When I Grow Up

Vintage rainbow skirt and a strappy tank // We So Thrifty

Vintage rainbow skirt and a strappy tank // We So Thrifty

Vintage rainbow skirt and a strappy tank // We So Thrifty

Ha! How sultry am I in that first pic? I’m all “yeah, wall, I like the way your brick is layed.” Blogging and taking photos is hilariously dumb sometimes. Then again, I can truthfully say that about most of my favourite things. The best things in life are sometimes free, sometimes not, but they are always hilarious and dumb. That should be on a motivational Pinterest poster.

Anyways, let’s rein in this entry. If I look like I’m romantically into that wall, it’s because I’m romantically into this outfit. Well, not romantically, but I am pretty into it. I bought this vintage skirt at the Salvation Army last year (worn also here), and I don’t wear it nearly as often as I should. It makes me feel like a bouquet of flowers. I also feel a little like a ballerina, and a little like a gymnast. The bun accounts for the ballerina vibes, and the gymnast within comes from the double-strapped Lululemon tank top I scored at Talize a few weeks ago.

Oddly enough, Ballerina and Gymnast were the #2 and #3 future professions on my “When I Grow Up” list from age 5-7. Back then, my career aspirations were determined by the attire associated with that career. Obviously, Figure Skater handily secured the #1 spot for all of Kindergarten and most of Grade 1. Flouncy skirts! Shiny leggings! Sparkles!…Sadly, those dreams were dashed the moment I realized that skating is very cold, and I suck at it. I would forever be relegated to the penalty box, silently weeping as all my crushes skated pass me during the painful coming-of-age ritual known as “Couple Skate”. All the funny-tasting hot chocolate from the instant hot chocolate machine in Georgetown couldn’t warm my sad, sad soul.

If I could have offered young Julie a few words of sage advice, I would have told her that eventually she will get to wear all the sparkles and ballerina buns in the world, without ever having to set foot in an arena again. It’s true. They let anyone wear sequins these days! The same goes for all my forgotten gymnast dreams. When I bought this Lululemon tank at the thrift store, I didn’t even have to pretend I was stretchy enough for yoga. I can wear it just because it’s comfy and the straps are groovy.

Eventually, I stopped picking careers based on the cute outfits, and instead picked them based on whatever unit we were studying in school. At one point, I sincerely thought I wanted to be an astronomer (this was before I realized I suck at math and science even more than I suck at skating), and during the Ancient Egypt unit, I thought Future Archeologist sounded pretty rad.

Obviously, I did not become an astronomer (although a few summers ago my friends and I were pretty confident we discovered a new constellation in the shape of a K, and called it Special K), but in my own small way, I practice a bit of archeology every time I enter the thrift store. Archeology is the study of human activity in the past, and my favourite thrifted finds always reveal a little more of that. I didn’t grow up to be a ballerina, a skater, or an archeologist. I grew up to be a thrifter. That means I can steal a little from all of those professions, and do it all in a climate that’s more temperate than an arena or the pyramids of Egypt. I’m definitely into that.

Vintage rainbow skirt and a strappy tank // We So Thrifty

Vintage rainbow skirt and a strappy tank // We So Thrifty

Vintage skirt: Salvation Army | $3.00
Lululemon tank: Talize | $17.00
Sandals: Talize | $3.50
Photos: Yen
:)

Lucky Number Seven

Vintage Spring Dress // We So Thrifty

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In my last post, I featured a few of the items I left behind at the thrift store, and a few of the reasons I left them. Some were left because they were too small, others because they were too big, and still others because they weren’t quite right. One of the items I passed on was a $7 Target sweater, and while $7 doesn’t seem like much, I knew I could do more with those dollars than a too-short sweater. After all, $7 at the thrift store is like $40 in real life. Basically, 1 thrift dollar = 5.7 regular dollars. Whoa. I just did math! Anyways, because I know the value of a thrift dollar, I passed on the sweater and patiently waited for something better to come along.

