Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Summer 2k12: Back to school

Because Rainy Days and Mondays always get us down around here, I (Ingrid, esteemed daughter of Lara) will be posting on Mondays this month, each week thinking of something that makes summer particularly summery. This week I'm thinking of back to school shopping.

I always say that August is like the Sunday night of the year-- once school starts you're running on adrenaline and have no time to ruminate or stress, but the entire month is spent in anticipation for the moment when the shiz hits the fan. It's a funny time period because it combines sitting idly with one's Netflix queue/floating down the Provo River in a tube/cruising around in a minivan with a Cokechata with serious stressing. All those pre-homework jitters pair poorly with summertime laziness, so I have a tendency to channel that nervous energy into the only productive activity available in August: back to school shopping.

The secret nobody tells you about thrift stores is that the best ones are in small weird towns in weird places in America. It's important to shop in places where there is not going to be an abundance of fashion-forward individuals snatching the best finds before you get there. Because of this, Utah is a fantastic place to buy secondhand clothing and I try to spend my time here browsing through musty racks seeking the elusive perfect find. The important thing about shopping in a thrift store is that you can't go with an agenda-- of course, you may have long term thrifting goals (for me, these are Doc Martens and a slip I can wear in public) but I almost never find what I am looking for and usually find something much better. If I had a thrift store crest, the bottom of it would say in Latin, "patient, thorough, open-minded". Live those qualities. Embody those qualities. Never buy something on the condition that you will one day fix or alter it, unless you have a sewing room that you regularly and recreationally occupy.

And finally, here is a brief list of some of my most exciting finds this summer:

- a 90's club dress printed with Picasso's Guernica
- a taxidermied duck for my dear friend Anna's fabulous Salt Lake apartment
- gold pumps-- there was also a silver pair from the same brand floating around, but I dared not
- a loungewear set including a nightgown and bathrobe in the same fabric of sheer navy blue with a floral print
- a navy blue skirt suit with velvet buttons and a velvet lapel, perfect for when I dream about being the mayor of Salt Lake City
- jelly sandals, which brought me right back to my childhood when a spare set of jellies was kept in the car for me in case of shoe emergencies
- a rabbit fur jacket with leather trim
- a long velvet dress with a slit up to there that makes me feel like Jessica Rabbit
- a new pair of Docs-- light brown, six or eight eyes, in the little boys' department of the Deseret Industries
- a turquoise leather miniskirt, which I traded with a friend for the black strapless Betsey Johnson dress of my dreams


  1. Is this Ingie? Love this! Patient, thorough, open-minded!

  2. Ooh, photos please! I, too, used to find the best stuff at the Provo DI: '50s and '60s vintage dresses that regularly for $200 plus here in New York, I remember getting for a buck a piece in the '80s. I love your metaphor for the month of August.


  3. Cokechata?! How do I make that? It sounds like just the thing to drink in the dog days of Awgust. Preferably while floating down a river (maybe wearing the jelly sandals?).

    1. tina, this is a gas station concoction meant to remediate sub-par gas station horchata. you mix your ice and coke with horchata, finding a ratio that's pleasing to your palate. it's a little like rootbeer float. some people also make a pepchata or a dr.pepchata. the possibilities are endless.