Thrift Finds: February 2018

As I continue in my Light Summer wardrobe overhaul, February has been a month of delicious thrift finds!

I stumbled upon an incredible wonderland in Waltham called Global Thrift with a huge selection, decent prices, and a friendly, fun-to-be-around staff. (Seriously, if you get into a discussion with the cashier about how your cousins dolled you up and made you lip sync to Linda Ronstadt songs when you were little, it’s a good day.)

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have caught my IG story showcasing the racks and racks of clothes, which are color-sorted, neat, and uncrammed (I’m looking at you, local Goodwills). They have several well-lit dressing rooms that don’t need to be unlocked because they’re right by the cashiers (looking at you again, GW). Between a visit on Monday and a visit on Friday (can you tell I love this place?) there was new stuff on the racks.

They are a for-profit, locally owned business; they support a foundation working to end homelessness and they give vouchers to folks at a local shelter in need clothes. My kind of people.

Let’s start with the misses, just for fun.

I’m on the hunt for light-colored blazers; this cool Zara number with no collar looks great buttoned:


But I like my blazers to look good unbuttoned, too, and alas, it bells out in a way I do not care for:


The baggy sleeves and special item $15 price weren’t doing it for me either. I had faith I’d find something better.

This green blazer was a perfect match for Light Summer’s palette but was made out of cheap, stiff, shiny stuff – nope:


Too bad, as it fit decently.


Next up, some blouses – looking ahead to spring!

The color is just a bit too muted on this salmon number, plus it was baggy and mediocre quality fabric


Which is too bad, because look at the cool button details on the back:


I’m not a huge fan of color blocking, and the fabric was cheap; but the green on this blouse was a perfect Light Summer color:


Too tight in the chest!


Lovely blues, great cut, but that slick/stiff feel of cheap…poly? in this Liz Claiborne shirt – I’m used to better from her. Plus it was a little


Can you tell by my smile that I love the print on this Van Heusen tee? It’s a perfect Light Summer hue, its Provençal-style fabric reminds me of happy days in the south of France, and I dig the split hem and navy blue back (hard to see, sorry!). It is about two sizes too large, though, as evidenced by its hospital gown chic:


I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled on online secondhand sites for it in a smaller size.

This tee had a great mix of Light Summer white and pink with some darker Winter pinks in there – but too big:


Baggy, saggy fabric made this Banana Republic top in a great purpley taupe a NO:


A dress with awesome pleats & salmon color, a not-awesome stain, and a size (or three) too big:


The awesome Light Summer green of this Gap vest – which, sadly, was too big – is just making me beam:


Plus how adorable is that faux fur hood? I’ll be looking for you on the internet in a better size, green vest:


Corduroys by D. Jeans in a great soft grey that fit fine in the legs but were a little too loose in the waist:


I’ve learned that that give, while it feels minor in the fitting room, equals constant hitching up in real life, and I want to spare my congregation & my colleagues from clergy crack. You’re welcome.

Still on the misses, here’s a sweater by Pink Rose that was both too warm in color and too see-through – I want to be able to wear my sweaters without a layer underneath:



And now, on to the hits!

First up, some amazing drawstring pants by Zara Men. I’ve thrifted a pair of Zara Men pants before and loved the slim but slightly slouchy fit and the huge POCKETS that men’s pants have. (There’s a whole rant in there about why women’s pockets are so tiny – sexism + keeping the handbag industry profitable being the short version. I’ll spare you.)

Anyway, look at this linen chambray! I die:


Here’s a better pic, just so you can glory in them with me:


Come warm weather, I’m getting my steamer out and these babies are getting WORN.

I surprised myself by liking this Old Navy dress with a pleated skirt. The pattern was simple and fun, the blue can pass for Light Summer; but mostly the fabric felt uber-soft and lovely against my skin. It’s a tad bit big in the bust, but I have plans for that:


Another linen summery item, this time a charcoal-and-white striped Girl Krazy blouse with roll-tab sleeves (my favorite). I can’t wait to wear it with trousers and a blazer for a menswear/gentlewoman chic feel. Bonus: it’s new with tags:


And a smooth-as-silk poly tunic with brass studs and ace tailoring by Pomelo – SO excited to wear this one:


A couple of Light Summer sweaters to improve my winter sweater palette – Gap Designed & Crafted followed by Loft:


I love the texture of both of these:


The side seam with overlapping hem is a great detail:


And let’s finish this where we started, with a couple of Light Summer blazers – yes!

First up, a slightly iridescent grey number by Oasis with a dramatic, long ‘n’ lean lapel and a couple of tucks in each shoulder for an understated pouf:


Look at that trim line! So refreshing when the vent on blazers so often sticks out funny in the back:


Another long and lean lapel with some funky notches happening in this Kenar light oatmeal blazer – yes please on that smooth silhouette!

