Gathering Fashion Inspiration

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Those of you who know me well are probably laughing at my title.  I have never been known for my trendy style or love of shopping.  The majority of my clothing comes from Goodwill, and comfort is a huge priority for me.

However, I recently read an e-book called The No Brainer Wardrobe and I have to say, it inspired me.  While I’m not interested in spending lots of money or being on the cutting edge of fashion, I AM interested in having a functional, well-organized closet, full of pieces that work well together.  I am all about simplifying my life.

If that’s appealing to you and you struggle in that area the way I do, I highly recommend spending the $8 and 1 hour reading the book.  You will immediately want to purge your closet!

The author gives one piece of advice that has really stuck with me.  She recommends making a style board on Pinterest, pinning various outfits you love.  She then recommends looking for common themes.  This was so eye-opening for me.  I had never really evaluated what clothing I am drawn to.  Here are some of my discoveries:

1.   Dresses, dresses, dresses.

Okay, this one I knew.  I practically live in dresses.  I especially love knee-length dresses with sleeves.  My love of dresses is so obvious.  Just look at my Pinterest board, Dresses I Love.

My inspiration:


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Orla Kiely

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I love that many dresses can be worn year round, with sandals or boots, with or without a cardigan.

2.  Stripes, Plaid, Polka-dots

Once I started evaluating my likes, I was amazed at how much fell into one of these three categories.  Here are some examples from my Fashion board.

adorable

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oui oui

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perfect layers

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3.  Feminine Detail

I wouldn’t say I go overboard with lace and frills, but I do appreciate a feminine touch, especially when it comes to dresses.

Love the colors

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Cardigan love

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4.  Black & White, Blues, Greens, Yellows

While I don’t limit myself from wearing certain colors, my preferences seem to lean toward black & white and the whole yellow, green, blue spectrum.

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Layering striped tee under a dress.

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love green green green.

(Source – from my board I <3 Green!)

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I think identifying these preferences will serve me well, especially in future purchases.  It has already helped me to think outside the box in styling items I already own.  There may be hope for this thrifty non-fashionista!

What about you?  Do you put a lot of effort into your wardrobe?  Is your closet out of control?  Do you long to streamline and simplify?  What style, color and patterns are you drawn to?  I’d love to hear from you!

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A Gathering of Goodwill Finds: Dress Edition

Anyone who knows me well knows my obsession addiction love for Goodwill.  A few weeks ago I posted some of my favorite Goodwill finds for my kitchen and got a lot of positive feedback.  So this week I thought I would share with you some of my favorite dresses from Goodwill.

I practically live in dresses.  In the winter I pair them with sweaters and boots.  In the summer they are perfect with sandals and help me stay cool in the summer heat.  The dresses in this post aren’t my only dresses purchased at Goodwill, they are just a handful of my favorites that aren’t stored away.  I would also like to mention that all of these dresses were purchased for either $6.99 on a normal day or (most of them) for $3.49 of half-off day.  No wonder I have issues shopping at normal stores these days!

IMG_2760This is one of those great little black dresses.  It’s comfortable and I especially love the buttons.  I have dressed it up with leopard print heels.  I have worn it to everything from funerals to church services to conferences.  I tried to find a comparable price if this had been purchased new, but the company, LAYERS clothing doesn’t have a website that I can find.

IMG_2762This is a navy Tommy Bahama dress, which would retail around $90-$100 new.  It has been in storage and is need of some ironing, but the quality is obviously high.  I love this dress for summer.  I have paired it with short-sleeved cardigans of many colors… yellow, white, red, red striped, etc.  It is so versatile.  I am a recent convert to navy.  When I was a teenager someone told me blue wasn’t my color, so I didn’t wear blue or navy for a long time.  Now I love it and have a lot of navy in my closet.

IMG_2764This is one of my favorite go-to dresses.  It is a Tommy Hilfiger dress, and would retail well over $50.  The fit and length are perfect.  It has pockets, which I love and obviously can be worn with anything.

IMG_2766This is one of my all-time favorite finds at Goodwill.  I bought it for my niece, but took it back after noticing she never wore it.  It is a Free People crocheted dress.  Similar Free People dresses retail anywhere from $100-$300.  This is a really fun dress to wear to parties (obviously with something underneath) and I have also dressed it up a lot with red heels.  I love it because it is so unique.  I have received more compliments on this dress than any other item of clothing in my closet.

IMG_2768The detail is gorgeous and my iPhone photos don’t do it justice!

IMG_2769I love the Indy Goodwills because they get tons of new items straight from local Targets.  This is a Merona dress from Target.  It still had tags on it and was originally about $30.  I love maxi dresses.  To me, nothing is more comfortable than a long maxi dress.  I don’t wear purple much, but really liked this print.  I think I will get a lot of use out of it this summer.

IMG_2771This is another denim dress from Isaac Mizrahi for Target.  I can’t emphasize enough how cute this dress is on a body!  It is so flattering and I love the collar.  My niece Chelsea wanted this for herself, but I selfishly claimed it as my own.  I have already worn it with a cute coral sweater and brown sandals.  This would retail at Target for about $35-$40.

