Wednesday, December 17, 2014

How to Have Great Style on a Budget

I often get complimented on my outfits and my style. I take great pride in the fact that I am able to look stylish and put together for next to nothing.

You don't have to spend tons of money to have great style - no matter what your style is. I work in theatre and despite the fact that I have a very enviable wardrobe, in reality I have a very limited budget for clothes. About 85% of my wardrobe is bought second hand, either from a thrift store, Etsy or a local vintage shop. 75-80% of what I buy second hand is cheaper than you would pay for a similar item at the mall.  The other 15% of what I buy is new and about 5% of that is expensive investment pieces or something special I can't live without.

Looking great on a budget is about having an intimate knowledge about your personal style. This is key to finding killer second hand pieces that fit seamlessly into your wardrobe. . It's taken a lot of trial and error, but I now know what I like and over the years have come to know what will be worth spending money on for my wardrobe- whether it's $5 or $500.

If you're still figuring out what your personal style is start a Pintrest board with looks that inspire you  (or go old school and rip out pages from a magazine and tape them to your wall) . What do they have in common? Go shopping and find similar pieces (Check out this post for tips on turning those inspiration photos into outfits from your closet).
Now is the time to experiment and thrift shopping for your wardrobe is a great way to test out a look with little investment. Make mistakes and take risks in your wardrobe. It's just fashion, not brain surgery. But no matter what, wear what makes you feel amazing. No matter how much you paid for what you have on your body that feeling will shine through and make you look incredible. Confidence is the best accessory (did I just write that?! how But seriously. It's true.

I'm a huge advocate for second hand shopping, but the key to having style is to mix it up and pair thrifted items with new ones. Retailers like Joe Fresh, Forever 21, Zara, Winners and Marshals all offer great clothes at incredible prices.

Accessories. Invest in them. The right accessories - new or second hand - can elevate an outfit instantaneously.

If you are going to spend money on anything in your closet, make it a great, functional purse you can use every day of the year that matches most of your wardrobe. I bought mine at Winners for $150 a year and a half ago. It's Italian leather, I still love it and use it almost every day. And it still looks like new. Worth every penny. Here it is:

Please don't forget about hair and makeup. This is the icing on the cake of your look. Learn how to do your hair and apply makeup in a way that makes you look and feel amazing. I am a firm believer that great hair and makeup and some eye-catching accessories can elevate jeans and a t-shirt into something you could wear anywhere these days.

Here are a couple of outfits from past posts with a mix of thrifted and new items. I've broken down what I paid for each item and where I got them.

This is a great fall look. I wore it out to run errands, but it could easily translate to an office setting, or a date. The sweater is cashmere from Club Monaco, but I found it at a thrift store. The skirt is vintage. It's is wool and is lined. I always look for luxe fabrics in good shape when shopping second hand.

Sweater: $7 @ thrift store
Flower Brooch: $1 @ Ricki's sample sale
Belt: $10 @ retailer
Skirt: $5 @ thrift store
Shoes: $20 @ retailer

Here is a summer look that I love. The dress is vintage. I bought it on a sale rack at a vintage shop because there were a few popped seams here and there. Nothing my sewing machine couldn't fix. The bag was a bargain at a thrift shop on a sale day. It was also in need of some love. I had to stitch one side of it back together with some twine. Good as new. I'm pretty handy with a needle and thread, so I'm never afraid to take home something which needs a bit of work. Experience has taught me what I can fix and what I can't.

Vintage Dress: $15 @ vintage shop
Flower Brooch: $1 @ thrift store
Belt: came with another dress
Bag: 50 cents @ thrift store
Shoes: $9 @ thrift store

And a winter look. The coat was a thrift store purchase. The leopard print skinnies were from a retailer. I watched them diligently until they went on sale and snapped them up from their online store. 

Beret: $4 @ thrift store
Scarf: $10 @ retailer
Coat: $17 @ thrift store
Leather Gloves: free - a gift
Pants: $20 @ online retailer
Boots: $20 @ retailer
Purse: $7 @ thrift store

For more thrift shopping advice check out these thrifting tips I posted earlier this year.

AND Here are two articles I love with some great advice on style:


Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday Link Love #15

  • Now that my hair is shorter I've been curling it almost every day, but I use hot sticks to style my hair because I don't like sleeping on pin curls. Regardless, I couldn't help but share these incredible posts from Lavender & Twill on Pin Curling: 
               - Basics of Pin Curls
               - The Curl Brush Out & Styling (totally applicable to hot stick sets like mine)

  • I used to think feminist was a dirty word. Recently, I've started to change my mind. The pinup and rockabilly culture weigh in. Read a great interview at The Rockabilly Socialite and this fabulous post at A Little Pin Up Every Day
  • Fun! 100 Years of Beauty in 1 Minute.