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Again with the good fit on the vent:


Let’s see those two in better lighting:

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Yes. Please.

Thanks thrifting gods – I’ll see you next month. Mwah!

November, December & January Thrift Finds

The end of the year was busy enough at work that I didn’t showcase my thrift finds from December…or November! So I’m covering them here along with January. This will probably feel like overload but most of it was actually thrifted in January – that’s what happens when you switch color palettes! Rest assured, I’ve given away as much as I’ve thrifted, with more donations sure to come.

Let’s bring some order to this giant mountain of finds.

First up, online thrift scores, covered in more detail here:

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Abercrombie & Fitch waterfall cardigan; Lands’ End plaid flannel; Rock & Republic skinny jeans


Next, my first attempts at thrifting within my Light Summer color palette (read more here and here):

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Chaps; J. Crew

Ironically, I think both of these are a little too bright for Light Summer. I don’t looooove either of them (fit on the pink one is a bit loose at the waist, while the blue one is a bit too boxy and, well, cable knit) but I’d keep the pink one if the color were a better fit. I’m tempted to bleach it to see if I can get the color to fade a smidge; anyone tried this at home and care to share your tips?

My next round of Light Summer thrifting yielded better color matches (although those yellow pants may need a bit of fading, too – and I’m still not sure how to style the purple ones), but I went all Baskin Robbins on it and ended up with a bunch of colors that are overwhelming to wear together:

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Calvin Klein; Banana Republic; Forever 21; no label; Banana Republic

And a few dresses I’m really excited about that won’t make their debut until spring/summer:

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Gap, S. Wear

Plus some Red Sox, because that will always be my color palette:

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Luckily for me, reader Kim made a great comment right as I was resurfacing from this rainbow deep dive suggesting I focus on neutrals with some pops of color. So my next thrift run yielded this:

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Gap; INC; Loft; Ralph Lauren; F by Façonnable; Elie Tahari; Bandolino; J. Crew


And finally, a touch more color, because I can’t help myself:

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CALS; Forever 21; H&M; Zara; J. Crew

Pretty sure the light teal button down is a touch too bright, but it fits like a dream; and pretty sure the tie-front Zara blouse isn’t a perfect white for me. As I’m learning, though, you can fudge a bit on some aspects of your palette if the rest of your outfit is spot on. We’ll see how these work; the tie-front blouse is probably the first of many since I am very much feeling the tie/bow front blouse again after a few years of hiatus.

How cute is that cactus shirt?! And we know I love a popover blouse. Here’s a closeup of the print:



Here’s what a couple of successfully Light Summer outfits have looked like lately, thanks to these finds:


Colors lighter in real life on this one:
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Looking at these reminds me I forgot the SHOES I scored online this month – both Trotters, my go-to brand for granny chic shoes that run narrow enough to fit my skinny feet, and both a champagne-y gold in line with the brushed metallics that complement Light Summer coloring:


Love the low-ish heels and the woven texture (very similar to these).

And here it is again in oxfords (!!):


This is definitely in the gentlewoman-chic category. They’re a bit tight with socks on so they’ll probably stay indoors until spring; we’ll see if I live up to them or not!


And now, the misses!

Too orange:


Great color (despite bad lighting that makes it look super saturated) – but lumpy right around the waist:


Too small- yeep!


Too big:


Also too big – and a bit too fussy:IMG_20180118_150858959

Great colors, wrong sizes:

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Boden; Forever 21; Lands’ End; J. Crew

These Vince pants fit ah-MA-zingly but the weird painted stripe on the side made them look like badly done DIY. I think they were going for a tuxedo pant effect, which I totally would have gone for if it had been fabric:



That’s all for now – I found some good stuff today, though, so check back next month for more thrift finds!

Recent Online Thrift Scores + Online Thrifting Tips

Remember how I swore online thrifting was not for me, but in the same post admitted I had just ordered a pair of pants off of Poshmark? Well, they arrived, along with two other online finds – and unlike the first two times I tried online thrifting (here and here), these fit perfectly and I’m happy with my purchases.

What changed?

I got smarter. Here are my three finds along with some tips for acing online thrifting.

1. Real life references. You’re much closer to guaranteed success if you’re looking for a version of something you’ve already tried on, whether it’s something you spotted at the thrift store or something in your own closet that you’re looking to replace or get in another color.

Last time I went to Sister Thrift, I happened to try on a pair of cream-colored Rock and Republic jeans and fell in love. They were soft like butter on my skin, just the right off-white color for fall and winter, and had enough heft to keep my legs warm in the cold, cold weather. And they were a great skinny fit that would offer another option to my roomier cream corduroys.

