I have been a long time supporter of shopping secondhand. In the summer of 1982, I was taken to a row of thrift shops in Old Town Pasadena by an older family friend. My parents has recently divorced and she thought she’d cheer me up showing me how she and her teenaged girl-friends spent their free time. I was eleven and my mind was blown. Junk shops and thrift stores were something up until that time I had never been exposed to. On contact, I was sold.
Fast-forward to 2019. On Prime Objective, I list vintage I am selling, document and try to source where my threads come from in my various The Look posts. Scroll back, baby [I’m in there featuring my personal style. Yes, I am real late to the party]. Now, before you ask why I purchase goods from AliExpress when I clearly have an affinity for shopping secondhand, I will gladly explain. AliExpress and its’ multitude of vendors as with all online stores, supply cheap goods sold on the cheap more than likely made by humans in reprehensible conditions. Yes, this is known. I am very aware. Yet, a great many cannot afford sustainable goods. A fact. I cannot but I can nab a lovely black linen dress for under thirty dollars somewhere on the net. These online entities afford those who are [working] poor, without a vehicle and/or physically incapacitated the luxury of looking sharp, in whatever style you wish to present to the world, too.
As for secondhand, I still get out there and rummage. Today’s hunts may not be as thorough or as rewarding as it was in the past but I’m still out there swinging. Some choice nuggets are dug up as I am always on the hunt for anything pre-1980. Secondhand clothes [vintage of a certain period] have a feel to them which over the decades my hands quickly learned. Secondhand shops and thrift stores used to be located in the grimier sections of town – near a ramshackled row of adult bookstores, an abandoned shopping mall or failed factory. Zero gentrification. Thrift stores used to have a smell of heavily embedded cigarette smoke and man-made gas as did the garments. To me, a warm greeting. If an item didn’t have a tag on it, the cashier would make up a dirt cheap price and sell it to you without issue. A buyer could often haggle. Everything cost nothing. That is no more. The less organized the shop the more palpable excitement filled the air. The people who would peruse the isles were absolute characters, rich in looks of those unintentionally locked in 1968 due to bad taste, poverty or old age. Gone are those days. My vintage reserve has completely dwindled to scraps. I currently am working on rebuilding my own personal collection of secondhand vintage and future goods for Prime Objective Vintage [sold at Atomic in Athens, Georgia]. Shopping secondhand in the 21st century will remain relevant as someone out there always wants or needs something donated and was more affordable than buying new.
No matter what, secondhand is a love that does not die.
Christmas pops off in about 185 days. But, who cares about that? Right now goals [which keep slippin’ due to negligence and stress] – Whip that body back into shape. One never knows when world-wide catastrophe will strike. No one is going to help an overweight, whiny, disabled me if I can’t help myself. I’ve got to be fit enough to hold the nap-sack with the tin cans of clear soup, peas and nasty [canned] German potato salad for the group. Robin Byrd will be my body goal.
Thank you, self.
Thank you, Lady Byrd.
Somewhere in The Carolinas – The mannequin needs a re-haul and the cocktail dress needs to be tended to.
Featured is a late 1960s Emilio Pucci cocktail dress I found thrifting many, many moons ago. I ran out of money when I spotted it, begging my sister to buy it for me. I have never worn it and it still has the thrift store tag on it. When found, it was in very good condition but since the multiple moves to various states I hang my head low in shame. Honestly, it needs a good cleaning and some of its’ snap fasteners can be tightened up. Paired with this groovy piece, pink wavy framed sunshades, a grey beaded necklace with oversized crystal, blond wood bracelets, black plastic hard shell lip-shaped clutch [all from various vendors at AliExpress] and a pair of black patent leather, pointed toe slingbacks [Qupid]. This outfit is pure sunshine and just a bit snobby. It’s love.
As for the mannequin, its’ legs [I feel] are ill-fitted. Perhaps there is a trick to get it to stand where the garments do not bunch up or slide off. I have one fully functional arm/hand to work with and no assistant, so I have got to be crafty. Add: After this shoot wrapped up, its’ [the mannequin] glass base shattered into raindrop-sized pieces.
Time to get even craftier.
Somewhere in The Carolinas – Nothing special is going on. In my personal life, I am trying to find options to manage chronic pain as well as line up medical appointments to make sure everything is in order. The shots above were taken of an outfit I wore last night and roughly two weeks ago. This is today’s feature.
The western-style sundress with Vargas-esque cowgirl print [Queen of Hollowdy] is a comfortable piece as it is made from a cotton blend. I initially ordered this item in red but the vendor ran out so I chose black.
The multi-colored woven tote bag and most of my assorted bangles were found thrifting. The two-tone sunglasses, leopard-print textured belt, red beaded necklace and sheer black scarf I nabbed from AliExpress. The gold and silver Polly of Hollywood-style mules complete The Look [Patricia Field for Payless ].
This outfit is fun, flirty and functional. It is a simple look if I want to go to market or go to a local bar. Hair and makeup can be clean and not so fussy. The same goes with those accessories. Dress it up or dress it down.
Elizabeth “Lee” Miller, Lady Penrose [b. April 23, 1907 – d. July 21, 1977], was an American who played muse to Man Ray, a high fashion model, a fashion photographer and World War II war photographer.