Wednesday 14 May 2014

Desperately Shopping Susan

That title is a pun!  My thrift-shopping client last night, Susan, wasn't exactly "desperate" - at least in attitude!  Au contraire!  She was friendly, laid back (wearing Birkenstocks because they're comfortable not because they're a trend), willing to try everything, and put up with a fitting room sprint at the end!  However, she may have been a little desperate in the wardrobe department... till last night!

Susan is a nurse who hates shopping.  She has three grown children, a great figure and a well-rounded lifestyle.  She dislikes shopping regular retail, always wondering if something is worth the price... Of course, this problem is solved when you shop second-hand at VV Boutique (or any thrift shop)!  Susan was looking for comfortable pieces in natural fabrics for work and home, as well as something special for upcoming events.  I had no doubt that Susan and I would find many options that fit the bill and we filled two carts full of potentials!  Here are some of the winners:
Linen blazer with peplum seaming!
Tristan classic black blazer

Susan is a petite and often needs to hem or pin cuffs of sleeves and pants.  For high quality pieces that she wants to keep for the long-term, tailoring would be worth it.  For these blazers, cuffing the sleeves a few times will likely suffice for her to get her money's worth considering they fit well everywhere else.
Okay, so this "vegan" jacket isn't exactly "natural" fabric but the style, colour and fit made it impossible to pass up!
This cute and versatile denim piece can be worn as outerwear or a finishing layer in winter.

Throughout the course of our shopping, Susan and I discussed many styling tips:
  • a "fashion formula" that works well for most people is to layer a shorter finishing piece like the denim coat above, a blazer or cardi over a longer layer over a skinny bottom like skinny-leg pants
That's right, Susan scored H&M pajama pants and the perfect tee to go with them!
I'm jealous happy for her.
No need for ugly sweatpants at home when you have a pair of these beauties!
I would wear them to work too.
  • the rule of 3...  a top + cardi lacks pizazz, so add another layering tank or accessory to get 3 elements to your top...
The details on this top become one of your "3"... stripes + embellishment + watch = 3.
Susan could also add a scarf, necklace, earrings or jacket.
Comfy chinos are making a comback, especially paired with pretty pastels!
Susan, I would roll these sleeves for a cool casual pulled-together vibe!
 We didn't have much time to scour the scarves but this lightweight scarf coordinated with most pieces Susan bought 
AND helps her to fulfill the Rule of 3 AND will keep her cozy on summer evening walks with her hubby!
  • don't let stains land your favourite pieces in the donation pile!  Or for that matter, don't let stains keep you from getting donated pieces!  Instead, try my Grandma's trick of using a Sunlight bar of soap and/or rubbing alcohol to get out almost anything!  At thrifted prices, it's often worth a try!  
  • yellow stains require some special attention and One Good Thing by Jillee has the best tips going! 
  • you can take casual pieces and mix them with dressier pieces for a winning combination
Hard to tell in the photo but these work trousers are the perfect skinny cuffed ankle crop!
Susan will get tons of wear from these and could pair them with a casual top plus one of her blazers.
This boho top would also go perfectly with the soft gray casual pants she scored.
  • Women like Susan with a small waist often get gaping pants.  Altering is a good option for high-quality garments but my best friend for pants that are being difficult is the Flatter:Me Belt.  It will stay hidden under tops or can be worn on the outside as a legit part of your ensemble!
  • If you have happy pants, get rid of them.  (Happy is when the crotch smiles back at ya)
  • Though Susan prefers pants, she looked amazing in dresses!  Dresses are so easy to wear; throw one on, add something to it, leave the house looking gorgeous.  But then again, I'm #afraidofpants...
This floral sleeveless sheath dress fit perfectly and was in Susan's preferred palette.
She can wear this with one of her blazers, belted, with a shirt or knit underneath and tights in winter...
She could also add some special accessories with a bit of sparkle, a pretty clutch and dressy shoes and wear this dress to one of her upcoming events.
Swoon!  This dress had a cool woven outer layer and was the perfect black/charcoal.
The photo does not do justice to just how incredible Susan looked in this dress.

I always intend on taking more photos and having more time to show my new friends how to mix and match their selections.  Alas, Susan still finished the trip victorious with:
  • 7 pants including jeans, work pants and casual pants.  AND pajama pants.  Sigh.
  • 3 blazers and 2 outerwear (that could be a finishing layer in winter)
  • 7 tops
  • 2 dresses
  • 1 scarf
My favourite piece is a floral blazer that I somehow SADLY neglected to photograph so you'll just have to trust me that it is awesome and Susan's coworkers are going to be jealous!  I would try it with my other fave piece - that gorgeous charcoal black dress! 

Susan's total was 22 pieces at an average cost per piece including my fee of $11.27!!  Well done Susan!
Nice haul.  I mean nice Birk's.

It was a pleasure to shop with you Susan!  Hope you're enjoying your new wardrobe!

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