I have a great love for thrift stores – when I was little we were very poor, but my Mom made bargain shopping into a game. I still enjoy it! I also like a lot of variety, but retail prices make me flinch. I have literally no clothing budget except for my sewing. Today I went to one of the larger Goodwills in town. I had been on the verge of giving it up, as it seemed lately that they suffered from the same issue that all the southern Indiana stores have – very little in my size, and in fact, very little that wasn’t recent season Wal-mart discards and such. I thrift to get nicer things than I could otherwise afford, and I could afford to shop at Wal-mart (but I don’t… it’s such an unpleasant place.)
I don’t know what happened, but it seemed that today there was plenty of merchandise in my size, from very nice brands – and even some actual vintage, which I find is quite rare in a Goodwill (I think it must get shipped to their boutique stores.) Of course, it may also be that I was on my own – I often thrift with my husband, but he does not have the patience that I do to sift through every single rack in the store (and it is a very large store.) I was there for two hours, but I think I made up for my recent absence from the thrift scene.
Skirts. I have found that skirts are very easy to alter, so I have started buying them too large and altering to fit. The red skirt is vintage Pendleton wool – never worn, see the tag still attached! It’s too big, but it’s easily altered. I already washed it in Eucalen to remove the thrift store stink (how is it that all thrift stores smell the same?) and Leon slept on it (cats have an irresistible urge to sleep on wet laundry I find.) thus the wrinkles. The other plaid skirts are also nice – the olive/purple miniskirt fits really well, and just to show you how sizing has changed, it’s a size 8 (I think it’s from the 80s, based on the tag.) Now I usually have to buy a 2 in skirts, which I think is just silly. I put most of these skirts in the “to be altered” pile – even if they fit they are often a low-waisted style, and I’ve definitely decided that low-rise skirts do not suit me at all.
This coat was a great find – vintage 100% cashmere, fur collar, silk lining in perfect condition except for one tiny, easily repaired rip where the sleeve lining attaches. Sadly, it doesn’t fit me as well as I hoped, being a few sizes too big, so it is probably destined for ebay.
Various jackets… the one on the right is a Banana Republic equestrian style that appears to have never been worn, with great elbow patches. I don’t know how I found these, because I never have any luck at all in the jacket section! I have lately become enamoured with wearing blazers open over full skirts to extend the summer skirt season, but I had very few jackets anymore.
Many tops… you can never have too many I think, though when I had all these in my cart I was actually approached three times by people who thought I worked there! I find that I don’t enjoy making tops as much as dresses and skirts, so I’d rather thrift those items than have to worry about making my own. These will be worked into my wardrobe. I need to get to making those two black skirts – I have fabric for a pencil style and a more full style, both with the thought of wearing them with my more colorful blouses. Most of these are from Ann Taylor or NY&Co.
I bought this 80s sweater because I liked the color. Is this style back yet? I’m seeing the giant dolman sleeved sweaters everywhere, but that is really not a good look on me (though fab on others.) This is better – volume on the top, but since my arms are free I don’t look like an enormous bat.
I even found a few dresses, after picking through a sea of ugly 80s denim jumpers. The green print dress is clearly home sewn, and I had to buy it for that reason. It needs taking in around the bust, but it will be cute next summer. I love the teal wrap dress, which is sort of an empire wrap. Works better on me than a waist wrap. The calico dress is to wear with my cowboy boots and a jacket – I’ve seen a few women in similar outfits this fall, and I like the style.
And a purse… it isn’t a fancy purse, but I thought the stripes were fun. I’m thinking early 90s maybe? I seem to recall this sort of Ralph Lauren stripe being popular then. Purses are stupid cheap at Goodwills here – $1.50 each.
And finally, I bought this set of vintage sheets to use as dress fabric. I thought there was something I liked about the pattern, but it wasn’t until I had washed it and hung it over the balcony that I realized it forms a very MC Escher type 3d print. My husband (the math nerd) was very excited to point that out to me. I don’t know how old these are, but the fitted sheet does not have elastic, just a zigzagged edge. Is that a clue?
Does anyone else share my love of thrifting? None of my friends do… in fact, I bet they would be shocked if they realized what percentage of my wardrobe is thrifted. It’s why I say sewing is not saving me anything – yes, it’s cheaper than retail, but I don’t shop retail! That’s ok though… I just put it in my entertainment budget instead.
I’m hoping to start on my polka dot dress today… I was going to cut the fabric last night, but there was a giant wasp in my sewing room. I’m a big wuss when it comes to anything that could sting me, so I shut it in and waited til my husband got up this morning to take care of it. Hopefully today!