Well friends, patience paid off. Granted, I only had to wait three more days for the -50% sale at Talize, but still. On sale day, I marched into Talize, and spent no more than 10 minutes in the dress section before heading to the change room. On the way there, my patience was tested by four unruly children playing hide and seek in the racks, but I just hit their mom with a pretty severe glower and headed on my way (yeah yeah, that might be me some day, but in the meantime, I’ll glower all I want). A $3.50 dress and some $3.50 sandals were the only standouts in my haul, so headed to the checkout and was out the door in no time. Upon pairing my new items with the right accessories and a welcome bit of sunshine, I’ve concluded that I put $7 and a bit of patience to very good use.

…And having just read a forecast that includes the words “ice pellets,” I’ll need all the patience I can get. Here’s hoping spring will also be worth the wait.

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Vintage Dress: Talize | $3.50
Sandals: Talize | $3.50
Purse: Salvation Army | $5 (I used an old gold necklace to fashion a new strap)
Belt: Salvation Army | $0.99
Earrings: Ten Thousand Villages

What’s My Age Again?

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Malls. Home to more stores than one person can take in on a single visit. And you’re not even supposed visit them all, really. The tweens find their tight tees and tighter jeans in Hollister and Forever 21. More mature shoppers stick to places like Cleo and Mexx, and everybody else hovers around Zara and H&M. Malls specialize in catering to these specific demographics. But those strategically-designed storefronts and prohibitive pricing structures can prove quite confining to those of us with a broader approach to style. And to those people I say: come thrift with me. The thrift store doesn’t care how old you are. They don’t care if you’re a Joe Fresh or J. Crew kind of girl. They don’t care if you want fine leather or cheap pleather. They simply want you to enjoy their offerings. The Gucci is next to the Guess. The Dynamite next to Dior. And you can mix and mingle amongst these labels as you please.

Today’s all-black ensemble is the end result of this multi-generational mingling. The three main players (jacket, dress, shoes) in this outfit make a pretty stellar team, but only in the thrift store can they transcend their ageist restraints. Allow me to explain:

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I’ll begin by contrasting my pleather jacket with my leather booties. The jacket originally came from Sirens. Sirens specializes in terribly cheap club wear for teenagers and college girls. Their clothing is essentially disposable, and rarely survives more than two or three washes. I outgrew that store around the same time I outgrew Bacardi Breezers and the Black Eyed Peas. BUT when I saw this pleather jacket in nearly-new condition at the thrift store for a meager $12, it came home with me. I’ll certainly get $12 worth of wear out of it, and my $12 isn’t going to the sweatshop that manufactured it for pennies in the first place. On the very same Talize visit, and for a very similar price, I found these black ankle boots. Contrarily, these boots are real leather, and manufactured by a company called Rieker. Rieker uses words like “sensible”, “long-lasting” and “orthopedic” to describe their product. Their target market? The parents (and grandparents) of the girls shopping at Sirens.

Smack dab in the middle of this leather-pleather sampler is my Zara dress, thrifted for $7 from the Salvation Army a few years ago. If Sirens is the teenager, and Rieker the middle-aged parent, then Zara is the late-twenty something with more discerning tastes and a slightly larger disposable income. Basically, it’s me. So, if we break this look down by age, I’m 19 on the top, 45 on the bottom, and 26 in the middle. But when I put all these items all together, they just look like me. I’m not a teenager anymore, nor am I ready for mom jeans and minivans, but the thrift store allows me to pull from both of these worlds as I choose.

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If I limited myself to shopping at the stores that are aimed at my age group as opposed to the thrift store, I still might have found this dress on clearance, but I certainly wouldn’t have found this jacket or these shoes. And what’s a basic black turtleneck without a bomber and booties? I’ll tell you: very, very boring.

