DIY Circled Scarf

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Here’s a fun and easy way to create your own circled scarf from an old sweater. Making it yourself is fun and recreating your own fashion style with it is funner. Enjoy guys! Let your creativity begin!!

Repurpose An Old Sweater Into A Beanie

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Here’s a fun and easy way to revive an old knitted sweater into a nice warm beanie for your head. Re-purposing something old into something new is an effective way to help out the environment and it gets your creativity into gear. Enjoy and have fun with this guys…

Preloved (Mostly) Everything

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Preloved need not have to stop with garments. Furniture, home decorations, automobiles, appliances, manchester and the list goes on.

When you’re on a tight budget, but wanting to renovate or add furniture to that empty corner, preloved furnishings is the way to go. It’s healthier for your wallet and you’re participating in an important role of the recycling bubble. You can sought out your desired piece by trailing the weekend markets, night markets, garage sales and charity stores near you.

Looking for an automobile that will get you from A to B? Don’t just scour the classified adds for your next find. Do your research. Consider the risks and possible ongoing costs of purchasing a secondhand car. Get a mechanic friend to do a thorough check before you decide to buy the vehicle. Don’t be afraid to ask questions like: When was the last oil change? Has this vehicle been in an accident before? Google a basic checklist for buying a used car and take it along with you so you can go over what to look out for like  dents & leaks etc. It’s a good idea to bring a friend or a family member when purchasing a used vehicle.

Same goes for any electrical appliances you wish to buy. Do your research and ask to test the appliances in front of the owner if possible. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If the owner acts dodgy, it’s more than likely their used item is dodgy also.

Being able to pay for your preloved item in full is an amazing feeling. Better than having to pay off something brand new on a credit card. I stick to an old but effective saying: “If you can’t pay it in cash then don’t pay it in any other way at all!”

I’ve never owned a credit card and never desired to own one. Purchasing preloved has allowed me to pay in full. I pay a fraction of the price as I would for a brand new item. The best part of going for preloved is the adventure along the way. The people you meet and the treasures you find might end up being the next conversation piece.

 

Thrift Stores for Costumes

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Ever been invited to a seventies, eighties or nineties party? Then you think: What am I going to wear? I have nothing that resembles any of those periods!!

Ladies and gentlemen, have you ever stopped to think that thrift stores are your next best thing to go to for costumes? If you have a costume in mind and know exactly what you’re looking for, then head to your nearest thrift store and look for items that would come close to what you pictured, you would be wearing.

Otherwise, scroll for pictures online, find a few of your favourite ones, and take them with you while you’re thrift store shopping for your costume. You will be surprised at what you will find. If you’re lucky enough, you could pull off, not only the perfect costume, but also a few new outfits that you never expected to find at your local thrift store.

Have fun and enjoy the shopping experience.

 

Finding Your Own Style – The Basics

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I get asked many times, where do you buy your clothes? I reply, “Anywhere and everywhere!” Usually I get a raised eyebrow at this reply and an awkward silence as though they expect me to elaborate more, then they’ll say, “… like where..?!” and to this, I reply; “Charity stores, garage sales, markets, discount warehouses..” and the list goes on.. The looks on their faces is usually one of disbelief or surprise and horror even. What ever the expression, I still get a good laugh.

Regardless of where I buy my clothes from, I still get complimented on my sense of fashion. I dress upon my mood, I dress to what I am comfortable in and I dress to please me. I’ve often been asked, “How can I dress like you?!” and this is where I draw the line. “Don’t dress like me! Dress like YOU!” then they reply, “But I don’t know how!!!”

In my teens I felt I had no fashion sense. I’d try on certain dresses, and sandals and accessorize with handbags, then I’d take a look in the mirror and within a few seconds, start to undress and go for my jeans and tshirt. I think the reason being is because, I wasn’t comfortable with what I had on. I’m a jeans and tshirt person. Wearing a dress was like “Eew, gross!” for me. As I started to get into my twenties, I began to notice the world around me. I’d look at what other people were wearing and think, ‘Wow, that looks really good on her!’ or ‘I wonder where she got that from?’ Then a very good friend who was up to the times with fashion gave me one good advice. “Start with the basics and add to it.”

So, I started to experiment… black trendy singlet, black leggings. Basic right?! Then I added a pair of black heels and a classy black clutch. Jabbed on a pair of gold hoop earrings and gold bracelets and viola! Classy but basic.

Tucked in white tshirt, denim jeans, blue pump heels. Add an over sized hand bag and you’re ready to hit the malls or meet up with a girlfriend for a coffee.

