Thrift Finds: October 2017

First up, I want to share with you all Nadia at Happy Malista’s recap from her 10×10 challenge; she shared her outfits as well as outfits from a few other bloggers whose challenges she enjoyed, including yours truly! It’s sometimes hard finding a style blogger whose style is close enough to your own to resonate but different enough to inspire you; Nadia’s 10×10 hits that sweet spot for me. She’s convinced me I need to replace the blazer I used to own that was kind of a spring take on moss green…

And now, on to my thrift finds from last month!  Starting with the NOs:

A great soft dark grey turtleneck with split hem, made of supima cotton, that was too baggy – sigh:

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A Talbots sweater that made me feel like I live in a ski chalet – look at that great fringe!

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A wonky fit in the torso, though:

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I’m on the hunt for a caramel-colored turtleneck but this one was giant in the armpits:

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It hid its ginormous pits well, though:

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This dark cognac trench was a dream – 100% wool, and just had so much character:

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It was a little TOO oversized on me, and the color a bit intense – see how it’s the first thing your eye is drawn to in the picture, instead of my face? Sign of a tone mismatch.  Anyway, this would have fit my fantasy life (city dweller with a 20 minute walk across the Loop to get to my office) but not my real life (quick jog down the block to my office, then where do I stash this monster?), so I left it there.  Tear.

It’s hard to tell, but this riding jacket by Ralph Lauren was too big on me. The cut is very equestrian; can’t you see it paired with jodhpurs?

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But here’s where it shines – velvet collar and some purple woven in with that moss green. It’s like heather in a blazer!

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Various pants I tried out because I thought I needed grey jeans (probably not true):

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Several sweaters that didn’t make the cut, such as:

Loft – loved the diamond pattern but it was scratchy-atchy-atchy, as one of my kid’s storybooks says:

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Same with this Gap sweater – scratchy, and that neck plus those sleeves totally remind of the year 2000:

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Too much blue in this green sweater by Land’s End – but it fit perfectly! (Their tops are usually too wide in the torso for me):

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Italian wool from Banana Republic, too tight (that smudge is the mirror, not a sweater defect):

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And a J. Crew dress that underwhelmed, I think mostly because it was short enough to need leggings, but lightweight enough to show any lumps and folds from underlayers:

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That bottom half is navy, despite its greenish tinge in this photo.

 

And now, for the winners!

You’re familiar by now with my new cable knit sweater by Workshop by Andrea Jovine:

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Here’s my new goose down coat by Larry Levine; it retails for up to $200 but thrifted for $20. I may not be psychologically ready for the cold, but I will be sartorially ready for it!

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It’s just this side of dark charcoal, so hopefully it will not wash me out quite as much as pure black. Honestly, though, if I’m warm and I paid 10% of MSRP, I don’t care. Functional wins out over everything else in this case.

Here’s my first Eileen Fisher find! A bright, orangey red that is sort of intensely bright – what a great fall color:

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Check out that split hem!

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To wit, here it is styled:

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And this tan/cream patterned sweater by L.L. Bean:

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There’s a cat balancing on my phone!

…with a fun hi-lo split hem:

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Here it is styled:

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And last but not least, this merino wool plaid scarf in colors that complement my wardrobe in stellar fashion:

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Overall, a pretty good month.  Onward to November!

Did anything in my finds catch your eye?  What did you thrift this past month?

Fall 10×10 Style Remix: Sweaters Galore – Part 1

So the other week I said I wasn’t doing the 10×10 because we were still having 80 degree weather. A few days after that post published Mother Nature mocked me by dropping the temperature 20 degrees with winds that made me chilly even with a thick sweater on.  So I decided to jump on the 10×10 train a little late and have fun with it!

