Thursday, September 9, 2021

Metal Mental Health Shop

Changes to my work-life are in the air, and of course, this stresses me out. I have to talk things out, mull over them, go down every path and think it all out. Then I give myself a talking to about how change is good and I can do it, and I got this. 

To give myself the space and time to do my brain processing, I decided to treat myself to a Mental Health Shop. Retail Therapy, baby! 
I armoured up in my metals. 

  • Acid wash vest - Chiqle, thrifted; last worn here in June for the Training Day of Indolence
  • Top - Plum, thrifted; last seen here in May under a slip dress
  • Skirt - Mandala Design, thrifted; purchased here for $7.95
  • Shoes - Truths Makena, Fluevog; last worn here in January for brunch

I had a lovely chat with a gent in line at the grocery store who noted, "You have your armour on." His denim vest was covered in metal band patches and we compared things we'd been covered with at metal shows: fake bodily fluids from GWAR for me, a literal "rain in blood" at Slayer for him. 
I did want to wear armour today, even though I ended up being chatty with a few people as I was out and about. 
I repurpled my hair this morning - you're not imagining it. 

The forecast called for possible showers, but it ended up being in the low 20s all afternoon. 
Did not need my scarf - it remained in my backpack the whole time. 

  • Scarf - gift from Mom, Italy

I wanted to get a wearing in on of this new-to-me gold and grey brocade skirt, so I safety-pinned the sides to make the skirt fit better. 
I might loosen it up a bit so that the skirt sits slightly lower, and then I'll stitch it down. I wouldn't want to put my eye out if a safety pin popped off! 

Masked up.
I downloaded my vaccine QR code and printed it up in card form for myself and L. After Sept 12th, we'll be required to show it (printed or on a phone) to get into restaurants and any other public spaces. I'm totally fine with that - the cards don't link up to anything private, just a confirmation that I've been double-vaxxed. Isn't this danged pandemic over yet??

  • Mask - Lazy Susan's

The stuff: 
I love the studs and the metal ring on these shoes. They are comfy, but I shopped for close to four hours, and my feet are now very tired. 

Metal bling: 
First wearing of this new-to-me brooch, which I pinned on one flap pocket of my vest. I wear jewelry that won't get in the way when I know I'll be trying things on. 

  • Steel cuff - thrifted
  • Brooch - thrifted; purchased here for $7.95
  • Hematite ring - thrifted
  • Silver/onyx ring - Tocarra, vintage fair
  • White gold hoops - Frances Jewelers, 10th anniversary gift from L

I went to the Patch first, and had a quick browse - this involves me sinking my hands into the racks, and feeling for good fabrics, scanning for bold patterns, and keeping my eye out for the good stuff. 
Like this amazing dress! 

It's a layer of pleated chiffon over a fitted bodice.
I adore this deep red, and look at this upper body ruffle. 

It is nicely made, with strips of bias tape and snap fasteners to hold your bra straps in place. 
There is one random loop - not sure what that's all about. 

It's missing its belt, which was probably a long sash style or a rigid belt covered in the red fabric. 
That loop is hand-crocheted. I like to remind myself that a person made this. 

I put one of my vintage stretchy metal belts on with it.
"What's this? You bought me a present?"

I had to model it for y'all. 
"It smells so delicious."

I feel like a goddess in this! I cannot wait to swan about in it at a party! 

It's by Miss Elliette of California, and it was $36.95, which felt like a bargain. Yup, there's one on 1stdibs for over $500 and several related styles around the interwebs for well over $100. 
I found a good bio about Miss Elliette here (link 'cause I love): 

Elliette Ellis was born in Montreal, but moved to New York to attend art school, eventually deciding on a fashion career. After being married, she moved to Los Angeles, where she set up her clothing business in 1952. She specialized in feminine looking styles, using chiffon extensively.

I also found out that the underlayer is acetate and the ruffles are chiffon. Info about her here (you may need to zoom in to read it) from a NY Times article in December 1968. It says that the company grossed over $3 million in 1968, "..., which, while not awe-inspiring, is nonetheless substantial..." So rude! That's was a lot of money back then! According to her son, who commented on this blog post here in 2019, she is still alive - and I didn't find an obit for her. 

Moving on...I next went over to the Women In Need (WIN) store on Pandora Avenue for a quick browse. I limited myself to accessories, skirts, dresses and vintage, which took about an hour and a half - I had to get home in case the groceries were delivered early. 

