Preserving, Sharing, and Wearing Vintage
“I truly believe that clothes call to the person,” says Lisa Zelonka, vintage collector and owner of Three Graces Vintage in Stafford Springs, Connecticut.
Lisa has been a serious collector of vintage clothing and accessories for over 30 years. “The first piece I ever saved I was in 7th grade. It was a pant suit that my mother thought was tacky so I saved it and still wear it today!” Lisa started more actively collecting, “mostly fun, crazy things,” in her 20s. “When I ran out of closet space I knew it was time to open a store.”
“It used to be that I collected because [the clothes] were fun and pretty but I’ve evolved as a collector with an appreciation of the quality that went into the making of the clothes. Clothes used to be well constructed and designed to fit, particularly a women’s body. They were made well from the bottom, up. It’s the way women look and feel in a good quality vintage outfit that inspired me to open my shop and share that experience with others.”
“My wardrobe does not consist of any new clothes. It consists of all vintage. There’s a simplistic elegance in the design and making of every day clothes – they look and feel different. They stand out. That’s what speaks to me.”
While Lisa used to go out on the hunt more to add items to her collection, “now most of my inventory walks into my store. It’s also where I get items for my personal collection and wardrobe.”
At the end of the day, Lisa defines vintage as a form of self-expression – “the quality, the way it makes you feel and look. It’s why I collect and wear the clothes that I wear.”
Three Graces Vintage is located at 68 Main Street, Stafford Springs, CT. For more information, find them on Facebook at ThreeGracesVintage or call 860-597-1427.