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  • InThrifting

    My Thrifted Sweater Stockings Make For The Ultimate Upcycled Holiday

    I’ve always tried to find the most unique, sustainable ways to decorate my home. From thrifted shelving to secondhand throw pillows, there have been so many ways that I’ve gone eco-friendly in my home. But it was even more important to me to stick to my mindset this holiday season. Warm little touches around the home are what the holidays are made of. There’s nothing better than a handmade touch to make the season bright. So I decided to make thrifted sweater stockings for the first holiday in my home. Because that’s what the holidays are for me — handmade touches.

    It’s no secret that I thrift a little too much. Despite a successful stint at a minimalist closet this summer, fall came and I bought one too many sweaters. I decided to make the most of those purchases. Instead of reselling or donating the items, I made thrifted sweater stockings instead. They were pretty easy to make, were a great way to upcycle, and add a personal touch to my home. It’s a win-win-win.

    If you can cut and sew a straight line, you can make these thrifted sweater stockings.

    thrifted sweater stockings holiday DIYAll I used to make these were two thrifted sweaters, scissors, a sewing machine, and a half a yard of cotton for the lining. I decided that I wanted some lining in them, so that the sweater didn’t stretch too much when I placed items inside. Because these thrifted sweater stockings aren’t just for show. We will be using them this season, too.

    I actually had this idea last year, but never got around to making them. Life works in mysterious ways, and I think the universe wanted me to save this craft project for my new home.

    All in all, the thrifted sweater stockings are 100% cotton — lining and sweater. That part was really important to me. I’ve become way more aware of the fabrics that I am wearing this year. It was just as important to me that the materials that I am creating with are just as good for the planet.

    1. I made a pattern for the stocking using a large ream of sketch paper that I had on hand, but you could easily just trace another stocking of the size that you like.
    2. After that I pinned and cut two sides of the sweater. I pinned and cut both of them at the same time to save me some time. But you could easily do two different cuts, if you’re feeling a bit nervous.
    3. Next step was to cut the cotton lining and sew them to the inside of the sweater stocking.
    4. I then sewed the two pieces of lined stocking together. I made sure to leave one side open, so that I could sew on the top cuff.
    Pro tip: if you’re not confident with sewing on a different piece for the cuff, just make the tops of the stocking extra large and fold them down. You won’t get two different textures, but it will give the same effect!
    5. The last step is to sew the cuff on and attach a little tab by hand.

    thrifted sweater stockings DIY holidayAfter that you’re all done and ready to hang your thrifted sweater stockings. I decided to hang mine on some cute little hangers that looked sort of like deer antlers. We didn’t go all out with out Christmas decorations this year. Instead, we decided to stock with classic, all-white decor.

    For our first holiday season, it made more sense for us to incorporate some holiday touches, instead of just going all out red and green. We are still figuring out our style and the way we want our home.

    I am a bit biased, but I think they turned out really nice! This is the perfect craft to do with the family. Everyone can pick their favorite sweater and cut them out together. Heck, you could even make souvenirs out of your ugly Christmas sweaters every year.

    Not to mention that you’re saving an item from the landfill at the same time.

    Around the same time that I was DIYing these, Emily Faith made some of her own as well. If you’re looking for a full tutorial, make sure to head to her YouTube page. Hers are a little different than mine, but I think you will really enjoy looking at her page.

    What do you guys think of my stockings? I really want to start showing off more of my thrifted decor. I’m also making it a mission next year to create more — in every sense of the word. I feel like these thrifted sweater stockings were the perfect way to kick off the new season a little early. I’m a firm believer in starting New Year’s resolutions early, too. Nothing feels better than going into the new year already in the swing of things!



  • InSustainable Fashion, Thrifting

    Here’s How My Dressember 2018 Will Be Different Than Last Year

    Ready to see a whole lot of dresses around here? Because ready or not, they are coming. I decided to participate in Dressember for the first time almost one year ago. I wore a dress every day in December to raise awareness and money for sex trafficking victims. It was hard. It was cold. And I decided to go ahead and do it again this year.