IMG_2773This dress is in serious need of ironing!  It is one of my favorite dresses for lots of reasons.  I love the comfy t-shirt material at the top.  The color is my all-time favorite, hands down.  The fit is perfect and I can’t wait to wear it out this summer!  It is from Gap and would retail around $50.  I would say my $3.50 was a steal!

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I hope you have enjoyed seeing some of my favorite dresses from Goodwill. How about you? Do you shop at Goodwill? Does it gross you out buying used clothing? What are some of your best finds? Which of these dresses in my post is your favorite? I would love your feedback!

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A Gathering of Goodwill Finds: Kitchen and Dining Edition

My posts lately have been a little heavy, so I wanted to share something fun with my readers that I’m passionate about:  Goodwill!  In 2012 I participated in Project XII, in which I committed to 12 months of not buying any new clothing or anything new to decorate my home.  I enjoyed the project so much and learned a lot, from shopping discipline to Goodwill hunting.  Today I want to share with you some of my favorite Goodwill finds for my kitchen and dining room.  Later I will share some of my favorite clothing finds and items for other areas of my house.

Just a little warning, my kitchen is the one area of my house where I allow myself to go crazy with color.  It doesn’t necessarily match, but it is filled with items I love and that make me smile.  That’s what decorating should be about, right?

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I’m not sure why I love this plate so much, but I do.  I have never in my life had a plate hanging on any surface of my wall… until I found this plate.  This plate got me into Wal-Mart looking at plate hangers.  Something about it makes me smile.  I bought it at Goodwill for $1 or so.  It is something cheerful to look at while I wash dishes.

Below is one of the bare walls in my kitchen where I have added pops of color.  The clock is from Ikea.  I had the idea to hang our paella pan, and Jimmie had the idea to put our magnetic spice jars on the pan.  I love the way it looks!  Then on day at Goodwill I found the sketch of the plants on a plant stand, already matted in the right colors and framed.  I was so excited.  It was less than $5.

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This is a close-up of the sketch:

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Below is a red chair I got at Goodwill for $5!  It is sturdy and bright and I love it.  My kitchen table seats four, so when my niece moved in with us, we were always dragging a desk chair into the kitchen.  This was a perfect solution.  I love the way it looks against this wall.  It is also a convenient place to sit when we are coming in or going outside to the backyard.

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Alert! If you don’t like the decor of the 70’s and chenille, avert your eyes. This is possibly one of my favorite finds ever at Goodwill. I had been looking for cute window valances for this window in my kitchen to no avail. When I saw these for $2, I snatched them up and have loved them every moment since. I also recently bought another set at a thrift store that I will be putting up for summer

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This isn’t technically a Goodwill find, but it is a thrift store find.  A couple years ago when I was visiting my friend Whitney, I saw a cute little box she stored her silverware in on her counter.  Ever since then I have had my eyes open for something similar.  When I found this for $1, I snatched it up.  I love having the napkins and silverware together.  It makes setting the table so quick and easy, especially when the girls want to help.  Also, shout out to my mom for the adorable Pyrex dishes she got for me.  We have nuts in one and dried cranberries in the other.  It helps our girls have healthy snacks on hand.

IMG_2553Last spring I went garage sale-ing with my friends Heidi and Tasha and all of our girls.  When I found this green utility shelf for $2, my gracious friends agreed to cram it into the car (along with a massive plastic slide and other finds).  So, again, this is not specifically Goodwill, but cheap nonetheless.  My mom gave me the fruit basket and the vintage mixing bowls.  I found the basket where I keep extra napkins at a garage sale.  The yellow Pyrex casserole dish is from my friend Linda.  I love having my cookbooks out and handy, even though I don’t use them much.  In my ideal world, my friends would come over and browse through them when they are at my house.  That never happens, but my mom does sometimes.  And she is my friend, so I guess that counts!

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Moving on to my dining room table…. last year I got really bored with my dining room table and wanted some kind of centerpiece that was very inexpensive and easy to move when we needed to use the table.  I have had this white tray for years and years and decided to search several Goodwills for glass pieces that matched my decor.  I thought I would have to go to a handful of stores before I would find the colors and shapes I wanted.  You can imagine my shock when I found ALL 5 at the first Goodwill I visited.  I really love the way this turned out.  I also love that it is portable when I need to use the table.

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This is a closer-up look of the glass pieces I found.  I especially love the two jars with lids.

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I am now a Goodwill convert.  This week I spent money on a new bunk bed for the girls’ room, bedding and sheets.  It felt so weird when I am so used to getting things at a steal of a price.  Anytime I need to decorate, Goodwill is my first stop.  I love the thrill of the hunt and the money that I don’t spend!

Which of my Goodwill/thrift-store finds is your favorite?  Do you shop at Goodwill, garage sales or thrift-stores?  What have been some of your favorite finds?  I would love for you to comment!  Also, if you haven’t subscribed to my blog, please do so by entering your e-mail address on the top right of my blog, just above my photo!  It will only be used to send you a link to new blog posts!  Thanks!

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