I’m not really a blouse person – I sweat too much and spill things on myself too often to don dry-clean-only shizzz. I wear blouses so rarely, I manage to forget their purpose entirely… until I have to go to temple or some charity event requiring business-esque attire.
Only then do I realize I have JACK SHIT to wear.
I was unaware that Loeffler Randall made anything beyond teeny weeny handbags costing upwards of $295 a pop. (Are said handbags adorable? Yes. Is it moronic to drop over two benjamins on something too small to accomodate your wallet? Also yes.)
Okayfine, describing the relaunch of Housing Works Buy the Bag as a wet dream is maybe a little bit gross. It’s also incredibly accurate.
This is warehouse-style thrifting, beotches. Much like sex or the prospect thereof, it involves varying degrees of shame and frustration. Whether or not you allow these feelings to jeopardize your ability to snag some material tail is a matter of mental fortitude.
That means think positive, for fuck’s sake.
At most thrift warehouses (see Goodwill Outlet Center, Queens), clothing gets lumped into general textiles and ends up buried among dirty towels, stained pillowcases and used jockstraps (yum).
Why should you give Buy the Bag a whirl, even if you’ve never before braved the bins? Because Housing Works PRE-SORTS their donated goods, removing the irrelevant ick before their bins hit the floor. This increases your odds of finding something amazeballs exponentially. Obvs.
Read The Rest
Some people don’t believe in fairies. I don’t believe in sample sales. Paying $150 for a $300 top isn’t how I get my kicks.
I realized I wasn’t the only shopper to abandon sample sales for secondhand pastures this past weekend, when I swung by Housing Works Chelsea location and checked out the “New Designer Clothing” rack.
The bulk of the moolah spent by trendtastic brands doesn’t go toward manufacturing the clothes: It goes toward advertising, marketing, product placement, et. al. The brand’s value has less to do with the quality of its material goodies than your perception of said goodies.
If X celebutard is wearing Y $300 Vogue-endorsed top, then Z shopper will want, and possibly buy Y top. When Y top goes on sale, the odds of Z shopper buying it increase, but only to a point. Y top still has to retain some degree of exclusivity and status in order for you to keep wanting it. Once a highbrow brand enters 50 – 75% off territory and still doesn’t sell, it has two options: Reduce the prices further, or cut and run.
The first option is retail suicide – if shoppers knew they could snag a NWT $300 top for $30 at a sample sale, they’d never consider paying full price again. The second option allows the brand to maintain some semblance of dignity: If it donates the unsold sample sale goodies, it ensures that its usual customers never sees in its cheapest state.
Unless the customer in question has a seasoned knowledge of brands and their retail price points a la moi, in which case, all bets are off.
Now, there’s no science for tracking the from-sample-sale-to-thrift trajectory, but Ideeli did have a Walter Sample Sale a few weeks back. My powers of observation point to the NWT Walter Blazer pictured as an unsold leftover. Innnnteresting.
Alexander Wang isn’t having its Sample Sale until August 5th, so clearly clairvoyance is at work. That top is too effing ugly to sell at 50 – 75% off, so it went straight to the thrift. Smart move on behalf of the line. Asinine response from the brand-blind HWorks, who has the audacity to charge $70.00 for fugliness of this ilk. Barf.
The last known Society for Rational Dress sample sale occurred in March. The fact that they’re still unloading the goods can be attributed to false marketing: Rational isn’t an adjective for $160 tops and $380 dresses so much as an epic advertising fail. The line also bears the distinction of the most pretentious brand moniker in the history of fashion. But I digress.
Wang debacle aside, Housing Works’ price points for the above NWT designer items aren’t all that ludicrous in comparison with said items’ retail cost. Still, I heard grumblings from my fellow shoppers upon seeing the goods – kvetching in the “this place gets more expensive every time I come in here” vein – and they’re not entirely unfounded. I might be willing to pay $60 for a mint condition NWT item at a resale or consignment shop, but at a thrift store? Beotch please.
Housing Works: It’s time to stop pissing off your regulars and address your identity crisis. If you want to deal in both donated merch and sample sale castoffs, a name change is in order. Housing Works Thrift Boutique has a nice ring to it.
I recently discovered Viceversa Vintage; a Williamsburg shop dealing in an abundance of sixties and seventies era garb. The dress selection leaves something to be desired, what with the overpriced polyester Halloween costume-esque bullshit characteristic of many vintage stores in the greater NYC metro area.
Its saving grace is its tees and tops which – in addition to their old school cool factor – proved remarkably reasonably priced. Case in point: The blouse below.
Ten buckaroos for a gauzy summer dream. Yesssssss!
Said blouse prompted a newfound interest in vintage tops, which in turn prompted a browse in the Men’s section of the West Village Housing Works after the Women’s selection left me high and dry.
Twenty-five dollars, two one-of-a-kind shirts. Vintage is occasionally uber satisfying. Provided its reasonably priced.
A thrifted belt usually costs three to seven dollars. Ten bucks MAX. The notion of spending $25 on a secondhand waistline accessory is just silly.
It also pairs nicely with the Ella Moss dress snagged at Goodwill a few weeks back.
Said dress was a bit too dainty for me in its original form; high neckline, mid-thigh length, puffy sleeves, hellooooo conservative. Blech.
I snipped the elastic out of the armholes to de-puff the sleeve portion, trimmed the neckline back a bit, and took the bottom hem up more than a bit. And that’s called taking an uber preppy dress from boring to BADASS.
My Fiskars Craft scissors know no bounds.