Thrift Finds: September 2017

Let’s take a look back at September’s thrift finds – the stuff I’ve been thrifting as I shift back to a colder climate!

First up, a few dresses bought at the Davis Square Goodwill in search of a good candidate for the town festival. This sleeveless number by Talbots you’ll recognize from the What I Wore post since it ended up being a hot day:

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Less orange, more coral in real life.

This striped Gap dress with bracelet-length sleeves also came home with me. With its thick knit it’ll be good for transitional temps; plus the stripes will work in my more casual workplace:

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Despite being a color I love and having roll-tab sleeves (y’all know my affection for these), this long-sleeved romper made me feel like a Coachella attendee. Too short and sort of…sloppy? floppy? for my taste and my lifestyle:

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I can’t decide if it’s better or worse from the side:

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But that miss was redeemed by this scarf win:

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Next up was a trip to Sister Thrift in Framingham, which I visited after the one in Watertown. The lighting in the fitting room was abysmal; I apologize in advance.

This sweater had my favorite fitted proportions but too many bobbles on it, like your aunt crocheted it for you in 1986:

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I’m pretty sure there’s a hand-crocheted blanket with that exact motif on the bed in my parents’ guest room.

This cardigan was a great color and had nice drape but was too big across the shoulders/in the sleeves. Wanh-wannnh:

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Diane von Furstenberg in the wild! This puppy was 100% silk, my size, and check out that ginko print! I love it. Sadly the white was pretty dingy, the v-neck was waaaaay too low for work, and the hem was too short, so I left it for someone else:

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This Caslon sweater dress came home with me, to be paired with leggings. This eBay listing will give you a better idea of the color – it’s much more of a royal blue. Sweater dress + zipper details + pockets = win in my book:

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This military green field jacket by United Colors of Benetton also came home with me. Nice and cozy for New England fall, it reminds me of Nancy’s monster-bashing outfit in Stranger Things – which, let’s be honest, is half its appeal. My favorite part is the contrast plaid lining, which no one ever sees…but I know it’s there!

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My last thrift stop for September was the Goodwill in Portsmouth, NH, where I was on the hunt for some longer-sleeved casual tops. All my long-sleeved tops are either blouses are sweaters, but in this casual, cool temps environment, I’m finding a big need for more t-shirt-like, long-sleeved tops that can layer under warmer stuff.

Thus I give you this salmon-colored Chico’s 3/4 length top with pearlescent buttons (on the sleeve, too, although you can’t see them here), which is made of Pima cotton and was half off. BAM:

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The color is much less dark in real life:

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Paired with The Savile Row Co. polka dot vest, thrifted

Here’s another longer-sleeved tee, by Olive & Oak. Yep, those navy and white stripes are pretty similar to the Gap tee I wear to death, but this one has full sleeves, a neck that doesn’t flirtatiously reveal my shoulders, and a fun contrasting stripe there at the bottom. #thriftjustification

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Check out that hi-lo hem:

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I saw someone rock a warm oatmeal long-sleeved tee under a vest earlier in the day and figured I’d try to replicate it. This one was too greige and washed me out:

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But this one, by L.L. Bean, was just the right oatmeal color with a little cream heathering for visual texture (and a mock turtleneck! joy!):

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It’s going to be great under my navy vest (see above) and my cream/caramel/grey cardigan from last winter:

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Last but not least, a fun cotton moto jacket, by Gap I believe, with sleeves too big, but I thought you all would enjoy it:

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What’d y’all thrift last month? Should I have bought the moto jacket? Comment to share your thoughts!

 

 

Local Thrift Stores: Davis Square Goodwill & Sister Thrift, Watertown

Hey all! Today we have a little tour of two different thrift stores in the Boston area. On Thursday I’ll share some of the things I found therein for my September thrift finds post!

First up is Sister Thrift in Watertown. Sister Thrift is a small, nonprofit chain supporting the Humane Society, which is A+ in my book. I’ve visited two so far; they are of the “small, packed, and you never know what you will find” variety while still being well organized.

On this visit I didn’t snag any clothes for myself, but I did find some great toys for my kid to spend her birthday money on, and as I mentioned earlier, some notecards, office supplies, and throw pillows.  Prices on dresses were a little higher than I’m used to ($8.50) but everything else was priced decently.

