Leopard Print – Solved

I wrote here about my love of leopard print and the search for a way to do it in more of an all-over fashion – i.e. a shirt.  I postulated in that post that perhaps a sleeveless number might do the trick, thinking that less fabric = less overwhelming.

But then, on a thrifting trip at the beginning of this month, I found this number by Banana Republic Heritage:

wp_20161102_16_52_10_pro

BR’s “Heritage” label features “easy-care, natural fibers” for “sophisticated women on the go” – whatever that means.  One thing it does mean is that this baby probably retailed for $80-$100+.

It has a tailored fit (signified by a numbered size instead of just S/M/L/XL); it has roll tab sleeves (my favorite!) and button tabs on the shoulders as an interesting detail; but most of all, the print is more muted, more neutral, thanks to an absence of the brassy yellow tones found in classic leopard:

wp_20161102_16_52_17_pro

I’ve already worn it several times (as you have probably noticed on Instagram) and I look forward to working this baby in all year round.  The silk blend contributes to its ability to be worn hot or cold; I’m thinking it will look great with skirts, white or red pants in summer, and of course my ever-growing collection of winter corduroys.

wp_20161107_15_54_52_pro-2

An IG outfit outtake, because I love you.

How do you feel about this version of leopard?  Scroll down to comment!

 

The Beauty of a Blank Slate

Over Thanksgiving I talked my spouse into a short stop at the Last Chance Thrift Store in Chamblee on our way home from cat sitting for a friend.  I promised a very short stop, which meant I had to be on my game.  I started with the “designer” racks and found some decent things, but nothing I wanted to try on.

Then I ran over to the kids’ section to grab my kid a coat (pics coming soon).  My final stop was the dress section – usually I skip this when I have a time limit because taking home anything involves a trip to the dressing room.  But something pulled me over, and lo and behold, there was a haul of vintage dresses!  Don’t ignore your spidey thrift sense when it strikes.

Someone must have cleaned out Grandma’s closet:

wp_20161125_14_53_56_pro wp_20161125_14_55_11_pro wp_20161125_14_55_21_pro wp_20161125_14_55_55_pro wp_20161125_14_56_32_pro wp_20161125_14_57_00_pro

A few of them were made in Hawai’i and there were some fabulous patterns.  (I would have gone for the first one – the spring green one with white trim – but it had pretty serious stains.  Wanh wannnnh.)

The one I tried on and bought, though, was solidly devoid of pattern:

img_4703

Well, there were pockets:

img_4702

Look, y’all know I love me some pattern and print.  But in addition to the summery-ness of all the above dresses, their prints and colors limit the number of ways they can be styled.  This dress, on the other hand – although it’s pretty boringly beige (thanks Spouse for pointing this out) – can be paired with a fantastic range of accessories.

My first choice?  This leopard-print ruana (basically a blanket with a big split down the middle so you can wrap it) passed on to me by my mom, which kept my arms nice and warm despite the dress’ short sleeves:

img_4705

I added a DIY necklace to give it a focal point and some funk:

img_4707

And capped it off with my snakeprint ankle boots.  (To be honest I think this would look best with riding boots, but since I have yet to thrift those, ankle boots it was.)

Other possibilities?  My snakeskin print blazer instead of the ruana; leggings on the bottom with my bronze snakeskin flats or champagne flats – like this:

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

 

My navy blazer and navy leggings  would also work great.

I can also put a shirt underneath the dress for chillier days – one of my many turtlenecks, or my leopard print blouse for some fun contrast.

Another great topper – this graphic cardigan:

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

 

And if I can thrift some nice cognac or dark brown riding boots, I’ll have even more options.

Separates are, by definition, easier to mix and match than one broad swath of fabric (a dress) that is highly patterned.  This is why, as much as I love interesting details – and as much as I would love to be the person styling wild patterns and funky cuts – my most frequently worn dresses are ones that are a single, solid, neutral-ish color.  See, for example, the off-white and blue dresses in the IG pics above.

The color of this dress is about as neutral as is possible to be – and although the neck, the longer sleeves, the pockets, and the below-the-knee length actually give it an interesting almost mod 60s vibe (who knows; maybe it was made then), on its own you could argue it’s kind of basic. But that’s exactly why I’m excited to use it as a blank slate for styling it multiple ways throughout winter, and even into spring.  (I think it’s a wool blend so it probably won’t make it into summer.)

What’s your take on blank, boring-ish slates that make it easier to accessorize vs. stuff with more personality that can be harder to style?  Scroll down to comment!

 

 

What I Wore/How I Styled It: Rainy Day Wherein I Fail at Button Downs Under Sweaters

This is what I wore to church yesterday.  Can you tell it was a rainy day?  (Hence the indoor photos and strong overhead light.)

img_4732
Plaid button down by Japna – thrifted
Blue sweater by Loft – thrifted
Blazer by Cartonnier – thrifted
Cream corduroys by Lauren by Ralph Lauren – thrifted new with tags, then tailored from a wide leg to a slim leg
Rain boots – thrifted, no label

I was, in theory, happy with this outfit.  I started it out (in my head) with these rain boots, knowing I would be corralling a small person in mucky, wet weather:

img_4733
This is the closest I own to riding boots.  Ha.

I wanted to pick up the pink, the light blue, and the dark navy, and this button down and sweater did the trick:

img_4727

My pink/blue marled Cartonnier blazer was the obvious topper.  (And I thought I wouldn’t get a chance to wear it this season – because these ain’t exactly wintry hues.)  Close up on the colors/patterns:

img_4734img_4736

The cream corduroys provided some nice neutral real estate between all the color and pattern on top and in the boots.  Navy pants would have worked, too.

img_4723

So here’s the problem: in theory, I love the idea of a button down underneath a sweater.  It seems so chic – little pops of pattern at the cuffs, neckline, and hem to contrast with a solid (or even not-so-solid) swath of sweater.  And the warmth!

But in reality, this pairing drives me nuts.  The button down never lays properly under the sweater (see all pics above except the first one, which I made my spouse retake for the sake of my vanity).  It looks lumpy and pointy and things pop out in unfortunate places. And even though this plaid shirt is decently long, I’m forever tugging at the hem to make sure it’s peeking sufficiently chic-ly below the sweater.

In short, this combination looks chic on Talbots models and in my head, but NOT on me.  Even this combo had to be pulled and adjusted all day, and flattened for this photo (and some button or other pointy part still looks mysteriously like an errant nipple):

 

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

 

Enlighten me, readers!  There have to be some of you out there who wear this look with aplomb and nary a stray scrunch.  What’s your secret?  Is my sweater too thin (it’s a thin cotton knit)?  Do I need to wash and dry it to shrink it up a bit or iron it before each wearing to get that smooth look?  Is my button down shirt not long enough or form-fitting enough?  Do you secretly safety pin or tape the whole thing in place??

 

Scroll down to comment – and don’t be afraid to wear rain boots as legit footwear, especially since there are so many fun patterns and chic styles to be found in the thrift store:

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

 

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

 

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

 

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

 

 

Friday ReBlog: Closet Intentions with Jess Lively

So this ReBlog is more of a RePodcast.  I regularly listen to Jess Lively‘s podcast about figuring out what your values are in each area of your life and then intentionally living them.  A month ago she interviewed Jennaea Gearhart, a member of the Life with Intention online course, about her intentions around her closet – how it wasn’t meeting her needs and what was behind that.

Jess and Jennaea go deep into the issues represented by the latter’s closet block.  While Jennaea does mention that she’s going through the Curated Closet process from Anuschka Rees‘ new book, the bulk of the interview is about life stuff – which I find fascinating.  Because your closet isn’t going to do what you need it to do or be what you want it to be if it’s really an extension of  something unresolved elsewhere in your life.

Be warned – this was an interview recorded from within a class, so it uses some jargon that requires a little digging to understand in context.  (This primer will help.)

Overall, I think it’s a fascinating discussion about how our closets can represent other struggles in our lives – and how to shift your mindset around those areas in a way that frees up your wardrobe, too.

Take a listen here (or on iTunes or another podcast service) and let me know what you think.

Happy weekend, Thrifters!

 

Sanitizing (or Not) Your Thrift Store Finds

In the “What would you like to see me cover in a post?” section of my recent reader survey, someone wrote:

“Care and cleaning right after a thrift store purchase, maybe for each category of things you’ve bought? Kind of like an FAQ of how to clean and sanitize purchases.”

Well, dear reader…confession time.  I have a very high tolerance for grossness and a very low level of anxiety about germs.  Maybe this comes from my stint as a pediatric chaplain where we were SO vigilant about germs/bacteria/shmutz at work but told to relax about it in our personal lives.  As in, don’t create any superbugs by using all the hand sanitizer where it’s not needed – i.e. most places outside a hospital.

Anyway.  I don’t wash my clothes when they come home from the thrift store.

I know, some of you are retching all over your mobile reading devices as you read this (or NOW you are because I used vomit imagery.  Sorry).  Let me tell you why I would do such a heinous thing.

  1. I am impatient.  If I find something at the thrift store I love, I often want to wear it the very next day (this is a good sign of thrift money well spent; if it sits around long enough to get through our weekly wash/dry hoopla, that means I’m not superenthusiastic about it).
  2. And I’m lazy.  Our laundry is broken.  By which I mean our dryer takes two cycles to dry anything thanks to a dryer vent that is way too many feet of vertical.  So even if I did want to wash and dry a find that same evening to wear the next day, it would have to go through two dryer cycles and there just ain’t time for that before bedtime.
  3. It’s already clean.  Well, relatively speaking.  In addition to finding items that still have the dry cleaning tags on them, you may have noticed that these days, very few thrifted clothes (at least at the big chain stores) smell funky. I don’t know if this is because the stores freshen them up or people are just conscientious enough to wash before donating, but I cannot think of a garment I’ve sorted through at the thrift store that has smelled like BO.
    Also in this category: the chemical residue left on retail clothes from the manufacturing process.  I’d take someone’s preworn and prewashed secondhand item over that nastiness every time.
  4. Germs are good for you.  Unless your immune system is compromised or you are dealing with an ebola outbreak, coming into contact with germs and bacteria is a boost for your gut biome and your ability to fight off invaders.  It’s why I let my kid play in the dirt and why I don’t wash my face after a dog kisses me; it’s also why I don’t freak out about wearing clothes straight from the thrift store.  To be honest, if there was anything super egregious on there, you’d have already been exposed to it just from handling/trying on.

I get that this will just not be an option for many of you, either for aesthetic or health reasons.  So what would I do to clean the clothes if I were a clothes-cleaning type of person?  Or what *do* I do when garments I’ve thrifted are obviously dirty?

  • I wash ’em.  On cold, with detergent, and then chuck ’em in the dryer (or hang/lay flat to dry, if directions warrant it), just like all my other clothes.  I use a 7th Generation oxygen-based bleach for tough stains (including that time I removed what I’m pretty sure were period stains from a pair of white shorts I found at the Goodwill.  When the cashier pointed the offending spots out to make sure I really wanted to buy something stained, I was all “I ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE” and scrubbed and soaked until they were good as new.  And now I have truly run off anyone even remotely squeamish about bodily fluids.)
  • I use a homemade lavender-and-vinegar spray to freshen up pit smell from my own body, but honestly it doesn’t work that well, so I’m asking for a travel steamer for Christmas (hi Mom!) to refresh clothes without having to put them through the wear and tear (or energy drain) of a full wash-and-dry. This would also work great for clothes straight from the thrift store.
  •  I’d be all over using a natural equivalent of the Lysol or dryer sheets that I’ve read some people use on the inside of their shoes – for example a light spritzing of that vinegar spray above would probably do the trick.  Or a light sprinkling of baking soda left to absorb odors, then shaken out (but not at the same time as the vinegar!).
  • You can also send things to the cleaners, but again, unless you’ve found a “green” dry cleaners, they are likely using chemicals that are worse to put next to your skin than someone else’s germs.  Many garments labeled “dry clean only” these days do just fine with a delicate wash cycle or hand wash + lay flat to dry, so you can give that a try (Google “at home dry cleaning” for tips).

For those of you who seriously can’t stand the thought of wearing something straight from the secondhand store, how do YOU clean your thrift finds?  Scroll down to comment!

 

Fall Closet Clean Out

I mentioned in a recent post that I had been making room for new thrift finds by chucking some things that weren’t getting worn.  Since we all love a good closet clean out, I figured I’d give you the run down.

First up: Coral Loft dress.  This baby got a lot of high fives on Instagram (below), but it gapped in the shoulder blade area, the fabric was stiff and draped more like an A-line than a sheath, and it cut under the armpits just a bit.  I didn’t thrill to put it on and that’s all that matters.  I’ll keep an eye out for a true sheath in a similar color since it looked so great with my blue patterned cardigan and with my fresh white denim jacket.

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

 

Next: when something is so right on paper…  My two-toned striped tee by Madewell.  This had it all: colors in my color palette, an exposed zipper on the back, my favorite sleeve length.  I thought I would wear the heck out of this, but I’ve only reached for it once (pictured below).  Why?  It was a little too casual for work and a little too fitted for the weekend.  And it was two different tones of blue in a wardrobe that already had a lot of blue in it.  I don’t need to be THAT monochrome.

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

 

Two textured tees from last year – one of which I wore a lot but which just feels too frilly for my style (blush lace overlay tee by Loft) and one which felt like something I should wear on dates, not to work (sheer polkadot sweetheart tee by H&M):

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

 

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

I was on the fence about both of these but then realized they weren’t getting worn and someone else would find JOY in them instead of me holding on to them in lukewarm fashion.  Passed ’em on to a friend (more on how to do that here.)

 

Old jeans: I wrote about this here.  I realize the below silhouette fits the on trend “boyfriend jeans” look, but although I like that look, I don’t have a particular interest in creating it on myself…maybe because I’ve spent the last several years wearing these jeans and it doesn’t feel fresh to me anymore.  I *might* keep these for things like Habitat for Humanity work days or hiking in cool weather, but I could probably just as easily go buy a “new” pair of Dickies at the Goodwill that have a higher rise and thus involve less risk of crack.

img_4246

 

Palm print maxi dress: I was ambivalent about this even the one time I wore it and have not worn it since.  If I could magically have made that sheer palm print into a top (without paying the tailor a fortune), I would’ve.  But instead I left it intact for someone to find it who will fall for it just as hard but who will actually wear it.  (And spotted it back on the rack at the Goodwill!)

IMG_4108

 

Camel blazer: as I posted here, I ditched this puppy in favor of two statement blazers (one of which is the same brand/style but a better size and more visually interesting).  Haven’t missed it yet.

img_4261

 

What have you cleaned out lately?

 

 

Survey Results + Some of Your Questions ANSWERED

This is my only post for the week, since American Thanksgiving is this Thursday and I’m taking time to enjoy family and FOOD.  Check back next week for fun posts on closet cleanouts and sanitizing (or not?) your thrift store finds.  And Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate!  

 

Thank you to everyone who took the Thriftshop Chic reader survey!  I thought I’d summarize the results so y’all know what to expect in terms of forthcoming content and adjustments around here.

There were 32 responses, which is not nearly as many readers as this blog has, so if you didn’t take the survey but want to offer a contrary (or affirming) opinion in the comments, please do so!  The more data the merrier.

Here we go!

 

60% of y’all prefer to have posts appear full length on the homepage so you can simply scroll to read the whole shebang.  The downside is that you have to click through to comment, so please continue to do so.  I love your comments!

 

Kinds of posts you like to read on Thriftshop Chic: Outfit posts, thrift finds, thrifting tips, and edited closet/capsule wardrobe all came in about equal for posts you love most. All of these are also posts you’d like to see more of.  Duly noted – expect to keep see more of these!  Styling posts, Friday ReBlogs, and ethics are pretty close ties for second in favorite kinds of posts.  Expect to keep seeing these kinds of posts.  I’ll still throw in occasional travel wardrobe, DIY, and  beauty/personal care posts, but the focus will be on the above.

 

Turns out half of you are happy with Thriftshop Chic the way it is.  Cool!  Glad to hear it.  For the other half of you, I could improve your Thriftshop Chic experience with:

  • more photos: in the last few weeks I’ve worked to include more photos, and if I can figure out a selfie photo set up you’ll see even more.
  • more embedded content (instead of linking to other posts): I can imagine it’s annoying to have to click over to some other page to see what I’m talking about.  I’ll keep linking to an entire post when I’m referencing the written content/the concept featured in the linked post.  But if I’m just referencing an image (“Hey, remember that skirt I found last year?”), I’ll embed the image into the post you’re already reading.
  • posting more often: I’m so glad you’d like more content!  I try hard to keep a T/Th/F posting schedule because I know I can handle it.  I do love an occasional outfit post thrown in for fun on Mondays, so I’ll also do those as my schedule permits.

 

Posts you’d like to see me write – please add more in the comments or “second” if you’d like me to tackle one of the below:

  • Practical considerations when making an outfit (too hot, too cold, it’s raining, I have to dig in the dirt): I plan to tackle this via more “how I styled it” posts where I walk you through why I chose different elements of my outfit.  But I have to say, our weather here in the ATL is pretty mild compared to some of you.  So if you want to write a guest post about dressing for months of rain or snow or heat, or “I have to help my relative move and then go on a date night,” or what have you, hit me up!
  • Thrifting for kids – I wrote about creating a capsule wardrobe for my toddler here, and will soon do another round of stuff I’ve recently thrifted for my toddler.
  • Thrifting with plus-sized friends/”more fatty fat fashion” – check out my Instagram for plus-sized thrift finds for the latter.  For the former, if our schedules will ever line up, I’ve got feelers out to some friends who are all over it. I’ll also plan to do a post specifically on thrifting for bigger bods. LET’S DO THIS!
  • Why can’t I ever find pants OR long sleeves that are actually long enough?  Search for the Talls and Longs, my friend!  They do exist in Thrift Land – and if you do a little internet research on which brands regularly make these (I think Banana Republic does for example), you’ll be ahead of the game.  Or you can just wear your sleeves short and call it “bracelet length” or your pants short and call it “on trend ankle pants.”  I’m kind of kidding, but kind of not.
  • Sanitizing/cleaning your thrift store purchases – look for my approach to cleaning thrift store finds next week.
  • Capsule, casual wardrobe ideas for older ladies/senior thrift style/”older women” – Since I am in my early 30s, I am not an expert on style for older women – but I do know thrifting, and I think a lot of what I see in thrift stores translates well to a variety of ages.  So I’ll tackle this topic as a conversation that I hope you all will chime in on.  I’ll also point you to some resources written by women who can claim the expert label.  Should be fun!  Look for this in the next two months.  In the meantime check out the age-related section of this post.
  • Linings, fabric blends, artificial fabrics – I’ll do some research and noodle around on this one – look for a  post in the next month or so.
  • Which areas of your wardrobe are easiest and hardest to supply exclusively from the thrift store?  Great question!  Pants, tops, jackets, dresses are easiest.  Shoes are hardest – I have a narrow foot and need arch support (this is why you’ll see me wearing retail shoes in some of my Instagram posts). Unless a secondhand store has a “new” section with overstock from a retail store, I don’t bother with socks or underwear since they’re either not sold or in cruddy condition; same with bras.  I want to look into ethically made socks and may do so with underwear as well once my current stock runs low.  Any suggestions?
  • My evolving style as a preacher AND fashion lover.  Ooooh, interesting!  Per the asker’s full question, we’ll tackle how to dress for your vocation, modesty, and personal freedom through clothing.  Look for this one between now and the end of January.

 

Thank y’all SO much for helping me learn more about my readership and sending in so many great post ideas.  Again, please chime in below with your own 2 (or 20) cents about any of the above.

 

Friday ReBlog: the Launch of ReStitch

gw_restitch_logotag_rgb-web

Cathy from ReStitch reached out to me to tell me about the launch of this new website and to give you all a chance to get in on the good stuff first!

I know many of you don’t have access to great thrifting and/or as much time as you’d like to go to a physical store and try things on.  ReStitch helps you solve that problem with online thrifting.  The brainchild of Goodwill of North Central Wisconsin, ReStitch is essentially an online thrift store that gives more people access to some of the great stuff coming through Goodwill NCW’s doors.

Per Cathy: “The purpose of reStitch is to help deal-lovers and thrifters look great and do good.  Every reStitch item has been donated, making it possible to put 100 percent of profits directly back into the community in the form of employment training, job placement services, financial education, youth mentoring programs and more!”

(We’ve discussed previously whether marking up thrift finds for online resale is good or bad – most of you I’ve heard from think it’s fine, and how much moreso if the proceeds benefit the good causes championed by the non-profit receiving the original donation!)

ReStitch will likely launch in early December, just in time for holiday shopping.  If you go to their website and sign up (righthand sidebar), you’ll get access to their goods before the general public does.  You can learn more about them from their intro blog post & by perusing the rest of their site.

Thanks, ReStitch, for the great opportunity!

 

This post was not sponsored or compensated.  Just spreading the thrift love!

Some Illustrated Styling Tips

Thinking about how I put together an outfit got me ruminating on how I add that final touch to a sartorial ensemble to make it stand out or really pull it all together.  Here’s an illustrated list of a few tricks I use to garnish the drink, as it were.  Comment to add yours!

 

Use jewelry to pick up a color or metal elsewhere in the outfit

Cuff pants for a different/more versatile length, or to give it a casual touch:

wp_20161020_12_23_28_pro wp_20161020_14_04_27_pro

Roll or cuff sleeves to adjust for warmth/show off a bracelet

Roll blazer cuffs once or twice to show off contrasting liner or bracelet.  You can also scrunch ’em up to similar effect

Leave hair down to use it as a contrast color to your outfit (I often wear my hair down with grey for that reason – the yellow tones help warm up the grey):
v__e1da
Put hair up to highlight a neckline or earrings (or to keep it out of your way):

Part hair in a new place to freshen up a tried-and-true outfit

Untuck the back of your shirt for a casual, cool vibe

Belt your natural waist to bring some interest to a solid color dress or tunic top:
IMG_3729

Scrunch socks to add some volume/texture in the gap between pants hem and ankle boot

Extend cuffs past your topper and roll ’em back once to create drama and contrast between your shirt and your cardigan/blazer

Try out different scarf ties to get shawl/poncho/necklace/collar effects.

 

FYI, Caroline at UnFancy is great at demonstrating simple styling tricks like this.  Nicole of The Spirited Thrifter can teach you how to throw an arm party (she’s also great at layering necklaces which I rarely do), and Dina of Dinatokio models some excellent ringage (as well as chokers).  Susan of Une Femme d’Un Certain Age also does both necklaces and bracelets well. Janice of The Vivienne Files will help you think through coordinating jewelry without making it too matchy. Also visit Susan and Janice for scarf tips, or check out this old favorite video of 25 ways to wear a scarf featuring mindboggling visual logistics.  If you wear a headscarf or a hair wrap, get thee over to Dinatokio NOW.  I have never seen anyone style a hijab so creative-mazingly. She wears hers rather less conservatively than many people, which means a lot of her styles also work for hair/head wraps.

 

What are your favorite styling tips?  Anything new here you’d like to try?  Scroll down to comment!

 

Thrifting for Blue Jeans – a Thrift Upgrade

When was the last time you called your denim “blue jeans”?  

I mentioned here that after many faithful years my Forever 21 jeans were wearing out and I was looking for a thrift upgrade.  The other week I had a chance to thrift; after a quick browse-through for other items on my thrift list came up empty, I decided I had time to devote to an initial round of denim hunting.

The search for jeans can be overwhelming even when you’re shopping retail.  My approach to searching racks and racks of secondhand choices while maintaining my sanity involves keeping in mind two things:

  1. It will likely take multiple visits to find a winner.
  2. Priorities – what features (fit, wash, cut, fabric, brand, etc.) are most important to me?

In this particular search, my priorities were the feel and the wash – I wanted something supple and thick in a darker, richer blue than my current pair.  Color is a quick visual differentiator, so I looked first for the right hue.  Next, with a brief touch I could tell whether a pair I’d spotted in the right color met my “feel” requirement. Only then did I check to see if the size/cut was right.  If you care about pockets, this is also a good time to check whether the pockets are heinous.  (One disadvantage to this method was that I sometimes got excited about a pair only to find it was capri.)

Next: given that sizes vary between brands – and within brands between seasons! – I pulled anything that was my size or one size bigger/smaller.  (It helps here to know what your waist size in inches – e.g. 29/30/31 instead of 8/10/12 – since many brands now size this way.)  I was also flexible about cut, given that I’ve had success getting a wider leg tailored to a slimmer cut.  (If you don’t want to pay for tailoring and have access to a sewing machine, Thriftanista in the City has good tutorials on DIYing a hem or a altering a pant leg at home.)

Here’s what I took to the dressing room:

Pair #1 by Not Your Daughter’s Jeans: too short for pants that are supposed to get me through cold weather. Also I was least impressed with this fabric – fell short of my expectations for NYDJ given rave reviews I had read on retail style blogs.

wp_20161028_17_33_28_pro

Pair #2 by J. Brand: too skinny to even get all the way up mah legs.  I so detest pants you have to literally peel off.  (I have seen this pricey and popular brand several times at the thrift store but have yet to find success with them.)
wp_20161028_17_34_17_pro

Pair #3 by Banana Republic: great cut but didn’t button.  Wanh wannnnh.

wp_20161028_17_36_34_pro

Pair #4 by Banana Republic: same brand AND SIZE as the previous number, and yet they fit perfectly in the waist.  As you can see, the pant leg is just a little more flare than your average bootcut; not my preferred cut.  But it checks off my priorities: the feel is luscious and the color is a gorgeous deep blue with stitching in a great contrasting rust color.  Bonus: the length is already just right, as evidenced by the break.

wp_20161028_17_35_28_pro wp_20161028_17_35_42_pro  wp_20161028_17_37_51_pro
Attitude.

Per rule #1 above, I fully expected to leave the thrift store with nothing other than more information about what I would look for next time.  But given my priorities, these last ones were winners.  I haven’t decided yet if I’ll get them tailored; unexpectedly, the wider leg feels like a fresh option to call on amidst a wardrobe of slim fit pants.

Here’s how they look next to my old F21 pair:

wp_20161028_17_38_18_pro

And next to my newly thrifted Pumas LINK – great match in color:

wp_20161028_17_39_06_pro

What do y’all think of the pair I picked?   What do you prioritize when shopping for jeans (thrifted or otherwise)?  Any tips for thrifting for denim?  And most importantly, SHOULD I TAILOR THEM TO A SLIMMER CUT??    Scroll down to comment!