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In My Red Jeans...

I've never been one for the color red which is odd since I LOVE bright in your face color.  So imagine my surprise when I actually gravitated towards these skinny jeans at Forever 21. Yes, them again. It was something about this particular hue that did it for me-that and the zippered ankle.  I paired it with an aqua loose top and gray blazer.  I donned my fave pair of pumps for that additional pop of color.  I accessorized with an Indian inspired statement necklace and over sized chain link gold and orange bracelet.









Specs: Forever21 Jeans, Zara blazer, Aqua blouse (random mall store), Cobalt blue suede pumps from K&G Dept store., Michael Kors Watch, DIY chain link bracelet, rings from H&M

Get your own pair at:
Old Navy- http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=58390&vid=1&pid=730770&scid=730770122
Gap- http://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=73128&vid=0&pid=879721
Nordstrom- http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/blue-essence-eliot-skinny-denim-jeans-red-wash/3191915?cm_cat=datafeed&cm_ite=blue_essence_'eliot'_skinny_denim_jeans_(red_wash):356948_2&cm_pla=bottoms:women:pant&cm_ven=Google_Product_Ads&mr:adType=pla&mr:referralID=NA&mr:trackingCode=8FC82689-ED62-E011-A50F-001517B1882A&origin=pla
THE MALL- Payhalf, Dots, Strawberry, etc
~~Colored jeans are a major FALL 2011 trend so you can practically get them from almost anywhere.

THRIFTIN' 101: WHY WHEN HOW WHERE

Yes, thrift stores, consignment shops, vintage shops and the goodwill are great places to score bargain items mostly in great condition for a mere fraction of the retail price. However, shopping at these type of establishments is not for the faint of heart.  One can truly be "turned off" by the disorganization, clutter and shanty appearance of these places.  For establishments in total disarray; I don't even bother roaming through.  For the most part, consignment shops are organized-clothing color coordinated, and departments clearly labeled. Regardless, I suggest having your bowl of Wheaties or coffee in the morning in addition to donning a pair of flats.  Also, a good attitude is necessary.  



WHY SECOND HAND?



Nowadays, it  is essential to get the most for your buck with the way the economy is.  Clothing is a necessity but does not take precedence over things like household bills, utilities, etc.  So why not give one of these establishments a try?  For those who with no financial burden; thriftin' can be the perfect opportunity to experiment with styles.  Because you pay next to nothing; it's not a big deal if the frock you picked out looks horrible on you once you get home.  Most likely, you can turn it into something else-can you say DIY.







WHEN

Frequency is one of the most important factors when it comes to thriftin'.  I know, this may not be feasible by many, but if you work or live near a second hand store, visiting in the beginning and towards the end of the week will be beneficial.  Now, don't get me wrong; I don't guarantee finding a great item at EVERY trip but chances are, you will find a gem amongst the rubble.  Stock is always coming and going in these stores so I also advise you to "friend" a salesperson.  This way, they can always "save" or "put aside" something you may like or want from the window (items in the window usually are not for sale until a designated day or time. Becoming acquainted with a staff member can lead to you getting that item before it gets placed on the floor).  Visit as many shops as you can on a weekend or a day off. This way, you can get a feel for which shops carry items more your taste and style-this can become your go-to. 

HOW

OK, by now, you're over the initial shock of the establishment.  I suggest having an idea of what you want i.e. I'm on the search for sequins dress or leather shorts.  Usually, clothing is color-coordinated on the floor which eases the search.  Once you have that in your head, begin visually scanning the racks for sequins. If you're not shopping for anything in particular, walk to the category of item you want, for example, the pants isle or skirt isle.



One of the things, especially for my curvy gals, I suggest is using your imagination-about how certain clothing could be worn.  For example, a denim button down men shirt can be worn as a denim dress-just add a belt and some tights or leggings.  When I'm in a vintage shop, I imagine how I could incorporate a retro 80's blazer into my current wardrobe. 



  
TRY IT ON!  Do not be afraid to try on the items.  Most places have dressing room, if not, mirrors can be found throughout the store.  For those weary of actually wearing the garments-just place them on top of your clothing.  Unsure of a top?-imagine it with something basic like skinny jeans or a blazer.    