Small Stores, Big Scarves

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I’m coming very close to the end of my year-long Mall fast, and I’ve already talked, at length, about the continued appreciation it’s given me for thrift stores. In addition to fostering my love for all things second-hand, it’s also increased my appreciation for local and independent retail vendors. You’d think, given the fact that both my parents are small-business owners, this appreciation wouldn’t need any fostering. After all, those very parents run a second-hand bookstore (White Rabbit Books), and Mom also co-manages a family flower/gift shop that my Opa and Oma started years ago (Vanderburgh Flowers and Gifts). But when your parents do something, it can sometimes stop seeming important or cool, because they’re your parents, and they’ve done it all their lives. But this Christmas brought it all back home again.

While this outfit is comprised almost entirely of thrifted items ($5.99 skirt, $4.99 shirt from Salvation Army, $0.75 Ralph Lauren belt from Bibles for Missions), the real star in this ensemble is my technicolour dream scarf. This scarf was a gifted to me by Mom, and available from Vanderburgh’s.

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This scarf, combined with my own experience in shopping for Christmas gifts, is a shout-out for shopping local and independent. As I set out to do some gift shopping for the recipients on my list, I was prepared to suspend my Mall-ban. If any of my Secret-Santa draws wanted something that could only be found the Mall, I would have fought the crowds and made the trip. Lucky for me, no one placed any such item on their wish list. Thus, my 6’8 Dad received a new sweater from Gilbert’s, a Hamilton retail landmark; my friend’s new babe is now decked out in an adorable ensemble from Mon Petite Chou down the road; my Mom-in-law received some goodies from Ten Thousand Villages, and other aromatic soaps and such from Vanderburgh’s.

While I did pick up a few items from large chains like Best Buy and Marshall’s, those trips highlighted how much more enjoyable my small-shopping was by comparison. When you shop at smaller, independent stores, you’ll often meet the owner of the business, which means they’re excited about what they’re selling you. They have a personal, vested interest in your satisfaction, because that’s what keeps their business afloat. They’re people like my Mom and Dad, who are basically the best ever. I realize this is starting to veer into Preach-ville, so I’ll wrap it up with this: you get nicer stuff and meet nicer people. If that’s not enough to entice you, take a good long look at my scarf: it has reindeer on it, you guys.

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On Christmas, I discovered that my secret Santas followed a similar shopping pattern. I came home with a beautiful throw, new reads, and the cutest salt n’ pepper shaker of all time, all from independent retailers (Oh! I also finally got some Tom’s, and they feel like slippers you can wear in public, which is what I’ve always wanted in shoes).

That overly-jubilant expression in the last photo is largely attributed to the post-holiday sugar high from too many treats. But when the snacks run out, and I inevitably crash, I’ll have my rainbow scarf to get me back out in the snow, like an excited golden retriever. Or reindeer.

This Warm December

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For those of you who know me in real life, or have been reading my blog since the beginning, you’ll know I’m pretty big on Christmas. Like, schedule a holiday photoshoot with all my friends and add fake snow big. Come December, the lights come out, the cider starts brewing, and the Christmas music playlist gets two sizes too big. Now, I’ll confess something here: While I do, from the bottom of holly-and-ivy-lovin’ heart, love Christmas, I also hate winter. Hate it with the fire of 1000 suns (which is an ironic way to put it). That hatred is partly why I distract myself with tinsel and Bing Crosby.

However, I recently thrifted an item of clothing that has me warming, just slightly, towards those frigid five months we call the Canadian winter. That item is the sweater dress you see here. A few words on this dress: This dress is Ralph Lauren. This dress is cashmere. This dress has real leather elbow patches. This dress came from the Salvation Army for $11. This dress retailed at an original price of… $425.99!!!! (I think that’s the first time I’ve ever bolded anything on this blog. That’s right, I love this dress so much I’ll commit typographical sins on it’s behalf).

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I’m going to go out on a limb here, and call this the greatest thrift find since that lady found that Jackson Pollock. And so, for that reason, I’ve concluded that maybe winter (even without all the Christmas bling) isn’t so bad after all. The moment I put this on, the ugly white snow on the lawn didn’t seem as imposing, the bare branches appeared friendlier, and the temperature moved from soul-crushing to pleasantly brisk. I could never wear this dress in the summer, and that gives winter one big cashmere-covered point.

