Monday, September 27, 2010

The Cutters Revenge


So I know this is no hipster movie or art film but if you want to be "well-watched" I think you need to see Breaking Away. To me in a way, it's about not fitting in but more importantly a study of class warfare. The setting is a small Indiana town with a college that brings ivy league types to rub elbow to elbow with kids from a blue collar ancestry. The haves and the have-nots are clearly apparent here. And I love the slang, "cutters" that the preps use to demoralize the working class kids. "They're just a bunch of cutters!".

Another story going on at the same time is the conflict between the lead Dave Stoller, played by Dennis Christopher, and his father. Dave has latched on to a cycling phase after watching the Tour de France and his dad cannot relate on any level. He has adopted European culture, listening to and singing opera and constantly craving Italian food. Beyond foreign to a Mid-western used car dealer. This relationship scenario has been played many, many times of course but they do it so well here.

Dennis Quaid got one of his first notices here, too. He plays Mike. A former high school football player who wasn't interested in college and swears he is better than the current players on the college team. He's an awesome 70's tough guy type who drives an Oldsmobile with mags that's jacked up in the back. Peels out a lot, too!

The "cutters" go head to head with the preps several times and always get put in their place until the end. I normally dislike happy endings but you will appreciate this one after what the "cutters" have to endure thoughout the movie.

Granted one academy award and 4 nominations in 1979, back when academy awards actually meant something. Oh, I almost forgot! We have a sealed VHS copy at the store. 4 bux.

2009 Greene St.
Columbia, SC 29205


Friday, September 17, 2010

Customer Crush Of The Month - Dana!



we're crazy over these photos that one of our most favorite customers, dana, posted of the snoozer loser necklace from our shop! should we not play favorites? oops. but if you've ever met dana you surely know why we're smitten. not only is the girl extremely stylish in that seemingly effortless way - proof:



but she also makes these art cards which we find pretty super:




AND she hosts one of the best shows on WUSC - thursday nights @ 8pm. and it's not only that... dana has also been a huge supporter of pack rats since the beginning - and we couldn't be more grateful! so many people have come in cause "my friend dana told me about your shop" and, man, if there's anything we need right now it's all the help we can get with getting the word out. sooo...

thanks, dana!

hope this doesn't embarrass you too much.


p.s. read her blog!

p.p.s. - wanna be a customer crush? then come see us! talk to us! or send us a photo of you wearing/using something you found at our shop!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Artist Spotlight - Regina Pruss


we've been meaning to start an artist spotlight series - a way to showcase all the abundantly talented folk who grace our shop with their wares - but modcloth beat us to the game on featuring one of our favorite jewelry artists, regina pruss, and her line, chain chain chained, which you can read here. you gotta love a girl who names al stewart's "year of the cat" as one of her obsessions.

at pack rats we've been lucky enough to carry the following pieces:






we also received a new shipment in the mail from regina quite recently. no photos yet, but if lions, tigers, elephants, skulls, or raw gems tickle your fancy - you should run over to take a peek immediately. and though we don't have these in shop - just staring at them is like looking at a billion stars:



to me sliced geode always seems like the universe captured in stone.




2008-07-09_07.38.58_Amethyst geode1

hubble space images:





similar, no? and stunning. but i digress, regina's work, with it's whimsical charm, has that effect. come see for yourself.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

DIY - bleached jeans

At Pack Rats we not only want to encourage you to buy vintage and handmade, but to also encourage you to MAKE, REMAKE, and do your own thing...

So welcome to our first DIY post!

This is a quick and easy one I did last summer on a pair of red skinny jeans. They just weren't quite skinny enough in the leg and had a silly scrunching effect at the bottom that always kept them in my closet.

Turns out altering the leg of your jeans into super skinnies is pretty easy. All I did was turn them inside out and placed a pair of my favorite skinnies on top. Matched the outer seams of the legs on the two pairs and drew a chalk line along the inner seams (the one that runs along your inner thigh and calves) of the pair being altered to show the amount that needed taking in. Sew along the line and they're done.

Maybe 20 minutes tops.

But here we're going to focus on the bleaching. Using bleach on your clothes is an easy way to achieve a tie dye effect without the messiness of dyes, though that's not the only look you can achieve. For example, Sarah over at Silence Sweetheart was inspired by these amazing galaxy prints from Christopher Kane's Resort collection:

christopher kane

and used bleach and a black tee to create her own version:

silence sweetheart

check out her DIY here.

But back to the bleached jeans.

I was going for a look similar to these from Madewell, a sort of tie dye scrunchy effect:


What you need:


Spray bottle
Rubber bands

Attach bands in random intervals on front and back...

Keep going till they start to look something like this...

Now. Pour bleach into your spray bottle and spray jeans till they start to
look wet. When bleach starts to take effect wait a minute or two and remove
the bands. Step back and admire and then spray any additional spots where
you think you may want more splattered/bleached areas.

When it looks about right, throw them in the washer and run em through the cycles...

The finale*:



Way better than the baggy shapeless things I started with - though honestly, it's still hard to find something to wear them with, but still - super easy, fun, and satisfying. Maybe I'll drag them out for a day at the shop tomorrow.

<3, Rachael

---- *I dunno. the red frames were my thing last summer. Also, this van in that shady lot behind the West Columbia public library was (and still is) my style icon of the summer:

Maybe when Pack Rats turns a profit I can track down the owner and make 'er my own. Here's hopin'.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


We at Pack Rats realize that although there are some amazing vintage and secondhand items out there, most do enjoy the quick in and out of big box easy fashion. And we get that, really - though there's a little fretting that we'll see at least ten others wearing that same little made in Cambodia dress too. We ourselves usually choose to mix our vintage pieces with, say, some newer jeans or maybe a fresh pair of shoes - some happy medium between the newer pieces in our closet and the old beauties we so adore. But to inspire us all here are a few ladies from the 100% thrifted flickr group who manage to be thrifty, eco-chic, and pretty damn stylish - from the top of the head to the tip of the toe.

August 26

Lace & gold
Roseate Spoonbill

last week





5/25/10 - Thrifty Tuesday
madam 0wl

and underpaid

Wanna get your vintage fix? Come see us! We've been out shopping for fall/winter wear and should have some new things coming into the shop over the next few weeks. Stay tuned - we'll let you know when it hits the racks.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Things you can get at Pack Rats

Monster pouches $16, vintage clock radio $6.

Wooden fork and spoon set, $12.

Disc-go-case - $12, vintage Pioneer SX-650 receiver - $75,
Rick James Super Freak I & II single - $5.

Red Lamp $16, "I Know You Are But What Am I?" print $20,
Paint by numbers Jesus $10

2009 Greene Street, Columbia SC 29205
Directly across from Papa Jazz for you locals!