Basic solid skirt goes well with a singlet, or plain coloured tshirt. A pair of flats will make it more casual whereas a pair of heels will turn up the tempo a bit more.

Adding odd bits and pieces are an awesome way to express your individuality. Jewelry pieces, scarves, hats, vests, jackets. Try them all on and see what you get. That’s what fashion is all about. Experimentation, trial and error. Do it to please you.

What’s your favourite colour? Mine is black and white. 80% of my wardrobe is black, 15% is white and the other 5% is coloured. Start collecting pieces in your favourite colour.

On a strict budget? Well my dear friends, this is where your research skills come in. Find out where’s your nearest charity store, flea markets garage sales and fete events. I can guarantee, you will find something that you can add to your wardrobe at a fraction of a price! And don’t screw up your nose at me and rave on about ‘But other people have already worn them, eew gross!’ NO! Just stop! That brand new dress you bought the other day, have you thought how many people have tried it on before you? I don’t care what you have to say to that, but to me, it’s already been worn.

Use what you already have in your wardrobe. Solid colours are what I start off with as my basic; tshirt, leggings, skirt and jeans. One by one, I’ll start to layer. If I feel it doesn’t look right, then I’ll take it off and try something else.

Experiment and have fun!!

How To Hold A Clothes Swap Party

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Clothes swap parties are fun and a way to get together with your friends. I’ve been to a few and of course cannot resist coming home with a few necessities for my wardrobe.  I’ve had several people asking me about how to go about holding a clothes swap party, so sit back, relax and read on.

1. Notify

You want to notify your friends that you’re having a clothes swap party. There’s several ways of doing it. You know your circle of friends better than they know themselves, so you know what their expectations are when it comes to notifying them of certain events. There’s sms messaging, facebook status, private messaging, formal invitations, informal phone calls and the list goes on.

2. Set guidelines

When holding a clothes swap party for the very first time, it’s good to set some guidelines as to what you want to swap. You don’t want to find items that look like they’ve come from the cavemen era or been dragged through World War II with holes, torn and possible blood stains? (Believe me, I’ve seen a few of them).. You can specify: dresses only, specify a particular brand, or let friends know to bring clean, great quality, no holes, no stain items only.

3. Set a time limit

2- 3 hours is reasonable enough. Afternoon or evening usually suits most people. On a weekend, anything goes. What ever the time you set, try to stick to it.

4. Preparation

Drinks and nibbles are all that’s needed. You could even ask friends to bring nibbles to share or a bubbly drink. Remember, this is a fun gathering to swap and have a few giggles with friends and family. Set a room in the house where you can accommodate up to 6 or 10 friends; Lounge room, family room even in the dining area. Place a large clean blanket on the floor in the middle of the room or to cover the dining table where your guests can dump their swap. Set up a separate area for the nibbles and drinks (preferably nearby), then wait for your guests to arrive

5. Let the fun begin

Asks guests to place their items in the middle of the blanket or table and mix it all up with the other swaps. Inform your guests to help themselves to the nibbles and drinks. Then as a  hostess, inform your guests about the clothes swap. Something along the lines of: “Thank you everybody for being here and taking part in the swap. What I’ll do, is hold up an item, and the first to put up their hands, I’ll pass it to you. What ever is left over, will be donated to charity.”  If more than one persons is keen on a particular item, give them a challenge. Funk up the session by giving challenges. This make it more fun and time flies. A challenge could be each keen person will have to recite the alphabet in reverse and the one who can say it the quickest, will win the item.

The best thing about a clothes swap is you don’t need to bring your wallet. I have walked away from clothes swap events with a whole new wardrobe and did not have to pay a cent, well maybe for a bottle of bubbly and biscuits but it’s time well spent with great friends that make it a worth while experience.

 

November Challenge

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BUY NOTHING NEW!

Can’t believe it’s 4th of November already yet feels like January was just last month. Where did 2014 go? I see Christmas decorations and malls are already playing joyous Christmas tunes and it’s only the beginning of November! Well, here’s a challenge for all us would be shopaholics; buy nothing new in November!!

Cut back on the things that you don’t really need and change the way you look at existing stuff!

Broken: Can it be repaired? Sticky taped, glued, blue tack it, tied together otherwise, make a trip to your nearest Op shop and try to find one in great quality.

Up Cycling: Can it be converted into something new again? Have fun by recreating! Kick start your creative side and turn an old tshirt into a shopping bag. Or turn an old shirt into a dress..

Recycle: Processing used materials into new raw materials. Have old paper laying around? Put them through a paper shredder and use the shredded paper to protect parcels or use them in your compost garden.

Swap it: Swap it for something more useful to you. Gather friends together and have a clothes swap party. Inform up to 10 friends to clean out their wardrobes and bring them along to your clothes swap party and let the fun begin.

Good luck. Be creative and have fun with it!!

 

Thrift Shopping Celebs

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Define the word Thrift: Using your money and other resources carefully, not wastefully.

Think shopping at thrift stores are for frugal like minded people? Well that is exactly correct and just because you’re a celebrity does not spare you from being careful with the way you spend your money. The following celebrities live to thrift shop, not only to form their own acquired fashion style but to form financial sensibility in their bank accounts.

10. Lara Spencer

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This gorgeous co-anchor is a well known American television journalist. She is ABC’s co-anchor on Good Morning America. She is passionate about interior designs and has been thrift shopping for years.

This celebrity loves sharing her finds and tips with the public. Her   first book, I Brake for Yard Sales was published in 2012. I Brake for Yard Sales is about creating high end rooms from secondhand finds. Her second book, Flea Market Fabulous: Designing Gorgeous Rooms with Vintage Treasures was recently published on September 16, 2014.

 9. Ryan Tedder

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 Ryan Tedder is an American singer of One Republic. He has been thrift shopping since he was a young lad. Tedder has stated, “I’ve thrift shopped since I was 13 and half of my wardrobe to this day are still the same shirts I had since I was 17 and 18.” Can you believe that his favourite shirts are the ones he thrift shopped since he was a teen?

 8. Macklemore

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 This American rapper loves to thrift shop. He loves it so much that he even collaborated with Ryan Lewis and wrote a song called “Thrift Shop”. It reached No. 1 on the US Bill Board Hot 100 chart in 2013.

Macklemore and Lewis’s Thrift Shop music video below:

7. Janelle Monae

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 This beautiful R&B singer has a style all to her own. She is a frequent thrift shopper and proudly tells the public “I like one of a kind pieces. I don’t like everybody walking around in stuff that I have on.”

Among her favourite thrift stores to shop at is Poor Little Rich Girl and stores found in a little Atlanta neighbourhood called Little Five Points.

 6. Zooey Deschanel

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This fabulous ray of sunshine is a singer, songwriter, musician, actress, television star, blogger and spokeswoman. In between all of that, she loves to thrift shop, at flea markets, secondhand boutiques and thrift stores.

Zooey highlights that fact that buying different one off pieces and being creative with them shows more style rather than buying few items that will cost you an arm and a leg. She’s a role model for all.

 5. Debbie Harry

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Would you believe it? This music legend loves to thrift? Debbie once stated “At various times in my life it has been really necessary to shop like that.”

Through the ups and downs of her career, thrift shops are the only places she could afford. But usually she would make her rounds at thrift stores to fuel her creativity for photoshoots and events.

4. Julia Roberts

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Hollywood’s golden girl, Julia Roberts adores thrift store shopping. She will make her rounds at thrift stores, consignment stores and at Goodwill. So despite her wealth she’s a shopper who knows the value of a good bargain.

 3. Willow Smith

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Daughter of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow is well known for her unique fashion sense that compliments her out going personality. Finding a one off piece and putting together a one of a kind outfit, helps build creativity and expresses your own individuality.

2. Jada Pinkett Smith

*EXCLUSIVE* Jada and Willow go shopping in Santa Monica

Like her daughter Willow, Jada has a heart for thrift shopping. This mother and daughter duo have been spotted numerous times at thrift stores and consignment stores scavenging through racks, looking for that one of a kind item to complement their own individuality and style.

1. Zac Efron

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Humble by nature but an actor and singer in the entertainment industry. Zac Efron has once stated that he hits the thrift stores to hunt down a vintage tux for the perfect prom night look; “I had the brilliant idea of wearing a vintage tuxedo, I was determined to find one so I went to Goodwill.”

40 Degree Heat Thrift Store Haul

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Ugh! The heat. Who would be crazy enough to go out in 40 degree Celsius heat to thrift shop? Meeeee!

This morning I had a few errands to run any way and thought, on the way home, drop into my local thrift store just to have a browse.. well, I browsed.. And I bought. I was actually needing a belt. So I dropped into my local Salvation Army store on the hunt for one.

The Salvation Army is one of the largest Christian Social welfare organisation with more than 1,000,000 members working in over 124 countries. This organisation help provide: meals for the hungry, beds for the homeless, food vouchers, assistance in helping employment etc etc and the list goes on. When you purchase from a salvation army store, not only are you getting a bargain but you’re also helping out many of their charities.

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I found a nice wide gartered belt ($2.25), that I thought would go perfect with a dress I had purchased at a Goodwill store (also a charity store), just days before. But then my eyes diverted to the shoe racks.. And let me tell you, a girl can never have too many shoes.. I usually go for shoes that look as if they were hardly worn. I found a few pairs that I could not resist and snatch them up into my welcoming arms.

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I immediately spotted a pair of animal print wedges from Rubi shoes. At $7.25, they look as though they’ve never been worn. The under souls look as clean as a whistle. A nearby shopper was hovering just in front of them but looking up at the shelf above this pair, so quick as a flash, I pounced and grabbed them.. Yes, I do tend to get aggressive and yes, I will knock you out of the way if you don’t move out the way.. Ok maybe too aggressive, but I’ve learnt that if you’re too slow, you will miss out.

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Then I spied this pair of London Rebels ($2.00). The under souls look like they were well used, but in fairness, they were also well loved and taken care of. And at a size 7, I took a chance and snatched them up too. I don’t try on preloved shoes at the store. I’ve been a size 7 since the age of twelve and my feet haven’t gone bigger or shrunk since.

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My last pair were these Diana Ferarri’s. They look as though they’ve been worn only a few times. On ebay, some people are selling them for $35 or more, used condition and shipping is added as an extra. I paid only $7.25 for this pair.

Now happy with my treasures, I headed for the check out counter and back home to my air conditioner. Once home, I grabbed my rubbing alcohol and some cotton wool. Soaking the cotton wool with alcohol, I gently give the shoes a swipe over in every nook and cranny, including the under souls.

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Your local pharmacy might sell rubbing alcohol. I bought this Family brand of rubbing alcohol from our local asian grocers. Then trying on the shoes, they were a perfect fit, just as I knew they would be. If you happen to get your shoes home and after giving them a bath of some sort with a cleaning agent, and you find that they don’t fit, no biggie. Give them to a new owner. Someone who would love to have them. You don’t need to tell them where you bought them from. All they need to know is that you’re doing an awesome eco~friendly gesture and ‘recycling’.

Why Preloved? 5 Reasons

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Good question. So, why preloved?

Growing up, my parents were hard core bargain hunters. They would drag me to flea markets, garage sales, charity stores and any store that would sell second hand.. For some reason I felt embarrassed each time my Mom would hold up an item from the second hand clothes pile and yell out across to me “Ta! You like this?!” (Yeah, my nickname was Tata back then. Don’t even ask me how..) At the time, I didn’t understand. I didn’t realize that there was a purpose to my parent’s wanting to purchase preloved everything! They were just being money smart.

So, why preloved?

1. Define Preloved: previously used or owned; second hand.

On my About page, I mentioned how sales assistance would wear floor stock to induce the illusion of how garments would look on a person, such as themselves. Not all companies practice this ritual, but it has happened and continues to happen, without you knowing. So the next garment you pick up off the rack, at your favourite fashion store, how sure are you that that item is actually a never used item?

2. It’s a lot healthier on the budget.

If you’re a shopaholic like myself, then buying preloved is like a breath of fresh air for your wallet and your closet. You pay only a fraction of the price for the next best thing that will make your wardrobe stand out, plus makes you stand out from everyone else.

3. It’s a lot healthier for the environment.

Buying a second hand item helps keep them out of the dumpster and out of land fills. Recycling is one of the easiest thing you can do to help the environment.

4. You can form your own individual style.

Purchasing preloved is the best way to go when forming your own unique look. Buying a one off garment will help you achieve the kind of look that you know you won’t find anywhere else.

5. You’re helping small businesses.

No matter where you buy your preloved garments from, you’re helping others without even knowing it. A lot of second hand clothing stores are also charity stores. What better way to shop than buying a bargain and helping a worthy cause? Even if you’re purchasing preloved garments online, you’re helping a small business grow and prosper.

Eighteen years ago, my husband and I were finding it hard to make ends meet, but then going back to my childhood and how frugal my parents were about purchasing preloved everything, I made an on-the-spot decision and walked into the nearest charity store and purchased my first few items. Took them home, washed them, ironed them and hung them in my wardrobe. The first time I wore one of the dresses that I purchased from that charity store, I received a lot of compliments about the dress and how good it looked on me; not only that, I felt more smug about the fraction of the price that I had paid for it.  Ever since then, I’ve been a prelove shopaholic.

Still not sure whether preloved is for you? Have you ever borrowed clothes from your sister, friend, or cousin? You’re already wearing a preloved garment 🙂

Make an eco friendly decision today and start buying preloved..