Archives For fashion

Final Stretch

January 7, 2015 — 33 Comments

Vintage blazer, knitted toque, riding boots // We So Thrifty

Vintage blazer, knitted toque, riding boots // We So Thrifty

Vintage blazer, knitted toque, riding boots // We So Thrifty

Vintage blazer, knitted toque, riding boots // We So Thrifty

Vintage blazer, knitted toque // We So Thrifty

Happy 2015 friends! We’re all but a week into January, and the weather has finally decided to go all “Canada” on us at at last – it is cold and it is terrible. The above photos are not at all indicative of what it presently looks like outside, nor what one needs to wear in order to GO outside (never forget).

Since I’ve now granted all of you your customary blogger weather update, we can talk about the more obvious things on the agenda: I’m havin’ a baby soon!  Relatively speaking, of course. As you can see, the baby is bigger. It’s also incredibly comfortable in its cozy uterine apartment, and will most likely stay a few days passed its eviction notice (January 13). SO FAR, I’m ok with that. There are still things I’d like to get done, and I’m really enjoying this time to squeeze in a few more dinners with friends and daytime errands, etc.

I think they also say this is about the time I’m supposed to enter hyperactive “nesting” mode, which I’m not sure actually exists. Oh, I organized the heck out f my kitchen yesterday, but that’s because I’m usually not home enough to truly look at my kitchen/the general disarray of our abode. It’s not so much “nesting” as it is “you have to live in this mess now so maybe you should clean it you slob?” Also, my iMac is broken, so that too has contributed to my willingness to clean.

Annnyshways, seeing as this could be the last maternity outfit you see, I think it’s actually a fitting summary of what’s got me through these past few months. Nearly everyday for the last 5 months or so, I’ve worn the same H&M stretchy tank dress (which is now a tank top), with either black leggings or stretchy black pants It’s the under armour to all my attire. I hardly wear any of the three “maternity” pieces I bought, so my advice is avoid that overpriced, boring stuff as much as you can. Instead, I’ve managed to have some good luck buying big, buying stretchy, and buying vintage or secondhand when I can. I bought this stretchy tunic from the Salvation Army a few weeks ago, and it sits alongside many similar items in my closet. It’s not “maternity” – it’s just XXL and contains a decent amount of lyrca.

If that sounds incredibly boring (it does, doesn’t it?) keep the fun stuff to items you know you’ll wear post-pregnancy, like my big-ass pop-pom toque! I got the last one from The Edit’s stash from last winter. It’s glorious and warm (but impossible to wear inside a low-ceiling vehicle). It also balances out the giant beach ball I’m smuggling. Symmetry!

That’s about all I have to offer in terms of advice, and I’m coming close to the end of my patience with using a track pad laptop that’s not mine, so that’s where I’ll end it today. If I don’t pop in before I...pop (#nailedit), thank you truly for kind comments and well-wishes on this blog and instagram over these past few months! Everyone has just been a total peach – both in real and internet-life. You guys rule!

Blazer: Salvation Army | $3.50
Tunic: Salvation Army | $5.99
Toque: The Edit | $40
Boots: Hudson’s Bay | On sale $130
Handmade leather tote: Gift from Mom that she got for FREE from one of her thrifting spots! She’s still the champ.

Winter Berry

December 1, 2014 — 8 Comments

Berry vintage coat // We So Thrifty

Berry vintage coat // We So Thrifty

Berry vintage coat // We So Thrifty

Berry vintage coat // We So Thrifty

Berry vintage coat // We So Thrifty

Let’s get right down to it: Check out my AWESOME COAT.

In any other instance, this coat would warrant use of the word “awesome,” or capital letters, but when you’re extra-preggo, it warrants the use of both of them together. Because not only is this vintage wool coat beautifully constructed, made-in-Toronto, and full all sorts of lovely detailing and with super-soft fur, but I can do it up – for a good four more days at least! Miracle of miracles!

