Blue, White & Red

What I wouldn't give now, as we enter these sweltering dog days of summer, to return to this afternoon by the bay. The gentle rumble of thunder in the distance, a soft storm-cooled breeze and the smell of rain in the air-- it was a beautiful way to wrap up a lovely day of indulgence.

A self declared, yet undeserved, day off (I'm terrible at being my own boss), I took in bit of window shopping, got a fresh haircut, and spent sometime exploring history at the Wrightsville Beach Museum
Spending time so close to the beach, be it near my house or in an area like Wrightsville, this time of year is always a challenge. Places that were ghost towns just weeks earlier are suddenly packed with people: swimsuit-clad, flip-flop wearing people.

There's an osprey and its baby in the nest behind me!

As I am rarely swimsuit-clad or flip-flop wearing, save for an actual trip to the beach and back, it's safe to say that I am never more out of place when spending time near the beach but not on it.

 On days like this, I answer a lot of questions (where are you going all dressed up? do you always look like that?), attempt to graciously accept awkward and sideways compliments and smile politely at those that stare. 

Funny thing about this outfit is that nothing, save for the scarf, is vintage. Take that away and this ensemble can be entirely procured at any modern mall or shopping center.

 There is a certain shame that comes with admitting this fact, partially because I love having a story to tell about my clothes (it makes my answers to those aforementioned questions so much more interesting) and also because there is a bit of disappointment in knowing my clothes were made overseas-- a big change from my usual American-made, or even homemade, vintage.

 It also seems odd that my patriotic hued ensemble features pieces made in Cambodia and China.  

Vintage scarf signed Honey-- estate sale find
Sweater-- Maurices
Dress-- Old Navy
Belt-- Thrifted
Shoes-- Ralph Lauren

This dress was purchased in a moment of weakness while shopping with a friend who loves to frequent the major discount chains and fully supports the new American tradition of disposable fashion. 
It has been nearly a decade since I purchased anything from Old Navy and now, after bringing this dress home, I fully understand how folks can cast aside a garment so easily. 

I suppose one shouldn't expect quality from a $13 dress, but when I can find a high quality vintage garment at a thrift store for nearly half the price, I'm disappointed in how I chose to spend my money.

I in no way intend to let this dress become disposable. I hereby swear to care for it, to alter it to fit, to reinforce the seams and to replace the zipper when it (inevitably) ceases to zip, just as I would any other dress in my collection.   

I also swear that, this July Fourth, I'll be wearing something made in the country whose independence I am celebrating. 

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