For those unfamiliar, a 10×10 style remix is a wardrobe challenge that uses limitations to spark creativity. Originating with Lee Vosburgh of StyleBee and now cohosted by Caroline of Un-Fancy, a 10×10 remix takes 10 pieces of clothing and makes them into 10 outfits over 10 days. What you count as an item is up to you (I’m not counting shoes, workout gear, outerwear), and so is the outcome – maybe you want to be satisfied with what you have instead of fighting the urge to shop, maybe you want to find new ways of wearing what you already have, maybe you don’t want to have to stand in front of your closet agonizing over what to wear.

This time around I’m using the 10×10 to test out new (to me) fall pieces as I ease into a climate with real autumn weather. Since I started the remix on a whim (and after I already had other posts scheduled), this post will be a recap of the first half of the challenge.  I’ll recap the rest of the remix in the next post.

 

My 10×10 Line Up

These 10 pieces centered around neutrals with some texture for interest; as you can tell I’m still firmly on #TeamCorduroy for cool weather. I also tried to incorporate a few new silhouettes – the loose crop and the trapeze/inverted hemline, aka the Chic Bat.

Here’s what I’m working with – 5 sweaters, 4 pants, and one jacket:

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Olive sweater by Cyn; cream cableknit sweater by Workshop by Andrea Jovine; taupe jeweled sweater by Ivanka Trump (hey, all my money went to Goodwill so I’m cool with it); dishwater sweater by Gap Body; charcoal sweater by 1804 Coin; olive field jacket by United Colors of Benetton; dark purple corduroy pants by Loft; cognac cords by Talbots; jeans by Paige; cream cords by Lauren by Ralph Lauren. All thrifted.

Outside of my 10, I added shoes and a few scarves for more color/interest. Here are the scarves; I’ll include close-ups of the shoes in the outfit shots.

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Scottish cashmere scarf, Etsy; merino wool scarf, thrifted

And now, on to the outfits.

Day 1 – Olive + Salmon Plaid

The sweater and ankle boots in this outfit are olive, despite appearing sort of taupe in the picture:

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Closeup on this cashmere scarf with incredible colors – salmon, blue, cream, and a color that splits the difference between taupe and olive and thus pairs perfectly with my sweater:

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I found this scarf on Etsy and have honestly no idea if it’s actually 100% Scottish cashmere/made in England as claimed, but it’s super soft and warm so I’m sticking with it.  More scarves in a variety of colors from the same vendor here.

These thrifted olive ankle boots by Leila Stone look 👌 with this sweater. The higher (for me) heel makes them slightly uncomfortable to walk in long distances, but it’s totally doable on my short commute:

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I give this outfit 10 out of 10. I feel chic, put together, and like I managed to add some fall color in a palette that doesn’t overwhelm me.

 

Day 2: Navy & Cream

This sweater is actually more of a dishwater color…I love the texture and the silhouette (split hems forever!), but I think I’m going to bleach it and dye it cream so that it’s not quite so… grey-ish.  Is there such a thing as cream-colored dye?

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I like the scarf on top of that big blank slate and the print mixing with the floral sneaks. Now that the weather is chillier, I can easily swap my navy Puma sneakers for footwear warmth. I’d give this outfit 8/10 for comfort and style; -2 points for the dishwater color.

 

Day 4: Stormtroopers

My daughter and I both wore charcoal and cream this day, which prompted her to declare that we were stormtroopers (don’t worry; she’s usually rooting for the Rebel Alliance):

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I surprised myself with how much I like this charcoal color; y’all know I stay away from true black and this is pretty close to it, but the charcoal somehow warms it up enough that I don’t feel washed out.  I dig the contrast with my blond hair.

The inverse hem with a bit of a trapeze swing happening is new to me; I like it! It gives some movement and interest to the outfit while the fitted sleeves keep it from feeling completely nonsensical in the oversize department.

I do, however, think that the volume on top might benefit from slightly more fitted pants (e.g. my Paige jeans), so 7/10.

Here’s a close up of the sweater texture and the DIY pendant necklace I made from Goodwill finds:

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And the boots – I love the print on these:

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Wish I could say I thrifted those puppies, but they were a Christmas present from a few years back. They’re Lucky Brand (thanks Seester!).

