Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Thrift Addiction

I love clothes. But I've always felt a bit of a tension between getting things I loved and being fearful of spending too much money on them. I've often been thrifty to the point of miserly, and sometimes that made me pass on things I should've bought, or buy certain things because they were both cheap and a "sure thing." Sometimes this tendency has kept me from taking too many fashion risks.

I've spent the bulk of my adulthood in New York City. It's a hub of American fashion and no mistake, but it also can be incredibly expensive, even when thrift shopping. The Goodwills and Salvation Armys I went to back then were okay, but nothing special. There was an amazing warehouse of a thrift shop in Williamsburg in the 90s called Domsey's Warehouse . I still remember the old school air pilot leather helmets with goggles that were on sale one day when I went that I passed up. Sigh. Domsey's vanished when the real estate got too expensive.

But for the most part the stuff I craved was at little house designers on East 7th St in the east village, or at consignment shops. As a rule I'd hit those when there was a sale, or when I had a big occasion to shop for. I still treasure the Mark Montano dress that my friend Rob urged me to try on and buy (alas, MM no longer designs clothes). I also hit Daffy's pretty frequently. Sadly Daffys too is no more.

During our first couple years of serious shoestring living in Seattle I took note of the city's particular style. Lots of girls in boots, everyone in beanies, & a lot of vintage clothing and a lot of flannel shirts 15 years after the height of the grunge era. I started trolling thrift shops more regularly, as much for entertainment as anything else. But for some reason the selection out here is a lot better. I've gotten a lot of good stuff in the last few months, and I'm starting to take more risks with the items I buy, veering toward slightly trendier things. At the same time, I'm 42 years old, and don't wanna look like I'm struggling to look like 25 when I obviously don't. But when thrift shopping out here I can take some risks without worrying too much about the expense.

Fit is also a factor. In the past I've often chosen clothes that are loose on me, because I didn't want them to be "too tight". In many cases I now realize that I was actually veering away from a true fit on my body. As I buy more clothes and play around with the sizing, I'm getting a better idea of what will work for my body type.

This is a perfect example of "fit discovery." I'm short-waisted as it is, and this skirt has a very high waist compared to what I'm used to.

But it does fit me properly. It flares over my hips at the right spot precisely because it has as high a waist as it does.

Plus it has pockets!

I'd usually never buy a suede skirt, but for $1.29 how could I say no? With the right sweaters in the fall I think it'll work out well.


  1. Love that skirt, Rachel! And I'm loving the pockets.

  2. Thanks Karen! Pockets are all too rare on skirts these days. I'm thinking this one is possibly from the 80s, or from a design aesthetic that harks back to that...the label makes it look like it.

  3. Pockets are key. I always regret clothing without pockets. The skirts looks lovely on you.

    1. Hey thanks! Funny thing is after I tried this skirt on, I started noticing the lack of the pockets in my other skirts! I did a tailoring class years ago and pockets were a major part of the class. Might have to make a skirt with pockets so I don't miss them quite so much.

  4. And as we all know, pockets are handy even in a wedding dress. And you may be 42 but I think you look a lot younger....good genes in the family I say.