Summer 10×10 Remix: Day 4

As part of the Summer 10×10 remix (hosted by UnFancy and Style Bee), I’m attempting to post what I’ve been wearing each day as I live out of my suitcase on back-to-back family reunions. What’s a 10×10 remix? 10 pieces of clothing, 10 outfits, 10 days. What you count as an item is up to you (I’m not counting shoes, workout gear, outerwear) since the point isn’t following strict rules – it’s using limitations to spark creativity. 

Day 4: On the Farm

I feel so fancy having a great backdrop and a real camera to capture outfits!  Turns out it pays to go on vacation with people who will take outfit photos.

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This isn’t our family farm, but this corn crib is similar to one that my uncle & aunt disassembled last year. The 100+ year old aged pine was turned into a beautiful table where lots of us can eat and several other cherished furniture projects.

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Dress: J. Crew – thrifted
Hat: unlabeled – thrifted
Cuff bracelet: Monet – thrifted
Sandals: Saltwater (retail)
Sunglasses: Ray-Ban (retail)

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This is the most comfortable dress I own – so soft, so practical (I can sit cross-legged, and it has pockets!), and it gives a great silhouette – sort of boxy on top and almost like drawstring shorts on the bottom. Paired with the straw hat and some sandals that got me through fields, barns, and water fights, it just exudes easy, summery chic.

I feel like a legit style blogger over here:

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So many good memories from corn cribs like this and farm yards full of grasshoppers and monarch butterflies by day and studded with fireflies by night.

More tomorrow!

 

Summer 10×10 Remix: Days 2 & 3

Unsurprisingly, vacation has gotten in the way of posting my remix challenges on a daily basis – what a happy problem to have! As part of the Summer 10×10 remix (hosted by UnFancy and Style Bee), I’m attempting to post what I’ve been wearing each day as I live out of my suitcase on back-to-back family reunions.

What’s a 10×10 remix? 10 pieces of clothing, 10 outfits, 10 days. What you count as an item is up to you (I’m not counting shoes, workout gear, outerwear) since the point isn’t following strict rules – it’s using limitations to spark creativity. 

Day 2: On the Farm 

We headed straight over to the family farm and explored all our favorite spots. My preschooler was enthralled with this gravel pile – exciting!

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Beautiful prairie and cornfields in the background.

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Shirt: Madewell – thrifted

Shorts: Bill Blass – thrifted
Hat: unlabled – thrifted
Sandals: Saltwater – retail
Sunglasses: Ray-Ban – retail

Grain bins make a great background for your striped shirts:
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I have great memories of climbing those grain bins to a small platform near the top to watch sunsets.  In my biased opinion, Iowa sunsets are the best in the world.

Day 3: Color Run 5K & Family Reunion

I started off the day with a 5K through town – so much fun!

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It was the first color run I’ve done and I got some interesting looks showing up at the town pancake breakfast covered in festive accoutrement:

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Tank & shorts: Champion – thrifted
Running shoes: Champion – retail. Running shoes don’t have to be expensive to work well!

After a parade, I went home to shower and then we headed back to the farm for a family reunion. Aren’t my relatives good looking?

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I only got family pics, no outfit pics, so pardon the cropping out of family members:

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Shirt: Madewell – thrifted
Shorts: Bebe – thrifted
Sandals, cuff, hat, sunglasses (not pictured) – same as above

On the farm no one cares if you wear the same shirt two days in a row, so I happily reused the shirt from Day 2. The beauty of a capsule/travel wardrobe that all works together is that you can swap out one component and end up with an entirely different look.  (And it helps that the pheasant hunting lodge where we stayed had laundry!)

See ya tomorrow!

Summer 10×10 Remix: Day 1

Hello Thrifters!  Caroline of Un-Fancy and Lee of StyleBee start their 10×10 summer wardrobe remix today, and although I didn’t have time to write up my remix selections beforehand, since I’m already living out of a totebag with 10 items (hello back-to-back family reunions!) I figured I might as well play along. (Click here to see my 10×10 spring wardrobe challenge.)

What’s a 10×10 remix? 10 pieces of clothing, 10 outfits, 10 days. What you count as an item is up to you (I’m not counting shoes, workout gear, outerwear) since the point isn’t following strict rules – it’s using limitations to spark creativity. I’m not sure this edition of the remix, will spark all that much creativity, since I’m using tried and true travel outfits. But I may be surprised…and even if I’m not, I hope you all will enjoy seeing what I wore!

