Survey Results + Some of Your Questions ANSWERED

This is my only post for the week, since American Thanksgiving is this Thursday and I’m taking time to enjoy family and FOOD.  Check back next week for fun posts on closet cleanouts and sanitizing (or not?) your thrift store finds.  And Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate!  


Thank you to everyone who took the Thriftshop Chic reader survey!  I thought I’d summarize the results so y’all know what to expect in terms of forthcoming content and adjustments around here.

There were 32 responses, which is not nearly as many readers as this blog has, so if you didn’t take the survey but want to offer a contrary (or affirming) opinion in the comments, please do so!  The more data the merrier.

Here we go!


60% of y’all prefer to have posts appear full length on the homepage so you can simply scroll to read the whole shebang.  The downside is that you have to click through to comment, so please continue to do so.  I love your comments!


Kinds of posts you like to read on Thriftshop Chic: Outfit posts, thrift finds, thrifting tips, and edited closet/capsule wardrobe all came in about equal for posts you love most. All of these are also posts you’d like to see more of.  Duly noted – expect to keep see more of these!  Styling posts, Friday ReBlogs, and ethics are pretty close ties for second in favorite kinds of posts.  Expect to keep seeing these kinds of posts.  I’ll still throw in occasional travel wardrobe, DIY, and  beauty/personal care posts, but the focus will be on the above.


Turns out half of you are happy with Thriftshop Chic the way it is.  Cool!  Glad to hear it.  For the other half of you, I could improve your Thriftshop Chic experience with:

  • more photos: in the last few weeks I’ve worked to include more photos, and if I can figure out a selfie photo set up you’ll see even more.
  • more embedded content (instead of linking to other posts): I can imagine it’s annoying to have to click over to some other page to see what I’m talking about.  I’ll keep linking to an entire post when I’m referencing the written content/the concept featured in the linked post.  But if I’m just referencing an image (“Hey, remember that skirt I found last year?”), I’ll embed the image into the post you’re already reading.
  • posting more often: I’m so glad you’d like more content!  I try hard to keep a T/Th/F posting schedule because I know I can handle it.  I do love an occasional outfit post thrown in for fun on Mondays, so I’ll also do those as my schedule permits.


Posts you’d like to see me write – please add more in the comments or “second” if you’d like me to tackle one of the below:

  • Practical considerations when making an outfit (too hot, too cold, it’s raining, I have to dig in the dirt): I plan to tackle this via more “how I styled it” posts where I walk you through why I chose different elements of my outfit.  But I have to say, our weather here in the ATL is pretty mild compared to some of you.  So if you want to write a guest post about dressing for months of rain or snow or heat, or “I have to help my relative move and then go on a date night,” or what have you, hit me up!
  • Thrifting for kids – I wrote about creating a capsule wardrobe for my toddler here, and will soon do another round of stuff I’ve recently thrifted for my toddler.
  • Thrifting with plus-sized friends/”more fatty fat fashion” – check out my Instagram for plus-sized thrift finds for the latter.  For the former, if our schedules will ever line up, I’ve got feelers out to some friends who are all over it. I’ll also plan to do a post specifically on thrifting for bigger bods. LET’S DO THIS!
  • Why can’t I ever find pants OR long sleeves that are actually long enough?  Search for the Talls and Longs, my friend!  They do exist in Thrift Land – and if you do a little internet research on which brands regularly make these (I think Banana Republic does for example), you’ll be ahead of the game.  Or you can just wear your sleeves short and call it “bracelet length” or your pants short and call it “on trend ankle pants.”  I’m kind of kidding, but kind of not.
  • Sanitizing/cleaning your thrift store purchases – look for my approach to cleaning thrift store finds next week.
  • Capsule, casual wardrobe ideas for older ladies/senior thrift style/”older women” – Since I am in my early 30s, I am not an expert on style for older women – but I do know thrifting, and I think a lot of what I see in thrift stores translates well to a variety of ages.  So I’ll tackle this topic as a conversation that I hope you all will chime in on.  I’ll also point you to some resources written by women who can claim the expert label.  Should be fun!  Look for this in the next two months.  In the meantime check out the age-related section of this post.
  • Linings, fabric blends, artificial fabrics – I’ll do some research and noodle around on this one – look for a  post in the next month or so.
  • Which areas of your wardrobe are easiest and hardest to supply exclusively from the thrift store?  Great question!  Pants, tops, jackets, dresses are easiest.  Shoes are hardest – I have a narrow foot and need arch support (this is why you’ll see me wearing retail shoes in some of my Instagram posts). Unless a secondhand store has a “new” section with overstock from a retail store, I don’t bother with socks or underwear since they’re either not sold or in cruddy condition; same with bras.  I want to look into ethically made socks and may do so with underwear as well once my current stock runs low.  Any suggestions?
  • My evolving style as a preacher AND fashion lover.  Ooooh, interesting!  Per the asker’s full question, we’ll tackle how to dress for your vocation, modesty, and personal freedom through clothing.  Look for this one between now and the end of January.


