The Marni Dress

Either you know right away why I felt an adrenalin surge when I saw this label at a thrift store or you have no idea. I don’t think there is a middle ground there but I am open to correction. marnilabel_tn  

Before I became re-enamored with thrifting a while back, I would have fallen firmly in the second camp. Marni? Labels?  Designers? Fashion week? I was completely, and perhaps blissfully, unaware of the entire world. But somehow through thrifting, and researching my  finds, and then trying to figure out what to do with them I jumped camp. When I first set out to learn about labels I read Marni was the choice of intellectual women. Kendall Farr wrote in one of the first (and best) style books I read that Marni makes clothes women love and men don’t get. What could be better than that? (This was even before the Man Repeller.)

So I consulted Google my guru. I saw fun prints, I saw interesting shapes, I saw that extra something that great design adds. I also saw very high price tags. The pieces started in the hundreds of dollars. Not what you expect to find at a charity shop where the standard price is about $3.  But then suddenly it happened (well maybe after 2 years): Marni! Squee! (Do people still squee? This was a few years ago.)

The charity shop that I frequent works on the dump and sort model. As in they dump the newest collections on a big table, and we, the ladies who thrift (and an occasional gentleman), attack. There is plenty of give and a lot more take. Then eventually some nice volunteers hang up the remains of the day and tidy things up. Ms. Marni was not culled by the first or second round of thrifters but found humbly hanging on a rack. I grabbed it and tried to remain calm as I handed over my 10 NIS. (It was probably about $2.50 then actually.) My heart started beating faster and for at least 48 hours I enjoyed thrifter’s high.

Only one thing. I carefully researched this dress (resort 2009 if I recall correctly). It’s in my size; it’s in my colors. I stared at it, I thought about it and yes, I even dressed in it. Well my husband hates it and so do about 80% of my market sample (friends and family). Note to self – possible post: all things designer are not necessarily wearable.


Marni dress, Stefan Green black tee, Vintage Celine pink shoe, Marsell sandal all second hand or thrifted


  1. Vildy

    heh. You know those 9 kinds of intelligence? I must have the wrong one because even being a woman and not a husband, I hate that dress, too. (you, you look cute in everything but the dress itself, noooo not for me). I have a Joe Sixpack rule of attire: the man/woman in the street who neither knows nor cares about fashion must be able to categorize my clothes in one word or short phrase: jacket, red, flowers. And they must not ask nor think to themselves about any aspect of my garment, “What’s THAT for???” Those weird hanging front straps would disqualify this dress for me. 😀

  2. Jaime

    Ha! Believe me a lot of women don’t like this dress one bit! Those bits are even worse than hanging straps – they are openings to bottomless pockets. I’m not making this up!

  3. Vildy

    Don’t know if you mean they are very deep pockets or that they are literally open at the bottom. Now that would be intellectual indeed!

  4. ladywone

    I think it is lovely the sandal just makes it more interesting. Oh if I could ask the designer what he or she was thinking when they created something. I love a good back story but I guess the mystery is just as good.

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