Day 136

May 15th, 2016

A little bit of vintage in my life…

Outfit: Black dress worn frontwards, white polka-dot pink scarf, black elastic belt.

Georgie Girl items: Fuschia crinoline skirt, black and white saddle oxford 50’s shoes, black cat-eye style sunglasses! Can you say 50’s? 

What do you think of when you say ‘vintage’? For me it evokes memories of my grandma’s closet, all together with her beautiful Chanel suits and 40’s shoes, her fur coats (yes, it’s ok people…vintage fur is admissible), bright red lipstick and cake mascara that had to be mixed up with a brush. 01ba67ff17eb2d9631b8a5d0de0b5145I know it also means shinny round cars with beautiful interiors and for some people it is mint-in-the-box toys and memorabilia. Most people who have a love for vintage associate some memory to it. I think at the core that’s where it starts, but it does not need to have a memory for someone to appreciate it.

I realize not everyone loves vintage, some people think of it as ‘old’ and by some people I mean my kids…(I suppose others too) and I respect that, it is not everyone’s cup of tea (not China anyway). But the thing I like about vintage stuff is that it always makes me think about the story. I guess I am a story teller at heart and I love to imagine where the piece has been and who touched it or used it at any given time. Maybe that’s the reason I can spend hours in a museum, while my husband is in and out within ten minutes. I love to hear how things were done and what it took for someone to perform some of the tasks we now take for granted.

Vintage clothing is usually well made, trust me, if it wasn’t it wouldn’t have lasted 50 years. It has great structure and generally it’s made from beautiful fabrics. In order to be considered vintage, something has to be over 30 years old. Antique is anything from before the 1920s and retro refers to something that imitates a feeling from a previous period. The fact that the 70s are now considered vintage is bizarre to me, since I guess you could call me vintage too! But here is where things get a bit tricky; in the 60s and 70’s polyester was at the height of popularity because it had just been perfected and it was thrown into the market as the latest and greatest. So now we have a bunch of polyester-made suits that are not as luxurious as some of the stuff from the 40s and 50s, however, the cut and the sewing techniques are still superior to some of the merchandise coming out of fast fashion outlets.

Whichever your preference, 40s, 50s, 70s or not vintage at all, it cannot be denied that unique vintage pieces can be a conversation starter, become a favourite accent piece or hold an invaluable memory that comes to mind every time it’s worn.

Day 135

May 14th, 2016

 Georgie Girl inspired me!

Outfit: Black dress worn backwards.

Georgie Girl’s items: Miz Mooz turquoise platform sandals, black chain belt, blue heart earrings.

In the spirit of looking to the past for inspiration, this week I get to show you some looks taken from the decades gone by. It started yesterday with the 80’s dance, and for the next two days I’ll be sporting some awesome pieces from Georgie Girl, downtown, Kelowna.

Georgie Girl is a vintage store-slash-consignment store- slash all kinds of beautiful jewellery store-slash the list goes on store! Angie, the owner, has such a keen eye for interesting and unique pieces that it’s really not like anything you’ll find elsewhere. Certainly not at the mall! It is awesome to talk to someone who appreciates old fashion quality like she does. I couldn’t help but admire the old portable Singer’s she has on display and she told me she used to sew with one of them. I bet you that sewing machine still works and probably far better than some of the plastic ones I see now.

For today’s look, Angie styled me in a 60’s feel. She said she couldn’t stop thinking the dress instantly has a mod sixties style. I want you to check the fabulous platform sandals from Miz mooz, I was only able to take the photo with them, they are so awesome, so they are available at the store…but wait, I might beat you to them.

Day 131

May 10th, 2016

Last day with Carmen

Outfit: Black dress worn over as tunic, black sandals

Carmen’s items: Turquoise dress, silver pendant, turquoise bracelets.

This is the last of Carmen’s stuff. I actually don’t have the dress to wear today, so I’ll wear the accessories, but I wanted to show you the whole look.

