Spring Wardrobe

Since I broke up with (strict) capsule wardrobes last summer, this post does not contain every. single. piece. of clothing I will wear for the next few months; but it’s pretty close! My goal with a seasonal wardrobe like this is to have a curated closet full of things I love to wear that play well with one another; you’ll see that idea reflected in the color palette, style, and limited number of clothes shown below.

So here’s what I’m working with for work outfits this spring – a glorious season of never-ending flowers and pollen dust when the Atlanta temps can go from 50s up into the 80s on any given day. I’m really proud that I got good photos of (almost) everything this time around, so you’re getting full-sized pics.  Enjoy! :)

PS For anyone new to the blog – everything below is thrifted except my sandals (marked “retail”).

Tops 
I’m going to list all my long-sleeved lightweight tops here and all my short-sleeved/sleeveless tops in my summer wardrobe, knowing that I’ll likely move back and forth between the two as the weather changes.

IMG_5563 IMG_5564 IMG_5572IMG_5565 IMG_5566 IMG_5562IMG_5567 IMG_5568 IMG_5569 IMG_5570 IMG_5571IMG_5600  Red/pink/white floral – no label; muted red linen/cotton button down – Banana Republic; coral/blue/white popover – Dolan; peach leopard print – Forever 21; white popover – Old Navy; grey polka dot – Loft; emroibered cotton popover – Lucky Brand; white with blue floral tunic – Chico’s; tropical popover – Loft; blue/turquoise/yellow floral – Land’s End; cerulean snakeprint popover – no label; leopard print – Banana Republic heritage (straight out of wash and thus wrinkly!)

Jackets/Blazers/Cardigans

IMG_5578IMG_5583 IMG_5579  IMG_5589 IMG_5575 IMG_5576 IMG_5573
navy blue blazer – Charlotte Russe; pink/blue marled blazer – Cartonnier; grey marled blazer – Merona; white denim jacket- J. Crew; navy dress coat – Arthur S. Levine; white/gold chrysanthemum cardigan – Isaac Mizrahi Live!; blue pattern wool cardigan – Talbots 

 

Pants

IMG_1753 IMG_1754
IMG_1727 IMG_1729IMG_3784

I hope to add some dressier navy pants like the Vince Camutos above, but I’ll have to wait ’til after Easter when my thrift fast is done.

 

Skirts
I have really been in skirt-wearing mode lately so just squint and pretend these have all been freshly laundered…

IMG_5585 IMG_5588 IMG_5584Taupe – H&M; navy – J. Crew; white – Ann Taylor

I had a camel skirt too but guess what?  I hate camel. (Somebody remind me of this next time I try to get a camel skirt!) Also it was too big.

 

Dresses
IMG_5592IMG_5590 IMG_5593 IMG_5595 IMG_5596 IMG_5598
Caramel shirt dress – New York & Co.;  blue long-sleeve – Land’s End; turquoise/pattern colorblock dress – vintage; orange creamsicle sheath – Ann Klein; white sheath – H&M; blue sheath – Ann Taylor

That vintage dress feels a little more special occasion to me than every day; but I plan to wear it to work occasionally so I included it.

 

Shoes
WP_20170307_17_11_54_Pro WP_20170131_08_18_09_Pro
IMG_1160 IMG_1200-c
Clarks sandals (retail); Bandolino wedges (more about these here); Champagne flats (more here); Floral sneaks (more here)

 

That’s it! I’ll likely have a few tweaks/edits/additions along the way which I will share when I’m getting ready to transition into full-on summer wardrobe in a month or two (spring is short here!).

What do you think of my spring wardrobe?  What’s yours looking like this year?  Scroll down to comment!

 

Friday ReBlog: Capsule Wardrobe Discussions

Wow, this week had my number – the flu hit my kid and my spouse just as work cranked up. Then my kid got strep yesterday.  Bah!  Apologies for radio silence/skipping my regular Tuesday/Thursday posts – fingers crossed that today marks a return to sanity and routine!

This post by Caroline at Un-Fancy is a few weeks old but I’m still making my way through the comments, which showcase a wide variety of approaches to capsule (or capsule-ish) wardrobes.  I read collections of different perspectives like this like I eat popcorn – I can’t get enough!  They’re great for inspiration both in the particulars (hey, I could try out that idea) and in general – as I read I felt myself getting excited to do a spring wardrobe cleanout, so stay tuned for that.

