Evolution of (Partially) Thrifted Outfit

There are times I have to remind myself that I don’t have to be the perfect example of a well stocked vintage closet. Plus, it’s summer and who wants to wear polyester in the heat…Phew!

So begins my journey to create something perfect for the season but thrifted too…

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It’s the perfect mix of summer staples: The medium blue chambray, the stripes, the above the knee black skirt and to add some edge, black sandles. It was perfect…until I washed the skirt, when it’s supposed to be dry cleaned!

It took me 2 months to find another black skirt to do it justice.

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I found this drab, almost midi, but yet not maxi black skirt at Goodwill for $3. It’s the perfect replacement.

I used some stitch witchery and bought some new buttons…

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And a found a lighter shirt at Old Navy…

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And created a lighter, much chicer, version of the one I partially destroyed (also too hot for the season).

Much better!

Stay Thrifty my Loves!

When It Rains, I Thrift!

Has anyone else noticed that rain deters people from shopping?!  I did, and I used that to my advantage this weekend!

I scored some divine pieces this week on two of the nastiest rain-filled days:

Vintage vintage vintage! I can’t get enough and this perfect accordion pleated skirt has the Union Made tag and $1.50 price to prove it belonged in my closet.

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This roomy pintucked/crotched tunic was hidden amongst ratty white t-shirts. It had no stains, tears or tags! Perhaps another perfect vintage find?! Of course I can’t leave this garment in its prestine state, because white never stays ! I plan to dye this a dark royal blue with dye from Dharma Trading Company.

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Saw this and thought: Gold grommets! I plan to buy a 3/8th” grommet kit from the hardware store and line the lapel with them….soooo excited for this d.i.y.!

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The Navy is a part of the U.S. military, right?! Sooooo, I should be able to get away with this Nautical jacket in the fall. Especially if I wear all a tight black tank, black straight leg pants and a small gold clutch!

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I have looked for a wool pencil skirt in this color for so long…and I bought this one for $1.50! I think it could got very well with the tan jacket above.

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I can’t wait to rip apart, sew back together and dye my thifted pieces! As always: Keep it thrifty!

Three Thrifted Outfits Gone Right!

I haven’t had much access to things that inspire me like my favorite spot…

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And, thanks to the minor quake and two tropical storms that kept me inside and far away from my favorite thrift stores.  But, somehow I mustered up my imagination and styled these two mostly thrifted outfits:

The first I styled on a colorful whim after I spotted it nestled between some denim and floral dresses from the 90s. It’s absolutely hand made vintage perfection!  The cool jewel tones, cinched waistline, short sleeves make it appropriate for summer AND fall. Especially if I style it with a light weight cream turtleneck or long sleeve t-shirt, cream patterned tights and my cognac boots.

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This second outfit kind of embodies my style, which I call: Artisan. I wasn’t blessed with the ability to create through paint, brush, pencil and paper. But, I can conceive of an outfit and use my dress form as my canvas…molding an idea…creating and revising as I go.

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If you’ve read my blog before you know I love to tie-dye…this was my first experiment in low water immersion dying. I paired it with some dark denim skinnies and my favorite thrifted brandy wedges making this outfit an easy choice for a laid-back afternoon.

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More to come…Til then, keep it thrifty!

Thrifted D.I.Y.: Alterations

To be original, you have to go back to the origin.  And, if you need to, improve or alter it to suit your individual taste.Take this shirt for example.  It’s a beautiful cream frilly shirt with princess sleeves.

I love everything but those sleeves.  Soooo, I ripped them out with my seam ripper, folded the edge down, ironed it and bonded it with my stitch witchery.

I tried it on again and it was boxy, so I sewed in a tuck right under the armpit to give it an hourglass figure.

Next on the list is this Black lace dress I purchased for $1 at Volunteers of America.  Very billowy…very 70s…very big…and may be very time consuming.

It’s proof that not everything can be solved with my nimble fingers, sewing kit and stitch witchery! But, I found a local seamstress who I hope can help alter this into a multi-purpose LBD. Wish me luck!

Lastly, I’ll be leaving Blogger for WordPress and Tumblr. PLEASE check me out!

As always….Happy Thrifting!

Thrifty Date Night

I’ve always been the type of woman to take the “bull by the horns,” but never until this week did I ask a guy out on a date!  He’s super shy, so I figured dinner at low-key and laid back diner was the way to go, and a movie afterward. 

