Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Year in Vintage

I know its been a LONG time since Ive last blogged.  Shame on me :(

But Im back, and one of my many new year resolutions is to to blog away like crazy in 2012.  Photos, interviews and even videos!  So stay tuned!

Today I thought about the last year and all of the amazing pieces of vintage I have had the honor of coming into - and offering to you lovely people.  Well - without further adieu - my top TEN most favorite vintage pieces from 2011.

Number 10
1940s Moss Green Wool Green 2pc Skirt Set - it was in pristine condition when I found it, which is rare of a piece of this age - and wool.  This lovely outfit went to Finland!

Number 9
Probably the hottest pair of jeans I have ever seen.  SO hot, that the model's boyfriend ended up buying them for her.

Number 8
This is by far one of the most amazing coats - 60s bright coral red suede - totally Sgt. Pepper! - This went home with one of my most favorite customers!

Number 7
Talk about sexy!  This 40s draped rayon piece is beyond words! 

Number 6
Such a sweet wedding dress - crepe chiffon from the 30s.  Who needs poof and beading when you have this classy piece?

Number 5
Probably one of the most lovely things I have ever come into - and thats because I have a photo of the original bride wearing it.  Pristine in every way - this gorgeous thing went to CA for a young lady to wear for her wedding.

Number 4
At first glance, I thought I was purchasing a peignoir set from the 30s - but as I put it on the dress form, I realized that it wasnt meant to sleep in - but meant to STOP SHOWS!  This showstopper not only had a very unique color, but look at those sleeves!

Number 3
When I come into amazing pieces, I nearly die.  And this piece is a prime example of just that.  It came to me in two pieces (bodice separated from the skirt) but I had it expertly brought back together.  It was found in a trunk of a vacation home, nestled away on the coast of main.  And its still available - you can see more of it here.

Number 2
A lot of cocktail dresses look the same - even vintage.  But this one is not like the rest, and its the reason I love it so much.  Another unique beauty thats still available - you can see more of it here.

Number 1
Of course, I would pick this one, right?  Who wouldnt?! - 1930s Rayon Satin.  Um hello?! - The coat is not only dramatic with the leg-o-mutton sleeves, but the train - a whopping TWELVE feet from the shoulder! And the dress alone, is just as jaw-dropping.  If this dress doesnt make you feel like the most glamorous girl in the world, I dont know what will!  And yes, its still available, at a fraction of the price that most modern dresses go fore these days! - More here...

Happy New Year! 
Here's to another year filled with vintage goodness!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Concetta's Closet is Looking for Models!

With some recent events (models moving, starting college, etc) - I have been put in the position of needing to hire on a few new models.

While I know that modeling for little old me isnt anything glamorous or anything - its fun!
Plus, there are so many perks (to be discussed later)

Here is what I need from you:
  • be polished, stylish and put together
  • be a size 4 or smaller (this has nothing to do with being a size-ish, but more so because its easier to pin larger clothes to a smaller model - rather than hiring several models for every size of clothing)
  • be a seacoast NH area resident
  • be available one day a week - during daytime hours - for at least 2hr
  • be dependable, reliable and serious (this is a paid freelance position - you will also have access to all photos if requested as well as a shop discount)
  • love vintage, love style, love vintage style!
  • Please send me a message via facebook with the following information
- Name
- Age
- Location
- Height/Measurements (Bust/Waist/Hips)
- Prior Modeling Experience (none is necessary, but if you have some, lemme know!)
- Anything else youd like to add :)

There are THREE model slots open - I need to fill all three in the next week or two.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Off the Vintage Subject - Muffins!

Its a crappy rainy (VERY rainy) day here in New Hampshire, so the domestic goddess in me decided to bake and cook.  I cant help it, its in my blood. 

