Browse Tag: thrift

Favourite Fall Looks

My favourite season is upon us it seems, after a record breaking week of scorching heat last week the temperature has shifted to 2 in the morning, 18 by the afternoon. In spring we think of it as being almost tropical… but in fall we feel chilled to the bone. This week is no exception, I’ve been frozen at work as the sun doesn’t hit the windows enough to warm the office!

I love the fabrics of autumn, the soft knits, layering styles and of course, skinny jeans with ankle booties! I am actually looking forward to the big summer to autumn transition in my closet, it’ll be a huge job when I decide to bite the bullet and do the flip! For now its still occasionally warm enough for sandals so I’ve left it as is. I do need to start the laundry prep for the new season, scarves and sweaters being the big one. There’s just something about them sitting folded up in a rubbermaid bin for 6 months that gives them a smell that is less than admirable.

Step two, start planning new exciting wardrobe changes! Figuring out what my new style will be for the upcoming season!

Why colour is everything

I was reflecting on an article I read, if you can even call it an article, rather a personality assumption based on your astrology sign. My horoscope likes to portray me as a wild-crazy-spontaneous Sagittarius always going against the grain. In many ways I’d say that’s true. This particular piece of writing suggested I am constantly craving attention, which I thought was amusing as I enjoy my silence and solo adventures.

I mentioned the article to family and some agreed, some disagreed. A few friends thought it could be interpreted a few different ways. Ultimately regardless of astrology I am a person that doesn’t like to blend in, but I’ve never thought of that being for attention. I love bright colours, flashy heels and neon. Most people prefer solid colours, neutrals, no jewellery, basic black footwear. Nothing “too flashy” is a common thing to hear when shopping. No sequins, no beads, no prints, no florals…

Wearing bright colours and prints cheers me right up and I think that’s an easy way for me to feel my best. The moment I put on something dark, whether it be black or navy, perhaps that’s psychological too – my day becomes a struggle and my mood sinks. I’ve worn navy in my Instagram photos and a YouTube video or too and when I look back I frown on it. So many people love that colour palette, and that’s totally fine. I’m a rare species but I don’t mind standing out.

I do not have a fear of people looking at me, thinking I’m unusual. The amount of dates I’ve had where he points out my fashion sense with awe. I don’t claim to be ordinary, or normal or basic. I think there are endless reasons to wear an exciting dress. A hundred excuses why you should wear the sequined dress and no, it’ll never be “too fancy”. Thrift stores, where “formal” dresses go to die. I love looking at them, I’ve even bought a few. Any excuse is good enough for me to wear sequins or neon, or a pair of dazzling heels. We seem to worry about being noticed… if you are dressing for yourself what do you care if you stand out in the crowd?

Today I wore a tight shapely white dress to work with a pair of yellow neon heels and earrings. My friend stated that I blend into the scenery. As much as I can appreciate the sarcasm, I prefer to make a statement then dwindle away in the crowd. So I guess I just answered that, yes I do like the attention. But the statement I’m trying to make is I’m fearless, I wear what I love and I don’t need an excuse.

 

Spring Living Room Flip

Some people call it being a feminist, others being stubborn… it seems when I have an entire day to myself at home I end up flipping furniture around and taking on a task that is far beyond my physical ability. But do I ask for help? Naaaa I want to enjoy the pride in saying I did it all myself. I can take my time, I can move it five times without someone else saying “really? moving it again?!” Its something I do to feel better, to lift my spirits.

I love my hutch but I felt it was getting lost in the wall on the opposite side of the room, basically if I sat on my futon I wouldn’t be able to see it. I am not a big tv watcher, quite frankly I don’t have cable or satellite just a hard drive that I can play some movies on. If I do I am generally doing other tasks while it plays in the background. The view out my living room window is beautiful, especially in Spring with the rushing water flowing down from the mill through the trees. Where my futon was before I could not see this view.

I love my apple green chair that my mom and I reupholstered a few years ago and wanted it to be more predominant in my home. With all the plant life and hints of green here and there I thought it might blend into the colour scheme nicely. Although these are the colours the space are year ’round, in Spring it just feels so much more lush.



Year End Consignment Update

Thrift Spending:

December 1st – $0
December 7th – $0
December 14th – $43
December 21st – $0
December 28th – $11

Total purchases: $54

Total income: $770

Number of items consigned: 34

Consignment Income $770 – Spending $54 = Month End Balance $716

A Year In Review

In 2016 I consigned 1044 items (say what!) and made $9244 return, but I spent $719 on goodies throughout the year. My best sales month was June with $1136 return and my worst month was February with only a $324 return. Holy moly! Every month I get increasingly better with my consignment choices but as you know most of it is just pure luck. You never know if Cinderella will walk into the store and find your items or not.

I feel like I am becoming more and more aware of my style and budget, really deciding if I want the item before I buy. I used to be more free spirited about it and think “Oh I’ll just consign it if I don’t like it”… but then you’ll discover a stain or a rip and you can’t consign it. Its a challenge with every haul there are going to be sacrifices as you can’t always closely examine every square inch of everything you buy.

All in all it was a very successful year for the challenge, I only blew my goal once or twice, ultimately coming under my goal (often by a long shot). In looking at the numbers every month it gives a better idea of the “best case scenario” of using consignment for your unwanted clothing and a little extra money. It also shows you that you can’t be upset with not making a lot on each item, many of the items I sold I got under $5 for. At the store we always say quantity is everything – because it is. You can’t expect a huge dollar value if you have only a handful of items for sale. If you have a lot to get rid of you’ll see a higher number. But then again, its all relative.

