Thrift Thursday- Make it your own

It is yet again another thursday…

And Me and Bertha from chicandacademica.com are at it again!

This Thrifty Thursday we decided to find a thrifted item and make it our own.

Sometimes when you find an item at goodwill, there may be something that is just a little off.

Like a theft-tag still attached to the clothing…which I talked about in another post called “how to thrift”.

Or it may be missing some buttons.

Or needs a new zipper.

or may fit a little wrong.

Well to show that you can always take those items home and make them your own.

We decided this thursday to prove it!

This is the item I found:

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I fell in love with the plaid pattern.

All I imagined was a super cute “school girl look” in a high-waisted mid-knee plaid skirt.

Now when I tried on the skirt… that’s not the look I saw. haha!

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Although the length of skirt is “in” right now.

The heaviness of the skirt made it feel like I should be churning butter on the farm.

Not exactly the look I wanted. haha!

So I thought it would be perfect for this blog post.

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With 6 inches chopped and a new hemline. This is the look I got:

The cost of the skirt was $6.00.

The cost of the alterations? 40 dollars.

Umm.. What?!

40 dollars to chop off 6 inches and do a hem?

For 46 dollars I could have bought a new skirt- easily!

But i was on a timeline and decided to just go for it anyways

So my verdict?

DIY

I need to invest in Sewing Classes.

There are actually classes being held in Mississauga across the street from my home in January.

If you are in my area, and interested too here is the link:

http://www.livingartscentre.ca/textile-arts.html

Screw You- Stitch It

disclaimer:

(…actually they were super nice to me.Even though the earliest they could fit me in was friday- she was willing to squeeze me in for next day- for no extra charge)

BUT

 I need to do some research and find a much more budget friendly alterations location

I remember the days when my grandmother was the best place to stop for some quick fixes.

Well it looks like I need to do some shopping and research for a new location!

Want to see how miss Bertha’s “Thrifty Thursday- make it your own” turned out?

Check out this amazing transformation.

She turned a Male Dress Jacket into a Tuxedo Dress!…um wow!

All on her own too!!

image

http://www.chicinacademia.com

With all that said and done.

I adore the transformation.

What do you think?

let me know below: comment, like, share!!

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Thrift Finds: August

Shopping is my cardio.

That quote used to annoy me. My reasoning being:

If you’re thin just by shopping…that just means you’re one of those lucky skinny *Beeps*.

So obviously I thought it was annoying out of pure jealousy. haha!

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But I decided to walk to my goodwill location this month.

It’s a 20 minute hike according to Google.

Meaning I got 40 mins of additional walking in today. Not bad!

That’s an extra 150 calories roughly!

My Goodwill shopping was necessary this month:

I have an upcoming post coming up this week called:

“Thrifty Thursday part 2”

It is going to be about fixing an item that you found at goodwill.

So obviously I had to go shopping to see what I could dig up.

And well… I found a few other items I couldn’t leave behind either 🙂

Here they are:

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From Left to Right:

– A light teal floral crochet dress

– Club Couture purple peeptoe booties

– Blush Pink Crocheted-Back blouse from Smart Set

– Teal FCUK Shirt-dress

– Also got the item that I will be fixing for Thursday… Stay Tuned for that 😉

All together they cost: $30 dollars.

My favourite find is obviously the booties.

What is your favourite?

See below…Go ahead and:

Like, Follow, or share away 🙂

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Branding Yourself

Paying $400 to Brand Myself.

Once upon a time my heart was stolen by Valentino.

He came across my news feed, and won me over with his blushing colour and his classy bow ties.

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Meet Mr. Valentino.

My heart still aches that I do not own this beautiful bag.

But my ultimate decision was to walk away.

As you may have guessed the price of this beauty was the decision factor.

Branding myself with this bag would sting my budget in a hard way.

And I ultimately decided that the beauty wasn’t worth the pain.

While tormenting over this decision at home and at work.

I was given some rather interesting advice.

If the bag is worth more than what you would carry inside it…then you can’t afford it. 

I already knew I couldn’t afford the item.

But I guess the poetic wording of this statement had turned a light bulb on in my head.

Why do people buy brands?