The accessories are unique because they each have a story. The first turquoise bracelet is painted wood from Bali. She has it in several colours and it’s just beautifully artisan. The silver pendant and the round bead bracelet were apparently made by a Greek ship cruise captain who did it as a hobby. He started to sell the jewellery on the ships just for fun. His stuff became so popular that he eventually opened shops in Greece to sell it.

I always feel when it comes to accessories, I rather have something with a story than something mass produced. It makes me feel like I’ve included someone else into my day and it reminds me of the place or situation I got it from.

Thank you Carmen for sharing your wardrobe and your memories with me this week! It was a blast!


Day 130

May 9th, 2016

How our choices affect others.

Outfit: Black dress worn backwards, skinny wrap around belt, brown and green heels.

Carmen’s items: Red linen a-line super long skirt. 

I get two more days with Carmen’s clothes, but she had to take the turquoise dress for a special occasion so today may be my last day. I’m glad I get to show this skirt though, it is so absolutely beautiful. You have to feel it to truly see it. Fine linen and perfectly cut.

I wanted to share about the work that Carmen does with World Vision. She has at least two sponsored children with them, but has also done major volunteering, actually going to some of the places where the organization works. Putting aside all preconceptions about these organizations and whether or not they actually help the people they say they do. When it comes to donating money, I just make sure to do due diligence and then I leave it in God’s hands. Honestly. I feel that if I have put my best intentions forward to help someone, then that intention will be carried through and eventually get to those in need. I am happy to report that I have a lot of respect for World Vision. From what I have researched, they do spend their money wisely and I have heard personal accounts (from Carmen) of the amazing things they get involved in. I already have a sponsored child from a different organization but if I didn’t, I’d probably go with World Vision. World Vision is a great example of how when we make a choice to help we can affect someone else’s life in a great way. In the same way, however sometimes some of our choices affect the same people in terrible ways without us even realizing it.

Just a few days ago, Carmen sent me a notice from World Vision that talked about water pollution and consumption and fashion.  It was so pertinent because I had just been researching all of this for the presentation I did for SFU and everything they mentioned was on point. It often escapes us that the choices we make in this part of the world, affect those in most desperate need. Our insatiable need to have the most selection of all colours and styles, increases the production of textiles to levels that are incredibly hard to monitor and control, resulting in monumental amounts of water waste and illegal dye and chemical dumping. We can’t stop the manufacturers and corporations from ordering the amounts they do, but maybe some day, we can change the supply and demand chain by eventually buying less.

I will leave you with the actual article for you to read. Let me know what you think. World Vison, Water and fashion



Day 129

May 8th, 2016

Mother’s Day

Outfit: Black dress worn as tunic, watermelon wedges.

Carmen’s items: A-line cotton print skirt with ties, silver hand-made medallion.

I supposed I would have written something extra inspiring about today considering I am both a mother and have a mother. But considering that I only have about fifteen minutes to do this, I better not try and botch it.

I will say I have been thinking about what it would mean to be a mother  in a different part of the world, where I’d have to worry about my kids’ imminent safety not just their future education. Regardless, I believe motherhood is one of the hardest jobs we ever signed up for. I’ve found that it is not what the job description said, nothing like the books said, and nothing like my own mom said. I found that it is uniquely personal and that the bad parts are awful but the good parts are great.

So to all the mothers in every nook and cranny of the world today, may you be blessed in your journey as you continue to try your best and make the best no matter what.

PS Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.

Day 128

May 7th, 2016

Turn, turn, turn…

Outfit: Black dress worn backwards, brown skinny wrap-around belt, brown sandals

Carmen’s items: White wide-legged crinkle cotton pants.(These are supposed to be Capri length!!!)

Sometimes I long for the boring days. The days were we didn’t know what to do and we’d spend half of Saturday arguing on whether to go downtown for a walk or to the movies. I haven’t had one of those days in so long I couldn’t even tell you if it was in this decade.

