My Winter Wardrobe

First, a note about my posting schedule. Work is ramping up (hello Advent, you’re right around the corner!) which means lately I haven’t had as much time as I would like to write and publish posts.  For the foreseeable future, you can keep expecting at least one post a week, but my usual Tuesday/Thursday schedule will now become the ideal rather than the norm.  Thanks for your flexibility and for continuing to keep this blog a fun and creative place for community and conversation!

 

And now, this year’s late fall/winter wardrobe, for your viewing pleasure. Since I broke up with capsule wardrobes, this is not a comprehensive list of every single piece I will wear this winter, but rather the pieces I imagine will get the most wear; they form the core of my wardrobe.

Tops

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Coin 1804; Gap Body; Eileen Fisher; Ivanka Trump; Workshop by Andrea Jovine; J. Crew; Cyn; Liz Claiborne; Gap; Loft; L.L. Bean; J. Crew; Joan Vass; Gap Designed & Crafted

I’ve really upped the number of tops this year for two reasons: I have about twice as much winter to contend with, plus my M.O. for expanding a section of my wardrobe tends to be “buy several different varieties I think I’ll like and then see what actually gets worn.”  Instead of “less is more” (which is where I hope to end up), this is basically the “more becomes less” approach.

Re: colors – is anyone surprised that my sweater palette is basically blue and cream, with pops of caramel, grey, and red? That’s my whole summer wardrobe right there.

 

And the dresses keep the theme going….

Dresses

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Gap; J. Crew; Merona; Caslon; Merona

I’ll wear these with cream, blue, and grey tights of varying weights.

 

The pants, however, have a liiiittle more variation in hue happening…

Pants

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Loft; Talbots; Paige; Lauren by Ralph Lauren; Banana Republic; Jessica Simpson

I’m enjoying pairing more neutral tops with more colorful bottoms – if you can call purple so dark it photographs as black (those first pants) “color”!  And yes, apart from the jeans, I’m sticking with the all-corduroy streak again this year. They just feel…cozier.  I’m probably deceiving myself that corduroy imparts extra warmth; after all, the fuzziness is on the outside, not on the inside where it would do some good.  I don’t care; just let me hold onto my comforting delusion!

 

Back to the trusty ol’ red/cream/blue color palette for my layering pieces.

Layers:

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Kate Hill; Merona; Tahari by Arthur S. Levine; The Savile Row Co.; Mercer & Madison; Loft

 

Last but not least…

Outerwear:

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United Colours of Benetton; J. Crew; Larry Levine
That’s a lot for now; I’ll share scarves/hats and footwear in another post.

In the meantime, check out my winter wardrobe this time last year; a lot has changed!

Freezer Waffles & Christmas Lights: Happy Halloween!

Can you guess who we are?

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If you need a hint (or a laugh), watch this.

PS the only thing thrifted is my United Colours of Benetton field jacket, but everything else we already had in the house. (Thank you, church members, for stocking our freezer with Eggo waffles!)

Happy Halloween, y’all!

Spring Closet Cleanout

I like to clean out clothes at the end of a season (as opposed to the beginning) for two reasons. First, I can remember clearly what I did and didn’t reach for in the last few months; no chance for my memory to get fuzzy. Second, I find it a lot easier to say goodbye to clothes when I’ve just put them through their paces and know what they’re worth to me rather than at the beginning of a season, when wishful thinking (“Surely I’ll make use of it this year!”) can cloud my judgment.

So here’s what I’ve let go of as I’ve transitioned from wintry wardrobe to spring sartorial.

Puffy vest of yore, Kirkland (Costco brand)
This was an impulse buy right before a trip (the worst time for impulse buys!) 6 years ago and has not had a lot of wear since; just too casual.

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I also gave the bamboo/recycled down Nau awesomeness to a friend from the Pacific Northwest where, according to her, vests are mandatory. I loved how sustainable and different it looked but it was too sporty/Eurocool for my style.  More on my vest choices here.
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Sequined capelet, Joseph Le Bon
This had a lovely stay in my closet; although I never wore it even once (where would I wear this??), it made me smile every time I looked at it.  You better believed I thanked it for that, Marie Kondo-style, as I gently laid it in the “donate” bag.  May it make someone else just as happy!IMG_4880

Blue plaid blazer by Merona
My earlier foray into plaid blazer territory convinced me this would be a good idea, but the colors were just too intense (cerulean) and dark (navy) for my wardrobe/face:
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I reached for LINK this other one again and again, so I’ll stick with its dulcet tones for next year:
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Navy pants – Gap and Uniqlo
Every time I wore my navy corduroys by Gap I asked myself why I hadn’t just worn jeans since they read almost exactly the same – “casual navy pants.” The cords fit perfectly in the legs, but were seriously low cut; although I don’t love the cut of the legs in my jeans *quite* as much they fit superbly in the butt/waist and never make me afraid of giving crack to unsuspecting passers by.

