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Posts Tagged ‘thrifting’

Deep Thoughts

well hello there

well hello there

Today is 9/11. God bless you all. I’ll try to make this post deep.

Yesterday was another shopping day. I knew I would be trying on a lot of clothes, sometimes even over what I’d be wearing so I threw on a 10-year old Gap sleeveless boatneck shell I’ve been using for yardwork and exercise and headed out. As I passed by various store windows I kept noticing a striking lady on the other side. Pushing a stroller. Hey wait, that’s ME! I was reminded of the fact that black is slimming. Even ratty old black. It also reminded me of my friend JQ who declared a few weeks ago that she could not wait until after Labor Day, since she will be wearing all black all the time this fall. True to her word, when I saw her earlier this week she was clad in all black and she looked gorgeous. I like color. In fact, I love me some color. But I think black will always be my BFF. You know those fashion designers that tell you to wear certain colors and prints every season? Check them out, they are almost always wearing all black. Because they know. If someone wants to argue with me, go ahead.

Moving on. I ended up buying 3 shirts at the Banana Republic Outlet store. One was black of course, but the others were blue and charcoal grey. I love charcoal grey. It’s been missing from my closet for a very long time. I welcome you back. I love the neckline here. And the sleeves are 1/2 length. I love it. I can’t throw it in the dryer though, so I think I just broke my own rule there.

You always see me with the same expression so I'm changing it up. I look like my son James here.

You always see me with the same expression so I'm changing it up. I look like my son James here.

Which brings me to my next deep thought: Fit. So… I am pretty obviously a medium at the Banana Republic. But I chose to go with a large on this shirt. It’s just more roomy and comfy and I feel soft in it. If I had gotten a medium I would have been sucking my stomach in and constantly checking myself in the mirror. No. So I’m conflicted a little bit. Clothes should fit. But I chose one that is loose on purpose. But I love how I feel in it. That is ok?

Blue shirt with 3/4 sleeve. Neckline is all dangly. I like it.

Blue shirt with 3/4 sleeve. Neckline is all dangly. I like it.

Then the blue shirt. I chose a large for this one too. I don’t know. I am planning on wearing cardigan (not hoodie, see?) type outer wear on top of it so I think I can get away with it. And it’s not droopy and dragging so it’s not too obvious. But a store employee would know. I am a medium. But whatev!

The next piece is the “fashion” one. It’s different but I love it because it reminds me of the kind of shirts I used to wear. I am boring and I always wear stretchy black Tshirts but I try to choose shirts that have interesting details about them. The past 3 or so years the “interesting” details were things like “v-neck” or “ruching.” I want to step out of boring interesting into interesting interesting so here it is.

Bat wing? I had a shirt like this in the 80s. 80s is in, right?

Bat wing? I had a shirt like this in the 80s. 80s is in, right?

See the neck thing? It's all open and loose and flappy.

See the neck thing? It's all open and loose and flappy.

To top off super fun shopping day, I stopped by the Target and bought myself one of those new fangled running skirts. There is a built in bicycle short sewn in there. Basically, a running skort. This is an artful shot of it.

It actually flares a little out but since I'm leaning forward it looks tighter.

It actually flares a little out but since I'm leaning forward it looks tighter.

Thank you very much. Here is a bonus photo for you all to enjoy.

Robin, this woman is at Greenlake often around 10-11am. If you can come and convince her to stop wearing visors I will give you $100.

Robin, this woman is at Greenlake often around 10-11am. If you can come and convince her to stop wearing visors I will give you $100.

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by deathmama

old navy. i LOVED this print. but it was awkward around the chest and the neckline wasn't especially flattering. yes, it's an animal print but it's not leopard so it's progress.

Old Navy. I LOVED this print. but it was tight around the chest and the neckline wasn't especially flattering. Yes, it's an animal print but it's not leopard so it's progress.

Today, instead of complaining about prints I thought I’d challenge myself to try some on. So with an open mind I took my friend C and headed to the Mercer Island Thrift Shop.

I chose some sleeveless shirts in both prints I liked and prints I was doubtful about and tried them on. Just as I thought, I hated the prints that I thought I would not like. I tried, I did. Really. The prints I did like were too small or just not perfect (Would I wear it tomorrow? Do I love it?) so I had to let them go.