TAILOR IT!  I am far from a seamstress of any kind but I can stitch (somewhat) and if that doesn't work out; I always have my hot glue gun (although I suggest fabric glue).  Don't let something like an un-hem skirt or top deter you from purchase if you truly love it.  These are very simple and fast alterations.  Also, do not be afraid to whip out the scissors to make the NOT RIGHT into RIGHT. 


WHERE TO SHOP (NYC)

When I first began to thrift, I only went to affluent areas (higher income neighborhoods) where you will find better quality and often times, higher-end items. However, because the shop owners are in-tuned to the value of their goods, the prices tend to be higher. For this reason, I opt for stores in low-to-middle income neighborhoods, where for the most part, store staff are oblivious to the true value of the items. 

Salvation Army Consignment Stores & Good Will Location I frequent:
  • 208 Eighth Avenue., New York, NY
  • 217 west 79th street
  • 2196 Fifth Ave (135th street)
  • 103 West 25th Street., NY,NY
  • 26 East 125th street (most frequented onee)

REDRESS NY 
Love this store. They carry thrifted items from size 12 and up.  You will find items from various brands-Torrid, Lane Bryant, Forever 21, etc.  *Sadly, this location will be closing their stores up in Novemeber so get there while you can.*
---109 Boerum Place., Brooklyn, NY
UPDATE 5/22/2012store closed, online store running.
THRIFT AND VINTAGE STORES
  • Buffalo Exchange *favorite*- there are several locations, but I frequent the 11th street & 2nd ave loc.  212-260-9340
  • Housing Works Thrift Store:
    •  202 E. 77th street
    • 114 West 17th Street
    • 77th and Columbus
 *there are several Housing works thrift shops but the ones above are the ones I usually check out.

In all, use my tips above to get the most out of your shopping experience while thriftin'. Also, remember, you may walk in with high hopes and walk out empty-handed.  Just realize that thriftin' can be a hit or miss.  To my local and visiting readers, please let me know about your experiences after shopping at any one of the above stores.

Click HERE and HERE to see some of my thriftin' steals and deals...

Watch my segment on YAHOO's DAily Shot show discussing plus size thrifting: 
 http://shine.yahoo.com/video/real-body-style-thrift-shopping-110000855.html




Show & Tell: Thrift Haul

As you all have been aware, I'm a self proclaimed thrift fiend. Any chance I get, I hit up random thrift store in hopes of scoring. Below I've compiled a few pics of some of the items I've managed to get my fingers on within the past month.

Sequins
I purchased this dress for $15 from a vintage store in Noho. It's a sheath style dress with stretch lining and shoulder pads. (I apologize in advance for poor picture quality. I clearly need to work on my edit skills -_-)







Goldmine...
Can you believe that this sweater was $10?! It's Ralph Lauren and has this metallic paint-like substance on it. I have no idea what it is, but it makes this cable-knit sweater extremely weighty.





Sheers
Jumping on the sheer top bandwagon, I scored this extremely long turquoise sheer blouse from the thrift store for $6.  A top like this will easily go for $20 and up at Forever 21 or H&M.


Fitting Room at Thrift Store


How it looks Tucked in
 Below, I paired it with a faux silk mustard colored midi skirt also purchased at the same store, for $4.

My apologies for horrible picture quality :(

Office Vintage
How cute is this little no button blazer? It's so 80s with the puffy shoulders and detailing.  This was $10.




As you can see, there's no telling the little treasures you can score at your local thrift, vintage, or goodwill stores.  I suggest you all give it a try. Dont know how to begin? My next blog post will help. 

I was featured in...

WOWZERS! I just wanted to share with you lovelies the great news. I was featured on two blogs in one week.  I really appreciate everyone's comments and support. I get motivated more and more when you lovelies actually respond whether it be via comments or email, to anyone of my postings or YT vids. I look forward to growing and learning with you guys.

Click on the pics for the direct link...

Dont forget to check out Confessionsofaglamaholic site. Not only do they celebrate curves; they also offer great beauty tips, fashion, and celebrity news. 



