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, August 24, 2014

Outfit of the week 8.24.14

This week's outfit is part thrift store, part catalog, part Walmart and part garage sale.

The sweater and top was a recent purchase from the Foundry (was displayed as a thrift store find). The black canvas wedge peep-toe shoes was a catalog purchase I made several years ago. The pants are from Walmart, and the purse was from a garage sale.

The purse says Prada - but I doubt if it is genuine - considering it was a $20 purchase.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Confessions...Women with Control and more

Recently I made a confession about my QVC program obsession and how I made a couple of purchases. I promised an update - so here it is...

The Women with Control pants was a nice fit! I look nice from behind and just okay in front. They are very casual pants (straight leg and boot cut pair) - so I see myself wearing them on the weekends with long tunics and t-shirts.

$49.86 is a great value for two pairs of pants!

It was love a t first sight with the Women with Control skirts! It has a control panel in the tummy area and great stretch. I love the shape they gave me and again -  I look nice from the rear - but better than okay in the front.

Looks so much better in person!
I wore this outfit to work last week and received rave reviews for the leopard/orange combo. Tie-front/button blouse: Liz Claiborne, Kitten-heel shoes: Chinese Laundry ($40), Tote: Free gift with fragrance purchase from HSN.

Nice mustard color...I have some great outfit ideas for fall.

I also made a catalog purchase last week. I've never heard of K. Jordan, but a catalog came to my house two weeks ago. As always, I look through them for styling ideas and then throw them away. Unfortunately for my pocketbook, two items caught my attention and they were at clearance prices (nearly 70% off + that darn shipping and handling). They arrived yesterday before I went to Lovelady - so it was fashionably delightful day!

Paid $11.99 - originally priced $34.95

Paid $29.99 - originally priced $74.95. 

Potential outfit with my Women with Control skirt...

Thrift Store Fashion Finds 8.16.14 - Not an easy one

Groupon was selling $40 vouchers at $20 for Lovelady. So being the one who loves a deal - and it was payday - I bought two vouchers. I decided to use one this weekend and the other one in a month or two.

So yesterday I went to Lovelady with the mind-set that I will probably find alot of stuff and will have to make some hard purchasing decisions with this $40 voucher. I walked in Lovelady and I went against my own rule and got a shopping cart - but I only got it because is was a mini shopping cart (because it would probably hold the same amount as my arms). After being there for over two hours, I found only a few things that appealed to my extra-fashion sensor. I even put several pieces in the cart that I marginally liked - but my goal was to spend this $40 voucher (I drove through highway construction at 10 mph to get there - so I was going to leave with something). After trying on the clothing - I only liked or fitted into about half - and that half added up to around $30. So I decided to take one last walk around for something - anything that would add up to the last $10 - then I found them - the pair of Aerosoles boots for $9.98. They were probably worn once - how lucky for me they were in my size. I tried them on and then headed straight to check-out. The total was less than $40 - I was so tired, I told the cashier - that I wasn't going to look for a $2 item - so technically I gave away $1+ (since Lovelady doesn't add taxes to purchases).

Here's what I bought...

Skirt: A.B.S. By Allen Schwartz ($3.98), Top: Liz Claiborne ($4.98), Boots: Aerosoles ($9.98)

Green top: QVC's Susan Graver ($2.98), Shirt: Cato ($3.48), Scarf/Tie (.99). 

Sweater set: Jones New York Collection was sold together for $3.98 

3/4 sleeve jacket: Christopher & Banks ($4.98),  3/4 sleeve sweater: Art & Soul ($3.48)

Outfit of the Week 8.17.14

This is my favorite outfit, so I've only worn it three times (don't want to over wear it). This entire outfit is from The Foundry (except the flower pin). I bought all the pieces at the same time - but didn't realize how together it created such a cute ensemble until I was shopping my closet.

The pants -Liz Claiborne, Tank - Calvin Klein, Navy blue 3/4 sleeve Sweater - Investments (a non-designer line mostly found at Dillard's), and the shoes are Madden Girl. The black flower pin is from Avon. This outfit would easily retail for over $200 - thrifted for less than $40! (I paid less than $10 for each piece.)

The shoes may look kinda old-lady, but with the right pieces, it's a really nice shoe. I don't see myself wearing them with a skirt - just really nice pants.

I wear this outfit with my large black leather ruffle/flower purse...Love it!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Outfit of the week 8.10.14

The Grace by Dane Lewis skirt is the only thrift store find in this week's picture. The 3/4 sleeve black cardigan sweater is a rare buy from Chadwick's online clearance that I've had for several years (I know it was for less than $20.00). The black and ivory tank shirt is a clearance rack find from Target for $3.00.

