Tag Archives: clothes

The source of my favorite outfits (and $20 for you to spend)

I’ve been posting about a lot of heavy stuff recently–and thanks to everyone for all the encouraging comments you’ve left. You guys are wonderful! And today the day has come to post about something just inane and fun. Clothes!

I’ve always been a thrifter. From Plato’s Closet to Salvation Army to the gigantic Rummage sale I’ve been volunteering for (and shopping at!) for a few years, I can barely abide spending full price on an item.

I’ve talked about ThredUp before, but I’m going to talk about it again–so brace yourselves! (part of the reason is because I just got a link that gives you $20 of free money to shop with, or a code that gets you 40% off if it’s your first order).

Basically, ThredUp is an online consignment store. You can use it to sell your old (like-new) clothes by ordering a free clean-out bag, filling it with stuff, and sending it to ThredUp (for free). They will pay you up front for all the “normal” items they accept (high end designer pieces are on a consignment structure instead). You can then cash that money out into your checking account and use it to buy two dozen lattes at Starbucks, or you can use it to shop on their site . . . which is normally the option I take.

You can also earn referral money–$10 for everyone you refer who places an order (so if you join by using my link you not only get $20 but you’re also basically giving me free clothes–thanks!! =)

Let me tell you why shopping on their site is so awesome.

You don’t just go on and randomly browse through random stuff while feeling frustrated that the awesome dress that made your heart go pitter pat is actually an XXS and you couldn’t fit in it to save your life: you can filter by size.

Or you can sort by wardrobe part: pants. Within pants, you can filter so you just get skinny leg denim for example. Or within jeans, so you just get jeggings–the level of detail at which you can break it down is quite impressive.

You can also add brand filters. So I can easily hop on and see all Banana Republic and Gap skinny leg jeans that are a size small or medium, (or 27 or 28, or 4 and 6–all options are available). Like dees:


If you already know your exact size for a given brand, this makes it really easy to find stuff that will probably look good.

Or you can browse their little boy clothes sizes 12m through 2T, and send a gift package of baby clothes to your friend who just had a baby (their smallest size is 12m–but babies grow!). Seriously–what a fun gift to send when you can’t make it to a baby shower in person!

They have maternity wear, too–next time I have a bun in the oven (Lord willing) I know where I’m headed for those extra long camis I wore day in and day out when I was pregnant with Alice.

My sister Erica and I even looked at cardigans together one time. She’s in Arizona, I’m in Chicago–but for a brief 10 minutes it was almost like we were on a shopping date together . . . almost. Ok, not really, because if we were actually together I’d be having a sugar crash in the Target dressing room and we’d be laughing uncontrollably, but it was still fun.

Another plus: ThredUp has awesome customer service. Once, they sent me a pair of leggings that the website said were Banana Republic, but instead were Rockin’ Republic. Hey, everyone makes mistakes. When I brought this to their attention, they immediately sent me a prepaid label to return the item (which I used to return a number of other things as well).

And one time, I placed an order. About an hour later got an email with a coupon from them for 20% off my purchase. “Ack!” I exclaimed while hitting my forehead on my desk repeatedly. The timing . . . the timing! So I emailed their Support Team saying “um . . . could you apply this 20% off to an order I just placed like an hour ago?”

They were like, “Yes! No problemo!”

and I was like, “Wow.”

I don’t know another company that would do that for you.

Which brings me to returns. Over half the things I order don’t fit right or I don’t end up liking. So being ready to make a return is a must if you’re going to have a happy experience. Returning things is easy: you have 30 days. You print a paper from their website showing what items from your order you’re sending back. If you order via their phone app, you get a prepaid (i.e., free) return label. If you don’t order via the phone app, you do have to return stuff the normal way and make a trip to the post office–but to me, that’s lost its intimidation.

Namely because I’ve come out of the whole shebang with outfits like this:

photo 2

It’s a loose-ish Gap dress that is perfect for the summer. It doesn’t cling, but it’s not quite a bag either.

photo 1

I also figured out I can hide my identity by placing the iphone camera over my eyes. Brilliant, eh?

This dress is a recent acquisition . . .

photo 1 copy

. . . and I just love the pattern:

photo 2 copyI was going to give more examples (I seriously wear something I’ve bought from them, like, every other day), but taking selfies is so . . . awkward.

Though here’s an adorable dress I got for Alice:


So even if you don’t plan on using this site all the time, for your $20 of free stuff you can at least treat yourself to a scarf for $7.49 or $6.99, like one of these:


Or a T-shirt for $4.99 or $6.99 like one of these:


Guys, I have become a shameless ThredUp apologist. And I don’t plan on stopping any time soon.

To get 40% off your first purchase (now through September 30th), use this code when you check out: BTX7Y9.

Hope you’re all having a great week!

Virtual shopping trip!

Remember how I mentioned that, after an afternoon of feeling my pants cut into my miserably bloated stomach, I decided to take the leap and buy some maternity jeans?

And remember how I said that I imagined I was taking you all with me? Well, I’ve finally put together the pictures I took of myself in the dressing room at Target.

