Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Gift of Thrift: Hooch for the Holidays

My friend Aimée Morris may seem all sweet and innocent on the outside, but snap open the hooch bag I gave her for the holidays and that image may be dashed straight away!

I found this marvelous bag at a thrift store that was going out of business -- its price knocked down to a couple of dollars. I was attracted to its caramel coloring, its matching suede insets and the intricate metal work around its clasped opening. This thrift-store treasure could have lived comfortably among a collection of fancy Miu Miu bags, but instead it hung unceremoniously on a pole among beach totes and plastic purses.

Just like Aimée – demure with delicate features – the bag is the perfect foil for a tempting pile of contraband: miniature bottles of booze, sinful chocolate half dollars and rolls of mints emblazoned with fake $500 bills. But for Aimée’s true sweet side, I added a package of Boscia California Orange blotting linens, a container of Ole Henriksen black currant complexion oil and a tube of DKNY Be Delicious lip balm.

So watch out boys! Aimée’s ready to whoop it up in the New Year with a minibar to-go, a bag of chocolate delights and a beauty touch-up kit all wrapped up in one hooch bag!

Here’s to tons of hoochie-coochie in 2009!

In May 2009, Clarkson Potter will publish my book, The Find: The Housing Works Book of Decorating with Thrift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects, and Vintage Details. Pre-order now on www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com.


Unknown said...

Lovely bag. I have a beautiful vintage piece, Nieman Marcus, early sixties, but the leather handles are weakening, so a rarely use it. Where would I go in the Bay Area, to have it repaired? Any ideas? I just moved here, so ideas for great shopping, thrift or otherwise, would also be appreciated.


The Elegant Thrifter said...


I would love to see a picture of your bag. Usually the best shoe repair shops also repair handbags and luggage. Here's my tip: call up that fabulous Neiman Marcus store on Stockton Street (415) 362-3900, and ask to be connected to the shoe department. Just tell them that you have a vintage Neiman Marcus handbag that you'd like to have repaired, and ask if they have a recommendation on where to take it. All the fashionistas in New York know that Gucci, Prada, Saks and Bergdorf all use Shoe Service Plus on 55th Street, so that's where they take their bags and shoes to be spruced up.

As for thrifting in your area, I am not so familiar except to say that my favorite flea market near you is the Alameda Point Antiques and Collectibles Faire. Check the times at www.antiquesbythebay.com.

Let me know what happens!

Stan Williams -- The Elegant Thrifter