The only problem? They were too tight. I could button them just fine, but they squeezed in all the wrong places – I’m not a fan of spray-on legs or pulling in the crotch:

A near miss. (Or a near hit, as Victor Borge would say.)

See that teeny, tiny bit of distressing on the pocket? That was another reason I liked these pants – the distress gave them some textural interest and made me feel like a micro-badass. (“Micro” is how you describe distressing so innocuous that no one at work will notice.)

Since I knew what size was just a smidge too small, and since they fit great length- and waist-wise, I went a-hunting online for the next size up. I figured that the stretch in the fabric would make up for any extra room in the waist. Lo and behold,on my first visit to Poshmark I found a pair in my desired size, and after sitting on it for several days (I was a bit gunshy after my previous failures), I bought ’em:

Hello, lovelies.

One thing I like about Poshmark is the option to make an offer. If something has been up for more than a few days, chances are the seller will be open to negotiating on price a bit. In response to your offer, they can either counteroffer or ignore it; if ignored, the offer expires in 24 hours so you’re not on the hook 6 weeks later for something you no longer want. Thanks to my painfully polite Midwestern upbringing, I’m not much of a bargainer, but the face-saving outs built into this system let you avoid all the awkwardness of telling somebody you’ll pay them less than they’re asking. And if they want to be firm on price, they just won’t offer the “make me an offer” option.

Amateur tip: Make an offer that’s the asking price minus shipping. If the seller accepts, you essentially get free shipping while not gouging their profit too much. After all, this person is making available to you something you either haven’t been able to find in your local thrift store or don’t want to take the time to look for. Throw them a bone.

That being said, online prices mean you’re paying 5 times or more what you’d pay in a thrift store, and there are no returns, so…


2. Only buy what you know you’ll wear, both in terms of fit and style. This means I stay away from certain categories of clothing unless I’ve tried on the exact same item IRL but need a different color or better condition. (Blazers, I’m looking at you – I’ve almost pulled the trigger on a couple of beauties but it’s just too hard to know how a new-to-me blazer will fit in the chest, shoulders, etc.)  I’d also skip pants unless (like above) it’s a brand and fit I know works for me. Just too much room for error in waist size and rise.

Something more forgiving, though, like an open cardigan, is a far less risky proposition. I learned a season or two ago that I am not a cardigan lightweight; no matter how fetching the pattern, I can’t stand layers getting scrunched up under thin, tight-sleeved cardis, plus I can never find a way to button them (or not?) that doesn’t look twee. So I opted for a giant abominable snowman of an oversized cardigan – the kind that fits well in the shoulders but goes down to the hips and is substantial enough to really keep you toasty – and have never looked back. Happily, their roominess also means you can fudge a little when guesstimating re: the fit of an online find.

I currently have one such cardigan in my closet…

Such great colors.

…but went looking for a second, both for variety and for wash days. Because sometimes it’s so dang cold that you are wearing a ginormous cardigan even while you sleep (hello New Hampshire nights).

I knew I wanted one with some good drapery (ha) to keep the silhouette interesting, and maybe some leather trim detail, for color contrast and, again, visual interest. I spent more time scrolling through Poshmark than I would like to admit, and came up with a lusciously thick, taupey-grey knit with caramel leather trim by Abercrombie & Fitch:


The colors are similar to the ones in my other cardigan, which meant it would go with everything that played well with my existing cardigan; and the waterfall instead of shawl collar plus the solid-color-with-trim  instead of a knit pattern would keep it from looking too samey.

And we know how I feel about zipper details:

Who knew you could be so chic, so subtle, so high quality, A&F? You appear to no longer be the debaucherous, obnoxiously overbranded retailer of the malls of my youth.

This cardigan was available in multiple sizes from different sellers, so I got on A&F’s website to check their sizing. I also read every description sellers had posted, and several remarked on how thick and luxurious the knit felt. That’s what I wanted – not some flimsy coverup, but a workhorse that would keep me WARM. My research made me pretty sure I’d love it, and I do.

Amateur tip: for the love of all that is holy, use filters. You get much better results if you use a site’s filters instead of just searching for key words. Not to mention – you know how eBay, ThredUp, and for Pete’s sake even Google’s shopping search results eventually come to an end? Without enough filters, Poshmark’s algorithms will just keep. bringing. you. listings until your eyeballs are ready to pop out of your head. It’s a nefarious plot to fry your brain into spending inordinate amounts of time (and money) on their site, and the only way around it is to tick every box you can find in an attempt to narrow down your search. Sometimes this means doing a search multiple times using different variables, but trust me, your brain will thank you.


