Saturday, October 5, 2013

portkeys....sort of.







I found this dress in a second hand shop in Japan called Don Don Down, where every wednesday the prices of everything in the store roll down to a lower price, so the longer it stays in the store, the cheaper it gets. The dress was only $5, and I couldn't believe my luck that it fit so well. Ryan and I biked all over the city of Morioka that day, and we made a special trip out to this store on the edge of town right around sunset. I remember so clearly how wonderful it felt to be biking around everywhere- soaking in the city all around us and really feeling a part of it all. As the sun sank lower, the city started slowly disappearing, and more fields of green and wild patches started to crop up.

For a while we biked along some railroad tracks covered with tall grass vibrantly catching the sun- here and there bright golden patches of light peeking between shadows cast by bus stops or telephone poles. The only buildings around now were one story houses and local stores, and we could see so much more sky glowing around us with deep orange stripes and fluffy pink clouds. I remember all the lights coming on as the sun sank- the flickering yellow street lights, the warm glow in the windows, and the gaudy rainbow neon signs advertising pachinko or revolving sushi. I remember feeling a chill air blowing through my hair and past my ears, but an excitement keeping me warm that summer was on its way and we were out for an adventure in place so new to me.

I remember walking out of that store with this amazing score of a dress in my bag ( as well as a pretty great leather jacket I wore home and a plaid button up I've worn countless times since) and knowing that this feeling, these memories, would be recalled any time I encounter these items. As I put on this yellow dress today, all the images came flooding back and reaffirmed this thought- this is why I do this. This is why I go out of my way to find that tiny hole in the wall store selling clothes worn by other people. This is why I'm willing to dig and dig and sift and sift, even if sometimes I come out empty handed. It isn't just a dress. It's the reason we even biked out of the city and back in the dark and ate donuts for dinner because everything else had closed, and it's the catalyst for bringing these images and memories back to me- months and months later when my current reality is nowhere near as magical.

Now should I go into this purse's story? maybe that's another post..




all vintage/thrifted (nothing over $5 (!) )


  1. You have such luck with vintage! These photos are beautiful.

  2. Wow!! Such a beautiful outfit! The dress looks so wonderful! Also the setting is very nice! Cool!

  3. I would love that dress. what a steal!

  4. I always look forward to your posts! So visually delightful :)

    The Occasional Indulgence

  5. Hi yellow princess,
    You look awesome (:

  6. I love it. I love it even more because nothing was over 5 dollars. :D


    Where the Water Meets the Sky

  7. Love the story. It's one of the reason I love thrift shopping and documenting my outfits so much.


  8. A great story indeed! I love this outfit and the meaning that does with it.

  9. so pretty! fab photos...and that dress is amazing!

  10. I love your recollections associated with your dress. And I love your dress too, as it happens! I feel exactly the same about hunting down obscure shops or anything for which you have your own personal interest and reasons - it's wonderful to have a mission and to allow it to turn into an adventure that you wouldn't otherwise have had if you'd stuck to the obvious. I have very found memories of going on a harebrained adventure to find a street with a friend when I was in high school because the name appeared in a song of our favourite band... It wasn't even the same street because we were in an entirely different city (which we knew but that wasn't the point) - thus, the street was absolutely mundane but the adventure was awesome and ridiculous unforgettable!

  11. On a totally superficial note, that dress is *amazing* on you. It reminds me of those perfect-fitting 40's dresses I'm always trying to find.

    Mostly, though, I loved reading about the memories you associate with the dress. I do a lot of my vintage clothing shopping at estate sales, which have gotten quite competitive around here. Sometimes I have to get up before 5:00 AM to stand in line for 2 hours in the dark! Which sounds crazy when I write it out... But I love spending time with my mom and sister in line (we usually go together). I love finding dirty old dresses and bringing them back to life. And I love putting on a piece of clothing and feeling like I'm somehow wrapped in someone else's life. It's romantic and wonderful, and it makes me happy. I don't think I'd feel the same way about clothes if I just bought them at the mall.

  12. I have seen you wear that purse before and I love it so much. I love this story so much. I still have clothes that I bought in Paris when I lived there 10 years ago. even though I don't wear it the reason I have kept it is because of the memories they bring. which are good memories. so I cant get rid of them! ha. I love when clothes have stories and memories connected to them. btw, I will be in nyc soon. so I will message you about getting together. xo.

  13. p.s. the second picture is so beautiful. can't get over it.

  14. I love the magical lighting in the last photo! Great outfit! :-)

  15. What a great find! And the color is so bright and sunny. :)

  16. no no no...whats the purses story...TELL ME...TELLL MEEEE!!!

  17. That is an amazing park you are in...the stone wall is incredible as is the foliage.