Ask Leah: My Favorite (Thrifted) Things

Ask me a question! (6)

Reader Kathleen S was the first to dive in on my Ask Me a Question! post–thanks Kathleen!–and she wanted to know:

What is Your

Friends.  Oh my.  This could take a loooong time to answer.

I have clothing finds that are favorites because they have worn so well and served me faithfully over the years:
How I love thee, polka dot blouse.

I have favorites that have become a signature part of my style:
Red chinos forever.

I have favorites that were just too funky or unique not to come home with me:

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

Handmade vintage bakelite green sheath?  Yes please.

I have purchases that unexpectedly became favorites despite their initial “eh” or “whaaaat?!” factor:
These were bought on a whim and I was a little unsure they’d stick–but they add such spunk to a surprising number of ensembles.

I have favorites that just spoke straight to my heart and I still have them even though I don’t wear them all that often:
Cowboy boots with leopard print pull tabs. Rowr.  Found at a hole-in-the-garage store called Ashes to Beauty in the West End.

I have “current” favorites that have flooded my Instagram feed all summer:
This top–so much bang for the thrifted buck this summer.

I have recently thrifted favorites I can’t wait to wear more when the weather gets cooler:
Plaid, mmm.

….you get the picture.

But to pick just one??  Difficult indeed.

I’ll reveal my favorite (for the purposes of this post–shh, don’t tell the others, they’ll be jealous) a few lines down, but in the meantime, I want to know about YOUR favorites.  Thrift stores are full of such gems; if you all post pictures of, or even just describe, your favorites it’ll do more than I as one lone thriftaholic ever could to testify to the masses that thrifting = a viable, enjoyable pastime filled with sartorial splendor (both ironic and work-appropriate).  So comment away, and illustrate as much as possible with Instagram links, or email your photos to post in an ongoing series–excuse me, CELEBRATION–of all that is thrifted clothing!  Huzzah!

Got a little carried away there.

Anyway, I give you:

Mississippi Travelers.
And a dirty mirror. 

I thrifted this humble, slightly-south-of-kelly-green t-shirt with a tiny hole in it while living in, you guessed it, Mississippi, doing post-Katrina clean up.  This baby was living in the t-shirt section of an America’s Thrift Store–the kind where the real cheap prices outweigh the excessive use of American flags and the cheesy Christian music blaring over the loudspeakers–when it caught my eye.  I was in the beginning stages of transitioning from “thrift stores are a fun place to get funky, ironic t-shirts!” to “thrift stores are my sole source of clothing and I’m going to look fabulous in my finds from them, dammit.”  This was obviously the former, but it’s outlasted almost every other such shirt in my wardrobe (exception: a pink threadbare tee where King Kong proclaims “I made it to the top!” of the Empire State Building bought on an excursion to the Sciasconset, MA Goodwill in college–yes I remember these things).

Why this shirt?  It’s so dang comfy, for one; so many washes have mellowed that poly-cotton blend nicely over the years.  For another, I unironically wore it to my pre-wedding brunch, with an unbuttoned, purple checked oxford over it, no less:
1935245_592787337747_7804515_n Me and the lovely Raquel of the utterly rad  She is your WOMAN for all things website design-related.  Seriously, check her out.

But mostly, I just reach for it again and again and again to relax in at the end of a long day or to lounge around on weekends.  It adds value to function, reminding me of a great time in my life without ever making me feel constricted or scratchy, but simply just right.

Maybe not what you expected from a style blogger?

Share your favorites below!



6 thoughts on “Ask Leah: My Favorite (Thrifted) Things

  1. I don’t have a whole lot of thrifted clothing, but I do have a thrifted black sweater with a mock turtleneck that I bought on a thrift outing with a college friend literally because I felt I needed to buy something to be sociable. And which is one of the only pieces of clothing I still have in my wardrobe – and still wear – from college (I graduated more than a decade and half ago). At times it’s been baggy and a bit grungy/goth (college), at other times it’s been tight and almost sleekly professional (more recently) but it has always been versatile.

    1. Funny how the look changes as we change, body-wise and style-wise! Turtlenecks are so simple and chic and go with everything (except August). Glad it’s still serving you!!

  2. My most favorite thing was those teal bowling shoes. They were absolutely faboo. Too bad they were already well worn when I got them, and they have since been retired, all holey.

    1. I love the “faboo” pieces that just make ya look funky and fun. Nobody else has those and in my experience they make people smile!! (and envy your awesome thrift finds :) )

  3. I think you nailed it. I could probably come up with a similar list. My most worn top is a V-neck 3/4 sleeve Coldwater Creek black top. I’ve worn it weekly since I purchased it. I’ve found great dresses (usually sleeveless) that work all year (sweaters, tights and boots for fall and winter). My most unexpected is probably a golden yellow quilted Christopher Bank vest. I haven’t had much luck with shoes, but would LOVE to find a pair of Cowboy boots.

    1. I’d love to see the golden quilted vest if you still have it!
      Cowboy boots are forgiving because they age/wear well and you can put on thick socks if they’re too wide for your feet (as mine are–men’s styles are typically wider than women’s).
      Ditto making sleeveless stuff work all year round! I do this with tanks, too.
      Worn weekly and still going–that’s a workhorse!!

      Thanks for sharing!

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