Thankfully, thrift stores in the city provided a rich plethora for cheap wardrobe opportunities. One of these stores was called Antique Boutique. The store was essentially a slightly more upscale version of Goodwill. Located on East 59th Street, next to Betsey Johnson's flagship store, Antique Boutique sold used button-fly Levi's, flannel shirts, bomber jackets, 1950's beaded cardigans and ancient concert tees. After Saturday's orchestra rehearsal I'll rush to the store with my hoarded money to load up on clothes. I spent hours digging through the racks. Unearthing the perfect pair of jean sent me into a tizzy. I'd return home clutching my bounty, eager to wear my latest find as soon as humanely possible.
On a wintry day during my senior year, I excavated what remains as my all-time favorite piece of clothing - a vintage knee-length, green plaid, Catholic schoolgirl skirt. I do not have the words to express my love for this skirt. It featured all-around pleats, a bright cheery plaid, and fit like a dream. I paired the skirt with button-downs, turtleneck sweaters, cardigans, leggings and knee socks, and my green Doc Martens (hey, it was 1992.) I lived in this skirt. I'm sure I would have felt differently if I'd been forced to attend Catholic school and wear an article of clothing similar to this as my everyday uniform. It was a novelty to me, and I loved it.
Alas, I eventually grew out of this skirt. I donated it to the Salvation Army, and attempted to recover from my loss. It was not easy. If there has been a support group for those traumatized by clothing loss, I would have been a charter member. So imagine my delight when I found almost the exact same skirt, albeit without the pleats, at Old Navy this fall. Like the original, it makes me feel young and flirty and charming. I'm certain it'll get a lot of wear in the years to come.
|Old Navy cardigan, button-down, and skirt; Hue tights; Frye boots; Juicy Couture necklace; Betsey Johnson pyramid studs|