Friday ReBlog: Bits & Pieces

This isn’t really a ReBlog (although it is on Friday).  It’s more of a random assortment of stuff I wanted to share with you.  I enjoy reading this kind of mishmash on other blogs and hope you enjoy it here!

First up, a couple of real-life fashionistas I’ve spotted in the last few weeks and wanted to share with you.

This woman at Costco was wearing several shades of “red,” from pink to mulberry to purple, and pulling it off with aplomb – I think because she married so many shades.  Two might have looked off, but several made it obvious this was intentional.


Even her bag trim is mulberry!  Style note: the lighter colored shirt (blush pink or white? hard to tell) worked to balance out the intensity of the other shades.


This gentleman browsing the book section at the Goodwill had the plaid/vest combo down.  And that short scarf gave it some verve!


I would not have thought to pair yellow-toned cords with the deeper shades above, but it works – the light mustard leavens the heaviness of the other tones while the texture still says “cold weather.”


Here’s a sparkly top I couldn’t resist buying that would fit in perfectly with my fantasy style (and that I will likely never wear in real life):
Sequined fabulousness by Jean for Joseph le Bon.

Why do I buy these things (occasionally, but still)?  I try to stick to the maxim “you don’t have to own to appreciate,” but sometimes I get so smitten with something that I am not successful in resisting.  I enjoy looking at it hanging in my closet for several weeks or months, maybe wear it once, and then redonate it.  I guess if the money is going to a worthy cause, it’s not that bad of an occasional habit.


Here’s a great piece by someone who uses thrift stores as her family’s primary source of clothing out of financial necessity and has some thoughts on what folks with more resources should donate.  It made me think of our discussion on whether thrifting contributes to gentrification (part 1 and part 2).  The author echoes what I heard mentioned by several financially strapped folks and employees of thrift stores – that people with more means shopping at thrift stores means their doors can stay open for people with fewer means.

Another secondhand shopping option has just gone live: ReStitch, the online thrift store run by Goodwill of North Central Wisconsin.  They have tens of thousands of items up, so go check them out – and if you decided to buy anything, come back and let us know what you think!

Last but not least, the spouse and I are headed to Ireland next month so I can officiate a friend’s wedding.  We’ll be flying into Dublin and the festivities are in Co. Clare.  Any suggestions for places to see/things to do?  I’ve already noted addresses and opening hours of three charity shops (aka thrift stores) in Ennis (surprised?) but the only other thing on my list are the cliffs of Moher.  I need help.
PS Get excited for a travel wardrobe post before the end of February!


Have a great weekend, Thrifters!


How Are Riding Boots Supposed to Fit?

I’m asking the question in the title because I found tall boots (one of the things on my current thrift list) at Goodwill the other day that were flat, cognac-colored, had gold accents, had toes that were not too pointed and not too rounded, and were leather. (I’d be happy with high quality vegan options but usually anything not leather in the boot section is cheapo Target ware.)  In other words, they were perfect.




My image of riding boots includes a fitted shaft:


But the shaft of these boots was rather wide relatively to the circumference of my calf:


This pretty quickly turned into a mental battle over whether the “must buy” reaction I had outweighed the less-than-ideal width.  In my experience, saying “yes” to a less-than-ideal find, out of fear that another version won’t crop up, often leads to thrift regret – and wasted $$ when eventually a better find appears.  But with such a rare find, I was finding it hard to say no.

So I made a list:

In the “must buy” column: these babies, made by Coach, retail for $200 but were priced at only $20.  They were also my size, if a little wide in the foot.  I *never* find quality cognac/brown, heel-less boots in my size at thrift stores.

In the “less-than-ideal” column, that wide shaft had me feeling like:


I admit I don’t pay that much attention to riding boots, having never intentionally shopped for a pair. Can you wear riding boots more loosely and have it look purposeful, avoiding a sloppy or dated feel? Not to be a slave to fashion trends, but there’s a difference between knowingly working a non-trend look and unintentionally invoking 1979 (above).

Surprisingly, the internet has a lot to say about how you can wear your boots, including ample visual evidence that the wide legged look is just as acceptable as the fitted look:

riding-boots boots-2 irina-shayk-hermes-belt 1-what-to-wear-with-brown-shoes-and-black-leggings-1
Source, source, source, source.

