Playing for Keeps

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Can you imagine exactly what first life this top had before I found it? Was it a softball team? or maybe a bowling league?? Either way, it’s epic and I’m glad to have it, even if I’m in no way, shape or form a housewife.

..though I’m surely not one to be played with.

 

Top: Thrifted

Denim: Good American

Patch Adams

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To my surprise, I get genuine compliments when I were this sweater. I never expect to. The point of buying it, in my mind, was the fact that it’s potentially hideous. And I love ugly sweaters well after the holiday parties.

I like to imagine sometime in the mid 90s, an aunt Marg from Grand Rapids made this gem for her 12 year old niece and it stayed in that girl’s closet, only to remerge when Auntie come to visit. Because, minus a few frayed patches, it’s still well preseved.

Sweater: thrifted (obviously)

Denim: Good American

Earrings: H&M

Glasses: EyeBuyDirect

New Year, Same Clothes, Fresh Outlook

 

2018 IS HERE!

As I   mentioned before, my December resolution was to stay away from my usual retail therapy, and go back to the drawing board with everything I  own already. December is a busy time for social gatherings, so coming up with something different while also being festive was pretty daunting at first. The point of it all is that I WON. I spent zero dollars on myself, had a few weak moments but in the end,  I managed to secure the appropriate attire for the right occasions whilst saving time, money and quite honestly, being happier for it.

 

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Coat, Crop top: Asos Headwrap: WrapLife, Denim: Good American, Shades: Amazon

Kelis Show- Dec 5th

Sing it with me, you know the words: I LOVE a good costume. Of course, I’d go to a Kelis “Bossy” Rogers show wearing something inspired, because again, costumes, and also wasn’t 2003 just great in terms of black women fashions? It’s underestimated.

I actually dug out this top which was nicely folded summer storage.


 

 

 

 

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Headwrap: WrapLife, Choker: Asos, Blazer: thrifted

 

 

 

 

 

Dru Hill Concert/Holiday Parties 

MORE SHOWS IN 2018!!

In 2017,  I saw Chance the Rapper, Kendrick Lamar, Coldplay, Big Freedia, Lizzo, Mos Def, Vintage Trouble, Kamasi Washington and allllllll the drag shows. I’m surely forgetting a few, but I hope to get lost in the music and dance again in the new year. This was a combination of general 90s inspo and the movie Clueless. I thrifted this blazer right after telling myself I  was totally over blazers but Cher (as I like to call her) is the best Ralph Lauren ‘esuqe’ piece I’ve ever own, that isn’t even FROM RL. Had to. Needed it. Cher made like 3 appearances in December.

 


 

 

 

 

Headwrap and negligee: thrifted, earrings: H&M, Top: American Apparel, Denim: Good American

Bey Ball- Dec 22nd

When I  said December was social, I wasn’t kidding. This is the most eccentric club kid (light) look that I’ve probably ever been in. I’m still nerdy and a bit preppy, but who can resist wearing a sexy VINTAGE negligee to a dance party SOLEY CATERED TO BEYONCÉ STANS??? I was called Cher Horowitz 5 times that night.  I felt ridiculous in the absolute best way.

 

 

 


 

 

 

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Fur and Dress: Asos, Headwrap and pearls: thrifted, 

NYE

I  came up with this the day of, which I’m still patting myself on the back for. Who hasn’t had a kanipshin over the 12 hours preceding New Years?! It’s so damn nerving to worry about what to where and how to wear it as your last outing of the year PLUS frigid Minnesota weather. Cute rarely fits with comfortable when it comes to NYE. But I let color lead the way and I followed it all the way to these speakers where I most definitely took the photo that will be blown up and presented at my eulogy. I  generally don’t include selfies here, but the color story in the last photo does the outfit justice.


 

So in my conclusion of ‘No Buy December’, my need to hold on to a piece for a better occasion actually worked in my favor. Because I had so many things I had overlooked, or certain pieces I  weren’t sure were for the ‘right’ time or place, I was able to surprise myself with something cool and new. It also allowed me to think outside of my usuals and add something more. I felt my most eccentric in the past month, and my most creative. I  can’t wait to try it again. I’d like to make a point to do it every other month. Maybe March..after I  pursue a few online stores..but just a (few) quick peeks..