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Egg nog and carols and Dasher and Blitzen will still soften the blow of the cold winter days ahead, but after Santa has dropped off all his goodies for the year, this Ralph Lauren will take care of the rest.

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P.S.: I recently refreshed my blog layout! More importantly, you can now get your daily dose of thrifty goodness by typing in http://www.WeSoThrifty.com. No “wordpress” needed. Stick that in your stocking and call it a Christmas present.

Walking the Walk

A few months back, I wore some kitten heals on the blog and made a big ol’ deal about it. Granted, for a girl who has never worn so much as a heavy tread for fear of adding to her stature, it was a big deal. But sometimes—and all bloggers will attest to this—there can be a split between blog life and real life. For example, I’ll fully admit I look ten times more put together on my blog than I do off the blog. Frankly, most of the time I look like this:

But I DO always make a point of wearing everything I blog. The heels thing, however, has been a bit of a gray area. I certainly have more heels than I used to since that initial triumphant post, but I don’t really wear them as often as some of you may have been led to believe. That post wasn’t some magic switch that suddenly blasted away all my many years of feeling just a teensy bit too tall. Sure, I’ve worn them to a dinner with Matt when I know I’ll be sitting down quickly. I’ve worn them if I’m walking some very short distance to get a post-outfit shoot snack. I’ve worn them in my house when “I’m all up in the kitchen in my heels” like Beyoncé (haha, just kidding: I don’t cook and am therefore never in the kitchen).

But had I busted them out for a long night on the town in hoards of other small people? Nope.

However, that all changed a few weekends ago (not the cooking, the heel-wearing). My friend Sandra (who is also tall and oft mistaken for a Swedish volleyball player) organized a girls trip to Niagara Falls to celebrate her birthday. I had already thrifted an outfit for the event: A gray mini from the Salvation Army (that’s vintage but looks so modern it’s crazay) and some other golden accessories, but I was still without a decent pair of shoes. The theme of the night was “high roller,” and seeing as I would be surrounded by leopard print and sequins, I was relying on the right shoe to up the ante.

Well, guys, I quickly discovered it’s very hard to thrift statement flats. On the flipside, it’s very easy to thrift statement heels. For example, I found these edgy $4.99 wedges in record time at Talize on my lunch break. They’re pretty fierce, right? Except they are about 3 inches outside my comfort zone. But as I sat in that Talize, stroking these lovely wedges like a creepy cat lady, I thought “Dang Julie. If you won’t even wear heels surrounded by a gaggle of your tall friends, you never will”. (Yes, all my internal monologues are in the third person).

So that was that. It was time to walk the walk I promised all those months ago: I was going wearing heals, for longer than three-quarters on a hour.

Friday arrived. We took over three hotel rooms with the sweet smell of hairspray and cupcakes, and I laced up. I felt absolutely gargantuan, but pretty awesome. I was, without question, the tallest chick in Niagara. 6’4 and hella-proud. The other thing I noticed is that once you get above the 6’1 mark, people stop commenting! I guess at 6’1 people still think there’s a chance you may not know you’re tall, but at 6’4 their like “Daaaang, that girl knows“. That, or I’m just a little scary – like a yeti or a dauntingly-large sub.

In an effort to make sure I practice what I preach, I’ve since remixed those wedges and that dress a few more times, this time with a newly-thrifted Jacob vest and my trusty faux-leather leggings.

So, what’s the next step in this relationship? While I do feel like a certain personal goal has been fulfilled, I don’t see myself forming a long-term relationship with high heels. See, about four hours into the evening, my feet were weeping silent tears of pain. And while I’m all for feeling secure and confident and all that Oprah-love-yourself-BS, I’m not for willingly inflicting pain on oneself for a sweet pair o’ shoes. Because, let’s be real here, the heels might look nice, but they don’t give me a warm fleecy hug like my Snuggie, nor do they catch the crumbs from the pile of chips on my lap. And when you compare sore toes to warm hugs, warm hugs win out every time.

