I learned about fashion in a most unconventional way. Part II

I have this eccentric friend who, every time he calls me, he starts his conversations with an unusual story.  He’s the kind of guy who can walk into any thrift store and pick out the most amazing piece of garbage and turn it into the absolute treasure that started the cliché.   You and I might pass by a dirty old book, we see it, we think to ourselves, “gross” and we keep walking.  Alan on the other hand, he’ll pick up the book, open the cover, listen to the creak of the binding and start flipping through the pages.  I’ve been standing next to him when he does it.  It’s very entertaining.

With a, “humph” he’ll look up from the book after examining it and say, “this is a first print Huckleberry Fin and if I’m correct, I think this might be Mark Twain’s signature”.  It’s just incredible the knack he has for discovering remarkable treasures.

It was about the time when I was ending my career as a Licensed Practical Nurse.  I didn’t realize at the time that my career would soon come to an end but I did know there was news circulating around the medical community that there will be a shift in nursing in the very near future.  Word had it that hospitals already had stopped hiring LPN’s in favor of registered nurses with bachelors degree’s, and soon after the phasing out of LPN’s, the two-year RN would soon follow.

I knew it was time for me to start planning for the future and had not a clue what I would be doing next.  Aware of my predicament, my eccentric friend Alan invited me to visit with him for the weekend so he could take me on a tour of the local thrift shoppe’s and show me the ropes.  The truth is, no one can party in a thrift store like Alan can.  He was the perfect tour guide.  he said he thought of me because a friend of a friend made a sizable income reselling children’s clothing on the internet.  It sounded like a good idea. That was back in 2000.   I have been an eBay seller going on 17 years.

The children’s clothing stint lasted less than a month.  I didn’t do as well as his friend of a friend did.  I knew I would like to continue selling on eBay.  I just didn’t know what I would sell.

If you’d like to continue learn more of my Ebay story, click the “like” or “subscribe” button and take this journey with me..  in the meantime..

Here is my fashion selling account


DKNY (Donna Karan) Embroidered Trench Coat

This is actually somewhat of a redundant post.  Earlier today I was going to write about my Valentino Boutique Tweed skirt suit but I dropped everything because of this fun development in my never ending quest to survive as a Small American business as a reseller of fine designer clothing on eBay.

The back story is that I bought this DKNY beige embroidered trench coat (on the right)  some time ago. It’s been sitting in the back of my closet, folded in a storage bin because it was wrinkled and I intended to take it to the dry cleaners. Normally I steam my own clothing but my fear was that if I used my home steamer I’d leave water stains. The fabric content is 100% linen. Anyway, long story short, while I was researching my vintage 1980’s Valentino Boutique skirt suit, I came across this amazing Valentino embroidered trench which is very similar to my DKNY trench coat.

The Valentino retails for a whopping thirteen thousand dollars!!  Thats 13 and three 000’s as in $13,000.00.  That’s a lot of 0’s!


As mentioned above (and in my previous post) they’re not an exact match, one is double breasted and has a belt, the other is a basic button front and has no belt.   There is a strong similarity in that they are both beige, floral embroidered with multicolored threading and are trench coats.  Personally,  if I were on a budget, which I am, and I wanted to achieve the look within my budget, I would without a doubt, consider the DKNY embroidered trench coat to be a fine alternative.

Valentino Embellished Tweed Skirt Suit

When I first saw the tweed jacket from across the room I thought for sure it must be a {Thierry} Mugler creation because of it’s wasp like waist.  It’s a vintage Valentino Boutique tweed skirt suit!  It’s hard to believe it’s vintage considering how current the style is and the pristine condition it’s in.  Somebody loved this skirt suit and took immaculate care of it.  If it weren’t for the label I’d never have known.  I don’t know which era it’s from.  The label would indicate that it’s from the 1980s but the jacket doesn’t have huge shoulder pads that is common with 1980’s fashion. Maybe 1990’s?

The beautiful hourglass cut is extremely flattering to the female figure.  It’s embellished with black velvet trim.  The buttons are velvet caged in metallic.   The pencil skirt is a classic and can be worn with or without the jacket.  The darting at to hips is reminiscent of the skirts Marilyn Monroe and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis wore in the 1950’s and 60’s.  It was and still is a desirable skirt and has out lived every trend, style and decade.  It’s a staple that should exist in every woman’s closet.


The thing I find most challenging as an eBay seller… well there’s a couple of things! One is that I always fall in love and want to keep everything for my own personal wear but more practically speaking, one of my biggest challenges is taking photos that accurately reflect the colors, textures and prints exactly as they are.  I wish I could show as clear, details in the full size photos as I am able to capture in the up close photo’s [below].


Although the label says it’s a size 10, typical of vintage clothes, it runs much smaller.  The skirt has a waist of 26″ and the jacket has a waist of 30″ which would make it closer to a size US 6 to 8.  I love this detail love because if it doesn’t sell on eBay, I am a size 6 and can wear it!

click the photo’s for more information on this skirt suit and to view my eBay listing.

Valentino Embroidered Trench Coat

I was actually going to write about my Valentino Boutique Tweed skirt suit today but I had to drop everything because of this fun development in my quest to earn my keep as a reseller of fine designer clothing on eBay.