Alright, I’m playing up the struggles of maternity dressing a little here. Truth be told, it hasn’t been that much of a challenge. It just narrows down your choices in a big way. I fully admit I alternate between two pairs of pants and a variety of tunic things most of the time. It’s also made me an even-more selective thrifter, as I really can’t take something home and figure out how to wear it later – if I can’t get it over the hips in the change room, it’s not happening. This may sound like a convenient excuse for spotty blogging, but it’s true! Most of what I’ve thrifted throughout my pregnancy is very practical and wearable. There are only so many words one can pen about an XXL polyester tunic, and they are “This is an XXL polyester tunic.” But a coat in this colour and condition, scored for $25 from the Salvation Army? On that, I could write a novel.

Looking back over the past few months, the only other thrifted item that deserves praise in a public forum is this number my Instagram pals with recognize from a few weeks ago:

Vintage maternity dress // We So Thrifty

This one would have made it into a proper blog entry if I hadn’t been a bozo and left my camera at home. Matt’s aunt Betty found this vintage Pea-in-the-Pod dress from Valu Village for $16, and I freaking love it. She actually brought it home for herself, having no idea it was a maternity piece – she just loved the real mink cuffs! Once she got home, however, she realized it was too big, and curiously roomy in the tummy. She figured out it what it was, and I’m tickled that she thought of me. She sent the dress home with Matt at a family wedding, and one week later, I wore it to another family wedding. It’s really almost bizarre how well it fits – the sleeves are SO LONG, and I have monkey arms! It’s destiny, I tell ya.

Both of these items, what with their fancy furs, are so perfectly suited for Holiday festivities, I’m now 100% aboard the Polar Express to Santaville. In fact, already reserved my seat with the Big Guy himself. Catch you on the North side, my fellow carollers!

Coat: Salvation Army | $20 
Purse: Talize | $10
Booties: The Edit | $30
Dress: Valu Village | $16
Clutch: Salvation Army | $5

Scarf Blanket

October 16, 2014 — 5 Comments

Plaid blanket scarf // We So Thrifty

Plaid blanket scarf // We So Thrifty

Plaid blanket scarf // We So Thrifty

Plaid blanket scarf // We So Thrifty

Plaid blanket scarf // We So Thrifty

Plaid blanket scarf // We So Thrifty

What’s this? A post not six days after another post? What kind of regularly-scheduled programming am I running here?! It’s almost like a real live blog!

This miracle of miracles is a result of an extra-long weekend. A little more time, a little more effort put into my appearance, a little more willingness to document that effort. That said, I would have been wise to sit on this one for at least another month, because as my brother-in-law accurately observed, I look like Christmas. But I don’t want to talk about Christmas until I’ve consumed all of the sale-price Halloween candy AND tweeted something judgey at America about Black Friday while I secretly troll Amazon for deals.

So, we will keep things seasonal. Let’s talk about scarves. They’re appropriately autumnal, right? Anybody with an active Pinterest account will tell you that people are all crazy for the blanket scarf trend again this year. The trend kicked of last year when everybody lost their minds for the Zara tartan scarf. I can be real enough with all of you to admit I kind of wanted it, too. It was the Tickle-Me-Elmo of the scarf world! (Is that a dated reference? How about “It was the Furby of the scarf world!” No? The Tamagotchi? Still no good? Ugh. Maybe I’ll be more up to date on toy trends when I have a baby.)

Well, I didn’t buy it. Not because of any personal will power or anything – we don’t have a Zara in Hamilton. However, when fashion bloggers all get together at their special secret conference this year and declare a new favourite scarf, I won’t be tempted by that one at all, and that’s because I got myself a REAL blanket scarf. In fact, I might even say it’s the realest. (Sidebar: spell-check is not adding a red squiggly line under “realest.” Is the “realest” a real word? Is Iggy Azalea to thank/blame for this? Am I an idiot for not knowing this?). This scarf is the realest because I’m pretty sure it’s an actual blanket, and not a scarf at all. Jentine was honest with me about it when I bought it off the mannequin at her shop: the tag actually read “Blanket or scarf?…You decide!”

Well, I’ve decided: It’s a blanket. But that won’t stop me from wearing it as a scarf, or using it as a blanket, or using it as a Christmas tree skirt–AH! Christmas! There we go again. Get behind me, Santa!

