Outfit of the Day – February 7th, 2015

This week I’m still exploring the full breadth of my gifts from American Apparel, and so naturally that’s reflected in the outfit of the day. I’ve gone with a vaguely seventies look, especially in the pastel green paired with the pastel pink of the watch (picture on my instagram: @margueritealley). For some reason I just find that color combination very visually pleasing. Anyways, here it is.

Price breakdown:

Sunglasses: ASOS, $22

Jacket: American Apparel, retail $85

Dress: American Apparel, retail $54

Tights: ASOS, $11

Shoes: thrifted at Deerborn Goodwill in Seattle, $6.

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Thrift Cities: Durham, NC

Though several of my peers are desperate to put their hometown in the rearview mirror, Durham and I have a pretty good relationship. I don’t necessarily want to live here forever (I don’t necessarily want to live anywhere forever), but the thrift stores would certainly support me if I chose to do so. I’ve visited many lovely thrift and vintage shops in the area, but in this post I’ll start simply with the new TROSA thrift store and a brief mention of the Goodwill on Garrett RD.

Something that I’ve been ruminating on for the last week or so has been how and why some people consider your usual, department store/mall shopping excursion to be a social experience. In the past, when I’ve gone non-thrift store shopping, I’ve always been on a mission, looking for something very specific that’s going to look a certain way. And there always seems to be great pressure to find that particular item or concept, at least in my own mind. I can’t imagine who would want to accompany me while I try on six different styles and sizes of generic skinny jeans and then agonize over whether they make me look wide(r).

Thrift shopping, though, seems to alleviate some of that pressure, perhaps just because I can accept the fact that it’s nearly impossible to go in and expect to find exactly what you’re looking for. It promotes a calmer, more zen-like attitude, in which you just have to let go of assumptions and allow yourself to be open-minded. I realize this all sounds very quaint, but I have noticed that I am much more likely to enjoy the company of others while thrift shopping. Thoughts? Comments? Questions?

Anyways, here’s what I found (comments welcome!):

It's nice to find a sweater with a suitably wide neck, so that your hair remains intact when pulling it off. Rarer than you may think and $5.99 at TROSA.

It’s nice to find a sweater with a suitably wide neck, so that your hair remains intact when pulling it off. Rarer than you may think and $5.99 at TROSA.

This dress, though somewhat charming, is a size too big for me and though workable in everyday life, it may be better suited as a bathing suit cover-up. I made the mistake of spending $19 on it, but am not entirely filled with remorse.

This dress, though somewhat charming, is a size too big for me and though workable in everyday life, it may be better suited as a bathing suit cover-up. I made the mistake of spending $19 on it, but am not entirely filled with remorse.

Add a sweater and it almost works for autumn.

Add a sweater and it almost works for autumn.

I like the split side in this skirt and the warm colors. My love affair with maxi-shirts in general continues unabated.

I like the split side in this skirt and the warm colors. My love affair with maxi-shirts in general continues unabated.

This golf themed skirt is the perfect example of the kind of thing you'd balk at in a regular store but would take a risk on when thrifting. I like the vintage flare and the ridiculous pattern is just a bonus.

This golf themed skirt is the perfect example of the kind of thing you’d balk at in a regular store but would take a risk on when thrifting. I like the vintage flare and the ridiculous pattern is just a bonus.

This is the reason no one watches golf on TV.

This is the reason no one watches golf on TV.

This shirt is a Goodwill find from some years ago and though it is, quite literally,  just someone's ragged t-shirt I love how it hangs.

This shirt is a Goodwill find from some years ago and though it is, quite literally, just someone’s ragged t-shirt I love how it hangs.

This jacket was also found at Goodwill and I couldn't resist the print. It also adds a unique edge to casual outfit.

This jacket was also found at Goodwill and I couldn’t resist the print. It also adds a unique edge to casual outfit.

Close up of the detailing. Exquisite.

