Too Thrifty Chicks

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Online Finds: A Few of Our Faves

We make it no secret that we prefer to sift through thrift store racks than visit vintage or specialty stores. BUT, there are a few exceptions. We’ve had some really great luck with three online vintage stores that have quality clothes and reasonable prices. Photo Apr 05, 4 37 08 PM

Lost in Vintage: If you follow this blog, then you know this is one of our absolute faves. We did a Q&A session with Lost in Vintage owners, Heather and Bo Liles, and fell in love with not only their store but also their business ethic and wonderful personalities. Ricks wore a dress purchased from them for Easter (if you missed the post, go check it out). A few weeks ago, this gem came in the mail as a gift. It was as if the universe decided this dress was absolutely made for her. Go ahead, check out their shop on etsy, but be prepared to want every single thing! You can visit them here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/lostindrawersvintage.

The Thrifted Closet: This is a new shop with fabulous pieces dying to find new homes. Run by Tasha, this shop features hand selected pieces good for anyone who’s looking to stand out . There are soooo many  things I want from this shop, but I gotta keep my debit card in my wallet. I did purchase this sheer blue dress that I absolutely love. It’s light, flowy, and itching to make a debut at happy hour or brunch. I’m being a good girl and not buying anything else, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go treat yourself if your budget allows. Tasha created a lookbook so you can see how the items look on a real person: http://thethriftedcloset.bigcartel.com/lookbook. IMG_3907 IMG_3900

The Vintage Starfish: I was browsing Etsy one day and came across this shop. The owner’s name is Emily, and she has an eye for bringing together eclectic things: vintage clothes, glasses, and lamps are among the things currently available. While browsing the shop, I scored this fabulous romper for $8.99, which was shipped promptly with a handwritten note for a discount code for my next purchase. Keep an eye on this shop, as Emily is restocking for the summer soon! Check out Emily’s shop here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheVintageStarfish.IMG_3800 IMG_3801

We will always love our crowded, slightly disorganized thrift stores, but it’s nice to have reliable shops that can provide specific items we’re looking for. Do you have any favorite online stores? Share them with us! But if we buy anything we’re not supposed to, we’re blaming you!

Until next time,

R&R


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A Gem in Brooklyn: Rabbits

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IMG_2910Our recent trip to New York City included a lot of walking around in the wind and the cold. On one such day, we landed in the Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn and stumbled out of the elements into Rabbits, a cute vintage shop on Havemeyer Street.

The shop caught our attention IMG_2920 from across the street, partly because of the beautiful dresses hanging in the window, and partly because we knew that if the Lord loved us there would be blessed heat. Lucky for us we got to experience both.

Upon entering the shop, we were immediately impressed by how organized it is: racks of blouses and pants line one wall and racks with dresses and jackets line the other. Shoes, belts, scarves and hats are neatly displayed on tables and benches throughout the store.

The IMG_2911owner, Saori,  greeted us kindly and chatted with us as we fingered through lovely pieces she hand selected from places like Japan.  She told us about her travels to find unique items for the store, but what we loved most about her is she was never pushy about buying things.

Ricks found a pair of pants that she loved, and Saori encouraged her to try them on but never turned on the “sales speak.” I wanted to try on a hat, and IMG_2928Saori helped me figure out the best ways to position it.

If you’re IMG_2913looking for a well organized shop with beautiful pieces from places near and far, Rabbits is a great option. Saori is friendly and knowledgeable, so you won’t feel as though you’re directionless if you need help.

Keep in mind, though, this is not a thrift store, so the effort Saori put into finding these quality pieces is reflected in the prices. This isn’t a free-for-all type of place. For the vintage lovers out there, this is the type of place you can go to and be confident that you’ll find those vintage wears that  you love without having to guess at their authenticity.

When we’re in New York again, we will definitely go back to Rabbits to shop and hang out with Saori.  Fun, clean space + cool owner= TTC stamp of approval.

Let us know if you visit!


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The Cosby Sweater

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The Huxtables!

I can’t lie, I’m kind of a Cosby kid. I grew up watching The Cosby Show as a child and the fashionable Huxtable clan still holds some influence over the things that I like to wear, even to this day. Strange but true.

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Denise Huxtable, a.k.a. Lisa Bonet, killing the fashion game.

I envied the fashion prowess of Denise Huxtable (a.k.a. Lisa Bonet) and would have surely raided my dad’s closet if he had been up on Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable’s sweater game. Since my dad is more of a sweatsuits and gym socks kind of dude, opportunities to raid his closet were rare. But thanks to the thrift store, I’m living the dream.

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Dr. Huxtable, can you prescribe me two helpings of these sweaters?

Sweaters designed for women are sooo boring and as a girl with broad shoulders they fit me kind of weird too. Reese has the same problem. When I’m at the thrift store I love to find oversized sweaters because they allow me to layer — a necessity during these long winter months.  I live  for cozy knits with funky patterns, hence my decision to call them Cosby sweaters.

The Cosby Sweater: It completes me.

The Cosby Sweater: It completes me.