I had good luck in the accessories! 
All of WIN's jewelry is $7.95. I picked up these stone turquoise earrings, and crystal stick-pin. L eyed it, so I might let him wear it. 

I did well in the scarves, plunging into basket after basket, feeling for silk and looking for fun patterns. 
This is an enormous scarf! I love the colour-mix here - this will go with a lot of my coats. 

The motif is...English? It has carriages and official-looking buildings. 
See? Very twee. 
It was $9.95 and was new with tags. 
Although it's polyester, it is incredibly soft - it fooled me, I thought it was silk. I can't read Chinese, so no idea what brand this is.

Next is a big scarf with roses all over it. 
It's Louis Vuitton, silk and made in Italy. is two of those things! 

If this were real LV there would be a wider red border all the way around, the colours would be bolder on the roses (red, pink and two shades of green), and it would have a big LV signature on the bottom. This is a knock-off from a LV/Stephen Sprouse collaboration (just like my other fake LV scarf here) of 2009, when LV head designer Marc Jacob paid homage to the late Sprouse with this roses print on a ton of LV stuff.
This scarf is silk, it was probably made in Italy (as a souvenir for tourists), but it's not Louis Vuitton (the O would be rounder on real LV). We shall refer to this as "Lewis" Vuitton so that we all know it's fake. Still, for $3.95? For a silk scarf? That's a bargain! 

I LOVE this print - it reminds me of Marimekko. 
It's tan, chartreuse, black and white, with fringed ends. 
It has a couple of small snags, but they are barely noticeable. It's either a fine wool or viscose. It was $3.95. No tags on it. 

I always paw through the nylons section - I'd rather pay $3.95 than full price for Rachel Roy nylons. 
And I can always use knee highs - for $1.95 for two pairs! Score! 

I found a purple leather purse. 
It's a cross-body, adjustable. 

Two front pockets, and a zipper across the front. 
There is a tiny bit of wear on the corners, and near the zipper, but I could touch that up with a couple of felt markers easy enough. 
If I even bother - that's minimal. 

Oh, it's by Danier! I totally thought it was going to be Roots, as they are known for this style. 
It's one open section inside, plus a zippered wallet area. 

And it was only $24.95.
That is a deal. I used to shop there and their bags were always around $200.00. 

I didn't find anything in the dresses, but I did find a couple of skirts. 
I hesitated over this, but was ultimately won over by the quality. 

It's got pockets! 
I like that the fabric is turned 90 degrees inside. 

Look at this beautiful fabric. It's all woven, not printed. 
White/cream, mustard, blue, and two shades of grey. This will go with a lot. 

Massimo Dutti, made in Morocco. They are a Spanish company. 
This skirt is beautifully made, from the covered edges, to the paperbag waist, to the belt loops. 

It was only $14.95 - their skirts start at $129.00 new.
And this was new with tags! Bonus! 

Here it is on. I put my blue Danier belt through the loops to show how it looks. 
"It's just laid out for me like dinner."

I had to move the dress into the closet once Vizzini started licking it. Little monster! 

I may have mentioned, I have a bit of a black skirt issue - I love unusual details, and they are often found in black skirts. 
This has pleats across the front, pulling it up in the middle. 

It's very sculptural.
I immediately thought of a white spinal column painted down the front, heh heh. 

But it's by Ronen Chen, so I probably should leave it alone. 
Made in Israel, how unusual! But Ronen Chen (an actual person) is Israeli and lives and works there (about him here - you'll need to use Translate). 

This was $23.95, but would have been ten times that new. 
His skirts run $200 and up. I've seen this brand at Turnabout for $$.

Here it is on. 
I'm deciding whether to turn this skirt into a Crafternoon project...

I found a really nice floral top - I am inordinately fond of dark florals - then realized it was a bodysuit! 
It's got a rather skimpy bottom - the backside is a thong! At least it has a couple of snap selections so that I can adjust. 

It has two rows of ruffles below the ruffled neckline. 
I love that floral print - it's very Old Oil Painting-adjacent. 

Ah, Abercrombie & Fitch, I've heard of them. This was a mere $7.95, and it was made in India.
Again, you can add a 0 to that - this is not a current bodysuit, but one with a full top like this would probably be around $75-100 new. The previous owner cut the content tags out, but it feels like silk - because it's from India, I suspect it's actually viscose.

