Thursday, September 25, 2014

Oh, Yes, I Did (A Secondhand Challenge Update)

Remember when I casually threw out the idea to only buy secondhand clothing for 6 months?
Well, that was two months ago.

Good news: We're 2 months down!
Bad news: I'm terrible about updating and keeping a routine and maintaining enthusiasm and all related skill-sets. Which means you probably forgot about the whole thing 1.5 months ago.

To make it up to you, I have a surprise.

But because I don't want you to get too spoiled by my intermittent on-top-of-it-ness, I'm making you wait another day. Or two.

But to make that up to you, I'm showing you one of my most outrageous secondhand purchases TO DATE.

I bought an old man's pajama shirt.
For fifty cents.

And then I wore it like it was a thing.

Confession: I'd been eyeing this bad boy old fart for a month or so. But was too skittish to fork over $4. When I stumbled upon the Blue Tag 50-cent sale, I had no choice. No choice at all.

I went out around the town in this get-up.
It felt...a tiny bit scandalous.
I think a Mennonite girl gave me a bad look...IN GOODWILL OF ALL PLACES.

I paired it with The Most Versatile Necklace In the Universe from 31 Bits, my gray tank that covers my bum, my banged-up crops, and the boots I bought back in July when I was in Arkansas.

(Boot details: They're from and I snapped 'em up because 1) I had a gift-card and 2) I got a sweet discount and 3) shopping with friends has that effect.)

Ohmyword I feel like I could segue right into such a boss of a lecture right now, but I'll wait...*

If memory serves me, the boots are the last thing I bought new.
Which means I'm technically 3 months down, suckas!!!!
But now I'm just bragging and alienating everyone.

Fine, fine. Still just two months.
Settle down.

Farmgirl Paints cuff

I dunno.
It always feels right to crop my head off at least one of the shots.

Also, I never, ever, ever, ever, ever know what to do with my arms in these pictures. Ever.
You would think I'd have matured from "hands on hips".


We walked to church that night for dinner (that happens on Wednesdays) and I stood by one of the walls while Cory took some pics.

(I'm realizing in this moment that this was the day I started to put make-up on and then stopped half-way through. I do that a lot. I also stop 1/10 of the way through sometimes.)

Cory scowled at this shot and said, "Nope. This looks totally staged."
To which I replied, "I'm wearing geezer pajamas and posing in them in front of our neighborhood church in broad daylight."

So, the secret's out: I'm not really walking in this picture. It's totally staged.

I won't even pretend this picture taking thing is weird anymore.

I mean, it's a little weird.
But you already know how I feel about outfit pics.
I dig 'em.

I just wanted to remind you that buying secondhand is the perfect opportunity to dress outside the box. And I don't mean that in a, "Skip the fitting room and act European" sort of way.

But look at things twice. Have some fun.
Would I ever have bought this shirt at Target or Old Navy? Heck no.
I wouldn't even buy it for $4, remember?

I know most people won't be clamoring for a pajama shirt. I know you might not "get" this one. It's okay! I liked it, it's soft, and it cost me two quarters. 

When the price is right, take a leap. Try something new.
Work it.
Own it.
Act like it's a thing and people will assume you know what you're doing. (Except for that one Mennonite girl. And maybe you.)

I hope some of you'ns are still with me.
It'd feel chilly and sad on my own.

And to my "unnamed friend" who confessed a recent Target transgression, there is grace and mercy here, dear sister. Lap it up. Swim in its sea. Don't even think about acting like this means you're benched. You can check out any time you like BUT YOU CAN NEVER LEAVE.

At least not for four more months.

*Which reminds me of my earlier-postponed lecture: Don't go to normal stores right now. Just don't. You're asking for trouble, lady. I waltzed into Target today and was alllllmost lured over to some intriguing jackets, but I turned on my heel and marched to the other end of the store. No looking back. Last month, some friends and I had time to kill and they suggested TJ Maxx. I turned them down cold. It's just too painful, that's all. We can't be expected to stay strong in the face of Mossimo.

Lecture over.
(Be honest, does these pajamas make me look bossy???)

