Category: Thrifting

Tales From The Thrift: Inauspicious Beginnings

As the title suggests, this month’s thrifting did not start off strong. I’ve been put off lately by Value Village’s increasingly aggressive pricing and gravitating towards consignment instead, which probably doesn’t help. You know the deal: the more often you thrift, the more stuff you find. My visits have dwindled and I’m finding I have less patience for sorting through racks thoroughly. I’m not sure why, except that I’m pretty happy with my current closet, and Netflix is my new “therapy”. Anyway, all of this probably explains why I didn’t find (or buy) much this month. It’s all fine and good. If I have learned one thing from the past 2 years of thrifting is that there is always an amazing score just around the corner.

For now, let’s look at what I spotted recently.

Spotted not thrifted #1
Spotted not thrifted #1
part deux
part deux

Lots of good brands out there, but I’m getting more and more picky about style; much is left behind — treasures for another thriftanista to discover.

Weston top
Weston top

I haven’t been buying Anthro with quite the same frequency as before, but I still spot it here and there. This Weston top looked quite comfy, but the whimsical print was, well, too whimsical for me.

BCBG dress
BCBG dress

Pretty dress, but I loathe that shade of blue-green.

ranna gill top
ranna gill top

Another very cute Anthro top, this one too boho for my taste.

BCBG jumpsuit
BCBG jumpsuit

I love the idea of this jumpsuit, but its proportions were ALL WRONG for my extra long torso. I contorted to get this photo so it would not look half bad, but I assure you the whole thing was tragic (and painful) in real life.

BCBG dress
BCBG dress

More BCBG; cute dress, but again not my style. Also, the ridiculous VV pricing. Practically every dress is $17 and up. Ugh.

Rachel Roy dress
Rachel Roy dress

I was tempted by this; a year ago, I would have bought it for sure. But I didn’t love the poly fabric, and I didn’t see myself wearing this enough to justify getting it.

Bod & Christiansen jacket
Bod & Christensen jacket

I was very, very tempted by this jacket, and I will probably regret not buying it. It was real leather for about $20. My rationale came down to wanting to split my wears. I love my current black moto leather jacket, and it fills that particular hole in my closet. I rarely wear my Mackage jacket. A third leather jacket would be de trop, especially since I don’t wear a lot of brown.

DKNY dress
DKNY dress

I’ve been pondering LBDs, but I couldn’t get myself to pull the trigger on this one either. I love wearing black, but black dresses are, for me, somehow better in theory than real life.

Eva Franco skirt
Eva Franco skirt

Cute (and tiny!!) bubble skirt. The silhouette looks dated now, but it will probably be back in style in a few years.

Deletta top
Deletta top

I was tempted by this top, but the front was too low-cut and the fabric too thin. Pass.

Left: Bobeau; right: Tahari
Left: Bobeau; right: Tahari

I almost bought the butterfly top on the left because … butterflies! But in the end I decided the print was a bit too “juniors section”. The Tahari top on the right was a bit too ladylike for my current aesthetic.

Left: Haute Hippie; right: Anthro
Left: Haute Hippie; right: Anthro

More “misses”. I think this was my first time spotting Haute Hippie. I think it’s one of those surprisingly pricey brands that gets features in magazines like InStyle.

vintage cardigan
vintage cardigan

How gorgeous is the embroidery on this vintage (?) cardigan. I rarely wear cardigans, especially such ladylike ones, but I admire the handiwork.

Fridget cardigan
Fridget cardigan

Fridget is a local designer, and it’s always fun to find one of their pieces. It’s not usually my aesthetic, but I liked this cardigan/jacket. It was a XXS, so I couldn’t make it work, sadly.

Loewe (??) bag
Loewe (??) bag

I don’t know if this was an authetic Loewe bag. There were some red flags for sure, but on the other hand … is Loewe a brand that gets knocked off these days? Though cute, I didn’t love this little cross-body enough to research properly.

Poppy Barley flats
Poppy Barley flats

My first time spotting Poppy Barley! Another local designer who is getting bigger and bigger every year. They just opened a new flagship store at Southgate Mall. These flats were cute but way too small.

Daughters of the Liberation pants
Daughters of the Liberation pants

A cute pair of cargo pants that were sadly also too small for me.

Sweet Chemise dress
Sweet Chemise dress

Sweet Chemise is a Canadian brand I used to love. Their clothes are always very nicely tailored; as my style has changed, their aesthetic doesn’t work for me as well as it used to, but I would recommend them for quality.

Meadow Rue dress
Meadow Rue dress

This dress was so, so terrible. Terrible fabric, weird and terrible fit.