It does not go with this skirt, but it fits - remember, we can't try things on at WIN anymore! 
I was pleased to note that it's lined in the body, with the sleeves left sheer. 

With one eye on the clock, I did a quick tour of the shoes - woo hoo! I'm so glad I did! 
These are gorgeous - I am in love! I like how the toes are darker than the caramel colour of the main part. It won't show when I walk in the rain! 

And you know my crow/Goth/metal heart is loving all these studs, right? 
Nice buckle too. 

I see the brand is on the sole. 
Mamzelle - never heard of them before. 

But they are incredibly well made. Beautiful leather lining.
Really nice finishing details inside, including a strip of leather over the zip so it doesn't rub. 

They are made in Portugal.
Their double heart logo. 

They're barely worn. 
And were only $24.95! 

But wait, is that another tag underneath I see? 
These used to be priced at $48.95! Mamzelle is a European brand, and these would have been around $200 new. Not bad for $24.95!

One more shot of the great find of the day! 

I hope you enjoyed shopping vicariously with me. What was your favourite? (other than the dress!) Should I paint my Ronen Chen skirt? 


  1. I love seeing your shopping finds. Talk about a stunning dress!!!!

  2. Oh that dress is stunning definitely, such a beautiful style and colour on you but it is so hard to pick one favourite - you had a really successful shop and found so many nice pieces! :) I'm always impressed you regularly find such treasures :)

    1. I am just over the moon about the dress, Mica! I hunt for the good stuff, so not entirely surprising that I only buy good things. :)

  3. I love those boots! I vote for painting the skirt, definitely.

    1. Me too, Katrina - I'm excited to wear them. Thanks for the vote!

  4. Sheila, love, love LOVE your posts! I am a fiber artist/dressmaker/seamstress who paints clothing a lot, however imho I think you should leave the skirt alone and let the gorgeous design shine on its own. But I certainly can see a painted leather jacket or vest with this skirt. Just sayin. Btw I think it’s kinda cool that at times I’ve seen items on you that I actually have in my closet! Interesting since I am over twenty years older than you and live quite a distance away from you (NJ, USA). Perhaps we belong to the same tribe? Again, love your posts and have been following the for about 7 years now. Stay well and stay safe.

    1. Hello, Gloria, so nice to meet you after you've been reading for seven years (wow!!). Oh, how amazing - you do this as an artist! I do like the design on the skirt, but it appeals to me more as a decorated object. But we shall see. :)

      How wonderful that we have some "twin" items! I hope you will comment when I wear them, so that I think of you! What a small world this is - and age has no meaning when it comes to good clothes, right? I think we are definitely members of the Style Tribe!

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, and know that I am hugely appreciative of you as a reader too!

  5. Good luck with your job. In these chaotic times, there's no security anymore so we all need contingency plans. Glad to see I'm not the only one to buy stockings in thrift-stores: their prices are usually ridiculously low.

    1. We shall see what happens, Ally. Nothing stays the same forever.

      Oh, heck, yes - nylons and stockings are outrageously expensive! Good for you!

  6. I am sorry for your work changes and the stress they are causing. We know are pushed back to the end of the year to return in office. As for your shopping, where will you ever store them all! I hope you have an occasion soon for that fabulous red dress.

    1. I haven't seen any big changes yet, Sam, but I know things will start happening soon. We shall see. I need to manage my stress about it early, and calm myself.

      Ha! I always have room, as I'm always clearing out and letting go of things that don't ring my bell anymore.

      I will be wearing the dress soon! My birthday is coming up!

  7. What a successful shopping trip.
    You always unearth such treasures.
    I can imagine that beautiful red dress worn on Christmas Day; the detail is fabulous and the vibrancy of the shade too.
    I’m in love with the paper bag skirt (a favourite style of mine…love them) and that gorgeous, totally feminine, floral bodysuit.
    Your black skirt speaks for itself…I’d leave as is. x

    1. Thank you so much, Phyl! I always hunt for the good stuff, and hopefully it will be to my taste, be in my size, and in my price-range (not usually an issue in thrift stores).

      I may very well wear it for Christmas, but I'm planning a party for my birthday in October, so I'll likely wear it then. I can't wait!

      I like paper bag waists too, and I know the bodysuit will be very useful. Thank you for the input on the skirt (as always, however, I will do what I wish).

