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It’s safe to say that as a hardcore thrift shopper {I’ve been thrifting for pretty much all my life!}, I’ve found some serious gems. I’m talking pieces that are absolute showstoppers and have people asking, “where did you get that??” and the garments that make me smile every time I see them hanging in my closet.

While it’s hard to choose favorites, I thought it was time for me to round up my best thrift store scores and share the tips I used to find them…so you can find some gems as well at the thrift shop.

When I was thinking of what my favorite thrift find has been over the years, at the top of my list was this vintage Oscar de la Renta coat. I mean, look at it!!! The bold color, the a-line trapeze style, warm wool with velvet accents. It’s hard not to love this beauty. She’s definitely kept me warm over the years.

Thrift tip: Don’t feel the need to thrift shop first thing in the morning. I know it’s tempting to think that if you’re going to a major sale or shopping on the weekend that you want to be one of the first in line. But that’s just not true. I found this vintage coat at the Salvation Army coat sale a few hours after the doors had opened. Even though the sale had been going on for about an hour or so, I knew there was more than enough to go around and I shouldn’t have a problem finding anything. This beauty was just hanging on the racks. Being the first in line doesn’t guarantee you’ll find everything and being last in line doesn’t mean you’ll find nothing. Just shop and keep an open mind.

I’ve said it a million times and I’ll say it again, shop with a friend! This is something I utter more than once in my thrift shopping book, Looking Fly on a Dime: How to Find Fabulous Fashion at Any Thrift Shop & Make the Cheap Look Chic. The reason for that? A second set of eyes is always better than one. These disco gold pants were found at a small thrift sale my mom told me about. And mom also helped in another area. I was about to check out with three or four items in my hand when she alerted me about a better deal. Instead of buying items per piece {dresses and jeans were $6, tops about $5}, she told me there was a $15 bag offer where you can fill a bag and pay one flat price. Um, I totally overlooked that! So I picked up a bag at the register and filled it with a few additional items, including the gold pants, which I initially didn’t see during my first lap around the sales floor. This is why I suggest shopping with a fellow thrifter when you can. They can see things that you may have overlooked.

Speaking of overlooking things, you’re probably still overlooking the accessories at the thrift shop. Accessories are easy to shop for {you don’t have to try them on and they’re one size fits all} but they still tend to be put on the back burner while clothes and shoes get all the glory. I absolutely adore these cherub style clip on earrings but they almost didn’t make their way into my jewelry box. It wasn’t until I doubled back and checked the jewelry counter that I saw them just sitting there and looking gorgeous. I’m not sure if it’s because people are so focused on the clothes or maybe by the time they reach the accessories they’re just so tired, but for whatever reason, many people pass right by the jewelry. Don’t be one of those people.

My Top 5 Thrift Store Faves + Tips on How I Scored Them
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I can’t say I’m a huge fan of anything western inspired, but when I saw these leather boots that had a bit of a Missoni-like vibe, I snatched them up immediately. And just as soon as I threw them in my cart, I placed them back. Why? Because the soles were a bit too scuffed up. I shopped a bit more but came back for the boots because I couldn’t get over them. They were just too cute and statement-making. Luckily they were still on the racks and I deliberated on whether they were worth buying even with the soles needing repair. I googled the average price to resole a pair of boots and I found a shop that did so for 30 bucks. Yes, that was more than quadruple the cost of the boots but it was still an amazing deal for a pair of vintage boots I adore. Sometimes it’s totally okay to buy something that needs a little bit of love and repair. But just be sure that you’ll actually make the repairs and the price is justifiable.
Finally, one of my favorite thrift finds isn’t something that’s in my closet. They’re actually a set of chairs. One of my favorite thrift stores {Salvation Army on 46th Street in Manhattan} also has a nice assortment of furniture and I when I was decorating a new apartment, I decided to venture to the top floor to see what I could find. Because I love all things colorful and bold, these leopard print chairs immediately caught my eye. They were $15 a piece and the set of four was just $50. But because my place was so small, I only had space for two of them. The sales associate let me break the set and I took them home a few days later {the store even offered delivery!}. The majority of the time I hit the thrift store I’m checking out clothes or accessories, so I had to remind myself that there was so much more to the secondhand shop. If your store has a nice home section, hit up those aisles. There’s typically tons of great pieces to jazz up your space even on the tightest of budgets.
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My name is Patrice and I’m a hardcore high heel lover, but I’m absolutely obsessed with a pair of sneakers. Whew, that was tough for me to say! But no seriously, I bought a pair of sneakers from Target a few weeks ago and they’ve become my go-to sneakers, particularly for traveling.