Thank y’all SO much for helping me learn more about my readership and sending in so many great post ideas.  Again, please chime in below with your own 2 (or 20) cents about any of the above.


Ask Leah: Wedding Attire When You’re Not a Dress/Skirt Kinda Gal

Ask me a question! (6)

A few weekends ago a friend called with a style question. (I am still utterly tickled that people in my real life think I know enough about style to give them advice.)

She and her wife have a family wedding to attend in the near future and needed help re: the dress code.  The save the date for the wedding, to be held indoors at a winery, listed a more casual attire advisory, but by the time the invitation came around it had upgraded to “cocktail/semi-formal.”  Her wife is not a dress/skirt kind of person and had planned to wear the lovely light tan suit she had worn to their own wedding – something similar to this:

tall-suits-women-salmon-beigeLengthen the sleeves, though, and nix the big handbag; makes the look too daytime/officewear. Source

At her wedding she wore it with a dressy black shirt and shoes and a pearl necklace.  But that was her wedding, where she was, indeed, supposed to wear whatever she wanted.  What about for someone else’s celebration?

So today on Ask Leah, the question is:

As a woman, can I wear a suit to a cocktail-attire wedding?

If you have already imagined my response including some remarks about sexism and how men get to wear suits to weddings all the time without anyone giving them the side eye, you’d be right.  If women can wear pants in pretty much every other venue in American life (see: the Pantsuit Revolution), why not a wedding?

Just because something is unjustly -ist (sexist, racist, ableist, ageist, heteronormative – okay that’s not an -ist…), though, doesn’t mean you don’t still have to deal with people’s -ist reactions when you go against the norm.  Uncle Bob or Grandma Sally might still make a passive-agressive comment about how nice you would have looked in a dress or a just-plain-aggressive comment that suits are for men.  So some amongst us might choose the path of least family snark and just put on a damn dress.

In my personal opinion, though, the two most important factors in wedding dressing are:

  1. Feeling comfortable in your skin.  Not wearing things that are uncomfortably tight or too far outside your normal sartorial expression means you can feel like YOU and enjoy the celebration – particularly important if tense family relationships mean you’ll be anxious no matter what you wear.
  2. Showing respect for the couple/event.  You want to be comfortable, yes, but not at the cost of looking like you don’t care that this is one of the most important events in someone’s life.  Luckily it’s 2016 and there’s considerably more variation than there used to be as to what’s considered dressy for such events.  For example, if a cotton romper or sundress is your normal go-to but this is an evening affair, a shift dress with a little shine or sparkle keeps the comfort level A+ while stepping up your style a bit.

With those parameters in mind, let’s address the question at hand: if you haven’t seen the inside of a dress since your toddler years and would feel completely out of character wearing one, simply put together the pants equivalent of “wedding smart” using a lovely suit (ex.: above) and some jewels/heels.

