Thursday, 31 October 2013

Happy VV Boutique Halloween!

Halloween is the Christmas-season of Value Village, and for good reason.  Value Village is the source for all the fixings for any conceivable costume, from the typical to the creative.  Whether  buying new or second-hand, VV prices are better or comparable to other retailers.  Naturally, I went there for my family's costumes.  If you follow me on Instagram, you got a sneak peek last Saturday when I hosted a family Halloween party/excuse to eat candy and drink cocktails.
 My sixties dress was $9.
My raspberry cordial martinis were priceless.
I think those women were onto something with this hairdo.
It took 2 minutes.  Clean hair not required.
My little flower child in her VV dress.
I heart coordinating costumes!
 $3 Hot Wheels Racer suit on deck!
He had a race-car driver costume too but opted to use dress-up clothes to be a magician.
For chilly trick-or-treating, she wore her dragon and roared at everyone!
Daddy Mario was a big hit with my Wii fans!

Since I am highly professional at all times, I also dressed up for work today.
I would wear this $3 vintage coat (new with tags from VV) any day, not just with my costume!
Hard at work.
Work = eating through the Halloween chocolate stash.
My costume presented the perfect opportunity to wear these sunnies, a blog-birthday gift from Value Village!

Fun day, good costumes!  Now back to our regularly scheduled shopping at VV Boutique!

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Peggy's Closet

I have mentioned many times that I have Awesome friends.  I capitalize that because they are that good.  I am so blessed and grateful.  My favourite Megan has modeled for VV Boutique Style (here, here and over here); she is a big supporter of my talented jewelry-designing sister She Does Create (they even did a parking lot deal once, it was very espionage-esque); she did a child care swap with me for a year and has shared many nights dinners of "sister-wives" (banding together, c'mon people) when our husbands are out of town; and she indulges my big ideas at work.  She's pretty awesome and one of the reasons why she is so awesome is because she has an amazing mom.  Peggy is a mother of four who started law school when baby 3 started school, then found out she was expecting baby 4 just after starting her third year and delivered said princess the day before her last law exam.  Peggy finished law school and has raised her family while climbing the legal ranks.  She has a sweet office, is well read (she's the one in our book club that can give the history and background of the issues off the top of her head), is still sweethearts with her hubby, and is kind and generous to family, friends and community.  I couldn't have been more pleased to help Peggy go through her closet and put some outfits together.

Peggy did her homework and went through her wardrobe and pulled everything that didn't currently fit.  Normally, I would recommend keeping only select pieces that don't fit - at most a size above or below - but Peggy has Rheumatoid Arthritis and the medications wreak havoc on her body causing significant size fluctuations (all of which she handles with grace and a great attitude; so inspiring).  So, Peggy pulled boxes of clothes from her closet but will keep them and swap them out as she changes sizes.  Because of this, I didn't want to focus on styling specific pieces but rather on styling concepts that can be applied to whatever is currently in her closet.  Megan and her little sis came to spectate and give me wine and candy the thumbs up or down.  All in all, we had a blast! 
Peggy has a *section* of leather jackets.  Yet she has 4 belts.
This is what one would define as an enigma.