That’s not a big deal, right? Cute, comfy sneakers can be a dime a dozen. But what surprised me is that they’re from the boys section. Yup, my latest dime find is from the little boys department at Target! And they make navigating the airport like a pro an absolute breeze.

It was like any other day when I was bopping through the Target aisles and I wandered into the children’s section. I’ve always felt Target has cute kids clothing {I wish some of it was in my size!}, but I never paid attention to the kiddie shoes. Imagine my surprise when I spotted a pair of kicks that were actually pretty fly. They were from the Cat & Jack collection, Target’s kids’ line.

I loved the high top style, the go-with-everything dark cognac color and the white sole. They kinda reminded me of Chucks. I tried them on and I was sold.

I’ve never worn kids shoes before so I had no idea what size to get. I just grabbed the size 7, but that was too big. Luckily a 6 was available and it was a perfect fit.

I used the Target app to scan the barcode and it turned out the shoes were 20 percent off. Needless to say, I was sold!

But the thing that made them my new go-to for traveling? There’s a side zipper. This is absolutely perfect for when you need to get through security at the airport. No more unlacing your sneakers. Just a quick zip!

I’ve worn these sneakers on my last few trips and I absolutely adore them. While walking around in New Orleans one afternoon, I did notice my right foot was hurting a bit, so they might require a bit of breaking in {or insoles if you have flat feet!}, but I haven’t had an issue with them since.

My New Favorite Travel Sneakers are from the Boys Department {and they're currently on sale!}
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Though I purchased these during a 20 percent off sale, that deal has since passed, but Target is actually having another sale right now. Buy one, get one half off on all shoes. Can’t beat that!

And I love that I’ve pretty much worn them with everything, from a vintage denim mini skirt to comfy leggings.

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It happened gradually. Well, gradually as in a year or two. First it was a snug fit here. Then a ripped zipper there. I was gaining weight.

Before I get into this post, I want to make a few things clear: gaining weight isn’t a horrible thing. I’m also not fishing for compliments. But this post is about something real. A question that many women can face. How do you dress when you find yourself suddenly gaining weight and feeling less than comfortable in your existing clothes?

I can honestly answer that because it’s been happening to me for the past year or so. Again, I’m not seeking anyone to tell me, “Patrice, what are you talking about, you look great!!!” or “girl, stop. You’re only a size 8.”

This has nothing to do with size but more so how to dress your body when your body starts to change. And as I’ve noticed the number on the scale creep up a bit {I don’t even own an actual scale, I just step on one at Target when I’m there shopping for other stuff!} due to age but also horrible habits I’ve developed, I can tell you one thing.

Well, I guess there are really two things.

First, stop making yourself feel bad. If you know you just don’t fit certain clothes any longer, toss them or maybe place them in the back of your closet at best. Because the alternative is continuing to try to squeeze into them {jumping, squatting and struggling with zippers!} and the result can make you feel pretty crappy.

I have a vintage dress I absolutely adore and I tried it on when I was extremely bloated {weight gain + PMS} and guess what happened? I broke the zipper. And then guess what happened after that? I felt like sad because this garment I loved so much is now a reminder that my body doesn’t look the way she used to.

After popping the zipper, I had a bit of a pep talk with myself and it went something like, “this dress just isn’t working for you right now, let’s find what does.” So instead of trying to force my body to fit, I went through my closet for clothes that felt amazing and in my opinion, looked amazing on me.

You see the vintage dress above? That’s when I thrifted the vintage dress from Fox & Fawn almost three years ago. I had some wiggle room in it. Now you see it below? Same dress. I still adore it, but yeah, it has a bit less give. If the day ever comes when I can’t comfortably wear it, it’s going into the donation pile so it can bring someone else major joy.

One of the worst things anyone of any size can do is try to fit into something that just doesn’t work. Besides the tugging and pulling of the material, can you really look all that confident in something when you know it’s straight struggle-ville to even get it on?

