I remember my mother's face the first time I came home with a vintage sweater. "You bought that WHERE?" she asked, her pupils dialating wildly. "At a thrift store," I said. Mom was horrified. She and my father had made many sacrifices to fill my closet with beautiful clothing from the finest shops. Why would I even think of buying a stranger's musty old sweater? "You can get a disease," my mother wailed, thinking, no doubt, of lice. Secretly, her fears only increased my pleasure. You can't get a 1940s reindeer sweater like this at Saks, I thought.
In retrospect, Mom had a point. Vintage clothing and furniture do present health risks. As I found out just a week ago when I spotted four dining room chairs on the sidewalk. I hauled them back to my place, only to discover why they had been abandoned in the first place. Fleas! Too bad. They would've been so cool if I had painted them torquoise and covered the seat cushions with a zebra print.
Still. There's something about fashions and furniture from previous eras that intrigues me. Isn't that why we watch MadMen and Downton Abbey? Because there's a certain romance inherent in vintage that you'll never find at Saks.