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Pop of purple

March 29, 2013

As I mentioned in my last post, Katy and I went on a thrifting adventure a few weeks ago. After much deliberation about the area of town to hit, we opted for Sandy Springs. Our path included B&R Thrift Store, Rag-o-Rama, and Goodwill.

I was impressed with B&R. It’s set up similar to a Goodwill, except clothes are arranged by size instead of color. I walked away with a cute Calvin Klein blazer for $10 (no photo yet). I struck out at Rag-o-Rama, but found a purple Banana Republic blouse for $5 and this purple Ralph Lauren skirt for about $5.

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Shirt: Kohl’s (I think)
Skirt: Ralph Lauren via Goodwill
Tights: Target
Boots: Payless (I think)
Necklace: Plato’s Closet

A successful thrifting trip. And I think I got the shopping bug out of my system for now!

Casual Monday

March 4, 2013

Maybe it’s the thoughts of spring, but for the first time in a while I’ve been trying to clean out my closet and rebuild a bit. So many pieces go unworn or simply aren’t working for me anymore.

Over the weekend I went on a small spree at Ross and Marshall’s, where I walked away with three new tops, a tank top, and a dress. I actually picked out three additional tops at Ross that I liked, but ended up putting them back. I was amazed at my luck after striking out completely the week before at TJ Maxx, Goodwill, Kohl’s, AND JCPenny.

I particularly love this white lace Anne Klein shirt.

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white lace top: Anne Klein via Ross
black long-sleeve shirt: Target
jeans: Old Navy
shoes: TOMS

Here, I paired it with a long-sleeve black shirt, but I can’t wait to wear it sleeveless with a tank top underneath. After a couple more cold days, the weather is supposed to be beautiful and spring-like later this week. Hello backyard cookouts!

I think I also have a little spring fever this week because it’s spring break for the school where I work. I’m enjoying some quiet time to catch up on work and dress more casually than usual. And I’m even taking a couple vacation days at the end of the week to celebrate the weather, plus a thrifting day with Katy (who now lives in Atlanta!). Stay tuned to find out how it goes!

I Wear Your Grandad’s Clothes

February 20, 2013

Today’s New York Times article on hip-hop/rap and Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” made me realize that, somehow, we haven’t talked about this chart-topping song that’s quickly becoming my 2013 pop anthem (in case you were curious, “Call Me Maybe” was 2012’s).

One part I think we can all get behind:

They be like, “Oh, that Gucci – that’s hella tight.”
I’m like, “Yo – that’s fifty dollars for a T-shirt.”

What will the prevalence of this song do for thrift shops everywhere? What’s your favorite line? Is your local thrift shop running out of zebra flannel jammies?

Blue Lace Dress

February 19, 2013

For Christmas, I received a generous supply of Target gift cards that I obviously enjoyed using. I actually found this adorable (and incredibly comfortable) blue lace dress on the clearance rack.

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Everything but the belt is from Target. (Belt from TJ Maxx)

I probably should have removed the cardigan so you could see the dress better, but it was pretty chilly out. I actually wore a new gray peacoat (also from Target) over the outfit while outside. But don’t worry, I’m sure the blue dress will continue to make appearances as the weather warms up this spring!

A Sierra Trading Post (Post)

February 11, 2013

After a year in and out of physical therapy with back issues, I decided in December I was finally able to up my running again, and am now training for my first half marathon. Assuming back then that I’d be doing some running in the cold (though that has barely happened), I decided to do a little research and invest in some winter items made more for running than my long-sleeve tees from high school Student Government and Christmas 5Ks.

Normally I buy much of my workout gear at Target because it’s affordable and, to me, performs fine and lasts a while. However, I’d decided maybe I should up the ante if things were going to get more use.

My husband has been a Sierra Trading Post shopper for years. I had never really shopped there, knowing only that he bought clothes there and always seemed to think he’d gotten a good deal.

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New ski clothes! If only it were colder and my schedule would clear up for a trip.

Sierra Trading Post has a unique personality to me. Its inventory is varied and its prices are great, and it seems confident in its ability to give you a deal. But then it’s also like an elementary school classmate who would give you her chocolate milk every day at lunch if you would just take the bus home with her one time. If you add something to your cart and let it sit, they will sometimes send an extra discount code to lure you into making the purchase. Even without that, if you sign up for their emails, they send discounts codes and links for 30-40% off about every other day.

In my running-themed order, I ended up getting a long-sleeve shirt, neck gaiter, running tights, socks and vest for a total of $73. It hasn’t been as cold as I anticipated, but I’ve gotten to wear everything except the gaiter and it’s all performed well. I’ve since gone back to STP for ski gear, scoring a $345 jacket for $90 and pants for $45. (Accompanying photo originally taken for my mom’s entertainment, but you can enjoy as well.) So far I’ve only shopped for active and outerwear, but the selection goes beyond those categories.

It’s worth signing up for their emails and checking the site anytime you’re making a purchase where you’re not married to a certain piece (such as, I need new running shoes, but am not set on a style or color). You will get a lot of emails but, any time you want to place an order, the deals will be waiting for you.

