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A Thrifty Metamorphosis

Every so often, I get bored of mainstream stores and I’m unwilling to pay premium prices at the local boutiques, so I head over to the thrift stores to see what treasures can be found with only $20 in my pocket.

Most things don’t come in my size, so I was mainly looking for items with a great style, fabric, or material that can be altered to fit my frame. When I go thrifting, I usually have something in mind so I’m not checking out the entire store. I set my sights on colorful tops, skirts, and dresses so I’ll have “new” clothes for the spring/summer season.

If you’ve been following along, you know that I’m embracing color and I’m in a pastel state of mind. I ended up with this lilac blouse in Small. It’s a little big, but with a simple alteration in the shoulders, it’ll be perfect.

Ann Taylor (here) and LOFT (here) have a similar version of this silk blouse. Not only am I right on trend, I get a garment that’s 100% silk for $2 (not including alterations).

With spring’s arrival, I feel like I’m going through a metamorphosis.

Color is no longer the enemy but a welcome friend. Mixing metals, textures, and patterns aren’t as challenging as I originally thought. My style is always in flux…evolving and adapting along with my life experiences.

I finally found a hairstyle in which I can put my hair up with minimal work and it still looks chic.

Many thanks to Wendy of Wendy’s Lookbook…her video was my inspiration. The messy, unkempt quality gives off this effortless look that doesn’t feel like a stiff, traditional updo. I’m sure with more practice, it’ll look better over time.

Outfit Details: thrifted silk blouse – S, J.Crew Favorite Fit Everyday chinos – 00P, American Eagle necklace and belt, Burberry Check tote, Charles David Awaken wedges

Speaking of practice, I need to get better at applying makeup because it is one of my weak points. I obsess over Jen’s tutorials, trying to capture the essence of the looks she creates. I’m experimenting with different colored eyeshadow and this time, I went for green.

What do you think? Do you change with the seasons?

What about thrifting…love it, hate it, or indifferent?

{ 23 comments… add one }
  • Elaine A April 18, 2011, 7:55 am

    Jess that blouse looks amazing on you! And I was going to ask what you did with your hair b/c it looks amazing. Too funny I attempted that hairdo from Wendy’s tutorial too! But it didn’t quite turn out how I wanted it to – darn curly hair!

  • Brenda April 18, 2011, 9:39 am

    I love the colour of the blouse on you! Very spring!!

  • Amanda April 18, 2011, 11:22 am

    I know this post is about the blouse, but I can’t help noticing the pants look fabulous on you. Really elongates the legs. And I really like the hair – I may have to use that tutorial for my wedding, I have short-ish hair like yours so I’ll give it a try.

  • AUBS April 18, 2011, 11:32 am

    great find. where else can u get silk for $2?

  • Danielle April 18, 2011, 1:12 pm

    I love to thrift and this perfect is the perfect shade for spring! Love your blog too : )

    I am also really inspired by Wendy’s Lookbook as well.

  • Aneirys April 18, 2011, 3:10 pm

    That top looks really lovely on you!


  • Quest for Fashion Sense April 18, 2011, 3:29 pm

    That lilac color looks great on you – loving the blouse, the pants, and the wedges. I liked Wendy’s scarf tutorial that’s been making the rounds – will definitely have to check out her hair tutorial as well. Also liking the green eye shadow. Nicely done!

  • Michelle April 18, 2011, 4:40 pm

    Gorgeous!! That top will look so great with high-waisted skirts, too!

    You did an amazing job with your makeup!

  • Lilly April 18, 2011, 4:48 pm

    Hi Jess, love the purple blouse and – STE-AL!! I like your experimentation with the different colored make-up as well – makes me kind of want to venture out of my greys and blacks – though I am totally in love with Asian smokey-eye these days (thanks to Jean’s tutorial on make-up). Thrift stores can be fun, once you get over the “where has this been” mentality – you’ve definitely peaked my interests!

  • Ski Petite April 18, 2011, 5:27 pm

    I was thinking how good your hair looked before you even mentioned it in the post. I do think I change styles a little with the seasons. I think I tend to dress better in spring and summer since it is hot. I always am bundled in the winter.

  • admin April 18, 2011, 6:11 pm

    @Elaine A: I wish I had curly hair! I tried to curl my own hair, but it’s so short, I end up looking like a mom from the K-dramas. Not a good look.

    @Brenda: Thanks! The color is very vibrant and totally spring. I know it’s going to get a lot of wear this season.

    @Amanda: The J.Crew pants are surprisingly elongating…I definitely agree. Btw, it’s always more challenging to find hairdos that work with short hair, but I’m sure you’ll have a good run with this style. =)

    @AUBS: Seriously, you can’t be that price for silk!

    @Danielle: Thrifting is pretty fun, I wish I had more time to do this because it’s amazing what you find.

