Thursday, 18 September 2014

Greatest Thrift Score

This time last night, I was scanning the Shaw Conference Center for my number at the 26th Annual Feastival, not just because I was looking forward to the next course, but also because it meant I could take my new favourite shoes for a walkabout.  May I present my greatest thrift score yet...
Robert Clergerie $9.10 VV Boutique
These shoes retail for $600 plus!!!

The story of these stunning shoes: I knew what dress I wanted to wear to Feastival but just didn't have the right pair of shoes to wear with it (fresh out), and my thrifting intuition prompted me to make a thrift-shop-stop on the way home from work to look for classic black pumps.  Well, not only did I find leather Aldo black pump perfection and another pair of Anthro-brand printed pumps, I stumbled upon these perfect-condition sandals in the size-section above mine.  I'm pretty sure the heavens opened and angels sang when they fit. 
Be still my heart.

This proves yet again my thrift shopping recommendation to look at least a size above and a size below your regular, just in case.  The shoes definitely made my outfit!
Dress $12.75, vintage black bag $10 VV Boutique
Accessories from my closet B.T. (Before Thrifting)
This is nice and all...
But these are amazing.

AND they were comfortable to walk in!  I don't think I could sprint ever in them, but I could walk with ease and my feet didn't hurt at all despite being so high that I was nearly as tall as my 6' 3" hubby! 
I only look shorter than him because I'm being dainty-like to show off the shoes.
Being so tall in my shoes made me think I could eat like a 6'3" man, so I did.  YUM
Waiting in line for a delicious meal...
Might as well take some more photos of my shoes while I'm waiting.
That wasn't weird for the guy behind me at all.
(I barely refrained from telling him the story of my shoes.)

It was another great event in Edmonton in another great thrifted outfit!  If these Robert Clergerie shoes don't convince you to try thrifting, maybe the outfit I'm wearing on Breakfast TV Edmonton tomorrow morning will!  That's right, in a few short hours I will be at the BTE studios with 4 fabulous friends to show off our thrifted Fall outfits and talk about Fashion's Night Out coming up on September 23rdWe are on at 7:10am so tune in and see which friend has the cheapest outfit!  Any bets whether any of them will beat me!?!

Monday, 15 September 2014

Leopard and Stripes

The day is almost done and I assume that EVERYONE was wearing a striped top and print bottom for the Monday Style Prompt.  As for me, I had a hot ticket item that I was anxious to style up - a $7 leopard print skirt from VV Boutique!  I turned to Pinterest for some inspiration then looked in my closet for stripey options and came up with an outfit that had me roaring purring happy all day long.
Blazer $7, necklace $2 VV Boutique
Nicole Miller tee $1.50 Hope Missions Bargain Shoppe
Miz Mooz shoes gifted but thrifted

I'm no stranger to pattern mixing.  I love me some mix-not-match!  I have embraced advice from Ruche and StyleList to develop my mad mixin' skills!  (I mean mad as in stylish, not crazy.)  I think the best advice for newbie mixers is to ensure there's a common colour and default to stripes for one of the patterns. Because when in doubt, wear stripes.
You had me at stripes.

I was surprised to realize that some people still believe horizontal stripes are a no-no.  I find stripes to be camouflaging if anything; I've had three kids, there's stuff going on so I oughta know.  Stripes are like the snake-eyes in Jungle Book - distracting!  Most women are larger on their bottom half, so a striped top balances out.  If you happen to be more apple-shaped, a striped skirt could be your new best friend!  Maybe the width of the stripes matters so try several varieties, and fit is always an important consideration but I encourage you, if you haven't embraced stripey awesomeness, go thrifting, then try some striped tops for layering and mixing.  You won't regret it! 
At a buck-fifty, this tee is one of my best cost-per-wear pieces.
And look at the cute detail in the back!

I had a hard time deciding on finishing touches for my outfit.  I thought I wanted a belt so tried a few options...
Red Flatter:Me or thrifted cognac, black or cobalt???

None of the above!  Instead, I chose red accents to finish the look.

Next week, I will aspire to get the Monday Style Prompt out earlier so you can go thrifting if need be.  And yes, if you are lacking a striped top or print bottom, then need be! And if not, consider it a reason to at least go scope out your thrifted options!
I could do this every darn day.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Heads Up!!

Four VERY important events are coming up!  In order of appearance:
You're playing along right?  If you're reading this on Monday morning, here is the style prompt: striped top + printed bottom.  This doesn't necessarily mean a horizontal striped top - get creative!!  I can't wait to see what you come up with!  Last week's #MondayStylePrompt was a lot of fun... makes Monday morning... tolerable!

2. BT Edmonton!!!!!
Friday September 19th in the early morn... VV Boutique Style will be on Breakfast Television again!  It's been far too long since I've been on TV (!) and this time, I'm bringing four real life real style models to showcase thrifted Fall fashion and talk about No. 4!  I can't wait!  Tune in to see who is wearing the cheapest outfit and get a peek at the awesome pieces you can find thrifting!

