Wednesday, October 14, 2015

September Thrift Round-up

It's only halfway through October! I've only experienced 8 train delays this month so far*! Time for a round-up of my thrift purchases last month.

Stop 1: the flea market at De Anza College

Indonesian wide leather belt $5

I don't think this cool flower belt had ever been worn. There were black threads still on it that appear to have been from a tag, and the leather isn't bent or broken in. I am looking for a plain saturated dress in a nice deep green or blue, as I think this would look killer over one.

Dana Ashkenazi sweatshirt $1

I'm not sure what I'm gonna do with the sweatshirt. I got it because I like the reverse exposed seams, and quartering on the front like a shield.

I am not gonna sport Che Guevara on my left boob, though. Time for some sort of patch. And I don't know what's up with the Charlie Chaplin graphic on there either, but all signs point to me not being young-hip-urban-blonde-trustfund enough to wear this brand:
Go on and Google image it yourself. It goes on. Haha!
Dear gawd it's so comfortable, though. I've always wanted an IDGaF shirt to pull on over broken-in IDGaF jeans, that would make me look good while clearly still not GaF. I've tried a few (in my head they must be grey, a traditionally underwear and therefore IDGaF color) and it's never worked out. I think this may be the one.

Not pictured is a sheer green top I bought from the same lady that sold me the sweatshirt, also for $1. It took me 20 minutes to untangle, so it was worth the money for the entertainment, but for all the promise that the different panels and wrappy bits and pointy hem promised, it was disappointingly symmetrical and makes me look like a squat tube.

Munro American navy and brown flats $10 
More work shoes! The color scheme of these reminded me of my beloved Naya Lightning boots:
...whose heels are not suitable for scootering to and fro and standing all day at a desk.

Stop 2: ARF (pet benefit thrift shop)

Tahari silk and cotton cropped cardigan $2.50

I call the color Dusty Burga-roon. Pictured here with my skunkfunk skirt I can never get to go with anything for love or money. I'm playing with color triads now. (No, not Triads.)

NYDJ straight leg cut, $2.50 each

I'm trying more straight leg jeans to see if they don't make me look unhappy sausage-like in the way that skinny jeans do. I don't know what to call the color of the pair on the left other than Lake Bottom. Not romantic-sounding, but a cool slightly unusual dark neutral to try with things. I want a set of Pantone color chips like Anne of Spy Girl has so I can know the names of all of these new colors I'm adding to the wardrobe.
akdmcs capris $1.50

Never thought I'd buy capris, but herringbone denim, embroidery, and cool snaps and zippers are enough to sell me on anything, apparently! I also live in an environment in which I would not freeze the lower half of my calves off wearing them, so now's the time to experiment.

motherhood maternity navy shrug $2.50

I was just talking about looking for one of these in my last post, and I found one not long after! It's not my first piece of maternity clothing, though I don't know what's maternity about a shrug. I guess it's like a plus size brand making scarves. Why not make it a one-stop shop for your demographic?
mod-o-doc striped v-neck $2.50

Way out of my comfort zone. Stripes?! Bright colors? No blue? I want this to go with something deep green. The same deep green that I've been looking for in thrift stores for months.

White silk hair clip $1

This bow is half the size of my face. I love that.

Trinkets for my front windowsill $2 each

These two actually came from the Goodwill and Salvation Army. Favourite Joe says the textured glass globe on the left is Pluto. My apartment has a large window looking out on the porch and courtyard, so I've put some pretty things on it to catch the afternoon light.

Total spent on clothes in September comes to a little over $30! Hooray for making budget!

Man, this post got long. I thrift a lot. I think I will break my round-ups into two from now on.

* This isn't enthusiasm. This is inner screaming.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Coming Up Long

Go go gadget A-line! More summer dresses from the land of photos past! This is another of those rare good fits through chest and waist that means I'll be holding onto this forever. The secret is to be a quarter spandex and elastic around the back.
I eschew white everywhere but socks and cool summer things, evidently.
 Dress: RŨBY (thrifted)
Cropped cardigan: bp (thrifted)
Shoes: Rieker anti-stress (thrifted)
The tag says RŨBY, but I think it is Charlotte Russe because the care tag has the number 101331 on it, and that's the RN for that retailer. Also: made in USA! Double cool points!

