Browse Tag: shoes

Boot Lust

14615851_970463813083424_4587667630100396654_oAny clothing lover like myself gets beyond excited when they come across a great pair of boots. Recently I have stumbled into three pairs of amazing boots, unique in their own way. Now in the summer I caved and spent considerable money on new Fly Londons, which are great and all but very heavy on my feet and unfortunately don’t allow me to stand the 9 hours I need to without feeling sore. I think that’s just the reality of retail, no one shoe can be comfortable for that long.

I accepted two pairs of worn boots for consignment last week because they were my size, normally they’d be too worn to sell but considering they’d be coming home with me and I will love them regardless! One pair is a brand called MAG which is not really known in Kingston, that has really unique footwear. We’ve had this brand at the store before and it hasn’t really caught on, but this particular pair I thought was really unique and had the laces I require to fit my muscular calves.

14691311_971299892999816_6497213829281078253_oAlthough my tiny feet require several insoles and thick socks to pull them off comfortably, I feel like these bad boys could be a nice addition to my fall wardrobe. The other pair were dark plum coloured Fly London boots which I took home as they were in need of major love. Seeing as I had spent serious cash on the shoe version months prior I thought it’d be worth it to give these taller boots a good home. There is some serious distressing going on around the toe and ankle areas (the previous owner was rough on her boots!) but I thought maybe one day I’d find a polish to touch them up. I also couldn’t get them done up at the back, so I opened them up down the seam and inserted black elastic so they would fit over my calves. Surprisingly it worked out quite well! I will need to find new laces as the ones they came with are too small based on the size I had to expand to.

The third pair of boots I found recently were at Value Village, where lately everything is priced at $15.99 for no apparent reason… these western ankle boots by Lucky Brand however are worth considerably more. I honestly didn’t expect them to be comfortable but they really are.

 

 

Smart Thrifting

JANUARY8-THRIFTLOVECHALLENGEToday we are experiencing the worst parts of a Canadian winter, ice followed by snow, strong winds and a plummeting temperature of -22. For no particular reason I decided today would be the first trip I make to the local Value Village. I became one of those shoppers that I deem “crazy” for going out in such horrendous driving conditions. In my own defence, it is on my route home from work!

With the challenge idea in mind I began to practice the art of window shopping, simply walking up and down aisles not really searching just being in the moment. It was soothing just to let my eyes enjoy the array of colour, texture and pattern. The items in their home decor section were particularly interesting and plentiful today due to it being after the holidays. I’m sure much like myself, many people took their time off to clean the closets and purge to start a new year fresh. All the strange and wonderful things made it a rather exciting trip.

I spent most of my time in the footwear department as its one of the hardest things to thrift. I did find plenty of shoes and boots that fit surprisingly but trying on footwear at the end of a long day with sore feet isn’t exactly ideal. I found a pair of lace up shoes by Forever 21 that I just couldn’t leave behind as they were exactly what I had hoped to find for months!

1. Shoes Forever 21 $10
2. Slippers $3
3. Scarf SportyGirl $5
Total: $20

Redesigning Your Shoes

ACo FlatsI’ve talked about the wonders of redesigning your footwear a number of times but I have revisited it quite a bit lately for two reasons:

1. The store doesn’t sell my size in the colour or style I want.
2. I realize after the fact that my toe nails dig into the end of the shoe.

Most people would be afraid to attempt such a feat, but I however, love a challenge!

Ardene is currently having an 80% sale storewide so I took the opportunity to see what they had in regards to my beloved flats. Yes not the most comfortable in regards to standing all day long without support, but they seem to be the only shoes I can wear. After perusing the nearest store, I found only 3 pairs of size 6 in the entire store. If I hear a woman with larger (8, 9, 10) sized feet come into work and complain about there “never being any shoes in my size” I will flip my lid!


Redesigned Shoes I managed to find blah beige flats that would be great for painting. As you can see with this work in progress shot, it sure isn’t hard to paint a pair of simple flats! These are a very cool gradient from white to mint blue! I have prepped a second pair from stone to white and still have one more pair that I haven’t decided what to do with. Perhaps maybe pink?


