I have absolutely no idea where I purchased the dress pictured below.
It was somewhere in Williamsburg, possibly near Metropolitan Ave, definitely in a not-yet-fully-gentrified area – a charming vintage hole-in-the-wall, run by an English Bulldog and his musician owner. The mysterious store was open late enough for me to stumble upon it in between weekend bar stops.
That’s code for “I was tipsy enough to get conned into paying $45 for a floral mini dress.”
Whatevs. Some things are too cute to pass up after two Tequilas on the rocks.
I’m all about high hemlines, but this dress uses its innocent print as an excuse to take it to the limit: It fails the fingertip skirt test by the length of one whole hand.
Why, then, do I still feel comfortable wearing it? (And by ‘comfortable,’ I mean with flats and non-pasty legs. Obvs.)
Built-in bloomers. That is some old-school awesomeness right there. It kinda feels like a diaper; then again, it covers the hoo-ha sans bike shorts so NBD.
Granted, the dress is still short enough to suggest itself as a catalyst for crotch shots. But as long as my legs take the focus off my matted, frizzed out, schvitzy August blob of a hairdo, I’m cool with a little overexposure. Fall – and the freedom to blowdry that comes with the season – can’t get here soon enough.
(Photo deets: Belt, DIY material collateral (zero dollars); necklace, Mom’s (legally thieved); sparkly eye shadow, CVS (Physicians Formula, $9.95).
What do I love about March? The cheaper-than-usual markdowns at Goodwill Gramercy, of course!
I usually stick to tops at this particular location; I popped in a few weeks ago, saw that all pants were marked at $2.99, and made an exception.
The beauty: Trovata High Waist Cords
The beast: Nylon Patterned Crazy Pants
My Uncle Chip donned a similar pair of crazy pants for the bulk of the eighties, which he likely accessorized with a terrycloth sweatband a la Richie Tenenbaum (yes, he is THAT COOL). He passed them onto my little brother a few years ago; I didn’t have the good sense to fight for them then. Uncle Chip: This one’s for you.
In other news, the weather’s been all kinds of shitty as of late. Spring storms: This one’s for you.
So, American Apparel’s having a Rummage Sale online (thanks to reader Lisa for the tip :)). Monumental? Yes. Reasonably priced? The bulk of the items are $5-$10, so Heck Yes. But what of the selection?
When I’m faced with a tempting $5, $10, $15 sale of this ilk, I like to play a little game called Would I Ever Pay Full Price For That? If the answer’s Maybe or Yes, the item gets a pass. If it’s a resounding No, I don’t care how cheap it is. You’re never going to wear that shizzz.
Let’s see how the Rummage Sale fares when this exercise is applied to its offerings.
Would I ever pay $16 for a Loop Terry Halter Bra? What IS this? A bra, a top, a garment American Apparel encourages its models to wear out in public with men’s button-down shirts (unbuttoned) to reinforce the notion that wearing this brand gets you laid? A terrycloth string bikini top might support an A-cup, but that ain’t me. It’s only $2 now (shocker), but I’d give this idiotic concoction a No even if were free.
Would I ever pay $25 for California Fleece Shorts? Yet another overpriced item too slutty to wear out in public. Also, these shorts are only available in two colors: Baby blue and Red, i.e. two shades that blimp out even the tightest of buns. All $5 buys you is the appearance of a fat ass.
Would I ever pay $36 for Unisex California Fleece Track Pants? When ascribed to pants, the term Unisex can be interpreted as: shapeless enough to accommodate balls if you have them. Even a Rummage Sale price of $15 can’t change that.
Would I ever pay $16 for Loop Terry High-Rise Briefs? Again, with the fucking terrycloth. A material that makes pantylines inevitable, and you’re manufacturing underwear out of it. What am I supposed to do with these, prance around my apartment and pretend I’m at the co-ed slumber party that is the American Apparel photo shoot? I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.