 

Day 4: Cognac and Cream

This day started lazily at home with coffee and oatmeal spiked with locally picked apples, then segued into a visit with Thoreau at Walden pond. I felt absolutely cozy throughout thanks to this super soft cable knit sweater:

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It features another new silhouette for me: a loose, semi-crop with fitted sleeves that once again kept things reasonable. Paired with flared cords (and the Pumas I ended up wearing to walk around Walden Pond – see below), it reads like I finally caught up with 2017 fashion, which long ago dispensed with skinny legs and fitted tops.

I LOVE the cognac color of these cords; it’s really rich and vibrant and would pair fabulously with my crossbody bag. I’ve previously gotten flares tailored, but I think I might leave these as is…they have a hint of a 70s vibe that encourages me to embrace some volume in my silhouettes.

I rate the Puma version of this outfit (which you can see on Instagram) 8/10 because although I felt a little out of my comfort zone, I also felt cool – and comfortable.

Mmmm, cozy:

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Here’s a closeup on those colors:

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And the shoes for taking a walk:

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Day 5: Field Jacket Chic

Let’s follow that 70s vibe straight into the 80s, where this field jacket picked up its corduroy collar and plaid lining:

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Love the colors on this scarf, and the mossy olive green on the jacket:

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I’m giving this one 10/10 for color palette, for sweater + jacket pairing so well together, and for the finishing touch of the scarf which really pulls it all together. This would have been pushed up all the way to 11 if I had worn my olive ankle boots, but I had a lot of walking to do which called for the comfort of sneakers.

 

All right, Thrifters – that’s a wrap on Part 1. Come back next week for Part 2 of my fall 10×10!  And share with us if you’re doing (or have already finished) the Fall 10×10.

Style Sightings: Fall in New England (with a quick visit to New Hampshire & Maine)

If you’re like me and have been stuck in bizarre 80 degree weather for the last few weeks but still need your fall fix, this post is here to help. First up, some fall fashion from around town.

White cords with a matching turtleneck and contrasting cable knit sweater:

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I dig the texture on the loafers (faux alligator?) and the apple as accessory.  The sock game is off, though – don’t dilute the high contrast beauty of this outfit with pastels!

Sort of counter intuitively, that bright dahlia red in her sweater is very fall:

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Flowers from down the block.

Out picking pears, I spotted this gentleman sporting some great mustard chinos paired with clogs, that back-in-style-again fall staple:

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Honorable mention to the teal chinos on the right!

More clogs, in IKEA, sported by a French woman:

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We helped each other load boxes then chatted briefly while my child ran off with her own furniture cart like some kind of demented sled dog driver.

At our local independent coffee shop, this woman was rocking hiking boots + jeans with holes + purple plaid. Not in my wheelhouse, yet her look felt effortlessly cool. The cool factor was increased by the fact that she appeared to be 50+, an age when many women steer away from rocker/grunge style:

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A better look at that plaid and hole-y jeans:

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Still warm enough for slides on her companion!

This textured sweater + scarf over jeans combo on a woman of about the same age, on the other hand, is perhaps more expected, but it’s also right in my wheelhouse. I think my heart skipped a beat when I saw her look. Check out that luscious cream color of the sweater, its loooong length and split hem, and the delicious texture on the sandals, again a concession to warm days:

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Here’s a fun pairing of berry and fuchsia (more pink than the red in this photo) that, like the bright red sweater above, speaks to these hot fall days when flowers are still blooming left and right:

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See what I mean?

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Last week we went up to New Hampshire and Maine for a quick overnight to celebrate our anniversary. First up was a visit en famille to Applecrest farm to ogle the apples and pumpkins and to visit the farm animals. Let me tell you, though, the first thing that caught my eye, right out of the car, was the fall style on these two late-20s-ish women:

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Patterned scarves, split hems, plaid elbow patches, a quilted vest, great color palettes…the mix is good enough that I can overlook the matching TOMS.  Did they call each other that morning and agree to wear variations on the same outfit?