American Eagle Navy Flats My second issue with footwear is the fact that my toenails point upwards, at least on my big toes. This you’ll find, digs a hole into the top of the shoe! Even if I have them filed down it still seems to happen, its just the nature of my feet. This latest pair of navy blue flats I thought were too adorable to pass up, and at the time fit quite well.

Unfortunately when I got home and wore them around with a potential outfit, I noticed my toes were starting to pinch in the usual area. So taking inspiration from another pair I had altered, I grabbed the scissors and created a new pair of peep toes!

ALDO Cyphers Tassel Flats

Who could leave these behind?! In a brief stop in to donate some items, I caught a glimpse of a rich dark turquoise pair of flats with an adorable gold buckle and tassle detail! These bad boys were in mint condition and only $5! I looked them up online and their actual title is “ALDO Cyphers Tassel Ballet Flats” and run in the vicinity of $80 new! Talk about a great find!

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Wednesday Thrifting!

For me there is no better way to unwind and relax after work than sifting through racks at a thrift store. Fortunately for me the Value Village is on my route home! Tonight I stopped in and whisked lightly through my favourite sections: dresses, blouses, skirts and shoes. I managed to find some super cute prints in my rummaging at pretty decent prices – especially at 30% off with my full stamp card!

I had great success in finding a pair of brand new fleshtone/nude pumps from Aldo in my size. I typically wear flats all day at work, which by the end of the day offer no heel support what-so-ever. The first thing I thought when I slipped my foot in was: “My gosh, these are actually more comfortable than the flats I’m wearing!”

Max LondonWhite lace skirt

1. Sheer bird print blouse by Max London
2. White lace skirt by Streetwear Society

H&M SkirtStreetwear Society

3. Navy blue bow print skirt by H&M
4. Deep coral poka dot waterfall skirt by Streetwear Society.

Aldo Pumps

5. Nude pumps by Aldo

Stripes, Sequins and Gold!

Gold Stripes and Sequins As mentioned in my previous post about my thrifting adventure this week, I discovered this super fabulous tank by Bebe for $7.99 at Value Village in mint condition. Beautifully soft and flowy with two tone gold mini sequins in stripes around the whole thing. One of my pet peeves is companies making a design only on one side of a top or dress. I’m talking something really obvious too such as sequins, it looks really strange to see a top full of sparkle on the front and flat matte on the back. Just seems really lazy to me and unprofessional!

It occurred to me today that I am lacking a white cardigan to go with outfits like this. I have had several in the past, but as we all know, white doesn’t last. The cost of smelling good? Damaged, soiled underarms… boo! The lifespan of white thrift cardigans is extremely short sadly, but luckily the cost makes it worth while to simply buy another one when that sad day comes. In lieu of my non-existent white cardigan I pulled out the khaki blazer as it seemed like a softer choice than my black leather jacket.

I’d like to take this opportunity to point out the fact that this blazer does not do up. Too often do I hear women fussing over jackets, cardigans and blazers because of the zipper or the buttons. The standard response to these customers is: “When are you going to wear it done up?” To which they always respond: “Well it needs to be able to do up!” Honestly, when have I ever worn a cardigan or blazer done up? It’s usually the top underneath it thats most exciting so I like it to show but have my arms covered! That’s its purpose… for me anyway.

Because its go gold or go home, I pumped up the sparkle with my custom designed “military ball” necklace, bracelet and earring set which I altered a second time about 6 months ago into this very long, luxurious piece of jewellery. I even paired the ensemble with the white flats that tore up my poor toes the other day for no good reason! All in all not a bad casual setup for the office!


As mentioned in my previous post about my thrifting adventure this week, I discovered this super fabulous tank by Bebe for $7.99 at Value Village in mint condition. Beautifully soft and flowy with two tone gold mini sequins in stripes around the whole thing. One of my pet peeves is companies making a design only on one side of a top or dress. I’m talking something really obvious too such as sequins, it looks really strange to see a top full of sparkle on the front and flat matte on the back. Just seems really lazy to me and unprofessional!