Sweater: Bibles for Missions | $2.50 (worn previously here)
Blanket Scarf/Scarf Blanket: The Edit | $26
Boots: The Edit | $30
Jeans: Motherhood Maternity | $50 (cheaper than what I usually have to pay for a 36′ inseam!)
Purse: Talize | $10
Cat ring: Kimberly’s Deja Vu Boutique | $8

Oops

September 4, 2014 — 5 Comments

Floral skirt + knotted top // We So Thrifty

Floral skirt, knotted top // We So Thrifty

Floral skirt, knotted top // We So Thrifty

Floral skirt, gator bag // We So Thrifty

I’ve only thrifted one piece of clothing for the baby so far. Only one. I say that almost like a confession, because I honestly feel like people might judge me for it. This blog is proof that I like to buy clothes, lots of them, for myself. So, what gives, Julie? WHY YOU NO THRIFT FOR BABY?

Truth be told, I find it really truly hard to buy baby clothes – even new ones. We aren’t finding out the sex of the baby until he/she arrives, and yellow and green onesies aren’t all that exciting (even though I know they’re necessary). When I thrift shop for myself, I’m always on the lookout for interesting pieces – a strange label, good vintage, etc. etc. But I’m finding it nearly impossible to do the same for the little VH1. I’ll pick up something funky, and while I’d wear it in a grown-up size, I all the sudden think “Is this stupid for a baby? Will the baby sweat too much in it? Is it too gender-specific? What if my baby is a giant and comes out 6-month size and won’t even need newborn clothes?!” (That last one is a totally legitimate fear, by the way – Dutch people have monster babies).

When thrifting for the tiny one, I also find myself finally judging thrift stores like other people must judge them. Me? I’d pull something out of the garbage for myself if it were a quality piece, but I’m finding myself suddenly far more critical when it comes to the teensy clothes on the rack: “MY BABY CAN’T HAVE MYSTERY STAINS ON THEIR CLOTHES.”

Maybe all this is just a way to placate the guilt I have over this new skirt. I mentioned last entry that Matt and I had our ultasound a few weeks ago, and the whole thing put me on such a baby-high, I stopped at the thrift store on the way home from work that day with the specific hope of picking out something special for the babe. I came home with…this skirt. Oops. But it was only $2.99!

If I could add just one more excuse before singing off, I’d also mention that we don’t actually have a nursery yet. We’re putting up another room in our condo, and I’ll be sharing my walk-in closet with my offspring, but as it stands, all the gifts we’ve received so far for this golden child are randomly stuffed in with my clothes.

Perhaps next time I’ll visit one of those kid-only consignment/thrift stores – that’ll eliminate the distraction of stretchy floral $2.99 skirts again. And you know what? Matt’s already got plans for that new wall we’ve gotta build, so they’re will be a designated “baby space” in no time.  I’m sure once that happens, them baby clothes will be flying off the shelves! Onto new shelves! In our place!

There. Guilt absolved. Let’s go thrifting.

Floral skirt, knotted top // We So Thrifty

Skirt: $2.99 | Salvation Army
Bag: Gift!

 

 

 

Cool summer, bro

August 25, 2014 — 2 Comments

Coral maxi dress + mint necklace // We So Thrifty

Coral maxi dress + mint necklace // We So Thrifty

Coral maxi dress + mint necklace // We So Thrifty

Coral maxi dress + mint necklace // We So Thrifty

Coral maxi dress + mint necklace // We So Thrifty

You know that thing people say about a frog in warm water? That you can slowly boil the sucker before he’ll even realize the water’s getting hot? The gist of that story (in reverse) has summarized summer weather in Ontario. It’s been a cool summer, and I’ll admit, it’s been kind of nice. We’ve hardly had to turn on our AC, my car is pleasantly toasty at the end of the work day, and evening walks are accompanied by a lovely breeze. Since it’s been this way for all of August and most of June and July, it seems like everyone is ready and willing to greet an early Fall with a shrug. “Eh, OK, come on over Autumn. It’s been slowly cooling for months already anyways. Give me a latte and take our leaves and sunshine.”

And so, we stand by while Starbucks pushes up the release date of all things Pumpkin Spice, we don’t bat an eyelash when the Emmys show up in August, and we all start pinning heavy sweaters on our fall inspiration boards. But listen, my frogs – err – friends: it need not be so. Let me kindly remind you that we Ontarians suffered through the worst winter of ALL TIME. We are owed our four solid months of 25 + degree temperatures, and don’t let Starbucks tell you anything else.