Oak & Fort sweater
Oak & Fort sweater

Readers, I bought this. Yes, it is big and chunky and mostly unflattering, but it’s also comfortable and … did I mention big and chunky? Because that’s my jam.

Topshop blazer
Topshop blazer

I bought this blazer because I love the shape of it, not to mention the colour. I thought it would be better quality than my old H&M (burgundy) blazer, which I’d been looking to replace. Well, it looks good. The quality on the other hand? Not much better than H&M. Oh well, at least it was only $8.

BCBG slip dress
BCBG slip dress

I bought this as a layering piece, and it’s borderline scandalous — which is too bad, because I would have loved a similar but less risque option for the office.

Phillip Lim 3.1 dress
Phillip Lim 3.1 dress

This was my one big “score”, designer-wise. I love Phillip Lim’s aesthetic generally, though this skews more athleisure than my usual style. I like how it looks, but I am not 100% sure if I’m keeping it.

Stay tuned for more thrifting adventures next week, and don’t forget to share your recent scores in the comments.

Tales From The Thrift: Summer Edition

Thrifting has definitely picked back up after a slow start earlier this year. Funnily enough, my shopping has slowed down quite a bit around the same time; I am (finally!) getting better pickier in my thrift choices which is good news for my on-going wardrobe curation efforts. But the hunt is always fun, as is writing these recap posts. So let`s get to it!

spotted not thrifted, part 1
spotted not thrifted, part 1

Here`s a quick round-up of brands I spotted in the past month …

spotted not thrifted, part 2
spotted not thrifted, part 2

… and a few more. I was trying to explain this to a (skeptical) friend from Vancouver, and this is proof: Edmonton is a designer-savvy town. Our thrift stores see all the fancy brands on the regular.

Talula blazer
Talula blazer

I used to be quite the blazer collector but my current work wardrobe can`t justify an extensive collection, so I talked myself into passing up on this Talula number. The tailoring was great, but the wool felt heavy and constrictive, which are two adjectives I don`t particularly like when it comes to blazers.

J. Crew top
J. Crew top

I used to be mad about J. Crew, but I haven`t been wowed by their pieces in a long time, either at retail or secondhand. This top is way too bright for me, though I could see it working for someone with a funkier style.

Halston Heritage dress
Halston Heritage dress

This was such a terrible dress on me. Like, comically bad. Separate from that, I was not impressed with the quality at all; it felt very Zara-esque, which is disappointing given the retail price point for Halston Heritage.

no name tunic
no name tunic

I was really tempted by this odd-duck, embroidered mesh tunic; I thought it had the potential to look quirky chic paired with something like my Rick Owens turtleneck maxi dress. I ended up passing on it in the end because I saw that the appliques were glued on to the netting, rather than sewn on, which seemed like a sure sign of fast fashion quality.

Free People top
Free People top

Such a cute top … from the front. From the side — yikes. Way outside my comfort zone.

Left to right: Isaac Mizrahi; Tabitha; Club Monaco
Left to right: Isaac Mizrahi; Tabitha; Club Monaco

Here is a bunch of “almost but not quite” dresses. I used to own the Isaac Mizrahi for Target dress (left) in a different colour, and was impressed by the cut and quality. Sadly, like my old dress (since donated), this one was too big for me. It would make a great LBD. The Tabitha dress (middle) is something I would have loved a year ago. The Club Monaco dress was made of silk with a wonderful hand-feel (soooo soft), but the bright pink colour is definitely not in my palette.

Left: Judith & Charles; right: Club Monaco
Left: Judith & Charles; right: Club Monaco

More misses. I call these the “damn those hips” edition. I was intrigued by the Judith & Charles dress (left) with its mod-like patches, but it was cut for an inverted triangle (broad on top, tapered on the bottom) not a pear shape. Meanwhile, the Club Monaco shirt-dress (right) took my hips and magnified them like whoa.

Yoana Baraschi
Yoana Baraschi

I thrifted this exact same skirt for my mom earlier this year. If this skirt had been my size, we could have twinned, but the mix of florals and polka dots is a bit too “sweet” for my whole jolie laide style thing anyway so … no loss.

Maeve dress
Maeve dress

Too sweet, too small.

Hale Bop dress
Hale Bop dress

Also too small. And the pattern was a bit too much for me. True story.

Anthro dress
Anthro dress

I was initially drawn to this dress, but quickly realized that it fit really small and the fabric had seen better days.