Peggy has a youthful, funky personal style.  No doubt having a 22yo fashionista in the house (with the same size feet) doesn't hurt, but she is conscious of not trying to look like a 22yo but like the dynamic 55yo she is!  She has an allergy to metal which complicates the whole "accessorizing" thang.  Fortunately, she had pearls and other beaded options on hand, as well as necklaces that can be worn over clothing.
These funky embellished jeans are a great example of Peggy's style.  High quality, subtle details!  Mixing interesting denim with a neutral top, structured blazer and fun finishers like the studded wedge boots and pretty scarf is an age-appropriate fashion formula in the making!
Peggy had this suit made to fit!  
  1. Hounds-tooth or any small print essentially functions as a neutral.  The print does not need to have the colour of your suit in it; it has to go not match!  Here Peggy wears her top untucked with her blazer cuffed and more casual shoes in a deep burgundy - #mixnotmatch!  She would finish this look with hosiery and supportive undergarments, but I spared her the exercise of it during our dress-up session!
  2. To change the look, Peggy tucked and added a belt.  Nope, there are no belt loops - belt loops are not required!  
  3. Swap the shell and add an unmatched blazer to add new life to suit separates.
  4. While we are not matching, why not try pretty teal shoes or any pop of colour in your footwear!  Peggy is under advisement from her therapy team (that would be me and Megan) to avoid heels and fortunately has many beautiful flats to play with!
  1. Peggy has this cozy sweater dress which we styled with leggings or skinny bottoms, and a blazer to fulfill the formula "short over long over skinny."  The pendant adds the third element to fulfill the rule of 3 but a scarf would also work.
  2. If only Peggy had a wide belt, this look would work better!  I just wanted to show her that you can tuck a dress into a skirt to get a different look.
One of the things I love about Peggy is that when she sees something she likes, she buys it in more than one colour.
  1. This dress had such a forgiving fit and interesting details.  Her beautiful belt from China added further definition to her curves and she added the blue pumps herself!  Love it!  (quick study!)  (though let's be clear, Peggy, those shoes are for sitting in your case.  If you don't listen to me I'm going to come over and talk about OT for as long as you wore the shoes + one hour.)  The pretty details on the dress are almost an element in and of themselves, but we added a beaded bracelet just in case, which gave us an excuse to discuss "arm party" and now Peggy has something to shop for.
  2. Swapping the elements - the belt and shoes - and adding a blazer make the dress look completely different.  She had many blazers that would coordinate but was oddly missing an olive blazer, which I envisioned with this dress.  When you're styling an outfit and something doesn't feel right, change up an element before you scrap the whole thing.  Often, my choices depend on the feel of the day more than anything else so don't discard an idea altogether just because it didn't work on Monday.
  1. This navy basic would look great with any blazer but I wanted to demonstrate a more casual look with a cardi.  
  2. And while we're wearing a cardi, let me show you how to belt it!
  3. And while we're showcasing a cold-weather look with boots, we might as well throw on sea foam leather.  And YES you can wear brown boots with navy, or black or anythingMix your neutrals for some layering fun!   
  1. Same concept, non-neutral dress.  BTW the blue of the cardi was nowhere else in the dress but the tones were complimentary so it worked.  Plus it gave me an excuse to suggest her Tory Burch belt which I may have held a little too long for everyone's comfort.
  2. Swapping the cardi for a blazer illustrated that finishing pieces are easily interchangeable. I liked the repetition of gold accents and wanted Peggy to know that you CAN belt over a print. 
  1. Peggy wanted to know how to style a shirt dress.  The same formula of short over long over skinny works well with shirt dresses.  They are so comfy and casual chic, especially in classic chambray.  
  2. But if Tory wants to reverse and go out, oblige!  
  3. Tall boots work well and flats are pretty in warm weather with this look, but ankle boots or she-booties also work.  If you've got leopard print wedges, why not?!!    
  1. Since Peggy is often chilly at work, she can pull of this look of a long sweater layered over a 'fancy' dress to make it more casual.  I would boil.  I loved using a pretty brooch as the third element!
  2. In this look, I wanted to show Peggy that you can layer a blouse over a dress.  It doesn't always work but you never know unless you try!  Lo and behold she rocked the monochromatic trend!
  1. Peggy wondered if she could wear these white pants.  Uh yeah!  They are a contemporary ankle-crop length which leads me to an important point for Canadian women who need to wear socks: try different socks and be adventurous!  You can easily wear a nude trouser sock, but try a tonal crew sock or a light-weight patterned sock too.  Though this particular blazer is too big for Peggy, I wanted to show her that you can even belt a blazer.  Why not?  Tory Burch deserves to be seen and heard!
  2. Purple leather helped to illustrate how you can mix high-end with low-end (the blouse is Forever 21).  In fact, if not thrifting, the low-end stores are a great way to try trendy pieces without spending much.  Peggy's necklace is my favourite bubble necklace.  I would jump up and down all day just to enjoy the music of it!
  1. I saved my favourite for last: distressed J Brand boyfriend denim.  On my swoon!!  Dang Peggy has good taste!  But to make these age appropriate, we added a 'fancier' top and knit blazer, with a cozy scarf and gray suede pumps to finish the look!  LOVE!  
  2. Swap scarf for pendant and a bolder shoe.
  3. Swap pendant for belt and add an interesting blazer.
  4. Any fancier top + blazer (knit, striped, leather, linen) + belt or necklace or scarf = fantastic styling!  You could wear any cute shoe or she-booties with these pants!  Roll your boyfriend jeans to just above the ankle bone - try a she-bootie! 
PHEW!  That was hard work but so worth it with all the fun and interesting looks we put together!  Whether you have a capsule wardrobe like Nadine or a plentiful wardrobe like Peggy, the concepts are the same:
  • you need foundational, fun and finishing pieces; swap within each category to play with your styling.
  • mix prints
  • layer
  • dress + sweater or blouse
  • belt over sweater, dress, cardi or blazer
  • add a pop of colour via your shoes
  • There may be trends, fashion "rules" and guidelines and these vary depending on who's talking.  My perspective - if you love it, if it makes your heart sing, then go for it.
  • The bottom line: give it a try!  You never know how something is going to look until you try. 
Thanks for the fun time in your closet Peggy.  Wait, that sound bad....  Thanks for a great evening of "shopping your closet" - using existing pieces in new ways to expand the life of your wardrobe!

