Monday, 22 September 2014

Chambray Monday

Sooooo,- I started and ended my day in chambray, but the 29-degree heat and 29-kid classroom scared it right off of me in between...
My "always late" two-second selfie before running out the door (literally).
Chambray $6 Salvation Army Thrift Shop
Accessories from my closet
The rest of the photos are from the end of the day when I tried (not very hard) 
to NOT look disheveled and tired, counting the seconds till I can get my jammies on.

What can I say?  When I selected this week's Monday Style Prompt, I figured a chambray would be a safe bet for the first official day of Autumn.  Since we already had a taste of winter, I thought a few warm days would come but not actual hot summer.  
Even my super cute $4.50 leather Marks and Spencer ballet flats were too hot today.

I was all prepared to blog about how the chambray was perfect for making my pretty dress casual enough for my work environment... how you can knot or belt a chambray over a dress to transition it to Fall... blah blah blah.  Then I started sweating, ditched the top and belt ASAP and pondered how the last time I wore the dress, I was enjoying a flight of champagne at 10:30am in Napa Valley.  Sigh.  However, my day today started with a new colleague saying, "I saw you on TV!" So that was pretty cool and eased my champagne-less situation slightly.
I may not have kept this $2 vintage leather belt on for long, but I liked it while I wore it.

SO, a very special THANK YOU to anyone who attempted the Monday Style Prompt and bonus points to anyone that managed to keep their shirt chambray on all day long.
 When is the last time you saw a fashion blogger accidentally posing with a whoopee cushion?
On the fireplace mantle, no less.  There's also a ring pop and bubble gum nuggets.

PS. If you're reading this on Tuesday September 23, don't forget about Fashion's Night Out TONIGHT at the 34th Value Village location!  

Friday, 19 September 2014

Me, My Friends and BTE

In case you missed it, I was on Breakfast Television Edmonton this morning with four fabulous ladies showing off thrifted Fall fashion!
SO MUCH FUN!  What I love most is how Ryan and Cody and the crew make everyone feel so comfortable and welcome - thank you!  Time flies when you're on TV so I thought I would share a little more about each of my stylish friends here!  But first, let me highlight the upcoming thrift shopping opportunities I mentioned on the show:

This Sunday September 21st from 11:30am - 4:30pm, Sister Thrifters (that's me and my sis!) will be hosting a Fall Backyard Boutique Sale!  We have been curating great thrifted pieces in all sizes, most of which have not yet been posted for sale on Facebook or Instagram.  And that's not all!  We also have Modern Sole from Sherwood Park bringing out amazing footwear at amazing prices, AND we have summer clearance pieces in a loonie bin (um....) AND we have tons of consignment pieces from a special friend in Size Small - Lululemon hoodies, BCBG, J Crew, Banana Republic, Rock & Republic and more.  If you are small or have a small friend (that you still like), come by for great deals!  She Does Create will also have her jewelry on sale!  Basically, you can find everything you need for Fall fashion at great prices while shopping local!  Hope to see you there! 

The second thrifting event this week is Fashion's Night Out on Tuesday September 23rd!  This happens to correspond with Western Canadian Fashion Week, but instead of having our FNO party with Vogue London, we are celebrating the joy of shopping at the 34th Ave Value Village from 6 - 9pm!  We will meet up after for drinks afterwards at Chili's and review the spoils of the night, AND award the Grand Prize to the person with the lowest cost per piece!  FNO is always tons of fun, and you are welcome to come for any part of the evening!  No RSVP necessary but please come say hi!  I have other prizes and am still deciding the winning criteria.... maybe a newbie thrifter...maybe someone wearing mustard...!  You'll have to come and find out!

Now for my models!  I am so blessed to know wonderful women willing to come on TV at 7am on a workday!  Thank so much!  You all looked, as Ryan said, spectacular!  My main message as a self-appointed Thrifting Ambassador is that any one, any size, any shape, any style, any budget can enjoy thrifting success!  There are a lot of myths about thrift shopping that simply are not true!  The truth is that you too, like these ladies, can look fabulous in thrifted pieces! 