Shy guy+simple date=FLORALS!!!  I had to keep the outfit floral, shapely, and flirty.  Starting from top to bottom:

This floral shirt has a cream background with red blossoms and brown leaves all over.  It’s light polyester fabric, long sleves and colors make it easy to wear this fall too.  😉

Brand: College Town – $1.49 (Salvation Army)
I had to pick up the red blossoms with this scarlett red and brown leather purse.  The brand is called Leaders in Leather, from Paraguay, and they hand etch all of their goods.  

Brand: Leaders in Leather – $1.99 (Community Aid)

I found these precious cloisonne earrings in my mothers jewelry box and I always passed them up for hoops, dangly earrings or other accessories that I was used to wearing.  These earrings perfectly match my outfit, without trying.  They’re delicate and perfect for spring.

Cloisonne earrings (Free)

I snagged this bracelet on one of my “Thrifty Inspiration” trips to my favorite stores…in other words, I didn’t mean to buy this bracelet, but it wanted me to.  What kind of thrifty fashionista would I be if I didn’t take this dear home?  😉

Peachy Pearl Bracelet: $.99 Salvation Army

This outfit was everything I’ve been trying to do for my Spring thrift collection.  It was light, airy, form fitting and had plenty of texture.  It’s everything I’m trying to do for Spring.  It was perfect…And hopefully lucky!  😉

Til next time…Happy Thrifting!!!

My Holy Trinity of Thrift Stores

If you love to shop like me, then you know that shopping for authentic, mint-condition vintage is work!

Coordinating your wardrobe and transforming your closet to accommodate your evolving taste in clothes, shoes and accessories isn’t easy and you have to be prepared.  I mean the kind of preparaed that takes packing food in your car, also some baby wipes and hand sanitizer in your cross-body satchel!

I’m a Thrift Road Warrior, with only three stores to choose from…My Thrifty Holy Trinity are so reliable and easy on my wallet…I would lay my right hand on the Bible and swear by them!  Here’s a nice run down of my loves:

Community Aid
It has everything a thrift store should: easily accessible location, big parking lot, 50% off sales almost  every day, large quantities of gently discounted but high quality goods…and the best Wacky Wednesday in town.

I’ve garnered the most inspiration, clothes and shoes from this one store. There’s never a day when I go to “browse,” that I don’t find some piece that would suit my flourishing throwback Spring wardrobe perfectly.  Just this last Wednesday I acquired these lovelies…

Authentic 70s Party Dress for $1.00…AND it’s in perfect condition
Cream Floral Blouse from Foxcroft for $1.50
Sheer Black and White Blouse from H&M – $2.00



Sheer Cream Blouse for $1.50
•Salvation Army

The second most important store to me is the Salvation Army that’s 2 miles away from my abode. It’s filled with goodies as soon as you enter and it’s the place where if I go looking for something specific whether it be a brown braided belt, cross-body satchel or floral skirt, I will go home victorious.

And, not only does it have the second largest amount of skirts and dresses out of the three, it carries accessories that aren’t locked behind a glass case.

Faux Jade and Flower – $3.99
Goodwill
It’s half the size of the other three stores in the area, there isn’t much in this store and the prices are close to co-signment store prices than a thrift store.  But, what my local Goodwill lacks quantity and low prices, it makes up with the quality of clothes and accessories.  Even though…I have nothing spectacular to share with all of you…nothing has been worth me buying.  Wah.  😦

But I have one gripe…Now I understand that thrift stores can only offer the quality and quantity that’s donated. And, Goodwill has better stock thanks to partnerships with stores like Target, Gap and the Bon-Ton (department stores) for items that wouldn’t sell, unlike the other thrift stores. But, that doesn’t mean the prices should reflect that. The whole point of a thrift store is to offer deep discounts to reel in consumers and the proceeds go to charity.  If you want people to come in, you offer deep discounts, with additional percentages off without having to buy a discount card.

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Ladies and Gentlemen…Welcome Aboard!

I meant to go nautical and went flight attendent instead yesterday.  Overall, I’m proud of the ensemble.  It’s quite charming and interchangeable!   I plan to wear the shirt with dark denim jeggings, snake skin open-toed flats and something in Cobalt blue (one of summers hot colors) will brighten it up. 

Skirt: Community Aid – $1.50
Shirt – Community Aid – $1.50
Shoes – Nine West
Jewelry – Old Navy

I also shared this with my Trimirror app buddies who adored it.  Too bad I don’t have a better camera so you can see how chic and expensive this outfit looks!  Ohhhh well!  On to my next post, til then….Happy Thrifting!