Same idea, different execution – love the green pants and the plaid shirt with red hair on this mom of a toddler:

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And one more toddler mom, this time with shearling and Chucks:

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There was another woman whose picture I couldn’t get but who wore a marled oatmeal hip-length sweater topped with an olive green utility vest over jeans and grey suede ankle boots and it was the first time I liked a utility vest.

(Please, after all this time, don’t let me start liking olive green military parkas! Yes I know that field jacket from last month’s finds is awfully parka-adjacent… it’s a slippery slope, people, don’t get on it. Unless you are Une Femme who completely makes it work.)

Next we left the kid with the grandparents and headed north to York, Maine, where we got engaged lo these many years ago (awwww). After a walk on Long Sands beach…

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…including the two most gorgeous mussel shells I’ve ever seen…IMG_20170929_160612860_HDR

…and a quick trip to the Nubble…

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…and a stop at Dunne’s for Maine Survivor ice cream (no picture, sadly; we ate it too fast!)…

…we drove through York, where we perused this local artists’ gallery…

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Best print storage/display idea ever.

…and spotted this equestrian chic outfit (love that long plaid scarf)…

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…just outside the Wiggly Bridge Distillery tasting room, where we enjoyed a flight – yum!

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Then it was off to dinner at The Central, a recommendation from the woman staffing the tasting room. I had the only best! lobster corn chowder of my life and some really delicious beets/goat cheese/Brussels sprouts washed down with local hard cider. I was ridiculously happy to be enjoying wonderful food with just my beloved and no child. :)

Bonus: there was Maine dining-out style to be appreciated! While the apple-picking/whiskey-drinking crowd was on the younger side (late 20s to mid 30s), the women out to eat tended towards 50+ and, to a woman, looked fabulous. Perhaps it was the venue/evening time slot, but they looked a bit more polished, via jewelry and shoes, than the younger crowd, including this chic take on buffalo check paired with a cream down puffer and silver pendant:

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…and this just-right goldenrod sweater with split hem and scarf (are we noticing a pattern?) and gorgeous silvery long hair which I’m going to covet now for my future hair color. She was laughing in the most lovely way but since I try to keep people’s faces obscured you will just have to imagine her having a wonderful time:
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…and this cool black/marled color block sweater with a shirt collar peeping through at the neckline in a preppy-chic look (which sadly you can’t see; there’s only so much surreptitious outfit snapping I can do without actually stalking people):

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Although Bostonians are fun to observe as they dress for fall, my conclusion is that it’s the women of coastal NH & Maine who have fall style down to a science. I am but a mere babe trying to follow in their footsteps; here’s to the fun of trying to emulate their laidback autumnal chic!

Thrift Finds: August 2017

Most of August was spent getting ready to move and then moving. But – I know you’re shocked – I managed to fit some thrifting in there anyway!

Check out the decor and lamp shades I thrifted in August to help stage our house here.

And now for the clothes.

Floral cotton popover blouse by Old Navy
Y’all know me and my love for popover blouses:

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I’ve been looking for something with palm fronds, which has proven surprisingly tricky to find with a navy background instead of black. This one is like…a chic version of a Hawai’ian shirt. It’s also beautifully lightweight for those truly hot days. I’m in.

PS For those keeping score at home, yes I did have another tropical popover in blue, which I loved, but which was a tad too tight on the chest/shoulders. Aaaaand I also had another navy floral blouse – one which was less vacation-y printwise, but with a flowy cut that just looked sloppy on me. So when the Old Navy number came along with its perfect fit, I heard the universe telling me to let go of the other two less-than-greats.

You are the weakest link(s). Goodbye:

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I am pretty sad about losing that awesome tropical print/color scheme. Sigh.

 

Plaid cotton popover blouse by Kenar:
Another cotton popover blouse – are we detecting a pattern here (pun intended)?