It occurred to me today that I am lacking a white cardigan to go with outfits like this. I have had several in the past, but as we all know, white doesn’t last. The cost of smelling good? Damaged, soiled underarms… boo! The lifespan of white thrift cardigans is extremely short sadly, but luckily the cost makes it worth while to simply buy another one when that sad day comes. In lieu of my non-existent white cardigan I pulled out the khaki blazer as it seemed like a softer choice than my black leather jacket.

I’d like to take this opportunity to point out the fact that this blazer does not do up. Too often do I hear women fussing over jackets, cardigans and blazers because of the zipper or the buttons. The standard response to these customers is: “When are you going to wear it done up?” To which they always respond: “Well it needs to be able to do up!” Honestly, when have I ever worn a cardigan or blazer done up? It’s usually the top underneath it thats most exciting so I like it to show but have my arms covered! That’s its purpose… for me anyway.

Because its go gold or go home, I pumped up the sparkle with my custom designed “military ball” necklace, bracelet and earring set which I altered a second time about 6 months ago into this very long, luxurious piece of jewellery. I even paired the ensemble with the white flats that tore up my poor toes the other day for no good reason! All in all not a bad casual setup for the office!

Giving Your Shoes a Facelift!

It can be pretty expensive at times even when you thrift, to keep up with the latest styles and trends. Some days we even find ourselves caving and rushing to the mall and spending a fortune because at that particular moment – you HAD to have them! Honestly I do not recall an instance where I was thrilled with my decision to do this – and nine times out of ten the item sits in the closet because I found something better thrifting several months later.

Painted Shoes Painted Shoes

One thing that I have always found interesting about friends is their shoe collections. Not to mention the widely acknowledged joke about women with far too many shoes. Because of my uncommon tiny foot size, fat-less ankle and high instep, finding a size 5.5 shoe that doesn’t look like grandma’s is a very difficult feat. Lately I have noticed my feet shrinking even more, combined with the wear and stretching ability of thrift footwear.

Painted Shoes Painted Shoes


Two years ago I was invited to a military ball. As you may or may not know, these are very formal events usually requiring an expensive gown of some sort. You know me, to Value Village I went! Lucked out with the dress but the footwear was impossible as always. I found myself going to Spring and dishing out a pile of money for gold sequin wedges – quite simply because the sparkle pumps I was hoping for I couldn’t walk in! I am a dancer so I need something I can dance all night in. Wouldn’t you know it, the guys wanted to leave the ball before the dancing even started!

It was a pointless purchase as cool as they were, I never wore them again… until one day I decided I wanted a pair of nude/fleshtone shoes to wear with my dresses. When I go out on weekends I like to have some height so I typically wear either a medium heel or my J.Lo wedges which always grab attention due to their huge size. Believe it or not, they are the most comfortable bar shoes I have ever owned.

I got out the paints and decided to attack these sequined beasts in hopes of improving them. I was never going to wear gold sequins, the outfits one could wear are just too limited to justify owning such a pair of shoes. So I mixed paint over and over to achieve my skintone in acrylic paint. It was certainly going to have a textured effect which was just fine with me. I gave them a good two coats, even changing the colour a second time so it was more accurate.

After the two coats I did a light sealer of clear gloss medium in hopes of giving it a more finished look. Honestly that step should be repeated as it was a very thin coat. But I wore them out that weekend and they went over really well! They didn’t stand out and by extension, made my legs look longer.

The topic of painting shoes came up at the office one day last month, as to whether there were techniques and methods of doing it successfully. I didn’t really have any answers just my basic acrylic application – so I decided to do a little research! I found three great articles that are very interesting for making your footwear more exciting!

Repurpose, Redesign, Restyle!

Last night I decided because it was such a nice afternoon (thank you Daylight Savings!) that I would go thrifting before heading home. Normally I avoid Value Village at all costs on Tuesdays as its seniors day… I’m still waiting for a 20 something’s day… hasn’t happened yet. Anywho I went anyway luckily all the seniors were at Humpty’s for dinner and the place was quite vacant.

At first I was just looking for the usual list – but as always I got side tracked thinking about Amanda’s request for thrift styling and decided to paw through the dresses looking for something in her vintage/Audrey Hepburn style. A few pieces looked decent, but never in the right size! I did find one that I think is going to be perfect – not to mention reversible! Hopefully she will delightfully surprised when it arrives!

