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  • 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.


  • InThrifting

    My Thrifted Earrings & How I Make The Most Of Every Jewelry Purchase

    Does anyone else remember when everyone used to post on Instagram using the caption “arm candy?” People would show off all of their bracelets and how they were stacked together. Well, these thrifted earrings are what I lovingly refer to as ear candy. I like to think of every item that I buy as an ingredient. You know, an item that can be delicious on its own or together. That is how I make the most of every single jewelry purchase.

    I recently talked about how I make the decision to buy thrifted items. Spoiler alert: there are three questions that I ask myself before I buy something. One of my favorite rules since going sartorially minimal is how many ways that a certain piece can be worn. I use it every single time I pick up an item — including jewelry.

    Some people buy jewelry because they fall in love with it at first glance. Sometimes I do the same thing. But, because I now live in a one bedroom apartment with my boyfriend, I do not have the luxury of that kind of storage. I have one tiny jewelry box to hold all of my treasures. That means that — for the time being — I need to be a little pickier about what I bring into my home.

    Jewelry is one of my favorite things to shop at the thrift store. There are always tons of different options ranging from costume jewelry to real gold to look through. Two of my favorites that I found are my gold hoops and gold bar studs. Typically, I go from one to the other from day to day. Until now.

    thrifted earringsI decided to make the most of my two favorite thrifted earrings and combine them into one look. I have my singles and doubles pierced in my ears, so I could easily wear them both. It was a weekend and I had a bit more time to experiment with my look, so I took advantage of it.

    My hoops are, well, just hoops. I’m sure that there has been someone out there who has worn them another way, but I am not that bold. So into the first earring spot they went. I decided to take the second piercing for a spin with the gold bar thrifted earrings.

    I normally wear the gold bars vertically, so that the bar hangs slightly off of my ear. While I could have kept it this way, I decided to twist it horizontally and make it look like an ear climber instead.

    I ended up really loving the way that it turned out! I just had to make sure to tighten them a bit tighter than usual to keep them in place. They ended up staying in place all day. I even had some people that had already seen my gold bars as me where I bought the earrings.

    Now, this is not rocket science. I don’t expect to blow your mind with my thrifted earrings. It’s just another example of how you can take something you already love and make it even more versatile in your wardrobe. It’s simple, but it transforms an average look to be a little more trendy. With one twist of an earring, you can have two pairs in one. Not to mention that you save money and they only take up one spot in your jewelry box. It’s a win-win.

    That, my friends, is how you keep your wardrobe fresh while still sticking to minimal items.

    I love making small tweaks to my clothing, just like I did with these thrifted earrings. Take a sweater, layer it over a dress, and tie it in the front. New outfit! Take an open-front jacket and tie it at the bottom. Or add a belt. New outfit! It really is that simple. One small tweak, and you get a completely new look.

    thrifted earringsNow let’s focus on why I love these two particular earrings so much. The biggest reason is that they are timeless. No matter how much time passes, I will always love these earrings. That is a big win in my book. That’s also why these are such a go-to in my wardrobe. Whether I’m wearing prints or solids, these earrings will compliment my look.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love a good statement necklace or earrings. I’m just not good at them. Simplistic style is much more of my thing. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t go minimal, if you love statement pieces.

    As long as you see the item working in more than one outfit, you are good to go. If you’re looking to go minimal, the best advice that I can give you is to not overthink it. Buy what makes you comfortable. There are no rules when it comes to fashion. Except, you know, the ones that you make yourself.

    These earrings were both $1 each — 99 cents, to be exact.

    The price makes them even more lovable, I will admit. I’ve had these hoops for longer than I can even remember. While they aren’t the most sturdy set of hoops, they have not let me down yet. The gold bars are the ones I got more recently. I found them while digging through a giant pile of earring at Salvation Army. It was pretty much love at first sight, and I didn’t even think twice about adding them to my jewelry box.