    This time is going to be a little different, though. I teamed up with my best friend to create a Dressember team. Last year, I decided to go at the cause alone. That’s partially because I had never done it before and partially because I came into it way late. Like, end of November late. This year, my best friend and I have been preparing for Dressember since the beginning of the month. We’ve educated ourselves, done some thrifting, and have been planning team meetings and events for weeks now. It feels pretty darn good to have someone to tackle this cause with.

    dressember 2018 outfitsOur team name is Thread For Thought.

    Because, well, we’re trying to make people think with our threads. It’s no secret that I am on a mission to make my wardrobe matter. Everything I wear has a reason and a purpose. That’s how I’ve lived my life for two years now. It’s also how my best friend and our team hope to live this December. We’ll be picking clothing with purpose for the entire month.

    On top of that, we’re asking our friends and family for donations to Dressember. The non-profit works with twelve different organizations including International Justice Mission, Project146, and CAST to end slavery around the globe. They donate money to missions to rescue people trapped in sex trafficking, set survivors up with aftercare needs, and even help them defend themselves in court. Dressember is a 501c3 organization, so you are guaranteed that your donations are going to those who need it.

    According to Dressember…

    30 million people are currently enslaved worldwide and human trafficking generates about $150 million a year.

    I don’t know about you, but that makes me pretty darn angry. Sex trafficking isn’t something that happens in a far away land, either. Children are stolen and sold all the time. Foster children are coerced into to trade as well. Heck, even grown men and women are tricked into entering the hard-to-leave cycle. This needs to be stopped, and the least I can do is wear a dress for every day in December to bring awareness to that issue.

    Want to help the cause? You don’t have to wear a dress every day to do it. (Although you’re more than welcome to join my team if you’re interested.) If you’d like to give to the cause, you can click on my profile and donate to my team. Every little bit counts — $5, $10, $20 — all of it makes a difference in the movement.

    If nothing else, I’d love for you to follow along on my journey through Dressember. I’ll be doing outfit breakdowns on my Instagram, blog posts on brands that are helping me get through the month, and keeping everyone updated on all the fun meet-ups and events throughout the month. It’s time to make the season of giving bigger than ever. After all, what better way to end my year of giving than this?


  • InThrifting

    3 Reasons Why The Thrift Store Vintage Section Will Always Be My Favorite

    The thrift store is a magical place. Aisles are always changing, clothing is being brought in daily, and you never know what you will find. But as much as I love shopping for sweaters and shoes, the thrift store vintage section will always be my favorite. People always tell me that I am an old soul. I love grandma prints and I often have to cut the shoulder pads out of shirts when I find them. The thrift store vintage section is not just about the prints though. Shopping styles from long ago will completely change the way you look at fashion, size, and how you choose the clothing that you do.

    If you know me, you’ll know that I love vintage. Clothing, photos, antiques — you name it and I have it. I even have a wish list of items that I’d love to find. A pair of really nice vintage dress pants was my unicorn item. You know, the one that I was dreaming of finding. Well, I have found it, my friends. I came across the more adorable pair of vintage high-waisted, checker-printed pants that I had ever seen. When I slipped them on and realized that not only were they in great condition, but they also didn’t need hemmed, you better believe I booked it for the checkout.

    thrift store vintage section pants$4 and a trip to the washer later, I was rocking the pants at work. I currently work at a school, so I am always trying to find ways to get away from the traditional black slacks route. These pants were it. I rocked them with a white button up and felt on top of the world. But it wasn’t just about the look of them. It was the overall purpose of the pants.

    As crazy as it sounds, shopping the thrift store vintage section will turn you into an entirely new person.

    The most notable difference in the thrift store vintage section is the sizes. Look through that entire rack, because sizes have change a whole lot. It is incredible to see how different the sizes were in the ’50s, ’60s, and even ’70s when compared to today. Don’t let the process discourage you. Be open to trying on difference sizes and remember that it’s how you FEEL in the clothes. You make the rules when it comes to fit.

    As soon as you find an item and take it to the dressing room, you’ll see the difference in style. Personally, I think shopping in a section without crop tops is incredible. But it’s about much for than that. Look at how the clothing fits you. Most vintage items that I have come across are not about making you look skinnier, like much of clothing is today.