She’s also done a Q&A about her own capsule wardrobe and a closet tour if you’re interested.

 

Have a great weekend, Thrifters! And here’s to a healthy household Chez Thriftshop Chic.

 

Thrifting for Kids

Note: none of the pictures loaded in the previously published version of this post, and a few still aren’t coming up.  But now you can get a much better idea what I was talking about re: clothes!  Apologies for the hiccup. 
In the “What would you like to see me cover in a post?” section of my recent reader survey, someone wrote:

“Do you thrift your kid’s wardrobe? My wardrobe is almost entirely thrifted (except underwear and shoes- hard to fit). I’ve got an 18 month old and an almost 4 year old, who, aside from socks and underwear, dress entirely in hand me downs and stuff from Once Upon a Child [kids’ consignment store]. But we’ve now moved 40 minutes from the nearest Once Upon a Child, and I notice that I can’t just roll up to the Goodwill and quickly find a whole season’s worth of clothes, because the selection is strange and there’s zero organization. I would love to hear how you go about clothing your child.”

This question resonated with several of you who commented that you’d like to read about some strategies for thrifting children’s clothing and/or see an update on my kid’s current wardrobe. (You can find the last time I covered it – last winter – here.)

First up: strategies for finding clothing your kid/s in secondhand clothes

General strategies (all applicable to grown up thrifting as well!):

  • Try to stick with one color palette so most/all of your stuff is mix and match.  This palette may be pre-chosen or may develop out of the things you piece together in store.  If you accidentally end up with an “outlier” that doesn’t play well with everything else, remember: jeans/jeggings go with everything.  But:
  • Don’t be afraid to get creative!  YOU get to determine what “goes” together, so don’t restrict yourself to rules about certain colors or prints not going together – if you or your kid love it together, it’s fair game.
    We aimed for legging-like solid-color pants this time around (see below) to keep legs warm and not clash too hard with her printed tops.  We ended up with some heart print pants and some striped pants, though – which turned out to be fun to mix in with patterned tops.  In a pinch I also ended up with slightly baggier pants that look a little funny paired with some of the bigger tops. But the essential I care about – that they not ride up so she doesn’t get cold – was covered by the elasticated ankle.  Done!
  • Also try to stick with a silhouette or two so that none of your finds become standalones that can only be worn with one other item.  Button down shirts probably will look funny with sweatpants so stock up on jeans/chinos…skirts/dresses in cooler weather mean lots of tights…active kids who love skirts might go with leggings or leggings shorts underneath…you get the picture.
    When my kid was tiny I stuck with onesies (with pants pulled up over them as necessary) since standalone shirts were prone to riding up on her wriggly body, then switched to shirt and pants/shorts when she was walking to make diapering easier.
  • Know your kid’s measurements (at least by eyeball).  Brands all have different sizing standards, so only your familiarity with your kid’s frame can tell you whether an item is likely to be too small/short/long/wide.  This is especially handy for when your kid isn’t with you to try things on/there is no place to try things on/online shopping.
  • Create a small (2-3 item) “fancy” capsule for special events – worship services, school performances, weddings/funerals, etc.  This keeps special stuff clean(er) and gives you flexibility to do another silhouette (e.g. my kid rarely wears dresses in ordinary life but has 2-3 she likes to wear on special occasions).
  • Decide your strategy for thrifting ahead.
    Because I live in an area with multiple stellar Goodwills and have limited storage space (and even limited-er willpower), I try NOT to buy items that will fit my kid “someday.”  I stumbled upon this strategy when I realized that I could not predict the rate at which my infant/toddler would grow and thus would only be guesstimating what size she needed for what length/weight of clothes.
    Your mileage may vary – your kids grow more predictably, you have more storage space, you have fewer opportunities to thrift and thus stock up when you find good stuff, you have multiple kids coming along so even if it doesn’t fit kid A in winter it might fit kid B in winter…etc.
  • If you have older kids, particularly ones who care about their clothing, have them help you identify which colors/silhouettes they like before you shop – or better yet, take them with you!

Tips specific to various secondhand contexts:

  • Consignment stores: Our reader question mentioned Once Upon a Child
  • Thrift stores
  • Hand me downs
  • Online 
  • Gifts – both retail and secondhand

 

And now, my kid’s current wardrobe.