    Like I said, this tip is nothing monumental. You probably could have thought of it yourself, to be honest. But I love sharing little creative tips with you, so you can see how I think when styling. Forget the rules that people tell you and try and make your own. It’s fun, and gives you even more freedom with your fashion. Be warned though — once you start experimenting, you won’t be able to stop!


  • InThrifting

    My Latest Thrift Haul & How I Decide What Items To Buy

    For a blog called Tales From The Thrift Shop, it’s been slacking in the thrift tales category. I’ve been sharing so many different sustainable brands and shopping tips that I thought it would be fun to switch things up. It’s time to go back to showing just how much fun secondhand fashion can be. My latest thrift haul items were supposed to be saved for vacation. I got a little too excited and styled some pieces early though. WHOOPS. I want to show you how I blended my new items with what I already had in my closet.

    If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen my live thrift haul on my stories. I go into the thrift store and post in real time what I find. I even let my followers decide if I should but them or not. My latest thrift haul — and all the rest of them to come — will be hiding in my “thrift” highlights.

    There were two particular items in the thrift haul that I didn’t even ask if I should buy. The first was a pair of simple black sandals. Next came a sage green, floral shirt. As soon as I slipped these items on, I knew that they belonged in my closet. This, my friends, is the closest that I’ve ever come to love at first sight.

    There are three things that I ask myself before I decide to buy an item…

    1. Where will I wear it?

    2. How many ways can it be worn?

    3. Can I wear it with items that I already have in my closet?

    thrift haulThe most important question of that to me is the last one. It’s the question that brings to light whether or not there is purpose to my purchase or if I just really like it. Of course, it’s not bad to buy items that bring you joy. But sometimes that can become an excuse for adding a new item to your closet. That’s why I don’t add the option to the list.

    Let me walk you through what I mean. This floral top was a favorite of mine as soon as I saw it. I threw it into the cart immediately. Honestly, I didn’t even check the price or whether or not it was my size. That’s how much I loved it. Then I kept shopping.

    The key is to not ask yourself the pass of fail questions until you get to the fitting room.

    When you have the item on, you can truly see if it’s worth adding to your closet. This goes without saying, but if it doesn’t fit, do not add it to your closet. You are not dressing for the size you once were or might me. You are dressing for the you standing in front of the mirror.

    As soon as I slipped this item on, I was in love. But the thrift haul item still had to pass the test. I knew that I could wear this on vacation or to the upcoming graduation party that I had. It’s also causal enough to wear everyday.

    This might look like your average shirt, but I was styling it so many ways in my head as soon as I slipped it on. I knew that it looked good left open. It also looking really great tied in the front. I pictured it with jeans and a tank, over a black dress, and even slipped over a bathing suit. The second question was a pass.

    Lastly, I could wear this with items that I already owned. All of the outfit scenarios from above were items that are already in my closet. The shirt passed with flying colors.

    Oh, and the floral top was only $4.

    Before I look at the price tag, I like to imagine how much I think the item is worth. Even though thrift shop items are mostly all affordable, this is still an important part to me. For instance, sometimes I think a t-shirt is only worth $2 and the tag says $4. I pass on it, because that’s not worth it to me. I knew in my head that I would pay up to $6 for the floral print top. Because it’s functional and that’s how much I loved it. When I saw the $4 mark, I added it to my “yes” pile immediately.

    thrift haulThen came time for the shoes. Now, I’ve been on the hunt for a black pair of sandals that I actually like for a while now. I ted to stick more to browns, but I was in desperate need of a staple to match my other colors.

    Instead of taking these shoes to the fitting room, I slipped them on right at the shoe rack and walked over to the fitting room mirror.

    Other than making sure the shoes are in good condition, I like to make sure that I can actually walk in them.

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve slipped on a sandal that has pinched my toes. Or tried on gorgeous heels and then stumbled over to the dressing room. Those are two signs of a purchase that should not be made.

