Secondhand shopping convert Violet popped by my store the other day to dish about her latest resale finds. I begged her to email the requisite photographic evidence, and she happily obliged!
Violet recently hit up Crossroads Trading Co.‘s Brooklyn location. Deets on her uber successful shopping trip below.
I took 2 of my girlfriends out shopping in Williamsburg on Saturday. They’d never been thrifting before so I decided to take them to the resale shops in the area. My goals were mostly sweaters (for fall and winter), jeans, and blouses (esp. the classic white button down which my closet was lacking).
I got a pair of Paige jeans off the half-off rack. The ink’s a bit smudged (I left the tag on when I put them in the dryer to sanitize). But red ink says half off, so the it came to $13.25 for the pair ^_^. They weren’t in immaculate condition though (a little wear/fraying along the bottom and pocket but it’s not noticeable and as someone whose normally OCD about that kinda stuff, it didn’t bother me and I liked the jeans too much).
I also found this Burberry cotton/cashmere blend sweater turtleneck top. It fits my body perfectly and had a really interesting but simple design. It’s more noticeable when worn, but you can kinda see the fold design on the front bottom edge in the pics. It has the same folds on the sleeves. $20 ^_^.
I also got a Marc Jacobs red top. What attracted it to me was its super plush feel. I’m pretty sure it must’ve been a sample because of the sticker that was attached to it in the 3rd photo. Now, the top had a huge 2.5 inch rip along the shoulder seam and at first I was dismayed. But I knew since it was torn at the seam it would be a very simple fix so I showed the hole at the register and asked if they would knock off something for it. So it was reduced from 14 dollars to 7 dollars.
Before buying, I put it on hold (I usually put everything I want on hold when I shop so I have the day while I’m at other stores to think about it before I buy), went around the corner to a tailor, asked how much it would cost to fix that type of rip ($3) and if it could be done in the same day, then went back, bought the top, and had it fixed while I was busy shopping at other stores. So the top’s price came to $10 dollars instead of $14.
Love the story of the MJ top – she asks for a lower price on account of damages (smart, and ALWAYS okay), then has the top fixed while she’s shopping at other stores, and STILL ends up paying less than the top’s original price. Effing Cheap JAPtastic.
Thanks to Violet for the sharesies!
Today’s shopping lesson starts with a zen-tastic mantra, courtesy of the gurus at Om Yoga Center. What the eff do sun salutations have to do with thrift? So glad you asked.
Yoga increases one’s capacity for patience. Patience tips the secondhand shopping scales in or out of your favor. Yoga is, heretofore, an excellent tool for developing your secondhand shopping prowess.
Onto the mantra:
If it’s comfortable, you’re probably not doing it right.
If you’re ego-centric and stubborn a la moi, instructional nuggets of this ilk tend not to prompt any revelations upon first hearing: I was in triangle pose, and I still managed to roll my eyes. It was only when the instructor glided over and re-tweaked my body into the proper position that I realized I’d been doing it wrong all along. I’d been too consumed by how it looked to make it work.
Triangle is a deceptively simple posture, as it turns out – the side-bending, twisting and stretching involved don’t amount to a pleasant experience. It’s not physically painful, but it’s uncomfortable and unsettling, particularly when you don’t have the flexibility to mimic the statuesque curve of more devoted yogis.
Then you move out of the pose, feel the rewarding rush prompted by your efforts – by your ability to embrace what it is in lieu of what it’s supposed to be – and you stop rolling your eyes at the mantra.
Comfortable doesn’t prompt growth or achievement. Uncomfortable does.
On that note, let’s talk about the uncomfortable experience of thrifting the Hell’s Kitchen Salvation Army.
My last visit to this particular SA location was four months ago, i.e. enough time for me to forget how disgusting it is. Time and time again, I block out the grime on the floor, the stains on the clothes, the screaming babies accompanying the shoppers, the musty, mothball-esque odor of the place. It’s an unconscious survival tactic – insurance against my being too icked out to shop.
