Thrift Score: Burnt orange tweed jacket.

Thrift Score:  Burnt orange tweed jacket.

While scavenging a thrift/re-use shop for materials I could use for Christmas packing, I discovered this gem of a jacket. It was less than 10 bucks. It’s a size medium, so it’s a tad loose on me, but I like the way it looks.

When it comes to thrift shopping, or shopping in general, you’ve got to disregard size labels and just go with what looks good on you and suits your style comfort level!

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New Favorite

New Favorite

Long sweater vest find. H&M. Discovered at Plato’s Closet.

It comes down to past my knees, which might be weird for some, but I love it.  It’s so cozy, like I’m sporting a blanket around all day.  The deep, jumbo-sized pockets are a nice, practical touch as well.

When was the last time you saw pockets that large on a women’s garment?

No, donating your heaps of old clothes doesn’t make you a minimalist or a hero.

Reading an Op-Ed at the Business of Fashion website, “The Trouble with Second-Hand Clothes,” and NPR’s “The Global Afterlife of Your Donated Clothes” confirms a few recent thoughts I was having about donations and second-hand clothing.  If you haven’t read those articles yet, I highly recommend that you do so if you’re in any way curious about what happens with second-hand or donated clothing.

Many of us have probably donated at least one large hefty-sized bag of clothing, shoes, and accessories at one point in our lives or another.  It may feel like you’re doing a great thing at the time, and it certainly is a lot better than simply throwing away your perfectly good, usable things into the dumpster, but there’s a reality many of us choose to ignore or are not even aware of.  I feel that people often think that they can purchase whatever they want without thinking too much about it due to the wide availability of cheaply produced goods in stores and on-line.  However, one must remember that you ought to still strongly consider the next items you’re going to buy, especially clothing-wise.

Do you “need” it?  Sometimes, the need for possession is often disguised simply as desire.  You want it, but you don’t need it.  You may think you “need” something because some commercial, article, magazine, blogger, or Youtube “guru” told you that this was a “must-have” for any closet or individual, but obviously, you can live without it.  This is something I personally struggle with, as I’m sure most people do.  It would do you well to at least “sleep on” the idea, or wait a few days, before actually purchasing something; this will give you time to mull it over and to see if that initial lust fades.

Are you buying it as a replacement?  If you are, I sincerely hope that the item you’re replacing was not something that you purchased last season or within an otherwise recent time frame and that instead, you were replacing something you bought that was such high quality that it lasted you quite a while before you even had to think of replacing it.  I urge that if you’re buying something to replace something, such as a basic or “essential” in your wardrobe, please opt for high quality, well-made pieces that are versatile and practical for your lifestyle.  Even if the price of the piece is high, you are justified in that you won’t have to continually purchase replacements over and over again, thus wasting more money, consuming more, and creating more waste.  There’s a wise saying, “Poor people can’t afford to buy cheap things.”  It’s absolutely true.

Do you even have room in your allocated wardrobe space for this?  If you’re big on consuming, you most likely have already accumulated quite the collection of clothing, shoes, or accessories.  This implies that you already have something in your wardrobe that is similar and that you may not “need” what you’re wanting to add.

The last question circles back to the ideas of overconsumption, minimalism, and donations.  I feel that most people feel justified in continuing their habits of overconsumption – purchasing several pieces of fast fashion or other low-quality goods – simply because they know charity shops, thrift stores, or consignment shops will most likely accept their rejected goods.  Even though people who donate clothing are not throwing their items away into the trash, they are still effectively using charity or thrift shops as their personal dumpster – something that they think will absorb the excess of their consuming habits.  As stated in the two aforementioned articles, charity organizations often have trouble dealing with the mountains of donations they receive on a regular basis, and these unwanted pieces are often sent overseas or recycled as rags or other things.  It’s an expensive problem on its own, and it’s a cycle that doesn’t seem to have an end in sight – at least, not until the world realizes they need to buy a lot, lot less.

I made pillows!

 

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Oh wow, it’s been a couple weeks since my last post.  I must have completely forgotten about blogging, what with the beginning of a new quarter (and the beginning of my last year at university, woohoo!).

I finally got around to making new pillow covers.   I know, they don’t match my couch very well, but that’s okay!  They’re a lot better than the covers I hate before, which were very… ugly.  (I didn’t pick them out, I swear!)  One was sewn with an envelope enclosure and the other with a hidden zipper.  You know, just to get my practice in with both styles. 🙂  While both are easy, I much prefer invisible zippers with pillows because you don’t have to see the mismatch of the fabric’s pattern when you fold it over for the envelope enclosure!

Funny how after taking this photo, I felt like I completely need to make over my living space!  My tastes have changed a lot since I bought these things… like… that sofa. 😐

I gave up trying to get a close up shot after my cat kept photo bombing.  She loves getting her photo taken, I suppose!

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I also created a new ironing board cover.  I scored this small ironing board at the thrift store a while ago, but the existing cover, while not bad and not too stained, was just not “me.”  Hence the colorful, stripe-y pattern!

