You probably know that Seattle Goodwill is a great place to score the latest looks for less. But it's also a treasure trove of amazing vintage finds! But with so many incredible items - what should you be on the hunt for?
Seattle Goodwill’s Vintage Fashion Collection is the perfect place to begin. It was started in the 1960’s by a group of volunteers who began saving vintage items that were donated to Goodwill as a way to preserve local fashion history. Items in the collection date from the 1850’s to the 1970’s and include clothing, shoes, hats and accessories for men, women and children.
There are more than 1,900 garments, 900 shoes, 500 hats and 1000 pieces of jewelry, gloves and other accessories in the collection.
We got to check out a few of these pieces - for inspiration!
Vintage Pieces to Look For
1. 1970’s white raffia purse & 1980’s yellow, woven straw clutch: The versatile straw bag is a spring/summer staple, as wearable in the city with jeans as it is on the beach.
2. Late 50’s/Early 60’s dresses
- Floral Print Sleeveless Dress (late 50’s/early 60’s): Floral is always in trend for the warm weather months. The midi length hemline of this dress has come back in contemporary fashion. Time period known, because decorative detailing is toned down in contrast to the early 50’s. Waist seams (late 60’s did not highlight an hourglass figure)
Big Hint: check out the zipper - metal zipper on this dress, but most garments began to adopt an invisible zipper after 1958. Nylon zippers were used starting in 1968 and on. Also in the later 60’s, the zipper moved from the side seam to center back.
- Jadeite Green Dance Dress (late 50’s): This little number in jadeite green has acres of two layers and sizes of nylon tulle overlaying green acetate skirting. Gathered horizontally pleated sleeveless strapless bodice, side metal zipper with hooks, matching sheer green shawl.
3. 1940’s hair clips & combs: The hair-clip trend continues – in 2018 we saw rhinestone clips and side parts. This year Chanel paves the way for rhinestone clips securing center parted hair worn half up.
4. 1950 & 60’s rhinestone chokers & pins: Fun jewelry makes everything sparkle.
5. Summer Straw Hat: Find inspiration from this 1950’s Christian Dior hat and update your summer straw hat staple.
Today, the collection is part of Goodwill’s Philanthropy Department and is utilized to connect the community to vintage fashion and Goodwill’s mission to provide free job training and education.
Why buy vintage?
- Often vintage garments are higher quality than contemporary fashion. They are include more handwork and attention to detail. Vintage fashions can also be much more durable than those made today.
- Keep history alive by implementing vintage clothing and accessories into your wardrobe.
- Dress sustainably by choosing used over new.
Looking for more ways to score vintage finds? Goodwill’s online stores (especially eBay) are a good source for vintage too. Mark you calendars for the Goodwill Glitter Gala (November 2) and Glitter Sale (November 9 & 10) , where you can find more retro treasures.