Monday, July 5, 2010

Recent Vintage Finds.

A couple weeks ago, S and I went to meet a friend for lunch in Montréal and discovered the street with the restaurant was shut down for a pedestrian-only weekend street festival. All the shops were having sidewalk sales, so S and I wandered a bit after lunch. I saw an adorable vintage dress at a second hand shop, but I looked at its tag and saw $125. Since I rarely spend over $10* on clothing, and since it was a cute, white dress and I am not in the market for a wedding dress, I sadly walked away. But I kept thinking about the dress, so later S and I went back to it, and I thought it couldn't hurt, you know, just to try it on. For fun. Since I was Not Going To Actually Buy It, of course. 

So, I was looking at it and trying to come up with a reason why I actually needed a cute (expensive, for me) vintage wedding-y dress, and the sales person comes up to me and said, "Those are two for 15." I said, "WHAT?" And she repeated herself and I quickly grabbed the adorable dress, and another cute off-white one I had noticed while racking my brain for good justifications for buying the first dress, and made an immediate decision to buy both. She asked if I wanted to try them on and I, at first, said no, because I was so confident they would fit.** Then I decided I might as well try them on, since I was there and there was a dressing room, after all.

And, as I had suspected, they fit just right. I might need to slightly shorten the straps on the first dress, but yeah...they both fit well. These were the most fun vintage finds I have had in a long while, and now I am brain-storming ways I can work wearing these little white dresses*** into my life in a non-bridal way.**** Any ideas would be appreciated!
The dress that caught my eye initially:

The second dress:

*Who am I kidding? Most of my clothes are about $3 or less a piece. I love (and am good at) finding cute/normal, unique/weird, vintage, or high-end designer clothes for cheap at thrift stores.*****

**After shopping for years at thrift stores that don't have dressing rooms, I have gotten wildly accurate at choosing clothes that fit well without even trying them on.

***For YEARS, I avoided white dresses (and white clothing in general!) like the plague. But once I fell in love and actually started planning a wedding, I discovered an urge to buy white clothes and actually wear them. Like, I bought 3 white tops at one go at a second-hand shop. All this, despite my previous fear of wearing white tops because of the dire consequences of spills. Oddly, the timing coincided with lots of white clothing appearing in clothing stores, so I guess fashion trends and my sudden obsession conveniently coincided to aid and abet each other.

****I have an idea for pairing the top dress with tall black flat boots and a black little bolero, both of which I already own. I am a little more clueless about how to make the second dress work. I could see how I could maybe pull it off by wearing it barefoot on a beach, but since I don't live anywhere near a beach, that look is a little problematic. Anyone else have ideas?

*****I can have quite eclectic taste at times. But I am an artist....that makes it okay, right? :)


  1. I love your elaborate parentheses... :-)

    Amazing finds! Re:, the second dress, leggings and cute ballet flats, perhaps?

    I kinda like white (I have a cute white daydress I can't wait to fit into again, fingers crossed), but yeah, I know what you mean. I've always avoided it in formal situations, like weddings. I can't believe women showing up in white formal dresses at weddings? Clueless, aren't we?

    And oh, the great trade-off I find about white clothes is that while they can show spills and such much more than other colors, they're also the easiest to launder: viva bleach and oxy-clean!

  2. unfortunately I'm not creative enough to have suggestions...but what amazing vintage finds!!!

  3. Super cute Jenny! You're so great at discovering wonderful finds. What are some of your favorite thrift or vintage shops in Chicago?

    I'm sure you'll be able to find a way to wear the dresses. Maybe even just some cute flats on a summer day!

  4. Wow they are such a score! So cute.

  5. Ruthy Ann and Mrs. T: Thanks you guys! :) I love vintage clothes but sometimes have trouble finding the right scenario to wear them. Hence, the great 1950s light grass green polka dot dress that has not left my closet since I bought it a year ago. :( I think I might throw a retro party or something to have an easy, low-risk way to wear it...? :)

    Marie-Ève: Great point about white being easier to remove stains! I hadn't thought of that.

    Melissa and Marie-Ève: Hmm, flats could work. But I am probably the only female still left who does not have a pair of cute flats. And only winter leggings. Hmmm...might have to consider making some additions to my summer wardrobe...?

    Melissa: Unique Thrift is by far my favorite thrift store in Chicago (specifically, the one on Western and Howard). Mondays were the half off day, and the only day I ever went, hence the $3 or less wardrobe. But there are Unique thrifts all over town, and I guess they are pretty similar: lots of selection, no dressing room. I have also gone a few times to Village Discount (the one on Lawrence and the one on Clark), but really did primarily stick with my regular Unique. Here is a great article on Chicago thrift stores:
    Let me know if you go to some! :)