From a Basement in Kaisertown

Let's hear it for vintage kismet--- those times when you've been dreaming of a particular garment, say, a 40s peplum dress or a 50s wool cardigan, only to find it hanging on the rack at your favorite thrift or antique store.
Or when the little old lady down the street finds her collection of hats in the attic and knocks on your door because she thinks you'd appreciate them.

When that vintage find finds you and it just seems meant to be, this is vintage kismet.


Time and time again I've told the tale of Mrs. Bolton's and that defining moment early on in my days of collecting, and, while I don't generally subscribe to the notion of fate or some cosmic force steering my life, sometimes, like with Mrs. Bolton's, it's hard to deny the existence of vintage kismet.

I suppose, like most things, what it all boils down to is what you know and who you know. Having a seemingly fated meeting with that vintage item of your dreams is all about knowing where to look, looking often, and knowing kind folks that think of you whenever they see something old (in the best way possible, of course). 

This outfit brought to you by vintage kismet and the thoughtfulness of friends.

My last journey to Western New York provided me the opportunity to visit a new friend at the home of her grandmother in the Kaisertown neighborhood of Buffalo, New York. Originally we had planned that her grandmother, Theresa, would be present and guide me through her incredible collection of vintage finery stretching from the 1940s-1970s, but before I could make the journey north, Theresa passed away unexpectedly.
How I wish I could have gotten the full story on many of the things we found-- the boxes of scarves and hats, the beautiful jackets and jewelry, to have know exactly what was made when each apron was worn, instead I received a beautiful recollection of family history, complete with pictures, which was pretty fantastic.

While it's true I have a (rather unhealthy) love for the vintage item itself, it's the story I'm really after. I like the idea that an object wasn't just created for me, that it has a history that precedes me and a future beyond me-- I am merely a part of its story.  

Scarf and Blouse--- Collection of Theresa T., Kaisertown, Buffalo, NY
Earrings--- West Germany glass clip ons from Fair Sails
Ring--- Gift
Polka dot capris and belt--- Modern department store (Bon-Ton?)
Patent leather wedges--- Piperlime, years ago

This outfit, and variations of such, has been a staple in my end of summer wardrobe. With loafers, it's suitably casual for milling about the house, add some wedges and it's perfect for errands around town, and un-belted, this blouse would be just perfect for the expanding waistline of an expectant mother (though I'm definitely not anticipating that anytime soon).
 I only wish I knew how Theresa wore this blouse and if she ever paired it with the same scarf. 

Other pieces of Theresa's collection are currently being added to my online shop-- Fair Sails.

So here's to vintage kismet, 
to the story behind every item 
and to, as always....

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