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Vintage Closet Contest Now Closed

Thank you to everyone who submitted something to our Vintage Closet Contest! We loved reading all of the wonderful stories and seeing the fabulous items that went with each.

We hope to have finalists posted next week. Stay tuned!

UPDATE: A winner has been selected! Click here to read more!


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Be Careful It’s My Heart.

thrift store

The air was chill and crisp, the sun was shining.. it was a beautiful day. I had a meeting scheduled with my Contour Jewlz Modeling Company and a casting call being held at a local boutique called “U.BE.U Fashions” in Old Sacramento. I decided to take the train, so I might also have time to begin a novel I’ve been eager to read entitled “I gave you all I had”. To my disappointment, I was in such a rush I had forgotten to pack the book. the train pulled into downtown Sacramento and I walked the few blocks to my meeting. After the meeting finished up a few other models and I headed over to the model casting only a couple of blocks away. When we arrived at U.BEU. Fashions we were warmly greeted by one of the owners Ailee Miller. She began telling us about the “Vintage Closet Contest”, then directed us to her vintage racks. I happily began fumbling through the racks in search of something marvelous. I hoped to find something Josephine Baker, Marilyn Monroe or Jackie Onassis inspired to satisfy my old soul. It was then something called out to me… “Here I am, I am the Marvel you seek”, it said. I lifted the garment off the rack and held it against my breast. I spun around with excitement and search for a mirror. As I was waiting to get into the fitting room Ailee told me the dress I chose was a consigned piece she just received. Not only was it her new favorite piece but it was a 1930’s I Magnin gem. I Magnin was a department store known for its high fashion and specialty goods, founded in 1876 in San Francisco California by Mary Ann Magnin and named after her husband Isaac. Ailee ended up giving me the dress! I had certainly hit the jackpot!

On my way home my mind wandered as I thought about the dress and the contest. After all the events of the day I was finally home and ready to relax with my novel. I discovered the storyline of my book was based in the 1930’s about a young malato girl who tells her story of coming of age and the love that broke her heart. I open the book and begin to read to myself… “Be careful it’s my heart, it’s not a watch youre holding its my heart”. I gave you all I had…

Do you believe in fate? Well I certainly do.. and I truly believe that this dress and I were destined to come together the 12th day of January 2013.

Submitted by Jade

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Grandmother’s Gloves


This photo was taken in my in-laws’ garden, which is actually maintained by my father-in-law. My husband and I held our bridal shower here and many other events over the years. It has come to be my “Secret Garden”, of sort. My husband and I live in an apartment, so we have no private escape. I love this backyard and it is one of my favorite photo spots.

The dress, purse, and gloves in this photo are all vintage. I scored the dress at an antique store for $13 (It was majorly altered) and the purse was a $3 thrift store find. As for the crocheted gloves, they belonged to mother-in-law’s grandmother. She was a stylish woman who matched her purses with her shoes. My mother-in-law passed them on to me, because she knew that only I could appreciate them as her grandmother did.

I wore this to an anniversary party that night for my brother and sister-in-law, held in their very own “Secret Garden”. To date, this is one of my favorite outfits and finds.

Submitted by Tanya

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My boyfriend’s mother and I are extremely close and she always gives me such wonderful clothes and accessories from her closet that she doesn’t use anymore! In this photo I’m wearing a vintage fur coat that was given to her by her husband many years ago. She was kind enough to let me borrow it for a day out on the town. I’m also wearing an old New York t-shirt that she bought at a thrift store for just 1 dollar! She’s always had the best style and I’m so glad she shares such great pieces with me.

Submitted by Michelle

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ROTC Granddaughter


I would love it if this jacket and top of my mother’s fit me, but I tried them on and could hardly move my arms enough to take a picture! A funny story about this jacket and top (pictured here with my dog, who would have a better chance of wearing this comfortably than I would!) is that they went with a skirt…a skirt that one night, when she wasn’t home and I needed something to wear to a punk dance, I cut off to make mini and wore to the high school dance. Later, she asked me where I found the skirt. “In your closet”, I replied with little care, as many teenagers would. “I thought so, ” she said, adding, “It’s the one I got married in.” OOPS!
She wasn’t angry, but I was bummed I had wrecked her elopement outfit.

BUT what DOES fit is my Grandfather’s Reserve Officer Training Core (ROTC) coat from his years at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. It’s wool and warm and I love the decorations, not to mention that it makes me think of him whenever I wear it. This would be from circa 1929. I’m trying to get my hands on a photo of him wearing it, but the next best thing is to show it in black and white! So here it is! The color photo shows a thrift store red and blue scarf completing the look.

Thank you for having this contest. Looking through these old items brought back family memories I treasure. I came across my wedding dress, made by my mom, in the same closet, along with a dress she made for my grandma (which is hideous!!! There is no way, even if it fit, that I would wear THAT vintage item! If you ever have an “Ugly Vintage Contest”, I can win that hands down!!!))

