Tuesday, April 24, 2012

thrift store fashion show

The first time I went to a thrift store as an adult, it was for costume scrounging. Skirts cost $30 and up online, but I found oodles of skirts for $5 or less. And then blouses. And then I realized that when you live in a super-wealthy suburb, other people are throwing away things much nicer than what you're buying off the 70% off rack at Target.

Plus, today's fashions? So not me. Or my body.

I don't do the 80s thing. Cut-off shirts and shorts, neon colors, baggy stuff? Just-- no.

So for the first time since my last high-school vest run, I went to my favorite thrift store today for non-costume purposes. I've decided to go back to my roots and wear what I like best: vests, jackets, somewhat old-fashioned but figure-skimming things. I spent $18.23, and here's what I got:

Black velvet vest from Eddie Bauer, size 4, with pockets: $4.94.
Perfect condition, feels lovely, fits like a glove. Yay!

Gray linen/cotton vest from H&M, size 10, with pockets and adjustable back: $3.93 at 50% off = $1.96. Lovely cream piping on the interior with extra buttons. Not the best photo-- I just realized I don't own a single white button down or white tee. Must correct that omission post haste.

Teal velvet jacket from Talbots Petites, size 10. $6.96 at 50% off = $3.48.
Amazing color. A little roomy-- could use some darts. Wee bit of crust on back, but that's easily cleaned.

Teal lace tank from Apt. 9, M, Nylon and Spandex. $3.93 at 50% off = $1.96.
The colors and details don't photograph so well, but the texture is lovely and wears comfortably.

Yummy skirt, 100% cotton, DKNY Jeans, size 4. $4.94
Beautiful skirt, flawless. Has glittery gold thread running through it, fully lined, nice ruffle along the bottom, pockets, and back tie. Summer, here I come!


Lessons I learned at my first non-costume thrifting:

1. Shop by color and texture first. And know your best colors! I used to shop for clothes in the colors I personally like, as if they were paint chips, but now I know better. I can only do jewel tones and black. No pastels, no cream, no pumpkin, no brown, no yellow, no that pretty shade of mauvey-purple that makes me look like a corpse. My favorite thrift store does things by color and then pattern, so I go straight to teal, plum, black, magenta, hunter, and royal blue, then skim the patterns.

2. Don't trust sizes-- I ended up with two 4s, two 10s, and a medium. I mean... whuh?

3. If it's not exactly perfect, put it back. I tried on this gorgeous black silk shirt that was utterly yummy, but one of the darts on the left made my chest look lopsided. Stupid darts. And there was this luscious chocolate velvet tank with lace that looked amazing on the hanger and awful on me. If you'll never wear it, it's not worth $1.96, so don't get sucked into the IT'S CHEAP, BUY IT trap.

4. Always check the washing instructions. If the skirt had been dry clean only, I wouldn't have bought it. I'm no good at that sort of thing.


So now I'm hooked on thrifting. Anybody else do their shopping used? =)



Jennifer said...

I totally LOVE going in my neighborhood Goodwill. They've got the standard "cleaned out my closet and donated stuff" stuff, but then they have a "specialty" room with the fancy stuff. It may be more than 1.96, but not by much, and the money goes to a good cause. Plus, it's fun to hunt through stuff :-) You did awesome in your hunt!!

ChaosMandy said...

Love the skirt! The tops are cute too :)

I really need to hit up some thrift stores.

Meems said...

Man!!!!! Cute stuff, especially the vests!!! LAWD, I might go thrifting this weekend with the toddler.....I usually scrounge for housewares/screen doors....now it's time for CLOTHES!

dixiehellcat said...

Lord yes, I love me some Goodwill. And not just for clothes. My small suitcase handle broke last winter as I was getting ready to go out of town on business--ran into Goodwill & found a great one for $3. srsly. :D LOVE that teal velvet jacket!

delilah s. dawson said...

Thanks, y'all! My dear friend Stephanie keeps telling me that the Salvation Army is half off on Wednesday, so I might try that tomorrow. This... could get obsessivey. =)

Kelly said...

Are you kidding? My whole wardrobe (such as it is, being mostly shirts and jeans)comes from thrift stores! And I feel horribly guilty shopping on days that are not 50% off days, because I know how much I could have saved!

Pinafores and Pinwheels said...

I want that skirt! And hooray for the size 4s!!!