Similarly, although these Uniqlo chinos fit well, they felt super casual due to their canvas-like fabric. Their weight made them great for cooler weather but I already had the cords and the jeans…plus the seam on one leg twists around to the front (poor fabric cutting?).  It’s not super noticeable but was another strike against them.wp_20161020_14_04_27_pro
I could only find a picture of one of the two pairs described above, which tells you how infrequently I’ve been wearing them.

I have concluded from tossing these two but still having a wardrobe palette where navy pants are a workhorse that I need some dressier, lighter navy pants to wear in the spring/summer/fall; something like my Vince Camuto cigarette pants:

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Add it to the thrift list.

Did I mention I’d tossed the snakeprint Isaac Mizrahi Live! blazer? Enough hemming and hawing, I wasn’t reaching for it and that’s that. Reasoning (and pictures) here.

Blue shirt dress by Virginia Hill
This had great flow but it felt like a mismatch for my style.  The smoothness, the completely structure-less collar, the intense color made me feel like someone with bolder taste should be wearing it. (If you are into seasonal analysis this is definitely a color for bright winters, which I am not.)

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In a rare fit of pre-seasonal sorting, I also chucked these spring wannabes:

Sleeveless navy blue rope-detail dress by Uniqlo. (Sorry Uniqlo, you did not fare well this round.)  The cut was too wide in the hips, made worse by pockets I wanted to love but which just bulked everything up. It was also a tad bit short.  Too bad, because the color works in my wardrobe and it felt so comfy while still looking stylish thanks to that textured detail. But I felt like I was compromising every time I put it on.  I’ll be on the lookout for a similar style/hue dress to keep me cool and comfy this summer.

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Grey/camel/white cotton floral tee by Old Navy
I like the colors and print in this tee and the softness of the cotton, but I want some COLOR in my spring/summer wardrobe! …it just felt too neutrally drab. The fit was also a little baggy in weird places.  In short, it was not making me happy to see it in my closet.

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Camel skirt by Merona
This is too big in the waist and therefore my waist is completely lost. I thought it was fine in the dressing room (below) but I wore it to work once and nope. Also I don’t like camel. There, I said it. Somebody remind me of this next time I try to buy a camel/tan/beige skirt!!wp_20161027_15_57_25_pro

Teal leopard print tee by s. Oliver
I just wasn’t reaching for it.  Too intense of a color? Too casual? No matter, I will trust my arm’s resistance to picking it out of the closet lineup.
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The Sebagos I painted.  The color was more blue-grey than the cement grey I wanted; plus they are utterly uncomfortable and I have no patience for wearing them in. Enjoy, Thrift Universe!
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This freed up some good space in my closet and inspired me to move my spring clothes to the fore:

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Excited to show it all to you on Thursday!

 

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: So What to Twenty! & The Thrifted Frock

Two new-to-me blogs to feature today!

The first up is not a thrifting blog per se (although she does feature some eBay and flea market finds), but blogger Glenda K. Harrison of So What to Twenty! does fit in the category of women wearing what they want no matter their age covered in my recent “Other Fashion Rules to Break” post.  I’m adding her there but wanted to draw your attention here, too.  She rocks everything from metallic floral Baroque bomber jackets to skinny overalls to off-the-shoulder floor-length dresses, plus she has a degree from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising so reading her writing about clothing is fascinating.

 

 

Next up is Stephanie from The Thrifted Frock, a thriftanista all the way.  She resides in Atlanta so I have extra envy for her excellent thrift finds. (This dress!  Perfect.)  She mentions on her “about” page that she grew up in a working class family who thrifted all their fashions and that she now enjoys spreading her love of thrifting to others; sounds like another person to follow up with to get her thoughts on whether thrifting contributes to gentrification.

(Quick tip to follow Stephanie: she’s more active on her Instagram account.)

 

That’s all for now, Thrifters – have a great weekend!

In Which I Attempt to Clean Clothes in Downton Abbey Fashion

I read somewhere that you’re really not supposed to wash suits – you’re supposed to brush them.

