Thrifted Wicker Lunch Box

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This little gem cost me $2.99 at my Goodwill. I have torn the inside lining out because it was stained and the elastic was dry-rotted (the elastic was intended to hold utensils and condiments), and plan to use it as a handbag.

 

 

I met Kat Von D and my Weekend in Philly (OOTD!)

I was lured into the city of brotherly love this past weekend with the chance to meet Kat Von D at her book signing Saturday night. I waited in line after purchasing her new coffee table book Go Big or Go Home (which is a delightful salad of gorgeous artwork, tattoos, and thoughtful essays). My anxiety was reaching critical mass, and by the time I actually saw her I was seriously considering bolting, I was so nervous. All my fears were for naught, thankfully. She was so kind and sweet and made me feel like she actually gave a crap. She told me she also likes Siouxsie & the Banshees too and hugged me twice. It’s Monday and I am still grinning.

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She was wearing the coolest Lita’s I’ve ever seen.

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I look quite haphazard outfit-wise, but we had to head out into town as soon as we arrived so I had no time to put together a coherent look, but I wore the Siouxsie band tee I’ve had since high school, purple acid wash skinnies, a highligher yellow messenger bag from JustFab.com, and my vintage leather pixie boots from the $2-per-bag thrift store. I am also wearing my new Earnest Hemingway collection eyeglasses that I got for FREE at my lovely place of employment.

While in town, we stayed with my most awesome friend Sara. Her neighborhood has a high population of hipsters, which means a high density of badass restaurants. Say what you may about hipsters, but there is nothing wrong with wanting to make delicious progressive food. I forgot my ID, so I had to sneak a bottle of unknown contents into an establishment, and it exploded. That was horrifying and hilarious all at once. We ate at Loco Pez (I had an amazing deep-fried hot dog), Memphis Taproom (where I had my first catfish po’boy), and Cedar Point Bar & Kitchen (where I had an egg and mushroom bake with Cajun sauce and a massive homemade biscuit). So much good eatin’ in a 24-hour time-span.

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At the Memphis Taproom. Zach’s beard is immense.

I fulfilled two dreams in one weekend, with the second being to visit the Mutter Museum. It was awesome. No photography was allowed, but my brain was filled to the brim. A visit to this place will make you realize how precious good health is. Here are the photos I took in the lobby:

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Philly was a blast!

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Recent Thrifted Finds – Winter 2012 Review

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A thick black leather belt with an awesome silver crescent moon belt buckle. $2 at my local animal shelter thrift store.

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Thick white leather belt with a big gold buckle. Again, $2.

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This little gem was found at my all time favorite vintage shop EVER, Miss Ruth’s Time Bomb in Carlisle, PA. If you live in the area, hit it up. I have found some awesome pieces here. This belt was $6. From the geometric shape of it, it looks to be from the eighties.

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White leather ankle boots. Slouchy and cute. I found this at my nearest Goodwill. They were $6.95, which admittedly is a little expensive for thrifting, but I find good shoes so rarely, I just had to.

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Wild West velvet waistcoat. I can’t say no to velvet vests or jackets. $3.95 at Goodwill.

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Long-sleeve button-up blouse with black cording detail. It is repeated on the cuffs as well. It’s a little Grandma-ish but I like that. I am still questing for the perfect white button-up blouse, and this one is pretty awesome, but I am looking for one that’s silkier and has pockets. The quest continues! $3 at the animal shelter thrift store.

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This bag is what thrifting dreams are made of. It’s a 50s/60s era snap-closure handbag. Just awesome. The outside is like those heavy velvety curtains your Grandma had. $4, local thrift store.

 

My New York City Shopping Trips Part V: Search & Destroy Vintage in Saint Mark’s Place

5. Search & Destroy Vintage

25 St. Marks Pl
(between 3rd Ave & Astor Pl)
New York, NY 10003
Neighborhood: East Village

This store is awesome. Located in the famed punk neighborhood of Saint Mark’s Place, Search & Destroy might look intimidating to the passerby, but I felt like a kid in a candy store. I wanted to buy so much, but we were pressed for time and in desperate need of a restroom. The prices were reasonable (in New York City terms). I found an awesome 60’s avant garde print polyester dress marked $24. There was a pair of velvet Doc Martins. I kid you not. It is a cramped inside, not that it was a small store, but more that there is just so much stuff. They sell vintage and new items for an alternative client base. Right up my alley, and, they happen to be right across the street from another awesome Saint Mark’s Place institution, Trash and Vaudeville.

