thrifting

Counter Culture: White Provision

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One of the “rules” that most annoyed me as a child was the unspoken mandate that white was unacceptable after Labor Day. Seriously, why did half of my wardrobe become unnecessarily moot when Fall in Georgia doesn’t begin until November? While the ban on whites acted as a good excuse to buy new shoes, I never liked wearing off-white (let’s be honest– it’s not “off” it’s dirty), or really changing my routine at the behest of some old lady’s exaggerated interpretation of Emily Post. If we don’t wear black for two years anymore when someone dies, why hang on to the rest of the Victorian eccentricities to dress?DSC_1038

By now it’s probably clear that this post offers an example rejecting this rule into Fall, and in order to show you how, I went to a neighborhood in Atlanta, affectionately (and somewhat jarringly) called the “White Provision.” The name comes from an old shirt factory building that remains in the area (though no longer making shirts).DSC_1053

A lot of great food places line the opposite side of the building, including Atlanta’s number one rated resturant Bachanalia. However, if the 5-course prix fixe menu is out of your budget, the operation has an adjoining cafe/ bakery called Star Provision, where you can sample the kitchen’s fares before commiting to the date night. In my case, I shared a charcuterie and a box of sweets (go for the ginger cookie!). 

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As for my outfit, I’m wearing knock off Ray Bans, a Talbots white linen blazer (thrifted), a Chloe sequin tank top (Ebay), vintage Givenchy purse (Ebay), Gap white skinny jeans, Primark heels, and a ribbon literally taken from an Agent Provacateur box. My necklace is thrifted as well. As far as carrying white into Fall, I think that jeans are a great way to go. While seasonally appropriate, they still make enough of a statement, but will pair well with Fall separates. The blazer, I think, is a harder sell, especially this one since it’s linen….

A quick word on blazers: if there is one item that you look for in a thrift store, try blazers. I think they are a very good intro. to the art of effectively shopping for used clothes. Most generic blazers will run you somewhere in the range of 40 dollars, which is a disgruntling price to pay for a glorified cardigan (unless of course it has elbow pads.. in which case do what you have to do). Most blazers are going to look less sketchy on the rack than a lot of the other hand-me-downs, and a lot of times you can score on some great brands you might not have been able to find otherwise. I know I’ve found DKNY, Pendleton, Brooks Brothers, Talbots, and Ann Taylor to name a few.

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DSC_1071DSC_1077DSC_1047Alright. It’s your turn. Go on out there and crush some Victorian sensibilities, and when you do, be sure to share in a comment below. I’d love to see your interpretation of “Winter White.”

 

Second Verse Same as the First

DSC_0073.3Happy May Day! I hope you are able to find a suitable Maypole on this most revelrous of holidays. When I was studying in Oxford, my first night out we met a real life Morris dancer! He was this huge burly guy with an very long electric orange beard. The five of us were crowded around this wisp of a table (and there couldn’t have been more than 5 tables in the pub), while this man just told us insane stories and demanded that he buy us fine Irish sipping whiskeys.

It was all rather surreal, but to commemorate the day,  I’ve decided to borrow from the British invasion for the title of this post (you can cheat and click the link if you don’t know what I’m talking about).

I really like the idea of being able to take the same basic elements and create various outfits with distinctly different feelings. Here’s my example. I’ve started with :

Black crop top (Urban Outfitters- $5.00)
Jean Skater Skirt (Urban Outfitters-$10.00- on sale now)
Pink Oversize Sunglasses (Urban Outfitters-$18.00 in stores now)
Blue Floral Tights (Thrifted-$2.00)
Pink Cut-Out Walking Shoes (Clarks UK)

I know it’s noxiously UO, but I’ve been skulking along their sales racks. You can recreate virtually the same look (give or take the cropped shirt) fairly easily and inexpensively (although I’d advise avoiding impulse buying sunglasses :P). From here it’s up to you to explore!DSC_0066 2

I wanted to start with an outfit that I thought I might could get away with before Mimi scoffed at the crop top. I added this Aztec meets Jackie O Anthropologie coat, a floral scarf as belt, and a 1950s(?) floral hat that always reminds me of synchronized swimming.

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Just when I think I’m getting better with the camera, I lose an arm…

It’s quite ironic to me that while being covered up nearly head to toe, people can be scandalized or find the skin gap indiscreet. I’m sorry, but no one is going to be turned on by my Starbucks bulge (aka white mocha (it’s even taken on the color) holder, aka stomach). Let me be and pretend that I’m in California as the weather vacillates between 40 and 70. To be honest, I was so self conscious wearing the crop top all day. I kept thinking “people will think I’m fat,” “people will think I’m promiscuous (except I used various synonyms depending on my varying histrionics).” But neither of those seemed like legitimate reasons to not try the style.