My summer dresses flare out at my natural waist, while my trousers are mid to low rise, so that means my massive jacket collection is of no use because they are all too long. Argh! Maybe I should start chopping the bottoms off of them like Mel of Bag and a Beret.
This dress wants a cropped sweater or jacket and some shoes in a deep saturated color to set off the flowers and white fabric, I think. I've been looking for deep green, red, and blue things for some time and they're so hard to find!

Have jewel tones been on the outs for several years? Do people who wear jewel tones choose their items carefully and never donate them? Are there a bunch of mid-30s Asian women out there snatching them all up in the thrift stores before I get there? If so, can I hang out with them and swap clothes?

It doesn't help that a lot of shrugs I see sold online are so short they look like a pair of sleeves sewn together in the back so you don't lose one. Anybody have any suggestions on where to look? (Update: I found a navy one while thrifting! September thrifting round-up possibly next post. Suggestions still welcomed.)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Cheat Codes

Old post! Had these pics for a while, then entered a period of four weeks in which I hadn't enough energy to cook, clean, or even eat regularly. I must be feeling better because now I'm overwhelmingly pissed off at the shambles my life is. Dr. appt. on Thursday. Onward!

The recent months of warm weather plus scooting to and from the train station have left me looking for things that are office friendly, cool, don't show wet patches, and are machine washable.

Enter dresses: the cheat code of the lady wardrobe!
Long cloak hoodie: Prairie Underground (online)
Dayflower lace dress: Maeve (thrifted)
Necklace: Betsey Johnson (TJ Maxx)
Shoes: Rieker Anti-stress (thrifted)
I've been 10 years in the Bay Area, and it's the first time I've lived someplace warm enough to deploy these. As for why I owned sundresses while living in the land of Never-Summer, I have as much clue as you.
I discovered a thrift shop a few miles down the road that benefits the peninsula SPCA and Humane Society. It's packed and labyrinthine, with a middle-aged to elderly customer base, so they have interesting furniture, some vintage hats, and housewares.

I didn't expect to find much in clothing, but this pretty dress was hanging prominently on a wire rack just beyond the tight squeeze through the furniture and picture frames. The color is paler than I prefer, but its modern stretchy material means my shoulders and chest comfortably fit into the same garment as my waist. FTW!

I really like the look of lace over a solid color. I'm tempted to see if putting a layer of dark material under the lace cutout would look all right, because I want to show it off more.
I also found some True Religion jeans of a mysterious color there:
You may notice in a string of seasonal pictures that my hair is sticking up a lot. I've given up on using product to tame it because by the time I get to the train, the exercise has made it all moot, anyway. Honestly it's been so warm this summer I'm tempted to bring a change of clothes and shower again when I get to the office (there is a gym in the office park.)

I've been wearing a lot of hats this week, and it turns out that some of the folks in the office *love* hats. I am going to try to recruit them into going to the next Goorin Bros. sample sale. That's about it from me. Tired all the damn time. Don't like how the photos are turning out on my porch.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Casual Friday

 It's Casual Friday! (Well, it was Casual Friday)
Parham Elephant Polo shirt: Joules (thrifted)
Shorts: nicole by nicole miller (thrifted)
Socks: Ichiban-kan
Shoes: New Balance
On Fridays, there is a noontime walk/jog around the office park. We get points for participating that we can redeem for company swag. It's one of the activities of the company culture I appreciate. I work with some cool people and I like that we're encouraged to socialize.

Most days I scoot to and from work carrying workout clothes and running shoes, and on alternate Fridays I carry more because I take the train straight to Favourite Joe's part of the Bay. I thought I'd try a Casual Friday outfit to cut down on luggage.
There are so many cool details to this shirt! It might not show up in photos, but the fabric is very heavy. All of the stripes and patches are also thick fabric sewn solidly on, giving the feeling that this shirt really would withstand a fall off a horse. I have always been drawn to patches, and while I hesitated to buy a polo shirt (I wore them all through high school and I've been biased against them ever since) I was sold.

This polo shirt came up in the mens' part of the store when I was thrift shopping with a friend for his new wardrobe. I'd really hoped it would be either his or Favourite Joe's size, but it's clearly a lady shirt. I found a picture on the Internet:
The shirt is clearly pinned in the back on the model. Blah.
I dig the psuedo-laces on the sides of these shorts. They were a great find after a long exasperated attempt to find shorts that weren't either of these two styles:
 Srsly, I have a great relationship with my legs, but I am interested in garments that cover part of them. Just not to the degree that those denim theatre curtains are offering to.
Secret extra preppy with argyle ankle socks
I enjoy branching out and trying different styles, but at the heart of it, shorts, running shoes, and a tank top or t-shirt is the most natural state of the human Aya. If I didn't love playing in my big closet, it would definitely be those things every day for the rest of my life.


