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Thursday, October 22, 2009

St John Dilemma: Keep or Sell?

As I've said before, thrift store zen experiences lead to clutter. If I could achieve the highest level of zen, of course, I could wander through thrift stores without buying anything. As is, however, I am only a lowly disciple on the parth to enlightenment.

Mostly, I donate the excess. Good excess, I try to swap at Buffalo Exchange, giving my dear daughter the proceeds. Really good stuff, of which I have little, presents a problem.

Anyway, I have two St. John suits. The first is cobalt blue, trimmed with sequins and rhinestones. Quite an over-the-top specimen of the genre. This is a size 2. Strangely, the jacket fits me. Sort of.

The second, more recently acquired, is pink with (thank heavens) black trim. This is a 6 and it really fits me. When I put it on, I look like a somewhat flaky and disheveled society lady. Of course, I could never wear this AS a suit, with the pink skirt. I would have to take it down a notch and wear it with my regular old black pants.

There is an on-line consignment venue--Rodeo Drive Resale--that specializes in St. John. I knew about this place from reading an article about the women of Congress, some of whom patronize the site. Suits like mine go from $400.00 to $600.00, and consignors get half! I would have to dry clean (even though I am philosophically, financially, and ecologically opposed to the process) and ship. So trying to sell these would require a cash outlay of sorts, especially for the sequin jacket, which probably requires special treatment.

And of course--like my acquaintance who broke her engagement 30 years ago, thinking she would find Mr. Right-er (and never found anyone)--I may never find another St. John.

So, ladies of the internet, sell or keep?


camorra said...

While St. John suits are precious and hard to come by, you should only keep them if you're going to use them. I would definitely recommend selling the size 2 blue one. If you really like the pink and black one, then keep it. As long as you use it, you can hang on to it.

Meredith said...

Sell! If you don't love wearing it, no reason to store it (although I do understand that once-in-a-lifetime feeling). I have sold 1 St. John black pantsuit and 2 pairs of Manolo Blahniks from thrifting.

Have you ever seen the Simpsons episode where Marge buys a Chanel suit at an outlet and wears it everywhere?

Shelley said...

Don't keep it, wear it! Put it in your closet for a month or two and use it like any other pieces of clothing. If you find you don't wear it, sell it. I have the advantage of having never heard of St. John, so this may make my opinion null and void: I don't care what it's called, it's a piece of clothing. If it intimidates you (and I can well understand it might -- if it had Versace on it, I'd be scared), it's not you -- sell it. What's the point in owning it if it doesn't serve you well?

Duchesse said...

No matter what the brand, if it doesn't fit, out.

Pink suit: if you are not going to wear jacket regularly, sell it.

Or how about gifting (either) entire suit (once cleaned)? I've had so much delight from giving something that was not perfect on me but wonderful on a friend.

And Frugal, with your karma you are inevitably going to find more treasures!

FB @ said...

If you don't wear it, then the choice is easy, get rid of it! :)

St. John suit, or not... it's still something taking up space in your closet that you aren't making use of..

Northmoon said...

I'm going to toss out another perspective on the question.

I have a couple of items that, while they are technically clothing, are not part of my wardrobe. I keep them as works of art, sort of items I love to have and look at occasionally. For example I have a brown felt full circle skirt with black lace overlay. 25 inch waist - not even close to mine!! I have had it displayed on the wall, although at the moment it is in my closet. Another is a silk nightgown that probably belonged to one of my great aunts. Lovely workmanship so it stays in my dresser.

While in general I agree with the "wear it or get it out" philosophy, occasionally I just want to hang on to items of clothing for their own sake.

Frugal Scholar said...

@camorra--Good advice, of course. I might wear each once and then sell, since I ahve to dryclean anyway.

@Meredith--I'm honored to hear from you again! If bychance you see this, could you tell me where/how you sold your treasures? No on the Simpsons--but I will try to get that episode.

@Shelley--Yes. I'm going to wer at least once. Of course, the status brand will probably not confer its aura on me.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Duchesse-You are so nice! But no one I know would appreciate these. Plus, lots of people make fun of my shopping predilections.

@FB--I know, I know. You walk the walk. I'm still trying.

@Northmoon--If these were artisan type items, I would keep them. I have a dirndl that my grandma wore back in Vienna (before they escaped from the Nazis). But these are just status items....


EEE said...

I say sell them both! You are suffering from label-itis. Would you wear the pink suit if it was made by a nice, but less-expensive brand like Banana Republic? You probably wouldn't have bought it at all! Sell sell sell.

Frugal Scholar said...

@EEE--I think you have me pegged. It is soooo hard to resist those status labels. I want to wear the jacket ONCE.