    Vintage clothing is more about showing off your curves and finding clothing that fits your body instead of hiding behind it and sucking it in.

    Wear one vintage blazer, t-shirt, or skirt and you will see the difference in materials as well. While there were synthetic fabrics in the past, you’ll likely see materials like wool, cotton, and silk in the clothes you find in the thrift shop vintage section. You know how the item survived that long? It’s natural.

    Natural materials will not only save the planet, but they will last a whole lot longer as well. For example, the pants that I found had no rips or tears and did not require any mending at all. Now think about how long your typical pair of pants lasts. There’s a big difference in fabrics there, my friends.

    Natural materials will last longer, which is why the thrift store vintage sections exists.

    thrift store vintage section pantsPeople pay a whole lot of money nowadays to get clothing made from silk, 100% cotton, and wool. The vintage section is the perfect way to snag great materials and not go broke in the process. Of course, not everything will be a hit. There are plenty of awkward skirt suits and high-necked sweaters. But if you do some digging, you’ll find some really great items.

    I might be a complete nerd here, but I love to experience the clothing that women wore in the past, too. Like I mentioned before, modern clothing is almost always about either hiding or showing off a piece of your body. I love going through the thrift store and being able to make my own fashion rules. I also really love to see how women choose to dress back in the day as well.

    Vintage clothing gives you the chance to experience a different era of dressing.

    Clothing can tell you a lot about an era. Just look at the ’20s. Women finally got more freedom and showed it off with short skirts and fringe. I love that! When you slip into an outfit that someone had chosen for a particular reason, it makes you rethink why you choose your own clothing. I like to think of it as embracing a past life and giving a new life to the thrift store vintage item.

    I could go on all day about the reasons that the thrift store vintage section is my favorite. You won’t understand for yourself until you slip into an item from the section. Because as much as the perception of bodies have changed, the way that bodies look haven’t changed all that much. You’ll likely not only feel great about getting a great vintage item for way less, but you’ll walk away looking at your own body in a completely new way. Now, that’s worth the trip to the thrift store, if you ask me.

    xx, Kali

  • InSustainable Fashion, Thrifting

    Let’s Talk About The Word “Affordable” & How It’s Ruining Your Shopping Habits

    We’ve all been there. You’re scrolling through Instagram and come across a well-curated outfit shot that makes your thumb stop in its tracks. Then you read the caption and it’s something along the lines of, “Isn’t this top gorgeous? And it’s ONLY $60!” Or maybe it’s a “less than $70” pair of shoes. Or a “just under $50 sweater.” (Yes, all of those have actually graced my timeline.) Pardon my ignorance, but since when are those price amounts affordable? The word “affordable” is ruining our shopping habits, and, well, making us feel bad about what we buy.

    Just about everyone cares about what they wear, whether they want to admit it or not. Some people want to be on-trend at all times. Others are aiming for maximum comfort. But just about everyone puts thought into their daily outfits — especially in the age of Instagram. I will be the first one to admit that it feels good to look good. I just don’t think that you need to spend your entire life savings or a few maxed out credit cards to do it.

    It can be easy to make excuses to do so though. Influencers are being paid to promote brands that are sometimes not so affordable. Bloggers have brand deals with companies. They look great in the clothing, which makes you want them too. In both instances, both parties normally benefit from someone’s purchase. Which, you know, means often have the word “affordable” in the photo caption. It’s a win-win, right? Wrong. The word “affordable” is killing your shopping habits.

    the word "affordable" is ruining your shopping habitsFirst off, let me just say that the word “affordable” means something different to everyone. For the influencer, maybe that means a $50 sweater or $100 pair of shoes. For most of the world, it means something very different. But when you see that word over and over in your timeline, it can make you feel like you are wrong.

    Spoiler alert: you are not wrong. You have been conditioned to think that. 

    Personally, I cannot even imagine paying $20 for a t-shirt anymore. (Thanks, thrift shopping.) I actually held up an $10 sweater the other day and was shocked to see the tag. To think that I used to spend $30 on a jean jacket or $60 on a pair of sandals just five years ago makes me feel like I am living in a different lifetime than my past self.