There are 3 logical reasonings to do so:

1. Confidence that the brand represents quality

2. Keeping up with the Joneses mentality

3. Loyalty ie. emotional attachment to brand

My desire was strictly to do with number 2.

To be able to say I own a Beautiful Valentino bag.

But that’s silly.

To me that would be like those people that flash money that don’t have any.

fanned money

Cue the money selfie.

If at some point in time I could walk around easily with disposable money of $400 in my bag.

The value of Valentino would be justified.

But until then… Me, my thrifted bag, and my fabulous self are walking away.

End Rant.

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July Favourites

Another Month has come and gone.

I hadn’t done any shopping in such a long time with so many recent large purchases in our household.

As such I’ve had to get very creative not to repeat any outfits.

I’m not going to lie- its getting more and more difficult.

A couple times this month I’ve left the house in an outfit I just wasn’t quite happy with.

I guess it was a hit and miss month.

Cause I absolutely adore these July fits.

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Can I just say this whole outfit minus the belt and tights are from goodwill. #mindblown

I picked this skirt up in June. I absolutely adore it. It gives my work fits a baby doll feel.

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This outfit has my favourite colour combination purple and blue.

Paired with the low bun and curls- I feel like it has a spanish feel.

Especially with the curvy silhouette showcased.

I felt sexy in this outfit!

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Professional, cute, and girly- the perfect work fit!

The long curls with the lace and flirty skirt- all scream very girly.

The cherry on top is the peep toe heel.

Which is your favourite?

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How to Thrift

I by no means consider myself a thrifting expert.

But I have been known to find some really great pieces.

And known for putting together some outfits that would make you look twice.. knowing most of it came from thrift stores.

———————–

Before I even had my first adult experience thrifting- I researched….as I’ve been known to do.

I googled the wealthiest part of the city searched the nearby “good will.”

My logic being that the wealthiest can buy the best material, and best brands …and well donate them near their home.

Choosing the nearest thrift store to your home, although convenient, may not be the best strategy.

Once you’ve set your targets on the perfect location. How do you find the diamond in the rough?

Personally I take my time. I go through it all.

Although the employees try to keep the store organized either by size, colour, and type of clothing. The reality is stuff gets lost, misplaced, or even hidden-Yes hidden. People may find an item that they don’t want to purchase at that moment and will hide the item within a different section. Obviously this item was good enough to hide, meaning its good enough to take the time to find!

Sorry Ladies- You snooze you lose.

Now of course it would be mind numbingly long to inspect each item in the entire store.

So to speed up the process- learn to keep a keen eye.

If you don’t think you could spot that shining diamond in the rough.

Practice.

Go though your closet; take the time to really take a look.

Feel the material, notice the stitching, and how it falls off the hanger.

Once you know what you are looking for- it will stand out amongst the cotton oversized tee-shirts at the thrift store.

The trick is to scan the racks.

—-

Once you find something. Be sure to look it over.

Inspect for imperfections, tears, missing buttons, broken zippers, stains…yes I said it.

Some things people donate, maybe should have been donated to the garbage bin.

I once found a pair of bebe high-waisted shorts with the security tag still on it.

like really?

You know what- I bought them.

Doesn’t mean I’m a thief right.?!

I just went home and researched how to disassemble a magnetic security tag without ruining the item of clothing.

You really can find anything on youtube.

The point of this story?

Some items can be fixed.

Sure it may be missing a button…

but you can go out choose your own buttons and create a completely unique piece to your own design!

Also little fixes like stitching, and re-zippering all are very budget friendly.

….

But some things sometimes cannot be fixed- like fit.

I don’t know how many times I’ve found a great pair of heels only to be tragically disappointed when THIS  Cinderella wasn’t so lucky.

But that’s the game of thrifting.

You may be the ugly sister for one charming item…but then you look twelve o’clock and find the shoe that fits.

Did you love that labored metaphor? haha

….

Lastly I’ve leave you with some of my recent thrifted outfits.

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Can you spot the thrifted items?

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The Garden Home Tour Dress in Pink

Modcloth and Baby T’s Fashion Diaries 

So I am completely flattered to be asked to participate in Modcloth’s uniquely you campaign.

The first article of clothing they have asked me to style in my individual taste is their: “The Garden Home Tour Dress in Pink”

Garden Home Tour Dress in Pink

This dress is absolutely stunning!