Talk soon.
Much love.

ps - I'm planning a mid-point link-up. Stay tuned. And please don't feel like you have to take a certain kind of picture to play along. Use your phone. Take a selfie. Enlist a kid. Crop off your head like I do. Take a picture of a stack of finds on your table. Do what you want. I'm just nosy and nothing geeks me out lately like a secondhand steal.
pss - That was not a subtle endorsement to steal from a secondhand store.
psss - Don't forget, big secondhand surprise coming...soon? (who can know for sure???)


  1. It looks wonderful on you and for fifty cents you can't go wrong. Not sure I could pull it off though. Just love your blog. Cheers

  2. You look fantastic. Totally NYFW. Sarah Jessica Parker.

  3. I love everything about this!!! You make me smile in all the right ways! I just found a pair of jcrew navy chinos at the perfect length for my short self for $1.29 on a green tag sale. Woot! I'm in for the long haul!

  4. I am so in. The very FIRST day I started this thrift-only craziness, I was with my husband in Banana Republic. He had a gift card from his birthday LAST YEAR (I mean, who hangs on to a BR gift card for a YEAR?). He offered to buy me something with it. I had to say NO. For the love! It was a hard moment, but I made it through.

  5. Oh, and meant to say, before I saw your pic, I would have said no one in their right mind should wear an old man pajama top out in public as fashion. But I defer to your stellar style judgment, because clearly you rock the old man pajama shirt.

  6. I've been a silent reader of yours for awhile now, but have to comment on this - I love it! I started the challenge after your first post and so far, so good. It really has made me pause, think and be a bit more creative. Plus, I ventured into Goodwill and "hello - amazing finds"! Someone, ehhhmmm, may have walked out with a slightly oversized bag. (and the old man pajama shirt is totally you) :-)

  7. as long as you don't smell like an old geezer ;)
    you totally rock the pj shirt; great job keeping on track!
    what does Ruby think of all this?

    1. This is all Ruby has known for years now.
      It's just recently that Mama's on board for herself. :)

  8. FPFG, you could where whatever you wanted and still look as cute as a button - but I'm not diggin' the pajama top. Most people couldn't pull that off...

  9. Wait and see if you started a new trend.........I actually like the shirt.
    Last week I got two tops at a resale store for $12. One was a LLBean and the other a Ralph Lauren. My first ever resale store clothes purchase. Why not, right.

  10. Totally saw an army jacket and thought of you but I couldn't pull it off like you! I can't wait for you to see our Big Kid's little sister's outfit I got ENTIRELY at Goodwill. Maybe we should do a link up of Secondhand Outfit posts! :) Ha! Happy Thursday!

    1. That's EXACTLY the kind of link-up we're doing! Get ready. :)

  11. The perfect plaid shirt rode around in my cart at Target for about 20 minutes, and then I remembered this whole thing. Sorry plaid shirt, ride's over, get out. We parted as friends. I think you're right though, I can't possibly go back there now. What if we lock eyes again?

    I dig the pjs. If you like it and Cory will still walk next to you, I call that a win. And that bracelet combo? Love.

  12. Um...I actually have one of my daddy's old pajama tops in my pj drawer. I used to sleep in it. It's been a while, but I have to say I wouldn't step outside in one. ;) You can pull anything off, but not me!

  13. I am a full time thriftier...and I love that you rock it!!

  14. I had a pair of my Granddad's flannel pj bottoms that I wore around the house until they, sadly, had to be recycled into dust rags. Your walking photo may be staged but it could totally pass for a NY City urban photo shoot - old man's shirt and all. And, random fact, I once got ran over by a book cart in Goodwill. Yeah, good times...

  15. This is why we should be friends! If what I'm wearing, head to toe, costs over 10 bucks total I feel like an imposter.

  16. That Mennonite woman who looked at you askance? She did so probably because she recognized your shirt as her deceased husband's old pajamas.

  17. Confession---I forgot and we went in a Bass Pro outlet store on vacation. I bought 2 tops for $3 each. Getting back on track because it's a fun (&frugal) challenge.

