In addition to this blog, I also have a vintage clothing website, linked to the right. But many blog readers may not know that my current day job is running my consignment clothing store, Ivy Company. Before that I did a bazillion other jobs, some of which had something or other to do with clothing in some capacity - either retail or wholesale, or manufacturing, or design, or creating wearable art, or making costumes, or print and runway modeling. My only reason for telling you this is to say that in the for-frakking-ever that I've been dealing with clothing, I've handled quite a few pieces of it. At my store, I have a photographic memory of most of the vintage pieces I've sold over the years because most of them are, to me, one of a kind.
Take this dress for example:
Hand knit, with one of those "Made by your grandmother" type labels sewn in. Quirky and colorful, and it reminded me of the granny square crafting era when I was growing up (which my mother would like me to forget, thanksabunch.) The reason I took this picture was that I'd had the dress around at the store for a little while and it wasn't getting noticed, so I photographed it for online selling. I never did list in online, because shortly after this photo was taken a young woman fell in love the dress in the store it and took it home. Yes, sometimes my store feels like an adoption agency - a place where we're looking for just the right home for each forgotten piece, where they'll be loved and appreciated. Anyhoo, this fascinating story took place in 2003. (How do I know? If there's one piece of my life that's organized, it's my digital photos. You're welcome.)
So imagine my surprise when I was paging through dresses on etsy and saw this lovely thing:
Unless Ms Bauer made another of these, it's the same dress! Is the seller the same person who bought it from me? I don't know, but I've asked via convo. Update to follow....
Something like this has happened to me another time. One of my first jobs was in a consignment boutique much like the one I own now. I bought a cream wool hand-knit sweater there that had not only an unusual knit pattern, but an absolutely unique little mark on the right sleeve where there was a darker wool twisted into the yarn. Loved the sweater, wore it constantly. Then, in clearing out clothing during a move, I donated it. About two years later, I found my sweater at the flea market, and of course I had to buy it again. Not too much later, I left it behind in a movie theater. So sad! But wait, there's more. Fast forward to 2000-ish, and I'd had my own store for a few years. One day during trade hours, in walks my sweater again. Mind you, all this time had passed, and the sweater had had countless owners - I'd bought it second hand myself. By the third time it was in my hands it still looked nubby and soft and wearable on a foggy evening. I traded for it, but this time I let it pass through my hands again and sold it. For all I know, it's still out there in the world, taking long walks on the beach on cool spring mornings.
UPDATE: I know who owns this dress! It's Lisa M., a frequent shopper at my store and a fellow vintage lover. She tells me she thinks she remembers buying it a a yard sale or flea market. She definitely didn't buy it from me. Anyhoo, it's looking to find another owner on etsy. I can see someone totally rocking this little dress with boots and stringy hair a la Jane Birkin.