I’m not trying to sound like this generation’s typical mid-range (I refuse to say middle age) person and tell you that life is ‘busy’ just as my standard answer. But somehow life is. I don’t know if it’s just that we over-commit, over-schedule, over-achieve or if it’s just a natural part of this stage in life that happens when you have a family and a house and jobs. There are 5 people in my house with different exciting (sometimes not so exciting to others) things to do and now there’s a dog! So everyone has an agenda. I know that there will be a time when I might long for these days too, so I’m trying to enjoy every stage for what it is. Like the song says…”Turn, turn, turn, To everything there is a season.”


Day 127

May 6th, 2016

This one goes out to Fort Mac

Outfit: Black dress worn as tunic, skinny jeans, Mary-Janes, silver drop earrings, silver bracelet.

Carmen’s items: Grey and white floral tunic style tank

It is hard to imagine what the people in Fort McMurray, AB, are feeling right now. I’ve never ever been displaced from my home other than by plumbing issues! My family has a half-thought-out fire escape that we’ve practiced once and if you asked me what I’d take if we had to get out in a hurry I’d probably take something dumb like toothbrushes! I will tell you that I’d be happy to have my kids, husband and possibly the dog with me, but I’d be kidding myself if I said that nothing else mattered. I am a bit of a sentimental keeper, and I’ve kept all types of strange things to remind me of past times and places I’ve been. For crying out loud, I carried the wheel of a chair -that Mike and I shared in college- for years in my purse (yes I know, I’m weird that way)! I have my great aunt’s wedding dress under my bed, and my grandma’s 30’s ball gown in the garage. I’ve kept every drawing and craft the kids made in semi-organized rubbermaids with their names on it. And I still have letters that I got from friends when I moved away from Mexico. So I cannot imagine what it would be like to be told to grab whatever you can and leave the city and your home behind. But that’s exactly what those 80 thousand people have had to do. And when they go back they don’t know what will be there waiting for them. It really is no different than the many stories we hear about hurricanes and earthquakes, with the exception thank God that there has not been any casualties here. However, the sense of loss is real and the realization that you have to start over can be overwhelming.

So today I want to take a minute and be thankful for the things I take for granted, and will take a minute to re-think my daily whining. I will take those two minutes and say a prayer for those who are displaced and facing the uncertainty of a different type of future. And a prayer for those around the world who are not only facing lack of housing, but other bigger and worse problems that we cannot even imagine in our little end of the world.

Day 126

May 5th, 2016

Track meet day.

Outfit: Black dress worn forward, copper leaf hand-made necklace, red sandals, brown belt.

Carmen’s items: Striped cotton a-line skirt.

If you see me today between 11:30 and 2:30, don’t bother asking me “Where is your dress?” I won’t have it on. Oh, I will wear it in the morning for class and I will probably change back into it after, but for those few hours in the afternoon I’ll be at the Apple Bowl, helping with my kids’ track meet. I love the track meet because it is a great day of outdoor fun. It tends to get either really hot or pour down rain though, so that’s part of the reason I won’t wear the dress.

The other reason is that it is not practical for what I’ll be doing. It falls under the category of exercise; although I won’t be doing the triple jump or 400m, I might have to bend down a million times to measure distances or run back and forth getting shot puts. So I believe I am exempt to wear proper track meet attire.

When I was in school growing up in Mexico, we never had track as part of our gym curriculum. I love that my kids get to experience this. I was such a wimp when it came to sports though, I don’t think I would have tried even if I we did have it. I almost failed grade 8 P.E. because I refused to cut my fingernails and I couldn’t hit the volleyball. It’s interesting, now I am totally into trying different sports or outdoor activities. In fact I have been playing basket ball with some of the moms at the school gym. Turns out I’m pretty competitive and quite aggressive! Probably making up for my 5’1’’ frame. Goes to show you that you’re never too old to try something new and that you just may like it!

Day 125

May 4th, 2016

Free the Children: One of the most inspiring stories about someone who cared.

Outfit: Black dress worn backwards, long “Faith” pendant, steampunk earrings.

Carmen’s items: Crinkle cotton wide leg pants, checkered fedora, leather beaded bracelet from Me to We (Kenyan). 

Craig Kielburger was sitting at his kitchen table in Ontario, Canada, having breakfast when he came upon the story of a 12 year old in India who had been killed while raising his voice up for human rights. Craig was 12 too and at that moment he realized that the only difference between him and that other boy was simply geography.

