February 17, 2011

Minty Fresh

We sift through thousands of pieces of vintage clothing in a given year, and while it's unusual to find items in mint condition, a quick check of our search page revealed over 1500 items in perfect shape. Here's why -

  • Much of the clothing we sell was never worn. It's authentic vintage, made decades ago, but because it's unworn there are no stressed seams, wash wear or abrasions and stains that come with use. Conversely, though it's surprising to many people, unworn stock does not always mean mint condition. Unworn stock has its own potential set of problems, like faded or yellowed creases, pest damage and the like.
  • Of the clothing that has been worn, many collections are from wealthy, well-clad ladies who kept their clothes carefully. Footing the bills for year-round temperature regulation and regular cleaning makes a huge difference in condition over the years.
  • Many large collections house items closely spaced on racks or in drawers. We often see items stored outermost that have borne the brunt of pest damage, yellowing and fading, while clothes sandwiched between other items have been insulated from such wear by their neighbors.
  • Sometimes an item survives in pristine condition simply due to its style or size. It's more likely to see a lovely piece without any flaws because it was purchased just before a pregnancy, or it was a gift and not quite the taste of the recipient.
  • Another reason is the fabric itself. Sturdy fabrics like denim or broadcloth were meant to withstand much harder use than shelf wear, while delicate textiles like peau du soie can appear "shop worn" after just one season on the rack.
  • Small, boxed items like vintage hosiery are common to see in mint condition as they're often stored in the original packaging, whether in plastic sleeves or slim boxes. Other items helped in this way are vintage shoes, gloves, bras & underwear.
  • And last but not least, sometimes it's just pure luck.

...Though condition can sometimes be frustrating, it can also be the best part of the hunt! Discovering a gem in mint condition is quite a trophy for a vintage collector. We're glad to say we uncover them daily and have had 15 years of luck doing so. Have a look at our current mint-condition offerings and find a like-new gem yourself!

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