That said, my friends might hope I reconsider: Turns out 6’4 is the perfect height for giving a pretty great hug. I’m like a walking Snuggie. Just feed me chips and I’ll dispense free hugs all night.

Seafoam Memories

When I was in Grade 7, I recieved my first and only “real” detention. Oh sure, I’d received plenty of lunchtime detentions for neglecting my math homework, but the real detentions – the Black Book Detentions – were handed out only when one did something really bad. The very name “Black Book” brought to mind a musty, multi-volume book, covered in cob webs and kept in a secret candlelit chamber. What egregious crime landed my name among the scrawls of my fellow delinquents? I cheated on my Memory Work.

Every week, students were tasked with committing a particular verse of the Bible to memory. I usually fared very well in these, but this week, I was hung up on the very first verse of the passage (I had already written out the rest!). In a rash and foolish move, I tried (unsuccessfully) to sneak a peak at the completed selection inside my desk. My teacher caught me. I was mortified, and choked back tears for the duration of the afternoon. I still remember the big ol’ zero he wrote at the top of the page – it had a sad face inside it.

My memory failed to work that day, and I so failed my memory work. However, I won’t go ahead and say I’ve got a bad memory. I’ve actually got a very good one, in certain contexts. But that’s the frustrating part: I couldn’t recall that verse when I needed to, I can never remember where I leave my keys, what bills to pay, and when the garbage has to go out, but when it comes to recalling the lyrics of 90s pop songs, the filmography of long-gone child stars, and the jingles of local furniture stores, I’ve got an encyclopedia up there. That’s likely why my blog so often ends up at back at nostalgia and reminiscing. These useless facts gotsa go somewhere!

And that, coincidentally, is where we come back to what I’ve got on today.

This skirt is a recently acquired thrift from my favourite Salvation Army. It’s pleated, it’s minty, and it’s pretty darn trendy considering it’s another 70’s find. The colour is insanely popular these days. I mean sheesh, It’s all over my blog! As soon as I put on this skirt, I went uber matchy-matchy and painted my fingers and toes in that colour, too. But while my memory may not have retained all of Psalm 29, it did dig up something random that puts this outfit – and that very trendy colour – in perspective. Before my seafoam manicure was dry, I remembered a Mastercard commercial from nearly 14 years ago. It was a foggy memory – about seafoam and bridesmaids.  I’ll I needed to Google was “seafoam mastercard” and there it was.

If you don’t feel like watching the clip, the premise is simple: It paints a little vignette of a pretty, sad little bridesmaid, forced to wear a most-ghastly shade of seafoam from head to toe, simply to appease a stereotypical bride. But then the two women share a lovely, moving embrace while the voiceover says “a friend wearing seafoam for: priceless”.

It’s quite funny, isn’t it? Something that was deemed a particular kind of torture (Seafoam nails! Horror!) is the same thing I willingly delight it not 15 years later. And look at her dress – it’s lacy, asymmetrical, and all kinds of pretty by today’s standards. I actually kind of love it. My memory might fail me on occasion, but I do appreciate when it provides little gems like this, simply because it keeps me humble.  It reminds me that it’s all been done before: everything that’s considered old and dated one year might be considered new and trendy the next. It’s a reminder of the fickleness of fashion. I’m obviously still privy to being swayed by colour trends and fads, but that shouldn’t be the defining factor in how I dress my blog, or by body. If I like the seafoam, I should be rock it whether it’s on trend or not. Remind me of that in a few years.

A closing word of advice: Trends aside, you can wear just about anything so long as it’s paired with a plain white tee, because that’s one thing that will never be out of style. That’s pretty easy to remember, eh?

Behind the Seams

I’m coming up on my two week anniversary with the new love of my life, my iPhone. I am currently obsessed with every little thing this fancy phone can do, so I thought it might be fun for me and my new buddy to take you on a thrift trip. This past weekend, I documented a typical saturday in the life of a thrifter like me. I’ve created a play-by-play of all the laughters, tears, heartbreaks and victories that accompany my average thrifting excursion, peppered with the occasional tip, and the frequent unnecessary Instagram filter. Let’s begin!