    That’s not because I’m poor or stingy with my shopping habits. If any of you have seen my frequent live-thrifts on my Instagram Stories, you’ll know that I love to add new items to my closet. It’s because I think very hard about the items I buy, why I buy them, and what value they bring to my life. That is how I gauge what’s “affordable” to me.

    The point is not to save as much money as you can. The point is that not feel bad about what you’re buying. I used to feel buyer’s remorse about clothing all the time. Every mall trip left me with less money in my wallet and a feeling that I didn’t really need what the blogger or influencer said I did. That’s why you’ll never see me push a brand just to do so.

    I will continue to show you what I buy and why. But I will never make you think that you should buy items just to look good.

    If I use the word “affordable,” it’s because it is an unbelievably low price. It’s not a word that I throw around lightly. The problem with the fashion industry is that there is too much out there, which can make you think that you need it all. In reality, the brands don’t hold the power. YOU do. By slowing down, thinking about what you buy, and understanding how the item will truly value your closet, you have the power to feel good about the closet that you build.

    So next time you see the word, question the person saying it. Is it really affordable? Or are they just trying to get you to buy something. Because if there’s one thing that’s going to change the world, it’s going to be asking honest questions.


  • InThrifting

    The Golden Rule Of Thrifting Is All About What NOT To Buy

    The other day I was at the thrift store — shocker, I know — doing my normal routine. I fill my cart with clothing items that I like, try them on, and then decide what I should keep. Typically, I can decide pretty fast, but this time I kept putting the olive green, fall jacket into my cart and taking it back out. I just couldn’t decide on it. On my third time hanging and un-hanging the jacket outside the fitting rooms, a woman came up to me. She politely asked if I was putting the jacket back. It was then that I thought about the golden rule of thrifting, handed her the jacket, and felt great about my decision.

    The golden rule of thrifting is to not be greedy.

    Thrifting is not like your traditional shopping trip. You and your friend cannot walk into the store, planning to buy matching outfits. Because, well, you never know what you’re going to get. You can scour the racks for an hour and never find the same outfit twice. It’s a blessing and a curse of the thrift shop. It can also make people greedy.

    I don’t mean greedy that in a negative way. It’s natural to become attached to something when you’re the one hunting for it. You can flip through an entire rack of tops and only find a few that you like — depending on how picky you are, of course. It’s second nature to want to keep those items for yourself. But that’s when you have to remember the golden rule of thrifting.

    the golden rule of thrifting

    You don’t need to take home every single item that you somewhat like. You should take home the items that truly speak to you.

    You know, the ones that you can already see hanging in your closet and being paired with items you already own. If you end up taking everything that you somewhat like, you end up with a closet full of items that you can’t fully appreciate. And, even worse, someone who could really use that piece doesn’t get to wear it.

    I recently did a thrift haul on my Instagram Stories. In it, I had a photo of a green sweater that I fell in love with and already started styling right there in the fitting room. It’s oversized, super comfy, and was completely me. I knew exactly what I’d wear it with and was willing to spend $5 on it.

    When I got home, a girl messaged me on Instagram. The message read, “Literally was there today and had this sweater in my hand and decided to set it down.” I couldn’t help but giggle to myself. The entire time that I was shopping, I could have never found this sweater.

    The only reason that I could add the sweater to my closet is because this girl decided not to buy it herself.

    This is what the golden rule of thrifting is all about. It’s not taking so that someone else’s day can be made. I think about it all the time when I’m at the thrift shop, and it looks like I’m not the only one. She might not have called it the golden rule of thrifting in her message, but, in that moment, it was truly golden for me.

    Think about it: it’s a win-win situation. You only get the items that you need and someone else gets his or her day made. It doesn’t get any better than that.

    I am a firm believer in only taking what my closet needs. Although it might not look like it at times, I am very choosey about what gets added to my closet. Every single items has a purpose. If I make a mistake, then out it goes. (Either to the thrift store that I originally bought it from or the clothing room.) It saves me money and make sure that I have a cohesive closet.

    The girl that sent me the message told me about how she also helped someone else find a leather jacket. Stories like this are what thrifting are all about. The search for an item is way more fun, and actually a lot faster, when there’s someone there helping you. In fact, those might just end up being your favorite thrift trips.

