Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Thrifted Treasure


You got it right - this dress was one of my latest finds in Goodwill (where I had to go for that secret reason I am not talking about just yet!). The bright purple (mulberry and lavender, would you agree?) color palette with a splash of orange (which never fails to make me happy) is what attracted me to this dress in the first place. I haven't had a style like this before, though it is very reminiscent of what my Mom used to wear in the early 80s, and it also has a mid-century feel to it, all at the same time. I am not a big expert on fashion history, and I would be very interested in learning what YOU think of this dress. Is it a classic, old-fashioned, retro, ageless or aging dress to you? What does it remind you of?


I first styled it with my beloved denim jacket, and that gave it a scaled down contemporary vibe in an instant. But for some reason I wanted to play even more feminine that evening. I thought I didn't have a cardi in either purple or orange hues, but boy was I wrong! I do have one - it was packed in a large container under my bed as a "Fall/Winter season item". I guess it's all in our head at the end. This cardigan definitely can be a year round piece. Out of the box it came! 

I am doing fabulous Sheila's of Ephemera pose here :)

I played with the orange accents this time, just because I love orange (who'd think, right?) and I have all I need in this lovely hue. I am guilty of not completely stopping thrift store shopping (or sales in my favorite brand name stores), but I do a better job shopping my closet these days too. Anya was the one who helped me to decide on the necklace you see here. She said that it picks up the orange from the dress and shoes so well. I love this necklace for the fun assortment of shades, shapes and sizes it has. Justin did a great job catching the sparkle in the evening sun! (Just so you know - evening light is the most beautiful, 2 hours before sunset is the most flattering time to take your photos. Mid-day light is very harsh and harder to work with. We first took photos this day at 3 pm, and they weren't nearly as good as these. I only used the portrait shot from the first photo shoot.) 

It was a lovely evening, very comfortably warm, but not hot or humid (very Seattle-ish kind of Summer). But in a hot day I would go necklace-less.



The dress is made of almost exclusively cotton with just a bit of spandex in the fabric - only 3%, but it makes the difference! Clothes fit so much better when they are made of a stretchy fabric. I don't remember it being an option when I was sewing (in the 90s) - I believe it's a newer fabric technology. What do you think, Beate?

The dress fit is almost perfect, with the exception of the bust area, (it's just a bit too big for me ... how is that even possible?). But given that I found this dress in a brand-new like condition for only $11 at Goodwill, I am not going to complain. The brand is unknown to me (East 5th). I suspect it's an inexpensive department store brand (I almost never shop at departments stores, they feel overwhelming to me, so I am not familiar with their brands). It is well made, has lining in the upper part and zipper up the back, and the cut is quite sophisticated for an inexpensive dress. I found a dress exactly like mine on eBay for $35, so I did pretty well.



Dress - thrifted (Avenue 5th via Goodwill)
Shoes - Tsubo (via Nordstrom Rack)
Purse - Cole Haan (via TJ MAXX)
Orange necklace - Lane Bryant
Ring and bracelet - boutique finds

Linking up with Visible Monday at Patti's
and 52 Pick-me-up: 60s at Spy Girl's

46 comments:

  1. I also seem to be attracted to orange at the moment. I love it paired with magenta in your outfit. Great find, and it fits so well. Sorry I can't help with fashion categories, I tend to ignore them :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Orange! Happy color - love of life and dreams! :) I am looking forward to your orange outfits, Jack! Thank you for your sweet comment! :) xxx

      Delete
  2. The light in the picture is very nice ... and the dress of course. Somehow, retro, however also timeless. The combination with orange chain I really like and I think it's brave. The cardigan is good in matching (but my English isn't good!) - avery pretty outfit.

    I read, you're from Krasnoyarsk - I was there never, but had previously penpal in the Krasnoyarsk region. I love Russian language and music to this day,all the old songs and the radioshow of Viktor Tatarsky ... I´m glad to found your blog :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mascha, your English is very good! Anyway, mine isn't perfect, and nobody seems to mind. :) Thank you so much for stopping by! I am happy to have found your beautiful, thoughtful and artistic blog. xxx

