This article appeared on on September issue of Ecs Living.
We love everything cheap, but when cheap comes in proper form; in a guise similar to its high breed cousin i.e. expensive, we love it better.
Thank you Marisa Lynch from LA, you are a life saver!
Ask me why? One day, I was logging out of my yahoo when a heading caught my eye. “Turn ugly dresses into nice ones for $1”! A little bit excited, I started reading the news. Marisa Lynch and her challenge: Transform 365 unattractive frocks in 365 days, for $365.I thought, hmm, 365 clothes, in 365 days, a dollar each! Wow! That’s like 75 bucks a pair. As I logged into her blog (http://newdressaday.wordpress.com), it seemed that inspired by the movie Julie and Julia, Marisa set out on a task to make 1 frock every day for a dollar before her 30th birthday. Shopping at thrift stores (America is famous for that), she then went back home, and created a whole new design with her talent and her sewing machine. And the transformations were amazing and very chic.
I cursed myself, after reading her blog. I wished I knew how to sew; I wished that was me. I mean lets face it, any woman in their right mind, would want to wear clothes that cost peanuts and look chic at the same time. A whole year’s wardrobe is about Rs. 27,375. It couldn’t get better than that. But there are no thrift stores here. The cheapest clothes you can get around New Road garment shops would not be less than Rs 200 and well they are not that dandy.
Well, I have a confession to make, while we are at it. I am a thrift shop lover! Oops! I said it! And I am not ashamed. This love affair started during my stay at New Delhi India, when my friend introduced me to the next best thing that has ever happened to me : Sarojini Market in South Delhi. The first time I was there, I fell in love, and my life has never been the same. For IC 100, I found shirts, skirts, and even a nice jacket. Of course, you have to dig in the piles of clothes, be quick with your eye in finding the attire and know how to bargain with them. Never having been a bargainer before, I learnt quickly. I used to browse around, not ask the prices, try them on and oggle over them. In the end, I would ask for the price. Then I would just casually say, this is too much, and walk off. The shopkeepers would then frantically run after me, asking how much I wanted to pay. With an evil glint in my eye, I would say no a couple of times, and then quote my price. Looking at the amount of clothes I liked, they weren’t able to say no. I would return to my apartment, with amazing buys and not having spent more than IC 1000! Even now, when I think about it, I get mushy feelings about it.
Since then , every time I am abroad, shopping, I am always on the lookout for sales, discounts, for clothes that don’t burn a hole in my pocket and make me happy. My next love affair has been with Forever 21 and H&M. The quality is amazing, they have the latest trends and if you are lucky, you get good bargains. I was in San Francisco, during the 4th of July,2009 and boy did I get good stuffs at Forever 21. My coolest find was a pair of wayfarers for $10, which hadn’t even come out in Kathmandu!
During my recent trip to Mumbai, I was scouring around such stores, but to my utter disappointment, I found nothing. I had heard from friends, I could find places like Sarojini. Yes, the clothes were cheap, but it looked so cheap, I wouldn’t have given them a second glance. Just as I was about to give up, I landed at a shop where a vintage lace shirt/top, grabbed my attention. Of course, the sewing had come off on the neck area, and some of the beads had dropped off. But for IC 200, I was more than happy to have found it.
At the end of it all, I am all about the mix and match, from a 200 bucks shirt from Sarojini with a skirt from Forever 21 that cost me 1500, which again, I think was on sale. Fix it up with a nice waist belt; I am good to go for work. And once again, I am not ashamed to say, that I am a thrift shopper.
But now, I have a better idea. Next time I am spring cleaning my closet (which is soon), I am keeping clothes that I think can be “changed” into something wearable again. The major task is, learning to sew, or rather, find someone who can do it for me!
Thank you Marisa Lynch from LA, YOU are a life saver!