12 January 2012

Shopping Someone Else's Closet

Let's get it all out on the table here: I don't thrift. None of my gal pals thrift so it never comes up as an option on shopping trips, my first few forays into attempted thrifting left me fleeing stores packed with bad smells on stained aceta-poly-on, and honestly I don't have the patience to look through the racks of meh to find the treasures that are out there. I know awesome deals can be had, unique pieces can be found, and for the really crafty, old frocks can be re-engineered into something custom and gorgeous. But I don't do it.

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My idea of thrifting is typically Ebay or Etsy, which means most of the dirty work is already done for me and I can just "tra la la" my way through a selection of sorted goodies. But I hate to battle it out on Ebay and sometimes the "because it's vintage" pricing on Etsy is less than awesome. So that was just one of the reasons I was thrilled when my blog friend Eleanor decided to open her online shop, Katy-Did Vintage, because now I have another alternative (and I like my alternatives) to find unique, pre-loved goodies.

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Another reason I was thrilled is because I get happy whenever I see a fellow member of our style blog community do something that they are truly have a passion for. Eleanor is a long-time style blogger who formerly had a jet-setting but exhaustive lifestyle. She willingly gave up the grueling hours to spend more time with her family and pursue her true interests, and I applaud her for her daring to go against the grain of what is expected and do what she chooses. From that, Katy-Did Vintage was able to evolve organically out of Eleanor's love of thrifting.

And boy, am I am glad when someone else can do the weeding for me!

Eleanor generously sent me this dress to try from her collection at Katy-Did. I'll admit, this is probably not something I would've picked out on my own as I tend to veer from maxis, but that's where I give credit to Eleanor for seeing potential. After trying the dress on and playing around with it, I was really surprised at how much I liked it. You can see another example of Eleanor's thrift prowess in Pamela's post here and in her daily outfit posts on her own blog.

Do you thrift? What are your tips for a successful trip? Or if you're like me, why don't you thrift?

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Dress: c/o Liz Claiborne via Katy-Did Vintage
Belt: Anthropologie (worn here - sim here, here, here)
Shoes: Kenneth Cole Reaction swim n fool (worn here - sim here, platform here, pricey here)
Necklace: Anthropologie gold finger (worn here - sim on sale here, here, pricey here)
Bracelets: Old Navy enamel (sim here, here, here)

43 comments:

  1. I'll buy vintage jewelry/accessories on Etsy and I find the prices are pretty good if you look long enough. That's that extent of my thrifting. At 4'10" I feel like it's going to be very hard and time consuming to find pieces that would actually fit me. Plus the thought of someone else wearing the clothes kinda freaks me out, to be honest.

    -Sharon

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    1. Usually on Etsy I'll get jewelry that has been made - I've only recently started buying vintage items on there. I agree with the good deals but you gotta dig!

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  2. I like to go thrifting, but I always go alone (who wants to listen to the complaints friends otherwise uninterested in sorting through the junk?)
    and I go to the same places often. I just pop in do a quick lap around and see if anything stands out.

    it's how I got two vintage coach bags for $20.

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    1. You'd think for as much as I love clothes, shoes, etc., that I'd like the physical act of shopping more - but not really! Unless I'm with pals and we're making an afternoon or whatever of it, I'm usually in and out, or else I'm stuck staring at something forever and pondering!

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  3. Hey Lisa,

    This is a great outfit on you! I've tried to put something like this together before but it just doesn't work on me, but on you it is super chic. Looking lovely!

    xoxo
    www.natashafatah.blogspot.com

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  4. I'd like to thrift more this year, but don't have any wisdom to share yet! :) eBay jewelry has been my latest obsession. There are some goodies that trigger intense bidding battles, but I've found lots of lovely things that no one else is interested in (hmmm ... what does that say about my taste?)

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    1. I always feel like I snuck one through the cracks or something when I win an auction where I was the only bidder!

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  5. I LOVE how you styled it Lisa! And adding the leopard shoe....so very YOU, and so very chic!
    You took a vintage dress that is pretty fab on it's own to a whole other level of cool.
    Thanks for playing along!

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  6. Lisa, that dress is super cute on you! I love the way you accessorized it. You can accessorize your patootie off girl! hahaha Eleanor has some really nice things in her shop and I can't get over the prices! Amazing! The necklaces...Double amazing! I just don't have time to thrift or go to malls. I'm an online shopper 90% of the time. I think thrifting is great. When I donated some clothes, it was amazing the name brand stuff I found that was in good condition and at a wonderful price. I say go for it. My schedule just has me too busy for it. So, yaaaaay Eleanor! And Lisa, you should really keep that dress. It's a buy!
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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    1. I do enjoy the online shopping a ton too - so much easily for me to be lazy. Plus free shipping, why not?! ;o)

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  7. As you probably know, I LUUUUUUURVE me some thrifting. I grew up on it, so it never bothered me. I love all the pieces that I find and can give new life to. This dress looks great on you!

