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I am a lover of all things thrift shopping.  Some of the thrift shops I patronize are in less than savory areas even scary places.  I saw an ad on Craig’s List for a thrift shop that I had no idea existed, but it was closing and they were liquidating!  Did you hear me LIQUIDATING!!!!! 

I ventured over to it.  It was off one of the scariest areas in Richmond, but I thought I would do a ride by and if it looked too bad I would keep going.  It was not too bad so I stopped and went in. 

It was packed with loveliness and the owner told me how it started that they had another business there and closed it and since they were paying the lease anyway decided to bring some of the stuff she wanted to get rid of.  She had a lot of great stuff in there.  (If you are in Richmond send me an e-mail and I will tell you where it is.  She indicated that next weekend is her last in business there.)

As I was poking around the place I saw a hat box closed and tied shut on the top of a shelf.  I am tall and had to tip toe to reach it.  I could see it was from a great store in Richmond, La Vouge and it was too heavy for just the hat box.  I opened it up and saw the top of this exquisite hat looking back at me.  My time shopping the thrifts has told me to always check for the tags.  It is worth more with the tags and often others take them out of the garments and hats. 

But when I looked for the tag, look what was looking back at me…

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Yes, it is THE Christian Dior.  Of France, of couture, of way too expensive for me to even think about.  Way. Too. Expensive.  I quietly put it back in the box and tried to contain my excitement as I carried it to the front to pay for it and RUN!  The owner said “Oh, you are buying the hat box.”  I not wanting to be too bad said “No, there is a hat in there, too.”  She opened the box as my mind willed her to not pick it up or turn it over.  She then replied “Oh that is an old hat!  There is no price marked on it.  I know nothing about hats at all.”  I replied, “me either.” 

I bought 3 other very small things and she said, “Just give me $10 for all of it!”  I about jumped out of my skin with delight, but played it cool while I was in there.  I gave her my $10 and hit the door before she changed her mind.  I then skipped singing to my car!

When I got home I took it out to check it out more carefully.  Inside the hat box I found a receipt from 1950 with the name of the woman who purchased it and her address also.  What did a Christian Dior hat cost in 1950 brand new you ask?  $22.50!  She charged the hat to her La Vogue account.  Today vintage Dior goes for a mint! 

The hat is in brand new condition and was well cared for.  It was stuffed with tissue to keep its shape.  It doesn’t look like it has even been worn.  It is black velvet with a satin brim.  It also has a velvet ribbon tied in a bow for a bit of an accent.  It is exquisite. 

Yes, there are diamonds at the thrift stores.  Sometimes you have to go to scary places and dig for them!