If you’re looking for an alternative to the boring lady sweaters head over to the men’s section and even the boys section on your next trip to the thrift store. My favorites are at least two sizes too big.

And don’t sleep on the cardigans of it all. My favorite Cosby sweater is a grandpa cardi with missing buttons in the most awkward places. I’m too lazy to put on new buttons and I think the missing ones give it the all important “character”.

The Cosby Cardi -- Make it work!

The Cosby Cardi — Make it work!

Even better, it’s starting to warm up. Chance’s are anything you’ll find is probably going to be on sale and you can stock pile for next winter.

— Ricks

What’s your favorite way to rock the Cosby sweater?


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Preparing for a thrifting adventure: 10 things to consider

We’re thrilled about the number of people who want to find alternatives to new retail. We often get questions about thrift stores and requests to go with us on thrifting trips.

So we thought we would put together 10 tips to keep in mind on a thrifting adventure.

1. Hydration:  If you haven’t hydrated properly and fueled up, thrifting is going to suck. Four to five hours in one store is a long time son! You don’t want to be cranky because your blood sugar is low and all fainty because you’re thirsty. Bring a water bottle and keep back ups in the car.PhotoGrid_1354657105890

2. Comfortable Shoes: If you’re planning to wear your 4-inch stilettos and beat your face to the GAWDS to go thrifting, please stay home….no seriously. Stay home or go to the club. Between your poor aching feet and getting face paint on clothes and possibly leave stains you will be ready to go home empty handed.

3. Time: If you need to be somewhere immediately after shopping, this adventure is not for you. For people who really have a heart for thrifting, the thrill of the hunt and the victory of the find is fun. We can, and often do, sift and thrift for hours. HOURS!!! If you’re going thrifting with a serious thrifter, drive your own car.

4. Labels: We love to find great labels in thrift stores, but we go for great finds — well-known labels or not. You can find great name brands in thrift stores, but you might have better luck in consignment stores and on eBay.

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5. Size Doesn’t Always Matter: If you are only looking for clothes in your size, you’ll probably leave the thrift store empty handed. Remember to consider the possibility of a piece and how you might incorporate it into your wardrobe, even if it isn’t your right size.

6. Endless Possibilities: If you can’t see the possibility in a piece of clothing, thrifting may not be for you. Sometimes (most times) the piece becomes great with your creativity.

7. Trying on Clothes: If you’re not comfortable with trying clothes on in front of 30-or 4o of your closest friends, this might not be for you. We dress in layers to accommodate the out-in-the-open dressing room (i.e.: no dressing room)

50% off, well organized thrift store, and too thrift chicks=two overflowing shopping carts!

50% off, well organized thrift store, and too thrift chicks=two overflowing shopping carts!

8. Commanding Space: If you’re not willing to command space or multiple shopping carts, you might need to step yo game up son! Think road rage (well not quite so mean, but you get the idea). A good offense is an even better defense.

9. Thrift? Vintage? Consignment?:Thrift? Vintage? Consignment?: One is a bargain basement free for all, one can be a reason for a retail operations to jack up their prices and another can be a mixture of both. Knowing the differences between a thrift store, vintage shop, and consignment shop, is important because they’re all very different shopping experiences and usually at very different price points. We rarely shop at the latter two. One is a bargain basement free for all, one can be a reason for a retail operations to jack up their prices and another can be a mixture of both. Knowing the differences between a thrift store, vintage shop, and consignment shop, is important because they’re all very different shopping experiences and usually at very different price points. We rarely shop at the latter two.

Our awesome friend Dion gave us our own rack for our discard pile.

Our awesome friend Dion gave us our own rack for our discard pile.

10. If you don’t like the idea of shopping with lower income people that’s your prerogative  We’re privileged to not be poor, but we don’t shun the folks who shop at thrift stores because that’s all they can afford. We’re at the thrift store for good bargains and in many cases to give back to a good cause. Plus, it’s more fun than writing a check.

Laters,

R&R


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The Thrifty Chicks are off exploring The Big Apple for a few days. Check out how our friend Erica Hilton gets in her business attire on a budget!

— R&R

Business attire is NOT cheap! Purchasing suits, slacks and blouses can really hurt your pockets, especially if you’re still a student, interning or just starting out in your career. Don’t even get me started on all the accessories you need like bags and shoes.

But the truth is, you feel as good as you look. If you want to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company one day, the time to start dressing like one is NOW! And me personally? I prefer my business wear to have a bit of a flash about it (that’s why I call it Biz Attire). No one likes a stiff suit; you look as uncomfortable to people as you feel. 

If you’re looking to add more “biz” attire to your wardrobe on a tight budget, here are my top three places where I rack up:

  1. Thrift Stores and Consignment Boutiques:…

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Man of the Moment: Raymond Metzger

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Guest Contributor: Raymond Metzger of The Dapper Diamond District 

Guest Photographer: Shoccara Marcus of Shocphoto Imagery LLC.

Some years ago I looked into my wardrobe and noticed I had way too much black. Black jackets, black shoes, black shirts, you name it, it was probably black or at least pretty dark. My reasoning?…..It was safe, black matches with everything right? Wrong. Realizing my mistake I decided to look for some great classic pieces to add to my wardrobe that would last me years to come.

