Book Review – A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff

Sometimes I’ll pick up a book to read expecting one thing and get an entirely different story. Such was the case with A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff. The book jacket describes this story as centering around a woman, Phoebe, who opens a vintage clothing store. She likes to think about the woman that owned a garment before her, what her life might have been like. When she encounters an elderly French woman who wishes to sell some of her garments, Phoebe finds a new friend with a story of her own.

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What the jacket doesn’t say is that both women are trying to overcome a tragedy in their lives. There is a connection between the two women in that each blames herself for circumstances beyond her control. The revelation of these circumstances to each other helps each woman to come to terms with the past and give light to the future. This isn’t a sad story, it is a beautifully written journey with hope.

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The descriptions of the clothes will make a textile enthusiast drool with happiness. She describes 1950s prom dresses with bustier tops and frothy net petticoat skirts as cupcake dresses. There is lovely detail in the descriptions of Vivienne Westwood skirts, a Balenciaga dark blue silk evening gown, and a pleated evening gown by Madame Gres, along with other items. It makes the reader want to visit this store and feel the fabrics, admire the buttons and peruse the hats and jewelry.  I’d really enjoy to spending an afternoon there.

Maybe it is time for a shopping day!  I have found some wonderful bargains in the thrift and consignment stores here, like designer skirts and a sequined jacket (for $5!!), as well as wonderful vintage rhinestone jewelry. I also love hats, and still wear them often especially outside.  I have a Pinterest board of some of my finds – My Thrifty Bargains.  I just cleaned out my closet, so there is now room for something new-to-me.

Have you found a great bargain in a thrift or consignment store?


2 thoughts on “Book Review – A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff

  1. Julie Wooters

    What a treat to stumble upon your blog! We share many of the same hobbies and interests — I found you as I was delving into my latest love, quilting. Look forward to more creative inspiration!

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