Hybrid Theory

February 3, 2012 — 25 Comments

One of the upsides to thrifting is the speed at which I can get in and out of the changerooms. When thrifting, I never need go back out for an additional size, I never have to talk myself into another colour of the same garment because that’s the only large size left, and I never have to ponder if it’s worth driving to another location to see if they have the item I want. If it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t fit. No fuss, no deliberation. I just put the item back on the hanger, and trust it will find a good owner. 99% of the time, I’m pretty zen about the whole process. I release any ill-fitting garments back into the thrift universe and move right along.  The other 1% of the time, I go nutso and invent imaginary enemies. The story:

Last week, I tried on an 80s black lace minidress. This little minidress was so lovely. High neck, scalloped sleeves, little sparkles here and there. And, from the waist up, it fit perfectly. From the waist down, however, we had a few issues: it was too short. It wasn’t 60s mod short, it was “that girl forgot to put on pants” short. This sad fact, compounded by my sizable badonkadonk, meant I should have put it back on the rack. I should have left it for a girl slightly shorter, with a bum slightly smaller. But the vision of this slightly-more-petite woman was not sitting so well. Why should she get my fabulous lace dress? I bet she has no trouble finding clothes with her tiny goat legs and itty-bitty buttocks. Plus, I bet she never has bad hair days, and her face is never shiny, and her clothes never wrinkle, and her nylons never run. That bit… 

…Well, you get the idea. So, soley to thwart my imaginary rival, I bought the dress. The day after, I spent a good long while staring at my closet, looking for a way to make it work. It didn’t work with leggings, it didn’t work tucked into a skirt, and, try as I may, it still didn’t work as a dress. I didn’t shrink over night.

Then, finally, a light bulb moment! I pulled out a basic black H&M strapless dress I thrifted from Talize months ago. This dress is perfectly nice – good structure, roomy pockets, fits well, etc. But I’ve never worn it, mainly because I don’t really feel comfortable in strapless dresses, and I usually forgo basic black if there is a more fun alternative available. But in a stroke of genius, I concluded this basic black dress would be the ideal companion to my new lace mini.

The lace part of the mini has some stretch to it, it was lining inside that was causing trouble for my curves. So, I cut out the lining, and instead of pulling a Britney,  I wore the lace under the strapless H&M dress. And wouldn’t you know it, two wrongs make an alright dress. This hybrid dress has the lacey sleeves I like, and the length my badonkadonk needs. Hurray!

Take that, imaginary goat-legged nemesis. Until next time…

25 responses to Hybrid Theory


    I love this dress! You look gorgeous. Xx



    Wow I never would have thought of that!! Super cute!



    I too know and love the zenlike state one can achieve when thrift shopping. Unless of course I’m not joy-shopping but rather using it as a way to procure a last-minute item for a social engagement or perhaps a much-needed “basic” piece to complete a work uniform, and I’ve waited entirely too long to shop and am now frantic with worry and fright I just might not find what I need in time. Back to the zenlike experiences though (since they’re much more fun): a few times I’ve found amazing (usually vintage) finds and found myself taking them up to the register even if they don’t fit and really have no hope of fitting, ever. I can admit that I’ve mostly committed this act when an item is crafted out of the most amazing, old-timey fabric, or perhaps has possesses one-of-a-kind detailing and character, much like your black dress with its high neck, scalloped sleeves, and little sparkles here and there…. and knowing I will likely never fit into it, but being magnetically drawn to it just the same, I add it to my collection. IN that seeming sadness, I smile knowing that my closet would surely be barren and cold without these little gems. I even concoct stories sometimes about the previous owners of said diamonds-in-the-rough. Consequently, I did quit “collecting” a few years ago, but now that I’ve read your post, I may just reconsider… after all, it just wouldn’t DO to have my archnemesis with the slightly smaller badonkadonk make off with a one-of-a-kind piece, would it? 😉



    I think it’s great that you actually found a way to use something you bought knowing you couldn’t use it as is. I buy things like cashmere sweaters that are too big or have a lil hole because I plan on using it in some other way or making it into something new and that hardly ever happens. Yours is an ingenius pairing.



    Beautiful dress. You could also just add a lace half slip to give it a bit more length – maybe even in a contrasting color. You could try wearing it with leggings or maybe even silk shorts.



    You are such a brilliant writer! This story, and the many others I perused, are so fun and neat! Happy to have found your blog 🙂




    well there ya go! nice work! the goodwill is my fave store, it has all of the stores i would normally visit under one roof at way cheap prices. no need to fight parking and the crowds at the mall.



    Pure genius =] love it ❤


    The Pencil Pirouette February 6, 2012 at 5:12 am

    Oh don’t we all love lace. Cute!



    Genius. I wouldn’t have wanted to give up that lace dress either, looks great.



    You crack me up! I was smiling all the way through your article. It looks great together.



    Great solution! It looks terrific on you. Or should I say ‘they look terrific on you’?!

    Loulou Downtown



    I love this! Looks very classic but unique and absolutely stunning on you. Usually when fighting imaginary enemies whist thrifting I often end up buying it for my 5’10” modelesque “legs for days” best friend. Gifted to her only in the condition that she wears the piece at least once in my presence. Somehow I just can’t leave it there to be swooped up by someone who I’m sure just couldn’t appreciate it the way I do. But like you more often than not I feel good about leaving ill fitting garments to be discovered and adored by someone else. But we can’t all be magnanimous all the time.


Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

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