Right now I’m carrying extra weight in my mid section, so to make me feel more comfortable, I love a dress with ruching {like the thrifted one below}. The dress is still sleek and sexy but camouflages an area I’m not 100 percent comfortable with right now.

And beyond camouflaging anything, my most important suggestion for dressing when you’ve gained weight is to highlight your favorite feature.

For me, that means my legs. I’m pretty short, but I’ve got strong, sturdy legs that I love. So I can’t resist a short dress or a dress and heels that really play up my favorite feature. And the irony is, years ago I used to hate my short legs.

The bottom line: bodies change. And that’s not a bad thing. But the key is to always do what works for you and makes you feel amazing, instead of stuffing yourself into a mold that just doesn’t fit.

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Another Fashion Week has come and gone and honestly? Blah! I’ve never been a huge fan of Fashion Week. I mean, I get it. It’s amazing to see the designs, what’s trending for the next season and the overall high energy being around other creatives. But after experiencing two or three New York Fashion Weeks back in the day, I can honestly say I’m over it.

However, one thing I do enjoy seeing or reading about is the emerging trends. The runways are for showing us what’s new and what we’ll be seeing a ton of in stores. But more specifically, I love seeing how the “new” trends are things that have been done for years and can easily be found at any thrift or vintage shop.

And there’s one specific fashion trend for 2019 that can be found at any, yes any!, thrift shop.

Judging from the pic above, can you guess what the trend is? It’s not a jumpsuit or utility suits {though those are amazing}, but it’s neon.

Neon is the must have trend for 2019.

Wait, I know I may have lost you. You’re probably saying, “But Patrice, it’s so bright!” You’re right, it’s bright, bold, ballsy and in your face.

The 2019 Fashion Week Trend You Can Easily Find at Any Thrift Shop
Click To Tweet

I love neon-hues and they’re so easily found at any thrift shop. I scored the jumpsuit above while thrifting last summer in Edmonton, Canada. The great thing about thrift shops is they carry everything, which automatically makes a lot of what they have trendy. Because fashion is so cyclical, there’s a great chance that at any moment, you can find what’s trending.

While the color is definitely in your face, that’s why it’s so easy to find at the thrift store. It’s pretty impossible to not see a jumpsuit this bright or maybe a top, pair of shoes or accessories. Some secondhand shops are horribly unorganized and the racks are jam packed, so a bold trend like this will stick out immediately.

So the next question is probably, how do you wear neon? Well, wear it however you like. I’m a more is more type of girl, so this jumpsuit fits my style. I plan to wear it with neutral or metallic heels and a textured belt. But if you’re looking for a more subtle way, try accessories. That can include a belt or even a purse. This is a way to dip into the neon trend with a small dosage. Another way to do so is to wear a garment that has just a hint of neon, like a pair of jogger pants with a neon stripe going down the leg or a blazer with  neon trim at the cuff.

There’s no wrong way to wear this hot trend for the year. And because it’s so easily found at the thrift shop, you don’t have to spend a ton.

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I have a thing for vintage shopping. Well, that’s clearly not a surprise. But I particularly love styling vintage pieces in a way that’s modern and even on trend. Why? Because sometimes vintage gets such a bad rap for being equated with outdated. But it’s super easy to style clothes that are decades old in a way that’s current.

A few years ago I rocked these high waisted vintage pants with an edgy vibe and now, I’m doing the same with a suit. You might remember this from a few weeks ago when I showed you seven ways to style a single vintage suit. That was a short and sweet video, but today I’m breaking down the actual process to create one look in particular.

Out of the seven looks I styled from this one suit, this one below has to be my fave. It just speaks to my every day attire. It’s got the punches of color, a bit of texture, and the boot has a slight heel while still being comfortable.

My “top” is actually the vintage skirt that I just hiked up over my chest and layered a knit pencil skirt over it. Since the top is pretty lightweight, it worked perfectly under the skirt and didn’t add any bulk. That’s the key to effortless layering!

I was going to opt for black booties but I chose these beige ones {another thrift find for $6 or $7!} to pick up on some of the accents in the top. And the same with the hat from Tenth Street. The blue brim and multi-color band pick up on the colors in the bold shirt as well.

You’ll probably see me wearing elements of this outfit again and again. And why not? When you love your clothes and they speak to your true personal style, you absolutely should be a repeat outfit offender.

