Last weekend, I took advantage of what looked to be one of our last sunny days of summer to wear the silk Etro tunic I “rescued” from consignment earlier this season. The truth is that it’s not a super versatile garment, and I’m not entirely sure how to make it more so, given that what I assume to be its actual function (fancy beach cover-up) is useless to me, 99% of the time. Still, let it not be said that I don’t try. I did enjoy wearing it as a top, and I kind of wish that it was. (Although, I’m sad that half of the print can’t be seen when worn as such).
Here for comparison is how it looks “untucked”:
I’ve written about my compulsion to “rescue” closet “orphans” from consignment (and thrift) stores, and it has not abated. The problem arises when, as much as I may love them, they don’t really fit my style or wardrobe needs. This tunic is a case in point. It’s not so much that it doesn’t spark joy; I just don’t get to wear it enough to justify keeping it in my closet … if the goal is to have a purely functional wardrobe, rather than a “collection”. Since you guys are also familiar with my collecting tendencies, I’m sure you can appreciate my struggle here.
Lest my last post on thrifting mislead anyone, let me say: the thrifting gods are not perpetually smiling on me. There are weeks and sometimes months when I find nothing interesting, or at least nothing worth its own post. If I thrifted only for the results (and had expectations of hitting it out of the ballpark every time) … well, I’d give it up pretty quickly. As it happens, I enjoy the hunt as much as the spoils, which is why I’m not easily deterred by a lacklustre haul. Or a ten.
To give you a sense of what a more realistic thrifting experience might be, I thought I’d share some of the hits and misses of a few recent outings. First up, a brief overview of some of the misses – which certainly outnumbered the hits.
This was a cute silk dress, but not quite my style, and not something my wardrobe is crying out for. It could be a charming summer dress for someone else. At times like these, I wish I could play closet matchmaker. Alas.
I was tempted by this Velvet brand sweater dress, but it was the wrong size and, if I’m being perfectly honest, not really my style. Same story as above.
Here’s proof that I don’t just buy for the (designer) label. This Just Cavalli tee was just meh – a little bit dated, a little bit tired (aka used).
I have no idea if this (vintage?) Fendi bag was legit, but the poor thing was in terrible shape and reeked of cigarette smoke. It was still priced at $20, four times higher than the brand new, pristine Longchamp bag I found back at the beginning of August in the same store.
This Meadow Rue tunic broke my heart. One of my fave thrifting hobbies (sub-hobbies?) is finding Anthropologie pieces. I love the girly aesthetic but I can’t with the retail prices. Anyway, I totally would have bought this piece – it’s silk, lovely print, great colours for my wardrobe – but there was colour transfer all over the fabric, and I didn’t feel like taking a risk, even for $8.
Hopefully some braver soul will enjoy it. Sigh.
You guys, I really wanted these leggings. I know: a 35-year mother of two may not have any business wearing these, but I would have loved to rock them (mostly unironically) on weekends. Sadly, they were several sizes too small.
Now, for the hits:
I’m still buying up cheap “art”, both for my own projects and, in this case, for my mom. The matching bird prints on the bottom left ($3.50 each) were a gift for her. The print on the top left I bought solely for the lovely gold frame ($12.50), and plan to replace it with the portrait next to it ($6). I love the romanticism of Winterhalter portraits like this one. The Learning Japanese package ($10, brand new in box – can you say unwanted Christmas present?) was something my husband insisted I buy for him.
I also bought a black Tahari dress ($8) which, as is common for black dresses, photographs poorly on a hanger. I’m sure you’ll be seeing it on the blog very soon. It has a cute ruffle detail around the neckline, and an interesting adjustable waist tie. And by “interesting” I mean a bit perplexing. Will explain more later.
Last but not least, this beautiful Nanette Lepore dress was a true find. It was $20, which is on the pricey side, but it originally retailed for about $500, and the workmanship is superb. I rarely have reason to say that about mass produced clothes these days, but the embroidery and beading here are excellent. And it fits perfectly (although it’s a size 10, and I usually wear a 4, so the discrepancy is significant). The only downside of buying it was the dry cleaning drama that ensued (I’m exaggerating slightly), but I’ll save that tale of woe for another post.
Hit me up with your recent thrift finds in the comments!
One of the joys of buying this Simons top was the prospect of pairing it with this Zara skirt. I love the silhouette – and I think it loves me back.
Of course, I had to add my red pumps to the mix, at least on this first go-around (I’m sure this isn’t the last time I’ll be wearing this combo) because I can’t help the matchy-matchy. But then I got a little bit stuck on the bag. Red would have been overkill (plus my red bag is a different shade from my shoes), and I felt like my teal-ish blue YSL would have been “blah”. Ultimately, I went with this neutral “stone” Marc Jackbs tote (ancient but still going strong – suede lined vintage MJ bags are my addiction) in lieu of a white or cream bag, which I currently don’t have, and I like how it all came together. With that said, this would be a hard outfit to mess up – not with two such great pieces as its foundation.