3. Shop for specific holes in your closet. The world of online secondhand shopping has exploded in the last few years; there are literally tens of thousands of items for you to peruse on any given site (Poshmark, ThredUp, ReStitch, eBay, Schoola, etc.). It’s also easy to find quality, even designer brands that may be harder to find in a brick-and-mortar thrift store, which means that if you don’t maintain focus, you can end up spending a lot more than you planned on “incredible” deals. (That’s in quotation marks because it’s only incredible if it will really pull its weight in your wardrobe.)

The story of one such wardrobe hole: on the first chilly weekend of fall, I saw a family of three at our holiday fair all sporting plaid flannel shirts.  “It’s the uniform here,” they enthused – “a necessity!” I knew plaid flannel would be right at home in my casual work setting and that I would get a lot of use out of a heavier button down, both over and under other layers.

And I knew which brands to shop for quality. This family was, of course, all wearing L.L. Bean, because – New England. But I found a gorgeous colorway by Lands’ End on Poshmark, and figured that as a native Midwesterner I could sport the Wisconsin-based version of L.L. Bean with integrity:

So. Dang. Snuggly.

Look at those COLORS! Delicious.  I may have worn it two days in a row:

Duck boots + cable knit sweater + plaid flannel; the New Englander transformation is complete.


Last but not least:

4. Learn to sit with your finds before you buy. It’s easy to feel anxious based on how many people have “liked” or are “watching” a particular posting and then get a bad case of trigger finger. But that’s how you end up with pieces you regret.  When you find something you’re tempted to buy right away, use the “like” feature or simply bookmark the page and come back to it after a few days.  If it’s still there and you’re still excited about it, you’ll know it’s not just FOMO clouding your judgment. If it’s not there, fear not; most things you’ll find on these sites are mainstream enough that they’ll resurface at some point, maybe even in a better size or a color you like more.


What tips and lessons learned do you have to share about online thrifting?  What items would you never buy without first trying on?

Sweater Edit

Y’all. I had a little sweater/wardrobe freak out a few weeks ago. After my winter wardrobe post went up, I did some impulse thrifting and ended up with a sweater drawer that looked like this:


Holy exploding sweaters, Batman! You can’t even see all the knitwear stuffed in there.

So I had a little think about what I really wanted in my sweater collection – textures and colors I love and that have some variation, plus comfort and a great fit – and I pared it down to this:

Two of the above (upper middle) are sleeveless undershirts for layering. Sweater-wise, a few pieces got moved to my “loungewear” shelf or tucked away for next fall; but many more were donated.

Like this one and its blue-grey sibling, both post-wardrobe post additions:


I so wish these vintage Jaeger wool cowl necks would have made the cut (pun intended), but something about the cut makes them ride up after about 2 minutes of wearing. Nope.

I also said goodbye to this Ivanka Trump number for feeling too artificial (no, seriously) and laying oddly on my torso:


The original price tag was $98 but I just can’t see it – the feel is not nearly luxurious enough; my hand slides off in a weird way.

Here are the two I added in. A deliciously warm grey sweater with partially dropped sleeves and a split hem – unexpected deliciousness from Old Navy:


With a little closeup on the texture – this thing is SO. INCREDIBLY. SOFT:


This herringbone/bling/Peter Pan collared J. Crew number is just an excuse to wear something ridiculously festive:


And I LOVE IT. Not classic enough to keep forever, but for $6 it’s worth all the fun I’ll have with it in the next few months/years.

And finally, this wool blend from Nordstrom’s that’s a beautiful taupe and has a slightly oversized cut (with split hems!):


Please ignore the snail-trail line on the torso – I had just steamed it and didn’t let some of the condensation dry.

So now my sweater lineup looks like this:

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A little more trimmed down (12 instead of 14), a little more variety in color, and every piece something I love to wear.

Speaking of sweaters, they are easy to accidentally shrink in the dryer. If you have something in need of unshrinking, try using this tutorial from the good people at Tips Bulletin (no compensation for sharing this; they just suggested it might be useful to my readers and I agree!).
How’s your sweater game lately?

Thrifting Dupes for Online Finds

Sometimes I am bad and go surfing on the secondhand interwebs for things I wish I had in my closet. It never ends well (see here and here). Lately, I’ve had a bit of restraint, and have been rewarded with in-person dupes for my internet finds.

It started with this French Connection sweater, which was, alas, too small for me:


I loved that caramel-and-cream combo and the textured pattern, so I went looking online for that same sweater, with no luck. So instead of keeping an eye out online, I kept an eye out on my thrifting rounds for something similar:


Cream & caramel colors? Check. Textured pattern? Check. This L.L. Bean sweater does the job, and for a lot less than the price of an online find.




