Monday ReBlog: Making a “Not My Style” List

I didn’t get to a Friday reblog last week (life…work…toddlers…you know), but I found a great blog post over the weekend so I thought I’d share it today.

Making a list of what constitutes your style can be really helpful as you’re piecing together a wardrobe.  But Anuschka at Into Mind flips the concept on its head – make a list of things that aren’t your style to help weed out what doesn’t work.  I particularly liked her idea to make a subcategory for “love it on other people, not for me” as those items can be distracting and disappointing when honing your own style (“I LOVE this, but I never wear it…”  “This looks great on my friend, why doesn’t it work for me??”).

A “not my style” list is even more helpful when you’re thrifting a large portion of your closet.  If you’re not rock solid on what constitutes your personal brand of style, sweet prices, the scarcity-based feeling that there are only so many secondhand clothes to go around, and the sheer smorgasboard of styles can combine to make you splash out on a great piece that isn’t really you.

So let’s make a list.  Here’s mine:

Great on others, not for me:

-skinny jeans (I keep trying these on, they keep refusing to let my circulation move freely)
-button down shirts
-dresses with short hems
-button down cardigans
-superoversized sweaters (I have one, I wear it at home or while pregnant)
-anything sheer (I’m not prudish but I’m definitely lazy and don’t want to add another layer to make sheer work appropriate)
-jewel tones

I just don’t like them (even if they’re on-trend):

-military parkas/utility jackets – always look too casual/busy with doodads and add-ons. Also I’m not in the military or going fly fishing anytime soon.
-super wide-legged pants
-twinsets (although one of my coworkers absolutely ROCKS these…shoutout to Patti!)
-faux suits – dressing all in one color when it’s not a suit (apologies to Janice of The Vivienne Files, and my mother-in-law).  I need more variety!


I’m sure the list could be longer but it’s late and my brain just overdosed on dulce de leche cheesecake.


Alright, Thrifters, let’s see YOUR “Not My Style” lists in the comments!  And tell me – do you think this is a helpful concept?



Friday ReBlog: Podcast Interview with The Vivienne Files + The Uncluttered Life

I’m in the middle of listening to this ~50 minute interview with Janice Riggs of The Vivienne Files and I love the way she thinks and talks about clothes. So far she’s covered quality vs. quantity, uniform vs. capsule, signature style, and the stellar idea that your clothes should reflect your personality but not take up so much of your time that they get in the way of doing the IMPORTANT STUFF in your life. (It’s also really fun to hear the voice behind all the words I read at her stellar blog.)

The interview is conducted by Betsy Talbot of An Uncluttered Life, a new-to-me blog and podcast about removing the extraneous in your life so you can have the freedom to focus on your true passions – whether that’s family, your own business, hobbies, service, travel, etc.  I’m just starting to dig through the archives but have found some good stuff, and love the straightforward, clear writing style.

The interview with Janice is part of the Talbots’ Life Lab registration-only course, so unfortunately you can’t download it for listening outside of a browser window.  I know nothing about the Life Lab other than that Janice’s interview is included in it, but if you want more information you can sign up for updates here.


A note to all of you readers who trek over here from The Vivienne Files – thank you, I’m so glad you stop by so regularly!  This post may be old news to you – or it may be a reminder to listen to this great podcast you saw on The VF but never got around to actually opening.

Do you dig podcasts and want more featured in Friday ReBlog?  Or do you prefer blog posts you can scroll through and read?  Let me know!


Happy Weekend, Thrifters!


Friday ReBlog: The Diderot Effect & Just One Handbag

Joshua Becker over at Becoming Minimalist has 9 Tips for Thinning Out Your Closet.  I completely resonated with his description of our attraction to staged closets: the family that owned our home before we did staged their open closet with 3 or 4 shirts in the same color for the wife’s side, and a few suit jackets and shirts on the husband’s side, all with matching hangers, and I *still* carry with me the feeling of openness and light that setup brought with it.  It’s the main image driving my hanger collecting habit and also my desire to curate my closet.