Convinced I wouldn’t look completely unhip and clueless, I bought ’em, and promptly wore them the next day:

Same boots, different Goodwill.

Scratch that one of the thrift list!  Bonus: my spouse thinks they look nice.


What do y’all think of the wider shaft?  Any styling tips from those of you who sport riding boots on the regular?  Scroll down to comment!


Exploring New Clothing Territory: Vests

This post is about quilted/puffy vests.  Sorry if you got all excited for 90s-era or tuxedo-style numbers!

In college I had a red, slim, quilted vest by Caslon.  I remember it being the first piece of clothing my mom convinced me to spend $50 (!!) of my own money on.  She explained the concept of investing in a quality piece you’ll wear for years – and she was right.  It was quite chic and a great color, and I wore that puppy on the regular for 6 or 7 years, easy:

College me, posing in said vest at an Olympique Marseille football-watching club in France.  I have no idea what Che is doing there.

I haven’t gone in for quilted vests much since then – mostly because the styles available now tend more toward the sporty (not my style), and it’s hard to find a silhouette that doesn’t add a lot of visual volume.

Indeed, my next vest wasn’t purchased until 2012, when I picked one up last minute from Costco for a family trip to Scandinavia. (Judge away.  I was thrifting 95% of the time but got seduced by the bright, inexpensive clothes at Costco and the idea that you need to buy new/specific clothes for travel. Lies, I tell you, lies!)

And then, ironically, I wore it thrifting at the Salvation Army shop in Oslo:
What, you don’t thrift on vacation?

It packs down to almost nothing and is filled with down, so it’s a great layering piece. But it’s been stashed in the back of my closet pretty much since 2012.   If I had to say why, it’s – again – because of its rather sporty style and the unfortunate volume added where none is wanted.

Two of my coworkers regularly wear puffy vests and manage to look chic, though. (One thing that appears to help the volume problem is not zipping them up.  Who knew?)  So lately I’ve been kicking around the idea of giving quilted vests another try.  Luckily for me, picking up a vest from Goodwill costs about $5 instead of the $25 at Costco (or the much higher price tag in retail stores).

Here are my two picks:

Old Navy – thrifted

Nau – my version is taupe.  This is 850 down and retails for $185!

The liner on this vest is 100% recycled polyester, and the down inside is also re-used.  I love the asymmetrical zipper which takes it a little more in the direction of everyday chic rather than camping chic.

My spouse laughed when he saw the Old Navy one – “You’re still on that leopard print thing, aren’t you?”  Yes, dear, I am.  It is NEVER going out of style, so get used to it!

I know, I know, I just said no more winter clothes – but although I didn’t showcase them in my winter wardrobe post, I did indeed write that proclamation after I’d bought these.  And I’m hoping these babies will help me get more wear out of my existing wardrobe by pairing with my turtlenecks, which I have neglected rather severely this winter.  Additionally, I think the taupe vest will transition quite well to spring, for those days when it’s still a bit chilly but I don’t want a full blazer/coat/thick sweater.

What’s your take on quilted vests – do you wear them or no?  For those who do, any tips for styling them in business casual appropriate ways?  Scroll down to comment!


Friday ReBlog: 12 Months of Thrifting Challenge & Mile High Thrifter

Links fixed – thanks Caitlin!

Dina from Dina’s Days is at it again with another 12 Months of Thrifting Challenge.  The idea is to build a comprehensive wardrobe by thrifting a specific item each month – e.g. this month is a cashmere sweater in a neutral color.  (Here is last year’s challenge if you want to mix and match categories depending on your style/what’s already in your closet.)  You can get inspiration and share your finds on Instagram using the hashtag #12MonthsofThrifting.

What I like about this challenge is that it encourages you to thrift slowly.  You have a whole month (well, 2 weeks for the first one since we’re already halfway through January – sorry, too many New Year’s-related challenges to blog!) to focus on looking for one item you really love, so you’re not as tempted to grab the first (cheap, ill-fitting) neutral cashmere sweater or statement coat you find. There are some good tips at the bottom of the post to help you embrace this method.

Dina is partnering with Mandy of Mile High Thrifter for the challenge.  Mandy is a social worker with a touch of Fleetwood Mac vibe to go with her dress-and-boots Colorado style.  She posts more regularly on Instagram than on her blog, but there are some great outfits in the archives!


