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Vintage treasure hunting

I have always loved thrift shopping for vintage clothing, jewelry and furniture, and these days it’s smart for several reasons. It’s a “green” idea that encourages recycling, and it’s frugal.

I like the idea of salvaging items from the past and finding greatness in something others have deemed unimportant. Spending only a few dollars for a unique pair of earrings or dress made of unusual vintage fabric is like finding a treasure.

d2740-patternI recently visited three thrift stores in the Jackson metro area. I bought a shift dress with a pleated bottom and psychedelic design at The Orange Peel. It looks like mixed multicolored paint.

Each piece has a story, and my dress was labeled “Brenner.” The Web told me that Eleanor P. Brenner was a fashion designer who began her career in 1968 and was very popular in the 1980s. According to a 1989 New York Times article, her clothes were designed for the working woman and sold in 400 stores around the country. The NYU graduate began by sewing clothes for herself and friends. Later, Walter Mondale’s wife became one of her best clients. I’m not sure what became of the line.

8082b-dress1I later stopped at the Salvation Army and bought a velvet dress with lots of beading and jewel work that I plan to chop off and transform into a shirt. While it’s probably not appropriate any other time of the year, I think it would be special at Christmas.

8a1c2-beltI was amazed at the amount of merchandise they now have at Repeat Street in Ridgeland.

I picked up a cheetah chain belt and a couple of glass witch balls that Mississippians know are supposed to ward off evil, like bottle trees.

40d8d-ballsWhat is your favorite thrift store find?

Got a comment? E-mail me at or Tweet me at @lareecarucker.


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