Monday 24 November 2014

Thrifting Adventures with Riki

The best part about being a self-appointed "thrift shopping ambassador" is the joy of taking people thrifting!!  I love it when they find unexpected treasures and pieces off their shopping list, when they see the bottom line and realize how little they spent for all they got!  That was the case today with my friend and thrift-guiding client Riki who asked me to take her thrifting for some footwear and wardrobe basics.  Riki has been saving up for a thrifting splurge as a reward for accomplishing other financial goals with her husband, so her trip this weekend was long-awaited and well-deserved!  Thankfully, VV Boutique did not disappoint and Riki found many awesome pieces!

Riki's wishlist included shoes, boots, jackets, shirts and skinny jeans.  Her Pinterest style board featured plenty of stripes, plaid, and boots/jeans/belt/scarf looks.  Riki has two part-time work-at-home jobs and two beautiful children, and solo-parents much of the time including taking her kids to the rink regularly.  She needed comfortable, stylish pieces that she can throw together effortlessly.  We started in the footwear section - my recommended starting point!  That way you can wear the shoes around while you shop to gauge comfort and have them available for the fitting room!
Just a *few* options!
Anything Riki liked, we added to the cart - add first, edit later is a thrifting must!
I can't even wait to share these!!

These are mint-like-new-condition leather Clarks boots with a winter tread that fit like a glove!  These may be the score of the day at only $15.40 with a 30% off filled stamp card (applied to Riki's whole purchase).  Clarks tall boots run anywhere from $220 - $410 regular retail!  SCORE!!!
Black leather boots in great condition - yes please!
Suede boho-vibe wedge boots with a great grip!
You can't have too many boot options when facing 7-months of boot wearing,
and thrifting makes many-boot-options possible!
These will give Riki head-to-toe style with skinny jeans and a sweater!
Be still my heart - blue ankle boot perfection!
And if they weren't enough...
Black leather Clarks booties!  LOVE!
Riki had many short boots on her style board too, so these will help recreate her pinned looks.
Boots like these run $180 or so regular retail.  I think they were $7.  Can I get a slow clap?
Riki has been barely shopping for so long, she needed to replenish all seasons of footwear,
so these leather Naturalizers were perfect!
Things almost got ugly with this show-down of the Anns!
Anne Klein vs. Ann Taylor, who will win?!
(Ricki got the lighter snakeskin on the top - slightly better condition and great sole for multi-season wear.)
These classic patent pumps had a generous cushy insole - 
so comfortable and perfect for date night or to dress up denim and intimidate everyone around you.
As soon as I spotted these, I knew they were quality.
A quick search revealed that similar FIEL shoes run $120 - $200 regular retail!  They were $7!!
These were a good reminder to be open to getting off-season scores when you stumble upon them, or into them as it were!

Riki nabbed a couple other pairs of shoes as well and now has options for all her real-life style activities!  Next we moved onto denim.  Shopping for denim at VV Boutique requires some patience!  There is a huge selection and you have to try on A LOT in a variety of sizes to find a few that fit (as is the case for all pants in my experience, #afraidofpants).  It certainly helps to have someone to throw them over the fitting room door and hang up the rejects.  Also, immediate success never hurts, and so it was for Riki with these FIDELITY beauties, the first pair she tried on!
Buttery soft boyfriend-denim goodness.
These retail for around $188US and Riki got them for $7!!!
And if these weren't enough of a good start, the next pair she tried on were...
You can't wear skinny jeans all the time!  
These 7's had light distressing, just enough to be chic without showing any skin, a desirable denim-feature for rink-dwellers!
Both of those pairs were $7 with the 30% off.

Riki scored a couple more pairs of jeans...
Nice worn-wash and pocket detailing on these, and no need for hemming!
This pair of skinnies fit perfectly and had a nice dark wash and pocket detailing.
And they were new-with-tags!

I always feel like I'm "doing my job" when I choose pieces for clients that they wouldn't have chosen themselves yet end up loving them!  Riki wouldn't have grabbed these purple textured skinnies but...
She loved them!
And I loved the vintage floral sweatshirt but it didn't make the cut amongst all her other top options!

Speaking of tops, Riki found many tops in a good variety of patterns, colours and styles.  She can mix and match them with the scarves she also found, like the leopard print above and these beauties, plus a few more!
Remember what I said about scarves...we have ~ 180 scarf-wearing opportunities, so we need lots!

A good winter style formula for Riki is: denim/bottom base + top + scarf + some other element to achieve the "Rule of 3" - you need 3 elements to your outfit to have a cohesive look.  Denim as a base is a neutral so doesn't really count as an element, just like basic black trousers wouldn't, but those purple pants would count, or a patterned skirt!  So for the style formula above, Riki's 3rd element may be her boots, a necklace or earrings, a belt, or a third layer - layering tank, cardi over a long-sleeve tee, blazer or sweater over a collared-and-cuffed button-up.  Here's an example of a completed outfit:
The scarf finished off this look!  Without the scarf, it's meh.
A necklace would also look fab!

We didn't focus on the Rule of 3 while snapping shots of all Riki's tops, but she knows what to do!
Stripey light-weight sweater!  I would finish the look with big hoops!
Loved the button detailing on the shoulder of this Cleo sweater!
You CAN layer a necklace with a scarf - and what a gorgeous blanket scarf that is!
Riki could also wear the fuchsia one for a little colour-neighbour action, and she could wear the blanket scarf with the stripes above for some pattern-mixing action!
This pretty cotton coral sweater was a perfect match to the coral stripe in the blue leopard scarf!
I might try the blue-striped long sleeve tee under the sweater for a contrasting third layer!
The jersey gray top had a ballerina feel to it and looked like it was meant to be with the grey/black striped long-sleeve tee.
This dark floral sheer sweater will be perfect in all seasons, and it had a nice high-low hem line!
Couldn't resist this alphabet-print sweatshirt!
The purple belted vest didn't look like much on the hanger but looked great on!
Pieces like this are nice for that third layer, especially with default stripes!
When you live in Canada, sometimes you layer a motivational sweater under a blazer.

Riki also scored a couple dresses...
Grey Zara perfection!  
Riki is a petite so could get away with this without tights in the summer but it will look great over tights or leggings in the winter!
AND she scored a couple staple belts including a brown braided leather and this leather tan belt.
Which I have been hunting for.  #thriftenvy
This high-low jersey dress is the same as my mustard dress which I wore in every season!
It's surprisingly easy to layer - I could see one of her striped tops underneath!
BTW, it was great for working with kids - very forgiving, little flashing. (at least, I think so)

Riki scored a nice coat - warm enough for the rink and mild winter days... 
Loved the feminine tailoring of this coat... which is something you can't always say about winter outerwear.

And to finish off her trip, Riki got two bags including a brown Danier leather bag and...
$7 for this Matt & Nat that retails for at least $100!
Good size, fabulous colour - great score!

All total, Riki scored 47 pieces for an average cost per piece of $8.07 including my fee!  Those 30% off cards make a huge difference to the bottom line - Riki saved $113.53 and still found hundreds of dollars worth of quality pieces that will add tons of mileage to her wardrobe!  It was a pleasure shopping with Riki and I can't wait to see her "new" pieces in action!

P.S.  I am compiling all my thrift-guiding adventures on one page - coming soon!

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