You should know that my mom has saved a BUNCH of my/my sister’s baby clothes.  You should also know that she has one grandchild (my kid), and that one of the ways she loves on her granddaughter is buying her clothes.  This means we start off most seasons with some hand-me-downs and 3-4 new outfits and new pjs (see below for pics).

This means I end up with a sort of mini-capsule at the beginning of the season in a matching(ish) color palette that doesn’t make me want to keel over from pink overload (thanks Mom), to which I then thrifted mostly complementary clothes to get us to a serviceable wardrobe size.  (My mom came thrifting with me over Thanksgiving to get in on the fun! Pics below.)

 

Here’s what my mom dug out of storage for us for winter – 

Blue zip sweater
coat

red cardigan
img_4427

My grandmother made these and I love dressing my child in them. Grandmother died before her great grandchild was born but it feels like she is hugging my little girl (and thus me) every time I pull her arms through the sleeves and zip or button her up. /tears/  Plus who else has a rad zip sweater that goes on backwards so your kid’s face is always framed by that sweet little hood that never falls down?

 

Here’s what my mom gave us (new) for winter:

Owl top:
big_20161107_112856

teal top, jeggings
img_4573

pink/blue stripe top
big_20161214_103915

polka dot top
big_20161212_153431

Heart pants
img_4693

The light purple leggings (in the pic with the red sweater) and jeggings ended up going home with a friend by accident when I threw them into a load of her clothes she was washing at our house (bah, broken washing machines).  We’ll get them back this weekend!

It’s been about a month since those pants stowed away in our friend’s laundry.  At the beginning we got along alright without ’em because it was still warm (thank you Atlanta summers extending into November).   But in anticipation of cooler weather, this kerfluffle quickly got me out and thrifting for some new (to us) pants – plus a few extra shirts, because a pink short-sleeved T Rex on the Golden Gate bridge shirt can only be worn under a red cardigan so many times.

 

Here’s what I thrifted, round 1:

Navy & white striped sweatpant-style pants:
00001-2

Jeggings (SO many jeggings to choose from) – basically the same as above leggings.

Floral baseball top – *I* would wear this in a big person size.  Great mix of chic + sporty:
00001-1

Heart stripe top:
big_20161201_092956
Yes this is all pink, but the election had just happened and I felt like sending a message to the world about LOVE.  Also, it’s a 5T (my kid wears a 2T) but looked smallish.  It fits in the body and I cuff the sleeves – remember, it pays to know your kid’s frame!

REI purple puffy coat:
wp_20161215_17_29_36_pro
(The hat, shoes, and jeggings are also thrifted)

I KNOW.  This thing looks brand spankin’ new and was $6.  Perfect for colder days here and for our annual wintry trek to the wilds of New England.  I picked up purple mittens at the grocery store and we have hand-me-down hats; I will ask my mother-in-law to keep an eye out for a secondhand snowsuit and we’ll be all set.  Take THAT, Winter!

Her other thrifted winter shoes are these:
s-l225

If you’re counting, we’re now at 3 pairs of pants (soon to be back up to 5) and 5 long sleeved tops. This is juuuuuuust enough to get us through a week of daycare plus 1 weekend day of “I don’t care that my kid is wearing a shirt that already has paint on it.”  In other words, since I am lazy and try to only do laundry on the weekends, this is not quite enough.

Enter my mother, come to town for Thanksgiving, and game for a trip to Goodwill!

What we thrifted, Round 2:

Dino top:
6099
My kid loves dinos and I love claiming non-traditionally “girl” colors and motifs for my kid via her clothing.  I don’t think she cares yet.

Glitter top:
00001-2

Sorry the pic isn’t better – it says something about Glitter EVERYWHERE.  Too twee?  I was on the fence about the message but I love the sports jersey look and the color scheme.  It crosses traditionally “boy” colors/design with a traditionally “girl” love of glitter in a way that means any gender could wear it.  Because really, what little kid doesn’t love something designed to be strewn everywhere with glorious abandon so that your parent can’t ever get it out of your hair/off the floor/combed out of the cat?

 

Then I broke my own rule and let my mom thrift two shortsleeve shirts that will (theoretically) work for my kid next summer: a lion-with-sunglasses top (fun and cute), and a tow truck top (she loves tow trucks and looks great in blue).  My mom is a bad influence.