Our Story

The journey Craig and his brother Marc have taken since that day in 1995 is simply incredible. For a 12 year old to care so much that he took it upon himself to make it a school project and from there to have created a whole organization that changes lives one at a time is something almost unheard of. Most 12 year-olds I know are too consumed right now with what type of iPod they’ll get next year. This includes my own children! We’ve been desensitized from the images we see on TV. In North America we live in a bubble sometimes, we have our own problems and undeniably some are quite dire. We have homeless and poverty issues too. But at least we can count on agencies that are designed (at least to some degree) to deal and help along. In some of the slums of this world, thousands go unnoticed because we simply can’t help everyone. But I know that we all posses, even deep within, that ability to empathize with those less privileged in this world, we simply need to make that connection. Just like Craig made the connection that morning when he realized he too could have been born into slavery, or poverty.  Me to We is an example that everyone can do something. Even as a child. You just need determination and passion. Every little bit helps. Even simple awareness. And I think most importantly, gratitude. A thankful spirit for the things that we do have and that we take for granted.

For more information on Craig Kielburger and the Me to We or Free the Children organizations click on the links. The bracelet I am wearing today is from Me to We, Kenya. Their online store has great ideas for shopping alternatives that help those in need.

Day 124

May 3rd, 2016

Can you really make gold from straw?

Outfit: Dress worn backwards, black wedge boots.

Carmen’s pieces: Grey linen blousson-style blouse with lace cutout sleeves, large silver swirl pendant.

Linen has been compared to the gold spun from straw in the story of Rumpelstiltskin. Some authors say the first born child represents the future of our generations as we gave in to industrialization of weaving in the 18th Century. Regardless, linen is an amazing fabric that has been used for over 5000 years! It was the number one textile in Egypt (BC) and super popular among the Greeks and throughout the ancient world. It was still used throughout the middle ages and up to the 19th century to make everything from under shirts to morning gowns. Only with the advent of cotton and its mechanized production did linen lose its significance, simply because it is more expensive to make. Some of the best linen is still produced by separating the flax and fibre by hand. This is extremely time consuming and not very efficient in the eyes of manufacturing.

This piece I’m wearing today is made in Italy, 100 % Linen. Even the lining is made of a fine weight linen. A lot of people are asking me right now if I’m not hot, and the truth is that wearing breathable fabrics makes all the difference in this heat. Granted, the second dress I made is polyester and that has been the only disappointment of this whole experiment thus far. Like I mentioned in a previous post, it all came down to options available. But the wool dress and everything else I’m trying to wear are natural fibres and, whenever possible, natural fibres are the better choice when it comes to breathability and eco-friendliness.

That being said, all fabric manufacturing is hard on the environment on some level. This includes natural fabrics. Cotton planting uses tons of pesticides and water, farming sheep has to be monitored for humane conditions and ethane emissions. And here’s the part where I am stumped on linen. I was told that the harvesting of linen can be hard on the land it grows, because of what’s left behind. Apparently when linen grew on the banks of rivers, like the Nile for instance, the river itself renewed the land. Instead, when grown on plains, there is no natural renewal that takes place. However, everything I’ve read to check up on that info tells me that in fact, linen is very kind to mother earth. Linen uses far less pesticides and water to grow, and it may just be in the processing that it loses green points. So, I don’t have a definitive answer for you but I think that, like with all the production of fabrics, the excess of manufacturing is what causes the strain on the natural resources. So keeping in mind conscious growing, linen is a beautiful fibre that feels luxurious and performs beautifully. You can tell the difference between a long strand linen fibre and the shorter cut fibres which yield a less lustrous fabric. This is accomplished by processing the flax fibres as if they were cotton, with cotton machinery, which is faster and cost efficient, but does not result in better product. So whenever possible, buy 100% Linen, not blends, long strands, and not dyed in super bright (requires more dye) colours. As a result you will get a garment that will stand the test of time, look beautiful every time you wear it and when it does eventually fall apart will decompose in a natural way.

