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

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, Style Strategies

Sept. 13: Crop Tops from T-shirt

I’m not huge crop-top wearer, so I don’t have crop tops in my closet. But in this heat sometimes what you need is a little breeze on your tummy. So, for those of you looking to stay a little cooler, like crop tops, or want to branch out a little, here are my tips for making a crop top from a T-shirt.

First, there is always the hair-tie option. I found that the elastic option is best for super baggy t-shirts, simply gather the T-shirt, secure with a hair elastic, and tuck for a DIY crop.

It might take a few tries to get the tightness and length exactly where you want it, but you’ll be a master of a cinched-waist crop in no time.

But we don’t always have a hair elastic on us – so on to strategy number two. My second method is also, for me, way more stable than the first.

First, you’ll gather the shirt in front of you. Next turn the gathered piece 360 degrees, which will get you to your second image. Lastly, tuck it into your bra for a secured fit. I run the fabric right between the cups, and when you do that you might find you can see the gather fabric through the shirt. No problem! The little “tab” of fabric that sticks up – slide it snugly into the cup underneath your breast, and the bump from the fabric is no more, and is super secure!

Now, when you see a t-shirt styled as a crop top in future style posts, you’ll know how to do it, or simply follow your own crop-top making method (or style an existing or thrifted crop it it’s place)! As always, stay safe, happy, and healthy!

❤ Zeebs

Closet Building, Style Strategies

August 23: Thrift Haul, Part 2

Welcome to part two of my summer thrift haul! This is the part I’m probably most excited about as a whole.

My first dress is this colorful patterned trapeze-style dress. I am a sucker for 3/4-length sleeves. The elasticized sleeves allow for me to control the sleeve length, and there is a super unique cut out at the neckline. The cut-out elevated the dress, making the breezy nature seem even more styled and purposeful. This’ll look super cute with a jean-jacket once it cools down a little here in Arizona.

This second dress was a bit of a journey – but it definitely paid off! I found this dress with the tags still on and a pink stain around the top of the zipper. My judgement was (luckily) correct, and I was able to easily get the stain out with some stain-remover and a wash through the laundry. Unfortunately, it shrank slightly despite not having washed it in hot water or put it in the dryer. So, I ended up hemming the shell of the dress shorter than the lace portion, which I think makes the dress overall more flattering on my shape. The lace detailing is whimsical, and with how light it is, I definitely won’t overheat in this Phoenix weather!

Stay tuned for next week when we start looking at the tops I’ve found during my thrift trips! As always, stay safe, happy, and healthy!

❤ Zeebs

Closet Building, Style Strategies, Uncategorized

August 16: Thrift Haul, Part 1 – Bottoms

Time for my first thrift haul series! (Yay!)

First I’ll be starting you off with the bottoms I got at the thrift store the past couple of months. Bottoms have doubtless been the hardest for me to find during the pandemic. If you thrift frequently, like myself, you may have found that many thrift stores have closed dressing rooms. Meaning you can’t try before you buy your pants!

Never fear, I have a trick for you: simply bring a pair of pants that fit! You can compare the size of the waist band, inseam, and how high-waisted the bottoms are if you bring a pair of pants (or shorts) from home that fit you perfectly!

Now… onto the haul portion of this post! I snagged two pairs of light trousers and one skirt this summer. I’ve really been seeking trousers that aren’t too dressy to wear casually – and I’m happy to say that I found them!

These berry-colored trousers have cuffed hems and zipper-detailed (fake) pockets, which add a casual vibe to my first pair of new pants. The have a skinny fit, making them ideal to pair with a t-shirt or a loose blouse. I’m personally excited to style these with my white Converse and a graphic tee for an elevated casual look!

Purple trousers

My second pair of trousers is a similar fit, though lacking the more casual details of the red pair. I would probably pair this with a bolder top or unique color pairing to let these shine. I have a pair of metallic sandals that would look fabulous with this pair of pants!

Last, but certainly not least, is my new casual skirt! With real (and large) pockets in both front and bag, this light, neutral colored skirt will make the perfect foundation for a casual ensemble on a hot day. I will be wearing this skirt high-waisted, and it flares out in a way that I know will hide any bloating/self-conscious feelings on an off-day. This skirt would look great styled with a bright colored shoe!

Stay tuned for more garments I snagged from my local thrift stores! In the mean time, stay healthy, safe, and happy!

❤ Zeebs

Closet Building, OOTD Posts, Real Talk, Style Strategies

July 19: OOTD for Thrifting

I love buying clothes at the thrift store – especially since my local Goodwill is one of the most inexpensive thrift stores I’ve ever been in!

Shopping for clothes in a thrift store is a lot like shopping in a mall – you should be smart about your outfit to get the best result. The best type of outfit, I find, it one that is fitted (to your comfort level) on both the top and the bottom.

Thrifting OOTD

I go for a fitting tank or V-neck tee and a pair of slim or straight fit jeans (or something similar). It’s comfortable, easy (and fast) to change in and out of, and – most importantly, give me the most flexibility when trying on thrifted clothing.

Very seldom do I find both a pair of pants and a shirt that fit when I go thrifting. When I’m in the dressing room, I find it harder to get an idea of how the garment sits if I’m not fully clothed – so I avoid dresses when thrifting for clothes.