And I discovered in #4 the legit name for a phenomenon I’d made up a term for: turns out a “wardrobe exponent” is really the result of the Diderot Effect, aka the consumption spiral of doooooom.

#5—the idea of one—leads me to my second ReBlog this week.

Francine Jay at Miss Minimalist is doing a series on “The Joy of One” where she shares about owning just”one” item in a particular category (pair of shoes, cooking pan, coat, etc.).  This week it’s a handbag.

Getting to just one item involves both knowing exactly what you want out of that thing and being content with one great version of it instead of wanting more.  You may not be a “just one” type of person; I, for example, have 2 handbags—one cooler months, one warmer—and I like the changeover and variety.  But the thought behind how Francine gets to her “one” will help you think about what you want/need/love in an item and may help you make better choices/avoid the Diderot effect in your future purchases.


Do you have just “one” of anything?  How does it work for you?  And which tips for thinning your closet are new to you/already in your arsenal?


Happy Weekend, Thrifters!



Friday ReBlog: Hosting a Clothes Swap Party

Continuing in the theme of yesterday’s post on How to Give Your Friends Your Clothes, Sophie over at The Ethical Wardrobe has created a fun guide to hosting your own clothes swap soirée.  Also check out her update on how 1/4 of a year of not shopping retail is treating her. (Bonus: the post includes both a reference to A League of Their Own and a cheeky thumbs up from President Obama.)

Have you ever hosted a clothes swap?  (I have not, other than the informal post-yoga “I brought you the clothes I don’t wear” meetings in my coworker’s office.)

Any advice (besides wine) for making it successful and enjoyable for all?

Friday ReBlog: Monochrome Capsule

Alyssa over at Modern French Blog posted on her spring/summer capsule wardrobe and it is just a treat, visually speaking. We all know I am allergic to black, but there are many out there who love and rock it, so take a look at how she does it: chic basics mixed with versatile neutrals. Nothing boring about black in her wardrobe!

Do you wear black—and if so, a lot or a little?  What do you think of Alyssa’s take on it?

Happy weekend, Thrifters!

Friday ReBlog: Zero Waste Wardrobes

I mentioned Ariana at Paris-to-Go in my spring wardrobe cleanout post last week, offering up her pared down wardrobe as a beautiful example of sartorial simplicity.  Her style grows so organically out of her values that it doesn’t feel like some minimalist imposition: “You should own __ number of garments!”

Instead, her commitment to simplicity, sustainability, and generating zero waste, combined with her love of well-made clothes and her superb sense of style, has produced a lovingly curated closet stocked with gorgeous secondhand finds (we’re talking Céline, Dior, Louis Vuitton et al) and handknit items made by local artisans.  Check out posts on her wardrobe to discover the contents for yourself—click “older posts” several times on the lower right to find the good stuff.

I have to say, even though her pants-light, dressily feminine style is quite different from my own, looking at Ariana’s pared down wardrobe makes me happy.  You can tell that she LOVES the items she has; there’s a sense of calm and contentment that comes from a limited number of beautiful possessions and the space freed up by owning less.

She certainly has more…concise…taste than I do—I think owning so little in the way of clothing would be a stretch for me in terms of variety.  But maybe I just haven’t found pieces I love enough to wear significantly fewer clothes more often!


Bea Johnson of Zero Waste Home is another zero waste blogger—arguably the one who really put zero waste on the map, and did it with a husband and two boys in tow.  (She’s one of Ariana’s sources of inspiration and she’s definitely gotten me thinking about ways to reduce my waste footprint.)

Her blog is a goldmine of zero waste ideas and it’s easy to spend hours digging through it in alternating states of awe and intimidation.  (My advice for the overwhelmed: pick one thing to try and see how it goes!  Then choose another. Repeat at your own speed.)

