Vintage Douche

Lately, I keep reading about “What Goes Around Comes Around,” a vintage clothing shop in New York where hipsters get their old jeans and military jackets.

The first time I heard about this place was a piece in Time Out about style mavens. The co-owner and “style director” of WGACA is a guy named Gerard Maione who exemplifies everything I hate in a man.   You know, arrogant, vain, self-congratulatory, fame whore, perpetual five o’clock shadow a la Richard Nixon (or that guy in Entourage) and a preening fashion style.

Everything about his screams douche.

While I’m mad, let me also say how much I hate stores like this one. They’re selling an old Stones t-shirt for $795, which is just stupid. The real problem is that they ruin things for regular people who used to find treasures in thrift shops. Thrift shops are plundered by “pickers” who sell the good shit to vintage stores, and voila, there’s nothing left but Forever 21 and Old Navy crap. Fuckers.

I’m still mad!

How about this: a fatwa on “thrifting” as a verb. or “thrifted” as an adjective?

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72 Responses to “Vintage Douche”

  1. skye Says:

    I have been waging my own small battle against “thrifting” and “thrifted” for a couple of years now, but more on a sort of xenophobic nationalist kind of basis, as in Australia we don’t have thrift stores. We have op-shops so we “op-shop” things and we go “op-shopping” – my teeth are set automatically on edge when I see any australian blogger using the dread thrift word!

    That guy looks like a mega-douche, that goes without saying.

  2. BethUK Says:

    Thank you! I hate it too. It used to be that finding vintage was a fun way to make my wardrobe more interesting. Now there are loads of vintage stores in Manchester but I can only find one or two that are any fun to shop in. There are so many of them that make it obvious that they only really cater to a certain clientele (i.e. not your average 32 year old admin lady).

    I’m also hating those vintage shops that only stock the smaller end of the range. There are a few too many places that use the whole “people were so much smaller back then” excuse to avoid catering to anyone larger than a size 12 or (or 10 in US?). I can forgive that in places that stock clothes from the ’20’s to ’40’s but if you don’t stock anything later then the ’70s then you really need to get over your issues and cater to everyone.

  3. RLC Says:

    Sometimes I let this make me mad, but mostly I just think if you’re stupid enough to pay $795 for an old Stones t-shirt, you deserve to be ripped off. Kind of like people who buy Evian.

    The funniest part is, most of the people wearing this stuff probably weren’t even born when the Stones were at their peak.

    And I agree about “pickers”. Here in Melbourne you have to leave town to find decent thrift stores because the inner city ones have been overtaken by hipsters looking for cheap one offs (although admittedly I am one of these) and even worse, by “vintage” dealers who resell the old cardis they find with a 700% mark up.

  4. mustownmore Says:

    Well, I’m British, so I say ‘charity shop’, which I think is lovely term. As a life long charity shopper I really don’t get the vintage craze – buying overpriced stuff that has been bought from a charity shop, jacked up in price and sold to people too lazy to do the leg work…I mean where do these places get off? AND it’s stiffing the charity in many ways. I’d prefer to get something new and give money at the same time and be part of the sometimes slightly bonkers charity shop community of regulars and volunteers.

  5. RLC Says:

    Down here we say “op shop”, being short for “opportunity shop” which I think is quite cute.

  6. Julia M Says:

    I was in a charity shop the other day and overheard a group of girls who came in discussing how much of a profit they could make from selling the stuff on ebay. One mentioned how she’d bought a dress for £3 in Save The Children and sold it for £38 on ebay…

  7. Suzanne aka Punk Glam Queen Says:

    On the flip side — you can call me a douche because I used to have a flea market biz, sold, and did picking for loads of stylists & designers. Prices weren’t nearly as insane back then (god I only wish, I’d be rolling in it) but it’s always been that way. Its just what becomes the demand and what people are willing to pay (um no on those vintage tees I find that the stupidest waste of cash ever.) I actually still keep a hand in when I come across great stuff, which unfortunately isn’t often.

  8. Make Do Style Says:

    Oh my guilty as charge! I used the t word a lot today in a post and in all manner of verby/adjective ways. I realise the error of my ways. I really like the term second hand. I ran a second hand clothes stall at uni and I did all this then. I meant I left uni with money in the bank. I’ll try to avoid thrift and thrift derivatives in future to lower blood pressure.