The cut is absolutely perfect for my body type: a high-waisted dress with a sweet-heart neckline!

And florals are very trendy this spring,

Although I can appreciate the beauty of this dress…

I am not particularly a flowery-pink-girly girl… I am up for the challenge to make this dress my own.

I am going to darken it up a bit!

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retro vintage sweater

Modcloth Vintage Crochet Cadigan

This Crochet Cardigan keeps the spring look but definitely darkens the look for me. But I do not want to lose my waist so I added a belt.

Modcloth Vintage Feather Belt

Modcloth Vintage Feather Belt

The feather ties in nicely with the crochet cardigan, and the teal ties in nicely with the colours of the floral dress. The colour isn’t matchy-matchy with the dress, but they do “go together.”

I was beyond happy when I found these rings that have the deep teal colour of the belt and the white and red from the dress… helping me bring everything together.

Modcloth Trifecta Ring Set

Modcloth Trifecta Ring Set

I also like the edgy contemporary style of the rings that contrasts with the old-style of the dress.

Lastly I choose a dark red heel that compliments both the dress and the dark accessories I added.

Modcloth Fine Dining Heel in Rouge

Modcloth Fine Dining Heel in Rouge

I picked this style of heel to give the dress a more contemporary feel.

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I did a lot of mixing with this styling:

Mixing: flowerly-pink-girly with dark-crochet-feathers.

Mixing: the old vintage style dress with the contemporary heel and rings.

But I used the colour pallet to help tie everything together.

Garden Home Tour Dress in Pink

I know some of my readers would love to wear this dress.

You can get this dress and  accessories that would go perfectly while representing what this dress stands for at:

 www.modcloth.com

My styling has really changed the look of this dress…almost making the flowers ironic.

But the Modcloth campaign is called Uniquely You.

And this is how i would wear and style this dress!

I hope you can appreciate the changes I’ve made to the over all character of the look.

Let me know what you think! 🙂

To find other amazing dresses from Modcloth check out their website below:

Shop Modcloth Dresses

 

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Thrift Finds : Month of May

 

 

This Saturday was a pretty good day for thrifting. I found a lot of cute items for $50.

Well it is just after “spring cleaning” so people are cleaning out their closets…while I’m adding to mine! haha

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1. Jones New York purse in great condition

2. Aldo black heels – I also found a pair of just fab booties that unfortunately weren’t in my size.

3. Polka dot top

4. Necklace…the photo does not do it justice. It is a very cute, shiny, costume , pearly-chocker.

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5. Urban Behaviour Hounds tooth dress in great condition

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6. Blue Reitmans blazer

7. Dynamite tee …in a peachy orange colour i had to have.

8. Polka dot skirt

… All three make a pretty cute outfit!

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9. Four scarves …it may not be scarf season but I will thank myself later for not leaving these cute items behind

10. I love this style of painting. So I just had to have that cute yet dark picture, which seems to go very well with the colour of the scarves i picked up coincidentally.

That is my 10 Month of May Thrift Finds.

Stay Tuned for “How to: Thrift”

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You Should Thrift.

After my last post I realized most of my outfit was thrifted items. Neat!

But …I actually used to be a thrifting snob. But one day I figured out it that it is great for shopping on a budget. A guilt free way to subdue a shopping craving. You can walk in with under $50 dollars and walk out with bags full.

Have you ever considered thrifting? Cause you should!

Check out some of my thrifted outfits:

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After one of my first trips to “Goodwill” – I came back with such a haul that i could make a couple outfits with them.

And there they are!

Thrifted items: Sheer blouse, flare skirt, peak toe heels, striped button shirt, black purse, and fitted skirt.

Not too shabby eh?!

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This outfit has two of my favourite thrifted pieces:You have an adorable checkered sweater, with this royal blue hounds tooth skirt.

LOVE!

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When you enter the business world, you feel the need to have a business wardrobe. Well a budget friendly way to get one is to check out your local thrift store.

This outfit has two thrifted items: the finely checkered pant, and the bold blue top.

Not only can you find some great outfits through thrifting but you can also find some great statement pieces!

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This gold and black purse is thrifted. When i found it, my jaw literally dropped. It was beautiful and i clutched at it while i continued to shop. No one was taking this beautiful baby from me.

