Introducing: Styled by Second Hand

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Logo by Jen Does Design 

I don’t believe that all good things come to an end. I think all good things evolve and change, and whether they remain good things is up to the universe.  If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, the cat is now out of the bag: I’ve been changing and evolving, and so with me comes this blog.

Second Hand Challenge began as just that, a challenge. Could I really shop solely second hand for an entire year? Somehow, with just a few minor cheats along the way, I did it. And I learned a ton along the way. Of those lessons: second hand shopping was not just a challenge for me, it had become a way of life.

I love the thrill of finding treasure on the cheap so much more than shopping in a department store or the fast fashion haunts I once loved.  Second hand challenged no more- my wardrobe, my home and my life are Styled by Second Hand.

On October 1, Styled by Second Hand will be here to share ideas about incorporating second hand elements into your world, and glimpses of how I use them in mine. I’ll share my favorite outfits, DIY home projects, the people and things of the past that inspire me, and hopefully, a new perspective on recycling.

I sincerely hope you continue to read and connect with me; please join me on this new second hand adventure. Until then, look for behind the scenes, inspiration and pretty stuff on the following: InstagramTwitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and bookmark this. See you on October 1!       

“Fashion has always been a repetition of ideas, but what makes it new is the way you put it together.” – Carolina Hererra

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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

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

What I wore Wednesday: back to work

Ahhh, the working life. Getting back in the swing of things at work has been amazing in so many ways, but I also can’t seem to get ahold of my life in other ways. Like my blogging schedule, keeping in touch with friends and family, and working out, to name a few. But through it all, one thing has remained a constant: my dedication to dressing/shopping/living second hand. Continue reading

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! 🙂

Coachella fashion mania

If there is one thing and one thing only that I’ll be shopping for over the next three months, it’s Coachella. Let’s forget the music for a second- as far as fashion is concerned, this weekend is HUGE.

It’s the time to wear something you’ve always wanted to try, but there isn’t a place. It’s the time to show more skin than you can anywhere else (hey, it’s hot!). But at the same time, it’s the time to look amazing without trying too hard. No one likes someone that tries too hard, especially hipsters.

Get ready for Coachella fashion-mania!