On the Road- Las Vegas 1

By the time we had reached West Yellowstone, the sun had set, temperatures plummeted and it started to snow heavily. We spent two hours white knuckled, through Yellowstone National Park and Targhee National Forest, crawling along in near whiteout conditions with only the tail-lights of a semi to guide us. We pulled in late at the first motel we could find, on the outskirts of Idaho Falls. The motel was the kind we strive to avoid, with crippling stains on the bed and towels. The mattress, pillows and carpet were steeped in decades of nicotine and the heater had given up on life. We spent the night in every piece of clothing we had packed, shivering, and woke up stiff, bloodshot and exhausted.

Snowcovered fields gave way to green and eventually to the stunning red rocks of Arizona. The cold of our previous night was replaced by baking heat and an equally broken air conditioner in our car. Windows down is fine in town, but at 85mph on the highway, the wind is almost as unbearable as the sweat.

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But, after 850 miles of solid driving, we made it. Our hotel doesn’t have free wi-fi (go downstairs, smoke! gamble! drink!) and the pool outside our window is in the process of being jackhammered out. So out into the city! While Alex is at a photography conference, seeing her photographic heroes- I venture out! To the shops!

On paper, there are some 75+ antique, vintage and thrift stores in town. Before leaving, I had plotted them all out with one of those route-planning algorithms developed based on the flight patterns of bees. But with no internet, no printer, and my PDF having converted all my addresses to GPS coordinates, so far I’ve had to wing it. Las Vegas’s antique stores are nearly all clustered in roughly four blocks of the old section of downtown. Left to my own devices, I go into picker mode. Vintage clothes? Vintage clothes? Vintage clothes? No- none here- on to the next store. 5 minutes and done, sticking out like a sore thumb. Dealer. Not from here.

There are a surprising number of vintage clothing boots here in Las Vegas, but dealing mostly in 1970s cheese. Polyester used car dealer jacket? Leisure suit? Three mile thick paisley necktie? You got it, buddy. The older clothes are thin on the ground, but either there’s no market, or they’re out of the dealer’s comfort zone, so I was able to pick up a couple of gems at otherwise outrageously priced places. Along the way, I ran into the star of the reality TV show, “Thrift Hunters”, and unsurprisingly in this strange vintage world we inhabit, we had friends in common. We’ll be meeting up for drinks at one of the local tiki bars- more on that later. Tomorrow should be my big thrift day, but after the couple I hit yesterday and the day before, I don’t have high hopes. They’re around in abundance, and are the enormous Goodwill-type shops, so no shortage of things to go through. But so far what I’ve been seeing is mostly very low-end suits from the 1990s, stained rental tuxes and novelty print neckties. It could be a numbers game- dig through a few thousand and maybe something will have fallen through the cracks.

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Stay tuned, more to come over the course of the next week as we finish up in Nevada and work our way through a few more states.

1920s embroidered dragon robe

http://www.ebay.com/itm/401086914241

This vintage robe is made from cream colored wool, with a blue satin collar, cuffs and pocket tops, cord trim and belt and embroidered dragons on the back and sleeves.  It has a monogrammed breast pocket and full striped lining.
 
Chest (pit to pit): 23″ (doubled – 46″)
Shoulder to shoulder: 20″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 24-1/4″
Length (base of collar to hem): 45-1/2″

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1920s Red Head Brand hunting vest

http://www.ebay.com/itm/272166096793

This vintage vest was made by Red Head Brand in the 1920s, using their early large label where the D of “Brand” is to the right of the duck’s head. This one has a high neck closure and closed bottomed shotgun shell pockets completely encircling the waist.
Chest (pit to pit): 21″ (doubled = 42″)
Length (base of collar to hem): 20″

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Ralph Lauren shawl collar jacket

http://www.ebay.com/itm/272166107419

This jacket was made by Ralph lauren, with a design inspired by point blanket mackinaws.  It has a shawl collar, flecked cotton material, with snaps which reference the early printed designs found on Filson fasteners and buttons based on early Duxbak designs. Really covering all the early outdoorsman influences
 
Chest (pit to pit): 22″ (doubled = 44″)
Shoulder to shoulder: 18″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 27″
Length (base of collar to hem): 27-1/2″

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Reproduction double breasted mackinaw

http://www.ebay.com/itm/401086909318

This mackinaw coat was made recently, with a design taken from work mackinaws of the 1930s, with a belted, pleated back, handwarmer pockets, a double breasted front and flapped cargo pockets.  It is made from lighter weight, softer material than the originals and is lined.
Chest (pit to pit): 23″ (doubled = 46″)
Shoulder to shoulder: 18″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 26-1/2″
Length (base of collar to hem): 32″

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Eddie Bauer half-belt jacket

http://www.ebay.com/itm/272166124639

This jacket was made recently by Eddie Bauer, drawing influence from 1930s work jackets (the overall cut, belt back, throat latch, unlined construction) and from Air Force Nomex flight jackets (the pocket design, style of zipper).   It makes for a very rugged, outdoorsy lightweight jacket with a great vintage feel to it.
Chest (pit to pit): 22-1/2″ (doubled = 45″)
Shoulder to shoulder: 19″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 25-3/4″
Length (base of collar to hem): 26″

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1950s Woolrich 503 hunting coat

http://www.ebay.com/itm/401086929621

This vintage hunting jacket was made by the Woolrich Woolen Mills in the mid-late 1940s.  It has their wartime style pre (R) label, with the Woolrich branded snaps and asymmetrical breast pockets, helping to narrow down the dating to around 1946-48.
 
Chest (pit to pit): 23″ (doubled = 46″)
Shoulder to shoulder: 18-1/2″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 24″
Length (base of collar to hem): 30″

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