Poppin’ tags: thrifting in the Mission

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Ah, life. The second you decide you’re over something or someone, there it goes waltzing back into your life. I gave you many chances, thrifting, and for the past few months, come ups were just not something I was coming by. So I gave up and told you guys last week that I was over thrifting and didn’t miss it. Continue reading

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A past life


Photography by Caitlin McCarrick

One of the things that I love about wearing vintage is knowing that my clothes have had a prior life. I like to imagine scenarios for these pieces; for example, my 70’s maxi skirt/crop top outfit belonged to a bare-footed, long-haired blonde that wore daisies in a crown and listened to Jimi Hendrix. My pink linen pencil skirt was owned by a bouffant-bearing, shoulder pad wielding business lady that found time in her days for lunch dates and a nail appointments. Continue reading

Coachella is coming! What are you wearing?

As Coachella swiftly approaches- 29 days to be exact!- blogs are all a flutter with discussing fashion’s favorite festival. As a Coachella-goer myself, I have been giving this thought for months, as you may remember from this post. With less than 30 days to go and 3 days to dress for, my second hand hunt is intensifying, as is my excitement. Here are some functional wardrobe tips and tricks to get you in the Coachella shopping mode.

If you think wearing that furry animal hat you stupidly bought is a good idea, think again. It’s HOT at Coachella, so you’re best off leaving that hat at home (or better yet, in the trash).

Hi! I don't belong at Coachella!

Cotton is the fabric of our lives and it’s also the fabric of Coachella. It breathes and it’s comfy, what more do you need? This is a great place to start with your Coachella outfit: jeans shorts and vintage tee. The best part? These are SO easy to find at thrift stores and vintage stores.

Cotton cool: shop this look at Nastygal.com

Who wears short shorts? Shorts are the best article of clothing when it comes to Coachella-wear. They’re easy, they’re comfortable, they look cute and most importantly, you can dance all over the place without exposing yourself. Personally, I’m a fan of high waisted shorts and I already have a few in my arsenal for this year’s Coachella attire.

Brooke's shorts were THE pair for Coachella. Plus her crop top & crocheted vest? Perfection.

Rompers & dresses: wear if you dare. A romper may seem to be a great option for coachella attire: it’s easy, comfy and keeps you ready to crowd surf or climb up on some muscular shoulders. Only thing is, Coachella’s ONLY bathrooms are port-a-potties, so every time you need to go, be prepared to get completely naked. Seriously.

Dresses are always fashionable, and being light/airy, they’re a great option for Coachella. BUT… sitting indian-style on the grass WILL happen, and exposed panties weren’t even cool when Paris and Britney rocked them. TIP: wear shorts under your dress if you’re going to wear one.

I wore a romper last year and will probably not be repeating that choice.

Accessories are arguably the most important Coachella necessities  when it comes to fashion AND function. Here’s some must-haves:

  • Hats: Not only do they look cool, they keep you cool. Direct sunlight to the face for 8+ hours is not exactly conducive to a flowing fountain of youth.
  • Fanny packs: I’m not kidding; my neon OC Weekly fanny pack was my best friend at Coachella last year. Though cross-body purses are also handy and the recommended choice as far as purses go, a fanny pack keeps all your valuables and necessities close to your body and hands-free all day.
  • Backpacks: Someone in your group should have a backpack, especially if you aren’t camping onsite, so you can have everything you need.
  • Cheap Sunglasses: Sunglasses are a MUST at Coachella, but nothing you wear/bring should be something you’ll cry over if it gets ruined or lost. So, leave your expensive sunnies at home and spring for a funky, cheap-o pair.
  • Comfy shoes: Yes, those new funky sandals are super cute and in an ideal world, Coachella would be the perfect place to wear them. But guess what? Feet are friends and we need to treat them that way; they deserve support, love and care.  I would highly recommend closed-toe shoes as feet stompers are abundant.

Ready to rock!

