I think I've mentioned multiples times that one of my favorite hobbies if thrifting. As I write this, I'm confronted with my computer's spell check alerting me that thrifting is not a real word. Upon, actually Googling the word, "thrift," I am informed that it's actually considered a noun. The exact definition reads: Thrift: the quality of using money and other resources carefully and not wastefully. Individuals like me who thrift, rather regularly, have redefined this word into an actual verb. Unfortunately, for my checking account I'm not a person concerned with the values of thrift. I'm a lady who thrifts for vintage treasures...like a lot, and I have to boast, I often find them.
The pictures above display what I consider one of my finest vintage finds to date. During one of my late night trolling sessions on my favorite website, "Etsy," I came across this vintage Girl Scouts vest from the 1970's. Not only was this near forty year old vest in pristine condition, but it had darn near every badge and pin ever awarded to a Girl Scout sewn to it! Now, I've previously mentioned that many years ago I myself was a Girl Scout. I remember paging through the Girl Scouts badge catalog and admiring the craftsmanship of each of these little pieces of art. I would daydream about all the cool activities I would do in order to someday collect every one of these beautiful little gems. "Sigh"...little did I realize how freaking hard it was to actually acquire these little buggers! Let me tell you, these badges are beautiful for a reason. The girl who actually earns them deserves a prize of this quality. Unfortunately for me, I was simply not that dedicated to the cause. It quickly became fairly obvious, that I was the girl who'd rather eat her cookies than sell them.
However upon seeing this vest listed on, "Etsy," I realized, "Holy crap! some girls actually possessed these badges!" Apparently, they weren't just these mythical illustrations featured in a catalog that one would circle in pen indicating that someday they intended to earn them. To my amazement, I realized some girls actually got off their butts and achieved these required activities. After I recovered from this heavy revelation, I realized with delight that, "Oh my God, I can now buy another girl's achievements!" So, I did what any fairly financially stable, soon to be 36 year old woman would do when confronted with an unfulfilled childhood dream. I bought it! I could not wait to feast my eyes on these little collectibles that I had long ago realized was way beyond my motivational capabilities. Lucky for me, they were well within the skill set of what I would define as one remarkable girl named Kathy.
Upon receiving this item in the mail Kathy's name was on a pin attached to the vest. As I mentioned earlier, I am an avid thrifter and collector of vintage apparel. Keeping this in mind I am extremely comfortable wearing previously owned clothing. However, in most cases I am not aware of the actual name of the person who owned these items before me. As I sat and admired all of the badges marking Kathy's unbelievable achievements during the 1970's, I found myself reflecting on what this girl's life must have been like. I felt certain she was the type of person I would have looked up to while I was in Girl Scouts. A part of me wished I could have known Kathy at this time in my life. I couldn't help but think that maybe a girl who possessed so much drive and will power could have taught an admitted slacker like me more than a thing or two. The one thing I was certain of was that this amazing individual named Kathy must not be living anymore because anyone who put that much work into earning each and every one of those badges would never give them up. Some accomplishments are worth being proud of for life.
With this realization, I felt a major responsibility to honor the childhood achievements of Kathy. I decided I would keep the vest fully intact and simply sew it to a green button down shirt in order to transform it into more of a wearable jacket. In an attempt to keep this item's integrity, I did not remove any of the original items on Kathy's vest, except for her name pin, which I dutifully attached to the inside of the shirt. I just didn't feel right walking around with her name displayed on my chest because Kathy, I could never be. What I can be is proud to show off such an obviously exceptional little lady's achievements.
(Kathy's vintage Girl Scout vest upcycled by me with a thrifted shirt)
Shoes: Minnetonka Moccasins
Purse: Lucky Brand
Bracelets: Ettika http://www.ettika.com
Ring: Handmade spoon ring
*Thank you Kathy, wherever you are. Please trust that your vest is in good hands.
*All photographs taken by Clark.