#NoShopSeptember

noshopseptember “Although I have been practicing being very brutal with myself, thinking over items for considerable time before making a decision: Will I wear this? Is it worth the price? Will it go with what I already own? How unique is it? Asking ourselves questions like this any time we are shopping is a great way to make your budget that much easier.”

I snatch up that passage from a reflection on last year’s #NoShopSeptember. I am already trying to keep up every month with my thrift challenge but there are two months of the year that drive me mental every year: September and October. Its quite simple really, the only thrift store I go to is Value Village, mainly because the others are not open when I am available to shop. Now Value Village switches to offering new product during this period for Halloween and it completely takes over the store.

For someone that enjoys discovering treasures, its more frustrating than anything to be sorting through sparkly skulls and cheap garbage in search of those unique finds. Last year I tried to not go thrifting at all for the entire month of September, this included purchasing items at the Store which is next to impossible when you see every item come in through the door! However, I stand by my usual rules and do my best to decide if its really “me” or if it can stay behind for someone else to discover.

Unlike other “No Shop” challenges, mine basically has no need for a listing of rules as I do not subscribe to store mailing lists (to be tempted by sales days) and I don’t feel setting a maximum budget for each month really applies when you are trying to not shop at all! Here’s hoping I have some success!!

Neon Pink

hotpinkblackscarf I think I say this every day, but this colour is my new favourite! In fact, anything neon, much like my latest purse thrift! Although my skin tone is not exactly natural (thank you bronzer!) anything fluorescent or neon really pops against it. I received a ton of compliments on this outfit because of its bold colour.

To all the women that feel you need to go dark in the winter, I give you this outfit! I expect all year long I will be promoting thrilling colour and bold statement pieces. Why go dark when you can go bright?!

Last week I picked up this neon knit top by Gap at the Store, which I had just brought with me in case I was cold – but it ended up being a great addition to this outfit! Underneath it all is a half price white blouse by Banana Republic (from Value Village’s half price sale this month) and a simple black pencil skirt. This super fun scarf was also in my bag of goodies from the half price sale, only $2!

 

New Colour Palette

purpledressrwandco I have always liked purple, but I find it eludes me. If ever I’m shopping I admire the rich violets but more often than not they have a stain or a rip that prevents me from buying it. This RW&Co dress was consigned at the Store last week and I instantly fell in love with the colour and style.

Both formal and casual, easy to wear and only required a small adjustment. Just a quick stitch in the waist to wear to work, but later will need proper adjusting to make it hang correctly. Could this be the start of a new palette for my wardrobe?!

Thrift Life

I have done a lot of reading in the past year about finances, budget lifestyle and ways women have reshaped their spending habits. I find myself disheartened at each one because of the way most regard being thrifty. Some call it being cheap, others being financially savvy. Maybe I am money conscious, or perhaps a more political stance of not wanting to encourage the overpricing of goods or the supporting of businesses with inhumane practices.

The most recent article I came across on Facebook was that of Ayssa Barrette, “7 Eye Opening Lessons I Learned From Buying Nothing New For 200 Days” as posted on Collective Evolution. Knowing her background in environmental sustainability I can understand her points made in her article, however I can’t help but feel dissatisfied. Continue Reading

Haute in August

hauteaugust2 Now you know me, I am not really big on doing what everyone else is doing, however, every now and again pigs do fly. I noticed on Instagram there were a few girls across the States that were sporting black and white stripes with army green (or khaki green as I call it!) Quickly I learned that it was a trend for the week of August 10th sporting this green colour. Wish I still had my favourite khakis I had thrifted many moons ago that I destroyed quite accidentally on my journey back from out west. They would have perfectly rocked this trend!

hauteaugust1 So here it is, my attempt at the army vest trend! Snatched up this Dressbarn number at Value Village on their half price day, a basic striped t-shirt by American Dream and Gap shorts. Nothing too fancy but a really unique and fun way to style these pieces.

Thank you to whoever came up with this very cool combination!

I Heart Coral!

coralfloralskirt One of my new favourite outfits that is just so easy and beautiful… months in the making! Who knew it would be so challenging to find the right shade of coral meets sherbert or orange with a hint of peach… Whatever colour you choose to call it, it was a challenge to find the right style top to work with the high waisted elastic of the skirt.

The skirt was a few sizes too large, and I wasn’t about to wear elastic on my hips, so I altered it by taking it in about 2 inches at the waistband so it would sit nicely on my waist. The look is finished by tucking in the blouse and adding a thick belt. I think what is most fun about this look is the blend of statement jewellery including this adjustable fashion ring (made up of a ton of little hearts!) and necklace.

The Dress Obsession

peachdress In my expert opinion: “Ain’t nothing wrong with that!” Dresses are such a great wardrobe staple for me, when they fit great, they are easy and comfortable. Not only that they are always fun to style up with accessories!

