Too Thrifty Chicks

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GO: Petworth Community Market

20131004_164852While Reese was off being brilliant at Food For Black Thought in Austin earlier this month, I made some time to explore my world. I received a pretty groovy invite to Vintage Fashion Night at the Petworth Community Market and had every intention of going, that is until the day of the event.

After working 8 hours at my temp job, during what felt like the Washington, D.C. heat wave of 2013, I was seriously ready to head home and shower. Seriously, taking the train in any direction that was not headed home was quickly sliding off my radar, but something said I should go.

And I am ever so glad I did. The Petworth Community Market is held every Friday from May 3 to Oct. 25, from 4 p.m. to 8 pm. According to its blog, the market is a non-profit organized by people who live in the Petworth neighborhood as an economic and social stimulus. Not only do vendors at the market take credit and debit cards, they also accept SNAP benefits.

On Vintage Night I was pleasantly surprised to find vendors of all stripes selling everything from fresh from the farm fruits and veggies, to vintage menswear, women’s apparel and even vegan/raw cheesecake. Best of all, there were samples and I was hungry.

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Christopher Williams, curator of Brown & Williams Clothiers

Christopher Williams, curator for Brown & Williams Clothier, really caught my eye because he was so sharply attired. Brown & Williams specializes in fine mens vintage clothing imported from Britain and Christopher was showcasing a fabulous selection of mens jackets and blazers that would be perfect for the man of discerning fashion sense.

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The fabulous custom bow ties designed by Elizabeth St John.

Christopher was rocking a fabulous reversible bow tie designed by Elizabeth St John. Elizabeth specializes in couture bridal wear and incredibly cool custom bow ties too.

In addition to checking out cool fashions I also got to try the sweet treats — vegan, raw cheesecakes to be exact — produced by the ladies of Sweet Raw, who specialize in gluten-free, vegan and uncooked goodies.

Alas, I went home with two bunches of beautiful swiss chard, green tomatoes from Shlagel Farms, and apple cider from Kuhn Orchards. While Vintage Fashion Night was a one night only event, there are still two Fridays left before the regular market shuts down for the season. Plan to go this Friday!

— Ricks


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Around Town: 1st Annual FABULOUS Second-Hand/Vintage Clothing Pop Up Shop

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The Too Thrifty Chicks spent a beautiful Saturday at the 1st Annual FABULOUS Second-Hand/Vintage Clothing Pop-Up Shop put on by Fia’s Fabulous Finds.

Fia’s offers upscale, quality, brand name ladies’ clothing and accessories in new and nearly-new condition at prices significantly below department store levels.  The pop-up shop brought together more than 40 vintage and second-hand vendors and jewelers, including our friend Tasha at the Thrifted Closet, under one roof at The District Architecture Center.

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Tasha wedged into the crowded space, but ever cheerful.

We arrived about 15 minutes early and we’re pretty glad we did. The line to get in was quickly growing down the block. The first 50 people in the door also got a bag full of goodies that included special discounts. The District Architecture Center is a beautiful space, but by the time you add vendors, customers a DJ table and bartenders, it was more than a little crowded to say the least. No bueno for chicas like us who really aren’t good with crowds and tight spaces.

From what we could tell many of the vendors had a lovely selection of  clothes, shoes and accessories, but even if we’d been dressed appropriately to try things on, there really wasn’t any space to do that. At one point I was visiting a vendor near the DJ table and was really afraid that I was going to re-live that scene from House Party where Darryl “Chill” Williams keeps bumping the table and changing the song.

Reese refrained from buying anything, but I zeroed in on two vendors that gave me my entire life for the day. I was captivated by the coolest looking sunnies at the table of a vendor known as MissyKlectic, a dynamic duo of designers who support “brave fashion visionaries”. We dig that.

In addition to the cool shades, they had the cutest button earrings and bracelets. I ultimately opted for the sunglasses, which were $15 and  I LOVE them.

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Me and the most fabulous sunnies EVER. I took off the shades I was wearing because I wanted to wear these immediately.

Now the word “vintage” has always been a red flag for the Thrifty Chicks that means “expensive”. In fact, when we see it, we usually head in the opposite direction. We’re not big into labels, so we don’t really care who made it. If you’re going to charge anywhere near $50 for it, we probably won’t buy it.  And we didn’t, which is cool because we’re sure someone out there did. Pricing is an art and a science. That’s all I’ll say about that.IMG_5495

The next vendor I hit up was Patrice “Patty B” Boone of  The Prissy Tomboy and BTwenty3. Not only did she have amazing clothes, but she’s also a pretty great graphic designer. When I saw an acid wash, denim vest, which I have been hunting for some time, and a really cool vintage  jumpsuit, I knew I had to have both if the price was right. The jumpsuit was $27 and the vest was $9. The price was so right. Yes, please. You all will have to wait to see the clothes in a fashion post that we’ll do in the coming weeks.

All and all, we had a great and exhausting time at the 1st Annual FABULOUS Second-Hand/Vintage Clothing Pop Up Shop. The District Architecture Center is a lovely space, but likely better suited for a more intimate event.  We hope next year’s event will be in a much larger space.

Until next time.

— R&R

 

The many faces of Reese, post Pop Up shop madness!

The many faces of Reese, post Pop Up shop madness!


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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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A Conversation with Lost in Drawers Vintage

We adore Lost in Drawers, an online vintage boutique, and the owners Heather and Bo Liles. We had an opportunity to chat with the husband and wife team to get  the scoop on their business and their personal styles.

Heather and Bo Liles

Heather and Bo Liles

R&R: What kinds of items catch your attention for your online store? 