In my French Connection searches online, I came across this fabulous tomato red number:


I loved the color and the split/hi-lo hem. The price was right ($11 – although I still had to pay $6.49 for shipping). But there was no way to tell if it would fit. I put it out of my mind by thinking about how disappointing it would be to have it show up and be too small.

But then, lo and behold, for less than the selling price of the French Connection sweater online, my very first Eileen Fisher find hit the nail on the head:


It’s 100% merino wool and a great fall color:


The lesson I’m supposed to learn from this is that when I’m tempted to snap up some online find, I’d do better to wait and let the thrift gods send me something just as good (or better!).

Buuuuuuut… after letting them sit for a few weeks, I just bought some cream-colored skinny jeans off the internet. I tried on a smaller size in the thrift store – that was my inspiration – so I am reasonably confident they’ll fit. Who knows, though – I’m 0 for 2 in terms of online thrift finds success. Let’s just hope this one breaks the streak!


What thrifting habit do you *know* you should give up, but you have a hard time leaving alone?


PS To all my American readers, Happy Thanksgiving! (And a VERY belated Thanksgiving to my Canadian readers as well.) May you thrift super-chic outfits with stretchy waistbands to accommodate all the delicious food you’ll eat this week!

Thrift Finds: October 2017

First up, I want to share with you all Nadia at Happy Malista’s recap from her 10×10 challenge; she shared her outfits as well as outfits from a few other bloggers whose challenges she enjoyed, including yours truly! It’s sometimes hard finding a style blogger whose style is close enough to your own to resonate but different enough to inspire you; Nadia’s 10×10 hits that sweet spot for me. She’s convinced me I need to replace the blazer I used to own that was kind of a spring take on moss green…

And now, on to my thrift finds from last month!  Starting with the NOs:

A great soft dark grey turtleneck with split hem, made of supima cotton, that was too baggy – sigh:


A Talbots sweater that made me feel like I live in a ski chalet – look at that great fringe!


A wonky fit in the torso, though:

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I’m on the hunt for a caramel-colored turtleneck but this one was giant in the armpits:


It hid its ginormous pits well, though:


This dark cognac trench was a dream – 100% wool, and just had so much character:


It was a little TOO oversized on me, and the color a bit intense – see how it’s the first thing your eye is drawn to in the picture, instead of my face? Sign of a tone mismatch.  Anyway, this would have fit my fantasy life (city dweller with a 20 minute walk across the Loop to get to my office) but not my real life (quick jog down the block to my office, then where do I stash this monster?), so I left it there.  Tear.

It’s hard to tell, but this riding jacket by Ralph Lauren was too big on me. The cut is very equestrian; can’t you see it paired with jodhpurs?


But here’s where it shines – velvet collar and some purple woven in with that moss green. It’s like heather in a blazer!


Various pants I tried out because I thought I needed grey jeans (probably not true):

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Several sweaters that didn’t make the cut, such as:

Loft – loved the diamond pattern but it was scratchy-atchy-atchy, as one of my kid’s storybooks says:


Same with this Gap sweater – scratchy, and that neck plus those sleeves totally remind of the year 2000:


Too much blue in this green sweater by Land’s End – but it fit perfectly! (Their tops are usually too wide in the torso for me):


Italian wool from Banana Republic, too tight (that smudge is the mirror, not a sweater defect):


And a J. Crew dress that underwhelmed, I think mostly because it was short enough to need leggings, but lightweight enough to show any lumps and folds from underlayers:


That bottom half is navy, despite its greenish tinge in this photo.


And now, for the winners!

You’re familiar by now with my new cable knit sweater by Workshop by Andrea Jovine:


Here’s my new goose down coat by Larry Levine; it retails for up to $200 but thrifted for $20. I may not be psychologically ready for the cold, but I will be sartorially ready for it!


It’s just this side of dark charcoal, so hopefully it will not wash me out quite as much as pure black. Honestly, though, if I’m warm and I paid 10% of MSRP, I don’t care. Functional wins out over everything else in this case.

Here’s my first Eileen Fisher find! A bright, orangey red that is sort of intensely bright – what a great fall color:


Check out that split hem!


To wit, here it is styled:

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And this tan/cream patterned sweater by L.L. Bean:

There’s a cat balancing on my phone!

…with a fun hi-lo split hem:


Here it is styled:


And last but not least, this merino wool plaid scarf in colors that complement my wardrobe in stellar fashion:



Overall, a pretty good month.  Onward to November!

Did anything in my finds catch your eye?  What did you thrift this past month?

Finding the Perfect Cable Knit Sweater

I hate cable knit sweaters.

I can’t really deal with how preppy they look, how plain and boring it feels to see the same. twisty. pattern. repeated over and over.