    I still do like a rummage every so often but what is it with over priced goods sold by douches. That description and photo is gruesome. I so wouldn’t wear a stones t-shirt as I wasn’t old enough to until 1978 when I bought Miss You as a single. I loved that song. Mind you my parents listened to the Stones and when I was little I was scared of Mick Jagger’s lips. I still have an irrational fear of them now.

  9. Vix Says:

    Well said! We should definately impose a ban on any mention of the “thrifting” word when it comes to second hand clothes shopping. If we were being “thrifty” we’d be making do and mending not buying more stuff to fill our already busting at the seams wardrobes.
    I’m English brought up on charity shops, car boots and the great British jumble sale. I don’t necessarily wear second hand to save money but because I want a unique wardrobe created by me and not Mr Philip Green or some other fashion fascist.
    Although I love vintage clothing much of the appeal for me is finding a retro piece in a charity shop, not having it dry cleaned and paying through the nose for it from some “vintage” boutique. x
    PS The guy in the photograph looks like a prize prick.

  10. RedHeadFashionista Says:

    ‘Thrifted’ belongs with ‘snagged’, ‘snapped up’, ‘bagged’, ‘sourced’ and the all-time favourite, ‘curated’, in the dictionary of total douches. Here’s a word you could try – BOUGHT!

  11. RedHeadFashionista Says:

    And true thrifters are people I’m in awe of, who can go to a charity shop and get a Chanel purse for a fiver, or buy a whole load of gorgeous things for about 20p. Queen Michelle is one to follow. I have discovered a £1 rail on a vintage stall in Spitalfields Market, it’s my new friend.

  12. Jean Says:

    Creep! That’s all I have to add

  13. Penny Dreadful Vintage Says:

    Any person, or store, who takes themselves so seriously is prime nitwit material.

    Seeing some comments here, I do have to stick up a little for vintage sellers, being one myself. I rarely find anything in charity shops either, but I don’t think it is necessarily because of other vintage sellers picking the place clean. I think it has more to do with charity stores being much more savvy these days and jacking prices up, and that in the last 10 years people have begun selling their old clothes on ebay rather than giving so much to charity (most charity stores even have their own ebay accuont these days, for designer or ‘vintage’ items, which not being experst they often get very wrong).

    Vintage stores have been around for a long time (girls were tripping around in Edwardian dresses in the 60s), and it makes me feel a little under attack when people say that vintage sellers have ‘ruined’ charity shops for everyone, and are essentially rip-off merchants. Naturally if I found a 50s Dior suit in a charity shop for 50p I would sell it for its actual value – selling something for less than its worth doesn’t benefit the charity in any way, as they have already clearly discovered for themselves. And I’m not sure why vintage stores are seen as being immoral in marking up their goods, but no-one has a problem buying a jacket from Topshop for £80 which has been made for peanuts in the Philippines.

    Rant over. For now.

  14. E Says:

    Please feel free to adopt chazzing – a UK term that refers back to the fact that these super fantastic items were given CHARITABLY to a CHARITY*. Here in the UK we are about to enter a new Cromwellian austerity where the fun-police will have you if you so much as think of frivolity – so I think it will become deeply unfashionable to wear vintage/second-hand any minute now – and hopefully these ‘curators’ will find something else to busy themselves with.

    *Granted, there are some disgusting people who use them as outlets for their filthy tat and soiled items – but we shall rise above it and think the best.

    p.s. that bloke at the top seems like a bit of a cock – you could hypnotize him with a mirror.

  15. Lara Says:

    I was blown away after reading a book called “The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy”.

    Apparently when you donate to big places like Goodwill, they get SO much stuff that they can’t sort through it all. What they do is sell to these sorting places in industrial areas that just buy this excess clothing in bulk, by the pound. They hire people with a good eye to sort through it all to find gems like old rock tees and designer ware. These sorting places then sell at prime price to a list of contacts in NY & LA and other big cities who turn around and jack the prices up even further to fashion chumps who shop at these vintage boutiques.

    The rest of the clothing either gets sold en masse to dealers in Africa (there’s a huge market for use clothing- look up the term Matumba), or it gets sold to China, India, Taiwan, etc for manufacturing. Old textiles are ground up and used in car seats, insulation, mops, etc.

  16. honeypants Says:

    That guy is a superdouche! I detest his sunglasses, his ascot and his tightly drawn lips.

