Closet Building, Inspiration Station, Uncategorized

Jan 3: Thrifted Professional Tops

While home for the holidays, I am happy to report that I found some professional tops at local Goodwill stores, so I can continue on my impromptu “thrifted professional wear” series with a small thrifting haul.

My first top is a black layered short-sleeve blouse. It’s a sweater vest base with a polyester bow neckline and blousy sleeves. I’m admittedly a huge sucker for blouses with bows at the neckline and tops with layered appearances – so this find was a definite treasure!

Speaking of tie and bow neck blouses it this steal! Small town Goodwills are exceptionally great for finding designer pieces at affordable prices. This top is Michael Kors – but I managed to snag it for a whopping $3 with no stains. In addition to this amazing deal, I love the opportunity for a pop of color. I have a pair of heels which feature a similar color, and I’d definitely pair them together!

Continuing with our designer brand steals (another $3 piece) is this Calvin Klein blouse is a nice neutral taupe. It’s a neutral color I don’t often find, so I was more than happy to put it in my cart! I look forward to pairing this with a patterned jacket or suit as a neutral top while more interesting than a basic white shirt.

Last, but certainly not least, it a black short-sleeved top. Featuring a peplum at the waist and an exposed statement gold zipper on the back, I can wait to pair this with either a slacks for work or a fitted skirt for a night out! This is also an ideal top for wearing a statement necklace!

That’s all for my Goodwill professional tops haul. I’m looking forward to sharing some professional outfit pairings (and maybe some more professional wear hauls..?) in the coming weeks!

❤ Zeebs

Uncategorized

Dec. 27: Thrifted Professional Wear from Phoenix

This week is a short post/haul on the professional wear I found in Phoenix before leaving (safely and with negative COVID test results) for the holidays. Using the tips from last week’s post, I had small – but very – successful trip to a Phoenix Goodwill.

My first step was to search the matching suit section, which was admittedly a bust. (There was a Calvin Klein suit, but it was a size smaller than what I normally wear and couldn’t try it on with COVID restrictions). So, in following my steps, I moved on to the dress section where I hit the jackpot with two gorgeous finds.

My first find was a Calvin Klein white professional dress. It hits at knee length and is made of a beautifully textured fabric. It passed the inspection(s) for flaws with flying colors – not surprising considering it was new with tags! This find was 12.99 before my student discount – but the retail price was $100!

white Calvin Klein dress

My second find is just as beautiful. It’s a classic professional “LBD.” It features a neckline that has a narrow v-neckline which leads to a slight “collar” effect on the sides. I love this neckline as a petite person because v-necks tend to be more flattering in giving an elongated look, but the shape of the neckline allows for the v-neck effect without being too low of a neckline. The classic black color, as mentioned in my last post, also lends itself to being easier to mix and match with other separates to give an appearance of a matching set!

The next section I hit was the blazer/jacket rack. This is where I found my last piece for this post – a long black blazer. This blazer hits at thigh length which looks especially fantastic with professional dresses. The classic color and long style help to make the use of separates a purposeful choice, rather than that I bought a bunch of separates from a thrift store. (Note there should be no shame in thrifting for separates to make your professional wardrobe, but law is a more “conservative” profession – so the more it looks like I have matching sets, the better off I’ll be.)

To top it all off, the blazer passed the fabric matching test with the black dress. The shades of black are almost identical – same with the stitching of the fabric itself. The lack of embellishments on the dresses also meant that I didn’t need to attempt to match the buttons on the jacket with any dress accents. What a keeper!

Thanks for stopping by this week. I’ve been hitting the Goodwills back home – so hopefully in the near future I’ll be able to show some more professional thrifted finds soon!

In the meantime – stay safe and healthy!

❤ Zeebs

Closet Building, Style Strategies

Dec. 20: Back with Guide to Thrifting Professional Wear

Hello! My finals are over and I am back home safely for the holiday season, so now we’re back to our regularly scheduled programming! This week will be some of my tips to successfully thrift for professional clothing!