So, with that, get shopping! Also, get ready for my pre-Coachella post with all of my outfits entirely built out of second handed finds. What are you going to wear?

p.s. Second Hand Challenge is now on Facebook! Like that shit.

Second Hand Saturday: Vegas Edition

If you had six hours to spend on your own in Vegas, what would you do with it? If you answered take a $30+ RT cab ride to Buffalo Exchange, then we should hang out more often. I could’ve gone and gambled, gone to a spa and gotten a massage, hell, I could’ve gotten one of those giant drinks and walked the strip. But why do any of those things when you can spend the money on something you really love?

After having room service in bed and a luxurious bath with a vodka cran, I turned to good ol’ Yelp to help me find a spot to hit. I really wish I would’ve had a car with me because there were multiple stores I wanted to go to. Fruition, which has a bad ass online store and blog, was definitely on my list but they had three dollar signs and reviews said they had lots of designer stuff- DANGER. Trend Traders looked promising also, but Buffalo hasn’t really ever done me wrong, so I stuck with old faithful. And old faithful did me right, once again.

Let’s start with the fact I spent about 2 hours there. This Buff was big and awesome- lots of designer finds, furs, leather jackets, vintage pieces and shoes. The service was surprisingly good too, which isn’t generally the first thing that comes to mind about second hand stores. I took about 20 items into the dressing room and ended up taking home the following:

J. Brand bootcut jeans, $18!!! WHAT A STEAL. Paired with a cape from American Vintage.

Banana Republic  Martin pants, $15. Perfect fit and great for work. Great quality.

The “mullet” skirt. “Leather” party in the front, poly/cotton business in the back. The Limited,  $18.50

And then, I fell in love. As I was checking out and trying to decide between a few items, I spotted these pups. The Oliver Peoples Tycoon. A major statement and total classic retailing for a cool $325. I’ve always wanted them but could never bring myself to spend that much on specs, but obviously the fashion gods had bigger plans for me. They were a massive score for $85!! I am debating rocking them a la Brad Goreski by pulling the lenses out and making them into real glasses or keeping them as shades. What do you think?

Oliver Peoples Tycoon sunnies, $85

This was definitely not my finest effort in saving money, one of my main goals in writing this blog. In fact, it could be argued that I used my blog as an excuse to splurge a bit, but in the name of fashion, I will pretend that I was just in the spending mood ‘cuz I was in Vegas. I mean, I could’ve blown that in about 20 seconds on the roulette wheel. Like our wise leader Carrie Bradshaw once said, “I like my money where I can see it- hanging in my closet.” Or in this case, on my face.

Sharing is caring: Second hand suggestions

It’s been almost a month since I started this blog, and let me tell you- it’s been way more fun than I imagined it would be. Not only do I find myself much more of an inspired shopper, but I am a much more inspired writer. The enthusiasm and support I’ve gotten from all of you has been the main motivator in this- I can’t wait to show you what I’ve found. Apparently that’s rubbing off a little and you are sharing things with me, like Tania’s recommendation to head to Costa Mesa’s Goodwill. This whole recycle, reuse and reduce thing just got a whole lot more fashionable and fun, thanks to all of you. Since sharing is caring, I’m going to re-share the shares so we can all share in the second hand love.

Jackie, a media planner and Venice Beach resident (read: she’s cooler than me), shared Ramona West, of which I am both thankful and pissed. Ramona West is a online vintage retailer from SoCal that is super picky about the pieces they stock- they want vintage that’s also current which is much easier said than done sometimes. Welp, Ramona knows what she’s doing. So thanks a lot, Jackie, this website will probably be the death of one of my main aims in this challenge- to save money. At least most these clothes are sized for 13 year old boys.

Some of Ramona’s looks. Beezus is probably pretty jealous.

Joanna, a fellow Anteater/journalist/Costa Mesa resident/second hand aficionado and of course, friend, showed me that second handing for a year doesn’t equal death. Living the Goodwill Life followed Beautiful Existence (yes, that is the name she uses) through 2011 as she solely shopped at Goodwill and saved a total of $13,000! Thanks to the above, I will probably not succeed in saving that much, but this blog is totally inspiring. If this lady can limit herself to Goodwill for a year, there’s no reason I shouldn’t be able to accomplish my task.

