Italian Vintage (Not Wine)!

After falling in love with a Comme des Garçons jacket at an outlet store then realizing the dollar equivalent was almost my entire shopping budget, I quickly made a strategic shopping decision: focus on accessories.

In Milan I purchased a few very interesting, unique pieces of jewelry, all of which I’ll wear often. But it’s my flea market finds that I’m most excited about. I was having lunch with Harlow and Sylvia in Pianello, a tiny dot on the map south of Milan, and, afterward, we perused the weekend flea market.

Harlow first spotted a vintage, chocolate brown, reptile skin purse with a gold, chain shoulder strap and substantial gold clasp. Probably 1950’s or 1960’s. It’s in excellent condition – no frayed edges or corners, the metal isn’t worn, the inside pocket’s zipper is intact and it’s very clean. I’ve been tucking the chain inside and wearing it as a clutch, a shape which is having a moment this fall/winter. Harlow negotiated on my behalf and got €10 knocked off the price. Definite score. By the way, this vendor, Gloria di Simoni also sells bespoke purses.

Then, at the other end of the market, my dear Harlow spied a ridiculously beautiful wrap.

This vendor claimed it’s cashmere, though it’s most likely a cashmere/wool blend. And, yes, that’s mink along the edges. It’s so Doris Day in every movie she made with Rock Hudson. The vendor told us she bought a Gucci bag from someone and found this wrap inside. “Maybe it’s even Gucci, too.” Nice try, but doubtful. In fact, I suspect it’s a very well handmade piece. It is the most gorgeous wrap in the history of gorgeous wraps. Fact. Harlow whispered that the stated price was probably fair, but she still felt certain there was room for negotiation. She and Sylvia launched into a double-team effort to reduce the price. When all was said and done, my “team” reduced the price by €20.

These incredible finds together would’ve cost €600-700 in a Milanese boutique. I paid a tiny fraction of that, which will only add to the enjoyment I get from wearing them.




About Felicia Biggins

I'm a fashion blogger and owner of The New Black, a personal styling business, in Austin TX. Follow me on Twitter: @fbigg.
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