Friday, May 16, 2008

White Magic Friday: Designer Clothing

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" It's White Magic Friday, and we're gonna make a dollar holler!

Are you going into sticker shock every time you go for groceries? Never mind the gas station. Check out the price of apples. Sheesh! Time to cook the parrot. Here, Decibel! Here polly polly polly...

Where's my turkey axe?

In these (or any) might-be-but-can't-be-certain-maybe-who knows-pre-pre-pre recessionary times, it's tough making ends meet. And still you want to look sharp. Like the old ancestral blue-faced mandrills, we humans tend to feel the need to update our wardrobes frequently.

Here's where the sticker shock really sets in. Have you checked out some of these trendy new fashion emporiums? There's one called Abercrombie, and one called Hollister, and a local favorite called Urban Outfitters. You plunk down fifty bucks, they'll deign to sell you a t-shirt with their name on it. A t-shirt that looks like your cousin Jake wore it when he was pulling out a stump.

I've got a clothes horse daughter who attends school alongside girls who wear nothing but these Hollister threads. So here is how my daughter The Spare worked her own white magic and became the trendiest, best-dressed gal in Snobville Middle School:

1. The Spare has a girlish figure. This helps but is not mandatory.

2. The Spare goes to a gigantic thrift store in Camden, New Jersey and cruises the aisles. Into her hands fall cute clothes that we can afford. When your new shirt costs $3.00 instead of $30.00, you can get a new shirt every Saturday!

3. Now here's where the magic comes in. Our thrift store is called Village Thrift. So if someone asks, "Where did you get that cute top?" You can't say "Village Thrift," now can you? So, The Spare calls Village Thrift "VT Outfitters." She has been quicker than most teens to discover that you can buy a t-shirt that looks like it's been used in stump-busting for fifty cents, and no one will be the wiser.

Today my daughter The Spare came out of school looking like a million bucks, but in reality she was done up at about $6.50 from head to toe, including shoes. The trick is giving the thrift store a snobby name.

And be sure the thrift store isn't the one on the main street of your town. Because someone might get wise to you. Go to a neighboring town. (This is easy where we live. We could bike to Village Thrift. But we would be tired when we got home.)

Here's extra magic for you faerie festival fanatics:

Thrift stores are treasure troves of faerie festival attire. If you don't find a suitable faerie gown in a month or two, you can always start snapping up a bevvy of lightly-used prom gowns and re-assembling them in novel ways. Okay, so if you can't sew this can be a problem. Call in those magic mice! Or else just have patience. The right gooey gown will eventually find its way into the racks. (Always look among the lingerie, gross as that sounds. I got me a dazzling nymph gown that way a few years -- and festivals -- back.)

Guys, you too can bypass the useless Abercrombie label. Let some dumb schlub pay $75 for a hoodie. You get yours at the thrift store, whack it with a stick and douse it with bleach, and you've saved yourself $70! Think of all the beer that will buy.

If this seems less like white magic than sound advice, just remember ... most white magic is just pure common sense, liberally applied. Go therefore and do it abundantly!


Anonymous said...

You're sounding more and more like Granny Weatherwax every day.


THE Michael said...

I was able to wear a set cadre of t-shirts and jeans for damn near 20 years, then I quit smoking, and I finally had to pay for new yet not at all different clothing, just a tad bit larger in size. Being no slave to fashion, that really sucked as far as I was concerned.

I really admire your kids, Ann.

Big Tex said...

LOL, "VT Outfitters." But yeah, I've never understood the logic of paying for the privilege of wearing corporate logos on your clothes. Seems that if anything, they should be paying you.

Maeve said...

I *heart* thrift stores and yard sales.

I don't mind paying more money for better quality clothing, but I refuse to pay more money just for a brand name. All too often the quality of the garment is the same as the no-name item.

And I always prefer to find clothing (oh, and all sorts of things!) second hand. Waste not, want not, and all that. heh. Now I'm sounding like my grandmother's generation. Which is not a bad thing.

yellowdog granny said...

i call the thrift stores the uss outfitters...used shit store..
once when the 4 granddaughters were still in the dress up stage when they came to grandma's i went to the used shit store in town and they were selling all their brides maids, prom dresses, fancy dresses, etc for .25cents a piece..i bought every thinh they had...then hit about a doz. yard sales and bought all their high heel shoes, bought junk jewelry, $1 store makeup and set up a botique for the girls when they came over...jeeez, you would have thought they had died and gone to heaven..i called the high heels 'tart shoes' and haley who was about 3 kept saying 'my tart shoes are too big'..they played cinderealla, sleeping beauty, goign to the prom and getting married for they thought i was the coolest grandma ever...
since i have been losing so much weight and outgrowning my clothes faster than i can buy them i have been buying my blue jeans and slacks at the used shit store..why pay $20+ for pants i may out grow in a paid $4 for a pair of name brand jeans the other day..hen i out grown them, just donate them back..
i think your girls are smart and must take after momm..

Anonymous said...

My Elder and I don't hit thrift stores but we are pros at the clearance rack shuffle. I like nothing better than to find a $99 coat for $7 or pick up graphic tees for $3 each.

Mama Kelly

Luna said...

This is why people use the word "vintage" -- to cover up the fact that they bought something "used." Excellent! Be sure to remind your savvy daughter that by reusing perfectly wearable clothes instead of buying brand new ones, she's helping the environment. :)