Game changer
Seeing that I was in undergrad at the time, I didn’t have the resources to buy all of the items I wanted that would help insert some color and life into my wardrobe. That’s when I decided to pay a visit to the thrift store. I love a DSC_0274-editbargain just as much as the next guy and thought, “Hey, let me see what I can find.”  Now a graduate student, I still  frequent the thrift store saying “Hey, let me see what I can find.”  Since I am still on a budget,  always looking for unique pieces, and my personal style has matured, the thrift store was a great option for me then, and still is today.

Break it up

Maybe there’s too much of one color in your closet, you’re looking to change your style up a little bit, or just shopping on a budget you may just find your next favorite jacket, shirt, or who knows what at the thrift store. At times I like to put together outfits that are completely thrifted (not even realizing it sometimes), but I also love to take a thrifted piece and mix it in with some newer items for a unique look and feel.

In both of the outfits here I am rocking vintage thifted blazers that were real steals. I paired them with newer items from Zara, American Eagle, Polo and Urban Outfitters. When I head to the thrift store I usually have a hit list of what I’m looking for so I don’t go overboard. Here are a couple of rules I like to go by and some tips that may help you on your next visit.

Mixing PatternsThe Dapper Diamond District Rules:

Look around. You never know what you might find sandwiched between two items you wouldn’t be caught dead wearing. Learning to sift through the rack will help you to find that great item you’re looking for.

Quality check. Perform a quick quality check of any thrift store item that you might purchase. How is it holding up? Loose stitching? Is it damaged beyond repair? Or do you like the item with a little wear? Also check the garment care tag. What is it made out of and what brand is it? I’m certainly not all about the brand name, but it can help to give you a little history of the garment.

Mixing Patterns_4Cheap doesn’t mean you should buy it. Don’t get caught buying every reasonably priced item. It may just end up with a permanent home deep within your closet never to be worn. If you like it but you’re not sure how you might wear it, leave it. You probably will be unsure at home too.

Sizes aren’t universal. The tag on that one says small, but it looks kinda big, the tag on this one says large but looks just right. Just try it on and see how it fits.

Good Luck!

Mixing Patterns_2I would like to thank Reese and Ricks for having me here, and to you for reading. It has definitely been a pleasure.  I can’t wait to work with the Too Thrifty Chicks again, and hopefully they will be cooking as well..lol.   — R. Metzger

We’re so happy Raymond stopped by to share his style with us! If you’re wondering why he’s hoping we’re cooking, check out the Valentines’ Day post we did over at the Dapper Diamond District!


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Tidbit Tuesday:Thrift Inspiration and Sewing with Kametra

Guest Contributor: Kametra Matthews

When I was a little girl, I would go thrift shopping with my grandma every Saturday morning.  We would get the “Thrifty Nickle” (free weekly paper with classifieds) and search for which “garage sales” (what we called them down south) before heading out on Saturday mornings.  Sometimes during our trips we would see posters on utility poles with posters pointing to sales and we would just follow directions. My grandma would give me 5 bucks to buy what I wanted.  This is how I was introduced to thrift shopping.

KMM OutfitI still love, love, love thrift stores and yard sales.  I must admit, though, I have become a bit of a bougie thrifter.    When I worked in a lab for 10 years, common dress was jeans, t-shirt, sneakers, and a white lab coat. Now that I have to dress more professionally, I rely on Unique Thrift Store in Falls Church, VA.  I always walk out of this store with great labels such as Anne Taylor, Nine West and Kenneth Cole. Shopping here works out perfectly, because buying professional clothes for work is very expensive. I am able to buy shoes, clothes, and accessories, such as handbags, belts, and scarves without breaking the bank.  I’ve also bought pots, paintings, small appliances, and KMM Appliancesfurniture.  I’m a platinum member which means that on Mondays and Thursdays I get 25% off and Holidays 50%off.

Right Sized

Thrift store shopping has inspired me to learn how to sew. Many of the slacks I buy are often too long and the jeans need to be taken in at the waist.  When my seamstress broke her foot and was out for 2 months, I said, “I need to learn how to sew!”  My mother and fiancé (boyfriend at the time), took me seriously and gifted me a sewing KMM Curtainsmachine and gadgets. I took my 1st course in December and am currently doing a free online tutorial at www.mimigstyle.com. Once I get the hang of it I think I’ll love it, but its like going back to school.  I am amazed at how many people sew.  I had no idea before I was interested.  There is a huge support system for people who sew and there are often free and inexpensive classes where they can learn or improve their skills.

Thrifty Nuptials

Last month, I got engaged! Planning a wedding on a small budget in the DC metro area is going to call on all of the thrifting expertise I have been acquiring since my $5 garage sale trips with my grandmother.  From waiting until the dress goes on sale, finding locations that are big enough and that will  allow my personal caterer to bring in food, to bargaining for services and finding décor for resale, I’ll have to arrange it all.  Being economical takes work in every sense of the word and I’m excited to do the work.