      Delete
  3. ok - here comes the fashion professor ;-)
    first time this kind of dresses appeared in the 30´s but in a calf length. in the 40´s the dresses got shorter, but the cut with draped bust and a midriff section was still on fashion. then in the seventies there was the first fashion revival. actually it started with the the hippies in the sixties buying flowery pre-war dresses at second hand shops as protest against the "technical" fashion of the 60´s. in the 70´s that style came in high fashion, in the early 80´s it arrived on the streets.
    with our revival loving 21.cent. this dresses appeared again......
    but now in jersey.
    cotton or viscose (a derived cotton) jersey with spandex/lycra in it was very common from the early 90´s on. i had several items myself - leggings, biker shorts, t-shirts, body-con dresses. god was i young and slim :-)
    but i remember that buying fabric was another thing. only in high end fabric stores you could buy something with lycra in it. (i had to buy a lot of fabric this days for the college)

    but here you are - today and in real life and looking fabulous!!!
    orange with purple was never done that good. usually its a shiver inducing seventies combo. but natascha! perfection. chic. glamour.
    you look like you just fell of from a milanese catwalk!
    your necklace - anja has a very good style sense - remembers me of amber. have a weak spot for it but could´t find a piece that suits my tastes (and wallet) yet.

    hugs&kisses
    b.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WOW! I knew you are knowledgeable, but I had no idea how much you can tell about just one little dress!! Thank you for such an interesting fashion lesson! What a history this little number hides in itself. Who knew? I though it reminds me of 60s, but there is so much more... The fabric is really just like regular cotton (not jersey), but has a bit elastic. It's wonderful.

      I can't believe you described me here. I mean... it's just old me, really! Milanese catwalk? I am very flattered. :)

      You are such a sweetheart!!! Love! xxxxx

      Delete
  4. What a gorgeous dress, I love how you've picked out the orange (Anya's choice of necklace is perfect) and made the print look even brighter. The fit is superb and your waist looks tiny.
    I can't improve on Beate's costume history but remember having a pair of leggings with added Lycra for my 21st birthday - before then it was baggy cotton - Lycra was cutting edge and very expensive - and they felt wonderful! xxxxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, my dear! Hehe, that waist! It only looks tiny these days! :)))

      I remember those Lycra leggings - they were super shiny, yes? I wore them to my aerobics class in late 80s to early 90s. :)

      Delete
  5. What a score! This is one of my favourites on you. The colour and fit is perfect. I really love you chose to go with organ accents too.

    To me this looks very contemporary. I love it.

    bisous
    Suzanne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Suzanne! It means a lot coming from you!! xxxx

      Delete
  6. Beautiful dress and print and I love the addition of those orange accessories! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much! Soooo sweet of you to stop by, Natalia! Happy to have found you in Bloglandia! xxx

      Delete
  7. You look too good for words! These are my favorite colors together and the orange was the perfect color to pull out of this dress. The fit is beautiful, I love a lil spandex in everything! I think the dress looks contemporary too and the necklace Anya picked out perfection! You look lovely in that sunshine too!
    Xxxxooo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Krista! Many hugses to you and Peetee! xxxxxx

      Delete
  8. Purple and orange, it's a stunning mix of colour! and fabulous on you - the dress is a beauty, it must have been quite a thrill to find it, it fits so beautifully, I have never, ever had anything too big in the bust area haha! and I am going to be very patient until you reveal your secret, it's all very exciting! x x x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a good thing you are so good at being patient, my dear! I am not! I can hardly keep the secret anymore! :)

      I was also surprised to have something big in that area. It's rare for me. :)))

      Delete
  9. Oh I am swooning! Look at you strutting down the street so gorgeous and radiant! I love the colours-my favourite purple/violet/mulberry is of course featuring strongly here but I love it with the orange. So fun to have a daughter to help you accessorise! I love the style of that dress and it is a style that I think if usually very flattering and certainly one of the best on me. It's best for me when the dress is somewhat fitted and tailored but hasn't got a waistband which will inevitably fall in the wrong spot. It seems both modern and a sort of late thirtes/forties kind of vibe in the style, but more 70s/80s in the pattern. I love that necklace!
    Sometimes I feel that when I respond to your blogs my brain and fingers are just tripping all over themselves trying to express how much I love it all. If I were a celebrity I would hire you as my personal stylist. Though I think I would hire Anna too!
    Love and hugses! and Thank you for the birthday wishes. :-)
    xoxoxoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shawna, thank you soooo much! I love it when you respond to my posts! I know exactly what you mean as I am also a super emotional person, and I know that all those words come from heart. :) So please never stop trying to express! That's what we writers do, right? :)

      When you sell your first bestseller, I will be happy to style you for the award ceremony or just a fancy dinner out! I am sure Anna will be happy to style you too. :)

      Many hugs! xxxxxx

      Delete
  10. That dress and colours look fantastic on you and it was a bargain too. xx

    ReplyDelete
  11. I found your poems on http://stihi.ru/avtor/nataliali
    A little bit read and would write comment, but I haven't login there...

