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Vested Interest


Vest? Gap, thrifted Skirt? Seven, Winners Purse? Tignanello, thrifted

I have a little board on my Go Chic or Go Home page where I collect images of items I want to thrift. To be honest, it is not a crazy or huge collection of pictures. I want to keep it pared down so that I can actually remember what I am specifically looking for in the thrift store. I also put items on the board that aren't too 'out there'... Crazy is already naturally attracted to me at the thrift store, I need to be reminded to look for some basics sometimes too... 
It's been handy to keep a small amount of images as inspiration for the thrift store... it keeps me focused. My ultimate goal would be to thrift a perfect fit white blazer... That goal seems to be eluding me right now. Blazers are usually an easy thrift but white ones seem to have a hard time making through the decades unscathed. Once people learn to stay away from chocolate and wine when they are wearing a white blazer, I may finally succeed in my mission. Question is; will they ever learn?
Happily for me, the denim vest I put on my GCOGH board was an easy find. I walked into a thrift store, went to the denim jackets, bought the cutest one and cut off the sleeves. Bam. And just like that I upgraded from a thrifty blog to a thrifty/D.I.Y. blog... 
Cutting sleeves off denim jackets to make a denim vest... I know. I'm so crafty. 


Coffee Date


Shirt? Thrifted (very similar here) Skirt? Joe Fresh Belt? Thrifted Collar necklace? Thrifted (similar here) Shoes? Frye, Winners Wristlet? Thrifted

I'm just tired. Or in the words that Matt famously overuses, 'Stick a fork in me, I'm done.' And I feel like I should have lots to talk about because I like this outfit and there are plenty of things that have been going on but I can't seem to be able to write eloquently about anything. Trust me, I tried.
Maybe you should just come over for coffee today and spare me writing a post. And when I say 'come over for coffee', I obviously mean 'clean my house and fix my TV remote'. And after my nap (that will take place as you clean), you may bring me a sparkling water and I might regale you with stories of my youth. Or we can just sit on the couch comfortably and watch TV together... using the fixed remote for our viewing convenience...


Heat Wave


Skirt? Ralph Lauren, thrifted Belt? Roots, thrifted Top? Marc Cain, Plato's Closet (similar in orange and black) Sandals? Marc Fisher, Winners Cardigan? Joe Fresh Necklaces? Sparkly one is J. Crew, the rest are thrifted

I think we just broke the heat wave this morning. Which is good because it was getting quite gross and muggy over here. It was so hot that the waist band of my work shorts was wet with sweat everyday.

Now before you think that last statement was just a random and slightly awkward observation, I should clarify that it is actually a thoroughly tested way of noting the temperature. Years ago I ran a landscape crew with two of my closest friends (and yes, let me pause to say that we basically got paid to hang out together for 10+ hours a day and it was a summer of many good memeories... sigh.) and we had a way of determining how hot the day was based on whose waistband was sweaty. We all know that the weather man and the truck thermometers were clearly not to be trusted, but the waistband test was accurate every time. If the one girl's waistband was wet, it was warm outside (yes, she was our sweaty friend), if the other girl's waistband sweated through, it was hot and if my waistband got sweaty, it was time to take water breaks every half hour and ask the ice cream truck to follow us around... in a non creepy way. So, based on our theory, this week was really hot...

And yes, I do kind of feel like I broke girl code by telling that story as blog fodder. But I'm pretty sure we were all pretty proud of our sweaty waistbands. Work hard. Sweat hard. Eat ice cream.


The Laws of Attraction. And Aversion.


Hat? Calvin Klein Tank? Zara (here) Jeans? h&m (bleach dipped) 
Shoes? Taryn Rose, Winners (whoa, sparkly wedges here) Bracelets? The lady at The Ex and my Oma's

Sometimes I can't explain what draws me to a piece of clothing... Out of everything at Zara, I walked out with the cotton tank with a set of ribs sketched on it. I put back the emerald jeans (which, quite frankly, did nothing for the rear view), so I could get the top. Not really my usual style but then again, not sure what my usual style is. 
It is easier for me to tell you what I don't like, than to tell you what I do like. I strongly dislike hankerchief hems, bell sleeves and low wedges. There is no rhyme or reason for these dislikes, they are just items that I have never bonded with. Emotionally. Or physically either apparently...
What items of clothing do you have an aversion to? Please don't say tank tops with ribs on them, because then I should have waited for this top to still be around during sale time... 