  18. Shannan, I am cracking up over here! You ARE the boss of that old geezer PJ shirt!! Love this post and love reading your writing. I bet it was close to 5 O'clock there too ;)

  19. I LOVE THIS!!!! I did my own similar experiment last year, and this is just the thing i need to kick my butt into gear again :) btw, i love your line about mossimo...hilarious. I was literally trying on jackets at target yesterday.

  20. you are adorable, this is was just a fun post to read this in the midst of a dreary pnw fall morning.

  21. You are perfectly adorable, and I like a lot of what you wear. I think I always like how you wear what you wear. I do not like the pajama shirt and would not wear it outside the walls of my house even if someone paid me $50. BUT I have no fashion sense and am even now wearing a t-shirt from 1998 and yoga pants.

    1. The REAL question is...would you give me a dirty look if you saw me like this at a Goodwill store??

    2. To Brandee Shafer: Wait. T-shirts from 1998 are "vintage" now. And thus in fashion. So your senses are all fine.

      From: the girl in a torn sweatshirt and leggings.

  22. Well this is better than that time I told you I thought you had hung a DIY toilet seat mirror in your foyer.....
    Big smiley face here
    You pull them both off in a way us regular people can't!! Love it.

  23. I am an avid thrift shopper here in Arkansas... love the challenge! What part of Arkansas did you visit?

  24. Where is the tank from? love the long back!

  25. Also, I love taking fancy things and putting them with the more rustic. I would say the necklace is fancy and the jeans rustic. The shirt is a little of both but really more fancy and then the boots are rustic. You look cute!

  26. Ok, so I luuurrrrrve this! Espec cause our budget is so tight that I simply have no choice but to buy secondhand. I seriously almost bought a jacket from theGap for $10 that you woulda drooled over. It had its orig Gap price tag on it for $89.50. Whaaaaaat. But the color wasn't just right on me. It fit like a glove, but I live in a land where we wear jackets maybe five days a stinkin year. So I passed and grabbed a coral maxi skirt instead. Score!

  27. I fully support you making this a thing! I love the pattern of the shirt. Here's my idea though. . .i looked at the shirt on you for a few seconds, and suddenly my brain said DARTS!! Do you know what i mean? If not, google "how to sew darts" and see what you think. I think the manly pj collar and print would be enhanced by a contrast with a slightly more feminine fit. . .which is where the darts come in. Just a little fitted through the torso. . .i think it would rock even harder!

    1. Girls. Listen.
      Darts don't belong on Grandpa's pajamas! Bite your tongues!
      The goal is not to make the pajama look more "regular"...nor is the goal to put time and effort into a 50 cent pajama! The goal is to work its boxy shape! Because we can! And it's fun! And funny!
      Boxy top/skinny jeans. BAM. :)


  28. Today, I was complaining about my high heels - one of the pad thingies came off the heel and so the nail goes clack clack everytime I walk, super annoying and probably dangerous, since I keep nearly slipping (apparently it has to do with driving while wearing heels, which wears this down). Mentioning this to someone and she said "oh yeah, I never remember to keep the spare paddy thing the shoe company gives you". I'm thinking "spare paddy thing? Really? I've never gotten those!!". Then... it dawns on me... I paid $3 for my heels at a thrift store. In fact, I've rarely bought new shoes so no wonder I don't get spare, well, anything!
    I buy new black pants the other day, which I kinda needed for a work trip, and then proceeded to forget to pack more clothes so wore them all 3 days. Oops. So fell off the wagon and into a whole other problem :)

  29. ohmyword, you make me laugh out loud like no one else!!!
    i followed your blog ages and ages ago {which when i say that phrase out loud, i always say "ay-ches and ay-ches ago"--like, as in h's and h's ago...but it never occurred to me how difficult it would be to phonetically spell that out without looking like you have pains--aches and aches ago? no.}
    i digress....
    i followed your blog ages and ages {h's and h's} ago and fell off the wagon when we moved and had no computer for a bit {pre-smart-phone era...what did we ever do??}
    soooooooo glad to have found you again recently.
    you're funny. and REAL. and REAL funny. and sadly, there is a dearth of all three.
    you're fab.