Final thoughts: A must see!

 

My New York City Shopping Trips Part III: Monk Thrift Shop, Greenwich Village

3. Monk Thrift Shop

Address: 175 MacDougal St
New York, NY 10011

 

This, admittedly, was not on my list, but I was drawn in my the signage. Honestly, it was disappointing. Things were expensive, making it more vintage boutique than thrift store. There were some high end designer items, like Michael Kors, Tory Burch, Gucci, and D&G. However, a lot of items (weirdly enough, especially the designer items) were in bad condition — tears, stains, and missing buttons and hooks. Everything I liked was upwards of $100, which threw me off because there were posters saying”Dresses $9.” I saw none. They did have a lot of legit vintage clothing, however. They also have men’s clothing. I didn’t buy anything here, but I enjoyed sifting through the racks.

Final thoughts: Pass on this one. Too expensive for the quality of the items.

My New York City Shopping Trips Part II: Greenwich Village’s Curated Goodwill Store

My record shop craving having been fulfilled, I now wanted to seek out some thrift stores and swanky vintage boutiques.

2. “Curated” Goodwill Thrift Store 

Address: W. 8th Street between MacDougal and Sixth Avenue

In my pre-trip research, I read this article about a curated Goodwill store in Greenwich Village. With all the talk of Ferragamo, vintage Dior, Ann Taylor, and other name-drops, I was so excited to check it out, I could hardly keep my pants on. Maybe I just have bad luck, but the only designer items I saw were in the window display, and those there being held for a silent auction. The window had some 90s Jimmy Choo clogs and Kate Spade heels, but nothing really relevant to current trends.

Don’t get me wrong, you can certain tell that someone was hand-picking all the items — there wasn’t any junk or damaged items like you might see in your average Goodwill, but all in all, it seemed like it had already been picked over. It is in a swanky neighborhood with a lot of vintage stores in the vicinity, after all… but, it was still fun to look. The store was clean and well organized, which is impressive, considering the amount of people who are in and out each day. Long story short, I left empty handed.

Final thoughts: Check it out if you’re in the area, but don’t make a special trip.

 

Small End of Summer Yard Sale Haul and Yard Sale Tips

 

 

 

Went to a few yard sales today with my grandma, who has recently started her own etsy shop. I haven’t had much luck at finding good stuff at yard sales this summer, but today my luck changed.

I found an awesome old bag that I assume was for a camera. It’s real leather, but the strap is very dried out and it’s cracking, so I will probably have to replace it. The best part — it was free! Then I found a wicker handbag at a Mennonite garage sale for $0.50. Not too shabby. At one garage sale, I found a neat bag of old Halloween decorations, which had these two blinking buttons that you see pictured above. Not pictured, I found three pairs of vintage earrings that need some TLC, 90s Tupperware brooches (I know, weird), and an old advertising yard stick for my workspace/craft room. (Oh, yeah, I made myself a work space that I will have to share with you guys. It’s furnished completely with second-hand awesome-ness, including a mid-century TV stand I found on the curb and carried home.)

Yard Sale Tips

1. Here’s a good tip I learned from my grandma — a lot of yard sales start on Thursdays, so it’s the best time to get the good stuff. Antiques dealers and vintage hunters get their early for the best stuff. They’re your competition!

2. Late Saturday afternoon is the best time to get cheap prices, because sellers are ready to throw in the towel. They are probably more willing to negotiate, and start throwing items to the curb, free to anyone who wants them. Being late has its advantages!

3. Check the free boxes! That is where I find the weirdest, coolest stuff. I found that cowhide bag in a free box. Once, I found an 1800s Bible that sold on eBay for $60. So, you just never know! Just be shameless and raid those boxes! Remember, they want that stuff gone.

4. An effective  haggling maneuver at yard sales is bundling. If a seller has items marked higher than what you’d feel comfortable paying, suggest a single price for multiple items. Take them to the seller and ask, “Would you take $5 for all of this?” and insert your offer as you see fit. The seller feels like they are getting more money and you get more for your buck.

5. Try to see the potential in an item, while still being realistic. For example, today I saw an awesome black wool coat that looked like it was from the 40s at a garage sale. It was marked $5. I thought about haggling, but I smelled it, and it smelled like mildew. Mildew is a difficult thing to get rid of, and in the end it was going to cost me too much, so I decided to pass.

