Guide to PANTS at the Thrift Store

It’s Pants Week at Thriftshop Chic.  Yesterday’s post featured my newly-thrifted pants; tomorrow we’ll look at all the pants I own to help you see how thrifted pants can work in a real-life capsule wardrobe; then Thursday we’ll help you get started on perfecting your own pants lineup.

Let’s talk pants.  You are probably familiar with the smorgasbord of pant styles out there, including but not limited to the typical styles in women’s/men’s pants featured below. (But first of all, let’s be clear–these are binary-conforming clothing industry terms, not dictates about what genders can wear what styles; I have had “men’s” pants in my wardrobe and know plenty of people across the gender spectrum who wear more than one pants “gender.”)

Women’s pants.  Source.  Notable miss: boyfriend jeans

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Men’s pants. Source. Notable miss: a true pleated front

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Continue reading “Guide to PANTS at the Thrift Store”

Thrifted Finds: Navy Tahari Pants

This is the other piece I picked up in Delaware: navy Tahari pants.

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Top, Lauren Conrad; pants, Tahari; shoes, Clarks; all thrifted.  Necklace by me.  Ignore the awkward back foot there.

You may be familiar with my slow style quest for navy pants and remember that I recently nabbed a nice navy trouser, so in true minimalist/capsule fashion I should’ve been sartorially satisfied and thus blinded to any other navy bottoms, no matter how attractive (…and now I have distracted myself with visions of sailors in their dress whites.  Ahem).

But as I mentioned in that same post about the navy trousers, part of the pleasure of thrifting is that, because of the low price point, you can be open to upgrades–or in this case, a versatile, if unexpected, addition to my wardrobe.  Since my closet is mostly navies, tomato reds/corals, off-whites, and a pinch of camel and the above minty/light teal hue (anyone want to name that??), a pair of navy pants that functions differently than the ones I already own is not necessarily overkill.  These Taharis are quite a bit cooler, don’t require a belt (they zip up the side and have no belt loops which makes for a lovely smooth line), and are close fitting in a way that lets me wear loose tops like the one above and not look frumpy.  My Loft trousers will still get plenty of use in the colder months, when I want pockets, and when a more tailored top is the order of the day. In short, I think the two will assist each other nicely.  Did I mention the Taharis were $1.50?  (Big upside to independent thrift stores–even bargain-ier prices!)

Speaking of that top…it’s by Lauren Conrad.  I’m almost ashamed to type that, but I LOVE the color and print.  Worn to church yesterday it was complimented three different times, including “that outfit is SO YOU” and “that color suits you so well,” so I’m happy to take myself down a peg in terms of my celebrity snobbery for such a star shirt.  It wasn’t getting worn as much as it deserved because it looked a bit blobby with the looser-cut trousers I already own, so I’m even more happy to have acquired pants that will let that star shirt shine.

Tune in over the next few days for more on PANTS: how to shop for pants with an eye to filling holes in your wardrobe, how my own pants work in my wardrobe, and how to find non-retail pants when you’re short on time.  Have a great week, Thrifters!

 

Thrift Finds: Office Supplies

Thrift stores ain’t just for clothes, ya know!  Home decor, kitchen tools, sports accoutrement, and office supplies are also great things to thrift.   Below are some recently thrifted office supplies that are keeping me sane and on budget.

Delectable ramekin for rubberbands (sadly I will probably never use this for cooking, it’s about 3 levels fancier than my culinary skills care to handle)–$2.92:

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Brands

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This one’s for Brian!  And a shout-out to Rachael for a great tip on graphics–check out Canva.com to make your own.

These are brands I frequently find at my local thrift stores that (usually) make it through in decent condition.  Your mileage may vary depending on your local thrift store’s catchment area (where their donated goods come from) as well as the varying quality of items produced by brands–retail fashion bloggers often remark that brands’ attention to detail, fabric sourcing, and other markers of quality can vary from season to season.

This list is meant to help get you started if you’re not familiar with the wide variety of companies whose tags you’ll see on the thrift racks.  But note that it’s always a good idea to check individual garments to see how they hold up instead of just assuming that a fancy name = good clothing.
And don’t discount a brand just because “my mom wears that” or “my teenage nephew wears that.”  As fashion trends expand and globalize, you’d be surprised at the way styles from a brand aimed at one particular demographic can translate across age brackets. Continue reading “Brands”

Thrifted Finds: Rehoboth Beach Vacation Edition

 

On vacation last week we traveled to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, for some family beach time–and some THRIFTING.  Thankfully I have family members who are down for the thrift, and the pressure of not wanting to hold up other people’s R&R made it easy to do a quick sweep of the store and resist the desire to go through every. last. thing.

Because y’all?  This store was crazy.

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God’s Way Thrift Store: Irony Sold Separately.

I should’ve photographed some of the ginormous Bible verses about Jesus being the only way, or the 25-point rule list about when/how/what to donate, but as previously stated I was on a schedule–we were leaving for Dogfish Head Brewery in an hour and I was not about to be the slow coach who delayed our departure.

Nevertheless, here’s some ambience for you:

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My sister-in-law spotted this righteous collection of Avon perfumes:

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The most bizarre of the aforementioned collection–Eau de Corncob Pipe:IMG_1639

 

If you were following my thrifting on Instagram, you saw this number on a mannequin–but NOT FOR LONG!  I promptly tried that sucker on and made it my own.

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Instant wedding outfit–just add hat.IMG_1687 IMG_1686

Dress (Anne Klein), shoes (Clarks), and necklace (leopard-painted wooden beads) all thrifted; other jewelry inherited; hat: fabulous hand-me-down–thanks Mom!