Day 1 – Travel & a Hike

We’re flying from Atlanta to Minneapolis, waiting four hours to pick up my sister and her husband, then driving four hours to a family reunion in Iowa.  Temps in Iowa promise to be hot, but later in the week we’re headed to Lake Champlain in Vermont, where evenings can be a bit nippy, so I’ve packed pants and a couple 3/4-length sleeve tops that will pull double-duty on the plane. (My personal thermostat runs cold, so I find airplanes chillllly.)

Ta-da:

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Airport bathrooms selfies are the best.

 

Top: Gap

Red chinos: Bandolino

Cuff bracelet: Monet jewelry

Leather crossbody bag: Marco Avane

Everything thrifted but the Hank from Finding Dory sticker (thank you to my preschooler for color coordinating your sticker choice with my outfit).

Let’s get a proper look at that bag (and the Saltwater sandals I’m wearing all week) since I haven’t yet featured it on the blog:

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Through trial and error (aka thrifting bags I never use), I’ve learned that I don’t need two similar bags just to be able to swap colors/fabric with the changing seasons, despite what fashion/the internet says.

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But when I saw this bag, it occurred to me that I might find a different size bag useful – for example when I am not with my kid or at work.

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It fits my wallet, phone, chapstick, and sunglasses. 

This considerably narrows the window of when I might actually use said bag, but I can at least dream of weekly date nights and the occasional girls’ weekend, right?

Turns out it’s come in handy for more than that, though – we are flying with baggage restrictions (one personal item per person, thank you Spirit), and this puppy packs down into my tote bag (pictured on the post linked above).

So far I’ve loved carrying a lighter bag around although the kid stuff (snacks, books, great white shark puppet) has to fit in my tote.

During our wait in Minneapolis we drove over to the Fort Snelling State Park, located about 5 minutes from the airport, and went for a short hike. We spotted turkey vultures, turkeys, goldfinches, cardinals, bluejays, bluebirds, and downy woodpeckers and generally enjoyed being out of confined spaces. For this expedition I changed into running clothes and sneakers so I could sweat in peace.

More to come tomorrow, assuming I have internet access! In the meantime, tell me if you are doing the 10×10 challenge this time and your tips for getting away with a smaller bag.

 

What I Wore: Floating Crop Top & Saltwater Sandals

If you had asked me whether I would ever wear (let alone title a post with) something that could be called a crop top, I would have laughed – and bet money against you.  Although I wore some shortish things in my youth, as an adult I’m just not into exposing my midriff (my mother is sighing with relief – I’m sure from her perspective it was a near thing for awhile there).

Now, though, I guess I owe myself some theoretical money:

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What is happening??

Sleeveless top: Dahlia – thrifted
Chrysanthemum skirt: no label – thrifted

Necklace: DIY from thrifted parts
Bracelet: Monet – thrifted
Sandals: Saltwater by Hoy – retail

But actually, theoretical me comes out on top because while this appears to be a crop top…

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…it’s actually a faux crop:

IMG_5811Secret under layer!

You may recognize this top in all its glory from my summer wardrobe:

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I paired it with a high-waisted skirt and simply tucked in the lower layer et voilà, an apparent crop top that gives me a whole new silhouette whose breezy floatiness pairs perfectly with hot summer weather:

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A little DIY necklace action:

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That’s a dolphin down there in case you can’t tell.

Cuff closeup:

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Closeup on that chrysanthemum pattern:

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We’re headed to a lake next week for a family reunion and I own no waterproof shoes.  My Clarks sandals were also starting to hurt one foot – they have pretty solid arch support but can’t snug tight enough around my narrow feet to keep the arch in place. (My feet are also slightly different sizes, which means one foot was hurting but not the other. Go figure.)

So I decided to try out Saltwaters, a waterproof sandal that’s also chic enough for work. Check out the lovely caramel color and gold buckle (and ignore my straggly toenail polish):

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That chic ankle strap holds things in place enough that my super-narrow feet don’t move around even though the footbed is wider than I need.  You will notice a few little spots on them – this is how they look after a trip to the playground unexpectedly turned into some delightfully muddy trail exploring. These babies did really well – a swipe with a damp cloth afterwards and they were like new.  I also wore them on the 4th to throw a football in a field in the rain (do we detect a pattern of weather-related adventures?) and then wore them to work the next day without any cleaning.  BAM.

They don’t have any arch support but since I’ve been happily wearing sneakers without any arch, I figured maybe having no arch support at all was better than an arch support sticking me in the wrong place. A Google search confirmed I have normal arches and should be able to make no-support work.  We’ll see long-term.