With the abundance of wild blackberry bushes in my backyard, I was trying to think of something neat to do with them, besides put them in cereal and oatmeal.  I came across this recipe on the Two Peas and Their Pod Blog. (be sure to check it out, so many amazing recipes!) - It seemed pretty easy - but when I bake from scratch, it often turns out bland and boring.  But I gave it a shot.  Here are the ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
Zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup ricotta cheese (whole or low-fat is fine)
1 large egg
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh blackberries
Turbinado sugar-for sprinkling on muffin tops

(NOTE! - make sure to leave some batter after you fill the cups - to cover the berries.  I forgot and had to improvise by pushing them down into the cups)

 I think my vintage ice cream scoop was too big, because I was only able to get 10 muffins out of the batch..

They POOF pretty big!

All done!  Golden brown and very light and airy!

Of course, I had to taste them - they are AMAZING!  The lemon really adds the perfect taste - and the ricotta makes them so light!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Vintage vs. Thrift

The question has been asked 100 times in my shop.  People ask me all the time.  I guess its because lately, the real definition of vintage has been clouded by this new term that has come onto the scene, "Thrifting".  I think that as of the last few years, the two terms have been confused with each other and have blurred the lines that define them both.  So, below I will express MY opinion of them both.  By no means is this pointing fingers at anyone who thinks any differently, it is just how I define the two.

THRIFT Stores:
(Haltom Thrift in Dallas-Fort Worth)
 Thrift stores are often massive, with endless racks and include an enormous variety of items.  Its often overwhelming!  Everything from clothing & accessories to housewares and electronics.  The clothes are often donated by local people, which also means they are not cleaned, mended and are sold "as is".  Thrift stores are a good place to find name brand modern clothing (meaning current) at a fraction of the price you would pay in the designer/department stores.  Is there vintage here?  Sometimes.  But, I will touch on that below.  

(Vintage Collections in NYC)

Vintage Clothing Stores are usually small, sometimes a bit cramped, and most of the time packed full.  But sometimes, you find one thats small, but carefully curated with hand selected vintage items.  They often carry clothes from every era, in several sizes.  The clothing you will find here is most likely washed and/or dry cleaned, mended and unique in that you will have a hard time finding another piece like it, anywhere!  The clothing is often received from auction, estate sales, private sales or sometimes (but rarely) by thrifting.  (see below on vintage clothing found out thrift stores!)

(shes tired of searching for vintage)

Now, for the part you've been waiting for.  Can you find these amazing vintage pieces at thrift stores?  YES!  YOU CAN!  But...... its not going to be in abundance.  Nor is it going to be at every thrift store, in every town, in every state.  Finding vintage at thrift stores is like panning for gold in Nevada.  Youll look and look and look...maybe thats vintage!?! - Nope, just a Forever 21 knockoff.  Get the idea?  In my younger years, yes - vintage could be found at your local Goodwill and Salvation Army in abundance.  It was easy to spot out and it was super cheap.  But with the recent trends in vintage, places like Goodwill and SA have already gotten wind of the trend - and have hired "spotters" that pull vintage before it hits the racks, in the back when sorting through the clothes and sell it on websites like "" or send it off to bigger cities to get more money for the pieces.  Now, not EVERY Goodwill or SA has spotters, and sometimes a few vintage pieces slip through the cracks, but its rare.  (This IS true, people.  I have my sources ;)

And now, the line blurring.  Recently, a lot of vintage "experts" have been telling the public that vintage can be found in your local thrift store, for practically pennies!  This saddens me as a vintage dealer because it cheapens what I do.  It makes people in my profession out to be garbage pickers who get cheap stuff and sell it to you, the consumer, for pennies on the dollar.  I stress to you - THIS IS NOT TRUE (at least in my case).  Now, you probably ask, "Well, even if you got it for free, why am I paying you so much money for it?!" - As vintage dealers, we seek out the stuff that you are searching for, clean it, mend it and bring it to a platform.  That platform is either an e-Commerce website (like Etsy or Ebay) OR to a Brick & Mortar shop.  In each platform, we have expenses and overhead.  So this is the premium you pay.  Vintage dealers save you the time, gas, mileage and perhaps that endless search for that one-of-a-kind item that you have been looking for!
And what do you get out of thrifting?  Perhaps some designer jeans for $10.  A cool wool sweater for $7.  And the list goes on.  If you were to search for vintage to sell, ONLY at thrift shops, you would spend your entire career doing just that - searching.  

