Friday, November 7, 2014

Where To Start

I have a blog.  not this blog. This one: storybook-cottage.blogspot.com.

It's about art, and imagination, and creative process. I tell stories there about my most recent ideas and thrifty DIY projects, using lots of photos and lots of whatever ramblings come to mind.

Two weeks ago, I posted about some of my summer goodwill finds. I LOVE LOVE LOVE a good deal, and I don't mind telling all who ask how much I paid for my stuff.  Whereas some may find a high price tag and high fashion labels something to brag about, I prefer to brag about how little I spend on things.  

That particular post got more views in one week than any of my previous posts in 6 months.  So after some back and forth, I've decided to create a separate blog, this blog, to focus on thrifty fashion finds, proving a wardrobe can be put together with a lot of creativity and a little change. 

It's a vulnerable move.  I don't have the greatest self-image, and honestly some of you may find my particular style to be silly. Regardless, if I can get over myself and the endless necessary selfies, I think we can have a lot of fun inspiring one another to shop smartly and creatively.

It seems appropriate to share that first goodwill fashion post as my first post here. 

Please come visit storybook cottage if you'd like.  You can find this post there...or continue on to read it here...

A Few Good (will) Outfits...Thrift Store Fashion
This week's post centers around thrift store fashion, specifically outfits I put together this past summer, shopping multiple thrift stores and goodwills.  Most of the outfits were between 5-10 dollars, some including shoes and jewelry.  

Now, we all know fashion is an eye of the beholder type of thing, so you may say, 

Ew. Gross. Yuck.
What is she wearing?!
(probably not in a what designer is she wearing kind of way...although dear friend Katy says I sometimes find more expensive labels...I surely wouldn't know.), 
Why doesn't this lady get a tan,
Or make the bed,
etc. 

And that's okay.  What fun would fashion be without all our opinionated opinions?  

I didn't try these outfits on all on at once.  I've been trying to snap quick photos on my way out the door when there's time. Since I tend to run late, that's not that often...so the photos here are the outfits I wore that day.  This is also why the bed is not made.  We're just going to sleep in it again anyway.

First up...
This dress was Goodwill, 5 dollars.  I like the small, metal, military-like buttons that go down the length of the dress, and of course I'm a sucker for polka-dots. Messenger bag, Goodwill, 5 dollars.  I love it and wear it with lots of stuff that I probably shouldn't.  
Next...dress 5 dollars, belt 50 cents, both Goodwill . Gray knitted leggings, Walmart. Boots, new from Ebay. The dress is slightly big, but initially I got it to layer, like with the flannel behind me on the bed, 99 cents, and sometimes a light blue, vintage Mickey T-shirt also 99 cents, both found at a Goodwill.
  
Necklace, yard sale find.
Vintage earrings, scored at a yard sale many years ago for 50 cents.  I remember stopping and only having a dollar, but loved these.  At the time my ears were not pierced. The earrings are like stained glass.
Vintage, rhinestone bracelet 6 dollars at a Goodwill, also many years ago.
Okay, next...Dion picked out the sunglasses this summer.  7 dollars at a water park.  Shirt is 1.50 from Goodwill.  Those are not red dots...they are hearts! perfect.  High waisted, navy, shorts Goodwill.  2.99.
These shoes were given to me more years ago than the other many years ago.  Dion was in school, we lived in a mission house in Chicago, walked to the church on the corner, and there we made friends with a woman whom we grew to love. She had a shopped as a way of dealing with her highly stressful job, and she didn't take things back.  As a result, she pretty much gifted me a whole new wardrobe at a time in our lives when we had 17 cents in our bank account. 

I remember trying on each shirt, skirt, and pair of shoes, so happy to have clothes that I could feel good wearing, and to try styles I wouldn't have bought for myself...there were bags and bags of goodies...tags on, all my size. That kind of kindness was who she was.
I love this next outfit, but understandably, dear friend Katy kinda laughed when I came back from Goodwill to show her. She did however say that I should write a post on pattern mixing.

