Ah, trends. Silly little sartorial rules that prey on our innate need to fit in and look cool. Take oxblood, for instance - the “purplish-reddish-brownish hue” every blog plotzed over this past fall, singing its praises like it wasn’t the same exact fucking color as maroon.
The vast majority of trends are just like oxblood – re-branded spins on shit we’ve already seen. The more inspired by the past a given trend is, the easier it is to shop secondhand. Hence the reason I am SO EFFING PUMPED that the long-overlooked nineties are finally back.
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Pardon the absence, chickadees – biznass at my thriftique is, well, BOOMING.
By the by, we’re phasing out consignment and phasing in cash-for-clothes – if you’ve got castoffs to sell, we’d love to take a look! Email email@example.com to set up an appointment with me or my hetero-life-mate, Kate Goldwater.
I schlep it out on stock runs, but I’ve started classing it up a bit on my days running the store. For someone with an affinity for hiked-up hemlines and shredded denim, this is obvs uncharted territory.
I used to think cardigans, blouses and skirts of the non-mini ilk had some kind of transformative power – wear them in conjunction and poof! You’re Betty Draper.
A wildly irrational assumption, yes. I mean, they’re just clothes, for fuck’s sake – any power they have over us is always in our own heads. Alas, sometimes logic alone isn’t enough to cut through one’s own ridiculous projections.
Throw an effing amazing ladylike piece into the mix, and the argument for occasional elegance is a hell of a lot more convincing. The skirt above was unearthed from one of the back bins at Green Village Junk Shop. I was on the hunt for store stock at the time, but one look at this puppy was enough to convince me to sell it never. Tuck a white tank into it, throw on flat sandals and some jewelry and it’s not just the easiest outfit in existence – it’s one of the greats.
FYI you guys: While Green Village’s front racks are always ripe with vintage finds, its by-the-pound selection (and I use that term loosely) bears the highest of sketch factors. Successful guerilla thrifting generally hinges on hard work and endurance – where Green Village’s back bins are concerned, sometimes neither gets you jack shit.
Finding a skirt like this in a by-the-pound context is a matter of blind luck alone. Save yourself the agony, and stick to the racks. (Unless you have a borderline-psychotic addiction to digging a la moi, in which case, go for it.)
Now lookie, I wasn’t drawn to this skirt because tea-lengths are oh-so-haute-right-now. I just like to stick it to retail as much as possible. Attached to the occasional on-trend secondhand find is something I’m not nearly mature enough to forgo.
BRAGGING RIGHTS.A brief analysis of my vintage number and its Dolce Vita counterpart:
Similar button placement.
Similar color family.
A two hundred and nineteen dollar difference in cost.
How you like me now, retail? HOW YOU LIKE ME NOW?!
Surprise! Miss me? Good. Ditto. Discussion on the absurdity of Spring’s Retro Trend shall heretofore commence. Clarifying the meaning of “retro” as it relates to style is probs a good place to start. Let’s jack some knowledge from Wikipedia:
Retro is a culturally outdated or aged style, trend, mode, or fashion, from the overall postmodern past, that has since that time become functionally or superficially the norm once again. The use of “retro” style iconography and imagery interjected into post-modern art, advertising, mass media, etc. It generally implies a vintage of at least 15 or 20 years.
You hear that, chickadees? Old shiznat is In. So In that Topshop sent two chicks from its design team over to AuH2O yesterday to spy on us, which was half-flattering and half-absurd. (What’s wrong, Topshop? Is the shitstorm of sparkles and feathers and other overpriced barely-wearables not going as well as you’d hoped?)
Retro basically means stolen from the past. This makes it the easiest trend in the history of trends to thrift, should you choose to incorporate elements of it into your wardrobe. Tie-front blouses, long skirts, printed button down shirts – there’s about nine kajillion of all the above in every shape, size and color in every Salvation Army Family Store and every Goodwill Outlet Center on the planet. For serious.
The tops below were snagged on a stock run earlier this week… before I’d even browsed Shopbop’s latest trend schmend lookbooks. The extent of the Retro sham eventually became clear.
Swearsies, my vintage striped blouse is 100% silk too. Nothing’s wrong with it, aside from the fact that it’s been duplicated, coined the “Clean Sheer Striped Shirt” and perverted by Madewell‘s $95.00 pricetag. Grossness.Am I on glue here, or does the earth-toned, Safari-inspired trend thing happen EVERY SINGLE SPRING and just rotate what it calls itself? I guess this year it’s masquerading as Retro; next year it’ll be Natural or something equally vague. Whatever.