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  8. Lisa, I was going to say I don't see you much in pieces like this but I'm so glad you tried it cause it looks fantastic on you! way to go :)

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  9. Oh I love it on you! You are rocking the hell out of this! Love how you added the leopard pumps too...seriously so perfect!

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  10. i adore that dress! the few times that i've been thrifting i haven't found much... i know its a huge thing to do here in SF so perhaps i'm not looking at the right spots.

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  11. No way, this is a dress? I totally thought it was a top and skirt. That belt is tricky!

    I don't thrift either. The closest to thrifting I've ever come is buying pre-loved items from your closet :)

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    1. Hehe, and my closet room appreciates it - plus you look better in those dresses and stuff than I ever did!

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  12. I love that maxi on you and the belt as well! They go so well together :) I love thrifting! I haven't done it in a while ~ 2 months I think but when I can I will! There are always tonnes of things to find whether it be home decorations or unique pieces of jewellery or even some unique pieces of clothes. I like the fact that things you pick up there will be something that most people won't have :)

    katattack2000.wordpress.com

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    1. I definitely enjoy looking for used Stuff rather than used Clothes - then I can call it "antiquing" and make it seem all quaint and stuff!

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  13. I think this is the first time I've seen you wear a maxi skirt!! It looks AWESOME on you Lisa!! I love the how you accessorized too.

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  14. I don't thrift either for the same reasons. But I'm loving the maxi on you, primarily because of the striped top and the added belt!

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  15. LOVE your shoes---am suddenly desperate for some leopard-print flats or pumps :) I need to put some more effort in thrifting...have had a little luck in the past, but more failures.

    Thanks for the sweet comment.

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  16. Oh my goodness I love thrifting. It's one of my favorite hobbies. Bu you're right-- it can be time consuming, dirty, and often smelly (though I haven't run into any terrible ones). I love it because every once in awhile, you find an amazing treasure.

    Your dress is awesome! I would have guessed it was new.

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    1. You seem to find great pieces all the time when you thrift - I guess part of it is that I may not be seeing the potential in a piece or dismiss stuff too quickly?

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  17. Great dress!! I like the idea of thrifting, but I don't do it too often. I have a hard time sorting through all the 'meh' items, just to find the treasures. Back in the spring I tried thrifting some of the NYC stores, and it seemed sooo expensive to me. I was finding Forever 21 and Target items in the $20-25 range. That doesn't seem so thrifty to me and really discouraged me from the whole process!! I have had some good luck at the consignment stores though!

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  18. You lucky duck, this dress is just too fabulous. It's kind of preppy with a side of sexy. :) I'll definitely be checking out Eleanor's shop!!
    I do like to thrift, but I can totally understand why you don't. One piece of advice that I can give is to go without expectations. Go with a general idea of what you might want to look for (i.e. shirts or skirts) so that you can focus when you get in the store, but if you get all specific, you might walk away disappointed and empty-handed. I think you might be better suited for vintage stores rather than thrift stores.

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  19. I'm not a thrifter either for the same reasons you listed. Sometimes I don't even have the patience to go through the sale racks/bins during clearance time =/ My loss is someone else's gain :)

    I think you accessorized the dress perfectly with leopard and brown shades.

    PS - How's the camera hunt coming? :)

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    1. I just love all these great 30-40% off new arrivals deals right now! It's definitely EASIER than a thrift trip (as long as you don't think about how much retailers must be marking their stuff up, eep).

      Ugh, camera - over the holidays I made a mention to my sis' hubby about camera stuff since he is a techie and he said I should bypass the compact stuff and go right for the DSLRs. Now BF is thinking he could use a nice DSLR too - which means the potential of spending a load of cash, me not having a clue and my eyeballs swimming with camera choices.

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    2. I like taking pictures too but I'm still not convinced that DSLRs are ideal for everyone. They do have amazing picture quality but you can achieve good results with a mid range camera as well. Usually the quality of pictures is dependent on the skill of the person taking the picture, unless of course you have a really poor quality camera. Some good brands are Canon, Nikon and Panasonic.

      -Think about what you will use it for and whether size is an issue. Would you have a problem carrying a larger camera around? Canon G series has good image quality but in more compact body. If you want a larger zoom with lower price-tag, Canon SX40 etc
      -Do you want/need to have the ability to interchange lenses? Lots of people end up selling their barely used DSLRs because they find them too big. Olympus(e.g. Olympus Pen) and Panasonic have compact cameras with interchangeable lens capability
      -Get something with intuitive and easy to navigate controls. It should also have a mode that lets you have full manual control-as your skill improves you can experiment more! If you don't care to read the manual or a photography book, consider taking a class.
      -Read reviews on Amazon, CNET and try out some of your picks in a store.

