Tuesday, March 11, 2014

$33 Spring Wardrobe Refresher

Those of you who knew me as a child, teenager, and even a new mom know that I was not always interested in fun and interesting clothing choices. Like a few other things, I have come into this a bit later in life than my 8-year-old daughter. (Maybe she's rubbing off on me ... That's a thought!)

A friend at church recently commented that I "always wear black". Honestly, I wasn't offended. That wasn't her intention. It was just an honest observation. Black is my color, hands down. But I stepped back to look at my wardrobe, and I realized that I have been wearing mostly black all winter, at least to church.

Over the weekend, I went through my closet in an attempt to find something that wasn't black to wear to church. (I like a good challenge now and then.) I was a little depressed to find that several of my non-black favorites no longer fit me in a flattering way, and a lot of the other clothes aren't really my style anymore. But then I realized that I have a great reason to go clothes shopping!! :)

But you know me. I didn't go to the mall. No, I hit all the local thrift stores on Monday, my personal "day off". And I did it with a plan. My plan was to specifically add two colors to my wardrobe, with spring in mind: yellow and grey. Yellow is one of my all-time favorite colors, but I only had one yellow outfit in my whole wardrobe. The only grey I had was a grey and black wool skirt I recently purchased (at Goodwill, of course).

I had a general list of "basics" that I was looking for, and I found a good portion of them.

Here's what I found at Goodwill:

$5.90 - Ann Taylor Loft cotton tie-front cardigan (I've needed this piece for several years.)
I really don't like our local Goodwill's prices because I think they're too high for clothing that has just been donated to them, but I do like that they arrange everything in color groups and they do have the best selection around here. So I grudgingly have to admit that even $6 for a quality sweater/shirt/blazer isn't bad, if it's exactly what you're looking for.

$5.90 - Mossimo grey cotton cardigan
This grey cardigan is super-cute on, and I love that the sleeves aren't full length. I keep my elbows covered, so it's nice to have a few 3/4-length pieces when the weather heats up.

And in case you're wondering why I would wear cardigans when it's hot out to begin with ... I find a lot of nice layering pieces that by themselves don't meet my standards of personal modesty. Cardigans help to fill in the gaps.

$6.00 - grey Mossimo cropped blazer, brand-new with tags
Since I'm very petite, I like to find blazers like this one that don't end at the fullest part of my hips. This one ends at my waist and is designed to be worn open - the buttons are for looks only. It might look a little odd flat, but it's a very flattering fit on me.

$8.00 - yellow leather Fossil handbag
I liked the idea of having a purse to match my new colors, so I was thrilled to find this leather purse in near-perfect condition. I swallowed hard when I saw the $8 price tag, but you really can't beat that for real leather. I talked myself into it. (And, by the way, the trim is not blue like it looks in the picture. It's white.)

What convinced me to pay $8 for this purse - "genuine leather product"
Then I went to Salvation Army, which is really not the best place to look for clothing around here. The selection is pretty bad, and the quality is even worse. But every now and then I'm surprised by a gem, so I looked.

$1.00 - genuine leather belt that fits me perfectly
I haven't worn a belt in years, but I've been seeing women wear them over longer shirts, so I thought I'd try it out and see what I think of it on me. Since I'm so petite, most of my shirts could fall into this category if I don't tuck them in. :)

This is all I found at Salvation Army, but it only took me a few minutes, and I was happy to find the belt. It was on my list.

Then I went to another local thrift shop that is run by a church's outreach program. All of their "winter" clothing (including everything with long sleeves) was 75% off.

$0.75 - yellow Cherokee cotton zippered hoodie
This will be a good casual layering piece when the weather warms up just a bit. This looks so much better on than it does at this odd angle on my bed.

$0.75 - yellow Casual Corner zippered cardigan
This is a bit more dressy (no hood), but it could probably go either way, depending on what I used it with.

$0.50 - black zip-front shirt
A button-front black shirt is a wardrobe staple, but I really dislike the look of most button-front shirts on me. So when I saw this zip-front black shirt, I decided to try it on and see if I liked it any better. I do, so now I have a "basic black shirt" that isn't a long-sleeved t-shirt.

My last stop was Michaels (the craft store). They had their ruffle yarns on sale for $3.99, and they just got a new style in, a kind that I really like and actually wear (unlike the other ruffle scarves that I just don't know what to do with).

$3.99 - a future ruffle scarf with animal-print fabric at the ends
I'll show you how this looks as a scarf once it's done. It won't take long once I get the chance to work on it.

What I got for $33
I have to add in a few more basic pieces like a yellow cami (for layering) and a grey skirt, but this is the bulk of what I needed to get the season started. My current blacks and whites will go great with these to help round things out a bit. And as I go thrifting throughout the next few months, I can keep my eye out for additional pieces to go with these.

I have to say, this is really the first time I went shopping with a specific color scheme in mind, except my usual blacks and reds. It was a lot of fun, and it helped me to concentrate on what I had come for, rather than having to look at every piece of clothing in every store that was my size.

I can't wait to get the fabric to make my grey skirt. Then I can start making outfits!!

By the way, have you seen any nice (non-neon) yellow camis for reasonable prices this season? (I prefer the ones with adjustable straps, so I can make them as high in front as I like.) I don't relish the idea of hitting every clothing store in town trying to find one.


Shoregirl said...

Looks like you had a lot of fun!! Too bad we don't live closer, it would be fun to shop together!!

Christa said...

That would be fun sometime. I've often wished for a shopping buddy with some fashion know-how! :)