Visible Monday! and Thoughts about Labels

Happy Visible Monday! You can participate by scrolling down to the bottom of this post and reading the super-easy how-to’s. More bloggers are participating each week (and this is only Week Five). It’s a lot of fun to see what other Visible Women are up to.

My VM outfit goes up early so I can get the tech part ready. For Week Five I wore a rather daring (for me) spaghetti strap linen sundress. I layered an ivory cami underneath for modesty. The first necklace I tried seems too big and heavy for me, so I switched to a cluster of stones.

Terri from Rags Against the Machine had suggested stacking bracelets on one arm, and I love that idea. Then I realized I only have a couple of bangle-style bracelets that fit the bill. So I have a thrifting target for this week, thanks Terri!

Sundress: Old Navy, consignment, Necklace: Macy’s,
Sandals: Talbots.
I think this necklace is too overwhelming for me.

Speaking of thrifting, I am a label snob at thrift/consignment stores only. At retail stores, I look for what I like, a good fit and quality construction. Price is an issue of course, and I stick to my budget, give or take 10%.

At thrifts, however, my mentality shifts. Because the item is pre-owned, I want a “good” brand, or at least a reliable one. I am sacrificing new-ness, and the ability to return an item. So I like that bit of confidence I get from purchasing a known quantity. And of course, I love the value of getting an originally high-priced piece for a few dollars.

I can usually trust my eye and my sense of touch, as I run my hands down the racks. As I’ve written before, I gravitate toward skirts, woven cotton shirts, outerwear and accessories, as these tend to have the best endurance. But I still check labels. I look for names like: Banana Republic/Ann Taylor/Calvin Klein (dresses, skirts), Brooks Brothers (button-down shirts), Anthropologie (skirts, when I’m lucky), Clarks/White Mountain (shoes) and Ralph Lauren/Kenneth Cole/ Michael Kors (handbags).

I don’t like the feeling of “label-snob” but I do it anyway when I thrift. In real life, where labels hurt and stigmatize people, I work hard to not use them. Am I thinking too hard about this? Where do you — thrifters and retail-women alike — stand on the issue of labels?

The guidelines to participate in Visible Monday are so simple!

  1. Any Monday, whoever wants to can join in! Just compose a post that includes any outfit, accessory, piece of jewelry, hairstyle, cosmetic or other adornment that makes you feel more confident, alive and visible that day.
  2. Include a link to Not Dead Yet Style somewhere in your post.
  3. Go to the bottom of this post and click on this cute little link:
In the “Next Step”, you crop the pic (easy tool) you want to display, and you’re done!

Important tips! 1) Choose “Crop” before you choose “Select” — as soon as you choose “Select”, the picture is loaded to the blog.  2) If you don’t like the way your picture looks, click on the little red “x” to delete and start over. 

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  1. Labels can stand for a lot. A piece of Wendy Brandes jewelry is going to be a different quality and aesthetic than any other line of jewelry, for instance.

    I gravitate towards brands that I know fit me and last. For instance, I've wound up with a lot of Prada shoes because I find them unusually comfortable. Instead of scanning the whole shoe department and spending time trying on cute things that hurt my feet, I go right to Prada and get something that fits.

  2. Patti, you look fabulous in everything you put on, with your willowy figure! Here is a tip I think you will like: You can easily make a whole boatload of bracelets by going to a craft or beading store and buying some elastic beading cord and some inexpensive beads you like. You don't even need any tools! It's a great way to be a bit creative, and experiment with colors and materials (crystals, ceramic beads, silver, stone, etc) It is a very pleasant way to while away a rainy afternoon, and you will get so many compliments on your original creations. They also make great gifts — one size fits all!

  3. Thanks for putting all this together. It's fun. As far as thrifting, I wouldn't say I'm a snob, but I am pretty picky. I look for quality no matter where I shop.

  4. Patti, I like the more delicate necklaces, too. I love a basic black dress and this maxi with the thin stripes looks great on you.

    As for labels, my eye tends to go to better quality items which tend to be higher end brands. However, that isn't always the case. I have this Faded Glory brand top from Walmart that I thrifted from Goodwill and I've got tons of compliments on it this summer. Go figure! Debbie

  5. So funny — I am the same way at consignment stores, but like Terri, I'd never really thought about it until I read your post. You're looking lovely, as always — good call about the necklace. And good luck with your bracelet search! I love that stacked bracelet look, too, and just never have enough of them!

  6. Patti,
    Thanks for your help. Your dress is beautiful and I'm always glad to see some one of our "age" rock it!
    So, what's that phrase? Work it girl!

  7. Tammy – I'm not sure what went wrong, sorry! I finally got it to work by uploading your picture to my PC and then cropping and submitting it from there. Please don't be discouraged though, and do try again next Monday – you look fabulous.

  8. I love your shoes. You look wonderful in that dress.
    If your wrist is as petite as it looks in your pictures, you could find kid's bangles at Walmart or an Indian store. Until I found the smaller size, I couldn't wear an arm full, since the regular sized bangles kept flying off when ever I made even the slightest gesture.

  9. Patti, I tried about 8 times to link up. I'm there but I look like a smurf. Can you tell what I'm doing wrong?

  10. Patti, you look great showing a little skin. I have had excellent luck finding cute, cheap bangles at garage sales. Got a whole stack for 50 cents. Please forgive me…I do not know why I have trouble remembering Monday…I must have weekend brain drains.

  11. Magnolia – I am trying to comment on your post, but neither Blogger nor livejournal will let me — so I hope you read here, Thanks for participating and your gloves are beautiful.

  12. Thank you so much for visiting my blog and suggesting I post here! I love this idea and I like what everyone has done with their outfits.
    I too am a "label snob" when buying thrifted items. I look for higher end brands or exclusive type items that are not easily found locally. The pants in my photo above are just such an item. Trina Turk doesn't have a boutique anywhere close to me. They are hundreds of miles from my home. Those are the kinds of things I treasure hunt!!

  13. Patti, I think you are right about the necklaces. With the spagetti straps, the more delicate necklace looks better. I don't know if you have a Forever 21 in your town, but you can find stacks of bangles there for usually less than $6.00. Easier than thrifting, but probably not as much fun.
    As to the labels in the thrift store, I do notice them. I notice that all the good stuff is smaller than a size 8. I got a cute Chico's jacket for my sister for $3.99. Of course, the mdse in the retail stores isn't too great for plus sizes, so no wonder there is not much to thrift!

  14. Terri – yes, I think I might be able to find some very cool bangles, with good luck and patience.

    You know, I have had a lot of luck with Eddie Bauer pieces too; I think they're well-made. I haven't seen Orvis around, so I'm going to go check their retail offerings to get familiar w/them.

    Thanks for participating, and you look lovely in red.

  15. Patti–many thanks for having this up so early. And good luck with thrifting for bangles. I've found some interesting ones in the past year.

    As for labels in thrifts, your post made me realize that I do this too. I find that often the items that snag my roving hand in thrifts and stand up to scrutiny when I pull them off the rack are frequently by Anne Taylor or Banana Republic. Have never been so lucky as to find ANY Anthropologie in a thrift. In the past year I've been surprised by several Eddie Bauer items and some by Orvis. I think of these as outdoor outfitters and would not have shopped for clothing at this retailer.

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