Funny story:  I was biking home with ironing board hooked onto my shoulder, and I stopped at an intersection.  A lady in a car stared at me, despite obvious car troubles with her engine coughing and hacking away.  I just thought that was ironic because she was having car troubles but she was more concerned with me and my ironing board!  Hah!  Okay, not that funny, but a story, nonetheless!  I got loads of stares as I biked across town home, though.  Didn’t bother me!

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I also went to Goodwill for the first time in my life, and look what I found?  This sheep cup thing. IT’S SO ADORABLE. AND TINY.  I don’t know what I’m going to do with it – maybe put in a succulent?  For now, I’m storing handmade gift tags.

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Vintage & Antique Discoveries

Today was the first time I ever browsed a real vintage store!  I was lucky to be able to visit two within the same block.

I found so many amazing things!

This was the first thing I saw and picked up.  I think it’s lovely.  Unfortunately, like many of the items in the store, this was deceptively small!  I could only zip it up halfway.  It was a small.

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I also quite liked this vest; it looked adorable on, but I don’t typically wear vests.  Back to the rack it went!

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I’m in love with this black mini dress.  The picture doesn’t do it justice.  It’s adorable in real life!  They would go great with a certain pair of black lacy heels I just purchased from the consignment shop.

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I also found this plaid wool skirt.  I’ve never been terribly fond of plaid, but I LOVE this so much! The beige, the brown, and the grey work so well together, and the material is such nice quality.  The fringe detail on the pockets is fun, and speaking of pockets, who doesn’t love a skirt with a pocket or two?! They’re practical!

I would hem this to above the knee, however, since the length is overwhelming on my petite frame.

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There were many lovely vintage pieces, but these are the only ones I thought fit my style best!  The sweetest part was that everything was 30% off.  Great deal!  I also got a pair of boots, which I’ll be sure to wear in a future outfit post!

And plus, isn’t the fitting room so retro and cute?  This is the romper from a previous thrift store shopping expedition.  🙂

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The second vintage shop also had some great things.

This nautical dress isn’t my style, but it’s certainly adorable!

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I thought this maxi dress was adorable, but it was about a foot too long for me!  I didn’t feel like it was particularly worth hemming or fixing up, so I passed this up.

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I also passed up this beautiful green maxi dress.  It comes with a matching shawl, which I wasn’t too fond of. The length was perfect.  The color looks amazing on tan skin tones!  I figured I wouldn’t wear too frequently.  Someone else will love it. 🙂

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I ended up buying these items instead!

I found the shorts first, then I walked around the store and discovered this top, which I felt would look great with the shorts.  So I tried it on… et voila!

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I love the high waisted shorts. It’s very comfortable.  Got to work on those legs more, however!

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Check out this brown bag! It was only $24, great quality, leather, and looks very similar to the J Crew Edie satchel, which I used to pine for.

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The J Crew Edie purse in many colors:

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I also found some amazing things at the antiques shop.  It was a treasure trove for jewelry and mid-century furniture pieces.

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Check out this old Singer sewing machine!  Only $300-ish. 🙂

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Remember when people used to use these?

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I adore this necklace.

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I was trying to be good and not wipe out all their jewelry displays (they had quite the collection from estates), though, so I only bought this. 🙂

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If there’s anything I learned today, it’s that antique and vintage shops are dangerous for my wallet!  But at least I have a nice new [secondhand] bag in which to house that wallet. 🙂

Santa Rosa has so many amazing vintage, thrift, antique, and consignment shops. I wish I could’ve spent the whole day looking through all of them!

thrift and consignment shopping finds!

It was definitely a fruitful shopping day for me at the thrift and consignment shops!

I found this amazing bag (and all the goodies in it!)

Bag full of goodies!

Pretty prints and colors!

I love this red floral maxi skirt!  I’ve been looking to add maxi skirts into my wardrobe.  The red floral print is cheery!  I could take in the waist a bit, however!

Floral Skirt

I don’t typically go for rompers myself due to the awkward bathroom situation, but I’m a sucker for ditsy floral prints.  I couldn’t help myself with this one.  The fit is great, but I do need to reinforce the buttons and add a hook-and-eye closure between the bust to stop gaping.

Floral Romper

I also scored a great tweed skirt.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a good picture because my kitty kept attacking it.  She loves attacking anything with an interesting texture.  This skirt needs to be taken in at the waist!  I hope my Singer will be able to handle this.

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And here’s the outfit I wore!  I went for something ultra feminine with the lace and crochet dress, my comfortable 3″ raffia wedges, and my vintage Dooney & Bourke find from a thrift shop in Calistoga (love this bag so much!).

Lace Crochet Dress

Some of my finds I’ll definitely have to patch up, however, like this paisley maxi dress.  It’s a size medium, but a couple stitches to the backside will make the bodice fit much better and fix the sag!

paisley maxi dress

Needless to say, I’m pretty thrilled!  It’s always a good idea to stop into thrift or consignment shops at least once a week.  You’ll never know what knew goodies will turn up!