Outfit Breakdown: 
Jacket: Lulu’s
Top and belt: vintage {first seen here}
Skirt: vintage {similar style here}
Boots: thrifted BCBG {similar styles here and here}
Hat: Tenth Street 

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I think I’m finally finding my grove in 2019. It’s safe to say 2018 was, well, a lot for me. And I mean that in good ways and bad. One way that was absolutely amazing involved traveling. I knew I wanted to travel more and let me just say this, be careful what you ask for! If you’ve been following me on Instagram, then you know that the last few months of 2018 were full of getaways, from Canada to Guadeloupe to Dominican Republic to domestic trips to Richmond and Nashville. At times it felt like my head was spinning {I was on six flights within a 3 day period!} but one thing that was great? Well, besides the frequent flier miles I racked up?

I learned a ton about navigating the airport like a pro. I already felt like I was pretty efficient, but over the past few months I just really nailed the process. And of course, I’m sharing the tips with you!

I’ve done a ton of posts on how to pack your carry-on bag like a pro, but this particular blog is all about navigating the airport with as little frustration as possible.

Compile a Master Doc
If you haven’t checked in for your flight online, the first thing you probably do at the airport is head to the check in kiosk. And the next thing you do might be to open up your email with the confirmation number or your wallet to enter the credit card number that was used to book the flight. Nope, don’t do that! What I’ve started doing is creating a master document and saving it as the background on my phone. It’s simply something I create in the Notes app that includes the terminal, flight number, boarding and departure times, confirmation number, frequent flier number, and more. These are all the things you might need on hand and instead of searching through a series of emails, it’s just in one place. The reason I like to save the list as the background image on my phone is pretty simple: it saves me an additional step of having to unlock my phone and open the Notes app. It’s just as simple as pressing a button or even looking at the phone and the background image is there. Easy peasy!

Layer Your Personal Item 
The morning of your flight is prime time to focus on what you’re going to pack in your personal item {small tote or backpack} that will be placed under the seat. You know when you’re behind someone who’s digging through their bag and they’re holding up the line? That person clearly didn’t take the Patrice method of layering. The layer method is all about placing the least used items on the bottom and the items you’ll need access to closer to the top. For example: if I have a spare change of clothes or shoes in my backpack, I probably won’t need them on the flight, so they’re at the bottom. On the flip side, my charger, snacks, and toiletries go on the top. These are the items I’ll need while at the airport and/or on the flight. Also, I like to group like items in small, clear plastic bags {snacks in one bag, electronics/chargers in another, essentials like my passport, pen and boarding pass in another, etc.}. This makes retrieving them so much easier and since the bags are clear, no need to open them up to see what’s inside. I use these clear cosmetic bags you can get on Amazon or pretty much anywhere.

Breeze Through TSA
While it totally makes sense for TSA to have a single set of rules that every airport follows, that’s just not the case. Sometimes you need to take your shoes and belt off, sometimes they just don’t care. Sometimes they ask you to remove your three ounce products, sometimes it’s just, eh whatever! Either way, you want to be prepared. I always keep my small toiletries bag {see my post on how to pack your TSA-approved beauty bag here} on the top of my small tote bag. This way, just in case I do have to take it out, it’s easily accessible compared to having to open my carry-on suitcase. And after I make it through security, then I can place the toiletries bag in my suitcase. Also, my shoes tend to be the first item I place on the conveyor belt. I hate going through the screening and my bags have made it and now I’m just standing there in thin socks waiting on my shoes to come through. Instead, just before I walk through the scanner, I place my shoes on the belt and they’re there to greet me on the other side. And if my bags get held up through the scanner, I can take a second to put my shoes on and be ready to go by the time my carry-on makes it through.

Those are just a few ways to breeze through the airport with a bit of ease. Also, I recently appeared on a segment for NBC Better and you can check out some of these tips, including additional travel packing hacks.

Cheers to more travel and adventures in 2019. I’m heading to Miami next week and then Colorado soon after, so be sure to follow along on Instagram {@PatriceJWill} for the live action.

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My name is Patrice and I’m a hardcore high heel lover, but I’m absolutely obsessed with a pair of sneakers. Whew, that was tough for me to say! But no seriously, I bought a pair of sneakers from Target a few weeks ago and they’ve become my go-to sneakers, particularly for traveling.