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I bought mine online and paid about $50 – not unexpected for decent quality sandals. If you buy some, make sure to pay attention to the women’s size, not the kid’s size – mine run true to the women’s size listed. (Apparently ModCloth lists the size differently than the rest of the internet, so shopper beware.) They’re sometimes made in the USA (I can’t tell from website whether my particular style was – I hope it was for labor conditions). Many reviews say to soak them in water first, then mold to your footbed – I haven’t had time to try this out yet.

 

Have you tried Saltwaters? Would you wear a “crop” top – or an actual crop top?  Scroll down to share!

 

What I Wore: Classic Nautical

This is 100% classic Leah. A muted nautical palette, print-mixing, gold accents, and a “gentlewoman chic” silhouette:
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Everything thrifted but the necklace & sunglasses:
Top: vintage Jacqueline Ferrar (yes those are shoulder pads!)
Pants: Bandolino
Shoes: City Sneaks
Belt: J. Crew
Cuff bracelet: Monet
Necklace: vintage from my grandma
Sunglasses: Ray-Ban via Costco

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Styling: It’s funny, I don’t think I’ve ever showcased this outfit on the blog or on Instagram, but I do wear it often – so often that I don’t even have to think about the pairing. The boxy fit of this blouse plus the longer, tailored sleeves dress up the chinos nicely.  I’ve also done this look with dressy sandals and champagne flats, but it’s summer casual at my office, so I just went all out with the floral sneaks.

Thoughts: This outfit isn’t groundbreaking, but it is “me.” The color palette and tailored top + casual pants just feel like no-brainers and I feel relaxed and chic at the same time.
Do you all have an outfit you wear so often it doesn’t feel remarkable to you at all – yet it has enough oomph to keep you coming back? Scroll down to comment!

In Which I Impulse Buy on Poshmark

I’m not usually one for online secondhand shopping since you can’t try things on and secondhand sites either don’t do returns (eBay) or else make you pay return shipping (ThredUp). But I’ve found online shopping to have one really good use: when you find something in a thrift store that you absolutely LOVE that’s not your size but you’re reasonably confident another size will fit you, get on the internets and search for it.

Granted, this works best for mass market brands and even better for big box brands like those found at Target – you have a much better chance of finding the piece in question for resale online and you are more likely to know your size in that brand.

This combination worked in my favor a few months back when I found a dress by Merona that I fell for hard but that was just too small:

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I’m not sure if this is best described as “marled” or “Donegal tweed,” but I loved it. It had the texture I crave in muted red/navy, colors already in my wardrobe; it’s chic enough for work; and it has zipper details (a trend I know will one day go out of style but magpie that I am, I cannot help myself):

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You can tell from that last photo that I’ve learned to use the manufacturer’s tag to search online for the same piece. (Thanks Adina J!)  Except an internet search with those digits yielded zilch.  So I started searching for the dress the old fashioned way, using keywords like “Merona,” “blue dress,” and “sleeveless.”

After some interesting detours, I found it in two sizes that might work for me on Poshmark. I had thought that (in line with their name) they only sold higher end and designer items, but either they’ve lowered their standards or they’ve always had a wide array of price points.

I figured I should ask the sellers of the two different sizes available what their thoughts were on fit. To do this I needed to sign up (of course), but I was pleasantly surprised at how quick and easy it was using my Google account – literally one of the quickest “get back to what you were actually trying to do” experiences I’ve had. Once I’d typed my queries, folks responded within the hour and were friendly and helpful in their replies, which is in line with Poshmark’s self-described social, active community.

A quick aside on Poshmark, for those unfamiliar with it (as I was). In the world of online secondhand shopping, it’s sort of a hybrid – individual sellers post their wares like on eBay, but Poshmark provides shipping labels like ThredUp. They will also, like eBay, provide a refund/free return shipping if the item is not as advertised; but unlike ThredUp, where you are welcome to return the item if you don’t like it (albeit after having paid return shipping), purchases are final.

Another eBay-like feature on Poshmark is the option to “make an offer.” Offers are binding but expire in 24 hours; in other words, if the seller accepts your price, you automatically buy it. If they don’t, nothing happens and you are free to purchase at their asking price.

Back to the dress. The first seller apparently hadn’t worn it as she simply relayed fitting information from Target’s website, but she was very prompt with her reply. (I wear different sizes in different Target brands, so that wasn’t super helpful.) Since the listing had only been up for 12 hours, I figured I should buy it right away if I didn’t want it to get snapped up.

So I asked myself if I was willing to spend $15 + $1 shipping on a dress that might not fit. $15 is double what I normally pay for a thrifted dress, but when it checks all the boxes and makes your heart sing, it’s pretty darn reasonable.