If you’ve been around for any length of time, you know I love to thrift any and every type of clothing. Professional wear included. Shopping for professional wear often requires more care and effort than shopping for your casual clothes – logical considering it takes more effort when buying professional gear new!

Tip one for shopping for professional gear is to start with the matching suit section. I start here because sometimes you can score a matching base before hitting the separates (which we will discuss more about in later steps). With professional wear, take EXTRA care to inspect the clothes. I sometimes go over pieces four or five times for imperfections. The last thing you want is for a coworker (or boss) to notice a flaw before you do!

Tip two is to hit the dress section. Do not underestimate the power of a professional dress. They are handy on hot days and can easily pair with a cardigan instead of a super professional blazer. Lucky finds can also be suitable for a date night, brunch, or cocktails.

Tip three is to head to the jackets and blazer section next. If you found a matching suit, you might skip this section altogether, but I find matching suits in my size, in a style I enjoy, a nice pattern, a nice color, and a comfortable fabric can be a Herculean task. When looking at the blazer section (assuming you didn’t find a suit), be sure to prioritize colors that are easy to match with other separates. Black is the most reliable color to shoot for, though a true navy and a charcoal grey are also easy to find in other separates. If you found professional dresses, don’t be afraid to pick a bolder colored contrasting jacket to pair with the dress, especially if it’s a more “casual” professional work environment! Don’t forget your garment inspections

Next: the bottoms. Take your matching suit(s) and/or blazer(s) with you, because it’s matching time. This is perhaps the step which takes the most effort. With your blazer or suit in tow, sift through the racks to find pants or skirts which match the fabric of your recent discoveries. You’ll want to do side-by-sides to compare fabrics – down to the very style the fabrics were woven. I also recommend avoiding bottoms which feature shiny visible buttons or embellishments. That only means there will be another element to match – and chances are they won’t match (otherwise they would’ve put it in the suit section).

Last: the cardigans and sweaters. Cardigans and sweaters are perhaps the easiest section. This means a higher likelihood for success. Placing this section last can give you a pick-me-up if your thrifting trip wasn’t a resounding success like you hoped. It’s also an opportunity to find some fun colors and patterns that would compliment any professional clothing you found earlier.

I didn’t mention shoes in this guide yet because I personally do not thrift for professional shoes – as they usually entail the shoes that you don’t wear a full sock with (pumps, flats, etc.). If you want to thrift for professional shoes, I highly recommend going for flats or wedges. I’ve looked at heels before while thrifting, and find a higher likelihood of the heels to be overall unstable or too high for a professional environment.

Looking into the future you’ll be seeing professional clothes I’ve found thrifting, and a look and a “haul” from clothes I received as gifts this holiday season!

❤ Zeebs

Inspiration Station, OOTD Posts, Style Strategies

Nov 15: Styling a Velvet Shirt

This is going to be a really quick post – I hope these quick outfit inspiration posts have been a source of inspiration for you! I know I’ll definitely be coming back to these posts on days I don’t know what to wear.

This week is a quick styling of a velvet shirt. Velvet is a texture I normally stay away from. Some cheaper velvets are just an uncomfortable texture. Velvet was also just outside of my comfort zone in general, which was compounded by the fact that many colored velvets were in tones that didn’t match what I normally wear. However, my thrifted V-neck velvet tee was a change of pace that I am currently loving for casual outfits. While I styled these with a tee, you could swap it out with a camisole or more blouse shape.

My first outfit paired my velvet tee with one of my all time favorite clothing pieces: my utility jacket. (Seriously, if you don’t have one, I highly recommend.) This shirt is a looser fit, so the cinch/waist drawstring detail of the jacket helps to add some waist definition. I paired this with my “mom jeans” and my Adidas sneakers to round out the casual feel. This is a fairly easy look to replicate. I find it helpful to stick to your more common silhouettes or favorite pieces when you are working in a garment that is outside of your comfort zone.

Speaking of using your more familiar silhouettes, I busted out my favorite purple pants for my next outfit. The skinny fit of the jeans and the tighter fit of the jacket add a tailored feel to the looser shirt. While I could have paired it with sneakers, I loved the idea of complimenting the sheen of the velvet with metallic flats.

Last, but certainly not least, is another casual look. I love the color play between the pink of the shirt and the navy and green in the flannel. The black jeans and white sneakers provide a contrast, but the neutral tones let the color play be more center-stage. I would add a black belt and partially roll up the flannel’s sleeves before rushing out the door to run some errands!

Thanks for stopping by! I look forward to seeing you again soon!

❤ Zeebs

Announcements, Inspiration Station

Nov. 8: Styling My Pink Linen Blazer

Hello again, this week I’m continuing with the theme of styling finds from this past summer. As you can tell by the title, I’ll be styling my pink linen blazer today. My post on it can be found here.

My first styling is paired with a basic white v-neck shirt, a black faux leather skirt, and my gray converse. Overall a more casual ensemble, the light texture of the linen and the heavy texture of the fake leather create an eye-catching contrast. The shirt and shoes let that texture contrast be the center of this outfit.

For the second look I paired my blazer with a green sundress. I added a black belt which would cinch the waist for some more shape. The breezy feel matches the casual vibe of the black high top sneakers. You could also choose a pair of wedge sandals for a slightly dressier, yet still laid-back feel. I could see this outfit accessorized with a chunky statement necklace or some layered dainty necklaces and a watch.

My last look is a more covered – and therefore more fitting for a cooler climate this time of year. A floral blouse adds to the volume of the relaxed-fit blazer. The silhouette is balanced out by tight fitting gray jeans. This leads to my neutral faux-suede booties. If it’s a little chilly outside, simply slap on your favorite jacket and you are good to go!

Announcement: my posts the next few weeks will become shorter in terms of content (as you may have noticed). Finals are just around the corner for me, so if a disappear for one or two posts – never fear! I’m merely immersed in my schoolwork. Finals end in the middle of December, so I will be back to posting regularly then if I slip over the next few weeks!

❤ Zeebs

Inspiration Station, OOTD Posts

Nov. 1: Styling a Funky Printed Tee

Did I almost completely forget to write a post today? Yes. Blame law school, and here I am.

Moving onto the outfits! Graphic tees are easily one of the most effortless ways to express your personality in an outfit. However, patterned tees are a bolder way to do the same. I was so pumped to find a tee printed with PUFFINS. Today I’ll be using it to show how a bold printed tee works in a variety of outfits.

My first ensemble is one of the more casual options. The red-orange color of the shirt pops against the olive color of the jacket. “Mom” jeans and chunkier sneakers add to the casual feel. I also love how the white shoe picks up on the white in the tee!

My second outfit feeds (again) on my inspiration of the tee and heeled bootie pairing. The mom jeans also add to the “dressy and casual” contrast. A loose neutral cardigan lets the bold color of the tee shine and still remain cozy!

Third, another casual outfit. This time we’re mixing our denims. Black jeans and a lighter patterned denim jacket add even more casual dimension to the puffin shirt. I decided to add darker gray converse to keep the casual feel and not contrast too much from the black jeans. That way, the contrast of the shirt next to the pants remains the focus of the outfit.

Last, but certainly not least, is a paring with a blazer! The black blazer is not too abrasive against the orange toned shirt, in my opinion, because it plays off of the black within the pattern. The blazer also has scrunched sleeved to add a more casual feel. The gray chino pant plays a similar role as the blazer, showing that the outfit was created around the playful statement shirt. Lastly, white (albeit dirty) converse round out the outfit and remains cohesive with the shirt’s color palette.

