Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Secondhand Wardrobe Challenge


There are lots of things that turn my crank. Here are a few:
Sleeping in.
Riotous fiction.
Compelling non-fiction.
Salsa.
Every fruit except bananas.
All the Mexican food in the world.
Even Taco Bell.
Because it totally counts.
Naps.
Magazines. (This is dinner tonight.)
Tunes (right now it's Lecrae.)
Vinegars.
Brines.
Pie.
Hammocks. (How do you say this word? Because I was laughed straight out of AR when I said it.)

I could go on.

When it comes to the internets and the blogs, there are two kinds of posts that I will always, always stop to read. 1) Those list posts where you say what you're wearing/doing/wishing/etc...right now and 2) Outfit posts.

Come on, show me what you're wearing. I don't know why, but I love it.
I was raised on Teen Magazine and the Supermodels. Somewhere along the way, something stuck and now I remain intrigued by personal style, especially if it's thrifty. And comfy.

Here are some of my recent wears:

Old Navy eyelet (2010), cut-offs, my impulse-buy vest, and Noonday wrap bracelet.



Target boyfriend cut-offs (2013), House of Belonging T, the love-of-my-life J Crew gingham, Farmgirl Paints cuff, flea market cuff, Krafty Kash necklace, road-trip hair (not pictured.)

**Repeat after me: Gingham is a neutral. "Gingham is a neutral!"**
Thank you.

Vintage dress, Target necklace (2005), bracelet from my sister (2007), TJ Maxx wedges (2005)


Patched-up AE jeans (2009), consignment Arizona striped T, J Crew belt, 31 Bits necklace, Noonday bag, FP cuff, Old Navy peep-toe flats (2008).




I bought this dress at the jankiest Salvation Army earlier this summer. I think it's a Target brand. Not something I would usually go for. But, it was made of t-shirt knit...and black...and not a micro-mini (I'm extremely prudish about skirt length.)

Jacket: Marshalls (2014), rummage sale coin necklace, shell necklace from Silas, TJ Maxx sandals (2011)

Believe it or not, there's a moral to this story.
A weird one.

I'm a bit of a clothes horse. I don't necessarily buy often, but I enjoy thinking about what works together (sometimes). It's something I like, and it can be a source of frustration, along the lines of, "It's a new season and I want ALL NEW THINGS."

I jumped ship a couple years ago and began buying the kids' stuff almost exclusively secondhand, and though I've slowly slid into more of that for myself, I was never ready to take the plunge and commit to buying only secondhand for moi.

I have lots of excuses, namely that it's almost impossible to find certain things that fit me in stores, thanks to my gangly proportions.

But the truth is, I have enough jeans. I don't need more, anyway.
I have enough everything.

I consistently wear and re-wear the same things, year after year. They're what I'm most comfortable in and what I'm drawn to, yet like an ill-trained pup, I keep adding new things to my closet, often things I don't really even love.

I'm thinking long and hard about stewarding our resources wisely, and I'm lying to myself if I think this isn't an area that could use some tweaking.

So, for the next six months, I hereby do solemnly vow to only buy secondhand.

I've gotten a taste of how much fun it is to put things together I might not ordinarily grab in a retail store. It forces the ol' noggin a bit, and often, I like the outcome even better. 

Does anyone else want to dive in with me?
It could be fun.


71 comments:

  1. From one clothes horse to another--I like your style. Second-hand is completely awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am DEEPLY, DEEPLY troubled by this post. what does this mean for a future outlet mall excursion? Do factory stores count as second-hand? The restaurant formerly known as the Sahara is begging to know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Remember: Jesus Forgives. Everyone falls off the wagon once and I won't tell! ;)

      Delete
    2. I seriously think you could count the Old Navy outlet as second-hand because, seriously, it's a second run and you will probably have to pick it up OFF the floor to try it on. You'll also probably be the 10,000 person to try it on, which, in my opinion, makes it secondhand. Not that my opinion matters, but the bossy-pants in me feels free to give it. You're welcome.