Dress $17
Jacket $7.50
Shoes $7.50
Earrings $2.10
Total: $34.10

This dress has pockets, which automatically makes it awesome.  Plus Beth can easily make the transition to Fall by adding a cardi, sweater or blazer plus tights and boots.  The polka dot pattern makes for easy print-mixing!  It's hard to see her shoes but they are art-print peep toes!  So fab!  Beth did not find her dress on sale, which illustrates an important thrifting concept - if you love it, don't leave it behind because it might not be there when you return!  (avoid Thrifting Regret Syndrome, TRS)
Beth is my cousin and roomie, so she's used to my vanity-shenanigans, like mirror selfies.

Jeans $6.50
Blazer $2.00
Blouse $3.50
Booties $5.00
Total $17.00
Sarah found staple pieces like boots and black leather flats, fun pieces and even a totally-on-trend robe coat for winter!

Sarah went shopping on a 50% off sale day so that made a big difference to her bottom line!  She got 23 items for $114 which is just under $5 per item!!  Sarah is relatively new to thrifting and wanted to refresh her "mom style."  The blazer is an easy way to update the typical mom uniform!  At thrifted prices, this is easy to do AND you don't have to worry about your kids wrecking your clothes when you only pay two bucks for your blazer!  Sarah also had some great thrift shopping advice to try things on because that's the only way you'll know if they fit and work for your personal style.

Tunic $4.50
Cole Haan Shoes $7
Belt $3
Leggings from her closet $20
Total $34.50

Tineke loved the great fall colours (orange and brown are easy to wear and look gorgeous on her) in this comfortable outfit, which is easy to add on to with a jacket, scarf or boots as the weather cools off.  Tineke could have thrifted her leggings but already had a pair at home - this left more room in the budget for shoes - a pair of orange d'Orsay flats to be specific for $3.50!  We had a blast shopping together - going with another person makes the hunt that much more fun!  

Citizens of Humanity Jeans $8 
Plaid shirt $4
Necklace $2
Shoes $6
Total $20

Elizabeth and I went shopping months ago and she was skeptical that she could find anything as a petite.  She found TONS of options, including the pieces she wore today which fit perfectly with the hot Fall plaid trend!  Those CofH jeans landed her in the VV Boutique Style Hall of Fame
Speaking of Hall of Fame pieces, my BTE ensemble will go in the Hall of Fame just as soon as I can update it!  
Lida Baday dress $7 Goodwill
Chie Mihara booties $7 VV Boutique
Top $4.50 from the San Francisco Goodwill
Necklace $1.50 Hope Missions Bargain Shoppe

I only had the chance to talk about my booties on TV, but really, the dress is an even more amazing score!  
Lida Baday is a Canadian designer and her dresses can retail for more than $1000!  This one is wool and fits like a glove, in perfect condition!  
Now let's talk about my shoes, swoon!  Chie Mihara is another amazing designer!  Her shoes are sold at Anthropologie, Gravity Pope and other high-end boutiques!  The soles on these are fairly worn but the part that matters are in perfect condition!  I may even get them re-soled - quality pieces like these booties are worth the extra TLC.
I heart you, Chie Mihara, you and your amazing shoes.

All of my models' thrifted pieces are from Value Village, but I have found amazing scores at all thrift stores - from small local shops to Goodwill and Salvation Army too!  Shopping second-hand is good not only for your wallet, but also for the environment and the community.  It's the smart thing to do!
And thrifting looks good too!
Thank you so much Elizabeth, Beth, Sarah and Tineke!
You were all amazing!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Greatest Thrift Score

This time last night, I was scanning the Shaw Conference Center for my number at the 26th Annual Feastival, not just because I was looking forward to the next course, but also because it meant I could take my new favourite shoes for a walkabout.  May I present my greatest thrift score yet...
Robert Clergerie $9.10 VV Boutique
These shoes retail for $600 plus!!!