      Bottomline, you have to do your homework and shop around.

      Sue

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  20. What a cute dress, you look great in it! I'm going to check out her shop right now!

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  21. Giiiiiiiiiiirl, you look AMAZING in this! Your waist looks so teeny tiny! I love the sassy slit in the skirt, too. And Katy-Did is awesome! I looked through the collection yesterday and just sighed and smiled at so many of the treasures Eleanor has found... I'm also a etsy and eBay thrifter, but I totally know what you mean about the "because it's vintage" pricing. Blech. I go into local thrift stores once in a while and will sometimes find something amazing, but that's like once every 2392243985724 times I go. Most of the time, it's just a lot of old American Eagle tees on sale. No thanks. Not exactly "vintage," either.

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    1. There's a local Goodwill in Buckhead that is supposed to be THE place around here to go for the best deals (oh rich people, you toss out the darnedest things) but I've never really scrounged anything worth it there, except if you're looking for '80s prom dresses, apparently they are all over the place there!

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  22. Great outfit!

    http://thefashioninbox.blogspot.com

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  23. What a gorgeous dress on a gorgeous girl!

    The closest I have come to thrifting last year was going to a consignment store. The prices there, however, aren't as good as thrifting prices. I am with you - can't deal with the smell and don't have the time to sift. I do, however, want to check a few of the thrift stores around this year, just to say I have. Who knows what I can find?

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    1. I know, I've seen all the great deals that can be find and when I've tried, I've not really seen anything cool.

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  24. Wow that is a beautiful dress!

    I don't go thrifting very often for the same reasons you posted - sometimes it's hard to have the time to sort through and find the gems. Vintage stores are excellent as they do all the hard work and pick out great pieces, like this dress :)

    awayfromtheblue.blogspot.com

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  25. I am a failure at thrifting LOL. I find all of these blogs where they find these gorgeous designer items for like $2 -- and I go and find nada. I can't even find cute stuff at Ross and places like that. Le sigh.
    Super cute dress -- I thought it was a cute top and skirt at first. Love the belt, too :)

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  26. Wow I LOVE that dress. I'm like you, I haven't jumped on the maxi-train, but always think they look effortless and comfy. I'll have to check out her site : )

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  27. I also found thrifting frustrating but was inspired to try it again after I reading fashion blogs. I have managed to find some nice items: skirts, dresses blazers. My major scores have been a Calvin Klein sweater dress that was still new and an L.L Bean blazer made of wool and lined with silk, also still new. On a student budget thrifting has opened up new possibilities for my wardrobe. I think when you have a larger budget to work with it might not seem worth it. If you decide to try thrifting in a store I suggest:

    -Go in when you are alert and NOT hungry. If your energy level is low, you may give up easily or make poor purchases.
    -Going in with a strategy. You should have an idea what you are looking for. What items do you want to add to your wardrobe. I usually have a mental list
    -Go to the rack with the items in question e.g skirts. If you have a particular color in mind, zero in even further. But generally I find that flipping through the entire selection might unearth unlikely gems
    - Pay attention to brands. I avoid those associated with lower quality especially when I don't even shop in their stores. The item may not hold up well. Also ask yourself if it's worth the price labelled, sometimes items are overpriced. Some stores have savings days, if you shop on those days,don't forget to ask for the discount
    -If you can't find what you came for, take a look at some other racks. You might find an item on your mental list. You should also look at accessories, like belts, scarves and ties.

    I live in a small town where people are generally not that fashion conscious like say those in big cities like NY. I imaging, if you live in bigger cities and towns, the pickings may be slimmer. I also think that sometimes thrift stores in more affluent neighbourhoods might have better stuff.


    Sue

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  28. I am an avid thrifter, but am pretty selective about where I'll go. I don't like dirty, stinky shops and while it's conceivable that I'm missing out on treasures as a consequence of this I would prefer to breath freely and pay a bit more.

    Because I tend to need some time with a garment before the love blossoms, thrifting is a great way to try out a style or color without making a big investment. What works for me is to drop into a shop casually with an open mind and browse. I frequently thrift alone so that there's no pressure - if I'm quickly bored, I move on to the next shop. Fortunately, there's a sort of 'thrifting alley' in my area; within a 2-mile radius there are 5 shops.

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  29. That dress looks so modern and fresh the way you styled it!

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  30. Very cute outfit and I love the belt you added.


    ps. I actually bought and named my website something close to this post title! he he Maybe it's a sign!!

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