Hermes (!!) pumps
Hermes (!!) pumps

Yup, that`s Hermes. My first time spotting it “in the wild”, and it certainly required a close look to do it. The shoes would have fit me, but they were in poor-ish condition, so I passed. In the past, I would probably have bought them for the thrift bragging rights alone, so this is progress.

French Connection oxfords
French Connection oxfords

I was really tempted to buy these for my BFF; I think she would have loved the style, but I wasn`t sure that they would fit her and I didn`t want to risk it.

Left: Maggy London: right: Lida Baday
Left: Maggy London: right: Lida Baday

Hey, look: more dresses that didn`t work out. The Maggy London maxi dress (left) was quite fabulous, but the fit was a bit off on me. I also have quite enough cocktail dresses, and not nearly enough cocktail parties to attend, so this dress would have been wasted in my closet in any event. I like a lot of Lida Baday pieces, but this dress (right) was the epitome of boring beige blah against my skin tone.

Clockwise from top left: One September; Maeve; Johnny Was; Odille
Clockwise from top left: One September; Maeve; Johnny Was; Odille

These are 4 tops I spotted while thrifting in Calgary last month. I bought 2 of them — can you guess which ones?

If you guessed the top right and bottom right, ding ding ding: you`re a winner. I got the Maeve floral number for myself (natch), and the Johnny Was embroidered blouse for my mom. The latter is a brand I recognized mainly from other thrifters` IGs; considering that it probably retailed for something like $200US, it perfectly illustrates one of my thrifting tips: do your research. Or, as in this case, let others do it for you and learn from them.

Cartonnier blazer
Cartonnier blazer

I hemmed and hawed over this blazer for a bit before biting the bullet. On one hand, I don`t NEED it (see above) and there is nothing truly extraordinary about it. On the other hand, it`s Cartonnier and I rarely walk away from Cartonnier, especially for $5. Sold.

Bailey 44 top
Bailey 44 top

This was one of my fave recent thrift finds. You`ve already seen this top in action, and it`s pretty awesome.

Etro tunic
Etro tunic

Ditto for this Etro top. I was originally on the fence about the print, but it`s really growing on me. It`s a beautifully made piece, which makes it hard to resist, print or no print.

Parker jacket
Parker jacket

A sequin jacket is a lot of “look”, but I`ve seen a friend of mine rock a similar one in a totally minimalist-slash-understated-elegant way so I decided to pick this up as an experiment. It was only something like $13, and in shockingly amazing condition considering how fragile sequin embroidery usually is. I`ve already worn it once and I liked it a lot, so no regrets here.

Dries Van Noten top (not dress)
Dries Van Noten top (not dress)

Another thrifting first: Dries Van Noten. It`s always such a pleasant surprise to see something like this hiding in a rack of stuff from Rickies, George, and the like. That`s the thrill of the hunt, you guys. Also, this prompted me to look up Dries stuff on eBay and I think I`m in love. This could be the start of a dangerous (to my wallet) love affair.

Your turn now: I want to hear all about your recent thrifting adventures. And if you have thrifting-related questions, hit me up in the comments.

Tales From The Thrift: July Encore

Another month, another round-up of thrift finds, with bonus Calgary stuff thrown into the mix. I had pretty good luck this month, and spotted a bunch of cute-but-not-for-me pieces as well. Vacation thrifting was a bit of a bust, but the hometown scene more than makes up for that. Plus, at the end of this month I’ll be heading to Vancouver again, so I’ll get another chance to treasure hunt in new grounds.

We have a lot to cover, so let’s get started!

spotted not thrifted #1
spotted not thrifted #1
spotted not thrifted #2
spotted not thrifted #2

I like doing these collages because it gives you a sense of the spectrum of brands you can find in our local thrift stores. Basically, it’s anything and everything.

Left: Club Monaco; right: Iris Setlawke
Left: Club Monaco; right: Iris Setlawke

Two cute dresses, both passes for me. I adored the colour of the Club Monaco dress on the left, but it fit very poorly around the hips. The colour of the dress on the left does nothing for me, and the style is not really my thing either, but it’s a dress that would be fantastic on the right person. The brand is made in Canada, and sells for $$$ at Blu’s, so keep an eye out for it, ladies.

Talula blazer
Talula blazer

I love the cut of the Talula Kent blazer, but this one was too tight in the shoulders.

Vanessa Virginia blouse
Vanessa Virginia blouse

I have been searching high and low for a particular Vanessa Virginia blouse, but no luck. This one was cute but no cigar.

Teenflo suit
Teenflo suit

A beautiful cut skirt suit, but sadly a couple of sizes too big for me. Also, my work dress code is about to become a lot more casual, so a full suit is not something I really need these days. For $8, I hope someone picked this up.