Then C found an adorable dress by I.N.C. in pink and black. We both liked it but I definitely thought it was more her style than mine. While I love the color pink, I don’t often look very good in it. C, on the other hand rocks the pink. We both tried it on and I ended up looking pregnant and could not zip up the side around my boobs. C was able to zip herself in and looked very cute. She bought the dress.

she looks good

She looks good

me, not so much

Me, not so much

I left empty-handed.

Aren't they all pretty, lined up like that? Unfortunately none of them worked for me.

Aren't they all pretty, lined up like that? Unfortunately none of them worked for me.

Next we headed to the Value Village in Lynnwood… except that I got lost and then decided to go to the Value Village in Edmonds. Again I tried on many prints but in the more familiar stripes family. I have to say, I almost loved most of the shirts I tried on. Something wasn’t quite right with each of them so I sent them all back. Long ago,  I would have purchased an “almost” shirt just because it was $2.99. One shirt in particular was hard to let go. It was an Ella Moss shirt (which as you recall, are very expensive) but in high-contrast stripes. I wanted it to work but when I put it on I looked pregnant. I guess this shirt was made for people who want to look bigger.

This? This did not work. I wanted it to, so badly. Sigh.

This cute Ella Moss shirt? This did not work. I wanted it to, so badly. Sigh.

If you ever wondered what happens to polk a dots on a breasted woman, darker dots are oblong in the middle and the larger dots get stretched across the boob. I like my hair here.

If you ever wondered what happens to polk-a-dots on a breasted woman, darker dots are oblong in the middle and the larger dots get stretched across the boob. I like my hair here though.

Lastly, don't buy anything called "Nite Sweatz." Same goes for Sag Harbor.

Lastly, don't buy anything called "Nite Sweatz." Same goes for Sag Harbor.

C got an excellent deal on some velvet (velour? Can’t remember) fabric and a purple jacket which she is going to doctor up to use on Halloween to go as… PRINCE! See how these two posts tie together? Nice!

P.S. Do “printed” T-shirts count as prints?

Yeah, it says Slytherin.

Yeah, it says Slytherin.

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Mistakes, part 2

Last week I talked about the mistake of buying something nice because it is such a bargain and then realizing later that what I was really drawn to was the price and the pieces don’t suit me at all. This week, I call it:

It’s Not You, It’s Me

This is very similar in that the pieces stay in my closet/dresser unworn but for a longer period of time because of the price. The cheaper stuff is easier to get rid of but the ones I paid good money for, I feel like I need to keep it around just in case. In case of… what?

hello, beautiful. 100% cashmere contrast seamed blue/green (my favorite color combo at the time) sweater by margaret o'leary.

hello, beautiful. 100% cashmere contrast seamed blue/green (my favorite color combo at the time) sweater by margaret o'leary.

I bought this about 4 years ago because I saw it through the window at Louie Permelia at University Village and couldn’t stop thinking about it. One day I just went in and tried it on and then several days later I just had to get it. I love the colors. I love that it’s cashmere. It’s even raglan sleeved. But in the past 4 years I think I wore it twice. Why? It’s the neck, y’alls. I tend to fall into the pattern of thinking that I can overlook my rules if all other aspects of the clothing is good enough. No. I have to look at it as a whole. This neckline bothered me too much. This was an expensive mistake. I love you, but we must part ways.

P.S. This could be a separate post/rant but I also noticed that there was a tiny hole in the sleeve. Moths? I HATE that. I hate buying nice expensive things which are more bother to purchase/keep than it’s worth. Sort of like buying a $300 wallet but only having 3 dollars in it. Or a nice grand bookcase but with just paperback Harry Potters in them.

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You never know what delightful treasures you might find at the thrift store.