Quick back story.  I bought this DKNY beige embroidered trench coat (in the rough photos below) some time ago.   It’s been sitting in my closet, folded  in my eBay storage bin where I left it because it was wrinkled at the time of my purchase and intended to take it to the dry cleaners.  Normally I steam my own clothing but my fear was that if I used my home steamer I’d leave water stains.  The fabric content is silk and linen, I believe.  Anyway, long story short, while I was researching my vintage 1980’s Valentino Boutique  skirt suit, I came across this amazing Valentino embroidered trench.  It retails for a steep $12900.00.

I’ve since hung the DKNY trench outside in the Florida humidity to air it out before taking it to the dry cleaner.

Of course they’re not an exact match but a strong similarity certainly does exist!  If I were on a budget, which I am, and I wanted to achieve the look within my budget, I would without a doubt, consider the DKNY embroidered trench coat to be a fine alternative.

I will get right on this!!

Lagenlook Styles For Smaller Women

I am 5′ 1″ tall and wear size 6 petite clothing, which is why I will be wearing this Oscar de la Renta sweater dress exactly the way it’s pictured if I don’t end up selling on ebay.  Yes,  it’s a button front dress but throw on a pair of jeans, loose fitting leggings, or a beige ankle length pencil skirt and it’s a maxi cardigan sweater coat!  It doesn’t hurt that it’s the same color as my favorite food, chocolate brown!

I love this dress because I love long cardigan sweaters.  It’s  comfortable and casual yet still offers a sophisticated, clean appearance.  Perfect for dressing down under or dressing up over.  A nice scarf or some clunky jewelry can change the look completely.   The cut makes it versatile enough so why not?   For petite women the Lagenlook can be something of a challenge because it’s easy to look like we’re drowning in our clothes.  I don’t see this as being a challenge with this particular sweater dress.  It’s a size medium – that’s my size!


Click the picture if you’d like to see more photo’s in my eBay listing.  Included are photo’s of what this lovely garment will look like when worn as intended, as a dress.

Oscar de la Renta: Ready to wear

It seems today, the Oscar de la Renta brand is more synonymous with evening and bridal wear. It’s a deviation from his reputation which was established by his ready to wear creations.  At my age I don’t see as much of the deviation because as an older woman I have a tendency to gravitate towards the more classic pieces.   It makes me wonder,  did I miss the mark with this Oscar de la Renta boucle blend sweater? Have women have fallen out of love with his ready to wear designs or do they younger fashionistas know that he was once better known for his more practical clothing designs?   Maybe a little bit of both?


I listed, what I think is an amazing sweater on eBay two weeks ago. I wish I was capable of delivering a more tangible view of the sweaters textures. It’s really very beautiful.  When I look at it in person (as opposed to the photos), I think of a more glamorous time when people were less casual and more preppie.  I think of a high brow ski trip and a warm fire place.  If you remember life and style of the 1980’s then you probably understand my question.   To me, this sweater is a classic and it can out live the passing trends of every decade but as with most classic clothing pieces, there was always an era when it was a trend itself.  That’s what’s so good about preppie fashion though!  You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars every season updating your wardrobe.  You only buy accessories or minimal separate pieces and no one will believe this is a vintage sweater.   A pair of classic brown wool pants would be perfect.  That’s what I was thinking when I posted them to eBay (you can find this sweater by clicking the photo).

I took pictures of this sweater with and without a belt.  It’s probably the “80’s lady” in me, with my memories of iconic daily wear of glitz and glam.  Did I miss the mark on this one?

I’m asking because I’ve had it listed on ebay for two weeks.  For the price I’m surprised it hasn’t sold by now.

Is it Western Wear, Native American dress or just amazing cross culture fashion?

I’m talking about suede and leather jackets.   More specifically, the adornments that make natural leathers so unique and beautiful. This (buckskin jacket below) is another one of my fabulous finds.   It’s so very soft, thin and feels so comforting against the skin.

When I saw it I immediately fell in love it.  It’s the suede tassels and the lighter tone suede trim that makes it special.  Unfortunately it’s just a little bit too small for me so I put it on eBay to try and get some of my money back. I hope it finds a good home! My ebay auction

This was a difficult jacket for me to list.  I’ve grown attached to it for it’s raw and it’s the kind of jacket that can be worn with a pair of jeans and boots during the day and is fashionable enough to carry itself into an evening of casual drinks. It’s a beauty!

I struggled a little bit with the all important keywords.  Without the right keywords, the rightful owner will never find her new jacket!  To me it looks like it may fall into a Women’s Western Wear category but I feel “Western” is too broad of a term and “Pioneer” makes it sound, I dunno,  a little more rough than it actually is and maybe even less expensive than it actually was.  My Cherokee heritage tells me that it’s influence is Native American and that it might be prettier with some Jingles or rhythm beads attached to the fringe.  To say this is a high fashion jacket that would be right at home,  walking down a sidewalk on the back of a svelte fashionista on the upper east side of Manhattan is not unreasonable either.

I think I’ve decided it’s all of the above; Western, Native American and cross cultural.  It’s fabulous, whatever it is!  Don’t you agree?


In my internet search for keywords I came across these suede leather jackets from the f/w 2016-2017 fashion season.  If I had to choose just one I don’t think I could.  I’d like one of each.  Maybe the longer one for my fat days and the shorter one for flat tummy days.