Monday, September 2, 2013

I'd like to exchange this buffalo for a bison, please

I decided to take a few clothes to Buffalo Exchange and see if I could sell them. For those who don't know, Buffalo Exchange is a chain of resale shops that is very popular with the young and painfully cool. I had been in there only once, and I felt intimidated by the women who work there. Like workers at other style and fashion places, they acted like they are so exceptional and have such an obvious talent for perfect style, and that's why they were singled out for this elite job. They were never told they would have to deal with the boring masses of people who are only on the fringe of cool, who must certainly be envious and clamoring for attention from the goddesses who put clothes on hangers and punch numbers into cash registers (such refined skills!).

Do I sound resentful? Insecure? Maybe.
new tunic with dark Levi's

When I was a girl in Smalltown, Oregon, each school year I usually got one new, store-bought dress and one pair of shoes. My mother also sewed a few things, and I got hand-me-downs from my sister, brother, cousins, etc. We weren't very style-conscious, and our only fashion magazine was Sears catalog. I had no money, little selection and not much natural flair. So I'm still easily intimidated by those snotty women who think their armpits never stain their clothes.

new tunic, light Levi's

But they were nice this time! Most of the other customers were nice, too! I waited in line for at least 25 minutes to sell my odd, black tunic (seen here - it didn't really fit or suit me), but they didn't want my pretty Worthington dress (thrifted, seen here and here - it also doesn't fit right) or my Loft jacket (hand-me-down from my niece – brown is not my best color). These were deemed to be too "old." Huh. My stuff was better than some of the crap they had on the racks.

new tunic, charcoal Lee slacks

In fact, I looked at all the tops and jackets, men’s and women’s, and this is the only thing I found that I wanted. It's silk and cotton, and kind of a new style for me, so I need to be inspired to come up with some outfits. I’m trying out a few here, but I’m also thinking I should get something in burgundy -  leggings, midi skirt, skinny jeans.

label - For Love and Liberty

Then, since I had shopped second-hand first, my second stop was a little local shop where I bought this new skirt. 

skirt by Avatar

I had seen it months ago and never forgot about it. 

this is the way it was in the store - squeeee!

This will be fun to style this autumn! 

the back

I've got three pairs of boots/booties that will look good with this, including these from a recent thrift run. 

Unlisted by Kenneth Cole

I still need to polish them and replace the laces with ribbon - again I'm thinking burgundy.

No Visible Monday this week, so I’m trooping up to Montreal to hang out with Ariane’s Blog Hop at Style Sud-Est. Parlez-vous Quebecois?

Lots of potential for inspiration, so I'm also linking up with Shiny T Tuesday - Inspired, at Flight Platform Living.

Which outfit do you think works best for the tunic? Also, if you're interested in the dress (size 10 - on me it's slightly tight in the hips and loose in the bust) or jacket (size 6, but it fits me, snugly. I can email a picture), email me (sparkleparkdesigns at gmail dot com). I'd be happy to mail them to a new home, but probably only in the US. It's easier that way.



Sheila said...

That skirt was there for months and no one snatched it up? Insane! It's so delightfully steampunk-y!

I don't know Buffalo Exchange, but I'm familiar with that type of consignment/thrift/second-hand store. It's all mall crap, and very little that is actually good quality.

I love your new tunic! And also loving the idea of swapping out laces for ribbon on those shoes.

Suzanne Carillo Style Files said...

LOL I had to laugh at your parley-vous true. When my husband and I moved there for him to finish his Canadian law degree he had been in Canada just over a year - direct from France. Every time someone spoke to us he looked at I should understand what they were saying! LOL It took us a while to get used to their way of speaking...for a couple of months we were completely lost in the heart of Quebec, Quebec City.

That skirt is Gawgeous! I can't wait to see it on you with the booties.

I went to Buffalo Exchange for the first time when we were in NYC just before my surgery. I actually really liked it. The people were extra friendly and I found 3 really great items, 2 that I wore out that night. I found that the selection was better for quality brands than what I normally find here. I really want to go back to NYC with my girlfriend and do a thrifting trip.


Melanie said...

LOVE your tunic and especially the attitude in the first photo. Yes, there are some stores that won't even LOOK at me seeing as I'm over 25 years old. Grrr. So I'm very happy you had a good experience at a cool shop and scored with the top.
I really look forward to seeing the skirt with those diva/geek shoes, which I love. I recently bought some pants in that engineer (train) type fabric too.

Connie said...

I often accompany my 19 year old son (he likes it when I come along since I have an appreciation for second hand S%#T and I also have $$) to Buffalo Exchange and they often treat me like I just came off the bus from the Home for the Memory Impaired (Seriously. It's really called that. It's right down the street from where I live. At least, I THINK it is...) You, my dear, have scored some gorgeous
S%#T. I LOVE the skirt and boots. Please wear the skirt with the curtains pulled UP!

ann wood said...

