Why Shopping Vintage & Thrift Makes Us Happy People

by Sammy in 2 Comments — Updated November 13, 2023

jessi arrington rainbow outfit montage

Hello and happy RAINBOW MONDAY, everyone!

Normally Monday posts are devoted to Modern Vintage Style, where I show you how to incorporate vintage into your wardrobe in a totally modern, wearable way.

But today’s vintage style post is thanks to a different sort of inspiration: That of rainbow evangelist and recent TED speaker on all-things-sustainable-style Jessi Arrington.

A few weeks ago, an eerie thing happened to my Facebook and email inbox: I was continuously getting linked to a speech given by Jessi at an annual conference you may recognize, TED.

The first link came from this very web site’s designer. And then, from a vintage lover on the Sammy Davis Vintage fan page. Next, a vintage seller on Etsy — Miss Cindy of The Vintage Hat Shop — tipped me to the video link.

I admittedly star many of my emails to “review later,” but after so many “nudges” to hear in on what Jessi had to say about fashion at the TED conference, I couldn’t help but click that link and just press PLAY.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but what I heard was both refreshing, rejuvenating and all-around motivating. Jessi spoke to why she dresses in predominantly second-hand style, so that she can  …

…  positively push her creative boundaries while also helping the planet while living the happiness that is being 100 percent authentically herself.

The most inspiring point I drew from her speech? Her color infatuation isn’t just to express herself to the world, but to express herself to herself and to be exactly who she is with 100 percent love and confidence in all who that person is and will become.

After watching Jessi’s speech, I was moved — with confidence! — to send Jessi an email introducing myself and my platform for vintage fashion. Let’s just say I was little taken aback when … SHE RESPONDED!!!!

And her response to my very message? AMEN STYLE SISTER!

Keep reading after the jump to hear Jessi’s inspiring 5-minute presentation on how she thrift shopped her entire week’s worth of clothing for the TED conference, and for a glimpse into the colorful beauty and fun of an evening spent vintage shopping with Jessi in her NYC hood of Brooklyn, NYC.


jessi arrington and sammy davis at guvnor's thrift and vintage
I believe that the creative act of wearing vintage & thrift enables us to grow as creatively capable human beings. The confidence we carry thanks to the limits we successfully push and grow from thanks to our dressing and shopping habits results in positive ripple effects in all other areas of our life.

I promise you this, vintage lovers: If it weren’t for my own love of all things-color and all-things-vintage-and-thrift growing up, I would never have attended school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which means I never would have been inspired to pursue a degree in magazine journalism in order to become a fashion editor of a magazine. That dream would never have taken me to NYC, where I landed my first job working for a magazine web site.

Without realizing I wanted to spread MORE vintage love, I would never have left my corporate job in media to do whatever it took to make Sammy Davis Vintage grow and have the opportunity to meet such amazing, inspiring, beautiful individuals like Jessi Arrington and of course, all of you reading this blog post right this very instant.

I can’t wait for you all to hear Jessi’s TED presentation — I promise you’ll be moved / motivated / confidently captivated to dress in the color that is the 100 percent true character of YOU.

I encourage you all to check out Jessi’s blog for her rainbow-licious updates, and of course, to keep on spreading that vintage fashion [and color!] love!

xx, SD




“It makes shopping my own personal treasure hunt.”

“Color is powerful. It is almost phsyicology impossible to be in a bad mood when wearing bright red pants.”

“Fitting in is way overrated. Just be who you are.”

“Embrace your inner child.”

“Confidence is key. If you think you look good in something, you almost certainly do.”

“If you believe that you are a beautiful person inside & out, there is no look you can’t pull off.”

And my personal favorite:

**Bold sequins go with everything.**


jessi arrington rainbow parade brooklyn

Just to prove to you all how rainbow-revved-up Jessi really is, the photo above illustrates [literally!] how she celebrated her birthday with … what else? A RAINBOW PARADE!

Photography by Jason Hawkins



guvnor's thrift and vintage store brooklyn
guvnor's thrift and vintage store card brooklyn
'70s maxi dress sammy davis vintage guvnor's thrift and vintage brooklyn
guvnor's vintage and thrift store brooklyn
antique cash register guvnor's vintage and thrift
mens vintage cowboy boots guvnor vintage and thrift

1 – 2 / Guvnor’s Vintage & Thrift, 178 Fifth Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn

3 / ’70s maxi dress from Guvnor’s … yellow & green BRIGHTS!

4 / All the shopping potential at Guvnor’s!

5 / Antique cash register [no, they didn’t use this!]

6 / The most insanely stocked collection of vintage men’s cowboy boots I’ve ever seen… salivating!



odd twin vintage boutique brooklyn
odd twin vintage boutique brooklyn

jessi arrington odd twin vintage
odd twin vintage brooklyn
odd twin vintage brooklyn
telephone cord'60s purse odd twin vintage

1 -2 / Odd Twin Vintage, 164 Fifth Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn

3 / Jessi getting her color [and SEQUINS!] on at Odd Twin

4 – 5 / I was quite impressed by the aesthetic, ambiance and merchandising of Odd Twin. With pieces from the ’20s through ’80s, it’s surprising that the store feels so modern. Beautifully edited and curated thanks to the tastes of owner Francesca Neville, who previously worked as a [get this!]: children’s rock & roll apparel designer before launching Odd Twin in 2009.

6 / Yes, those are telephone cords. Yes, they are designed into a purse. From the ’60s. For $175. Calling rainbow brights, anyone?



hooti couture vintage brooklyn
jessi arrington hooti couture vintage brooklyn
sammy davis vintage turban

1 / Hooti Couture, 321 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn. Owner Allison Houtte co-wrote vintage passion memoir Alligators, Old Mink & Money with her sister Melissa. It’s now on my list to read!

2 / Jessi shining her light on a purple-fuchsia blend of cascading color. She ended up buying this dress, it looked divine on her!

3 / My pick from Hooti? This bonafide ’40s turban. Now I can wear a REAL turban instead of wrapping a scarf into one DIY-style!



rainbow brite cartoon character 80s

Thanks to Jessi’s influences, I’m leaning toward channeling my inner Rainbow Brite!

Hey, I was an ’80s baby .. and YES! I can have my rainbows and EAT MY CAKE TOO!

rainbow cake

2 thoughts on “Why Shopping Vintage & Thrift Makes Us Happy People”

  1. Such an inpsiring post! I agree that color does make one happy. I also find thrift shopping and vintage hunting to be stress relieving activities, especially when it results in a cool find. :)

  2. Sammy,

    Hope you got to meet Alison! She is SO much fun — I can totally imagine the two of you having a ball! Thanks for a fun post, even if it is making me crave a visit to Park Slope!!!



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