Sunday, October 18, 2009

Anything You Want, You Got It (For $5)

This is an article I wrote for my town paper about a local thrift/vintage fusion warehouse, Udelco.

Anything You Want, You Got It (For $5)

One may think that vintage shops basically give away their merchandise for free, which seems very credible to me because, keeping it real, they sell clothes that are old and used. During the summer on one of those boring ‘what should I do now’ days, I got an acute craving for vintage clothes, so my mom and I hopped the train heading for NYC. Vintage shop after vintage shop, I saw countless groovy 60’s rompers, slick 70’s leather pants, and outrageous 80’s studded combat boots, all adorable and different in their own way, but the entirety shared one detail, they were extremely expensive! Even the old Kmart and Walmart brands were pushing $100! Vintage shop owners may think old clothes equal expensive clothes, but outfits are not the same as wine and cheese. In the apparel business, merchandise certainly does not grow in value with time.

I cannot bring myself to overpay for an item worth far less than the cost, but underpaying, I can do. With my love of clothes, appetite for surprisingly expensive vintage apparel, and extremely guilty pleasure for designer goods, my frugality tends to make my wardrobe, and my wallet, a little restricted. But then again, this characteristic of mine also pushes me to be crafty and cunning when shopping, and of course keeps my babysitting money in the piggy bank. After realizing the high cost of vintage clothes, I decided not to give up and instead find other ways of quenching my ongoing thirst for period apparel. As much as I’d like to say I did, I never encountered a cheap vintage shop, but lucky for me, my sister found Udelco!

Udelco, located in Hawthorne, is a vintage/thrift fusion warehouse brimmed with boxes of 60’s, 70’s and 80’s merchandise ranging from $3 to $20. Although the very amiable owner, Charles, says this to be true, nothing has gone over ten dollars in my experiences. Like I said, underpaying is a capability of mine and is, might I add, quite enjoyable, but Udelco gives the lowest prices of retail a run for their money. It takes quite a lengthy amount of time to rifle through the plentiful containers, but with the willpower you can come up with extraordinary finds. While pillaging through, I found an Armani knee length pea coat, and keeping with the situation, was under twenty dollars! Getting a designer coat for less than twenty bucks is beyond the imagination! Some of my favorite gems in Udelco are the pieces that are relevant today like faux fur jackets, distressed Levi's, leather boots, peasant dresses, high heels, over jackets, and sequin dresses.

Ever since my first visit to Udelco I have found myself looking at merchandise at the mall thinking "I can get something like this at Udelco for five bucks". One day I went to Kmart and Udelco and spent thirty-five dollars at each store. At Kmart I got two pairs of flats, and at Udelco I purchased a leather jacket, a corduroy blazer, a tweed jacket, a beaded sweater and a faux fur coat. Knowing how little I actually need to forfeit for the fashions I want, I feel odd spending more than I have to. For the sake of being dramatic I must say the world seems that much easier to conquer now that I have a whole warehouse of vintage clothes in which I can shop till my heart's content.

1 comment:

Pearl Westwood said...

Great article! This is so true, I actually stopped vintage shopping as everything was so overpriced. The reason vintage became cool was that you could find unique outfits for very little money, but now that is being exploited. As you say they are only old, used clothes! There is only one vintage shop I go in now, called Cow, but even though they are fairly cheap, everything always needs washing or dry cleaning which bumps up the cost. I just bought a beauiful suede skirt for £5 but it will have to be dry cleaned so was more like £15! So well done to Udelco!!!