Wow, that sounds really . . . narcissistic.

But it was really more like Let’s Play Pretend–instead of shopping alone, I just pretended to be shopping with all of you! You lady-types, that is. I even had a couple imaginary conversations with you. In one of them, you kept me safely away from an XXL top that I really loved but . . . well, as you may have guessed, was just a leetle too baggy on me (thanks by the way for saving me the $15!).

So let’s set the scene: there I was at work after eating a lot of fries, and my stomach was not feeling very happy. “These jeans are really giving me an edge!” it whined. “Isn’t there a way you could make me happier by just . . . you know. Spending a little money? For a good cause? Make that a great cause?”

It all seemed to make sense (stomachs have a lot of persuasive power over the pocket book–what can I say). And at that moment, all plans of waiting until Rummage to buy maternity clothes on the cheap just seemed ridiculous, like a completely foolhardy fantasy. The time to shop was clearly now.

So as soon as late afternoon hit and things had calmed down at work, I locked up the office and hit the road. Hopped on the bus, hopped on the train . . . (fast forward 25 minutes) . . . and walked into Target! Once inside, I sped like a madwoman towards the maternity section–but not too fast to grab a few flowy tops off the clearance rack on my way over, mind you. I never go too fast for the clearance rack. Securely hidden away in the dressing room, I whipped off my clothes, put on a striped maternity tank, and pulled on the first pair of maternity jeans.

(by the way, I wish I could say that little belly is the little baby . . . but no. Just fries.)

Why have I heard so many negative things about maternity jeans?

They are sooooo fine. And by that I mean . . . sooooo comfy. Why doesn’t everyone wear them, pregnant and non-pregnant alike?

Well, it might be because of this:


It’s frightening. I know. In fact, some of you ladies in the dressing room let us small yelps of shock.

But just pull down your top and the frightening part goes away. And the comfy part comes back. And all is well again.

Let’s see how they adjust when I really pooch out my belly big time.

Yes, I make a duck face every time I pooch out my belly. Why . . . don’t you?

At this point, I was pretty much sold on the pantalones. I have to say, I do prefer pairs with the shorter maternity band (that doesn’t cover the whole stomach), which is what I went for with pair #2. But later on, I discovered you can also just fold down the extra long stretchy part, and if the bottom of it peaks out, it just looks kind of like a navy blue tank.

Pair #2 unfortunately didn’t get photographed very much. But I really love them. In this picture they look a little baggy around the top–and they do scrunch a little–but for some reason that doesn’t bother me. Maybe because they’re a very tapered dark wash, which makes them look skinnier overall. And if you’re doubting, don’t–because at the time, you totally approved.

Trust me–I was there.

Then it was time to move on to the flowy tops.

I know this an XXL . . .

 . . . but it’s supposed to be flowy and oversized, so it might work, right???


Not even with the belt tied on? I wondered, trying to hang on to one last vestige of hope.

Not even with the belt, you said firmly.

Thank you for being the voice of reason in my head. Sometimes reason flees in the dressing room–but this time it prevailed. I should always shop with you guys.

Moving on!

This little number–not a success.

Not even picture worthy.

Next item! A flowery thingamaging, part dress, part shirt.

I love it (and I’m still sporting the 2nd pair of maternity jeans here–love those too).

Love it, love it, love it. The print feels a little retro, and the fit is spot on.

It made me grin my dorkiest of grins. And it might even be able to accomodate the growing Little Wa-Wa. Put ‘er in the cart!

Next: a cheap black miniskirt with a very stretchy waistband, perfect for my needy belly.

Not bad! Especially when I add my favorite find of the day, this jacket.

One of my favorite parts about the jacket? The lining in the sleeves.

See? No, I’m not just awkwardly hugging my torso–I’m trying to show you the sleeves. They’re polka dot on the inside.

Last item up! A flowy printed blouse with butterflies all over it.

It’s so drapey and lovely.

And the little braided belt is the perfect touch.

I love how everything is going together: the shirt, the skirt, even the jacket . . .

Walking out with a complete outfit is always much more fun than leaving with rampantly individual pieces that refuse to be combined.

Finally, as I left the dressing room, I asked the attendant with a longing voice “You wouldn’t happen to have this one flowy dress/shirt thing in a small? I only saw it in an XXL on the rack . . .” I let my voice trail off and radiated my most hopeful expression in her direction.

She reassured me she would check in the back.

A couple minutes later, I had the small in my hand.

Yeeessssss! It fit great. Being a nincompoop, I didn’t take a picture–but I promise it worked.

By the way, is that how you spell “nincompoop”? It looks kind of . . . odd. Too many n’s and o’s and p’s, or something.


Thanks, friends, for shopping along with me! On the upside, it was fun to record the shopping experience on purpose so that I could ‘take you along’–but on the downside, there did end up being a lot of images of my mug plastered all over this webpage. And I mean a lot. Possibly more than in any other post ever written. So based on the pros and cons, is this experience something you’d like to repeat some day? Or will you run the other way as fast as possible when I utter the word “dressing-room”?

Hugs to you all!