    Don’t take my word for it, though. Take it from the girl who messaged me..

    “For some reason those are the most rewarding finds, when they’re not for yourself.”

    She’s 100% right. Not every trip is about walking away with the perfect Instagram-able outfit. Or scoring tons of new finds. Sometimes it’s about helping someone else find their perfect item. Like the fall jacket that I passed along. Or the green sweater that I got from the girl from Instagram.

    the golden rule of thriftingI might have jokingly called the girl a “thrift store fairy godmother,” but I was truly grateful. The green sweater that I found today already matches with outfits in my closet. I know that I’ll be wearing it over dresses, with leggings, and just around the house with t-shirts. If the girl would have taken it because she somewhat liked it, I wouldn’t be able to.

    It sounds crazy that the golden rule of thrifting would be all about what not to buy. But those items are just as important.

    I’ve seen so many people get so excited by what they find that they want to take it all home with them. I used to make this mistake in the beginning, too. It’s all so exciting that you can tend to forget about a game plan.

    The key is to slow down, made sure to focus on the wardrobe that you want to build, rather than the one that you have now, and remember the golden rule of thrifting. It takes time and practice and self control. But once you find that special item that no one else bought, you will be reminded of the special rule.

    Every item that you don’t buy has the potential to make someone else’s day.

    So next time that you’re just iffy about a piece of clothing, think about the joy that it could bring someone else. If that’s not enough to put an item back on the shelf, then I don’t know what will.

    xx, Kali

  • InThrifting

    My Top Thrift Styling Tip To Transform Any Secondhand Outfit

    One of my favorite parts of going thrifting is that there are no mannequins telling you how to wear anything. You can go through the aisles, add a bunch of things to your cart, and wear them however you’d like when you get to the fitting room. For some people, this is also the most daunting thing about the thrift shop. There are no rules and there are no workers to grab the next size up when the item that you have doesn’t fit. That means that you have to get creative. Lucky for you, there is one thrift styling tip that is guaranteed to transform just about any outfit. Oh, and it’s as easy as cross, under, pull.

    Want to make an outfit fit you better, look different, and be more purposeful? Tie it.

    I have been using my little front knot tip for a while now. Actually, it’s been almost a year. It was so simple to me that I didn’t even think to share it on my blog. Then I realized that this thrift styling tip was so simple that I needed to share it on the blog. Anyone can tie a knot in a shirt, sweater, or skirt. Heck, my little brother could do it and he knows the bare minimum about fashion.

    The thrift styling tip is as simple as it sounds. Step one: put on dress. Step two: put on sweater. Step three: tie in front. Your outfit is now complete!

    thrift styling tip

    I have styled my outfit like this so many times, and someone compliments me every single time. One little knot and it looks like you spent all day curating the perfect outfit. When in reality you just have an oversized top that you threw on and styled in three minutes. That is why this thrift styling tip is so genius. I want everyone to embrace it. Now, I am no Tan France, but this could be the next French Tuck.

    The same thrift styling tip can be used for graphic tees and high waisted pants, skirts and tops, and sweaters and dresses, which is my personal favorite. You can tie the top any way you’d like — side, back, or front. I prefer to stick with a front tie that’s right in the middle. That’s what makes me feel most comfortable. I’ve also tied the bottom of dresses that I wanted to be shorter.

    Other than just, you know, looking super cute, there’s another major reason why I love the little knot…

    The thrift styling tip makes my wardrobe even more purposeful.

    Instead of just having a sweater in my closet, I have a sweater, a dress topper, and even a second way to wear the top. That is a minimalists dream. Even if you’re not looking to go minimal, the knot is a great way to expand your wardrobe without paying a ton of money to do it. Just go to the thrift shop, find a sweater, and start styling!

    A sweater is only a sweater if you want it to be. A shirt is only capable of being a shirt, if you don’t ask it to be something else. It sounds like some sort of weird riddle, but it’s true.

    I could go on and on about why I love this thrift styling tip so much. But I’ll keep it short and sweet — just like the tip itself. Because you don’t need a whole lot to make an outfit great.