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My Top 5 Thrifting Tips

top thrifting tips

(My most recent thrifting haul – a wardrobe update for fall…whenever it gets here!)

As you may know from following my Instagram feed, I’m an avid thrifter. My love for thrifting started in high school, and followed me well into adulthood. I grew up in a college town, which meant we had amazing thrift shops (thanks to the annual “I’m moving out and have too much shit” effect). My favorite thrift score to date was finding my sister a vintage homecoming dress, straight out of the 1950s. It looked amazing on her, and she could guarantee no one was going to show up wearing anything like it!

After years of thrift shopping, these are my top thrifting tips that work well for me! Feel free to leave your own tips and tricks in the comments!

My Top 5 Thrifting Tips

Tip #1: Do some research before you go!

Before heading out, I suggest researching your local thrift shops online. You can find out their hours, specials or sales, and if their proceeds go toward a charity/cause. This will help you find the best thrift shop for your needs!

Also, if you’re planning to look for furniture or other large items, have a plan for how to get them home! You can easily rent a truck from a moving company, or by the hour from places like Home Depot. In Seattle, some of our Goodwill shops even have Zipcar vans you can rent!

Tip #2: Make a list to keep you on track!

Thrifting can be incredibly overwhelming – especially if you don’t have a game plan! Bring a list of things you’re looking for to keep from getting swamped.

I like to shop for one category or theme each time I head out. For example, I’ll spend one afternoon looking for furniture at a few places. Next time, I’ll focus on books or clothes. Having a specific item in mind keeps you from feeling rushed or tempted to buy too much.

Tip #3: Sizes are arbitrary!

Anyone who has tried to buy vintage will tell you not to bother with size tags. Many of the clothes in thrift shops have outdated sizing, have stretched over time (especially jeans), or been tailored. When looking for clothing, don’t rule out looking a couple sizes up or down!

It’s a good idea to try on clothing before you buy it, but that’s up to how comfortable you are or if the store has changing rooms.

Tip #4: Be realistic about upscaling/repairs!

When you start thrifting, it’s tempting to purchase a “fixer-upper.” Whether it’s a dresser that needs some paint, or blouse that just needs an extra button, you can find great stuff that just needs a little TLC! However, you should be honest about your ability and desire to fix things.

If you already have a stack of clothes that need mending you haven’t touched in months, don’t add to the pile. Also, when it comes to furniture, make sure you have the space to clean/paint/stain your new piece safely!

Tip #5: Be super nice to people working there!

A little kindness really goes a long way at your local thrift shop! I find that when I’m friendly with the staff, I have an easier time bargaining or getting a better deal. More often than not, they’ll give me the employee discount, extra savings points, or “forget” to scan a book or two. If they do, remember to thank them!

However, some places don’t allow for it, so don’t be too disappointed if they say no. It’s probably against their policies, and there’s nothing you can do about that. Just say thanks, and remember you’re getting a major steal anyway!

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There you go – my top thrifting tips to make your next trip run smoothly!

Spring Thrift Shop Haul

spring thrift shop haul
It’s strange to think that spring is coming soon – it’s felt somewhere between fall and spring for the past several months. I don’t think the temperatures are going to change much, but I still wanted to update my wardrobe to reflect the changing season. One afternoon, I headed out to my favorite thrift store haunts to add some much-needed color to my closet.

On my first trip, I was looking for a handbag that I could adjust from a shoulder to a cross-body bag. In true thrifting form, I came home with 3 – all of which will be perfect for the spring/summer months! I also found a few scarves that I can’t wait to find a good use for. I’m thinking about framing and hanging the red one, but we’ll see – finding frames is next on my list….

About a week later, I ended up at another store to find they were having a 50% off sale on all of their long-sleeved tops, and I went a little nuts. With the exception of the short-sleeved top, all of them were around $3-4 each! After a winter of wearing mostly black and navy, I can’t wait to add some softer pastels and ivory into my wardrobe.

Now, if only it would warm up a little around here, I’d be all set!