I hope this clears up any confusion that there may be out there - and also, sets the record straight.  :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


These days, I feel we live in a disposable world.  We buy cheap stuff and throw it out when we are done - only to land in a landfill or pollute the Earth.  Many years ago, people bought good stuff, and kept it because it was good stuff.  Even if they couldnt afford the real good stuff, they still bought quality things because they appreciated them.  In the recent years, I have manged to buy quite a few quality things for myself.  Whether it be a dress, a coat, good jewelry and even good quality makeup. 

Ive also manged to do something to further the buying/selling of vintage clothing.  I call it, FUTURE VINTAGE! (well, I didnt actually name it that, my friend Alison did - but its something Ive been doing - so I thank her for putting a title on it!).  I take between 5-8 pieces a year from my wardrobe of modern clothing, and neatly pack it away into a box or in a garment bag to save for the future.  Not MY future, but the future of vintage clothing wearers.  What do I put into these boxes/bags you ask?  Lets see, from what I can recall, there is currently a blue chiffon party dress (I wore to a wedding), a gold brocade sheath dress (I wore to my bridal shower), a coral beaded 30s inspired formal dress (another wedding), my OWN wedding dress (LaSposa - Miradir!), a great pair of black low-slung cargo pants that looked KILLER on me in 2002 (H&M) and a bunch of other things.  

So what should you put away for your FUTURE VINTAGE stash?  Trendy items:  Items that defined the era, that were popular and that will be remembered.  Luxury Items:  Perhaps youve outgrown it but dont want to donate it because its expensive.  And anything else you think will be a HIT in the future.  But dont get your hopes up, this stash will not making a comeback anytime soon.  We apparently coin vintage as anything being over 20 years old - but that doesnt mean it will be popular!  God knows I am cringing seeing all that 90s vintage on Etsy!  Happy Future Vintage Stashing!

Here are a few pieces that are currently in my future vintage stash!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Well, this is it people.  The contest we have been tweaking for weeks.  I have been working with some of the most creative and talented people in New Hampshire to create this amazing, chance of a lifetime contest.  The prizes are valued at over $800 and include:  a FULL vintage outfit from Concetta's Closet, a 1hr photo session with Matthew Lomanno Photography (and you get a full CD of all of the photos!) and of course, you gotta have your hair and make-up to match your new vintage threads - you'll be gussied up to perfection by Erica Hellier of Hell's Belles Makeup Artistry.  This is a chance for ladies to be transformed into the era of their choice with all of the fixin's.  This.. is going to be FUN! 
You can enter the contest until June 12th - after that - the winner will be selected and announced!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Thank You, Katharine Hepburn

This past Thursday (the 12th of May) was Katharine Hepburn’s birthday.  Hepburn is one of the most iconic figures of the golden age of Hollywood.  I love her.  My brain always stops dead in its tracks when I see that one of her movies is on Turner Classic Movies.  All of my plans for my day get immediately written off, because I'm committed to watching every Katharine Hepburn movie available.  If she's with Cary Grant, forget it.  I'm done for the week.  

Apart from being a beyond amazing actress and a style icon, Kate was a powerhouse for Women’s Liberation.  Why are we ladies able to wear our comfy jeans, our stylish pantsuits, or (if it rocks your boat) funky bell bottoms?  Katharine Hepburn.  She broke down the barriers for women.  There were moments when Hepburn would notoriously walk around the set in her underwear because, the costume department would steal her slacks.  Hepburn refused to put anything else on.  As a child, Hepburn’s mother would have her daughter holding women’s suffrage balloons.  