    I admit I used the T-word frequently in the 90s, when I did it on a daily basis. I was an early ebayer (also a bad term?), as well as Mega Retro Girl – so whatever didn’t fit me, I bought for my mannequin or to sell on ebay. But then it got to be so popular that you couldn’t find anything anymore. Then came Katrina, but that’s another story.

    I realize that the owners of Vintage Shops are just trying to make a living too, but don’t be douches like this guy. I really want to smash this guy’s face in.

  17. rebecca Says:

    Everything I hate in a douche too… one of the reasons I avoid silverlake :)

  18. HelOnWheels Says:

    I don’t know if it’s the economy or the trend for vintage or eBay but it’s ruined my bargain shopping experiences!! My local and favorite chain of charity shops went from allowing me to buy a $400 Ungaro skirt for $20 to selling Target’s Merona shirts for $5, with nothing of any quality in sight. It upsets me because the charities are the ones that suffer in this situation.

    Yeah, I think if I ever met this WGACA I’d have to punch him in the face. I hate him just based on his appearance.

  19. Elizabeth Jaime Says:

    While, I agree what you said about the vintage shops being a bogus, I do have to say that Gerard is actually really nice. I had an oppurtunity to meet him and he was a very pleasant person to speak to.

  20. Alicia Says:

    The prices in that place are insane.

  21. Ann Says:

    “Thrifting” should no more be used as a verb than “pleasuring.” I hate that usage even more.

    Gerard may be lovely but visual first impressions are hell to improve upon.

  22. chomy Says:

    actually at some point it is not them that i really look at sideways, it is the twats who will gladly pay 795 for an old ratty shirt. WHY????

  23. devin Says:

    Stupid douche has a fucking warehouse of vintage that he just keeps and then plops in his stores. I get going out and finding treasures and reselling for a profit, but it should be a standard mark up- like what you do in wholesale (usually 2.5%)… i’m sure he did a 300% mark up or some shit. DOUCHE! Way to ruin thrift shops for the rest of us, asshole. Godammit I’m mad, too!!! I live in NY and I’ll never buy vintage from WGACA. I stick to estate sales these days. The dead don’t generally mark up as high. And you can find some pretty amazing things sometimes. Haha, can I use “estating” as a verb?

  24. kt Says:

    When I was in high school, there wasn’t much I could do considering my parents were ultra strict and kept pretty tight reigns. Perusing thrift stores was one of my escapes,

  25. kt Says:

    (whoops, accidentally hit submit comment!)

    Anyway…thrift stores was one of my escapes, and as cliche as it sounds, I kind of pieced myself together at this stage of my life, as far as style, interests, etc. goes. It’s sad to think that my kids probably won’t be able to experience life and culture in a more exploratory, haphazard way because even “counter culture” is all so readily packaged and priced for you now.

  26. Claudia Says:


  27. Heinous Says:

    At least all their stuff ends up as 50% off clearance sometimes:

  28. Dont Forget The Y Says:

    I wandered in accidentally once, thinking it was a regular vintage store. I saw vintage band shirts for hundreds ($500+) and there was a vintage designer collection too. Old ass YSL pantsuits (nothing fancy) for $1500. Vintage should NEVER cost more than new. There is no logic here.

  29. Nikki Says:

    I seem to be one of the few who differs wildly on thrift shops. Growing up on welfare, shopping at the Salvation Army (which we were forced by our mum to call Sally’s so neighbors wouldn’t guess we were poor…not sure why… it wasn’t a secret we were the 7-kid fatherless family of n’er-do-well misfits), I lived in horror that someone would actually see me in Sally’s on a Sat & report back to class on Mon. Saw 1 classmate there once… she was the dirty, worn-down clad girl in school… I was humiliated, we pretended we didn’t know each other & nothing was ever said… apparently, she was as embarrassed as I.

    Also, being the 1st girl after 4 older brothers, I got all the boys’ hand-me-downs, another word I detest… I hated wearing horizontally striped shirts & what are now called boyfriend jeans. They weren’t cool then… I hate that they’re cool now.

    It’s no wonder I grew up to be a giant Barbi Doll. Since age 11 when I began working & buying my own clothing (or sewing with patterns), I can’t look pretty & girlie enough… & although I am the bargain queen (I buy deeply discounted designer, unworn, thank you), you’d never find me in a Goodwill, consignment shop or even tearing through racks at a Dollar Store for a $4 bra. The thought of it makes my heart pound & I begin itching with hives. I wait for huge, huge, huge clearance sales, then buy… I still wear giant Jackie-O glasses & a hat so no one recognizes me tearing through clearance racks because I still find it far to punishing a thought to be outed at the welfare store, as it was called when I was a tyke… I feel like a freak. No wonder I dispise shopping, always did, always will. Damn you, money.

