the ugly earring

ug‧ly [uhg-lee] offensive to the sense of beauty; displeasing in appearance

Category: thrift store

collected during her travels

random stuff:

  • did you know rochester, ny has an H&M?
  • new york times says thrift shopping is on the upswing again.
  • the kinks autumn almanac is a great tune.
  • The milky latex of dandelion has been used as a mosquito repellent, and its milk has been used as a wart remover.
  • sisal bags are fabulous.
  • you can own a sheep wagon for only $35,000. (more here.)

wheel of fortuna

madame fortuna is my new girl crush.

see her things and save your pennies…her pieces are worth it!

go here.

she’s also featured in our lastest issue of phoenix picks:

We’re Riding with Lady LuckMadame Fortuna is a woman you want in your life.  Legend has it that when you wear one of her custom necklaces, good things happen.  We believe it.  Her relic necklaces can be filed with anything under the sun—Fido’s fur, baby’s first tooth or a hand-written note.Our mother once told us to keep a strand of lover’s hair.  If he does you wrong, do a little voodoo with it.  Send a clear message to lover: don’t mess with your heart, or you’ll voodoo his head

nightgowns on the runway

the benefits of being obsessed with fashion and checking fashion blogs daily is the ability to fashion predict.  perhaps this is why most fashion bloggers are big thrift store shoppers. i wish i could share my latest secondhand score because it has this rodarte thing going on:


take out the sheer, the sequins and the fancy hodge podge and what you have is a wonderful ill-fitting/drape-like nightgown.  the latest score has this shape going on–but better–it’s pleated! the fricking dress pleats and flairs!

if i didn’t live in phoenix, if every day was a fashion parade, i’d wear my new nightgown with a black unitard.

it’s a virtual yard sale

it's a virtual yard sale

i’m cleaning out the closets and some goodies are up for grabs.

a siamese cat eye view



Christian Dior Resort 2007

Cathy Horyn described it as

  • the Middle West of Arkansas and Oklahoma
  • vibrant redneck couture quality 
  • a kind of couture sensibility that never made it to Dallas or Fort Worth but maybe got as far as Oklahoma

she’s probably right. in fact,  I see what she’s saying. but, wouldn’t it be more fun if someone described Galliano’s latest stint as a tribute to the days of shopping at value village pre-ebay? 

those were the days! 

an endless heap of gold lame, sherbet colored taffeta, 1960s prom dresses, silk tunics and pantsuits with intricate beading and paisley trim. all for under $5.00!

it was a time when thrifting and wearing vintage was a huge faux pas. a secret uncovered and embraced by the very few: an awkward youth, a drama geek,  an ecentric or an outcast who couldn’t afford gucci and guess labels, who were awful at layering colored tshirts with matching socks and keds. 

somehow, molly ringwald’s character from pretty in pink spoke to us.

several years later, lady miss kier came along.

and suddenly we wore beehives and flips.

and our closets were packed with platforms and paisley pucci print dresses 

and, of course, the thicker the eyeliner the better the cat eye.  

so, in my head (at least for today) galliano’s latest journey is a time warp into my high school closet and a reminder of lady miss who inspired the groovy looks we used to wear to the raves downtown.

(deelite and lady miss kier photos from here). 


a woman past her prime

finds convenience in a middle part and hair pulled into a tight bun.

(and always red lipstick.)


and wears this necklace with five oversive turquoise rings.

in her mind, she also walks over to the record player and puts on chant du menestrel.

(speaking of such, she surrenders years and years of collecting thrift store records here.)

every day is a fashion parade!

i once thought my need to go thrifting had something to do with that “gathering” instinct we as women are supposed to possess. then, the idea of finding a needle in the haystack became the response. today, i think it has something to do with the memory of my junior prom. now, you must understand, i was the lanky, poorly dressed she-dork with a bad perm and big eyeglasses that changed into sunglasses when i stepped outside. AP classes, mat maid, flag girl, the girl who sat in the front row during english class, who ate her lunch alone in the library, and the one who was beat up by a girl from the senior class.

that year, i picked an ill-fitting sequin and satin turquoise mermaid dress from dillards to wear to the dance. and what a nightmare. two other girls, one being the head cheerleader and another being the most popular girl in school, wore the exact same dress. my dress hid in the shadows at a table in the furthest corner away from the dance floor and the stage. the wallflower in the shimmery turquoise dress watched through a pair of eyeglasses that kept sliding down her nose as her friends danced and laughed the night away.

she vowed to herself, “never again.”

i discovered a kind of solace when i began shopping at thrift stores. the obvious being that no one would own the same clothes as me. but more importantly, it was part of a creative release that has remained throughout the years. with such an outlet, i transitioned from that insecure geeky phase into a geek who appreciated having that awkward phase.

it was character building.

it is a story worth telling.

which leads me to the point of sharing this tale in the first place. this morning, i read this. it reminded me of my youth and my mother’s curled lip and look of disgust at the second hand clothes i used to bring home.

like most thai women, my mom is very ghost sensitive.

she used to say, “someone died in that dress. ”

“you look hippie.”

“a ghost is in the house because she wants her shirt back.”

“you look junky.”

“i saw a ghost last night. you have to get rid of that [leopard swing] jacket or she will haunt us.”

i always felt her responses were a reaction to how i dressed and not the dress itself. little did i know, there was something cultural in her refusal to go thrifting with me or her smirk of disgust when i modeled around in my psychedelic shift dress with platform shoes.

in retrospect, she must have thought “what kind of ghost would want such a hideous dress?

the dress that ended up in the goodwill donation bag


even in paris, it appeared! (from facehunter).

a pretty serious infestation hit phoenix last summer.

and, its following was so strong it even got editorial, read here.



so are we ready to talk about the proenza schouler (for target) boy blue bustier top?

are you willing to take your chances?

if yes,  read this.



what was in your closet in 1994?


lime green and yellow stripes. (check)

short sleeve mock turtlenecks. (check, check, check)


old man saddle/golf shoes in black and white (check)

baggy plaid golf pants from salvation army (not shown) (loved mine. check)

prediction: thrift store black

mix washed out black with vinyl black with black fishnets with black suede shoes.  

….and don’t forget the kohl-colored eyebrows.