[About that $1 shipping fee – you get $0.99 shipping on your first order, but the way they advertise it is a bit deceptive. The “limited time” offer is described as only good during your first 24 hours, so I thought it was good for any purchase made within the first day, or that I could fill up my cart with items from various sellers and get $1 shipping for each item. Nope. Because items are sold by individual sellers, each item requires separate shipping (like eBay; unlike ThredUp).  Good to know if you plan on buying something bulky on your first day that will cost more than standard shipping.]

Once I had clicked “submit order” the seller messaged me to say she’d ship within the next day – hurray!  Upon arrival I was charmed by the packaging she had chosen and her sweet thank-you note: IMG_5413IMG_5414

I was not charmed, however, by the fit:

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Not the seller’s fault, of course, but more of a cautionary tale re: buying clothes on the internet. I could have spent another $20 or so to get the “right” size, but at that point I’d already sunk enough money into the dress and I wasn’t sure the “right” size would fit well even if it didn’t swamp me.

So I simply donated it back to Goodwill and considered it my $16 reminder that I don’t buy clothing online unless I’ve tried on the exact garment – including size – elsewhere. (See this post for the first time I learned that lesson.)
I know some of you all have had better luck with online thrifting.  Do you have any tips for this jaded internet shopper?  Do any of you join me in swearing off online clothes shopping?

Recent Style Sightings

I need to get better at my stealth camera skills, because I keep seeing people dressed in chic, imaginative ways and I want to share their style with you (without making myself look like a total paparazzo – paparazza?).

Here’s a roundup of my recent style sightings.

At Goodwill, not a great photo but indeed a great outfit. I’d guess this woman was in her 50s and she is rocking the relaxed pants look:WP_20170519_15_21_24_Pro

You can’t see from the photo but the pants have a subtle navy/white (or maybe black/white) pattern that looked really fresh against the navy blue top. In my opinion, though, what makes the look is the metallic belt she used to accentuate her waist.  Some great hoop earrings and chic flip-flop-style sandals finished it off. She gets an A in Relaxed Summer Chic.

Next up, an airport traveler doing super-wide-legged pants the best I’ve ever seen them:WP_20170522_13_39_58_Pro

They have almost a skirt effect, and she paired them with a short-sleeved plain white tee which she tucked at the waist to create a clean break and keep her upper half more fitted. That trick really balances out the silhouette and keeps biiiig pants from overwhelming a look.  I first saw her wearing just the plain outfit but she later added a scarf with a gorgeous foliage/floral print that really popped against the simple black/white ensemble.

Airports are GREAT places to spot good styling and as we have a lot of travel on the schedule this summer I’ll be keeping an eye out for more looks to share with you.

Last but not least, this fantastic look was spotted at an art festival in Decatur a few weeks ago. I love the simple shift dress in a bright color with bold accents and a contrasting bag:

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I think the downward gaze and sunglasses sufficiently obscure this woman’s identity but I’m new to this so please chime in if you think I should block it out with a smiley face.

So summery! And from the rear, her backpack pairs perfectly with the accent colors on her dress:
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What styles are you spotting lately?

Thrift Camaraderie + A Relaxed Posting Schedule

Hello Thrifters!  Just a note to let you know that I am entering a busy season in my personal/work lives and will not have a regular posting schedule over the next few weeks.  I hope to still post occasionally, just not on a schedule. Because let’s be honest, nothing stops me from thrifting, so I might as well write about it!  Making sure I have the time to write quality, engaging posts for you all is another thing, though, so I’m giving myself permission to be flexible.

I am so grateful for your readership and your willingness to be flexible with me!  Your engagement in and enjoyment of this site makes the whole thing really rewarding and I am absolutely thrilled that you read and contribute to the wonderful community that is Thriftshop Chic.

In the spirit of that community, check out this week’s thrift camaraderie encounter. (TC = chatting up your fellow thrifters, particularly giving/asking for advice on whether to purchase a particular thrift find. It’s a special kind of interaction that thrift stores seem to encourage and I LOVE IT.)

This woman needed something to wear for an evening event to raise awareness of and fight against rape and sexual assault.  Teal and purple are sexual assault and domestic assault awareness colors, respectively, so this long-sleeved romper was pretty much perfect:

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I can’t get over the sequins (must be the 5% of me that wants to dress like Luke Spiller), and we both agreed that the long sleeves balance out the leg exposed by the shorts. Did I mention it has pockets?

She said she had looked several places and finally came to Goodwill and hit the jackpot.  Yes!  Thrifting is the perfect way to find an outfit or accessories for a one-of-a-kind event at low cost.  She may never wear this romper again (although I totally hope she does), but for $6.99 she doesn’t have to – she can just donate it back and let someone else enjoy it in all its sequined glory.

 

Have a great weekend, Thrifters!