Avoiding boxy cuts and stiff fabrics in favor of clean, fluid lines will help it look less corporate America and more festive function, as will skipping over cheap material and that weird light grey color that screams “I got this in the juniors section for my very first interview.”   (You know the color I’m talking about?)

Another option for those not excited about the traditional suit: pair dress pants with a blouse/shell and top off with a statement jacket – think bolero, sequins, metallic fabric, textured silk, velvet, etc.:

257-metallic-bolero-jacket- a6268146cbf2b1dc5563b064d1b83e02

img-thing J5841-S2184-2
source / source / source / source


What if the wedding is a truly formal occasion?  Plenty of women now wear a feminine version of a tuxedo to fancy events:

tall-suits-women-salmon-beige 1_get-your-exact-measurements 06ef96c22419e0b3ddc0906e1180c1c2 ffa1a7c4ca925558ea39c8242d148146
source / source / source / source

Here’s a great article on how to select one.  And yes, I have seen jackets like this (and definitely vests!) at thrift stores in the women’s section, and you might be able to find tux pants with the stripe in the men’s section and get them tailored.


Back to my friend’s wife and her upcoming wedding conundrum.  I told her I thought it was perfectly acceptable to wear her lovely suit with a little jewelry and some dressy shoes (whether heels or not) and call it good.  After all, they invited HER to the wedding, so shouldn’t she show up as a respectfully fancy version of herself, not somebody else?

What do you think, Thrifters?



Reader Question: How do I improve my wardrobe stylistic sense?

It’s Style Rehab week here on Thriftshop Chic.  Take a look back at how you can use fashion as a fun tool to help you feel your awesomest and look for a fall wardrobe tweak and a kid’s capsule wardrobe later in the week!

Ask me a question! (6)My sister (aww, she reads my blog and comments on every post!  I love you Sestra!) has a play/fun/home wardrobe with which she’s pretty happy—it’s comfy, it’s in colors she likes, and it’s a great expression of her artistic and geekgal sides.  (One of my favorite pieces? The CrashOctopus hat she designed.  Which reminds me—you should check out her blog because she is a stellar artist and she does commissions.  Christmas gift anyone??)

But her work wardrobe—corporate office in an Engineer-y field—is a tougher nut to crack.  She needs plus-sized business casual ensembles that are comfortable, not too form-hugging, work with closed-toe shoes, and, most of all, make her feel fab.  It’s hard being a woman in a field still dominated by men—on top of all the general cultural messages women get about appearance = values, she has to deal with male colleagues making sexist comments about female coworkers’ physical attributes (yech, misogyny).

In her own words:

What if you fail miserably in fashion sense and have no idea what cut works for you?  I’m so bad at fashion.  I base my wardrobe entirely on comfort; all my stuff that I love is not suitable for work. So I have a bunch of work clothes that work – ha – but I don’t love them.

Today, we will tackle her dilemma in 5 fun steps, sharing generally applicable style inspiration along the way!

Stylistic Sense (1)
Continue reading “Reader Question: How do I improve my wardrobe stylistic sense?”

Ask Leah: Thrifting Workout Gear & Underwear?

Ask me a question! (6)

A few weeks ago reader Whitney asked on my Facebook page:

I’m wondering- what do you do about workout clothes/underwear? I spend a lot of time in both and while I don’t like buying brand new from a lot of the companies, those are items that-when used- just have that “ick” factor I can’t get past.

“Ick” factor is an understandable worry for many folks who have thought about thrifting, whether workout/underclothing or not.  The mantra I share with them is one I borrowed from Bea of Zero Waste Home:

A washed secondhand undergarment is cleaner than a new one from a department store.

Click here or here for some really GROSS/toxic reasons why this is true.  (If you are a true germophobe, the “ick” factor of new clothes may permanently scar you, so it might be best to take my word for it.) Continue reading “Ask Leah: Thrifting Workout Gear & Underwear?”