  30. Library Lady Says:

    I hate ‘thrifted’ too.

    And that man has a cat’s-bum mouth.

  31. Erika Says:

    I’ve been on the vintage things since i was a kid when i discovered a trunk of clothes in our house that belonged to the previous owners. It had cashmere sweaters, cute little aprons, a polka dot dress and a men’s three piece purple suit. I lived in these clothes happily for months. To this day I still wish i had the suit.

    I started “thrift” shopping when I was 18, i made friends with a girl who I thought was very well dressed all the time and she took me to the Salvation Army with her. We would dive into the 25 cent bin for dresses, pursers, Britannia jeans, La Coste sweatsuits ( I still have a pink velour one ).

    I have always had an extreme amount of luck with my thrift shopping. I am also in luck geographically, San Francisco is still a great place to score major clothes for pretty much nothing. Even at the “vintage stores” I just got an amazing cocktail dress from the 60’s for 18 bucks and a long blue dress from the 40’s for only 10. I think it’s either because most people here don’t seem to care about fashion, or don’t like thrifting or just give everything away or hoard so much that eventually it comes leaking out.

    If anyone ever wants to take me up on it I could take you on a thrifting tour of SF that would be mind boggling.

    Most of my clothes are keepers. I sell only what doesn’t fit or I don’t need or want anymore. I barely buy to re-sell, at least not yet, except some accessories. I have ventured into the realm of dealer and the return has been very, very good. I am jonesing for a real vintage Led Zeppelin shirt but I never look in the t-shirt sections. I think I am going to make myself a treasure hunt and do that.

    Prices can be ridiculous sometimes but really it’s an open market and if some people are willingto pay the prices then why not ?

  32. damaia Says:

    Guess who just did a giant event for What Goes Around Comes Around? Your two favorite Texans.

  33. Cricket9 Says:

    Half of my wardrobe comes from Value Village. I’d rather poke myself in the eye with a sharp stick than pay $700 for an old – oops, I meant vintage – t-shirt. I guess I’m a cheapskate.

  34. HelOnWheels Says:

    @Heinous – “At least all their stuff ends up as 50% off clearance sometimes” And you think, even at 50% off, there’s nothing wrong with charging over a $100 for used/worn cut-offs??!!

  35. Audi Says:

    Can’t we just ban rich people from shopping at thrift stores? Without ridiculously overpriced vintage shops, where would people like Sea go to waste their trust fund money?

    And yes, we need a better verb/adjective to replace thrifting/thrifted. I’ve thought about that as well. The problem is, what? Because when you’re trying not to be needlessly verbose on a blog, and you want to say you bought something at a thrift store, what other word can you use?

    @Erika: Yes please! I’m in San Francisco too and would love to hit some different shops for vintage; I always seem to go to the same 2 or 3 places.

  36. SummerAdeline Says:

    If hipsters wanna buy an old T-shirt for 700$ + so be it. Their 20 somethings, we all know they weren’t there (and neither was that douche).

  37. Emily Bleak Says:

    As much as people blab on about the ~special unique history~ of secondhand clothing, it’s still been used before. There are probably twice as many huge-markup resellers than there are actual thrift stores in Boston, so I’m a touch bitter about losing the ability to score great stuff for next-to-nothing at the Goodwill.

    I probably overuse the term “thrifting” myself – it’s an easy way for me to avoid outright admitting that I spend my weekends pawing through boxes of sweaters at yard sales. :\

  38. 'tine Says:

    I really don’t mind the word “thrifting”. Unfortunately when something becomes a trend you’ll have folks who will appropriate or rather misappropriate a term. I associate thrift shopping or going to the thrift shop with a not for profit or charity organization. Gross mark up of vintage wear as practiced by the shop highlighted in your example is hardly thrifting.

  39. Marky Says:

    Is WCAGA still around? I thought the whole vintage concert T thing was totally over. I mean, it was like six years ago when Ben Stiller was photographed in a vintage AC/DC shirt. Doesn’t Ben Stiller instantly kill trends?

    (I have to admit, I thought “Greenberg” was genius, but that’s another story.)

    That WCAGA guy is vile.