Rules to Thrift By

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It’s easy to buy the recreation of a popular garment.  But, to find the original, the actual muse of the carbon copy, is a rare and awe-inspiring moment.  Once you’ve found that missing piece to your closet.  Once you realize that all of the sneezing, perusing and frustration was worth it, calm down.  I can see your eyes get wide with excitement.  I can see you clutching your “precious.” And I can see you making a beeline to the nearest dressing room.

Yes, this could be the find of a lifetime, and at the price you may think it’s worth making it work no matter what.  But, depending on the condition of the garment, it might not be.

There are some things you need to know before you take “precious” home. 

Garment MUST fit:  If it’s slightly too big, enough that you’ll need a tailor, then buy away.  But, never buy when it’s too small.  It’s best to take it to a professional. But, beware letting a dress out can be costly. Make sure the garment is worth it.

Condition: The garment should be almost perfect.  That means bypass the items with stains, holes and discoloration unless it can be altered or mended to hide the imperfection.  If not, put it down and walk away.

Accessorize, accessorize, accesorize: Start off in the accessories section.  You can’t go wrong with thrifty jewelry or clutch, and they’ll be the perfect fit every time. 
Special Note: If you want to save money on special occasion jewelry, broaches, revamped jewelry trends or real gold and silver check out the glass counter.  Every thrift store has one located next to the accessories.

When NOT to Buy: Yes, I’m encouraging you not to buy, only if you don’t love your thrifty/vintage item.  Sometimes we tend to over-consume because the purchase is easy on the budget.  Then, 3 months later it’s still hanging in the same spot.  So it ends up being a waste of money, energy and time.

I hope this helps some of you newbies!  Happy Thrifting!

Mother: My best friend and fashion icon

(Due to many technical and comuputer errors…this post is late…better late than never I guess.)

On this Mother’s Day, I celebrate the woman who shaped everything I am now and will be in the future.



Even while toting me around, Mom still had a great sense of style

 As a girl, my mother would take me to the local Goodwill to shop for anything and everything.  I used to roam the isles holding my nose from the smell of moth balls, must and body odor, and sneezing from the dust.  I found the store disgusting.  I never understood why she frequented a place that made me itchy and had foul, weird looking clothes.  We weren’t “poor.”

Fast-forward 15 years and I see thrifts stores with the mature and fashionable eye my mother had.  What she saw in a skirt that was too big and misshapen, was a cute pencil skirt after some finagling with scissors
and her sewing machine.  Every piece of clothing had promise, and every household item could find a new home in ours or someone else’s once she repaired or polished it.  She had a gift and her wrestling me through those isles made me see what I could do with purchases like these…

Cream “Wedding” dress: $5.99, down to $2.99

I see this as someone’s wedding dress back in the 60s.  She had a shapely and toned body, bronzed skin and her hair was twisted up with hints of baby’s breath tucked in…And somehow this dress fits me perfectly for a halter.  It accentuates my toned shoulders and hits me at the smallest part of my waist.
I plan to do a 360.  I’ll dye it sapphire or royal blue.  I know I can’t keep the crocheted section from the dye, but some dye remover may help.

As for this dress…

Cream, purple and silver stripped 70s Disco dress: $7.99, down to $3.99
My mother would love this dress.  It’s very 70s.  I would say this used to be a disco party dress.  Best thing about it is that it’s perfect, except for the slight brown stain 4 inches down from the neckline.  So, I plan to create a slight deep v-neck to hide it.  I think this dress needs a v-neck…don’t you?  😉
So these two dresses and the skirt from my first post while be my spring D.I.Y. project.  I’ve never sewn before, so this should be an interesting experience.  But, I think my mother would be proud of my fashionable ambition.  I’ll update the blog with the final pieces in a month…
As always…Happy Thrifting!

Fashion "Clutch"ed!

Remember this lovely clutch?!
Welllllll…It naturally went with this!
I found this dress at Ross for $14.99 and the pearls and shoes (Ross $22.99)

Once I saw this dress I grabbed this one and the next size up and ran to the dressing room.  It works pefectly, eh?!  The picture doesn’t do the dress justice.  The color is brighter, more of a saffire blue, and twists at the bust.  It hits slightly above the knee, so I decided to wear this to work.

But, better yet…!




Skirt from the Salvation Army: $1.99!

 

The skirt is in perfect condition, a rare vintage gem!  It was meant to be paired with this seafoam top from NY and Company, faux pearls from a yard sale and my favorite taupe Jessica Simpson heels.

As you can tell, I dress for the job I was bred for…a fashion buyer!