Thanks for stopping by! I loved getting back into styling outfits – even if I’m not modelling them. This definitely saves me some major time, so I’m able to still post and do all of my homework!

I can’t wait to see you next week! In the meantime, as always, stay happy and healthy!

❤ Zeebs

Inspiration Station, OOTD Posts, Style Strategies

Oct. 25: Styling Thrifted Purple Trousers

Well, as you could guess, I’m still too toasty to wear my jeans. However, I don’t want to wait any longer to show how I would (will, eventually…) style my thrifted finds. So, instead of on my person, they’ll be displayed Pinterest/gallery style! This week, it’s my purple trousers I thrifted this summer!

Apologies for the weird color appearances in these photos. Something about the color and fabric make it almost impossible to get an accurate color on my iPhone camera. The truest color is around the waistband of the pants in the photo above!

The first ensemble is inspired by the “graphic tee and booties” look I have adored seeing on social media this fall. For the picture, I simply placed a white v-neck tee: plain tees also work, and you wouldn’t be able to see a graphic in this photo with the jean jacket anyway. I love this jacket because it is tailored and offers a subtle pattern for more interest than a plain denim jacket. The taupe booties add some texture for more interest.

This second look is probably the outfit I will be most likely to be able to wear here in Arizona. It’s simply a light, patterned, voluminous blouse which I would French-tuck (Thank you, Tan France.) into the trousers. Then, I would throw on a pair of white sneakers (or slip-ons) and head out the door. Light but definitely looks put together!

Third is an almost business casual outfit. The printed blouse adds most of the interest in the outfit, but I also love the color play between the blush pink of the blazer and the eggplant color of the pants. The loafer/slip-ons continue the vibe of a “casual business casual” that I love. Considering the lightness of all of the fabrics, this is another outfit I should be able to wear soon!

The last ensemble could be worn with either my white Converse or taupe booties – depending on how fancy I felt or how far I was walking. It mimics the color play of the last outfit with the pink tee. I topped it with a tan-colored cardigan which has a little bit of fuzzy texture (though you can’t see it in the photo). If nothin else, the cardigan is meant to protect you from the very aggressive air conditioning. This is definitely a blank slate outfit that could be worn with a scarf if you’re in a colder climate or a statement necklace if you are still having 80 degree highs – like myself.

I hope you enjoyed these little outfit inspirations! I’m definitely missing the chilly fall weather of the Midwest and Northeast. Let me know if we like the gallery style more – I think it’ll be far easier to get more outfits per post this way!

❤ Zeebs

Closet Building, Inspiration Station, OOTD Posts, Uncategorized

Oct. 18: OOTD and Thrift Finds

…it’s still too hot to wear pants…

…SO…

I thought I would do an OOTD post and show the two shirts I got at the thrift store today!

My outfit of the day was my thrifted sundress you’ve seen before from my thrift haul series! It’s been a life saver for me here in Phoenix, considering we have three-digit highs some days (Fall weather, I miss you…). I paired it with my white sneakers and my rose gold colored watch. I also wore my “default jewelry” of my class ring and faux pearl earrings.

Now the exciting new stuff. I admittedly was hoping that I would find more bralettes and dresses, but can you really have too many comfy tees? My first tee is more versatile, featuring white and tan stripes, a super soft fabric, and a flattering deeper neckline.

My second thrifted find is a more uniquely patterned shirt. Part of the major appeal of thrift stores, to me, are these fun patterned tees. This one I’m especially happy to have found since it matches the October/Halloween season.

Meet my tropical skull tee! It’s a men’s medium crew neck tee (a vast majority of the best patterned tees are in the men’s section, in my opinion) with cuffed sleeves, a breast pocket I will never use, and a super fun tropical and skull themed print.

The pattern somewhat limits this shirt to a more casual setting, but I think it’ll look great with my red or purple pants featured in my summer thrift haul series and a pair of converse sneakers. It’ll also look great with denim shorts in these toasty times!