I snapped out of my autumnal complacency this past weekend. I hadn’t yet had a chance to wear this most-summery garment: a coral Cynthia Rowley maxi scored at Valu Village for $12.99. Before I put it on, I had a brief moment of hesitation: “this dress looks something worn only at the Copacabana. Maybe it’s too summery…”

NO IT ISN’T.

It’s August, for cryin’ out loud. We should all still be audibly complaining about muggy air and icky sweat droplets creeping down the smalls of our backs. So, I put on my summery maxi and my strappy sandals, and the universe has applauded my boldness. The forecast for tomorrow is a disgusting 29 degrees, with a humidex of 37. Doesn’t that sound wonderfully awful?

Fall won’t trick us into submission so easily, and I’ll stay outta the cauldron for a few more weeks, thank you very much.

Coral maxi dress + mint necklace // We So Thrifty

With that little rant out of the way, I’ll also let you guys know that I’m half-way through my pregnancy! Say whaaaaaaat? My sporadic blogging makes it seem like the first 20 weeks have flown by, but it’s felt like that in real life too. I’ve been crazy lucky and haven’t had to deal with any of the yuckiness that’s usually associated with that first half: my energy has been steady, my appetite is normal, my nausea is non-existent, and, according to this morning’s ultrasound, my baby has all its adorable fingers and toes. Life has been business as usual, and that makes it all the more miraculous that there’s a tiny human in there doing all she/he can to prepare to greet the world in 2015. We can’t wait to meet this baby, but unlike Starbucks, I feel no need to rush its release date. You take your time, tiny one – we’ll wait.

_

Dress: $12.99 | Valu Village
Clutch: $0.25 | Clothing Swap
Necklace: Borrowed from Laura | Salvation Army
Shoes: Inherited from Yen

Baby Baby

July 16, 2014 — 31 Comments

Cotton dress // We So Thrifty

Cotton dress // We So Thrifty

Cotton dress // We So Thrifty

Bump-friendly cotton dress // We So Thrifty

There it is!

Here you guys were thinking “Oh look! There’s Julie being pretentious and perhaps taking a pee in some rose bushes” and then BLAMO – baby bump hits you in the face.

I actually tried to publish this post using the first three photos only, but then this WordPress pop-up came up:

Looks like you’re trying to publish a pregnancy announcement. Under the Official Blogger Code of Conduct, sector 673F, we cannot publish this post without at least one bump shot, ultrasound pic, or photo of your cat expressing her delight at being a “big sister.” Additionally, please make your opinions on home birth vs. hospital birth known immediately, in a sufficiently smug manner. Thank you.

So weird.

Anyways, I relented, and now the whole internet knows that Matt and I are, Lord willing, welcoming a tiny fella or lady this January! In the interest of keeping this short and sweet, I’ll just say that we’re really happy, I’ve been feeling fantastic, and it’s incredibly liberating to try on a dress like this one, then say “this dress makes it look like I’ve been slamming back burritos for every meal – I’ll take it!”.

I’ll also add that the comments coming in on Facebook and Instagram have felt like a continuous parade of warm hugs (but even better because you don’t have to actually hug anyone!), and I’ve never been so thankful for my wonderful family, supportive friends, and overall kick-ass community. This baby is already loved by so many. That’s pretty incredible.

(One last sidebar: Narrowing down the song to title this post was tricky. I landed on Amy Grant because look at her over-sized patchwork blazer. It’s spectacular.)

Dress: Kimberly’s Deja Vu Boutique | $32

Dear Dress

June 30, 2014 — 8 Comments

Belted t-shirt maxi dress // We So Thrifty

Belted t-shirt maxi dress // We So Thrifty

Belted t-shirt maxi dress // We So Thrifty

Belted t-shirt maxi dress // We So Thrifty

Dear dress,

We’ve only known each other a few days, so this may all seem just a little bit sudden. But I’m a firm believer in saying how you feel – and I feel that I love you. It was only a few days ago – the first day of summer – when our paths crossed and our destinies would forever be intertwined. I found you at the Salvation Army, burried between a very sparkly jumpsuit and a pilling sundress that had seen better days, but you lept off the rack and into my arms just the same.