This brings to mind various Downton Abbey scenes in which the servants discuss some gossipy bit of upstairs news whilst cleaning their employers’ clothing in the boot room (or was the boot room only for boots?) – particularly that time that Lady Mary and one of her (unsuccessful) suitors got filthily dirty saving the pigs:

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I was almost as glad for the poor pigs as I was put out that Anna had to clean Mary’s dress. Continue reading “In Which I Attempt to Clean Clothes in Downton Abbey Fashion”

What I Wore: Coral & Grey

If I had photo editing software or was not lazy, I would edit these to reflect the true color of this shirt: it’s a slightly orange-y coral, not the highlighter hue of papaya it looks like.  I say that because I love this mix of grey and coral and want you all to revel in it with me.

Also let us notice:

  1. The Side Pony.  Super simple and instantaneously puts a little sass in your day.
  2. The crepe myrtles in the background.  They are just ridiculous in our neighborhood – pink, white, red, purple… Mother Nature just showing off like no big deal.

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Closeup on that print – I love that white/yellow/light taupe on the coral: IMG_3783

 

As you probably can tell from Instagram (@thriftshopchic), I’m a little addicted to this DIY necklace. Post on how I made it coming Thursday:IMG_3780

 

The wedges, to dress it up just a bit:IMG_3782

Coral top: Old Navy, thrifted

Grey cigarette pants: Vince Camuto, thrifted

Wedges: Clark’s, thrifted

Cuff, earrings: heirlooms from my grandmothers

Necklace: DIY from thrifted finds

One Year of Thriftshop Chic

Happy Birthday to the blog!

Last month marked a whole year of blogging on Thriftshop Chic, and I was having too much fun writing posts to notice that the actual date had ticked by.  A good sign, methinks.

A word of thanks to my spouse, Chris, who encouraged me to start writing this and provided technical support as I waded into the world of html. Thanks to friends like Sheena and Caitlin who have showed interest in the blog and been willing to be featured in posts.  Thanks to Rachael who introduced me to Canva as a fun, free way to make graphics (btw Rachael is a badass web designer if you’re in need).

And the biggest thanks, of course, to YOU all, Thriftshop Chic’s readers, who have made this a worthwhile and engaging journey.  Thanks for reading, sharing your thoughts and encouragement, and contributing to the conversation.  My purpose from the inception of this blog has been to create a space for folks to be inspired in their thrifting, and you’ve made that purpose come to life.

For a little birthday throwback, here is one of my very first posts – my thoughts on strategies for a quality thrifting experience.  It’s a pretty broad overview, pieces of which I have covered in more detail in subsequent posts.  But since many of you are more recent readers and may have missed this the first time around, I thought y’all might enjoy the more comprehensive view.  Part 1 (general strategies) is below and there’s a link to Part 2 (more specific tactics) at the bottom.

Continue reading “One Year of Thriftshop Chic”

Does Thrifting Save You Money? Part 2

Given that you don’t have unlimited time OR an unlimited budget, how do you make thrifting work for you?  Has your thrifting changed as you’ve gotten better at it?  Unlike your younger self, you can’t spend your life in cut-offs that ‘sort of fit’.  So how do you find good stuff without spending a parcel of time and money on near misses?

This is Part 2 of a wide-ranging conversation reader Ginna from Feet Chic and I recently had about how much our beloved thrifting habit costs us.  Find Part 1 here , or scroll down to chime in!

Continue reading “Does Thrifting Save You Money? Part 2”

Friday ReBlog: Spending More to Look Better

As part of our conversation on whether thrifting saves you money, Ginna sent me this post by Patrice from Fly on a Dime.

Her point is the same that Ginna made earlier in the week: if you are willing to spend more on fewer items, you’ll end up with a tighter, gorgeous wardrobe you love that lasts.  “I used to classify a thrift shopping trip as a success if I walked away with a ton of stuff,” Patrice says. “Now, I’m happy with one or two killer items.”

I totally get this.  As I commented on a post last week, I now feel weird walking out of the thrift store with my arms piled high with “finds” – it most likely means I have veered way outside my standards of really LOVING an item and/or tried to fill a hole in my wardrobe all in one go without taking time to figure out what I will actually wear.

If I come out with “one or two killer items” – or none! – it means I stuck to my guns and let my style speak clearly.

 

Has anyone else experienced the shift that Patrice observes?  And isn’t her style fabulous??  Peruse her archives for some other great posts.

Happy Friday, Thrifters!