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.



Reminiscent: Things That Remind Me of Other Things

These $4 shorts are just cute. There's really not much else to say. This thrift store pair of rainbow short shorts remind me of 70s. In fact, I know the perfect Victoria's Secret soft tee to go with them.

Speaking of Victoria, which is also the name of the Canadian hometown of one of my favorite basketball players, which is a ferry ride away from Vancouver where I'll be visiting next week. (What a transition.) I have a short list of thrift stores to visit while I'm there, and I'm looking forward to seeing how the Canadians do it. As always, I'll post anything good that I come across and update my trusty trip blog.


Reuse: Plastic Bags for Good(s)

Today, I thought I would show you some storage ideas that are handy if you have to store out of season clothes, find a place for accessories or gather things together for a move. Don't worry. I haven't run out of clothes just yet.

Plastic bags that pillows are contained in are great for packing sweaters in the summer and shorts and tees in the winter. You can also use the ones for sheets as a home for unruly belts that end up of the floor or scarves that roam about your place.

The plastic case above that once contained chocolates now contains my glass beads I bought in Prague. (Note: I love to say, "I bought these in Praa..gue." Makes me feel more worldly.) It keeps them protected and from being lost.

So the next time you buy bedding or something in a plastic container, think of other options instead of tossing the packaging in the garbage.


Refute: Two Wrongs Make a Right

Exhibit A - thrift store shirt. I purchased said item for $3. When I arrived at my residence, I realized that it had two ink stains by the embroidery in the middle of the shirt. Yes, I was negligent, but what is even more thoughtless, is the idea that someone would give this lovely shirt away without even thinking of a solution to fix it. In the fabric trim section, which is now becoming my favorite shopping aisle, I found this rose ribbon and simply tacked it on covering up the imperfection. Was Jane Doe wrong for tossing this shirt aside? The compliments I received at work would conclude, yes.

Exhibit B - thrift store jeans. Earlier in one of my blog posts, I said that I couldn't find jeans at a thrift store. I would like to strike that from my record because I found these Gap jeans for $8. I'm coveting wide leg jeans at the moment, and these jeans are nicely constructed with wide cuffs at the bottom. I love the way they swish when I walk, and they're not overly done like bell bottoms. I was wrong.

A top for $3 and jeans for $8 equal the right combination for me.


Resonating: Dress of Past and Present

My favorite word in the English language is "extraordinary." When used together separately, "extra" and "ordinary", they mean incredibly plain. However, when the two words are combined, it means incredibly unique.

That's why I like this thrift store dress that I purchased for $6. It's got a slightly vintage feel in the way it's cut at the top (the boatneck and the sleeves), but the color is very modern. I don't think the dress would have fit in any past era because the print is too futuristic. The tones pop out at you when you look at it.

It reminds me of one of my favorite Walt Whitman quotes, "Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes."


Remix: Matching is Optional

Sometimes rules are made to be manipulated. In elementary school, I wore a black tennis shoe on one foot with a white sock and a white tennis shoe with a black sock on the other. Funny how I thought I was so cutting edge. However, I am proud that in my youth I thought somewhat out the box.

I love watching What Not to Wear on TLC. At times I find myself amazed at what things people think don't go together. Pink and brown? Yes, you can wear it. Wearing black with brown? It's possible. A print blouse with a non-solid jacket. Tricky, but it can work.

The ruffle striped blouse above I purchased at a thrift store for $3. The ribbon plaid belt I purchased at another for $.99. The colors look like they're in the same family, so why not put them together? The different pattern on the belt actually helps it stand out more. Admit it, you're a little visually intrigued.

Mix and matching is definitely okay. Just try not to look too much like a disheveled elementary school student.


Refinish: Rags to Riches

Mending battered things that are already in your closet is an even better way to help out of the environment and cut down on excess expenditures.

I purchased this top at a thrift store over four years ago. Originally, it was a dress. I can't remember exactly why I cut it, but I'm sure I had my reasons. I would tell myself that wearing it without a hem sewn made it look more natural. However, no seam tends to unequal unraveling thus relegating the shirt to the bottom of a drawer somewhere inside my closet.

I saw some purple pompom trim at the fabric store and thought it would help make the top okay for public viewing. I hemmed the shirt bottom using seam tape (one of the greatest inventions ever) and used the tape again to attach the trim to the bottom. No needle required. Ready, set, iron.

Now I don't have to worry about it falling apart anymore, and I can restore it to its rightful place with the rest of my wardrobe.


Regard: Cotton Candy Striped Skirt

Whomever handmade this skirt, I want to commend them for their ability to look at fabric and piece it together so well. The way the vertical lines at the bottom play off the horizontal lines throughout the body makes this skirt. It’s unique, but it doesn’t scream “look at me.” More like “you think I’m cute, don’t you?” Its hues remind me of cotton candy. And to think it only cost me $4, which probably is the going rate for cotton candy these days. So to you, thank you. I hope you’ve continued to create more things.


Recreate: One Vest, Many Styles

1. Thrift Store Vest - $2.99

a. Outdoors b. Country c. Urban/European

I. sandals II. suede boots III. Converse IV. leather boots

So you're not ready to own an entire wardrobe of thrift store clothes yet. That's fine. Every thing I owned isn't used. I'm tall making pants hard to find and shoes nearly impossible. Someone donating an item and you purchasing said item saves a garment from years in a landfill. That makes a difference.

A basic denim vest provides great versatility allowing you to mold it to your personal style. In the examples, I only changed the bottom half of the outfit. The vest, tank top and scarf remain the same.

Outdoors - You like to spend time with mother nature usually at the beach or in the mountains. You want your clothes to be lightweight and not constricting. You could easily throw on a pair of shorts or short skirt and sandals, and you're out the door ready for your next adventure.

Country - You don't mind time in the great outdoors, but you also don't mind being inside watching a Reese Witherspoon movie (Legally Blonde, Sweet Home Alabama, Walk the Line). You want your clothes to be something feminine that you don't mind getting dirty. You could wear a ruffle skirt along with boots to show off your southern charm.

Urban - If you're spending time outside, it's usually because you have to get to somewhere inside. You want your clothes to be classic, but a little unique. You would put on a basic black trouser for something simple, but leave your shoes to say what you're really like. My choice Converse.

European - I don't have what I need to show you for an outfit with a European flair. I would take the urban look, change out the black trousers and replace them with black skinny jeans. Then add the leather boots on top. Magnifique.

The great thing about fashion is you could be anyone of these different styles any day you wanted, and it all started with a $3 thrift store vest. Go forth and browse!

And yes, I have seen all those Reese Witherspoon movies. What can I say? I'm a little bit Country and a little bit Rock N Roll.


Remember: A Little Means A Lot

It's not a surprise that I like scarves. They can do so much for you. Hide things that you don't want to be seen. Show things off that you don't want to hide. You can wear them in your hair, around your neck, at your waist, on top of a coat, inside of a coat...well, I think you get the point. There's so many different uses for such a small piece of fabric. The three scarves pictured I found at thrift stores, so make sure you don't skip over looking for accessories. Because a little piece of material can make a difference in changing a Plain Jane black and white outfit into something more fun.