    @Aneirys: The color is so pretty and perfect for spring…it was a great deal for this top.

  • admin April 18, 2011, 6:16 pm

    @Quest for Fashion Sense: I saw Wendy’s scarf tutorial too and that led me to watch all her other videos. She’s so fun! =)

    @Michelle: Thanks! I have yet to try it with high waisted skirts, but that sounds like a great idea!

    @Lilly: I usually wear dark neutral eyeshadows too, but I think adding a bit of color adds an extra punch to your look. As for thrifting, I usually pick items that look fairly new so I assume that the previous owner must have taken really good care of their clothes. I don’t think beyond that…LOL.

    @Ski Petite: I’m like that too, when it cold and dreary, I just want to pull out the dark neutrals but when it’s sunny, I bust out with color. =)

  • Banhannas April 18, 2011, 6:20 pm

    OMGG. Thank you so much for linking Wendy’s blog and Youtube. I just about watched all of her videos!! She has such a fun personality and I love her style.

    On to your outfit, that blouse is better than the LOFT version in my opinion. I like the drapey-ness better and at that price was such a great bargain. Nice choice in green eyeshadow! I’m glad you didn’t decide to go with purple, matching eyeshadows with the color of the outfit is so over done. Experimenting with makeup is so much fun!

  • kimchi girl April 18, 2011, 7:56 pm

    “My style is always in flux…evolving and adapting along with my life experiences.” -that is such a cool quote, jess. i find that to be true for me as well. :)

    during the winter, i’m soooo not thinking about fashion…i mostly dress for warmth and comfort (i.e. Uggs, LOL). so for me, summer/spring is when i come out of my “cave” so to speak, and fall in love w/ fashion again, hehe.

    on to the outfit: the whole ensemble gives off a very casual, effortless, chic vibe. i actually prefer the look of the slightly oversized blouse. it’s very model-esque, hehe. :)

  • hurricanekerrie April 18, 2011, 9:24 pm

    I like thrifting because of the many unique styles you can find there. I like the fact that I can imagine the possibilities with a skirt or a blouse that nobody else has.

    I like the sleeves of your blouse and the laid-out vibe that the shape seems to exude. Casual and relaxed chic.

  • Olyvia April 18, 2011, 9:46 pm

    I love thrifting, but it does take forever to shop there because I want to rummage through everything to hopefully find a treasure. What a great find for only $2! Oh, and I adore those sunglasses on you! something about the shape of it looks so chic! I haven’t seen that shape of shades as much.

  • admin April 18, 2011, 10:29 pm

    @Banhannas: Wendy’s so cool right? I hope to meet her soon! =) But thanks for the compliment about the outfit, the color and the way it drapes is beyond wonderful!

    @kimchi girl: In the winter, it’s so hard to be “chic” when you’re worried about staying warm…I know that to be so true. But to counter that, I try to add fun outerwear pieces instead of the usual black and blue we always get.

    @Hurricanekerrie: Thrifting gives you so many options and allows you to be more creative. Instead of looking at mannequins and buying the entire outfit, you have to assemble one yourself with your imagination. =)

    @Olyvia: I agree, it takes time to go thrift shopping, but I try to go every occasionally so I still get the thrill without feeling the drudgery of rummaging racks all the time. These cat eye sunglasses are quite fun and a nice change from my Ray Bans.

  • Lor - Petite in the City April 19, 2011, 12:50 pm

    I love your hairstyle!! I just watched the youtube video, I’m going to have to try it too!

    Usually in the winter I wear a lot of black, brown and other dark colours. When spring and summer comes a long I wear brighter and lighter colours. I’ve been meaning to try thrift shopping, but haven’t had a chance yet!

    • admin April 22, 2011, 11:55 pm

      Thrift shopping is nice when you’re in the mood to browse and you like the thrill of the hunt. If you just want to go in and get out, it might not be that fun. But I enjoy it when I have time to spare. =)

  • Saliem April 22, 2011, 10:05 am

    Love your hair style. It’s so elegant!

    I do go to thrift stores — Goodwill — in some neighborhoods. I haven’t found any outstanding items that fit me perfectly yet, but I keep going. It’s fun and like a scavenger hunt for me 😀

    • admin April 22, 2011, 11:56 pm

      Thanks! I’ve been trying to figure out different hairdos cuz I’m tired of leaving it au-naturale. As for thrifting, I don’t always find things either, but when I do, it makes up for the times I walk out empty-handed. =)

  • Grace April 24, 2011, 7:10 pm

    LOVE your hair! I will have to check out that video, because as you yourself mentioned, I get tired of leaving it au natural. I find my hair SO utterly boring.

    I’ve never tried thrifting – I’ve only gone to consignment stores which I like a bit. I’m not even sure where they are in San Diego. I suppose I should try Goodwill : )

    Nice find Jess =)

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