    These shoes were comfortable, fit me perfectly, and could go with a ton of items that were already in my closet. I saw them looking great with slightly more formal outfits, casual attire, and everything in between. These were exactly what I was searching for.

    The black shoes from my thrift haul cost me $2.50.

    These two items passed the test with flying colors. But even more importantly, they would last me a while. Both are in great condition and will get tons of use. That’s more important to me than having a ton of likes on Instagram or showing off a new shoe every day. Yes, I am a proud outfit repeater.

    I honestly forgot how much I loved to share my thrift finds with you guys. I love hearing about the items you’ve found too. Here’s to all the thrift hauls out there, just waiting to be added to our closets.


  • InThrifting

    How I Found My Personal Style In One Shopping Trip

    I have always been someone that loved fashion. Two of my favorite past time growing up was flipping through magazines and playing dress up with friends. My friend and I would wake up super early before school just to meet at one of our houses to try on outfits. The sartorial fun kept going when I went to college. Then graduation came, and I realized that I still had no idea what my personal style was. That didn’t change for two years. Little did I know that all it took to find my personal style was one shopping trip.

    Two years ago, my online shopping carts were full and my bank account was not. I had no idea who I was style-wise. Every single morning I asked myself a question — who do I want to be today? I actually used to joke that I chose a different Spice Girl to dress like every day. I was lost, and thought that clothes were how I would be found. Like if I wore the right outfit some sort of code would be broken and my life would be figured out.

    I had a ever-so-diverse collection of blazers, workout leggings, and graphic tees in my closet. None of which truly represented who I was. My closet was busting at the seams, but I still had nothing to wear.

    I knew that there had to be a different way to figure out my personal style. One that did not consist of stalking celebrities on Instagram and shopping at Forever 21.

    So I did what I could afford to do — stepped into a thrift store.

    personal styleIt was a place that I knew well, but the goal was different. I decided to search the store for items that stuck out to me. Instead of looking for specific items, I was looking for a feeling. My best friend always asks me if the item brings me joy when I ask her if she likes it. I decided to take her advice and start thinking of that when I shopped. Instead of asking myself if the clothing item was in style, I focussed on whether or not it brought me joy.

    I wasn’t held back by the price. Unlike shopping at a department store, I knew that everything that I chose would e in my price range. I could pick through the racks freely and then head straight to the dressing room to see what I liked and what I didn’t.

    Price tags can tend to sway our persuasion of style. I’m not saying that it’s a good or bad thing, but there’s a reason that people almost always gravitate to the most expensive option.

    I ended up spending about an hour and a half in the thrift store. It sound crazy, but I was having so much fun that the time completely flew by. I went through racks like I never had before. When something caught my eye, I just threw it into my cart. I felt like a kid in the candy shop.

    After the cart was filled to the brim with everything from denim button-ups to maxi dresses, I hit the fitting rooms. I tried to focus on how I felt in the clothes rather than how I looked. Although, let’s be honest, if the mirror is there, I’m going to look.

    There’s always going to be that want to look great, but too many people suppress how they feel in the outfit and let how they look take over. It should be a balance of both.

    The experience was exactly what I needed. In just and hour, I found out who I was style wise — a minimalist.

    To be fair, I had a feeling that’s what my personal style was. I’ve always been the less-is-more type of person. But there comes a point in everyone’s life where you just don’t know. Personally, my time was right after college. I had an idea of who I was, but not who I wanted to be. Which led me on my own Eat Pray Love-esque journey with Spice Girls-inspired outfits instead of meditation.

    That one trip to the thrift store changed me. It gave me a starting point. While that might not seem like much, it’s something that needed to be done. Because at the end of the day, what you already have in your closet is great, but it’s not your starting point. The beginning is where you decide what your personal style really is. I hope that helps you as much as it helped me.


