DRESS THIS MESS: Lesson One (Thrifting)

Diploma in hand, I opened up a bunch of cards congratulating me on my success. They all said the same thing: “Good on ya,” “Way to go champ”, and “You did it.” Well, to be honest, they weren’t that cheesy. (I should clearly cross the greeting card writing job of my list of potential careers.) Scribbled under these prefabricated salutations were notes like “welcome to the adult world.” Being me, my mind didn’t go straight to the financial responsibilities loaded in that statement. Instead, I thought I have to start dressing like an adult now.

I am a petite girl…woman. I could easily still fit into a pair of jeans at Pacsun marketed for preteens who haven’t hit puberty yet. However, “adults” don’t wear preteen jeans. So, I immediately dug through my closet and did a major purge of all clothing the screamed teen. With an empty closet and a head full of ideas, I hit the net looking for things that would become my new adult, graduate-of-college style. I quickly found that the items I loved were far far far out of my price range. For example:

Madewell Shutter Bug Top

Madewell's Shutterbug Top for the small price of an arm, a leg, and $89.50 from my wallet.

Anthropologie's Freya BlouseA

Anthropologie's Freya Blouse for only $69.00

I quickly realized, I like expensive clothing. I also realized, I really like silk blouses. But unfortuatly, there is no way I could ever afford these with no job, meager savings, and a car that dosen’t have the strength to make it to the nearest Madewell or Anthropology. So I took fellow blogger Jentine’s (from her blog My Edit) advice on thrifting silk shirts. My town has a small thrift store called Select Seconds. I was feeling pretty unsure of myself shopping there: it quickly became apparent that I was SIGNIFICANTLY younger than their average clientele. I quickly got over my awkwardness when I spotted a whole rack of blouses, the majority of them silk!

One thing Jentine teaches about thrifting is to check the quality of the clothes you see: read the tags to check that they are 100% silk; give them the wrinkle test, silk wrinkles; and, be conscious of sizes. I ran with her advice and found three blouses, each for $3.00, and two belts, each for $.75.

Only the pink shirt is up for an immediate debut in my wardrobe. The others will have to be refashioned into something wearable. I am thinking the white shirt will be turned into something like the Madewell ShutterBug top (but with pockets). I guess my thrifting experiment has also turned into a sewing one. In the end, thrifting pays. No need to break the bank when the things I want can be found relatively inexpensively.

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