Monday, July 30, 2012

Testing 1, 2, 3.

Don't worry...

The proceeding blog post is a test of the emergency thrift system. Regularly scheduled Let's Go Thrifting programming will continue shortly. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Vintage Photo Friday: Hmm. Very Interesting...

"Have a seat. Let's talk about your feelings."

Hailing from Newman Studio in Cleveland, Ohio is this stunning portrait of Dr. Eunice von Headshrinkah. Sitting in quite the scholarly pose, this psychotherapist has a thing or two to say about repressing your inner thrifter:

"You paid full price for mock vintage at the mall when you could have gone to the thrift store instead? How does that make you feel?"
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One a day keeps the therapist away!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

How To Thrift Your Way To a Better Wardrobe

Sweet flannel, dude.

    There must be a million blogs that feature secondhand fashion exclusively and alas, Let’s Go Thrifting isn’t one of them. I, myself tend to focus on found oddities and vintage kitsch. But that doesn’t mean I have nothing to say on the topic of thrifted fashion. Hardly! 

    I've learned that thrifting can be the key to supplementing a wardrobe with new sizes during the transition of my weight loss in the last year. And more than that, I've lucked into some one-of-a-kind finds, a few designer shirts and lovely vintage accessories to boot. 

    Still, some may be skeptical of shopping for clothes from the thrift store. But all you naysayers may hold the nay if you took the time to better explore the option of thrifting for fashion.

    Imagine a secondhand skeptic, if you will...

    Say, aren’t you afraid of all those germs from the previous owners?  I’m no more afraid of secondhand clothes than I am of “new” clothing from a standard retail store. If you ever consider the amount of people that have tried on the clothing you purchase, you know the same risk could apply to shopping new. Just give the clothes a good wash or dry clean and you’re good to go.

    No exceptions? Well, anything with a funky musk, stains, discolorations or physical defects to the fabric won’t be coming home with me. I also avoid secondhand swimwear and undergarments, because I find them a tad too personal. But I know others that are quick to scoop up cheap vintage nighties. To each thrifter, his or her own. 

    Oh, pretty vintage fabric! 

    How do I (gulp) go ttthhhh-thhh-thrifting for clothes? Fear not, former naysayers! Here are some tips on scoring secondhand fashion that will be the envy of all your less-frugal friends:

    • There are two main components to any given wardrobe: Fashion Staples and Statement Pieces. Thrifting can mean the opportunity to find both. You can find basic dark wash skinny jeans or a colorful, exotic patterned print tunic. You can find solid color button-down shirts or a rich, tapestry-inspired peacoat. The possibilities are endless. 
    • If you’re not sure where to start, take stock of your current wardrobe. Are you shopping for this current season or the next? Are you in-between sizes? Do you have a mountain of basic tees, but no cute little skirts? Knowing what you have to work with will keep you focused on the fashion you need, and keeping in budget with what you want to spend. And yes, it helps to have a budget, even when thrifting! 
    • Forget sizes and focus on the individual garment. Don’t be fooled by a tag that lists the perfect, thrifty little black dress a size above or below what you wear. Wanna know something? Size is not universal. Sizes can differ greatly between manufacturer, when it was made, the cut of the garment and even who was wearing it previously. While you may not be able to squish into something five sizes smaller just because you love it, you may just have a little more wiggle room in what’s wearbly available to you. Take my advice. Try it on!
    • Take cues from fashion past. If you love the sweater that looks like something from The Golden Girls or that bejeweled jumpsuit from the 70s, don’t write them off as dated. Everything old is new again, baby. Vintage fashion is the best fashion and it's baaaaaaaack. Plus, everyone will want to know if you got your ensemble from Urban Outfitters or H & M. And you can just casually say, “Oh this? Got it while thrifting. It’s vintage.” Genuine, the real thing. That’s right. Wait for the jealousy. If it’s vintage and it fits and you love it, trust me. You can make it work with the right styling. And yes, I just pulled a Tim Gunn with the whole make-it work thing. 
    • Building a Thrifted Wardrobe Can Take Time. Sometimes you score big. Sometimes you don’t. You may walk in to your local thrift store and be greeted with racks upon racks of trendy clothes in your exact size for mere pennies on the dollar. And you may literally run to the register with glee, trailing a rainbow of pixie dust and glitter with a chorus of angels singing in the background. Or not... And if you’re a specific body type, be it petite, tall or plus size, it might take a little longer to amass an enviable collection of thrifted fashion finds. (You can blame your kindred specialty-size sisters out there for not donating their clothes to the thrift, thank you very much).

    Erinn, modeling live from the thrifted runway! 

    When it comes to thrift shopping for clothes...Be patient. Be frugal, but stay open-minded. Don't be afraid of crafting your own interpretation of a new trend, of trying an old school look or of sporting something completely different from what you would usually wear. Take some risks and have fun. Before you know it, you'll be showing off your new-to-you secondhand style with pride.

    If you're looking for more thrifted fashion how-to's... stop by The Let's Go Thrifting Amazon store for a little vintage and DIY inspiration.  From vintage hairstyles and up-cycling old clothes, to tried and true advice from topnotch secondhand specialists, these books are quite handy indeed. 

    What's your secondhand strategy when it comes to thrifting clothes? 