3. Sister Thrifters Fall Backyard Boutique!!!!!
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We are celebrating the Autumnal Equinox one day early and hosting another fabulous Backyard Boutique on Sunday September 21st from 11:30am to 4:30pm.  We had so much fun at the Summer Backyard Boutique (wine was had, fab clothing went to new homes) that we had to have another focusing on Fall finds!  We have been thrifting up a storm and will have all available Sister Thrifters Instagram stock PLUS many never-before-posted pieces!  We will have sizes ranging from 0 to 22 - all pieces that we would gladly welcome into our own closets!  I'm very excited to collaborate with a special friend to bring you...
Hundreds of garments in Sz small 0 - 6 including exceptional brands like BCBG, Lululemon, TNA and Wilfred from Aritzia, J Crew, Banana Republic, Rock & Republic, True Religion and so much more!  
Some lucky small ladies are going to clean up!

Shannon and I will be posting all the details on Sister Thrifters Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  You won't want to miss it!
  4. Fashion's Night Out!!!!!

It's that time of year again!  The third annual Fashion's Night Out - VV Boutique Styled is coming up on Tuesday September 23rd!  Mark your calendars and plan to join me to shop from 6-9pm at the 34th Avenue Value Village location in honour of the international Fashion's Night Out.  The objective of this fun event is to put the joy back in shopping!  Well, I don't know about you, but the better the price and quality, the better the joy!  We had a blast on FNO 2012 and FNO 2013 and this year will be even better!  I will have prizes, as usual, and Value Village has generously provided gift certificate prizes too!
We will meet up at Chili's after to review the spoils of the hunt, determine the lowest cost per piece and award the grand prize winner!  Whether you've never thrifted before or are a die-hard thrifting enthusiast, Fashion's Night Out will be a fun evening out!  Hope to see you there!

Friday, 12 September 2014

Fall Transition Tricks

I did not anticipate that I would be seriously reading up on Fall transition advice before it's officially Fall.  Alas, this is Alberta and until my imaginary independent wealth kicks in, I must make the best of my circumstances.  You already know I'm embracing the marginally-Fall-like strategy of swapping ankle boots for sandals and pairing them with skirts and dresses; with or without socks, this is supposed to make your outfit Fall-ish as is "adding a coat."  I'm thinking that's a no-brainer, Fashion Magazines.  Since I refuse to be forced into pants against my will by Cold Weather, I embraced another Fall Transition Trick today: wearing a chunky knit sweater with a skirt.
Tulle and metallic skirt $7, sweater $5VV Boutique
Sequins flats gifted but thrifted

I was wondering if tulle skirts are still a thing but keep seeing tweets about pleated metallic skirts, so I figured this one would pass the style test one way or another...

It is surprisingly easy to wear, though Velcro in the preschool classroom is my tulle nemesis!

I quickly fell in love with this sweater after putting it on...
The colour reminds me of caramel sauce, which is a WIN in my books.

I'm still playing with how to accessorize this look.  I tried a pendant and some other necklaces but they seemed to compete with the details on the sweater...
I ended up going with a delicate necklace and She Does Create earrings I wore to the Yeggies, and a bracelet from my closet.
I think it works.

You should know, unless you're a size -2 model, this isn't going to be your slimmest look, but it is cozy and has a cool vibe IMHO.
I'm putting my hands on my waist so you know it exists.
Don't you wanna hug me in this sweater?!

This outfit gave me the perfect opportunity to wear my "vegan" bomber jacket...
Jacket $5.60 from VV Boutique

I think this Fall transition trick will be easy to apply to other pieces in my wardrobe and extend the wearing season of my other thirty-one skirts.
What do YOU think?  
Would you wear a chunky sweater with a skirt?

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Preppy Patterns

Since I am in a happy delusion that Snow and its cold temperatures don't exist in September, I'm wearing skirts every day doing what the fashion mags suggest for "transitioning to fall" - pairing them with ankle booties instead of flats.  Because that's enough.  (speaking of delusions)  Today, I put together what I deem a preppy look even though I'm not entirely sure what that means...
I rebelled as a youth by refusing to enter math competitions.
Does that make me preppy?

Maybe it's just the combo of button-up top plus cardi that gave me a preppy impression...  
 But I couldn't leave it at that...
Nope, I added some leopard print socks because I dig the chemistry of mixing stuff together!
I also liked chemistry in my youth (once I realized I could do it after recovering from my teachers' low blonde expectations).
Does that make me preppy?

A note about leopard print: the mags call it this season's neutral and I agree because a neutral is something that plays along well with others.  And leopard print does just that, yet still manages to hold onto its unique identity.  Pretty sure leopard print is preppy...
 I added a tidy belt to bring a little Matchy Matchy Syndrome to the look.
Does MMS make me preppy?

