Stories: Famous blue raincoats, etc

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  • webweaver,

    Hilary - I think I use "opshop" in a much broader sense than just the Sally Army etc, and I generally prefer the vintage clothes shops in Welli like Hunters & Collectors where they have a more interesting selection of clothes, or the designer ones on Tinakori Road (are they still there? Haven't been there for ages).

    My best score from Hunters & Collectors is a Trelise Cooper embroidered coat from her Winter 2003 collection - I have a blue version of the ones in pics #64 & #66 - it cost me $180 - I guess it was probably $600+ when it was bought new, so it was a pretty amazing find.

    I think there are a couple of other "old clothes" shops that have recently opened in Welli - one on Cuba Street and one on Aro Street that sound interesting and which I'm planning to check out. I guess you'd definitely call their clothes "vintage" rather than "second-hand".

    As for thinking about who owned the clothes before I did, I confess I don't think about it much - in that it doesn't bother me at all - except I would draw the line at underwear I think :)

    So no, I don't worry at all about the karmic essence of the last owner - except to feel vaguely comforted by it - I don't know why that is, seeing as I have no clue who their previous owners were. But then again I love all kinds of old stuff - my house is full of second-hand furniture for example - in fact the only new piece of furniture I own is one of my sofas, so there you go. I guess I like old stuff.

    My house had its 100th birthday this year, and I do love the feel of it - I'm absolutely convinced we have ghosts which I assume are the previous people who've lived here leaving something of themselves behind (dead or not!) - but I don't mind that at all - again, I find it rather comforting in a funny sort of a way - and the cats certainly seem to like the ghosts - they're always looking at them - so that's OK.

    I suppose I do think about the era my clothes came from though, especially when I was in my 50s dresses phase and practically living in the vintage clothes shop down the road in Nottingham where I lived. I love the way old clothes are made - the quality is so much better - and of course when you buy vintage you're extremely unlikely to ever see anyone wearing the same stuff as you, which is a Very Good Thing.

    I think also when you buy old clothes, especially really old clothes, they're less likely to have been made in sweatshops anyway - although I guess ultimately you just can't tell.

    At least when you buy pre-loved clothes you're getting a better wear-per-dollar ratio for the clothes themselves, which is good - and if you wear pre-loved leather shoes at least you're not contributing to another animal getting killed for the leather.

    In the end though I suppose you have to find the place where you feel comfortable with the ethics of how your clothes and footwear are made - because it's hard to guarantee that their provenance is ethical - whether they are new or pre-loved. I would love to only buy organic cotton, for example, but it's very hard to find.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 332 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Two favourite shirts, both which lasted 15 years or more.

    First was a really oversized Leod Hayes (Sp?) shirt from the back of Mid City Arcade in 1989 I think, which I gave to someone else a few years back after the elbows gave way. They still wear it for gardening, as far as I'm aware.

    Second was bought in a factory seconds shop in a strangely out of the way part of Tokyo that had some very cool stuff. I can't for the life of me remember why I only bought one Issey Miyake shirt, for the equivalent of $60 NZD. Nice shirt though, and the cotton was so fantastic it looked new for the first 10 years, and then looked old but in a cool way for several years after that. Well, sort of.

    Oh, and one more. The Patrick Reynolds Batman T-shirt from Workshop. It has been lost, and I'm gutted.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    I feel I really have to say here... I love my leather jacket, and I wear it all the time.

    No, really. I bought it new about 15 years ago, and it took about 10 years to get properly worn in. Its really thick leather, weighs approximately half a cow, and would probably stop, if not a bullet, then at least a knife. Its cut conservatively enough to wear with a shirt & tie, but works equally well with jeans & tee.

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Question for people who like opshop clothes: do you worry about them carrying some karmic essence of the last owner, or is that part of the attraction?

    Wow, never. I always just think 'some fabulous person owned this fabulous thing and now I've found it and I own it, hooray!' I'm a simple soul...

    Coats. I don't think I have ever bought myself a new coat. Every coat I have is vintage because they're all so pretty and well-made. My very favourite is a black wool 1960s a-line with those slightly-too-short sleeves typical of the period, and fantastic ribbon trim on the collar and pockets. I got it at the Love Shop in the mid-90s for $45. Last year I paid $65 to have it relined. I also have a turquoise 60s coat with a fur collar (tough biccies, it was WELL secondhand and the damn thing was already dead). A red wool 60s one with GIANT plastic buttons. A massive navy early 60s swing cape. A 1940s opera cloak. A giant heavy astrakhan coat. My grandmother's beaded dress jacket. Actually half of my utterly stuffed wardrobe is just vintage coats! It's an illness.

