Month: August 2016

Florals & Lace

Dress, Maggy London (thrifted); blazer, J Crew (thrifted); shoes, Stuart Weitzman; bag, Mulberry (via eBay)
Dress, Maggy London (thrifted); blazer, J Crew (thrifted); shoes, Stuart Weitzman; bag, Mulberry (via eBay)

I wore this Maggy London dress on the day I had to take new head shots at work, because I wanted to have a little bit of colour near my face. I also used that opportunity to road test a new way of doing my eyebrows … which, in retrospect, was a terrible idea. Inspired by my beauty idol, Jessica Chastain, I’ve been wanting to try lighter eyebrows for a while, and finally took the plunge after buying a cheapie eyebrow pencil from Essence. I think the results were … mostly ok, but not so much in front of the (professional) camera. My makeup looked natural enough in normal lighting, but I ended up looking pretty washed out in the profesh photos. Sigh.

lightened up
lightened up

As for the rest of the outfit, it was fine. Lace always feels a bit risquĂ© to me, but I felt the were enough more conservative/formal elements to the outfit to balance it out. I think I’ll have to try is dress a few more times before I decide whether it’s a keeper or not.

all about that lace
all about that lace
fuchsia, baby
fuchsia, baby

Fade to Black

Blazer, Cartonnier (thrifted); top, Theory (thrifted); pants, Aritzia (thrifted); shoes, Stuart Weitzman (thrifted); bag, Louis Vuitton; necklace, J. Crew Factory
Blazer, Cartonnier (thrifted); top, Theory (thrifted); pants, Aritzia (thrifted); shoes, Stuart Weitzman (thrifted); bag, Louis Vuitton; necklace, J. Crew Factory

I rarely wear head-to-toe black … though, I should do so more often because it’s so, so easy to feel polished wearing black … but I digress. I switched up my outfit plans on the day I wore this iteration because I had just thrifted these Stuart Weitzman pumps and couldn’t wait to wear them; a simple, all-black outfit seemed like a good idea given the bold look of these shoes. They remind me so much of the Roger Vivier flats I’ve admired on others but which I’ve found in the wild, err, thrifting; the only difference is that this pair has a low chunky heel.

The rest of the outfit is pretty straight-forward. The top is quickly becoming a favourite of mine; it’s by Theory, and it has a very flattering, subtle peplum and pockets. Yes, pockets! How cool is that? The pants are Talula brand (from Aritzia), and they’re a slouchier take on my usual Sloans, which somehow feels a bit more … elegant? Effortlessly chic? Something. Moving on, the blazer is another new fave — the heathered knit is a nice alternative to plain black, and it lends a bit of texture to the outfit. It’s hella comfy too. The necklace is an old J. Crew Factory one, and it always garners a compliment or two; it’s the only retail piece in the picture. But, let’s be honest: they’re all supporting players here. Those shoes are stealing the show, for sure.

one, two, buckle my shoe
one, two, buckle my shoe
black, with a side of amarante
black, with a side of amarante

Tales From the Thrift: All the Pretty (Useful) Things

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about whether I should continue with these thrifting recaps or not. I personally love reading posts of this kind on other blogs, and I know I’m not alone in that, but I am also conscious of the fact that some people may find my shopping excessive and these posts obnoxious. In the end, I decided to keep running these for the time being. Thrifting is a big part of my life now, both as a hobby and as a life/style choice, and these posts are my way of sharing that here on the blog.

looks promising
looks promising

First up, a quick lesson in on-the-spot authenticating. I saw what appeared to be a Louis Vuitton Musette at my local VV, and zoomed in for a closer look. The material did not immediately scream “fake”, and felt substantial rather than thin and cheap.

Once I opened the bag, however, things began to look less promising. The lining did look and feel cheap, and there were quite a few loose threads — not what I would expect from LV. There was quite a bit of cracking as well, which seemed incongruous given the external condition of the bag.

hmmmm ...
hmmmm …
definitely iffy ...
definitely iffy …
nope
nope

What ultimately convinced me that the bag was a counterfeit was the lettering. It may not be immediately apparent in the photo above, but in real life, it was clear that the lettering was not stamped into the bag but rather affixed like a sort of sticker. The lettering itself may have also been “off” (I believe that the shape of the “o” is often a giveaway) but I’m not sufficiently expert in LV to offer an opinion on that.

close but no cigar
close but no cigar

I was excited to find these MaxMara coloured jeans — in my size! — but they had a few stains, which I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get out, so I passed.

all the designer ties ...
all the designer ties …

I love to buy ties for my husband, and thrift stores are a veritable treasure trove of fancy ones. My husband is very picky about his ties, so I ended up only getting him the Ted Baker one — a score for $8.

