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This Year I Thrifted...

I thought it would be hard to pick my favourite thrift find of 2011 but it was ridiculously easy. This Donna Karan skirt blasts my mind everytime I look at it and I can't believe I thrifted it. This skirt is wool and silk goodness, with razor sharp darting and super flattering seam placement. This skirt isn't from a diffusion line, it is straight up Donna Karan... yes, I like to brag but I did another little search and this skirt is the closest thing I could find available for sale on the world wide web. Keep in mind, the price is in pounds and my skirt is prettier... I'm might be biased though.
I need to wear this skirt more. I think I might like it so much that I am afraid to wear it out, though mostly I am afraid for anyone I make eye contact with while wearing it. Because if I have your attention, I am going to point out every detail of superior craftsmenship and that would take a long time... Avoid me if you see me wearing this skirt.
I'm so glad I started doing the 'This Week I Thrifted...' posts this year. I love hearing about what you thrifted! There was one story left for me in the comments that involved going to the thrift store for a potato masher and resulted in leaving said thrift store with some silk DvF. That tale is bound to become a classic thrift fairy tale, wherein the heroine and the DvF dress live happily ever after...

Now tell me, what was your best thrift find of 2011?


Everyday Denim


Jeans? Joe Fresh (not available online...) Sweater? Outlander, thrifted Boots? Aldo (similar) Jacket? Thrifted Bag? Roots Snood? American Eagle (similar)

I am debating on getting myself made into a paper doll with two pant options (I would ask this lady because she makes amazing paper dolls...), in order to save the effort of fiercely pouting for outfit photos in the cold this winter. I want to wear my gold pants or my red jeans every single day, so I might as well just give in. It's funny, I bought these jeans because I made my friend go on a major Joe Fresh hunt with me to find these, so I felt obligated to buy them after all that effort. I figured they would be my special occasion jeans, though the phrase 'special occasion jeans' doesn't actually make much sense... I guess they are the jeans one would wear to Starbucks, instead of the regular jeans one would wear to Tim Hortons? Fancy jeans for fancy people... Turns out my gold jeans are just very comfortable pants with a lot of shine; the best of both worlds. Dare I say, they make any occasion, a special occasion?


She Thrifted


Meet Anh from 9to5Chic. She thrifted that vintage YSL skirt.
Anh's blog is full of simple and chic looks. She wears a mix of high-end labels and fast fashion pieces. To be honest, there aren't a lot of thrifted pieces on her blog but that is fine, as this skirt is the epitome of thrift perfection. A good quality pencil skirt in an interesting colour can be worn for years... And the way that Anh paired the mustard skirt with the eggplant sweater makes me want to say 'swoon'. Sadly, I have a self imposed restriction on the word 'swoon' but that weak in the knees feeling is definitely there...


Santa and I

lace8 lace3 lace7 lace11 lace10 
Coat? Vintage, thrifted Dress? Victor Costa, thrifted (yes, I have a very similar one that is vintage... ) Shoes? I.D. Browns Clutch? Thrifted Bracelets? The Ex

'Twas the night before Christmas,
And all through the house,
Jentine was running,
With pins in her mouth.

Meh. That was not my best poetic effort, and the fact that I referred to myself in the third person makes me lose respect for Jentine but, you get the point. At 8 o'clock on Christmas Eve, I decided that I really needed to wear this dress on Christmas Day. Nothing else would do. The dress needed some minor tweaks and then, what started out as a pinch taken in under the bust, turned into some full-fledged alterations. And that is the story of how Santa and I were both working hard on Christmas Eve. Except he got milk and cookies and this reindeer with a red nose to take him around...


