I was 13 when my family made the big move across the ocean from Belarus to San Francisco. Wide eyed, excited and nervous, I couldn’t believe that I would be seeing everything I previously only saw in movies. In my mind, each street would be lined with tall palm trees, glamorous women walking along, carrying shopping bags from Chanel. Granted, I was going of off “Pretty Woman”, “Twins” (yes, I am not ashamed to admit it, still a favorite), and “Splash”, which I watched on repeat weekly, as my complete and total reality. Oh, the VHS days! I had big plans of majorly stepping up my fashion game, and inserting myself into whatever leading women role would be available to me.
The reality was just a bit different. First of all, my well-meaning parents neglected to tell me that not only is San Francisco not palm tree lined, with a great “beach scene”, it is in fact freezing (by my temperature standards) at least ninety percent of the time. I also did not take into consideration that a magical fashion fairy was not included in the price of our move, and instead my very hard working, amazing parents would be focusing on keeping a roof over my head, thus not prioritizing my styling needs as their top priority. So, ‘hello Costco jeans!’ (I will never forget those!), ‘goodbye Chanel dreams!’ Years later, when watching the episode of Sex & the City in which Carrie says “when I was broke, I would sometimes spend my last few dollars on a copy of vogue, because I felt it fed me more” I remember feeling like she was speaking directly to me. Saving up to buy a crazy vintage dress that I had absolutely nowhere to wear, the countless hours in my room spent making collages out of fashion magazines, putting together all the outfits I dreamed of wearing. Saving clippings of all my favorites by category and season. Fashion was always, ALWAYS such a big part of my life.
As I got older, and savvier I discovered more and more new ways to shop. eBay was the discovery that was a style game changer for me. Suddenly it was possible to own a Louis Vuitton bag. (what?!) It was now realistic to ‘win’, because that’s truly what it felt like, that dress I have been obsessing over, which was sold out in every store. I was twenty-one when I got my first designer bag, and it was an eBay find – a Louis Vuitton speedy. I still remember walking down the street feeling like I had won a prize. And I’ve been feeling like that ever since, every time I shop on the site. I recently realized that it is almost habit to immediately copy and paste the item name into the eBay search when I can’t quickly find it at the retailer site. Or to compare shop the price and (always check!) if there are any ‘previously owned’ options. Here’s the deal, when you’re a self-proclaimed shopaholic, you HAVE to find savvy options to gets the must have items on your overly long list. And trust me, eBay has every brand, price point, season, and style, so you can shop whatever you’re inspired by to fuel your individual style.
Now let’s talk favorites! I remember when Cult Gaya bags first became really popular and I was dying for the new pink mini arc. Guess who came to the rescue! And now, as new summer styles emerge, I’ve got a list of finds which I am just too excited to click ‘bid’ on! And by the way, did you know that over 85% of all clothing, shoes, accessories, jewelry and beauty products on eBay are brand-new?! Yeah, mind blown over here too.
I can’t end without some fashion tips so here’s a pro tip for great special occasion fashion finds. If there is a dress like this yellow one, or well, three as is in my case here, that you are lusting after, but is outside your budget. Nail down your perfect size i.e. spend an afternoon trying on an option from that specific brand in store. It can be any style, so long as you find your right fit, because the brand is very likely to cut all of their styles to a specific brand size chart and stick to it season to season. So, if you are a big Needle & Thread fan (two hands up here!) check those eBay listings girl! Most of the time, gowns like these are only worn once or a handful of times, and you are apt to find that pricey embroidered dress for a great price! Even a NWT option, which gets me excited to no end. And then, all you’ll need is a matching bunch of balloons.
Now in my thirties, and some fashion miles behind me and more ahead, putting together this post makes me a bit emotional. I look at these photos and think about that teenage girl, sitting in her room dreaming, fashion clippings piled at her feet. I always knew one thing. Fashion feeds my soul and it always will. Styling a shoot like this one, where I get to live in a fantasy world of my own, is a moment so many years in the making. And as I do a colorful twirl I can’t help but think, “just keep dreaming, just keep dreaming.”
~ And here are a few of my favorite eBay finds inspired by these looks.
Thank you for visiting and have a fabulous week ahead!