    For a while, WCAGA second-hand stuff was sold at Bloomingdales, and I bought a great old cowichan sweater on mega-markdown–probably only twice as much as that WCAGA douche paid for it when he bought it at Value Village in Marana, Arizona.

  40. Carrie Says:

    I’m going to chime in with Penny Dreadful in gentle defense of some vintage resellers and our wares. We aren’t all trying to fleece people our of money, not at all!

    In fact I pride myself on selling great vintage for reasonable prices that are on par with what you might expect to pay at a ‘disposable fashion’ emporium like H&M. Maybe it sounds naive, but I’d like to think people respect and hold on to these vintage clothes with a bit more care because they are of generally higher quality to begin with…and let’s be honest there is also a special value in knowing you’ve got something unique, right? So, by uncovering these cool relics and passing them along to people (for the same price they’d shell out for mass-produced ‘bargains’), who I hope then cherish them for years….I imagine I’m helping to slow down the fashion machine in my tiny little corner of the universe. I know, I know, probably very naive sounding again.

    Also, I just realized that I used the word ‘uncovered’ instinctively where ‘thrifted’ would have worked just as well. That kinds of sums up how I feel about the process of digging through endless charity/thrift/junk/flea/estate/auction heaps, a loving word full of wonder and adventure – uncovered. I really do genuinely enjoy the entire process of the dig.

    I’ve been going to thrift stores since I was a preteen, and still have a few of those very early vintage finds now, some 20-odd years later. I think that shows how much this process really is a part of my identity! In fact, my early self-eduction as a seamstress and clothing designer came from seam-ripping and then re-constructing vintage clothes i high school. This was hugely valuable in the learning process for me and would never have been something affordable to do with new clothing.

    I lived in Brooklyn for the past decade and never stopped the digging, although the experience was different there. No lie: the Salvation Army stores on Flatbush (this one is now gone) and Atlantic Avenues (this one is still open for business y’all!!) yielded finds ranging from Courreges, to Fortuny, to Halston, to Chanel etc etc etc over the years. The most I ever paid for any one item in these stores was $39 for a tweed YSL men’s suit for a friend’s birthday gift. If you live in NYC then check out Atlantic Ave!

    Now that I’ve moved back down south I’m discovering the ground to be so fertile it is almost bewildering to sift through the inventory!! The pickers are certainly afoot in urban areas, I can’t argue, but they haven’t made it down here quite yet. Also I urge you not to give up hope! I really did manage to find great things with a little faith and a lot of rolled-up sleeve digging (and….a lot of…allergy pills for dust and mold, lol!)

    Sister Wolf – let me know if you are ever looking for anything in particular…I’m always happy to keep an eye out for a sis free of charge! Spread the southern bounty around a little 😉

  41. Iron Chic Says:

    New York vintage prices are ridiculous because their rent is ridiculous. Those prices wouldn’t fly in my city. But I CAN mark up the cost of my vintage because I do work really hard to get it and that is what people pay for. Charity shop are picked over because every chick with a computer and minimal fashion sense has an etsy “shop.”
    I get my stuff from those warehouses Lara was talking about but I worked for 9 years in the industry to get my foot in the door there and I get up at six in the morning and dig through endless piles of garbage to find a couple of good items. It is a tough business riddled with competition and long hours.
    I wrote a little series earlier this year about what it is like owning a vintage store:

    Thrifting and picking are two different ball games.

  42. mimi Says:

    i dont shop at op-shops (as we call them here in aussieland).. i honestly do not have the patience to methodologically sift through clothes/shoes/what have you to find that “special” designer item for a crazy cheap price. im all for the concept as the money helps the disadvantaged, but im just too impatient and dont have the attention span to do so even though its the cool hip thing to do these day. i enjoy the challenge of buying high street pieces, as its what i can afford, but making it look individual so people dont realise im in head to toe chain store wear. its just simpler for me.

    i like that man’s belt, but the rest of the outfit screams DOUCHELORD. i cant believe people would pay those WGACA exorbitant prices. very pretentious!

  43. Queen Michelle Says:

    I call it ‘charity shopping’ or ‘thrifting’ depending on how many letters I can be arsed typing. Whatever you call it, I LOVE it.
    My favourite things have come from charity shops and rarely cost more than £2. But I’ve been scouting and scouting my usual haunts for weeks now and there’s been nothing at all. But I am hopefully because with halloween coming up there will be costumes which I like to take apart and make something new, and in November all the sheer and sequined stuff comes in for christmas which is extra exciting!
    As for that silly man – I hate loafers worn with jeans and that alone makes him a douche, in my opinion.