A few small differences between my thrift find and its retail copy, err, inspiration (also by Madewell – someone on that design team def digs Goodwill.) One: Mine is linen – a fabric of equal caliber to silk, IMHO. Two: Mine is olive, as opposed to poop brown. Onto the prints!Okay, okay, I’m aware that the Tommy Bahama number at left isn’t objectively attractive. It could possibly be deemed ugly as sin. Guess what? I don’t give a RAT’S ASS. I think it’s AMAZING. I think it’s my favorite top I own right now, and I think I’m going to wear it all spring and summer, possibly to family events, where it will undoubtedly embarrass my mother.
My feeling is, if you’re gonna go tie-front, go big or go home, and if you’re gonna go print, go loud while you’re at it. I wore it to work yesterday, assuming it’d be slow because it was a weekday and the weather was absolute shite. We ended up getting slammed for the bulk of the afternoon, which obvs means that in addition to being awesome, the Tommy Bahama is also lucky.
For today’s version of the aforementioned lucky top, see the Adhan Sleeveless Blouse by Equipment. It’s a little less loud and little more modern… I might even call it cute. Oh, except it’s effing two hundred and forty two dollars.
I’m sorry, but a top costing more than two Benjamins better take ten pounds off, make my boobs look perkier, go with every thing I own, and have a lifespan of approximately 75 years. If it doesn’t do any of the above, it’s not a top at all. It’s a FELONY.
Peacey outtie and a big fat MWAH.
When I’m thrifting, I make it my biznass to keep an open mind. Almost everything comes full circle in fashion; what I find might not be In now, but it doesn’t mean it won’t be all the rage in a few months. There are, however, a few styles and materials I avoid on account of high sketch factor and general un-wearability.
Here’s my shortlist of NOs:
- keynole, shallow-v, mock-turtle and cowl necklines
- oversized shoulder pads
- boxy tops
- banded-waist sweaters
- anything chenille
- thick, rib knits
Unfortunately, some designers are actually inspired by things better left in the past. My evidence for making such an outrageous claim?
Alexander Wang‘s Pre-Spring Collection.
What, praytell, was the thought process behind these garments? Women are looking way too attractive these days – let’s dose them with schlubbiness? The white number at left features a cropped front, open sides, and a longer back – you know, in case you were worried about having a cute ass or whatever. The rationale for the $595.00 pricetag attached to this fugliness is the “shredded knit-banding” at the shoulders which, I assume, involves a high level of craftsmanship.
Perhaps this pullover evolved out of necessity.
Caring about your model’s health and well-being is such a drag. Put her underweight ass in this sweater, and you can claim ignorance when she collapses from starvation. She looked ten pounds heavier! How were you to know she’d been on the iceberg lettuce/cotton ball diet for three whole days?!
Onto the beige, v-neck pullover. A banded waist. Are you fucking serious? We already have hips, goddammit, and accentuating them stopped being cool in the eighties. Looks like Marc Jacobs finally has some competition for that Ignorance of the Female Form award. Egads.
The boxy, mock turtle pullover at left amounts to two offenses in one. Possibly three, taking the Jacquard into account. Jacquard is a technique for adding volume to a garment via a raised pattern or something. This $495.00 sweater is worse than a cookie: There’s no sugar high, and it STILL makes you fat.
Lastly, we have the cropped mock-neck tank – a nostalgic nod to our grammar school days, back before periods, boys or breasts.
Somebody skipped the class on proportions in design school. Ditto for the one on common fucking sense.
Winter is a happy time of year for those obsessed with eighties cold weather accessories a la moi. I’m talking, of course, about leg warmers.
If you’re down with the leg warmer thang and need a versatile, budget-friendly recommendation, Foot Traffic Super Long Leg Warmers, at $12.00 a pair, are obvs your best bet. But if you’re a bonafide leg warmer fanatic (i.e. you’ll consider paying more than $20 for a really special pair), an Etsy browse yields some stellar (and possibly outrageous) results.
Five drool-worthy options:
Oatmeal Crochet Stirrup Leg Warmers, Mademoiselle Mermaid, $35.00; Cozy Plaid Leg Warmers, SoFine, $22.00.
Strappy Leg Warmers, Youth Diaspora, $35.00; Cashmere Dance Spats, Mia Baggali, $35.00.
And, saving the most kickass pair for last…
The best part? The wrist cuffs are included!
Spiky Fur Leg Warmer and Wristlet Set, Candy Kiss Couture, $35.00.