Updated Post: Updating My Basic Jewelry

And now, with pictures! Sorry for the technical snafu yesterday and thanks to those who pointed it out.

I am a wear-the-same-basic-jewelry-every-day kinda gal. Sometimes I throw in a statement necklace or swap in a more casual bracelet, but most days you’ll catch me wearing a metallic cuff bracelet, my wedding/engagement rings, and gold stud earrings.  Today I’ll tell you about updating my bracelet after it sustained damage, and adding a ring (whoa!).

Up until recently, this vintage cuff was my bracelet:

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It was my grandma’s and I loved wearing it. It reminded me of her and had a style you just don’t see anymore. Paired with relatively simple outfits, it really popped.

But costume jewelry from the 60s isn’t made of Teflon. After several years of wearing it almost every day, it cracked.

I still wore it for awhile, since the crack wasn’t super noticeable. But it kept catching on things, and I realized that if I ever wanted to get it fixed I should probably stop wearing it to prevent further damage. So onto my dresser top it went, where I could still see it every day and smile at the memory of my grandma:IMG_1852

In the meantime, I had a serious case of NAB. (Go Fug Yourself readers will recognize this acronym as “Needs a Bracelet.”) I knew I wanted a cuff; they don’t flop around like bangles or cut off you circulation like elastic bracelets and they’re not infernally hard to put on like regular ol’ clasp bracelets are. Unsurprisingly, the last bracelet I had worn to death was a cuff as well; they just feel elegant and “me.”

So I started searching the jewelry counter at the Goodwill. I found a few bangles in good color schemes (off white and gold) and a silver cuff I really liked, but no gold cuffs. After several weeks of keeping my eyes peeled, I stopped into the Thriftique and lo and behold, this baby was waiting for me:

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At first I was worried it would feel a little too bold – it was a much yellower gold than my previous bracelet, more in your face. But it was much narrower than my last cuff, and I loved the beaten texture. I reminded myself that Grandma’s cuff took some time to move from giving me an “I AM WEARING COSTUME JEWELRY” feeling to being my signature statement piece, and then I gave it some time.

Now it feels like a natural part of my wardrobe and fits with seemingly everything (and doesn’t get caught on sleeves like my last one did).WP_20170614_09_34_20_Pro (1)

The stamp on it says Monet, which is a J.C. Penney brand; quality-wise it’s not going to be around forever, but when it “dies” (as my spouse likes to say) I can thrift a new one that will have its own character, or go back to wearing my grandma’s repaired cuff.

 

I have a whole collection of rings, mostly my mom’s vintage stuff and a few sentimental pieces from junior high/high school when I was an avid ring wearer. But I rarely pull them out, mostly because my bracelet is hogging the attention in the hand/wrist department and I don’t want to compete. I was looking through them for some reason a few weeks ago, though, and was struck by how the color and bold style of this one matched my recently acquired cuff replacement:

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It was my mom’s original wedding ring (she has since moved on to something with diamonds). It’s a Möbius strip, which I think makes for great symbolism. I absolutely LOVE how simple and yet unexpected the design is; in my head this is a top-tier style-blogger level of finger jewelry, though quite a bit chunkier than what’s popular in that set.

When she got married her fingers must have been TINY; it doesn’t fit on my ring finger, so I wear it on my pinky which I think gives it more panache anyway:

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It’s a tiny bit loose; I have to be careful when I get my hands wet. I’ll probably take it to a jeweler to size it down.  Any recommendations?

 

So there you go; secondhand jewelry all the way. I hope you enjoyed the update and would love to know what treasures you sport every day!

 

Friday ReBlog: Why I Own Wooden Hangers

Janice over at the Vivienne Files had a post this week on making your closet feel like the clothes shopping experience you love most – in other words, bringing light, space, and visual appeal to your clothes storage area.

One of the big ways she achieves this is with wooden hangers, and I have to say, I agree with her.  Having my clothes all on similar, lovely-looking hangers helps make me feel closet-happy. Wooden hangers take up enough space that you’re reminded not to crowd the rack, which is also a big contributor to me loving the way my closet looks.

Another surefire closet-happiness booster? Having a cohesive color palette. Our closet is open, so I see it every time I walk into the master bathroom; I notice when a color is glaringly out of place or the racks are packed to the gills, and take a moment to decide whether it’s time to weed through my wardrobe again.

Going back to hangers: best of all, all my lovely hangers are thrifted – folks cleaning out their closets tend to donate in packs so I’ve been able to assemble very similar hangers for all my hanging garments.  Check your local thrift store to see what you can find!

Read more about my love for wooden hangers here.

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Have a great weekend, Thrifters!