Yep, I went off to Van recently … with the husband, minus the kids. It was a once-in-five-years kind of deal, and my face reflected that pretty accurately, I think:
The extra exciting thing was planning my travel outfits. Yep, I’m a wild one. When traveling with kids, I have to think about practicality … which doesn’t leave much room for style. This time around, I knew I could wear dressier clothes with impunity. Well … almost. The thing is, when in Van as a tourist, you have to consider comfort no matter what, because you will be walking A LOT. Usually in the rain. So, I compromised. I wore lots of dresses, and sensible shoes.
This thrifted Eileen Fisher muumuu was a wonderful choice for traveling in — it’s incredibly comfortable, warm enough for the plane but not so warm that you end up over-heating. The faux leather jacket (also thrifted) was a life saver since it turned out to be pretty much impervious to the rain. Oh, of course there was rain. And my old Ferragamo flats are THE best option any time I have to walk for several miles.
By the second day, my hair gave up its valiant fight against the humidity, and I surrendered to the permanent-frizz. But my “leather” jacket still held strong.
I don’t have a good photo of my first “date night” outfit, but here’s the second. The cape was a permanent loan from my mom, who bought it second hand. The dress is a thrifted piece with a cool retro vibe, thanks to the midi length.
Here’s a better look at the dress:
Finally, I wore my thrifted William Rast jeans on the last day (and plane ride home). I also layered pretty much every warm thing I brought with me because it was wiiiindy.
Here’s a better look at my recently thrifted Vanessa Bruno sweater, over an AllSaints top I got for a song at Red Pony consignment. Love that asymmetrical neckline.
Till next time, Vancouver!
Personal note: As some of you may know, the town of Fort McMurray, located in northern Alberta (my home province), is currently besieged by out-of-control wildfires. The entire town has been under a mandatory evacuation notice since yesterday. 80,000 people are displaced, and many will likely have no homes to which to return. The photos and stories that have been coming through on social media and the news are truly heartbreaking. If you are able to, please consider making a donation to the Canadian Red Cross to help the victims.Thank you.
When it comes to clothes, I don’t have many regrets — and I’ve lived through some really questionable moments in fashion. Probably my biggest regret is selling my purple YSL Besace satchel a few years ago. It taught me an important lesson: when it comes to special pieces, don’t rush to purge — even if you think you’re sure you won’t come to love it or use it again. After I sold my Besace, I started to fall back in love with its aesthetic. (To add insult to injury, I got hosed selling it on Kijiji, which is another lesson entirely.) I have been stalking eBay for over a year now, waiting to find another Besace within my price range. The purple has eluded me, but I was finally able to snag a great deal on this lovely grey version.
The other special piece I was recently “reunited” with, thanks to eBay, is this mustard yellow Tabitha wool jacket. Years and years ago, I fell in love with it in the Anthropologie store, but it was too expensive for my then-budget; I waited and waited for it to go on sale, and was, unfortunately, only ever able to find the grey version in my size. I bought it, somewhat reluctantly, but never truly got into it until last year — thank goodness I never managed to sell it in the interim as I had planned. Seeing how versatile and lovely the grey version turned out to be, it got me thinking about the yellow again. Yup, I now have two identical jackets — save for the colour — and I couldn’t be happier about it.
The rest of the outfit … well, it’s there. You can’t go wrong with stripes, and I’m glad I finally found a striped top that satisfies my finicky specifications. This one was a cheapie from J. Crew Factory. My flared jeans are thrifted Paige, and I have to say that the cut is growing on me, although I wish the rise was a little bit higher. Still, no major complaints — this was definitely an easy-peasy casual Friday outfit that made me happy.
It’s been a hot minute since my last thrifting update, but I’m a woman with a one-track mind, and that track is all thrifting, all the time. (I also work sometimes, and there are some kids running around here somewhere that sometimes need stuff from me, and I write a bit now and then … minor details, ok?) I have decided that “stress thrifting” is a thing, and while it may not be as cute as those dogs they send to old people’s homes to cheer up the residents (is ANYthing cuter than those dogs?), it is serving me well. Particularly on days when I hit the thrifting motherload … which, frankly, is bound to happen more frequently, the more often one goes. It’s a law of thrift or something.
Anyway, enough jibber jabber — take a look at my recent finds:
I lied … first up, some things I didn’t buy. These T-strap shoes (sandals?) were cute, but not quite my style. My outfits usually have so much going on, I like to keep my shoes simple.
I rarely find nice leather bags when thrifting, so this B. Makowsky gold hobo was a standout. A metallic bag is surprisingly versatile, so I recommend it to people wanting an alternative to black for an everyday sort of bag. The leather on this bag was in pretty good shape — very soft, lovely to the touch — with just a bit of rubbing/scuffing on the hardware. Too bad VV wanted FORTY freaking dollars for it. Now, $40 for a good leather bag is not bad, but it seems a bit ridiculous at a thrift store. Similar bags are selling for $30-60 on eBay, for reference.
