Sunday, 28 November 2010

Thrifting in cold Helsinki

Yesterday my sister and I decided to visit a fleamarket in Kaivopuisto, a relatively posh neighbourhood in Helsinki, right by the sea. The breeze made the chilliness almost unbearable, but we found some good bargains at the fleamarket (Kaivarin Kanuuna), which is luckily located in a cosy indoor space.

Today we stopped by another fleamarket, the good old Valtteri, and again, some excellent discoveries were made. I am in full-blown TGFASS mode, and oh well, I am giving myself permission to not worry about it. I felt torn for a day or so after buying a couple of "unnecessary" things, but I have made peace with myself (and with a little bit of shopping) now.

I think it is okay to do some thrifting with my sister while I am here (and I hope this doesn't sound like a desperate plea to gain my dear readers' acceptance, because it sincerely isn't one). Thrifting is (and always has been) one of the favourite things of ours to do together, and it would be almost sad to not be able to do it now. Visiting fleamarkets and second hand stores often happens to involve some buying - but I was happy to discover that these days Tuuli and I work harder to keep each other's purchases in check. We make sure that the materials and the prices are decent, and we know each other's styles. I am using TGAAD lessons to rule out everything that might be for special occasions only, or anything that has to be dry cleaned professionally. I refuse to buy anything really-cool-but-difficult, like a pair of blue suede pants yesterday, or a burgundy flared leather skirt today - I just know that I wouldn't get a lot of wear out of them. There is no room for wrong sizes or colours either. I also decided that I had to come up with an imaginary outfit around the piece of clothing in order to justify the purchase. No outfit means no purchase, and this "rule" proved to be very useful. I haven't had time to take pictures of the things I bought yesterday, but today I bought the following items:

Wool cardigan with duffel "buttons" - this will look really cute with denim shorts, tight and ankle boots.

Stripy cotton maxidress. I will wear this with a slouchy belt, a chunky necklace, a pair of rough style sandals, and maybe a small vest of some kind. Or alternatively, with a long cardigan and Dr Martens style boots.

These denim espadrilles I got for free! They would look cute with a simple summer dress, or with denim shorts and an airy blouse.

Last but not least, an oversized linen shirt. This would look nice over a simple jersey dress, with sleeves rolled up, and accessorized with a pair of clogs and big earrings.

As you can tell, it was another cold day today. The only way to spend any time outdoors is to bundle up big time. Like my friend Heidi said the other day, it can be tough to look stylish when the weather is freezing.

Tomorrow I will head northwest to visit my mother in the countryside. It will be even colder there. Coming up: if possible, even more bundled up winter gear!


Anonymous said...

Hah! For the first (or perhaps second??) time ever, I will be dressing more stylishly than you, hon!!!! :) Feels kind of nice!!!!! :) oxox, CR

ps--(this is dependent of course on my meeting Rosie for lunch...otherwise...please retract my entire statement...)

Cynthia said...

Hey, at least you're thrifting. Family enablers + idleness + holiday gift money + general rebelliousness has me acting out on GAAD by buying expensive boots.

It's hard. We aren't going to be perfect. I reset my no-shopping-year to start on my birthday and gave myself some new accessory spending targets and then right away I went and bought those boots.

Charlotte said...

You were in--or near--my old neighborhood. It's good I didn't find out about the thrift shops while I lived in Helsinki. I love these photos of it in the cold season.

The linen shirt? I have one just like it. I'm looking forward to seeing how you style it, as so far I've just worn it with jeans around the house in summer.

Teenysparkles said...

I think you are being really very sensible with your purchases. I always have to: absolutely love something, be able to picture more than one outfit, check the actual value vs money value, and then reassess again before purchasing new clothes. Having said that though, i have been known to buy crazily.

tigerteacher said...

Good for you to sticking to your guidelines even while thrifting! That has always been a danger for me - ending up blinded by the uniqueness and cheapness of something at the thrift and taking it home thinking I'll figure out a way to wear it later. I have a few items at home like that!

Thrifting is one of my absolute favorite things to do with my sister. It's a great time to spend together, looking around, chatting, hunting for fun items, exchanging opinions and gossip. I wish I could do it more often and I'm only 2 hours from my sister. I'm happy for you that you're enjoying your time with her. :-)

Angela said...

Seeing your finds--especially that linen shirt--makes me want to visit Helsinki. But maybe in the summer months. That said, I'm in the deep south of France and it's literally freezing tonight.

JRose said...

Hey, you learned from TGAAD, and that was the main point, right? I like what you got.

Anonymous said...

Agreed with what JRose above said; the point of TGAAD was not to let yout freeze because you don't possess any warm boots, it's more to rethink your attitude to buying. I've had (or, hopefully, I had) a similar problem with buying books, especially old, second hand books- I would buy just about anything, hoping I'd read it all one day. At some point I had to say 'stop' to myself unless I wanted to drown in paper. Restraining from buying things- even if for a short period of time- makes you wonder how the hell was it at all possible to attach so much meaning to consumption. Well, at least it was so in my case.
Cheers to you,
PS. Poland hit -20 today, so I look like a nice bundle of clothes too.

Eyeliah said...

the sweater is a dream, and I can definitely visualize our outfits for the striped dress.