May 27, 2010

Thrifty Threads

It's Thursday, time for 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, or anywhere else you find secondhand clothing.

Today's installment is the inspiration of Betsy Talbot, the co-creator of one of my favorite blogs, Married With Luggage. Betsy and her husband Warren are making some big changes and getting ready to travel the world. But it's more than just a trip around the world, they're actually redesigning their lives to travel full time. And along the way, they're having to part with a lot of their stuff. Actually, they're getting rid of pretty much everything they own, including their house.

Betsy came up with the ingenious idea of a Reverse Birthday Party to pass along some of her very favorite articles of clothing. That's Betsy third from the left, with her friends wearing all of her fabulous red items that they "bought" at the event. Here's how Betsy describes the evening:

"I took all my lovely items that couldn't go on the trip with me and put them in a little boutique I set up in the living room. Each item had a note attached detailing its history and why I loved it. Friends were then allowed to "shop" by writing their names on the back of those cards for the things they wanted. If only one person wrote her name, the item was hers for a donation to our trip. If more than one person wrote her name, we had a "style off" where they had to walk down a runway to the tune of Carly Simon's You're So Vain. At the end of the style off we all voted, and the one who wore it best got to keep it. (and of course there was food and wine)

It was a really fun way to bond with my friends, share some of my history with them, and part with my things in a fun, happy way instead of a sad one. Now when I see a friend wearing my favorite cocktail ring, hat, or jacket it makes me feel really warm inside, like my things have been adopted into a happy home.

I can't tell you how much each item went for because it was an anonymous donation to a small box (a piece of luggage, actually!), but I think most people thought of it as consignment shopping and paid on that scale."

Love the hats. Look at those smiles!

And check out those fabulous boots!

What a brilliantly creative way to part with your treasures. I am a big fan of clothing swaps, and this takes the concept one step further. If you're anticipating a major life change, moving, taking a trip around the world, or downsizing, consider a Reverse Birthday Party as a way to find happy homes for your favorite clothes.

Be sure to check out Married With Luggage if you haven't yet. It never fails to inspire me. It's all about designing a live you love and doing what it takes to make that happen. Whether it's taking care of your finances, decluttering, or simplifying, Betsy and Warren cover it all. For me, reading their blog is like a daily shot of adrenaline. As their tagline says, "Life is short. Live your dream."

Big thanks to Betsy and all her friends for sharing their evening with us. 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. And it's almost summer, so I'd love to see more summer dresses, shorts, and sandals to get us in the mood.

Do you shop secondhand? Have you ever been to a clothing swap? Please leave your tips on being stylish without paying retail in the Comments section. And click here to check out previous installments of Thrifty Threads.


Those Tricks said...

What a fun idea.
I love this!

Betsy Talbot said...

This was such a fun night, and I love sharing the story. Thanks for highlighting my fun, fabulous friends and the great memories from that evening.

Marie-Josée said...

What a great idea, and seems to have been such a blast. Thank you Betsy and Angela for sharing.