The first thing one must do when thrifting is prepare for the long journey ahead. For me, this included a breakfast of champions. This has nothing to do with thrifting, but I can’t resist bragging about the life-changing orange-chocolate french toast that kicked off my day. Sweet mother of mary, that’s some eatin’!

With a belly full, I stopped at home briefly to ensure my outfit was thrift-friendly. What makes an outfit thrift-friendly? Leggings. I always thrift in leggings because then I can try on shirts, skirts, and dresses without having to change my bottoms. I also put on some slouchy boots that I could easily remove, and pulled my hair away from my face. That changeroom is a hotbed for static activity.

Hamilton is home to a wonderful assortment of thrift-stores. I could easily hit up five without having to drive more than twenty minutes between them. But I set a more realistic goal for myself, and decided on the Salvation Army and Bibles for Missions. Salvation Army was up first.

I have a specific order for attacking thrift stores. It usually goes: dresses, long sleeve blouses, skirts, short-sleeve blouses, coats, shoes, and housewares. I intended to stick to the order, but upon arrival, I laid eyes on a most-awesome sheer blouse. It was cropped in the front, long in the back, with tres long sleeves. I was already imagining myself looking super-awesome drinking super-lattes (I don’t even drink lattes…) when my vision was abruptly cut short.

Turns out the previous owner of this blouse also drank alotta lattes, and one ended up all over the sleeve. Too bad. Onward!

I resumed my regular order, rounding up a very colourful first haul:

That H&M peach dress in the bottom right corner made it to the change room strictly because it looked so very Kelly Kapowski.

With my arms nearly full, I was about to try on these finds when something unexpected caught my eye.

This sweet jacket was in the pyjama section, with a “Men’s Sportwear” tag. The only person who would consider these pyjamas would be Sue Sylvester. This jacket sums up what I love so much about thrifting – the surprises. Was I looking for an purple and orange Adidas jacket? Heck no! Did I try it on? Heck yes!

All the other items I tried were too big, too short, and too tight, but this jacket was a winner. Will it compel me to start workin’ on my fitness? Probably not. But still – purple!

The last item I tried also referenced another favourite TV character of mine. Can you guess?

Hint: FLARE! 

That delightful stripy number didn’t fit quite right, but I was already satisfied with my jacket. On my way to the cash, I gave a longing look at all the cute heels that a tall chick like me will never get to wear, and strutted out of the store with my new find tucked under my arm.

*Sigh*

The next stop was Bibles For Missions. I love BFM because everyone there sounds like an Oma. I also love BFM because while their selection is smaller, all the clothing is in fanastic shape. The final reason I love BFM is because they have belts for $.50! That’s a deal from Archie comic days!

I found two belts, and my sister snagged those awesome leopard flats you see. I wanted them, but my toboggan feet wouldn’t fit.

I picked up a few more items to take the change room. Braemar by Jeremy scott is one of those brands I see all the time at thrift stores – he could have his own section. I also giggled when I saw “Totes Coat”.  I’m a loser.

Sadly, that lovely coat had just a lingering scent of mothballs. I’ve learned my lesson with that – it doesn’t go away. I did manage to find another item to take home though:

I love the floral trend that’s here, there, and everywhere these days. Could I have found a similar top at a Forever 21? Probably. But the tag on this top looks so old-school, I take comfort in the fact that it’s probably ten years old and still looks great. I challenge anyone to say that about something from F21 in ten years.

The grand total? 2 belts, 1 jacket, and 1 top. All in all, not a bad little saturday. I hope you enjoyed my play-by-play. Maybe next time I’ll make a video, with effects! It will go something like this: Star-wipe! Profound quote! Fade to black. Morgan Freeman Narration. End scene.

You can just give me my Oscar right now.