Where have you gotten the best deal on workout gear or outerwear?

Exciting news

February 5, 2013

Note: Nope, I am not pregnant. Funny thing about getting married is that everyone assumes any news you and your husband could possible have would be that you are expecting. But no. The Lucey family will remain just three for the time being (myself, Eric and Telly, our cat). But we are moving!

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Eric got a job in Atlanta so we’ll be moving down to Georgia at the end of February. I am THRILLED to be moving closer to my family and friends — and Eric is thrilled to be in SEC country!

I’m also excited to finally have a home to decorate. We’re renting a townhouse and have a ton more space than we have now so I’m looking forward to delving in to Pinterest and trying my hand at interior decorating. Something that goes hand and hand with that is the fact I’m super excited to find new thrift shops down in ATL!

I’m going to miss a few thrift stores up in D.C., but I am sure that Atlanta has ton of new places I can explore. In the beginning, I will be focusing mainly on housewares. And once I get a job, I will start looking for clothes (let’s see how long I can have self-control). I’m on the hunt for furniture pieces — mostly small tables, chairs, accent pieces — and of course various items like photo frames, vases and trays. I wish I had the ambition to find an old dresser or coffee table and refinish it. Maybe one day.

It’ll be nice to explore thrift stores because, as I mentioned above, I’ll be unemployed. Saving money is definitely high on the list of things we’re trying to do until I get a full-time position. But thanks to a lower cost of living, I can still hit up thrift stores and not waste away all of our savings.

So ATL peoples: What are your favorite thrift shops in the area? Is one Goodwill better than the other?

Something Old, Something New

January 15, 2013

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve said anything here, for a number of reasons — one of the main ones being that last December I got engaged and in July I got married. The whole thing was really, truly, extremely fun. It wasn’t all thrifty, but we did a decent job sticking to what was a modest budget according to the wedding industry. But today I am here to talk about the pinnacle fashion choice for many women: the wedding dress.

Last January, on a recommendation from my sister-in-law, I visited New Natalie’s in Atlanta to look at dresses. She bought her dress there in 2007 and told me it was a warehouse-style kind of place where you could browse racks of dresses. I liked the sound of that – I had already called a couple boutiques and promptly been given rules about how many people I could bring and how long my appointment was. So I went to New Natalie’s randomly after work on a Thursday, canceled the other appointments I’d made and arranged to come back with others that weekend.

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This place is not fancy. Its hot pink facade faded years ago, and upon walking in you feel immediately transported to a 1970s-era department store. (I should say it has since moved to a new location, so this may have changed, but I sort of hope it hasn’t.)

The first room of NN’s has mannequins dressed for their nuptials along with several racks of prom and quince dresses. Past the rainbow rows of polyester and ruffles are several rooms of bridal dresses organized by style and size. Unlike most boutiques, you can actually walk in and browse dresses on your own (though someone will help you with trying them on). Also, when you say you want to stay under $1,000, they don’t laugh or send you to an “outlet.”

My understanding is that most bridal boutiques have a single platform with a three-way mirror. New Natalie’s has one giant platform that fits about five brides, with rows of benches out front for observers to watch all the brides. The stage is carpeted with well-worn turquoise berber and lined with full-length mirrors. Maybe it was because I brought my mom and multiple friends, so a lot of the crowd was there for me, but the public viewing didn’t bother me. (Plus, watching others try their dresses on is like a live “Say Yes to the Dress.”)

pockets

One pocket held a handkerchief, but I didn’t end up needing it.

I tried on six dresses, narrowed to two and then bought “the dress” in one afternoon. I’m indecisive by nature, so I was not keen on introducing too many options in this decision. I knew I could love a million dresses because I love a million dresses every time I go shopping. My dress was unintentionally the least expensive I tried on, but looked the best (in quality and fit). I ended up spending less than my budget, even including tax and alterations. My dress didn’t have a lot of embellishments, which may have kept the cost down, but it did have pockets!

One thing I loved about the cost and style was it left room to accessorize. My talented mother-in-law added lace from my mom’s veil to the sash. My shoes and veil were both affordable (shoes from DSW and veil from Ruelala) which gave me room to buy me beautiful diamond earrings (that I get to wear again). When I put on the whole get-up, I felt great and had a blast getting married and dancing in it all night. (Didn’t even switch to flats – the heels were comfortable enough to make it all evening. The adrenaline probably helped.)

veil

Wearing a veil is like being a prop comic. Clearly Jonathan is amused.

I don’t know that most brides realize there are affordable, quality dresses out there that don’t have to come from a big box store. The “it only happens once” mentality is almost inescapable, which doesn’t help when trying to stay to make a rational decision about something you will only use once. If I’m to learn anything from recent television ads, a lot of women get engaged around the holidays. Newly-minted fiances, don’t think you have to walk down the aisle in a garbage bag or settle for something sub-par to keep from blowing a month’s salary on a dress.

I know Atlanta has at least a couple other options for affordable, quality gowns at Atlanta Bridal Outlet and Le Dress, and I’m sure there are options in your area where you’re paying for a beautiful dress but not for superfluous ambience.

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