It’s easy to see how Hepburn became the powerhouse that she did.  Hepburn had a take no crap from no one attitude, and never led someone to believe she liked them when she did not.  Everyone says that Bette Davis and Joan Crawford were the ladies in charge on set, but just look at these quotes, my vote's with Katharine… one word, FIERCE.   

I never realized until lately that women were supposed to be inferior.”

Life is full of censorship. I can't spit in your eye.” 

I find a woman's point of view much grander and finer than a man's.”

“Enemies are so stimulating. 

“If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun”

If you want to give up the admiration of thousands of men for the disdain of one, go ahead, get married.

Life is to be lived. If you have to support yourself, you had bloody well better find some way that is going to be interesting. And you don't do that by sitting around.

“Why slap them on the wrist with feather when you can belt them over the head with a sledgehammer.

Like, HELLO?  I admire women like Katharine Hepburn.  She was so ahead of her times.  She made all these great comments that raised women’s awareness of the oppression they faced from men and their society.   Women were not supposed to have such strong opinions, but Kate did.  Katharine Hepburn was one of the first great figures for the future Women’s Liberation movement in the 60s and 70s.  Not to mention, she always looked totally awesome. 

So thank you, Katharine Hepburn.  

The Intern
                (Who’s coincidentally named after a Katharine Hepburn character from a movie… so I’ve got connections, be jealous)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

TV Elegance: The Clothes That Inspired Mad Men

Everyone is talking about how AMC’s Mad Men is inspiring a modern revival of the stunning clothes Jackie O wore in the 1960’s.  Clothing websites like Mod Cloth are featuring look-a-like dresses, but what about the real stuff?  Reproductions are okay, but what about finding the clothes that real women wore back in the 60s.  You know what I mean, the gorgeous clothes that inspired the costume designers for Mad Men.  It isn't  impossible to find authentic pieces, and it's definitely easier than you think!   

Check out these two gorgeous dresses from Mad Men.  Then check out Concetta's Closet suit underneath!  This totally cute, three piece suit is in excellent condition and provides all the hip hugging glory a woman could want.  What I love most is the adorable ascot tie at the neck.  

Want more?  Of course you do!  Once again, Mad Men does 1960s fashion proud with two dresses that emphasize a lady's curves to perfection, the characteristic that I love most!  But, what do I love more?  Having real vintage to prove that these styles were what women actually wore.  Concetta's Closet's hot pink number below is the perfect example of a real dress, that a real woman wore.  It has similar draping that you see in the green dress but the lovely color of the pink dress- always an excellent combination!  

Simple elegance at its finest, and authentic vintage at its purest!  What more could a girl ask for?  Authentic fashion of the 60s is always a classic addition to any wardrobe.  And don't get me wrong, its perfectly fine to order some reproduction vintage inspired clothes, but think about this..these vintage clothes have already lasted for over half a century and they still remain in excellent condition, and they will continue to remain so.  So I thank Mad Men for introducing the world to beautiful 1960s fashion, but lets take the next step and buy ourselves authentic vintage, cause it's that easy and that beautiful!   

The Intern

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

HUGE Contest Coming to Concetta's Closet

I wont let the cat out of the bag yet - but Ill give you all a few little (visual) hints! - Contest will be announced in the next 7-10 days!

Clue #1
Clue #2

Clue #3

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Meet Kaley!

In case you havent already noticed, we have been using a lovely girl as our model lately.  Kaley.  We love Kaley because her look is adorable and sweet.  She is able to hop right into any era of clothing and fits right in perfectly with each look.  She is a natural in front of the camera too!  (as well as behind!).  Kaley is not only a fantastic model, but a great friend.  We have a ball every Wednesday at our photo shoots.  Kaley hails from Dover, New Hampshire.  And has been made a bit of a local celebrity as of recently because of her creative and adorable headbands she sells on Etsy, Honeypie Headbands.  Most notably, Kaley has been making headbands to benefit the Red Cross Japan Tsunami Relief - and 100% of the proceeds donated!  She has been quite successful with this and has donated over $200 to date.  What a gal!