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I had been pulled toward a similar white-on-blue windowpane plaid popover before, one that didn’t fit so well:

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Another reason for rejecting that earlier edition was that it was too casual for work and I already had a plaid weekend shirt. But since moving to the Northeast, I’ve found that work attire (at least in my office) is quite a bit more laid back. The good fit on the new find makes it sleek enough for work while the plaid keeps it kickin’ for the weekend:

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Plaid shirt: Kenar – thrifted
Jeans: Paige – thrifted
Shoes: City Sneaks – thrifted

Next up, the Paige jeans that were miraculously left waiting for me in the fitting room at the Goodwill. I’m wearing them in the picture above as well as here:

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Vest: Savile Row Co. – thrifted
Shirt from my alma mater, retail
Jeans: Paige – thrifted
Shoes: City Sneaks – thrifted
Bag: Marco Avané – thrifted

Paige jeans, for those unfamiliar, are made in the USA and retail for around $200. BIG SCORE. These Skyline Skinnies were like new and fit me perfectly – no belt needed, which is a big plus in my book.  I’ll just have to adjust to having a second pair of jeans in my wardrobe… but with a cold climate and a casual office I imagine they’ll come in handy!

PS Yes I know skinny jeans are not really the hot new thing these days… since I tend to lag behind in trends (see: how long it took me to adopt skinnies in the first place), I’ll probably be wearing cropped mom jeans in about 2-3 years. You’ve been warned.

Mercer & Mason white blazer, new with tags
I’m digging the long, lean lapels on this blazer and the warmth it provides on brisk early mornings/late evenings here in New England:

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At no loss for blazers, I had pretty much decided I didn’t need a white one until I wore my white denim jacket to a wedding and felt under-dressed. This TJ Maxx brand features decent quality fabric and the lining keeps it toasty – linings were often problematic in Atlanta for this reason but are ideal here! The slightly off-white color will go with everything without washing me out (I hope – pasty white winter skin may yet prevail).


Olive faux suede ankle boots by Leila Stone
I know these don’t look terribly olive in these pictures, but they’re definitely on the green side of taupe.

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I’m calling these an impulse buy despite the fact that two or three days passed between when I first spotted them and when I bought them. I loved the subtle touch of color (it’s hard to find ankle boots that aren’t black/grey/brown), the asymmetrical “cuff” for lack of a better term, and the sassy little tassels on the zipper pull (although I wish the hardware was gold, but that’s my inner magpie speaking). They have my favorite toe shape – halfway between pointed and round – and the wood-like heel also appealed. It plays well with my wardrobe, unlike the other common option for heels, which is black. And they’re my size, hurrah!

But….

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…there’s a reason they had been donated to Goodwill. These shoes are faux suede, and judging by the tear in the fabric near the zipper, not high quality faux suede. Other evidence they are not well made, or else that they are very well worn, include wear spots near the toe and the heel on that same side (which luckily is the inside of the shoe, but it will still show).  And the heel is really too high for my personal comfort.

So why did I buy them? Mostly as a stop gap. As soon as I saw these, I started dreaming up all the delicious fall outfits they would complete, and I went looking online for something higher quality (and, most likely, retail). After spending an hour or two perusing different options, I realized that this was madness; I already had ankle boots I love, I was about to move and didn’t need to spend $100+ on new boots, and life would go on without my having a pair of olive shoes to make all my wardrobe dreams come true.  So to stop myself from pulling the trigger on something expensive and unnecessary, I spent $6 on these and told myself I could sew up the rip, my micro commute could survive the higher heel, and they’ll be fun while they last.

So now let’s see if I get any use out of them or just enjoy how they look on my shelf!

 

Last but not least, I thrifted a file organizer for my new office and a slew of hideous yet functional Laura Ashley thank-you notes which I have liberally sprinkled amongst my wonderfully generous and thoughtful congregation. And a couple of decorative pillows I have yet to convince the spouse are aesthetically pleasing. (To be fair, he was the one who started the throw pillow conversation…)

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Right??? I like them too. $17 on Etsy; jacked up to $40 retail; $4 at the thrift store. BAM.

