Before I reveal the specifics of my epic jumpsuit find, I’d like to revisit one of thrift’s greatest truths:
The last thing you find is usually the best.
Here’s how this usually plays out: You’ve been thrifting for however long it takes to fully exhaust your shopping stamina. You’re hungry; you’re grouchy; you’re running on fumes; you’re ready to get the hell outta dodge. You’ve got two choices at this point: Call it a day, or hang tough for ten more minutes.
What happens in those last ten minutes? You find things like this:
This vintage khaki jumpsuit is, hands down, one of my favorite scores in the history of my secondhand shopping career.
It fits perfectly; its neutral tone tempers its ridiculousness; it looks sick tucked into boots; it’s a kickass outfit in one fell swoop. I found it at Green Village Junk Shop after an hour and a half of hunting.
Tacking ten minutes of overtime onto ninety minutes of strenuous sifting isn’t a sane decision by any stretch of the imagination, but crazy clearly pays off.
So. Effing. Worth It. Eek!
Shopping sustainably enables one to rationalize what some view as politically incorrect purchases. I’m talking, of course, about FUR. Being attacked by a PETA freak for donning a secondhand rabbit fur/tweed toggle coat def pissed me off, but it didn’t do jack to change my adoration of criminally warm outerwear. I’m heartless like that.
The rabbit fur jacket above hails from Green Village Junk Shop – a mammoth treasure trove located in a slightly dodgy area of Bushwick (more on the awesomeness of Green Village later). I was at tail end of a strenuous digging session, but not yet exhausted enough to miss the gleaming white fluff piled on top of belts, ties and hats. (What do I always say? With thrift, the last thing you find is often the coup of the day!).
The mint condition fur had one big fat glitch: A tear in the back that made it unwearable in its current form.
I had an idea of how it could be fixed, but I wasn’t about to spend more than $20 on damaged goods, fur or no. $15 was pushing it. $10 I could do. And so, I plotted.
Green Village is run by some old school Orthodox Jews – they take credit cards, but prefer to deal in cash to avoid the heinous fees. Understandable. I weighed my bag of finds (clothes in the back bins are sold for $1.50 a pound, provided you buy at least 10 lbs – LOVES IT), whipped out my cash to pay, and took the owner’s visible delight as a sign to go in for the kill.
CJ: How much for the fur?
GV: This one? Picks up fur, assesses damage.You can have it for $10.
CJ: Poorly attempts to hide glee/joy. $10 works. I’ll take it.
So, how did I remedy the damage wreaked on this otherwise stunning, $10.00 Saks Fifth Avenue fur?
I’m splitting up posts in an attempt to up my frequency game. Answer to follow. GET EXCITED.
Platforms are a double-edged sword. Sometimes a platform alleviates the feeling of walking on one’s tiptoes; sometimes it adds insult to injury. Whether or not a platform hurts or helps largely depends on the girth of the heel to which it’s attached. See exhibit A:
At right, we have Pour La Victoire‘s Irina Suede Pumps on Hidden Platform, i.e. the embodiment of sex on a stick. The problem – $250 price tag aside – is that the width of the heel is more stiletto than pump. The narrow heel offsets the platform’s attempt at stability because the weight isn’t distributed evenly across the shoe. Walking in the Pour La Victoires is a hellish experience as a result.
At left, we have
Jeffrey Campbell‘s Jezabel Suede Platform Pump – a little less sexy, a lot more practical, and still a pretty hot shoe overall. The key to the platform’s walkability is the cone heel. The wide part of the cone takes some of the weight off the balls of the feet and redistributes it, making for a less painful walking experience overall. Perhaps this is why the JC’s less intimidating to the eye. I don’t know about you, but the Pour La Victoire – sexy as it is – absolutely scares the shit out of me.
I highly recommend hitting a consignment store before committing to one of this fall’s latest styles. Everything recycles itself, and shoe trends are no exception. See exhibit B:
I’m not usually into designer shoe collaborations, but Easy Spirit knows comfort, and Tara Subkoff knows design. This collab was a beauteous marriage, one I’m sorry I missed when it came out back in 2006.
Wait, I’m lying. I just checked the price points on Tara Subkoff for Easy Spirit shoes: $200 – $500 per pair. For a line that usually sells for $50 – $150, that is all kinds of nucking futs.
Tokio 7 charged an uber reasonable $40 for these Tara Subkoff for Easy Spirit pumps. Let’s see how they stack up in comparison with the new shoes pictured above.
Hidden Platform: Check.
Cone Heel: Check.
Fall-Appropriate Suede: Check.
Mint Condition: Check.
Under $50: Check.
Walkability: Check, to a point. I’ve worn these shoes on three separate occasions already. While they’re surprisingly comfortable overall, they’re still pretty high. One solid hour of walking and/or standing in them is about all I can tolerate; after that point, they start hurting like a bitch. Three hours of wear with seated breaks is do-able. Whatever. They’re effing awesome, and having a pair of truly hot shoes that don’t make me fall on my ass is much more satisfying than I anticipated.
Should you find yourself in the market for a suede platform pump in the spirit of the above, be realistic about what you can and can’t walk in. Health care isn’t free yet, and broken ankles aren’t cheap to fix.
Is the Hell’s Kitchen Salvation Army a bitch and a half to thrift? Yes.
Can a thorough browse at the Hell’s Kitchen Salvation Army result in a pair of legit Rich & Skinny Jeans? Also yes.
So. What do you do when you snag $220 jeans for $7.99?
Sidebar: I accidentally chucked the hard evidence. My bad. BUT – I have an alibi!
Those audacious enough to doubt my thrifting skillz are advised to swing by the amazing AuH20 and ask the even-more-amazing Kate Goldwater for confirmation re: all the above.
Theory cashmere sweaters have been on my If I Could I Would list for quite some time. Meaning if we entered dreamland and $250.00 suddenly wasn’t an absurd price to pay for un sweater de cashmere (no I don’t speak a second language), I’d go for it.
A Theory cashmere sweater equates to winter awesomeness. It’s warm. It’s stylish. It’s what Nina Garcia might call “classic” on a shooting break from hawking shit for Target.
On the rare occasion I find a sweater of the Theory cashmere ilk at a thrift or resale shop, it’s either damaged, or it’s seen better days (this is understandable as it’s one of the few things women buy and actually wear). Hence the reason I’m particularly psyched to report the first epic score of 2010.
The below – from Buffalo Exchange – isn’t just a Theory cashmere sweater in mint condition.
It’s NEW. As in, still has its ORIGINAL TAGS.
It was way large for me, but I was so beside myself with glee that it mattered not. A $255.00 TAGS-ON NEW Theory cashmere sweater for $45.00?! This is the stuff of dreams, and it’s REAL! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!
I gifted it to Mom for her birthday last month, because I’m generous like that. I’m pretty sure she hasn’t taken it off since.