  30. also, i think there needs to be a mid-term buy-in option for those of us just hearing about the challenge.
    just sayin'.

    1. Oh, you're SO golden. You're in, baby. That previous comment made my NIGHT.

  31. As of October 1, I'm in. I'm a regular thrifter, but I'll commit to only thrifting. We're also doing our first Whole30 in October, too… and we have a four-month-old baby girl that's changing up her sleep patterns in the least fun way possible. I hope I don't have a breakdown. I'll keep you posted :)

  32. i so totally, utterly adore you, but that old man p.j. top? eeeek! was alternately cracking up and cringing [is it just me, or do other writers of that word, too, fear their readers will read it as rhyming with 'singing'-?] while reading this post - - sooo many photos of you in that thing - - i kept waiting for it to end and perhaps glimpse your cute self once again, at long last, in some jaunty gingham. *sigh* maybe next time.. xoxo

    1. This cracked me up.
      Who knew you guys would be so skeeved out by Gramps!
      Makes me want to wear it again. I feel sorry for the ol' man!

  33. listen. i don't hate it. you do you, girl. and who is this unnamed friend?? is it me? did i tell you i bought something at target? because i did. like the first week. but if it makes you feel any better, i had already planned on buying that jacket before i agreed to the challenge. so i can't be held responsible.

  34. Having spent over 30 years living on the fringe of an Amish community that Mennonite comment is cracking me up. Hahaha! I can only imagine...

    Would love to hear Cory's thoughts on the geezer getup. Did he love it? Hate it? Is he fighting you for a chance to wear it? ;)

    Even in gramps pjs -- beautiful as always.

  35. I can see it becoming a trend. I'm down for some grandpa PJs, just sayin.

  36. Clothes have wayyyyy too much power over us! I like that you are getting in the drivers seat and breaking this tyrant to pieces and becoming queen of your closet and style. Love your boldness. The more we don't give something place in our hearts, the more we are in control of what is priority in our lives - good job.

  37. I practically live in thrift stores and now it's hard to enjoy a "real" store. I'm totally loving the pajama top - and your wit, as usual.

  38. Oh Shannan, this is only one of the reasons I read your blog every day!! You are so loveably real! and fun! as well as faithful and true. (and I'm a committed thrift store shopper-- only mostly dishes, not clothes as much). thanks thanks.

  39. I spent 5 hours in a mall last Saturday with four giddy teenagers and while my eyes did a lot of shopping, I kept thinking that Shannan would be so proud because my wallet did not spend a dime on me. My wallet DID buy two homecoming dresses and sparkly shoes. I couldn't convince them to go second hand to prom. "Come on girls, Molly Ringwald rocked her hand-me-down do-it-yourself dress in Pretty in Pink!" Um, no thanks, Mom.

  40. I love you. Also, the images of you in the gramps shirt over and over did the same thing to me that the three vintage floral pics over your sofa did to me. Eye twitch.

    1. I'm pleased to see my subtlety resonated with so many of you!


  41. I am doing a similar thing but I'm not purchasing or second hand ..for 9 months. 2 months down still going strong.

    For the past year, after reading several great blogs on minimalist living, I have whittled my closet down to lovely essentials
    and basics. I have been able to live in the mindset that I HAVE ENOUGH, and it is so liberating to have such a scaled down wardrobe. I love it.

    It wasn't easy. I hung on to clothes thinking I might wear them for this occasion or that occasion. I was a chronic thrift sale shopper/ garage sale/ any old sale...but what I have now is' s enough.

    I love having an intentional closet. I dress up my skinny jeans with a simple leather belt, throw on a v neck grey t shirt, a pair of flats or clogs and I'm good to go.

    the blogs I followed to get to this point are The Gardener's Cottage. Reading My Tea Leaves and I just recently found this great blog on capsule wardrobes!, she just has 37 pieces for each season. The blog is called Un-Fancy.

    love the way you styled the pj top too!

    Kristy B

  42. For some reason your posts disappeared from my email inbox (what's up with that, Yahoo?), so I'm just now seeing this, but I'm joining in. Just be aware that even thrift shopping can lead to too much stuff (but it was only $2!!).