Dress? Handmade,  thrifted  (similar but dressier) Shoes? Marc Fisher, Winners Belt? Roots, thrifted 
Clutch? Cecconi Piero, Winners Necklace? Gift from Merl

If you had told me years ago that at 28 years old, I would have something in common with Angelina Jolie, I would have assumed it would have been the having 6 kids thing... I am Dutch after all.
Instead I had my Angelina Jolie moment when we were taking pictures and I was trying to show the slit in this maxi dress. And while she went the dramatic route (if you have no idea what I am talking about, please click the link so this post makes some sense) and stuck her leg out like it was flagging a cab on a rainy day during rush hour, I just gave up after some weak attempts. It's hard to do! Her right leg has since acquired a twitter account and has over 45,000 followers.
Everyone measures success and fame differently but I won't ever think I have 'made it' until I have more followers than a leg at the Academy Awards...




Clutch? c/o Austin Yarn Company (don't see red available anymore but there's royal blue, pink, grey and black) Blazer? Thrifted Shorts? French Connection Shoes? Calvin Klein, Winners (here) Top? Kenzie 
Bracelet? My Oma's

I got fancy last week and even busted out my new clutch to go out for drinks (though we called it a business meeting...) with my friend Julie. She's a tall Dutch fashion blogger who thrifts a lot, loves cats, is married to a Matt and lives downtown Hamilton. Sometimes I think we are the same person but then I remember she has a much better camera than I do (as evidenced in the pictures above, which she kindly took of me). Perhaps another difference to note is that I am also more blessed than she is because I have three cats and she only has one. Yes, feel sorry for her...
However, that one cat of hers, Maggie, is a beauty. In fact, when I met her last week, I immediately declared that Kyle and Maggie would have made the cutest kittens. I'm the queen of preaching at you to spay or neuter your pets, especially if you take a look at the kill stats in your local shelter (sadness) but for one tiny second, I wished Kyle could have passed on his beauty to the next generation. Seriously... these two together? So. much. fluff.

(My Kyle and Julie's Maggie)

Not like my momentary matchmaking wishes would have meant anything. Children don't like their parents meddling in their love lives. I mean, even if he was neutered, he probably would have fallen in love with some scrawny neighbourhood cat instead. Kyle's deep like that. It's not just about the looks for him.


Getting Back in the Game


Vest? Ungaro, thrifted Skirt? Thrifted Necklaces? Banana Republic and Clyde's Rebirth

Lately I haven't thrifted or written about thrifting as voraciously as I have in the past. It would be easiest to say that I've been busy. But deep down, I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that my dad and I don't thrift together anymore. It's not that I don't enjoy thrifting as a solo sport, and even in the last few months before the recent downturn in his health, our joint thrift adventures had become just 20 minute jaunts but for the past 6 weeks, the thrifting with my dad has stopped completely.
In the big picture of all we have lost to Alzheimer's, thrifting is almost insignificant. But for me, that activity was a thread that connected myself and my father and I am sad for the loss of it. I'm always going to enjoy the hunt in the thrift store but I've been on almost weekly thrift trips with my dad for the better part of 4 years and it's an adjustment to a new normal.

This week, I made it back to the thrift store... by myself.
And I bought an Ungaro vest for $5 that made me smile.
I liked it for my usual reasons... it is made of delicious silk and it is impeccably constructed... but I also liked it because it is weird. Weird is good. There is something charming about the ancient pottery illustrations and I can't get over the fact that the shadows of the vases (which look like they were shaded in with a pencil) were included in the fabric design. It's the random finds like this that remind me how much fun the thrift store is... even when I miss my partner in thrift.



Sheer Effort


Skirt? Thrifted Shoes? DvF (here, can only find expensive link) Tank? VS (here) Clutch? Thrifted
Necklaces? J. Crew and thrifted Bracelets? All over

It was my intention to go garage saling this weekend. I had a free morning and I was ready to go.
I grew up going every second Saturday. One week, my oldest brother and I would go with our parents (in the big brown station wagon of classiness...) and the next Saturday, we would stay home and babysit our little brother.  Years later I discovered that sleeping in on a Saturday morning is the most wonderful thing of life and the garage sales took a backseat to not setting an alarm.
But I know full well how much good stuff is out there and how cheaply it can be had when people don't want to schlep the contents of their garage sale back into the house at noon. Lately I've been feeling the twinge of missing out on all kinds of good stuff and so, it was with determination, that I set my alarm.
When I woke up Saturday morning, it was pouring rain. I went back to bed. I made an honest effort but the weather obviously knew I needed my sleep. There's always next Saturday. And as long as thrift store are selling silk sequin skirts with beaded hems, I'm pretty preoccupied...




