Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Guest Blogger! Molly Harrington! Whoot Whoot!!!!!

Holly told me the sky is the limit regarding this post, so here goes! So I am a friend of Holly’s by way of falling in love with her brother, Chad a couple of years ago. I have since established Holly as my unofficial thrifting mentor (she may or may not be aware of this). And Laurie is like one of those spirit guides who appears occasionally in front of me when I can’t decide if something I’m considering purchasing is really unique or just something I saw in Contempo Casuals when I was 13 and I was feeling nostalgic for mall clothes.

Let’s put it this way, I didn’t exactly have a thrift store exposure as a child. The closest I got to Goodwill was when my sister and I couldn’t find our bag of summer clothes full of those nice-fitting shorts that take years to acquire, only to discover that our Mother thought it was a “toss” bag for donations. I never did find any of those pairs of shorts at the thrift store. Then a few years ago when I would find something cool at a place like Urban Outfitters and bring it home, Chad would say, “you know you could find that in a thrift store for like five dollars.” When I eventually inherited the horse sweater that Chad found thrifting a few years back, I knew finding treasures that no one else would ever own or be able to find was the lifestyle for me. I would always get so frustrated with shopping at places with both the outrageous prices, the myriad usage of sweatshops and outsourcing, and of course, the monotone wash of looking like everyone else in my age bracket, walking down the street.

So here I am, a most dedicated convert to the powers of thrifting, offering up myself, my spirit, my heart to the thrifting gods for those most coveted treasures that I didn’t even know I wanted. (like this red stripey zig-zag high waist top)

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Genuine Black Leather Combat Boots

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Mid-November I picked up Chad one day from work (he brews beer downtown St Paul for Great Waters Brewing Co.) and asked if we could go to Valu Thrift on I-94. He wasn’t exactly up for the excursion, but I begged him to go because the mice were infesting our apartment at the time and I was desperate to find more containers for hiding food from those little bastards. Of course, the minute I walked in I bolted for the racks and scanned up and down the aisles, searching longingly for some boots, as my sister’s 10 year old Sorels reminded me just how depressed winter was becoming. I walked by these babies and pulled them down, hardly noticing the $5.99 price tag. I had never worn anything like a bitchin’ pair of combat boots, but what was stopping me? I guess that’s another thing to add to my favorite things about thrifting. It helps me take more risks with my own style, leading to a cosmic flow of creativity! Every time since I have worn them I have had at least one compliment due to the badass-ness quality (it’s probably the standout laces) or just the general presence of a 5 foot 9 woman standing next to them in such commandeering footwear. I’ll tell you it gets me through an especially shitty day at work to supervise the cheese shop when I look down and see my combat boots smiling up at me with the lumberjack gold laces.

Goin’ Out West

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When I put this dress on, the vision of being with Chad in some old tavern out West with Tom Waits on the radio is enough to make me wear it in the dead of winter, underneath all of my other clothes. (Sidenote: this was purchased at a tiny little thrift store in Glenwood Springs, CO, when we were supposed to be en route to Steamboat Springs. Sometimes a woman just needs to trust her intuition!]

Two Sweaters…One thought

Treasures are always hiding in the hard to find places. Fell off the hangar, shoved under a pile, trampled on, assumedly gone forever. I learned from the best how to take extra time to pore over every inch of space, actually dissect racks of clothes, sorting through every piece of clothing the gods have to offer. Both times I found these sweaters in out of reach places. *The tribal one is getting me through this late winter in my dressing like a yoga teacher phase (wearable vision board, anyone?).

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* I found this in Ironwood on the trip with Holly and her Mom. (yep, when she referred to us all as heathens) This was the trip of a lifetime just to see where Holly gets it. Holly walked in and started pulling things off the racks and making a pile in Kathy’s arms. Kathy gave up and set everything aside and started criticizing each of my items for being stained, ripped, etc. This was incredibly helpful because a lot of the time I buy items in such bad shape without even noticing.

The Scandinavian sweater is in incredible shape with beautiful silver etched buttons.

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The coat Laurie pulled off the rack for me

Both Holly and Laurie had found beautiful, dressy winter faux fur coats. I was feeling like I’d never find anything magical, and then Laurie brought this over, saying it wasn’t something she’d wear. The fur lining still needs some work, but I think this coat is sort of epic 70’s, as long as I don’t think too much about all the fur and leather put into it…

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Jammy party!

Black Friday thrifting was sort of mesmerizing. While casually shopping around not realizing quite yet what I had gotten myself into, I remember looking over and noticing Holly and Laurie both had this competitive gleam in their eyes, racing around the store at 10am in St. Vinnie’s, gleaning through the racks before the other got to their section. I managed to find two little sets of jammy sets. (one brand is Night Magic, the other – Secret Treasures…)

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This was one of those finds Kathy Hilgenberg completely disapproved of. The stitching is falling apart and is definitely had its fun in the sun already. But I fell so in love with the suit, when I got back to Mpls, I knew it was time for a Bettie Page haircut.

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Stay tuned for more great thrifted looks from Molly inspired by Stevie Nicks, in celebration of the upcoming Fleetwood Magic! A Tribute to the Mac show at the Turf Club this Saturday (featuring none other than Molly herself!)! And a huge thanks to Molly for being our first ever Operation Sparkle guest blogger! She wins!


  1. yay molly! i can't wait to continue our fleetwood magic thrifting...

  2. oooo love your sweaters. awesome!

    Stacey Kay
    “Runway Inspiration, Vintage Decoration”
    Blogger Spotlight: My Journey with Judy
    My Vintage Handbag Line

  3. What a great, inspiring post! I'm ready to start thrifting this spring!