I feel like I spend 90% of the year looking for the sweater. You know the one I'm talking about: cozy, casual, oversized, warm, neutral and stylish. It's the sweater that you're allowed to throw on with jeans and a t-shirt and still feel like you made an effort for the day.
Well folks, I've done it - I found the sweater.
This comfortable aztec inspired vintage (ish) Ralph by Ralph Lauren piece is my go-to piece four months out of the year. It's slightly oversized, the perfect length, and it's a thick wool (perfect for these New England winters). Although it's completely covered in a pattern, the gray and black color-scheme allows it to read more neutral. Did I mention it's black and gray? Those are just about the only two colors I wear from September to, well...the following September. Color scares me!
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IT EXISTS: a denim jacket with cats on it. It's only a little shocking to me that I came across this guy (if anyone would spot a cat-coat, it would be me), and it's even less shocking that this jacket came home with me the moment I saw it.
This hand-painted gem came into my old shop, and it never even saw the shop floor. It immediately was purchased by yours truly. Check out this one of a kind "COOL CAT" jacket below!
Going through my mom's old clothes is one of my favorite things. Unfortunately by this point, I think I've already stole all of her clothing left from her twenties. One of the things I've taken from her is this adorable cropped v-neck sweater. Let me rephrase that: the perfect cropped v-neck sweater. It fits a little oversized and it's the perfect length for pairing with high-waisted pieces.
I most recently paired it with this adorable skirt from Madewell (that I mentioned in this post), my Alexander Wang bag, a vintage Levi's denim jacket, and a pair of black shiny oxfords. I even tried milk-maid braids in my hair for the first time!
We need to go antiquing more. Like Courtney mentioned in the "Friends Date" post from yesterday, if you travel a little out of the city, you can get WAY more for your money. We found all of these goodies for just about $150. The sewing machine was our splurge, but it added a necessary touch to Brittany's new room (Did we mention she just graduated college for fashion design?). We couldn't help but have a mini photo-shoot with all the goodies. Even if her family did think we were a little crazy, we're obsessed. Not to mention, we had an absolute blast fan-girling over everything with a little "rustic charm" to it.
robin egg blue fan - $5 (and it works!)
white metal basket - $8...for the same style, look here
painters ladder - $12 (not pictured)
the glass bottles - $4 each
silhouettes - $15 each... find similar (and authentic) ones here
metal finials - $8 each
vintage sewing machine - $80...for a similar look, check here
gold frame - $10 (not pictured)
Brittany had this plain white dresser that really needed a mature display that reflected her love for vintage, sewing, and adorable things. We may or may not have taken far too long setting this up and chit chatting- but, we did find time in between talking about life, hair, and going to see crappy bands play in high school to document a step by step process on how to create a cohesive display.
Step 1 : Start with the big stuff. Hint - Displays work best in threes. Bottles, silhouettes, sewing machine. Check the basics off your list, because you're done with that step. If you leave this black and white setup as a display, you might as well throw on your Good Charlotte sweatshirt and draw on your eyeliner tears, because it's depressing. We needed color, and we really wanted the gold from the silhouette frames to pop.
Step 2: Make those silhouettes pop! We did that by pulling in those crazy metal finials Brittany found and using them to draw your eye back to the sewing machine. Adorable, but it was still lacking a "pop".
Step 3 : Go into the garden, try not to cry when a dragonfly almost EATS you, and pick some bright and full flowers. They're easy to change out when they're in your own yard. In the winter, you can get some fake flowers or go to a florist. They brighten up the display, add some life into your room, and smell pretty nice too!
With a couple hours in just two stores, we both found treasures that we don't want to give up. We're old ladies at heart - we get it.
Courtney + Brittany
I am cheap, but I love my labels. Don't believe it? Try finding Giorgio Armani, Jeffrey Campbells, Rebecca Minkoff and Madewell for under $300. This is why I love second hand stores. Let's start with the Jeffrey Campbell Lita pumps. I traded in a couple things at the buy/sell/trade shop down the street for these "like new" babies. Even if you had nothing to trade in and bought these platforms outright, they were only marked at $59 there (normally $150-$200)! The Rebecca Minkoff MAC - my absolute favorite bag - was only priced at $120 at a second hand store. I was saving up for the exact same one in Barneys, and saved almost $300 this way. The sunglasses are hilarious, and awesome. They are Giorgio Armani and were only $49. The nude, brown, and tan floral dress is Madewell, and the black leather blazer is Urban Outfitters. The dress was marked down to $40 and the blazer was a steal at $19. All these pieces are a million percent versatile and are staples in my wardrobe. My boyfriend will fight me on this, because he'll claim he's "never seen me wear (the shoes)". That's the truth - I haven't. But I've wanted to own them forever, and didn't have to spend a single dollar on them! They're coming in handy next month as I wear them to strut my stuff down the runway in my best friend's senior fashion show. I absolutely cannot wait to share her work but until then, ogle at this trendy, high-end outfit I'm not actually going to wear today!
A satisfying Sunday spent in my studded sweater. Alliteration at it's finest! Ha! But really - one of my favorite sweaters is this funny knit granny sweater, with these awesome shoulder studs. I added some other details to tie the semi-boring outfit all together. I found this fabulous piece at a buy/sell/trade shop down the street. It was a whopping $30, and all I did was trade in a few cute tops that I didn't wear anymore in so I didn't have to pay a cent out of pocket. I totally recommend looking into second hand stores for awesome staples. Be sure to double check the condition before leaving the store though - most second hand shops' return policies are pretty strict. I'll be sure to share my cheap finds and give you tips and tricks on how to find yours. Use my contact page to send me some of your awesome apparel too!