  • InSustainable Fashion, Thrifting

    A Year Of Thrift Shopping Built The Wardrobe Of My Dreams, But Here’s What’s Next

    When my journey to purposeful living first started, I had no idea where it would end. Honestly, I had no idea where it was even headed. So far, it’s taken me through a year of thrift shopping and led to some incredible brands hat I’ve loved sharing with you. I have learned so much about fashion and myself in the time that has come, but it’s time for more. I’m ready for the next challenge. Something that will make my life even more purposeful and help the world.

    I’m working towards a minimalist wardrobe.

    I would just like to state once and for all that the word “minimal” does not mean boring. This doesn’t mean that I’m throwing away all the prints in my closet or quit adding more items to my wardrobe. It means that my closet is about to get even more purposeful.

    Not too long ago, something happened to me that hasn’t happened before. I was getting ready to go out with friends and I tried on five or six outfits. I actually cried out the phrase, “I have nothing to wear” and sat in my closet in my underwear. It was at that moment that I realized that something needed to change. My year of thrift shopping was great and finding new brands have inspired me so much, but something was still off.

    year of thrift shoppingThis decision isn’t just coming on a whim after crying in your closet. A drastic fashion change like this takes time, thought, and effort. Those first two have been easy for me. Every morning that I get dressed is a moment that I put time and thought into what I’m wearing. Then came the effort. Although I didn’t start clearing out my closet just yet, I have done my research. I learned that there really is not set way to make a wardrobe more minimal. It looks different to everyone. I’m excited to share what that looks like for me with you.

    My boyfriend supports just about everything I do. But when I told him I was going to go minimal with my wardrobe, he said, “there’s no freaking way.”

    I can’t blame him, really. Coming from someone who loves — and I mean LOVES — clothing, this won’t be easy. It will be meaningful, though. At the very least it will give me a new outlook on fashion. At the very most it will help the world better and open my eyes to a new way of living. I am buckling myself up for the ride, no matter what happens.

    Now, don’t let that fool you into thinking that my days of thrift shopping and exploring new brands are over. Because, let’s be honest, that’s who I am. It does mean that I’m going to learn to live with less. Whether you choose to live less with me or simply just learn about some incredible, purposeful brands is totally up to you.

    The fun thing about fashion is that YOU make the rules. You get to decide whether your closet is minimal or overflowing or somewhere in between. My rules haven’t quite been decided yet. I thought that I had rules during my year of thrift shopping. Spoiler alert: I was just getting started. The rules changed again when I started finding Fair Trade Certified, eco-friendly brands that I loved. Now, they’re changing yet again.

    What do my minimalist wardrobe rules look like? I have no freaking clue.

    I don’t know how many shirts, dresses, or pairs of pants I will keep. Although I have a rough idea of how I want to go through with my closet clean-out and how I will manage what I buy from here. One thing is for sure though — you will be coming with me every single step of the way.

    year of thrift shoppingAs far as how I will get rid of clothing, that’s a no-brainer. I will be donating items to the clothing room that I am the director of and selling other on Poshmark. I love the idea of sharing a little bit of my clothing with other people. It’s like the story that keeps on going.

    I’ve learned a lot in my year of thrift shopping and journey to live a more purposeful life.

    There’s no denying that. But it’s time for another challenge. To push beyond my comfort zone and do something that it both fun and meaningful. This is that thing for me.

    I’m going to be sharing the resources that I’ve found and challenges I face along the way. I’m not trying you to convince you to do what I’m doing or make you eel bad about the way that your closet looks. To be completely honest, it’s to make you think about what you put on in the morning. What you wear is up to you, but there should always be a reason why.

    Do you have a book, blog post, or Instagram account that you think would help me live more minimally? Leave it in the comments below. After all, we’re all in this together — no matter where you are in your sartorial journey.