The story of these stunning shoes: I knew what dress I wanted to wear to Feastival but just didn't have the right pair of shoes to wear with it (fresh out), and my thrifting intuition prompted me to make a thrift-shop-stop on the way home from work to look for classic black pumps.  Well, not only did I find leather Aldo black pump perfection and another pair of Anthro-brand printed pumps, I stumbled upon these perfect-condition sandals in the size-section above mine.  I'm pretty sure the heavens opened and angels sang when they fit. 
Be still my heart.

This proves yet again my thrift shopping recommendation to look at least a size above and a size below your regular, just in case.  The shoes definitely made my outfit!
Dress $12.75, vintage black bag $10 VV Boutique
Accessories from my closet B.T. (Before Thrifting)
This is nice and all...
But these are amazing.

AND they were comfortable to walk in!  I don't think I could sprint ever in them, but I could walk with ease and my feet didn't hurt at all despite being so high that I was nearly as tall as my 6' 3" hubby! 
I only look shorter than him because I'm being dainty-like to show off the shoes.
Being so tall in my shoes made me think I could eat like a 6'3" man, so I did.  YUM
Waiting in line for a delicious meal...
Might as well take some more photos of my shoes while I'm waiting.
That wasn't weird for the guy behind me at all.
(I barely refrained from telling him the story of my shoes.)

It was another great event in Edmonton in another great thrifted outfit!  If these Robert Clergerie shoes don't convince you to try thrifting, maybe the outfit I'm wearing on Breakfast TV Edmonton tomorrow morning will!  That's right, in a few short hours I will be at the BTE studios with 4 fabulous friends to show off our thrifted Fall outfits and talk about Fashion's Night Out coming up on September 23rdWe are on at 7:10am so tune in and see which friend has the cheapest outfit!  Any bets whether any of them will beat me!?!

Monday, 15 September 2014

Leopard and Stripes

The day is almost done and I assume that EVERYONE was wearing a striped top and print bottom for the Monday Style Prompt.  As for me, I had a hot ticket item that I was anxious to style up - a $7 leopard print skirt from VV Boutique!  I turned to Pinterest for some inspiration then looked in my closet for stripey options and came up with an outfit that had me roaring purring happy all day long.
Blazer $7, necklace $2 VV Boutique
Nicole Miller tee $1.50 Hope Missions Bargain Shoppe
Miz Mooz shoes gifted but thrifted

I'm no stranger to pattern mixing.  I love me some mix-not-match!  I have embraced advice from Ruche and StyleList to develop my mad mixin' skills!  (I mean mad as in stylish, not crazy.)  I think the best advice for newbie mixers is to ensure there's a common colour and default to stripes for one of the patterns. Because when in doubt, wear stripes.
You had me at stripes.

I was surprised to realize that some people still believe horizontal stripes are a no-no.  I find stripes to be camouflaging if anything; I've had three kids, there's stuff going on so I oughta know.  Stripes are like the snake-eyes in Jungle Book - distracting!  Most women are larger on their bottom half, so a striped top balances out.  If you happen to be more apple-shaped, a striped skirt could be your new best friend!  Maybe the width of the stripes matters so try several varieties, and fit is always an important consideration but I encourage you, if you haven't embraced stripey awesomeness, go thrifting, then try some striped tops for layering and mixing.  You won't regret it! 
At a buck-fifty, this tee is one of my best cost-per-wear pieces.
And look at the cute detail in the back!

I had a hard time deciding on finishing touches for my outfit.  I thought I wanted a belt so tried a few options...
Red Flatter:Me or thrifted cognac, black or cobalt???

None of the above!  Instead, I chose red accents to finish the look.

Next week, I will aspire to get the Monday Style Prompt out earlier so you can go thrifting if need be.  And yes, if you are lacking a striped top or print bottom, then need be! And if not, consider it a reason to at least go scope out your thrifted options!
I could do this every darn day.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Heads Up!!

Four VERY important events are coming up!  In order of appearance:
You're playing along right?  If you're reading this on Monday morning, here is the style prompt: striped top + printed bottom.  This doesn't necessarily mean a horizontal striped top - get creative!!  I can't wait to see what you come up with!  Last week's #MondayStylePrompt was a lot of fun... makes Monday morning... tolerable!

