I headed to the church sale when I visited my parents 2 weeks ago. [of course I did, when do I not?] and hit the mother load of vintage hats. I had to leave a few beauties behind and take just the ones I really loved. 3 of these are heading into the shop next week and I might have to put the carpet bag up for sale too, I just have too many bags as it is. Hands off the sweatpants though, I am keeping those babies. [yes I washed them]
I am really trying to slow down my thrift store shopping. Even bargain shopping can get out of hand sometimes. Of course I can’t refuse a church sale when I visit my parents but I am trying to keep my salvation army visit to a minimum. Unless they have some crazy sale going on… lets not go overboard now.
Shirt – Clothing Swap
Cutoff shorts – thrifted
Leather bag – thrifted
Sandals – Old Navy (from years ago)
Vintage 80’s sunglasses – thrifted
Earrings – thrifted
I’ve been pretty much living in these Levis cutoff shorts all summer. When it was hot out and I grudgingly pulled on clothes to go out to meet a friend or run errands, these were usually within arm’s reach. I even wore them to Osheaga. Needless to say, I got my money’s worth with these shorts. Can’t really say the same about the rest of my shorts.
It’s times like these that make me want to go through my closet and get rid of half of what I own. How the heck do you counteract your hoarder tendencies and your inability to let go? I clearly remember being a kid and wanting my sister’s toy, trading with her and instantly realizing it was a terrible mistake, I had the better one in the first place. Maybe it was a case of ‘grass is greener’ but I think about that toy every time I get rid of a piece of clothing or accessory. What if I think up a PERFECT outfit and I just got rid of the key piece? Are you rolling your eyes? yeah, me too.
I feel like things to keep in mind when it comes to a closet are the following:
- Does it flatter me? The piece might be one of a kind and look amazing on an amazonian supermodel. That doesn’t mean it will be flattering on my 5’1 body.
- Does it fit properly? I am terrible with this one… what if I lose weight? what if I gain weight? but I could stop eating for a week! Kidding, I love food. This one is tricky, I recently lost a bit of weight (all those hikes up the mountain?) and some pieces don’t fit me anymore [do I get rid of them? what if I gain the weight back?] and now some pieces I couldn’t bring myself to sell despite them being a tad too small fit me. [thank god I didn’t throw them out?] It’s tricky but you have to focus on what size you are right now.
- Do I need it? I’m currently reading To Kill a Mockingbird and I want to slap myself for ever being unsatisfied with what I have (poverty is an important element in the book.) So yeah, there’s a good chance you DON’T need it. Think about how lucky you are.
You’ve already seen some of the above items on my last outfit post. I’ve been thinking about wool and plaid so it was only normal I spotted a plaid scarf, a wool top and wool socks. And that panama hat, I’ve been itching for a hat like this all summer but kept resisting the urge to go to the mall and buy a brand new one. It’s true when they say good things come to those who wait.
As a second-hand shopper I know that instant success is not even an option. I have a I want it and I want it right now mentality. But with clothes, I’ve just come to a point where I stop and ask myself ‘do I really need to go buy this overpriced item I saw in a magazine/on a person/in a store window? Usually it’s no. I know my closet is overflowing. And that’s a big deal when you live in 500 square feet. It means the closet extends to the bed, the ottoman, the couch, the stools and the bathroom. So really I DON’T need it. But if I stumble upon it for 2$ at the church sale… that’s a WHOLE other ball game.
Don’t get me wrong, I still hold back at the thrift stores. Just this saturday I found the PERFECT fitting white dress. The women at the church all said how well it fit me and one even insisted that if I had nowhere to wear it, I should wear it to the grocery store. And you know what? I didn’t buy it. Because even though it fit me like a glove, where the hell am i going to wear a white gown?
Billabong t-shirt – thrifted
Tribal mini skirt – thrifted
Panama hat – thrifted
Vintage 80’s sunglasses – thrifted
Earrings – thrifted
Leather bag – thrifted
Sandals – old navy (from years ago)
You know what I love? An 85% thrifted outfit. [That doesn’t include underwear for you curious creepos] I visited my parents for the weekend – which explains the outfit photos – and hit up the church sale and flea market with my mom. The hat, bag and sunglasses above were part of the haul from the church, which worked out well since they were announcing rain all weekend and I didn’t pack any sunglasses. P.s. You suck weather network.
