Thursday, November 5, 2015

Secondhand Style: How To Dress For Less At The Thrift Store

And I will shout my style secret from the mountaintop. 

I remember a time, way back in my early days of thrifting, when I would collect a compliment with hesitation. When being asked where I got a certain shirt or skirt, and I answered "I got it at the thrift store." The conversation would screech to a halt right then and there---with the inquiring party unsure how to continue the conversation knowing that I (gasp) got it at Goodwill. 

Fast forward some fifteen years later and the conversation has changed entirely. Now people want to know which thrift stores I frequent, what the inventory is like, how often I go...and...

How, oh how, do I find such fabulous things at the thrift store? 

And since the focus of this particular blog post is secondhand style, I've decided to share a photo spread and a few thrifty tips on how to make the thrift store your go-to place for fashion.

I shall call this look 'The Sassy Librarian.'

Don't be afraid of color and texture.

I think this outfit works for a few reasons. The powder blue shirt and fuchsia shirt compliment each other. The charcoal gray blazer is a neutral, and the skinny salmon colored belt just ties it all together. Now I obviously am in love with the color combo of this entirely thrifted outfit. But there's even more to love once you see the details. 

It's a cropped blazer with ruched sleeves, which makes it workplace appropriate but with a few fun little touches. The ruched sleeve plays up the tuxedo style ruffles of the vintage top. Don't ya think? 

But here's the catch. 
I wasn't lucky enough to thrift these three pieces in one single trip to the thrift store. If only. 

But by keeping mindful of what I have in my closet from previous thrifting expeditions, I can mentally piece together an outfit that works. 

And don't forget to accessorize!

Blazer: Impact Thrift Stores, $4
Top: Salvation Army, $2.99
Pencil Skirt:Impact Thrift Stores, $4.99
Belt: Torrid, purchased with gift card

This ruffled floral print blouse was $4.50 from Impact Thrift.

Try it on. Seriously, just try it on. 

Okay, ladies. Let's recite a mantra together. Come on. Say it with me: Size is just a number. I cannot stress this enough when it comes to thrift shopping for clothes. The measurements that determine size are subjective to the country of origin, the manufacturer, the type of garment, even the time it was made. And being a plus size woman myself, I know that it's a frustrating concept. But it's the truth. Looking at my almost entirely secondhand wardrobe, the sizes vary from a large to a 3X.  And who knows what cute things I would've dismissed as too small /too big/too frumpy/too form-fitting if I had't tried them on. 

Take this floral print ruffle top, for example. On the hanger it looked a little lifeless, a little old. Add to the fact that somebody had ripped the tag off of it, so I had no idea what size it was...or at least what size it claimed to be. But I thought hmm... well let me just put it in the pile to try on. And you know what? I love it. I wear it with a wide belt, to cinch it in for a more youthful vibe. Also, I'm really digging ruffles lately. 

Keeping it casual with a $3.50 printed short-sleeve sweatshirt from Goodwill.

Experiment with trends, but be true to you.
Using  fashion magazines for a dose of thriftspiration, I keep a journal of clippings nearby whenever I go thrifting. Trendy and thrifty---that's my goal. But fashion is pliable. It can and should be molded by your own perception of what you believe to be beautiful, comfortable, creative, and cool. For me...well. I'm all too aware of my body type, of what I'm comfortable wearing. 

And a full being true to me, I have to say that setting up these photo shoots for this post was difficult for me to do. I struggle both physically and mentally with my body. And since being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, that struggle has become increasingly difficult. Maintaining my 40 pound weight loss is tough with a chronic pain condition. But I'm not ready to call it quits yet. 

A lovely fringe kimono. Just $5!
And it should also be said that I'm easing myself into including full body shots for future fashion posts here on Let's Go Thrifting. I know my weight, while something that I've struggled with my entire life, does not dictate my worth. I'm starting to embrace more of a personal style to celebrate both my physical achievements towards bettering my health and the mental shift towards a more positive attitude. 
Also, it helps to go thrifting for clothes when everything I had was too big for me to wear.

But no matter what, I'm going to try to remember that size won't put a stranglehold on my style. And neither will Fibromyalgia. And neither will exorbitant prices. Because I'm a thrifter, damn it. 

And if you're a fashion-forward thrift shopper like me, share your trendy finds in the link-up below.

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Pam WhimsicalVintage said...

Great post Jackie and I commend your attitude about size and body image. I've also struggled with weight for most of my life. It was a lot easier when I was working 80 hours a week and moving constantly. The older we get the harder it becomes to stay motivated and daily exercise is not just a way of losing weight and/or staying shape, but also a way to relieve I battle it out:).
Wonderful tips on vintage fashion, sizes and trying things on...It's also so important to remember that the sizes of the 70's and before were larger, so a size 12 in the 1970's is now probably a 14 or even possibly a 16.
Thanks so much for a wonderul read!

Witchcrafted Life said...

Terrific tips, dear Jackie! I get asked that question all the time, too - ironically, one might say, even sometimes by thrift shop employees. For me thoroughness and having a plan of attack in larger stores is the way to go. I start with certain key areas that matter most to me that day and then branch out, if time permits, to others, going through them with a fine tooth comb - it hurts to checkout the "to be re-hung" rack near the changing rooms, too.

Great outfit - that belt is lovely!

♥ Jessica

Jackie Jardine said...

Thanks, Pam. I know the struggle well. I guess we just gotta keep on truckin' But as always, thank you for reading!

And thank you, Jessica! I firmly believe there's no such thing as a quick trip to the thrift store. All areas must be explored, and maybe even explored a second time. You never know what's waiting in there. And since you're a professional vintage dresser, you know the good stuff when you see it!

Feel free to join the link-up with any secondhand style you care to share.

<3 Jackie

Vanessa said...

Nearly all of my clothes are second hand and I LOVE it. Retail clothing shopping is boring to me, I like finding stuff most people won't have 2nd hand and the high from a score or less. Right now I'm working to collect a new wardrobe after some recent weight loss.

Jackie Jardine said...

I agree. Retail clothes shopping isn't nearly as much fun when compared to the thrill of finding something special at the thrift store for a lot less!

<3 Jackie

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! You just inspired me to photograph the buddhist temple near me, which I Have not been to in so long!

Jackie Jardine said...

Though I think you you meant this comment for the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden post, thanks for reading! It sounds like the Buddhist temple would be lovely to photograph.

<3 Jackie

Patti Mayo said...

Beautiful and so stylish!

Patti Mayo said...

Beautiful and so stylish!

Jackie Jardine said...

Why thank you, Patti!

<3 Jackie

Unknown said...

Get it girl! You're so amazing <3

Alissa - The Budget Stylebook said...

So good to meet a fellow thrifter - and a fellow Philly blogger! I linked up a couple of my latest posts (from both of my blogs) and am now following you on Facebook. Looking forward to reading more of your thrifting adventures. Love the outfits!

Jackie Jardine said...

Thanks for reading, Alissa! I'm looking forward to more secondhand style linkups in the future!

<3 Jackie

Style4LessVegas said...

You look fab in your thrifted outfits! I'm a high-end thrifted fashion blogger based in Las Vegas.

Jackie Jardine said...

Oh thank you, Darlene. Awesome! I'll be checking out your site as well.

<3 Jackie

Millie Watts said...

These are awesome! Thanks for this! I need to go thrift shopping now. I previously visited Inspirations Thrift Stores. Their collection is really amazing.

Eva Morina said...

Looking very pretty Jackie, these thrifted outfit really beautiful and suits on you