2013-04-03

Potential

potential6
potential9

One of the keys to successful thrifting is spotting potential. The thrift store doesn't have nicely styled mannequins with outfits ready for the taking (well, they do have mannequins, though often not particularly well styled...). What a thrift store does have is a lot of junk. The talent is to see through the junk, spot the potential and take home the pieces that work in your wardrobe and in your life. 
I think some people see the racks of pilling sweaters at the thrift store and turn away before finding that perfectly handknit Scottish number. Or laugh at the peplum dress with the ruffled sleeves, not seeing that a simple surgical removal of sleeves could result in a dress that would make all of Asos jealous.
I veer more towards the other way. It's been mentioned before but I see too much potential. I think anything can look great with a belt, a hem or a great pair of strappy heels. I have this almost unflappable confidence that I can make anything work. It's a good attitude that leads to a lot of fun in the thrift store but it also results in overwhelming bags of stuff filled with pieces that I don't want in my closet for the long haul. I do my best to curb my enthusiasm with a healthy dose of reason these days. 
Last week I found this blazer and tank set for $10. Paired together it looks exactly like something out of the Sears catalogue in 1994. I gave it a second look because I really liked the floral print and because... it was silk. Yes, silk always makes me look twice. The blazer was a little large but volume can work as long as it it balanced with something for fitted. I did end up replacing the original, magnificently huge shoulder pads and putting a more demure set in. My nephew still made fun of me for those. Quite frankly I was surprised he could speak, considering the tightness of his jeans...:)
The tank is a pretty and easy piece that will undoubtedly get a lot of wear this summer. It's cute, a step up from a worn in tank (though I love those too) and because the silk isn't delicate and the tank isn't detailed, I would feel totally comfortable throwing it in a gentle cycle in the washing machine. 

potential2
Denim shirt? Vanilia (similar here) Jeans? Zara (similar here) Shoes? Ralph Lauren (on sale here)

potential4
Skirt? Thrifted Boots? Aldo (on super sale now... comfy and cute!)


To spot potential you have to be able to take a garment out of its original state and imagine it in 2013, working for you. A good print, good construction and good fabric go a long way in helping potential become realized. In this case I had to separate the tank and the jacket to take the set out of the 90's and into my working wardrobe...

22 comments :

Andrea Kerbuski said...

I love that you have the gift of seeing beyond the clutter and seeing the potential in pieces. I have such a hard time with this and this just really motivates me to have some patience and creativity to see all the potential for myself. I love both of these outfits and I want to recreate them for myself. And you have amazing legs and hair I'm so jealous of. You are one beautiful lady!

Lauren said...

both of thos pieces would easily sell at a place like urban outfitters and people would be GRABBING them off the shelves haha

GREAT finds

Gwen said...

Pure genius! And they do look lovely once you separate them!

Rachel Lynne said...

Wow, you definitely have the eye for thrifting and seeing potential! I have gotten better at this, but I don't think I would have gotten this. Now after seeing it on you I WOULD PAY 10 x that to have both items! So perfect.

Sophie said...

What an amazing fine! I love the pattern!
Sophie
X

MisisD said...

I agree with Andrea, you really have a gift...that comes with an amazing body and you look gorgeous in anything anyways! So for my petite, out of shape frame, it's always have been a challenge. But that does not stop me from thrifting. I just wish I know how to sew, just like you!! I got this nice 100% wool blazer for less than $3 but I spent $26 for alteration! NOT doing that again! But I love my that blazer though :)

ThriftyParka said...

GORGEOUS styling!! Two gold stars for styling, plus a bonus star for finding the set for $10 in a thrift store.

DressUpNotDown said...

Yen 1 - Nephew 0...Burn! :o) I am giggling while picturing Nephew in tighter than tight jeans.

You look awesome in both pieces! I am green with envy over that beautiful color! (pun could not be avoided) That they are silk, makes me want to tackle you and take off running with your Jacket! :o)

www.dressupnotdown.blogspot.com

Merl said...

Dearest Thrift Goddess,


I bow down to you, your potential seeing skillz, your perfectly tousled hurr, and legs for days.

Love,
The Ultimate Cat Lady.



[now move to Chicago so we can take over the world.

Eva Farley Elofson said...

Love it! You and I are very similar! I am a whiz at finding couture in a thrift store full of junk! If you ever find yourself in South Dakota-look me up-I'll take you to all my favorite charity shops:)

shades of voguish said...

gorgeous looks! love the color of the blazer and the top!

aga
http://shadesofvoguish.blogspot.com/

Shauna said...

Nephew with tight jeans eh? Have to be skinny jeans or he complains that the pant legs are too wide. First world problems

Jenn said...

Heh. I can't resist silk at the thrift store either. Or brown leather. Or cotton gauzy things. . .

Jenn
Olivine/Opal

briannelee said...

Wow, both pieces are amazing. I love that color!!!

Samantha Moore said...

Hi! I work for Beso and saw that you created a collection via Little Green Notebook! Hope you had fun browsing our site...love your street style!
xx Beso
www.Beso.com

Anna D Kart said...

That jacket is gorgeous! I love thrift store shopping too... lol

Happymedley.blogspot.com

Terri said...

When I saw the title of your post and the thumbnail of the first picture, I thought, "Not sure as a jacket, maybe as a shell top." Great minds? Nah, you definitely win this one.

http://stylishsass.blogspot.com

ChatterBlossom said...

That is freakin' impressive!
-Jamie
ChatterBlossom

newpetite said...

Love the tank with the leather skirt!

Anonymous said...

Admittedly I would not have seen the potential. By the looks I would have guessed it' polysomething and with me it's the other way around, I will NOT buy clothes made of mineral oil, no matter how cute or well constructed. I do thank Miele though for building my washing machine with a cycle particularly for silk AND one for wool! no more dry cleaning. It saved my very expensive and very beautiful BOSS coat. Let's just say it had an accident, too many cocktails were involved and the poor coat did not look pretty the next morning...
But you do have a good eye. The tank looks great, but boy, am I through with blazers(except for that red number you once wore on a roof in Holland, love it)Phew, lengthy comment, you're a good girl, great inspiration, thank you, keep up the good work,
Katrin

Laura said...

I love this post! I, like you, usually see too much potential! I was shopping with a friend of mine the other day, who is a thrift virgin, and was giving her some tips, and that was one of mine! Don't forget to look at the sets, because you can separate them and get some AMAZING pieces out of them. Like that tank! Seriously, so amazing!

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

Anonymous said...

Wow, wow and wow! That is a Model-Like appearance in the green sleeveless & skirt! beauty!