    Ask me how I know. :-)

  43. A couple of friends and I checked out The Clothes Mentor....awesome consignment store (it's a chain, like Plato's Closet but for people in their 30's & 40's). I was very pleased with the selection and prices. I bought an awesome Old Navy green and white gingham button down for $5 ! I have lost 25 lbs over the last year which has led me to need new, smaller clothes. I love adding to my wardrobe this way and if I loose more weight, I'm not out a lot of money.

  44. You crack me up! You look beautiful no matter what you wear. That being said, I lean toward the grandmaish anyway so I think I need to stay away from the elderly clothing.

  45. I may have just wrote the longest comment ever - did it truly disappear?


  46. I just wanted to say,

    Lady, the funniest part of this whole post, made me snort out loud in the early hours, was your response to Cory while he was taking photos. Touche!

    Now since I have a track record of writing enormously long comments, just bear with me, I don't comment often because it would eat up too much of your page.

    I wanted to tell you I teared up in your Chevy Traverse ad. Gah! What is wrong with me? I am not a full time dab at my eyes kinda woman. Was it the shiny car? The marvelous filming skills? I think that a huge lump sat in my throat since you mentioned Calvin's doctor had a good report. That kid! I pray for that kid. Keep us updated.

    What in the heck about your these big dreams you shall share with stranger friends at Camp Create but you haven't shared with your best buds here. Oh wait, does this blog go out into the entire world? You should probably use discretion? Not write ninety five million words in a comment? Egads! Someone should post some rules here, or at least a common courtesy guidelines. You just remember, I'm your biggest cheerleader - I'm throwing pom pom prayers of gratitude for you while driving, vacuuming the floor, and bathing stinky kids. Your dreams? They are in you for a reason. You can do anything (Woman, you wear a pajama shirt!)

    I'd also like to ask about your family, like the one outside of your immediate circle. What happened to me just being a gentle reader, to full time inquirer? I'm sorry! I can't help it. Keep in mind we have had snow here already and my babies scream all night, there just ought to be well intended lunacy in the works. While I'm busy being crazy, I'll be blunt, I'd kind of like to holiday (or vacation as you southerners say) at your parent's place. That light in those photos, that crazy pretty Ohio light and relax your bones kind of photos you boast - I'll trade you ice, snow, and wind.

    And lastly, where's your danged book? I'd like a good read. :)

    Here's to salsa, books that are so good you rub them against your cheek, your beautiful children and friendship across the miles --- hoping today is a happy one!

    1. Well, this blessed me so hard this morning.
      Just, truly.
      Thank you for crying at the Chevy video! hahahaaa
      I know sponsored posts bug people so it's fun when readers LIKE them. :)
      You should totally vacay at my parents' place. It's Thah best.
      I need to make an update on my "book" (it's still theoretical, ya know)...don't I???
      Happy Saturday, C.
      Thanks for the LUV.

  47. Those boots!!! Never heard of country outfitters. Off to check them out!

  48. for the record, i actually came back to check to see if you'd responded to me.
    and you did.
    you said i'm in for the "buy-in"...

    we need updates on this asap.
    get on it already ;)

    you're the bestest.

  49. So, I'm new to your blog and I LOVE IT! I found you by clicking on that super cute purple sweater/navy gingham pinterest photo. I love your desire to obey your/our Lord and move from DREAM HOUSE. OH. MY. WORD. You will have your reward for certain sure! (Although I know that's not why you moved, it's just a beautiful side benefit of obedience. He loves to bless!) Your design style is lovely and your outfit put-together-skills are delightful. I need to get outside of the box with my clothes. I have this insecurity that stems back from the days when things needed to match. Now, I'm not sure if I'm not matching correctly. Too many colors/patterns going on? I feel like I "just missed" the look I was going for and everyone else seems to rock it perfectly. So, I'm learning from your Goodwill posts, although the one I wanted to comment on WASN'T ACCEPTING NEW COMMENTS! What's up with that? Blog-slighted, I was. :) Happy Day!