July / August Thrift Finds

August ends tomorrow, so I think it’s pretty safe to say that I’m done thrifting for the month.  (But now that I think about it, I could conceivably hit up one last place Wednesday after work…tempting….)

Although I’m still feeling pretty satiated as regards my summer wardrobe, I have picked up a few new things since my last Thrift Finds in June, so I thought I’d share what I found.

Continue reading “July / August Thrift Finds”

Friday ReBlog: When Your Style Starts to Change

The last few weeks I’ve featured new-to-me thrift blogs, but today I’m throwing it back to a  style blogger we’ve visited before: Caroline at Un-Fancy.  She penned a post recently about what to do when your style begins to shift and your current closet doesn’t quite fit your evolving aesthetic.

She gives some good tips on styling what you have in ways that feel fresh without chucking your entire wardrobe. Her approach is all about appreciating what you have and being content with enough, both of which are underdeveloped skills in our culture. Caroline’s concern also stems from her growing commitment to ethical consumption, which makes it pricey to decide you’re done with a good chunk of your US/fairly-made or eco-friendly clothing.

Thrifters don’t deal with the price issue in the same way, of course – in fact, the ability to be flexible with your style is a major selling point for thrifting. Nor does thrifting have as big of an impact on the environment as new purchases (and therefore increased demand) do – although as we discussed here LINK, thrifting obviously relies on other people purchasing new clothes, so it’s not entirely free of issues.

As we’ve talked about before, the principle of having enough, though, applies whether you shop retail or thrift. And even if you can afford to change over your repertoire when you decide you’re not feeling a certain pant silhouette, you may not have the time or the energy to go hunting for the newest expression of your style. Or you may not even be sure that a new style is what you need – maybe you just need a little break before returning to your regularly scheduled wardrobe.

So if you’ve been feeling the itch to switch it up sartorially, head on over to Un-Fancy to get her take on no-cost restyling.

 

Happy weekend, Thrifters!

 

 

three things to do when you feel your style start to change (but you want to honor what you already have)

Ask Leah: Wedding Attire When You’re Not a Dress/Skirt Kinda Gal

Ask me a question! (6)

A few weekends ago a friend called with a style question. (I am still utterly tickled that people in my real life think I know enough about style to give them advice.)

She and her wife have a family wedding to attend in the near future and needed help re: the dress code.  The save the date for the wedding, to be held indoors at a winery, listed a more casual attire advisory, but by the time the invitation came around it had upgraded to “cocktail/semi-formal.”  Her wife is not a dress/skirt kind of person and had planned to wear the lovely light tan suit she had worn to their own wedding – something similar to this:

tall-suits-women-salmon-beigeLengthen the sleeves, though, and nix the big handbag; makes the look too daytime/officewear. Source

At her wedding she wore it with a dressy black shirt and shoes and a pearl necklace.  But that was her wedding, where she was, indeed, supposed to wear whatever she wanted.  What about for someone else’s celebration?

So today on Ask Leah, the question is:

As a woman, can I wear a suit to a cocktail-attire wedding?

If you have already imagined my response including some remarks about sexism and how men get to wear suits to weddings all the time without anyone giving them the side eye, you’d be right.  If women can wear pants in pretty much every other venue in American life (see: the Pantsuit Revolution), why not a wedding?

Just because something is unjustly -ist (sexist, racist, ableist, ageist, heteronormative – okay that’s not an -ist…), though, doesn’t mean you don’t still have to deal with people’s -ist reactions when you go against the norm.  Uncle Bob or Grandma Sally might still make a passive-agressive comment about how nice you would have looked in a dress or a just-plain-aggressive comment that suits are for men.  So some amongst us might choose the path of least family snark and just put on a damn dress.