Will y’all be doing the 12 Months of Thrifting challenge, or some such other strategy to build up your thrifted wardrobe this year?

Happy weekend, Thrifters!


Real French Woman Style: A Case Study

Much has been made of the inimitable French woman’s style and how chic, understated, classic, minimalist, etc. her wardrobe is.  Black features prominently in this depiction, as do basics.  You can Google myriad examples where this is the case, but from the time I’ve spent living in and visiting France (particularly not-Paris), this depiction is a pretty narrow take on “French” style.

Case in point:

The other evening my family attended a community holiday party where a French woman I’d met at the same party the year before was attending with her family.  The husband and their 4 sons wore homemade bowties while their tiny daughter was dressed exactly like Princess Charlotte but with bolder color.  Their children’s given names are gilded with old-fashioned patina – think Bénédicte, Marisol, and Thibault (not their real names, but a good idea of them). In short, they are charming and full of personality.

And the mother of this family?  She was dressed nothing at all like the “typical” French woman:


(Items recreated below so you can get a better gander)

Let’s start with her top.  Okay, yes, a black base layer, but one that served as a neutral canvas to showcase her other two layers: a dark teal paisley blouse, peasant-ish, topped by a (faux?) fur vest and a multicolored scarf featuring blue, aquamarine, and copper threads.

On the bottom: bootcut jeans which aren’t particularly trendy at the moment (although wider flares are), and Timberland boots with wedges.  Timberland wedges, I tell you!  To top it all off, she had accessorized with a pair of big metallic drop earrings.

Her look was mostly boho, but those Timberland wedges said “street.”  Her look communicated both her unique taste and her complete confidence in wearing things others would never have put together.

(Her hair and makeup, I admit, did look typically “French” – nothing much besides black eyeliner and mascara, plus sideswept gamine bangs in front, with the rest of her hair clipped back in a way that looked like it had taken 2 seconds but was nonetheless full of unstudied elegance.  Am I waxing overly poetic?)

Since the photo is partial, I did some googling to bring you similar (and in the case of the boots and earrings exact) pieces so you can marinate on this combination yourself:








Honestly, her funky mashup looked more “French,” according to French women I’ve known, than most things I’ve seen in the pages of Vogue.

To wit – here are style snapshots of several French women I know well:

One has a daughter living in America and has a soft spot for her Ralph Lauren navy sweater with the American flag on it. But when a wedding is on the calendar, it’s fascinators and textured silk suits all the way.

Another is an ashram-frequenting, reincarnation-believing goat farmer, and she dresses the part: work pants and boots below, Indian-inspired prints and colors on top.

Another is basically Catherine Deneuve – same age, same coqeuttish preference for dramatic makeup and feminine dresses with flair.

Another lives in Paris but has a villa outside Toulouse and, when there, stuns in a simple caramel-colored sleeveless dress and subtle gold jewelry. (She was the inspiration for the dress in this post.)

Another few dye their hair with henna and don’t appear to pay any special attention to style.

Admittedly I have often felt uncool next to my French counterparts, but I think it has had less to do with their wearing black and moto jackets than it did with a certain confiance en soi that made them seem self-assured.  Thrifting and writing this blog have helped me hone my style to the point where I feel this confidence in my own dressing – although I’m sure I would still see a difference between an American aesthetic vs. a European one.  Something I need to spend more time on to fully articulate, but generally having to do with cleaner lines, a little more quirk, good tailoring, etc.


What do you think of our case study’s look?  And what’s your take on the much-touted “French woman style”?  Geographically speaking, where have you been particularly impressed by people’s style, whether it matched the stereotype or not?  Scroll down to comment!


My Current Winter Wardrobe

I started out my winter wardrobe with a color palette of navy, cream, grey, and touches of gold and blush pink.  3 months in, I’ve added some more color (thank goodness!), my pants have multiplied like rabbits, and I’ve axed the blush pink and some pieces I wasn’t wearing.  Let’s take a look!


Still on the team:
img_4228 IMG_2788 IMG_4160 img_4234 IMG_2782 WP_20160826_15_14_58_Pro img_4236
From top left: Merona, Ambiance, Japna, Coldwater Creek, Piazza Sempione, Meadow Rue, Pull & Bear

The standouts in this category have been the velvet floral (above) and the leopard print (below).  No surprise there, I can’t say no to delicious patterns and textures.

Although I had previously proclaimed that this would be the Year of the Turtleneck, I’ve only strated wearing them recently as layers for the cold because I’ve had such fun with my sweaters.  I also haven’t worn the blue/taupe plaid at all, except for our trip to Michigan, but I still love the pattern.  I wore it every weekend last winter so it may just need a rest.

For the sake of transparency, I gave the exact Swiss dot tunic pictured above (first pic) to a friend because it was just too small, and thrifted the same thing in a shirt version, one size up.

Note to self: wear the Pull & Bear chain top more or out it goes!

New Recruits:
I’ve behaved myself fairly well in this category – just one addition, this leopard print shirt by Banana Republic, which I LOVE. Pats self on back. Expect to see this well into spring/summer.

img_4255 IMG_3753
The left top, by Banana Repbulic, was too structured and scratchy.  You can read about axing the Madewell shirt here.

Relegated to workout/loungewear
This Faded Glory turltneck is a great color but, true to its name, its glory has faded a little too much.  It had a couple holes and I like my turtleneck sweater, below, better.



Still on the team:
IMG_3668 IMG_3677 img_4241 IMG_3673 img_4240wp_20160505_15_06_57_pro img_4254
From top left: Gap, Liz Claiborne, Liz Claiborne, Mossimo, Loft, French Connection, Express

The stars here have been the new-with-tags navy turtleneck sweater (so delicious and so chic) and the gold-trimmed cream v-neck (my holiday go-to).

I love the two-tone oversized sweater but I don’t love the oversize-over-flares look that I get when I pair it with my new jeans. I think I’ll slim those down (see below).

The athleisure Mossimo sweatshirt I thought about scrapping has earned its place as my weekend staple, just not for work. And I’ve recommitted to the robin’s egg blue zipper detail sweater (last pic) since recently discovering it’s great on its own (not with a layer underneath).

I haven’t worn my snow leopard (a favorite last year) or the cowl neck much (at all?) even though I still like both of them, in theory.  Is this a sign that I have…gasp…too many sweaters?!  I may tuck them away for next year and see if they feel fresh in 10-12 months.


New recruits:
wp_20161102_16_55_01_pro img_4497 wp_20161205_14_35_29_pro-1
J. Crew, Joan Vass, Gap Designed & Thrifted

Read all about the first two here and here.  The third is VERY soft, short sleeved, and has a split hem, all of which I like.  But it also makes me feel like a millenial style blogger who wears nothing but expensive, organic neutrals.  Since I have so many sweaters, I’m waiting to see if I wear it enough to justify keeping it.

Forever 21

SO soft, but just too washed out for my newly warmed up, colorful wardrobe.  Kinda sad about it, but someone else will love it.



Still on the team:
IMG_4153 img_4229 img_4259
Old Navy, Loft, Haberdashery Collection by Personal

I have worn the heck out of the first two.  The third I put through the washing machine and still haven’t ironed. :/  I’m feeling lazy/guilty about that since I probably should have just combed/brushed it…but it collects hair and fluff really easily and I’d love a navy velvet blazer in its place, so maybe I’ll just donate it.

Made a comeback:

This merino cardigan by Talbots was sitting out this season until I suddenly had an urge to pair it with my Swiss dot button down.

New recruits:
wp_20161027_15_25_29_pro wp_20161021_14_49_29_pro wp_20161205_14_31_59_pro wp_20170107_14_04_40_pro-1 
Merona, Isaac Mizrahi Live!, Kate Hill, Old Navy

I LOVE the plaid – so funky, unexpectedly goes with a lot of my wardrobe – and the red – it’s a wool/cashmere blend and is so soft and the cut is <insert A-okay or 100 emoji here>.  The snakeskin… well, I still feel kind of tacky wearing it.  But it’s almost sweatshirt-like and goes with a lot of what I have, so I’m committed to wearing it more to see if I can learn to love it.

Post to come on the vest!

You can read about our breakup here.

Relegated to spring wardrobe (for the most part):
I LOVE this blazer; the colors just go better with my spring/summer wardrobe.  But it’ll probably make an occasional cameo, thusly.


Remember my core silhouette (skim over slim) vs. my fringe silhouette (fitted over flare) – core being what I mostly wear, fringe being my alternate? (More about core vs. fringe here.)  I’ve divided my pants up accordingly.

Still on the team – slim:
img_4472 img_4470 img_4266
Banana Republic, Lauren Ralph Lauren Jeans, Chico’s

Love these, going strong.  Got the waist on the cream pants taken in a bit so I didn’t have to hike them up all the time.  And I wear the Chico’s skinnies (with an elastic waistband!) pretty exclusively on the weekends since they read so casual.

New recruits – slim:
wp_20161021_14_31_40_pro  img_4504 wp_20161020_14_04_27_pro
Jessica Simpson, Style & Co., Gap

Love the first two; love the third but they’re pretty darn lowrise.  Looking for a thrift upgrade so I don’t have to worry about exposing my backside to the world.

New recruits – flare:
I’m keeping the caramel velveteen as they are since I’ll wear them mostly with slimmer tops, but I taken the jeans to the tailor to have the legs tapered.  (I know, I know, y’all encouraged me not to, but I have passed over them too many times for having not as formal/chic a silhouette as I wanted.  These babies deserve to be worn!)

Relegated to spring/summer (left) or to storage ’til I love them again (right):
IMG_4157 IMG_1765
Uniqlo, Old Navy



Still on the team:
IMG_2760 wp_20160307_17_09_29_pro IMG_2750 IMG_3172 IMG_3186
Merona, Land’s End, Merona, Jacqueline Ferrar, George

I haven’t worn my off-white sheath or my leopard much.  In fact, haven’t worn many dresses at ALL because I am so enjoying my new pants.  A happy problem to have.

Two new recruits meant for summer but which, when layered, also play well with winter:

wp_20161205_14_27_15_pro img_4799
Talbots, Jones New York

You can read about my red & caramel love affair here (same as links above).


Coat stayed the same – although it doesn’t look quite this fresh and is in need of some de-pilling:
J. Crew

I did add some cold weather accessories:

6tag_241216-123751No label


There it is!

Looking over everything: wow, I like blue.

Overall, I am happy to claim victory over the winter wardrobe revamp pickle in which I found myself 8 months ago.  To wit: I have found a core winter silhouette I love – slim pants with skimming sweater on top; and some great fringe options – dress over leggings, turtleneck with big thick cardigan.  I thrill to get dressed in the morning instead of floundering around with too many disparate pieces and incohesive outlines.  Yippee!

Also, I have PLENTY of things for the rest of our (very short) winter.   Not counting gloves/hat, pieces I’ve barely worn but haven’t put away, and pieces that are primarily for warm weather, I have about 35 solidly “winter” pieces.  Even though that’s right in line with a lot of minimalist wardrobe recommendations (e.g. Project 333), it feels kind of overwhelming to look at them all laid out like this.

I’m no longer trying to create a silhouette I love or fill holes, so I expect to keep this wardrobe relatively static through the end of this winter, when I’ll refine things a bit and donate some pieces I’m not excited about keeping around for next year.  I pledge to be satisfied with what I have, but not so stingy that something delicious won’t sneak its way in…


A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

Congrats if you made it to the end of this post; I hope it was informative, or at least entertaining!  What are your winter wardrobes looking like these days?  Scroll down to comment.


What I Wore & How I Styled It: Steve Urkel Chic

Last week, without realizing it, I dressed like a great style icon of the 90s – Steve Urkel:


I subbed a belt for suspenders, but otherwise I had his look down: coordinating cardigan, high-waisted pants, high hems on those pants, and ankle socks:


Swiss dot cotton button down by Merona – thrifted
Wine corduroy pants by Style & Co. – thrifted

Merino wool cardigan by Talbots – thrifted
Leopard print hair belt by J. Crew – thrifted
Socks by Target – retail
Shoes by Clarks – retail

How’d I get to this fabulous combination?

First up: base pieces.  I started off wanting some warm hues after a week in my travel wardrobe‘s polar palette, so I paired this button down with these pants:


The current iteration of this shirt, you may have noticed, is a true button down instead of the former popover tunic. I swapped the tunic version (too narrow in the chest/hips) for this same brand/print in a slightly larger size.  Yes, I cried a little to lose the popover cut and length, but I wanted to wear this great textured pattern more often than the constant tug-and-reposition act was inspiring me to do.  Comfort over style, people – or rather, style informed by comfort.

Next: a topper. My workplace is chilly in some spots but the temp outside was supposed to hit 66 F – hey Hotlanta, I love you so much this time of year! – so I decided to add a thin cardigan I could layer/unlayer with ease.  I went back and forth between the one on the left (from my spring wardrobe), which would have made for an interesting contrast in hem lengths, and the one on the right, which brought some extra punch in the pattern department:

IMG_3466 wp_20170103_15_13_00_pro
Hmm, the outfit on the left is basically this same outfit, translated for warmer weather.

Surprise surprise – I just couldn’t resist the contrast of two great patterns (one subtle) in related colors and chose the cable pattern one.

I buttoned the top several buttons because, left to its own devices, the top button flops around and doesn’t stay put, but I left the bottom several unbuttoned because I wanted the contrast in patterns to show through:


Since the hem on this shirt isn’t as long as it used to be, I next had to decide whether to tuck or untuck.  The relatively similar length of the button down and the cardigan answered that for me – I’d much rather have a visual contrast between hem lengths than have them line up in a way that cuts me off:


Well, then, of course the high waist drew attention to itself and looked funny with no belt.  Out came my trusty leopard belt – a print that functions like a neutral:


A little less of a closeup:


Last but not least, metallic bronze flats that would pick up the warm browns in the belt and the shiny gold of the cardigan buttons; and striped socks with all the constituent colors represented (a feat that makes me ridiculously happy):

That’s a lot of sock showing.


So what do y’all think of my high-tide, pattern-mixing homage to Urkel – is it “No sweat, my pet”?  Or more along the lines of “Got any cheeeeeeese”?


Scroll down to comment!


Friday ReBlog: A Year with No Shopping

Janice over at The Vivienne Files is doing another year-long shopping ban.

Her previous year-long ban covered buying nothing new – secondhand allowed – while this time around it’s buying nothing at all except running shoes, using up gift cards, and clothes necessary for any unexpected ultra-formal events. (PS: the comments on that first post are great inspiration for thrifters, while the comments on the second are chock full of solidarity for anyone else who wants to drop shopping for a year.)

Her motivation?  Too many great clothes she already loves – no need for more!

Her approach to getting the most out of what she already owns?  Identifying each month’s “building blocks” – basics she can wear all month long – and then “targeting” certain supplemental pieces to show them some extra love during that same month.

Check out her post, then let me know what you think.  Anyone up for a year of no shopping? (If so, this post might give you some further inspiration.)


Happy weekend, Thrifters!


Red & Caramel

If you follow me on Instagram – and you should! lots of outfits of the day and delicious thrift finds – you’ll know I’ve gone a little overboard with the red and caramel lately.  (“Caramel” is the name I’ve made up to describe a sort of richer camel.  It’s kind of a honey brown take on tan, if that makes sense – like when caramel has been toasted.)

It started off with these ensembles on the Vivienne Files – particularly the purple sweater/camel pants on the right:



I LOVED this combination, which surprised me because I had tried several iterations of khaki/tan/light brown pants before and always felt washed out and vaguely 1990s PTA mom in them (mad respect to moms who were on PTA in the 1990s – just lots of beige pants and solid color tops, you remember?).  I thought I was doomed to never wear khaki/tan/beige-ish pants, but then I saw these babies in a more…toasted? take on the color.  Warmer, richer, closer to picking up my hair color than washing out my skin tone.

I didn’t have any purple in my wardrobe so I didn’t feel compelled to recreate the exact look from the Vivienne Files, but a seed was planted.  I started looking for tan/beige-ish pants again – hopeful, though never quite finding the right shade.  Then it occurred to me that I had too many winter pants anyway, and why couldn’t I pick up this color in a top instead?

This first attempt was beautiful in color and in form, but too tight for anything but layering:

wp_20160912_12_59_46_proNo room for lunch!

It was exciting, though, to find the color on the rack and realize I loved it just as much in person as in theory.  It was not too brown (been there, done that); the warm honey tone picked up my hair and made my face pop.

I bided (bid? bode?) my time, and eventually found this merino J. Crew number in November:


You may recognize it from these previously alluded to Instagram outfits:

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

From that initial success, I went a little crazy.  I picked up a skirt (even though I never wear skirts in winter and stick with just one or two in summer…we’ll see how that goes!), a shirt dress, and then pants:

Skirt by Merona


Safari shirt dress by Jones New York

Velveteen bootcut pants by !iT Jeans

The pants are SO soft, but also appear to be a little on the cheap side, so consider ’em candidates for a thrift upgrade if they don’t hold up.

Also this same color is in the details of this fuzzy polar bear of a sweater paired with the above dress a few weeks back, and indeed, the pants and sweater paired together nicely in my recent cold weather travel wardrobe:


BAM.  Instant outfit making.


I think I was craving some visual warmth in the increasingly short, dark days of winter.  A similar longing for festivity amidst the holidays would also explain the recent uptick in red in my wardrobe:

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

This blazer might have been paired with my evergreen corduroy pants on Christmas Eve…

Isn’t that just the RIGHT shade of red?  Not too cherry or too burgundy, plays great with cream, grey, and of course, caramel. I’ve even gone back to daydreaming about red ankle boots, but since my true love in that category retails for $100+ and Santa has already come and gone, I think I’m going to keep an eye out for something similar in the thrift store.

I’m feeling good about all the ways to combine these colors with the rest of the staples in my winter wardrobe (navy, cream, grey) and love that they, along with these and these, have brought more color to what was a fairly polar palette.


What do you think of these colors – and what would you call the hue I’ve named “caramel”?  Scroll down to comment!


November / December Thrift Finds

I thrifted steadily through November and all the way up through the end of December; in the course of assembling this post I realized these were two fruitful months!  While several pieces that came home with me were for warm weather, all the winter goodies in this haul required some trimming of my cold weather wardrobe (the updated version of which will soon appear on this very blog).


First up, the rejects.

It was really hard to say no to this Loft brocade sweatshirt top:


Because multiple textures!  And neutral/gold!  And a split hem!  But the brocade material made the front super stiff and prone to awkward pointy parts:



Gorgeous green silk shirt with cranes and hexagons on it – too big, wanh wannnnnh:



Loved the tunic length on this top by Zara woman, but it was pretty baggy in the arms and the print was too busy for me:




This Lucky Brand sweater was basically a rag rug in cardigan form – I wanted to love it so hard because who wears rag rugs?  And my great grandma made rag rugs we still have.  It would have been so funky, and it has such great colors, but the drape was just too tent-like.  I think it would be great for someone with a more earth-mama style:

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Linen top by Old Navy – too wrinkly, and too big in the armpits:


Pro tip: how the item appears on the hanger in the thrift store (super wrinkled, misshapen) is a good indicator of how well it will hold up at home.


Mustard blazer by J. Crew – I wanted more of a lemon yellow and the cut was too bulky in the chest, plus the sleeves were reallllly long:



Great texture and cream/grey color on this cardigan by Madison Studio, but again, too wide for me:


Closeup on the texture:




And now, the keepers:

Leopard print shirt by Banana Republic:


More about my quest for leopard here.


Red dress by Talbots – great for summer and also for layering in winter:



Wool/cashmere blend red blazer by Kate Hill:

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Caramel velveteen bootcut pants by !iT Jeans:



Caramel crew neck sweater by J. Crew:



Caramel shirt by Jones New York – more here:

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(More on my red/caramel obsession on Thursday.)


Cream heathered sweater by Gap Designed & Crafted:


Split hem on this baby (also a little pilling I need to take care of):



Cold weather accessories:



Jones New York black party dress & Chico’s two-tone blazer – more here:




Neutral mod dress – more here:



White skirt by Ann Taylor:

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With pockets!



Pink/blue popover by Dalton:


I’m thinking this is pretty tribal-inspired and might have to get re-donated – what do y’all think?



Navy floral blouse by Loft:


I love the colors and can’t WAIT to wear this in spring, as I’ve been keeping an eye out for something with a bold floral print:



Bamboo tech shirt by Tasc Performance to replace an old one I’ve had since high school:


With thumb holes:




What thrift finds have you scored lately?  Scroll down to share in the comments!