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This wool skirt is one of my favourite pieces in my wardrobe, and it was thrifted!

I hate hanging up skirts and dresses for the winter, but this wool skirt keeps me fashionably warm even in a skirt through the coldest winters.

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Lastly this pink scarf and leather jacket are thrifted items. And they are some of my “most-worn” items in my wardrobe.

I love leather jackets, and this thrifted one is my warmest and therefore worn a great deal.

And this scarf is so pretty it always adds a lot to any outfit i pair it with.

There are treasures hiding in thrift stores. All you got to do is find them!

Stay tuned soon for a “how to: thrift” post.

I’ve been told by my local thrift store cashier that: “I always find the best items! Every time she looks, she never finds anything”

Well I’ll pass my secrets on to you!

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Investment-Suspenders

When I think of the two words…investment, and suspenders. Visuals of the investment banker in his power suit comes to mind.

SentryInvestments

Power. Intelligence. Confidence.

After a long Hiatus…the suspenders have made a come back in men’s fashion. But my favourite development is men’s fashion being adapted to women’s fashion. Suspender’s don’t need to be adapted as much because they are pretty unisex in nature anyways. But we have taken them as an option for women’s fashion as well! They are perfect for women’s work fashion as they portray power, intelligence, and confidence. They also give a big kick of personality with the nod to the past.

My Suspender Looks:

[Details: call it spring cross scarf, hot topic suspenders, H&M green three-quarter length top, R&W black pant, and Jessica Simpson black heels from Sears collection]

[Details: call it spring cross scarf, hot topic suspenders, H&M green three-quarter length top, R&W black pant, and Jessica Simpson black heels from Sears collection]

I personally mixed the past with present in this work outfit. The suspenders are a nod to the past, but the cross scarf is definitely very trendy today. This is a great look for fall fashion. The scarf and suspender accessories are much more appropriate than the dainty necklaces of summer.

The above look is very unisex; I can see a fashionable man also wearing an adaption of this same outfit. But suspenders don’t always create a unisex look.

[Details: H&M purple three-quartered top and black pencil skirt, and call it spring cross scarf]

[Details: H&M purple three-quartered top and black pencil skirt, hot topic suspenders, and call it spring cross scarf]

With only two minor changes, the outfit no longer looks unisex. The same scarf, same  suspenders, paired with a “girly” colour and a pencil skirt creates a much more feminine look. You ladies could ramp up the femininity even more with a soft hairstyle or sock bun. But I opted to go the edgy route with a braided slick back hairstyle. Go big or big home, right?!

Miss Victoria Beckham’s feminine suspender look

Suspenders-02

I mean you don’t get more feminine and posh than that right?! There is just something about an all white suit that just works for women, they look incredibly chic. But when men do it, it can almost look comical… maybe because of the Miama Vice affiliation.

I had to give props to one of the style queens for this sexy suspender look.

Suspenders as an Investment

When I bought my first suspenders seen above from Hot Topic, they were only 7 dollars. I always wanted to try incorporating suspenders into my wardrobe and at 7 dollars a pop, how can you go wrong?! Unfortunately… you definitely can! I loved the addition that this piece added to my closet, but I was definitely disappointed with the construction. The clasps were flimsy and could not stand up to the task:  with just one unexpected large movement in the day I would have to double check to see if one of my suspender clasps came undone. Nobody wants a wardrobe malfunction.  So it seems suspenders are an investment piece.

Only buy suspenders that are made from good material. Test it out before-hand. Move the clasps around…do they seem stable, strong, and up to the task? Is it a single clasp or double-up clasp? (Double-up suspenders have two clasps on each suspender side to add strength) Don’t forget to try the adjustable pieces, you will have to adjust the length of the suspenders when you get home to your fit. When you adjust these pieces, do they re-seal and stay put …or does adjusting them break the seal and the pieces have lost their integrity?

With Suspenders you definitely buy what you pay for!