Financials Behind Consignment, The Gamble

To explain the numbers when thinking about consignment I’m going to use the information from one of our “shopaholics” who often brings $3,000 worth of brand new items in one session to start my post.

First let’s talk best case scenario, you’ve managed to snag a brand new winter coat by Flash that’s 90% down-filled and super light. The new price tag on it says $475. At a consignment store like the one I manage, arguably they would price it at 1/3 of the retail value. In this case due to the new tags and high value, we price it slightly higher at $200. Assuming this coat sells at regular price, the consignor receives $79.

A more likely item is a heavier fall weight, wool blend coat from RW&Co regular retail about $150-200. We have it priced at $60, it sells the same day, the consignor receives $23.

A pair of used UGG boots, visible water damage on the toe area, regular retail $200 we would normally price around $60 if it was mint, but these are not, so we price them at $40 with an “AS IS” condition note. They sell at $40, the consignor receives $15. Continue Reading

Easy Layering for Scarves & Dresses

I love dresses. I know so many women hate them, refuse to wear them, dread them when a holiday party comes around and find every possible way not to have to wear one. Dresses are a choice. For me dresses are easy, comfortable, flowy or fitted, stretchy or sparkly… Their possibilities are endless and there is always a style that flatters every body shape. Well, except that one woman we tried every single dress in the store and none of them flattered her shape…. aside from that one time haha.

lucianmatisgreenI have found in recent years there is a designer that fits me to perfection, the right combination of ruching and stretch. Lucian Matis. You may not have heard of this brand because the price tag is quite steep for the average Joe, as I love his style, I just can’t afford it. I am a huge fan of the classic feminine styling of Michelle Obama and our own Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, I was doing some research on Lucian Matis and was even more pleased to learn he is a Toronto designer! Yay Toronto!

If you ever come across one of his dresses I would consider it a real find. This white, plum and green watercolour print is everything I could possibly want in an all season dress. Higher neckline, 3/4 sleeve and to the knee. It could be shortened if need be but I kind of like that look lately. I was looking for an edgy outfit to wear to a holiday show I was doing with a more artsy-creative customer base so I paired this beauty with my new thrifted Groundhog boots, mixed print scarf and my own jewellery from OOAK.darkgreendressscarfhat

I can wear his dresses all day and they are most flattering on my figure. The stretch easily covers and shapes my curves and hides any unwanted attention with ruching.

This is my first date look from this past week. I love “dressing up” although to me this is a normal everyday look even to buy groceries! I altered the second of my two skinny dresses, again with 3/4 sleeves, but they were hard to walk in as they come below the knee so the slit in the side opens it right up for me. I wanted to be comfortable yet stylish so I opted for a brown and green toned look with my khaki coloured Fly Londons, dark teal pashmina and matching jewellery.

 

Ottawa Thrift Trip

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I have skipped plenty of Value Village half price weekends this year as sometimes thrifting loses its thrill when the price points start creeping up and I don’t see the value in it. Last weekend I decided to spontaneously treat myself to a morning away (as in a two hour drive) to Ottawa to hit up the Value Village circuit for the Super Saver’s half price day. I like to be there for 10:00am when it opens that way I can get a cart and the clothing isn’t absolutely everywhere as per my second stop an hour later.

ottawa3 By the time I get in there are already women rummaging through every row so I get in line as it were and start the plunge. I thrift to resell far easier than I thrift for myself. I know at this stage of the game what will sell the fastest and what the women in Kingston are looking for. Mainly tops, bright prints and clean lines. I spent $180 in the first location I stopped at, which is over $300 in product, roughly $3 per item! The most expensive item I bought was $20, so I paid $10… I flipped this wonderful item at the store within two days to bring home a $40 profit!

I was hoping to turn a profit on a Kathy van Zeeland bag I found for $6… unfortunately even after examining it I realize the shiny finish was completely peeling away. Can’t imagine how I would have missed it in the store as I comb through everything after discovering these items. Sadly not much you can do but shrug your shoulders and toss it.

I have two favourite finds at the end of this haul: a nameless white lace long sleeved mini dress and a vibrant neon print dress by Sandra Angelozzi. I paid $3 for the white number and wore it the next day, I had not expected it to even remotely fit but my gosh its a beauty!

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The neon print dress the cashier commented on how she loved it but donated it because the top was too gappy on her – it was on me too always is! So in the early hours of the morning before work I took it up in the shoulders as I so often do and it fits like a dream. After wearing it over the course of a regular busy work day I discovered it is not so good for bending!! I checked out the brand online and Sandra Angelozzi dresses range in the upwards of $200 ballpark! Not bad for $6!


How to dress, when you’ve gained weight

kimchibluedressIts not easy to say those words is it? That word “weight” combined in the same sentence as “gain” just doesn’t feel good to say. Not that weight gain is bad or should be frowned upon, it is just ingrained in us, especially as women, that weight gain is negative and therefore fills us with disgust.

I have, for the most part, always been the same size and same average weight – but more and more as my work consumes most of my spare time, I find myself having less and less energy to do any sort of physical activity. Combined of course with the stress of searching for your new home and all the wonderful goodies that come along with buying your first home… I’m sure there’s a few stress pounds in there too.

Regardless of the reasons why we gain, we need to be able to dress regardless of our size. By all means don’t go throwing out all your clothing that suddenly no longer fits. For all you know this could be a fluctuation which happens in women’s bodies. Sometimes I wake up and can’t fit into a pair of shorts, by the afternoon those same shorts are falling down. This could be just me, but my weight shifts over the course of the day. Continue Reading