January 14, 2010

Thrifty Threads

Welcome to another installment of Thrifty Threads, AKA Most Stylish Compact-y Outfit, where readers model their favorite secondhand clothes.

A Compact-y outfit is used or recycled, from Goodwill, a thrift store, a consignment shop, a yard sale, ebay, craigslist, or anywhere else you find secondhand clothing.

Today's model is Carmen, who blogs at Life Blessons with the tagline "the blessings and lessons of this little life of mine." In the "about me" section of her blog she writes, "...these are the stories about my life as a Christ follower, a new bride aspiring to set up our home sweet home, a girl growing into a woman, learning each step along the way." Her blog offers an eclectic mix of topics, from the power of prayer to a DIY kitchen chair reupholstery project, to a book review of "This is Your Brain in Love," which is a look at successful relationships and what makes marriages last. It talks about recent brain research and is packed with quizzes that determine how your brain works and thus your compatibility with your partner. Her review really made me want to check out that book.

Carmen is wearing one of her favorite thrifted outfits. She bought the slacks just before starting her first full-time professional job after college and wore them on her first day at work. The off-white sweater is from the 70s or 80s and was also found at a local thrift shop. Finally, Carmen's father collects antique toys and so he often scouts flea markets and auctions looking for new items for his collection. At one auction, he bid on a box that contained these Gap shoes, which were exactly her size. The total cost of this entire outfit was under $10. Wow. What a great example of finding quality items for a LOT less money.

Here's what Carmen says about secondhand shopping: "Growing up, my parents were both avid garage salers and about the time I was in middle school I remember going with my mom and my aunt to thrift stores. Over the years it became a weekly tradition we would do together, and a shopping staple for me, as I expanded my wardrobe, library, and even began decorating my first apartment. I've always had a soft spot for the vintage aesthetic, so usually whenever I was in the market for some new addition to my closet or decor, the thrift store was one of the first places I'd check out. For me, the thing I love most about thrifting is the ability to uncover some really one-of-a-kind pieces with some lived-in and well-loved history. I enjoy the treasure-hunt aspect of it, skimming over shelves and racks to uncover that something special."

Spoken like a true aficionado. Thanks Carmen for sending in that great photograph! And by the way, that chair she's sitting on is a secondhand gift from her mom that she reupholstered herself. I love it! Check out Carmen's blog for some reupholstering tips if you've got a piece of furniture lying around that could be transformed into a treasure.

Readers, it's your turn. Put on your favorite secondhand outfit, snap a photo, and send it to me at barton.angela@gmail.com. We can't wait to see your fabulous finds! I just love the stylish and creative combinations people are coming up with.

Do you have any tips for secondhand shopping? I think I feel about it the same way I did about regular shopping: when there's too much stuff, I get overwhelmed. That was why I had cut down the places I bought clothes to just a few, and ordered most things from catalogs that I was familiar with. I'll probably have to look for thrift stores with less merchandise, which might not have the very best bargains, but won't overwhelm me. Please leave your tips and advice on the subject in the Comments section. And click here to check out previous installments of Thrifty Threads.


Alea said...

What a lovely outfit! I will definitely visit her blog, as I have a couple of items that I would love to reupholster.

This Thrifted Life said...

What a score to find cute secondhand shoes! Shoes are one area I rarely buy used because I either can't find them in good condition/quality or I don't come across my size.

Joyful said...

That is a beautiful outfit and it looks so comfortable as well as work presentable. A real find!