March 11, 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, craiglist, ebay, or anywhere else you find secondhand clothing.

Today's model is Carmen, back for the second time on Thrifty Threads with this lovely casual outfit. Carmen blogs at Life Blessons about "the blessings and lessons of this little life of mine." She describes her blog as 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." Carmen muses about life and faith, and posts about things both abstract ("Are your prayers big enough?") and concrete ("Kitchen Tip for Easily Chopping Potatoes").

This entire outfit is thrifted, which is how Carmen prefers to shop. The dark denim jeans are from Banana Republic, and when she bought them they were in near-perfect condition. The salmon-colored, snap-front top is from the Gap and she pairs it with a gray cardigan and flats for this casual but put-together look. She found everything but the cardigan at her favorite thrift store in her hometown of Cincinnati, and the total cost for the ensemble was less than $25.

Click here to see the other outfit Carmen modeled for Thrifty Threads, and to read the story of how she's been thrifting her whole life because she learned it from her parents. They were avid garage salers, thrifters, and collectors, and since Carmen enjoys the vintage aesthetic, she took to thrifting in a big way. She says she enjoys the treasure hunt aspect of it, and loves uncovering a one-of-a-kind piece with some lived-in and well-loved history. And it's not just clothes that she buys secondhand, the chair she's sitting on is a vintage piece she had reupholstered.

Thanks Carmen for sharing that fantastic photo as well as your story. You look great. Readers, it's your turn. Put on your favorite secondhand outfit, snap a photo, and send it to me at We all want to see your fabulous finds! I promise I'll run any photo that isn't indecipherable or obscene. I'm still waiting for a submission from a man, a plus-sized model, or anyone over 50, but all photos are welcome. It's inspiring to know that you don't have to spend a lot of money to look stylish, or give up fashion if you become a non-consumer.

Do you wear secondhand clothes? If you don't want to share a photo, share your tips for finding the best bargains in the Comments section. And click here to check out previous installments of Thrifty Threads.


Catherine @ The Vegan Good Life said...

I remember her appearance from that cheerful yellow chair. She looks really well-put together.

Great bargains are to be had on winter clothes now with thrift stores turning over inventory.

Overall, I think most thrifters will tell you frequency is the key. Really it's just a lot of luck being there at the right time.

I love thrifted shoes by the way. So many say they would never wear second-hand shoes. But women own so many and often give them away after just a few wears.

Anonymous said...

Carmen is super cute! I think she looks great! :) I never used to buy 2nd hand, but now am doing so as much as possible!

Alea said...

I am glad to see Carmen again! She does a great job of pulling together classic pieces to create timeless outfits.

Magdalena said...

I only buy second hand except for the next-to-the-skin personal things. Since I am Plain (think Quaker or Amish) I don't buy a wide range of clothes, but eBay is fantastic for nicely made, gently used Plain clothes, often made by an Amish or Mennonite seamstress. I am about to order a pattern from Friends Patterns for a traditional Plain dress, since I lvie near a mill end store with great bargains. So not all my clothes will be thrifted second hand - some will be thrifted and then constructed.