Royalty, Royalty, Royalty

MPLS

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Photos by Darin Kamnetz Photography

 

This is the perfect example of having so much in you closet, you don’t even realize some pieces TOTALLY BELONG TOGETHER.

I thrifted (YES thrifted) this gorgeous silk jacket over the summer, having no clue what to do with it. Rule # 1: Don’t just buy something when you aren’t sure has a purpose for you. Thinking outside of the box is great when moving outside of your clothing comfort, but if you end up purchasing things without complimenting what you already have, you’ll end up with what I call a “vomit closet”: A bunch of randos that just spill out of your closet/shelf/wardrobe, no rhyme or reason. Gross. And messy.

Anyway, when I bought this jacket, I had no idea how well it matched this headwrap, one I  wear fairly often. Combine them, along with a little sheer sex appeal, and viola! An event ready outfit without much effort, my favorite.

I was so pleased that I tried it again over the next weekend to similar results-results I  cannot wait to show you in the next post 😉

 

Headwrap: Thrifted

Sheer Bodysuit: ASOS

Jacket: Arianna Papaell

Jeans: Good American

Closet Shopping

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I’ve been MIA over here for a little while, and I’m sorry about that. If you know me outside of the blog, you haven’t missed me-I’ve kind of been all over (more about that soon). But I’m going to be honest with you: I’ve fell into a bit of a style rut. Everyone has at some point, right? When I looked inside myself for a culprit, I realized it came from the pressure of having something *new* to show. And you’re probably thinking “NEW”, V?? This is a blog about thrifting. WTF. But still. When you’re constantly looking for quirky, one of a kind thrift finds, how is that different from any other shopping addiction?

So imagine what happened next: I look at my now exploding closet and have no idea what to wear. When I need inspiration for really anything in my life, I don’t go shopping (that’s how I got into this LITERAL mess) I go exploring. I go to the museum. I watch an art house film. I listen to jazz..and then I get to work.

Back home, I reorganized my closet and did one of my oldies but goodies: closet shopping.

Ever done this before? It’s essentially playing dress up in your closet for new clothing combinations. I have so much I haven’t worn yet, I’m ASHAMED. Really awesome stuff! And I’m not alone- everyone does this, thinking they’ll keep something for a special occasion or whatever. But honestly, every day is cool enough for me to go style crazy, and that’s just what I intend to do.

For the rest of this month, and into January, I’ve made a promise to myself to put my wallet down and push my limits with what I’ve got. I may even surprise myself and extend it! (fingers crossed).

 

Jumpsuit: Big Mac (Thrifted)

Velvet choker: Asos

“Baby I’m a Star” Pin: CherrymoonPress

“Feelings” Pin: Nora McInerny

Shoes: Doc Martens

 

 

 

Sergent Slay aka Kween Ring Master

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Let me start off by saying combat boots were unavailable at the time of this photo, but a viable, if not a completely, necessary option.

This fantastic, thrifted jacket was brand new and from The Limited, of ALL places. When on earth did they become so showy?? If I can’t say it in every post, it’s not from the heart, but as you know I. LOVE. A. GOOD. THEME. Can Can Wonderland was the place, and the Twin Cities Black Film Festival fashion show was the time.

It was hard to stand out with such stylist crowd, and in such a fever dream venue, but I looked the part, the only way I knew how: the Most.

Jacket: The Limited

Jeans: H&M

Earrings: Anne Klein

Shoes: Asos

‘Horsies’ and Daydreams

Between the Autumn chill of the mornings, and the humid swell of the afternoons, I managed bare shoulders and long sleeves, all at once, for more than a few occasions. I honestly can’t remember a seasonal transition this scattered. I really have to think on my toes before heading out the door.

Over the weekend, I told myself I’d make a practical purchase for some new jeans (considering most of my closet is thrifted, it’s quite a struggle for me to pay full price). But jeans are hard for me, like most, and I find that H&M’s new line of high waist denim works. Lots of stretch in the thighs and a nice hug around the waist. Styles are a little limiting, but I was cool with this $30 pair.