As always, thanks for stopping by! Can’t wait to see you next week!

❤ Zeebs

Announcements, Closet Building, Uncategorized

Oct. 11: Thrifting Lingerie

Yeah, I know that probably sounds a little weird, but hear me out. When I had the opportunity to go thrifting in Phoenix, I was super excited. I still am! A lot of thrift stores are MUCH larger than back home – which means more categories of stuff to sift through, including a lingerie section.

I have and still do spend quite a pretty penny on quality bras that fit well. So, I’ll admit, when it comes to the rest of my lingerie or pajamas, I can be a bit of a penny pincher. Thanks to a local Goodwill, I can now thrift cute lingerie or pajama pieces for a low price. Of my first round of exploring this section, I found two cute bralettes for only $3 apiece.

Bralettes usually run at a minimum of $15/16 dollars, and easily increase to the $25/30 price point at some locations. With COVID-19, buying bralettes also runs more of a risk since I’m more busty. Since I typically order lingerie on clearance (and thus can’t return them), the last thing I want is to order multiple bralettes online only to try them on and have them not fit!

Now, you might be thinking “Isn’t that unsanitary to buy lingerie from a thrift store?” I mean, t shirts and dresses, sure – but lingerie? First, one of the bralettes I purchased still had its tags, and I’m fairly certain tagged clothing items are quite clean. Second, our breasts can change size relatively quickly when our weight fluctuates (something definitely exaggerated by COVID) – so how many items have you given away because your size changed before you could get good use out of your clothes? Probably decently often. Like other clothing items, a simple wash and bralettes, bras, nightgowns, or pajamas will be ready for you to love them!

Thank you for stopping by. I know my posts have been quite short lately. School does have to come first, but I love stopping by to write a little about finds and tips! As always, stay happy, healthy, and safe!

Announcement: on a side note, do we like the formatting of no “drop caps” at the beginning of the paragraph? Just testing it out. If you have a significant preference either way, let me know!

❤ Zeebs

Inspiration Station, Uncategorized

Oct. 4 – Fall Outfit Inspiration

Now that October is here, it’s cooling down a little for most. (Sadly, Phoenix is still sporting over 100 degree highs…) So… I thought I would show some photos of fall outfit inspiration.

One of my most consistent fashion inspiration is Miss Louie (@missejlouie on IG). Her simple and tailored looks are easy to emulate or a base for some funky style exploration!

The first outfit reflects more of what I will be wearing this fall, since I’m not quite acclimated to the Phoenix weather. The wedges mix a summery vibe with a more fall color palette when paired with the darker sundress. More delicate jewelry let’s the dress and shoes shine in that perfect summer/fall transition.

The second outfit is a vibe I am here for this fall. The mix of more “casual” with more “dressy” elements creates a nice dynamic outfit, even if it’s a monochromatic black/white/gray palette like done here! While it is certainly to warm for me to rock a blanket scarf right now, I will definitely be busting out my wide leg black trousers and rock the same color palette!

The mixing of casual and dressy is also evident in my other outfit inspiration photos for this fall!

I love the graphic tee and heeled booties paired together, which both of these above outfits do! I’m definitely going to have to get more graphic tees so that I can do this! I think these two outfits also show the range that this pairing can have. From cardigan to raw hemmed jeans, graphic tees and booties will coordinate!

These next (and last) two outfits are more dressy than the previous two. I am crazy about the pencil skirt with casual shoes! The difference in texture between the skirt and the cardigan also adds visual interest that I adore.

I am also truly envious of that super cute trench dress. One thing you can takeaway from this inspiration is that layering a turtleneck is a great way to transition into cooler weather! I have no idea when it’ll be cool enough for me to wear a turtleneck, but it’s still super cute!

I’m hoping that it’ll cool down soon and I can do some photo shoots for you guys with my thrift finds from this summer and here in Phoenix! Until that day comes, stay healthy and happy!

❤ Zeebs