Archives For secondhand

Weird Science

December 30, 2014 — 12 Comments

Polka dots + leather jacket // We So Thrifty

Polka dots + leather jacket // We So Thrifty

Polka dots + leather jacket // We So Thrifty

Polka dots + leather jacket // We So Thrifty

First off, there is some strange magic in this top. I’mma tell you right now my belly is about 200% bigger than it appears on screen. Something about the pattern on this blouse is spinning you a web of LIES. Lies that will come crashing down as soon as you see a side profile. But hey! I’ll take it!

I found this blouse in one of my regular visits to Yen’s shop. The tag on it read “oversized vintage sheer blouse,” and at first I was like “who you callin’ oversized TAG?” And then I realized this blouse fits a 6ft1 8.5-months-pregnant lady, so yes, it is definitely oversized. And for that I’m grateful.

The other item of note in this outfit is my new (p)leather jacket. All you have to do is scroll through the past six months of entries on this blog, and you’ll understand why I needed a new one (I’ll save you the trouble: I wore my old one every day and now it’s gross). I took a trip to the Salvation Army on their 50% boxing day sale (still wearing my old gross one), and this one jumped off the rack. It’s not real leather, so I’ll keep that dream alive, but it did feel like a step up from the cheap bombers you’d find at a place like Sirens or Stitches or wherever the cheap teen clothes are sold these days. It said it was designed in Canada, and even provided instructions on how to care for the fake leatha. It was certainly worth the $7.50 investment, and who knows! I may even be able to zip it up in a few months!

The greatest thing about this find didn’t reveal itself until I had a chance to Google the label though (isn’t that often the case?). This jacket is from a clothier called AbbyShot. AbbyShot creates only the finest replica wear from your favourite sci-fi movies, tv shows, games and anime. It’s geek wear! All geek wear! Which is just fantastic. 

I looked over their website, and their jackets go from $100-$500, all from a little Canadian company operating out of Newfoundland, Canada. So, obviously, I need to go to there.

The only missing piece in this wonderfully nerdy puzzle is I don’t know what movie/tv show/multiverse my jacket is from. It’s not anywhere on their website, and my searches have turned up fruitless. So, my fellow dorks, please take a close look and let me know who I am in this jacket, so that I may I know what kind of magic abilities or mega-cool weaponry I can pretend to have. I’ll be delivering a human in 2-3 weeks, and any additional superpowers would be most appreciated. 😉

Jacket: Salvation Army | $7.50
Blouse: The Edit | $26
Pants: Talize | $7
Clutch: Salvation Army | $5



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

Bumps & Balrogs

October 10, 2014 — 10 Comments

Leather jacket + burgundy pleated skirt // We So Thrifty

Leather jacket + burgundy pleated skirt // We So Thrifty

Leather jacket + burgundy pleated skirt // We So Thrifty

Leather jacket + burgundy pleated skirt // We So Thrifty

Leather jacket + burgundy pleated skirt // We So Thrifty

Hello friends!

One of the advantages to being a very lazy blogger is that, since I update so infrequently, I don’t have to generate any kind of original idea – I can just give all of you the ol’ family-reunion style speech on what’s new. If you’re my family – too bad. Maybe you’ll get some new material when you see me in person this weekend over turkey and more turkey (it’s Canadian Thanksgiving, you yankees).

Obviously, things have grown since my last post. Chief amoung them? The bump. It’s at that strange stage where you can’t really get a handle on how big it is, because depending on the angle, I can look anywhere from 5 to 9.5 months preggo. The first photo in this post? Hardly-bump! The last photo in this post? Holy-bump! (Since I get to see the the full picture in the comfort of my own home, I assure you “holy-bump!” is now the more accurate descriptor.)

Again, though – I’ve been really incredibly blessed in how my pregnancy has progressed so far. Compared to what I know is the norm for so many women, it’s been a breeze (and I just heard a story about a woman giving birth at 26 weeks after emergency appendectomy, so am not taking any of it for granted). Sure, I’m now the World’s Worst Walking Companion (because I have to pee every 20 minutes), and I had to end my relationship with nylons (I never liked them anyway), but things are moving along swimmingly. Literally – this little babe is definitely doing some crazy butterfly stroke in my uterus. It’s adorable.

I also definitely thought that, being nearly 6 months into my pregnancy, I would have had to purchase or thrift a lot more new clothing. Not so! I bought two stretchy maternity long sleeve tops and a pair of maternity jeans, and that’s the only preg-specific clothing I’ve accrued so far. As for everything else, I’m getting everything I can out of my current closet. I was never one for a Herve-Leger-style body-con dress, so I’ve found it pretty easy to work with what I’ve got – especially since it turns out I don’t actually know everything I’ve got. I just found this pleated skirt in the Mines of Moria, ie: my disastrous closet, after some intensive cleaning and organizing. I bought this skirt from the Salvation Army at least 4 years ago, maybe 5, and had completely forgotten about it for years. Just shows what you can find if you’re willing to dig deep! It might me a Balrog, or it might be a pretty pleated skirt. Both have their perks.

And perhaps that’s where I’ll end it today, because, honestly? I have to pee. Happy thanksgiving!


Jacket: Talize | $12
Necklace: Salvation Army | $3
Bag: Talize | $9
Skirt: Salvation Army | I don’t recall the price because who knows what kind of ancient currency we were using five years ago?


Photos by Yen!


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!





November 25, 2013 — 16 Comments

Polka dot sweater + pencil skirt // We So Thrifty

Polka dot sweater + pencil skirt // We So Thrifty

Polka dot sweater + layered necklaces // We So Thrifty

Polka dot sweater + pencil skirt // We So Thrifty

Let’s talk about that last photo for a second. If ever Kevin Williamson (creator of Dawson’s Creek and the Vampire Diaries – two of my more shameful Netflix binges as of late) were to craft a show for me to star in, this is the image they’d use. This particular image looks especially appropriate for a spin-off from a teen drama. Something comparable to J. Love’s ill-fated spin-off to Party of Five (why isn’t that on Netflix?).

This one would be called “Miss PhD”, and it’d be about a sassy doctoral candidate that leaves her small town troubles behind, and heads to the big city to pursue her PhD. Oh! Brainwave! On the original show, she breaks off a stifling engagement, and so on the poster for the spin-off, it would say “this time she’s doing the proposing” GET IT? Because she’ll be making a doctoral proposal? Nailed it. Her love interest would be a dashing young professor named Phil (‘cuz Dr. Philos), and she’d call him Dr. Phi—-ahhhhh that’s not going work. We’ll workshop that part.

I would also definitely be recast as Kristin Bell shortly after filming the pilot episode, but I’d get over that and then watch every episode before its inevitable first-season cancellation.

Either way, I obviously have to go make this poster now. Before that, though, I’ll just tell you that I thrifted this sweater from Talize for $7 and I think it’s great. The end.

…Or maybe it’s JUST THE BEGINNING.

Polka dot sweater + pencil skirt // We So Thrifty

Polka dot sweater // We So Thrifty

Sweater: Talize | $6.99
Necklaces: Salvation Army | $2.99 + Spring Shoes | $10

Skirt: Super old, Ricki’s I think?
Boots: $250.00 | The Boot Shop
Purse: Gift


January 15, 2013 — 29 Comments

suede 1

suede 4

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.

suede 3

suede 5

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.

suede 2