Close up of the detailing. Exquisite.

Though perhaps not on the scale of larger metropolitan areas, I can’t find much to complain about it when it comes to Durham thrift.

(cover photo from http://law.nccu.edu/about/durham/)

Thrift Cities: Seattle, WA

Now I know exactly none of you will be surprised when I tell you that Seattle has bitchin’ thrift stores, however you may be surprised (and slightly horrified) by the fact I managed to fit all the clothes I bought (see below) into my carry-on luggage for the the flight home. It was one of my greater triumphs.

Seattle, of course, is the hometown of Macklemore, who shoved thrift shopping even more into the mainstream than it already was (for the record, I was thrift shopping before the song solidified its coolness). So, naturally, the main thrift store we flocked to in Seattle was the largest Goodwill in the country, and apparently the one Macklemore frequented. I have still not recovered from how overwhelmingly gorgeous it was. I imagine it will haunt my memories as one of those halcyon experiences of youth.

Some of the many highlights (comments welcome!):

First, I got some excellent deals on shoes. These are Clark boots that are usually upwards of a $100. I got them for $15. They have since become a major staple in my wardrobe.

First, I got some excellent deals on shoes. These are Clark boots that are usually upwards of a $100. I got them for $15. They have since become a major staple in my wardrobe.

These Oxfords were only $6 and I have a deep appreciation for what they do to my ankles.

These Oxfords were only $6 and I have a deep appreciation for what they do to my ankles.

It should first be noted that I am a huge proponent of the unconventional maxi-dress (as opposed to the conventional floral muumuu idea of a long dress) and so I fell in love with this pretty quick. The fabric is delightfully thin but not see-through.

It should first be noted that I am a huge proponent of the unconventional maxi-dress (as opposed to the conventional floral muumuu idea of a long dress) and so I fell in love with this pretty quick. The fabric is delightfully thin but not see-through.

And if like me you believe the mantra that black leather makes everything better, than it's a good time to be alive.

And if, like me, you believe the mantra that black leather (Forever 21, $30) makes everything better, than it’s a good time to be alive.

This dress is comfortable enough to be pajamas but can sharpened up with black stockings (or fishnets) and Oxfords. The sweater is a cast-off of my mom's and adds to the vaguely autumn color scheme.

This dress is comfortable enough to be pajamas but can sharpened up with black stockings ($6 on Forever 21 or fishnets from elsewhere) and Oxfords. The sweater is a cast-off of my mom’s and adds to the vaguely autumnal color scheme.

This one I'm a bit proud of, mostly because I like the red tights (Forever 21, $6) with the black and tan of the hat ($4 at a beach store in Chincoteague) and dress. The dress was approximately $5 and was recommended by the illustrious Margaret Kramer, who is the most masterful thrift shopper there has ever been.

This one I’m a bit proud of, mostly because I like the red tights (Forever 21, $6) with the black and tan of the hat ($4 at a beach store in Chincoteague) and dress. The dress was approximately $5 and was recommended by the illustrious Margaret Kramer, who is the most masterful thrift shopper there has ever been.

The crowning jewel of this visit is this dress, which has no tags and would appear to be handmade. It seems to be a minor miracle that it happened to fit me.

The crowning jewel of this visit is this dress, which has no tags and would appear to be handmade. It seems to be a minor miracle that it happened to fit me. Lately I’ve been combining it with your average black heels. I feel as though it would be a good Christmas party dress, or maybe better suited for a melancholic summer evening. Or perhaps just an unusual prom dress, depending on who you are. Hard to say.

A closer look at the pattern and how the neckline perfectly frames a pendant.

A closer look at the pattern and how the neckline perfectly frames a pendant.

Seattle has set a whole new standard for thrift and thoroughly blown my mind in the process. Next time I go out there I’m bringing an extra suitcase.

(cover photo from http://mccormickbarstow.com/seattle-washington)