Topshop blazer
Topshop blazer

This blazer was nothing fancy, but I thought the relaxed style would make it a nice casual option. It replaces an older blazer of similar vibe that’s now too big.

Made in China, 81% polyester + 14% viscose + 5% elastane (100% acetate lining).

Pilcro Stet cropped jeans
Pilcro Stet cropped jeans

I’ve been looking for a pair of white jeans forEVER, but have found it impossible to scope a pair that was sufficiently opaque and the right style (skinny, cropped) for a reasonable (read: low) price. I love white jeans on other people — they look so cool and chic in the summer — but I’m not convinced that they would be a closet staple for me, so I’m not willing to invest hundreds of dollars in premium denim to find out. These Pilcro pair was an odd cut (cropped but slightly flared, what the hell?), but only $12. I took the chance.

Made in Guatemala, 92% cotton + 7% polyester + 1% elastane.

(I’ve noticed that Pilcros tend to be stiffer than other jeans, and now that I’ve looked at the fabric composition, I see why. I find that the most comfy jeans I own have a higher elastane content.)

Hollister romper
Hollister romper

I know what you’re thinking and you’re right: this is way too young for me. But it’s also hella cute and comfy, and even though the summer’s almost over, I really want to jump on the romper bandwagon AT LONG LAST. For $5, new with Winners tags still attached, I’ll take the risk. That’s one of the great things about thrifting: low risk (and low impact) experimentation.

Made in China, 54% cotton + 46% viscose.

Saturday/Sunday blazer
Saturday/Sunday blazer

I originally pulled this from the rack for Cassie, but it didn’t work for her, so I tried it on — and loved it. It’s soft and unstructured, and perfect for casual Friday or weekend wear. I’m fresh out of blazers, too. [No, no I’m not.] I think this is another Anthro brand, which is amusing; my sixth sense is still as strong as ever.

Made in Vietnam, 60% cotton + 40% polyester.

no name scarf
no name scarf

I love a good blue and red print. That’s all.

Swarovski necklace
Swarovski necklace

I found this Swarovski necklace at a Calgary VV, and got really excited when I spotted the tell-tale swan. I love Swarovski jewelry, and I liked the look of this particular pieces a lot — win, win. Or so I thought. I should have known better; it was priced at a whopping $45, and I immediately walked away. But, as it happened, the following day was my birthday, and I was in a YOLO frame of mind (with some birthday cash burning a hole in my pocket) so I went back for it. In the greater scheme of things, the price wasn’t a dealbreaker, but the sticker shock was real — I’ve been thrifting for so long, this counts as a huge splurge.

no name necklace
no name necklace

I found this necklace at the same store, and it was more reasonably priced at a mere $12. The quality looks better than average for costume jewelry, and the design is really cool. There is a stamp on the back which appears to read “Butler” but I haven’t been able to track that down in any way.

Gabby Skye dress
Gabby Skye dress

Total impulse buy, but I was intrigued by the print. It looked vaguely Mexican to me — probably because of the bright colours and striped pattern. It’s not particularly minimalist, but I decided to indulge my boho side this time. I think this is a brand sold at Nordstrom, but not one with which I’m familiar.

Made in Vietnam, 100% polyester (100% poly lining).

BCBG dress
BCBG dress
close-up on belt
close-up on belt

No lie: I bought this dress primarily for the belt. At $7, it was a good deal. Still, the dress itself is growing on me. The top and lining is made out of what is basically t-shirt material, so it’s super comfy. I can see getting a fair bit of use out of it on weekend dates.

Made in China, 100% silk (contrast & lining is 95% polyester + 5% elastane).

Ted Baker tote
Ted Baker tote

Another Calgary splurge, this Ted Baker tote set me back $20 at Goodwill. I’m a sucker for rose gold and metallic bags. This one is in pretty good shape, minus some hairline scratches (which are to be expected given the delicate foil coating).

Ferragamo
Ferragamo

I bought these vintage gold Ferragamo Varas (in mint condition) for my mom … and kinda wish I could fit my ginormous, ugly stepsister feet in them. In the end, they sadly turned out to be too narrow for my mom, so they’re now up for sale on the blog shop page. Sigh.

How did your thrifting go this month?

Unrelated sidenote: the second chapter of my free weekly serial is now up on my author blog, and you can read it here. Hope you like it!