Too Thrifty Chicks

Think.Thrift.Create


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A Thrifty Birthday + Give Away: The Too Thrifty Chicks Blog Turns 1!

Hi Gang!

We’re coming at you really quick to ask, “Do you know what today is?” It’s TTC’s birthday! We’re officially one today!!! happybirthdayGIF

On this day last year, this blog began — a few days after our very first thrifting adventure when we rode around Maryland suburbs on an overcast day looking for Columbus Day bargains at every Value Village we could get to. We spent hours — seriously like 5 plus hours — going through every rack with a fine tooth comb. By the time we came up for air and Indian food a friendship was born. A few days later, this blog was born. We never imagined this blog would become what it is. We were both simply looking for a creative outlet to share our writing and adventures. But through this blog, we’ve met cool people, gotten great encouragement, and deepened our offline bond.

To celebrate, we went out for Indian food and a little thrifting to celebrate. When you get a chance, we hope you’ll hit up the racks of your local thrift store in our honor.

We also decided we wanted to show our appreciation for one of our most loyal followers. Seriously, this lady comments on every posts and shares them regularly on her Facebook page. Everybody put your hands together and show TOSHA some much deserved love!

beyonce

She’ll receive this studded top from Reese’s personal collection, and a pair of handmade

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Everybody else, stay tuned. More give aways in November and more fun and adventures to come in this new year!

1043877_10101575920175405_815990422_n— 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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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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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.


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Finding Hidden Gems on eBay

Guest Contributor: Avery Watkins, Jr.

eBay is a vast site full of useless stuff.  Stuff that won’t match your style. Things that will be a waste of money. But if you look photo 2 (4)closely, you will find a true gem. I get a thrill from finding great things on eBay, but that’s not my main reason for using it. I find shopping for clothes on eBay easier than going to the thrift store, because I don’t always have good luck finding men’s clothing at thrift stores. I’m patient and don’t mind waiting for things, so I use my computer skills to search for exactly what I want on eBay. Most times, I’m looking for specific things and searching on eBay makes it easier to find.

With all that said, shopping on eBay is an art and there are things to keep in mind.

1. Know what you want.  As I said, there is a lot of stuff on eBay. You can type in one term and get thousands of results. If you know what you want, it helps you refine the search.  If not, you will waste time looking at stuff from all over the world for all genders that have nothing to do with your interests

2. Know your size margin of error. In other words, be ready to buy a little big or small, depending on the look you are going for and be ready to call your tailor.  Some clothes are used just like a thrift store and some may have already been tailored, shrunken, etc. Never assume the cut and  size will fit you like something you already have in your closet.

3. Reading is fundamental:.  Because you can’t try the item on or smell it or see it, you have to pay extra attention to the details in the item description. Just because it shows you a picture of a great shirt/blouse/blazer you have been looking for,  doesn’t mean they’re selling you that.  You need to read to make sure they aren’t just selling you the sewing print or some buttons (lol). Spend time reading the description AND check the sellers ratings. People don’t hesitate to let you know a seller is good or bad.

4. Know your price. eBay has two pricing structures: “buy it now” and “bidding.” Buy it now means you pay the fixed price that is shown and you get the item. Bidding means you and anyone else can submit a price offer for an item, which can lead to a bidding war. Knowing how much you want to pay is really important when it comes to bidding. Don’t overbid. Nothing is worth more than what you feel comfortable paying for it.

5. Patience Patience Patience.  Finding what you really are looking for could take weeks, days, hours, or a few minutes. You never know, so have patience with it and you will find a gem. One of my favorite purchases took a while to find. I found a photo 1 (2)Ralph Lauren brown tweed blazer  that usually retails for more than $300 for $65.

6. A Word about Bidding Patience. It is extremely important to be a patient bidder, because you might find the item of your dreams but the bidding is going on for a whole week.  Don’t place your max bid in early. Bid low and just wait to the final seconds to put your final bid to increase your chances of getting the item.

I like eBay, because I can find specific things without having to spend a whole day in a thrift store, and I can do it all while sitting on my couch. If you need something immediately, eBay might not be the best option. But if you have some time and patience, check it out. There are some hidden gems there.


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Randomly Reese: Leggings, Blouses, and Skirts….Oh My!

When I shop, I buy things because they have potential or because they make me happy–not because “everyone else is doing it.” I’ve pretty much been that way the majority of my life (at least since I’ve been able to pick out and buy my own clothes). There are some things that consistently make me happy: blouses, ruffles, graphic tees, leggings, blazers, high waisted skirts, and bow ties! I couldn’t put EVERYTHING I like in these photos, but check out how I pull together some of the elements I love to create fun, functional outfits.

A fun day in the park: I’ve always liked swings. I tried to relive the days of my youth…seemed a lot harder to propel myself forward than it used to!

If I can't have fun in it, I don't want to wear it!

If I can’t have fun in it, I don’t want to wear it!

I'm pretty sure the little kids in the park don't appreciate me playing with their toys!

I’m pretty sure the little kids in the park don’t appreciate me playing with their toys!

Lounging: I heart my DIY bench (read about how I made it HERE). It’s the perfect place to sit, people watch, and read. I love this skirt because it’s flowy and comfy. I love the sweater, because it isn’t bulky.

Comfy skirt + sweater

Comfy skirt + sweater

I call this my “Little House on the Prairie” look. On first glance, this skirt isn’t the cutest thing in the world, but adding a head wrap and a cute jacket gave it so much life! BTW, does the scarf look familiar? It made an appearance as a top when I was on vacay. Read about it HERE.

Gosh this head scarf gives me life!

Gosh, I live for head scarves!

That purple lipstick? Awesome addition to my collection…thanks roomie!

STOP! Collaborate and Listen...Reese is back I got a brand new invention (ok...I'm done reminiscing about Vanilla Ice)

STOP! Collaborate and Listen…Reese is back I got a brand new invention (ok…I’m done reminiscing about Vanilla Ice)

I like tees. They make me happy. This tee has a skull that reads, “Midnight Party.” To dress it up, I added shiny leggings and a pink, Michael Jackson-inspired jacket.

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I'm having a private party

I’m having a private party

When I wear a heel, better believe it’s a fly one. Love these black booties! I found the belt at a thrift store for half off. I had to get it, because I know how much these belts retail for. I purchased the blouse from Minerva Vintage Closet on Etsy. If you get a chance, check her out. Cute clothes and excellent customer service.

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There you have it folks. This is how I roll. 🙂 If you missed Ricks’ last style post, check it out HERE. She’s pretty awesome and so is her style.

Until Next Time,

Reesey