I hate to ruin my imaginary definitions of preppy by Googling, so I'm not going to, but if I'm way off base in calling this outfit "preppy," please forgive me.  In any case, I think it presents an easy Fall fashion formula: skirt + button top + printed/colourful/interesting cardi + socks/booties.  You can go full-on matchy matchy or try mixing things for a little chemistry!
If you're extra lucky, you will have a little sidekick like me.
Her braids make us both preppy.
Chambray $6 Salvation Army Thrift Shop
Hot Sox from Fisherman's Warf in SF

Monday, 8 September 2014

September Snow Can Suck It

In case you missed it, I shared something new and exciting on Facebook... the Monday Style Prompt!  Every weekend, I will issue a style prompt to help you figure out what to wear on Monday morning and get the week off to a stylish start!  This is the perfect fashion challenge IMHO for a few reasons:
  1. Monday mornings are the worst.
  2. Month-long fashion challenges are hard to maintain (EXCEPT of course Black Out Style which is really just an excuse to go shopping)
  3. Daily style prompts can be a bit intimidating and sometimes a bit too general for my liking
I have no prizes, no nothing except an appreciative nod if I see someone walking around rocking the prompt (thank you Megan) and my undying gratitude if you take a selfie and tag me @VVBoutiqueStyle and/or use the hashtag #MondayStylePrompt (thank you Sunshine SLP).  It's just for fun, because life is too short to not have fun, even on a Monday, even when that Monday is in September and even when that September Monday is covered in SNOW!  I for one feel like Snow has had its fair share of attention on the Internets today so I'm not going to give it much more except to tell it, as nicely as possible... (see title).  Snow, I'm not done wearing skirts and dresses WITHOUT leggings or tights and I only just got comfortable wearing socks with my skirts, so don't go pushing your luck making me wear them daily.  In fact, I'm going to pretend like you don't exist in September.  October is more than soon enough.

With this attitude, I went ahead and wore what I had planned to wear for the inaugural Monday Style Prompt: "grey top + bright bottom"...
Banana Republic pink and grey striped tee $12 consigned from reFind Clothing
Socks and sweater from my closet B.T. (Before Thrifting)

My look was inspired by a blogger I just discovered after spotting her grey top-bright bottom outfit in the September People Style Watch, Amy Ann Arnolds from the Real Arnolds.  Simple, stylish and accessorized! 
Grey is my comfort colour.  Perfect for days like today.
I added the striped tee because Snow.
My daughter already asked if she can have this locket when I die she grows up.
This Cleo skirt is a stretchy structured knit with flattering tailoring.
Don't stare at my knees too long or it will get weird for both of us.

I know of at least four other people who took on the Monday Style Prompt - THANK YOU!  I had fun and I hope you did too!  I created a Pinterest Monday Style Prompt board in case you like the idea but need a little more inspiration (or if you just like to look at nice outfits!).
A little snow won't stop me from wearing a perfectly skirty outfit.

Stay tuned because I will issue the next Monday Style Prompt next weekend - I think we will have a lot of fun with this all winter autumn long!
Thoughts behind my expression: 
"This snow can suck it.  I wonder if I can say that on the Internet..."

Friday, 5 September 2014

Socks, Shoes and Skirts

Since I live in Alberta and snowfall next week would not be unexpected, the socks and sandals trend has caught my eye.  It's not only socks and sandals, I've been seeing socks and booties, socks and loafers, socks and flats.  I've seen plain socks, patterned socks, cuffed socks, ruffled socksI could write a Dr. Seuss book.

I was especially intrigued after seeing my thrift guiding client Jenise walk around in her "new" Miz Mooz with her sporty socks, so the very next day, I decided to give this trend a wholehearted bootie try based on the Pinterest example I pulled to illustrate the trend...
I'm *exactly* the same except twice her size and twice her age.
Chambray $6 Salvation Army Thrift Shop
Socks and accessories from my closet

I would have preferred the skirt to be about an inch or two shorter but I wanted a neutral palette so this was my closest midi option.  As long as there is some skin showing, you're good to go.
I didn't do anything fancy with the socks, just kinda slouched them down so I didn't look like a grandpa.
Love the pretty details on this chambray - polka dot lining on the cuffs and collar, ceramic buttons.
So I totally needed it even though I have another chambray or two.
I was pleasantly surprised by the flattering look.

Need some inspiration before trying this trend?  Look on Pinterest or pick up any fall magazine.  I found this post by Fashionista to be particularly helpful with her advice equally applicable to other footwear besides sandals.  I kinda think that anything goes for this trend as long as whatever look you try, you embrace with gusto!  There's no being timid or hesitant; just put on your socks, put on your sandals/booties/flats and go! 
If no one else you know is doing it, you might as well be the trendsetter!