  8. Hi Sheila, I sure did enjoy this shop! You are indeed looking like a goddess in that beautiful red dress!! I loved the turquoise earrings and the cream skirt. I love how you really use your shopping trips for mental health and wish you luck with the changes in your life Take care Shazxx

    1. Thank you so much, Shaz! I felt like million bucks in that red dress. I love those items you've picked out. Yes, shopping requires focus and being in the moment, so it lets my mind deal with stressful things. We shall see what the future holds. Take care, my dear.

  9. I hope everything works out with your company. These are definitely interesting times that we live in.

    Love the red chiffon dress! You snagged a lot of gorgeous things as you usually do.

    1. Oh, no issues with my company, but possibly changes with my role, Nana. We shall see.

      Thank you! I love that dress so much. :)

  10. Love your shopping outfit. The skirt is fantastic and the dark top plus denim vest combo works so well. The pointy shoes are very pretty.

    The red chiffon dress is a dream. It was made for you. It suits you so well! The length, the colour, the details...everything feels so right. Such a great find. You found quite a few fabulous items. Those boots are great and so is that floral bodysuit. The black skirt is fantastic as well.

    1. Thanks so much, Ivana!

      I am so excited about that dress! It's completely and utterly perfect, in my eyes. I'm looking forward to playing with my purchases!

    2. yes, it really is THE perfect dress. I came again to this post just to look at it again.

  11. This post has too much good stuff- I devoured it! Crazy about those scarves (knock-off or not lol!!) And yes to that red dress ALWAYS! xx

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Lucy, thanks! I know, right - such great scarves! And a huge thumbs-up on that red dress!

  12. Oh yes to dealing with life's stresses by some therapeutic shopping! Didn't you do well? That dress looks fabulous on you and that black skirt is such a fantastic shape and fit, having seen your customising skills I'd definitely say yes to working your magic on it.
    I love the boots and, after seeing them, I promply went on ebay chunky boot hunting and scored big time - you're an influencer! xxx

    1. I did, Vix! It is so enjoyable to spend time searching, isn't it? I love the dress so much, and I'm probably going to do something with that skirt (heh).

      Oh, wonderful! I can't wait to see your new boots!

  13. The dress is GLORIOUS! There will be some serious swanning about in that. I would have gravitated towards the black sculptural skirt too. It might be fund to add some embellishment, although that might detract from the ruching on the front which gives it such a nice shape. I'm sure you could work around that.

    1. Oh, yes, you can bet on it, Shelley! I love the skirt - it's so much fun. I want to enhance the ruching/pin-tucks with my embellishment.

  14. Sheila, I did enjoy the vicarious shopping and you certainly made some really great finds.


  15. I like all your purchases but I think my favourite is the Massimo Dutti skirt - it looks like it's really versatile and you'll be able to get lots of outfits out of it.

  16. Sensational finds! That red vintage dress is breathtaking - one could easily wear it to the Oscars (or most any other highly swanky event that wasn't solely black tie).

    I hugely enjoyed shopping in spirit with you, dear Sheila. It's always a joy and thrill to see the treasures you unearth. In recent years, I've rarely have room in my/our budget for any nonessential expenses (save for those purchased with gift cards and funds received for holidays/birthdays), so I feel as though I get to shop vicariously via wonderful entries like this and sincerely thank you for that enjoyable sense.

    Big hugs,
    Autumn Zenith �� Witchcrafted Life

    1. Oh, I totally agree! If I'm ever invited to the Oscars, it's a front-runner! We have our first party planned for October, and I will likely wear it then.

      I'm so glad you enjoyed my shop, Autumn. I find so many good things! As L and I are both very thrifty people, we allow ourselves little splurges on fun things. I am lucky to be able to afford my wee shops.

  17. Changes, and in particular in my work life, freak me out too, and definitely need mulling over. A mental health shop - sounds so much better than retail therapy! - is absolutely perfect to put things to right, as does wearing clothes as armour.
    The ruffled chiffon dress is stunning, and I'm loving the Massimo Dutti skirt and the scarves! Oh, and the Abercrombie & Fitch bodysuit, although the bottom sounds quite uncomfortable. xxx

    1. My hours are finally changing, Ann, but not for a few weeks - that gives me time to process it mentally. I know, right? Retail therapy sounds too blasé for the very real positive effects that the Zen time spent shopping brings! I was well-armoured for this one.

      I am so in love with that red dress! I can't wait to wear it. You'll see the Massimo Dutti skirt very soon (I'm wearing it today). Ha! Yes, that bodysuit is rather...intrusive, shall we say? :)


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