Let me tell you about two new favourite dresses, one snatched up for under $10 at Value Village – no label mixed into the long sleeved tops… the other a consigned dress by Gentle Fawn. Believe it or not I made absolutely no alterations to the peach dress! I was as surprised as you are. It’s one of my favourite colours this season and goes perfectly with all the jewellery I own.

gentlefawndress The printed dress by Gentle Fawn has the most beautiful print, everything that is me – not to mention a beautiful scallop detail along the bottom! When I saw it I had to have it. The only alteration required was my usual inch or so up in the shoulder straps! The necklace I’m wearing with both dresses was thrifted from Value Village for $4 (as a set) with the intent to take it apart. It was such a great style I decided to keep it!

Affordable Jewellery

jewelleryebay I know my claim to fame is thrift and all things second hand, but on the rare occasion, sometimes finding a bargain can be found in “real” stores, or in this case online. I am above all else bound by a budgeted lifestyle.

I go a few months forgetting all about the wonders of eBay. It can be wonderful and deadly at the same time. If you are looking for bright statement jewellery for a fraction of the retail price you might as well go direct to the source and skip the middle man. When using eBay, you can set your search parametres so that you can’t accidentally agree to pay a price you are not comfortable with.

My search criteria is strictly based on price and free shipping. I absolutely will not pay for shipping (there are thousands of sellers overseas that offer free shipping to Canada) as Canadian shipping is completely outrageous. You’ll know what I mean if you’ve ever tried to ship something here or order from a Canadian retailer. My maximum price range is anywhere from $3 to $5. To be safe I set it at $4 usually and click my free shipping.

The next thing I do is change the sort feature to show me only items ending soon as I for one, want to know my odds of winning an auction. Yes you can “Buy It Now” but a lot of times you can get it cheaper if you chance it on an auction. I don’t necessarily win them all as a neat necklace might start at .99 cents but climb to $8. To me that isn’t worth it. I put my maximum bid at whatever I feel it is worth and am willing to pay.

Now looking at this image I had posted on Instagram, I asked my followers what piece they thought was most expensive and least expensive. There is a bangle in there that is 925 silver stamped… but believe it or not the most expensive piece was the silver rhinestone bracelet for $5 and the black triangle necklace for .99 cents. The rest were roughly between $1.50 and $3.

Fabulous New Bag

neonpurse I tried out a new trend yesterday and I would like to proudly say I rocked it! Although the outfit itself is a combination I’ve never tried before, the new neon bag I snatched up at Value Village really seals the deal on this one! I’ve officially decided this is my favourite colour of the month!

It really makes this whole monochromatic look pop. I saw on Instagram recently women sporting shorts with their blazers – so I thought it was worth a try. The main reason for wearing it was quite simply, the AC in the store is way too cold for me! I’ve said it a hundred times but blazers are awesome, especially this simply tailored RW&Co 3/4 sleeve one. I also have it in a dark sage green!

blackwhitebracelets I also wanted to comment on my jewellery for this outfit. It worked so perfectly with the outfit, a fun blend of sparkle and attitude! As part of my adventure in eBay shopping, these two pieces were among my favourites from the latest shipment.

Try Something New!

emeraldgreenwithlace Once week I have a goal for myself to re-inspire, if that’s even a word, to mix and match different items in my wardrobe. I often find pieces that I really like but can’t seem to find anything to match. The same story I hear every day from women I meet: “Its pretty but what do I wear with it??”

Women all over the world are exploring the exciting side of fashion, mixing prints and patterns, florals with stripes, poka dots with houndstooth… As much as I’d like to say “go nuts!” I myself, am reserved in this trend. I still get stuck in having the same tones, more matchy-matchy at times than these die-hard fashionistas. I saw an advertisement for a local boutique and the mish-mash of fabrics hurt my eyes, honestly it would give me anxiety to combine two wild prints in the same outfit!

Now this lace skirt was consigned at the Store a few weeks ago. No label just a unique style and a perfect fit. I had no idea what I would wear with it at the time, so for a solid week it hung there on my rack. It tormented me. Finally I sat down and looked at all the tops I had in my closet and then turned my attention to all the tank tops I had piled up on a multi-hook hanger. This rich emerald green (or Christmas green as they say) struck me instantly. I knew I had a bold necklace with a variety of greens mixed together, it just might work!

And this you see, is the final outfit. Not at all what I would normally wear, but with the same accents and finesse that I seek to incorporate into my outfits. Sometimes all you need is a thick belt and a high waist to make a look come together!

Turquoise Fever

turquoiseblouse For as long as I can remember I have been in love with turquoise. What more can I say, its simply a beautiful vibrant colour. My coworkers are never surprised when I walk in wearing something new in this colour, usually full of wild prints and layered accessories. Naturally I have a lot of jewellery that is the same palette, both light and dark tones as well as matching sandals.

turquoisesws My recent favourite pieces in this eye-popping shade, is a simple dress by Streetwear Society (I was surprised too!) and this lovely sleeveless blouse. Both are super easy to style up when you all have all these matching accessories to play with!