That’s not a big deal, right? Cute, comfy sneakers can be a dime a dozen. But what surprised me is that they’re from the boys section. Yup, my latest dime find is from the little boys department at Target! And they make navigating the airport like a pro an absolute breeze.

It was like any other day when I was bopping through the Target aisles and I wandered into the children’s section. I’ve always felt Target has cute kids clothing {I wish some of it was in my size!}, but I never paid attention to the kiddie shoes. Imagine my surprise when I spotted a pair of kicks that were actually pretty fly. They were from the Cat & Jack collection, Target’s kids’ line.

I loved the high top style, the go-with-everything dark cognac color and the white sole. They kinda reminded me of Chucks. I tried them on and I was sold.

I’ve never worn kids shoes before so I had no idea what size to get. I just grabbed the size 7, but that was too big. Luckily a 6 was available and it was a perfect fit.

I used the Target app to scan the barcode and it turned out the shoes were 20 percent off. Needless to say, I was sold!

But the thing that made them my new go-to for traveling? There’s a side zipper. This is absolutely perfect for when you need to get through security at the airport. No more unlacing your sneakers. Just a quick zip!

I’ve worn these sneakers on my last few trips and I absolutely adore them. While walking around in New Orleans one afternoon, I did notice my right foot was hurting a bit, so they might require a bit of breaking in {or insoles if you have flat feet!}, but I haven’t had an issue with them since.

My New Favorite Travel Sneakers are from the Boys Department {and they're currently on sale!}
Click To Tweet

Though I purchased these during a 20 percent off sale, that deal has since passed, but Target is actually having another sale right now. Buy one, get one half off on all shoes. Can’t beat that!

And I love that I’ve pretty much worn them with everything, from a vintage denim mini skirt to comfy leggings.

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It happened gradually. Well, gradually as in a year or two. First it was a snug fit here. Then a ripped zipper there. I was gaining weight.

Before I get into this post, I want to make a few things clear: gaining weight isn’t a horrible thing. I’m also not fishing for compliments. But this post is about something real. A question that many women can face. How do you dress when you find yourself suddenly gaining weight and feeling less than comfortable in your existing clothes?

I can honestly answer that because it’s been happening to me for the past year or so. Again, I’m not seeking anyone to tell me, “Patrice, what are you talking about, you look great!!!” or “girl, stop. You’re only a size 8.”

This has nothing to do with size but more so how to dress your body when your body starts to change. And as I’ve noticed the number on the scale creep up a bit {I don’t even own an actual scale, I just step on one at Target when I’m there shopping for other stuff!} due to age but also horrible habits I’ve developed, I can tell you one thing.

Well, I guess there are really two things.

First, stop making yourself feel bad. If you know you just don’t fit certain clothes any longer, toss them or maybe place them in the back of your closet at best. Because the alternative is continuing to try to squeeze into them {jumping, squatting and struggling with zippers!} and the result can make you feel pretty crappy.

I have a vintage dress I absolutely adore and I tried it on when I was extremely bloated {weight gain + PMS} and guess what happened? I broke the zipper. And then guess what happened after that? I felt like sad because this garment I loved so much is now a reminder that my body doesn’t look the way she used to.

After popping the zipper, I had a bit of a pep talk with myself and it went something like, “this dress just isn’t working for you right now, let’s find what does.” So instead of trying to force my body to fit, I went through my closet for clothes that felt amazing and in my opinion, looked amazing on me.

You see the vintage dress above? That’s when I thrifted the vintage dress from Fox & Fawn almost three years ago. I had some wiggle room in it. Now you see it below? Same dress. I still adore it, but yeah, it has a bit less give. If the day ever comes when I can’t comfortably wear it, it’s going into the donation pile so it can bring someone else major joy.

One of the worst things anyone of any size can do is try to fit into something that just doesn’t work. Besides the tugging and pulling of the material, can you really look all that confident in something when you know it’s straight struggle-ville to even get it on?

Right now I’m carrying extra weight in my mid section, so to make me feel more comfortable, I love a dress with ruching {like the thrifted one below}. The dress is still sleek and sexy but camouflages an area I’m not 100 percent comfortable with right now.

And beyond camouflaging anything, my most important suggestion for dressing when you’ve gained weight is to highlight your favorite feature.

