How to Style Thirfty Finds

Now that you’ve accepted and taken part of the thrift store world, you’re probably wondering how to pull off all these new clothes. You don’t want to look like a walking cartoon wearing three different prints. You hope to resemble those cool girls that hang around Urban Outfitters or that shop at Nasty Gal.

You’ve got the clothes, now all you need to do is style yourself.

By using this nifty new social media tool “Storify” I’ve carefully collected a list of articles, images, and YouTube videos to help you create a look for yourself from the clothes you thrifted. I hope these tips and tricks inspire you to do something different with your wardrobe; try something new by pairing together some items that you never thought would work together. Pair a fitted blazer with a funky printed blouse or try a velvet garment in the fall that will keep you warm and trendy.

Follow my link here to help style your freshly thrifted clothes.

Photo:

xo

Elvira

Goodwill Hunting

The picture above is my shopping cart at Goodwill, I found so many things they let me bring the shopping cart into the fitting room!

This weekend I took my friend with me to our local Goodwill. It’s been a few years since I’ve been digging around at Goodwill. The one thing Goodwill is always good for is funky, cheesy, and amazing sweaters. My friend was nervous about our shopping trip, it was her first time at Goodwill. Unfortunately Goodwill has a stigma for being “dirty” or  a place where poor people shop. On the contrary it is one of the main places where growing teenage girls, wealthy middle aged woman, and old people with amazing vintage clothes donate their goods. Goodwill is the creme de la creme of second hand shopping.

One exciting thing about Goodwill is that none of their merchandise is priced. It is color coded ranging from $1-$5. It’s so cheap that they don’t even have to price it! If you can get over the fact that the clothes are second hand, it’s a shopaholics heaven.

What experience have you had with Goodwill?
xo

Elvira

FEATURE: White Rabbit

This week I will be interviewing Cortnie Widen, owner of my favorite vintage apparel shops in Iowa City. I remember when I first discovered this gem of a store nearly 4 years ago. I was a freshman looking for something different to wear, that not every girl on campus had in her closet. Since that first day, I’ve always loved going back to White Rabbit. It’s always a hazard as I know that I’ll fall in love with almost everything.

Over the years, Widen has stayed true to her vision for the store and their selection is always consistent. The vintage clothes are meticulously picked to compliment this years latest trends while giving you a unique fabric or detail that you wouldn’t find at a department store. Each time I leave White Rabbit, I’m usually on the phone gushing to my friend about how I just found the best thing ever.

I’ve never met Cortnie Widen and I can’t wait to hear what she has to say about thrifting, fashion, and her adorable store.

xo,

Elvira

REfurbished Tweed

I’m wearing: Vintage yellow stone necklace from the 40’s, Polka Dot Top from H&M, vintage tweed skirt, and beige bow flats found in a second hand shop.

While I was out hunting for my next find, I came across this tweed skirt. The first thing that caught my attention was the quality of the tweed and the beautiful colors woven through turquoise. When I first held it up to get a better look, I knew the length had to go. Here is my photographed journey of turning this tweed skirt into something worth showing off.

What you’ll need: a really cool tweed skirt that needs some attention, scissors, buttons, thread, a hand sewing needle, and a steady hand.

First: Try the skirt on and decide what length you want. I found safety pins helpful in trying out different lengths. Once you’ve decided on a length, have a friend be your fit model and cut the skirt while being worn. This will ensure precision and an even cut.

TA-DA

Look! You can see my knees. (gasp)

I did a raw cut with no hemming. This just means that I left the edge of the skirt untouched after it had been cut. I think this adds a rugged look to the feminine skirt.

Now, Details. By now you know that I love the little details. It’s frosting on top of the cake. It’s necessary. I purchased this skirt at Crowded Closet in Iowa City, IA, and this second hand shop also has buttons, needles, fabric, etc. I picked up a set of gold cabochon buttons to add to the pockets. I hand sewed two buttons to each pocket by hand.

And there you have it! A tweed skirt that doesn’t look like something your grandma would wear.

This skirt cost me $2 and the buttons cost $2. My grand total is $4 for this chic steal that will look amazing with a pair of black tights and leather booties in the fall.

xo,

Elvira

For Better or for Worse

As I start to develop this blog, there comes a time and a place where I have to answer the question of “What is your blog about?”

Usually I give the brief description of a thrift store fashion blog because, I love fashion, obviously.

Tonight I was challenged with, “Those stores are ruining the economy.”