It’s hard to say precisely why I know we’ll be in love forever, but I think it’s because I could actually wear you every day. And this summer, I just might.

I’ll wear you with birkenstocks around the campfire, and the next day, even though you’ll smell vaguely of hotdogs and I’ll pretend not to like it, I’ll wear to you the farmer’s market and buy flowers simply to stick them in my purse and take an instagram. I’ll wear you to the office on those disgustingly hot days where I really don’t want to wear anything but the Bullwinkle pajama shorts I had when I was 9.

I’ll wear you on the sandy shores of PEI, and you’ll end up covered in salt water because I’ll shout “I’m only going up to my knees!” just as a big  wave comes in and knocks me on my butt.  I’ll wear you to my first-ever lobster dinner, and together we’ll leave food hall covered in melted butter and full of meat that came from a clawed monster of the sea.

I’ll wear you to the grocery store, the coffee shop, and the church. And I know you’ll be up to the task. Why? Because a heather gray t-shrit maxi is the clothing-equivalent of a dependable ol’ workhorse. Giddy up, my dear dress, we’re in for a wonderful ride.

Sweatfully yours,

-Julie

Belted t-shirt maxi dress // We So Thrifty

Belted t-shirt maxi dress // We So Thrifty

Dress: Salvation Army | $12
Belt: Salvation Army | $2
Watch: Salvation Army | $2
Clutch: Clothing Swap | $0.50
Sandals: Spring Shoes – really old

The Good Stuff

June 5, 2014 — 9 Comments

Vintage florals // We So Thrifty

Vintage florals // We So Thrifty

Vintage florals // We So Thrifty

There comes at time in every thrifter’s life where you, ever so briefly, turn on the stores that raised your wardrobe. It may be the lack of hooks in every.single.change room, it may be the snotty college girls that show up looking for “like, vintagey stuff!” but more often than not, it’s a sparkly H&M mini dress priced at $29.99. “What is this madness!?” you say. “Where is the justice!?” you yell. “I rue your very existence, Macklemore!” you decry.

But just as quickly as the rage arrives, it’s turned right around by stumbling upon something like this dress. This dress is a beautiful vintage piece with boning built right in, and a full circle skirt made for dancing. It was only $7 regular price, and just so happened to be -50% the day it came into my life. I didn’t even try this dress on (crappy change rooms, remember?). Instead, I stuffed it in the cart and headed home (I paid first, guys, OF COURSE).

For all the wackadoodle ways thrift stores sometimes price their merchandise, they still occasionally give you the good stuff for little more than a smile. All is forgiven, my dear thrift store, for now.

Vintage florals // We So Thrifty

Vintage florals // We So Thrifty

Dress: Talize | $3.50
Purse: Clothing Swap | $0.50
Flats: Target | $12
Belt: From this Salvation Army dress

 

Neon scarf + leather jacket // We So Thrifty

Neon scarf + leather jacket // We So Thrifty

Neon scarf + bright lace // We So Thrifty

Neon scarf + leather jacket // We So Thrifty

This is one of those posts, you guys. One of those “oh whoops I haven’t blogged in three weeks but I took these photos three weeks ago so I best get ta’ posting” posts.

Once I actually got to posting, though, I had a little trouble framing a coherent piece around these pieces. In fact, there were three aborted angles for this particular post, and they were:

1) A post about my glasses and how I have terrible vision (-7.00!), and I’ve only met one other person in the world with vision as terrible, and then they went and got laser eye surgery, and now I’m all alone in the blind-bat club, and I have all these “girls with glasses can get it” t-shirts that no one wants.
2) There’s a record store behind me! And I look pretty record-store-y! And hey remember High Fidelity? That movie was great! So, who’s your favourite Cusack: John or Joan?
3) I wore this outfit the night Yen and I watched American blogger. Here are my thoughts about that particular piece cinematic cra…ftsmanship.

All three of these ideas didn’t make it passed draft stage for several reasons 1) Nobody likes a complainer; 2) Obviously Joan is the superior Cusack; and 3) There are only so many synonyms for “self-indulgent fluff,” plus Jessica at Blog Her totally nailed it already.

