Reader Request: Thrift Tips

how to thrift shop
Lovely reader N. sent me this question a while back:

I love the idea of thrift store shopping … But I need to know how to do it successfully. I like the stuff I see at thrift stores, but most of them don’t have a place to try things on and I have been burned on fit with no refunds/exchanges. Can you suggest ways to analyze an item without trying it on to see if it’s going to work? Are there ways to tell what items would be easier to alter (and therefore less costly to alter)?

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Reader Request: Accessorizing All Black

how to accessorize black outfits

A few weeks back, I got this inquiry from lovely reader msmeta:

My question is about livening up a basic black wardrobe. I have a lot of really nice, classic pieces — sweaters, pants, jackets, leather and even a couple of dresses — that I enjoy wearing and that make me feel comfortable and even chic. But I know I’m playing it much too safe with accessories: basic silver or gold hoop earrings and necklaces, and some fairly conservative scarves.  How can I get out of my rut without calling too much attention to my middle-aged self?

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What Are You Waiting For?

self image style
A girlfriend of mine has been unhappy with her body for … well, for as long as I’ve known her. She is one of the most naturally beautiful women I’ve ever known, and her generous, open, loving personality just serves to amplify the startling physical beauty that shines out from her silky hair, and ladylike hands, and creamy skin, and perfect-pout lips, and dive-into-me eyes.

But she battles her body, and loses.

Constantly.

She adjusts her food intake, and then adjusts it some more. She tries meal schedules and diets and avoidance of certain foods. She counts calories. She exercises twice as much as me and twice as hard. She varies her workout routine, and monitors her heart rate to optimize her efforts.

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