Here are some great things I found but didn’t take home – pics from my old phone’s crappy camera:

Chartreuse velvet blazer by J. Crew:

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Tweed blazer by Banana Republic I would have snapped up if it had been my size:

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Oh hello chic Chico’s jumpsuit, sz 2 (that’s like a large in Chico’s sizing):

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Some winter coats I wish would have worked:

A puffer coat by Calvin Klein (with a broken zipper):

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A faux fur olive green wrap coat by Jennifer Lopez which was super chic but didn’t strike me as able to stand up to New England winters:

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Sorry the picture is so shapeless; it’s hard thrifting with a kid in tow!

 

Next up, Goodwill in Davis Square (Somerville). There were two floors, with women’s upstairs:

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And men’s, kids’, and books/housewares downstairs:

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The prices were reasonable (on par with Goodwill of North Georgia’s before their recent price hike) and the selection was pretty good! The women’s shoes were scattered across the tops of the racks which was annoying; I didn’t have the time or patience to wander around checking them all.

One big upside: they do returns! I can’t remember if it’s 7 or 9 days, but when we ended up accidentally buying a $14 wolf costume for our kid (miscommunication for the win), it was great to be able to return it.

It was a good visit and I nabbed a few things I’ll share in my September thrift finds post. Here’s some of what I spotted, clothes-wise, but didn’t take home.

 

Gumby! (and collection bins filled with Trader Joe’s bags):

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I shared these on Instagram the other week but for those who don’t follow me there, some of my finds.

An Xhiliration blouse, size small, with a great pattern BUT SOMEONE CHOPPED OFF THE BOTTOM:

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Not really, it’s just cropped and I’m annoyed because otherwise it would make a great work top for someone. But short-torso’d readers, perhaps this is your dream?

Uniqlo turtleneck that was made of some kind of classy fleece:

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Super chic cobalt blue Kenneth Cole jacket with great shoulder and pocket details. I couldn’t find this exact coat online but I imagine it retails for $100+. Love the collarless collar:

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The tiniest tweed jacket, with velvet collar!

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Odille (Anthropologie brand) dress in mustard:

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And what I wore for the excursion, as it was on the warm side:

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Floral blouse: Old Navy, thrifted
Shorts: Bebe, thrifted

Sneakers: City Sneaks, thrifted
Bag: Marco Avané, thrifted

 

There are two more Sister Thrifts in the Boston area and two more secondhand stores in Davis Square to check out. I’ll keep you posted next time I visit one!

 

Vintage Bracelet Makeover

Last Saturday I finally got to visit Chalice Thrift at the First Christian Church in Decatur. (Church nerd note: they’re Disciples of Christ, which is the cousin to my denomination, and they do really rad justice and service work with the proceeds from the thrift store.)

They’ve been closed the last 3 times I’ve been by, so I was thrilled to have a look inside.  Plus they had Danish butter cookies and lemonade for all, and Danish butter cookies are the way to my heart (especially the kind with crystallized sugar on top).

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Victory is mine.

They also grow blackberries which made my child happy (well, that and the cookies. And their lovely clean bathroom they let her use):

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Inside the shop was set up like a boutique, with different rooms for women’s, men’s, kids, housewares, books (a veritable library!), etc.:

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I wanted to get back to park time* with my family, so I made a pretty quick sweep. (*Atlantans with small people should check out the Decatur Toy Park. Sponsored by this same church, it’s basically a fenced-in park filled with larger-sized toys, particularly wheeled ones, donated for all to use. There are also swings, small slides, and a mini free library, and it’s across the street from the thrift store. It’s also just down the block from Dancing Goats if your toddler woke you up earlier than nature intended and you need some coffee. Win-win.)

During my sweep, this vintage earring/bracelet combo immediately caught my eye:

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I’ve long been a fan of vintage costume jewelry for the sheer chutzpah it brings to an outfit. My grandma had a lot of great pieces I’ve enjoyed wearing over the years, although I’ve scaled back from wearing complete earring/necklace matching sets in the same outfit.

So I wasn’t sure what I would do with this set, particularly since I prefer cuff bracelets to linked ones. But I couldn’t resist the palm frond motif or the golden color, halfway between taupe and caramel, that would go with so much of my wardrobe. It felt like a fresh, subtle take on the palm frond trend that’s been going strong the last year or two:

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Mmm, that vintage patina…

I bought it without a plan and wondered if I’d basically just donated $4 to Chalice Thrift (not a bad thing, but I like to spend thrift money on things I’ll actually, you know, wear.)

Later that day it occurred to me that I could make this bracelet into a necklace by removing the clasp on one side and attaching chain to both ends.  A quick perusal of my miscellaneous jewelry-making bits confirmed that I didn’t have enough chain (or the right color) for what I had in mind.