      Delete
  3. Shannan, I love your wardrobe posts! I love all your posts, but these and your decorating posts are such treats amidst the more profound ones.

    Ever since my hubby was laid off from his job and started his own business almost 6 years ago now, I've shopped exclusively Goodwill or garage sales. Truth is, I have enough clothes to last the rest of my life, but since I travel and speak and teach at writers conferences, I do like to change it up with something new once in a while. Just this past week, I scored big at 2 Wichita Goodwill stores. Here's what I got for $48.08...2 Coldwater Creek jackets, 10 shirts (including J.Jill, Gap, and other great name brands), 2 tanks, and 1 necklace. I'll now put 5-10 things I'm tired of from my closet in our HOA garage sale and maybe make back half of the money I spent at Goodwill.

    Yes, you have to spend a lot of time weeding through things that DON'T work, and yes, sometimes there's nothing there that works at all. But once in a while you hit the jackpot! And that makes the hunt all the more fun!

    Now, honestly, I think I would have trouble spending more than $4 for any one piece of clothing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I cannot express my gratitude to you for sharing all your finds.
      It thrills me!
      Good job, Deb!

      Delete
  4. You are such a fashionista!! LOVE the black dress and jacket!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Already doing this, sista! Be careful. Once you go Goodwill, you'll never go back! I think it's the thrill of the hunt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I'm deep in the throes of Goodwill. Just making it official. ;)

      Delete
  6. Your outfits are always cute and I have purchased a few things secondhand for myself...but I'm a plus sized gal and I find that much of what's at the thrift stores in my size is too "grandma-ish" (is that even a word?) for me - but I'm up for the challenge and will be sure and share any new finds with you!

    Cheryl @ The Creative Me and My McG

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I so get it! Some things would probably be impossible for me to find...hopefully I won't need them in the next 6 months. :) But just trying is a start. Keep me posted!

      Delete
  7. You are so cute and photogenicky.
    I buy as much second-hand as much as possible for my brood for me too. Overall, I'm committed to not purchasing clothes that don't evoke a strong [and positive] emotional reaction from me. I wear what I like, even if it means that I look like a grandma somedays. [Hey, someday I'll be a grandma and I'll need to know how to dress.] Also, I refuse to purchase ANY-GARMENT-THING at the "suggested retail price." I'd sooner drink yesterday's coffee than pay full-price for clothes and shoes.



    Honesty Check: I drink yesterday's coffee about twice a week. I'm grandma-like, remember? And grandmas are frugal!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Love this! Just this past week I have fallen in love all over with my ratty old wardrobe just by re-accessorizing some things. We have a great new thrift shop in Bremen too. One question: does it blow the whole project to pot if someone buys clothes FOR you, because my b-day is coming up ;)? If not, I'm in. ....and one suggestion: www.thredup.com. Haven't used it yet, but heard it's pretty great. P.S. you won't be seeing any posts of me in my outfits during this experiment. I'm just getting used to selfie head shots.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We need your artfully clad bod in the game!
      You always look cute. I'm always taking mental notes. :)
      And yes, gifts don't count. I'm not THAT mean or irrational.

      Delete
  9. Ham-mock. Not hammick. Also, for secondhand clothes.. look into Thredup!! I get most of my clothes from there now and most of my 2-year-old's clothes. Plus, you can send in gently used name brand items that you acquired--secondhand or not--as you/the kids outgrow them and get credits. Then you also get referral credits. Totally worth it :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. love this! you look so cute. i've been thinking on more than one occasion lately how i need to start buying second hand clothes - or at least going to look, and not thinking i can only buy new. so hmmm

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, lady. You could ROCK some thrift-store or consignment duds. Try it with us! You don't have to go exclusively secondhand, but like you said, could mix a few in here and there. :)

      Delete
  11. Yes. Yes. I'm in. I almost wasn't, because, hello, Christmas money!!! But no. I have wanted to do something like this for a long time, and since we're saving for a trip, no time like the present.

    Secondhand til March!