You never know what delightful treasures you might find at the thrift store.

by deathmama


Today was another thrifty day for me and L. I’m posting today to demonstrate what I have learned and how much self-control I have managed to achieve. As you may or may not know, I have had a weakness for Michael Stars shirts for some time now. I’m part magpie and am extremely attracted to the shiny fabric. At one point I had about 20 shirts hanging in my closet, most of which I never wore because they were basically too small (One size fits all most my ass!). They were sure pretty to look at but as I never wore them I got rid of them. Like a good addict though, I am slowly rebuilding my MStars inventory again. The first one was the red tube top I got at Mercer at the University Village and the second one is the blue scoopneck 3/4 T I got at Nordsrom Rack. So of course my eyes were drawn to several Michael Stars shirts today at the Lynnwood Value Village. I tried on 3 and this one was my favorite and I walked around the store with this in my cart for some time. Who can tell me what’s wrong?

I really liked the ruching detail because it obscures my boobies and also hides some of my stomach folds. The drawback is that it also can make some areas look saggy

I really liked the ruching detail because it obscures my boobies and also hides some of my stomach folds. The drawback is that it also can make some areas look saggy

I totally regret not buying this.

I totally regret not buying this.

Yes, it’s a V-neck. I didn’t think about it until I tried it on a second time. I am going to regret this as I did with every single V-neck  I’ve purchased over the years. Secondly, the strip that goes down the middle was unfurling toward the top and there were several little holes near the shirt hem on the back. Didn’t I also declare that I don’t usually buy shirts at thrift (Because I know the shirts I donate to thrift is usually in very sad condition and smelly)? I thought and thought and thought about it and then finally put it back. Victory!

Who can tell me what’s wrong with this dress? It was Juicy Couture and only $12.99. The color is beautiful and the brand name aspect of it tempted me.

Really fun dress and super pretty color!

Really fun dress and super pretty color!

I felt that $12.99 was too much to spend on a piece of clothing that is just “fun.” Also, it’s a TUBE TOP. The strings in the front were fussy too. So I walked around the store with this one too but put it back. Would I wear this tomorrow? If I were to get in trouble at school and my parents sent me to live with my aunt and uncle in Bel-Air, Beverly Hills, or the O.C., then yes. But it’s not for the real tomorrow.

In the end, I purchased this find. I’m going to put my makeup in it and put it on the dresser after I thoroughly clean it. It was $4.99

Samsonite travel makeup carrying case. Very pretty blue.

Samsonite travel makeup carrying case. Very pretty blue.

I am proud of myself. Aren’t you?

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by deathmama

Now don’t you worry! I still love hoodies and will continue wearing them. It’s just that I don’t think I need 500 sweatshirt material sporty hoodies. So, I set off on a quest and found a couple of replacements at the neighborhood Value Village.

brown bass outlet hoodie on the left will be replaced by an eddie bauer cardigan for $4.99

brown bass outlet hoodie on the left will be replaced by the $4.99 eddie bauer cardigan on t he right. I'll wear it flowy and open (you can't see but there are buttons, which I hate. I may take them out altogether)

My other rule that I think I want to implement is when I buy something as a replacement, I should get rid of the older version. Otherwise, I will have a closet full of ratty old stuff that I’ll keep grabbing just out of familiarity.

the gap outlet black hoodie will be replaced by a gap sweater coat. i'll wear it open. the back has a nice belty detail too.

the gap outlet black hoodie on the left will be replaced by the $5.99 gap sweater coat on the right. i'll wear it open (because I don't like buttons, remember? I guess I broke a rule there kind of. The back has a nice belty detail too.

Don’t forget, I also got this black Carole Little jersey cardigan at Goodwill last weekend for $4.99, also a hoodie alternative.

blurry because if i use a flash you can't really see the foldy details

blurry because if i use a flash you can't really see the foldy details

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Thriftastic Day

by deathmama

Today was another thrifty shopping day with my good friend L. I was trying to apply what I learned at Nordstrom with Robin this week, and also wanting to scope out pieces for my “fabulous” wardrobe. Today also happened to be the Western Sale at the Goodwill in Marysville. I have never seen so many boots in my life! Or so many western gear for that matter. It was like Disneyland for L who was looking for Burning Man costume ideas. Wow. They apparently do this every year for two days. Do not miss it next year if you love leathery horsey things. Anyway.