Pulled them together with a silk pajama shirt and my favorite bag right now. You can take the girl out of the thrift shop..

ps: I’ve recently become a fan of the ‘horse girls’. You know the type, right? The girls in elementary school who wore sweaters with galloping horses stitched on them, spoke in a whisper, requested all media have horses in themor on them,  usually a crier during movie day.  I’ve always been fascinated with that type of person, and I wonder-to this day-who those people become. Odd request, but if you know any former ‘horsies’ (my new word for them), send them my way so I can talk about my ironic faux love of horses. 🐴

 

Shades, Pajama Top and Bag: thrifted

Jeans: H&M

Shoes: indigo rd.

 

 

Dog Days

Summer

Ah, late summer.

We have but only a few fleeting weeks left, and then it’s back to boots, denim and chunky sweaters for me. In the meantime, I’ll continue my ban on almost any pants. This pair is just light and airy enough. And since I found them while thrifting, I’m a little upset that I can’t find more like them. The bodysuit is just a backless swimsuit. It’s always nice to be prepared in case someone invites you to an impromptu pool party in the ‘burbs. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have, right?

::ADDITIONAL NEWS:: A coulee weeks ago, I was a guest on the radio show DesignHERLife with the wonderful Felicia Perry! We talked about self care, IG life vs real life AND thrifting (of course). You can listen to my segment here. ❤

 

Shoes and Swimsuit: Amazon

Pants: Arc’s Value Village

Denim On Denim

I’m not upset with the denim on denim trend happening right now. In fact…I’ve always loved it in an absurd way. From it’s resurgence in acid wash of the mid eighties, all the way down to the stunning atrocity that was Britney and Justin’s coordinating denim some 15 award shows ago. What I love about denim is that the ‘less is more’ construct could not be more fitting for it. It’s so basic and yet so overpowering, that you have to be careful. Or not! And for that, it has all my interest right about now.

To overdue denim is easy, sure. Canadian Tuxedos are easy to do on accident. Just find a great denim jacket, and see how creative you HAVE to be when adding it with pants. But a great loophole for me has been to rarely wear (actual) pants. I’ve paired my jacket with maxi skirts and this fun bodysuit.

I like to make my denim count in more creative ways, like scarves or shoes. Wearing it in unexpected places is much more fun. Still timely, but a fun take on a current trend.

Head Wrap – The Wrap Life

Jacket – Lucky Brand

Body Suit – H&M

Shoes – Converse

Rice Bag handmade purse – Arc’s Value Village

 

Eighties

I’ve been on an 80s revival kick since summer began. As I’ve said time and time again, my looks almost always derive from pop culture of the past..I guess you could say vintage, but I tend to stay north of the 1970s (can the 90s be vintage yet? The answer is no because I’m not ready, who would say that-are you calling me OLD???)

Anyway.. the 1980s have been calling me…and what part of the 80s inspired this pretty minimalist outfit? None other than the gorgeous and varying feminine characters of School Daze and She’s Gotta Have It (two of my favorite Spike Lee Joints).

Although I won’t get too film geek here, Spike Lee has been one of my favorite filmmakers since high school. I’ve always loved his strong female leads (even if the men were hella problematic, but moving on). Spike has had superb cinematic visions that I adore to this day. But my favorite thing about both movies were the unapologetically sexy, black women.

 

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School Daze (1988)

I LOVED seeing natural hair in varying lengths, shapes, styles, colors and TEXTURES. I’ve been waiting or a reason to cut my big fro, and Rachel (middle) was my inspo. Also, where can I find that sweater..? Or any of the more androgynous looks from this movie??

 

mmm

She’s Gotta Have It (1986)

 

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She’s Gotta Have It (1986)

I’m also a big fan of what I  call”the farmer’s market dress”, which is essentially a dress you can wear sneakers or flat sandals with, but also dress up, adding wedges for a happy hour somewhere. Nola Darling, the main in She’s Gotta Have It, has an impeccable way of wearing the farmers market dress (among many many many other OMG looks, but we don’t have all day and night-that’s a novel for another time). Her mens shirts and slip on dresses wooed me. I wanted the look of an easy, breezy, sexy summer where I walk around aimlessly smelling flowers, even though I’m running around the city from one engagement to another..

::sigh:: adulting..but a girl can dream!

I love color, but I check for silhouette first. I’m top heavy, with narrow hips, so skater dresses are my go-to, usually. This dress isn’t my usual silhouette, but I couldn’t resist. Ralph L. tends not to disappoint no matter what.

Also #WonderWoman.

 

Dress: Ralph Lauren

Shades: Style Encore