Submitted by Kira

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Ode to my mother


My mom has been a trend setter and my most beloved fashion icon for as long as I can remember. I swear she was in the womb conjuring up wonderful ensembles to sew. Needless to say, my Momma has been sewing for a long time and has produced quite the collection of amazing pieces. I have over the years had my eyes on a few pieces of hers. The skirt and jacket piece pictured I have always found very beautiful and dramatic. I love the little jacket that ties with the long skirt with a train. She even placed silk velvet along the collar and cuffs for that perfect Wintery touch. I was happy when my mom bequeathed this outfit to me. I have had it hanging in my closet waiting patiently to be worn again. My mom made this a little over 20 years ago for some Winter party she attended. Such a fun look and I feel lovely in it knowing that my mom put so much love into making it all those years ago…

Submitted by Phoebe

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Hurry! Time is running out!

concept of deadline

Tomorrow is the deadline for any Vintage Closet Contest submissions. Please remember the purpose of this contest is to create and submit an outfit of vintage clothing from a friend or relative’s closet. This look can be a gift to you from your loved one; passing along vintage clothing is a great thrifty way to spruce up your closet for the new year. We love to hear all of the stories that come with vintage clothing, so please share the story and sentiment behind the garments in your look.

Also tomorrow is the last day for January submissions to our Thrift Store Runway monthly contest. Please remember there is a spending cap of $50 for each entry. You can incorporate existing items that you already own, but you will be judged mainly on the items that were acquired from thrift stores. For this contest, “thrift store” means any second-hand retail venue. This can mean consignment shops, online auctions, classified ads, flea markets, etc. Just be sure you have a way to photographically prove to us how much you spent on the transaction. To read the complete listing of rules for our Thrift Store Runway contest, click here.

Best of luck!


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A Vintage Night On the Town


First, a big “thank you” to everyone who has posted such heartwarming stories and amazing vintage finds.

This outfit is a tribute to all the fashion-loving women in my life who have sprinkled me with a little of their style pixie dust. The dress, by Valentina Ferrar, comes from the closet of my vintage clothing doyenne, my Goodwill companion, and the only person I trusted to help me pick out my outfit for the White House. Thank you for helping me feel like I am not alone in this vintage obsession.

This treasured pearl ring belonged to Nana, my maternal grandmother. She was a very adventurous woman who traveled to Mexico by herself in the 1920’s. We have a picture of her there standing, that’s right, standing on the back of a horse. I hope that her bold spirit lives on in me – not to mention the amazing silver jewelry she brought back from that trip.

My mother wore the dress watch to her high school prom. She is a famous scientist, not a fashion plate, but her fantastic sense for jewelry means I always have the piece I need for any outfit. Thank you, Mom, for your enthusiasm in all my clothing adventures.

The necklace and shawl come from Minka, my father’s mother. She lived opposite the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, and in our memories, she is still the center of sophistication and glamour in the family. She probably bought the Goldette necklace at one of her favorite shops on Madison Ave. At one time, my grandfather was the accountant for Yves Saint Laurent, so my grandmother got invited to the special deep discount clearance events. She picked up this shawl and many other beautiful things there – how I wish I could go with her to one more sale.

From Santa Cruz, CA, Pittsburgh, Boston, New York City, and now to Charlotte, these lovely items have traveled, carrying the elan and style of their owners. I feel blessed that they have chosen to stop and spend some time with me. And I am honored to pass their stories on to you!

(The shoes are not vintage, alas, but they do have a story: I wore them at my wedding, and they remind me of my past, a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, as a competitive ballroom dancer)

Submitted by Blush Noisette

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Even Better the Second Time Around: Diane Freis Silk Dress


Throughout my life, people have always told me how much I look like my mother (especially people who knew her when she was my age). I remember one time when I was asked to bring in an old family photo for a school project and everyone was shocked to hear that the young woman in the graduation photo was not me but in fact my mother in the 1970s. Because of our similar appearance, I love raiding her wardrobe from the 1970s and 1980s. Everything fits really well and is the right color palette to compliment my features. In this outfit, I’ve borrowed one of her many Diane Freis dresses. Freis was definitely her favorite designer in the 80s. Equestrian patterns have definitely been making a come-back so that’s why I chose this dress in particular. I love the style because it reminds me of a dress I bought recently from See by Chloe (Photo: http://cdn.yoox.biz/34/34234789to_12_f.jpg) which, now that I’ve seen the Diane Freis dresses, is clearly inspired by them. My mom used to throw me the best brithday parties as a toddler and I remember her wearing this one while she was entertaining the other adults at my part pool-side. It’s so 80s power-woman chic. I decided to accompany the dress with my mom’s classic black Chanel bag, also from the 80s. I really love the vintage Chanel tassel which you don’t see in too many Chanel designs today. I actually really like wrapping the long chain around it and carrying it as an oversized clutch rather than the more conventional look: having it hang on my shoulder. I’ve rounded out the look with a pair of black and pearl teardrop shaped vintage Trifari earrings that were passed down to me by my grandmother. My mom doesn’t have pierced ears, so unfortunately that’s the only clothing/accessory item we can’t share. Overall the look is mature, flowy, and very spring. The silk keeps it lightweight and cool.

Submitted by Victoria

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Vintage Gucci


This beautiful vintage Gucci shopping tote is one of my most prized possessions. It was given to me by my mother many years ago when I began high school. My father had given it to her as an anniversary gift when I was younger and it was the first high end designer bag she ever had. My mother always promised that one day it would be belong to me. Needless to say, I was overjoyed when she gave it to me and had never been so happy to carry books to school as I often used it as a book bag.

Submitted by Monique

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