Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Thriftspiration: From Haute Couture To The Thrift Store

Since the hectic holidays have come and gone, I've had some time to organize my surroundings and prioritize my thoughts. And what's more, I've had the time to recover from whatever demonic respiratory illness that plagued both my Christmas, New Years and better part of January. 

On to bigger, better, brighter things. With the return to my old self, and my love of all things old and quirky, I've been hitting the thrifts hard. But I've been very selective of what to bring home. After the annual post-holiday closet cleanse, I've decided that it was time to narrow my secondhand gaze upon mostly clothing and accessories. 

And in doing so I've developed a few tips I'd like to share: 

  • Clothing is more than a size, more than a label. And this is especially true for previously loved garments.  Quality and fit are important factors. And sometimes the manufacturer, and indeed the size, are not universal in the end result of the product. Try it on and give it a few moments on your skin, and a few poses in front of the mirror to see if it's for you. 
  • Take sartorial risks. Thrift stores are the perfect place to step out of your aesthetic comfort zone without financial ruin. I mean...who knew that my thick-in-the-middle proportions could rock a pencil skirt? 
  • Keep your closet organized...all the time. Seriously. Pants with pants, shirts with shirts, sorted by color or style. Maybe you have a formal side and a casual side to your closet? That's okay too. But set up a system and stick with it. This way you'll know what you already have and what you'd like to have. 
    And lastly, I won't hide it any longer. My indulgence (okay, one of many) is magazines. I love, love, love a well-written interview with a designer, an expertly photographed fashion spread, an editor's picks of the season's hottest trends... And this does not mean I can't be thrifty!  

    That photo of my closet? I estimate that its entire contents are as follows:
    80% thrifted
    - 15% purchased on sale or clearance 
    - 5% purchased at regular price

    And when I see these gorgeous spreads in the pages of InStyle, Nylon, or Marie Claire magazine, I'm only more driven to find suitably on-trend alternates at local thrift stores. I even keep a clippings notebook on hand, full of colors and styles that inspire me while I am thrifting for fashion. And I encourage you to do the same. Carry a source of thriftspiration. I like the tangibility of a notebook. But you're welcome to make a file on your iPad or a Pinterest board accessible on your smartphone. 

    Use what inspires you as a springboard for ideas, or make a challenge of mimicking your favorite look.  And in the end, when you start racking up he compliments, you can brag all about your fashionably savvy secondhand know-how to envious friends and family. 

    In the coming weeks, when I'm feeling a little bolder and a little braver, I'm going to show you some head-to-toe looks that were assembled with design in mind and more money in  my wallet. 

    Can you think couture and spend thrift store?

    Thursday, December 18, 2014

    Holiday Thrifting: It's A Secondhand Winter Wonderland

    "Now bring us some figgy pudding."

    There are seven days left until Christmas. And like many frantic holiday shoppers, I've hit malls, outlets, supermarkets and yes, wine and spirits shops. And I've hit them hard. There was just one place I hadn't been able to hit in anticipation of the big ho-ho-holiday bonanza. 

    That's right. I'm hanging my head in shame that, I, the sole force behind Let's Go Thrifting, had yet to visit the thrift store for some holiday inspiration. And so, with a week to spare, I reached out to the kind folks of Impact Thrift, to ask if I could take a few holiday themed photos for this very blog post. And of course, they welcomed me back to take a gander at what festive wares they had in store. 

    I was not disappointed. And this got me thinking. Could a well-stocked thrift store be a one-stop holiday shop for gift-givers, party goers, social hosts, and Christmas revelers alike? Well, let's see...

    There are lovely dinner platters to bring that you wouldn't mind leaving for your host to keep. Of course, you might want to keep them too...especially that one on the left. But, hey! This is the season of giving! 

    There is a bounty of holiday tins. And they'll make a perfect presentation for all of the candy and baked goods you'll be giving to friends and family, or as storage for delicate tree ornaments. 

    Talk about some elegant serving options. If you'd like to host a holiday dinner party, why not keep it classy? You can bring your guests some figgy pudding---whatever that is---and  do so with a lovely silver serving bowl. 

    And don't forget the decorative touches...

    Oh. My. God. How cute are these ornate candle holder gift boxes? 

    And carolers-- you can never have enough carolers, even if they demand figgy pudding. 

    So, if you're looking for holiday decor, elegant dining inspiration, last minute gifts, or something festively appropriate to wear, thrift shopping can help you be merry, bright, and on budget. 

    What holiday goods have you purchased secondhand? 

    Season's Greetings and many thanks to the folks at the Feasterville Impact Thrift Store! 

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    Thursday, November 27, 2014

    Thank You, Thrift Shoppers. Thank You.

    Happy Thanksgiving, thrift shoppers!

    As the official start of the holiday season screams, "eat more, buy more, spend more," it's all too easy to consume and be consumed by what we falsely believe to be important. 

    Aside from the doorbuster deals and the family dining, this is a season to be decent human beings. And to me, thrifters, by their very nature are truly decent people.

    We distribute our dollars through the community via charitable shopping. We keep usable items from landfills. We're financially responsible. We're creative and resourceful. 

    So if you find yourself overwhelmed by all the holiday bells and whistles, just listen to your own heart and believe that YOU are an important part of something bigger. Thrift store owners, volunteers, and staff appreciate you choosing secondhand shopping over the standard retail experience. And this is especially true during the holiday season, when their charitable causes are likely in the most need.  

    Your spending power makes thrift stores thrive. So thank you for shopping secondhand. 
    And thank you for being part of the Let's Go Thrifting community!