February on Instagram

february on instagram

February was a great month for hiking! The weather was sunny and warm most days, and even if it wasn’t, I managed to get out anyway. It has been amazing to see things starting to sprout, even if it does mean allergy season is fast approaching! Hopefully I’ll be able to get out even more in March!

february on instagram

I didn’t write much about food this past month on the blog, and I probably won’t much next month – but I instagrammed about it a lot. February was all about getting back to normal after the holidays, and I’m looking to keep up the good work in March. Fat Tuesday, or as I know it Paczki Day, was obviously an important day for me (holla to my fellow Poles out there), but after spending the month behaving myself, I could indulge without feeling guilty. I’m finding a balance between eating healthy while still eating well, so of course I make sure not to cut out anything too crazy. I still love a glass of wine…but now, I stop at one (otherwise I’ll be eyeballs deep in junk food later). 

february on instagram

Finally, this past month was big for stocking up on things for spring. I updated my skincare routine after a nasty breakout, renewed my love of print magazines, and did some serious thrift shopping. I can’t wait to share more of what I scored while thrifting this past month – so stay tuned to find out what I came home with!

March is going to be a busy month, with moving into a new place, more job hunting, and some of my favorite shows coming back to TV (is anyone else excited for House of Cards?). I’m also planning to kick up the posts to 4-5 days per week, if I can manage to work that around packing, unpacking, and spring cleaning (which should be easy in a new space, I hope)!

If you want to catch up with what I’ve been ‘gramming, make sure to
click here to follow my Instagram feed!

Friday Favorites: Spring is Coming

spring is coming

Taken while out hiking this week! Spring is coming!

Happy Friday!

It has been unseasonably warm around here this week, and it’s been great to go hiking and see things starting to sprout! Sure, it means seasonal allergies are on their way, but so are flowers, and I can’t wait to see some more bright, fun color outside!

Before I head off to do some thrifting, packing, and figure out what we’re having for dinner tonight, I wanted to share what I’ve been enjoying around the internet this week!

  • Man Repeller posed an important question for the fashion and blogging industries alike – is “street style” on its way out? While I agree it’s still around and going strong, it ruins the experience for me when I know who most of the people are. I loved street style because it was about how non-industry (or new to the industry) people were dressing and interpreting trends, but now some of these people have made careers out of being street style gurus…and that kinda ruins it for me. The comment section on this post is just as important to read as the post itself – they started an interesting conversation!
  • If I’m being totally honest, I’ve been trying to eat healthier lately and it sucks – mostly because I really don’t like salads. The Chalkboard Mag is trying to win me over, though, with their article, “10 Salad Recipes That Aren’t Boring.” I might have to give a few of these a try next week, and we’ll see if they converted me to at least tolerating salads!
  • The other struggle I’m facing while eating healthier is that I love baking, but baking means making huge portions of things that are generally not considered healthy (especially when it means a whole cake for only two people). The Pioneer Woman has my back, though, with a “Chocolate Cake in a Mug” recipe that’s the perfect size for when you want to indulge, but not get stuck eating a whole cake by yourself. I’m totally going to give this one a try soon – I’ve been craving something bad, and it’s better if I indulge a little before I go bonkers and try my hand at making a whole cheesecake….
  • I recently bought the Thayer’s Rose Witch Hazel Toner, and the stuff is changing my skin for the better, especially after a sweaty workout! If you’re more into making your own, The Chalkboard Mag has a great recipe for their own post-workout Rose + Witch Hazel Face Wipes. They would make a great gift, or fit perfectly into your gym bag to freshen up after a long workout (or just on a hot day…which I promise are coming back soon).
  • If you’re looking for a good snack for Oscar night, check out Everyday Food’s YouTube video on how to make three amazing (and easy) versions of baked chicken wings. They sound yummy, and perfect for a night of lounging around and watching the show!

Alright, there you have it! I hope everyone has a great weekend, and I’m looking forward to hearing what you’ve been loving online this week, so leave a comment with suggestions of things I should check out!

Recent Thrift Store Buys

Recent Thrift Store Buys

Thrift shopping has become a very enjoyable habit lately, though I haven’t actually bought much since my Halloween costume trip. I’ve been focused on getting things ready for the holidays, and spending more time outdoors hiking than out shopping.

I did, however, score a few great finds for home this past week – and at insane prices! Goodwill has weekly tag sales, which means I scored the duck bookends, brass bowl, and fish mirror for only $1.79 each! The flower hanging I think was only $3, which is still pretty good! The ducks are solid wood, and are helping prop up my heavy cookbooks. The mirror I plan on repainting in a fun color (like deep purple or blue), and the flower hanging is going in our bedroom after I figure out where to put it. As for the brass bowl, I thought it would be a great place to put holiday candy.

Recent Thrift Store Buys

While I haven’t bought clothes much lately, I did grab a couple sweaters. The one on the left is originally from Target, and is so comfortable. I’ve worn it several times already, and will probably wear it out this winter. The one on the right is from Dress Barn, oddly enough, and is also insanely comfy! I think I finally have a decent winter wardrobe to keep me warm and happy this year – and I got it all with a tiny budget.

Well, I’m off now to grab a cup of tea and a book…and yes, probably while wearing one of those comfy sweaters!

Thrifty Fall Updates

Thrifty Fall Updates

I’ve been a thrifty woman for a very, very long time. I used to love going thrift store shopping as a teenager, where I could update my wardrobe with pieces that were both current and vintage. This love followed me into adulthood, where I have found some of my favorite home decor pieces.

In Seattle, thrift stores can be a bit of a hit or miss. Many of the thrift shops around here have amazing finds, but the prices are way too high. I’ve had to leave several amazing things (including two brass crickets) because they were just too pricey for a thrift shop. Other shops in the area have better prices, but you have to do a lot more work to find great things. I clearly favor the latter, and love finding great pieces at amazing prices!

Thrifty Fall UpdatesAfter ditching almost 80% of my wardrobe before last year’s move, my small wardrobe has been doing a lot of heavy lifting over the past year. While I love most of the pieces I have, they’re showing their age and heavy use – especially jeans. So I headed out to a few thrift shops in the area to see if I could find some new jeans for fall…and of course, I got more than I originally planned on!

Clothes were something I struggled to find in Ohio, but in Seattle I’ve been impressed with what’s available. I managed to get 4 pairs of jeans for what I’d usually pay for 1 in a store – and most of them were brand new with tags still on them. In Ohio, this would have been impossible to do!

I wasn’t planning on picking anything up for the home, but the pieces I came home with were just too pretty to pass up. The carved wood box and flower-print container are going to add some much-needed color to my jewelry storage. The candle holder now houses a large white candle in the bathroom, and looks amazing with the other vintage pieces I have in there. The scarves were a bit of an impulse buy, but I have some ideas for what I want to do with those too.

My thrifting adventures haven’t been totally successful, though. I still struggle to find sweaters and tops, and I’ve never been a fan of buying shoes from thrift shops. Lately, we’ve been working on a decor project for the living room that requires lots of photo frames…but good luck finding any! Many of the places here sell the frames with art in them as a (very highly priced) packaged deal. Not very thrifty, to be honest.

So far, I’m really digging the Seattle thrifting scene, and can’t wait to see what more I can find!

Vogue September Issue: 5 Trends to Buy Now!

Vogue September Issue

 

This year, I had the opportunity to get Vogue’s September issue digitally, thanks to my local library. The experience of swiping through went a lot faster than if I had leafed through a physical copy, but I also found I paid more attention. I’ve never looked to the ads before, but having them in a digital format for some reason made me take notice. I also spent more time reading the articles this year, though I think that might just be because I found them more interesting than in years past.

If you’re not the kind of person who enjoys leafing through 800+ pages of fashion, I decided to help you out by giving you a cliffsnotes (and yes, I spelled that right) version to help guide you to a fashion savvy fall!

Thrift stores are your friend!

The 1970s and 1990s played a huge role in much of this year’s issue, so get ready for some heavy thrifting this year if you don’t want to pay couture prices. Trust me, this year you can be trendy and on budget!