  44. Dave C Says:

    I know it’s not fashion related, but this pretty much sums up the $795 for a vintage T-shirt mentality:

  45. TheShoeGirl Says:

    I love the word fatwa. Reminds me of a queef.

  46. james Says:

    I agree with you on ‘professional’ pickers taking all of the good stuff from thrift stores / opshops, it’s frustrating and depressing. Especially when they buy ordinary (often not even genuine vintage) pieces and inflate the price. Yes that guy seems like a dickhead.

  47. RedHeadFashionista Says:

    PennyDreadful, I really agree with what you’re saying, and some vintage shops are great (there’s one in Worcester, UK that has the most amazing items at really good prices, with really helpful and knowledgeable staff) but some are just ridiculously expensive. It’s probably down to my lack of knowledge about the true value of vintage clothing but I think that’s where a lot of the bad rep comes from. I just think I need to understand it better. For example, I’ve found a great calf-length A-line leather skirt in a vintage shop for £45. Is that a fair price? I’m going with yes, given all the leather. I’m contemplating it…
    All I know is that Beyond Retro prices are MENTAL.
    And you’re right about Topshop. Their prices are insane, as are those of most high street stores.

  48. David Duff Says:

    That poor girl! She didn’t just have her appendix out, I think they must have removed her lungs, stomach and large intestine, too!

  49. Joy D. Says:

    Again I am on both sides of the fence. I am currently working on relaunching my Etsy but I also want to sell things at not “too” ridiculous of a price. I saw recently a vintage bathing suit for $238. WHAT?!

    WGACA is great at selecting new pieces for their shop. That are almost cheaper than the majority of their vintage pieces. I think that the thrifting vocab is new and scary to the older set but it is just stupid words that only fashion goers and what not use. If i asked my Sarah what she thrifted she would know but my mom would have to process the word.

    This was an unorganized way of saying that words are arbitrary and we always need to label something. I know this but still do the latter.

  50. My life is Vintage Says:

    My husband and I have been selling to WGACA for approximately 10 years. Gerard is actually a pretty decent guy, full of himself? YES! but a fun and funny guy to hang out with. Seth, his partner on the hand, is as douchey as they come. Doesn’t like to pay on time and doesn’t return phone calls when he owes money. WGACA is able to price their merchandise at astronomical prices because their market is celebrities, their stylists, and the extremely wealthy. That upper echelon of people pay their prices and will continue to do so because you know you ain’t gonna seeing Britney or Rpatz at no thrift store looking for their own vintage. Their collection is always prime and their knowledge is fantastic.

    We have been in the vintage wholesale business for about 20 years. It is a passion and something we work very hard at making a living at. I have two kids and I have to support them some way. Me? office job or sales?NOW WAY! We are doing something we love. We are not trying to exploit any industry. Trust me the reason it is hard to find vintage in the thrift stores is because it is like a needle in a haystack, not because pickers are snapping it up everywhere, and those where houses that buy the leftover clothes from Goodwill and such…. sell most of it by the pound to the public. If you would like to take a trip to buy at a “rag house” it would trip your mind the stuff you can pull out for .10 a pound. I encourage people to go to thrift stores and pick, but most people are lazy or do not have a good eye. So therefore a market is created. Thank you very much. We will do it until we die or hit the lotto :)

    …..and FYI if you want to blame anyone for the crazy market on vintage or raping the thrift stores, it is the Japanese from Japan they set the prices and market on ebay in vintage shops and most everywhere else. Next time you are in your local thrift store look around there is probably one or two whizzing through so fast you have no chance.

  51. Esme Green Says:


  52. Sister Wolf Says:

    Esme – HA, perfect! Love it!

    My Life is Vintage- Yep, I have seen the Japanese pickers blazing through a rack at lightning speed. I don’t like it. Re selling to WGACA, don’t you resent their mark-up after all your hard work, or not really?

    I notice that they sell counterfeit “vintage Chanel” jewelry on their website and they sell it via Shopbop as well. But perhaps it just Buyer Beware when it comes to Chanel.

    Whatever you have to do to support your kids, well, you have my blessing, that’s for sure. I know I’ve done much worse!

  53. Erika Says:

    Audi, I would love to meet up with you . I will send you a message. There’s a free Kate Spade event downtown at Bloomingdales on the 4th.
    I love Free stuff. I’ll send you the invite thing and hopefully you can make it to that.

