I go to local thrift stores (primarily non-profit) and usually bring home a large quantity of department store and designer clothing and shoes by spending only $30-$45 and a few hours looking for fashion items to be worn with my existing wardrobe.

The goal is to is to inform women of the fashion affordability of shopping at thrift stores, the benefit of donating, and how these organizations help disadvantaged, recovering and abused men, women and children.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Outfit of the week 7.27.14

This is one of my favorites! This sky blue and taupe herringbone A-line skirt is an Ann Taylor. When I bought it from The Foundry, it still had the A.T. tag on it ($86.00) - but I paid $7.98.

The Bice by Sag Harbor sweater set was sold as separate pieces that I found in two different areas of the store. I paid $3.49 for each at Lovelady during a half price sale (original thrift store price - $6.98 each) - It was a great find!

The shoes are Joan & David Couture. The original Lovelady price was $7.98 - but I only paid $3.99 for them at the same half price sale I bought the sweater set - and those shoes looked barely worn! I do wonder the original retail price...perhaps $200 - $350 since they are the Couture line???

A designer outfit for under $20 that would retail for hundreds!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

What a "Bloganista" experience!

Yesterday I attended "The Bloganista Mini-Con" hosted by see jane write Birmingham at the Homewood (Alabama) Public Library. The conference was targeted to people who are - or aspire to be fashion, fitness and lifestyle bloggers. There were about fifty attendees, and I met several who were either new to blogging (as I am), or haven't begun to launch a blog.

We were served light refreshments, and there was a raffle for various prizes to attendees who entered their business cards in a glass bowl at the registration desk. Unfortunately, I didn't have business cards (although ordering them were on my "to do" list). So I took a blank piece of paper and wrote my name, cell number, and the blog name/web address on it, then tore it to the size of a business card. And guess what?? I won a spa experience! I never win anything - but I'm going to use it this week. Also, attendees who registered early for the conference were surprised to find a gift card to a local restaurant inside their name tag holders (I plan use mine on spa day).

The morning keynote speaker (local blogger) Alexis Barton, and a panel of more local bloggers provided information that was so inspirational and educating (my conference agenda was covered with handwritten notes and ideas), that I only stayed until lunch. I was really anxious to get home to work on this blog and order business cards (which will arrive next week).

Although I missed the second half of the conference (Beyond the Blog panel, a "Cake Break" eating petit-fours/networking, and a Closing keynote speaker), what I learned (and won) was well worth the money.

Thanks see jane write and its founder Mrs. Javacia Harris Bowser!

see jane write founder Javacia Harris Bowser

I met so many friendly people...really needed business cards.

Morning keynote speaker Alexis Barton

Outfit of the week 7.20.14

This week's outfit was part of last week's thrift store purchase. I noticed them as individual pieces when I bought them, but realized how they worked together once I got home. (How cute!)

I bought the suede Enzo Angiolini shoes from a thrift store earlier this year for only $6.98. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Fashion Thriftology's Style Warrior Ritual

The Preparation (Before shopping...)

I always try to shop for (casual and work) clothes and shoes that add more diversity to pieces in my closet. So when I venture out to my favorite thrift stores I always have the following:
  • A specific item, in a certain color(s) in mind to look for
  • A specific amount in cash to spend (I typically take $45) 
  • An eye for quality fabric and construction, as well as designer names
  • Comfortable clothing and shoes on for easy try-on in the fitting room
  • Plenty of leisure time to look through the racks 

The Contribution (While shopping...)

I never use a shopping cart - that's a good way to bust your (cash) budget and reach for the credit card. When my arms get tired or too full with clothing - that's when I go to the fitting room. I use the time in the fitting room to do a try-on and inspect the pieces closely for any rips, holes, stains, missing buttons, etc. As I try on each piece, I divide them into three piles:
  • Definite (fits perfectly, no defects)
  • Maybe (fits okay or perfect - but not sure I like it enough to purchase)
  • Absolutely No (bad fit or defective)
I then begin to add up my purchase and look for any discounts. (One particular thrift store I regularly shop has daily discounts ranging from 20-80% off - depending on the color of the price ticket on the item.) Luckily for me, most of the time I'm right on budget or less (leaving with three of more plastic shopping bags). I totally attribute staying within budget by not using a shopping cart.

Appreciation (I go home...)

Always excited about my purchase, I lay them out and then shop my closet to create outfits. Since I'm a fashion warrior, it can take me hours to construct different outfits with alternating shoes, purses and jewelry (so much fun).

Then I look at the laundering instructions for my thrift store finds. If they are machine washable, I turn the items inside-out, wash in cold water, hang dry, and if needed - steam iron. (All dry clean recommended items and dark denim are taken to the cleaners.)  

The Surrender (Give more...)

To keep me humble and prevent closet clutter, I donate an item of clothing for every piece I purchase. I look for clothing pieces and shoes that I haven't worn in a long time, or never worn more than once for whatever reason. I also donate gently used household items as well to cut down on clutter when I do my spring and winter cleaning. 

The thrift stores I frequent are a non-profit organizations and use the sales proceeds to assist disadvantaged men, women and children who are rebuilding their lives after (drug and physical) abuse, homelessness, and imprisonment. They are always in need of donations and shoppers to continue their missions. And we - the donor - receive a tax write-off for the value of the donated item(s), as well as a good feeling of giving to a worthy cause.           

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Outfit of the week 7.13.14

I typically wear denim fabric espadrilles or a nude peep-toe wedge with this outfit...

The skirt and jacket are thrift store finds, but I was glad to find something to go with that Walmart t-shirt.

Vera Wang???!!!

I found this "Simply Vera" coat at The Foundry recently...

It's a knee-length knit jacket with short sleeves

Can you believe the price! This would easily be worth $300-$400 retail.

The care label said that the jacket came with a belt, but I improvised with a flower pin.

Great thrift store finds for $43.00

Went to The Foundry yesterday and bought the following...

5 Tops/Blouse/T-Shirt
4 Pairs of pants
2 Cardigans Sweaters
 1 Sleeveless Turtleneck Sweater (for the fall season)
1 Purse (NYC is my original hometown)

All this for $43.00!