I AM (the) MOANA (of thrift shopping)!

In the same way that Moana comes from voyagers, I come from dumpster divers. My Great Granny Florence would go “shopping” at the dumpsters in Alexandria, VA and bring home any and every item that was in reasonable and recognizable condition. My first jewelry box was a mini wooden wardrobe-style contraption (like, 11 inches tall) that she rescued from one such dumpster. It made.my.life. and I still have it.  The things she didn’t gift or use for herself, she cleaned, laundered, and donated to the Goodwill. Amazing, right?!

Florence was a thrifty caretaker which might have come from raising six children by herself during WWII and having to stretch every resource as far as she possibly could.  It also could have just been her nature.  It’s surprising – or maybe not? – that her daughter (my dad’s mom) was the exact opposite, indulging in the finest clothes, etc. Well, I always loved the excitement and passion that I saw on Great Granny’s face when she showed us the treasures that she found and imagined the ways that they would be used in their next life.  As I grew up, learned about the world, and was responsible for buying my own clothes, I quickly realized that thrift shopping was made for me: I can thrift clothes that are higher quality than those I could afford new, and I get a warm gushy feeling inside from saving someone else’s well-loved items from going into a landfill. And when I want to update my wardrobe? I can take the high quality, well-loved pieces back to a Goodwill for their next journey!

I went shopping last week for the first time in a li’l while and it was a smashing success! I hit up the fancy Goodwill (in Westport, CT) with the goal of tackling the pants situation. Pants and I have a thing. But y’all it paid off! $60 later and this was my haul.

ThriftFinds
Yes, I took individual photos of each item. And yes, I learned adobe photoshop so that I could make this collage. #goals #motivation #marketableskills #someoneplzhireme Clockwise from top left: Jeanne Pierre cotton brick red sweater (obsessed with the texture); Ann Taylor Loft black and white geometric sweater shirt; Abercrombie&Fitch pink crop sweater with moose detail (moose’s have my heart); Levi’s distressed, cropped denim; Talbot’s cropped blue pants; plaid sweater with pink stripe from unknown brand.

The Levi’s were $25 which is more than I’ve spent on a single item of clothing in a really long time.* But they made me feel SO GOOD that I decided to go for it. I can’t explain it. I haven’t worn an outfit this deliberately shapeless in a long time but something about The Pants feels absolutely magical. I love the rise, I love the wash, and there’s a certain other je ne sais quois that puts some extra pep in my step.

Denim and sweater from Westport Goodwill, thrifted teal, Talbot’s peacoat from Charlottesville Goodwill, white headscarf from http://www.sleepandsparkle.com, shoes by Naturalizer via Nordstrom’s semi-annual sale.

The Talbot’s pants were $11.99. I saw the shade of blue and immediately recognized them as being the match to a Talbot’s skirt I thrifted about 5 years ago in Charlottesville. It was the first skirt I bought in my adult life that fit my curves in all the right places so I was thrilled to see a matching pair of pants!

The bears and I had a post-nap dance party. Everything piece of this outfit brings me intense joy.
Grand Central Terminal
My dear friend Hannah and me in the Grand Central Terminal after a restaurant week double date with our favorite people. I’m wearing my new fave Talbot’s pants.  (Hannah’s style has always been #goals for me!)

Moral of the story? Go in with a goal. Y’all I tried on 75% of the pants that were in the Goodwill. And 99.99% of those fit like a joke. But I was so excited about the two pairs I bought that I wore them the same day I bought them and without laundering them. *gasp* And those baggy Levi’s and that red sweater? I wore them 3 days in a row without a second thought! If the clothes don’t make me want to dance (I had a good 45 minute post-shopping-nap dance party) then they don’t come home with me.

IMG_9434
The headscarves are, of course, from http://www.sleepandsparkle.com. I hope that people pass my scarves down for generations the way that I pass on my favorite clothes and accessories!

*Note: All of my shoes – except for a pair of steel toe cowboy boots that I bought at a thrift store in Laramie, Wyoming – come from retail stores. I wear a women’s 12.5 which I can’t reliably thrift.

Latest and Favorite-est Thrift Store Find

Okay y’all.  If you live in Fairfield County area, have I got a thrift store for you! I recently went to the Westport Goodwill for the first time and it’s like the Whole Foods of Goodwill’s.  I walked away with some seriously amazing finds that deserve their own posts later on.  But I’ve been living in this 3/4 length sleeve blue and white knit Boden sweater that I picked up because it’s cozy, the sleeve length and overall length is perfect for my body type, and the swing sleeves make me feel elegant when I’m wearing denim that’s a bit too small and 12 year old Uggs that are deteriorating from salt exposure.  Speaking of the Uggs, I used to have a tough time (emotionally) mixing similar textures – like two furs, two leathers, two denims, etc – but I’ve recently decided that more is more, hence the faux fur sleep&sparkle headwrap and the fur collar on the thrifted coat (not pictured) that I wore to the grocery store to stock up on foods and stuffs and foodstuffs to get us through this bomb cyclone.

What are your latest and favorite-ist thrifting finds? What have you been living in this winter, thrifted or otherwise?


Outfit Details

Shoes: Uggs (retail)
Denim: Madewell (retail)
Sweater: Boden (thrifted)
Accessories include my faux fur head wrap from sleep&sparkle, my Project Sleep awareness bracelet, a pink beaded bracelet given to me by a friend, a narrow cuff that stays “STAY IN YOUR MAGIC” from a family friend for my wedding, and my new camera.

Thrift tip: Forget the numbers

Hi friends! I’m jumping in here with another tall tip / thrift tip.

Don’t look at number sizes at the thrift store. Have an idea of your body’s shape and scout out clothes that match what you know about yourself.

I would have passed by my all time favorite thrifting finds – a Talbot’s pea coat, Express jean jacket, and badass steel toe cowboy boots – if I had been hung up on numbers. My pea coat is a PETITE! You guys I’m 6 FEET TALL. But when I saw the coat on the rack I knew the darts looked like they were in the right place for me and the length looked like it would hit just above my knees – PERFECT!

Bonus: my peacoat doubles as the perfect travel blanket!

On the other hand my jean jacket is an XL. I have thrifted clothes in every size from XXS to XXL.

Rocking my thrifted Express jean jacket (from Goodwill) with a thrifted dress from the German thrift store, Humana, in Cologne, Germany.

Women’s sizing has changed a LOT in the last 20-30 years: a size 10 in 2000 might be closer to a size 2-4 now, or vice versa.  And that’s fine!

Your body is fabulous EXACTLY the way that it is. Don’t fall prey to the nonsense that is spouted by the fashion industry. Know yourself, know your style, and rock the hell out of it!