The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): My Attire
Since the Ladies Garden Tea was supposed to be in a garden, I had originally planned to wear one of my big pouffy 1950’s style floral dresses. However, because the party was moved indoors, I decided (for the second year in a row) that crinolines and petticoats, crowds of people and fine china don’t make the best of friends. I also decided that, even though it can be incredibly fun to dress in all your vintage finery, because I was hosting, it might be a better idea to wear a simpler style for ease of movement and comfort of the guests. This floral dress, which is so bright and vibrant that it coordinates with hardly anything else in my wardrobe, and is completely contrary to anything else I own (I was planning on creating a more cohesive wardrobe, but you know how that goes . . . ) is what I decided to wear instead. I got this dress just at the end of summer last year, and hadn’t had a chance to wear it yet, so the party was the perfect place to “debut” it. Not that anyone cares about that but me. (Do you like to save new garments for the perfect occasion?)
I got this dress last August, from a thrift store, which is where I get the majority of my clothing. It was originally listed for a lot of money. By “a lot” I mean, not only am I spoiled by the prices of buying the majority of my clothing second hand (“They want two whole dollars for this!? Oh right. . .”) but you actually could have bought a new dress, from a cheap fashion chain, for the same price, or less than this one was listed for. Oh, and the belt was missing. And, it was not from a very expensive or high quality brand. I obviously was not going to go and buy a new cheap dress instead, but it really bothers me that some thrift stores have raised their prices to a point where you actually can buy new clothes cheaper. This is so irrational, and it’s so frustrating as it just contributes to the entire cheap fashion cycle, and throwaway culture we live in. There are many people who won’t shop second hand if they can buy new clothes cheaper, and there are people who legitimately can’t afford the prices of even cheap new clothes, so where can they go for clothing if they can’t go to the thrift stores? I am not in this position, thankfully, but I expect to find lower prices at a second hand store. I think this is one of the unfortunate side effects of thrifting and vintage becoming “trendy” – so many thrift shops have become unattainable for the very people who need them, and have drifted from their original purposes. Is this something that is happening elsewhere in the world? I see it here in Canada (not in all of the thrift shops, mostly in the thrift store chains).
Anyways, that was a bit of an aside . . . so how did the dress end up in my wardrobe after all? Well, it just so happened that the day after I saw this dress, tried it on and fell in love with it, there was a 1/2 price sale. I put the dress back on the rack, fully aware that it might not be there when I returned the next day- but it was! A couple other pieces I had put back were gone, but this was was still waiting for me 🙂 And I’m so glad. It was a lovely thing to wear on a grey and dreary day, and it does have a very garden feel about it. Because it literally has flowers on it.
I would have paired it with my white shoes (the only thing in my wardrobe that matches the dress) and a straw hat (I guess that straw also matches) if we’d had it outside, but as it was held inside I was stocking-foot and hatless (scandalous!). However, for the benefit of these photos, which we took outside half an hour after the party ended, because it stopped raining (of course), I did wear the shoes. 😉
Have you ever put something back at a thrift store, and gotten it later, or did it end up being the one that got away? What would you wear to a tea party?
June 29, 2017 @ 11:49 am
This is a lovely dress for a tea party. I’m sure I still would have gone all out with the petticoat. I just don’t have enough occasions to wear one otherwise.
Don’t even get me started on the thrift stores becoming more expensive than new clothes. I’ve been ranting about this for months now. Salvation Army and Value Village are the WORST out here. I spotted a $40 dress that was just a reproduction of a 1950s style. Why would I buy that when I can go to Winners and buy a brand new dress for $29? Good grief. It is beyond ridiculous. And like you wrote they are doing a total disservice to what they are “supposed” to be about…the environment. No one is going to bother searching through tons of garbage, stains and ripped items for the same price as simply walking into H&M and buying their size off the rack.
It seems to be their business model has evolved into something entirely different from what it started out as.
As a reseller it is very difficult for me to shop at those stores now. I simply cannot resell the item for any profit. I only shop there on sales days.
So yeah…I totally know where you are coming from on this. I even posted a photo on my IG when I was at VV stating, “Shame on you Value Village!” for the $40 dress. Ironically the next time I went back for their 50% off sale the dress was already gone. I wondered if someone had bought it at full price.
June 29, 2017 @ 11:41 pm
I know it is so frustrating! I can’t believe the $40 dress! Although I have seen “name brand” jeans that were completely worn out priced at that too. I can’t say I’m “glad” I’m not the only one, but you know what I mean.
I also really wonder what the point is of raising the prices to a level that even those who desire to buy second hand are deterred from it. We are already a small percentage of the population- why make it harder for us? Wouldn’t it be better to sell lots of items for less money/piece, than a few items for more/piece? Because we know that they don’t sell all of what is donated to them, and so much of it still ends up in the landfills or shipped overseas to second hand markets. At least if there were low prices here, people would be more likely to buy both the good items, but even the ones that may only have value for the textiles or for refashioning. I might buy a stained or ugly skirt for $2 and refashion it into something new, but I definitely won’t do that if it’s costing me $10 or $15 (or $40).
Oh and reselling must be so hard too- I often wonder about that, if your base cost is so much. I guess that’s why the price on vintage keeps going up and up and up.
Maybe we should all start sending letters to Value Village and other places and calling them out on this. . . many voices can make a difference, even if it is just a small one. 🙂
June 30, 2017 @ 3:22 am
Such a lovely dress – and just perfect for a tea party. Sorry you couldn’t use the lovely garden set-up. Kx
July 3, 2017 @ 6:54 pm
Thank-you Karen! Who knows, maybe one of these years it will work out for us to have it outdoors 😉
June 30, 2017 @ 11:51 am
I can relate to so much of what you said about thrift stores raising prices! It makes no sense, and keeps others who may be new to thrifting at bay, thinking “Why buy something used, when I can have something new for less!” During my college years one of the thrift stores I went to a lot had a comment box, and I certainly let them know how I felt about some of their prices!
All that aside, I love your dress! It’s a darling print!
July 3, 2017 @ 6:56 pm
I agree- it just doesn’t make sense. There are so few of us thrifters out there, so why are they deterring newcomers? They should be making thrifting more attractive for new people- not less! The lower costs has always been one of the biggest benefits of thrifting, but if you don’t even have that. . .
June 30, 2017 @ 10:10 pm
hello Nicole…such nice post!…such super nice photos!…such super super super nice outfit!…the photo drinking-tea-and-bouquet.jpg is very charming…what eyes!…there’s something magic that shine in your stunning eyes…cheers!
July 3, 2017 @ 6:56 pm
Aww thank-you so much for your sweet compliment Aure 🙂 ♥
July 1, 2017 @ 4:44 pm
That dress is lovely but I’m relieved you didn’t pay a large sum for it! Glad the rain eased up eventually, these photos are cute, would have been a shame to not have the dress modelled in the garden.
I am with you and Suzanne about thrift store pricing – some places haven’t a clue, selling a load of tat for inflated prices. Needless to say I don’t often shop in those ones…
July 3, 2017 @ 7:00 pm
Thank-you Porcelina! I’m glad it stopped raining too 🙂
I am “lucky” that my local thrift store is run by several old ladies and all of the profits are donated right back into the community. They sell most of the stuff for serious bargains- $2 for a shirt, $3 for a skirt etc. and they donated $20,000 to charity last year! I wish that more charity shops would follow this lead- if the prices are low, people will buy it.
I’m glad that you have options too- and that not all of the shops follow that model. I see some of the treasures you find, and they always seem to be reasonably priced! You have found some marvellous bargains!
July 6, 2017 @ 2:45 am
Very pretty dress, perfect for the occasion. I’m glad it was waiting for you when you went back.
July 6, 2017 @ 5:01 pm
Thanks so much Kate-Em!
I’m glad it was waiting, too 🙂