On My Time Away from the Swap Meet

Not too long ago, nearly all my clothing was bought at the swap meet. $1 a piece - who can beat that?? But I have to confess that I haven't been to my favorite swap meet since the YLF meetup, and my subsequent trips have been largely fruitless. It's kind of a conundrum for the the One Dollar Wonder.

The biggest thing in the way is that I started my new job just after the Shoptoberfest Meetup... that means I haven't had a free weekend, which also means I haven't been able to get to my favorite swap meet at *all.* Then there is the fact that half of my days off are now taken by my Dress for Success volunteer work. When I do get to the local swap, it is not at the best hours, and I don't have as much time to browse.

Aside from the fact that I am not able to shop for a client of mine as well as I used to, the funny thing is that I'm not really missing it. I feel like I have plenty to wear, and the odds and ends I have picked up recently for work weren't really available at the swap meet anyway - comfort-centric boots, gauze scarves, my unique jackets... all in all, I am happier having plunked down the cash for these items than I would have been reeling in bag after bag of $1 items over the past month. In a way, it almost feels like cheating... instead of putting in the time and sweat to sort through everything, I can just pay more and find the exact items I want in much less time.

I still don't think I will ever want to pay more than flea market prices for some of the things I know will always turn up at the swap meet - tee shirts, thermals, tanks, shorts, leather belts, statement rings - but logically I have to admit that buying The Perfect Item is really a better value than buying many superfluous or ill-fitting or repetitive items. A jagged little pill to swallow for me after twining my identity around bargain shopping for so long.

Don't get me wrong; DH and I still live below our means. We are still big on saving, and I cut costs elsewhere... it's just... after standing for 8 or 9 or 10 hours a day all week... I guess I have more of a vested interest in saving my time and physical energy as well as saving money.

I suppose it's always a trade-off in the end, and everyone has to decide which resources are most valuable at any given time. It's taken a bit, but I think I can truly say that I'm okay with that. :)


WIW: Caramel Lemon Square

More trench weather! Worn on a very short trip out in search of felting wool - total bust. The rest of my day has been spent watching online television and nursing myself to health (fingers crossed). A very classic and conservative outfit for me, but it felt pretty good anyway. I suppose a little ombre goes a long way. :)

Also, one of these days, I will learn how to make the fun, messy quality of my haircut that I see in person translate into photographs. Until then...


(On my way) back from the dead & In defense of whiskered denim

I have been feeling sick, so there haven't been many non-work outfits. Finally got a day off and wore this to visit my doctor's office.

Bought this trench on clearance over the summer and finally getting to use it now. I probably could have stood another layer under or maybe even gone for the wool coat, but overall I was happy. I did not have my hands in the pockets all day, but the picture with it hanging open looked funny - I am attempting to capture the way the coat looks as it billows open when I walk, lol.

Second pic is to show a new-to-me pair of jeans. Rag & Bone, thirdhand (passed on to me from a friend who inherited them from a relative). The rise is higher than I usually am comfortable with, because of my saddlebags. Usually I really like how the waistband-belt intersection hits right at my lower hip and confuses the eye out of noticing a less-than-smooth hip line. BUT today I was really struck by how well whiskering helps camouflage saddlebags as well. Not that I avoided whiskering before - I am one of the few who like the look! - but I didn't notice their function when combined with my really low-rise jeans.

So there you go: the ravings of a sick woman, surely. :)

P.S. I think Hank likes the bag!


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Jacket Challenge Update

As part of the jacket challenge, I've come to terms with the fact that some jackets weren't really following me on my current style journey. So far, I've purged:

- Black Ann Taylor aviator jacket (bought for the bank job last year)
- Emerald H&M jacket (deemed too pretty for me by Angie)
- Dark wash cropped denim jacket
- Caramel Eileen Fischer blazer
- beige suede moto (bought for $1 at flea market)

I am still considering a purge of:
- black faux shearling F21 moto (bought at last year's YLF meetup... this one is sentimental to me and fits so nicely, but it feels strange to wear it when it's warm, and the faux shearling doesn't warm me when it's cold...)
- tan leather Caslon jacket I've been meaning to dye. I may still dye it a distressed emerald color, but I'm trying to decide if I'd wear it once I finished!
- Chocolate brown Allsaints leather jacket - I am seriously re-evaluating the color as one of my neutrals. I am no longer sure it is flattering on me!

I also realized that it's not really fair of me to lump my blazers in with the jacket challenge. I just don't wear them the same way. These days, I wear true jackets much more because they keep my chest warm while I'm on my way in to work. Blazers obviously do not do this - they are indoor decorations for me to wear at DFS or over dresses at parties. They are also part of my aspirational wardrobe because, if I ever get to a full-line store for work, I will want to wear my blazers indoors that way.

Hence, I am taking my blazers OUT of the jacket challenge, effectively halving the numbers to work with, especially since I decided not to break my neck wearing summer-weight jackets in winter. That means I'm not in such crazy shape with my jackets after all! Who knew??