Yay Linen!

P.S. Happy Birthday Vicky!

Day 123

May 2nd, 2016

Carmen’s Closet.

Outfit: White linen dress with bell sleeves, worn under black dress. Black chunky boots, turquoise scarf, leather bracelet with beading.

This week I get to play with my friend Carmen’s clothes. It was so much fun going to her house and picking apart her closet, it felt like playing dress-up.

Carmen is one of those people who already ‘gets’ it. She has a style of her own and doesn’t often fall into passing fads. She always looks amazing and well put together, yet a lot of her clothes come from consignment and thrift stores (something she is extremely proud of). She showed me a picture of her grad dress which was her first thrifted item, she got it for $50. She then lent it to 3 more people to wear, before the fourth took it and converted it into a first communion dress. So this dress not only served the first person that bought it new, but 5 more after that! That’s sustainable!

In her closet (which by the way is beautifully colour-coded), Carmen has lots of treasures and most of them have a story to tell. I will try to re-lay these stories as best as I can, but mostly I will bask in the beauty of these wonderful clothes I get to wear for the next few days.

P.S. Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

Day 110

April 19th, 2016

It is too hot for April!

Outfit: Black dress worn under sleeveless orange hoodie with belt. Tights and boots. Matching earrings!

This weather better settle down if I am to wear this black dress outdoors! I believe it can be done, but 30 degree weather might be pushing it. So unlike the rest of you, I’m hoping to go back to normal temps soon.

This hoodie was a hand-me-down from my friend T. Love her hand-me-downs because they are usually funky and unusual.

Day 108

April 17th, 2016

Last day at Jen’s

Outfit: Black dress worn as a jacket

Jen’s Plus 14 Items: Black and white georgette maxi dress, black strappy wedge sandals, turquoise stone necklace and bracelet.

Thank you to Jen’s 14 Plus for the wonderful items. Really loved them all! Got lots of compliments especially on the great shoes. If you haven’t heard of Jen’s store, you gotta go. In addition to being a great looking consignment store, they specialize in plus sizes. So you’ll find anything in size 14, 16, and up. But I even found some sizes 12 and 10 in a few items. Also, because size is so relative depending on brand, you really have to try the item before determining if it will fit or not.

Jen has a great selection of jewelry and shoes as well as handbags and scarves. So there is lots of stuff to complement any wardrobe. To top it off, they are great people! Jen and Shelley are super helpful and nothing short of awesome!

So thank you ladies for a great week! We’ll see you again in the future.

Day 107

April 16th, 2016

First Annual Bishop’s Dinner

Outfit: Black dress worn backwards. Silver and glass handcrafted earrings.

Jen’s 14 Plus Items: Glittery purple point hem sweater, appliqué flowered heels.

Ok, can you see the shoes? Check out those beauties! Aren’t they fabulous? I actually won’t be able to wear these either, because I just realized they are 1 size too big. But don’t they look great for the picture? Some lucky lady can come in and get the shoes and sweater as is, to wear to a great evening.

And speaking of great evenings, today is the day of our First Annual Bishop’s Dinner. Very excited about this, because this year’s recipient for the funds raised through the dinner is the Masterpiece Campaign for St. Joseph’s school. The evening promises to be a great night of incredible dinning and awesome entertainment. I will be volunteering (no surprise there) in one way or another. Are you coming? Hope to see you there!

For more information about the event you can go here. Bishop’s Dinner

Day 106

April 15th, 2016

The rest of the story…thrift stores.

Outfit: Black dress worn backwards, skinny wrap around belt.        

Jen’s 14 Plus Items: Large metal pendant, A-line tan skirt with embroidered motifs, black sandal wedges.

Love this outfit too! The skirt is too big on me, so if you’re eyeing this one, come and get it because I won’t be able to.

Two days ago, I talked about the pros and cons of Consignment, here are some pros and cons of Thrift stores.