If they are your jam, I apologize now.

The closest thing I’ve ever owned to a cable knit sweater was this mint deal from a few winters back…and it was a flop. But how catalogue-worthy is this shot?!  Haha.



Then one day a few weeks back, I spotted this baby on Instagram:

And suddenly my attention was captured.

What made this different from the samey-same feeling of traditional cable knit sweaters and cardigans? First of all, the cable knit was BIG and BOLD which considerably reduced the twee factor.  Second, there was other texture going on – a sort of chic waffle that is one of my favorites – and it made the cable knit a feature, not the whole story.  Then that split hem (another favorite) updated it out of the traditional prep aesthetic. And the flecked knit job (yet another fave) brought even more texture and visual appeal.

Refinery, the Instagram account that featured the sweater, is a consignment shop in Oregon City, Oregon. I have no idea whether they ship, but I was so taken by it that I inquired whether it was still for purchase (nope). I then spent a bunch of time searching on ThredUp, Poshmark, etc. for the sweater, which is by Urban Day.  No luck.

Then I figured I would just keep a thrift eye out for something similar, and saved the image on Instagram for easy visual reference while thrifting. (Did you know this is a thing? There’s a little bookmark or ribbon-like icon below a post that lets you save it to your “collections.” Learned that handy little tip from The Anna Edit in this video, where she uses the save and “collection” features to keep style notes that help her flesh out her seasonal capsule wardrobes.)

Lo and behold, the thrift gods smiled upon me, and I spotted this baby by Workshop by Andrea Jovine not long after:

Don’t worry, I don’t actually store my sweaters on hangers – that stretches them out!

Giant cable knit? Check. Other texture of a waffle-y variety? Check.  Split hem? Check.  Flecked yarn? Nope, but you can’t have everything.

This sweater has quickly become a favorite – I feel like its relaxed chic vibe, particularly its loose semi-cropped silhouette, instantly catapulted me into realms of style blogger cool I rarely reach. And it is so soft. 

Something you can’t see in the pictures?  It’s got some not-so-nice pilling happening. More than I can reasonably tackle in one sitting.  This means the yarn is made of short fibers, which are cheaper (and poorer quality).  So as much as I love this sweater for what it is, I’ll be keeping an eye out for a higher quality upgrade.

So cozy:


Sweater chic:

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What are your feelings on cable knit?  And what’s an item or style of clothing you had to find juuuust the right version of before it even remotely appealed?


Thrift or Treat: Thrifting for Halloween at Savers

This is my very first sponsored post. That means that Savers sent me a gift certificate to go check out their Halloween selection. Thanks Savers!

One of the most fun reasons to thrift shop – and a great way to ease newbies into thrifting – is hunting for costumes:

Molly Ringwald costume at a rollerskating party, circa 2008. That sweater was thrifted for the occasion; afterwards I wore it, unironically, in real life. #noaccountingfortaste

Halloween – aka primo opportunity to thrift a costume – is just a few weeks away. So when Savers asked me if I wanted to peruse one of their stores for costume thrift finds, I was all over it.

If you are new to Savers like I was, it’s a for-profit thrift store chain. Although a small amount goes to local nonprofit partners, percentage-wise, the overwhelming majority of what you pay goes to Savers.  Nothing wrong with that – pre-owned items still end up with a new lease on life – but since I was confused by some of the messaging in the store about donations and non-profit partners, I want to be clear.

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My first impression was that Savers is really on it vis-a-vis Halloween.  A lot of thrift stores sort of half-heartedly assume you will come thrifting for a costume but don’t do much to make your search easier. By contrast, Savers has a smorgasboard of strategically organized offerings.

Secondhand costumes
This Savers location had one of the better collections of used costumes I’ve seen, including these gems.

For the Trekkie:


Classic skeleton:


Ms. Muffet:




For when your friend goes all out as Thor but you’re lazy and just want to put on a Loki t-shirt:


And Supergirl – which I would have bought for my kid if we didn’t already own this exact outfit (thanks Uncle Chaka & Uncle John!):

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Next up: themed costume sections with potential secondhand costume ideas and accessories in one spot. Here we have all things clown, with rainbow craziness as the centerpiece of your costume…


…plus retail accessories to finish it off:


There was a similar pirate section, superhero section, etc.

Then there’s retail makeup (something you probably don’t want to get secondhand):


And for those in a creative rut or working on a deadline, Savers has a line of retail costumes:

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The quality on these was pretty low and the prices pretty high – $25 for a cheap Luke Skywalker-esque costume when you could have thrifted an old karate jacket and brown pants and borrowed your kid’s lightsaber – so as with all but the best pre-made costumes, I recommend you skip this section.