So it was time for a trip to the Goodwill to hunt for parts. (We also took the opportunity to teach our daughter how to wisely spend her birthday money; $8 goes a long way in the kids’ section of a thrift store. I’m proud to say that after playing with a bunch of cheap toys she bought one book and kept the rest of her moolah for another day/charity donation.)

In the jewelry section I found this number:

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(My friend pointed out that I could’ve gone to Michael’s and maybe spent less buying new chain, but I’d rather buy secondhand and experience the thrill of the hunt. Plus this was only $4 and I’m getting a lot of other beads/jewelry bits out of it, including some to make earrings for this same friend. Win-win again!)

Using jewelry pliers I took out the chain sections, including the short braided section (on the left middle in the photo above), and left the lobster claw clasp where it was.  I attached the braided chain to one side of the single chain, then took two of the necklace’s jump rings (small metal circles used to connect chain to beads/hang pendants) and used them to attach the chain pieces to the bars at either end of the former bracelet. You can see the jump rings and the braided chain section up close here:

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I like how the braided part adds a little asymmetrical interest.

This shot gives a better sense of where the necklace falls – I can adjust the length from almost choker down to this “bib” size simply by attaching the lobster claw to any of the chain links:

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Here’s another few shots of my new necklace in action from Instagram – when I make “new” jewelry I’m excited about, I tend to wear the heck out of it:

A post shared by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

A post shared by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

What do y’all think of my $8 vintage bracelet makeover?  Have you Atlantans ever visited Chalice Thrift?  Scroll down to comment!

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!

Does Thrifting Contribute to Gentrification? Part 2

Last week I shared the conversation my friend Hannah and I had about whether thrifting contributes to gentrification. I mentioned in the intro to that post that it seemed disingenuous to write about whether my thrift habit negatively affects those with limited resources without including the voices of the people in question.  Hannah grew up using thrift stores as an affordable means of clothing a large family looking to conserve resources, but I also wanted to include other voices.  Plus, I needed to educate myself more on the subject. Hence, Part Deux. Continue reading “Does Thrifting Contribute to Gentrification? Part 2”

Travel Wardrobe: Asheville, NC

A few weekends ago we packed up and drove the 3 and a half hours to meet friends in Asheville, North Carolina for a mini break.  What follows is what I packed (and what my kid packed), what I wore, and what we did, including a thrift visit (sadly only one; I saw at least two more but we didn’t make it to them.  Next time, Asheville!).

If that sounds like a lot to cover, it is!  Buckle up, folks, this is a long one (but there are photos to help you make it through!). Continue reading “Travel Wardrobe: Asheville, NC”

A DIY / Thrifted Statement Pendant Necklace

Pendants are one of my favorite kinds of necklaces because that dangling pop of jewelry is dramatic and fun; the length also handily draws your eyes down the entirety of the outfit and won’t crowd your face/neckline.

Luckily for us, pendants are also the easiest kind of necklace to DIY, because you can pop a few beads and baubles together, slip it on a chain you already own, and BAM!  You’re ready to go.  That same chain can be used to showcase different pendants depending on your outfit and your mood.

You can thrift the chain, of course, but you can also thrift the components of the pendant. I did one here that I’ve been wearing a lot this spring, and today I’m going to show you another one I recently created for the winter wardrobe I’ve been revamping this summer – but surprise, it works great for summer, too!

Click through to see what I made and general guidelines for making your own thrifted/DIY pendant. Continue reading “A DIY / Thrifted Statement Pendant Necklace”

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”

Love It or Leave It – or, Learning to Say No to Clothes at the Thrift Store

I went thrifting with my friend Caitlin the other weekend – she racked up several items to try on and I struck out, so I ended up in the very spacious dressing room (thanks Newnan Goodwill!) giving her picks the thumbs up or down.

(Shoutout to my mom for training me to think it’s fun to help someone else try clothes on – Ma, you would have been proud of my re-hanging garments and sorting into yes/no/maybe piles while my friend kept zipping through her selections.)

My friend mentioned at the beginning of the process that she always tries things on twice, to give herself some time to marinate on a selection before sealing the deal.  I nodded in agreement – sometimes you just need to revisit a piece to decide if it’s coming home with you.

But then she found this purple, leopard print dress by Soprano (retailed for around $50).  My friend’s face lit up and we both oooohed and ahhhhed – it was love at first fit.  “I won’t have to try this on a second time!” she gushed. Continue reading “Love It or Leave It – or, Learning to Say No to Clothes at the Thrift Store”