 Thrift store Pros:

  1. Price: Because thrift stores rely on donations they can set their prices really low in order to move more merchandise through the floor faster.
  2. Surprise: Often during the sorting of the garments that make it to the floor, certain ‘gems’ get mixed in with the regular clothing, which means that you may find some designer piece marked at $5. Depending on the store, these pieces are marked the same price as anything else in their category so whether it was a pair of True Religion jeans or a pair of Reitman’s jeans, they would still be the same price because they are both jeans.

Continue reading “Day 106”

Day 105

April 14th, 2016

Look who’s talking 2…

Outfit: Black dress worn backwards

Jen’s Items: Off-white high low sweater, black pleather leggings!, chain and wood necklace, black and tan flats. 

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this outfit by the way! Even the pleather leggings. When Shelley first brought them for me to try, I was like…not. But it just shows once again, that you don’t know unless you try.

I got a call from Molly checking up on my progress! It’s good to know I’m still going strong. Have a look at the article she wrote. KelownaNow article




Day 104

April 13th, 2016

What is the benefit of buying consignment?

Outfit: Black dress worn forward, boyfriend jeans, green glass earrings.

Jen’s Items: Black crocheted vest, multi-coloured large rock necklace, fab suede pumps, plaid fedora.

So what do you think of Jen’s items so far? Pretty nice eh? I love the hats, and the shoes. There’s even more in stock, I just couldn’t take the whole store. That probably would’ve been frowned on.

I have talked about thrift stores and now I want to talk about consignment stores. Some might not think of them as different but they are. Just in case some of you don’t know I will start with the basics. I’ll split it up into two posts, for those of you who get tired of reading.

A consignment store is a private business, run by the owner who ‘consigns’ clothing from clients. The process is simple and if you ask me, quite brilliant, there’s no investment in inventory, it almost works like an art gallery where the gallery picks the pieces and gets a commission for showing the work. So in the consignment model, the owner gets to decide what garments she’ll take from the client, and then gives the items a determined time period. In some stores, the longer the item sits on the floor, the cheaper you can get it for, as the price decreases per week. If it’s sold the store keeps a commission and the client gets the rest. It usually works on a 60/40 split with the store keeping the 60 percent –hey they have the overhead right?

A thrift store is usually run by a charity such as the Salvation Army or Good Will. They depend on donations of clothing that gets dropped off to their door and then sorted through in order to go on the floor.

Here are some of the pros and cons of Consignment:

Consignment store Pros:  
  1. Quality: Because the store owner wants to get the best bang for her buck, they are generally quite picky about the quality of the garments she takes in.  Garments that are soiled or worn out won’t be accepted and in some cases they won’t even accept garments that are cheaper made sources. So you are assured that what you buy will be well made and in good condition
  2. Designer brands: Often a consignment store will focus on providing only higher end designer brands. They won’t accept fast fashion sources . The designer brands that they provide will be available at a fraction of the cost that they would be brand new, so you are getting great quality and fit at a bargain.
  3. Merchandising: Some consignment stores pride themselves in their merchandising and style, their focus is in making the experience feel more like a regular retail boutique.
Consignment store Cons:
  1. Price: Because the point of the consignment model is for both the client and the store owner to make a profit, the price point of consignment is higher than a thrift store. Even at second hand prices you may have to pay $50 for a jacket or a dress, but if you consider that the dress originally may have sold for $200 then it’s still a deal. This is where you need to make a decision of whether or not the item is in fact worth the 50 dollars. Often I hear people say ‘Well for $50 I could go to the mall and get a new dress”. What you need to remember is that a 50 dollar brand new dress is more than likely not made with the same quality as the 200 dollar dress so in fact you’re not comparing apples to apples.


Day 103

April 12th, 2016

Busy times.

Outfit: Black dress worn as a tunic, black stirrup style pants

Jen’s Items: Black strappy wedge sandals, black and grey short sleeve tunic with belt.