Heather and Bo: Anything we think has “good bones,” meaning something that is highly dated that we can transform with modern tailoring. We try to be very selective in thrift stores as there are a lot of things that are old enough to be vintage but not all have that wearability we are looking for. We want to offer items that customers can bring into their wardrobe and fit it with everything else they love. Nothing is worse than a really good dress that just sits in the closet and doesn’t go with anything! We want things to be absolutely wearable–from the grocery store, to the movies or a night out. Currently, we have been focusing on finding dresses that fit this mission statement, because we have found that there is a need for frocks you can throw on and that will make an instant and unique statement!

R&R: What inspired you to start a business?

Heather and Bo: We know there are a lot of vintage businesses both online and locally. Our business was born out of our love of vintage and the reality of life on a budget. Lost In Drawers Vintage exists because we feel that there are other people like us who want quality, wearable vintage clothing that works with all the clothes in their closet. We believe in and love every item we sell, and want that to translate to the customer. If we think it won’t work for any client, we won’t sell it. Every decision we make in our business is geared towards having the best customer service possible. Our business is more than just a business. It is a passion that we share. We want everything that we touch to have a purpose, from the clothes themselves, hand written thank you notes, to the packaging it arrives in to our customers, and to our efforts to making a difference in our community.

A few of our favorite dresses that are currently on sale in the Etsy shop.

A few of our favorite dresses that are currently on sale in the Etsy shop.

R&R: Any advice for anyone aspiring to start a business?

We can’t emphasize the importance of being kind to everyone you come in contact with. Kindness goes a long way. We recommend reaching out to others around you who are passionate about the same things, as there are always things you can learn from others. When starting a business, finding and fostering community is one of the best things that can help you personally and professionally. Community is key to growing any industry. It is better to do what you love alongside others, than trying to go at it alone. Don’t rush! Take your time, as getting all the details the way you want them makes running your business a lot more rewarding. Constructive suggestions and advice from others can be really good things!

Heather knows Reese loves bowties, so she sent this gift in the mail....a vintage Neiman Marcus bowtie!

Heather knows Reese loves bowties, so she sent this gift in the mail….a vintage Neiman Marcus bowtie!

R&R: Let’s switch gears a bit. How would each of you describe your personal style?

Heather: I naturally gravitate towards all things vintage, retro and something that looks like it has a story. I stepped into my first thrift store when I was 15 years old. It was incredibly freeing, knowing I could make up my own style and afford to buy my own clothes. I embraced that I could have a unique style, even when mall brands and jeans and t-shirts were all the rage. I’ve never stopped vintage shopping, and my style now is all about making vintage fit my wardrobe. I like bold statement pieces, I stock up on versatile items I can wear a hundred different ways, like a dress I can wear as a skirt or tucked in as a top. I seem to never get enough good hats, full skirts and high waisted anything which comes from my love of the early 1960’s and pre-disco 1970’s New York. With my style, I try not to take myself too seriously as fashion is a way to be creative and fun.

Bo: My style is evolving constantly, in part due to Heather’s influence. Needless to say, there are less band t-shirts and hoodies and a lot more cardigans and button downs. I gravitate towards Americana, with an emphasis on quality and workmanship. I am more aware of tailoring than I ever was before, to the point I am always looking for items to replace what I have because I want a better fit for my frame. I love a selvedge denim jean, a slim cut shirt, a good leather shoe and a tweed jacket. I am a collector as well, and I tend to end up with handfuls of vintage designer neckties and armfuls of cardigans. I am most excited to see were my style will take me in the next few years.

R&R: Any advice for aspiring thrifters?

Heather and Bo: Number one rule? We try to be kind to the employees at our regular thrift stores. If you treat theirs store with respect, the employees will take care of you. Second, TRY THINGS ON! Fit is paramount. The best looking dress or top in the world won’t work if it fits poorly. Thrifting is such a de-stresser for me (Heather). Take your time, get some food first, and have an open mind. Most everything can be fixed. Buttons can be re-sewn, stains removed. I love the idea of turning something old into something new. For example, making a long, matronly skirt shorter and modern or transforming a dress with huge puffy sleeves into something chic with a cap sleeve. This idea of transforming something takes time, but when going through the racks, I look at every single dress or skirt. Your patience and willingness to be selective will be rewarded.

Heather and Bo with their adorable dog, Emory.

Heather and Bo with their adorable dog, Emory.

Want to connect with them? Check them out on Etsy, their Blog, Facebook (Lost in Drawers Vintage) or Instagram (lostindrawers)

Heather and Bo, thanks for sharing with us. We love the items we’ve gotten from you. Your love for your business shows in your excellent customer service. We wish you success in your business and happiness in your everyday life!

-R&R


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Style Notes: A Warm Day in December

On my recent trip and solo thrift at a Goodwill in Hinesville, Ga. I found a treasure trove of dresses including this little vintage gem of a shirt dress that caught my eye. It is perfect for me in so many ways. From the puffy shoulders and sleeves to the primness of the just below the knee hemline., how many ways can you say love?!

The only thing that was bringing me down about the dress was it is unlined and a bit too thin for the cold we were enduring. I feared that I would have to stare longingly at it in my closet until spring, but a rare December day when temperatures easily reached mid-60s was my now or later moment. I was so psyched to wear it, but still decided to pair it with a turtleneck, and dark tights because it is still winter!

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Ricks rocking a vintage dress that is in incredible condition and it cost *drumrollplease* $4.99!! Pick your jaw up or you will trip over your bottom lip.

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Ricks paired the dress with a black turtleneck and tights because even though the weather was giving her early fall, the calendar says it is almost winter! Gray faux suede and blue platform pumps by Nine West were bought new from the Salvation Army for $14.99.

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Ricks paired the dress with her signature glasses, gold tone accessories from Aldo, Forever 21 and Marshall’s.

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Poppin collars…off to work!

Until next time…Keep it thrifty!

— R&R