Last but not least, and my personal favorite: costumes made out of non-costume thrift finds.

How often do you see hideously out-of-date wedding dresses at the thrift store? Find one that fits reasonably well (or can be safety-pinned), dump some red paint on it, and you have zombie bride, newlywed ghost, or Carrie at a prom-gone-wrong:


Or skip the blood, paint your face white with heavy black eye makeup and some white streaks in your hair and you’ve got bride of Frankenstein.

Next up, the erstwhile Kate Middleton at a disco roller party:


…right??  Or you could do a modern-day take on Rainbow Brite, a unicorn, etc. etc.

Your preschooler wants to be a bumblebee? Grab this and some pipecleaners for antennae and you’re in buzzzziness (sorry, couldn’t help myself):


This has mermaid written all over it:


SO much leopard print to be had at thrift stores – just grab bottoms like this and a leopard print top, paint your face, stick on some cat ears, and you’ll look purrrfect:


Olive green pants + aviators and you’re Tom Cruise from Top Gun:


This is decidedly Hamiltonian – pull some knee-high socks over leggings or up to meet knee-length capris, thrift some brogues, use a chiffon scarf as a cravat, put your hair in a ponytail, and you’ll look as fetching as a federalist:


This + fedora + one of those grabby arms to reach things on the top shelf = Inspector Gadget:


Throw this over some puffy snow pants and get yourself a fondu fork (there’s at least one in every thrift store) for a 1970s ski bunny ensemble:


Tweed pants (also easy to find at the thrift store) + this gorgeous heather green/purple tweed blazer by Ralph Lauren = Scottish game warden. Put on some waders and carry around a fishing pole and you’ll be a fly fisher. Or slap on your nicest leggings and a pair of riding boots, top it off with a black baseball hat and be an equestrian à la Lady Mary:


Stuff this with a pillow, stick on a sheriff’s badge, top it off with a faux-fur Russian-style hat with ear flaps (also plentiful at the thrift store), and you’ve got Marge Gunderson from Fargo – bonus points if you’re already pregnant:



Y’all, I am not even that creative in the costume department but just by strolling through the aisles I came up with over a dozen ideas.  The thrift store is the place to concoct your costume – and Savers’ mix of thrift finds, accessories, and makeup makes it so easy you might even be able to one-stop-shop your look.

Now I want to know – what costumes have you thrifted?

Thanks again, Savers, and Happy Halloween hunting, Thrifters!

Thrift Finds: September 2017

Let’s take a look back at September’s thrift finds – the stuff I’ve been thrifting as I shift back to a colder climate!

First up, a few dresses bought at the Davis Square Goodwill in search of a good candidate for the town festival. This sleeveless number by Talbots you’ll recognize from the What I Wore post since it ended up being a hot day:

Less orange, more coral in real life.

This striped Gap dress with bracelet-length sleeves also came home with me. With its thick knit it’ll be good for transitional temps; plus the stripes will work in my more casual workplace:


Despite being a color I love and having roll-tab sleeves (y’all know my affection for these), this long-sleeved romper made me feel like a Coachella attendee. Too short and sort of…sloppy? floppy? for my taste and my lifestyle:


I can’t decide if it’s better or worse from the side:


But that miss was redeemed by this scarf win:



Next up was a trip to Sister Thrift in Framingham, which I visited after the one in Watertown. The lighting in the fitting room was abysmal; I apologize in advance.

This sweater had my favorite fitted proportions but too many bobbles on it, like your aunt crocheted it for you in 1986:

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I’m pretty sure there’s a hand-crocheted blanket with that exact motif on the bed in my parents’ guest room.

This cardigan was a great color and had nice drape but was too big across the shoulders/in the sleeves. Wanh-wannnh:


Diane von Furstenberg in the wild! This puppy was 100% silk, my size, and check out that ginko print! I love it. Sadly the white was pretty dingy, the v-neck was waaaaay too low for work, and the hem was too short, so I left it for someone else:


This Caslon sweater dress came home with me, to be paired with leggings. This eBay listing will give you a better idea of the color – it’s much more of a royal blue. Sweater dress + zipper details + pockets = win in my book:


This military green field jacket by United Colors of Benetton also came home with me. Nice and cozy for New England fall, it reminds me of Nancy’s monster-bashing outfit in Stranger Things – which, let’s be honest, is half its appeal. My favorite part is the contrast plaid lining, which no one ever sees…but I know it’s there!



My last thrift stop for September was the Goodwill in Portsmouth, NH, where I was on the hunt for some longer-sleeved casual tops. All my long-sleeved tops are either blouses are sweaters, but in this casual, cool temps environment, I’m finding a big need for more t-shirt-like, long-sleeved tops that can layer under warmer stuff.