I haven’t posted an outfit in over a month! And to think I used to post almost daily. I don’t bust my ass just to get a photo of my outfit anymore. There was a time where I would stress out about not getting photos of my outfits, scared of missing the light, freezing my butt off in the cold all for the sake of showing other people what I was wearing. (weird, no?) It feels great to get past that point. I think I started ‘fashion’ blogging at a time that I needed something more in my life and my blog filled that need, gave me a goal and forced me to try new things and be inspired by other bloggers. I just felt like something was missing if I didn’t post every day. I would sometimes get home at 11 or 12 at night after my night classes and set up my tripod and take outfit photos.
I have lots of days where I wonder if I want to keep blogging here. I do enjoy encouraging people to think outside the box, shop at thrift stores and pick quality pieces over quantity but sometimes I feel like I have too many things going on and I am spreading myself too thin across the board. I have a full time job, an etsy store, TWO blogs and photography on the side. Then there is twitter, instagram, all the blogs I read (or try to read). There are also all the workshops I want to do, classes I want to take. The list of what I want to do goes on and on. You know, like owning a horse I can ride around, living off the fat of the land, skydiving… the usual.
I’m not quitting my blog, I just need to find a good middle ground. Maybe that means making some changes, I haven’t figured it out yet. But I no longer worry about keeping up a constant flow of outfit posts here. I feel like the blog is at a quiet but comfortable place now. I love showing you guys how great Montreal is with my weekend photos and sharing all the goodies I find at thrift stores to encourage you to do the same. And the occasional picture of me posing awkwardly is just the cherry on top!
The other day I randomly decided to swing by the salvation army on my way home from work. As soon as I walked in I saw that blue and yellow necklace and knew I had to have it. I’ve always been a fan of accessories that are big, obnoxious and out of the ordinary. Bonus points if it makes other people embarrassed to go out in public with me. [True story: I used to wear spongebob PJ pants and a tank top out to the bar. Oh college…]
Since skirts and dresses were 2 for 1 (deal of the week), I spent a little extra time in those sections. I think I done good. And I’m pretty sure those 2 BEDO skirts are brand spanking new. I am by no means a brand whore but I do have an appreciation for higher quality so I always check the labels and tags to see who made it and what it is made of. I will buy Zara and brands of that quality range (nothing special but not terrible) but I won’t buy Forever 21, even in a thrift store. Why would I want to fill my closet with mass produced, low quality items? Don’t get me started on a rant here… It bothers me that people settle for bad quality items made in Chinese sweatshops because they don’t want to spend the extra $$, yet they put their nose in the air and make gross faces when you talk about second-hand clothing. (There’s this thing called a washing machine people! … or the freezer)
You CAN be cheap and have good quality pieces. It’s called Other People’s Garbage! I’m only partly kidding here. Just because someone grew out of a piece of clothing (literally or not) doesn’t mean it’s bad. We’re all different, that’s what makes us special. This feels like a ‘The more you know‘ moment.
In conclusion… It was a successful random Tuesday thrift store visit.
As I’ve mentioned already on the blog, I participated in the Montreal Take Off Your Clothes clothing swap last weekend. After dropping off a garbage bag of clothes the previous weekend, I was feeling good about making some space in my [tiny] closet. On my way over to the swap Saturday morning, I was planning on taking photos as a volunteer for the event and seeing how the event would go. I didn’t expect to find much – why would I want something that someone else didn’t like? I don’t know WHY I thought this, I buy other people’s garbage at thrift stores all the time. I guess I usually like my clothing to come from old ladies, not people my age.
However, I ended up pleasantly surprised and came home with almost as much as I donated. [oops – sorry closet] Not to mention what I came home with was a little bit of everything; skirts, dresses, pants, tops, shirts, shorts, shoes, accessories, a hat. I could make an entire wardrobe from these 19 pieces [plus undies, those weren’t available at the swap.]
You should know by now that I am a big believer in buying second-hand and I cringe whenever I walk into a mall. I think getting dressed should be an expression of your personality, not the latest trend. [Also, no wearing leggings as pants, I don’t care WHAT your personality is] The whole idea behind swapping is to encourage people to swap, not shop. That’s an idea I can get behind.
A few photos from the swap: