Monday, October 13, 2014

Goodwill Toward Women - The Secondhand Surprise


A couple weeks ago I was all keyed up about the Secondhand Challenge, so I did what I always do when I get like this: I drove to Goodwill.

I thought I'd be there for 20 minutes.
In and out.

I found a few really cute things, but sometimes they weren't in my size, or other times, I would remember I don't need another gray sweater.

I thought, hmmmm...maybe I should just buy this outfit and use it as a giveaway for my blog homies. They might love it.

But then I felt like that would be discriminatory against all the other sizes.

Let me back up.

I've always had this weird thing about feeling bad for the underdog, even when said "underdog" isn't a living person. Even when it's less than an actual dog. When I was a kid I would sometimes wear a shirt I hated just because I didn't want its feelings to be hurt. By me. To me, they were like people-shirts. Shirt-people.

(This is getting weird.)

You might think I grew out of it, but a couple weeks ago I was at an ice cream social and every single person was getting vanilla with chocolate sauce, not even caring about the lime and raspberry sherbet sitting all woeful and drippy to the left.

Yada yada, I had the vanilla. But I'm still ashamed.

I like things to be even.
It brings me deep peace.

SO. I bought 4 outfits, Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large.

But then I bought more.

 (This was my holding rack. I whittled it down and hauled a bunch of it off to the janky fitting rooms...)


(This is what made the cut.)

So, the really bad news is, this isn't a giveaway.
But the good news is, I rounded up a bunch of rad secondhand outfits AND YOU CAN BUY THEM.
For ten bucks. (Plus $6 shipping.)

Disclosure: I can't foresee a situation where I would spend $16 on a secondhand outfit. I get it. I wish there was a way around the shipping fee. I mostly just wanted you to see there's really fun stuff to be found for SO little.

Each outfit cost $10 off the racks. And I found 90% of it in one trip to Goodwill. Just imagine the damage you could do on 1/2 off day! Or with a coupon! I'm getting all wound up and using "excited marks", as Silas calls them.

Anyway, if you're interested in one of these outfits, leave a comment telling me which one you want and if there's more than one person who wants it, I'll draw a "winner".

It's like Ebay, which means you can have this all-too-familiar convo with your husband:
You: I won that outfit!
Him: You won it? So it's free?
You: Well, no. But it's cheap!
Him: So you didn't win it. You bought it.
You: I won it. For a small fee.

This is also the right time to say that I'm specifically not telling you the brands.
Because that's the whole point: IT DOESN'T MATTER.
In some cases, you'll be crazy surprised.
And in other cases, you'll be crazy surprised. In the opposite way.

This will open your mind FOREVAH!

Also, you'll notice the sizes seem wonky. This is another Secondhand Life Lesson. When you buy secondhand, always be sure to look one size up, and one size down. Because you're mixing brands and even fashion eras (fit standards change over the years) you can't rely on just your "size".

I'll shut up now and let the people-shirts do the talking.
(Each outfit description is above the photo it describes.)

Outfit 1
Size: Medium (both pieces)
Includes: Gray cardi, ink-blue v-neck T

I'm sorry, but I can't let this do its own talking.
I have to interject and say how much I love this sweater and how perfect it would layer with almost everything you already own. Also, wear it with a scarf.


(I hope you clued in to my very high-end photo studio. Two pieces of wrinkly sheeting left-over from when we backed La Fiesta Mexicana curtains.)

TMI.
Moving on.

Outfit 2
Size: 14 (blazer) Large (cami)
Includes: White lacy camisole thingy with a mustard yellow under-layer, Red blazer that I WISH fit me because when I tried it on (I tried every piece, just to make sure the outfits "worked",) I fell deeply in love with it, making every other people-jacket in the joint burn with feelings of inadequacy.




Outfit 3
Size: XL (blazer) M (t-shirt - def more of a L than M)
Includes: Brown corduroy blazer that you will wear every day of your life, super-soft pumpkin/oatmeal striped T.



Outfit 4
Size: XXL
Includes: Loden green long cardi, gray polka-dot T, 2 wood bangles (not pictured because I forgot they were on my dresser.)



Outfit 5
Size:12 (jacket), M (t-shirt) (Again, this is sized more for a Large.)
Includes: Black/White/Multicolored tweed jacket, Gray V-neck T.
(I want to lick this outfit. I love it so much. I love all of them because that was my litmus test: Only buy it if you would wear it. But this is 100% me. I would wear it OUT.) (Don't tell the others.)




Outfit 6
Size: S (button down), M (sweatshirt) (Sweatshirt is actually a true small.)
Includes: Royal blue GINGHAM!, mint green/lace sweatshirt. BOOM.


Outfit 7
Size: S (jacket) M (t-shirt)
Includes: Rusty brown jacket, fuchsia T




Outfit 8
Size: Medium (button down), S (t-shirt) (This would be an overall Small)
Includes: Plaid button-down, gray 3/4 sleeved T



Outfit 9
Size: Small (but could totally work for a medium, too)
Includes: Big, loungy, comfy sweatshirt cape thing that I want to live in forever, tangerine striped T



Outfit10
Size: Medium
Includes: Oatmeal button down (worn as a jacket), Ron burgandy T, gold tassel necklace


Outfit 11
Size: Small
Includes: Gray jersey cardigan, orange T-shirt with oddly familiar man face (Who is this? FDR? The Wendy's guy???)

Disclosure: I have waffled back and forth 20 times on whether or not I'm keeping this for myself. Alas, you won.


Ta-Da!

By the way, this was the surprise I've been yammering around about.
Do you like it?

Do you want me to mail one of these bad boys to your house?

Tell me everything in the comments.

Love in the secondhand degree,
Shannan


ps - A reader mentioned after I gathered all this up that it's hard to find plus-sized clothing secondhand, so that's my newest challenge. Stay tuned!

92 comments:

  1. So my plus size girl clothing tip is to check out a BUNCH of stores. I also used to think it was IMPOSSIBLE for me to pull off, but I just had to look more! If you have more than one goodwill, check them all. Around here I have at least 6 goodwill stores close to me but only ONE has a very good stock of modern plus sized clothing. I am not sure if this is related to the donors near that store or if the store manager is better at getting stuff in her store or what, but they rock.

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  2. I LOVE outfit 4 and would love to buy it from you!

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  3. I love outfit 5 and outfit 8. Would buy both, if allowed. Otherwise outfit 5 is my first choice. Thank you for doing this. Brilliant!

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    1. OMW. Hate me. I had two number 8s. Which one were you thinking??

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    2. I was thinking the blue hoodie/orange and white striped shirt. I guess that would be the 2nd No. 8. Ha ha!

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  4. Oh my gosh, I love that bottom outfit so much!!

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  5. Love outfit 4! Love the green. Want it!

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  6. You must do this again?!? And again?! Because this was wonderful -- in every way possible.

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  7. I love all the outfits.This is so inspiring! I shop at Goodwill for home stuff but have been a little intimidated by the clothing. I think you have found ANOTHER natural talent (writing being the first!). Please keep the secondhand shopping posts coming!

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  8. I want 3 and personal delivery...pleeeease?

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  9. I love outfit #2! katie.baker723@gmail.com

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  10. I want that green sweater combo that would be way too big. Somebody bring baggy back!

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  11. I love outfit #6!! You're completely awesome to put all those together!!! :D mandy@ biblicalhomemaking.com

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  12. I love. the green sweater. and polka dot shirt. I think it might be snubbed tho in my closet, as I'm on the less-height-size-endowed end of the size spectrum. But LOVE IT. If I didn't need to buy my son a NEW(er) pair of shoes, because on our way to Smokey Mountains, he lost one of his only shoes out the van door at the dairy queen. To go on a HIKING TRIP. (head in hands) Deciding where to go, to get this guy back on the move! :) oh my... loving the FPFG second hand challenge! Keep showing us the goods!!

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  13. Love outfit 6!!!
    Seriously, how do you scour such awesome goods??!!

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  14. Oh! Outfit #2! That cami is amazing, and I love the red blazer!

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  15. give me number 5!!!!! and the last one. but mostly number 5!!!! I'll give you $20 just for the tshirt no lie.

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  16. I want on the list for outfit 4 please :)

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    1. & I kind of wish my name was Beth right now ;)

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  17. I would love outfit #4! This is so fun! Mcoate4@gmail.com

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  18. #9 for MommaG? Please! $$ is resdy for you!

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    1. I just had to adjust the numbers because I'm not functioning on all cylinders and had two number 8s. Your 9 is now 10, and I have you on the list for it!

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  19. Request for a winter & spring maternity pairings to be added to your plus size challenge?

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  20. I love Outfit #4! Wish the #5 T-Shirt was XL. You have such an eye!! Put me in the drawing for 4! :)

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  21. As a fellow "I only shop at Goodwill" girl, I love love love outfit 6! This is such a fabulous idea- thank you for posting :-)

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  22. #1. I'm in Florida and when we have "cold" mornings, it is always warm and sunny by 2pm...so stripping off layers is a must. Also, I just lived on the equator for like 4 winters and it means I don't have a sweater to my name. Time's ticking. Also, you're more than welcome to deliver mine by hand and then go to Disney World with me afterward (gosh, I just can't not be a creeper when I comment!)

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    1. Am I allowed to also ask to be entered for #6? I'm serious about the layers thing and this just has so many options. I'm willing to buy both if the world worked that way!

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    2. Ha!! You can be entered for as many as your pretty little heart desires!

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  23. Definitely interested in outfit #4. Can I get on the list?

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  24. #6 and #9- I love this!
    bjohnsonbailey@yahoo.com

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  25. So, ever since you presented this idea initially, I've been all gung-ho about it. Until I had to attend a black tie wedding last weekend, in which case - I did not find anything at Goodwill. I THOUGHT I found something for the cocktail attire rehearsal dinner on Thred-Up, ordered it, and it came the day before. It was 2" too big on the top. Wah wah waaaaaah. So, I panicked and bought from Ross for the cocktail dress, and wore a formal dress that I had packed away in my closet. BUT, my point is that I like the challenge, and the outfits you have here are super cute, but now I fear ordering something that won't fit. . . . Y'know? So. . . . I dunno where I'm at on this whole thing. Mostly, I think I'm just trying to learn to be stylish by whatching you do it. You're a secondhand stylist - you could totally make a business out of this! I'm watching, and learning! Also? I'm giving away secondhand stuff too. It's like thrifting from your couch!

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    1. I hear ya. I'm nervous, too, about the size thing. I'm hoping people will be gracious if things don't fit right? And then re-gift it...or donate it! We can think of it as a ministry. haha

      But seriously, yes, just take notes on outfits you like then find them where you can try them on to be sure!

      Also: Thrifting from your couch. (My dream!!!)

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    2. You know what? You're absolutely right. Why am I being such a scaredy cat? If they were all my size, my hands-down fave would be the green cardigan with the t-shirt from #5 (and OHMYWORD, ANNE VOSCAMP?!?!), but, for me, the fave is #11. Maybe we can do a time share with it if I "win"!
      and PS - for sure everyone here will be super gracious. You have awesome readers. And, yes - this would be super cool ministry! ;)

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  26. Not my size but I love #5! Great job on getting us re-inspired to thrift. We have been twice this past week and found an amazing deal on a chair that we are in the process of making over.

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  27. Okay so I'm not buying an outfit - though you have a knack - they are CUTE! But I wanted to write because even though I'm not looking to buy, I had to read this whole post and look at every outfit! Super entertaining. You are funny! Just what I needed after a rough Monday morning of getting the kiddos off to school. Better scoot, I'm "supposed" to be cleaning!! :)

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  28. I'd love #2, fingers crossed it is a bigger 14 than normal. I'm in Canada, but near the border, so you can ship to the border and not have to ship "internationally". I can't still sometimes comprehend that we are international, when it is faster for me to drive to the US than anywhere else in Canada, I still feel international should be reserved for over seas. Meh.

