Tales From the Trenches: The C. Madeleine’s Vintage Yard Sale Recap

The line.

On Sunday, I hauled myself and my friend Marcella out of bed at the crack of a weekend dawn to head over to the infamous C. Madeleine’s vintage yard sale. And, for the first time ever, I wasn’t the first person in line. I was more like fifth. But my stealth ninja moves didn’t let that slow me down.

The rules.

Also, for the first time ever: rules. This year, no more than eight items. But good luck to you if you were able to find eight items that weren’t stained, ripped or torn. In pervious years I scored beautiful dresses, necklaces, vests, jackets, belts and so on. This year, however, paled in comparison. That isn’t to say there weren’t finds, I did score a retro wrap-around skirt I fully intend to wear as a swimsuit coverup and a patent-leather clutch. But while sifting through the majority of this stuff, I found unwearable options. Case in point: An adorable black and green patterned jacket with a giant, unfixable rip in the sleeve. Or that cute pink boho skirt with a mysterious red stain in the front. Rips, tears, stains, entire rows of beads missing from gowns and jackets (marked at $35, nonetheless), the pickings were slim. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the kind of girl that relies on stores like C. Madeline’s to find my retro wares. I spend plenty of time at the racks at local thrift stores doing my own vintage scouting. I know how the system works. And most of the things I get need to be altered in some shape way or form. But not even the thrift stores would put wares this damaged out as inventory.

A hole the size of my hand.

Cute shirt … with giant yellow stains.

Love this Karl Lagerfeld jacket …

Not loving the cigarette burn on the front.

I wish I had better news to report on this sale. I’d really hoped I’d score a few choice pieces. Instead, I found myself sifting through racks and piles of damaged-beyond-repair retro. I’ll be hard pressed to haul myself or friends out of bed next year for stuff that turned out to be more trash than treasure. Too bad.