I also thrifted a goodly fall wardrobe for the child, which I will post separately.

 

So, your turn. What did you thrift this past month? Have you ever bought something ridiculous and/or crappy to stop yourself from spending a lot more money on a higher quality version? Or do you have way more self-discipline than I?

 

What I Wore: Cerulean Plaid Blazer

You may recall my first foray into plaid blazer territory:

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Last week I found another plaid blazer by the same brand (Merona), same size, featuring some gorgeous blues:

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It came home with me, of course, although I wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to wear it. Those are some pretty striking hues:

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It’s hard to tell but some of the skinny lines are pretty much purple.

But I figured I could use it in place of the lint-collecting navy blazer that had lost its shape in the laundry. (Yes, I know, not a good idea to wash a blazer. Sometimes I am lazy and foolhardy.)

My first attempt at creating an outfit with it turned out rather Dionne and Cher from Clueless:

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The high contrast plus the turtleneck made for a very 90s vibe. I wasn’t really feeling the throwback look and figured I could fix it with a crew neck top, but I was already dressed and was feeling the late-to-work look even less.

I tried again on Sunday, a grey and cool day that practically shouted corduroy and plaid – style notes as you scroll through:

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Why is it that Merona blazers fit me better than most fancy-pants brands I find at the thrift store?  Not that I’m complaining…just curious about their spot-on fit, which I associate with higher quality stuff than Target brands.

 

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Sweater: Gap Designed & Crafted, thrifted
Corduroy pants: Style & Co., thrifted and tailored (waist taken in)
Blazer: Merona, thrifted
Socks: Target, retail
Ankle boots: Lucky Brand, gift from The Sister
Necklace: DIY from Goodwill finds

This time I think the softer oatmeal shade and the crew neck on this Gap sweater made things a little less eye-popping. The marled texture and split hem on the sweater also gave it a more current feel:

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As did the snakeskin print ankle boots:

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Next time it’s truly chilly I’ll be excited to pair this blazer with my navy turtleneck sweater to see if tamping down the contrast but leaving the high neck will work as well as I imagine.

 

How would you wear this bold blazer – if you would wear it at all? Was Clueless a cinematic touchstone of your youth?  If not, what’s your favorite stylistic movie reference? Scroll down to comment.

 

What I Wore/How I Styled It: Rainy Day Wherein I Fail at Button Downs Under Sweaters

This is what I wore to church yesterday.  Can you tell it was a rainy day?  (Hence the indoor photos and strong overhead light.)

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Plaid button down by Japna – thrifted
Blue sweater by Loft – thrifted
Blazer by Cartonnier – thrifted
Cream corduroys by Lauren by Ralph Lauren – thrifted new with tags, then tailored from a wide leg to a slim leg
Rain boots – thrifted, no label

I was, in theory, happy with this outfit.  I started it out (in my head) with these rain boots, knowing I would be corralling a small person in mucky, wet weather:

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This is the closest I own to riding boots.  Ha.

I wanted to pick up the pink, the light blue, and the dark navy, and this button down and sweater did the trick:

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My pink/blue marled Cartonnier blazer was the obvious topper.  (And I thought I wouldn’t get a chance to wear it this season – because these ain’t exactly wintry hues.)  Close up on the colors/patterns:

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The cream corduroys provided some nice neutral real estate between all the color and pattern on top and in the boots.  Navy pants would have worked, too.

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So here’s the problem: in theory, I love the idea of a button down underneath a sweater.  It seems so chic – little pops of pattern at the cuffs, neckline, and hem to contrast with a solid (or even not-so-solid) swath of sweater.  And the warmth!

