stores here, I would probably get this dress, it's gorgeous! I totally understand why you love it!

Drawing Dreaming

The Photogramps said...

This is a heart wrenching tale. What a GORGEOUS piece. I have to say I love being able to buy vintage clothes that are too big or too small for me with the etsy store. Even if I sell them, at least I know they are going to a good home. I think it's super respectable you're thrifting your wedding dress. No harm in searching now, even if you don't have ring on that finger!

Marlen said...

At first I was all, "YOU'RE ENGAGED?", haha! That's really smart starting off early though, especially since you want it thrifted.

And aw, I really hope that boy was looking for his sister or something- what he would want to do with that is beyond me, too. It really is lovely, but how would one be able to take out the yellow? Bleach it? Arg, such a gorgeous find.

xo Marlen
Messages on a Napkin

The Fierce Berry said...

beautiful lacey dress, very pretty

officeprojects said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dearest Lou said...

That dress is lovely!

Bhushavali said...

That yellow lace dress is so so beautiful!!!
Thanks for stopping by my blog dear.
Do follow too on G+, Bloglovin, GFC etc if you like! :)
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welovefur said...

I'm in love with this yellow dress

Imogen said...

I totally understand how you feel; I felt really sad about what happened to this dress too. As I was reading it, I was desperately hoping you would buy it or if not it would go to someone else amazing where another chapter of its enchanting life could be written. Definitely deserves more respect than that.

Hattitude said...

Hattitude Style Blog

ahhh laura this breaks my heart!!!! what a tragedy. i always think when i see the most stunning wedding dress in the world, oh should i buy it! but i always resist. when i get engaged in the next couple years it will just make finding the dress so much better!

talk soon wild child
Hattitude Style Blog

Sybil said...

oh no.. that's so sad to hear.. it's a wonderful dress!! :D

Click me for my BLOG!

PippaMAC said...

agggh ... sorry to hear the ending! I love to hear about thrifting "highs!" (a fellow thrift addict) pippa

his_girl_friday said...

Oh wow, that's so beautiful! I think it's a good idea to have a lookout for a wedding dress. I didn't do that until I got engaged, and, of course, I never find one and ended up buying a new one instead.

Unknown said...

I have the same problem! When I find something not my size while thrifting, I always think like: "Well, I can lose weight!" or "This will motivate me to learn how to sew!". Unfortunately, both options are quite unrealistic for me.

It's a good thing that dress didn't get chopped up though, so that's a relief :D

Mom and I, Hooked on Thrifting said...

Bet you will find the perfect dress one of these days, likely when you are least expecting it! Luv, Julie

Mom and I, Hooked on Thrifting said...

Bet you will find the perfect dress one of these days, likely when you are least expecting it! Luv, Julie

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