Friday, 25 October 2013

What to Wear to Work When You're Sick

Confession time: on my way home from my do-gooder closet consultation, I *may* have made a *quick* stop at Hope Missions Bargain Shoppe even though I had plenty of real work waiting for me at home.  I haven't been there in a long time and it was right en route and I had a bit of time before picking up the kids.  Well, good thing I stopped because I discovered that they are having a 50% off sale through till October 31!  Hope Missions Bargain Shoppe is a more traditional thrift store than VV Boutique so they don't charge tax and their prices are generally lower and definitely fair.  Plus, all proceeds go to support the work of Hope Missions!  All good reasons to shop there, but this sale makes it irresistible!  Most pieces were between $2-3!!  There was a decent selection in a variety of sizes; plenty of shoes, bags and housewares too.  I scored several pieces that I can't wait to wear and showcase here!  If you haven't been before, now is the time to go get your thrift on!  

Unfortunately, my little stop meant everything in my day was delayed and I stayed up way too late and had to get up for work the next day and by that time my occasional cough had amped into full gear.  I was (am) officially under the weather but needed to be at work, so I took as much medicine as I could, got my cough drops and found an outfit as close to pajamas as I could justify for work:
Okay okay, I *also* confess I couldn't wait to wear something from Hope Missions!
Zebra print sheer top $2 Hope Missions Bargain Shoppe
Gray cardi $6, leggings $6 from VV Boutique
Multi-strand necklace $4 VV Boutique
Oxmo tank  and Miz Mooz boots from my closet

I love this top!  Love the animal print, love the gray colour, love the fit - so comfy yet so forgiving! 
 This ensemble was just what I needed to sit on stairs and small chairs all day.

I am very lucky.  My work environment is quite casual and I can pretty much wear what I want (within reason).  I don't know why, but to me, leggings dressed up are work appropriate but I would never wear yoga style pants to work.  If you disagree with me, email don'
Bracelets and earrings by She Does Create.

Even though I wore pajamas to work, that is no excuse to be sloppy or unpolished!  I still fulfilled the rule of 3 and finished off my ensemble with my usual accessory trifecta and make-up to hide the fact that I coughed all night long brighten my face.  