She, too, has an entirely secondhand wardrobe and keeps her clothes very pared down.  Check out her wardrobe posts for some ideas on a very different style wavelength. Think “French girl” (since she is French, after all): monochrome, stripes, a few bold patterns/pops of color, and very few embellishments.  This post in particular talks about translating her love of fashion into responsible consumption while still providing variety.


What are your thoughts on zero waste wardrobes? (We might call these specific examples “super minimalist”!)  Do you find freedom in very few garments and a very focused wardrobe, or do you need a little more room to play?  And isn’t it fascinating to see people populate entire wardrobes of such a variety of styles using non-retail alternatives?


Happy weekend, Thrifters—and for those of you who celebrate, Holy Week and Easter blessings.


Friday ReBlog: 2 (Well, Really 3) New Blogs

Conscious by Chloé features French blogger Chloé Lepeltier’s adventures in simpler living, including making hip outfits out of secondhand finds and ethically made clothing.  Don’t worry, it’s in English (she’s based in Portland).
Bonus for any of you francophiles out there, though: her friend Alyssa Pacaut blogs on her transformation into a full-blown Frenchie at Modern French.
Conscious by Chloé has great ideas/resources for nontoxic makeup, using less plastic/going zero waste, and other creation/wallet-friendly stuff.  Modern French features great recipes and wine.  Both blogs have a lovely clean look to them and beautiful photographs; get amongst them!

The Ethical Wardrobe by Aussie Sophie O’Shea is a high energy, snarky, millenial take on giving up fast fashion and exploring more ethical alternatives, including secondhand clothing.  Buckle up for lots of incomrephensible slang, ridiculous photo illustrations, and parrot playsuits.  It’s refreshing (not to mention fun) to see someone from the typical target demographic for “shopping haul” vlogs and merry-go-round style blogs take it to another level.  Plus eye-opening if you’re a regular at H&M, Zara, or other fast fashion hotspots.


What are your favorite thrifting and thrift-ish blogs of late, Thrifters?  Scroll down to comment!  And happy weekend already.


Friday ReBlog: Reconciling Your Thrifting Habit with Minimalism

Dina over at Dina’s Days has a great post on how to embrace minimalism when you’re a thrift addict (or maybe how to live with your thrifting habit if you’re an aspiring minimalist?).

I consider myself minimalist-in-the-making and loved her tips. I find getting rid of the unwanted excess in my life helps hone my thrifting skills; it’s so much easier to identify perfect fits and say no to everything else when you’ve pared down your belongings enough for a clear vision to emerge.

My favorite insight from her post? “Give yourself the chance to miss something” instead of fretfully imagining that you could never live without it. What a paradigm shift.

Dina’s got great thrifted style and her own thrift boutique up in Akron, Ohio; if you live in the area, go check her out.


Happy weekend, Thrifters!


Friday ReBlog: Capsule Wardrobes on Wardrobe Oxygen

Alison Gary over at Wardrobe Oxygen has been postin’ away on capsule wardrobes this week.  Check out her posts below, and check back here next week for my casual/weekend capsule…this might be a shock, but I don’t wear sheath dresses on Saturday mornings!

My Real Life Capsule Wardrobe

What to Do When a Capsule Piece Is No Longer Wearable

How to Merge Weekend & Work Capsule Wardrobes



Have a great weekend, Thrifters!



Friday ReBlog: Closet Creep & Uniforms

I am sad to share with you that La Duchesse over at Passage des Perles is going from more-or-less regular, twice-weekly postings to just the occasional gem (ha, ha) due to a recent return to part-time work. Congrats to her, tears for us! But I love the way she has always shaped her blog around her life, not the other way around (for example the Passage always closed during Xmas and summer holidays). Lovely and chic, in practice and in taste.

Check out two of the past month’s postings here, and dip into the archives for lots of other goodies, particularly if you love jewelry and pearls.

Closet Creep – Why? (either a lament or a legit question, depending on your tone)

Has the Time Come for the Self-Styled “Work Uniform”?  (Chime in below if you have thoughts!)


Happy weekend, Thrifters!