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the vint stint

Vintage stores are a-plenty here but I never end up buying anything. I'm not really into knitted tank tops or polyester prints. I walk out feeling a little... dirty?

As I trekked to the library I noticed one of 'Ryan's' vintage stores near by, which was a bit strange anyway as it was hidden in a precinct that's has about 5 cafes and 1 bank. I combed the whole stores and found absolutely nothing, and it's not exactly empty. Clothes 30 years old are never going to be pretty but the reality is that big hauls of bin bags from countries like Russia and Poland are stored for years in dank warehouses before making it onto shelves. A vintage store is a little haven of memories and original finds, but second hand stores that are now 'vintage' stores make a bundle and I'm starting to avoid the predictable ones.

Shoes and bags are fab but I have a million shoes and bags. It's the actual clothes I can't get my head around. £15 for a dress with stains, a grandma smell and scratchy material. £10 for shoes that need re healing, have strange coloured insoles and scuffs to the max.

I'm not exactly picky. When I get a vintage dress off ebay, if it doesn't have a musty smell I don't wash it, if charity shop bags are dusty I just brush them off a bit. My Nan thought I got frost bite on my baby toe from wearing previously owned shoes (when infact it was from wearing Primark flats in January when they are blatantly just made from cardboard!) Paying pittance is ok, but paying £££ for the stuff in a shop doesn't float my boat. It may be ethical to wear second hand clothes, but is it really safe? Some Sherlock investigating into Ryan's vintage showed everything that didn't make it into the normal vintage shops went to the £3 second hand store that I coveted when I came here. None of the few things I bought from there I have worn because I can't get the smells out! Half of the huge shop behind the clothes rails holds about 500 black bin bags ready for sorting. Did people die in these clothes? I don't really like to think about that!

I was lusting after these rare bright orange shoes and the two tone suede pair but the poor quality and run down insoles put me off because I knew they'd only get a few wears before they broke down, and I reminded myself that someone stomped round in these once upon a time. I'm vegetarian because I can't help connecting meat to a living animal, and now I think I've poisoned my mind to think back to the previous owner!

Shop quality doesn't really matter but the plastic bag above just sitting at the front of the store made me wonder how much they pay for a bag full of at least 20 items that would soon be hung up and marked at £10 a piece. Charity shop prices put me off vintage shops but you never know what they might have. Obviously everything can't be in perfect condition but my stretched budget questions the value of something that's travelled more oceans than I ever have. The vintage stores that I have been in where everything has been carefully selected and cleaned up show it's possible but you usually pay for the privilege. The attraction of no-muss-no-fuss stores is the ability to rummage and hunt but for the prices they can charge nowadays, is it a total rip off?

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