Now, if I am wearing looser clothes, I run into a similar problem trying on looser pieces. For example, instead of my tank top I wear a blouse. I go to Goodwill and find a beautiful pair of wide leg trousers. When I try them on, I’m wearing a big breezy blouse on top, meaning I can’t see how the pants sit best with a tighter-fitting shirt (which is how I would actually wear them). The only way I can get an idea of the fit is look without a shirt – which gives me no idea of how the pants look with a tucked-in shirt – or I wear my big blouse and feel like I’m swimming in clothes – which does not do much for feeling confident. And how often do we buy things we aren’t confident in? The answer should be never.

That just sounds like a mess, doesn’t it? Well, I avoid that altogether by wearing a fitted shirt so I can see those wide-leg trousers in all of their glory – and follow the same rule for my bottoms.

Thank you for listening to my small tangent on my thought process for my thrifting outfit choice. If you want to do more thrift shopping, I recommend following this same idea to increase your chance of success!

Feel free to leave your thrifting tips in the comments! I’ll see you next week! Until then, stay safe, and stay healthy!

❤ Zeebs

Closet Building, Real Talk, Style Strategies, Uncategorized

June 28: Sustainable Fashion Options

Sustainable practices are becoming more popular in the fashion industry. Since coming home for the summer, I’ve seen the H&M commercial focused on sustainability at least 15 times. However, in my experience, fast fashion companies often find a way to market themselves significantly more sustainable than they actually are (Look no further than Patriot Act’s episode titled The Ugly Truth of Fast Fashion, available on Netflix).

So, I wanted to take a moment to touch on sustainable options for looking your best. This does not need to be an all-or-nothing switch. I’ve bought a few fast fashion items for refreshing my wardrobe this summer. However, I’ve also bought approximately one thrifted item for every fast fashion piece. Making a slow transition is always better than nothing at all!

  1. Choose the more sustainable brand in the department store. Yes, for some of you out there, I know it is a shock that there are people who still shop at department stores, but stay with me. Most large department stores carry multiple brands. I have found that I sometimes like department stores for items that are more investment pieces (ex. bras, fancier dresses, professional clothing). If you know what stores you’ll be in, look online for what brands they carry. Take a little time to do research on those labels. If there are one or two brands that have substantial sustainable practices in place, choose those in the store or shop them online. (Brands are having increasingly better online shopping return policies, so you may be able to easily order multiple sizes and only keep the one that fits!)
  2. Resale apps. There are plenty of resale apps to choose from. One of the most well-known for fashion is Depop. These apps give you the chance to buy clothes from other users and sell clothes you no longer want for some extra cash!
  3. Thrift shopping. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Thrift shopping is one of the best ways to add sustainability into your closet. With the ability to try stuff on and the possibility of finding some one-of-a-kind pieces, thrift shopping is a world full of opportunity without breaking the bank. It’s important to make sure to check the quality of your items – some people give things away because of rips or loose threads, which you don’t want to discover after bringing home your haul!

Feel free to check out a previous post, Shopping, Tips for the Sale Season, for tips on inexpensive shopping. Despite these tips being written for larger sales at big stores, they apply to thrifting and apps like Depop.

❤ Zeebs

Closet Building, OOTD Posts, Style Strategies

June 21: Styling My New Black Skirt

As I mentioned last week, this week I have two outfits with my new black skirt! The first is a casual option: the new skirt with a plain pink V-neck, gray waffle knit cardigan, and a pair of white sneakers.

The shirt adds a pop of color, while the cardigan adds some light coverage and texture. You could substitute the cardigan for a denim jacket or utility-inspired piece (be it a vest or jacket).

The second look is more dressy, featuring a patterned blouse, substituting the tie belt, and metallic heeled sandals. Adding a cardigan and opting for a flat would make this combination perfect for a business casual environment. Swapping the blouse for a more colorful one could make it perfect for a brunch or date.

Even if this skirt isn’t your cup of tea, a black skirt can be a strong and versatile staple in your closet. If you don’t have one, it may be something to consider! You could also opt for any solid color skirt in a versatile silhouette and length, be it nude, gray, olive green, or red! Black is simply a classic and good starting point for those less confident or more understated in their style choices.

Next week I’ll be revealing another wardrobe update! So stay tuned!

❤ Zeebs

Style Strategies

Jan 20: Predicted Trends for 2020 – I’m On Board!

Last week I did trends that I will be avoiding in 2020. This week: trends that I love!

Leather: Leather is a texture I am 100% on board for. With a variety of price ranges, types, colors, and item styles, anyone can find a leather clothing item for them! Of course, the classic route is a black moto-style jacket. But with leather as a potential big trend for 2020, expect a variety of leather options!

Tailored: Now this “tailored” trend is expressing itself in several ways in the 2020 forecast. The most popular I have seen is a nicely structured and fitted blazer. Tailored looks are more likely to flatter frames than over-sized looks, especially on petite persons like myself! Tailored pieces can prove to balance out over-sized pieces in the same outfit. (Think over-sized jacket with a camisole and skinny jeans.)

Feminine: Another trend that is more general, more “feminine” fabrics and styles seem to be predicted as 2020 trends. This includes satin, corsets, and crochet items! If you aren’t the most “girly” person out there, you can try mixing one element of this feminine trend with a more menswear inspired piece, or vice versa. This might be a satin trench coat or pairing a corset-structured top with a pair of converse.

Looking at these trends definitely makes me excited for the year ahead! Let me know in the comments what trends you are looking forward to in 2020!

❤ Zeebs