Monday, August 27, 2012

Life Lessons: Being True to Thine Own Self

Due to my reinvigorated thrifting spirit, I decided to spend my Friday off thrifting up a storm. The plan was to hit up the Robbinsdale Unique and the ARC Value Village (relatively) close by, but the combo of VIP day (25% off for cardholders) and the poor junk to treasure ratio of Unique kept me busy for a good two hours, leaving zero time for the second shop. 

As I recently mentioned, my thrifting scope as of late has been largely limited to housewares—something I maintain is the result of "fashion fatigue." A few months off the fashion, and an impending season change has gotten me back on the horse, though I must admit I'm confused about what direction to take said horse in.
The five soft cover books were considered "children's" and thus each cost whatever 25% off of 69¢ is. STEALZ.
Thus, I found myself in an annoying, and potentially dangerous, situation. After some initial non-clothing fabulous finds (six Harry Potter books for six bones, and A Discovery of Witches, the newest mystical trilogy I am delving into), I combed the clothing racks for a solid hour, putting item after time into my cart, all the while knowing deep down that I had a pile of duds. 

By the time I came to my senses (aided, in part, by an elderly chap's comment that "it looked like a lucky day" for me), and realized I had to start making decisions, I had a cartload of crap.

Most items were easy to discount—a patterned H&M maxi dress for $7; a misshaped, wayyyyy too oversized ivory-ish sweater that reminded me of boogers; an initially promising boxy black button up that was spun from the thickest poly-fabric I have witnessed in recent times—but there were an handful of "vintage" items that I was having a harder time settling on. This was a particularly difficult task, as I have been satiating my 70's dress sensibility more as of late, and four of the major items at hand were pieces that more or less could fit that decade: a calf-length, color blocked suede jacket; a hand knit sweater and two vests (one a red, suede, cowboy-style, fringed number; the other a cropped, denim, patchwork Gunne Sax piece). 

After some hemming and hawing, I realized that what I had in front of me was a thrifting novice's dilemma—pieces that, by virtue of their existence, and connection to the past, made me think they were good vintage. Except they weren't. And I didn't need them. And, perhaps even more importantly, they weren't perfect. 

Perhaps could have been...but not.
Case in point: The suede jacket. 

What. Do I really want to dress like a cast member from That 70's Show? I think not. Actually, in many respects, this piece is pretty sweet. But one of the snaps was busted, and it just felt...dirty. AND I am not a huge fan of this color scheme. So...back to the racks it went. 

Add to your imagination: slightly unflattering cut that rests high thigh and huge bell bottom...sleeves.
I was drawn to the nasty, 70's version of primary colors in this piece, but the acrylic yarn used to knit it was so gross feeling that it made my skin crawl. I just couldn't do it, and thus sacrificed my vision of myself as an art teacher/mother of a Waldorf student from this time period. 

Clearly I was having a fashion identity crisis—perhaps due in part to the fact that it had been so long since I had indulged in a good thrifting session. It seemed as though I was trying to make up for the fact that I wasn't able to imagine treasures into existence by allowing myself to settle.

Party and business all the way around (plus pockets!).
But settle I did not. The sole piece of clothing I did come away with was a keeper—a vintage, highwaisted, wool skirt that can be both party (perhaps with this wacky sweater) and business (for that "job" I may get some day). 

Moral of the story: To thine own self be true! 
Your closet will thank you.

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