Have a great weekend everyone!


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Outfits: New Old Dress. Had to Have It (as usual...)

Does anyone else find Christmas shopping difficult? I mean, of course it is. But I mean specifically fighting the urge to buy yourself presents? Especially the kind that no one else will buy you. 

Like this dress. 

I was in the Exchange doing some Christmas shopping with Daphne from Vixage. We stopped at the Exchange Uporium. Patti Henderson - curator and owner of WildWoodRose Vintage - has her stuff there. Deadly. 
So I'm perusing her racks and I see this dress. I knew immediately without trying it on that I had to have it.   ...I'm so weak...
Decision made when I put it on and it fit like it was made for me. damn. 

I also bought a gift for a gift exchange while there, so at least there's that lol!

Black is hard to photograph with my point and shoot camera, but I'm hoping you can see the asymmetrical peplum/draped panel on the back. Also has three covered buttons at the nape of the neck. 

After I took the last bunch of photos I decided I needed more accessories, so I grabbed this hat and clutch. I'm in love. 

Please tell me I'm not the only one who buys themselves things while Christmas shopping. I've got four more gifts to buy and then I can stay away from the stores. Now I just need to find somewhere to wear this dress. 

Vintage Black Straw Tilt Hat: thrifted, Value Village
40's Black Crepe Dress: WildWoodRose Vintage via The Exchange Uporium
Vintage Rhinestone Bracelet: thrifted, Value Village
Vintage Celluloid and Rhinestone Bracelet: Ruby Slipper
Vintage Embroidered Rose Clutch: thrifted, Salvation Army
Black Mary Janes: Forever 21


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Outfits: Looking a Little Christmas-y

I had a meeting with some fellow Shakespeare in the Ruins ensemble members (after 3 years of stage managing for them they asked me to be a member this summer!).  I've been dressing so casually lately I felt really dressed up in this outfit. 

Once I was out I realized how Christmas-y this outfit is with the green and the rhinestones on the sweater. I'm ok with it though. It's subtle. 


I love this sweater. I bought it for $5 at Value Village. I nearly fell over when I plucked it off the rack. It's a combination of my favourite things: black and sparkly. And can we talk about my slip for a moment? I know it might be a bit hard to see in that last photo, but the green polka dots on it are an exact match to my skirt. Match made in vintage heaven. 

Black 50's Rhinestone Studded Sweater: Value Village
Vintage Rhinestone Brooch: Vintage Glory
Black Patent Belt: Le Chateau (came with a top)
Green Vintage Skirt: Ragpickers
Vintage Green Polka Dotted Slip: Vintage Glory
Black Tights: Ricki's
Black Ankle Boots: George
Best Vintage Purse Ever: Value Village


Sunday, December 7, 2014


So the exciting news 'round these parts is that The Boy and I are headed to Hawaii for two weeks in March!! EEEEEEEeeeee!!!!!!

I'm so freakin excited!! I've always wanted to go to Hawaii. The Boy has been a few times long before we started dating. His family has a timeshare a few blocks from Waikiki Beach. Through a series of events (which I won't bore you with) this trip came up at an affordable cost, so we jumped at the chance to go.

As I said a few weeks ago, life has been stressful. In fact 2014 has felt like a tough year in many ways. So we really need this vacation. Get away, relax, explore another part of the world and spend some time together. Thank you to everyone who commented on that post and sent me their love and support. It meant a lot to me. And for those of you who are probably curious, things are slowly turning for the better. Slow, but steady. 

As you can imagine, My A-type personality has been scouring the internets for packing tips, sights to see and, naturally, been debating whether I will purchase myself a vintage Hawaiian or tiki print dress on etsy before we leave....I've always wanted one...what better excuse?!

In anticipation for my trip I'm planning a series of posts dedicated to the mid-century history/obsession with Hawaii, packing tips and capsules for the vintage girl (I couldn't find ONE online!), some vintage and antique shops I plan on visiting along with some other fun posts.

Have you ever been to Hawaii? Do you have any packing tips for vintage girls? 


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Outfit: Leopard Print Cardigan

I haven't been wearing a lot of skirts and dresses this fall/winter. My outfits have consisted of skinny jeans, a tee, blouse or sweater of some kind and a cardigan with vintage accessories. 