6.To build on the last point,  use all of your senses to help you make the right choice. Be realistic about whether you will give an item the TLC it needs. I have a lot of stuff sitting around that I said I’d fix up, but haven’t. Don’t be like me!

Good luck with your yard sales while the weather permits!

 

What kind of fashionista are you?

 

My recent thrift store finds.

I have had some pretty extraordinary luck in thrifting lately. I now have a full time job, so I have been focusing on finding chic things that will fit into the constraints of my work dress code. I shouldn’t really say constraints, as it’s not that rigid for women, but I have to say withing dressy to business casual. When you think about it 40 hours seems like only a small portion of an entire week, but it really feels like most of my time is spent at work, so when I get home, I have no reason to change and nowhere to go, so I am feeling fashion deficient lately.

Anyways, enough of my blubbering, and on to my treasures!

Silk/chiffon sheer leopard skirt, Miss Ruth's Time Bomb (vintage boutique), $14.

Sadly, as awesome as this skirt is, it doesn’t fit me. And it is badly damaged, but I am going to use it for my mannequin (who seems to fit it perfectly) for the purposes of pairing it with other items for etsy photographs. This skirt is definately old. I am thinking at LEAST 1960s era.

Black denim vest, thrift store, $3. Printed maxi skirt, same thrift store $3.

I found this black denim vest at the animal shelter thrift store for just $3. I’m beginning to have quite the vest collection! The maxi skirt buttons up all the way in the front and also cost $3 from the same thrift store. Here is a better shot:

I can wear it to the beach or to work. I like that kind of versatility.

Lush red velvet skirt, $2, from a vintage boutique's bargain bin.

I had hoped this awesome velvet skirt would fit me, but unfortunately it’s a little too big. This one is probably going to find its way into my etsy store.

This is a better representation of the skirts color. Reminds me of red wine. (Yum.)

Crazy tribal print maxi skirt, thrift store, $3.

I am madly in love with this skirt. Of course, with my dumb luck, the first time I wore it I popped a button off of it, so I have to sew a new one on, but that’s because I am not used to wearing maxi skirts and caught the hem when walking. Here’s a closer look at the print:

Well, that’s it for now. I have a batch of vintage jewelry to show off next time. Stay tuned, and let me know what you think of my finds with a comment!

Street Style Round-up: Sweet Summer Looks

Here are some really neat (and thrift-store doable) looks from Lookbook.nu and beyond.

Striped tops are all the rage right now. They pair well with vintage denim shorts.

Shorts would be wise with a poncho/shawl like this. Looks great, though!

Suede fringe boots with shorts? I love it!

I have got to get a pair of harem shorts like his…

Capri length tribal pants… I want them.

A cool mash-up of several eras — rockabilly hair, 7os punk skirt and tights, and 90s hip-hop jewelry and shoes.

That’s all for now.

Street Fashion Round-up: 6 Looks You Can Recreate with Thrift Store Finds

I’ve collected some spring and summer appropriate looks from street fashion sites that are totally doable on a thrift store budget. You won’t be able to exactly replicate the look, but with some Goodwill trips and using what you’ve already got, you could work these looks into your own outfits.

1. Loose fitting blouse / ripped skinny jeans combo

Dolman style tops are really easy to find in retails stores right now. I got a purple dolman sleeve top at DEB for $3 off of the clearance rack a few months ago. But, hello, this style was popular in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, so it’s definitely possible for you to find something similar in thrift stores with a little hunting. Grab a pair of snug fitting light wash jeans, tear if you wish, and voila! This woman has spiced up the outfits with accessories, like her rad sunglasses.

2. Blazer / oversized tee / opaque tights / slouchy boots

Every thrift store has at least one rack of blazers. A few weeks ago I got three New York & Co blazers for work for just $5 each! Oversized teeshirts are overabundant in places like Goodwill and the Salvation army. Vintage slouchy boots are more sought after, but as you saw in a past entry, it’s possible to find them for good prices.

3. Layering different prints, fabrics, textures, eras…

This outfit combines so much at once without looking bad. There are some expensive pieces in this outfit — like the Alexander McQueen sheer scarf (if it’s authentic), but even this can be replicated with thrift store finds. Most thrift stores and vintage boutiques have a rack divoted to scarves. The metallic shoes might be a challenge. However, there are a lot of 80s and 90s esque items in this outfit that are likely to be found while thrifting.

Here are some other cool looks: