Gilding the Lily or Jewelry Makes the Outfit Shine!

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Some of my favourite thrifted and gifted necklaces come from a variety of eras and sources. Many I have restrung or restyled to fit me.  I like quirky vintage inspired jewelry the best and am always on the hunt for the next great piece

imageMy coral and red crystal necklaces.

Pearls from my Grandmothers and mom.image

imageMy black necklaces.

Gold metal necklaces.image

imageGreen necklaces from beads from my daughters.

Austrian crystals and chunky clear beads.image

These are just some of my shorter necklaces, I have so much jewelry it is a possible hoarding issue and if I didn’t enjoy it so much I might need some therapy to help with this problem. I think that the  best pieces are those that show a little or a lot of wear because then I can imagine a previous owner wearing and loving them for many years.  And then passing them on for me to have the great pleasure of finding or receiving to continue to enjoy.  I love wearing the gifted necklaces because I feel that my grandmothers, my mother and my daughters are closer to me when I wear them.  What are your favourite gifted or thrifted jewelry pieces?

Cheers, Michele

You can dress a girl up, but can you take her anywhere?

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These are some of my favourite thrifted dresses that I have altered or refashioned.  All cost around $16 or less and I love them all, especially my newest addition; the red and blue stripped late 60s to early 70s crimpelene one.

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These are totally my style of dress.  I find them to be an amazing wardrobe staple because all you need are shoes and some accessories like a great necklace and a handbag and you are ready to get out of the house in style.  What are your favourite items in your closet?  Would love to see and hear about them.

What is my style? Does my wardrobe “fit” me? (Be prepared for rambling)

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What is my style?  This is a difficult question as a person’s style is constantly evolving from day to day, week to week, season to season, and year to year.  What we are wearing now we might not be caught dead in down the road.

But the thing I think everyone should always consider is the “fit” of an item of clothing.  And by this I mean, not just the physical fit, how it flatters and accentuates those things we like about our bodies, or disguises things we don’t but, how it “fits” us.  Does it “fit” In our life style; what we need our clothes to do for us in our work and off time; but most importantly does it feel like it is “us”!  Do the clothes make you happy, do you put them on and instantly feel comfortable, like they were made for you, fuss free and comfortable.

Do you pick something out of your closet and then find yourself putting it back with a “Nah, not today” on more than one occasion?  Do the clothes malinger in your closet or wardrobe no matter how much we think we like the colour or fit or style?   Do they sit there reproachfully as they are items with a past that are being held on to for the memories they evoke. Then these clothes don’t “fit”.  The memories of experiences had while wearing these clothes; will remain in our hearts and minds long after these particular items are gone.  Also items given to us as gifts or hand me downs can carry emotional baggage if they are not truly “fitting” for you or your life style.  Let go of your wardrobe “baggage” and you will be much freer, both emotionally and in closet space.

Now these might seem to be hypocritical ideas from a self-confessed clothing hoarder, but I am trying hard to practise what I am learning.  I am trying to cull my wardrobe down to pieces that make me happy, that “fit” me.  This is a hard but rewarding process.  I have been watching You Tube videos and reading about the capsule wardrobe phenomenon that seems to big right now; and although I will never (by choice) refuse my wardrobe to a capsule of interchangeable parts, I am inspired by the theory if not the practice.   It is about the clothing items fitting your needs and having only pieces you love.  I am working through the “Twelve step” program right now, but am only up to admitting I have a problem .  (This is meant humourously of course).

As a person who has every thrift store in my city preprogrammed into my GPS so that if I am out somewhere and have a bit of time, I can pop into the closest thrift store to feed my addiction.  But I need to be in control of the addiction and not let it control me.  I need to remember that no matter how inexpensive a piece is, if I don’t love it and wear it, it has no use value so it costs me more in in disorganization and wasted closet space than it originally cost me, a hard lesson to remember.  A work in progress, for sure!

So though I admit I have a problem with a thrifting addiction, I am trying to be more practical and objective about my purchases even if I am ‘occasionally’ suckered in by an unusual unique piece.  Variety is the spice of life after all! Thank you for reading through my ramblings and let me know what “fits” you best about your wardrobe.  I would love to see or hear about your favourite go to pieces and why they “fit” you.  Cheers and happy hunting!

The Natural Evolutionary Laws of Thrifting

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There are certain laws of thrifting as far I am concerned and they have served me well in the never ending, sometimes frustrating and fruitless, but ever fascinating hunt for great finds.  I will list them off in random order:

  • Be open minded, some of the best finds are in the most unlikely places and when you least expect it.  Try to ignore the dirt and funny smells in the stores, the clothing and items can always be cleaned.
  • Wear light comfy clothing you can try items over, as often on sale days there are no available change rooms.
  • Wear a cross the body bag or carry things you need in your pockets, so travel light.
  • Have a wish list of items that are the “Holy Grail” items I.e. The perfect leather jacket or high waisted trousers, but never turn down an opportunity to scour the shelves and racks for other items if you have time.
  • Be willing to take a chance on new, ” outside your comfort zone” items, the price is right and you may be surprised at what works.
  • Learn your stores; their hours and return policies.  It you take something home and it doesn’t work after all, if the tag is still on, you may be able to return it for cash, store credit or exchange it for other great finds.
  • Get to know the staff and always be unfailingly polite as if you are a ‘frequent flier’ like me at my favourite stores, the staff get to know your taste and will either hold things for you or point out new items on the racks that are your taste.
  • Chat with other shoppers, you meet terrific people and can share stories of great finds, get tips on the best stores and make new thrifting friends.  I met a terrific lady today who has a blog called Twice Bought, you should check it out, it is amazing.
  • Try not to be rushed, you will not enjoy yourself.
  • See the potential in the cut or fabric, things can always be altered it you have the time and means to do so.
  • Finally, have fun,

Cheers, Michele

Like-minded thrifters. (Obsessive thrifters?) Maybe!

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Everyone needs to be inspired, even when it comes to the things we love to do the most, like thrifting and refashioning for me.  Some of my favourite Internet blogger and YouTube thrifters are:

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Vintage Vixen : a day without dressing up is a day wasted.  This gal has the most amazing and unabashed style, I just love her.  She is my absolute favourite blogger, hands down!

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ThriftshopgirlKT :  She has the best eye for finding amazing finds and styling them, I would love to raid her closet, she is amazing.  I look forward to her videos and make a shout of delight when I see her notices in my inbox of a new video.  Check her out on you tube.

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Thrifters Anonymous:  I have been watching these two friends thrift and style their finds for a while now. Their love of thrifting, finding that amazing find and the fun they have together is infectious.  Also on you tube.

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Refashionista :  this lady can take some of the most startling: okay let’s be honest here, sometimes hideous thrift finds and turn them into something fun, stylish and wearable.  She is my second favourite blogger.

I do have others I love, but these are enough for now, check them out!

Hello world, here’s the song that I’m singing!

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I guess by quoting that song I am really showing my age, but who didn’t love the Partridge Family?  So here it is, my first blog post.  I don’t know where it will take me, but Hopefully it will connect with other like-minded thrifters and refashioners who love the thrill of the hunt, the joy in great new finds and the delight in making the old or drab or discarded pieces come to life and be loved again.  Here’s to old things made new, ( and yes, I was also referring to me, as at 51, I am fabulously vintage myself)!  Cheers