It’s a Thrifting Miracle!

I’ve read about people finding designer duds hanging alongside Faded Glory apparel in thrift stores, but I never shop with the expectation of finding anything grand.  If I spot a skirt or top from J. Crew or Banana Republic that’s in excellent shape, I consider it a fantastic find.  Today I went to Salvation Army for 50% off apparel Wednesdays, and found a true diamond in the rough!

I was browsing a rack of blouses, hunting for 100% silk, when I turned around to a sparsely stocked jacket rack.  A pinstriped blazer instantly caught my eye.  It looked to be just my size and very well made.  After quickly trying it on and finding that it indeed was my size and felt very study, I took at look at the tag and found “Paul Smith (made in Italy).”  I’d never heard of Paul Smith before, because I don’t have the time or money to keep up with designers, but I was curious enough to Google him to find out how much his stuff sells for regularly.  Turns out his current line of women’s blazers range from $650 – $935.  Holy cow!  I snapped this baby up for only 5 bucks!

I can't wait to get it cleaned and wear it!

 It may not look like much on the hanger, but it looks quite nice on a person (i.e. me).  I would model it for y’all, but I’m not picture ready this afternoon.  But I promise to post an outfit that includes this jacket once it’s nice and clean and pressed.

That’s the big find, but I also nabbed another silk shirt (a solid color and much closer to my actual size this time) and another nice blazer from Banana Republic from the Salvation Army, which came to a total of $11.31.  Can you believe that!?  Half-off Wednesday rocks!

I was pretty sure my thrifting karma tank was completely empty, but I decided to go browse around Goodwill simply because I had time to kill.  I walked out with two sweaters (New York and Co. & J. Crew), which looked like they’d never been worn, and a really cute dress that was originally from Target.  All for $16.94, bringing my total haul to the low, low price of $28.25!

Cute animal print dress from Target. It probably cost $24.99 originally.

So, that was my thrifting adventure for the week!  I have no idea when I’ll have the free time to do this again, but I’d say the shopping monster is satiated for the time being.  I’m looking forward to posting outfit pics more often to show off my thrift finds!

What’s the shiniest diamond you’ve found in the rough?

Thrifty Chic!

This outfit (excluding shoes) is completely thrifted!  I’ve been disappointed with thrift shopping in the past, but my desire to spruce up my wardrobe for next to nothing sparked a renewed interest in the treasure hunt that is thrift store shopping.  I have to be in a very specific mood to browse through jam packed racks of closet rejects, but with a little spare time, a lot of patience, and low expectations, thrifting can be really fun!

It all started last month when I took a random Wednesday off from work.  I had plenty of time on my hands and decided it was the perfect occasion to stop by a couple thrift shops that I’d heard great things about.  It was wonderful to leisurely pick through the merchandise sans the weekend crowd.

After my 30 for 30 Remix in July, I gave myself a $100 clothing budget for the month of August and was interested to see how far I could stretch it.  First I hit up The Lucky Exchange, a second-hand/vintage boutique in Ormewood Park.  I’d been meaning to check this place out for a while, and they just so happened to have a Scoutmob deal (woot!), so a quick peek was a no-brainer.  From there I ventured to Avondale Estates, a neighborhood just east of Decatur, to visit Finders Keepers, a second hand consignment shop.

I thoroughly enjoyed my shopping experience at both shops, which are well curated and organized to resemble regular boutiques, but with drastically lower prices.  That afternoon I purchased an adorable vintage dress from The Lucky Exchange, a J. Crew sweater, Tulle blouse, and a long sleeved tee shirt from the Gap (with tags still intact) from Finder’s Keepers, all for under $40!

I patted myself on the back and was on my way home when I passed a Salvation Army store.  Riding high on the finds I scored at the “nicer” thrift shops, I was willing to do a little digging in more suspect territory.  I’m so glad that I did!  Not only did I learn that all clothing is 50% off at Salvation Army on Wednesdays, but I ended up buying my very first 100% silk shirt for only $2.13!

Silk blouse: $2.13 Skirt: $4.50 Necklace: FREE (clothing swap)

I’ve never owned a silk blouse and that’s a pity, because they are awesome; silk feels absolutely sublime and is very figure flattering!  I’ve been intimidated by the hefty price tag that silk is accompanied by in regular stores, but various fashion bloggers have proven that silk can be affordable – cheap, even!  You just have to be willing to look, and pay a few bucks for dry cleaning.

