Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thinking of Spring: Tops that should have long sleeves, but don't


Today it is a high of FIFTY ONE FUCKING DEGREES!!!!!!!!

I am sorry, as a rule, we only allow well-placed and deserved f-bombs on Operation Sparkle, but come on! I live in Minneapolis, the land of six-month long winters and it is going to be 51 degrees in the middle of February! (!!!!!!!!!) It is a marker of my pure dedication to sharing thrifted finds that I am sitting on a computer instead of being outside on a beach right now. Clearly, the only thing I love more than warm weather is thrifting. So there you go.

But for real, how could life get any sweeter? I've been biking all week to work, I had a great "business" meeting with Lisa Luck of Yeti Records, I got to hang with Molly and watch Eclipse with R-Pat and K-Stew commentary, I dined on 2-4-1 margaritas and a burrito/enchilada combination plate at Pancho Villa with Sheila, AND I am going thrifting with Jake of Fashionasty on Friday...needless to say, it has been an amazing week of feeling alive after 3 months of deadness.

And what better way to celebrate life than with SPRING TIME TOPS?*

One of the most exciting things about spring is the return of bare skin. For a person who hates long sleeved tops,** winter can be a long, difficult season to suffer through, despite having a large thrifted arsenal that can mix things up. Realistically, one should always at least carry a long sleeved option with them throughout springtime, but there is something remarkably freeing about the fact that you are likely to be able to wear your "base layer" as as a standalone for the first time in months.

So for this spring, I am breaking out my collection of one of the most inanely frustrating clothing pieces—short sleeved sweaters.

Now, short sleeved sweaters always seem to be in abundance in thrift shops. Old ladies who have since passed on to a better place seem(ed) to (have) love(d) them and, as these oxymoronic pieces are challenging for anyone to wear (Short sleeves. Sweater.Whaaaaaaaa?), there are not a lot of takers. I have, however, over the years accumulated several, and though they are always a point of contention*** in my wardrobe, I find myself, year after year, returning to them—even after I attempt to get rid of them, as I did when I found myself, last week, digging one out of the "donation bag" that has been in the trunk of my car since last November.

Perhaps I have found the reason to keep them around, as I have a very positive feeling about their place in my 2011 spring wardrobe. Slightly feminine and vintage feeling, these tops are also timeless and not overly cute—the perfect way to top off my spring look.

Lilac Short Sleeved Sweater
Lilac Short Sleeved Sweater (detail)

Each of these tops appealed to me with their colors and woven patterns. The light lilac one was one of the first pieces I remember thrifting with Laurie. After all these years, I still love the Japanese flag-style sun detail and the button shoulders.

Navy Short Sleeved Sweater
Navy Short Sleeved Sweater (detail)

As navy and grey are the "black" staples of my wardrobe, I have an affinity to this navy blue top. It isn't anything special, but I like its cute cut and the woven pattern variation.

Teal Short Sleeved Sweater
Teal Short Sleeved Sweater (detail)

While the first two pieces are smaller, this teal sweater top is cut a bit larger and boxier, but is every bit as flattering. As you may guess from my flickr account, I tend to thrift a lot of teal clothing (which makes it doubly frustrating that my piece o' shit camera doesn't photograph the color well), so it's a given I would have a teal short sleeved sweater. I also think that the tiny woven eyelet detail is precious.

Denim Tie Crop Top

And just for good measure, I am also on the market for more short sleeved button down tops. I currently have a few, but I want to go more in the direction of this light denim, capped sleeved one—but with tucking-in abilities (though the tie/crop thing is also cute). Add it to the wish list!

* I mean in ways other than drinking margaritas, watching Twilight with commentary tracks and hanging out with sweet people.
**By "a person," I mean "me." True, I have warmed to sweaters, and have embraced the art of layering over the years, but as a general rule, long sleeved tops are ass.
***Items that are "points of contention" in one's wardrobe are those pieces that are never ones you absolutely love but for some reason that you can't explain, have staying power. These are the pieces that have no stand out qualities and are therefore deemed as filler. While other filler pieces eventually find themselves in resale or donation piles, however, these pieces hang on, like a sick cat that refuses to die.

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