Archives For style

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!




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

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


Sissy Fight

April 10, 2014 — 17 Comments

Vintage blazer, ripped jeans, leather boots // We So Thrifty

Vintage blazer, leather boots // We So Thrifty

leather ankle boots // We So Thrifty

Vintage blazer, ripped jeans, leather boots // We So Thrifty

I’m from a family of all girls. Those of you who know me in real life know that my three sisters are my best buds. We’re eerily close, get together on the regular, and agree about everything. It’s not normal. Matt will attest to that –  when we’re discussing contentious subjects, it ends up with us shouting “YES I AGREE!” “YES, AGREE LOUDER!” “SO AGREE!” at each other.

But don’t let our creepy-sister-hive-mind fool you – we fought when we were kids, a lot. Scratching, spitting, slapping, journal-reading, name-calling, hair-pulling – we were holy terrors to each other.

Most of the time, the sister fights would be limited to sparing pairs. I’d fight with Laura, since we were the youngins’, and my older sisters would fight with each other. Only very rarely did a four-sister fight occur, and when it did, it was about clothing. While there’s a bit of a gap in between my older sister and my youngest one, for a brief time, we all fell in somewhere in the pre-teen/teenage category. It was in this window that the Battle of the Black Tank Top (like the Battle of Blackwater, but more intense) took place. The stakes were pretty high: I mean, how could I wear my American Eagle hoodie without the GOOD black tank top? While we all had black tank tops of our own, we evenutally lost track of whose was whose, and thusly held different ideas about who laid claim to the GOOD stretchy medium one with adjustable straps. As we yelled and screeched along hallways and across slammed doors, it’s a marvel my dad didn’t just flip over the dinner table Alan Rickman style and say “Nope, I’m done. Sons or bust.”

Despite episodes like this one, I never really wanted brothers. That said, I always assumed I would have fought less with a brother. I mean, sisters steal clothes from each other, but brothers? Naaaah.

…Wrong. The last three shirts I’ve thrifted (included the denim Gap one I’m wearing in these photos) are men’s. My collection of men’s plaid shirts is growing at a steady rate, and Matt has explicitly banned me from wearing any of his clothing. And let’s talk about my new boots: gorgeous, leather, made in Brazil, scored at The Edit for $40 – and, Jentine guesses, likely men’s as welll. If a black tank top brought on a sibling-wide battle, boots like these would have prompted an all-out war.

Geez, just think the carnage! I I think I’ll keep my sisters, thanks.

Sidenote:  Does anyone else remember the game from which this post takes its title? It was SO AWFUL! And I played it SO SO SO MUCH! With the slowest internet connection known to man!  Oh, internet, you leave us so many treasures.

Vintage blazer, ripped jeans, leather boots // We So Thrifty

Blazer: Girl on the Wing // $10
Denim Shirt: Salvation Army // $2
Jeans: American Eagle // $25
Purse: Clothing Swap // $0.50
Boots: The Edit // $40

Vintage touches // We So Thrifty // photo © Jenna Bos

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.

Without realizing it, my sister Adele‘s wedding perfectly executed this age-mantra. Navy bridesmaid dresses took care of the “blue,” and her perfect wedding dress was all “new”. But in keeping with the second-hand theme that gives this blog it’s bearings, I thought it might be fun to share the “borrowed” and “old” details from her big day. Consigned capes, thrifted shoes, vintage bags – all of them came together to create a mood that was timeless and festive.

Vintage stole // We So Thrifty // photo © Jenna Bos

-15 weather meant vintage furs all around. Adele found this beauty of a stole from The Way We Were, and wore a bracelet passed down from my Mom’s side of the family.

Vintage beaded bridal bag // We So Thrifty // photo © Jenna Bos

I scored this beaded handbag  Out of the Past in Hamilton for, like, $10 or something crazy like that.

Thrifted bridal flats // We So Thrifty // photo © Jenna Bos

I also thrifted the bridal shoes from Talize. Yes, I can be hired out as a personal wedding thrifter.

Lacy winter wedding // We So Thrifty // photo © Jenna Bos

Adele’s earrings are from Etsy, mine are from Valu Village – thrifted in haste the day before the wedding!

Vintage furs, bridal party // We So Thrifty // photo © Jenna Bos

OK, it was too cold to actually wear any of the vintage furs we sourced outside, but hotdamn, we worked them inside. From left to right: borrowed from Yen; bought from Valu Village; bought from The Way We Were; rented from Revolving Closet in Hamilton; borrowed from Terri.

Wedding chalkboard // We So Thrifty // photo © Jenna Bos

My Mom-in-law let us borrow this beautiful repurposed chalkboard frame for the guestbook table. She sells all sorts of refinished vintage over over at About Time Vintage.

View More:

While scouring the region for product for their used book store (White Rabbit Books), my parents came across piles of the cheesiest, prettiest retro romance novels you’ve ever seen. Guests got the couple to kiss by finding a steamy passage, and replacing the characters’ names with the bride and groom. Hilarity ensued!