I went into the Salvation Army store with only one objective: to find silk.  This required touching pretty much every article on the blouse rack and checking a lot of tags.  I was elated to find 100% silk on the tag of this blouse… and instantly deflated when I saw that it was a size 12 and from Casual Corner.  Still, I took it off the rack and continued on.  When the remainder of my search came up empty, I decided to try the blouse on just for kicks.  Initially, it looked like I’d put on a silk tent, but a few rolls of the sleeves and a tuck into my jeans and it didn’t look so bad.  I’d have preferred to find a solid color, but the pattern didn’t hurt my eyes too much.  For $2.13 I was willing to give it a new home in my closet.  Worst case scenario, it would find it’s way into my next donation pile.

I found the black Ann Taylor skirt that I’m wearing here at Goodwill last week.  I also scored a button down blouse from J.Crew and a pair of skinny black cords, a button down shirt, and a long sleeved tee (with tags still on) from The Gap.  All for a whooping $26!

Like I said, I have to be in the right mood to thrift shop, but my recent success has me looking forward to my next thrifting excursion!  My little stay-cation next week will afford me a lot of time to go on the hunt if I fancy.

Are you a fan of thrifting or does the ick factor outweigh the bargain possibilities?  Have you found any treasure lately?

A Clothing Swap Success Story

I have to admit, I wasn’t exactly sure how the clothing/accessories swap I hosted this past Monday night would turn out.  I had visions of everyone leaving empty handed, feeling as if they’d wasted an evening, and having to lamely remind everyone to look on the bright side – “hey, at least your closet is cleaned out!”  When I looked at my contributions, which consisted of things that I had zero desire to wear anymore, I couldn’t help but wonder who in the world would want to take any of it home?  Or would I find anything from another person’s reject pile to get excited about?  My worries were quickly put to rest.  Just take a look at what 13 stylish ladies brought to the table (and sofa, and arm chair, and floor…) Monday night:

Believe it or not, more things were brought into the mix after I snapped these pictures, but I was too busy “shopping” to capture them.  Needless to say, I scored tons of things I am ecstatic to add to my wardrobe: a purse, a pair of slacks, 3 dresses, 2 quarter sleeved length jackets, 2 scarves, several tops, several bangles, and 2 necklaces!  All for $FREE.99! (!!!)  A clothing swap is a frugalista’s dream, I tell you!

As the girls arrived and laid out their items I noticed several people eyeing a lot of the same things, and I started to kick myself for not coming up with any elaborate rules for swap decorum.  I’d read on another blog about a system that involved price level tokens to exchange for like-priced items, but that had confusion written all over it.  The idea of a “walk off” was suggested – the group would get to vote on who the item looked best on if 2+ ladies were vying for the same thing – but I figured we’d just put everything in a pile and have a free for all.  It worked out swimmingly, as there were plenty of fantastic finds to go around.  We didn’t have even a single “walk off”!  (though that would have been kind of fun…)

If you aren’t completely sold on the wonders of the clothing swap concept, check out my top 5 reasons why you should consider hosting or attending one.

#1: It’s an opportunity to gather your different groups of girlfriends.   I teamed up with a friend to host our little event. We both invited people from our respective groups of friends, and then a few of them brought along a friend – the more the merrier!  I really enjoyed meeting new people, including Cath and Lar of Asian Cajuns!  We finally met in person at the swap after messaging back and forth through our blogs.  You need to check out their blog if you haven’t already!

#2: It’s an inexpensive girl’s night.  I brought a bottle of wine that I had hanging around the house and about $15 bucks worth of snacks from Trader Joes. Everyone brought a little somethin’ somethin’ and it turned out to be a nice spread.  Oh, and of course there’s all the FREE swag…

#3: You can explore a trend without buyers remorse.  Case in point, two girls tried on rompers and left with them in their possession.  They may not have taken them to the cash register had they been in a store, but if it fits, multiple girls tell you it looks cute on you and you don’t have to pay anything, why not take it home?  If you find that you never actually wear it, there is no guilt in taking it to Goodwill once and for all.

#4: It’s motivation to get your closet organized.  I was prepared to focus on this aspect if the swapping had turned out to be a dud, but luckily it was just another perk.  One of the ladies volunteered ahead of time to take everything left over to donate to a charity she is involved in, so nothing went back home to sit in the deep recesses of the closet for another year.

#5: It’s nice to see your clothes go to a new home.  Just because you don’t want something in your closet anymore doesn’t mean you want it to end up in a landfill.  This swap proved to me that one woman’s donation bag is truly another woman’s treasure trove.  I was genuinely happy that this dress I bought 2 years ago (and never wore) found a more appreciative home!

