For those who believe clothing should be an expression of ourselves, but not 0ur value (mind over price tag), who aren't afraid to shake up an office casual day or who want to let their hair down on the weekends.



Revise: Red Not to Red Hot

Thrift Store Dress (Before)Thrift Store Dress (After)

Once again, I bought this dress for $10 at a thrift store in Los Angeles. It was drowning in red, and I wanted to change it up sightly. Removing the old red ribbon attached was the first step. It was showing the dress' real age. That was replaced by a fresh, new black ribbon with a small red rose sewn on top. The middle section looked a bit sluggish. There I added black lace to break up the red top portion from the red bottom portion. Speaking of the bottom, I sewed a piece of black cotton material underneath the red see-through lace that way your eyes gravitate from top to bottom when you see the additional color.

Price breakdown for additions:
Black ribbon - already owned
Small Red Rose - $1.29
Lace - $3.99
Dye for Lace - $2.79
Black Cotton Material - $2.66
Total: $10.53

If I used my Joann's coupon more wisely, I could have gotten the pricing down a tad. These are additions that anyone can do. Believe me, I'm no sewing expert. However, projects like these allow me to practice. Maybe practice will make adequate.


Resize: Yes, you can!

When I tell someone that I purchased something at a thrift store, usually they say, “you can find stuff all the time, but they probably don’t have my size.” You shouldn’t psych yourself out before you’ve even tried it. Most of the things I end up buying aren’t my size. That green dress I bought for $7 is a large. So yes, you can find cute things if you go in with a positive attitude. And if it’s not my exact size, I try to find a way to make it work such as wrapping the white and green scarf around the midsection of this dress. I think there’s one basic rule about size – Oversized can be good, undersize is rarely ever good. Don’t try to stuff yourself into something that doesn’t fit. I don’t care if it cost $1.99. Even smaller girls have to remind themselves of that from time to time.


Resource: LA Store Leads to $3.99 Marc Jacobs Top

It's been two days since I've been to the beach, and my sandals still have sand in them. On my vacation, I hit four thrift stores in the area of Los Angeles that I was staying in and came back with three things.

The first two items are from the Goodwill store on 7919 Beverly Rd near Fairfax. This store was so clean and organized. They were installing two new women's dressing rooms when I arrived. I started with the dress section. I found the blue dress and was a bit indecisive about purchasing it. It was $7.99. But I knew that I had black flats that I could wear with it or sandals. I actually ended up putting it on the first day because it got unexpectedly hot in the afternoon, and I need something cooler to wear. I guess that worked out well. The top I thought was colorful and cute - strawberry hearts. Plus, the back had a nice structure to it. I bought it for $3.99. I looked at it the next morning and wondered who made it. Turns out it was Marc Jacobs, and I didn't even know it. He's a fantastic designer and enjoys venturing into a thrift store himself.

I went to Out of the Closet on 360 N Fairfax. I didn't find anything there. The store's selection was a little bit smaller and slightly higher priced. If I get a chance, I would like to try one in another location.

After that I went to Thriftology on 427 N Fairfax. That is where I found that red gauzy Spanish dress for $9.98. This store was more of a thrift/vintage store with most of their items well above the $10 mark. I have some plans for the dress, which I'll work on next weekend. It involves adding a little black to it and some sparkles. When I'm done, it's going to be movin on up like the Jeffersons.

The last store I went to was Council Thrift Shop on 455 N Fairfax. As you can see, these stores are close and in easy walking distance from each other. This is a smaller store. I did see a Michael Kors pant suit for $30 that seemed very well made. Realistically, I didn't think I would wear it that much, and I left it on the rack.

I think I got some nice pieces, and I didn't go overboard. I'm definitely looking forward to what more LA has to offer. You can read about the rest of my trip here.


Resemble: J Crew Inspired, Thrift Store Bought

All the items combined in this outfit cost less than $15. I was obsessed with this one J Crew outfit that featured a tie and a sweater vest, so I was thrilled when I stopped into a thrift store and found a tie, vest and belt. Finally, something to work with. The white shirt and skirt I had picked up some time ago. The hardest thing about putting it together was learning how to tie a Windsor knot. I'm still not sure if that's right.

tie - $1.59
vest - $2.99
belt - $1.99
skirt - $2.99
shirt - $2.99

Off to Los Angeles. I have a few stores on my list to check out while I'm there. I'll update my trip blog when I get back.


Relativity: Pretty vs. Not So Pretty

There are two types of thrift store blouses in the world - the pretty and the not so pretty. I like them both. Take the first one. It's fun and a bit whimsical. I put it on and things start to look a little brighter. The second one is different. It's what I like to call on the verge of ugliness. You're not sure what to think about it when you see it from afar. Then you start to look closer and discover the beauty of it. Why it could possibly be a rose garden? I've gotten compliments on both at work. More so on the second one because I think you have to stop and consider what is exactly going on there. I've had these for well over a year. I probably didn't pay more than $4 for them.


Redefine: Tunic or Beach Cover Up? You decide.

There's so much going on with this tunic up top that you wouldn't want to pair it with a lot down below. In fact, you could wear nothing with it down below like a beach cover up. Beneath the sheer fabric, one still could see the cute bathing suit underneath. Perfect for the afternoon/evening when everything is a bit more calmer. Then if you're off to dinner, throw on a skirt, wrap a belt around your waist and slip on some sandals. I can't remember its exact cost. Probably somewhere between $2-$6. Try to look for pieces with multiple purposes that you could easily dress up or dress down so you won't have to go looking for something else and spend/consume more than you need to.


Rework: Scissors Are a Girl's Best Friend

I bought this dress for 99 cents. It was made in Hawaii. Here's my guess on why it ended up in a thrift store. Someone bought it on vacation, and that person thought they would wear it back home. However, after their vacation, they discovered people only wear these types of dresses in Hawaii and all that fabric was way too hot for the summertime.

So I picked it up and though it wasn't so bad. I tried it on and was engulfed in fabric. Out came the scissors and I chopped off the bottom layer of fabric leaving just the lace trim. Not so bad, but it looked like a kids dress instead of an old lady dress at the top. Then I cut off the sleeves leaving the lace trim at the shoulders. Just those two steps took years off this dress. I'm contemplating cutting the neckline lower, but for now I'm content.

A new summery dress for 99 cents and less than 5 minutes of work.


Refined: The Wedding Crasher Dress

I have a wedding reception to go to this weekend, so I'm pulling out this little number that I bought back in January at a thrift store for $15. I love its slightly vintage look. If this was a former bridesmaids dress, I think I would have been glad to have worn it. There's a certain grace to it - the way the top is structured and how it floats all the way to the bottom. However, the flowers attached at the waist show it doesn't take itself too seriously.