Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Head to Toe: Blouse, Marshall's; Cardi, Continuations  Consignments; Pants, Thrifted; Earrings, Anthropologie; Flats, Steve Madden.

Happy New Year! It was a wonderful, whirlwind holiday vacation. I got to spend Christmas Eve with my beau's family, then drove with my parents to visit the grands for Christmas day. Thursday we traveled a little further south to visit with my other side of the fam. Large and widespread, it's rare that I get to spend quality time with my extended family so it felt pretty darn good. I even got to devote an afternoon with my Grandmom to watching the best movie ever made, Gone With The Wind. Tonight I'm hitting the town with friends to celebrate the closing of one chapter and opening of another. I still need to put some thoughts to my resolutions but as Ms. O'Hara says, "After all... tomorrow is another day."
Photos by my pappa

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Everything

 Head to Toe: Dress, Thrifted; Boots, Frye; Cardi, Gap.

This velvet dress is a Free People find from a consignment shop near my job. My boss took us on a big New York City holiday celebration and I wanted to wear something festive for the occasion. I found a sparkly velvet number at Marshall's, but returned it for this more unique find. Layered with tights and a cardi, it's warm enough for any occasion. 

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Berry Merry

 Head to Toe: Blouse, H&M; Cardi, Continuations Consignments; Pants, Loft; Shoes, Target.

Merry Christmas Eve! This holiday season has been a whirlwind of busy excitement, and it felt amazing to sleep in this morning and wake up knowing the time of celebration has arrived. Last week, I sported this tone-on-tone outfit to an office holiday luncheon and loved that it was festive without being red nor green. I gifted these DIY bottle lamps (below) to my coworkers, who all seemed to think they were pretty cool. A Pinterest discovery, Mackenzie helped me drill a 1/2" hole into the back of the bottles with a glass bit from Home Depot...Okay, Mackenzie drilled the holes and I watched. Then, I stuffed a strand of Christmas lights through the hole (make sure there is only a plug on one end of the lights or it won't work) and tah-dah! One of my coworkers says she's using the decoration in lieu of  a Christmas tree. Glad to have added some cheer!
Photos by Mackenzie

Friday, December 20, 2013

Thrift Tips: Ten Tricks to Secondhand Shopping

Head to Toe: Hat, Vendor; Poncho, Thrifted; Boots, Frye.

In the majority of my outfits, I'm wearing at least one thing from a thrift store or consignment shop. I get a lot of comments about my thrift-ability and am often asked how I find so much secondhand. Truth is, it takes some digging! It was a proud moment when a designer I was interviewing last week complimented my coat, an $8 Savers find. For my far-off friends that I can't bring Goodwill shopping with me, I've put together this secondhand "how-to" of ten recessionista-approved tricks I've discovered over the years. Now get out there and make Macklemore proud!

1. Know the difference - You might not know that a thrift store (like Goodwill or Savers) is different than a consignment shop. At thrift stores, clothes are donated, while at consignment shops, the person bringing in the goods gets a cut of what their items sell for. Some places, like Plato's closet, pay up front for people's stuff. Consignment shops usually have higher standards of clothing and can be a little more expensive.

2. Go frequently - Thrift stores can be pretty hit-or-miss, but they get new stock every day, so you have to go often to find the good stuff. Check-out places that are on your way home from work or near your weekly errands, and stop in to browse a few times a month.

3. Look for classics - A wool pencil skirt or tailored blazer from 1993 is going to have the same cut as one on the rack at Macy's right now. Look for things that are timeless and forget what the name on the label is.

4. Find the funk - On the flip side, pick up the things that are a little different, like this South American poncho. After all, you're shopping at a thrift store to find one-of-a-kind items. Then, try it on! That patchwork jacket may look amazing once you put it on, or those acid wash jeans might be as off-putting as they looked on the hanger. You'll never know what will be that gem everyone will talk about until you try!

5. Touch everything - Secondhand stores are often overstuffed, so fingering through everything on the rack is a must. Plus, if anything feels pilled or scratchy, you'll know to pass.

6. Make sure it fits - There have been a few times where I really liked something and couldn't resist the bargain, even though it didn't fit quite right. Bad choice. Sometimes, there's a reason someone donated an item. Plus chances are whatever you're buying has already been stretched or shrunk, so there isn't the same "It'll shrink it in the dryer," or "They'll loosen with wear," excuse you can use at the department store.