2. BT Edmonton!!!!!
Friday September 19th in the early morn... VV Boutique Style will be on Breakfast Television again!  It's been far too long since I've been on TV (!) and this time, I'm bringing four real life real style models to showcase thrifted Fall fashion and talk about No. 4!  I can't wait!  Tune in to see who is wearing the cheapest outfit and get a peek at the awesome pieces you can find thrifting!

3. Sister Thrifters Fall Backyard Boutique!!!!!
Embedded image permalink
We are celebrating the Autumnal Equinox one day early and hosting another fabulous Backyard Boutique on Sunday September 21st from 11:30am to 4:30pm.  We had so much fun at the Summer Backyard Boutique (wine was had, fab clothing went to new homes) that we had to have another focusing on Fall finds!  We have been thrifting up a storm and will have all available Sister Thrifters Instagram stock PLUS many never-before-posted pieces!  We will have sizes ranging from 0 to 22 - all pieces that we would gladly welcome into our own closets!  I'm very excited to collaborate with a special friend to bring you...
Hundreds of garments in Sz small 0 - 6 including exceptional brands like BCBG, Lululemon, TNA and Wilfred from Aritzia, J Crew, Banana Republic, Rock & Republic, True Religion and so much more!  
Some lucky small ladies are going to clean up!

Shannon and I will be posting all the details on Sister Thrifters Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  You won't want to miss it!
  4. Fashion's Night Out!!!!!

It's that time of year again!  The third annual Fashion's Night Out - VV Boutique Styled is coming up on Tuesday September 23rd!  Mark your calendars and plan to join me to shop from 6-9pm at the 34th Avenue Value Village location in honour of the international Fashion's Night Out.  The objective of this fun event is to put the joy back in shopping!  Well, I don't know about you, but the better the price and quality, the better the joy!  We had a blast on FNO 2012 and FNO 2013 and this year will be even better!  I will have prizes, as usual, and Value Village has generously provided gift certificate prizes too!
We will meet up at Chili's after to review the spoils of the hunt, determine the lowest cost per piece and award the grand prize winner!  Whether you've never thrifted before or are a die-hard thrifting enthusiast, Fashion's Night Out will be a fun evening out!  Hope to see you there!

Friday, 12 September 2014

Fall Transition Tricks

I did not anticipate that I would be seriously reading up on Fall transition advice before it's officially Fall.  Alas, this is Alberta and until my imaginary independent wealth kicks in, I must make the best of my circumstances.  You already know I'm embracing the marginally-Fall-like strategy of swapping ankle boots for sandals and pairing them with skirts and dresses; with or without socks, this is supposed to make your outfit Fall-ish as is "adding a coat."  I'm thinking that's a no-brainer, Fashion Magazines.  Since I refuse to be forced into pants against my will by Cold Weather, I embraced another Fall Transition Trick today: wearing a chunky knit sweater with a skirt.
Tulle and metallic skirt $7, sweater $5VV Boutique
Sequins flats gifted but thrifted

I was wondering if tulle skirts are still a thing but keep seeing tweets about pleated metallic skirts, so I figured this one would pass the style test one way or another...

It is surprisingly easy to wear, though Velcro in the preschool classroom is my tulle nemesis!

I quickly fell in love with this sweater after putting it on...
The colour reminds me of caramel sauce, which is a WIN in my books.

I'm still playing with how to accessorize this look.  I tried a pendant and some other necklaces but they seemed to compete with the details on the sweater...
I ended up going with a delicate necklace and She Does Create earrings I wore to the Yeggies, and a bracelet from my closet.
I think it works.

You should know, unless you're a size -2 model, this isn't going to be your slimmest look, but it is cozy and has a cool vibe IMHO.
I'm putting my hands on my waist so you know it exists.
Don't you wanna hug me in this sweater?!

This outfit gave me the perfect opportunity to wear my "vegan" bomber jacket...
Jacket $5.60 from VV Boutique

I think this Fall transition trick will be easy to apply to other pieces in my wardrobe and extend the wearing season of my other thirty-one skirts.
What do YOU think?  
Would you wear a chunky sweater with a skirt?