  • InSustainable Fashion, Thrifting

    The One Item I NEVER Buy At The Thrift Store & Where I Shop Instead

    As much as I love to shop, there is one item that you will never see me shop at the thrift store. It’s a staple that’s landed on pretty much every must-have fashion list out there and you probably have three already hanging in your closet — the plain white tee. The clothing item is my all-time favorite thing to wear. No matter how much I am in need of a new one, I always buy this item new though.

    About 90% of the items that I own are from the thrift store. I truly believe that there is nothing that you can’t find at the thrift store, but that doesn’t mean that you should get it from there. I know, I know. It’s crazy to even think that I wrote that sentence, but it’s true. There are just some things that you should splurge on, and I believe that the plain white tee is one of them.

    First off, anyone can rock a white t-shirt. It doesn’t matter what your personal style is or how old you are. A classic white tee is a must have. You can dress it up, dress it down, or wear it on it’s own. Honestly, I could talk forever about the clothing staple, but you get the idea.

    That’s exactly the reason why you shouldn’t buy it from a thrift store. You will likely buy a white tee and wear it until there’s a hole in it. Then you’ll try to patch it, realize that you can’t, and decide it’s time for a new one. Or is that just me? Either way, this is an item that you will buy, wear a lot, and get good use out of. That’s why you should buy it new.

    thrift store

    Buying for use is never something that you should be afraid of. I learned this the hard way during my first year of purposeful living. I searched through the thrift store for a white tee that wasn’t stained, ripped, or already shrunken. When I couldn’t find on, I thought that I’d never wear my favorite clothing item ever again.

    Then I realized that purposeful shopping didn’t mean that it had to be from a thrift store. There are plenty of other options when it comes to buying ethical, purposeful clothing. It might have taken me a year to learn it, but I’m making sure it doesn’t take you that long too.

    Before I jump into where I shop for my white tees, I want to get a few things straight. If you truly cannot afford one of these white shirts, just know that the thrift store is an option. It just takes a whole lot of digging and you’ll want to check the pits to make sure they’re not stained. You’ll also want to go by the look of the shirt and not just the size. Because people wear this item so much, it’s likely already a little shrunk.

    If you’re not willing to go through that much work for a white tee, there are purposefully shopping options for you. Not all of these options them are as cheap as picking up a pack from the store, but they will make you feel good about putting them on. These are the places that I shop when I need a good white tee.

    thrift store

    1. PACT Organics

    I know that I’ve been talking a lot about this brand lately, but they truly are my new go-to for basics. The brand is Fair Trade Certified and can tell you exactly who is making their items and where the materials are sourced. That’s a huge deal to me. Because of that, I’m willing to spend a little more on their items.

    PACT sell plain white scooped neck and v-neck white tees for $16 each. The brand also has racerback tanks, normal tanks, and long sleeved shirts from $15 to $25. On top of that, there’s also a ton of other color options, which I love. Because when I find a fit that I love, you better believe I’m buying it in all the colors.

    2. Project Social T

    This isn’t the first time that I’ve talk about this brand on the blog. The brand was first brought to my attention when it was raising money for the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. Every single cent from the plain blue tee went to the charity. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again — that’s genius. So many brands create quirky graphic tees for a good cause, but sometimes people just want a plain shirt that they can feel good about.

    Each month, Project Social T picks a new charity, gets to know them and their volunteers, and donates $5,000. A little blurb about the charity of that month goes on the back of the inside of the shirt. That way you can know that you’re giving back, but you don’t need to flaunt it. Project Social T has plenty of white tees available on the website starting at $40.

    3. Known Supply

    Just like PACT, this brand is changing the fashion world through basics. The Fair Trade company actually puts the signature of the people who make the clothing into every single shirt. I absolutely love everything that this brand stands for, and the fit is just as great as the message. White tees, plus a ton of other colored basics, are $28 on the website. There’s also an option to personalize each tee with your name or words.

    While these shopping options might take a little longer to find and are a little more pricey, they are worth it. You will feel so much better about putting the white tees on in the morning when you know that they are purposeful. Your money matters and so does the thought that you put into your clothing.