Posts Tagged: shopping

When to Thrift

when to thrift

Wait. Isn’t ANYTIME a good time to thrift? Well, yes, especially in this world of fast-fashion and consumer waste. But there are a few timing-related factors to consider.

Toward the beginning of the season

Even if you’re a bargain-hunter extraordinaire who waits until garments have been marked down at least three times before pouncing, consider thrifting at the beginning of the season instead of the end. Thrift store items are so much cheaper than retail, even at “full price,” and if you thrift when the season is just beginning you’ll get first pick of new offerings. Waiting for markdowns will mean better bargains, but as the season begins to peter out, so do the seasonally appropriate offerings. Get shopping while the getting’s good. read more

Originally posted 2013-04-23 06:47:07.

Cold Weather Dressing Essentials

dressing for cold weather

We’re digging in for the long winter haul here in MN, so I figured it was about time to revisit my personal list of cold weather dressing essentials. Now, none of my tools or tricks are terribly unusual, but since I’ve had several folks ask how I’d be kickin’ it this winter, I’ll share.


  1. Layering tees: I have amassed quite a collection of layering-specific tees and tanks over the years. Why are they reserved for this use? Because I have bought them tight enough to slide beneath other layers – including close-fitting sweaters and blazers – which means they’re not quite loose enough to be worn on their own. If you want to layer without lumps, your underlayers need to be pretty durned tight.
  2. Tights: My picks for the best warm tights can be found right here, and I stand by them. I’ve since invested in another pair of Falke opaques and absolutely adore them. If you are a skirt lover, a relatively dressy dresser, and live in a cold clime, I highly recommend investing in at least one pair of high-quality tights to see if they make a difference in terms of comfort and warmth.
  3. Lined wool skirts: Lined because wool sticks to tights, wool because it’s WARM! Boden makes a fantastic array of super heavy lined wool skirts, from minis to knee-length to floor-length. Talbots also tends to line their skirts. Many of my best lined wool skirts have been thrifted. (Naturally some skirts will be unlined. Invest in a slip!)
  4. Tall boots: My ankles and toes get cold very easily when not encased in sock-and-closed-shoe. So although I employ pumps on warmer days, much of the winter will be spent clomping around town in my arsenal of knee-high boots. I know tall boots can be tough, so here’s a post with specialty size resources. Also see Wardrobe Oxygen’s post about online retailers who specialize in wide-calf boot styles.
  5. Scarves and wraps: I had an evaluation with an acupuncturist once and she told me two things that I have never forgotten. One is that the bizarre, embarrassingly loud single hiccups that I get on occasion are the result of “rebellious chi.” The other is that, if I want to stay warm, I need to keep my neck covered. I believe them both. Since I am no fan of actual turtlenecks, this means that I employ a lot of scarves and wraps. Fashion scarves get creatively tied, and provide a surprising amount of warmth despite being constructed from flimsy fabrics. Wraps, pashminas, and mufflers get slung around my neck and shoulder area. (Fave large scarf tie here.)
  6. Silk long johns: Silk, as you likely know, is nature’s miracle fabric. Keeps ya cool in the summer, and toasty in the winter. I’ve had my silk long underwear since high school and it has saved me from losing my pelvis, thighs, and calves to frostbite more times than I care to count. Silk is also sleek and won’t bulk up your pants. Wintersilks will be happy to sell you a pair.


  1. Wear tall boots under slacks: Keeps calves extra warm, and no one is the wiser! I have several fun pairs of ankle boots that will be in heavy rotation, too, but on those snot-freezing days, fortified lower legs can make a world of difference.
  2. Wear a nude cami under everything: When it’s really horrible outside, I’ll throw on my nude cami, one of my long-sleeved layering tees, and a sweater. Three layers, minimal bulk.
  3. Layer colorfully: As I mentioned above, I buy my layering tees a size too small to minimize lumpage, and make sure they’re nice and long. That way, I can throw them on beneath non-cardigan sweaters (crews, v’s, and cowls) and let a little contrasting color peek out at the hem and sleeves. Bright tights can add another pop of color. So can scarves.
  4. Wear dresses as skirts: I have several sleeveless dresses that I could relegate to basement storage … but instead, I plan to layer them. Long-sleeved layering tee, dress, cowlneck sweater. The bottom half of the dress peeks out from beneath the sweater and just looks like a skirt, but I’ve got an extra layer up top!
  5. Don’t forget accessories: This has nothing to do with keeping warm, but I cannot resist throwing it in. When it’s cold and dark and you have to put on upwards of seven separate garments to keep yourself from freezing, the mere thought of adding jewelry or a belt may cause a minor tantrum. But most outfits benefit from those finishing touches. Try to remember to add earrings, a watch, a brooch, or a barrette. You’ll look and feel more pulled-together.

Like I said, not exactly the world’s most innovative plan, but I think it’ll work. Hope these suggestions are helpful!

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details. read more

Originally posted 2012-12-05 06:11:41.

Smart Internet Shopping for Style Lovers

how to shop for clothes online
I brag a lot about my ability to track down virtually any product online, and several years ago I decided to put my prowess to reader-fueled use through the Insomniac Sale Picks series. But I’ve had a few questions about online searching and shopping techniques, so I thought I’d share some of my personal practices so you can try them out for yourself!

Here’s where I look when I’m looking for something online:

  1. eBay – If you missed out on an item when it was first being sold, it is likely to be somewhere on eBay. If you’re looking for something super trendy or runway reminiscent – like burgundy boots or a peplum top – eBay will sell you vintage and used versions for pennies on the dollar. Check vendor feedback and don’t go with anyone less than 100% if you’re super skittish (I go as low as 97% myself). Tips for shopping eBay here.
  2. Amazon – I remember when Amazon sold books, and books only. I’ve bought green tea, cosmetics, and cheese curds (for my gran) from them. And they often have amazing deals on clothing, shoes, and accessories. Check Amazon for any and everything.
  3. Google Shopping – Google Shopping used to be my secret weapon, but it’s changed. Google switched its model to favor paid entries, so many times the service points you to sponsored listings. But not always, and using Google Shopping or just plain Google can help you narrow down an online search. Especially if you’re looking for a specific, named item – like a pair of Timberland Earthkeeper boots – since even related retailers may be offering different prices for the same item. If you’re looking for a category of item, like high-waisted skinny jeans, also search. The shopping tool is limited, but will still introduce a few vendors into the mix that you’d never have thought of on your own.
  4. Etsy: I have nearly endless patience when I’m questing for something, and will pore over 65 pages of search results. Not everyone has that kind of stamina. But Etsy’s vintage offerings are amazing, handmade goods are often reasonably priced, and accessories are unbearably fun.

For those who are skittish about shopping online, here are some general tips: read more

Originally posted 2012-11-20 06:20:36.