I know what you mean about stores that handle second hand items. Some are really nice and some are not. When I take my things in, some times they will accept a few pieces out of the pile. I feel like saying "seriously" then I get depressed thinking what I payed for them. I go to Turnstyle here in MN, I think it's a national chain and a good place where I usually find items.

I like the new top with your jeans. I look forward to seeing you wear the cool skirt. I have a friend with a similar skirt. She wears it with a sweater and boots with a long necklace. I think the shoes would be cool with ribbon ties as you mentioned.

blue hue wonderland

Shybiker said...

I understand your reaction to snotty saleswomen. It's obviously even worse for me to deal with those situations. Hang in there.

~julee~ said...

"...snotty women who think their armpits never stain their clothes." heh heh heh *snort*

Your new tunic is cute, but that skirt is FAB!

Tami Von Zalez said...

During my growing up years, I too cobbed together a wardrobe on little or nothing.

Vix said...

Oh, that skirt is squee-worthy. Can't wait to seeing you rock that beauty along with the pimped-up shoes.
I haven't visited a dress agency in years, the only stores I frequent are charity shops and they're generally staffed by the insane rather than with disdain! x

Ariane Lasalle said...

Hi Val!

Thanks for linking up!
I know those places sometimes they are difficult for you ego- I personnaly don't give a shit now -
Plus i dress better than those divas, hahhaha!
I love your tunic, you know you can wear with a skirt it will give the illusion of a dress -

Have a great day

Ariane xx

Tamera Wolfe said...

Phooey on them not taking your stuff!!
Love the top--burgundy pants would be cute!!
I am SWOONING over the new skirt and booties--amazing!

PinkCheetahVintage said...

The skirt and those booties are absolutely FANTASTIC!!!!

pastcaring said...

The tunic is great, I like it with the first two pairs of jeans best (but is that second cropped pair too big for you, Val, you're only a small lady! Just a thought...) Anyway, I make it a rule never to be intimidated by anyone in a shop (or never to show it), and I adore that skirt, looking forward to seeing you as a steampunk goddess very soon! xxxx

Anonymous said...

I know exactly the attitude you describe and have never attempted to sell any of my stuff there, though my daughters loved to shop the place. I like your new top and would love to see it with burgundy leggins. But, the SKIRT--wowza! It looks like something Sheila would wear.

Megan Gann said...

First let me GASP GASP GASP over that skirt. OMG GORGEOUS.

Then I want to say - Score! on the tunic. I don't know how much you paid for it, but that brand is (I believe) defunct and cost a pretty penny when it was new. I'm wearing the same brand today and mine had the original tags on it - $280! Only I paid $2 for it.

Angels have Red Hair said...

Love the skirt it is F.A.B!!
The tunic looks great too ... I like it with the dark Levi's best ... but I think some leggings would be just the ticket.

The Style Crone said...

The skirt is absolutely fabulous with its versatility and detail. I'm sure that you will put something together of great visibility. And what a great tunic, which plays nicely with your hair.

Veshoevius said...

I had to laugh at your rant on store girls but I know what you mean about them. Your childhood sounds like mine and I found them pretty intimidating and lets face it, some of them can be pretty unpleasant too.
Glad you found some nice ones though - getting your stuff rejected at consignments can make it feel like your own sense of style is being rejected - I've watched my stuff being picked up sniffily by store girls before being told it was too old too and felt kind of crap afterwards. Like I was being told I was someone with no sense of fashion or taste. Now I just give my things to friends or straight to charity. People who would appreciate it more!

Jane George said...

packed full of inspiration for sure! i love the tunic with them all but love the light levis with it the most and i adore that new skirt xxx

Hollie "Jet" Black-Ramsey said...

that skirt is so steampunk! Dang good find!

Sue @ A Colourful Canvas said...

Hey Val! Loving that new tunic. My favourite is with the light jeans...fabulous on you! I like it with the dark jeans too. Skinnies and some booties? Oh yah! And the skirt with the black booties...Wow! You've come a long way from the Sears catalogue, just sayin'. Hope you're starting to get some relief from the heat.

joyatri said...

Love the saloon-girl skirt and the new tunic. Don't you just love fall -- when you get to wear boots and jackets and layers and simply more clothes!
I grew up with the Montgomery Ward catalog as my fashion bible. It all looked so enticing because it was new and not second-hand or home-sewn like what I actually wore. Now, I prefer second-hand and home-sewn (funny how that happened).

Wendy said...

Omg...THE SKIRT!!!! I need one. No, really - it's perfect!

Val, I'm all for savoring a bit of resentment but never let another person intimidate you. Especially a person or persons that act like they are better, cooler, etc, yadda, yadda.

I find as a middle aged woman that the tragically hip 20 somethings don't realize that we did it first (just like our elders did it before us).

As for that Sears catalog- I LOVED looking through it!

PS- You look beautiful!