Friday ReBlog: No Sew DIY Ugly Christmas Sweater Arm Warmers

Yes this is a day early.  If you get inspired by these awesome arm warmers, I want you to be able to go get supplies TODAY and make them TOMORROW in time for any last-minute Christmas shenanigans.  Or, you know, they’d make a nice DIY Saturday AM to cozy up your arms for Christmas Eve.  Your call.

My friend Tracy is an avid thrifter (surprised?) but also much more of a DIY badass than I am.  We went to a holiday party at the house of a mutual friend last weekend and instead of merely thrifting an ugly Christmas sweater to wear (or completely missing that part of the invitation and showing up in regular clothes…whoops, that was me), she thrifted two ugly Christmas sweaters and MADE ARM WARMERS OUT OF THEM.  WITH SAFETY PINS.

It’s like an ugly Christmas sweater had little arm-warming babies with a punk rocker.  Check this out:  v__d4d6

She basically measured the width of her forearm, doubled it, and cut a piece that size from the parts of each sweater she liked.  Then she cut thumb holes (the best) and instead of sewing, she thought “Why not use this pile of safety pins I have lying around?”  Why not, indeed.

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If you were looking to make them last awhile, you could sew instead of pinning and reinforce the thumb holes with hand stitching.  BAM.

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If you and yours are looking for an easy, thriftable, warm, no-sew, and (most importantly) rad Christmas project, get amongst it.  Thanks, Tracy, for sharing!

What are your favorite holiday-related things to thrift?  Scroll down to comment!

 

Friday ReBlog: Two Stylish Kays

So, sadly, Keren Charles of Two Stylish Kays isn’t currently posting on her blog.  BUT!  – before you walk away from this post because what is a ReBlog without an actual blog? – the archives are fab, she’s active on Instagram (@twostylishkays), and she created a free thrifting app that helps you locate secondhand shopping opportunities in Atlanta and across the country:


Someone please download it and tell me how they like it, because I have a Windows phone and it’s (understandably) only available for Android and Apple.

From the Two Stylish Kays archives: for those of you who’ve mentioned you’re not familiar with thrifting tours, read this post she wrote about her tours.  Those consignment store pics make my statement-blazer-loving heart go pit-a-pat!  Here’s a look at the Diane Von Furstenburg dress that the Duchess of Cambridge has worn and that Keren scored for $7. And a bonus tip: according to Keren, January is the best month to thrift because of all the closet cleanouts and store closeouts from the end of December.

 

Happy weekend, Thrifters!

 

Friday ReBlog: When Style Is an Emerald Faux Fur Stole

Last Friday it was a RePodcast, this Friday it’s a ReVideo – what is the world coming to??

Anna of The Anna Edit recently posted a video of winter additions to her capsule(ish) wardrobe.  They’re all retail (shock!) but the reason I wanted to talk about it here is because of how well one of her picks illustrates personal style.  At just about 4:00, Anna explains how she has a “thing for emerald green faux fur” and that she’ll search clothing websites just to see if they have anything featuring it.

(If you don’t want to watch the vid, just go to this post to see the faux fur at the top and in the last pic before the embedded video – but really the best look at it is in the video itself.)

You can argue that emerald(ish) green is a current thing.  And that faux fur is a current thing.  But the two combined are not exactly popping up in every fast fashion store you can think of.  No, this love of emerald faux fur is an Anna thing.  Just something she personally happens to love. You can tell by the way she talks about it: this stole “makes me feel like Queen or something.” (I will leave it up to your discretion whether she means ERII or Freddie Mercury & co.  Personally I think it’s a combination of the two, because wouldn’t that be how you would get a fur stole (ERII) that’s emerald green (Freddie)?)

I think her words signify that this garment has hit her personal style sweet spot.  Which makes me wonder – what are those pieces you just love, not necessarily for a logical or articulate reason – pieces that no one else will be chasing, because they’re based not on trends but on your personal gut feeling?

Off the top of my head, mine are:

Frida Kahlo socks
Plaid statement blazer
Cartonnier blazer
White/gold v-neck sweater
Gold lame short sleeve top
Graphic cardigan
Snakeskin ankle boots
Blue snakeskin blouse
Velvet rose top
Floral sneaks

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These pieces give my outfits a little funk, adding some pep to my step and ensuring that even when I’m wearing something rather “classic,” I don’t just blend into the wallpaper.  I’d love to know what yours are – scroll down to share!

 

PS I guess with all those metallics I really should have bought these:

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

Ah well.

 

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!

 

Friday ReBlog: the Launch of ReStitch

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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!

Friday ReBlog: When You’re Uncertain How to Style Something Outside Your Comfort Zone

Hey, it’s Veterans Day (aka Armistice Day)!  If you’d like to honor a veteran in your life, consider donating to Justice for Vets to support life-saving and life-changing veterans treatment courts. 

This week’s Friday ReBlog is really just an excuse to talk about an outfit I wore this week.  But it’s my blog so I’ll just go ahead and claim it.

Caroline at Un-Fancy wrote recently about how to style something new to you that’s a little bit outside your style comfort zone.  Essentially, she said: pair it with other slam-dunks in your closet to help the new piece feel less out there and to help you feel more confident.

In somewhat related news, I stared at one of my favorite cardigans this week as it hung, lonely and unworn for much of the last year, in my closet.  Inspired by The Spirited Thrifter’s minimalist closet game, I was weeding out my closet and it was hard to justify keeping something the colors and pattern of which I love but which never gets worn.  (Traditional cardis are hard for me to style without looking like a twinset – which is just not me.)