It worked!  I was comfortable, I bragged to anyone who would listen about my $2 top and tried unsuccessfully to arrange an early education field trip.  What?  We could work so much learning into a trip to Hope Missions Bargain Shoppe!  I jest but for everyone else out there, you really should take a little field trip!  I bet you think $16 at an outlet store is a good deal for an item of clothing - try getting 8 for that price!!  There, now you know what to do with your Saturday!  (hours are from 10:30 - 6:30 BTW)

One last confession: I have registered VV Boutique Style for the Made In Blog awards - you can see the info at the top right of this page!  There are so many great blogs in Canada - I am just happy to be in good company but if you like what you read, click on the "vote +1" box to put your one vote per category for VV Boutique Style!  Now, time for a decent bedtime.  Good night!

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Do-Gooder Wardrobe

I had no idea that this second-hand style adventure would lead me to meet so many interesting people!  One day, it's a cool farmer, the next it's a Savvy Do Gooder.  For those who are not familiar with Nadine of The Savvy Do Gooder, allow me to introduce her.  Nadine is a young woman, small business owner, public speaker, AUTHOR, blogger, wife and mother.  (Etc.)  She wants to do good in the world and help others do their best good too!  Nadine had the fabulous experience of working with another smart, savvy woman, Shirley Borrelli and wanted to expand on that by building her post-baby wardrobe through second-hand sources.  That's where I come in!  Nadine requested my help to go through her closet and in a few weeks we will hit VV Boutique along with her sister in order to address this:
Nadine's current wardrobe.
The number of words in my post title is more than the number of clothes in Nadine's closet.
Nadine's accessories and sweaters.
I spy jewel tones and statement pieces!  Things are looking up!

Nadine's general approach to "stuff" is less-is-better.  Nadine explained that truly "ethical clothing" is difficult to find in Canada, though there is at least one local retailer, Lucid Lifestyle that focuses on ethical clothing.  Nonetheless, each of us can make one choice at a time towards a do-gooder wardrobe.  For Nadine, that means having a smaller wardrobe that she wears out before replacing.  This approach is a natural fit with a tiny or capsule wardrobe and shopping second hand. 

