Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A month of dressing up and how NOT to thrift [outfit]

Mossimo tank from Target - 2010 - $7 on sale (available) / Pleated skirt from Goodwill Miami - 2011 - $6 (similar) / Gray scarf - 2010 - swap (similar) / Mossimo flats from Target - 2010 - $18 on sale (similar) / Premier Designs faux pearl drop earrings - 2010 - $20? (similar) / J. Crew belt - 2011 - $10 on sale (similar) / Hair tutorial from The Beauty Department
[Worn: 09.30.11 | To: Write, write, and write. Changed into jeans and a sweater for dinner w/ family]

Is it really October already? Dressy September just flew by. A few thoughts on the experience:
  • Getting dressed dressed in the morning does wonders for my motivation and work. Being dressed up even affects how professional I am on the phone (but maybe that's just me).
  • Walking around Target in heels isn't so bad. Walking around Target, Michael's (x2) and Pearl Art (x2) in one afternoon in heels can get pretty bad, though.
  • Miami may be hot, but on my regular weekday jaunt from home to volunteering to grocery store back home, I'm only in the sun without air conditioning for a maximum of 5 minutes. Even Publix has a parking garage! 
  • If I didn't dress up regularly, about 70% of my closet would be ignored. I didn't repeat that many items this month, but still barely dented the surface of my wardrobe. I've done 3 major closet purges already this year, but it might be time to do some more editing.
If you're curious, the entire album of all 30 outfits is on my Facebook page.

And now on to how NOT to thrift. I was so excited when I passed by a Goodwill Superstore on one of my first days in Miami (before I knew that every Goodwill in Miami is a superstore, whatever that means).  I stopped by to see what I could grab for  cheap while I was living out of my suitcase and waiting for the rest of my stuff to get here. This skirt immediately caught my eye, and for $6, I figured I could test-drive the pleated skirt trend. I also picked up a new belt, some dress shirts for K (we hadn't packed any work clothes for him because we thought our stuff would be here by the time he started his job), and a book.

Fast-forward to later that afternoon, after getting caught in a thunderstorm and sloshing through a flooded parking lot in my leather sandals. I dry off and decide to test drive my new skirt. I go to put it on and it buttons, just barely, at my ribcage (the narrowest part of my torso). Whew, that was a close one. I go to zip it up, and...umm...where in the world is the zipper? It hasn't been ripped out. It looks like it was never even put in. All the seams are smooth and finished, there is just a giant open slit where a zipper would normally be.

Fast-forward a month and a half to late September. September 29 to be exact. Half of Miami is closed for Rosh Hashanah and I'm waiting for a conference call I have scheduled for the afternoon with a client in California. I grab the skirt, an invisible zipper I picked up at Joann and my sewing box and get to work. It takes less than an hour to hand sew the zipper into the inside lining. I left the outside gap intact because it was on the inside of a pleat and would have been more awkward with the zipper than without. Still, the skirt barely buttons, but I'm only on week 2 of half-marathon training...I have high hopes (and hopefully high-enough motivation and energy) that it will fit better by January.

My suspicion is that someone made the skirt as a sewing project, and when they realized they forgot the zipper, they sent it off to Goodwill (it also has no tags or markings on it, or any indication that there ever were any). But for $8 ($6 plus a $2 zipper), it's not bad. Here's hoping it will fit eventually, or Goodwill may just have a repeat resident. At least the next owner will have a zipper.

Have you ever come home with a thrifted item to find out something's missing? Do you fix it yourself, return it, or do something else with it?


  1. Man! What a lot of work!!!! But, in the end, the skirt looks great on you. AND I love the bow tie as well. So cute.

  2. I would have never known ! It still looks nice.
    Since I don't "thrift " often due to lack of thrift shops, when I do it's when i travel and i can't return things..

  3. I love that skirt, what a great buy (even if you did need to sew in a zipper)!

  4. oh my gosh, i love it. i would say that skirt is definitely worth it!

  5. Love the pleated skirt and bow scarf!

    I have purchased a thrifted sweater a couple of years ago, and realized it has a big hole in the shoulder. I still wear it lol

  6. Love the hair, and the skirt! How strange that someone would go through all the work of making the pleats and then stopping at what is the easier of the two tasks - the zipper. :)

  7. Do you have an elastic head band hidden in your hair, like the tutorial? I can't see it! LOVE the hair!

  8. I seriously, seriously love this skirt - it is beautiful, AND that scarf is perfect!

  9. Love this outfit and LOOOOOVE the hair! I'll have to check that tutorial out!

  10. Wow! What a journey but that's such a cute skirt. Totally worth all the trouble. I love your hair btw!

  11. @ lorena - does the inability to return things get frustrating? What do you do when something doesn't turn out the way you like?

    @ neurp - seriously, the zipper part is so easy, so it wasn't a big deal at all. Definitely loving the skirt, though!

    @ Christina - ha! That's funny. I got a hand-me-down shirt with a hole in it once...I wore it for a few years. I decided that if anyone noticed and asked, I'd just say it ripped earlier that day and I hadn't been able to go home and change yet. Of course, no one ever said anything (although I'm sure people noticed).

    @ Caroline - Seriously! The zipper part was very easy, so it didn't discourage me too much when I found it was missing. And yes, I do have an elastic headband in my hair...all of my elastic headbands are black, though, so it sort of blended in. In person, I think you could see it on top.

    @ Sorren - Thanks!

    @ Jenn - Definitely worth it!

  12. How cute is that bow? I never would have thought of that!

  13. How did you do your hair like that?

  14. I'd also like to know how you did your hair - v. cute!

  15. @ Christine - Thanks! The outfit just felt so girly that it needed a bow somewhere. :)

    @ meg and ksmith90 - It's based on this tutorial from The Beauty Department: http://thebeautydepartment.com/2011/09/short-hair-chignon/

    You can't see the elastic headband in my hair, though, because the only one I had handy was in black. Sooooo easy.

  16. I'm always afraid of stuff like that. I'm just afraid of goodwill. I mean $6 is good. But I'd buy 10 things that weren't fixable first or something.


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