What I got

The other evening I settled into the Amish rocker, drew the computer onto my knee, and clicked over to Ted.com. As soon as the speakers started making noise, the kids surrounded me (and soon husband, too). Thus awkwardly assembled, we together watched several talks*—one about focusing sound, another about illusions, and yet another about buying second-hand clothes.

The talk about thrift shopping was delivered by a color-and-fashion loving woman who had traveled to the Ted Dot Com place (wherever that is) with only seven pairs of underwear and then spent the week thrifting for clothes and photographing her daily outfits which she then used to illustrate her talk. One of the nuggets I gleaned went something like this: if you think you look good in an outfit, you do. If you don’t think you look good, you don’t. I’m not sure I completely believe that, but the gist of it is probably mostly true.

In any case, I decided to go thrifting for clothes.

Now let me say this: I hate shopping for clothes at thrift stores. It requires absolute concentration, abundant time, and lots and lots of Fabric Touching. I hate Fabric Touching, especially fabrics of the stale, stained, and stinky thrift store sort.

But I like the idea of thrift shopping for clothes (I already love thrifting for everything else), and that color-and-fashion jiving Ted woman done did go and get me all pumped up.

So on Saturday I arranged myself a block of time and plunged in cart first. I attacked the racks like a woman possessed, pulling off anything and everything that interested me, no matter how mildly. I even sifted through the wedding dresses and evening gowns! The sign on the changing room door said there was a three item limit which I promptly disregarded (because how in the world are you supposed to mix and match with only three things?)—I had well over 30 items tossed hither and yon. When I finally resurfaced, gasping for air and hair all disheveled, I was shocked to realize I was completely out of time.

And money. I spent over fifty bucks (which is a heck of a lot of money to dish out in a thrift store), and this is what I got.

1. A slinky black fringe dress.

I dig this dress. It’s super comfortable and makes me feel like Pocahontas in a heels-and-evening-gown sort of way.

2. A short stretchy black dress.

But I’ll wear it more like a tunic top, probably with leggings and boots. It’s a good first layer to any number of combinations.

3. A long brown sweater.

I spied this right as I was getting ready to leave and had to ask for the changing room key yet again. It’s soft and warm and will go well with a pair of skinny jeans and cowboy boots, neither of which I have. (But that is just a minor inconvenience.)

4. An old Navy fleece vest.

Because I wanted a fleece vest and I love dark blue.

5. A light-weight blue denim shirt with brown rope belt.

I’m not sure I’ll actually wear this, but I decided it was time to try my luck with the belted look. And the shirt itself is so comfy. Maybe paired with a brown skirt and those cowboy boots I don’t have?

6. A Lord of the Rings Princess Dress.

Just look at this dress, people! It has poofy sleeves! A fitted waist! A twirly skirt! (I tested it in the changing room.) I kind of doubted I’d ever wear the dress but the little girl inside of me forced me to buy it anyway, and when I got home my little real-life little girl stole it right out from under my nose.

I haven’t told her yet, but I think it’s destined to be hers.

7. A red jumper.

Because every homeschooling mom needs a jumper dress, right?

Um, no. Real reason: because it’s super-soft (I’m realizing I have a thing for soft clothes) and has funky little metal hook-y thingies for fastening the shoulder straps. Not sure what to wear under it—a white blouse?—but I’ll probably pair it with some boots. Those cowboy boots…

8. Workout clothes.

Short, flow-y black pants for belly dancing or for bumming around the house, and a cover-up shirt for the same.

9. A black corduroy skirt.

All-purpose. Warm. Sturdy. And the belt loops have character.

10. A little red velvet dress.

I’m not a fan of the Christmas Look but kind of doubt I’ll have any other option when I put this number on. I should probably just stick a candy cane in my mouth and get it over with. Giant jingle bells around my neck would provide a nice accent, no? Ho-ho-ho.

11. A gray lacy-like sweater.

It has the potential to dress up many an outfit.

12. A red tee.

Nothing much to say about this, expect that I’m beginning to realize I’m drawn to red. (And black, but I knew that already.)

13. A black tank.

It fits really well—no gaping around the arms. (I hate when shirts gape around the arms. Makes me feel insecure and socially inept.)

14. A black purse.

It’s almost exactly like the one I have now, but bigger so I can carry more junk, yay!

So to summarize: I bought a bunch of winter clothes at the beginning of summer and half of it isn’t what I’d normally wear but I’m really excited about it anyway.

Next step: to accessorize with flair. I’m thinking hats, scarves, chunky jewelry, and lime green tights.

By any chance, is this new behavior pattern indicative of an early onset mid-life crisis?

*I love this website. It’s made up of a lot of quality talks delivered by people passionate about what they do. Informative, inspiring, fun, etc. (Note: not all talks are appropriate for Little Eyes. Use discretion.)

This same time, years previous: cold-brewed iced coffee and cold-brewed iced tea (I’ve been making the coffee a half-gallon at a time), cabbage apple slaw with buttered pecans, sour cherry crostatas, how to freeze spinach, strawberry margarita cake, and Swiss chard rolls


  • Amber

    Your "finds" remind me of myself- everything is solid colors! I love wearing solids which is what most of my wardrobe consists of.

  • Margo

    ooooooh fun!!! I think you did good! Wear that red jumper with a tank top or a non-matching gingham blouse (like purple or black).
    I think you need to invest in some boots – that seems like a theme with the red and black. I ADORE talking about other peoples' clothes and closets. I am always nosing into my friends and talking about it.

    Red velvet is NOT limited to Christmas. Especially if you have black tights or cowboy boots or some other funky tights and jewelry. Seriously. It's a great basic dress.

    Pretty please wear that belted shirt with the black cord skirt – and your new boots.

    I have about 50 more opinions if you want. I'll try not be nosy.

  • the domestic fringe

    Hey you got lots of good stuff! I'm sure you'll find tons of ways to wear those pieces. Congrats!

    I did a post last week on my thrift shopping. I love it. I always wear old clothes when I go though, because when I come home, I throw everything in the wash, including the clothes I'm wearing. Helps feel less sticky and icky after a day rummaging through stinky clothes. 😉

    I'm going to visit that website. Sounds good!

  • Anonymous

    love the hunt of thrift store shopping. Of course it is hit or miss. And there is the great vintage finds I get that have never nor will never fit, but I buy them anyway because they are just so darn great. Then give them away!

  • You Can Call Me Jane

    I love shopping at thrift and discount stores for clothes- I have so much more luck at those stores than at the standard clothing stores. And I always leave happy because I spend so little money. It's the only shopping I enjoy.

    Mavis- I have a jean jumper too. Mine is blue but I don't wear it to teach school.

  • Anonymous

    #1 and #3 are my favorite… I'm thinking the black dress with fringe would be the perfect thing to wear in Spain…

    I'm laughing at the red home school jumper…

    I don't have skin tight jeans or cowboy boots either…

    And I like the purse…

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