Wedding Card, Ralph Lauren, and a Little Black Dress

Handmade Card

The handmade paper card shown above was made by a local vendor who was showing her work at the Newfield Farmer’s Market. I am going to use this as a wedding card by inking in a lovely poem by hand. Best Wishes, Adam & Steph!

Dear Reader:

It has been awhile since I have posted about my adventures in shopping locally. You may or may not remember, but this year I am attempting to buy all my clothes from locally-owned or small-business owner shops (for instance, online from another state). Dear Daughter is also coming around to the fun and challenging shopping experience that is consignment-shop hunting, though if it comes down to a choice between fashion-forward and socially-conscious-but-ugly thrift, she’ll go with the dress from the mall. Hubby could care less where I get his clothes as long as they fit and aren’t ripped or stained.

Of course, I draw the line on used socks, underwear, intimates. That’s just a little too gross for me. Someday I may begin to sew my own unmentionables, but that is a project for down the road. Sewing is still sadly waiting on my to-do list. Anyhoo….

Here are my local shopping finds from the past two weeks. Ready?

Detail Vera Bradley Bag

Last week, I went with Dear Daughter and a friend to Sanford, Maine to check out a resale shop called Sequel Consignment. We were on the hunt for semi-formal dresses, but I came away with this Vera Bradley purse in great fall colors. At $24 I thought this was a steal. I think it originally retailed for around $60, and I saw it listed for $47 on

Perhaps I could have found it cheaper from some big online discounter, but this was local, I loved it at first sight, and it is in great condition. Consignment shops like Sequel take in your clothes and sell them for you, keeping part of the profit and giving you part of the profit. So if you have party dresses, bags, shoes, etc. that you’ve worn only a few times and will never wear again, go ahead and take them in to a local consignment shop in your area and earn a few $$ of your own. Better yet, use the $$ as store credit and pick up some incredible finds right there.

Vera Bradley Morgan Bag shown here on Gabby, my dress form.

Next up: Goodwill. Goodwill Industries has a mission to help people lead productive lives through job placement, training, and other support services. With stores located all across the country, the organization accepts donations of clothing, home furnishings, and other items and sells them to generate income that supports their mission. And the prices are unbeatable. Truly. This is a total win-win situation between retailer and customer. Can you tell I totally love Goodwill?

Gabby in Ralph Lauren

Here was a great find at the Biddeford, Maine Goodwill store. Bright color. Fashion-forward cable. Classic shape. This Ralph Lauren sweater set me back a whopping $4.99. I wore it yesterday with my orange pants and got a few eye-balls-popping-out-of-head looks at the mall. Okay, maybe the colors together were a bit bright. Next time I’ll just go with classic dark-wash jeans and some neutral shoes.

Detail from Ralph Lauren sweater

Which brings me to this RLL label on the sweater. I don’t care all that much about labels, but sometimes a label indicates a better-quality piece, one that will resist fading and stretching and pilling, especially important for sweaters. I love the color, shape, and cabling on this sweater so much, it could have no label at all and I’d still love it.

Homecoming Dress for Somebody?

Now, this gorgeous little black dress was hidden in between some rather dubious formal-wear, but when I pulled it out from the rack, I thought, “Oh, hello you sweet little thing.” It is beautifully drapey, has a nice padded bustier, silken cummerbund with a generous sashes for tying into a big bow in the back, lovely sheer straps about two inches wide…and the cutest little sparkly accents where the straps meet the top.

What girl doesn’t like a little sparkle?

Unfortunately, though Dear Daughter liked the dress, it was a little snug. I can return it for the $4.99 it cost me (I’m serious! I don’t make this stuff up!) or hopefully I can find another girl in need of a homecoming dress. Any sale I can pull away from the big box mall I consider a victory.

Hello Bebe

So, black can be a little harsh for younger girls, right? Even for formal wear. Enter this Bebe top in a gold-threaded, coppery-salmon color. It is so cute over the dress, adding just a little wash of color to tone down the black. Again, this cost me $4.99 at Goodwill, and it would be so versatile, dressing up a pair of dark-wash jeans and a cute pair of ballet flats, maybe?

Did you think I only bought clothes? How silly. Actually, things here in my office are getting a bit out of hand again….

Books, books, books

Last year I worked so hard to clean out my office and bookshelves, donated fifteen plastic bags of books to the library book sale. Now look! They are piling up again. I came away with eight or nine books from Goodwill this week. Eight or nine from a local church fair this summer…and on and on it goes.

Still, for $1 a book that goes to a good cause (food pantry at the church, library services, etc.) I can enjoy these books three times…once while looking for them, once while paying for them, and once while reading them. Oh, and maybe once again when I give them back to the library or Goodwill to recycle once again.

Curling up with a good book is essential to my autumn and winter well-being. Now that we’ve passed the equinox, there is a new chill in the air. Mornings and evenings are cool. The tomatoes are not ripening as fast. I’ve pulled the cuke and most of the pumpkin vines from the garden boxes. Chickadees are visiting the sunflowers and the window-feeder. The wind ruffles the leaves on the beeches…

Brrrrr! Good thing I bought that sweater.



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As always, thank you, Dear Reader, for sharing your time and thoughts with me here Outside the Box. –Shelley:)

5 responses to “Wedding Card, Ralph Lauren, and a Little Black Dress

  1. Thanks for sharing this Shelley! I am glad I can still keep up with what’s going on without FB. Love, love, love buying local, thriftshops, etc. As for the books, good luck with that…where two or more are gathered together… they are certain to breed and you’ll be overrun before long with an abundance of books. Blessings! Raylene

    • Hi Raylene: Books are crazy like that, aren’t they? I don’t know what happened with fb, but thanks for stopping in here. I hope the school projects are going well for you…the weather is beautiful. Perfect for getting outside and exploring nature.

  2. Noticed the dress form–was with your mom when she got it–glad it comes in so handy!

  3. Pingback: I Wear Double-Knit | Localista

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