So, I’ll refrain from complaining, the Cusacks, and critiquing. Instead, I’ll skip the whole “post” part entirely and let the outfit do the talking. If any one item can carry a post all on it’s own, it’s a neon scarf, right?

_

Handmade scarf: So Chickadelic | $25
Jacket: Talize | $12
Top: Salvation Army | $5.99 (worn sans slip here)
Booties: Talize | $12.99

 

 

 

 

Black is the New Green

April 23, 2014 — 6 Comments

Knotted maxi, leather jacket, ankle boots // We So Thrifty

Maxi dress, leather jacket // We So Thrifty

Knotted maxi, leather jacket // We So Thrifty

Knotted maxi, leather jacket, ankle boots // We So Thrifty

Guys! I’ve been sitting on this post for a few weeks (metaphorically….that probably didn’t need to be clarified). Anyhoo, I awaited the usual burst of pop cultural inspiration to hit, and the best I came up with was “I’m in all black, because I’m mourning the loss of [NOT SAYING HIS NAME BECAUSE YOU SHOULD WATCH THIS SHOW YOURSELF] from The Good Wife.” But if I tried to accurately describe the intense and painful feelings I suffered due to the loss of this fictional TV character, I’d sound “scary-crazy” instead of the usual “entertaining-crazy,” so I’ll save those feelings for my secret shipper Tumblr. It’s up to you to decide if having a secret shipper Tumblr is scary-crazy or entertaining-crazy.

Instead, I’m taking a cue from my pal Merl. Merl’s having an instagram contest right now, asking the populous to share their approach to eco-styling. Eco-styling sounds much scarier than it is. Merl herself spells it out plain and simple here: Don’t waste. Shop smart. Stop buying crap. I can honestly say I’ve managed to do just that with this look. Let’s break it down:

1) The bulk of this outfit is from the thrift store. Thrifting is eco-friendly because it extends the life of what we wear, and stops clothing from being disposable. It’s using tupperware instead of ziplock bags. (Are you now imagining hilarious outfits made from tupperware and ziplock bags? No? Just me?)

2) I thrifted these pieces with an eye on wearability and quality. I’ve had this leather jacket for, like, a month, and I’ve worn it nearly everyday. Make your clothing count. The black maxi is one of my favourite finds ever: A nice, heavy jersey Rachel Pally dress. Rachel Pally started designing precisely because she was exhausted with the cheap/trendy crap from everyone else, and her clothes, while at a higher price tag new, are a level up from anything you’d find in a department store (and they’re made in the USA). She’s one of those designers that I’d buy new clothing from too.

3) I’m supporting the little guys (and girls). I’ve heard from some people that if we all shopped second-hand or eco-conscious, the economy would go bye-bye (to use scientific terms). That’s just silly. I’m simply supporting a more creative economy. The necklace I’m wearing is from Merl herself – she builds new jewellery from salvaged materials.  The money I spent on it goes to Merl. Merl’s money goes to her adorable little shop in Chi-town. Merl’s little shop injects life into that particular neighbourhood. That’s a good chain of events. The same can be said for the boots I’m wearing from The Edit – just replace “Chi-town” with “Hamilton.” (Sidebar: “Chi-town” sounds like a thing only people who don’t live in Chicago say. Is that right, Chi-pals?)

4) I’m making the cheap stuff last. I’ve had the scarf I’m wearing for years. I bought it new, from Costa Blanca. Costa Blanca is certainly a perpetuator of fast-fashion, but as Elizabeth Cline says about these fast-fashion houses: “If you buy something cheap, that doesn’t mean that you have to have a disposable attitude to it … or a disposable relationship to it. I wore an H&M dress that I’ve had for eight years to a wedding this past summer and it’s not the greatest quality but I still like it, and I’m going to keep it in my closet and keep it going for as long as I can.”

Yesterday was Earth Day. As a child, that meant putting on plastic gloves and picking up garbage behind the treeline at school. As an adult, it means putting on clothing I like, and tackling the garbage inside my closet. Less stinky, just as rewarding. Go earth!

Dress: Salvation Army | $3.50
Jacket: Talize | $12
Scarf: Costa Blaca | Don’t recall!
Booties: The Edit | $40
Necklace: Clyde’s Rebirth | $40
Purse: Clothing Swap | $0.50