She even found matching shoes at the swap - total outfit score!

I’m excited to play around with my new-to-me-items and see how they fit in with my wardrobe.  Stay tuned for outfit posts!

Clothing Swap Sneak Peek!

With my 30 for 30 Remix complete and a move on the horizon (more on that later), now is the perfect time to give the ol’ closet a good cleaning.  A lot of the clothes and accessories that I simply never wear anymore are in good condition and deserve a more appreciative home.  But instead of immediately hauling my two overflowing bags of threads to Goodwill, a friend and I are hosting a clothing & accessories swap next week!  I’m just about finished gathering my contributions, and here’s a sneak peek of the goods:

There's a couple dresses, skirts, pants, tons of tops and a few accessories (not pictured)

Have you ever heard of or been to a clothing swap?  They’re apparently all the rage these days with the economy being in a slump and all.  It’s basically a “girl’s night in” on crack; there will be wine, food, chit chat and completely guilt free “shopping”!  The idea is for everyone to walk away with some “new” items to add to their wardrobe without having to spend a penny.  Everything left over will be donated, which means more space in the closet.  Bi-winning!

What they say about one woman’s trash donation bag being another woman’s treasure is true.   I can’t wait to see what all of the stylish ladies attending are willing to trade!

If you’re local and want to join in on the fun, leave your email address in the comments section and I’ll send you the information!

Pinterest

Is it Monday already?  I hope y’all had a lovely weekend!  I’ve had a tough time mustering up the motivation to be productive, and I suppose a certain trip to Cancun looming on the horizon has contributed to my “checked out” state of mind.  I know, I know… I’m not on vacation yet, but it’s pretty much all I can think about!  Well, I should rephrase: it’s all I’m choosing to think about.  See, I have a ton of personal goals swirling around in my head, and I feel a bit overwhelmed.  There are so many things that I want to accomplish, and I want to accomplish them NOW.  Things like finally organizing my closet, forming (and sticking to) a reasonable budget, perfecting certain recipes, figuring out what I want to do with my life and taking the steps to, you know, actually do it.

Barry Dixon Roseann Chair

I’ve found myself aimlessly surfing the internet a lot this past week and stumbling upon a ton of inspiration.   Finding all of these wonderful ideas and resources on the interwebs is great and all, but it has the potential to become another source of stress; there’s just so much information available it makes my head spin!  Luckily, a friend introduced me to this thing called Pinterest.  Have you heard of this, or use it already?  Simply stated, “it’s a place to catalog the things you love,” a virtual inspiration board with a social aspect.  You can “follow” your friends and see what they’re pinning, or browse random people’s collections and see where it

Saw this on my friend's inspiration board, and "repinned" it. Love it!

leads you.  For me, it’s been really helpful tool to keep track of all the sites I’m discovering.  Also, after pinning a dozen or so items on my “style board,” I’ve noticed a running theme in the things I’m attracted to right now.  This will be helpful when I’m ready to do some redecorating, or need to update my wardrobe.  And it helps with my budget goal; window shopping online and pinning my favorites keeps my shopping appetite (somewhat) satiated.

I should probably lay off of the web surfing all together and tackle some small goals before I abandon all responsibility on Thursday around 6:01 pm.  I think a little vaca will do wonders for my focus.  In the meantime, I’ll be pinning!  You can check it out for yourself at http://www.pinterest.com.

I Like Pretty Things.

I’m kind of obsessed with The Beehive.  I cannot believe I had not discovered this treasure trove until this past Saturday when I attended their 1 year anniversary party.  I love that all of the merchandise is designed by local artists!  Check out some of my faves:

I actually discovered Jessica Swift on Etsy a couple of years ago and own two of her quirky, colorful prints.  She has really grown her brand since the last time I shopped her online store, now offering coasters, notebooks, jewelry and more.  I’m a complete sucker for pretty paper products, so I’m sure her notebooks will work their way into my collection.

I’m not a huge belt buckle kind of gal, but these beauties could convert me!  I do have a pair of cowboy boots, after all. Can you tell that I’m attracted to colorful, feminine patterns?  For more on Princess & Butch, click here!

I am looking forward to springing for a pair of June Shin’s dainty earrings!  Not that they are exorbitantly expensive or anything, I’m just on a spending diet for now.  Notice the second piece is a necklace featuring Jessica Swift’s artwork… WANT!

You can mosey on over to these ladies’ etsy stores or personal websites to lust over more of their products, or swing by The Beehive.  I’m definitely not against online shopping, but I still prefer the old-fashioned shopping experience… being able to see and handle merchandise before I shell out the moo-la.  Just another reason why I’m happy The Beehive exists.