It takes about fifteen minutes to re-acquaint myself with my surroundings. I calm myself with the knowledge that I’ve come prepared (plastic bag, Purell, hands-free bag), and meditate on scores of the past bestowed on me by the HK SA (Rich and Skinny jeans, $7.99). I embrace the ick. I summon the patience. I do an internal spin, Tazmanian Devil style. Then I tear through the place like a possessed flying rodent, brand-focused radar leading the way.
Velvet tops, as we know, retail for around $80 – $100 a pop. I found this versatile tunic approximately eighteen minutes into my browse. And it’s striped! I effing love stripes.
I don’t usually buy pants months in advance of when I can wear them: Rock & Republic jeans priced at $4.99 are obvs grounds for an exception.
I didn’t leave the Hell’s Kitchen Salvation Army scarred by fugly wares and subpar sanitation standards. I left buoyed by a mantra as true of thrift as it is of yoga.
Sifting through the donated muck isn’t comfortable.
It’s the uncomfortable that makes the price of whatever you find so effing right.
The latest denim endeavor that is the Baby Bell Bottom raises a few questions. Is it a way for fashion savvy toddlers to engage in flower child style? Is it another adjective for Boot-Cut, a screamin’ nineties trend better left in the past? Is it a veiled warning designed to suggest that eating an abundance of low-calorie cheese snacks enlarges the size of one’s ass?
The real answer is far more disheartening than all of the above. The Baby Bell Bottom hearkens back to the least flattering pant style ever conceived. It’s a cut clinically proven to cause distress, mood swings, crash diets and bitterness related to genetic inheritance. A cut designed to make anyone under 5′ 9″ look and feel like a bloated rhinoceros. I’m talking, of course, about capris.
I bet Karl Lagerfeld was like Oooh, I know vat vee can do to make zee womens eat less of zee candies and zee sweets. Vee can make a pant zat looks good on only models and tell zem it’s IN. Zey vill never look good in eet unless zey are as tall as zee models, but who cares? Zey will buy eet, hate zemselves, eat less, and b theener and happeeir. Vere ist my afternoon boiled feesh snack?! Lagerfeld, I’ll get you someday, and your little gastric bypass too. But I digress.
To be fair, some capris are more attractive than others – those of the loose harem pant ilk have the bonus of making your calves look smaller. Fitted denim capris a la the Baby Bell, however, defy certain laws of proportions and as such, must be avoided at all costs.
For J Brand‘s attempt to revive the capri via the Baby Bell see below:
The Gigi is a “mid-rise cropped flare inspired by the runway.” I’m assuming this nod to high fashion is why it costs $180.00.
J Brand’s tips for donning the impossible? “Wear it retro with clogs, be feminine with sexy heels or be too-cool-for-school with ankle boots.” So If I wear the Gigi flare with sky-high stilettos or other types of elevated footwear a la the model, I might have a fighting chance of looking halfway decent. What if I pair it with flats? It’s a casual pant, yes?
Yes. A casual pant that, when paired with walkable footwear, gives your shape the appearance of having gone through a box crusher. Sounds fun.
Thank you, J Brand, for re-reminding me of how short I am. Methinks I’m going to leave your runway-inspired style where it belongs – on a model’s body, not on my own.
Stocky wasn’t IN last time I checked.
Apparently, Cuffed Shorts are like-so-hot-right-now.
For designer denim under $20, no one holds a candle to Buff Ex.
(And yes, I’m addicted to Picnik‘s ‘Create’ section. Because nothing expresses joy like a heart sticker. NOTHING.)
DIY Destroyed Denim is a fairly straightforward exercise. Take sharp tool to pair of jeans and/or cutoffs; slice to heart’s content. My shredding tool of choice is the serrated blade of a wine key (no wash cycle required to achieve fully distressed look, etc.).
I recently used said tool on a pair of thrifted Levi’s shorts. The cuts looked fab as per usual, but the garment felt a bit unfinished.
A few months ago, I bought a package of 200 gold and silver clothes pins in varying sizes for absolutely no reason. I was at Staples…I wanted something shiny…whatever.
I rediscovered the pins whilst looking for something to adorn my DIY destroyed cut offs, et voila!