7. Sell where you shop - Consignment shops often have regular sellers, and inventory will depend on their ages, styles and even sizes. Check out the options in your town and frequent the one that has the most stuff for you. Then, consign your things! Sure, it's only a few dollars here and there, but that equates to a free sweater or pair of jeans where you're shopping anyway.

8. Want brands? Follow the money - If you want designer or name brand items, take a drive to that more affluent city or part of town. In Connecticut, thrift shops on the gold coast even have a separate section of high end items. No, you won't find Prada for $10, but it'll be a heck of a lot cheaper than at Bendel's and often in next-to-new condition. In the main section, there's a ton of pieces that still have original tags.

9. Be aware - Stores will often have half price or dollar items, noted by the tag's color or section. Ask when you go in about the best deals. That way, you can buy more!

10. Not so new - Sometimes you'll try something on only to discover a big tear or stain. If it's repairable and you still want it, ask for a discount. Secondhand stores don't typically mean to accept things that are damaged, so if you're handy with a needle and thread you can nab a bargain.
Photos by Mackenzie

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Radient Orchid, Pantone's Color of the Year

Head to Toe: Dress, hand-me-down; Jacket, Marshall's; Tights, Kate Spade via Marshall's; Heels, Vince Camuto.

It's almost January, which means Pantone has a new color of the year! They've announced Radiant Orchid as 2014's hue of choice, an expressive purple with fuchsia and pink undertones. I rocked the trend with these statement-making tights last week. Want more ideas on how to inject a little Orchid into your life? See a few of my favorite pins below, and check our Pantone's board for more.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Evergreen

Head to Toe: Flannel, Pac Sun; Scarf, Gap; Skirt, Thrifted; Tights, H&M; Boots, Frye.

High five for Friday! It's been a cold, snowy week, but it definitely feels like Christmastime. We're getting another coating of the white stuff tomorrow, and I'm excited for a day cuddled by the fire to catch up on some writing and magazine reading. Stay warm fashionistas.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Sparkly White

Head to Toe: Top, Loft; Pants, Thrifted; Wallet, TJ Maxx; Bracelet, Loft; Watch, Fossil.

There's something magical about the first snow of the year, and it came to Connecticut yesterday. Though it was easier to enjoy a snow day  when it involved a day off from school instead of a complicated commute, it was nice to watch the flakes fall from my office window. To keep warm I wore these wool slacks (scored at Goodwill for $3) under my heaviest puffy coat.
Photos by Mackenzie

Monday, December 9, 2013

Outfit Magic

Head to Toe: Blouse, sweater and cords, Thrifted; Necklace, American Eagle; Shoes, Payless.

This morning was outfit magic...I kind of just put things on and they worked together, which is especially magical for a Monday. Plus, these cords are super stretchy and comfy, so it was almost like another day of weekend leggings. Now, I'm bracing myself for the doom and armageddon coming tomorrow - first snow storm of the season! Get your apocalypse bunkers ready.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Christmasing

Head to Toe: Skirt, Gap; Sweater, Urban Outfitters; Bag, Michael Kors; Boots, Frye; Socks, Urban Outfitters; Watch, Fossil; Bracelet, Loft.

Lights are strung, tree is up, house is decorated; it is certainly looking like Christmas around here! And so am I in my festive sweater. However, there's a lot on the to-do list still unchecked (gifting, wrapping, cooking), but I'm trying to relish in the twinkling spirit of the season instead of focusing on the hustling, bustling side of things. Worst comes to worst, I'll be at the mall on Christmas Eve with my brother, Trever, who makes a habit of last minute shopping almost every year. But who am I kidding, what's a shopaholic like me to avoid the mall? One for you, one for me, one for him, two for me, one for mom, one for ... ... ...
I've also been lucky to do lots of holiday writing for the fab website of shelter pub, AtHome Magazine. Whether you need extra seating for guests, easy hors d'oeuvres, the perfect wreath or fab hostess gifts, I've covered it!
Duralee’s Riverside Chair, as featured in "Sitting Pretty"

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

In(vest)ed

Head to Toe: Tee, Gap; Vest, Loft; Slacks, Loft; Heels, Target.

I do love me some faux-fur, and this purple vest is the easiest way to make a plain pairing fashionable. Even though I'm a total dresses and skirts girl, pants are my winter go-to when I need a quick look. On rushed mornings, achieving the perfect tights/skirt/shoes combo is often an insurmountable task. That being said, I better go try on ideas for tomorrow. Goodnight blogverse!
 Photos by Mackenzie
I never received a response from the initial winner, so congrats to Olivia on winning the Everbuying.com giveaway!