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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Obsessions, novelty prints, and two Liz Claiborne dresses

I'm trying to class up this post that mostly follows the theme of my obsession with dresses. Seriously, every refashion I do is a dress and I own more of them than I could ever wear. Obsessed! This posts is also about novelty prints. Specifically, dresses that feature interesting motifs like cats, trees, or boats...that would be called a novelty print.
Since unusual or bold prints are more retro and not something seen everyday in 2014, I kinda consider this dress which I picked up at a Savers 50% off sale and have had hanging around for a while to be novel:
Allow me to veer off topic... look at that dress; it's too damn big and awkward. Now look at that retro fabulous print on the right. Would you plunk down $3 (like I did) for a dress that doesn't fit, just so you could have that fabric? Well, what's done is done and now I own it.
This dress is by Liz Claiborne, I'm assuming it was made in the 80s. One does not necessarily think of fun, graphic prints when one thinks of Liz. I always think of mom style misses blazers and such (should be noted that I worked in a clothing store for many years). I'd also like to point out that this dress is a size 8. Let me give you another look:
Don't look too close, I neglected hair and makeup. I'm just saying...that's way too much material for a size 8. I know I'm a short gal, but that's parachute-like. And the shoulder pads. Possibly, the biggest I've seen.
"Good god, Liz Lemon" I mean, "Good god, Liz Claiborne!"
Now, let me show you another dress for a little compare and contrast. This dress is also by Liz Claiborne and came from Savers.
Sure, that dress is big, too, but it's a size 12 and still fits better than the 8. Also, OMG. That print is buttons. It's a dress, it's got a novelty print, and it's print is buttons?! Shut up and get in my closet! $5! Here's another look:
This dress, although big, is totally doable. See those belt strap things I'm holding in both pics? Those are great for making a dress smaller at the waist. Honestly, a quick hem job and a creative belt wrap and that dress could be wearable. Shoulder pads? Why yes, it has them:
Do you see what I see? Snaps. Even though the shoulder pads are quite small and unnoticeable, they snap right out! "Novel" idea. I love you, button print dress.
So, if you're looking at this blog right now, you know two things: one, that I refashion dresses; and 2, that I sell vintage stuff on Etsy. My question: which category do these dresses belong in? Remake or resell? The first dress would be challenging as all hell and I'd probably screw it up. You can't really tell from my sucktastic pics, but the bottom part of the dress wraps a little, like a sarong. I'd have to remove the sleeves altogether and then try and deal with the weird sleeve holes left behind.
However...I do a lousy job at selling dresses. I seriously don't know what I'm doing wrong, because my Etsy shop is practically half dresses, and account for like, 0.02% of my sales (imaginary math used). For instance, check out this one:
Red 80s print dress on Etsy I love that dress, but it's too big. I didn't want to risk screwing it up, so I listed it on Etsy to find it good home.
(Sound of crickets chirping)
Has been listed since February with no buy! Am I the only one who likes cheesy "Saved by the Bell" looking graphics on a silky, '30s style dress? How about '40s style?
Damn it. I don't plan on selling that, I just wanted to share its glory. I just pulled it from my closet and grabbed a couple pictures. Glory not shared. Worst pictures ever. I'll model the damn dress and do a "part 2" on this post. Because I love that dress and I'm not sure why. The sleeves are too pooffy, but I'm not going to risk alteration. It has a tight waist and the length is perfect. The designs are a bit over the top.
Before I sign off, I'll just share more from my "why won't you buy this thing?" collection?
I absolutely adore this dress. This is one of the first items that I listed when I opened my Etsy shop. So, my pictures weren't as good as they are now (sarcasm alert). It's a bird print! And it's kinda goth-y! I didn't sell it, and I haven't relisted it yet, either. I should probably drop the price on this next thing, too:
I'll relist it with better pictures, too. My ruffly, printed blouse on Etsy. It's a shirt. With the contents of one's junk drawer as a print.
I guess I better get to work on selling things. Please tell me whether I should sell or keep those dresses!


  1. I too have a closet (and a suitcase) full of dresses of nasty shape and fantastic print. Some of those prints you have there..... Yeah, I covet. Don't suppose you ship to Australia......