 

This month my mom sent us this for Christmas, which we have used as our church/holiday party outfit ad nauseum:

2614104

So that completes my kid’s current capsule.

The orange shirt is an outlier, colorwise, but goes just fine with jeggings and can work with the stripe pants and the heart pants (first time out she wore it with the hearts).  The purple pants are also a bit of a color outlier but still go (to my eyes) with the polka dot top, the teal top, the heart top, and in a pinch, the blue/pink stripe top.

 

TIP: save (or buy) a pair of pants or two that you’ve thought about donating – too worn/too baggy/too short – and take ’em to daycare/preschool/babysitter in case of potty training accidents.

 

How do you all thrift for the little people in your life?  Scroll down to comment!

 

PS My sister sent this yesterday for Christmas, so now we have another shirt.  Thanks Seester!
wp_20161220_08_54_49_pro

 

Travel Wardrobe: Chicago Sightseeing & Lake Michigan Dunes

Ahhh, two of my favorite places: downtown Chicago and the Michigan dunes.

Last week we took time out to visit family and celebrate our anniversary, and although we had access to laundry (thanks Mom & Dad!), I wanted to pack light and bring versatile pieces that could do double duty for sightseeing in the city and the beach.  I also wanted things that could layer since the weather was about to take a dip into cooler temps – real fall!  (Although sadly the trees were all still green because that part of the Midwest has had such a warm late summer/early autumn.) Continue reading “Travel Wardrobe: Chicago Sightseeing & Lake Michigan Dunes”

Fall /Winter Wardrobe Preview

We’re still in hot temps here but I know many of you have already started the slide into fall weather so I’m going to post some of what I *think* will work as my core/fringe items to get those autumnal juices flowing.  This is not an exhaustive or restrictive list but covers most of what I plan on wearing.

As you may remember, I’ve been restyling my cold weather wardrobe as I try to figure out some styles I love that keep me warm. I’ve been doing it during the summer to give me time to think about additions and go slowly without the pressure of chilly temps right around the corner – but this also means I haven’t been able to wear any of the clothes together yet! So consider this most definitely a first draft.

(Also, the cords below are currently at the tailor to be transformed into actual slim pants instead of boot cuts, so you’ll just have to use your imagination.)

Enjoy!

 

Mixing my core/fringe model with a dual-silhouette idea borrowed from Un-Fancy, I’ll do two core silhouettes – my go-to silhouettes that most of the clothes in my cold weather closet can participate in – and a fringe silhouette – the one I use occasionally to mix things up a little and that’s made up of some pieces that don’t mix and match as well with the core silhouettes.

Here’s my first core silhouette, continued from summer into fall:

img_4247

Torso-skimming top over slim pants.  This silhouette will cover a variety of temperatures with some lightweight tops, some toppers (cardignas, blazers, ruanas, etc.) over lightweight tops, and finally proper sweaters (with shell underneath for really chilly days).  Please ignore the tag on the top – recently thrifted and not yet worn! – and imagine the pants a little slimmer in general.  All my slim trousers were at the tailor.

 

Second core silhouette: sheath/sweater dress over leggings and long sleeves (as needed)

IMG_2760 wp_20160307_17_09_29_pro IMG_2750 IMG_3172 IMG_3186

Two more dresses I’ll be wearing in this manner: here and here

Merona – Land’s End – Merona – Jacqueline Ferrar – George – all thrifted

 

Here’s my fringe silhouette, moving from the starting list last winter to more of a relief pitcher this year:

img_4250

Fitted top over flares
I like the chic, long lines of this silhouette, but I got a little tired of it last year, so it’ll make some appearances this year but not take top billing.  Now I’m mixing metaphors…

 

And here are the items that will fit into each silhouette:

Skim over slim – lightweight tops

IMG_4160 wp_20160914_19_05_26_pro WP_20160826_15_14_58_Pro img_4228 IMG_2788 IMG_2782 IMG_2824  img_4234   img_4236

Japna – Madewell – Meadow Rue – Merona – Ambiance Apparel – Piazza Sempione – White Stag – Coldwater Creek –  Pull and Bear (detail of sweater worn in silhouette photo above) –  all thrifted

 

