11.03.2006

Once and Future Blues

My wardrobe used to be in want of color. It seemed like the only colors I had were blue, black, and various shades of greys and browns. Then I got adventurous and bought a lot of clothes in all kinds of wild and crazy colors. Now it seems like I'm going back to my roots.


All three items were purchased from the Goodwill, but on separate days. The coat and the bag were acquired on the same trip. I bought the dress a couple of days ago on a side trip after getting gas (it was only a block away).

I've been using the bag almost everyday. It really is one of those bags that can be used anytime--weekday, workday, schoolday, and weekends. It's incredibly soft and holds a surprising amount of stuff for a clutch, probably because the pleats and the flexible faux-leather fabric accomodate expansion. Because I carry a backpack, I don't like to mess with a separate purse. When I need to run errands on or near campus, I don't want to haul all my stuff around. Hence, I put my purse, cell phone, keys, etc. in the clutch and toss it in my backpack. Even though it sounds like cruel and unusual punishment for such a beautiful accessory, trust me when I say that it gets to see a lot of daylight. It is so versatile and cheap (only $3)! The cost-per-use ratio is going to be so low by the time this bag finally expires (which I hope won't be anytime close).

As an aside, one caveat about disinfecting vintage bags. I decided to spray the inside and outside with ethanol, per my usual practice, but colors were coming off! I tried to even out the splotches where color came off by wiping down the surrounding areas with ethanol; I figure that doing so would help the splotches "blend in" a little more. It worked out as a mitigating measure. What I should have done was to test a corner for color-fastness. If alcohol or other organic solvents take color off, the better idea is to wipe with mild soap and water, and spray the inside with a disinfectant spray if you want to be extra-cautious.

The dress, the dress, the dress. I absolutely love the color and the collar detail on the dress. What's even better is that the store happened to have a sale on dresses. I got this for $4 instead of the usual $6.99--score! Too bad it wrinkles easily. I tried ironing it while it was still a little damp from the wash, but maybe I should have ironed while it was more wet.

As you can see, I've been on a kick for vintage pieces. Often times they're made better than what we have today, and in my case, they fit a lot better too. I don't like to look like I've stepped out of a time machine. Rather, I like to mix them in with modern pieces. If I were going out on my leisurely time, I could wear the dress exactly how you see it above (with a long-sleeve tee and tights), and with a cute pair of shoes. That look might be a little too cute for my age, however. Since I wore this dress to school, I wanted to look a little more mature and didn't want to be ridiculed for looking like I'm an "Austin Powers" extra. Besides, I wanted to have a bit of a tough chick look anyway. So, I wore a pair of knee-high boot and a loose denim jacket.

The coat is the most expensive item I've gotten from a thrift store so far. Usually the coats look really ratty and I'm aghast at the audacity to charge $10 for them. Hence, I usually don't even bother looking at the coats, but the one I bought is an exception. It was stuck onto the blazer rack, so the length stood out. I've always wanted a 3/4 length light coat with a pattern on it. The weight and length are perfect for Southern California Autumn weather. All I've been wearing lately is my black hooded sweater coat, and sometimes my denim trench--both of them are in solid colors, so I wanted something different to keep me warm.

I'm guessing the coat is from the early 70's. I found the pattern to be very refreshing--I've never been all that into plaid, even though red tartan seems to be all the rage these days, but the blue and gold pattern is different yet classic. On top of that, the coat is in remarkably good shape. Even though it's polyester, there's absolutely no pilling at all. The inside is lined, and the whole coat is very clean. The tag indicated that it's at least 4 sizes bigger than me, even accounting for the smaller vintage sizing, but as you can see below, it seems to fit just fine when I tie the sash. Overall, this piece has the sillouette of the modern, streamlined look that I like when I feel like dressing up, but the "pop" from the print and colors exudes more personality.


I threw the coat over a green tee, a pair of casual but fitted pants, and a pair of boots. Instantly I felt dressed up. That's why I love 3/4 length outerwear.

4 comments:

SDMC said...

You gotta love Goodwill! Really cute outfits!

BrownEyedGirl said...

Great finds!!! I really love the plaid jacket :)I just scored a great vintage brown leather jacket today!

Stacie said...

I know just what you mean about them charging too much for certain items. Every time I go to the Salvation Army here I walk out in a huff because the price of some of that crap is just crazy!!!

S. said...

I'm jealous! All great.