How lucky am I to be asked such a question whenever my globe-trotting friend takes off for foreign lands! This time, as she headed to Iceland, I, finding myself in the midst of a serious decluttering campaign, asked her to please bring for The Man in the Plaid Shirt (a geologist by trade and by nature) nothing more than a rock and for me something from a thrift store in Reykjavik, if such a thing existed.
Yes, indeed, Reykjavik has at least two thrift stores, and my friend visited both in between trekking out at 2 AM to try to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights (they showed up the second time, glowing green and splendid).
Both thrifts, she reported, were very like shops in this country, both in appearance (although spiffier than some of ours: Icelanders are big on cleanliness) and items available, except that prices are about twice as high—typical in Iceland, where just about everything has to be imported. (It’s a teeny island the size of Ohio out in the North Atlantic, just east of Greenland and west of Norway. The entire population consists of some 300,000 people, about a third of them living in Reykjavik, the capital city. Its name means “smoky bay,” a nod to all the hot springs, courtesy of the volcanoes upon which this plucky little nation sits.)
One of the thrifts was a private shop and one was a Red Cross, and there she found this adorable rayon shrug from Jessica Howard. (That’s a Macy’s/Dillard’s-level brand that I don’t think is sold in Iceland, so I wish it could tell me its tale of how it got there …) It fits perfectly, with a sort of cutaway effect that is very sharp, and I love it. Wearing it with a cotton skirt by Ann Taylor Loft (under 5 bucks at Salvation Army) and Ralph Lauren striped tee (17 on sale), I felt like quite the smarty pants. Or skirt.
If I ever get to go to Iceland my own self, I shall wear it while riding an Icelandic pony. I think he (or she) will like it, too, don’t you?