Living the Goodwill Life’s header

Like me, Jo has pretty much furnished her entire apartment off second hand goods, most of which were found out at Goodwill. Check out this cute side table she snagged this week for $20.

Great find, Jo!

Orly, a fashion professional living in New York (my friends are pretty accomplished, eh?), posted the Uniform Project on my Facebook wall. The Uniform Project is way more gnarly that what I’m attempting to do. For one year, Sheena Matheiken wore the same dress every day (she accessorized with recycled or donated pieces) as a means to fundraise money to educate kids in the Indian slums. Sheena raised more than $100,000 and with that money, was able to put 287 kids in school. And good karma she got- more than 2 million views on her blog, was in New York Times, London Times, spoke on Ted Talks, was in a gagillion magazines and has now expanded into a year two of projects. Sheesh, Sheena! Makin’ me look like more than a rookie. A giant two thumbs up for the Uniform Project!

Sheena in her black dress… various days of fabulous accessories

Orly also had this amazing idea: a clothing exchange. Basically, you and your friends get together and each of you bring items of clothing you’re tired of. Trade. SHARE. Get that top of your friends you’ve lusted after for years. No money is exchanged- only wine, laughs and fashion. SO INTO IT!

And last but not least, a big thank you to my friend Rachel who posted this on my Facebook page with a sweet comment that every time I blog a photo, she wishes it would appear in her closet. Maybe if we have a clothing exchange, Rach! 🙂

Second Hand Sunday: Costa Mesa Goodwill

After a tip from my friend Tania, I was itching to head to Costa Mesa’s Goodwill. She said the magic words- Theory, DVF, Missoni and Michael Kors. Though it can be difficult, designer duds aren’t impossible to find at thrift stores. But rarely do you hear such an impressive line up, these labels are generally reserved for the consignment spots. Of course I had to see for myself if it was too good to be true.

I headed to Goodwill on 19th Street in Costa Mesa on Sunday afternoon, continuing my tradition of Sunday second handing. It was packed- apparently I wasn’t the only one with this idea. I’m not going to lie, thrifting is my least favorite form of second hand shopping. Yes, you can find some real gems, but it’s never without digging through lots of crap. I have to be in the mood to dig and have the time on my hands, which is why it’s perfect for a Sunday.

Though the designer duds alluded me (minus a Theory jacket that didn’t fit), I did find some gems. First, I found this little red polyester  number for $2.50. Straight out of the ’80s, I loved the asymmetric details, the color and the button placement.

Polyester red top paired with F21 “leather” skirt, Calvin Klein tights and ShoeMint shoes.

I also found this beautiful silk blouse for $5.99 which was “expressly made for Saks Fifth Avenue,” or so said the tag. Like the red top above, it hailed from sometime around my birth and had fatty shoulder pads that I cut out the second I got home. I love this top (I’m actually wearing it at work today) and think there’s a lot I can do with it. To make life a little more fun, I decided to create a full second handed outfit around the blouse. Everything down to the rings.

From top to bottom: Gold necklace, $4 Salvation Army (Melbourne). Silk blouse $5.99, Goodwill (Costa Mesa). 70s costume rings, family find. Gold clutch, $5 Goodwill (Fullerton). Joes Jeans, $40 Buffalo Exchange (Costa Mesa). Christian Louboutins, $189, Crossroads Trading Post (SF)

This next find was something I was REALLY excited about. For as long as I can remember, our family has had the iconic, red “You Are Special Today” plate. Though we often forget to use it, it’s up there in the cabinet and something I remember from my childhood. I found two of these taped together, marked as $2.50 for the pair. These plates retail for $58, so you can imagine how stoked I was to get my own and one to give away for under three buckaroos. Who wants to come over for dinner and feel special?