Floor length, long-sleeved, high-necked prairie dresses were in almost every ad and feature story. Chloe, Lanvin, and Gucci featured dresses that would make Stevie Nicks gush. The floral prints were small, and the color palette was autumn-ready (think burnt oranges, browns, deep purples, and black). There were a few shorter, 90s versions of this, but for the most part keep things pretty conservative to stay on trend this year. I thought the dresses by Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana, and Celine that featured larger floral patterns (think grandma’s couch) were also a nice way to go the hippie vibe while keeping it chic.

If you managed to save your furry Muppet-esque coats from college, now would be the time to give them a good brushing and break them out! Faux fur coats were featured alongside flowing blouses, boot-cut and bell-bottomed jeans, and chunky boots. Think more Margot Tenenbaum than Kurt Cobain.

Other things to hunt down in the thrift shop this year: neck scarves (if Leandra Medine hasn’t stolen them all yet), structured handbags, chunky boots, wide leg jeans, fisherman knit sweaters, and bowtie blouses

Watch The Royal Tenenbaums to figure out what colors to rock this fall!

Look no further than Prada for the color palette this season. They, among others, featured mustard yellows, turquoise blues, soft pinks, forest greens, and lots and lots of tweed. Many of the designers for fall went with colors that would blend in perfectly with the Tenenbaum family. The pinks, purples, blues, and reds are more saturated than years past, and balanced nicely with light brown suede or leather to keep things from getting too bright and cheery. Also, keep the textures classic – tweed, corduroy, wool, leather, and denim to keep from it looking like a 90s ripoff of a 70s outfit.

Also, if you’re over 30, stop bowing down to the altar of Margot Tenenbaum (you’re too old for polo shirt dresses, trust me) and really check out Etheline Tenenbaum’s wardrobe for inspiration. Her structured pieces in gorgeous colors are far more on trend this year- the pink coat she wears throughout the movie is perfect for this fall!

The white button down is cool again…and anything but basic!

For a long time, the white button down was the Basic B’s most basic of pieces – and don’t worry, it still is if that’s what you like. However, if you’re looking to up your game this year, go with a white button down that isn’t so simple. Try new cuts, and definitely go for more flowing fabrics. It should read slightly more blouse-y than school uniform. Undo more buttons, let your black bra shine through, but keep the sleeves long and buttoned tight at the wrist!

While we’re on the topic of basic white pieces, don’t forget to pick up a fisherman knit sweater if you somehow didn’t last year. They’re still very popular, and work well with this year’s trends!

Get your inner goth on this fall, and you’ll be set for winter too!

I didn’t forget the goths of the 90s, I promise, and neither did the September issue! Dolce & Gabbana, Alexander McQueen, Alberta Ferretti, and Proenza Schouler were definitely reppin’ for the goth girls this year. Think lots of structured black coats, black Victorian-era lace, and dark embroidery. Of course, we can count on people like Chanel to bring the blacks and greys, but this year it seems like a lot of other designers are enjoying the ease and subversiveness of an all-black outfit. I think this trend will make for a great transition from fall to winter, where we’ll see a lot more black than we have in recent years.

Pack up the bucket bags for now!

Structured bags are where it’s at this year. I think I only saw one bucket bag in the 800+ pages this year, and even the bags that had that 70s fringe were more structured than slouchy. I’ve never been a fan of slouchy handbags, so I’m glad to bid them good riddance for now!

If you get out early, you should have no problem finding some great thrift store bags that fit the bill – or you could spring for a new one that I guarantee you’ll use for years to come. They were in all shapes and sizes this year, so whether you want to go with a doctor’s bag or a cross-body mini, it’ll work!

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Of course, this isn’t a comprehensive list of what I saw in Vogue’s September issue this year, but they were the trends I saw popping up again and again! There were plenty of designers who keep things the same from year to year (Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Chanel, etc.), and you can still count on the 60’s London rocker/mod trend to be around for a while. But Vogue is all about the changes in season, and this resurgence of 70s and 90s fashion is a big change from what I’ve seen recently.

So get out there and start digging around your neighborhood thrift store before you head to the department stores – you might be surprised at how much you will find…and save!