If it as happened to you, you know exactly what I am taking about. There is a strange emotion that comes with being a true thrifter. We are torn…do we share, do we invite someone to the market with us?  I suggest you do spread the wealth and if you are unsure invite someone who is not your size or style at all that way you won’t be fighting over the good stuff. Then there is the other side of the medallion…those who want what you have. Watch out it can get ugly in this one-of-a-kind world of Italian thrifting!



Another incessant phenomenon that happens to me at markets or really anywhere that I get in my shopping groove is the gravitational force of little old Italian ladies getting all up in my business! As soon as I dig, pull, touch and study it is all eyes are on me and everyone has to have what I am looking at. It is for this that I load up then find a private corner with a mirror or something reflective to assess in private. Well that is if they don’t gravitate over and start picking up my stuff. Yes it happens.



The jealous thrift envy eye. I cannot believe it was actually captured at La Spezia’s Friday street market!



I saw this Gina-green handmade sweater with pink detail and it took me about 30 seconds to buy it at La Spezia’s antique market. About 5 seconds later the tiniest Italian woman practically threw herself on the pile of discounted sweaters and said to the vendor, “Where did she get that?” My trusty vendor who has said more than once that she loves selling her treasures to “you stylish young ladies” as apposed the old ones, just said “Oh bella, that sweater has been there for 4 months straight, you just want it cause she got it”. I just love the uncensored sass I see in thrifters here.



So these tiger eye print shorts hallmark the moment when I felt the the envy so hard I would not give up. I loved the mustard hues and the fact that it was not just tiger print it was tiger eye print, so kitsch. They also have a high waist before everything was high waised. It went down like this. A bin of treasure that cost 50 cents a piece I had one pair of what were straight leg tiger pants in my hand then I saw another woman pull out another pair exactly the same! I blinked and imagined my partner in crime and I having matching shorts and had to have them. Once the lady got close to me she started talking about the pants. In a round about way I started talking a about style and fashion and fit and I basically convinced her that the pants would be too small for her. Swoop! They have been a summer staple for both ever since.



This vest also caused quite a commotion at the Mercato di Via Papiniano in Milano. One was found then another was found for my thrifting counterpart. This made a hopeful Italian woman think there were more. There were not. Her eyes fell on our 2 matchng numbered and limited edition vests and she just continued to stare in disbelief. My grip got tighter and tighter. I suggested that the matching pants were still available to get her off our back, but not dice. She was already in a complete thrift envy trance and couldn’t shake it!



So be alert, have a lot of espresso, or whatever you need to do to fight them off. It is a jungle out there!