Then I looked up to where I keep my blazers – a space increasingly filled with statement pieces – and realized I could style my patterned cardigan like a statement blazer to make it fresh.  So I paired it with a pattern like I had done with my plaid blazer earlier in the week and the print-mixing instantly took it from staid (and a little twee?) to visually engaging:

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

 

So that’s my semi-related revelation for how to mix something that doesn’t really seem to be your style anymore back into your wardrobe.  What’s something y’all have been keeping in your closet that doesn’t really fit your current look but that could be restyled to play along?

 

PS My newest accessory:

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Explanation here.

 

Have a great weekend, Thrifters!

 

Friday ReBlog: A Month’s Worth of Style Challenges

That title is slightly misleading because this post really includes TWO months’ worth of style challenges.  Or one month’s worth of two challenges per day… either way you look at it, there are LOTS of challenges.

First up, Anuschka at Into Mind has a 30 Day Closet Confidence Challenge meant to help you develop your personal style and love your wardrobe (and yourself!) more.  There’s a different prompt/task for each day of the month; if you’re Type A you can hurry up and do the first 4 today and then follow the rest of the prompts one per day for the rest of November. (Or you could start today with #4 and do #1-3 the first 3 days of December.  Or do them all out of order!! Crazy.)

Some of the ones I find personally most helpful for building my style are: wear an outfit 10% outside your comfort zone; write a list of everything that is NOT your style; analyze what exactly you like about your five most-worn items (or in my case a silhouette from another season).  Which sound appealing to you?

 

If you prefer a little surprise challenge every day, Nicole over at The Spirited Thrifter has adapted a local friend’s minimalism challenge into the Closet Minimalism Game. You need to check her posts on Instagram (no account necessary) to get the prompts, but it’s worth it: her writing is funny and the photos of how she fulfilled each prompt are great inspiration.  Plus, if you need some positive peer pressure, you’ll enjoy knowing there’s a whole community out there, complete with hashtag, playing along.

 

Happy weekend, Thrifters!

 

PS This weekend is your LAST CHANCE to take the ThriftShop Chic Reader Survey and help improve your blog experience!  Under 10 questions in less than 2 minutes.  Many thanks to those who have already taken the survey – y’all have some great post ideas I can’t wait to tackle!

 

Friday ReBlog: Thrifting with a Tape Measure

Sheila over at Ephemera had a great tip embedded in a funky outfit post (which in and of itself will be good inspiration for anyone wanting to rock bright colors and skirts but stay warm).  She scored the featured skirt without trying it on but it fit like a glove.  Her secret?  Shopping with a tape measure!

Knowing your clothing measurements in inches/cm allows you to figure out if a piece you can’t (or don’t have time to) try on will match your body.  Vanity sizing combined with the vast range of brands/eras represented at the thrift store also makes this a very handy tool when those pants look suspiciously like a great fit even though they’re not labeled as your size…

I inherited a bright blue portable tape measure from my mom that I often tuck in my bag when I’m thrifting photo frames or furniture, but it hadn’t occurred to me to use a tape measure for clothing (duh).  This obviously requires a little bit of homework – namely measuring yourself at home and writing down (or memorizing) your measurements.  I suppose if you don’t mind marking it up, you could even record your measurements on said tape measure case with a fine tip permanent marker for quick reference.  Waist or bust size may need re-inscribing as size fluctuates, but inseam isn’t likely to budge much.

 

What are your favorite tools for thrifting?  Happy weekend, Thrifters!

 

Friday ReBlog: Thrifted Jeans with Thriftanista in the City

I’ve had the same thrifted jeans for years. They’re Forever 21 and I am pleasantly surprised they’ve lasted this long. While they’re still serviceable, they’re starting to stretch out of shape in the knees soon after washing, and the fabric is feeling less supple. All to say, I have it in mind to thrift some new jeans this winter, ones that hold their silhouette and feel really luscious.

So it was good to be reminded by Troy’s post at Thriftanista in the City of the virtues of shopping for jeans at the thrift store. She has some good tips, too, including a willingness to try a new silhouette, that I’ll be keeping in mind when I start hunting for some new (to me) denim.

Happy weekend, Thrifters!

Friday ReBlog: Go Fug Yourself

Go Fug Yourself has nothing to do with thrifting.  It’s a celebrity style blog, which even as I am typing these words reads like the exact opposite of secondhand real-life dressing which is what THIS blog is about.

But it’s actually been really useful in thinking and writing about style.  And it’s damn funny – if you need a laugh, just read the incredibly imaginative/insightful/witty commentary.

Also, the comments section is full of opinions yet generally free from nastiness.  It’s like a strange little oasis of goodwill in the ocean of spew that is the comments section of the internet.  The celebs featured are of a variety of races and ethnicities.  Authors Heather and Jessica (both white women) do a decent job of calling out racism/sexism/other isms in their coverage.

What I find helpful, style-wise, about the posts Heather and Jessica write is that they describe in detail both the clothes themselves and what works/doesn’t about them.  I learn a lot of real sartorial terms – e.g. “illusion netting” – and Fug terms that help describe the feel of a look – e.g. “scrolldown fug” or “NAB” (glossary here).  Reading the comments further exercises my style muscles since Fug Nationals explain their range of reactions well.  You get to go “oh, yeah, THAT’S why I loved/hated this” – all that refinement of personal preference re: clothes can’t help but transfer itself to your real-life wardrobe, even if you’ve never had to dress for a movie premiere in your life.

If you could care less about celebrities or the fancy clothes they wear, I would still direct you to the Fugs and Pieces feature, which is a weekly link roundup of think pieces, interesting features, fascinating trivia and pop culture stuff.  If you want to know what it takes to make a great Fashion Week photo, bask in Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s advice for living, read up on Pakistan’s baseball team or an emerging Cameroonian designer, or simply revel in the knowledge that there are now Golden Girls action figures in existence, Fugs and Pieces delivers.

 

That’s a wrap, Thrifters!  Have a great weekend.