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  29. You amaze me!! You have come so far from the over sized men's sweat shirts and flannels.

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  30. With this post Ive got some fashion help. With cold weather in Nebraska its been capris and sweatshirts.

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  31. #8 is my top choice. I love to shop Goodwill and garage sales but unfortunately I have no talent in putting outfits together so I am forever a t-shirt and jeans girl but thanks to your shopping and style, if I'm the winner, I could just end up finally looking a bit more put together! I also love the sweater in the first photo but hard to say if the fit would be right for me. Thanks! How fun!
    - Gretchen jrise@neb.rr.com

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  32. I've lost track of what is available and what is not. And of which is the real #8. And the rules for buying more than one. :) And being a rule follower by nature that has me beginning to sweat! So I'm just going to give you my "wish" list and move along. If I can buy two, I'd love to buy #8 and #9. If I can only buy one, then I don't know what to do. They both want to live with me. I can feel it. However, a rule is a rule and if I can only buy one, then I would like #9, please. And now I feel sorry for #8. Ugh. My email is sdma04@aol.com. It's probably against the rules to post your email address on the web for everyone to see too, isn't it?? I gotta go before I break every blog shopping rule ever made!

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  33. Oh, this is so up my alley!! Put me in the hat for 6 & 11. bethbrehob@gmail.com

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  34. I would love to be put on the list for outfit #4, pretty please! And thank you :)

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  35. I need outfit 6 in my life. It's not a want (okay, it really is). But that gingham shirt should be in my closet right meow. Please and thank you!

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  36. I want #3 and of course #5. Just got a new goodwill in town and heading there tomorrow!

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  37. #3 and #5 for me as well. :) I love that you have to have balance. I totally get that! I always tear up when the underdog wins at sports. Even if I don't know the team AT ALL!

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  38. I would love to go in the draw for Outfit 4 please!

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  39. YOU.ARE.BRILLIANT.WOMAN!! oh yes!!#11 for me please.. that long cardi is droolerific!! also.. I feel bad for stuff too.. hurting all of them's feelings.. my eyes grew like saucers when I read it.. I thought.. "someone else does this too?? " ((sigh)) long losties!!

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  40. This is SO fun!! I would love to be entered for #11 and /or #8. I've never worn a t on top of a button up and am feeling quite inspired ;)

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  41. Don't forget the consignment shops! I have this insane thing for designer handbags...honestly I really don't care if anyone else recognizes the name, it's a totally for me thing. I think it's because my babysitter read Vogue magazine to me at bedtime when I was young. Plus, handbags never ever ever make you look fat. Anyway..very recently I was lamenting that I wanted (not needed, mind you) a new handbag, and wasn't going to buy one because it was a want, not a need. I make the rounds of the consignment shops regularly, and on that particular day, I happened to spy a designer bag in wonderful shape, with the dust cover inside, stuck in with all the bags you normally see. The price was crazy low, so I bought it, got it home, opened up the dust cover and found the original price tag and receipt (from Neiman Marcus, no less)! I paid less than $25 for the bag which was about 5% of what it originally cost. Yay...still very excited about my find! There are some amazing things out there, Ladies, if you just keep your eyes open!

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    1. SCORE!!
      I love it that you're a Vogue girl. (Same, back in the day!)
      Also, what is a dust cover??? (this is apparently the end of my Vogue knowledge.)

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    2. it's a silky-like drawstring bag that the handbag goes into for storage...
      to keep it from getting...dusty :)

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  42. Outfit #3 please and thank you!

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  43. #4 please. Green has been and will always be my favorite color.

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  44. On my honor and can't tell if my comment is working ... sorry if I sent it multiple times

    Tell me #2 or 5 are still available? I'll take one or both!

    Also, please make this a recurring thing. My new favorite way to shop :)

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  45. Outfit #5 makes me swoon….
    I would love to win (and not tell my hubby I'm actually buying), this outfit:)!!