    Friday, July 20, 2012

    Vintage Photo Friday: The Sad Truth

    This photo breaks my heart.

    In my collection of thrifted photos, I've found times of joy, the surprise of candid moments, haunting and atmospheric shots and yes, even times of sorrow. This particular polaroid is rather striking. From other shots in the same thrifted family album, it's clear that this young woman had spent a significant amount of time in the hospital. (The other photos I will not share, simply because they seem far too personal in nature, no matter that these are strangers from long ago).

    Her vacant stare at the flowers from her visitors, in an otherwise bleak hospital room...It's just sad. However, this woman overcame whatever ailments plagued her in the summer of 1979. In later-dated photos in the album, she looks happier and healthier at social functions outside of the hospital. I take a strange comfort in knowing that. 

    But in looking at the bigger picture here, I still have to wonder how these photos are lost to the ones that loved them. I've found photos with names and dates. I've even found post cards with names and addresses. I could potentially contact next of kin to see if they're interested in recovering mementos from the past. But aside from the fear of overstepping some strange degree of etiquette, I'm ultimately afraid of the sad truth of the matter: 

    • There may be nobody left of the family. 
    • There may be nobody left who cares to keep relics of their family's past. 

    My Grandmom totally rocked the polyester. <3
    This past Wednesday was a year since my Grandmother passed away. And I've kept photos of her with me and the rest of my family from over the years. I even have a number of photos of her at my age, long before I was in existence. They're too special to just throw away. 

    I don't know. Maybe some people don't place value on tangible proof of the past and feel that mental pictures are enough to cling to the memory of a loved one. Or maybe I'm just a big 'ol sap that gets way too sentimental  over thrifted photographs. 

    'Fess up. Who else out there thrifts vintage albums for the family photos inside? Does it make you just a little sad to find them abandoned in the thrift store?
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    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

    Etsy Alert: New Items Added to The Shop!

    Everything must go!
    In addition to being a professional thrifter, blogger and photographer, did you know that I'm also a vintage reseller? I'm not quite at the executive level of that particular title, but I'm working at it. And heck, I may not have sold much, but I've had some happy shoppers over at the Let's Go Thrifting Etsy store.

    Stop on by and take a look around. Here's some of what's been added lately.  

    Owl embroidery sampler!

    Vintage classic literature! 

    Yen for all the crafters out there!

    Mini art! 

    Friday, July 13, 2012

    Vintage Photo Friday: The Demon Baby Lives!

    Mother,  I demand to feast on the soul of an innocent. 

    Forget Rosemary's Baby. This tiny terror came screaming from his mother's womb demanding fresh souls and heavy metal music. Look, as he reaches his outstretched baby hand, like a claw reaching for the kill.  He really pulls at the heart strings...literally. And his mother, clearly a devil's minion, looks proudly upon him.

    Fun fact: Fear of babies is known as paedophobia. 

    Happy Vintage Photo Friday...the 13th!

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    "It's all for you, Damien!"

    I wonder if they have a chapter on demon babies...

    Thirteen Reasons to HEART Thrifting...

    Are you in love yet?

    It's a two-for-one, double trouble Friday the 13th special here on Let's Go Thrifting!  Look for the second little update later today...a creeptacular Vintage Photo Friday... the 13th. 
    Dun dun dun. 

    Until then, I have to wonder. What would make your list of 13 Reasons to Love Thrifting?

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

    Thrift, Bang, Bang.

    It's a gun picture frame. Yee haw!

    This 95 cent find from Impact Thrift may have just made it to the number one slot on my list of thrifted photo finds. Number one with a bullet, that is. 

    The first two photos at the gun handle are nature shots and are just too dark to capture with my camera. But the others fit a rather grisly theme. 

    As if the gun frame doesn't carry enough badassery on its own merit...

    This woman in the kitchen is out of place. Compared to...

    ...the animals being hunted. Run, woodland creatures. Run!

    Oh no! Looks like the guy with the shotgun got something. 

    I'm not a fan of hunting for sport. And ordinarily, I wouldn't thrift something that prominently features hunting.'s a big, ol' wooden gun picture frame. Gotta love that!

    I could replace the photos with some of my own. For instance, I could display a montage of me... making mean looking faces. That could be kind of badass too. Right? 

    Hmm. Maybe not. 

    What do you think? Should I keep the gun frame as-is or reload it with my own photos?

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    Lock it up!

    "So, we cool? Yeah, we cool." 

    Friday, July 6, 2012

    Vintage Photo Friday: The Ladies Who Lunch?

    Just another day at the office.

    Today on Vintage Photo Friday, we have a visual aid to some old school casual Fridays and working women who "do lunch." And back in the 60s, the ladies of the office took casual Fridays...perhaps a little too casually. Sure, they have their smart polyester dresses, their power suits, their vests. As a matter of fact, the only thing these ladies were casual about was the company's rule on sobriety during business hours.

    The woman on the left is going heavy on the champagne (per the ridiculous facial expression), that middle one is definitely hitting some rum and coke mixes and the woman on the right (leaning in drunken stupor) has her on eye on a line of shots next to the ol' rolodex. 

    If these were the ladies who lunch from yesteryear, lunch was of the liquid variety. 
    Bottoms up, gals!

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    Classy, yet discreet!