Month: January 2009

thrift star of the day: just plain painful

faux hawk
originally uploaded by crowdedteef

I am thoroughly envious of crowdedteef. Her stunning features and corkscrew fro-hawk are all she needs to knock socks off, left and right. Socks which will inevitably be jealous of her impeccable taste in shoes. I yearn.

thrift star of the day: bff chic

originally uploaded by Jessi cat for wardrobe_remix

If I was in the market for a new best friend and I spotted this charmingly disheveled keener from across the restaurant, I would spend the rest of dinner eagerly attempting eye contact so we could go ahead and get on with our new lives as best friends forever.
(I especially love how her pants are at that delightfully awkward length between cigarette pants and capris.)

thrift star of the day: screw winter

originally uploaded by meligrosa for wardrobe_remix

This beaming wool dress from J. Crew is just the thing for pretending it’s spring. Throw on a pair of bright leggings and a butterfly hairclip (and perhaps a coat) and voila, who cares that the sun is sleeping on the job? Go ahead, burn some corneas your own darn self.

check me out: N’awlins

Ah New Orleans, a magical land full of history, music, art, spirituality, douchey holidays and lax liquor laws. I loved this city!

new orleans streetstyle

Vintage leather jacket: best gift ever!
This jacket was given to me by its original owner who only wore it when riding on the back of her husband’s motorcycle in the early 80s. It is in perfect condition (worn in just enough), fits like a pair of stretch Levi’s, and is ALL MINE.

Turquoise leopard print sundress: $3, thrifted in Booneville, CA.
I have never ever owned a stitch of leopard print in my whole life, nevermind technicolored leopard print (Technicolored Leopardprint is totally the name of my new mathrock girlband). I just loved the cut and fit of it (racerback! pockets!) so I lopped 6 inches off the length and called it my new favorite layering piece.

Scarf bag: $7, Marshall’s.
This thing is amazing. I’ve been combing the stratosphere for a cute cross-body bag that won’t slide around the front of me when I’m riding my bike and this one rules! I can tie it tight around me and it’s so comfy it just feels like an extra layer of clothes. Plus it has this bizarre purple and yellow astrology and MC Escher-themed design that is awesome and completely weird at the same time. I wear it constantly.

Shiny grey leggings & cutout flats: $5 and $10, Marshall’s.
Hip Tip for travelers – Never wear peeptoe ballet flats whilst rubbernecking your way around a new city with dodgy sidewalks. These shoes are adorable and comfy as hell, but notsomuch when there is blood from a repeatedly stubbed toe seeping from them.

voodoo garden closeup back view absinthe new orleans store window ghost guides

Thank you all so much for your New Orleans recommendations, I would not have had half as much fun without you! I only had 4 days there so I didn’t fit much shopping in, but if you’re going to New Orleans, my personal recommendations are:

  • NOT going for Mardi Gras – Mardi Gras doesn’t start for another month, but already the douche was starting to pool on Bourbon Street. It was ridiculously cheap to go now and I really enjoyed the peaceful sunny days, wandering the quaint streets.
  • UAL United Apparel Liquidators, 518 Chartres St – I bought a gorgeous silk designer top worth $235 for $39!
  • Pravda (thanks, kk), on Decatur – A soviet-themed absinthe bar. This is some hip shit.
  • Jean Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop (thanks again, kk)- the oldest continuously-running bar in the country, lit exclusively by candlelight.
  • Haunted History Tours – Titillating! The Travel Channel came along on our tour, so mine might have been slightly more awesome than usual.
  • The brand new PARAPLEX, the world’s first Paranormal Epicenter – Check out our behind-the-scenes paranormal experience over at my traveling partner-in-crime’s blog,
  • Ragin’ Daisy, also on Chartres St – the most beautiful collection of mens’ vintage button-downs I’ve ever seen for around $25 each.
  • Muffalettas at Central Grocery (thanks, Lillagah) – And I hate olives!
  • Absinthe and the Absinthe Museum – YUM (when in Rome)!

thrift star of the day: blurry forest creature

little red fox
originally uploaded by littleredfox for wardrobe_remix

I don’t believe I’ve ever before chosen a thrift star in spite of its out-of-focus photography, but here she is. LittleRedFox is slapmyass adorable in this sweetly old-timey, yet undeniably hip ensemble.
Don’t you love when I make it easy for you and pick a Thrift Star with a possibly credit score-obliterating etsy shop where you can buy awesome shit, including a hat just like hers?

top-secret thrifting tips you may or may not already know (plus one i’m sure you dont.)

so the other day a friend of mine was whining (i mean, cheerfully reflecting,) about how she never seems to find any of these so-called amazing “scores” while thrifting.  we weren’t very far into the conversation when she turned on me.  “oh yeah…  you’re the bitch who found the brand new chanel pea-coat for $6!”  she said.  i would like to note that she was not using her inside voice at this point.

she then demanded that i “hand over” my secrets.

some good came from all this abuse though.  it got me thinking about all the “thrifting tips” i’ve come up with over the years.  then i remembered how much i like making lists, and i decided to combine the two.  

would you like to see it?  of course you would.