OK, gripe over. Let’s talk about things I actually bought.
I don’t only thrift for clothes, you guys! I bought this print of the countryside around San Gimignano (still in its wrapper!) by an Italian photographer initially because S. Gimignano is one of my favourite places in Tuscany (which is my fave area of Italy), but I think I won’t be keeping it. I’m going to frame it and give it to my mom for Mother’s Day. She loves S. Gimignano as much as I do, and I think it will be a nice memento.
These BR Sloan pants might not seem like the most exciting thrift find, but trust me — they were. I love Sloan pants (and have worn them at work almost exclusively for the past 2 years), but I am beyond fed up with the fact that they never seem to go on decent sale (in Canada, at any rate). I am not paying $60+ for a pair of pants that, frankly, could be better quality. (I just love the style, sigh. Non-baggy knees, FTW.) Anyway, finding a pair of Sloans in my size, in good condition (i.e. not shrunk), in a colour I actually need (navy) is a small thrifting miracle.
My other Holy Grail brand for pants is Adriano Goldschmied. I adore the Stevie cords; one of the few downsides of losing weight last year was the fact that my old pairs of Stevies no longer fit. I was beyond pumped to find a new pair, in a gorgeous forest green colour — and they were 50% courtesy of Goodwill’s daily deal.
My inner colour magpie couldn’t resist this psychedelic floral. The inside tag is cut off so I can’t be sure of the fabric content, but it feels very nice and soft and silk-like (even if it’s probably polyester).
Stuart Weitzman is one of my fave shoe brands for its high comfort level. For $9, these peep toe pumps were a no-brainer. I’m not a huge fan of peep toes generally (I find them uncomfortable), but the cut-out on this pair was pretty small, and didn’t seem to pose a danger to my toes. The shoes were in fantastic condition save for a few small knicks on the inside part of the heels. (The leather is finished so that it looks intetionally distressed, which threw me off for a second when I first saw them.)
Lida Baday is a fancy Canadian designer, so it’s always great to find her (made in Canada) pieces in thrift stores — far better than spending hundreds of dollars on them at Holt Renfrew. This blazer has a lovely, sleek, waist-defining cut so I had to buy it even though I have a bazillion blazers. Had to, I tell you!
I also love Yoana Baraschi pieces, and I couldn’t resist this beautiful lace print. (I’m starting to sense a theme here — when did this turn into Adina’s favourite brands list?) Even at full price ($13), this was a great deal … except for one tiny detail. This is a size 14. I hemmed and hawed over it for a while, then decided to get it and take my chances: I will see if I can get it altered to fit (without ruining the dress entirely), and if not, I will pass it on to a friend. Stay tuned.
Edited to add: spoiler alert: I found a new tailor, and I can safely call this dress an unqualified success. Pics to come!
Cute polka dot impulse buy.
I know veteran thrifters (especially re-sellers) love Eileen Fisher pieces, but this was actually only the second time I’ve ever seen the brand in one of my local haunts. I’m glad that VV hasn’t caught on that EF is a thing, because I was able to get this for $11 without using one of my precious 30% coupons. I had to have it because it’s a beige version of my grey tube dress, which I’ve worn a ton. This one is also a fantastic lightweight knit (made of Italian yarn, so — fancy!) and a good length on me (almost ankle-length). Can’t wait to wear it!
I know this doesn’t look that exciting in this photo, but this sweater is amazeballs, you guys. As soon as I touched it, I knew it was special. The wool/alpaca blend feels and looks so luxe. I took a look at the label and vaguely recognized the name as one of those high end but lesser known brands. When I looked at the inside tag and saw that the sweater was made in Italy, it confirmed that I had stumbled upon a winner. I didn’t even bother trying it on before I bought it. Luckily, it fits like a dream.
Hands down, one of my fave thrift scores ever. This Escada dress is in perfect condition, and fits beautifully. It makes me feel a bit like a 1940s femme fatale. Priceless.
This cute, flirty Prada wrap dress was a nice score, and also a bit of a lesson. I almost passed right by it. The Goodwill dress rack is jam packed, so it’s sometimes almost impossible to make enough room to properly see each dress individually. I usually just scan for interesting prints, and look for labels I recognize. In this instance, I could barely see the print (the rack was extra packed that day), and the tag was literally hanging by a thread and turned backwards. I don’t know what compelled me to stop and take the extra effort to turn the tag around, but I’m glad that I did. That was lesson #1: sometimes, it pays to take your time.
Lesson #2 happened at home. One of my weird thrifting-related hobbies is looking up the things I find online. I like to know their original retail price (remember my weakness for statistics), and see how other people have worn them. Well, imagine my surprise when I found an all-black version of this dress on eBay listed as having a MSRP of US$2,500. Needless to say, my jaw dropped a considerable distance. The lesson is … retail prices are whack. And also, do your homework because sometimes even if you think you know, you have no idea what you’ve actually found.