    I think we need a catchy slogan, but I'm not sure that's it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I haven't been to a mall in years and to think of going in one now feels...weird. I got into the habit of only shopping thrift stores when my first child was born...in an effort to be able to stay at home with him. That was ten years ago, and I can honestly say that I wouldn't have it any other way. Even if we could afford to shop new, I totally love buying second hand. There is a certain thrill that comes from not knowing what you will come across and of each visit finding something different. Aside from underclothes, all of my clothing and shoes are thrifted. The littles' clothes are all thrifted - shoes for them are usually new as it's hard to find kids shoes a lot of the time. I cannot tell you how much money it has saved us. I bought every bit of their summer & back to school clothes (for 2 boys) for under $50 this year. I love finding deals on vintage clothes on Ebay and Etsy as well. If you sew, don't discredit items you find and love that might be too big - you can always alter them to your size. (<--I guess you'd say I'm kind of a thrif-fanatic with that one - hahaha!) I can't wait to hear how it works for you. Please keep us posted. :)

    Love and light,
    Jessica

    ReplyDelete
  13. this sentence - I'm thinking long and hard about stewarding our resources wisely, and I'm lying to myself if I think this isn't an area that could use some tweaking. i think i penned it myself. no, it's just want i've been thinking and not wanting to put in ink or say out loud, because then i will have to do something about it. : / once again, your words and thoughts have hit home with me. i think i'm in . . . ; )

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm in! Most of my clothes come from our local consignment shop, Second Glance, already, but I confess to enjoying the odd Saturday roaming the aisles of Nordstrom's and coveting all the pretty, pretty clothes, scarves, bags and shoes...
    However- my running shoes MUST be new every 300-350 miles, so I shant be giving that up...

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm in! I love GW. My downfall is TJ Maxx for workout clothes. GW just doesn't have good workout stuff. I'll give it a go though. Love a thrifty challenge. And salsa. Amen.

    ReplyDelete
  16. How do you day hammock? I'm from so indiana so I'm curious if it is different :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. wish I could sit down at a coffee shop at chat with you about this. especially since WE ARE IN THE SAME FLIPPING STATE. but instead I'll just say that with my new job, where I actually make money, I have decide I can now afford to shop at anthropologie and gap and all these expensive places because I have the money blah blah blah. but I've been feeling lately that I am not stewarding my resources well and I could be saving sooo much money right now. I don't want to just quit shopping because I really enjoy the actual act of shopping and I gave up spending for the first 4 months of the year, but this seems like suuuuch a perfect challenge and is the best of both worlds. PLUS I am living in a really wealthy area until December and I bet the thrift stores are gold mines for good clothes. count me in

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Lordy, have I ever been there.
      Just keep tracking with me, k? We'll see where God takes us.
      (It'll be good...)

      ps - My friend Kim is at IWU today! She could be my proxy??

      Delete
  18. good on you!!
    that's a super challenge!
    i wish second hand shopping was better where we live.
    alas, it is not.
    but i will cheer you all on!
    a couple of years ago i did a no spending challenge for about 9 months.
    nothing that wasn't 'needed'.
    so no new clothes, no new knick knacks, nothing.
    just food and household cleaners and exciting things like that.
    it was tough... but very good.
    it was teaching me to make smarter decisions regarding stewardship.
    and i really truly think it helped me.
    i still make a few impulse buys now and then... but when i do spend a little bit more, i've definitely thought it out for a while.
    have fun... and please do share the journey along the way!! :)
    (p.s. i love lists in blog posts too... why don't i do it more???)

    ReplyDelete
  19. How is it that you look so good in aviator sunglasses. I tried and they ate up my whole face.

    Thanks for always inspiring & encouraging us to better things. Life is brighter with a Shannan in it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. I am so in. Except for shoes. I can't find shoes. Ever. (Good news! My daughter works at a shoe store where we all get 40% off. Boo-yah!) Just last week I tried to talk my whole family into this idea. Reactions were varied...tears, laughter, blank stares, rolling eyeballs. I've been a GW fashionista since forever and it thrills me to pull together an under $10 outfit and have compliments all the day long! Your pictures are so adorable, girl. This post is a whole nother kind of inspiration from FPFG!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I mean, shoes are hard.
      I don't know that I've ever had a good, secondhand shoe score...

      Delete
  21. I am totally onboard starting next Monday...after I hit outlet mall on Saturday. I diet the same way;).

    ReplyDelete
  22. I'm up for it! I do love our local outlet mall, but I've been wanting to focus more on buying second-hand. I don't consider myself a super proficient second hand shopper, but I'm willing to try. I have those friends who are always, "I found J. Crew jeans with the tags in my size!" Not me. But maybe I'm just not committed enough! Or maybe I'm shopping at the wrong thrift stores. Either way, I'm going to try to make a change this fall : )

    ReplyDelete
  23. You are completely adorable!!! It's hard for me to second hand shop with three little boys in tow when it takes time to scavenger through the racks, but this rummer I really wanted a couple new pieces to help me feel fresh and fun at a conference, so I had a girlfriend watch my boys so I could go thrifting and I LOVED it!! Found a blazer, 2 tops, awesome earrings and fun necklace for $25. I'm totally with you! It'd be super fun to have a second-hand clothing link up. (I've never written a fashion post, but I might be inspired and daring enough to join you if you did!)

    ReplyDelete
  24. It does sound fun! I'm right there with you!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Love this. I'm moving to England and I've gone through my closet five time, yep five, to get it down to the size of a British closet. It's so hard. But, I realize how many things I have in my closet that I keep for "just in case" and it never happens. Very nice, beautiful clothes that all have some weird thing wrong with them that I don't like. So, I have given away and consigned so many clothes it makes me sick to my stomach, not that I'm giving them away but because of all the money I spent on them. yuck. But in the process I've put together so many new outfits I wouldn't have thought about otherwise. That's the redemption.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I've gone through seasons of only buying thrift store clothing, and I've learned a few things. I have to be disciplined enough to not just buy something because it's a good deal or an expensive brand. That makes me end up with a whole lot of nothing I really want to wear. I now peruse blogs, pinterest, catalogs for outfit ideas, make a list of needs or wants and try to stick to that list when shopping. Also, if I do find something unique that I really do love at the thrift store (or something I already have) I type in a similar description in pinterest and get lots of ideas for outfits. I do like GAP outlet for cute shirts and jeans. They do 50% off the store fairly often. I love thrifting and sale shopping but I also want to be a good steward of our resources. Thanks for this post. I always think you look fabulous-in style yet unique. Perfect!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So much good advice here!
      I often feel the urge to grab up ALL the great deals.
      My friends usually reap the benefits. :)

      Delete
  27. No, I never, never, ever find anything I can wear that looks good on me in secondhand shops. But you look fabulous!
    And it's hammick down here in SC. You need to buy one from Pawley's Island Hammock Shop to get the real deal. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Oh my goodness. This post comes on the heals of the day I've just spent an hour at the mall finding shirts to go with pants I've had for a year because we FINALLY have the money to do it! I just finished Interrupted (and 7 a couple of months ago) and it's doing a number on my heart. Now I'm feeling so CONVICTED! Six months of strictly thrifting??? Really? I'm so bad at fashon already. Are we supposed to post pics? This could truly be comic relief for all you fashion-y gals. *cringe* I guess I'm in (for the love!)! :[

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Listen. DO NOT feel guilty or bad about your shirt spree! Sounds like fun. And hard-earned.
      We can't turn this into a "thing", you know? It's a process. There are seasons. Etc...
      (Wow, that was profound.) :)
      I'm liking the idea of a link-up and photos...we'll see if I can put my dusty "organized" hat on and give it a whirl!

