Archives For leather

Behind the Seams: Talize

This is one of those posts I can’t believe I haven’t written before. Talize is one of my main stompin’ grounds, and I certainly thought I would have blogged a thrift trip inside their orange walls already. But alas! Not yet! So, without further ado, here we go!

Wait, a little more ado: thrifting for summer clothing is just the best. I spend all winter passing over cute summer dresses and crocheted crop tops because of their impracticality, but for a brief window, I can load up on all the things that have no place in the world besides a musical festival or summer camp (and I’ve gone to neither, oddly enough).

Now here we go. Let’s talk dresses!

Behind the Seams: Talize

Behind the Seams: Talize

First to be granted a chance on Julie’s Next Top Mini were these two dresses in varying shades of purple. The burgundy one was a lovely colour, and very flattering, but it fell in the “too short for work” and “not fun enough for everything else” zone. I loved the lace cutouts on the 80s voilet number! But it was too short for, well, everything. So, it was a pass as well.

Behind the Seams: Talize

Behind the Seams: Talize

Both of the above looks, it they had fit, would have fit nicely in the “imaginary music festival” section of my closet. The coral sun dress was a bit paper-baggy at the top, though, and the black maxi was just eh. Honestly, I’ve just been desperate to create this look from 2011 with a maxi and a belt, but I think that might have to do less with finding the right dress, and more with eating fewer potato chips.

Four misses off the bat isn’t unusual for me. It’s just part of the process. As the old saying goes: if at first you don’t succeed, wait until your sister finds something that’s too big for her!

Behind the Seams: Talize

Actually, to be honest, Laura pulled this one specifically for me, because it almost could have worked as a bridesmaid dress for the upcoming nuptials of my other sister. We’re all wearing mismatched navy/lace dresses, and I’m the only one who hasn’t purchased a dress yet. While this dress is lace, it’s a bit too teal, a bit too tight, and not quite formal enough for a girl on bridesmaid duty. That said, I’m confident I can find another occasion to wear a stretchy lace dress in any colour, so I brought it home.

Having declared a victor in the race of JNTM (Julie’s Next Top Mini, keep up, guys), let’s turn our attention towards some basics:

Behind the Seams: Talize

Remember last year when I expressed my desire for a thrifted denim shirt? And my delight when I finally found one I loved? That find signified that the denim shirt trend has reached a point of critical mass. That’s a term I don’t really understand, but I’m using it to say that the denim/chambray shirt trend is now so wide spread you can find them in thrift stores easily. I did like the snaps and details on the chambray shirt above, but it also just felt a little too Claire Dunphy. Don’t get me wrong, Claire is a babe, and she can rock the “mom on the go” thing with ease, but I’m not a mom yet, and when I’m “on the go”, it’s usually “I’m going to get ice cream.”

Behind the Seams: Talize

Behind the Seams: Talize

The two “yeps” above aren’t extraordinary, but they are fun and functional. That first top in particular is just a comfy, colourful stop that I might wear on a Saturday while I do errands (ie: go thrifting). And those jean shorts will be worn every second I’m not at work. I’ve been wishing for some denim shorts that weren’t Daisy Dukes, and these fit the bill. They are a little snug at the moment, but I plan on stretchin’ them right out.

Next up: Leather!

Behind the Seams: Talize

Behind the Seams: Talize

Ok, not neither of the above items feature real leather, but they’re close enough. I loved, loved, loved, the cut and shoulders on that first jacket, and the lines of leather on that Nygard coat made it look more modern than it actually was. But, in stark contrast to my trouble with dresses, both these items were a little too big. But not to worry, I did end up with a piece made of actual leather:

Behind the Seams: Talize

This Danier leather vest is a quality piece! The way it fits almost gives off a bustier feel, and sort of gave me vibes similar to this favourite look from Yen. While I’m not sure how I’ll wear it yet, the It’s a piece that will stand the test of time. While the leather goods are among the higher prices items at the thrift store (this one was $15), they earn that price tag. And sometimes I need to take the item out of it’s thrift store context: If I saw this piece at Danier for $15, I’d snatch it up faster than you can stay “see my vest.” Since this one was in great condition, my reaction was the very same.

