Friday, May 17, 2013

Thrifting is slowly becoming my newest area of "fashion study."  Compared to normal retail shopping, it might be considered the true test of creativity and intuition.  I like the challenge of looking past grungy surroundings and a appraising piece for what its true potential is.  When each item is one of a kind, you both have to keep mental focus in the clutter and keep an eye out for shape, size, and wear and tear - none of which are guaranteed.  Once in awhile, you can get lucky.

Here are my finds, all bought within the past year at Goodwill stores in Georgia:

1.  The mini crossover bag is genuine leather, and still in very good condition.  An unfamiliar brand, which I'm totally fine with.  The convenient inner pocket dividers and vintage cuteness sold it for me.

2.  I specifically remember longing for an expensive pale yellow version of this Martin + Osa rain jacket several years ago, when the company was still in business.  Now, I scored it for only a few bucks!  It might be a tad bit big but the look of it is still pretty sleek, and it feels like no one's ever really worn it before.

3.  This Peter Pan collared shirt was luckily hung at the front of the sea of white blouses so it was like it was waiting for me. It also felt crisp and brand new.  The fit is perfect in the shoulders, and has just the right volume in the sleeves and body for a perfect but modern Pierrot feel.

4.  Lastly, this large parka caught my attention right away because of the shock of royal purple lining which can actually still be seen when it's zipped up.  I'm also a sucker for anything army green.  It looks huge, but judging by how it is a size Small, it was probably meant to be so.  I tried it on, and to my happy surprise, it fit really well!  It has an adjustable cinch at the waist, falls to mid-thigh, and doesn't overwhelm my frame.  It reminds me of typical Asian styling - it's flattering because it's oversized.  Magic.

On an interesting side note, both #3 and 4 were from Land's End (a brand which I believe is sold at Sears,) but the labels looked slightly different.  I wonder which one is the older one... probably the parka?
On my last thrift store visit, I curiously found myself wondering whether I could incorporate an embroidered Indian tunic into my wardrobe, and considering literally vintage pieces, such as a midi teal blue blouson dress while imagining how a young girl in those eras, such as my mother, would have felt wearing it. 

Some personal strategies:

-  You have the best luck if you go thrifting in nicer neighborhoods.  Donations trickling down from wealthier households = more brand names, and likely pieces that were worn less, if not at all.

-  Search by feel.  The number of things to look through can give you a headache, so use your sense of touch to catch good quality fabrics.

-  Don't be fooled by sizing.  Juniors, misses and ladies all are sized by different numbers.  Thrift stores don't always sort their clothing this way, so be a good estimator.  

Some questions:

-  Is there a difference between Goodwill, Salvation Army, Value Village, etc?  Are smaller thrift shops with smaller donation pools worth trying?

-  Isn't it amazing that once you strip away the nice displays, trendy music, and strategic organization that you see the bare bones of the clothes?  You see down the road how fabrics will hold up, and how much money items are actually worth.

-  What are some of the better thrift stores in the Seattle area?  I'm planning on visiting the Goodwills in Lynnwood and Bellevue, as well as Second Chance.  I've been to St. Vincent de Paul and only found a belt, but I might give it another try.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts

About Me

Atlanta/Seattle, United States
What is most interesting is fashion when it's living. I find it inspiring when people dress well - but in their unique interpretation. Searching for people who enjoy having fun with their style and make their own statements. If you want your picture removed, don't hesitate to contact me!
View my complete profile