Vest? Thrifted Pants? Maison Scotch (similar, kinda pricey here) Shoes? Ash, Winners 
Tank? Victoria Secret (here)

I thrifted this vest last year at the same time that I thrifted this dress. I was with my friend and when I came out of the change room with the dress, I got the immediate thumbs up. When I came out in the vest, I got a moment of silence. Before she could give her opinion however, I shushed her. Now, shushing should ordinarily be reserved for children who interrupt adult conversations (though I grew up with 'the look', not 'the shush'...) but this vest was never up for discussion. It was an immediate yes from the moment I found it on the racks. I knew there would always be room in my closet for some velvet trimmed with gold beads and silver sequin scallops. It took me a while to wear it but I think I found the vest a good match in these drop-crotch cargoes...
Maybe if my friend is lucky, I will let her borrow this vest sometime. I doubt it though. I don't share sequins very well....


Run, Run

Two months ago my sisters-in-law asked me to run a 5k with them. I quickly said yes before I could think about it and say no.
The last time I ever ran a race was in Grade 10. Back then I was part of the track and field team. Not because I was particularly interested in sports but because I was particularly interested in full days off school for track meets and cute boys from other teams. I didn't train hard nor was I co-ordinated, but I was athletic enough to do alright (just alright...not more) at most track and field events with little effort.

(The long jump in 1999 (?). Another mediocre track and field event for me)

In Grade 10 I signed up for the 1500m. race. I sometimes ran to catch the school bus, so I would be fine, right? I should have known it wasn't going to go well when I lined up at the start line and noticed that all the other girls were tiny and their shorts were even tinier. These girls looked serious...
It only took one lap around the track for me to be that straggler way behind everyone else... I was mortified. I didn't expect to win but I also wasn't expecting to be so thoroughly humbled. And so I did that only thing I could think of to save face; I gave into an asthma attack and I quit.
My coach called me out on my childish act and told me I faked an asthma attack. I was indignant. I would never give up unless I had a good reason, I was not a quitter. Looking back now, with truth and a bit of maturity, I can fully admit that I quit because I was so embarrassed at being last. Running the 5k with my sisters-in-law was a chance to prove to myself that I was not a quitter... anymore.

(Pink shoes make running more fun. Trust me.)

When I started training, I didn't expect to like running. I thought I would just deal with it. Lo and behold, after getting over the pain of being unable to climb the stairs for the first week, I grew to love my evening runs. It seems when my legs are running, my brain temporarily stops running. With my obnoxious music blaring in my ears, I am strangely at peace.
And even though I told myself I was running the race just for fun, I googled my run times and I was pleased to see that I was doing well. Those girls in high school were right, the shorter the shorts, the faster the pace... On race day, I ended up placing 4th in my age group and running it in just under 25 minutes. 
I know a 5k is kinda like child's play for all those wonderful crazies (who I love dearly) who run marathons and half-marathons... But that 5k got me hooked. My next goal is to run a 10k race or I to finish a 5k in under 22 minutes... unless a sneaky fake asthma attack gets me first...

(J. Biebs in my ear...)


Pockets Full of...


Skirt? Thrifted Jacket? G-Star Raw (here kinda pricey and it doesn't have the distressing that mine has I think) Shoes? Calvin Klein, Winners (here or nude here) Shirt? Thrifted Sunglasses? Old Navy

Flatforms. Some people hate the word and the shoe. Personally, I dislike the word but I am a fan of the shoe. All that height and yet, they are so comfortable. It's almost odd to wear them because it doesn't feel natural to be so far off the ground and still completely stable. I stumbled twice... probably because I was overcompensating in anticipation of being off balance. I need to stop over thinking things.
Another item I am a fan of, is a big cargo pocket. I chuckle because in the last picture you can see that I am hoarding a lot of stuff in my jacket. Give me a roomy cargo pocket and I turn into an 8 year old boy, collecting all the day's treasures as I go along. Though I doubt an 8 year old carries three lipstick choices so that he can be prepared for any colour depending on what his mood is. He probably collects much cooler things... like lint, elastics and frogs...