Office Style: Spring Edition

Posted 2 years ago by

I love to shop, but I love finding great deals even more!  I fell for my first Calvin Klein dress sometime last year.  I scored it at Marshalls for around $50, it normally retails for over $150.   I now have more then I probably should admit, but they fit me perfectly and all have unique accents.  This bright blue one is amazing, the color is so bold and the cut is very chic.  It doesn’t require much styling at all.  I just threw on a pair of nude stocking and pumps and I was ready.

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Speaking of nude stockings.  After banishing them from my wardrobe sometime in middle school, I’ve recently started wearing them again.  The spring weather came upon us so quickly and I was not ready to reveal my un-spray tanned legs to NYC.  There is not a dress out there that could ever make white pasty legs look pretty.  So taking a cue from the style icon Kate Middleton I bought a pair and surveyed a few people.  The votes are in- they didn’t even realize I was wearing hose until I pointed it out.  I’m now a believer and totally recommend adding them back into your life.

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Check out the mother/ daughter duo below.  Both professionals with amazing taste and the eye for a great deal.

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  • Calvin Klein Coat: $29.99, Marshalls in North Kingston Rhode Island
  • Flower Pin: 25 cents, Thrift Shop
  • Alfani Clutch: $3.00,  Nearly New Shop in Ruskin Florida
  • Franco Sarto Boots: $24.99, T.J. Maxx

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  • Tommy Hilfiger Trench: $49.00 Macy’s
  • Earrings: $2.99 Christmas Tree Shops
  • Bracelet: Designed and Made by Jess Cooper (model)
  • Enzo Angiolini Shoes: $24.99 Marshalls
  • Yellow Purse: $24.99 T.J. Maxx
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  •  Polka Dot Trench: $49.00 Macy’s
  • Bag: $24.99 Marshalls
  • Sunglasses: $99.00 Calvin Klein
  • Earrings: $2.99 Christmas Tree Shops
  • Bracelets:  Designed and Made by Jess Cooper (model)

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Series 4 copy 640x373 Office Style: Spring EditionMeet Teresa Cooper

By day, Teresa is a promoter of education, self determination and goal setting. She spends her leisure time in search of all things beautiful, and she will most likely end her search in a local consignment shop. Teresa wears her passion for life by discovering new and eclectic styles of clothing, shoes and accessories for both herself and loves ones.

Meet Jessica Cooper

Jessica Cooper, a Sr. Management Consultant based in Boston, spends almost as much time packing and traveling as she does in the office. Her style is fashionable and sophisticated, and she is always on the hunt for versatile pieces that travel well and need little maintenance. To add some flare to her otherwise corporate look and show off her street style, Jessica will layer on her self-made bracelets, wear bright eye shadow, and accessorize with animal prints and vibrant colors. And of course, she’s always sporting her mother’s latest thrift store find!

What do you think of Melissa, Teresa and Jessica’s sophisticated yet colorful outfits? Let us know in the comments below!


Shopping Secondhand: Thrift Stores Vs. Consignment Shops

Posted 3 years ago by

Chances are, if you’re on this website, you’re interested in looking fabulous for less. One of the best ways you can cut down on how much you spend on your wardrobe is by purchasing secondhand clothing. Whether the clothes come from a consignment shop or a thrift store, as long as you feel great in them, it doesn’t matter that they’re used. In fact, I consider buying secondhand to be a form of recycling. And who doesn’t love to recycle?

If you’re considering shopping secondhand but don’t know where to start, it helps to understand the difference between the two. Here’s my guide:

A thrift store sells used, locally-donated items including clothing, accessories, books, furniture, electronics, and housewares for very low prices. Because they rely on donations, they are generally non-profit, with all proceeds donated to charity. Examples include Goodwill, The Salvation Army, Savers, as well as local organizations such as Treasure City Thrift in Austin, Texas.

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Savers is one of my favorite thrift stores in Austin because it’s very clean and organized.

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A consignment shop is basically a re-sale shop. Customers sell their clothes and accessories to the store, which are then sold for a higher price to make a profit. Depending on the store, you will either be paid a lump sum for everything they want to buy, or paid later as your items sell.

Consignment shops only buy and sell items that are trendy, in-season and in excellent condition, which is what makes them so different from thrift stores.

Everything for sale has been handpicked by a buyer, so the prices are higher than at a thrift store, but still lower than retail prices. Examples of consignment stores that pay up-front include Buffalo Exchange and Plato’s Closet. These particular stores also allow you to receive store credit instead of cash!

Buffalo Exchange is all about recycling clothing.

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There’s always a long line at the buy counter at the Buffalo Exchange down the street from the University of Texas at Austin.

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I have to admit that shopping at thrift stores can be more difficult than at consignment shops. Lower prices can mean less organization. Depending on whether it’s a local or national chain thrift store, the clothes will generally be divided into categories and sometimes colors, but not always by size. Smaller items such as accessories and shoes may be kept in bins or laid out on shelves, but in a generally unorganized fashion.

Since consignment shops handpick the items they sell, as opposed to taking in donations, you’re less likely to have to dig to find the good stuff.

At Goodwill, all the clothing is divided by style and color, but not by size.

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At a consignment shop, everything is priced individually as opposed to a set price for the same type of item at a thrift store. Compare the prices for jeans at Goodwill and Buffalo Exchange:

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As far as deciding whether you should shop at a thrift store or a consignment shop, it really depends on your style and what type of clothes you like to wear. It’s entirely possible to look trendy wearing clothes from a thrift store, but it also allows you to experiment with items that haven’t been sold at the mall in years to create a completely unique look. Remember, fashion repeats itself.

Flashback: Advice from a Seasoned Thrifter

When shopping at a consignment shop, you’ll only be seeing the most up-to-date clothing that can be easily styled by just flipping through a fashion magazine. If shopping for secondhand clothing is new to you, I’d recommend going to a consignment shop first and then hitting up a thrift store when you feel ready. Good luck!