  54. David Duff Says:

    Sorry, I haven’t gone senile, not due ’til next Wednesday, but my comment should have been attached to the post above. Yesh, thanks, I will have another, make it a large one . . .

  55. vintage pink Says:

    I have a vintage shop too, and let me tell you-if it werent for people coming in to sell us stuff, I would close the doors.
    There is nothing to be found in thrift stores-they are hiring more fashion savvy people to go through the donations, and pick out the good stuff to sell elsewhere for more money.
    Or they are starting their own “vintage” sections and charging like they are a real vintage shop for damaged stuff.

    The guy from NYC was in my shop buying for his. Think about that. He flies, stays in a hotel, eats and rents a car. Buys my stuff that isnt CHEAP and still makes a bucket of money.
    The Japanese do that to us too.

    Rent is what really determines the cost of things at a vintage shop. If you dont pay out a ton, you dont need a ton coming in.
    If you look, none of us-besides that NYC dude-are driving a Mercedes.

  56. Sister Wolf Says:

    Erika and Audie – I’m so happy when people fall in love here, like HelOnWheels and David Duff! Let me know if you meet up. xo

    David – I thought you called him “her” in reference to his metrosexualtiy. No harm done, carry on sir.

    vintage pink – And that’s why he’s a douche.

  57. HelOnWheels Says:

    @SW – re. Duffster…EEEWWWWWWW!! Seriously, bleeeeccchhhh. Nothing personal, Duff.

  58. Sister Wolf Says:

    HelOnWHeels – SHIT. Was it you and JK, then? Or am I just hopelessly lost? (Sorry Duff, she knos nothing of long johns, obviously)

  59. David Duff Says:

    Poor woman doesn’t know what she’s missing!

  60. Emmett K Says:

    This was an excellent post. I live in a fairly small town in Canada and I shop at thrift stores like the Salvation Army and Vintage stores, but everything is dirt cheap between $2-$30. I was SHOCKED when I went to Toronto, Ontario to a vintage store and everything was beyond ridiculously priced (not all of them were like this but a few were). I saw jackets $300+ , recently I had gotten similar ones at the Salvation Army for under $10!!

    What really blew me away was the fact that the prices were so out of control and over the top and the stuff at the vintage store was NOT designer! How can they justify the price tags? I prefer the fun of scouring thrift stores for great deals and finds rather than paying an extra few hundred dollars for someone else to do the work.

    Em K

  61. My life is Vintage Says:

    @ SW – We really don’t resent the fact that they price their items so high. We come from place where we work on a margin, if we can 3x our money we buy it, and are happy, if we can’t do that we don’t waste our time. We sell in bulk and fast, so the more we sell the more we make and have no emotional attachment to anything ;). WGACA generally pay good wholesale prices and that is what keeps us doing business with them. Although they ran into financial difficulty a few years back when they launched their line of clothing(a little cheesy if you ask me, but to each his own) it did not take off like they were expecting and it really put them in a financial bind, so therefore we have not sold them anything in approx a year and they still owe us a small amount.

    The retail end is brutal….. the rent, employees, paperwork, and bullshit you have to deal with is stupid. We had 3 stores at one time and it is simply not worth it, we get to travel and do our own thing, it is glorious not be to tied down!

    Happy thrifting, hunting, searching, buying, snapping up or whatever! It is fun! and you never know what you will find. I would recommend going to second hand stores in low income areas or outside of a major city, stay away from trendy areas and such, you have a better chance of finding good stuff in the suburbs or smaller towns. Make a day of it or overnight trip! Good Luck

  62. Aja Says:

    My sister just got a La Petite Salope dress from an actual thrift store in San Francisco. Seriously, it was $35 (full price $1200). I was so green with envy my head almost exploded.

  63. Sister Wolf Says:

    Aja – Shit, my head is exploding if it’s a size 4.

  64. Aja Says:

    Cover your walls cuz your head’s going to explode.

  65. hammie Says:

    Well as an Aussie living in Ireland I’ve learned to say “charity shops” .

