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Ever since I was a little girl, weekends have meant one thing: thrifting. Whether it was bargain hunting at TJ Maxx with my mom (hiding in and making forts out of the round racks with my brother) or plotting a yard sale trail around what's now Washington wine country with grandma, I've always lived for the thrill of the hunt. Fridays have me on the edge of my seat, with a weekend's worth of opportunities for scavenging adventures and treasure hunting just around the corner.
Shortly after finding my soul sister of all things secondhand style in Amy and co-founding The Swapaholics, we started joking that "TGIF" should really stand for "Thank Goodwill It's Friday," and a new tradition was born. Over the last three years, we've steadily posted more and more regularly on Fridays about our best thrifted, vintage, and swapped scores from the past week, sharing photos on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, and encouraging our friends to do the same. (Above are some of the Thank Goodwill It's Friday scores our Twitter friends shared in February.)
One of the all-time best scores of my life came into my hands about a month ago, while shopping the Goodwill store in Davis Square with my old roommate Jess on a Thank Goodwill It's Friday mission. As we were checking out, she turned to me and pointed to this absolutely stunning, pristine vintage condition fur coat hanging on a steamer rack next to the register, and I just had to try it on. It fit like a glove, so back into line I went. There was no passing up a (possibly mink) fur coat for $80.
As soon as I posted a photo of the coat on Instagram, my friend Jessie commented that she was going to steal it from me at the first opportunity, dubbing herself the "Chevron Snatcher." It's such a fun coat, and keeps inspiring people to swoon and be silly at the same time. I love it so much. Just look at all the pretty details!
As my friend Elissa Stern writes in her new book, Thrifting 101, "An item of clothing that has been around for a few decades has a sense of history, and when I slide this clothing on, I cannot help but wonder about its story." That romantic, imagination-inducing connection is something I've always loved about owning antiques, vintage, secondhand and swapped items, and so I was both ecstatic and apprehensive about the fact that my newly thrifted vintage fur coat was monogrammed (as many high-end and vintage furs are).
I suspected that Carolyn D. Morton had recently passed and her family, beseiged with grief, donated her entire wardrobe to Goodwill. Sure enough, Boston.com confirmed that a "kind and fun-loving" Carolyn Duffett Morton of Winchester (where my cousins live, and where my own beloved grandmother spent her final years), survived by a daughter-in-law named Melissa, eerily enough, had passed in December. I hope I can do her legacy justice — judging from the coat, she was one fashionable cat.
You be the judge: here's how I styled it, with an H&M necklace, Anthropologie sweater dress, and Levi's skinny jeans (all from clothing swaps):
If Mrs. Morton's family does ever stumble upon this story, I hope they will know that I am very sorry for their loss (especially having lost so many of my own family members this year) and I'm honored to own her (most likely) beloved coat. When my own time comes, you can bet your bottom dollar that my beloved things will be available for some other young fashion lover to hunt down at Goodwill, and that, my friends, is what I like to think is the true cyclical nature of fashion.
What's your favorite antique, thrifted, secondhand, vintage, or swapped item? Share your photos and stories using the hashtag #ThankGoodwillItsFriday, or leave a comment below!
Story & photos: Copyright 2012, Shoestring LLC & Melissa Massello.