French Connection pumps
French Connection pumps

Cute pumps in like-new condition, but too small for me.

Dex jacket
Dex jacket

This is not my current style, but I loved all the details. Very old skool Anthro-esque.

Talula blazer #2
Talula blazer #2

Another too-small Talula Kent blazer. The colour, while beautiful, is also not within my colour palette.

Nanette Lepore coat
Nanette Lepore coat

Cute coat but too gamine a style for me.

Knitted & Knotted sweater
Knitted & Knotted sweater

I loved this sweater so, so much, but the colour – gah! It makes me look green around the gills.

J. Crew dress
J. Crew dress

This dress was NWT, if I recall correctly, and I can see why. The fit … oof. I have no idea what body type this would flatter, but it ain’t mine.

Edme & Esyllte dress
Edme & Esyllte dress

Cute dress, not my thang. Still had the tags on. $168 seems ridiculously high for this.

Plenty by TracyReese dress
Plenty by TracyReese dress

Another cute dress which did my hips no favours.

J. Crew dress
J. Crew dress

Cute dress, but that flounce is not my (current) cup of tea.

Bob Mackie dress
Bob Mackie dress

Does anyone else remember the outfits that Bob Mackie used to design for Cher? This might as well be a nun outfit by comparison, but it was cool to see this retro callback.

Left: Jeoffrey Caoc; right: Ett Twa (??)
Left: Jeoffrey Caoc; right: Ett Twa (??)

A couple of cute tops I passed on. See, I DO have some self-restraint.

Maeve dress
Maeve dress

Remember my old no-Anthro-left-behind motto? Those were the good old days of … um … 2016. I left this behind; too “girly” for my current style.

Left: Charlie Jade; right: French Connection
Left: Charlie Jade; right: French Connection

These tops were also cute but not memorable enough to make up for the fact they were polyester.

Joie sweater
Joie sweater

Snakeprint is a no-go for me; otherwise this Joie sweater would have been a winner. Can’t have too many sweaters.

Cartonnier blazer
Cartonnier blazer

Leopard print is another no-go for me. It’s always a sad day when I have to pass on a Cartonnier blazer.

Rebecca Taylor jacket
Rebecca Taylor jacket

This Rebecca Taylor jacket was a bit more worn than I like, plus I wasn’t sure I could easily incorporate it into my wardrobe so I passed.

Zara top
Zara top

I was intrigued by this top. It had interesting design details, some of which looked expensive, but the hand-feel wasn’t right. All the tags had been cut off, but I googled it out of curiosity. It’s a Zara piece. The quality makes a lot of sense, knowing that.

Kate Spade Saturday dress
Kate Spade Saturday dress

Oh, to be a few years younger and/or a lot cooler! I have nowhere to wear a dress this funky and short, so I left it behind. Someone else will give it a good time, I’m sure.

Left: Hei Hei; right: J. Brand
Left: Hei Hei; right: J. Brand

I passed on the J Brand skinnies on the right because, although the colour was perfect, I have enough. Yes, you read that right. I didn’t buy something because I decided I had enough of a particular thing. Mark this one down for the history books.

I did buy the Hei Hei pants because they’re technically *not* sweatpants but sure feel like it. I am sure they will come in very handy one of these weekends.

T Babaton top
T Babaton top

Gah, I loved this top so, so much. I had been wanting a “marigold” top for ages, and I would have bought this in a heartbeat (even with the sheer-ish back), but the neckline was too low in the front. I was pretty bummed out about it, but my restraint was ultimately rewarded … to be continued below.

From top left (clockwise): J. Crew skirt; Pleione top; Deletta top; Cartonnier jacket
From top left (clockwise): J. Crew skirt; Pleione top; Deletta top; Cartonnier jacket

A few Calgary thrift hits. The only thing I bought from the above was the ivory Cartonnier jacket.

T Babaton sweater
T Babaton sweater

Yep, my consolation prize. Same brand, but a slightly different style. It’s kind of annoying that you can see my bra in the back, but I can live with it; the sweater is quite lightweight, so I can layer it under blazers for work if need be. Also, with a nude bra, it’s not at all see-through, I promise.

H&M top
H&M top

I don’t normally bother with H&M, but this colour is hard to find, and I liked the plainness of the top, so I bought it. It will be a nice complement to some of my statement (print) pieces.

Oak & Fort coat
Oak & Fort coat

I also love the simplicity of this Oak & Fort coat, which you have already seen in action. It’s a nice grey, and it will be perfect for early fall (and cooler summer mornings).