Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Thrifters

 OK, I'm in LA.
There's no way that I could fake the following photos that were taken last saturday afternoon on an excursion to The Jewish Woman's League Thrift Store in Santa Monica.
The tone of today's blog entry is light, breezy & informative, with a kind of Travelogue feel to it. You can fill in all the angst yourselves. I'm far too busy for all that stuff as I am about to leave for a nite or two in Palm Springs.
Anyway, I tootled along the Pacific Coast Highway sitting in the beautifully warmed passenger seat of Marge's Hybrid. In the back sat Letitia, Marge's lovely daughter-in-law. I had been given the name of the thrift store from a friend in Australia & Marge was able to easily locate it on her newly-acquired iPad.
As we sped along the PCH, I frantically photographed the scene outside.

We sped up a ramp & I quickly managed to photograph people on the beach. It was a bit chilly & the light was surreal.
I love the remnants of Sam Spade or maybe, Philip Marlowe about Santa Monica.
And the brief fragment of Marion Davies on the beach. And maybe Gidget. And possibly Mildred Pearce.

We then took  a left up Wilshire.

We drove until we found a park right outside the Jewish Woman's League Thrift Shop. I had been told that this place was The Holy Grail of Thrift Stores. And just like Dr Frankenfurter, I was trembling with 'Anti-ci-pat---ion' or Whatever.

Here's Marge & Letitia outside the shop. In fact, this photo is taken slightly out of sequence as we were leaving with all our purchases. But I wanted to give you an idea of what it looked like.

But here's a genuine photo of what we were like when we first arrived. I'm wearing a v. skimpy dress I found in the closet of the room I'm staying in that I've peared with a striped top freshly bought from the Salvation Army Depot the previous day.
(FYI, I intentionally spelled peared that way. I thought it was adorable)
The royal blue footless tights were from 'Forever 21.( BTW, what a silly name that is. Imagine what a nightmare it would be to be Twenty One Forever?)

Once inside, we immediately began trawling the immaculately colour-coded & catagorised  racks of clothes. Of course I had to suffer the Inevitable Letdown & Subsequent Ennui which always arises when the place isn't bursting with Vintage Lanvins.
Instead I found what could possibly be a Vintage Versace & tried it on. Perfect for Apres Wrestling.
Marge always looks splendid in a hat.

Wisely, I put the Versace back on its hanger & headed to the Jacket Section,  gravitating to a linen Ralph Lauren Jacket with no price tag on it. I immediately wanted to race over the to sales clerk & ask the price but Marge cautioned me, suggesting that if I was too eager, they might bump it up. I complied,  & made a sensible plan to hold on to the jacket until I was ready to purchase & then  casually dump it on the counter with the rest of the stuff.

Meanwhile, I was waylaid by the Lure of Celebrity.
This jacket had a 'Bob Mackie' label on it. I felt sure that  Ol' Bob was an iconic American designer who designed many of Liza Minelli's stage outfits. But this wasn't a great example of his work. Nor am I a great example of channelling  a tortured celebrity.
Oh, but maybe I am.

Sadly Marge tried on a number of jackets but none hit the spot. I was getting slightly put out by this because a Thrifting Outing isn't really complete without everyone in the party finding something, particularly if one person finds something good & keeps going on & on about it.
Luckily, at the Eleventh Hour, Marge picked up a pair of Calvin Klein Bootlets with a rather large heel. She tried them on & they looked fab, but she was worried about:
1. The Comfort Factor, like all us Old Ducks have to waddle around in Hush Puppies or it's Not Safe ;
2. The heel made her look even taller.
I completely hosed all this down, giving the example of my Style Icon, Jenna Lyons from J.Crew (not that I would ever buy anything from there) who is over six feet tall &  only wears sky high stilettos. Admittedly, she is probably about twenty years younger than us, but who notices?

This was me after I walked out of the shop. I also bought another jacket, this time with a  Gap label. I was thrilled.
FYI, the cost of the Ralph Lauren & the Gap was one was the same - ten bucks.
I love that kind of egalitarianism.

After we finished, we got back into the car & headed to a popular local cafe, Literati.
Marge had cheesecake & I had a bagel which I loaded up with cream cheese. When I sneered at the cheesecake, Marge said that my choice would probably have as many calories as hers. Who would Know?
Well, actually everyone in California now knows how many calories their selection at any restaurant has because there is a sign next to each piece of food on sale showing the calories. Marge thinks this is an initiative of Michelle Obama's.
So,  I was totally shocked at the sign next to a v. innocent looking foccacia at Starbucks that proclaimed it had 670 calories. I may as well eat a packet of Tim Tams (or perhaps Oreos, if you are not Australian).

On the drive back to Thousand Oaks, I photographed many signs that spoke to me in their own sweet way.
Off to Palm Springs.


Rebecca said...

How I wish I could have joined you....the jackets are quite fine and it was probably best to return the Verace to the wracks. (I deliberately spelled racks that way taking my cue from your adorable spelling of peared.)

Ah. The beach!
Fascinating the photos of the signs that spoke to you...
Happy to hear you are doing your fair share of boosting the California economy. ENJOY!

Della Street Dreaming said...

Thank you Rebecca! We are currently in Palm Springs which is a whole other experience. It seems to be absolutely full of v. elderly people which made us both (not too far off sixty) feel rather young & skittish

see you there! said...

Oh... Palm Springs! I'll be there for a week in March. Darn it, we'll miss one another. Did you get a chance to go to the Sat. Flea Market at the College of the Desert?