But I did cheat a little. I did not show belly button (heaven forbid!). Fun Fact- When I Dream of Jeannie first aired, the network demanded that Barbara Eden’s belly button not show in her costume, as they thought it would be far too scandalous for their viewer audience.

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The veritable bra and see-through pants though? Those were fine. So I’m with Babs here on the next one.
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This was supposed to be aiming more at a Joni Mitchell, festival-friendly (without feeling dirty) look. I added an estate sale black bag, locket watch necklace, and blue brimmed hat (charity shop in Oxford). I think the secret to festival, flowy hair looks is a broad-brimmed hat. This one is pretty small. The ideal is the love child of Indiana Jones and a floppy hat.
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Here’s a close up on accessories:
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Earrings: marketplace in India
Locket-watch necklace: Native American store- Athens, Georgia
Rings: Fossil, Notre Dame bookstore, and I found one on the ground… can you guess which is which?
Scarf: Talbots

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Happy May Day!

Shared to: Hat Attack, Three-fer Thurday

Midwestern Treasure Troves: Estate Sales Recently

You never really know what you’re going to find at an estate sale. For instance, last week, we stumbled across this priceless gem:

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Look closer…

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closer…

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Ahhh piquant lemon lime flavor, how could we resist you for that long 16 years? Finally, for a mere $2.00 (I didn’t even know Gatorade expired), you can be ours! We’ll just conveniently ignore the ominous game expired looming at us.

In particular at estate sales, I always like to see the weeeeeird stuff people collect. Three weeks ago, the woman collected cow totems and the man was obsessed with trains. This past week, I couldn’t escape bowling mementos (prizes, pins, pens, jerseys) only to find out the couple had owned a bowling alley. My roommate loves to go to collect cardinal ornaments (I had no idea people had so many things with cardinals on them. Now that I’ve noticed, they can’t be unseen! Seriously, go check your house). And of course, I’m always on a mission to locate the hats (with varying success). So here’s the haul of the past two weeks:

  Estate Sale One
Niles, Michigan

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Bird picture: 1.50/ Carpet Bag: 20.00/ Scarf: 5.00/ Globe Tin: 1.50/ 2 pairs of antique earrings 1.50 each

This one was fairly blase’ no great stories here. Leigha and I were on a mission for headscarves, and as you can see, I found everything else. I styled the headscarf and carpet bag here.

Estate Sale 2
Elkhart, Indiana

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Needlepoint of my future house: 7.00/ Sailing shirt: 1.00/ Legit fur stole: 7.50

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Next stop- Russian Aristocracy

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Texture Combo.

I stayed relatively calm throughout this venture, but J raided the place. I’ve never gone to an estate sale with anyone who walked away with more than I bought, but in J’s defense, at times, it was like walking through an Urban Outfitters giveaway. Like these smashing new swim trunks:

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Panda-licious

PreFontaine Meets Brooks Brothers: A Real American Tradition

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California, here he comes.

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J also managed to snag several tomes on the (alleged) conspiracy that was the Clinton presidency and a 1950s guide to a Successful Sex Life in Marriage (approved by the American Medical Association, New York Daily, and Catholics of America- all for two dollars!). But the greatest find of the day was probably this little guy:DSC_0067

Upon seeing him, Joe immediately said, “Herbert?” And with his reluctant grin, Herbert returned Js gaze.

Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 2.03.16 PMThis sassy little strigiform is making me seriously reconsider my views on love at first sight. He’s so bold, yet demure! Suffice it to say, he and J have already moved in together. May you be so lucky in love on your next adventure! Happy Friday!

 

Boon from the Boonies: Estate Sale Treasure

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‘Twas beauty that killed the beast!

I realize it’s Valentines, but I’m home alone watching King Kong by myself, so I would prefer to write about something entirely irrelevant to the holiday and fashion week.

My roommate and I are serious about some estate sales. Prices are negotiable. Discoveries are around every corner (and some of these old birds really fill every nook). You learn about tons of new old things that you never knew existed. Adventure is out there, and it’s so affordable!

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Today’s Capture.

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I can’t wait to force someone to wear these.

The only real cons to estate sales are that:
1. You never know how big the “estate” really is. Even when people put up pictures, it’s often quite hard to tell is that one shelf of books or are you really stocked? Do the three tables constitute “lots of furniture”? Do not lure me in to your glorified yard sale. I do not want your old knappy Keds.