WIW: before and after

I've got to get ready for my good friend's birthday dinner, but I wanted to pop in and share some of my backlogged WIWs and also a new one from today - the latter includes new hair and new pants (new to me, anyway; they were inherited from a friend).

Interesting that in the Jacket Challenge month we have three outfits with NO jackets! More on this later. But for now, I just want to say how sassy and current I felt in these slouchy silk pants! I normally would have been bothered by the long torso here, but I thought I'd embrace it per Angie's decree that long torsos are fab.

I am still not a pro at styling this new haircut, but I assure you that it has much better texture IRL. If anyone has more styling ideas, please feel free! :)


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Hair today, gone... later today!

The chop is done! 14 inches were donated through the salon, and I am no longer a long-locked lass!

I was really ambivalent about the cut at first, but I am pretty excited now that I've come home and styled it myself - although I like how my guy cuts, they don't really get the whole messy rock n' roll hair in that particular part of town. After a messier blow-dry and some wax, I'm thinking it's nice for my longer face shape.

What do you think?? I hung out with my best male friend and my sister afterward, and they both thought I could go even shorter if I got used to the whole short hair thing. I haven't showed DH yet, but he is on his way home now!

Wearing a new emerald sweater from the Rack, Japanese jeans, cougar skull necklace, and DIY ombre bag.


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Blogger & Jacket Challenge Day 14: WWII Leather Jacket

The jacket is SO obviously not from WWII, but it sort of has that Captain America/ I-should-be-on-a-motorcycle-tearing-after-Indiana-Jones feel. This was the jacket's maiden voyage, and I'm smitten with it. Light enough weight that I didn't die in our 80-degree weather today (ugh, so over it!) and super soft. Paired with my BF jeans per the military-jacket-and-slouchy-pant inspiration.

If I could go back in time, though, I'd switch out my bag for a black crossbody and take my photos at a better time of day. The slouch and opulence of the painted bag is making the distressed boots feel out of place IMO.

In other news, this is also the maiden voyage of my new Rockport boots, bought specifically for long work days. Their test run did not disappoint. Super cushy, room for my toes to swell up, and easy to stomp around in. If I nitpick, well, they don't make my feet look any smaller, since I sized up for extra comfort. But that's about it! Unlike the last pair I ordered, the distressing on this pair is very nice and natural-looking.:)


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Blogger & Jacket Challenge Day 13: Rust Suede

Soooo tired. 9 hours from the time I left for Dress for Success to the time I arrived home and was able to eat. Missed the last bus. Transfered to wrong train. Couldn't treat myself to Korean BBQ like I'd planned. But at least I'm happy with my blogger challenge outfit!

I initially planned to wear my white linen dress with opaque black tights... but the weather is messing with me again and jumped up 20 degrees to 80 today. The white dress was not work appropriate sans tights, so here I am with black and white stripes instead.

Jacket challenge status? This one is definitely staying. It's definitely a piece to wear over dresses, not pants, but I felt fab and comfortable in it all day with my clients. Moved well, wasn't sweaty, brightened up my face without being a "bright" color. Sounds good to me!


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Blogger & Jacket Challenge Day 12: Super-cropped Denim (+ Melin K/R)

I meant to do a closer copy of my blog inspiration, but it was too cold, and I also purged my burgundy blazer... oops. Standing in are my yellow bag and Allsaints burgundy flannel tunic. For the jacket challenge portion of the post, we have my cropped denim jacket. I don't have any deep emotional attachment to this jacket, but it will be staying because it is really useful over columns of color and I like that it is cropped enough to still show my waist when I wear it over fitted shirts.

The last pictures showcase the Angie pick Melin ankle booties, which I was able to order in two sizes. These are the 39s and seem to fit fine. However, I'm a bit on the fence about them. They are not as cushioned as some of my other shoes, and there is not a lot of room vertically for the cushy insoles I like. Also, I'm a bit afraid they might be too dressy for my uber casual work uniform... thoughts?


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Jacket Challenge Day 11: Zella Z-Quilt

Worn out to Santa Monica for a morning walk before I had to go into work. This Zella jacket has been a real workhorse now that Fall has finally reached CA. It's the perfect weight - not too warm or too cold, looks great with everything from bootcuts to baggy britches, always feels comfortable, and slims at the waist. DH even said he loved the outfit without any prompting.

I didn't realize it when I left the house, but I was also dressed for Veteran's Day. We spotted a really powerful memorial out on the beach (pic 2). After how long our country has been at war, it was a good reminder of all the casualties that come with it. It really makes you want to do these people proud and be a good, vigilant citizen. thank you, Veterans!

Zella "Z- Quilt Go" - Nordstrom
Cristina crossbody - gift from Mom via TJ Maxx
Dr. Martens "Marcie" boots - Shoebuy
Z-Brand tan camo cargo pants - flea market


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