After my weekend adventures at the mall and Target, I’ve been hankering for a slightly more diverse and quirky way to fashionably spend my dollars and today I hit gold, in the form of thrift stores.
For the uninitiated, the common thrift store is an American version of a charity shop or vintage boutique. Thrift stores have grown in popularity in recent years, thanks to the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker and Scarlett Johansson championing vintage on and off the red carpet.
I’d been to a few of these quirky stores the last time I was in New York and the look focused very much on leather, denim and retro inspired t-shirts – much akin to the young, hip vintage boutiques in Bristol and London.
Naples is a frustrating place for fashion: the majority of locals are either rich, old, or both, which means that fashion comes in the form of boutiques and exclusive department stores. Great for designer finds, not so great for my wallet. This is why the thrift stores are perfect as all the old people donate all their designer labels and there are plenty of Granny Chic
finds to be had!
Gucci pumps, Escada blazers and a stunning pair of nearly new Docle & Gabbana brogues, above, for $75… there are some amazing finds to be had if you’re prepared to rummage, which I always am! Along with high end designers there were the more obscure American and Italian brands along with the likes of Ralph Lauren and Levi denims.
I visited three shops this afternoon, all just five minutes from the house that I had never noticed before. The lovely ladies at The Rose Garden and some gorgeous vintage jewelry and gave me a map with all the thrift stores of Naples on it (the Holy Grail of my fashion hunt so far). Their shop was divided into open plan rooms with menswear, accessories and womenswear, along with furniture and bridal gowns. All the staff were really helpful and super nice, even pointing me in the direction of other store I might like using said map.
Options and Audrey’s Attic
were next and both were full of treasures. Options was where I found the D&G shoes, photographic evidence of which will be posted soon. A lot bigger than the other stores, Options supports a local domestic abuse charity which one of the employees told me draws a lot of contributions from the community. There was a real mix of clothes here and although one would need to rummage to find good clothes, accessories were displayed on tables and clear perspex units making them easy to locate and identify.
Audrey’s Attic is a ‘for profit’ thrift store and as a result it looked like more money had gone into the decor and the quirky vintage layout. The collection of vintage upstairs was simply stunning and the shop is run by a British couple who were very helpful when I paid them a visit! The vintage on sale spans from the 40s through to the 80′s with some amazing lace wedding gowns and 50s prom dresses, see photo above. There were treasures aplenty and I will definitely be going back next week and taking E with me – she is a label lover and I’m sure I can lure her in to my way of thinking with some vintage Gucci and Chanel!
I find it hard to believe but since I landed in sunny Florida over a week ago, I have only got around to exploring some of the shops and ‘the mall’ this afternoon. The biggest difference I’ve noticed so far is that, unlike in huge cities like New York, all the shops are contained in malls or plazas and are not particularly easy to get to on foot.
Like everything in America, the malls and shopping centres are big, big, big with a mix of high street and high end shops inside. Today I paid a visit to Marshalls
which is just like an American version of TK Maxx as it sells high end familiar and obscure brands at low prices (normally due old season lines or unsuccessful sellers).
I managed to pick up a wicked pair of New Balance grey and red running trainers, which can now replace my accent Nikes, while my friend picked up a cute pair of Emporo Armani sunglasses for $10 – bargain!
Next stop was Target
which I always thought of as an US version of Primark – cheap clothes and there for lower quality. The only time I heard of this popular American store was when Sarah Jessica Parker designed a (poorly received) womenswear line
for it back in 2007. I was surprised then, to find not only far more than clothing on offer but that it offers regular seasonal designer lines, and this time by Anna Sui
. The collection
has been inspired by the TV show Gossip Girl and featured trademark Sui design features such as lace and fringing, like this gorgeous grey t-shirt, above
The collection looked like it had been inspired by the wild west, with nostalgic saloon tassels and lots of high-neck cream and black blouses. Although I’ve never seen an episode of Gossip Girl I’ve been informed that each of the 19 pieces in the collection has been influenced by Sui’s favorite characters. Talking to Target press Sui said of the show; ” [Gossip Girl] is such a phenomenon and so fashionable, so I really wanted to create a collection reflective of the four main characters.”
The line came out in August so before I found my way to the shops it had already been put on the sale rack. Personally I’ve fallen for the grey t-shirt with black fringing as it it is simple but feminine – a classic Anna Sui look. As soon as I work out the bus system I’m going back to buy it!
More Ship-Shape and Florida Fashion updates and pictures to follow so watch this space…
I’ve jetted across the pond to Florida for a few weeks. Sadly not in the name of fashion, but I will endeavour to source out the best fashion America has to offer and blog about my findings as much as possible!
So far in the depths of Florida all I’ve seen are shorts, baseball caps and suspicious looking Hawaiian shirts but I’ll find some fashion worth blogging of somewhere in this state! At the same time I’ll do my best to keep up with you fashion forward lovelies in the South West so feel free to comment on up coming Bristol based events…
Slowly but surely I’m starting to get this blog ‘out there’ into the big scary world of the press and public. As this is all still fairly new, it is still exciting to see Ship-Shape get a mention. So follow the links below to see Ship-Shape in all it’s glory, on the Bristol Evening Post website and on the Peoples Republic of Stokes Croft…
Stokes Croft Fashion Show report on the PRSC blog
Bristol Bloggers Directory on the BEP
I found the musings of LibertyLondonGirl after reading a very interesting piece on IFB that she wrote regarding recent changes in US law that effect bloggers; a must-read for any American bloggers who receive freebies and samples from PR companies.
LLG is “an English fashion editor in Manhattan” blogging about “life, love, fashion, design and food” and appealed to me as she ticks the boxes in terms of interests and her job. As I’m also off to the US soon (sadly not for journalism related purposes) there are posts such as What Beauty Products Should I get in the US?, below, that could come in handy!
There is always something quite appealing about the nature of anonymous bloggers, particularly those in the field of fashion so I was intrigued to read more of LLG’s blog and I think it has a good mix of lifestyle and fashion related content – a balance that many fashion bloggers can loose sight of from time to time.
LLG’s refreshingly honest attitude to life and her move to the US is fun to read ans recently she commented at her surprise at her most recent accolade considering that “this blog, which was originally my letters home to London from New York”. A little helping of English wit, honesty and self-depreciation gives this blog and edge and LLG ticks the boxes as a good blogger – pro active, community focused and keen to respond to comments and posts – a perfect read!