What’s YOUR style? Have the current economic trials affected your fashion awareness? I wonder what it must be like for people who have always had the resources to buy whatever they wanted. You know, just go into a mall and shop for a new outfit. I suppose that it would be hard to adjust to the limitations that so many of us are experiencing during this economic downturn. Of course, this won’t last forever, and one day we will all look back on these days of financial struggles and remember what it was like “back then.” Kind of like the memories that my mama used to share with me of her childhood. Being a kid during the Great Depression was not easy . . . . being an adult during the Great Depression was even harder. But they got through it. And so will we. But in the meantime, there are some days of financial struggle ahead for all of us.
One of the wonderful lessons that I learned early in my life, was to appreciate the beautiful things in my world, even if they were hand-me-downs. Of course I always had the beauty of my little neighborhood, where I played in the woods designing imaginary houses. And the wonder of a springtime morning when the mist was rising from the lake and I played beneath the Weeping Willow tree with my dollies. As an only child, I learned to play alone and I learned to love the simplicity of life in a small town. I’ve discovered as I gotten older, though, that not everyone enjoys those seemingly mundane, ordinary events in life. And if you are used to being able to go out to dinner and a moving or to go shopping for a brand-new outfit when you need one, then discovering that you just can’t do that right now, might be difficult for some people.
I've had great fun lately to search through the Etsy shops and discover beautiful, classic, high-quality clothing at prices that more people can afford. Since I’ve been selling on Etsy, I’ve discovered that there is quite a market for “vintage,” “retro,” and reconstruction garments. That can be anything from last year’s styles that have been donated to a thrift shop, or truly vintage garments that are discovered at an estate sale, or even gorgeous treasures that have been stashed away in MeMaw’s attic for twenty years. And since I have so much practice “making something out of nothing,” as my mother-in-law used to say about me, I’m having great fun searching for and discovering some of the wonderful garments and accessories that are available in a variety of Etsy shops. If you are looking for a “new” outfit, Etsy is a great place to start!
Here are just a few of the fun items I found this week . . . . . I always like to start with the foundation garment for an outfit. Here is a beautiful spring and summer dress that has so much versatility! You could dress it up for an elegant evening occasion, or keep it simple for a daytime outing. This sweet dress is from Turquoise Heaven and it is only $26.00!
Once I find the foundation garment for an outfit, then it is really fun to find all kinds of stuff to mix, match, and coordinate. The next thing I start searching for is a great pair of shoes that will add some pizzazz, or class, or charm . . . depending on the style of the outfit. For this beautiful dress, I was looking for shoes that would really enhance the classy, femine look of the outfit, but be just a little bit sassy, too. I found these gorgeous summer slides that pick up the rosey pink in the dress, and they are simply classic, but those little bows really say "personality"! I found these at vjones1 for just $20.00!
Now that I have the dress and the shoes, it's time to search for some accessories. It is just so much fun investigating all of the little shops on Etsy! I just enter the search term "pink purses" and I found so many totes, handbags, purses, and wristlets that would go perfectly with this outfit. But I thought THIS one was the best! This sweet pink purse can be found at nickandnessie's for $16.00. So now our outfit total is up to $62.00. How does that compare to shopping at the mall?
Or here's a cute little purse from my own shop, Gossamer Wings Studio, that would go perfectly with this outfit. And this one is only $14.00!
My final treasure hunt was for jewelry that would go perfectly with this outfit. I was looking for something that would carry out the pink theme, of course, but also jewelry that would really tie it all together. I searched for vintage and retro, simple and elaborate, sweet and elegant. It was so difficult to decide on just one piece of jewelry, so here are a couple of choices. Which one do you like best? This sweet set is from gilligansgate for $18.99.
And these adorable little button earrings I discovered at smallearthvintage for just $14.00!
So, depending on your choice of jewelry and handbag, your entire outfit could cost you as little as $60.00 - $75.00 or as much as $80.99. Maybe it is just me, but I'd sure rather spend less than $100.00 on a beautiful outfit that is "new" to me, than whatever it would take to get similar items at a department store in the mall. When you are looking for that special outfit for an upcoming event, please take a minute to browse the shops of Etsy. You just might find exactly what you are looking for and still have enough money to buy groceries this week! Stop back later this week for another feature on more gorgeous vintage and retro items from the sellers of Etsy! Have a wonderful week living the vintage life and experiencing the joy of simplicity in your life ;o) Nina