    I used to say I was going to London to look for vintage clothes in Oppies, but purists say that my designer bargains from the 90’s don’t count as vintage according to the 20 year rule, so I invented “Thriftage” as opposed to True Vintage.
    I really don’t care as long as it is well made and a zillion % cheaper than when the first poor sap bought it at full price. (sorry saps, I do love your impulsive purchasing then donating power)

    Sadly, these trips no longer “pay for themselves” (as I used to explain to Mr Hammie)

    AS IF I would EVER buy a Cashmere Armani full length coat at full price! but I “claim the difference” when explaining how ecomomical these trips really are.

    because the pickings are indeed very slim these days and I absolutely REFUSE to shop in Tragic Hipster Second Hand “Marketstall High Street Shops”

    If it ain’t going to charity then what is the guilt assuaging point?


  66. hammie Says:

    ps. I have stood beside “dealers” asking for a large discount in the Hospice Store in Queensway. A discount on items donated by people who want the money to go to a charity supporting those with terminal Cancer to finish their lives in comfort with dignity.

    a fucking discount!

  67. Veuve Says:

    I’m with you. Shopping at thrift stores (which I’ve been doing since I was in college) has become much less fun. Either the pickers get the really good stuff or stores like Goodwill have wised up and pull anything halfway decent so they can auction it on their website. I don’t want to begrudge them the money, but it sucks for us low income folks who depended on them for fashion thrills.

  68. jen thunder Says:

    (My Life is Vintage- do you have an email? I would love to talk to you about your experiences pickin, sellin n’ dealin. I can be reached at

    I have to agree fully with PennyDreadfulVintage- since the takeoff of ebay people are donating less and finding other avenues for their goods (garage sales/flea mkts/relatives) to bring in extra income in a worldwide economic downturn. And it is also right that thrifts have become savvy in listing their rare collectible goods online or seeking antiques/vintage people to price and advise them on their inventory. I think if there’s anyone to be mad at, be mad at your local charity that doesn’t keep the goods within the community (through selling online amazon/ebay) that supports it and also never even gives the community the chance to buy it.

    Vintage sellers work hard to gather an inventory of one-of-a-kind items and educate themselves on the minutia of costume history in accurately dating pieces and determining rarity–> in addition to shop overhead, this is why a vintage rock tee will never be sold for super-walmart-sale-cheap. What if vintage stores did try to mimic fast fashion in their prices instead of rarity determining value; the selection of such vintage store would dry up in a day. That vintage store would no longer be your favorite store if they couldn’t raise enough money to invest back into their store and new acquisitions.

    For the WGACA folks- they cater to designers to sell designers back their pieces from the 60’s. They’re a private showroom that I’m sure a ton of people utilize to ‘get inspired’ and then leave without buying anything. I think it interesting that they’ve worked so hard to conflate vintage-(ie worn, secondhand, used, usually stigmatized clothes) with covetable couture high-fashion. Designers and design houses also cultivate relationships with buyers all over the world to bring them originals they can knock off: I happened into a private meeting between a designer’s mens team and some sort of vintage sourcing independent person who were viewing a table with a bunch of ‘thrfited’ vintage satchels with price tags attached- the team going to buy a vintage bag from her not because they wanted to use it but they were going to use it for a prototype.

    As a grad student, I also research thrift stores and used clothing- what goes where and ends up where, and find this video below really mind-blowing in looking at the fashion design industry and hyper-consumption.
    Shantha Bloemen’s film “Tshirt Travels” is fucking superb in exploring how global trade/IMF Debt politics result in USA 80’s mtv or Nike shirts on kids in Zambia

  69. Hortense Says:

    Can’t help but like ‘thrifted’ and ‘thrifting.’ I do both nearly every day, and the word ‘thrifting’ brings nothing but happy associations to mind. It’s my temporary livelihood this ragpicking thing. Granted I don’t hoard. I just go in and buy the best, leave the rest. The problem with most ragpickers is that they’re greedy, unscrupulous, and have no eye for quality. I sort of blame Marc Jacobs’s grunge days for this precedent–he used to have his “muses” grab and bag all kinds of shit to copy directly for his line (in silk of course).

    Expensive “thrifted” vintage is a bugaboo. Fifty dollars tops for something pristine, maybe more for rare designer… anything more is robbery. It’s rags that would have ended up in the trash, you opportunistic, self-important idiots! Jane and Mommy are excellent examples of the thrift smugness.

  70. Erika Says:

    I had a great thrift moment the other day. I was trying on a full length sequin dress, not quite sure about it. I noticed a man watching me. I think he was one of those thrift picking types. So I bought it. In hindsight it was a great buy and a nice add to the collection but part of it was that I found it annoying to have someone watching me to grab it if I didn’t want it so he could re-sell for more. Screw him, let him find his own things.

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