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!
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!
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.
Caroline over at Un-Fancy recently completed a 10×10 outfit challenge: 10 outfits in 10 days using 10 pieces of clothing (including shoes, not including other accessories). Her inspiration for the project? She wanted to resist the urge to buy a bunch of new stuff for fall and instead challenge herself to discover new ways of making outfits with pieces she already had.
My favorite thing about the series? (Well two favorites). She gave her outfits grades based on how functional/comfortable they were but also how “Caroline” they were – how close they each came to her own personal style sweet spot. And she wasn’t afraid to give an outfit a failing grade! Most style bloggers you read (myself included) are tempted to post only the “successful” outfits and to skip spilling the beans that a chic- or hip-looking outfit was really uncomfortable or not necessarily “us.”
I also liked that remixing 10 pieces forced her to get creative and pair things in ways she doesn’t normally wear them – and thus she discovered a new-to-her silhouette that is her “fashion future” – the direction she wants to head stylistically. Have you ever had an accidental “aha” moment like that?
Caroline also invited readers to share their own outfit remixes, and thus I happened upon Cleshawn of Home to Hem’s great video lookbook of her 10×10 challenge. My favorite thing about her video? You get to see her styling the outfits in real time – realizing a bandana tied like a choker at the neck would take a simple outfit up a notch, or that a shirt needs to be tucked or rolled just so. For folks who want a boost in the “how do I style this?” department, you should definitely give it a watch!
Both Caroline & Cleshawn have very laidback, work-at-home creative-type vibes. I totally think this concept is applicable for a more formal office environment, though – anyone up for trying it together?
Have a great weekend, Thrifters!
In school I was good at math but never really loved it. I’m more drawn to images and words (hence…a blog) than to numbers. But luckily for those of you who’d rather deal in statistics and spreadsheets to assess your wardrobe (or those of you who really love to plan!), we have Adina over at Blue Collar Red Lipstick.
I’ve featured her in a previous Friday ReBlog but wanted to bring to y’all’s attention a couple of posts she’s written since then that can help you analyze your outfits in a myriad of interesting and informative ways.
First up, this post dives into what makes a piece of clothing a good buy from a $$ perspective. She covers things like cost per wear, MSRP (MRRP to Canadians) aka retail price, and your own personal price set point – what you are willing to pay for a particular item of clothing based on its worth to you. This is a great overview of helpful concepts, particularly if you are new to thrifting and it seems like EVERYTHING IS A DEAL or if you’ve committed to an edited wardrobe and need some economically sound, strategical reinforcement regarding what comes home with you vs. what stays on the rack.
The following week she wrote this post on how she plans her work wardrobe out a month in advance using a spreadsheet-style concept. She has a formula for how to fill in the workdays of the week and tracks what she wears in a way that eliminates almost all the guesswork. The comments are also a great place to learn about other people’s systems for outfit planning (including mine; spoiler, it’s “what do I feel like wearing today?”) and some good apps/tools that can do the work for you.
So tell me, Thrifters – which are you? More plan-it-out or spur-of-the-moment? More analyze-the-value or follow-your-gut? More track-and-evaluate how pieces perform or guesstimate-at-end-of-season? Scroll down to comment!
Last week I stumbled upon two different posts about adding some fall to your wardrobe when you live somewhere that’s still way too hot for pumpkin spice lattes and Halloween candy. (Put that stuff back in storage, grocery store!! It’s not even officially fall yet!) Continue reading “Friday ReBlog: Dressing for Fall in a Hot Climate”
Today is a grab bag of personal style advice, thrifting passion, capsule wardrobe strategy, and a simple but stunning dress makeover. Enjoy! Continue reading “Friday ReBlog: Upping Your Style Game and Why I’ll Never Stop Thrifting”
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)
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!
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.