Marketing Manager Monica Sallay Sells What She Wears

Monica Sally in a colorful pop-art designer dress
Monica Sallay (@sartorialscraps) in Issey Miyake’s 1999 Pleats Please Comic Book/Pop Art “Amazing Detective” print dress.

I love a good layering piece. How many different ways have you worn this?

I’ve worn this with a 1970s wide-collared button up shirt underneath. It had a great contrast between the large comic print and the shirt’s small, repetitive floral design. I also have worn it with a 1990s Issey Miyake wool jacket that is green, brown, and blue striped. It works well to add some warmth for fall.

When you first get a piece like this, do you play with it right away and see how many ways you can style it?

First, I make sure the pieces are clean. I will launder or freeze my pieces before wearing them. When I get something new, I am excited to wear it out as soon as possible!

When mixing pieces, do you focus more on shapes or color theory?

I try not to overthink when putting together outfits; it’s more instinctual for me. The base will always stem from one item I want to showcase and then I grab whatever else catches my eye.

Some people may say classic pieces are more toned down and “basic.” Would you say this piece is a classic?

For me, classic means longevity. This piece’s style and uniqueness will last forever, and I can wear this at any stage in life.

Where would you say you got your fashion sense from? 

My mom definitely planted the style seeds for me as a child, and she continues to inspire me today. She’s always been interested in fashion and invested in watching for the latest and greatest pieces off of the runway. What I appreciate about her is that she instilled my interest in hunting for deals on these big-ticket items; sale time is the best time!

Is it more about a fashion house/brand that keeps you a fan, or whoever the creative director is? For example, I will follow Hedi Slimane wherever he goes.

What captures my attention lies mostly in print, structure, and color of garments. Designers lean into signature looks, and that’s how I fall in love with wearing their pieces. The feeling of being wrapped in a piece of art is like none other.

When you vintage shop, is there a method you follow? 

I definitely have a process! I’ve formed habits like daily monitoring of my saved searches on eBay, setting the clock for 10 a.m. to peruse The RealReal new arrivals, and my standard Goodwill store navigation routine (dress section first, always). It doesn’t consistently lead to scores, but when it does, it’s magical!

Besides the dreamiest Balenciaga wedding dress you thrifted, what other pieces were you excited about thrifting, like the ones that gave you that adrenaline rush?

When I was in Florida visiting my grandma, we went to a thrift shop where I found a 1950s Odessa Barsa peignoir set for $1. It’s a rainbow-colored nylon that is absolutely jaw-dropping and a total dream to wear.

For some, it’s street style, a specific decade, pop culture … Where do you find your inspiration in fashion and design?

Much of my inspiration comes from research of fashion archives. Once I’m tipped off to a certain collection that catches my eye, I’m immediately on Google tracking down a piece. The best instance is when hype hasn’t formed for the garment yet, and I can get it for a steal on resale sites.

Name three things that are very on-brand for you.

Jean Paul Gaultier’s fall 1995 Vasarely-printed “cyberdot” pieces. Vintage Issey Miyake Pleats Please pieces, with focus on those from the 1990s. Off-duty athleisure and loungewear—Lululemon and Lunya are my favorites.

How do you feel about logo-heavy fashion?

I own some logomania pieces that I absolutely love. I actually just bought some logo-heavy fall 2004 Dior Rasta moon boots and cannot wait to wear them once it snows.

When you first tried on this piece (below), how did it make you feel?

I was absolutely elated when I tried this on; the fit and condition were perfect. I got it back in early 2018, before the modern-day mass hype around Gaultier’s fall 1995 collection, so I felt like I had struck gold. From there, I continued collecting more of these cyberdot pieces.

This print is so flattering on you and is such a standout piece. How do you go about accessorizing?

I love wearing my ManéMané red-lensed sunglasses with this piece. They add flair to many of my outfits, and are a great match with red looks.

Is there a piece from your past wardrobe that you still wish you had?

It’s less about the things I’ve sold or donated, and more about the “ones that got away.” I read somewhere that nothing haunts you like the things you didn’t buy, which is completely true for me. Some items that I’ve missed out on were a spring 1995 Chanel hot pink crop jacket and a fall 1995 Gaultier yellow cyberdot turtleneck. Needless to say, I cannot get them off of my mind!

Who is your fashion icon and why?

My mom has been and will always be my number one style icon. You’ll catch me on the phone just about every single day talking fashion with her, and I am so grateful for that!

Monica Sallay in a Gaultier "cyberdot" one-piece, accesorized with red sunglasses, a colorful plaid skirt and knee-high boots.
Jean Paul Gaultier’s fall 1995 cyberdot bodysuit.
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