Thrifting from ThredUp – Cerulean Chinos

The universe is laughing at me right now.

You’ll probably recall my musings a few weeks ago about cerulean chinos – how they would make a perfect pop in my wardrobe and how I want to replace my navy pants with something brighter and less fussy for summer.

I was committed to wait it out on this one – I knew if I looked long enough and diligently enough I’d find something I loved.  After all, thrifting is a long game, and the long game ain’t failed me yet.

But then, I read a post about someone else’s experience with ThredUp (more on that tomorrow) and a lightswitch flipped. If I knew exactly what I wanted, and I want to wear it this season, not in 5 months when I finally find the perfect pair at a brick and mortar thrift store, why wouldn’t I hop online and see if I could secondhand me some cerulean chinos RIGHT NOW?

So I did. Continue reading “Thrifting from ThredUp – Cerulean Chinos”

Grand Opening Finds

I talked Tuesday about how much of a circus, shopping-wise, the Goodwill Grand Opening was.  I got there about 2 hours before the doors opened to tour the store and check out the merchandise, so I had spotted a few things I was interested in, but by the time I got around to shopping, a few of them were gone (I’m looking at you, blue dresses).

However, I did nab a stellar J. Crew white denim jacket, which, while not on my current thrifting list, will serve as a great thrift upgrade for the Calvin Klein jean jacket I got on sale for $25 in college:


The blue color means it reads decidedly casual, which limits its versatility a bit.  But more importantly, a decade and a half on it now has a tear – sad day:

This baby, however, spruces things up considerably:


It’s work appropriate, and a perfect layer for our Southern climate where it is sultry all summer long (starting with 90 degrees at the end of April) but we insist on air conditioning the living tar out of our interior spaces.  You better be prepared to cover up that sun dress, Sugar.


I also found this lovely top, which, while unlined and probably not stellar quality, put a smile on my face.  The bold colors and the plump little birds just make you want to sing, no?

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

The sleeves are long (to the beginning of the elbow) and fitted, which is a different and cool detail, and the shoulders fit great, but the rest of the top is sort of swingy – much larger down below.  I’m debating whether to have it tailored to a more boxy silhouette (a la this top).  Having the armholes altered will probably cost a pretty penny… curse my lack of sewing skills!  If I can’t make it work tailored, I very well may hang it against the back of my closet as wall art.


Last but not least, The Grouchy Ladybug, a childhood favorite, in toddler-friendly board book form:


We probably own 10x my child’s weight in children’s books.


What delicious finds have you discovered in thrift stores lately?


What to Do When a Favorite Shirt Dies?

The thrift gods must have been having a laugh the day I posted about loving popover tunics, because as I was bending over to put my kid in the car seat after work, I heard an unmistakable rrrrrrip in the region of my shoulder blades. I was wearing the popover tunic I had had tailored just a few weeks before, and sure enough, it now had a big tear right down the back placket.


It had been just a touch tight in the shoulders; nothing to suggest rejecting it at the thrift store or to cause discomfort during the many wearings since, but I guess I can’t be completely surprised. And it was 100% cotton, nothing synthetic that shreds easily….but it was also a Target brand, so I shouldn’t have expected stellar quality.

Still, it’s the first time I’ve ever rent a garment in mid-wear. (Thank goodness it wasn’t pants, in hindsight. Ahem.)

Photo evidence:

IMG_3521 Continue reading “What to Do When a Favorite Shirt Dies?”

Thrift Finds/What I Wore: Winter White Sheath Dress

Y’all, this dress was just waiting for me one day in the dress rack at the Goodwill.  If you follow me on Instagram you know that I am a dress woman and that a classic sheath is my go-to look for “polished with a little pizzazz”; their simple cut and embellished nature make them the perfect background for all kinds of accessorized fun.

This particularly chic sheath has already been worn multiple times since I bought it a few weeks ago. (Okay, let’s be honest: it’s been worn multiple times THIS WEEK since I can rock an outfit to church on Sunday AM and then to work later in the week without anyone but my spouse being the wiser.)

It’s a perfect off-white that doesn’t overwhelm my skin tone and that can layer for winter as well as shine on its own for summer:

IMG_3172 Continue reading “Thrift Finds/What I Wore: Winter White Sheath Dress”

Thrifting for a Baby Shower Gift

Please note!  I am not pregnant!  (But let’s count how many “Congratulations!!” comments I get anyway after posting this on Facebook.)

Recently good friends had a baby shower for their soon-to-be-born little human.  Several months back, in anticipation of this new little person, I picked up an excellent red onesie with the words “Born to Rock” and an American-flag-patterned hand in the “rock fingers” position at the thrift store.  I am a bad blogger and forgot to photograph it, so here is a similar item in grey and for sale on Etsy in case you think this kind of thing is awesome and want to support independent artisans:
“What?!” you say, “you thrifted a baby shower gift?!  How tacky!

