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

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, 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

Real Talk, Style Strategies, Uncategorized

Sept. 8 Part 2: Fit and Re-purposing

One of my “absolutes” in my style is that if it doesn’t fit, it either needs to go or has to change. Sometimes we love pieces and don’t want to get rid of them or we desperately want to try and make them fit. I understand – I’ve been guilty of that, myself. However, the more into style I get, the more I realize that clothes that don’t fit 1) often don’t make you feel confident and/or 2) they aren’t flattering. We all deserve clothes that flatter our bodies and make us feel confident. Nothing less.

There is a tool to save some of those items though, and that’s a tailor! Being petite, I face the “struggle” of finding many items of clothing that are too long to flatter my frame. Fortunately, I often shop at stores which have petite sizing. But, I am not afraid of a tailor! Clothes we buy in stores might NOT be made to fit your body right off the rack. (If they do, more power to you.) If the waist is too large or that leg too long, a tailor can easily hem and alter clothes to have them fit perfectly!

Of course, then we also have clothes that have outlived their use. We change shape and our lives take us on new paths. Our wardrobe should evolve with us. I firmly believe in reusing, re-purposing, etc. clothing items that no longer serve us well. You can drop them off at a thrift store or sell them on apps like Depop for a little extra cash.

Recently, one of my favorite statement necklaces of all time broke (R.I.P.). Whenever I wore it, I felt feminine and funky. (Notice those are two of my style adjectives?) Even though it no longer works, that doesn’t mean the life of the piece has to be over. I’ve taken the beads apart and am stoked to be refashioning them into a new piece of jewelry. I’ll definitely be showing it to you when my project is complete!

Thanks for swinging by and giving this post a read. I appreciate you so so much!!

❤ Zeebs