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  46. I love #4. I think it is gone but I would take it if it's available! Oh, and please do this again! I love your style. Wanna come to CA and help me?

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  47. I MUST have outfit #6. I have been searching for royal gingham...and that sweater?! Yes, please. If you make it mine, I'll even save on shipping and come pick it up. How's that for thrifty, Eh?

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  48. I would love #6 or #11. This is lovely and so much fun! This could be a really fun little business for you! What a cool idea. Thank you for doing this!

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  49. OK, second comment of the day - I was inspired to go to Goodwill. I found 3 tops and 3 scarves, but no jacket or sweater toppers….it is harder than it looks - wish you could go with me ;)

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  50. I believe I own that lovely long green sweater. I've had it for YEARS. I love it. It is comfy and a great color and a student once told me I looked like I was wearing my pajamas in it. :) Outfit 1 or Outfit 10 please.

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  51. any chance that the blazer in #3 fits more like a L than an XL?
    if so, count me in.
    orangezebra76@aol.com

    xo

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  52. I would love outfit #5! I'm hoping the XL runs really small, since I'm normally a M/L, but I thinks I'll take the risk. ;)
    What a great idea!!

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  54. How do more people not want #1? Benedict would totally notice me in that sweater. Also I'm open to bartering, too. A special off the books Sugar Box sent your way. Yeah, I said it. This? Is a fabulous idea. You are brilliant.

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  55. The Ron burgundy shirt made me laugh so hard. That is all. Don't enter me in to any of them because I am the size of a small child. So if you ever do children's clothes giveaways, I will enter.

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    1. Oh, and PS. My mom said I used to talk to the crumbs on my plate and called them the crumb people. So I completely relate to the affinity for being kind and compassionate to inanimate objects.

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  57. I love everything about this blog post and you and I really want outfit #6!! Do this again pretty please!!

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  58. Put me in the running for #6. Let's hope Silas likes the name Mel. ;) This is super fun. Looks styled by FPFG. Love!!

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  59. I would like #2 for a friend. And please put me in the drawing for #6 please. This was so much fun. You are like a genius. Good job. Each outfit was adorable

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  60. I love #3 and #5..Would love some clothes for me. I never buy anything for me with all of our medical bills we are ssifting through. You have a way with putting things together. Beautiful.

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  61. I happen to be heading to my local Salvation Army thrift today (I've always bought the majority of my wardrobe second hand) so thank you for all the inspiration and creative mix and matches - hopefully I can step up my game today. The thrill of the hunt is unbeatable. Also, thanks for sneaking in the little "Ron" before "burgundy" - I bust out a good LOL.

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  62. Too much fun!! I want #2 and #5 !! Put my name in the hat?! Love this, Shannan.

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  63. If u are still taking entries, put me down for #11 too. Pretty please and thank you

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  64. This is so fun! You could have a little side business doing this on the internet or even in real life. You've got the eye!

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  65. OHHH My!! Torn between 1 and 6! So love your style Shannan!

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  66. Love #4!!! Please include me in the drawing for it. Love the green and the polka dots!! This is fun!

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  67. I'd love Outfit 6! Staunchly believing that someday fall will come to California...

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  68. So fun! I'd love to buy outfit #6...blue gingham & mint sweater. LOVE it!!! :)

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  69. I am not putting in for any of the outfits but I have the pumpkin/oatmeal T in outfit 3 and I love it! It just works with so many things and always looks great!

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  70. Totally get your sympathy for clothes/ice cream flavors, etc! I can remember being a little girl and feeling bad if I slighted one of my stuffed animals! And awesome idea for the thrift extravaganza! High five! And now I must go to Goodwill...again...even though I was there twice this weekend...in the same one no less... I may have issues.

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  71. I love how you pair things up! I'm one of those larger gals who often has a hard time finding (cute, quality) clothes that fit me at Goodwill. But I keep trying! And I do find things for my kids on occasion.

    The oddly familiar man face looks to me like Andy Richter ... Conan O'brien's sidekick. Maybe?

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