I have so much on the go, it’s a miracle my head stays put. My husband could testify to that. My kids keep complaining that I forget everything. It’s true, if it’s not written down on the list, it’s not coming home with me –and that’s not even a guarantee. But it is only for a little while, I tell them. It is only for the time being that mom is extra busy. I don’t think I would be agreeing to all that I am doing if I didn’t believe in it fully. That’s why I’m doing all the school volunteer stuff, and that’s why I’m doing this project. But sometimes, even when you’re all in, some things fall through the cracks. Although it is not that difficult to take pictures and to wear one dress everyday, it is challenging to post a picture every day. It is kind of meal planning. When you do it, everything flows great, but if you don’t, then you find yourself at supper time scrambling to make a recipe with 3 ingredients. Hence today’s post. I can barely type this because I’m falling asleep, but it’s gotta get done. So tomorrow, back to meal planning –dress planning.

Day 102

April 11th, 2016

Hello Jen’s 14 Plus Consignment!

Outfit: Black dress worn forwards, skinny jeans, drop bead earrings.

Jen’s items: Green boho felt hat, green scarf, fab suede high heels, wooden bracelet.

How do you follow up great news like yesterday? With great news today! I am happy to announce that this week I will be sporting looks borrowed from Jen 14 Plus consignment store. They have great purses, accessories and shoes. As well as a great selection of plus size garments. I found quite a few items that I am excited to showcase. It’s going to be a great week!

Jen’s facebook page

Day 95

April 4th, 2016

How about a real haul!

Outfit: Black dress

Kelowna Women’s Shelter Thrift store items: Skinny tan wrap belt, black booties, chunky plastic necklace, b/w patent purse w/animal print insert.

I talked about hauls in the last post, and I went on and on about how cheap fashion hauls are at the root of all evils. I’m not going to flip flop on this, but I do recognize when a deal is a deal, so I propose a different type of haul, one where you actually get value from your purchases. As you know, I went to the K.W. S. Thrift store and borrowed 21 pieces of clothing and accessories and if I were to buy all of it, it would come to $112.00. If I was to buy all of these items new at retail the cost would probably go over $700.00. Now that’s a deal!

Considering that I actually got pieces that fit into my wardrobe, I would be fairly confident I’d get great cost per wear on these items. Don’t know what cost per wear is? Well read tomorrow’s post and I’ll get into it. In the mean time let’s evaluate the total amount of all of these pieces. Which is your favourite? I’m keeping the skinny tan belt and the earrings. Also, maybe the watermelon belt, but I want to calculate the CPW first!P1100989

For a more detailed look at my savings see the chart below. Please note that the SRPs that have .99 in the price came from the original tag of the item, and all other price points are my best guesstimate as to what it would cost if I were to buy new at a store. I even went low-ball to compare it to some fast fashion prices. As you can see, I can’t help myself when there’s an opportunity to make a chart. My family says I have a problem. But this is an issue for a different blog…

Day Items  Thrift store cost  Suggested Retail Price
1 88 Black wrap belt (w tags on)  $                 10.00  $                   50.00
2 Black and white necklace  $                     1.50  $                   15.00
3 Black booties  $                     8.00  $                   50.00
4 89 B/W cardigan  $                     5.00  $                   29.00
5 Light tan skinny belt (tags on)  $                     5.00  $                   79.99
6 Sage stone earrings  $                     5.00  $                   24.99
7 Tan wide bracelet  $                     2.00  $                     5.00
8 90 Pink French cuff shirt  $                     4.00  $                   25.00
9 Faux reptile skinny belt  $                     5.00  $                   10.00
10 Chunky plastic necklace  $                     8.00  $                   49.99
11 Cheetah print pumps  $                     6.00  $                   50.00
12 91 Brown animal print blouse  $                     5.00  $                   50.00
13 92 Coral belt (tags on)  $                   20.00  $                   79.95
14 Round bead amber necklace  $                     2.00  $                   20.00
15 Red wooden bracelet  $                     1.00  $                     5.00
16 93 Geometric print top  $                     5.00  $                   50.00
17 94 Turquoise belt  $                     5.00  $                   25.00
18 Turquoise shoes  $                     6.00  $                   25.00
19 Turquoise bracelets  $                     2.00  $                     5.00
20 Turquoise bracelets  $                     1.00  $                     5.00
21 95 Black patent purse w/ animal print  $                     6.00  $                   50.00
GRAND TOTAL:  $                112.50  $                703.92

Day 93

April 2nd, 2016

Helping your community while shopping.