Behind the Seams: Talize

The last item in my haul were these adorably tacky gold flats. They have GIANT ZIPPERS on top. Like, huh? Plus, that little gold heel injects just enough class into an otherwise too flashy shoe.

Perhaps what I like best about this thrift trip is that no two items are alike. I came home with a dress, a shirt, a vest, shorts, and a pair of shoes, in varying textures of lace, cotton, leather, denim, and gold. Thrift stores are always a mixed bag, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Until next time!


January 15, 2013 — 29 Comments

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Tomorrow is January 16, 2013.

That is an important day, friends, and not just for Kate Moss because it’s her birthday. See, tomorrow is the day I shall give myself a hearty pat on the back. Why? because it marks the end of my “No New Clothes” pledge that I made a short year ago. If you were a reader way back then, you’ll recall I made a bold promise to “Break Up with the Mall” for a whole year. Translation? I would buy only second-hand clothing for a solid 365 days. And wouldn’t you know it: since putting my closet on a thrift-only diet, it’s never been healthier.

That pledge was quick decision, born out of frustration with recent Mall purchases, and elation with new thrift scores. While it was a pledge made in haste, it has had a transformative, lasting effect on this blog, how I shop, and the way I dress. Four months into my Mall-free year, I wrote a progress report as a guest blogger. While I considered penning a similar summary today, I would be a near-rewrite of what I wrote back then (and you can read it here). The benefits I listed there—freedom to shop any trend, choose from any decade, wear any brand, and look in any size—have been (I hope) been illustrated by many of the posts I’ve written since.

When I made this promise 365 days ago, I thought that I’d be starved for some clearance rack goodies by the time January 16, 2013 rolled around. But my appetite to revisit the mall has never been weaker. Meanwhile, I have never had more fun getting dressed, and less guilt about where I spend my money that I do right now. And I really mean that. When I look over what’s in my wardrobe, nearly every piece feels like a score. And while not every piece tells a story, some of them tell great ones. And that’s why this breakup is permanent.

So what’s next? Another pledge that lasts indefinitely? An updated button? I don’t think so. Mall shopping is not something I’m “banned” from anymore: it’s just not something I plan to do. Not because I can’t, but because I don’t want do. Really, this is what New Year’s resolutions are supposed to do. You make a resolution, and at some point, it stops being a resolution, and becomes just another thing about who you are. And that’s what happened this year: I am Juliane Claire Van Huizen, and I shop at thrift stores.

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Will I ever buy clothing from The Mall again? I’m sure I will. I mean, I still need to go there for my skivvies, socks, and bathing suits. And there are other exceptions, too: I may still go there for a fine pair of leather boots, and if my friends want to plan a weekend trip to scope out some outlet malls, I’ll shop right alongside them because I love those girls. But mostly, I’ll carry on exactly as I have for the past year: Thrifting things like this pleated silver skirt from Talize, this cozy black turtleneck is from Salvation Army, and this vintage pink (suede!) coat from Granny’s Attic Treasures on Ottawa Street, that cost me a mere $10.

As I list those items, they highlight exactly why I’ve signed up for a lifetime of second-hand style. I never would have sought out a pink suede coat (or pink suede anything, really), and even if I had, I’d be hard-pressed to find one at at the Mall for $10. I’ll take this coat over clearance racks at H&M any day, any year.

In closing, I have to thank all those who’ve shown enthusiasm as I blogged my way through this year. I’d like to think I would have come to this conclusion without a blog, but I don’t think that’s true. Blogging has not only provided heeps of encouragement for my efforts, but a certain level of accountability as well. And for that, I am truly grateful.

…All the sudden I’m realizing that I haven’t made a pop-cultural reference or used an exclamation point in a couple hundred words, and this post is starting to sound like some kind of sad farewell, which is crazy because I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to thrift and blog my way to infinity and beyond! (Whew, back on track). But it is nice to take sometime to reflect once and while, huh?

So as I put the Mall in my review mirror for good, please join me in raising a glass to a brand new year of old stuff (not really though because I don’t want you to spill on your keyboards). And while we are metaphorically toasting, please also toast me for not titling this entry “We Are Never Ever Ever Getting Back Together,” because while thrifting is easy, that was hard.

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