Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Old Gold: Forever 21 vs. Etsy

This is the episode of Old Gold where I resist the temptation to preach against the evils of unending consumption. Before I start, however, I will just say one thing. The next time you find yourself drawn into the evil grasp of Forever 21, remember the last thing you purchased from that addicting ubiquitous fast fashion black hole. I'd bet (and I don't bet) that it fell apart within the year. Am I right? I am right. Okay, moving on.

Let's talk about the task at hand. It is warm! The sun is out! Daylight savings time just gave us back our evenings of sun-filled after-work drink consumption! We are wearing shorts while running in the park and are thinking of packing up our tights and down jackets! It is a change of season and I know you're itching to get out there and fill your closet with Laura Ashley-inspired floral prints. So, before you head over to Forever 21 (or H&M, or Top Shop or Target) remember you're not the first long-legged beauty to strut the streets in a sun dress. My goodness no, there have been decades, perhaps even centuries of ladies before you walking the Earth in flowery frocks. So let's look to Etsy to fill our souls and closet hangers with the spring-worthy garments of yore and not the poorly made, ill-fitting, teen-modeled pieces of fabric that are tempting you in shop windows with their $17 price tag. 

Etsy, you better put up your guns here. Here come the well-made, affordable, floral maxi dresses of yesteryear....

Thank goodness for Etsy. The best part of this dress is the sexy low back which you can't see in this photo. Quite the lovely, subdued floral pattern as well. 

This is my personal favorite. It is not a halter like the Forever 21 dress, but has this gorgeous grecian sleeve that adds a nice detail to the otherwise simple frame. The muted colors are awesome and as you can see by the accessorizing go perfectly with a great gold necklace. 

Alright Etsy sellers. Let's go over this again. Take the creepy heads off your mannequins. They take away from the awesomeness of your vintage offerings. This dress -- if you cover up the plastic Cher-like face -- is pretty rad. A full sweeping skirt makes it super feminine and picture perfect on a wind-swept walk in the park. 

Here's a floral tip for the masses. The smaller you are the smaller your print should be. This dress, with its awesome and quite large poppy print should be worn by only the tallest of madams. If you're the kind of lady who need not wear heels to see at a crowded concert, this is the maxi dress for you. 

Hold off on your renaissance fair jokes for just one second and hear me out. This is a dress that needs to be styled, mainly because when it is human-less it looks like it belongs in the Princess Bride. If you've got a big bust, stay away from this one, it will over-enhance the corseted front. For a smaller chested lady with some modern accessories and a pair of gladiator sandals this could be the perfect picnic gown. Just don't braid your hair, please. 

I know, I know! So many this time. But I couldn't resist leaving the vein of the Forever 21 dress in this Old Gold posting. The reason for leaving the basic-lines of the inspiration dress is because maxi dresses must be perfectly suited to the wearer in order to pull them off. They are dramatic, therefore differing levels of drama and color fit each lady. This dress is for the most dramatic. How awesome is the back? I kind of love it but could never pull it off myself. It would feel awesome on a breezy summer day.

Oh the flowery days of my youth. I think I had this dress when I was five and in this current, much larger form, it really works. I see this one on a curly haired lady like myself. With a ruffle like that, you can't take yourself too seriously and straight hair might add too much severity to this über feminine choice. 

Ah. The joy of success. Etsy sellers, thank you for scouring the past for these present day beauties. Here's to more headless mannequins and a spring full of flowers. 

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