And the Best Thing is that Ed's There to Greet You!
Story & Photos by Barbara L. Steinberg©
There were three things that originally drew me into Ed's Threads: (1) the sound of "Rat Pack-era" music emanating from this tiny shop along 21st Street, (2) the handsome man wonderfully and stylishly dressed, circa 1950s or maybe 1960s, and (3) the name of the store,Ed's Threads! Every time I say it I have to smile.
The dapperly-dressed man sitting at the door...well, my friends, that would be Ed. Stylish and debonair with that Chairman of the Board flair. A bit more than a closet, Ed's Threads is centrally located near the corner of 21st & L streets in the continuously up and coming Midtown Sacramento. But Ed...and Ed's Threads...man they were cool when cool really meant something. Especially at a time when few people would take a chance onMidtown Sacramento.
I wandered into Ed's Thread many years ago and struck up a conversation with Ed. His smile and style immediately won me over. I am not much on retail, but immediately Ioved this place and began cruising the racks...and stumbled upon the greatest shirt ever! An old-style bowling shirt. Black and white rayon -- all flowy and shiny. You know how bowlers use to (or maybe they still do) choose a bowling nickname? Well this one had the bowling name of names, "Bubbles." It was definitely a man's shirt. I tried to imagine some big guy sporting this classic shirt and his Bubbles moniker lobbing a16-pound bowling ball down the boards heading for a strike! I fingered the material and gave it more than a second thought. Still, I walked away. Never forgetting that once-in-a-lifetime shirt.
When I returned months later and inquired about "Bubbles", Ed just smiled and said, "You must be kidding. That's long gone!" I sighed...no surprise.
I drop by often to chat with Ed. And over the years have continued to spread the word to locally and worldwide about the wonders of Ed's Threads and the way the name just rolls off the tongue. Recently, I returned for photos for this story. In conversation with Ed, my eye was drawn to something shiny at the end of a nearby rack. I could't help look, while still carrying on with Ed. There -- glittering like a golden nugget -- was this amazing shirt. I had to get a closer look. I had to touch it. I had to oooooh and ahhhhh over it. And the amazing little Viking crest so perfectly stitched in colored and shimmering threads was like calling my name.
"What is this magical shirt?" I asked Ed. "A 'shirt jac,'" he replied. "Well, in the style of a shirt jac. And I have to say, it's one of the nicest I have ever seen!" This is high praise coming from Ed. He coaxes me to try it on...I hesitate...but remembering "Bubbles" I grab the shirt and disappear in the dressing room. The shirt -- made in Thailand by T. Shinawatra, is 100% pure silk, handwoven. All of this exquisitely stitched in gold thread on the shirt label. It's a perfect fit! I feel positively glamorous. I won't make the same mistake twice and live to regret my decision. The beautiful golden shirt jac has a new owner...MOI!
Ed's Threads is about another place and time. When men were men and women loved them for it. Great tunes -- we probably won't see the likes of Frank Sinatra and his pals again in our lifetime, or maybe ever. When getting dressed was a true art. And even though Ed's is mostly about men's clothing, just remember that fabulous golden nugget hanging in my closet. You will never feel so good.
Sacramento has lots of vintage and gently-used clothing outlets. But none is more special than Ed's Threads....because there's only one Ed!
PS - You lovers of vinyl...Ed's got quite the record collection, too!