Sometimes, over the course of years and years of thrifting, you realize that you are unconsciously forming unusual little collections of things. That your once seemingly disparate attractions are convening in unintended ways. Before you ever realize, your love of Hawaiian prints and trench coats has manifested in perhaps the only collection of hibiscus and palm-themed outerwear in the Upper Midwest. Such are the joys of thrifting.
In this particular case, my special collection has grown out of my otherwise unrelated loves of lingerie, print design, and natural fibers. I love lingerie and sleepwear. Especially old lingerie and sleepwear. Despite the fact that I am one of very few people who will pay for the privilege of wearing other people's discarded underthings, good stuff is still very hard to find. Beyond the taboos of thumbing through someone else's granny's discarded panties, the greater travesty lies; that for the last five to six decades, women have been wrapping their most intimate bits in the most unbreathable, untouchable, most flammable, most totally synthetic materials that have yet to be concocted by man. So no matter how cute some little vintage teddy is, if it is made of acetate, I cannot abide. But on those rare occasions that I find pieces that are naturally fibered, and apparently, fantastically printed, I snatch (ha!) them up. And the result looks something like this:
This first piece is some 80's Victoria's Secret business. Can you even imagine finding an all silk, rope printed slip walking in to VS these days?! No. Well maybe but I haven't been in one since high school and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to make an educated guess. But I did find this slip at the Value Village by Milwaukee's airport, when I was killing time waiting to pick up my boyfriend's delayed flight a few Christmases ago.
A scooped out back. And spaghetti straps. I love me some spaghetti straps.
This second silky printed slip I found in Austin, TX, a few years ago, when I was nursing a very severe hangover. My boyfriend took me thrifting, thinking that if anything could stave off a killer hangover in me, it was deals. The only deal I could muster before barfing that day was this fantastic little number.
A chinoiserie floral printed silk slip, that could be the cousin to the VS one. Two is a trend!
Next is a rather recent find, that was featured in the 25 Days of Black Friday Thrifting, this past year. A floral printed silk kimono robe.
A martini sipping uniform, indeed. It is so hard to keep closed, which is a delightful problem to have with your silk kimono robe.
And then there is this little lacey and silky floral printed camisole. So LOVELY.
It is these sorts of finds that make me so frustrated that the whole "innerwear as outerwear" thing will probably never truly happen in the way that it could, in a perfect world. In that I mean I will probably never be OK if I wear this to work as a top.
There you go! Now that I have put all these pieces together in one place for the very first time, I cannot help but imagine a Fiona Apple-esque music video in which they are all layered and sexily discarded piece by piece. Do what you will with that remark.