A for Effort


For once we tried to get a nice holiday family photo... turns out, we should have skipped the effort and kept watching TMZ instead. Getting our 3 cats in one picture is hard work. They can sleep on the same bed all day but if you pick them up at once, they suddenly decide they hate each other... and us. But on Thursday night, my hair was teased, Matt's cheeks were dimpled and the cats were fluffy, so I thought we might as well give it a shot. I had invited a bunch of friends over that night and as bad luck would have it, the first friend who arrived (and therefore designated photographer) showed up with 4 month old baby. And Kyle? Hates babies... even quiet, sweet babies in their car seats. So, I herd Bec and Stella into the living room and Matt peels Kyle out from under the bed and we have 21 seconds to have our pictures taken before Stella kills me and Kyle's heart fails him... I thought that because we were taking the pictures indoors at night, I would set it on film grain mode to make it easy for my friend and keep the pictures interesting. Then the flash didn't go off, the cats freaked out and we ended up with 5 dark, grainy pictures with blobs for cats... I sent the worst picture to my left-wing, ginger-tressed, soul sister Merl and she added some tacky Christmas lights for me. All that effort just to wish you and your loved ones, a very Merry Christmas!


Best Laid Plans


Wool coat? No label, thrifted Jeans? Calvin Klein Outlet Boots? Joe Fresh Shirt? French Connection, Winners Faux fur neck warmer? American Eagle

This weekend Matt and I decided to go up to Simcoe to see the Christmas lights display. We haven't been there in a while and unless they changed it up, I remember the display not being particularly overwhelming, but it just seemed like a festive thing to do. I figured we could sip hot chocolate as we meandered around hand-in-hand and I could live-tweet our adorableness. I'm kidding. I don't live my life in order to have an interesting twitter stream... I live my life in order to have an interesting Instagram feed (are you following me yet? myeditblog... I'm fascinating).
On the way to Simcoe we stopped at one of Matt's work sites to explore the area because it was beautiful (see photos) and we got sidetracked by a plethora of good antique markets. Then we found a local pub and had dinner, after which I randomly decided that we should actually go to the theatre and watch a movie. I told Matt he wasn't allowed to fall asleep during the movie. I only woke him up once. We never quite made it to see the lights that night. But we made an honest effort at festivity and it was a really great night... I'll try set up a romantic stroll with hot chocolate soon, if only so I can Instagram it...


She Thrifted

tina thrift

Meet Tina from T Minus, T Plus. She thrifted that dress.
Tina is a good inspiration for office-appropriate attire. Even better, she thrifts a lot of said attire. But the best thing about Tina and her blog are the titles she uses for her OOTD posts (yeah... I just figured out that OOTD stands for Outfit of the Day, I'm even behind on blogging lingo...). Her titles like 'What I Wore While Pimping my Purses for Food', 'What I Wore While Being Jealous of Someone Else's Outfit' and 'What I Wore While Silently Cursing My Work Friends', make me feel like we could get along just fine. Even though I usually pimp my dresses, not my purses, for baked goods...


A Winning Jacket


Jacket? Vintage Pendleton, from Jessie Silk shirt? Thrifted Pants? Primark Shoes? Ralph Lauren, DSW Bracelet? Crazy lady at The Ex Clutch? Thrifted

Matt pointed out that this jacket is almost an exact replica of the winner's jacket of The Masters. Indeed it is. However, is their jacket vintage Pendelton? Didn't think so...
It is cruel irony that my new favourite green jacket is so reminiscent of a sport that I am so horrible at; golf. Well, in general, I am pretty horrible at a lot of sports but golf is my worst. And it's frustrating because I should like it, someone drives me around in a cart and as a bonus, adult beverages are driven around in a cart to me... What is not to like? It is my pride that gets hurt the most. I feel like my summer landscape muscles should be able to hit that ball with considerable force but... I just can't seem to connect with the ball. On the outside, I cover up my frustration with an airy giggle and another drink (which doesn't help the game, does it?) while on the inside I am cursing my brothers for getting the larger genetic share of hand-eye co-ordination. But I got the green jacket and in the end, that is all that matters, right?


Thrift That Blazer

A few years ago I wasn't on twitter, The Hills was my reality show guilty pleasure and I was on the hunt for the perfect boyfriend blazer at Winners. Now that I am older and wiser, I know twitter is the best way to talk smack about the people on your facebook, I care not a wit about those people on that one show and I know that perfect boyfriend blazers are actually found at the thrift store...


(all blazers thrifted... though the red blazer was a thrifted gift from Ms. Jessie)

I now have, what some would classify, as a bone fide collection of thrifted blazers.