If you thought that in order to have vintage, rockabilly or pinup style you have to wear a dress or skirt, please let me prove you wrong this winter. I don't even wear high waisted pants most days. Frankly, I find them uncomfortable. They cut into my stomach when I sit. 

And for fun. Here are the pups, getting my my way while I try and set up for outfit pics lol. 

Leopard Print Cardigan: Joe Fresh
Black Tee: Forever21- thrifted
Vintage Mink Brooch: Value Village
Black Patent Belt: Laura
Black Cuff Bracelet: Le Chateau
Black Skinny Jeans: Forever21
Black Boots: George


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

New Haircut!

After a lot of talk I finally did it. I cut my hair. And not just a trim. I cut about a foot off. It was getting really long, if you remember.

This photo of Gretchen Mol in The Notorious Betty Page was my inspiration. I knew I wanted to keep my bangs, but it was time to lose some length.

Here's my version.

The best part is that I have a fabulous new hairdresser. Winnipeg's premier rockabilly and vintage hairstylist Kelly O. Her and I totally clicked. I adore her. AND she made my hair look freakin awesome!! My bangs have never been better behaved. 

If you insta, follow her @hairbymisskellyo. If you want to book an appointment she's at Salon One 11

I thought I would, but I don't even miss my super long hair. It wouldn't hold a curl and was nothing but straight and long. Now that my hair is much shorter (in comparison!) I've been curling it every day. Plus it looks and feels so much healthier.

Leopard Print Cardigan: Joe Fresh
Black Tee: Forever21 - thrifted
Vintage Mink Brooch: Value Village


Friday, November 28, 2014

Friday Link Love #14

I was hoping to post an outfit today, but I've found myself cuddled up on the couch casually surfing the internet in an oversized sweater, hair in a bun and no makeup.

So instead, I'll kick off my return to blogging with some link love and share my finds with you today.

  • I really love street style fashion. Even if it's not vintage. I love seeing what everyday people want to wear every day. Hel Looks is a great site from Helsinki with an array of eclectic looks. 
  • The Sartorialist reminds us why fashion is more than just what's on the outside. 
  • Do you follow Joanna over at Dividing Vintage Moments? She's come up with this incredible idea that I'm thrilled to be taking part of: The Sisterhood of the Vintage Dress. I think I'm receiving the dress around April 2015, but in the meantime go check out how other bloggers have styled it.  
  • This is my new favourite breakfast: Cheddar Apple Handpies.

  • I recently bought a short vintage mink coat and I've been scouring Pintrest for outfit inspiration. I really love fur paired with casual clothes. This look is almost perfect (just imagine it with retro hair and red lips. yup. looks pretty good):

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Two Months Later..

So I guess I needed more than a month.

I took this one morning a month ago before work on our front lawn. 

I've been struggling to write this post...I really don't like getting super personal on the blog. But I will tell you that on top of being very tired from overworking myself this year, the last two months have had personal stresses that I have been trying to deal with. I'm not out of the woods yet, but I'm in a much better place than I was a week ago. That's really all I can ask for right now.

Sorry this post is so vague...I really wanted to stop in and say I'm still here and ready to start blogging again, but also give you some - however lame it is - explanation for my extended absence.

I'm off work until the New Year now, so expect to see my face some more 'round these part. I missed you guys!


Sunday, September 28, 2014

See You in a Month!

I'm still alive and well! I seem to have inadvertently taken a little blog break in the last few weeks. Work. Again. You know the story.

I'm actually tired of shopping. Seriously.  (photo source)

Just to give you a flavour of my life right now, my weeks are playing out like this:

Sunday: Two show day for Cock & Bull (I'm home before 10pm thankfully)
Monday: Shopping for TV series from 9-5 (day off from Cock & Bull)
Tuesday: Shopping 9-5. Drive to the venue. Prep & Performance for Cock & Bull 5:30 - 10:30pm. Drive home, write show report, do show laundry. Fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow (12-12:30ish).
Wednesday: Repeat of Tuesday
Thursday: Repeat
Friday: Repeat
Saturday: Morning & Day off. Performance for Cock & Bull in the evening.

My next ACTUAL day off is October 5th. And on the 6th I start prep for my next stage managing job (while working my last week shopping for the TV series). I'm already running on empty...I've discovered I'm now too old to work two jobs at the same time. This may very well be the last time I do this to myself....always gotta learn the hard way, don't I?!

So I'm officially calling it a mini blog break and I'll see you fine folks in about a month when I've recuperated.

I'm posting regularly (almost daily) on Instagram if you miss my face. I miss you guys, but I've got nothing else to give right now...

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