Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Fresh blows the wind homeward bound

Lots of things make me happy: finding an unattended pen that I can test drive, butter on fresh bread, re-reading Catch-22 for the eleven millionth time, watching a jumbo take off, watching Cool Hand Luke late at night with a cup of tea, having an afternoon to myself to mooch around thrift stores.

Last weekend I got very happy as I mooched around thrift stores and op shops and made some wonderful purchases. Obviously you'll see the wonderful in days to come but today I want to share the not so wonderful.

Like all opshoppers I have some rules and guidelines when I am mooching:
*Check the fabric. Is it hardy? Is it about to shatter? Are the seams sound? Buttons? Zips? All present and working?
*Do the light test: Can you see any holes when you hold it up to the light? Are there stains? Any evidence of insect feasting?
*Try it on. Does it fit? Is it comfortable? Does it suit you? Will you wear it?
*Check your purse. Can you afford it? Is it value for money?

First up was a wonderful blue seersucker dress that reminded me of Jessica Lang.

I was ready to go romping through fields of buttercups in this dress...

...but instead looked like I should be herding wildebeest or cooking for a shed full of shearers. No sale.

No matter - next up was a beautiful green silk number. I loved the print.

The cut, however, was horrible. I looked like the mother of the bride. A mother who really didn't like attending weddings. Also,  I am certain those little berries are poisonous. Cute, but poisonous. 

No luck there. Not to worry - I had the interesting blue shirt dress to try on!

I'm not sure what I found so interesting. The spots? The entirely unflattering palette? The way it made me look a little like a wildebeest?

 I was very relieved that it didn't fit.  C'est la vie. There's always one too the creamy silk meadow dress to restore my faith in dresses.

I love the print on this - pink and olive on cream silk. Heavenly.

Too bad it checked every negative box on the How Unflattering Is Your Dress survey.  Frumpy? Check. Badly cut? Check. Print distorts rather than enhances your waistline? Check. Likely to enrage wildebeest and cause a stampede? Check.

Well, thank heavens for the lovely little cotton apron dress made from lovely vintage fabric.

Except it was entirely unflattering and miles too big around the back. The only time I could imagine wearing that is when my blue wildebeest-herding dress is in the wash. I'm fairly certain this dress would scare the wildebeest. I did like the pockets though, until I discovered a thick wad of tissues in one of them.

Sigh. Still, I have the blue shift dress. I love shift dresses - pair of boots, a long jangly necklace, bit of a headband and you're good to go.

Except it was about four sizes to big.

May as well get the last one over and done with. It's gaudy and frilly and possibly age-inappropriate and ...

...actually, it's not so bad. It's fine for tossing on over jeans, handy to have at the beach as a cover and perfect for hot nights when you get home from work and want to pad around the house in something innocuous. Also - big blousy roses are welcome in my life anytime. And these little cotton numbers just get sweeter and softer with age. It has pockets too, mercifully devoid of any tissues.

So there it is - a lovely early autumn afternoon completely unmarred by unsuitable dresses.

Wait to you see the ones I bought. I think even the wildebeest would approve.


  1. Thanks for taking me on your shopping trip. I admire your inexhaustible clothes-changing energy. It also explains how you manage to get so many suitable items of clothing second hand. It's really quite encouraging, and inspires me to get back to my vinnies again soon.

  2. It was a fun afternoon, Jen! I have endless patience when it comes to rootling through second hand clothes. You're right - it's probability rather than luck that lands me so good things ... I look at so many clothes in so many stores, I can't help but turn up a few that I love. Vinnies, I think, is my all-time favourite op shop. I never come away disappointed!