10.20.2014

Thrifting For & With Kids [20/31]


Kids are hard on clothes. For that reason, it's a pretty easy choice for us to stock our kiddos' closets with gently used clothing. You'd be surprised at the brands you'll come across in the kids clothing section, too. The last time I checked, I found the likes of Baby Gap, Crewcuts, Mini Boden & United Colors of Benetton at our local Goodwill.

I'm gonna let you in on a little secret here, but I'm actually not that picky about buying kids clothes with minor stains on them. If it's a decent brand and not too terrible a blemish, nobody is going to know if it happened that day or not, am I right?

Other than that, many of the same guidelines I've shared throughout this series apply to thrifting for kids. Whether you are searching for vintage items or newer name-brands, keep the neighborhoods in mind when selecting shops to patronize (see Thrifting Geographically).

As much as I love the vintage clothes & toys, I have scaled way back on purchasing them since the reality of kids being hard on things has set in. Unless you are decorating or dressing for a special occasion, those pieces are more likely to collect dust than get used. Obviously, vintage isn't so easy to replace.

Here are a few more items I would not recommend purchasing secondhand for children:

• Cribs/ Carseats / Pack n' Plays - Recalls are being issued so frequently that it is not worth the risk of buying something for less that may be a hazard to your child.

• Mattresses - Including the risk of bed bugs, mattresses have also been subjected to all the bodily fluids one could possibly secrete.

• Stuffed Animals - Like mattresses, these furry friends are a hotbed for germs.


My little champs...I just want to laugh every time I see this pic of Sterling stuffing his face... 

I have also been asked how I make it work to bring my kids along when thrifting. Well, it's as crazy as you would imagine it to be. I wouldn't exactly recommend it either. But if I must, I try to keep them occupied by filling the cart with books or Barbies for Ruby. Also, snacks!! But don't forget the antibacterial hand soap!

My general advice though? Leave them at home with Daddy or Grandma;)

I am linking up with The Nester every day in October for #write31days. 
You can find a list of all 31 posts as they are published by clicking here.

10.19.2014

Thrifty Print [19/21]


Happy Sunday! Hope you are enjoying this beautiful day by doing something you love...maybe thrifting?

This week, I'll talk about thrifting for kids & feature some home decor projects, including a DIY from yours truly! We're more than halfway through this series now and have touched on a lot of topics...is there anything else that you would like to see me feature? I appreciate the feedback!

[Image via Always With Honor.]


I am linking up with The Nester every day in October for #write31days. 
You can find a list of all 31 posts as they are published by clicking here

10.18.2014

My Fave Finds: The Modern Yellow Desk [18/31]



One of the cardinal rules of thrifting is: Go often. If I have time to kill or am in a certain area, I like to pop into certain thrift stores, even if it is for a few minutes. 

This gem wasn't even off the palette from being rolled out of the back room when I spotted it across the shop. It was like a scene out of a movie. A stunning, yet slightly flawed, hunk of industrial desk-ness just beckoning me to take it home. Erin, for only $12, I can be yours...Deal.


Sure, it has a few dings, but it has gorgeously filled the void in my entry way that I've struggled to employ. The Nester likes to says, "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful", and I've really been trying to adopt that sentiment in regards to decorating my house.

The little stool, that I have been using as a chair, was also a thrift find. Together, they're like a match made in secondhand heaven.

I am linking up with The Nester every day in October for #write31days. 
You can find a list of all 31 posts as they are published by clicking here

10.17.2014

THRIFTFIX: Nicole S. [17/31]


This is my sweet sis-in-law, Nicole. She wrote a post on her experiences as a stay-at-home-mom for my 31 days series last year, so it only seemed fitting that she would do a Thriftfix for this year's challenge!

The post-baby year can be an awkward time to be fashionable. The old clothes don't fit like they used to and you also don't want to invest in new items not knowing if your family (and waistline) will be expanding again in the near future. Trust me, I know. That is why thrift is the way to go:)


For Nicole's "fix", I took to her Pinterest board for inspiration. Nicole's style is very feminine, so naturally, there were lots of dresses, pretty prints, and frilly things. She also gravitates towards earth tones, mustard yellows, and sea-foam greens. Basically, all the colors she likes to decorate with! 