RRR RRR

I snagged three things for myself on this adventure: A white and gold sequin top by Bebe; wild print dress by Kismet and finally a broken necklace that was packed full of my favourite colour green wood beads. What you’re seeing today is two hours of restringing work thanks to yours truly. But! I now have a set of six elastic bracelets and a super long (outrageously awesome if the truth be told) necklace with many strands. I only dropped entire strands of beads in my lap twice!

The dress I picked out yesterday is tagged as a 13-14, if you read yesterday’s post it’ll save me a good chunk of time explaining my beef with sizing in general. There was no way a size 14 woman is going to fit into this – at the store they would use the old staple: “What’s this for? My arm?” I’ve never enjoyed people insulting clothing because its not their size – would it not be enough to simply say something to the effect of “Shucks, I wish this was my size!” The end. Instead from here it goes on to them looking at me saying “It’d fit you, must be nice to be so tiny you’d look good in anything.”

Green Necklace

As much as I’m sure that’s supposed to be a compliment from your perspective its actually a snarky, not to mention inappropriate remark. What was it Thumper’s mom taught us? Oh yes I remember: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Translated into the new english language: “Don’t say nothin’ at all.” Forgive me I just couldn’t help myself! Bottom line is ladies: it’s an insult – don’t say it!

Back to the outfit and all social stereotypes aside, this size “13/14” dress just needed to have two inches taken off the straps to be a perfect fit. Not tight anywhere, no bulges hanging out in unwanted ways – a very flattering piece in the end! Truth be told I was not about to stitch the straps correctly at 6:30am this morning so I simply made a loop at the front and tied a knot, which conveniently fell quite nicely behind the top of the dress. No sewing required!

Over top I chose my seagreen ¾ sleeve cardigan, paired with my new “restylized” bracelets and necklace, my beloved green flats and a mini belt in a similar green. I’m very matchy-matchy today in a fun kind of way. My coworkers mentioned the green trend today as two other women had green as well but a different shade and style of course!

My Style

Lately I have been trying to put a label on the wardrobes of those around me and deciding what their “style” would be. It occurred to me I don’t have a name for mine or taken the time to even sit down to think about my closet in such a way. I’ve never been one to divide my closet and colour palette based on the season or the weather outside. I love my dresses, I’ll wear them in hot sunshine or in blistering winter winds. The difference is typically the footwear and how many layers an outfit requires.

With spring teasing us with its 15 degree sunny afternoons one day, snow flurries the next and nights of minus ten degrees – I find layering the best choice. Cardigans are a staple, as are dark denim jeans. I have both straight leg, boot cut and skinny styles depending on my mood or how the top fits. I still think yoga jeans with no zipper or button are the most ingenious invention!

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Half Price Day!

Thrift FindsI was super stoked to find out that Value Village was offering a pre-sale on Sunday for card holders instead of waiting for Monday’s public 50% off sale. I ended up parking illegally alongside several others as they still have not removed the mounds of ice and snow from weeks ago when it was actually winter in Medicine Hat. So a few parking spots were not available for use and their parking lot is way too small for the amount of shoppers!

I wasn’t there that long, I simply weaved through the areas I was most interested in such as the footwear, furniture, home decor and this time bedding. I only have one set of sheets for this new bed so I wanted to find some additional soft sheets as a backup so I could do laundry! I managed to find two of the fabric I was looking for (that stretchy soft tshirt fabric!) which ended up being about $6 for the two. Score!

Thrift Finds

In the shoe section I scored two pairs of super sweet low heel/wedge black shoes! Will post pics of those soon! Only $6 for two pairs of shoes… can’t beat that, especially in my size!

On the way to this Value Village adventure I realized my wallet was disintegrating, a not so surprising result with buying already heavily used wallets via thrift – but I got a good 6 months or so out of this one. I picked out a really neat robin’s egg blue wallet, flat with nice shape for only $3.99 – so I paid less than $2! I realized when I got home it was genuine leather too! Alongside this wallet I snagged a brand new Lug travel purse in bright orange for only $9.99! I only paid $5!

I picked up two dresses I had been eye-balling for a while as they were less than $5 by the end, and one top that I thought was super cute!