Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Thrifty Professional, An Oxymoron?

Thanks everyone for your kind words about my new job.  I'm excited to have one that is semi-permanent.  In the coming weeks, you might notice Unusual Form take on a slightly more professional air.  Even though my job has a lax dress code, to say the least,  I still want to put my best foot heel forward.

Today I would like to re-iterate a point that I have covered before.  I think it's a topic that merits another visit.

It is possible to shop thriftily and still dress professionally.  I know that for several people "thrift" shopping has a stigma.  They think that it is all about digging through old, smelly, used clothes, but for me thrift and second-hand shopping is about being able to own brands that I couldn't afford new or that would max out my budget if bought new.  I would never be able to afford a new dress from Tory Burch.  Why would/how could I pay well over $200 dollars for a dress?  However, the occasional thrifting cosmic alignment allows me to own such an item at a much more budget friendly price.

By now my love for Anthro has been well documented, but the reality is that I can afford only a handful of these pieces each year, not the closet full that I covet.  From time to time, thrifting serendipity occurs and I have the opportunity to become the proud owner of pre-owned Anthro.  For example, take the blouse that I am wearing below.  It is Odille, everyone's favorite Anthro brand.  I found it at a charity resale shop (read: higher prices than the average thrift store), but I loved the color and the fit and the tie at the front.  Even thought its $12 price tag might seem hefty as far as thrift goes, it was a mere fraction of its full retail price.

2011-08-17 B

Blouse - Odille, Thrifted (Unblogged)
Skirt - Vintage, Thrifted, Altered
Heels and Belt - TJ Maxx

Another way to dress professionally and thriftily is through vintage. For the most part clothing from past eras was much classier than the average piece of clothing today.  Crocs anyone?  Suits, pencil skirts, LBDs, these were just the every day wardrobe 40 years ago.  Vintage pieces can now be snatched up second-hand to bring a little class to your wardrobe.  The skirt I'm wearing above is vintage, purchased at Goodwill for $4.00.  I did have the length altered for a slightly more modern look.  I find that most thrift stores I frequent have a plethora of brightly colored pencil skirts, blazers, and button downs, all essential elements of professional attire.

All this wordiness to say that you don't have to look thrifted if you are thrifted.  The best thrifted outfit is one that no one would guess was actually purchased second-hand.

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