Friday, September 21, 2007


The Goodwill store on W79th between Amsterdam Ave. and Broadway is a tightly packed gem with a cast of charters roaming about its premises. With a handful of finds, I soon discovered that they do not have a dressing room (though the warning on the wall suggests otherwise for some patrons) but put to use a back room as a make shift open space where patrons can throw items over their existing clothes.

There was something strangely sensual about watching each other simulate the art of dressing and disrobing without a private barrier between us. One woman went as far as to pull her pants down to her ankles after successfully stepping into a skirt. A male patron paraded in front of a mirror a coveted designer shirt. I, of course, sought the advice of strangers to find out if an ill-fitting blouse had potential or not.

As I mulled over the sweater rack, I met a diminutive, elderly women dressed in casual black, and wearing a dab of red lipstick that contrasted with her pale white skin. Her appearance instantly suggested to me that she was a longtime resident of NYC. She was closely inspecting a crimson colored pullover when I reached for a red vest that might fit her. I asked her what she thought of red as a color to wear. She told me that she approved of burgundy as part of her fashion palette. She then proceeded to take me on a tour of the store, showing me all of the Armani items she had discovered on the racks. As we critiqued her finds, she disclosed to me that she used to be a designer for an Italian fashion house.

I asked if she only wore black to which she responded "no". Then I asked what she thought of brown tones to which she told me she loved them and that they were fabulous.


D.L. Hall said...

Arielle and I shopped in the same Goodwill shop this summer. I wanted the roller skates that were in the window and a pair of black "Gogo" boots. Alas, I got neither, but Arielle swore she was coming back for a designer bag. (She is "on" to designer accessories...yuk.) I can't remember what we ended up purchasing. Cool store though. Love the fashion advice to go with burgundy and browns.

emily said...

i miss our treks to Goodwill and Value Village. just like you to ask strangers for their fashion opinions. the Goodwills down here pale in comparison. There is a weird pricing system and very little selection. How are the St. Vinnies in NYC?

Kat in NYC said...

Some of my fondest memories of Wisconsin include our jaunts to Value Village and Goodwill. You have a real knack for picking out vintage apparel.

My fashion consultant at Goodwill told me there are St. Vincent De Paul stores in the City.

Too bad about Austin. Maybe it's your calling to open a vintage clothing store there.