Well, perhaps. Continue reading “Thrifting for a Baby Shower Gift”

Thrifting Winter Coats for the Whole Family

You may have seen the coat I thrifted earlier in the season to replace a long-gone, much-loved staple:



What you probably don’t know is that I unintentionally thrifted my kiddo a matching coat to brave the wilds of the frozen Midwest:


With that little thrifted hat, awwww.


And over the holidays, my spouse, whose one true winter coat lives in New England (see this post about leaving your heavy-duty cold-weather clothes at your family’s house), thrifted a decent winter coat to leave at—you guessed it—my parents’ house.  Alas, I didn’t snap a picture before we left, but it pretty much looks like this:


It’s a cashmere blend made in Bulgaria of Italian fabric…just typing that makes me feel cozy.  He scored it for $20 at the charity shop benefitting the local hospital in my parents’ town.  (I also picked up a brand-new Wubba Nub for $1.00—!!!—for a friend’s baby shower, airplane earrings for The Sister, and a beading book for my mom-in-law.  Y’know, getting a jump on next Christmas’ shopping list.)

Tips for Thrifting a Winter Coat

  • If you live someplace warm but occasionally need a winter coat to visit relatives or for business trips, try thrifting at your destination.  It’s much more likely that they’ll have what you need—although coats 1 & 2 in this post were thrifted in Atlanta.  Just sayin’.
  • If you need to combat seriously low temps, look for wool, cashmere, or down and good quality—in tact lining, pockets, reinforced buttonholes, etc.
  • Find out how your local thrift shop does seasonal wear and shop accordingly: some places put clothes out at the very beginning of the season and they get snapped up, some keep them all through the season but then put them away, and some keep everything out all year (which allows you to take your time shopping for the perfect winter coat because neither Jack Frost nor other coat shoppers are breathing down your neck in July).

Have you thrifted a winter coat before?  Any good finds or good tips?  Scroll down to share!

Thrift Finds: November Edition


Friends, November has been a fruitful month in the land of thrifting.  Let’s begin with what was technically a late October find, but which was worn in earnest for the first time this month:

J. Crew Wool Pea Coat

I have been looking for a winter coat for the last two winters.  My beloved red felted wool pea coat from college finally bit the dust a few years back: lining shredded, fuzzy finish worn down to bare threads (is that where the term “threadbare” comes from? I feel suddenly enlightened).
In the meantime I’d made do with a long camel number of similar fabric that had (almost) enough room for my then-pregnant belly.  I told myself it was a little more sober, a little more subtle and chic.

But it too was wearing out and looked loose on me in my non-pregnant state.  Plus, who south of the Mason Dixon line needs a coat that goes to the knees?

I hit up a local thrift store on a whim and lo and behold, this J. Crew number of the EXACT. SAME. RED was waiting for me in the coat section, in great condition, for $20—but on Half Price day, only $10!!!

IMG_2747Mmmm, love at first thrift.

I put it on and a piece of the universe fell back into place. Turns out all my attempts to find something different, cooler, more grown up…were all disguising the fact that I am a red coat girl, through and through. Ya couldn’t wipe the smile off my face all day.


Next up: Vince Camuto grey cigarette pants

(Are these technically cigarette pants? I don’t know, I’m making these terms up half the time. Don’t tell the fashion police.)

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

Shoes: repainted Trotters Whatever they are, they are INCREDIBLE.  They feel impeccable, they don’t wrinkle but do breathe, they are the perfect color and cut and the shorter hem length just looks… insouciant…with flats and no socks.  If Santa brings me some ankle boots I’ve asked for, you’ll get to see these paired with comfy socks in cooler weather.  Otherwise they may just have to wait ’til spring to make it back in the rotation…or just until our December/January thaws.  Did I mention I love Atlanta weather? (PS scroll down for full-length shots of these pants with blouses)    

Merona Sweater Dresses Have you ever tried on sweater dresses and thought “Yeesh, are these supposed to make me look like sausage casing?”  No?  Just me? I’d about given up on sweater dresses when I serendipitously found these two babies waiting for me in the dress section of a Goodwill.  Their looser, more modern fit is work appropriate and chic beyond belief… The zipper details on #1 and the pockets on #2 just kill me.  Target brand for the win. IMG_2750 Closeup on the zipper; one on each sideIMG_2753  IMG_2760 IMG_2759 Leggings thrifted; shoes by Clark’s, gift.     Linda Allard for Ellen Tracy tweed skirt This skirt ticks all the right boxes. It’s warm, has great visual interest thanks to its texture, and features great colors (hard to see in this photo): light blues, warm medium blues, taupes, warm tans, creams…in short, everything that is good about my winter wardrobe.  It works with all my turtlenecks, several pairs of leggings, and my warm toppers.  And it’s a pencil skirt, my fave. WP_20151123_11_07_33_Pro You can see it in outfits here:

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on



Last but not least:


It should be obvious from the pictures below and this post (whoa, long hair throwback!) that I can’t resist a classy polka dot.  None of those elliptical, off-centered kind, mind you; I want solid geometry melded with a certain suggestion of playfulness.  And some sparkles, naturally.