    (I also love shoes, and handbags, and frocks. I used to put a lot more thought into my outfits, in general, but since most of them end up puked-on at the moment it's hard to rustle up the same level of enthusiasm...)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Actually half of my utterly stuffed wardrobe is just vintage coats! It's an illness.

    I have wardrobe envy right now, just so you know.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Some clothes in the cupboard have been there so long they could be called vintage but it is great when you can pass them on to your children eg a stadium jacket from Ohio (dated 1968) which my son wears around Wellington, an old Lenin cap from Tampere in Finland, passed on to my daughter. We have a wonderful rabbit fur hat from Russia which I yearn to wear again (the last time was in a Finnish winter). I Have a collection of tshirts I don't want to toss away--including an original (but threadbare) WKRP in Cincinnati tshirt, and a Springsteen concert shirt (Cleveland, Ohio 1979)-- I won it and a ticket to the concert in a Toledo radio station competition after being in the US three days. There is also my old W(h)anganui Woollen Mills coat and an old cream DB dinner jacket from Suva.

    I like it when clothes can tell such stories.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2562 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    speaking of crumpled old lives...

    I've only just found out that American Splendor creator Harvey Pekar died on July 12th, aged 70...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Favourite clothes, I've had a few. Shoes, I've never had many. But if I had to pick one of each I would say:

    - black fuckme stilettoes that I owned in my very early 20's, , that were so high I couldn't wear them on the way anywhere,

    So, after that Jackie, I couldn't resist.You conjured up a memory cell I forgot about. Thanks.
    These are a few of my favourite shoes I'm now prancing around the lounge, changing from one to another because they are all soo comfortable.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Seriously beautiful shoes (and, especially, those boots!) Sofie!

    While I dont wear such delights myself, I have an eye for those who dress well ( the 'well' being such a personal thing) and enjoy those revelling in the beauty of what they wear-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    O, and clothing I have loathed: let's start with suspender belts shall we? Stopped wearing those when I was 17...

    And any kind of 'night attire'(which I stopped wearing a year later) - I go to sleep as I was born, and I know how to wear a blanket or a swannie if I have to get up to answer the door-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    O, and clothing I have loathed:

    I'm actually pretty much Levis and a tshirt kinda person, but I will wear any shoe with them. I go for comfort and I like a good looking shoe.

    I go to sleep as I was born,

    Def a weather permitting for me but I was glad to recently hear my parents still enjoy the freedom of nudity at their age.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    My sister spent a year in the US as a teenager in the 1960s and brought me back a pair of jeans. Children's jeans were rare in NZ and I was the only girl I knew with a pair. Girls generally wore dresses and boys shorts all year round, and even female teachers were forbidden to wear trousers until several years later.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3229 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I feel I really have to say here... I love my leather jacket, and I wear it all the time.

    No, really. I bought it new about 15 years ago, and it took about 10 years to get properly worn in.

    I got my leather jacket 15 years two months ago, in a shop somewhere near Baltimore as a birthday present. Bomber style, which makes it slightly short for me but everything is too short for me. Zip went about five years ago but still real comfy and the rest of it looks like it will last for about another 15 years.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    I got my leather jacket 15 years two months ago, in a shop somewhere near Baltimore as a birthday present. Bomber style, which makes it slightly short for me but everything is too short for me. Zip went about five years ago but still real comfy and the rest of it looks like it will last for about another 15 years.

    I have a similar story. Unfortunately, I grew a little bit more and it didn't, so I still wear it, but it's fractionally tight. I'm up for another one, to be honest.

    I have a collection of tshirts I don't want to toss away--including an original (but threadbare) WKRP in Cincinnati tshirt, and a Springsteen concert shirt (Cleveland, Ohio 1979)...

    My now-oldest is a 1984 Cannes Film Festival t-shirt. Again, a wee bit too tight thesedays, and too threadbare to be used as anything other than a prop. The oldest that I still wear is an 11-year old "Napster" shirt. Oddly, people seem to have forgotten what it was, since I don't get a quarter of the comments I got 5 or 6 years ago.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    I reckon Te Papa should do an exhibition of history through t-shirts.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3229 posts Report Reply

  • Stephanie Chilcott,

    Zip went about five years ago but still real comfy ...

