The Last Great Deal

shopping-at-sales

I feel like I’ve come a long way as a bargain shopper. Once upon a time, I’d happily snap up ill-fitting clothing in colors I didn’t like and styles I’d never wear simply because they were such fantastic deals. How could I pass up an $8 sweater at J.Crew? Even if it was a shade of chartreuse that made me look like a flu victim. How could I leave that $12 silk skirt behind on the Banana Republic sale rack? Perhaps because it made me look like a family of otters had settled in my nether regions. I am more discerning now, and shop knowing my needs, my wants, and my favorite styles. But the lure of stupendous bargains still beckons on occasion, and I am forced to pull out this mantra: read more

Originally posted 2010-05-26 05:27:00.

Thrifting Lessons from a Pro

Thrift shopping tips from a pro

You’ve probably noticed that nearly all of my outfits include at least one thrifted item. I’ve written a whole bunch of posts about various aspects of thrifting, but thought it might be helpful to cull some highlights. Especially since spring and autumn are high shopping times for most of us, and present fabulous opportunities to hit the charity shops and score some fabulous, affordable, environmentally-friendly new duds!

  • Make time to thrift: Very few people can duck in and out of a thrift store in 15 minutes. Since you’ll be sifting through rack upon rack of poorly organized goods, allot yourself a chunk of time so that you can truly explore the bounty.
  • Try stuff on: Eyeballing it can be incredibly risky at a thrift store, so try everything on. My method is to wear leggings and a tunic or dress whenever I thrift. That way, even if the store doesn’t offer fitting rooms, I can throw things on in the aisles and make sure they aren’t horrifying on me. Try it all on, friends, including belts and scarves.
  • Keep an open mind: Take a wish list of items to keep yourself on track, but always allow the Thrift Muses to throw a surprise your way.
  • Experiment: Does something grab your eye because of color or texture, but scare you off because of how it’s cut? Try it on anyway. Are you drawn to that zebra print skirt, but have no idea if it’ll work in your wardrobe? Try it on anyway. Don’t buy stuff that makes you feel uncomfortable or is wildly impractical, of course, but thrifting is the best possible place to encourage your style to expand. Clothing is affordable, relatively sustainable, and the variety of offerings is VAST. Branch out a little. I mean, why not?
  • Don’t buy it just because it’s designer and a bargain: Oh man, have I ever been tempted to snap up undervalued duds simply because I knew their true worth. But here’s the thing: Unless you’re going to resell on eBay, you should only thrift items that you love and that work for your figure. A $5 Max Mara dress is a waste of $5 if it makes you feel like 15 hot dogs shoved into a tube sock. Use your common sense, and don’t be tempted by something just because it’s designer.
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    Originally posted 2010-05-21 05:56:00.

    There is No One Right Way to Look Great

    There is no one "right way" to look great. Period.

    Tall, thin, hourglass. This is NOT the only beautiful form.

    I’m getting increasingly annoyed with style guides and experts that only ever steer women in this direction. If you WANT that, go for it! And honestly, I do want it for myself most of the time. But my body has some hourglass-y leanings naturally and it’s not a huge stretch for me. Tall, thin, hourglass is a huge stretch for the vast majority of women. And it’s not the only option, not the only figure with inherent beauty, sensuality, and appeal. read more

    Originally posted 2010-05-20 05:23:00.