Nadine's priority for our closet consultation was to share her wardrobe and style with me to inform our upcoming shopping adventure.  My priorities were to suggest as many options as possible for styling her pieces specifically, and generally sharing styling concepts that can be applied to other pieces so that her "capsule" wardrobe can be as interesting, stylish and expressive as NadineOutside matches inside!  I also had a secret objective...more on that later!  (mwahahaha)  Here are some shots from our time together:
  1. This flattering stripe dress looks great on its own or styled simply and easily with a cardi.  The picture on the left shows the dress with one of her two cardis after I got wild and crazy and suggested another look by belting the whole shebang.  We added a necklace to fulfill the "rule of 3" - you need 3 layers or 3 elements up top to complete an ensemble.  We used my sea-foam Flatter:Me belt to style Nadine's looks; Flatter Me does ethical manufacturing and has local roots!  A belt defines your shape whether well-endowed or under-endowed (!) and makes the length from waist to toes appear longer.  Nadine feels she has a long torso (I didn't notice because I was too busy gawking at her 12-week-post-partum-FLAT torso!) so the belt allowed her to disguise it. 
  2. Another way to wear a dress is to put a sweater over top.  As it turns out, almost all of Nadine's sweaters have a cowl, smoker's jacket or v-neck collar, so it is inevitable that the dress will peek out the top.  Though Nadine was hesitant about that aspect, I loved it - looked like a layering tank and added another element.  The necklace adds that third element and illustrates something important: you CAN wear a necklace with a cowl.  Nadine may choose not to, but I wanted her to know that she could if she wanted!
  3. You can also wear a cowl with a scarf.  Nadine's scarf has such rich colours, I couldn't resist!  Yeah, it may be a bit hot for right now, but give it 2 days months.  I also like how the scarf brings in ... wait for it ... another print.  Stripes and floral GO and make an outfit more interesting.
  4. Same dress different sweater.  It looked great both with and without the belt.  I wanted Nadine to know that you CAN belt a sweater.  These are ways to get more mileage out of capsule wardrobe pieces.
  1.  Nadine felt the ring might make this dress too date-night, so we added a layering tank in a bold colour for interest and a necklace.  
  2. This dress looked so comfy and chic with leggings and a short sleeve sweater.  This was one of my favourite looks - perfect for at home but polished enough for errands, social outings and more casual events.
  3. Nadine had many scarf looks pinned on her style Pinterest board, so we tried out several scarves throughout our time.  The cobalt was a nice contrast to the dark green...
  4. as was the red, though it had a distinct holiday feel!  See you in December!
  1. Nadine debated about donating or recycling this long velvet dress.  On its own, it looked dated but I wanted to find a way to style it in a contemporary way so we added a knit tee (with silky back), fitted cardi and statement pendant.  I envision this with the boots I hope to find for Nadine soon!  She could pass the dress along but its Baroque vibe earns it a couple more wears.  (It's also perfect for #afraidofpants.)
  2. This sheer tunic is from Lucid Lifestyle.  Nadine usually wears a dark solid colour underneath but I wanted to see it with colour since it's more fun than classic.  I will be hunting for a printed long sleeve layering piece for Nadine that she could use with this look.
Did I mention Nadine's baby is only 12 weeks old?  Yep, she looks AH-MAZING.  I would be jealous if she wasn't such a... a... do-gooder!  Like her other dress, this hounds-tooth can be styled with a cardi, sweater, necklace and/or belt.  Add tights or leggings and boots to winterize it.  I must say, Nadine's wardrobe may be small but she has some great foundation pieces!
Nadine's cowl animal-print shell is another basics+ and adds interest to a simple sweater.  Animal print is a neutral; it looks great with all colours and is often better in small doses, like at the neckline and hemline.  I would like to see Nadine finish this outfit with a knit blazer or some small dangle earrings. 
  1. Same shell, different outer layer!  This flattering dress is a soft jersey-like fabric and looked casual chic with leggings.  
  2. Nadine could  add a cardi and could belt it.  If she had a belt.  Which she will soon if I have anything to do with it!
  1. Nadine rocked the monochromatic trend in shades of gray.  I also showed her an important truth: you don't have to use the tie the sweater came with.  You can switch it up to add interest.
  2. Another dress, this time with a statement tee over top.  This isn't really a winter look but is another styling option.
  3. Nadine's one blazer had pretty lace detailing and a tie closure.  Though the lace adds texture and interest, it makes it more difficult to style.  I suggested pinning the ties inside and wearing the blazer open with any print or solid underneath.

  1. Nadine was going to pack away her olive tee with summer things but it makes a great layering piece.  Green/purple is one of my favourite colour combos.
  2. Nadine is smiling because she had neglected to mention her leather jacket!  Take that, wear it with everything.  The end.
  3. Illustrating that scarves can change the look of an ensemble and extend your wardrobe.
This collage could be called "The Necklace Wars."  In the made-for-TV movie 'Necklace Wars' I'm played by Charlize Theron who successfully convinces her client played by Rachel McAdams to layer necklaces.  IRL I barely could snap a photo before Nadine removed these gorgeous pieces!  Once again, I just wanted her to know she could change the look of her ensemble by changing the accessories.  Plus, many of her pieces have sentimental value and deserve to be worn!  Sure, you have to be mindful of baby's grasp, but I made it through 3 kids and hundreds of preschoolers and have never had a necklace broken or earring yanked out.  So I'm going to go ahead and call the caution unwarranted as tested by Charlize/Nicole since 2002.

Styling Summary:
  • mix prints
  • layer
  • dress + sweater
  • belt over sweater, dress, cardi
  • There may be trends, fashion "rules" and guidelines and these vary depending on who's talking.  My perspective - if you love it, if it makes your heart sing, then go for it.
  •  The bottom line: give it a try!  You never know how something is going to look until you try.  
It was a great process to work through a small wardrobe!  Nadine has foundational pieces that will work for the "classic fun" look and now we know what to look for at VV Boutique - jeans, boots, belts, skirts, and sweaters - that will give her the casual chic vibe she is looking for. 

Have you been reading, waiting to find out my ulterior motive?  Well I actually have two!
  1. I challenge you Nadine to wear necklaces and, one day, to wear two necklaces at the same time!  Find classic pieces and just do it.  You won't look like you're playing dress-up, I promise; you'll look like you have style!
  2. I challenge you Readers to watch Nadine's book launch video, to learn more about doing good, and why we are drawn to different areas of do-gooding.  If you like, share your insights on my Facebook page.  I learned a lot from that video and would be happy to share my own insights so I'll make y'all a deal.  Once 20 people share their thoughts on the video - doesn't have to be personal or deep - I will reveal my own insights.  I think 20 hits on You Tube is worth a couple necklaces, don't you?!!  (Mwahahaha told you it was a sinister plan)  (BTW, Nadine didn't ask me to promote her video, I just think it is thought-provoking and so worth watching!  I can't help but want to share good stuff!)
 Final view of Nadine's closet.

Nadine, it was fun to style my way through your closet!  Thanks so much for having me and I look forward to tripling your wardrobe shopping together soon.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Deb Gets a New Wardrobe

I have a question for women everywhere: could you itemize your wardrobe, every piece, in a quick list?  I couldn't, but my new friend Deb can and did prior to our thrift shopping date last Friday night at VV Boutique.  She had:
  • 2 dresses
  • 2 pairs of jeans
  • 3 skirts
  • 1 jacket
  • 1 pair of boots
  • 4 pairs of heels
  • 6 belts
  • a vest/shirt thingy lol
  • 2 shirts
  • 2 scarves
Well Deb, at least laundry doesn't get overwhelming!  (until now!)

Deb is a pretty cool person.  Despite her young under-30 age, she has done some incredible things like, oh...become a farmer.  Most of us are happy if we can get something on the table; Deb on the other hand went out and grew her own food, for her family and her community.  Right there, Deb gets my respect.  She runs Heritage Harvest Gardens and spends the growing months in jeans and tees that she can get good and dirty.  Deb is a dedicated farmer but that's not all she does!  Like all of us, she has a life outside of work and needs clothes to go along with it.  

After losing a significant amount of weight this summer, Deb did a great job editing her closet and culling anything that didn't fit or suit her current style.  She has a Pinterest style board that revealed much about her personal  aesthetic; scanning through, I picked up on a definite romantic rocker vibe which, as it turns out, concurs with her past as a steam-punk aficionado!  Her board is full of plaid chic style and plenty of other pieces that are conducive to the VV shopping experience.  In other words, I had plenty of thrifting faith that we would find great pieces in good condition for Deb's new wardrobe!  Find we did!
 We had to call in the heavy artillery (hubby) to help carry it all out!

Deb finished the evening with 42 new pieces at an average cost per item of $8.36.  I like to calculate this in case the volume gets lost in the total cost!  Sure, some of the items were small pieces like earrings, however, BT (before thrifting) I would have thought $8.36 for a pair of earrings was a great deal, and an unbelievable steal for the bigger items like a winter coat!  In case you're wondering, if you factor in my thrift guide fee, the cost per item jumps up slightly to just over $10 per item.  I hope you agree that this still makes for budget-friendly shopping!

To break it down, Deb got:

5 jackets
1 vest
3 pairs of pants
3 dresses
2 skirts
7 tops (plus 3 layering tanks)
2 cardigans
3 hats
4 scarves
3 earrings
3 necklaces
= New Wardrobe! 