    Best to get the zip replaced - any good tailoring/repairs shop in D will be able to get you back into it, and warm and dry! Same for relining favourite jacket/coat. Oh yes ....

    Had a beautiful Marilyn Sainty long swagger coat made from cashmere mix. When the polyester lining went after a couple of years I had it relined with a nearly black and white stripe. Fabulous until some animal stole it from a do at a hotel. I miss that one so much. Got it in a sale and the CPW was down to cents.

    Wairarapa • Since Aug 2010 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Best to get the zip replaced

    It has four domes outside the zip so it's still close-able and quite comfortable, so I haven't been concerned. If they start to go I'll look at taking it in for repair.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Oh, Sof, those shoes are all so beautiful. I wish you would wear them all more often. I would die to have feet that fitted shoes that were that gorgeous. The one part of my body that I would change immediately if I could would be these wide horrors of mine.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan,

    Jackie: http://www.duoboots.com/

    Seriously, the red boots that I bought from Duo a couple of years ago are on my list of favourite items of clothing.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1275 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    I have long been amused by the term "Come Fuck Me Boots" because it reminds me of a pair of Cherry Red Steel Capped Boots with bright yellow laces I once had which could only be described as "Don't Fuck With Me" boots.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan,

    I don't think my red boots could be described as CFM, but they have, like all great items of clothing, a transformative effect.

    They make me strut.

    Because I love them, and they make me feel good about myself, wearing them makes me walk taller, and smile wider. I have a couple of dresses that do the same thing.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1275 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    OK, tshirts. I still have a pink Virus tee with eyes all over it from 1991 or so. It's a bit ratty now. And I wonder what happened to my Flying Nun orientation shirt from the same period? I had it for years and then poof, it was just gone. I also have an original glorious-early-eighties-yellow/orange Women Can Do Anything shirt (remember that campaign?). I found it in an op shop years ago, but unfortunately the one thing this particular woman *can't* do is still fit it - it is clearly for someone less generously proportioned in the chestal region. I still have some band shirts I can't bear to get rid of, but I find tees in general terribly boxy so they often become sleepwear. The one thing I still wear occasionally out in public is a snapping-fingers logo from a yellow Stax Records shirt which I cut out and sewed to a black singlet to avoid the boxy problem.

    I am worried about starting to discuss shoes because I might not stop. Let's just say that we came into some money a couple of years ago and I spent $1500 at Minnie Cooper in the space of two weeks. And that despite being pretty much out of size range in many vintage outfits, I have extremely average-sized feet and can therefore fit all sorts of vintage shoes (those 1960s black patent-leather boots I found with buckles up the back, drool). And that I have gone to the extent of designing my own slip-ons using 1950s fabric images at this site: http://www.zazzle.com/custom/shoes. Yeah. Shoes: win. (And I don't even wear high heels.)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan,

    Danielle, I am too scared to start talking about anything much, because, like, I have work to do.

    I mean, what I could say about the dress I am wearing _today_ would fill a page.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1275 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    I still have my Peoples Republic of Christchurch T-shirt from the late 1990s. It's worn down slightly, but still in good nick.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5445 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I, too, had a legendary leather jacket.

    It was a proper, heavy motorcyle jacket with paisley lining, and I bought it via a classified ad towards the end of my year in Timaru ($75, I think).

    I wore it a handful of times on a bike, but mostly, it was to be my constant companion for the next 15 years or so. I took it to Auckland, where it saw many wonderful gigs, and thence to London, where it kept me warm many times. I sat on it at Glastonbury. It was basically impervious to any damn thing.

    I popped off one of the diamond-shaped zip hooks in Auckland when I body-surfed down a carpeted flight of stairs in it (it seemed like a good idea at the time, and yes, I was high).

    In Auckland, it became my signature garment to such a degree that at my leaving party for London, Bird Nest Roys recruited Martin Phillipps to the stage and invited me up to sing 'I Love My Leather Jacket'. I was bloody rubbish at singing.

    I regarded it as indestructible, and never really did anything to look after it, so by the time I got back to Auckland it was getting a bit stiff and the lining was falling apart. Eventually, I think, I sold it it to Hunters & Collectors for restoration. I presume someone else is having adventures in it even now.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

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