Why thrift blazers? Mostly because, as they say, 'they just don't make them like they used to...'. The blazers available at mid-range stores nowadays are often cheaply constructed. On the flip side, well-made blazers from high end labels are really expensive. It's nice that thrift stores have your back and offer good quality for just a few dollars each...

What are you looking for?

Good Fabric- Look for natural fabrics like cotton, linen and especially wool, when you are thrift shopping for blazers. Nowadays, you can only find wool blazers from higher end labels, while a few decades ago almost every jacket was constructed out of wool. Besides being an attractive fibre, wool is naturally quite stain resistant and holds up well to wear and tear. I'm not knocking on Gap but this blazer made of a poly-blend selling for $108, looks remarkably like my wool blazer in the second picture... one that I got for, maybe, $5? Once again... thrifting is the chance to upgrade.

Nice Drape-I don't think that a nice drape is the right terminology in this case but telling you to look for something that is well-hung, sounds... inappropriate. Basically, you should be able to hold the blazer on a hanger and see a flawless jacket. Puckers at the shoulder are a sign of a novice sewing job (seriously, it's hard to sew in a sleeve... many tears have been shed on that) and the hem should be smooth... no wobbles or waves. A curvy hem can result if a lining is improperly sewn in, if the fabric wasn't cut on the right grade or if there was a top stitch used to finish the hem inside of a nice clean lining.

Lining and Shoulder Pads-I know that there is this idea that shoulder pads belong on your Aunt Patty, who was Prom Queen in 1982, but most well-constructed jackets have shoulder pads. You may not initially notice them because they can be so thin but they are there! Shoulder pads lift the appearance of slopping shoulders and help distribute the weight of the fabric. Of course, there can be nice jackets that have no shoulder pads, but they are generally a good thing to have. They cost the manufacturer to have them put in and anytime the manufacturer pays more for something, especially a hidden but essential detail (this includes lining), it is a good indicator of quality.

Finally, when going to the thrift store, it is always important to be open minded to the sizes marked on the label but when you are looking for blazers, it is not just a good idea but necessary. The cut of blazers can vary wildly depending on the decade... When I find a small blazer from the 1980's, I can fit a my high school hoodie underneath but when I find a small blazer from the 1970's, the effort of trying to button it gives me a hernia.

So, in conclusion, may I suggest that you thrift your blazers and use the money you saved to buy your Aunt Patty a nice gift this Christmas?


Holiday Musings


Jeans? Calvin Klein Outlet Turtleneck? h&m Sequin shirt? Thrifted Cuffs? Auction
Boots? Ash, Winners

I wore this last weekend to a holiday party with some of my oldest friends. And by oldest friends, I mean, friends I have had a long time, not friends advanced in years... Though I have those too! True fact, old ladies love me... these cheeks get pinched a lot. Not that I am bragging...
I've been friends with the one girl at the party since Grade 1. I might have mentioned it before but, I moved to Canada that year, knowing 6 English words, so it was natural I befriended the only other girl in my class who understood dutch. And then, when I learned 57 more English words, I stole her best friend. And we've been friends since...
I know holiday parties are simply a chance to wear shiny things, drink eggnog (sidenote: I used to think it was delicious but now I can't handle it... you?) and eat a whole lot of unhealthy but I can't help but turn a little sentimental. I don't see these girls as much as I used to, they are all extremely busy mothers and I am busy teaching my cats synchronized swimming routines and it's so nice to see everyone again. I wore a lot of bridesmaids dresses back in my day for these ladies and now some of them have 3 kids already! My mind blasts but my heart is full. We've been blessed.




Vest? F21 Jacket? Banana Republic, thrifted Sweater? Franco Valeri, thrifted Jeans? Gap Boots? Charles David, thrifted Purse? Tignanello, thrifted

I don't shop at Forever 21 a lot. I wish I could claim that it is my moral opposition to fast fashion and consumerism but I am guilty on both of those counts. I find F21 terrifying because of the sheer volume of teenagers in one place. So many teenagers... texting, talking about boys and going crazy over trends that have manifested themselves in polyester. Trends that often involve tiny shirts and even tinier shorts... it all makes me so nervous! Annnndddd.... now I sound like a prudish grandmother. When all I really wanted to say, was that I braved the teenage crowd at F21 in order to buy a vest that looks like a bath mat. And then I combed the vest in order to make it fuzzier... Just like my hair as a teenager...