2. There is a reason the estate is being liquidated, and it is often unpleasant. As I descend like a locust on old hats and hat boxes, it’s an ominous feeling to know the person that owned these articles is… gone. As my friend Dominick so aptly stated, “It’s a visible reminder you can’t take it with you.” I prefer the happy couples selling everything so they can escape to their dream home on the beach.

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While the estate sales  just South of Atlanta are alright, generally prices are a bit higher and the estates are more heavily trafficked. One of the few reasons that I enjoy rural Indiana is because finally the laws of supply and demand have harkened towards my favor. Since being here, I’ve never paid more than $10.00 for a vintage hat. One of the few reasons that I enjoy rural Indiana is because finally the laws of supply and demand

Today I got:

Peter Pan Collar Dress:  3.25
2 skinny and one square tie: (75 cents each) 2.25
a crazy cool white puffball hat: 4.50
Score! 9.50

However, when you’re shopping do remember to inspect your merchandise. When I got home I realized that my dress has two holes in the waist….

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How’d they know I needed to take in the sides?

To find or keep yourself abreast about estate sales near you, sign up for notifications at these very obviously named websites:

  1.  http://www.estatesales.net/
  2. http://www.estatesale.com/
  3. 1st Dibs (though this one is national and based around luxury items)

Cheap Designer Label Clothes: What’s not to Like?

Opening February 9th is Target’s newest collaboration: Peter Pillotto for Target. I’ve said before that Peter Pilotto is the future, but this is a groundbreaking collection from a business perspective (for several reasons besides team designers. Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos’, genius). This marks the first time the Peter Pillotto label offers both swimwear and accessories. To celebrate, Target has taken a step in the global direction and is making the collaboration accessible by featuring it Net-a-Porter.

The designs look great — almost like a cross between scuba gear, Jackson Pollock, and the office. No doubt come February, I will find myself perusing Target’s aisles, silently salivating as the sweet smell of design meets affordability.

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But before I get overwhelmed by the ever-beckoning lure of the label, I have to ask myself and my readers. Why do we like these collaborations? Do we actually like them? Every so often with mixed success, Target, H&M, or Kohl’s tantalizes us with these  oh-so classy looking displays; you get to the store, pulse racing, thinking, “Ah! The joy of having nice clothes made by someone who understands!” Then you touch the fabric, and in a moment of dizzy realization and confusion, it’s just glorified polyester with more thought exerted on it. But I go. every. time. And every time, I ask myself, why would I pay $40 for a white shirt from Target?

Am I being too snobby? Looking back at past Target collaborations, they are undoubtedly cool. Even celebrities wear them!

Jason Wu:

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In real life:012712-jason-wu-target-launch-600

And Philip Lim:

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So essentially, by buying the collaborated label, you sacrifice fabric and tailoring, leaving yourself with design. Is that a worthwhile trade, or am I better off to save up my money and thrift like mad? Then again, maybe my expectations are too high. No one is walking out of Target, fanning their fingers together saying, “YES! Runway gold!” Still, if we know that we aren’t really getting designer, why are we buying for designer? The Man Repeller’s Leandra Medine posited in her article Pilotto for the People that the reason to shop these collaborations is to cash in on the prints (making Pilotto the perfect designer). Now we get Peter Pilotto prints without the Peter Pilotto price tag… I don’t know, but that bathing suit is sure calling my name.

Outfit of the Day

Right now it’s vacillating between 12 and -6 degrees Fahrenheit in South Bend, Indiana. It’s hard to muster any fashion aspiration beyond the prospect of parading around as a shapeless, faceless marshmallow (the one thick jacket I own is puffy and white). However, in celebration of my newest ebay acquisition (Diane von Furstenburg NWT: tag price $465, my price $33 with shipping), I attempted some snow day law school chic.

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Dress: Diane Von Furstenburg

Wool Blazer: Thrift store gem

Watch: Target Men’s Watch

Shoes: Kenneth Cole Reaction

Knee Highs: trouser socks from Wal-mart

Probably not the best for my legs considering the weather, but I felt classy (once I cold forget the menacing cold).

Poshmark: An Introduction, A Celebration.

Today signals a most momentous occasion for me. To be precise, my 1,000th follower on my FAVORITE clothes selling app. It’s called Poshmark.

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It’s a totally free app that allows you to list the outliers of your closet to a larger audience. It’s like a huge antique mall, only with lots of designer clothes, or ebay but with the option to bargain with all the venders. There is tons of stuff on here, and great clothes at affordable prices. For Christmas, I treated myself to a Burberry London dress for $65, including shipping! Though this was a great deal, PM still allows you to sometimes make a little more from your clothes than you could from other vendors, since you have so much control over your costs and the only price of listing is your time. Poshmark gets 20% of any sell and keeps the shipping costs ($7 for under $25 purchase and $5 for 25+), but sends you a priority mail label for a 2 lb. parcel.