For me, that means my legs. I’m pretty short, but I’ve got strong, sturdy legs that I love. So I can’t resist a short dress or a dress and heels that really play up my favorite feature. And the irony is, years ago I used to hate my short legs.

The bottom line: bodies change. And that’s not a bad thing. But the key is to always do what works for you and makes you feel amazing, instead of stuffing yourself into a mold that just doesn’t fit.

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Another Fashion Week has come and gone and honestly? Blah! I’ve never been a huge fan of Fashion Week. I mean, I get it. It’s amazing to see the designs, what’s trending for the next season and the overall high energy being around other creatives. But after experiencing two or three New York Fashion Weeks back in the day, I can honestly say I’m over it.

However, one thing I do enjoy seeing or reading about is the emerging trends. The runways are for showing us what’s new and what we’ll be seeing a ton of in stores. But more specifically, I love seeing how the “new” trends are things that have been done for years and can easily be found at any thrift or vintage shop.

And there’s one specific fashion trend for 2019 that can be found at any, yes any!, thrift shop.

Judging from the pic above, can you guess what the trend is? It’s not a jumpsuit or utility suits {though those are amazing}, but it’s neon.

Neon is the must have trend for 2019.

Wait, I know I may have lost you. You’re probably saying, “But Patrice, it’s so bright!” You’re right, it’s bright, bold, ballsy and in your face.

The 2019 Fashion Week Trend You Can Easily Find at Any Thrift Shop
Click To Tweet

I love neon-hues and they’re so easily found at any thrift shop. I scored the jumpsuit above while thrifting last summer in Edmonton, Canada. The great thing about thrift shops is they carry everything, which automatically makes a lot of what they have trendy. Because fashion is so cyclical, there’s a great chance that at any moment, you can find what’s trending.

While the color is definitely in your face, that’s why it’s so easy to find at the thrift store. It’s pretty impossible to not see a jumpsuit this bright or maybe a top, pair of shoes or accessories. Some secondhand shops are horribly unorganized and the racks are jam packed, so a bold trend like this will stick out immediately.

So the next question is probably, how do you wear neon? Well, wear it however you like. I’m a more is more type of girl, so this jumpsuit fits my style. I plan to wear it with neutral or metallic heels and a textured belt. But if you’re looking for a more subtle way, try accessories. That can include a belt or even a purse. This is a way to dip into the neon trend with a small dosage. Another way to do so is to wear a garment that has just a hint of neon, like a pair of jogger pants with a neon stripe going down the leg or a blazer with  neon trim at the cuff.

There’s no wrong way to wear this hot trend for the year. And because it’s so easily found at the thrift shop, you don’t have to spend a ton.

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I have a thing for vintage shopping. Well, that’s clearly not a surprise. But I particularly love styling vintage pieces in a way that’s modern and even on trend. Why? Because sometimes vintage gets such a bad rap for being equated with outdated. But it’s super easy to style clothes that are decades old in a way that’s current.

A few years ago I rocked these high waisted vintage pants with an edgy vibe and now, I’m doing the same with a suit. You might remember this from a few weeks ago when I showed you seven ways to style a single vintage suit. That was a short and sweet video, but today I’m breaking down the actual process to create one look in particular.

Out of the seven looks I styled from this one suit, this one below has to be my fave. It just speaks to my every day attire. It’s got the punches of color, a bit of texture, and the boot has a slight heel while still being comfortable.

My “top” is actually the vintage skirt that I just hiked up over my chest and layered a knit pencil skirt over it. Since the top is pretty lightweight, it worked perfectly under the skirt and didn’t add any bulk. That’s the key to effortless layering!

I was going to opt for black booties but I chose these beige ones {another thrift find for $6 or $7!} to pick up on some of the accents in the top. And the same with the hat from Tenth Street. The blue brim and multi-color band pick up on the colors in the bold shirt as well.

You’ll probably see me wearing elements of this outfit again and again. And why not? When you love your clothes and they speak to your true personal style, you absolutely should be a repeat outfit offender.

Outfit Breakdown: 
Jacket: Lulu’s
Top and belt: vintage {first seen here}
Skirt: vintage {similar style here}
Boots: thrifted BCBG {similar styles here and here}
Hat: Tenth Street 

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