Have you seen some of the great pattern mixing going on in the fashion world?  I really like it.  But I have a fashion pull toward an adult Punky Brewster wardrobe. Husband Dion not so much.  He refers to the pants I wore in my single years as "clown pants".  So when we got married, I closed the comfortable season of clown-pant-wearing, and threw away my colorful, XL T-shirts, including the beloved, over-sized Purple Cow Restaurant t-shirt, which you can be sure had a picture of a cow head smack in the middle of its purple gloriousness.  


Here's a portrait created 16 years ago by Jamie, a young lady in the youth group I was co-pastoring.
She captured the clown pants pretty much perfectly, as well as my dislike of wearing shoes and socks.

So then, being the good wife that I hoped to become, I made a switch to mostly slimming blacks. Also grays. And a few other earthy, Amish-like colors. I don't know why those colors (yes I do, and if you've read this post, you do too).  It just happened (doubt it).


But it's been almost 15 years (of marriage...not 15 years of Amish-like colors), and the colorful, not matching patterns occasionally call out to me, and then something like this happens. 

Soooo...a few weeks ago previously mentioned dear friend Katy attended NY fashion week.  And what do you think she said was on the runway?  Pattern mixing!  You can find some fun outfit inspirations by searching "pattern mixing" on Pinterest...or visit my Pinterest  folder "Style, Beauty, Health" here,  for a few of my mixed print favorites.

Dear friend Katy said the green shirt with the polka-dot skirt would still be colorful and fun, and so I've also worn it that way.  One shirt was 1.99 and the other 99 cents, Goodwill.  I think the skirt was 2.99, also Goodwill. Shoes TJ Maxx, 9.99.  But I'd rather wear these coral, fabric shoes with this outfit...also Goodwill, 3.99.
And then there were these red heels...look at that shine.  Look at that zipper.  Look at that height. Look at how I try not to wobble and trip while wearing them.  A woman chased me down (the words of her friend) at the Japanese buffet, needing to know where I got them. 4.99 Goodwill.  (It was not difficult for her to chase me down.)
(Look at that blue string on the floor.)  These would be fun with this skirt and a black cardigan.
You've seen these shoes before in this post ...3 dollars Goodwill.
And since we're trying out the leopard, cheetah, not actually sure what fake animal thing...
Cardigan 1.99, Goodwill.  Shirt 99 cents. My nice brother gifted the necklace when we were youngins. love it.  made in India.  
Denim like dress...5 dollars, Goodwill. 
Remember this lot of amazingness, vintage belts and scarves from the five dollar-fill-a-plastic-bag yard sale? See the yellow belt?  With all the things I had stuffed in that bag, I'm thinking maybe it came out to about 10 cents...
This summery shirt 1.99 Goodwill.  The shorts were Old Navy...40 percent off during their early summer outlet sale.  Necklace is Walmart 9.98.
The shoes are also from the bags of shoes from our Chicago friend.  free.
Okay, this next outfit kinda looks like some hand me downs put together, but I like it.  It's probably why kids who don't know me think that they should know me. Kids I've never met will just walk up to me all the time. They ask me to play sometimes.  Mostly they tell me random stuff.  I'm like okay stranger kid, as I look around for their adult. Maybe they think I'm a real life La La Loopsy.  or maybe they know I think they're cuteness. 

Jacket, Goodwill, 4 dollars.  Dress, Goodwill, 5 dollars. A lady I saw in a parking lot today told me this dress was taking her back to her psychedelic 70's.  To which I replied in 80's fashion and song, "Just say no. no.  right to say no!"  

not really.  I mean she said that.  But I responded as though she was giving me a compliment even though we cannot really be sure.
And pattern mixing with Old Navy shoes...also 40 percent off early summer sale.

This shirt has great colors.  Goodwill shirt, 1.99.  Black shorts (the spots are on the antique mirror...the lighting wasn't great, so they showed up more on this photo), Old Navy, 40 percent off early summer sale.  I don't like how they got tighter after washing them.  silly spandex.
You've seen these shoes in the same post as the cheetah whatever heels.  Love love love....looooove these shoes. That was also a song just there. It was made up...so.

Goodwill, 5 dollars.
At the Japanese buffet, yup, same one...another lady fussed about this outfit and specifically these shoes.  I proudly told her Goodwill, and she said, "Really?!" Turns out the shoes on her feet were also a Goodwill find.  They were leather and her husband dyed them! How great is that?! 

Here's another outfit I like with these shoes... 

This shirt is a favorite.  It is light and sheer with poofy sleeves, and the collar wraps around to tie in the back...I think this one came from a local thrift store for 3 or 4 dollars.  The pants are Goodwill, and I've worn them consistently for 15 years!  It's crazy that I remember this kind of stuff, since for at least the past 10 years I can't seem to remember sometimes important stuff like my age (I'm not even kidding.), but they were 4 dollars.
This particular day I pinned it with a marcasite brooch from TJ Maxx.
 
Here's the thing about how I thrift store shop...I stop at them while out of town.  Sure, we shop our local thrift stores as well, but when we're on trips, I go if I can...sometimes on the way at stops, and then again once we get to where we're going.  These outfits were put together this summer, but just like any wardrobe, creating a thrift store wardrobe takes time, adding a few things every now and again.  Every once in awhile someone my size may donate a bunch of really great stuff to one place, and I happen to shop at just the right time, but typically I find the treasures here and there. 

But treasures are to be found...even more so  if you're open to possibility, okay with shopping out of season, and have the time to sift through the store quickly and try things on.  My girls have waited with me in fitting rooms for hours when there are no other options.  Sara brings a book, and I give her incentives...like some of her own favorites from the store.


Sometimes Sara picks out shoes for me.
Exhibit A
4.99

You may not be able to run out to your nearest thrift store and find these same outfits, even if they were your style.  But there may be an inexpensive, unique to you, something or other waiting for you to come and add it to your own wardrobe.

If you're new to thrifting, I suggest shopping for basics at outlet or department stores to narrow down what's a good fit for you, and then shop the thrift stores for the fun clothes and experiment...how can one lose? If it doesn't work or if your partner says, "Wow. That is...something. I love you. That is um...something." Well, then we can toss it in the donate box. Or become a liberated woman/man/purple penguin, call it art, and wear it anyway. Our choice.

Sure do hope you liked this post.  I'll try working on a few more thrift store fashion posts, and maybe Sara and Dion will participate.  They both wear some pretty great thrift store finds.   There's a saying in our family that goes like this, "We wear second hand, so we are awesome."  We say it every morning. together.  That's not true.  We've never said that.  not ever.  And I don't believe in mornings.  

But we do upcycle and wear second hand without reservation. 


If YOU have an ebay, thrift store, or yard sale fashion find, please don't hold back.  Not sure how or if it's even possible to add photos to comments below (wouldn't that be the BEST?!!),but what about sharing photos with our group on our storybook-cottage facebook group page here?  

Behind the scenes bonus footage...while I perform the fashion selfie stretch with the camera, taking 163  a few modest photos with the sincere intent to walk with one or two that work, Sara tends to complicate things hang about.

Here is a true-to-life photo sequence from the last outfit...a sampling of how this goes...

 "Sara, please move." 
 
 "Sara, please move."
 "Sara!  move out of the photo!"

It's a good thing I love her so.

2 comments:

SLP said...

Such a fun blog! I just came by via my cousin, Christi P. I also enjoy Goodwill shopping, particularly for my work clothes. There's nothing quite like receiving a compliment on your outfit and smiling to yourself because you know how little it cost! Keep it up, and I look forward to following along! - Shannon

linnet joy said...

Thank you for your encouragement Shannon! My problem is after receiving that compliment I cannot help but blurt out "It was only FIVE DOLLARS!!!!"
But some day, when I become a sophisticated young lady, I will learn to contain it with that knowing smile!

That Christi P. is one of my favorites. much love, Linnet