Kaley has also recently been vlogging and making the most adorable videos.  If you want to giggle and melt over her total cuteness, check out her YouTube Channel - KaleyAlphabet
Here is a taste (no pun intended) of her latest video!

So check out her Etsy shop, watch her videos, like her page on Facebook and take in all of the adorable cuteness!  We LOVE Kaley!

Here are some more of my favorite KALEY shots!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Magic Potions!

So as we all know, vintage clothing doesnt always fall into our hands in perfect condition.  Many times, clothing smells, has stains, is dusty or needs seamstress work.  About 25% of the pieces I sell, come into my shop  needing some sort of work.  Sometimes they are sold "As-Is" and sometimes I am able to work some magic - well, I cant take all of the credit - I have a great seamstress, Erin Abraham who works so many of the pieces into perfection.  I also give credit to a few of my "Magic Potions" I have made up throughout my vintage collecting/selling.  So now, I will share them with you.  Here are the staple ingredients:


Fels Naptha Soap

Cotton Swabs

Bleach (chlorine free)

Now - youre probably wondering - Bleach?!  Yep.  It works, in very small doses though.  Much of the clothing I get is cotton - and can tolerate a bit of bleach - it helps greatly to get dingy colors to POP!

So here is what I do:
I make a paste out of the Borax, with warm water.  The consistency should be similar to toothpaste - but obviously not as smooth because of the crystals in the powder.  This can be applied directly to stains.  But most often, I just add the powder to my wash tub.  It gives whatever detergent Im using a huge BOOST.  Most often, I use the Fels Naptha soap to treat spots.  Whats great about the soap, is that you can melt it down into a gel of sorts, and use it that way, instead of using that huge bar.  To melt it, just have it sit in a tupperware with warm water in it for a few days.  It will slowly disintegrate into a blob and will not look very attractive.  I have a cup of it in the shop, and a friend of mine asked me if I threw up in the cop - HA!
Here is what it looks like melted down:

Now, all you have to do is dip a cotton swab into the gel, and spot treat.  Just make sure to wet the fabric first.  I put a clean washcloth (white) under the stain, wet it with a cotton swab, then clean with the swab that has the gel on it.  Be careful though, lighter colors are prone to water marks because the rest of the garment may have some dirt in it - and when you wet it, a ring of dirt MAY appear.  This would then require you to either hand wash or dry clean the entire garment.  Water spots/rings are hard to make go away - but to be honest, if they appear, it means the garment would need to be cleaned entirely anyway. 

Today, I had a white cotton 1950s shirtwaist dress that I brought home from the shop.  It was stained very badly along the skirt, with a dark yellow stain - about the size of the palm of my hand.  I first tried hand washing it in a tub with warm water, Borax and spot treating with Fels Naptha gel.  It got lighter, but not to my liking.  So then I rinsed the tub out of all the yucky water and refilled it with warm water, Borax, Woolite and a few tablespoons of bleach.  I let it sit for about a half an hour - but thats it.  Dont let vintage clothing sit TOO long in anything with bleach it it - as the bleach is a harsh chemical that loves to disintegrate delicate threads.  After it sat, I rinsed it several times to make sure that all of the soap was out.  Rinsing is key, as residues often stick to the clothing.  And much to my surprise - the stain is GONE!  Here is a photo of the dress drying - photos of it in it's entirety will come later this week.

But Im very excited as the dress is adorable and I couldnt just let it go to waste.  I was hoping I wouldnt have to dye it either!
Im actually very proud of my stain removals, Ive gotten a few wedding dresses PERFECT, as well as many, many other pieces that would have been thrown in the trash but I was able to give them my "vintage CPR" with my "Magic Potions"

Feel free to ask me any questions - as there are so many details in regards to fabrics, older pieces, etc - that all cannot be discussed at once!
Happy Washing!