The dress was $10 which is normally too rich for my blood.  (The tag specified “no half off”–apparently God’s way is that everything is always half off.)  However, I was able to justify it because the navy Tahari pants–coming soon to a post near you–I found were half off, ringing in at $1.50.  A total of $11.50 for 2 great finds?  Sold.   Plus my mother-in-law, in a beautiful thrifting camaraderie assist, told me it would look great for church.  (I couldn’t resist replying loud enough for the checkout clerk to hear that I did need something to preach in the following Sunday.  I would bet that same $11.50 that God’s Way does not include women preachers.)

As we left Delaware at 4:30 am (ughhh wonky flight times), we drove past two more independent thrift stores that made me salivate with visions of unique and bizarre thrift finds even before the sun was up.  But alas, those beauties will have to wait for another trip.

Anyone thrifted the Rehoboth Beach scene before?  What’s your take on funky, stand-alone thrift spots–do you prefer them to Goodwills or Salvation Armies, or is it just too much of a risk to go somewhere unknown?  And lastly but most importantly–wedding hats, yes or no??

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Thrift Tips: Don’t Forget the End Caps

Thrifting Tip of the Day: don’t neglect the end caps, or the portion of the clothing racks on either end that extend beyond the main rack.  End caps often have random items that a shopper has tried on and then couldn’t be bothered to return to their proper place, or feature displays like the one below:

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

This particular item was on a mannequin at the end of a row of non-dresses, so if I hadn’t spotted it on my way to check the dresses, I would’ve totally missed it.   End caps are easy to scan as you walk down the central aisle of a store and often yield some prize pieces.

Check back tomorrow for a rundown on the thrift store where I snapped this shot…aaaaand an outfit post featuring the dress–because yes, it came home with me.  Sneaky.

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Distressed Jeans and Saying No to Frayed Hems

So you know how “distressed” jeans are a thing?  Very much in vogue amongst style bloggers.

As my friend Sheena likes to say, this might be controversial, but…ripped jeans ain’t my cup of tea.  Let me rephrase: intentionally ripped jeans ain’t my cup of tea.  I have a pair of Gap jeans I bought 8 years ago at a consignment shop in Mississippi already cut off and rolled at the knee, and they have unravelled quite a bit more and are starting to thread on the pockets and side seams because I have worn them so. dang. much.  I wore them through Katrina rebuilding and took engagement pictures in them and made long, comfy road trips with them and they were roomy enough to be the first jeans I wore after I had my child.  The distress on these jeans tell a story–my story.  Jeans shipped to the store “pre-” distressed?  Jeans I artfully cut with scissors to give them that “authentic” distressed look?  Not so much.

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Exhibit A, from Denim Therapy – which has tips on denim care and actually repairs your busted jeans, too

 

BUT, I get that the distressed element can de-formalize what might otherwise come off as a “fussy” ensemble, keeping it from looking too put together.  I get that deconstructed jeans bring texture and interest to an outfit.  Stylistically speaking, I could probably even pull them off.  But since I work in a business casual environment and spend the weekends it’s not too hot for jeans in the one pair I love*–a pair which I also use for casual Fridays–I’m going to stay content with jeans that look a bit more polished.  You don’t have to chase every trend just because it shows up at the thrift store or it’s popular amongst people whose style you admire.

 

And now on to the difference between intentionally distressed denim and neglected denim.

When my spouse and I stopped by the thrift store on the way home from work last week (other thrifted finds: $18 quality subwoofer, handpainted photoframe, 3-hole-punch for work, and shoes for the kiddo), he went looking for men’s clothes and came out of the dressing room with a sweet-fitting pair of Gap jeans…with frayed hems.  The kind you get when your hems are too long and the fray slowly eats up the back of your pants like your dog’s been mouthing them on the sly.  My spouse is not really a distressed-on-purpose kind of guy–his is more an “I’ve owned this Phish shirt since 1998 so it has holes in it” kind of distressed.  Not to mention that having only raggedy hems made these jeans look more sad and neglected than intentionally trendy.

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Like this, but on steroids.

 

I pulled out my best Nancy Reagan and told him to “just say no” to the frayage.  It made me sad to do it because he so rarely finds things he wants to buy at the thrift store –I take that back, he rarely finds clothes he wants to buy; he often finds electronic stuff he wants to bring home!

He replied they’d be good jeans to bum around in–to which I responded with a (what I hope was gentle) reminder that he already has jeans with other strategically placed rips at home for bumming around.  With a sigh he put them back.

Y’all, it ain’t easy to say no to things that alllllmost work.  But I could already hear the disappointment in his voice when, tired of wearing khakis, he looks hopefully to these jeans, only to decide they just aren’t polished enough to wear to work or to a family event.  And I’m all about avoiding thrift store purchases that leave you feeling less than satisfied.

 

What do you think about deconstructed jeans?  Do you agree that fraying hems on otherwise undistressed jeans look tacky, or do you think they can add a little insouciance to your look?
More importantly, should you ever weigh in on your significant other’s (or family or friend’s) thrift choices??

Comment below!

*Yes I only own one pair of jeans.  Well three if you count jeans for maternity wear.

 

Thrifting Pitfalls

A thrift store pitfall is any clothing item that for some compelling reason calls your name but which, after the first trial wear, will molder away in the back of your closet/bureau, never to see the light of day until you have mercy on it and finally donate it back to the same store from whence it came.

How do you avoid thrift pitfalls?  By listening to what I like to call your Style Conscience.

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It has a sort of minty, magical gleam

 

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