Lastly! Thanks so much for your comments (or not commenting, whichever. thanks for checking out the blog) about my stuff that doesn't work. I buy things that I think look cool, and that feel good when I'm wearing them, but my photos give me a pulled-back look that I don't get even in a full length mirror. I put up outfits made out of borderline items because I need another perspective to decide.

The personal style blogger community is a great positive community, but positive doesn't mean you need to avoid being honest. I really appreciate the feedback (and consigned both shirts in the last post to the donation bin.) Cheers!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Waist Not, Want Not?

Trying a layered look with this altered crop top and Diesel tunic to see if they can work before I send 'em to the donation bin:
Blue crop top: Treasure Rock (formerly tank top)
Grey tunic: Diesel (thrifted)
Skirt: Express (thrifted)
Boots: ALDO (thrifted)
Some background: both tops are on the chopping block as I persevere in my Sisyphean task of pruning my closet.

The blue crop top was originally a Treasure Rock tank top. I wore it one of my early blog posts:
I wasn't feeling it any more, but I really liked the embroidery, so I tried cutting the bottom off and using the fabric for sleeves. The sleeves worked great, but I cut off too much. I would have liked it if I'd kept the sleeves t-shirt length and left a few more inches on the shirt:
The Diesel tunic, thrifted because it has a sweet asymmetrical collar and these cute fabric buttons running down one strap, defies any attempts at comfortable wear. Its straps sit at different spots on the shoulders, meaning one bra strap is always showing. I have to pin it in place, seen here:
The other problem is the cut, as with so many Diesel things, is for a mutant people who have no chest span, so it garrotes me under the arms. It fits at the waist, but the chest is so badly draped that it makes me look blocky, flat chested, and wide waisted:
It doesn't help that I thought tunic meant skinny jeans, creating the look Underwear Over Sausages
Strategy: cover the problem Diesel neckline/underarm issue with the crop top and add a third block with the black skirt to anchor a long grey waist with blue above and black below. I think the crop top doesn't look too short this time.

Thoughts on the triple layer? Should I keep 'em or donate? Also I just noticed I'm wearing the same black skirt with the blue Treasure Rock shirt two years ago. Man, I gotta up my game. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


It's been so warm! I haven't lived someplace warm in the Bay Area for 10 years. Also megadrought be messing with everything. Trying to adapt my style.

I got this taupe corduroy Ruth skirt taken in, and I'm trying to work out a top for it. The 6 buttons in front are a dusty violet. Hopefully it's cute without being too schoolgirl.
 Top: Cop Copine (thrifted)
Skirt: Ruth (thrifted)
Shoes: Rieker Anti-Stress (thrifted)
Hat: Jeanne Simmons (Distractions on Haight)
Bib necklace: Betsey Johnson (TJ Maxx)
Coat: Live a Little (thrifted)

One thing that has expanded my wardrobe options is my sweet new ride. I lost my car in a flash flood last November; I moved my bicycle up here with my stuff in January, then it got stolen within a week.

No more wheels I cannot physically pick up and carry everywhere with me! This little scooter cuts my morning trip to the station in half and more importantly, lets me wear shoes I couldn't walk over a mile in.

People stop and watch me as I go past. Maybe they're wondering at a grown woman scooting by on a child's toy, but they are probably admiring my style. I am quite possibly the most fashionably hatted individual in all Millbrae.
This necklace is so bling. It dances right up to the edge of garish for me, and then stops and demands I love it.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Out for Dinner

Do I look unusually florid here? I'm either tanning during my morning scoots to the train station or I need to learn color balance in PS. Or paint that wall.
wait, I figured it out:
 Kimono shirt shell: Forever 21 (thrifted)
Jeans: 7 for all Mankind (gift from brother)
Platforms: Candie's (thrifted)
Necklace: family crest (inherited)
Damascene bracelet: eBay

Stepped out for dinner with a dear friend I hadn't seen since I moved back up. Finally wore the shirt shell I thrifted last year when I was visiting for one of Favourite Joe's shows. There's a lot of yellow and bright teal in it, so I was unable to figure out an underlayer until I bought this goldenrod tank top I posted about last month.
This whole 'color' thing is opening up all sorts of new frontiers!

Good to see this outfit looks nice and not over-the-top "HI DID I MENTION MY ANCESTORS CAME FROM JAPAN"