Changing Your Clothes

Shopping, Sewing, Upcycling, Repairing: Make the most of your clothes!


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Goodwill Hunt, Part 2: The Loot

Okay, it’s not Thursday again already, but this is the promised follow-up on last week’s Thrift-Shop Thursday post, in which I explored a fabulous Goodwill boutique in the hipster-cool Hawthorne neighborhood of Portland. (Don’t you love the store displays?) Today, I’ll show you what I bought, and finish off my review of this hard-to-believe-it’s-a-thrift shop!

You know how it goes with thrift shopping… feast or famine, right? Some days the shopping cart runneth over, and on other days, you regretfully leave with nothing. This experience was a kind of hybrid of the two; I did find several wonderful things— for my daughter, who was with me on this shopping safari. One girl’s bust can be another girl’s bonanza.

First, this will give you a sense of the variety and quality I found throughout this Goodwill boutique:

Trying things on

Exploring what’s available. At left, Valerie is trying on an adorable vintage wool boucle jacked with mink collar (lined in silk, price: $24.99.). To the left of the mirror is a gorgeous BCBG silk blouse (also $24.99). And on the right, I won the traditional who-will-be-the-first-to-find-cashmere race when I spotted this J. Crew lilac cashmere pullover for $39.99!

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Thrift-Shop Thursday: Goodwill Hunt!

On previous Thrift-Shop Thursdays, I’ve occasionally mentioned a Salvation Army Boutique shop that’s close to where I live; remember the Christian Dior jacket I found there for my daughter? (It would have been for me if I was a few sizes smaller, but at least the jacket found a worthy wearer.) I love this shop; it’s quite small (compared to the usual warehouse-like thrift shops), but evidently someone is doing a major job of editing its contents, because much of what I see there is higher-end quality, including quite a few designer names.

I discovered recently that Goodwill is also opening up boutique versions of its trademark thrift shops; I learned this from my friends over at the Goodwill Hoarding blog, who were also kind enough to let me know where I can find the 2 Goodwill boutiques* in the Portland, Oregon area. There’s one downtown, and another in the Hawthorne district, which just happens to be one of my favorite parts of Portland: eclectic, lively, and high-energy. I’ve actually walked or driven past this boutique many times, but always had something else to do that prevented me from stopping in.

But not today! Today I’m heading over to Hawthorne, excited about what I might find there, and will continue this post after I get back. Wish me luck! Continue reading


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Who Am I, Anyway? Part 4: ‘Do-ing It Differently

In my previous posts in this series (there’s a list of links at the end of this post if you want to catch up), I first confessed to being in a state of confusion about my identity, particularly as it’s expressed in my wardrobe.

Next, trying to bravely face myself, as it were, I created silhouettes of myself so I could begin visualizing how various styles actually look on me.

And in Part 3, I introduced you to my new style icon, Christina Hendricks, whose body type is quite similar to mine, and whom I admire for her willingness to dress the body she has, as opposed to hiding her curves.

Which brings me to this week’s major step forward in this process:

I got my hair done. Continue reading


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We Interrupt This Blog-Cast…

… to introduce The Renegade Seamstress! Beth is an incredibly popular blogger focusing on refashioning clothes, and I love/follow/am inspired by her!

Here’s just one example of her work:

Before

One of TRS’s projects, before

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Who Am I, Anyway? Part 3: Style Icon Found!

Okay, I know, in Part 2, I promised a list of my likes (and, now that I think about it, dislikes) in clothes, but I just had to tell you about this right now:

Newsflash: I’ve found a style icon!

Remember in Part 1 of this series when I mentioned my quest for something, anything to give me a starting point for my newly-evolving style? Well, I’ve found it incredibly difficult, possibly because I was looking more at women whose style has been famous for decades, the same ones most of us think of immediately: Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, etc. And while I love and admire all these and many more, and can find elements of their styles that might work for me, no one woman has felt like the right fit for me. This is good, actually, since it means I still have some sense of individuality going on; I don’t want to be a clone of anyone.

But it also adds to my confusion about who I am, style-wise. I mean, where do I start? Hence my search for someone who embodies not specifically the way I want to look, but more how I want to feel in my clothes.

This morning, I found her, not in our cinematic past, but very much a present-day star: Christina Hendricks!

Christina Hendricks

Christina Hendricks on my new Pinterest board. (Click on the picture to see the rest of this board.)

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Who Am I, Anyway? (Part 2 of… many)

In my last post, the first of what promises to be an epic series, I confessed to a serious wardrobe identity crisis. This led to me biting the proverbial bullet by showing you pictures of what I really look like, body-shape-and-size-wise. (And thanks to all of you for your supportive and empathetic comments!) Today, I’ll show you what I was inspired to do with those photos to help this process along.

Already this process is leading me in unexpected directions. After finishing that last post, I suddenly felt much better! Could it be possible that simply facing up to what I had thought of as the truth about the way I look actually steered me straight? As I suspect many of us tend to do, I had fallen into the habit of focusing on what I perceived as the negative aspects of my body.

But after looking at those photos for a while, it occurred to me to think of it like this: What if that was a friend of mine, who had come to me for wardrobe advice? Would I be telling her that she’s too thick in the middle? Her shoulders are too narrow and her rib cage is too small for her bust? Of course not. I’d be telling her to focus on her assets, and dress to make the most of them.

So why am I not doing that for myself? Continue reading


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Makeover Monday, Meet Closet Confessions: Who Am I, Anyway?

I promised you another juicy Closet Confession, and today is my monthly Makeover Monday, ergo…

This is hard. I’ve been thinking about tackling this subject here for quite a while, and now seems to be as good a time as any to stop procrastinating. Yes, it will be a makeover (eventually), but I have to start with the confession.

Here’s the thing. You know how I’ve written about our wardrobes evolving as a reflection of changes in our lives, and in us as individuals? Well, for several months now I’ve been feeling thoroughly confused, clothes-wise; it’s like I’m no longer sure what works on me, what’s flattering, what’s age-appropriate, and most perplexing of all, what is actually a reflection of who I am?

Ah, there’s the real question I’ve been avoiding like an itchy wool sweater:

Who am I?

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