Despite doing our shopping at a Minneapolis Goodwill I had never been to, this "fix" turned out to be a fairly easy one. I was a little put off by the prices, but that can be expected in larger cities. Nicole still walked away with some great deals!


THE WINNERS:

Left: J.Crew green cardigan. Though Nicole didn't purchase the navy, polka-dot East 5th brand shirt underneath (weird scrunching at the bottom of it), we both agreed this was a fun look!

Middle: Girls from Savoy (Anthropologie) mustard yellow dress. Nicole had actually passed this one while it was on the rack, but I encouraged her to go for it since it was in line with her Pinterest board. And she loved it! She did skip on the white Merona cardigan though, probably because she already had something similar.

Right: J.Crew blouse, Gap cardigan, Gilly Hicks skinny jeans. We weren't sold on the cardigan, but this is the first pair of skinny, skinny jeans she has purchased, and don't they look great on her?!


THE LOSERS:

Left: Old Navy sweater. We were looking for comfy, house tops, but eh. It's just Old Navy.

Middle: Ann Taylor LOFT dress. It's hard to tell from the photo, but this dress was greenish and blueish and had some interesting stitching on it. Nicole was on the fence, but ultimately felt like this would be one to just hang in her closet and not get much wear. Fair enough.

Right: Merona top. See Old Navy sweater comments (above).


PLEASANT SURPRISES:

Left: Coral, bird print dress from Pink Owl Apparel. This is a total departure from Nicole's look, but I couldn't resist.

Right: Pin-strip & frill Cotton Candy brand dress. Super cute and totally flattering on Nicole.

She didn't end up buying either one of these dresses (as cute as they were on her), but she did leave with 2 dresses, 2 cardigans, 2 tops, a pair of jeans, and a belt. Grand total: $49.64! Nice job, Nicole!!

I am linking up with The Nester every day in October for #write31days. 
You can find a list of all 31 posts as they are published by clicking here

10.16.2014

Guest Post: Men's Thrifting Tips [16/31]

Today's guest post comes from my ultra stylish & thrifty husband, Wayde. I feel super lucky to have a partner who shares my love of thrifting. It's actually one of our favorite date night activities! Because of his stellar sartorial sense, I thought he would be a good one to contribute to this series!


Who are some of your style inspirations?
It's hard to name names. I have a lot of stylish friends who have unknowingly influenced me in how I dress. There are a small handful of style blogs that I visit on a daily basis, Broke and Bespoke and The Sartorialist being two of my favorites.

Is there anything you to do prepare yourself for a thrifting expedition?
Not really. I generally have a pretty good idea of what I am looking for in the back of my mind. I guess I could say one of my favorite pre-thrift rituals is grabbing tacos with my wife.

What are some of your favorite pieces to hunt for at thrift stores?
Shoes and ties for sure. I almost always hit the ties first. I think there is less competition with ties, so it's not uncommon to find a really cool piece. Now only if I had more excuses to wear a tie! I think shoes can be some of the best value, especially when you find a pair of full grain leather, Goodyear welted Allen Edmonds oxfords for $3, when they sell for $200 plus new.


Do you have any personal guidelines in regards to buying something that is an imperfect fit?
I hate it, but I am almost always making compromises to some degree in the fit. I think fit is one of the most important aspects of men's style, so the trick is to cover up a pieces shortcomings and show off it's strengths. For example, a couple weeks ago I bought a vintage plaid button down that fit perfectly in the body, but the sleeves are an inch or so too short, so I roll them up. I have a couple shirts that are a little billowy in the body, but have great collars or sleeve length, so I wear them under a sweater or sport coat.

What has been your best thrifting find ever?
My pair of J Crew x Red Wing Heritage work boots. I found them at a thrift store in Maryland, and they looked like they had never been worn. That was right about the time I decided I wanted a nice pair of boots, so the timing was perfect.

What kind of advice do you have for guys that want to start thrifting?
Go with a female with good taste in men's style (I have my wife for that). Not only is she great to bounce things off of, but you would be surprised how many men's sweaters are hiding away on the woman's racks. I have probably scored at least 3 or 4 nice sweaters in the past few months that she originally found in the woman's section. Also, when buying button down shirts, pay extra attention to the collar. The collar can make or break a shirt.