Chico’s white blouse with gold polka dots; hello, holiday parties!IMG_2763

Living Doll peach polka dot blouse—probably to be truly debuted in warmer weather.
(Ignore the awkward perspective; I’m standing on a hill.) IMG_2765

Lucky Brand peasant top (again with awkward leg perspective; we’re working on it)IMG_2775

Closeup on the embroidery: IMG_2776

This last one satisfies my yen for colorful, geometric pattern without stomping all over someone else’s culture.  And the fabric, while giving the impression of a stiff cotton peasant blouse, is actually deliciously soft ____.  Plus 3/4 length rolled sleeves.  My fave.

This, too, shall probably wait to see the light of day until March or April.  But thrifting in the off season is where it’s at, so keep an open mind next time you visit the secondhand store.


That’s all, folks—it’s been a great November!


What have you thrifted this month?  Do you keep an eye out for garments of totally opposite seasons or just stick to one climate when thrifting?  Scroll down to share!


Thrift Finds: Fall Edition

A few weekends ago I went a-thrifting to fill a few holes in my wardrobe, namely: fall-worthy tops.  I am doing just fine on sweaters due to my August thrifting excursions, but it’s still not cool enough to wear those lovelies (can’t wait!!).  I have several, probably too many, cardigans to layer on top of blouses for this early fall, cool-in-the-morning-warm-in-the-afternoon, battle-of-the-AC-vs.-heat season.  But things to wear under them?  Not so much.  Turns out swimming pool tops and bright coral floral tops don’t speak to my fall sensibilities.

So I went looking for items that were a little longer-sleeved, but not overly warm in and of themselves; pieces that had not quite as eye-popping of a palate that would layer nicely.

I give you my finds:

teenpLo green & blush 3/4 length sleeve blouse (polyester made to feel like silk).  
Continue reading “Thrift Finds: Fall Edition”

Fall Bag

Confession: I’m not a big purse person.  When my mother tried to get me to use purses in high school, college, etc., I refused–I didn’t need to carry around a bunch of STUFF.  MEN don’t need purses.  And anyways, I have a backpack for the big stuff and pockets for the small stuff.  Pphhhht.

Fast forward 10-15 years and all of the sudden I look down and WHAT IS THIS THING DANGLING AT MY SIDE like some sort of PERMANENT GROWTH?!

Oh, it’s a purse.  (I still call it a bag, though—purse sounds like…my grandma?) (P.S. Mom is always eventually right about stuff like this.)

What changed?  A messenger-style bag had me covered for grad school and a chaplaincy residency where I needed to transport lots of paperwork.  My next job had less paper but still required space for keys, phone, wallet, pens, etc. and you know most pockets in women’s professional wear are a pitiful place to try to carry more than chapstick. (Not to mention it’s rare that skirts and dresses, if those are your thing, even HAVE pockets.  Because why would women need functional, practical garments?  Sexism, bah.)

Said job also had a classy sartorial vibe so I figured it deserved better than a logo messenger bag I got for free at some conference.  Enter purse number one:IMG_1692

You may recall that it bit the dust at the beginning of the summer after a good solid year of use. Not bad for a previously-owned PVC-covered bag (you didn’t think that was real lizard, did you?).  But also not great—PVC wears easily and I tend to be hard on my workhorse possessions, much to my Yankee husband’s possession-protecting sensibilities.  Ideally I’d like a bag that carries me through more than 12 months.

To replace this first bag, I went for a seasonal number in a similar style but with lighter colors, less PVC to tear, and more room to hold summer accoutrement:

I have thoroughly enjoyed this bag and plan to break it out again next summer.  Its cotton weave is easy to clean; that casual fabric + gold = the perfect classy summer vibe.  But again, quality-wise it’s not a long-term bag, and the color scheme and fabric are definitely not a great fit for fall.  Also, its generous size meant I was piling all sorts of stuff into it without regard for my poor shoulders, which were starting to complain.

So I went looking, over the course of 2 or 3 thrifting excursions, for a bag in long-lasting leather, a more manageable size, and a nice cooler-weather color. I also wanted something without big labels (I’d rather draw attention to my personality than a brand) or a lot of doodads that end up looking dated.

Voilà, my new (to me) fall bag, by Nine West (and a glass of wine, lovingly referred to in our house, along with coffee, as “Mama juice”–thanks Linds!):


Inside dividing pocket keeps things a lot more organized than my previous catch-all:IMG_2396

You can also see it featured in some of my Instagram photos on the sidebar over here–> (Click “load more” to see extra pics.)

I like the clean lines and the way it warms up my fall outfits without shouting too loudly or being too trendy.  That’s part of why thrifting is great—the random assortment of treasures at any given thrift store means you never have to sport the same trapezoid-with-tassles or slouchy satchel as everyone else.  Relatedly, if you don’t LOVE cognac or marsala or whatever this season’s Pantone colors are, you can find YOUR colors through donations from seasons past.


What are your feelings on purses?  Would you thrift one?  If you eschew buying new leather for ethical reasons, would you thrift it instead?  What do you think of my find??

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