diana’s thrifting tips 

  • go regularly, and go on off-hours.  the first helps you acquire more goodies.  the second is for sanity’s sake.  seriously though, if you don’t go on a regular basis. you’re just asking to miss all the good loot.  you can take this a step further and inquire about “restocking” day.  as in, when do they do it?  then mark that day down in your little black book and make sure you go.
  •  a lot of the larger/more “established” thrift shops – especially in bigger towns and cities – have “last chance,” “outlet” and “as-is” shops.  what this really means is “this is the place where we send all the goodies that didn’t sell in our full-price shops.”  (tucson has “outlet” shops for both goodwill and the salvation army.  all clothes are $1-$3, except for on “half-price” day, which seems to be every day i’ve gone in.)  i can’t even begin to explain how wonderful these places are.  it’s amazing what treasures make it to these shops.  the ladies at the goodwill outlet told me clothes only get one week on the full-priced store racks before they get bundled up and shipped to the outlet.  (i didn’t tell my bitter friend this, but it’s not just a chanel that i’ve thrift-scored – i found a vintage burberry trench at one of these “outlets” recently, for $2.98.  seriously.)  
  • make a list of what you need, and refer back to it to avoid stocking up on things you don’t need.  also, racks of $3 clothes are not an excuse to inundate your closet with heaps of poor-quality crap.  there is no excuse for that.  maintain your standards, ladies.
  • shop off-season.  you’ll find the best deals and have a better selection to pick through.  (winter coats are plentiful and purchased for pennies in tucson in august.  i would imagine the same would go for vintage sun dresses during january in vermont.) 
  • give some thought to a “thrifting uniform.”  you want to wear something that is comfortable and easy to try things on over. (in case of long lines for – or even non-existent – changing rooms.)  i like leggings, long, slim fitting tank or tee-shirt style dresses, a loose-fitting cardigan and slip-on flats.  if you’re not wearing socks, at least slip a pair in your bag for trying on shoes.  not doing so is gross.  and i will judge you.
  • you can also take an even easier route and throw a flexible sewing tape in your bag for taking measurements right there at the racks.  make sure you have accurate measurements of yourself before doing this though.
  • approach things with an open mind.  if you go out with specific desires – “i want a pale yellow floral house dress made in 1953.  in a size small.” – you’re probably going to be disappointed.  remember that things can be shortened, re-sized, altered entirely – by you, a crafty friend, or even a tailor.  and even factoring in the tailor’s fees, it’s still cheaper (and cooler) than buying something brand new and mass produced.  
  • try to find shops off the beaten path.  shops in areas with a high population of amazingly hip college students will be a) picked over, and b) pricey.  look for the ones near ritzy 55+ communities.  go wild.
  • i’m a little nervous about sharing this last tip, out of fear of a good lecture from anyone will a little self-respect, but just hear me out, ok?  flirt.  not in that creepy, “unwanted attention” sort of way.  i’m not even suggesting you give out your phone number.  but putting on a big friendly smile and striking up a conversation with the occasional employee – male or female – will do some pretty amazing things.  i’ve actually found this to be useful in all areas of life.  my brother once told me, “you could flirt a dog out of biting you!” which i take to be a compliment.  i don’t see anything wrong with securing a “50% off everything, just for you…  shh!” by using some (genuine) friendliness.  it is my opinion that it brightens both party’s day.
compiling all this in one place has given me an uncontrollable itch to hit up my favorite thrift shops right this second, so i’m out, guys.
but before i go, i thought of one more thing – bring your own earth-friendly canvas shopping totes with you, and stuff those, rather than taking plastic bags.  but i’m sure you already do that, right?  high-five!

If you like this post, make sure you check out Amber’s thrifting tips in this related post:

Ask Painfully Hip: How do you make great finds at the thrift store?

thrift star of the day: not-so-thrifty

vest layers
originally uploaded by archibald maximilion for wardrobe_remix

Ok, so my pick today owns the worlds most amazing collection of designer separates, but browsing her photostream full of mixed up proportions and bold accessories will make you want to go crazy at your nearest thrift store for things like a pair of baggy shorts and a necklace the size of your sternum.
By the way, the “belt” in this photo is apparently just a piece of fabric pinned to her dress. Brilliant!

I’m in New Orleans en ce moment and having an AMAZING time. Right now I’m in this gorgeous hotel in the French Quarter decorated with antiques with the most beautiful courtyard which I scored off for only $59 per night!! Can anyone suggest a non-douchey (aka no blacklights, flaming fountains, violently-named cocktails or light beer) bar with live jazz nearby? Thanks!

thrift star of the day: winter wondergirl

bundled up fashion
originally uploaded by Onini for wardrobe_remix

I get a lot of email about how to spice up day to day winter fashion. Onini does it perfectly with a lovely cream peacoat contrasted with patterns and colors up the wazoo. It’s a glee-gasm.

Painfully Hip’s first VLOG: Eve’s Mommy Makeover

Eve and I were hanging out at her place last night and thought it might be fun to do a vlog – a spoof on one a them makeover shows. Only instead of a $1,000 makeover, we did it for $15.

Directed, Shot and Edited by Danny Dineen
(Thanks, my brutha!)

Watch for:
-My $20 outfit, consisting of a navy cowl neck top (Suzie’s deals – $3), a double-breasted blazer (the Little Boys’ section of Goodwill – $4), my cigarette jeans with zippered ankles (F21 – $13), and my Blowfish moccasins (a gift from my canadian bestie, Richard).
-The subtle hint of terror on my face riding my bro-in-law’s bike, which is a fixie and waaay too tall for me.
-Eve’s grimace of pain when I hug her overzealously and squish her poor mom-boobs.
-Eve’s dog Mapplethorpe causing adorable continuity errors.
-My new self-administered asymmetrical pixie cut.
-Repetition. We did 2 takes and used em both. So sue us.

We’re headed to the coast for some camping this weekend – it’s supposed to be 70 degrees! Can’t wait.

thrift star of the day: pants are overrated

cozy layers
originally uploaded by onemoredress for wardrobe_remix

Winter inevitably becomes pants-hating time for me. I want, above all, to stay warm, but my inclination is always dresses and skirts.
This year, a life-changing discovery: layered leggings, tights and socks work almost as well as a pair of jeans for keeping warm! This outfit makes me very happy. The ultimate in cozy-chic is born.