In my personal opinion, though, the two most important factors in wedding dressing are:

  1. Feeling comfortable in your skin.  Not wearing things that are uncomfortably tight or too far outside your normal sartorial expression means you can feel like YOU and enjoy the celebration – particularly important if tense family relationships mean you’ll be anxious no matter what you wear.
  2. Showing respect for the couple/event.  You want to be comfortable, yes, but not at the cost of looking like you don’t care that this is one of the most important events in someone’s life.  Luckily it’s 2016 and there’s considerably more variation than there used to be as to what’s considered dressy for such events.  For example, if a cotton romper or sundress is your normal go-to but this is an evening affair, a shift dress with a little shine or sparkle keeps the comfort level A+ while stepping up your style a bit.

With those parameters in mind, let’s address the question at hand: if you haven’t seen the inside of a dress since your toddler years and would feel completely out of character wearing one, simply put together the pants equivalent of “wedding smart” using a lovely suit (ex.: above) and some jewels/heels.

Avoiding boxy cuts and stiff fabrics in favor of clean, fluid lines will help it look less corporate America and more festive function, as will skipping over cheap material and that weird light grey color that screams “I got this in the juniors section for my very first interview.”   (You know the color I’m talking about?)

Another option for those not excited about the traditional suit: pair dress pants with a blouse/shell and top off with a statement jacket – think bolero, sequins, metallic fabric, textured silk, velvet, etc.:

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source / source / source / source

 

What if the wedding is a truly formal occasion?  Plenty of women now wear a feminine version of a tuxedo to fancy events:

tall-suits-women-salmon-beige 1_get-your-exact-measurements 06ef96c22419e0b3ddc0906e1180c1c2 ffa1a7c4ca925558ea39c8242d148146
source / source / source / source

Here’s a great article on how to select one.  And yes, I have seen jackets like this (and definitely vests!) at thrift stores in the women’s section, and you might be able to find tux pants with the stripe in the men’s section and get them tailored.

 

Back to my friend’s wife and her upcoming wedding conundrum.  I told her I thought it was perfectly acceptable to wear her lovely suit with a little jewelry and some dressy shoes (whether heels or not) and call it good.  After all, they invited HER to the wedding, so shouldn’t she show up as a respectfully fancy version of herself, not somebody else?

What do you think, Thrifters?

 

 

What I Wore: Never Say You’ll Never Wear a Maxi Dress

Last week I spotted Nicole of The Spirited Thrifter wearing this striped maxi dress and thought it was perfection on her. I commented that it made me want to wear a maxi dress even though I never wear them and don’t even own one.

Ah, the maxi dress: I love it on other people but am not a fan of the empire waist and spaghetti straps look on me, a combo integral to oh-so-many maxis. (This is why I loved Nicole’s dress – it had neither.) Or how hot they can be on the bottom during summer or chilly on top in the fall.  Also, is it just me or does “maxi” always makes you think of maxi pads and that diaper-like feel? Yech.

Anyway, the thrift gods must have been laughing at me, because I had forgotten that I do, in fact, own a floor-length dress* which I did, ironically, end up wearing this past weekend to church:

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Continue reading “What I Wore: Never Say You’ll Never Wear a Maxi Dress”

Friday ReBlog: Thrifting in Your Funky Forties

In doing research for this post on breaking fashion rules – including the one that says women of a “certain age” can’t wear clothing too bold, funky, or shapely – I came across Sheila at Ephemera.  Her style is a total treat – purple hair, fab shoes, bold colors, fitted dresses/skirts, and killer poses. She has a great eye for mixing designer finds with local jewelry and footwear with personality.

Plus, her ensembles are almost entirely thrifted and consigned, a feature hard to find amongst (the thankfully growing number of) more maturely-aged style blogs.

A few faves:

A particularly impassioned manifesto re: wearing whatever you want at whatever age you want.

A gorgeous leopard/red combo.

 

Go check out Ephemera – especially if you love tats!

Happy Friday, Thrifters!

