In Partnership With
The Joy of the Find

Debunking The Myth of Last Chances with The RealReal


In collaboration with The RealReal

I’ve always wanted to be a crazy hat lady which is different from a cat lady in that she maintains several large, theatrical hats as opposed to, you know, live domestic animals. This hankering of mine has only been fine-tuned by my inability to invest hard dollars in a good hat. I’ll try it on, fall in love with it and then decide, really? I’m going to spend [insert dollar amount here] on a hat?

So, inevitably, I’ll put it down and when I do that, I’ll have to wonder what would have been. Weeks later, I’ll have changed my mind and frantically, I will rush back to the hat store in pursuit of the very topper I knew would actualize me in spite of my having acted against instinct. Then I will learn that it sold out because only a woman as foolish as I would give up such a hat and forever henceforth, it will remain a romanticized figment of my imagination, deposited in the crestfallen pocket of Hats That Could Have Been.

Or will it? In considering the prospect of ones that got away, I did not omit the other things that fall into my mind’s varying categories of Things That Could Have Been. The purse, the skirt, the shoes with fur balls, that bracelet, those socks! Socks? Yes, socks.

I may not have been ready to assume them as my own when they first began exhibiting themselves as the very leaders that could festoon my exterior but months, sometimes years later — and this happens at the turn of every season — an unsolicited itch will take over my finger tips and so will begin the overwrought search for what I clearly should have purchased while it was still, as Kix put it, hot.

So, what’s a lady, heart stuck in the past, wishing for the tangible objects to resurrect themselves for future purpose to do? Turn her attention to The RealReal. Duh. Where consignment shopping actually, finally, feels like an edited nod to snails like me who experience symptoms of a disorder I’ll call Need It While It’s Lukewarm.

They say the difference between a competent person and a stupid person is that the latter never learns from her mistakes, and because I never want to function as a statistic to further prove that definition, The RealReal has given me the opportunity to never miss out again. Sure, the competitive pricing helps, but now I know that when life hands you headgear, you take that and become the craziest hat lady you can be — Carven sunglasses, multiple Céline clutches, single Chanel glove, double Balenciaga bracelets, Manolo Blahnik sandals and Proenza Schouler skirt, of course, notwithstanding.

In fact, this idea of a proverbial hat lady has me wondering if it was a kooky millinery fanatic who penned the original “Twelve Days of Christmas” song. Her true love gave her gifts for each day of the holiday’s advent, and I can only imagine what our accessorized heroine would look like had Instagram been around. Would she pose, as I did, with all of her amassed gifts practically spilling from her arms, like a child unable to contain her own excitement at the prospect of bow-tied packages? Consider The RealReal’s 12 Days of Gifting, with twelve gift-minded shops curated for each of those twelve days — what on this snow covered earth would we look like if our true loves picked an apple from each those sartorial orchards? A crazy hat lady, that’s what. Auspiciously drinking one big mug of hot cider.

Part 1 of 1 in a collaboration with The RealReal; 12 Days of Gifting runs from Dec. 3 through Dec. 14 with new shops launching daily, featuring luxury consignment up to 90–yes, 90% off.


Get more Collaborations ?
  • Lydia

    Just made an account and I can already feel my bank account slowly dying. My Granma was always an immaculate dresser and never left the house without some sort of spectacular hat, so I absolutely loved this post and the photos. Really nice.

  • Natali

    Ulalala, look at you! How gorgeous is this outfit? So chic and nothing like crazy hat lady, in fact, this looks SO inspiring!!

  • CDJ

    I’m having so much fun with this already.

  • I’m rushing to that site! And I feel for your world of things that could have been. I have the same problem here, but I’m able to spend weeks, even months, tracking a long lost item to finally spend a fortune on it when I find it… But I have rediscovered the joy of wishing for something and finally enjoying it rather than buying like a headless chicken and not wearing it.

    Mafalda ❤

  • Rachel C

    Holy shit this site is magical.

  • Jane

    That hat is the stuff dreams are made of.

  • Jennifer

    oh my god i need to get on this right away. i need everything!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Emma

    Some of my favorite articles of clothing are vintage or shall i say “lightly used.” I frequently shop on consignment and the Real Real is one of my favorites! I am so happy to see you have found them as well! Sometimes consignment is tricky, especially in store because people jack up the prices just because of the label. Why I love the real real is that the prices match the items quite well which makes me want to buy buy buy.
    I bought one of my favorite skirts on the site and it was like kismet since I couldn’t find it in stores and then 2 years later poof it was there!!

  • F L A I R V O Y A N T

    The two Celine envelope clutches look really nice…if these luxury pieces are more affordable, I definitely won’t be spending less…

    Shop top trends at

  • diane

    This site is amazing. I recently scored a pair of Chloe loafers in my size, which were the ones that got away from me when I failed to buy them earlier this year. And they have lots of real (not H&M) Marant and the like, all for a pittance compared to the original cost.

    • Caroline Davies

      Who needs the H&M when you can get the real stuff for the same price. Sure it’s a few seasons old but you won’t look like everyone else!

  • Leah

    Crazy hat ladies have it made. They look mysterious and chic and are protected from the sun. Must purchase giant hat NOWWWW

  • Frenchef

    And now everyone knows my secret… Good for me as a consignor, bad as a shopper. Luckily I am predominately the former. But, did score a pristine pair of Celine wedges for $125 whereas I had ALMOST pulled the trigger on brand new ones for $950 the week before. Add to that a Dries blazer and $1,350 Rupert Sanderson platform sandals both for under $200.

  • 10’s all across the board!

  • jaclyn

    serious! I really want a wide brim hat! and frankly I missed your outfit post!

    check my blog: