Monday, October 21, 2013

Teaching Time

Part of my college adventures includes my classes. My favorite class currently is my lab for Education in America. I am studying to become a math teacher, and this lab provides the opportunity to spend time in the classroom observing teacher methods and classroom behavior.

Long story short, I must dress professionally every Thursday morning when I go to my lab. Professional clothes can be quite pricey. However, with my thrifting skills, I have been able to put  together some teacher-like outfits for an affordable price.

First I want to compare my cheap outfit to a similar outfit (from Polyvore) that would have cost much more. 

For those of you who don't know, Polyvore is a site that lets you put together different outfits. It also redirects you to where you can buy the clothes you use in your sets. As much as I love playing around with Polyvore, I would never buy anything from the site. Let me show you one outfit I put together to prove my point.

Top - $47 (see here)
Pants - $112 (see here)

The even funnier part is these prices are "clearance" prices. The top was originally $235 and the pants were originally $320. Looking at these prices makes me squirm. I really can't understand why anyone would spend that much on clothes. 

Now take a look at my (much) cheaper ensemble.

Top (Worthington) - $5 at Goodwill
Pants (SagHarbor)- $2 at Rescued Treasures
Shoes (xhiliration)- $4 at New2You

This was a great outfit for my first day of my education lab. I truly felt like a teacher. Even better, it didn't cost me an arm and a leg. Compared to the above outfit, I saved $150, and the outfit above didn't even include shoes. 

My next outfit I wore for my second week of my teaching lab. I found a similar top on Modcloth (below on the right) that would have cost $37.99. Instead, I found a much cheaper alternative.

Top (Old Navy) - $1.50 at New2You
Pants (Express) - $4 at New2You
Flip flops - $1 at Old Navy

So instead of $38, I only spent $1.50 on this top saving me $36.50. In fact, I like my top better because it has ruffles. Also, I did not wear these shoes to school, but I just happened to be wearing them when I took the picture. Once a year Old Navy has a sale where they sell flip flops for $1 and that's where I got these. I do have shoes that are navy with white polka dots (which I got for $4 at Goodwill) that go with this outfit better, but I forgot to bring them to college.

The point I am trying to make is that professional clothes can be affordable if you look in the right places. 

Happy thrifting! 

Monday, September 30, 2013

College Clothes

Well let me say my first month at college has been crazy. It's been crazy busy, but crazy good. I have been able to go thrifting twice in my short time here. First, there is a goodwill in Marian, which is about a 20 minute drive from Upland. In gas city, which is much closer, there is a antique flea marker next door to a thrift store called rescued treasures. The best thing about rescued treasures is that on Saturdays, they give college students a 50% discount! I can foresee many of my future Saturdays being spent thrifting there...

Anyways, in my time here at Taylor, I have also managed to put a few cute outfits together with my thrifted clothes. With so many things going on, it was hard to remember to take pictures. But here's a little glimpse of what I've been wearing around campus.

Red shirt (Express) - $1 at New2You
Black shorts (New York & Company) - $3 at New2You
White belt - Hand me down
Shoes (xhiliration) - $4 at New2You
White cardigan - $3 at New2You

This was a great outfit for a warm day. The shirt is very breathable, and I could put the cardigan on when inside (and the air conditioning is freezing). I felt so confident in this outfit. Knowing that I looked cute made my day ten times better.

Floral top (Forever 21) - $1 at a garage sale
Vest (eyelash couture) - $1 at New2You
Shorts (Aeroposale) - $3 at Goodwill
Belt - $1 at New2You
Shoes (Keds) - $2 at a garage sale

Today started off chilly, but when it started warming up, I decided to put this outfit on. After all, this is probably one of my last chances to wear shorts before winter.

Well that's all folks. I should probably be doing homework right now anyways...

Monday, August 26, 2013

Dorm Life

Hey guys. Sorry haven't posted in a while, but I think I have a pretty good excuse: I've been college!! I moved from Grand Rapids, MI all the way to Taylor University in Upland, IN. Yes I know you've probably never heard of it. Look it up.

Anyways, I thought it would be fun to show you some stuff that I picked up from thrift stores for my dorm room. Don't worry, I did buy my sheets and towels and things like that new.

Lamp - $1 at a garage sale

I love the intricate design on the base of this lamp. It's also much more fun than your boring desk lamp It really brings some light to the room, and it is also a good decorative piece.

Trash can - $1 at a garage sale

I picked this trash bin up at the same garage sale as the lamp above. Garage sales often have themes of what they are selling. This sale was actually a moving sale, so it had a lot of furniture type stuff. Other garage sales may be selling lots of kids clothes and toys. Keep that in mind you're checking out garage sales in these last few weeks of summer.

The Hunger Games - $0.50 at a garage sale
The Lightning Thief - $0.50 at a garage sale

I picked up these two book at yet another garage sale. And what a find they were! I would not have expected to find these books at a garage sale since they are still so popular right now. But that just proves that you never know what you might find if you just take the time to look. I do have some other books that I have picked up for cheap, but I decided not to bore you with all of those.

TV (with built in VCR) - $10 at the Meltotter Mission Thrift Store

This is a thrift store I have not featured on my blog yet. Their website is also very helpful, because it lists all their store locations as well as some featured items at each of those locations. I haven't gone shopping there a lot, but they do have some good finds, like this TV for example. It works great and it plays all my good old VHS.

DVD player - $10 at the Meltrotter Mission Thrift Store

This DVD player works great with the TV above, and I actually picked them both up on the same shopping trip. Talk about a good haul! It works perfectly and even came with a remote and all the cords to hook it up.

21 - $1 at a garage sale
Ice Age: The Meltdown - $1 at New2You
Sherlock: Season 2 - $4 at New2You

Along with my DVD player, I also have some DVDs. I actually got Ice Age when New2You was having a sale for half off all books and media. On that trip I also picked up at couple CDs for only $1 each and some softcover books for only $0.25 each. If you check out their facebook page (found here) you can check out all their weekly sales to help you save even more.

I also have many VHS that I have gotten at many different thrift stores, but I'm not showing you them at this time for two reasons. 1. There are far too many, and I don't want to bore you. 2. I have so many that I can't remember where I bought all of them. I do know that I have gotten most of them for around $0.50, $1 tops.I guess I can list just a few of the movies that I own on VHS:

Independence Day
Remember the Titans
Legally Blonde
The Little Mermaid
Cheaper by the Dozen
Finding Nemo
Ice Age
The Princess Diaries
The Princess Bride
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Miss Congeniality
Singin' in the Rain
Dr. Dolittle
While you were Sleeping
Forrest Gump
Back to the Future
And more...

That's about it for today's post. My next mission will be to find thrift stores out here...well in the middle of nowhere. To give you a little perspective, Upland has only one stoplight. One. But I have heard that there is one not too far away in a near by town. Fingers crossed.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Out on the Town

So this weekend I went to Chicago! I had a fun time with friends, and I also styled some great thrift store finds. Since it's summer time, I have also found some great finds at garage sales. Just the other day I picked up a huge bag of name brand clothes for only $20. Anyways, on to my outfits from this past weekend.

Lace top (xhiliration) - $2 at a garage sale
Tank top (Mossimo) - $0.25 at a garage sale
Pants (Forever 21) - $1 at Spree
Sandals (Faded glory) - $6 at Goodwill
Purse (H & M) - $1 at a garage sale

This was my outfit for strolling around downtown Chicago. I know I have shown some of these pieces before, but that just goes to show that you can can reuse different pieces in different outfits. 

Top (Emma James) - $2 at New2You
Jeans (Forever 21) - $2 at New2You
Belt - $1 at New2You
Shoes (So) - $1 at a garage sale

I wore this outfit to church on Sunday and then for the ride back home. The previous day, I was shopping at H & M, and I spotted a similar to this one for a much higher price. 

These jeans also have an interesting story. Pants are usually $4 at New2You. However, the zipper was broken, so the cashier gave me half off. Once I got home, I finagled it and vwalah! I got the zipper to work. Sometimes it's worth the risk to buy something that's broken and try to fix it.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Work Attire

This summer I started working as a secretary at a business called Flex Administrators. However, when I first got the job, I realized that I really didn't have very many clothes that were appropriate for the office. So what did I do? That's right. I went to the thrift store. You wouldn't believe what people get rid of! I have found so many different pieces of professional clothing that are in great shape. Let me show you.

Top (Worthington) - $1 at New2You
Skirt (Charlotte Russe) - $5 at New2You
Shoes (Madden Girl) - Gift

I actually just wore this outfit to the office today. One of my coworkers made a comment that she thought I looked very cute and professional. Little did she know my outfit cost me less that $10. 

Jacket (Worthington) - $3 at New2You
Shirt (Elle) - $1 at New2You
Skirt (Express) - $1 at New2You
Shoes (Madden Girl) - Gift

This out fit I wore two days ago. It was kind of chilly in the morning, so I decided to to throw on this jacket. It worked well because it was short-sleeved, but added an extra layer. 

Shirt (Worthington) - $5 at Goodwill
Pants - $2 at New2You
Shoes (Faded Glory) - $6 at Goodwill
Belt - Hand-me-down

This is another great outfit for a chilly day. The top is long-sleeved, but it is also a sheer top, so you won't get too hot either. I have also paired this top with my navy skirt (which I got for $6 at Plato's Closet) and my white pants (which I got for $4 at New2You). 

The belt in this outfit has a bit of an interesting story. This was actually handed down to me from my grandma! Little did you know your grandma's clothes can be stylish. I guess what they say about fashion really is true; it comes back.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Let's Compare

You may be wondering how my thrifty clothes hold up when compared to clothes you may be pinning on pinterest. How could they possibly compare? So with that question in mind I decided to take a look at my own pins from my "Fashion" board on pinterest. Here is what I found:

Left side: Original Photo (see here) vs. Right Side: My recreation

Polka dot shirt (Old Navy) - $1.50 at New2You
Maroon pants (Life in Progress) - $3.29 at Goodwill

Yes I know polka dots aren't quite little hearts, but I think it's pretty close. It's great to look other places for inspiration when it comes to fashion. More often that not, I already have similar pieces in my closet; I just haven't thought to put them together. This is so true with the above picture. This also inspired me to put together another similar outfit.

Shirt (Mossimo)- $3 at Goodwill
Tank top (Mossimo)- $0.25 at a garage sale
Pants (Life in progress) - $3.29 at Goodwill
Sandals (Faded Glory)- $6 at Goodwill

Colored denim has great versatility. These maroon pants were definitely a great find. I also have yellow pants (seen in my first post) as well as olive and purple, all of which I bought at thrift stores. Next I have one more comparison for today. (Original photo see here)

Plaid top (Mossimo) - $1.50 at New2You
Pants (Mossimo) - $2 at New2You
Purse - $3 at New2You

Once again, not an exact match, but close. I think this top is fun because it is red, white, and blue, so I can use it for patriotic events. To spice things up, I could also pair this shirt with my maroon pants from above, or my white pants (which I also purchased at a thrift store). 

So what do you think? Do my recreations hold up? Feel free to leave a comment to let me know what you think. Hopefully I can do some more comparisons in the future, but that's it for this post.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Formal Wear? Not a Problem

Thrifting does not stop at casual wear. Formal wear too can be purchased at a thrift store. However, this task can be daunting on some. At first glance, a thrift store's formal wear section can often look like something out of your grandma's closet. But have no fear! There may just be something worthwhile a midst all those shoulder pads and poofy sleeves.

Let me prove it to you. I have bought a number of formal dresses for dirt cheap using my thrifting skills. Not only are they cute and affordable, but they are unique! Take a look and see.

Dress (I.N. San Francisco)- $7 at New2You

This is a picture from my first high school dance. When I posted this picture on facebook I got comments like "wow. ruth. I looovvvveeee your dress!" and "dang Ruth cute dress!" Little did they know where I bought it.

My next two years I either borrowed dresses from friends or used a dress my sister had previously worn. For one dress I did splurge and get a new dress, but my dad paid for it so that doesn't really even count.

Next I want to show you a picture from my final high school dance.

Dress (city triangles) - $7 at New2You

This is probably one of my best finds at a thrift store ever. I love this dress. It fit me perfectly and it was the perfect color. The key to finding this dress was buying it waaay in advance. I believe I bought this dress over 6 months before the dance. 

So here's my secret. Always keep your eye out for something you may not think you need at the time. If you wait until when you need it, it might not be there. So be willing to buy a dress before you are even asked to a dance. Or buy a sweater during the summer. Or a tank top in the winter. Whatever it is, be willing to buy out of season. It may just come in handy later.