Sure, you can argue that. Besides that being an overly dramatic statement, thrift stores do in fact provide us with dirt cheap clothes. These clothes are usually in good condition and sometimes you can even find designer names, *gasp*.

Although thrift stores are on trend and gaining popularity with college students and people between their early 20’s and late 30’s, I don’t agree with the argument. Earlier this week I interviewed Kate Martens, a thrift store enthusiast and she mentioned that buying used clothes has a stigma attached to it. It’s this stigma of not wanting to be the girl/boy shopping at Goodwill and coming across as not having money.

If your like me and you love shopping but don’t have the budget for new clothes, thirfting is your Paradise. Since trends repeat and styles turn over, with some searching and patience you can have the trendiest clothes and do it for next to nothing. Better yet, everyone loves the word “vintage”.

Vintage = Cool

So if thrift stores are doing better and corporate chain stores are not making as much, we’ll survive.

Keep thrifting,

xo

Elvira

 

Shopping to save money

Kate Waters, 20, is a student at the University of Iowa who has turned to buying second hand clothes to save money to pay off her student debt. Waters is a sophomore studying French and Business and has been passionate about thifting since a young age. Waters shares her insight on thrifting, tips to start, and how it’s an easy way to save money.

Vintage blouses

Now that it’s officially the second day of fall I’ve started looking for warm thrifty finds to add to my closet. I love this time of year because you get to layer and layer yourself up and not look ridiculous. It’s also fun to take two different prints and layer those to get a retro- unusual outfit.

These two shirts I adore. Both were purchased at White Rabbit in Iowa City, the store is an absolute treasure chest of goods. I find the quirkiest clothes there but it’s sort of boutique-y so you aren’t paying the dirt cheap second hand price. These two shirts cost me 25 dollars together. The first shirt reminds me of something that Lisa Frank would create after drawing unicorns and rainbows. It’s very MIU MIU meets Marc By Marc chic.

The second shirt is GINGHAM. For some odd reason, I obsess over gingham (& polka dots). The burnt orange gingham shirt is a button up with a straight panel covering the buttons and only exposing a large vintage button on the color. It’s just the right amount of detail to compliment the already loud print. This shirt is over-sized so I plan to wear it with distressed leather boots over black skinnys for a causal but polished look.

And this is what fall has brought me so far…
x0

Elvira

Antique Jamboree

During my 8 hour visit to Des Moines today I was lucky enough to spare 30 minutes to visit the annual Valley Junction vintage fiesta. My major weakness is vintage jewelry so my eyes lit up when I saw the 5 dollar table. After much scrambling, looking over, and trying on…

I escaped with a dainty necklace and gold bracelet for $10. 

I fell in love with this necklace. It’s timeless and adds the perfect touch to a casual outfit.

Another Sartorially Cheap steal.

xo

Tips to Thrift

Thirfting can be an overwhelming experience for all your 5 senses. The store could resemble a neglected warehouse with low yellow ceilings and the distinguished smell of old cardboard boxes might even discourage you. Most stores do us the favor of color coordinating which will save you from going blind. I always have to remind myself to not go overboard with the patterns, cue my love for miu miu. These are my tips to savvy thrifting, that will hopefully save you from that impulse buy with red and white unicorns all over it.

1. Be patient There will be plenty of gadgets, shirts, cardigans, and velvet to observe. I always start with the printed items then go to basics that are DIY worthy. Sometimes you will find something excellent and ridiculously cheap. Other times you’ll end up with nothing.

2. Always try it on I don’t care if it costs a dollar. Please try everything on. Chances are there might be holes, stains, and odd flaws that go unnoticed on a hanger. Keep in mind that you are trying on old clothes with old designs, sometimes the fit is too 90’s for our own good.

3. Buy prints with caution I understand that you want to be bold and different, maybe even a man repeller. Some prints can turn out disastrous when they come home with you and your roommate see’s your newest find. I always ask myself how I can style the shirt/skirt/pant, and if so, what combinations can I make with my current closet.

4. Shop in small doses It’s very easy to go overboard. It’s cheap, it fits, you are inspired by Pinterest. I get it. Just remember, quality not quantity.

5. Smell it A wise woman will check the armpits of a used shirt before buying it. My sister once reminded me that dead people wore these clothes.

Till next time,

Elvira

xo

If you have any smart or funny tips, please share them with us!

Photo cred: Thrift store Polaroid