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I am linking up with The Nester every day in October for #write31days. 
You can find a list of all 31 posts as they are published by clicking here

10.15.2014

Fashionably Thrifty DIY's [15/31]

Here's a roundup of some of my favorite fashion DIY's you can try with some of your thrifted pieces! Just an FYI (any more acronyms I can use here?), not all of these links have instructions, but they seem easy enough to eyeball:) Happy Making!!





I am linking up with The Nester every day in October for #write31days. 
You can find a list of all 31 posts as they are published by clicking here

10.14.2014

Too Good to be True? [14/31]


One thing I have learned the hard way is that thrifted items are oftentimes imperfect. I especially try to inspect a piece if it looks newer or is a nicer quality brand. Always ask yourself, "Why would somebody get rid of this garment?"

Some of the things I try to search for in my clothing skims include (but are not limited to): Broken zippers, frays, make-up stains, moth holes, missing buttons, pit stains, & snags.

I also like to check the cleaning instructions on the tags before committing. Many items I come across are 'Dry Clean Only', so you will need to make the call if that is something worth signing up for.

Not all is lost if you do come across something with a flaw, but be realistic about the modifications you can make. Here some mending & cleaning tips that might come in handy!

• Freezing clothes to combat bedbugs - We ALWAYS throw our thrifted clothes in the freezer until we're able to wash them
Removing yellow armpit stains - This really does work! At least it did for me:)
How to fix a hole in a sweater with thread
How to De-Pill Your Clothing - I tend to avoid purchasing clothes that have a tendency to pill, but good to know anyway!
3 ways to wash a dry clean only garment
• How to get the musty smell out of your thrifted treasures

I am linking up with The Nester every day in October for #write31days. 
You can find a list of all 31 posts as they are published by clicking here

[Images via 1, 2, 3]

10.13.2014

Thrifting Geographically [13/31]


One of the most common questions I get asked about thrifting is, "Where do you thrift?" As luck plays a huge factor in the hunt, it also depends on what you are looking for.

The older I get, the less I gravitate towards "funkier" finds. Though I do succumb to the old, ironic tee every once in awhile. For clothing, I search for brands that are made of nicer materials and a bit higher quality. Consistently, I find those items in suburban areas and (not coincidentally) within close proximity to a mall. You are not as likely to find a cute, vintage cocktail dress in one of those places. It's not impossible, just not as likely.

For friends in search of vintage items, I recommend avoiding shops in dense, urban areas. Not only are you going to find a heavily picked over selection, but oftentimes the price will be marked up because of it's age. Thrift stores in more established neighborhoods have been home to some of my most unique finds. Going on a Monday or Tuesday is also a good because the shops will be freshly stocked with estate & garage sale drop-offs.

I've also had GREAT luck (emphasis on great) hitting secondhand stores in small towns. Driving an hour or two outside of the city limits has almost always paid off for me, plus it makes for a fun day trip. You'll be surprised at kinds of pieces you can find at some of the lowest prices. The ThriftBuddy App has come in super handy for these types of excursions.

Always remember, keep realistic expectations. You never know what you're going to find in any thrift store, but this is the compass from which I do my shopping.

I am linking up with The Nester every day in October for #write31days. 
You can find a list of all 31 posts as they are published by clicking here

[Image via StudioKMO.]

10.12.2014

Thrifty Print [12/31]


Happy Sunday! #Write31Days thrifting posts will resume tomorrow. This week, we'll look at thrifting geographically, knowing if it's too good to be true, getting a male's thrifting perspective, & more!

I am linking up with The Nester every day in October for #write31days. 
You can find a list of all 31 posts as they are published by clicking here

[Image via Pop Pop Portraits.]

10.11.2014

My Fave Finds: The Retro Shell Chair [11/31]


This week's favorite find comes to you from the Salvation Army. For ten freakin' dollars. I was lucky enough to be shopping with my friend, Megan, that day. (If you get a chance, be sure to check out her blog–her design skills are ON POINT.)

Anyway, she was the one that originally spotted this chair (and it's twin). Since we were both living in teeny apartments at the time, we divided the set between us.



Reupholstering that seat has been on my to-do list since bringing this Eames-inspired gal home. Obvs is very high on the to-do list, as we have lived in 3 different residences since then, but whatever. I still adore it.

Megan - If you're reading this, Shelly's sister will always have a home with us if she is no longer welcome in yours. 

I am linking up with The Nester every day in October for #write31days. 
You can find a list of all 31 posts as they are published by clicking here
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