Closets

This is my closet! You can see where the name of this blog originated…. You can sign in through facebook or on your own. At the top you can see some basic information. Lots of sellers put their closet rules (no trades, no paypal, prices negotiable, etc).

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Additionally your followers/ those you are following are displayed. This is pretty self explanatory followers show up in your feed. follow closets you like by pressing the follow button.

Bottom toolbar: The five icons on the bottom toolbar are essentially map around Posh. They include:

  • your feed (anything your followers/ you share)

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  • parties (information and access for future and previous parties)
  • SELL (my fave! the hookup to building your closet- just take a few pictures write a brief description and go!)
  • News (anytime someone shares, likes, or comments on your items it shows up here with a number to tell you how many new notifications you have)

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  • Account information (this links you to your closet, orders, account, balance, etc.)

A Quick Guide:

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Parties- happen 3x a day (12am (brand names), 3pm (specific type of clothing), 10pm (themed chaos) eastern time) This is a great way to get your clothes out, but **tip** wait until the last three minutes (or specifically last seconds) to list so that when people view the party later, they will scroll through seeing the things added latest

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Likes- so cool in this app! When you like something in this app, it is collected in one central location so you can scroll through later at your convenience (when the budget is more amenable). When people like your stuff its super exciting, though it is acceptable to thank people for their likes and/ or ask if they are interested, etc, it is also SUPER ANNOYING to receive the message.

Shares- sharing people’s stuff is a great way to kill time, explore new closets and gain followers. It is polite to return a share. **Tip** find people who like articles that are similar to the ones in your closet, share their stuff and then hopefully they will come to your closet and see something they like. Sharing is one of the quickest ways to gain exposure, and ergo followers.

Online v. mobile- Searching Poshmark online is. not. fun. The mobile app has wayyyy better filtering options that aren’t accessible online. However, online is good when you want to see on a bigger screen and share things more quickly. I haven’t experienced PM on an ipad yet…

Lingo:

  • PM- Poshmark!!
  • HP- host pick- this means that the host of a party picked an item to be in their top picks, it’s kind of a PM honor.
  • PP- paypal. not allowed given poshmark rules, but some people still try since it gets rid of the 20% costs and shipping fees. When people ask for email addresses, this is a kind of code for these transactions.
  • Trade- again, not supported by Poshmark, but both parties can agree to pay shipping, and as they say: on man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
  • Bundle- if you like more than one thing from a person, you may ask them to bundle your items so that you only have to pay one shipping cost. People will often bundle at a discount so this is a good way to get more for less.
  • Reserving/ holding- you can’t do this officially through PM, but you can work out a deal with a seller to “hold” or reserve something for you until you get that next paycheck. They will generally just move the price up to make it inaccesable to other purchasers.

Signing Up!

If you are interested in signing up and have any questions be sure to comment. This app isn’t for everyone, but I find it to be a very good way to showcase the stuff I don’t want and sell it at a more marketable price. If you are interested in signing up, when you get to the opening page it will ask you if you were refered by anyone. If you put in a referal code, you and the referer both get a 5 dollar balance. It’s good for paying shipping on an item. My referral code is HWVMY – but if you have a friend on PM, it may be more to your social benefit to ask them theres.

If you do end up signing up, as we say on the app, Happy Poshing!

DIY: Pretty in Pink Edition

A few days ago I was at the thrift store and came across this little beauty:

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The lace was impeccable! The cloth was fully lined, of good quality, and no buttons were chipped or missing (it buttons up the back). Though at first glance, it seemed like a styleless rag,  I decided to invest two whole dollars to embark on an experiment of mammoth proportions.

  • Eighties-tastic Thrift Store Find: $2.00
  • Brand: Watters and Watters
  • Problems: Shoulder Pads and Crazy Scalloped Sleeves.

Step 1: Seam Rip.

With a mere seam-ripper and 30 minutes, I was able to remove the sleeves and the shoulder pads. Because the sleeves had several layers of stitching, it took a while, but also left me with a natural fold to hem the sleeves when I was done.

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Step 2: Eliminate Damage

I don’t have a sewing machine, so I ended up hand stitching the sides down. I just popped in a movie (Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby, and Frank Sinatra with Louis Armstrong in High Society- I’d recommend it if you like old movies and jazz) and just stitched away. It maybe took 40 minutes? Ta-Dah!

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Step 3: Call Me Molly Ringwold. I’m goin’ to prom y’all, or at least, back to law school.

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Hello Valentino. Ok, maybe thats a stretch. More like this?

Fancy: 8

Function: 7

Funky: 6

Fashion: 8