But in reality, this pairing drives me nuts.  The button down never lays properly under the sweater (see all pics above except the first one, which I made my spouse retake for the sake of my vanity).  It looks lumpy and pointy and things pop out in unfortunate places. And even though this plaid shirt is decently long, I’m forever tugging at the hem to make sure it’s peeking sufficiently chic-ly below the sweater.

In short, this combination looks chic on Talbots models and in my head, but NOT on me.  Even this combo had to be pulled and adjusted all day, and flattened for this photo (and some button or other pointy part still looks mysteriously like an errant nipple):

 

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

 

Enlighten me, readers!  There have to be some of you out there who wear this look with aplomb and nary a stray scrunch.  What’s your secret?  Is my sweater too thin (it’s a thin cotton knit)?  Do I need to wash and dry it to shrink it up a bit or iron it before each wearing to get that smooth look?  Is my button down shirt not long enough or form-fitting enough?  Do you secretly safety pin or tape the whole thing in place??

 

Scroll down to comment – and don’t be afraid to wear rain boots as legit footwear, especially since there are so many fun patterns and chic styles to be found in the thrift store:

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

 

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

 

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

 

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

 

 

A Tale of Two Statement Blazers

One of the things on my fall wardrobe thrift list was a statement blazer.  My inspiration for a statement jacket was this toreador bolero number festooned with ribbons, and – surprise – I have yet to come across anything approaching that amazingness.  Instead I have found both a snakeskin print and a plaid in unexpected colors:

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Snakeskin: Isaac Mizrahi Live! (Why does that sound like a talk show? – Googles… – turns out it’s a QVC brand.  Aha.)
Plaid: Merona – It’s the same blazer I own in camel but a size smaller, which I think is actually a better fit.

The first one feels like something a Jersey snowbird would wear to the casino, while the second gives off the vibe of a school blazer featuring oddly chosen spirit colors.  Or maybe your grandpa’s sport coat ca. 1973:

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Why yes, that’s orange, pink, and green all competing on a blue background.

I think I’m more into the ugly-chic of the second one, particularly since it adds more color to my closet than the snakeskin version (see this post on needing more color in my neutral-heavy fall/winter wardrobe).  Although I don’t own any pink of the variety featured in the plaid (or any orange – at all), I DO have that snazzy green in pants!  And I definitely have lots of that blue.  I’m excited to experiment and see how it wears with the rest of  my wardrobe.

The snakeskin version is meant to be kind of a neutral topper vis-a-vis my blue and grey turtlenecks and blue/grey/colorful pants.  (If leopard can be a neutral, so can snakeskin, darnit!)  I’m not sold yet, though: it’s suuuuper soft in that unstructured blazer way I love, but the area where the side seams meet the hem pooches out a little bit (you can kind of see it in the picture) and I can’t decide if getting it tailored will be worth it.  Does anyone have an idea of how expensive that would be?  Currently the seam doesn’t continue all the way into the hem so I think it will involve more Frankensteining than I care to pay for.

 

What do you think of these “statement” blazers?  Do you own any bold, printed jackets like this, and if so, how do you style them?  If not, may I suggest the thrift store as a great way to inexpensively try out the concept?  They always have a wide range of options, from subtly interesting to downright wacky depending on how crazy you want to get.

 

PS Click here to take the ThriftShop Chic Reader Survey and help improve your blog experience!  Under 10 questions in less than 2 minutes.  Thanks!

 

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:

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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)

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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:

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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

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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

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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

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

 

Skim over slim – bottoms

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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

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

 

Fit over flare – bottoms

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Old Navy – thrifted

 

 

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

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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!

 

July / August Thrift Finds

August ends tomorrow, so I think it’s pretty safe to say that I’m done thrifting for the month.  (But now that I think about it, I could conceivably hit up one last place Wednesday after work…tempting….)

Although I’m still feeling pretty satiated as regards my summer wardrobe, I have picked up a few new things since my last Thrift Finds in June, so I thought I’d share what I found.

Continue reading “July / August Thrift Finds”