Want more of this wedding? I also blogged about it (with even more photos) on my design blog. Yes, I know what you’re thinking: It’s a good thing I wasn’t a blogger when I got married, because I would have driven you all crazy.  One more very important factoid: All these photos are by the fabulous Jenna Bos! Who should really just add an extra “s” to her name, because she’s a total boss.


December 23, 2013 — 24 Comments

Polka dots and pleats // We So Thrifty

Polka dots and pleats // We So Thrifty

Polka dots and pleats // We So Thrifty

In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines,
Lived twelve little girls in two straight lines.
In two straight lines they broke their bread,
They brushed their teeth, they went to bed.
They left the house at half past nine.
Rain or shine, two straight lines,
The smallest one was Madeline.


Those are the first few lines of every Madeline story ever written. No, I didn’t copy those from wikipedia, or reference my Madeline anthology. Those seven lines are stuck in my brain for good. What’s a Madeline story? It’s a story, written and illustrated by Ludwig Bemelman, about a little red-headed girl named Madeline, and her adventures in and out of a Parisian boarding school. Though the books were published in the 1940s, they dominated the 90s for me. Every year at Christmas for nearly a decade, I’d recieve a new Madeline doll. Every doll had the same distinctive traits – stringy red hair, a crooked smile, and a little scar on her tummy  (left over from her appendectomy in book one).

For this reason, I was delighted when a co-worker offered this observation on my outfit “You look like Madeline!” Of course, I had to be “that guy” and tell her that Madeline’s trademark outfit was a blue coat with a yellow hat, but I still see what she was saying. I didn’t tell her, though, that while I don’t get a new Madeline doll for Christmas anymore, I do set up my collection like a weirdo in front of the tree every year.

That’s what traditions do: they morph. Tomorrow, even though it’s tradition to celebrate Christmas Eve in Georgetown with my family, we may very well host the gang at my old house, covered in vines (as both my sister and my parents are still without power from the CRAZY-ASS ice storm that skipped downtown Hamilton). While I haven’t really prepared for that, I have set up my Madeline dolls in the back of the living room, just in case my nieces want to play with them while the grown-ups play wine-infused Catchphrase. That would seem a very nice take on tradition, I think.

To borrow a few more words from Madeline: That’s all there is; there isn’t any more.

Merry Christmas, everyone!



Polka dots and pleats // We So Thrifty

Beaded beanie // We So Thrifty

Polka dots and pleats // We So Thrifty

Angora Hat: Salvation Army | $2.99
Sweater: Salvation Army | $5.99
Blouse: Salvation Army | $1.99
Skirt: Talize | $9.99
Booties: Talize / $12.99

White Christmas

December 13, 2013 — 10 Comments

Just like that, it’s mid December. We’re all humming and hawing over whether it’s too early to watch the stop animation version of Rudolph and BAM, it might be TOO LATE. Well, luckily, I had my act together early this year, and my Christmas tree has already been up for a few weeks. That’s a good thing, too, because the craziness of Christmas kicks into high-gear this weekend, bringing in a steady stream of parties, potlucks, and pot roast. While I love that the rest of December is an eat-a-thon, I know I won’t have a whole lot of time to blog. That’s too bad, as December is the funnest time to thrift. It’s hard to thrift for practical things, it’s easy to thrift for pretty things. At Christmas, you finally get to wear the pretty things.  If you don’t believe me, I’ve pulled out a few of my favourite thrifted fancies, alongside hypothetical scenarios to wear them, to inspire you to thrift some holiday glamour of your own.

New Year's Eve dress // We So Thrifty

New Year's Eve dress // We So Thrifty

OK so I won’t be wearing this on NYE in real life (BECAUSE MY SISTER IS GETTING MARRIED!), but if I didn’t have other plans, I totally would. I found this perfectly pretty cupcake of a dress from the Salvation Army for, like $8, and I think it’d make anyone feel like the belle of the ball.

Office party dress // We So Thrifty

Office party dress // We So Thrifty

I won’t be wearing this to my work Christmas party, simply because we don’t have one. We have a potluck that my co-worker lovingly deems “The Feeding Trough.” But if you are lucky enough to work with somebody that at all resembles Harvey Specter, this is the kind of dress you need. Yen found this dress at Valu Village for $12, and she knew it was a steal of a deal given the Lida Baday label. She didn’t know, though, until after she’d given it to me (evil grin), that it originally retailed for $(%)! Whoops that’s what happens when I try to capslock $950! Yep, that’s right, almost $1000 FOR A DRESS. You actually need to be a fictional lawyer on a TV to afford this brand-new.

Winter lace // We So Thrifty

Winter lace // We So Thrifty

All you need for Christmas day is a little lace dress. That’s also all you need for summer, so maybe that’s all you need ever? And if you’re lucky like me, it’ll only cost you $7. While this LOFT by Anne Taylor dress could easily be styled for summer, I plan to wear it with black tights, booties, a blazer and some red lipstick.


I told ya: ’tis the season to be thrifting. Falalalalalalalala BYE!