Thus I give you this salmon-colored Chico’s 3/4 length top with pearlescent buttons (on the sleeve, too, although you can’t see them here), which is made of Pima cotton and was half off. BAM:


The color is much less dark in real life:

Paired with The Savile Row Co. polka dot vest, thrifted

Here’s another longer-sleeved tee, by Olive & Oak. Yep, those navy and white stripes are pretty similar to the Gap tee I wear to death, but this one has full sleeves, a neck that doesn’t flirtatiously reveal my shoulders, and a fun contrasting stripe there at the bottom. #thriftjustification


Check out that hi-lo hem:


I saw someone rock a warm oatmeal long-sleeved tee under a vest earlier in the day and figured I’d try to replicate it. This one was too greige and washed me out:


But this one, by L.L. Bean, was just the right oatmeal color with a little cream heathering for visual texture (and a mock turtleneck! joy!):


It’s going to be great under my navy vest (see above) and my cream/caramel/grey cardigan from last winter:


Last but not least, a fun cotton moto jacket, by Gap I believe, with sleeves too big, but I thought you all would enjoy it:



What’d y’all thrift last month? Should I have bought the moto jacket? Comment to share your thoughts!



Thrift Finds: Dressing My Kid for Fall

Since we have recently moved from Hotlanta to a place with real fall (hello, New England), here’s a round up of what I’ve thrifted to help my kid keep from freezing on the playground.

My strategy was to keep the pants fairly neutral so I didn’t have to worry whether the tops clashed; and to skip the uber-girly stuff – I’m allergic to pink in high doses, and my kid doesn’t care yet (unless you’re talking about unicorns or T. Rex; then she has an opinion, which is “YES, ALWAYS”).

First up, tops:

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Gap, Gap, Vince, Carter’s, Gap 

That bunny hot air balloon shirt is much more of a coral color than the intense tomato it looks like here.

Worn with or without a shirt underneath, depending on the weather:

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Jumpin’ Beans, H&M, Oshkosh

Check out the little sweatshirt V on the heart top and the t-shirt hem on the bow top:

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My kid’s clothes are cooler than mine.


Next we have pants:

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H&M, Garanimals, Nannette Girl, Oshkosh (the dirt is my child’s, not from the thrift store; laundry day!)

Both pairs of non-stretchy jeans have these genius adjustable elastic inside the waistband that means my skinny lil’ kid can wear pants the right length that don’t fall down to her ankles:


You move the button to whichever slit you need, and there’s one on either side to keep it even. PS See the polka dots on these? My kid is way better at patterned pants than I am.


Next up, dresses:

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Gymboree, Old Navy, Carter’s

The one on the far right is obviously meant for summer, not fall, but our sweet neighbor nabbed it for us at the Goodwill a few months ago and I couldn’t leave it out! I love that orange embroidery.


The one on the left is like a fuzzy stuffed animal inside. The one on the right has a detachable hood, retails for $38, and was $6 in the boy’s section of the library consignment shop. Don’t be afraid to check both gender sections for your kid – you might find a gender-neutral classic or something marketed to a different gender from how your kid identifies but that your kid loves. Because how else am I supposed to find dinosaur shirts for my dino-loving daughter?  (Still on the hunt for that one…)

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Xhiliration; Polarn O. Pyret


Shoes & Underwear

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Same for undies – the minion underwear was in the “boys” section but my kid loves them, so I bought 2 pair. Plus that extra elastic seems to fit better on her bum.

She’s currently wearing the shoes on the left (Saucony) and will grow into the ones on the right (Stride Rite). Between the two pairs there was only one pair of inserts, so I moved them to her current shoes and will put them back in the bigger ones when she grows.

These $2.50 rain boots have gotten some good use – both for puddle jumping and for playing pretend around the house.


Tops for end of winter/spring
In general I try to avoid buying clothes for my kid to grow into because I can’t predict in what season she will be in which size. But with cold weather that lasts into April here, I figured these next-size-up long-sleeved shirts will get some good use before she outgrows them:

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Circo, Land’s End, Carter’s

Those of you with supernatural memories out there will recognize the floral ringer tee from my kid’s thrifted wardrobe a few seasons back. We got a ton of use out of it so when I saw it in the next size up I couldn’t refuse. Also, that coral-looking tee in the middle is significantly pinker in real life. In case you were wondering.


Still on my list: a proper winter coat and winter boots. The consignment shop at the library may come through. The consignment shop also sells kids’ figure and hockey skates – welcome to New England! – and I am waiting to see whether we skate enough to justify buying a pair since they’ll only be good for one season.

Do you thrift for any kids in your life? If so, what do you look for?