Skim over slim – sweaters

IMG_3677 IMG_3668 IMG_3680 IMG_3673   wp_20160505_15_06_57_pro img_4241 img_4240

Liz Clairborne – Gap new with tags – Forever 21 – Mossimo – French Connection – Liz Claiborne – Loft (the back is more interesting) – all thrifted

 

Skim over slim – toppers

IMG_4153 img_4229 img_4259 img_4261 img_4262

Old Navy – Loft – Haberdashery by Personal – Merona – Cartonnier – all thrifted

 

Skim over slim – bottoms

IMG_4157 img_4096  img_4098  img_4266   IMG_1768

Uniqlo – Ralph Lauren new with tags (to be tailored to slim fit) – Banana Republic (to be tailored to slim fit) – Chico’s – F21 – all thrifted

 

Fit over flare – tops

img_4255 img_4254

Banana Republic (featured in silhouette photo above – Express – both thrifted

 

Fit over flare – bottoms

IMG_1765

Old Navy – thrifted

 

 

Outerwear
Just one coat, because it makes me just that happy:

IMG_2747

J. Crew – thrifted

This feels like a lot, but not counting leggings, shells, or outwear, it’s 35 pieces – right about at the sweet spot for typical mix-and-match capsule wardrobes (although I do have a few more things on my thrift list that might either grow this list or elbow some of these items out of the way!).  I’ll keep you updated on what works, what doesn’t, what gets worn and what sits at the back of the closet or drawer.

What’s in your capsule or edited wardrobe this fall/winter?  Scroll down to comment!

 

Happy fall!

 

Friday ReBlog: Checking in with Into Mind

Anuschka at Into Mind wrote a great post on thinking about your closet not just a collection of cute outfits but as a cohesive wardrobe, and using those lovely, stylized images of capsule wardrobes we talked about the other week to help evaluate your own closet.

She’s also got an example of said visual inspiration for summer.  It’s a great demonstration of how to do a unified closet with more color and polish than the neutrals/casual basics vibe we so often see in capsules, so if you love color or need a more work-appropriate look, check it out.  Bonus: the broad terms she uses (chic work top, fun work top, accent pants) help you think of your closet in terms of categories that work together instead of making you lust after specific pieces some blogger loved.

Last but not least, 5 Ways to Build a More Ethical Closet tackles ethical dressing from a broader perspective than the oft-touted “save up to buy Everlane even if you don’t love grey t-shirts.”  Anuschka outlines 5 different approaches to curating a more ethical closet that remind us not to “let perfect be the enemy of good.”  Approach #4 is “shop secondhand or vintage” – yay!

 

Happy Weekend, Thrifters!

 

 

 

The 2 Best Things I Got from Capsule Wardrobes – and Why I’m Breaking up with Them

Breaking Up (3)

 

Well, “breaking up” is a rather overdramatic way to put it.

But last week I caught up on Caroline’s post at Un-Fancy on moving away from capsules and it put into words some frustrations with the capsule wardrobe concept that had been swimming in my head for awhile but that I hadn’t been able to articulate. Continue reading “The 2 Best Things I Got from Capsule Wardrobes – and Why I’m Breaking up with Them”

Friday ReBlog: Capsule Closet Tumblr

Lo at Capsule Closet on Tumblr has created a visual diary of her capsule clothing experiments using clean, well-laid-out graphics that will give the visual thinkers among us great capsule wardrobe inspiration.  Her style is self-described “minimalist tomboy” but, as with many capsule blogs, the conceptual thinking behind how she combines pieces to create outfits and build a wardrobe is applicable across any style genre.

Other great features?  She assembles regular Weekend Links to help you get to know new ethical brands and find your next style blog crush.

And – this is so cool – she’ll take a retail item that’s hot in style blogs right now (e.g. Madewell flare jeans) and compile half a dozen or more ethical alternatives at different price points.  Great place to start an ethical clothes journey, one piece at a time.

 

Enjoy!

 

Why You Shouldn’t Duplicate What Works (and a sneak peek at my winter wardrobe restyling)

As I’ve been retooling my off-season wardrobe, I’ve been tempted to double down on the one sweater I kept from this past winter’s wardrobe – my snow leopard print beauty:

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

 

Here is some photo evidence of my apparent obsession (and/or sartorial laziness) regarding animal print: Continue reading “Why You Shouldn’t Duplicate What Works (and a sneak peek at my winter wardrobe restyling)”