I picked up this vintage coat a few years ago at a local consignment shop and it's become one of my all time favorites. The textured wool, velvet details, funky polka dot pattern, and simple black and white palette make it a go-to winter after winter.
After wearing it for a couple of years, my coat needed some love. My boyfriend's mom recently saved it for me by sewing the hem and replacing some of the black satin lining. In doing so, she realized that its origins are pretty special. It came from The Blum Store, which was a Philadelphia-based department store open from 1920-1975. It was apparently on par with Lord & Taylor, they called it "the working girl's Neiman Marcus."
It's sad that so many regional department stores have died off over the last 30 years. Stores like Blum, Donecker's, and Joske's survived for decades and have closed, one by one, over the last 30 years. I love that as part of my job, I work not only with national chains like Nordstrom and Amazon.com, but also a lot of independent stores with just a few locations in their region. I think independent stores are important. The buying is unique, the merchandise can be specialized, and the experience is personal.
Do you shop with local stores in your area? Would you be sad to see them go?