But…

Don’t worry your suspenders won’t be forever placed in the side of your closet assigned for your work clothes only. If you are going to invest in buying a good pair of suspenders, you want to be able to incorporate them into your weekend wear as well. So ideas for suspender weekend outfits are:

1. Wearing them Lose

Having the suspenders lose at your sides creates a casual feeling perfect for weekend wear.

suspenders

Here you can see Selena Gomez, an upcoming little fashionista, sporting a dress pant with lose suspenders and crop top.  I absolutely adore this look. It is not sexy in the same way that Victoria Beckham’s look was…but the crop top creates a playful sexy that feels youthful.

2. You can also pair your suspenders with shorts during the weekend.

weekend suspenders

This outfit is very simple. I mean it is a pair of shorts with a basic white tee. But the addition of the suspenders to the shorts steps up the cute factor immensely. You either need details in an outfit or a statement piece, and suspenders can be that statement piece for you. It will take a very basic outfit to a new level.

Stepping it up a notch

Lastly I want to leave you with an outfit I am coveting over.

work suspenders

I love this look for work. The stripped tee under the open blouse is great styling. I mean Stripes and suspenders?…perfect! Although I am still on a mission to find the perfect suspenders to add to my wardrobe again. I couldn’t wait to imitate this look.

[details: an H&M look with nine west heels]

[details: an H&M look with nine west heels]

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Don’t let good style go to waste

When I entered the business world, I felt the need to solemnly surrender to a life in boring buttons up, suit pants, blazers and vests. These pieces didn’t inspire a feeling of femininity, personality, or fun at all. Looking back now, I see that it was me alone that lacked in inspiration. These pieces when fitted and styled properly can be incredibly chic. The vest in particular has been tragically overlooked; it is a great addition to any woman’s wardrobe. Let me tell you why.

[Details: H&M vest and skinnys, with an Aeropostale striped button up, and Jessica Simpson from Sears black pointed heels]

[Details: H&M vest and skinnys, with an Aeropostale striped button up, and Jessica Simpson- Sears black pointed heels]

  

Fit

     Just one disclaimer. If you are large chested, the classic vest may not be for you. The girls may look like they are trying desperately to break free from suppression. But for us ladies who were not blessed with such endowments, a vest can give great shape to the bust while cinching in at the waist. Everyone wants that hour-glass figure, and the vest can give you that!

Professionalism

Well lets face it, we cannot wear our weekend attire to the office. Professionals have to depict a good first impression. This doesn’t mean we have to go out and buy a bunch of pant suits. But we do have to present the image of success in our field of employment. This is where the vest comes in handy. It adds a sense of professionalism to any outfit. Even though it has been around way before my generation, it still feels like a fresh-young look.

[Details: H&M vest, button-up, and pant, with target bag, and nine west heels]

[Details: H&M vest, button-up, and pant, with target bag, and nine west heels]

Accessible

You can find well-made vests in virtually all popular Canadian Fashion shops; it is a staple that will always sell. The vests that I personally own are from H&M, Dynamite, and Bebe. But for the more adventurous fashionistas I have a secret to share: Every vest I own is thrifted! Because the vest is so overlooked, there is a wide assortment of abandoned barely worn vests in vintage shops. Give your wallet a break and step out of those pricey work attire shops. Instead keep a keen eye out in the shops you already love, or give the vintage shops a try. I know you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

Versatility

The vest isn’t just an investment for your work wardrobe; it can transition easily into your weekend wear. It adds a lot of personality to your outfits. If you are looking for a bit of quirk, fun, or funk; the vest is for you. Take a look at a vest outfit that I paired with some converses.

[Details: H&M pant, and button-up, Bebe vest, and a pair of converses from target]

[Details: H&M pant, and button-up, Bebe vest, and a pair of converses from target]

If you do not want to go the classic fit route. You can choose a trendy version of the vest. A popular trend these days is the wrap. This option is also better for you large-chested babes out there. Although the little black dress in the below picture is a bit short for work; the idea still holds true. Throwing a wrap vest over an outfit creates an effortless chic look that can hold its own in the professional world.

wrap vest

So…Don’t let good style go to waste!

Join me in the movement to save the vest from the thrifted piles of abandonment. Take a second look. Try adding a high-waisted belt, a statement necklace, or a fun top underneath. Exercise those style muscles! You can find more vest inspiration on my instagram @babyt_fashiondiaries. I would love to see your vest inspired looks; tag #dailygrindlook for a possible feature.

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