Monday, March 14, 2011

Battling Long Sleeve Gag Reflex: A Winter Wardrobe Shot in the Arm

Lately, when I go thrifting, I find it increasingly difficult to even look at the racks of sweaters, long sleeved blouses, and outerwear. I find myself passing up sweet finds (like yesterday, a velvet blazer with beaded lapels, which I may or may not be regretting, it's not official yet) because I am just OVER it; over the self-same things that had me losing my shit back in September.

This proves problematic, as it is still winter, and most stores are being very sluggish in their transition to warm weather fair. Unlike conventional stores, which operate on the assumption that everyone goes on a cruise immediately following the Holidays, and so stock their stores with everything that you will need to be seasonally outfitted for the Sandals destination of your choice in January, thrift stores operate under the assumption that you have very little money to spend and are shopping mainly out of immediate need. So unless a store has an excess of free space (i.e. the epic St. Vinnies in Green Bay), the racks reflect the weather outside.

Long sleeve gag reflex aside, there are still weeks of winter ahead, and we owe it to ourselves to keep our heads in the game, be reasonable, and keep our winter wardrobes fresh. No wardrobe-boredom tantrums here (nervous laughter). Here are some new pieces that I have acquired to give my winter wardrobe a much needed kick in the pants.

Firstly, is this indisputably rad and completely perfect cheetah printed dolman sleeve turtleneck dress:

I picked this up thrifting this past weekend with my friend Julie in New Rochelle, NY. This particular store had an abundance of cheetah printed goodies. I passed up (once again, may or may not be regretting) a cheetah printed Norma Kamali jumpsuit, that Holly probably would have peed her pants over. This cheetah printed number won out for it's higher wearability factor.

Next up, are these gold floral printed pants:

I have been on the lookout for the "right" pair of printed pants for ages now--as they are all the rage these days--and these are the ones. The fit is great, they are actually flattering, and the print is fantastic. While trying on these pants, they caught the attention of a super enthusiastic 16 year old fellow shopper from across the store, who ran over to tell me that these pants were "totally awesome!!!", and that when she goes thrifting, she listens to The Smiths and pretends that she is in Brooklyn.* Having apparently lived in New York for too long, I thought that she was trying to steal my wallet.

And last but not least, is this picture perfect long sleeve black cotton crew neck knit tube dress:

It may not look like much, but this is one of those perfect basic pieces that is the bedrock of any functional wardrobe. The second I found it (or Julie found it, and gave it to me) I wondered how I had possibly lived without it all winter. Miraculously, it is also somehow not mini length, so it is work appropriate. As much as Operation Sparkle brings you the best and the brightest of the crazy and outlandish that thrift stores offer, one the best things about thrifting is finding great basics. Truly, I could coast on this piece alone through the rest of winter.

*We were in Queens, a 20 minute subway ride from Williamsburg, which is what I assumed she meant by "Brooklyn" (which is distressing). This must be one of those peculiarities of growing up in New York City that I simply do not understand.