I learned three valuable lessons with Deb: firstly, put the big items like coats in a separate cart; secondly, hit the fitting rooms earlier (!); lastly, take more photos!  We were a bit rushed in the end so unfortunately I did not have time to capture all the pieces and show Deb all the ways she can style them.  But I caught some highlights:
These two coats are right on trend, can be worn as an outer layer in Fall, or as a finishing layer in the winter months.  They can be styled with jeans, those fab boots from her closet a plaid shirt and cozy scarf - add some earrings and a cute messy pony and Deb will replicate many pins from her Pinterest style board!  [Deb, I don't recall if I mentioned my fave blog for hair tutorials, but here it is - The Small Things.  She has so many easy-to-do styles for the hair-do-challenged among us (like me!).]  You can also style these coats over more feminine pieces to get that mix of soft and tough, romantic rocker look.  Deb also scored two winter coats - a classic charcoal car coat and cozy colourful wool plaid that will be perfect for outdoor play with her daughter. 
This studded belt can be worn at the waist or hips to bring a touch of rocker to any feminine piece.

The photo on the left features Deb's own plaid top accessorized with a couple simple necklaces.  You can do this!  Plaid deserves a necklace just like any other shirt!  Wear a layering tank, open a button, add some pumps for date night or boots for errands and you've got yourself plaid, elevated!  Ain't No Mom Jeans is a fan of plaid and have many excellent posts on how to style plaid.  For example, Deb, check out this ANMJ post on plaid + puffer vest + jeans + she-booties.  Shana looks plaid-chic and so will you in this look!  Deb, that post is also a great one for styling your vest - such an awesome score! 
Deb's style board also featured lots of wine/oxblood and warm colours like olive, brown, taupe, so I wanted to find her something in that colour family.  She scored a few pieces including the forgiving cowl top on the left and another piece that was pure rebellion but we won't discuss it.  Note Deb: you can wear this shirt UNDER an open plaid shirt; add one of your coats or the vest and you've got your 3 elements up top to complete your ensemble!  Though Deb didn't pin bright colours, the other two tops embody youth and vitality and looked great!  She can dress them up, dress them down, scarf them, layer them, belt them!  

Before we hit the racks, Deb shared her shopping priorities: a winter coat (check) and skirts.  We found the versatile hounds-tooth print skirt above along with a charcoal skirt (not shown)Not every skirt can make the transition to winter, but these selections will be perfect with tights and boots. 
Deb also scored some flattering dresses that will be transition seasons paired with a finishing layer and tights.  For example, check out this shot from Kendi Everyday's Instagram...
I see Deb's black jacket with the black and white dress above - clean, simple, feminine + tough!  Deb and I also talked about slipping a sweater over a dress to make it look like a skirt, and Deb's blazer from her closet would go well with any of her dresses and tops.  In the #mixnotmatch rule-book* it says: "take pieces you love and mix them with other pieces you love without worrying too much about coordinating them in order to develop your unique style aesthetic."  Deb has several belts that she loves, so I would recommend trying them on with her shirts, skirts and dresses in different ways and combos.  Try them over a cardi (click here for a video tutorial from J's Everyday Fashion), under a cardi, with shirts tucked and untucked.  Deb's pins feature a ladylike silhouette so I would like to see a skirt with tucked shirt, belt, pumps.  Deb seems ready to take my dress dare and wear her new skirts and dresses for everyday life - and why not?!  At these prices, it's okay to wear them momming around or any other daily task; we might as well enjoy our wardrobes now rather than save them for rare special occasions.
*there is no rule book
Deb's plaid shirt is practically reaching out to touch the hound-tooth skirt.
Clearly they belong together.

We closed the store down and were blessed to have such amazing patient staff as we finished up our trip, like Deloris below...
 Don't let this photo fool you.  She always dresses like a flapper.
Kidding, Deloris!  Thanks for being so awesome and making our shopping experience so good!

Deloris also shared something exciting about local Value Village stores.  They have a new initiative where you get stickers for every grocery-bag-sized donation that can be redeemed for up to 30% off your purchase!
You can collect stickers through till December 31st and redeem them through till March 31, 2014.  THANK YOU Value Village for hearing your donators and customers and taking action!

It was a true pleasure to shop with Deb, get to know her better and witness another rewarding thrifting experience!  I have full confidence that Deb will style up her new wardrobe and do me proud!  (But I am available for early morning tweet consultations if necessary!)
 A beautiful full moon shone down as we left the store.