    That I had written:
    Красиво и нежно!
    Я очень люблю русский язык, звучит дя меня близкой и родной, хоть не материнский дя меня.
    40 лет тому назад в школе училась...
    Буду чаще смотреть на вашу страницу, почти всё понимаю, только сама писать не так...(грамматика!)
    Маша

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mascha! I am soooo deeply touched that you found my poems and even commented! I lost my login to that site myself... Thank you so very much for your kind words. Your Russian is beautiful! I am always very touched by people who love Russian language as if it was their mother language...

      У меня также есть сказки и короткие рассказы и эссе онлайн. Мой брат работает над нашим сайтом. Надеюсь, что вскоре смогу сделать страничку здесь и собрать все, что я пишу, в одном месте.
      У меня есть также пара блогов на русском, которые я перестала писать, но все равно люблю их. :)

      Danke schoen! I used to know German, but unfortunately forgot it - did not use it in so many years... You are AMAZING for remembering Russian and loving it!

      Delete
  12. I love your dress Natalia, the colors suit you and you look fabulous!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Timeless. Fits you to a T. Brilliant colors and pattern, so-flattering cut ... what else could you want? Fabulous on you, particularly with your styling. I love the orange with it, of course. Certainly not dating you, or ageing you ... you should wear it often, and with your cute cardi for coolish evenings. Woot!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought of other ways to style it. You can pull black or white, or lilac, or beige out of this little number... It all will look good, I am sure. Orange resonates with me the most at this point.

      Even your comments are extremely well written, Jan. You are so gifted! Thanks for stopping by, dear friend.

      Delete
  14. How about classic and ageless, with a bit of retro feel? I, too, love orange and purple and it doesn't hurt my feelings if green is added to the mix. You look lovely. Nice shot! Debbie @ ilovemylemonadelife.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, I never feel offended by green either! :) Thank you, Debbie! xxx

      Delete
  15. Wonderful dress, and I cannot get over the wonderful you, my dear Natalia
    Looking forward to tomorrow.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You melt my heart, dear Sacramento! xxxxxxxx

      Delete
  16. Hi Natalia! You're in Tacoma? That's just a skip away from Seattle where I dwell. Thank you for introducing yourself on my blog. I'm looking forward to following. I can see we love the same colors! My hair use to be your color too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joni, I will be happy to meet with you! Yes, I am in one of Tacoma neighborhoods, just north of Tacoma port. We must meet. :)

      Delete
  17. Love the dress and the photo. You look so happy on it! Очень классное платьице! Повезло!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Да, повезло на этот раз! Спасибо, Оксана! :)

      Delete
  18. A perfect frock for just about any occasion. Anya did well with her necklace selection. You're always so radiant in color. The dress almost has a baby doll shape because of the raised waist line and free for bodice. If that's the cut, then Balenciaga created this shape around 1938. But it's hard to tell, because the back appears to knot have the same look. Either way, you look lovely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing the bit of fashion history, Glenda! I will sure look into Balenciaga creation. The dress seems to be a huge hit. :)

      Delete
  19. I think the dress is timeless! Beautiful print, perfect fit and lovely colour. And I simply love the necklace, what a beautiful piece of jewelry!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you liked it Olga! Such simple things like inexpensive jewelry or secondhand dress can bring so much joy!

      Delete
  20. Wow, what a gorgeous outfit! You look stunning. I love these colors together and that dress fits like it was made for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much for such a generous compliment! I am blushing :)

      Delete
  21. The colors are so rich they practically leap off the page! Love this dress, and excellent find that suits you perfectly !
    It feels timeless and modern , I a glad it is knee length, it keeps this stunner from being too snowy !
    XX, Elle
    http://mydailycostume.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. Sorry l I am trying on AmtraK!
    XX, Elle
    http://mydailycostume.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thanks for linking up with 52 Pick-me-up! You look lovely in your sweet dress. The color combo is perfect for you.

    Betsey Johnson used lycra (or spandex, which is the generic term) in her garments in the late 70s - early 80s. Liza Bruce developed my favorite nylon/spandex bubble knit in the mid 80s for swimwear. That soon trickled down to the cut-and-sew trade in the late 80s. We used cotton/spandex knit a lot during my fashion school years (83-87) -- it was no more expensive than cotton knit and easy to find at fabric stores in LA.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Anne! WOW! I grew up in a very different world - different in more than one way... :)

      Delete
  24. Your dress took my breath away. I love the colours and the cut is lovely for curves. I agree that it has a bit of an early 40s vibe: "panel" on the tummy (I don't know what that's really called), a-line, knee-length. It also has a kind of Miami Beach, circa 40s and 50s vibrancy to it. Personally, I very much approve of the cardi.

    You and I clearly have similar taste. Check this out, if you haven't seen it yet:

    http://www.sublimemercies.com/2014/05/red-roses-and-pain-poses.html

    ReplyDelete