She Thrifted


Meet Jessie from Style and Pepper. She thrifted this pretty dress.
I met Jessie in Texas last spring and I just love that girl. I've already gushed about her on the blog before but she is just so sweet, funny, smart, pretty and hardworking. Basically she is the embodiment of every positive adjective but I am just too lazy to write them all out. Recently she moved from Kansas City, Missouri to Hoboken, New Jersey. That means she now lives twice as close to me she did before. I checked. One more move may bring her across the border and into my loving (possessive?) arms. Here's hoping...
I'm curious to see if her style changes in her new location... but I am especially curious to hear how the thrifting compares...


Staying Put


Leather skirt? Thrifted Sweater? Thrifted Shirt? Gap Boots? Joe Fresh Tights? Hue Scarf? A gift Purse? Liz Claiborne, thrifted

Autumn this year has been so long lasting and pleasant that I think I have been in denial about the imminent arrival of winter. But it was cold last week and I was cruelly reminded that I do, indeed, live in Ontario, Canada. For a fleeting moment I daydreamed about moving somewhere where winter means 'teehee, let me put on my little silk scarf to keep out the breeze' and then I remembered how bad Kyle (one of our cat children) is at moving. Last year we moved to a new house 7 minutes away and Kyle spent an entire week either under the bed or under the duvet recovering from shock. That week Kyle slept with us beneath the covers every night, pressed up to our bodies as close as he could (quite cute actually...). I would pull him out from the covers a couple times at night because I was worried he would overheat. That week Matt would also patiently sit with Kyle twice a day, convincing him to eat a few kibbles at a time(really cute actually...). So for the sake of Kyle's rather delicate nature, we will stay put and endure another winter. If only Kyle could express his gratefulness... but he is too busy sleeping.


This Week I Thrifted...


Dress? Thrifted Necklace? Gift from my Mama
What? Porridge dress with a jersey top and a contrasting silk skirt.
Where? Talize
How much? Shhhh... secret, I gave it as a gift
Why? I am trying to be more conscientious about giving thrifted gifts... as long as the recipient is cool with the idea. The problem with gifting thrift is that it takes planning and I tend to be the last minute type when it comes to gifts. I am getting better at planning ahead because friends can only feign gratefulness at tabloid magazines and Mars bars as birthday gifts for so many years. That said, I am a fan of trashy magazines and chocolate bars so I would appreciate either...
I gave this dress to a friend as part of her birthday gift last week. It was a good find because it was brand new, it had a pretty, pocketed silk skirt and a big, sassy sash. I knew my friend would love the pattern mix and style of the dress. I did a little internet sleuthing (2 minutes, hardly sleuthing...) and I found that the dress was originally $150 at Anthropologie. $150 would buy a lot of magazines and chocolate bars, just saying...

What did you thrift this week?


Thrift Mystery


I can't seem to thrift any decent purses lately. And I can't bear to admit that something might be wrong with me, so I blame all the thrift stores I have visited in the last 6 months. A few years back, thrifting a good quality purse at a really low price was like getting dressed in the morning; it doesn't always happen but more often than not, there was success. Then thrift stores started to get smarter and the good vintage clutches and leather handbags became more expensive, though not unreasonable. But recently... I can't even find any good purses, expensive or not. I find an occasional $20 pleather bag that Walmart sells new for $23 (wheeee!) but the times where I had to make tough choices between several tooled leather bags during one thrift trip have disappeared.
Truthfully, I don't need any more purses, as the photos in this post are but a small selection from my handbag sheep fold but I am always welcome to new additions. I'm just so loving like that. It's more that I am mystified that I haven't seen a great purse at a thrift store in a long time. Is there a handbag drought in the greater Hamilton area or are you not having any luck either?