      Delete
  29. good on ye . nope for me - I'm a cheapskate and don't buy many clothes. I was happy to buy 3 new t-shirts in Wal-Mart yesterday for $3 each. I don't look cute in much - I struggle with wanting to even be seen in public so getting clothes that make me feel good about myself is pretty important and already a struggle -can't imagine restricting it to just thrift store clothes! spending hours in a thrift store looking at clothes and then not finding anything that makes me feel good about myself does not sound like a good idea to me! :( just keeping' it real for all you gangly types. ;) but hey - it sounds like a great thing for you to do!!!

    ReplyDelete
  30. The eyelet! I need it.

    I snatched up three rad Good Will dresses the other day for nine bones total. THRILL!!! I'm forever with you, sister.

    ReplyDelete
  31. the thing is, i don't like the word hammock, so i never say it.
    also, GINGHAM IS A NEUTRAL. forever.

    ReplyDelete
  32. i am loving that last outfit!!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I've been exclusively buying secondhand for close to 10 years. The only store bought stuff in my closet is from gifts. Welcome to the pool, the water is just fine! :)

    ReplyDelete
  34. I hate shopping. But I do have a thing for Converse. And all shirts Star Wars.
    Hammock = Ham-Muck or Ham-Mick, depending on how fast or how country it comes out.

    ReplyDelete
  35. At first glance of your home page from my phone it appeared you had a new post up. That first pick looks like a tree with a leg sticking out in a manner that could make one question your prudishness towards mini's. ;) Pretty funny! Try it!!!

    ReplyDelete
  36. *That first pic. Picture. What ever. Stupid auto-correct!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I'm in! I find contemporary sizes/styles more reliably at consignment shops. I do like the thrill of the hunt, but I have to get used to not running out to Marshalls to buy something I need to wear that day. Second-hand shopping is slow-clothes, like slow-food. I need to plan ahead!

    I say HAM-mick. My neighbor from Texas says ham-MOCK. They make me seasick though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Slow-clothes. YES! A million times yes.
      By the by, you need to read Slow Church. It's a must!
      There's a link somewhere in this FPFG land. :)

      Delete
  38. Um YES! Olivia and I are die hards. Thrifters, that is. ;) if you ever want to thrift in Dayton when your back in the Phill area, shoot me a message and I will share all my favorites and let you know which ones do and don't have dressing rooms. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  39. You MUST try this penne recipe too: http://wearealreadythere.blogspot.com/2014/08/csa-2014-week-5_11.html.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Ok, I'm in. I think… I'm reluctantly in. I'll give it a shot! I can do this. I think I can, I think I can!

    I love the idea of a link up thing. It would be so much fun to see what everyone finds!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Love me some Goodwill for clothes! Some of my favorite pieces have come from there! I too like to see what people are wearing... I'm always mining for ideas on how to pep up my wardrobe! Oh and in VA we say ham- mick... or at least I do...!

    ReplyDelete
  42. I love shopping second hand. We grew up doing that with my Grandma. Thank YOU for featuring our writer necklace. I love the outfit that you paired it with. Looks good on you! Have a great week. -Kashoan

    ReplyDelete
  43. This sounds like fun! Love your style. If you know your size in various brands I totally recommend: thredup.com. It is essentially thrifting online...some of the clothes have never been worn, the rest is simply gently used. Lots of good deals and finds :).

    ReplyDelete
  44. No. Because there's always the Kohls 80-90% off rack! I'm a sucker for it. When it's cute, new, my size and less than goodwill, I'm IN.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I'm in too - I get clothes from thrift shops, garage sales, major sales at Kohls Target my fave Old Navy etc., especially since jeans may fit today and not tomorrow and then again in a week or a month, and maybe never. Funny that.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Yep! For the last two years I've challenged myself to not by any new clothes. Last year I made it to Sept. This year I'm still going and hoping to make the whole year. This year I've bought a few thrifted things but even then...I don't really need much of anything. Great challenge to embark upon lady--well done!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Have you heard of Savers? So, I have seven goodwills and two savers that we could hit within a four hour time span with three starbucks stops. So, you should probably visit.

    ReplyDelete
  48. I'm in (except for undergarments). I'm terrible at putting outfits together, though. I have also used thredup and was super pleased. I had a twenty dollar free offer from someone's blog, so I was able to get gap jeans and a cute gap top and all I had to pay was a couple dollars for shipping. The fun part--it came packaged it a darling green polkadot box. Maybe thredup would let you offer something like that on your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  49. This sounds like so much fun! I am going out on Sunday to run some errands, and was thinking of stopping at the mall to hunt for some fall basics...you've inspired me to check out our local Goodwill and Community Aid stores instead! We recently moved (okay, like 6+ months ago...whatevs, I've been busy) and I haven't been able to check them out yet. This is the weekend! Wish me luck :)

    ReplyDelete
  50. Here's the deal. This year I did a shopping fast (all clothes for me or the boys) from about January to early April. It was transforming. It changed the way I saw my closet and it greatly affected the way I spent my free Friday afternoons when my boys go to my MIL's. (Don't hate me for that last part.) After that happened, my husband dropped the budget bomb on me. For the first time in 11 years of marriage I was going to have to pay attention to what I was spending money on. Ridiculous, I know. (For anyone posting a comment after me who reads this and is horrified by what I'm saying, I'm completely kidding. I speak sarcasm to those who speak it best.) I wasn't frivolous before but I wasn't exactly frugal.
    Anyway, all I'm saying is, I don't buy much for myself anymore, and like you, I wear my stuff for a million and a half years. BUT. I never shop second-hand because I don't ever imagine I'll find anything good at Goodwill and the posh second hand stores cost more than I could score something on clearance at JCrew. I think I need to give the Goodwill a chance. (And you can file this comment under, "all the useless ramblings my readers tell me when they don't answer my actual question".)

    ReplyDelete
  51. Oh, and P.S. I keep forgetting how much I LOVE olive and black together until I see it on someone else.

    ReplyDelete
  52. I buy only thrift! I am already in...go ahead dive!!

    ReplyDelete
  53. I wasn't going to join your six-month challenge, but then I went shopping and found NOTHING that moved me. Now I'm all in. for six months. Wow. This could get real.

    And, I might cheat. I'm just saying that upfront. This isn't a six-month vow. This is a challenge. And like all challenges, I like to challenge the challenge when my commitment to the challenge is challenged by an amazing clearance-rack deal.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Yes! I like to shop second-hand for the kids and buy nothing for myself...until nothing fits right or feels right, and I buy a bunch of new stuff for the first time in years. I actually need new things for this fall/winter, so this will be a good challenge. We moved about 6 months ago, and we've been sloooooowly furnishing and decorating our home with second-hand items. It's taken a while, but we've had plenty of time to find things we truly like! I've never done a link-up before, but it sounds fun :)
    Also, for peeps who decide to purge the closets whilst shopping the thrift stores...my church is challenging people to "redeem the clutter." Sell all the junk you don't need, and give the money to your church. Very Acts-y!

    ReplyDelete
  55. I get most of my kids' clothes secondhand--unless they need something right now. You know, how all of the sudden the church pants are all 3 inches short, when I swear they fit just last week? Yeah that. But I have been better about buying cute clothes secondhand that are too big, so now we go down and check the "Too Big Bin" before going shopping.
    I buy maybe about 1/2 my clothes secondhand. I had a bad experience buying exercise clothes secondhand (2 words: ITCHY PANTS --and yes, they had been washed in hot water prior to wearing!), so ever since then I buy my exercise stuff new. I have good luck with tops. I have yet to find a skirt or dress that works for me from a thrift store, but we're in a fairly small town, so there's not much selection.
    Sometimes I buy something secondhand that I don't end up wearing, so I give it back after 3 or 4 months. I consider it a rental at that point. :)

    ReplyDelete
  56. Thank you so much for sharing this blog. I am very interesting in your post because I'm a second hand seller. So I have a plan to visit your soon. I hope you can update your blog for more details. Keep on sharing!

    Get more information and tips here : http://www.boex-news.com/.

    ReplyDelete