What’s My Age Again?

January 9, 2013 — 21 Comments

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Malls. Home to more stores than one person can take in on a single visit. And you’re not even supposed visit them all, really. The tweens find their tight tees and tighter jeans in Hollister and Forever 21. More mature shoppers stick to places like Cleo and Mexx, and everybody else hovers around Zara and H&M. Malls specialize in catering to these specific demographics. But those strategically-designed storefronts and prohibitive pricing structures can prove quite confining to those of us with a broader approach to style. And to those people I say: come thrift with me. The thrift store doesn’t care how old you are. They don’t care if you’re a Joe Fresh or J. Crew kind of girl. They don’t care if you want fine leather or cheap pleather. They simply want you to enjoy their offerings. The Gucci is next to the Guess. The Dynamite next to Dior. And you can mix and mingle amongst these labels as you please.

Today’s all-black ensemble is the end result of this multi-generational mingling. The three main players (jacket, dress, shoes) in this outfit make a pretty stellar team, but only in the thrift store can they transcend their ageist restraints. Allow me to explain:

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I’ll begin by contrasting my pleather jacket with my leather booties. The jacket originally came from Sirens. Sirens specializes in terribly cheap club wear for teenagers and college girls. Their clothing is essentially disposable, and rarely survives more than two or three washes. I outgrew that store around the same time I outgrew Bacardi Breezers and the Black Eyed Peas. BUT when I saw this pleather jacket in nearly-new condition at the thrift store for a meager $12, it came home with me. I’ll certainly get $12 worth of wear out of it, and my $12 isn’t going to the sweatshop that manufactured it for pennies in the first place. On the very same Talize visit, and for a very similar price, I found these black ankle boots. Contrarily, these boots are real leather, and manufactured by a company called Rieker. Rieker uses words like “sensible”, “long-lasting” and “orthopedic” to describe their product. Their target market? The parents (and grandparents) of the girls shopping at Sirens.

Smack dab in the middle of this leather-pleather sampler is my Zara dress, thrifted for $7 from the Salvation Army a few years ago. If Sirens is the teenager, and Rieker the middle-aged parent, then Zara is the late-twenty something with more discerning tastes and a slightly larger disposable income. Basically, it’s me. So, if we break this look down by age, I’m 19 on the top, 45 on the bottom, and 26 in the middle. But when I put all these items all together, they just look like me. I’m not a teenager anymore, nor am I ready for mom jeans and minivans, but the thrift store allows me to pull from both of these worlds as I choose.

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If I limited myself to shopping at the stores that are aimed at my age group as opposed to the thrift store, I still might have found this dress on clearance, but I certainly wouldn’t have found this jacket or these shoes. And what’s a basic black turtleneck without a bomber and booties? I’ll tell you: very, very boring.

21 responses to What’s My Age Again?

  1. 

    I love this look on you, and your explanation of how this look is more interesting because of thrifting just makes me love you more. You’re so right that it allows you to mix and match things that a typical store would never bring together so harmoniously. Totally you,

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  2. 

    Flawless! I rarely think about demographics when I shop, and I’d definitely never thought about them in terms of mall vs. thrift stores. Now I’m glad it’s been brought to my attention, lol. Nicely done!

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  3. 
    vintagefrenchchic January 9, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Super cute ensemble and I love your age dissection of it. : )

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  4. 

    A very nice outfit and a lovely combination. Fashion has no age, everyone has their own style and aesthetic ideas. You only need to feel good about yourself. You can feel very happy with your style, it is very nice. I really like your socks.

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  5. 

    your blog is truly inspiring! i’m really starting to go into thrift stores more often (used to thrift much more) and i think your blog has been one of the contributing factors. your outfits are always unique and stylish! keep ’em comin’ 🙂

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  6. 

    Such a great explanation on why you should thrift! So so so true. When I was mall shopping, I wouldn’t set foot in certain stores if you paid me. But, if you are thrift shopping, it doesn’t really matter! Thanks for the reminder on why I do what I do.

    xoxo,
    Laura
    http://lauraisthriftingthroughlife.blogspot.com/

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  7. 

    Also, you look fabulous, as usual! The shoes are so awesome, even if they are supposed to be for 45 year olds.

    xoxo,
    Laura

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  8. 

    You look lovely!!!!!!!!

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  9. 

    You are so cute… and way to sell thrifting!! I haven’t been to the mall in ages, but I either feel really old or really young in most stores.

    This multi-generational outfit is adorable, and I love those polka-dot tights 🙂 And your hair up like that? Gorgeous.

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  10. 

    I really love how you described your outfit in terms of generations. The outfit is so you, and it’s even better that you’ve thrifted it! I think op shops are also great as sizes aren’t specific. You just try on what you like, if it doesn’t fit it’s not as disappointing as the chain store clothing sizes.

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Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

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