Black Tie Only

The year: 1998. The day: March 23. The event: The 70th Annual Academy Awards, the Oscars. Film’s biggest, longest, sparkliest night. I was maybe 12 years old, and only watched for one reason: In the vain hope my main man Leo would show, even though the Academy had committed a most-grievous crime in denying him a nomination. He was the king of the world for cryin’ out loud! And so dreamy! Rumour had it Leo would not be attending the ceremony, but I’d still get to hear Celine belt out Heart of the Ocean one more time.

It was honestly a magical moment – I didn’t really know why the camera panned to Jack Nicholson so many times, or what was wrong with that Joan Rivers lady, but I did see my parents laugh a whole lot at Billy Crystal’s opening monologue/montage, thus I, too, laughed a whole lot. Leo never showed, Titanic swept every category, and I bragged to anyone who would listen at school the next day that I stayed up for the whole darn thing.

Most people find them boring, silly, and just a little over the top. But every year, whether I’ve seen all or none of the nominated films, I carve a little time out of my night to buy into it all. In honour of film’s greatest night and Ryan Seacrest’s stupid face, I’ll be wearing my version of tuxedo for tonight’s festivities – complete with a bowtie.

The necklace was a pre-checkout buy at the Salvation Army, the clutch I can’t recall, my faithful CK blazer is also from the Sally Anne, but my favourite part of my “tuxedo” is the blouse. This blouse is Zara, 100% silk, and brand-spankin’ new. The tags were still attached, and some poor sucker spent $89.99 on theirs. I, on the other hand, spent $6.99 on mine. It may not be an Oscar, but that sure feels like a win.

PS – I’ll be live-tweeting as much as possible. Follow along for my picks on best dressed and whether salt n’ vinegar chips really are that much better than dill pickle.

Hybrid Theory

One of the upsides to thrifting is the speed at which I can get in and out of the changerooms. When thrifting, I never need go back out for an additional size, I never have to talk myself into another colour of the same garment because that’s the only large size left, and I never have to ponder if it’s worth driving to another location to see if they have the item I want. If it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t fit. No fuss, no deliberation. I just put the item back on the hanger, and trust it will find a good owner. 99% of the time, I’m pretty zen about the whole process. I release any ill-fitting garments back into the thrift universe and move right along.  The other 1% of the time, I go nutso and invent imaginary enemies. The story:

Last week, I tried on an 80s black lace minidress. This little minidress was so lovely. High neck, scalloped sleeves, little sparkles here and there. And, from the waist up, it fit perfectly. From the waist down, however, we had a few issues: it was too short. It wasn’t 60s mod short, it was “that girl forgot to put on pants” short. This sad fact, compounded by my sizable badonkadonk, meant I should have put it back on the rack. I should have left it for a girl slightly shorter, with a bum slightly smaller. But the vision of this slightly-more-petite woman was not sitting so well. Why should she get my fabulous lace dress? I bet she has no trouble finding clothes with her tiny goat legs and itty-bitty buttocks. Plus, I bet she never has bad hair days, and her face is never shiny, and her clothes never wrinkle, and her nylons never run. That bit… 

…Well, you get the idea. So, soley to thwart my imaginary rival, I bought the dress. The day after, I spent a good long while staring at my closet, looking for a way to make it work. It didn’t work with leggings, it didn’t work tucked into a skirt, and, try as I may, it still didn’t work as a dress. I didn’t shrink over night.

Then, finally, a light bulb moment! I pulled out a basic black H&M strapless dress I thrifted from Talize months ago. This dress is perfectly nice – good structure, roomy pockets, fits well, etc. But I’ve never worn it, mainly because I don’t really feel comfortable in strapless dresses, and I usually forgo basic black if there is a more fun alternative available. But in a stroke of genius, I concluded this basic black dress would be the ideal companion to my new lace mini.

The lace part of the mini has some stretch to it, it was lining inside that was causing trouble for my curves. So, I cut out the lining, and instead of pulling a Britney,  I wore the lace under the strapless H&M dress. And wouldn’t you know it, two wrongs make an alright dress. This hybrid dress has the lacey sleeves I like, and the length my badonkadonk needs. Hurray!

Take that, imaginary goat-legged nemesis. Until next time…