How would you describe your style? -Glamaholic
"I work in an office setting and opt for dresses and skirts over slacks. My style is classic with trendy accents.  I also wear a lot of color and gold accessories.  I tend to be a bit eclectic as well and recently began to incorporate vintage pieces to my looks..."



Thank you to Savonne of StylishCurves for the feature.  StylishCurves is one of my fave blogs to read.  They, like Glamaholics, offer great style, beauty tips and advice for the Curvy woman.


"We are back with another Stylish Curves of the day. Today's Stylish Curvy girl is Sandee from Harlem (Harlem World!) When it comes to embracing her curves here's what she has to say..." -Savonne of Stylishcurves 

HELLO AUTUMN OOTD F/T COMBAT BOOTS

Hi Lovelies,

Its Sunday and unseasonably warm today. The weather gods were smiling down on us here in NYC. In honor of Autumn, I decided to rock some pretty dark colors and finally wear my cheetah print military boots which you can read about here.




Although, I did not have anything brown or tan on; I think the shoes gave the outfit a focal point.  I love mixing different prints and colors together in one outfit. As you girls know, I don't like to MATCH, but I rather my outfits GO.





I have been on a thriftin' escapade lately and have scored some amazing pieces for practically pennies. One of the items scored is this wine colored slouchy top from the brand Splendid for $5.  My burgundy and navy stripe bodycon skirt, is from Forever 21.  The cognac belt with gold hardware is from H&M purchased this past Spring.







Would you mix animal print with dark colors?

From Platforms to Military boots

I cant begin to tell you guys how ecstatic I am! I've been looking for a pair of military boots for the longest. I know what you're thinking-yes I'm late on this trend.  It took so long because i needed a versatile pair which would be both work and weekend appropriate.  I think I might have found them in the pair below.

They're dark brown with *gasp* cheetah print! You all know my infatuation with cheetah and leopard print so this shoe was right up my ally.

What made this even better was the price, under $30! The leather doesn't look as cheap as many of F21 shoes usually are. 

It is surprisingly warm out today and should probably sport some sandals but I'm wayyy to hyped to not wear these.  

Casual OOTD post coming soon. In the mean time, check out the video...





Forever 21....in the dressing room

For the past two months, I've been thriftin' every chance I get-lunch break, after work, weekends, you name it. I've managed to get some great pieces for practically pennies on the retail dollar.
Vintage Sequins dress w/ shoulder pads $15.

Yesterday, I hesitantly walked into Forever 21. Not because I didn't like the pieces they had to offer but because after paying no more than $4 for a top at the thrift store, all the sudden $14.50 for a shirt becomes unreasonable. Go figure! Regardless, I managed to peruse the isles for a little while and tried on some pieces all under $14.50 except for a pair of leggings which where $18.50!!!

Below you will see my miss and hits....

I've been searching online for fringe leggings for some time so imagine my surprise when as soon as I walked into the store, there they were hanging...taunting me with that $18.50 price tag. EEEk!!
The faux suede felt really good and soft and surprisingly what I thought was black was really a dark coco brown. I could not make my mind up. I liked them but at the same time was really hesitant. It was either the fact I was going outside my comfort zone or the price. Either way, I didn't buy them :(


Of course, I had to stock up on the bodycon skirts. They're super stretchy, form fitting and versatile. I fell hard for this olive color-it just screamed Fall to me. Best part-it was $6.50!
The black 3/4" sleeve stretch black top was ok. It was reasonably priced at $7.50 but I purchased a similar style last week for $1.50 (thriftin'). I only bought the skirt in this color and in a deep berry color.


You guys know my infatuation with leopard and cheetah print. So when I spotted this skirt, I knew it was a must have!



Well this ended up being a total fail. Although the price was reasonable, $9.50, the skirt was wayyy to short. I even tried adding a kimono sleeve cardigan to it...did not work. I tried to envision it with opaque black stockings-that didn't work. I walked around the dressing room only to have the skirt reach about an inch below my crotch after 5 steps. EPIC F.A.I.L.















In all, I purchased 2 bodycon skirts ($13 total); Kimono sleeve cardigan ($13.50) and Leopard L/S top ($9.50) for grand total of $36. How crazy am I to feel bamboozled out of paying that much for 4 pieces. That would get me at least 12 pieces easy at the thrift store o_0
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