I’ll totally cop to highlighting the worst of the worst here. The Rummage Sale merch also includes a fair amount of decent-looking basic tees in various styles, none of which I’m buying because none of them are Tri-Blend. My personal favorite, the Unisex Tri-Blend Short Sleeve Deep V-Neck, is still $22 at American Apparel’s online store.
The very same tee can be had for $9.99 at Amazon.com, a much better online option for reduced-price basics.
Say NO to the Rummage Sale, and shop there instead.
I wore this outfit to a phenomenal shitshow of a Brooklyn backyard soiree last weekend. (I had my doubts about its fabulosity before leaving my apartment that evening, and only mustered the cojones to go for it by Not Giving a Shit). Said outfit ended up being a big hit with my inebriated (albeit potentially beer-goggled) compadres, so I figure it merits a post.
Let’s start with the fact that when my Mom sees this hacked-up version of her formerly ankle-length Ralph Lauren sundress, she’s going to Kick. My. Ass. (Then again, I performed hemline surgery on the dress sans permission, so I probs deserve it. Mommy – I’m sorry? :). My rational for gettin’ snippy with it was this: The dress hasn’t been worn since 1989 and anything ankle-length midgetizes a 5’2″ frame, so if it was going to be worn por moi, it HAD to be cut. At least now it’s getting used and abused, err, enjoyed. And isn’t that the point of clothes to begin with?
Scissoring a wrap dress is a fairly advanced DIY project; it must be done on the body and as such, involves a series of spinal twists.
The upside is you get to check your work along the way and make the necessary adjustments (like leaving some length in the back for the sake of butt coverage).
After I’d hacked to my heart’s content, I paired the dress with those recently-acquired Twenty-Three Dollar Etienne Aigner Boots from Burlington Coat Factory.
I liked the overall look, but there was one problem: I felt naked.
This dress is almost entirely open-backed, so a tank would have provided the necessary coverage up top. But it was a windy night, and not pulling an insert-name-of-celeb-hot-mess-here meant I needed something more substantial than a Hanky Panky under the skirt. Spandex mini-shorts were a maybe, but a tank tucked into them caused unsightly bunching at the waist.
I needed a one-piece, leotard-esque thing; something that could solve my coverage crisis in one fell swoop. Something like a Spanx Unitard.
I busted out the scissors once more, snipped the legs of the unitard into shorts and BAM! Outfit accomplished.
Thanks to my buds for their continual support of my sartorial risks. This outfit’s cheap. But good friends are priceless.
You can go throw up now. ;)
A few weeks ago, I snagged this uber classy, Ralph Lauren striped tank at Buffalo Exchange. Not POLO Ralph Lauren, not LAUREN Ralph Lauren – Ralph Lauren. Its tag bears striking similarity to the brand’s current high-end line, Black Label, so I’m going to give myself the benefit of the doubt and assess its original price point as on par with
Ralph Lauren Black Label Tops. And if I’m right (if…BAH!), this means the tank in question would have originally retailed for at least $100.
I got it for $12.50. Word.
Given my penchant for ripped tights, off-shoulder shirts and legwarmers (basically, the eighties) a striped, boat-necked tank is an uncharacteristically preppy purchase for me. I didn’t buy it because I’m considering upping the Classy ante in my wardrobe or anything. I bought it because its the perfect background canvas for something more risque. Something slightly ridiculous. Something not intended to be worn in public.
Something like this black satiny robe-turned-wrapdress from Target.
This easy-peasy robe-to-wrapdress transformation utilizes an item that’s become an essential in my DIY arsenal: Tight Strips. I simply hacked up a pair of hot pink tights into pieces, strung them together, knotted them to the ends of the robe’s ties, and poked a few strategic holes in the sides of the garment for threading purposes. I could illustrate the process with diagrammed drawings, but I don’t want to frighten you with my kindergarten-esque artistic skills more than once. The best way to visualize this undertaking is to familiarize yourself with the constructs of a legit wrapdress, and mimic its structure.
Robes in jersey-knit and/or satiny materials work best in this sitch, as they can masquerade as non-sleepwear fairly well. Going to town on anything in terrycloth or flannel is ill-advised.