I looked up the designer of the skirt and I couldn't find anything. It appears that this designer's clothing usually ends up on eBay and online discount stores. It's unfortunate, because the quality and the stretch in that skirt is great. I would love to find a brick and mortar store that sells more of their clothing. But for $6.98 at The Foundry - I'm not complaining.

I wear this outfit with black kitten-heel pumps and a bold silver bracelet & ring

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Confession: The other place I like to shop

Shopping at thrift stores for fashion is absolutely my favorite thing to do because I love the prices I pay for designer clothing - but I also like the thrill of the hunt. But I have to confess that I have another fashion shopping venue - QVC. I watch that channel like people watch "Scandal", it's must see TV, and I watch several programs on that channel - a couple of them I DVR!

Every Monday on QVC at 5:00 am is "Fashionably early with Pat and Jayne" until I go to work, and when I return, my Monday evening viewing is three hours of "PM Style with Lisa Robertson" and the day ends at 9:00 pm with "Isaac Mizrahi Live" (which I record because I go to bed at 9:00 pm.). I love Isaac's clothing, but I really can't see myself paying the QVC or retail prices for his line - so I look at his weekly show as a styling tool. Surprisingly, I usually have similar/cheaper versions of pieces that resemble his line, so I watch and then copy the styling.

Every Wednesday is an hour of  "Liz Claiborne New York", but I'm at work , so I DVR it too. I love everything Liz Claiborne and have an extensive wardrobe of pieces that I've bought retail and from the thrift store. The fit, the quality, and the clearance prices I pay when I go to JC Penney's (with a coupon) is always fantastic - but I've never made a Liz Claiborne purchase on QVC (because I don't care for their prices - nor the shipping and handling charge).

I'll never forget going to Liz Claiborne's corporate office as a class project when I was a student at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) back in the late eighties. We didn't get to meet her - but the experience was great, and that's when my love LCNY began (although they were really high-end during those days).

My Saturdays begin with two hours of "AM Style with Leah Williams" at 7:00 am. This is the show that tends to get me in trouble, because it's an off day, and I'm in bed just watching TV. Well yesterday, that's just what happened...I bought several things from that show yesterday.

It was deemed "Fall Fashion Day" - so practically all of my television viewing revolved around QVC. I don't make it a habit to make QVC purchases - but if it's clearance, sale priced, free shipping and handling, or just a great deal - they have my attention and credit card information - especially with one particular fashion line.

There is a designer named Renee Greenstein who's a former fashion fit model. She has a line on QVC called Women with Control where the majority of her clothing is made with 14 percent spandex - which could mean that shape wear is optional and as she says "No more wiggle-no more jiggle". I tested out her line last summer with a pair of dresses (one solid/one print) that sold as a set for $29.96 plus shipping and handling. Whenever I wear either of those dresses, I tend to receive a lot of compliments on how great the dress looks on me, and it does makes me "appear" slimmer.

So yesterday, when I saw Renee on AM Style selling pants (two pairs: one Black + one any color) at the reduced price of $49.96 + S&H for the set, I felt it was a great opportunity to find out if the pants will be as flattering on me as the dresses, so I went to www.QVC.com. Then I made the mistake to continue looking/shopping and found a Women with Control skirt on clearance for $29.98 with no shipping and handling - so I bought two (a leopard, and a mustard color).

Renee has another clothing line called Attitudes by Renee but she doesn't have scheduled weekly programming like Liz and Isaac - but if she did - I'd DVR her too!

My purchases will arrive on Friday (8/8/14) - I'll let you know in next week's blog if it was a good buy.

Outfit of the week 8.3.14

This week's outfit is not entirely a thrift store purchase - but nevertheless one that wasn't expensive.

The blouse is Ann Taylor Loft and was given to me by my cousin who was cleaning out her closet. I love the front ruffle!

The pants have a sailor look with the three buttons on each side and cuffed bell bottoms. When I saw these pants at The Foundry I was impressed by the material and the tailoring. I never heard of Larry Levine - but had a feeling that it was a high-end designer. I also noticed that several of the buttons were missing, but that didn't stop me from buying it. So I paid around $4.95 and removed one of the remaining buttons, went to Walmart and bought 6 similar buttons for $2.00, then replaced them all.

I later Googled Larry Levine and found out I was correct - he is high-end and his clothing can only be found at Nordstroms, Macy's and Lord & Taylor's.

The tote bag was purchased at Lovelady's for $6.95 and it still had the tag on it. The shoes have been in my closet for years but were perfect for this outfit - especially since the pants are a bit long and a high heel was needed.

Light jewelry is needed for this outfit. The blouse says it all!