Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thrift Store Shopping

In the interests of comfort and vanity I cleaned my closet and dumped every article of clothing that no longer fits and hasn't been worn in years into a lovely garbage bag and plopped it in the trunk of my junker jetta. Then it was off to the closest thrift store to deposit my contribution to some slim woman's wardrobe. In my case the nearest thrift store is the Deseret Industries (the thrift stores run by the Mormon church) in Sugar House. This is the store where women who donate their clothes in Park City, (the tony mountain ski town where movie stars buy mansions on the edge of the slopes of the most luxurious Deer Valley Ski Resort) end up. It takes big money to live in Park City, so the discarded clothing of Park City women is often very nice clothing. I have no idea why the Mormon church moves clothes dropped off in Park City to Sugar House, the neighborhood I live on the edge of, but I'm damn glad they do. It means when I pull into the parking lot of the Sugar House DI, I do it anticipating a semi-joyous shopping experience. And yesterday was a very good day at the thrift store.

I'm not of the generation that thinks of jeans as a fashion statement. But jeans are for me a winter necessity--I seldom wear them in the summer since they're not exactly cool (in the temperature sense) clothing. So to me jeans are just jeans. I would never spend $100. on a pair of jeans no matter how rich I might be. I don't think they're that comfortable even when they fit perfectly, nor do I think of them as fashion. I can hear groans of women all over the world who do consider jeans high fashion. Well, to each her own. But I did need a pair of jeans for utility purposes so jeans were on my list and I found a pair that fit perfectly for $6. Along with jeans, I needed some cotton knit pants to lounge around in all winter, since all last years cotton knit pants were smalls or mediums. I am now officially large and plan to stay that way. Shut up! I'm 5'7". I found two pair--a nice medium gray by French Dressing for $4. and a nice silky cotton pair in a black and white stripe from the Gap for $3. The gray pair still had it's original tag from the store and so did the Ann Taylor long sleeved black and white striped cotton knit boat necked T shirt--very frenchie looking for $5.

With the basics of a do nothing life taken care of, I went in search of something nice to wear to finish out the summer and transition into autumn. I love white handkerchief linen sleeveless shirts and found two absolutely gorgeous ones. My favorite of the two is by New York and Co. I like it best because it's made so beautifully--finished seams, well tailored to fit perfectly, and looks a bit dressy with anything and it cost $5. The second is also a bit dressy with a line of laddering lace down the front and across the yoke and it was $5. To wear with the white linen sleeveless shirts I found a Sea Island cotton shirt, in a great print in greens, with finished seams and bias cut, A line, just below the knee, and a perfect fit by Van Heusen for $4.

My favorite purchases were the least practical and will probably be worn least but were too beautiful to pass up. The top is another handkerchief linen top only this one is long sleeved and has an invisible side zipper that runs up one side under the arm. This top is completely bias cut, and is the most luscious color of tangerine. It's a Banana Republic piece and cost $5. And the last article of clothing is so gorgeous I can hardly believe my luck. It's a pair of pants from Ann Taylor, a vertical stripe of burgundy and cream, made like the kind of slacks Katherine Hepburn used to wear so beautifully. The kind of pants you'd have seen on an icon like Garbo, or Carole Lombard. The narrow waist band is hand sewn. The pants fit my ass perfectly and hang straight from the hip to hem, and move like tissue weight wool crepe, but are really a heavy silky rayon. They are what I always used to recommend women buy when spending big money on clothes--all season and well made. And the cost? $6. Grand total for all these purchases, under $50. Take that you retailers!


Anonymous said...

Sounds like you really made out! I really enjoy finds like that at the thrift store. Why shop retail?

Those slacks sound fantastic.

Unconventional Conventionist said...

I'm a ball cap and t-shirt sort of person, so I am very happy at thrift stores. Especially when they have hawaiian shirts. :)

SaoirseDaily2 said...

I love thrift shopping also, but, now I have more clothes than closets.

Thanks for visiting and commenting. I love reading your blog.

Have a great weekend when it gets here.

Utah Savage said...

Yes Dcup, fuck the retailers. And UC, a Hawaiian camp shirt was on my list of things I need, but sadly, not found.

Back at ya, Saoirse, Ms. daily2 Someday I plan to ask you what the frenchy sounding saoirse means.

Ingrid said...

how since I hate shopping for clothes I think I could stand an outing like that.. you're lucky!


Stella said...

I love this post. Thrift shops have been my haven since I was a teenager. I've never been the type to find a specific item: I'd rather treasure hunt. So, I guess you'd add Ross to the list.

That's right, dcup, why shop retail?

All those beautiful clothes would have been about $500. I wish I could have come with you: sounds like a fun treasure hunt, Utah.

Utah Savage said...

I wish you could have come with me too. There is a blouse I bought I think Dcup would look great in. Sorry babe, I too look great in it. And all the things with with dry clean only labels got hand-washed today and they look and smell better than dry cleaning would have left them.

Liberality said...

It sounds like the kind of thrift store I could get lost in for awhile.

D.K. Raed said...

Don't you love Deseret? When we first moved to UT, I loved that they never refused any donation. I was so used to CA where the Goodwill and other thrifts are very picky on what they will take. But not Deseret. They take & find use for everything. And why not? Recycling should be a cornerstone of our society.

You scored big for $50! I am jealous. Even though I spend most of my time in t-shirts & sweat shorts, I love the sound of those Kate Hepburn pants!

Je ne regrette rien said...

I cut way back on shopping after I had to go through 3 stages of sorting, selling, packing, moving, storing ... but when I do, I either hit big sales or thrift/consignment shops. NEVER pay retail, even for shoes you love ... it is the biggest racket ever. (shudders a bit because my daughter owns a denim store selling the work of local artisans vs. big retailers) ... sorry sweetie.

And the only pants I can buy without trying on are from Ann Taylor - I'm the opposite of you (as in SHORT ASS) and there I can just grab a style I like in my size and go.

Speaking of my daughter, I raised her well. She started by 'shopping' the free box at People's Park in Berkeley (we lived down the road) ... she'd throw a few in and take a few out, always looking marvelous. To this day, she's the only person I know that can go into a thrift shop, the seedier the better, with a $20 bill and come out looking like a million.

There is enough shit in the world to last us all for decades. Quit buying new I say and reuse the shit that is out there. except maybe for underwear! HA - Well done, U.S.

Utah Savage said...

Thank you, and I must say I look loverly.

Mauigirl said...

I love shopping in thrift shops. I have several pairs of jeans that have cost less than $5 each and fit great. I also have three lovely cocktail dresses (name brands like Liz Claiborne) that I've gotten at the same thrift shop, for a grand total of about $40 for all three. I haven't ever been able to find nice dressy dresses like that in regular stores and yet in this thrift shop I find things that fit perfectly and really suit me. There's nothing like a good bargain!

thepoetryman said...

I too love me some thrift store shopping!