Outfit: Black dress worn forwards, black hoop earrings

Kelowna Women’s Shelter Thrift store items: Black short boots, multi-coloured geometric off the shoulder raglan top.

The Kelowna Women’s Shelter Thrift Store is a great place to find deals on all types of items, but that’s not all they do. I asked Karen Mason, executive director of the Kelowna Women’s Shelter to tell me more about it and here’s what she said:

180 SC:  How does the Thrift Store help the Kelowna Women’s shelter?

KWS Profits from the Kelowna Women’s Shelter Thrift Store support the many free programs and services the Shelter offers women and their children who have experienced domestic violence.  Another huge benefit to our Store is that we allow our clients, and others in need in the community to shop there free through our voucher program. We give vouchers to women who stay at the Shelter and use our other services in order that they can get clothing and household items for them and their children at no cost. We also provide the vouchers to more than a dozen other community organizations who pass them along to their most needy clients so they get to shop free as well. It’s  wonderful way to ensure the many generous donations we receive go to those who most need a helping hand, and really support our community.

180 SC:  What types of wares does the store sell? 

The Kelowna Women’s Shelter Thrift Store has all kinds of treasures. We sell men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, footwear, fashion accessories such as purses, scarves and jewelry, small furniture pieces, and household items such as dishes and décor.

180 SC:  How is the store run? Who works at it? 

KWS: The store has a handful of fabulous, permanent, paid staff who work anywhere from one to five days per week, and a host of incredible volunteers who put in countless hours receiving, sorting, pricing and processing donated items. They are an amazing, energetic team who work really well together to keep the store well stocked and attractive for shoppers. The Store is bright and organized and a great place to shop!

180 SC:  Where do you get your donations from?

KWS:  We are so fortunate to live in such a generous community as Kelowna. It seems we are always donation-blessed thanks to the many private citizens and businesses who regularly donate items. A number of local stores regularly bring us wonderful new items to sell, and we receive clothing and household goods from the community at a pretty consistent rate. People who want to donate can bring their items to the store on Mondays, Wednesdays or Saturdays between 10 am and 2 pm. 

180 SC: How do you determine price points?

KWS: It’s important to us we make our pricing accessible to a wide variety of clients and remain true to the typical thrift store business model. At the same time, the Store is a social enterprise that helps support the work the Shelter does so, at the end of the day, we do need to turn a profit. Our staff and volunteers are very skilled at determining price points that match the items we are putting out for sale on the floor. We do ongoing research at other retail establishments, particularly thrift and secondhand stores, to ensure we are on top of pricing trends. When we get special pieces or designer clothing items, we recognize their value and price those slightly higher than more traditional items. Some of my favourite, most prized designer items were purchased at our Thrift Store for $20 or less. 

180 SC: What do you do with unsold items?

KWS: Although we value each and every donation we receive, there are some items that are not of a quality we would feel comfortable selling, or are not items we would be able to sell due to a lack of demand or other factors. We refuse to throw things away so we work with a variety of other local organizations in partnership to ensure everything is used somehow. We work closely with the Soles for Souls shoe bank program, and regularly forward unsold or unsellable footwear to them. We also send unsellable clothing and fabric items to other organizations to be sold or otherwise repurposed.  

 Well, there you have it! A great place to shop with a dual purpose: clothing recycling and helping the community. Now that’s sustainable!

For more information on the Kelowna Women’s Shelter and their store, click here.


Day 80!!!

March 20th, 2016

Outfit: Boyfriend jeans, white pleat shirt, dress worn as coat, pink polka dot scarf and big oversized white bag from Renée.

Bye bye to the Blais look.

Today we say goodbye to Renee’s items. She’s given me a few things from aunt R that I will showcase on the weeks to come, but they are too fancy for everyday, so I can’t do a week of them. I’ll make sure to share when I wear them.

Thank you Renee for your thoughtfulness in letting me borrow some pieces to show a different look to the dress.