 

Other Fashion Rules to Break

Reader (and friend!) Sheena spotted this Old Navy advert featuring bloggers busting the myth that “certain jeans are for certain body types.” (Let us take a moment to celebrate that Old Navy didn’t select a bunch of skinny white women as their featured style bloggers.)

It reminded her of one of my “Can I Wear This?” posts where young women felt restricted and shamed by these very rules.  That post also features a picture of Sheena!  Isn’t she gorgeous?

Inspired by their take on things, Sheena asked me to do another post on fashion rules you should break – particularly ones that say that certain kinds of people “can’t” wear certain kinds of clothes. Continue reading “Other Fashion Rules to Break”

Travel Wardrobe: Asheville, NC

A few weekends ago we packed up and drove the 3 and a half hours to meet friends in Asheville, North Carolina for a mini break.  What follows is what I packed (and what my kid packed), what I wore, and what we did, including a thrift visit (sadly only one; I saw at least two more but we didn’t make it to them.  Next time, Asheville!).

If that sounds like a lot to cover, it is!  Buckle up, folks, this is a long one (but there are photos to help you make it through!). Continue reading “Travel Wardrobe: Asheville, NC”

Friday ReBlog: Two Canadian Thrifters

O Canada! (gratuitous pics of stylish and delicious prime minister Justin Trudeau and his wife, the equally stylish and delicious Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau, here.)

Today we’ve got 2 Canadian bloggers who, from all I can gather, know each other IRL and sometimes thrift for each other.  Sigh.  My dream.

First off: thanks to reader Kathleen S. who alerted us to The Spirited Thrifter. (Note: you, too, can suggest your favorite thrift bloggers in the comments below or here on the original “help me find more thrift blogs!” post).

Author Nicole sounds like my soul mate.  Evidence:

“Last week, I *helped* my friend Karlynn at her excuse to buy more Pyrex garage sale, and while *helping* her drank sangria.”  (The “Spirited” in her blog title refers to her personality but also her love of spirits.)

Or: “What’s a mom to do with 3 hours to herself but go thrifting”?

Plus she makes her kids thrift and puts thrift stores on her vacation sight-seeing list.  My kind of lady.

 

The Spirited Thrifter led me to Blue Collar Red Lipstick, where Adina isn’t afraid to style herself up while living in a dress-down kind of city.  She’s got a tailored look I love livened up by lots of color.  Many of her things are consigned/thrifted, and she has a whole section on work capsule wardrobes if you need some visual inspiration on how to put together a dressier or more colorful capsule wardrobe.

 

Happy Friday, Thrifters! I’ll be back next week with a fun travel wardrobe from a recent trip to Asheville, NC.

 

I Don’t Wash My Hair

With shampoo, at least. (I do wash sometimes with natural ingredients and/or water.)

Today I’ll tell you what I’ve tried in my no-poo adventure and how it has worked for me.  I’ll also point you in the direction of some resources I found helpful.

But I can’t tell you how to go no-poo.  (If you’re interested.  You might also just be grossed out.)

My hair is different from your hair and yours is different from your friend’s and your sister’s and your dad’s and your co-worker’s.  And even your same hair will likely behave differently with different climates, seasons, stages of life, and air/water qualities.

So read up if you are interested in giving no-poo a try (or if you’re just weirdly fascinated).  I’d love to hear how it goes or, if you already do it, what works for you!

Continue reading “I Don’t Wash My Hair”

What I Wore: Office Sick Day

Yesterday I had a head cold from Hades. (I still have it, but now it’s from, say, Hoboken.)

I spent a good 15 minutes in bed trying decide whether to go to work or stay home.

But yesterday was my boss’ first day back after 4 weeks out of town. And a new program year is breathing down our necks. And I had 3 meetings scheduled. And someone had to drive the kiddo to daycare regardless.

So I went to work, but in the most comfortable work-appropriate clothing possible, which I had most fortuitously thrifted over the weekend due to my inability to say no to comfortable dresses and stripes (and this shade of blue!):

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Continue reading “What I Wore: Office Sick Day”