Wednesday, March 21, 2012

More new sparkles.

When I was in high school these sequined shells were a dime a dozen in the thrift stores. Okay, perhaps that's a bit of an exaggeration, but they were generally available for a few dollars, and just about as easy to come by as tank tops at Target. I was recently bemoaning those bygone days and then I found this shimmery top. There seems to be some sort of ask-and-ye-shall-receive thrift store magic at work in the world. Sure, the asking price for this top was a bit higher than back in my school days but that's due to twenty plus years of inflation and the transition of thrift shopping from creepy to cool.

This top is from the same trip that yielded this cardigan. I'm guessing they probably belonged to the same person originally. There was also an additional sequined tank style shell in cream but I passed on that one. It was a little tight under the arms and the lining was terribly stained and I knew that it was unlikely that I would ever choose to wear a cream top when I also had a very similar black one. I was also trying to be fiscally conservative my basket was already pretty full of high ticket items. High ticket for the thrift store, at least. As it was I spent so much money at this SPCA charity thrift store that Chris was concerned, when he was reviewing our credit card charges, that I had adopted another cat.

This top isn't in quite as good a shape as the cream cardigan. It's missing a few of the bead dangles, and I've noticed a few more that should be secured before future wearings, and the lining need a little attention where it is coming apart at the shoulder, but this is conveniently camouflaged by the cardigan today. I have visions of wearing my sparkly top with a floaty chiffon skirt and strappy heels some summer evening but for right now I wanted to see if I could tone down the glamor and create an outfit suitable for just hanging about (which is what I spend most of my days doing.)

Today's wins:
1) One gorgeous, wearable, thrifted top in a style I've been wanting for a while. I'm expecting this shell to be a season spanning go-to dress up piece once I give it a little TLC.
2) I'm loving the layered necklace look of which Anne at The Frump Factor and Debbi at She Accessorizes Well are proponents. I tried this less successfully yesterday. Today when I went to find a necklace to wear a voice in my head said, "Don't stop." I continued to sling on the bling and I'm really happy with the combination of rhinestone tennis necklace and silver baubles I created. I'm especially pleased because layering means I can begin to wear the wire heart necklace, which is one of my favorites, almost every day.

Near misses:
1) I was much happier with this outfit in real life than in these pictures. These wide legged jeans are a little low in the rise and there was a fair amount of stomach bulge on display between my waistband and the bottom of the top. I added a longer tank underneath to cover the gap and I thought it looked fine in the mirror but I can see by these photos that what I really need is different pants. Also, although I was thrilled that these pants seemed to have a looser fit than when last I wore them, I am not as delighted by the fact that they have a decidedly diaper-like appearance around the crotch area in most of my photos. Not appealing.
2) I'm not sure about the slouchy cardigan I've used here. I wanted it to create an overall relaxed aesthetic with the wide legged pants but perhaps I should have gone with a top layer with less volume? Or maybe I should have tried a cardigan in a color other than black for more contrast? In any case, I don't love these two together.

The verdict:
I'm giving this outfit a C+
The top is lovely but my attempts to make it work in a casual outfit fell short of the mark this time. I think the idea to make it casual was a good one, but the tank top, floppy cardigan, and diaper jeans resulted in an outfit that was frumpier than I had expected, and didn't do the beautiful top (or me) justice. I'll make the necessary repairs to the top and try to pair it with pieces that have a slimmer silhouette in my next attempt.


  1. In spite of how ubiquitous the shiny tops once were in the thrifts, it is a look I've never tried. I'm old enough to really dislike the feel of low rise jeans. I wore a pair this week to teach in, with a pair of suspenders, so my pants wouldn't fall down! Good luck with the repairs to the top.

  2. I'd give the outfit a much higher grade. I love the sequin top and the layered necklaces. Thanks for the shout out! When I did that post I got so few comments that I thought I had spent the time doing it for naught. But now I know it was worthwhile thanks to such a nice compliment.
    Love the bit of red in the shoes.