The Beehive

Earlier in the week I posted my top 5 picks for this weekend, and things just keep popping up!  The newest addition to my “must do” list: attend The Beehive’s 1 year anniversary party on Saturday night.

The Beehive is a boutique collective comprised of goods created by local designers, located in the Edgewood shopping center.  I’ve been meaning to check this place out for some time, and now I have the perfect excuse!  From 6-9 pm on Saturday, April 16th they will celebrate with food catered from Taqueria del Sol, adult beverages, and a whopping 25% off purchases!

Of course, there is currently a 50% off Scoutmob deal for the boutique, which I’m hoping I’ll be able to use during the event.  If not, I’ll at least get to see if there is anything I must come back to use my scoutmob for!  Plus, I’m a big fan of supporting small business and local designers, so there’s a good chance this incentive to get my foot in the door will keep me coming back.

I’ll be sure to share my thoughts after visiting this weekend, which is finally almost here!  Happy Thursday, y’all!

Workin’ for the Weekend!

It’s only Tuesday, but I’m already super pumped about all of the fun happenings taking place in Atlanta this weekend!  I don’t have my agenda mapped out yet, but it is always nice to have a ton of  great options.  Here are a few of my top picks for the weekend of April 15 – 17:

Dogwood Festival at Piedmont Park

I always enjoy strolling through the artist market, watching the Regional Disc Dog Competition, stuffing my face with festival food and people watching in the park. There are also several stages for music and dance performances!  The festival starts on Friday at noon and ends Sunday evening, so this event will surely make it onto my schedule at some point.

SweetWater 420 Fest at Candler Park

The weather should be just right for a little beer drinkin’ this weekend at the SweetWater 420 fest.  There’s a great line up of bands, a cask-ale tasting, artist market and the new Relaps 420 comedy tent set up at Candler Park. It’s a smaller festival than Dogwood, and it attracts a different crowd, so I’ll likely hit up both!

Yacht Rock’s Reagan Rock Prom

My smooth rock idols are putting on the 2nd annual 80’s themed “Reagan Rock” prom at Variety Playhouse in L5P this Saturday, April 16th!  I actually never went to prom… not because I was unpopular (I had a boyfriend), but because I just wasn’t into prom back then.  Now that I’ve reached my late 20’s, I think it would be hilariously fun to get decked out in 80’s fashion and awkwardly slow dance with my sweetheart.

Atlanta Braves Game

The Bravos are taking on the NY Mets at home this weekend, and I honestly need to redeem myself for last Friday’s opening game.  I might have tailgated a little too hard, and didn’t even make it through the entire game. Huge fail!  If only I could score more sweet seats…

Shopping at Fab’rik

This activity may not wait until this weekend!  I LOVE Fab’rik.  Don’t know what Fab’rik is?  I almost don’t want to tell you, but I will anyway.  It’s my favorite. boutique. ever!  And today I purchased a $60 gift certificate for only $25 on livingsocial.com!  I’ve been on a spending diet for the last month to save up for an upcoming vacation, so it’s been a while since I’ve had the pleasure to go shopping.  I know I’m going to find the perfect sundress to wear in on my vaca in Cancun!

I know you’re already itching for the weekend, so tell me… what are your plans?  Maybe I’ll see you out at one of the festivals or in line to take pictures at the prom!

Fab Friday at Heliotrope!

Need a unique card or quirky gift?  Maybe a fun pair of earrings or the perfect Johnathan Adler piece to complement your home decor?  Then you should head over to Heliotrope in downtown Decatur tonight!  Every 4th Friday of the month (TODAY) is “Fab Friday,”  which means that from 6-10 pm, the friendly folks at the popular gift/home boutique (it’s a staple on the Best of Atlanta list) offer complementary wine and hor d’oeurves, AND a whopping 20% off everything in the store! If you’ve been waiting for a sale to spring for that Gurgle Pot or Studio Avo giclee that always catches your eye, then tonight is the night.

I’ve worked at this boutique part-time for over 3 years now, and I stick around because it’s such a fun store!  I pretty much work in exchange for merchandise, as my pay checks are inevitably spent on Kobo Candles, earrings, stationary, Bagalini bags… basically any beautiful object I want to add to my surroundings.  I won’t be there tonight, but you can come visit me at Heliotrope Saturday night or Sunday afternoon while I hold things down.  I’m so excited to see all the new merchandise that has been rolling in since our imaginative buyers have returned from the NYC gift show!  Come check it out!