Saturday, February 5, 2011


My hubby got me my very first full-size ironing board this last week. You think he was trying to hint at something? Actually I asked for it. My little college ironing board just wasn't cutting it anymore.

There I was hunched over this thing on the floor trying to iron 3 yards of freshly laundered fabric when I thought, "Woman, you are 26 years old! What are you waiting for? Get a REAL ironing board!!"
And you know what? Now that I have one, I feel strangely domestic. And I like it.
Not only can I easily iron my fabrics now, but I can iron clothes!?! I know! I pulled out a white skirt I washed up that I found at Goodwill last week and it looks fabulous! Here I was all these years walking around looking like who-knows-what all wrinkly! But no more! 
And speaking of thrifting, I really have no game. The skirt was the *first* piece of clothing I think I've ever purchased at Goodwill. I was inspired by my friend Heidi-who by the way is the queen of thrifting and all things fashion-to give it a try. She gave me some great tips to optimize the success rate of my thrifting but I think I'll have to get some one-on-one tutoring some time soon!
Here are some of her tips:
1. no kids. or just one kid. for obvious reasons. plus, you don't want kids putting nasty thrfit store stuff in their mouths. i have had a few trips that went great with both kids, but they were short trips and i had a TON of snacks.
2. go with a completely completely open mind. thrift stores are gross. but there are so many hidden gems if you just go without looking for anything. i used to struggle because i would go looking for name brands or for particular things i wanted. i had a friend that found a last season jcrew pencil skirt in perfect condition. so i went looking for the same. you will leave disappointed if you do that because you will never find anything the same. just go and look at whatever catches your eye. i spend a lot of time looking in dresses and skirts because i know those are the easiest the change or fix.
3. rummage around in areas that aren't your size. sizing is so subjective and easy to manipulate.
4. i like to wear my running tights if i am going on a long shopping trip. that way i can try on in the aisles if i need to.
5. go often. i don't like saturdays though. busy. drop in once a week and just browse. it doesn't have to take a long time. just become familiar with the store and layout.
6. leave all personal style notions at the door. nothing you find will be perfect. you have to see past prints and colors(and smells) to find the gems. if i showed you some of my things just in my closet you would probably just pass them over in a thrift store because they can look dated and "out there". but styling and refixing things can work wonders. as tim gunn says, "make it work".
7. go looking for things that will make you look different. i love not looking like other people. that's what makes thrifting so fun. you will rarely find current and trendy items, but you can find plenty of things that will look different and vintage and fashion forward.

So, there ya have it! I know I'll be checking out some thrift stores soon trying to find some gems!

1 comment:

  1. Fun blog Julie, and Great thrifting tips from your friend. I've turned a lot of people on to thrift store shopping... too bad we didn't go together in Atlanta, I would have loved your fashion advice. I also get almost all my kids clothes second hand. Same tips apply... I buy out of season and a few sizes ahead (usually only if they will wear it in the next year or so, otherwise you end up messing with storing way too much stuff). I just make sure I can wash on hot :-) Oh, and I got a Talbot's mustard yellow sweater a few weeks ago at Goodwill for $1.50 :-)