If you remember, I tried on a fur coat at my last thrift adventure and I had been thinking about that particular look ever since. Right away, I hit the jackpot when I spotted this:

"rave" is probably a juniors brand isn't it. who cares? i look fab.

"rave" is probably a juniors brand isn't it. who cares? i look fab.

It was $9.97 so I couldn’t pass it up. I will be wearing this in the fall when I have my wild girls night outs with my fab girl posse since I’m pretty sure my husband will not allow me to wear it in public in his presence. As L tried on her cartful of costume possibilities, I was fooling around with the things in her cart for a while.

if i played quidditch this is what i would look like

if i played quidditch this is what i would look like

the double hat look is kind of cool, no? no? ok.

the double hat look is kind of cool, no? no? ok.

how about the three amigos? no? fine!

how about the three amigos? no? fine!

Then I got serious and went hanger to hanger in the long sleeve shirt section for about an hour. I found it! A black Carole Little cardigan sort of thing, very light weight jersey and no buttons or zippers. My hoodie alternative. Ta-da! It was $4.99.

hooray, it works!

hooray, it works!

I’ll try this out and if I truly love this look I can always go back to Anthropologie for the fancier $$$ ones. Awesome awesome finds for me. I also got some Western themed toys for my boy and myself. And I wanted to get this for Robin but I wasn’t sure what her size was so I had to put it back.

i know robin can ROCK this

i know robin can ROCK this

P.S. I purposefully left out the things L bought (and she bought a lot!!) because she is going to do her own post about it on her blog. Also, I asked her to guest post here after she returns from Burning Man for the fashion she sees there.

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Today I set out bargain hunting with my good friend L.  The original intent was to try on clothes that were fashion don’ts and laugh and have a good time taking ridiculous pictures to post later to this blog. What I didn’t know was that it would be an enlightening experience packed with profound lessons, the most important being about trying new things.

I only bought two things today. The first thing wasn’t a surprise. A long sleeve green animal print T-shirt with raglan sleeves. The brand was Allen Allen, which I have bought in the past at Lucy, so I know that they are not cheap. Value Village had it for $4.99 so I couldn’t pass it up.

here is the author, satisfied after a big long day

here is the author, satisfied with her animal shirt

The second thing I bought was a total surprise. I originally went into the dressing room so that I could come out with a scandalous slutty short itty black dress that I would be sausaging out of. What I came out with was actually a pretty nice comfortable slinky number that I could dress up or down depending on the accessories. $9.99, so score!

 a surprise hit!

a surprise hit!

I also tried on an obnoxious pink leopard print dress which actually turned out not bad at all. I didn’t get it because the bust area didn’t fit very well but if I was going to a fabulous party I would have totally worn it.

perfect for the fictional fabulous party!

perfect for the fictional fabulous party!

Then I made my friend L try on a bunch of things. I was hoping she would come out of the dressing room a slutty whore but she came out actually kind of cute. I can totally see her wearing this to some night out.

a fantabulous look for L

a fantabulous look for L

This outfit, she was hoping for the polk a dot clown look but it actually turned out to be a cool breezy refreshing outfit for the beach.

beach time sawayaka L!

beach time sawayaka L!

This dress on the rack was so dumb that I had to make L wear it. But you know what? The cut of the piece was surprisingly undowdy in contrast to the old lady safari motif it was rocking. That’s why she is laughing here.  It was actually a good fit.

jungle love!

jungle love!

Another potentially pregnant looking maxi-dress turned out to be a relaxing resort outfit.

easy breezy beautiful L

easy breezy beautiful L

I made her try on this McDonald’s (If you look closely there are yellow Ms on there) shirt which ended up being too expensive for thrift ($24.99!!) but she is totally working this retro hipster look. And the silly golf shorts? She ended up buying those!

hipster golfer L

hipster mcgolfer L

I guess in conclusion, we have to say that you never know what trying new things will lead to. I didn’t expect to come home with a dress but I did. I didn’t know I could rock a fur coat, but I did (ok, I didn’t). Thrifting, my friends, is a lot of fun.

maybe in a parallel universe?

maybe in a parallel universe?

I would like to thank my friend L for modeling today. Also, big thanks to my toddler who did not have a meltdown during this 4 hour process.

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