Found this great tweed jacket in mauve. And a gigantic Diet Coke.

Disclaimer: I am not a minimalist. Just in case you were wondering. Capsule wardrobes, though fascinating, are not my thing for now.

Secondhand September (read about that here) was a big hit in my book--and I have some goodies I want to share with you! I made a couple trips to my local Goodwill, and snagged a few pieces I was super excited about. It had been a while since I had thrift shopped for clothing, because all those mom-hobbies are pretty much on hold for the summer while all the kids are home from school. At least at our house.

Found a great vintage herringbone (that means the little diagonal woven lines) tweed jacket. It fits really well, and just needed a trip to the dry cleaner (in the opening photo). Beautiful condition.

Cashmere sweater! Gorgeous color, and fits well. Needed the little sweater pills pulled off, so I spent a few minutes de-pilling it, and it looks really good now. I don't have good luck washing (my other thrifted) cashmere, so it goes to the dry cleaner. For those of you who have better laundering skills, you can wash it and let it air dry at home.

This black double-breasted gabardine blazer. Thick shoulder pads, obviously 80's vintage. Now, I have to confess the sleeves on this one are short, but I am going to take them down a bit at the cuff and do my own little alterations. This is not an expensive thing to do at the tailor, but I can do it myself, and save a couple dollars.

I realize it is wrinkled, but you get the idea.

This ridiculous loud blouse. I love the bright colors, it is a polyester charmeuse and just so perfect. It clearly had been altered by the previous owner, and I will have to do the same. This gal obviously had TINY wrists and and a very skinny neck (neither describes me! ha!) and she moved the buttons. I am just going to move them back to where they started. Easy-peasy.

Does this say 80s secretary? Don't answer that--I love it regardless.

The blouse of my watercolor dreams. The deep V-neck and contrast striping, the bell sleeves (or wiggly sleeves, if you ask my 7 year old) make for a super great fall blouse.

LOVE. At time of posting, have already worn this a zillion times.

This bag. ALL the HEART EYES. Croc embossed leather. Perfect shape for fall, and a great deep brown color. Check all your fashion magazines--so much snake print and croc going around--this is a great addition for this fall.

Brown croc frame purse. On trend, in beautiful condition.

This Bag. All yes. It is vintage (yay) tan and black wicker with brown leather trim, and I love it dearly already. It will get a lot of use next summer. I love a ladylike bag, and this shape and size are *just right.*

Wicker handbag. Yes, please.

Now this may be going beyond where you can follow, but I DID pick up a really pretty silk half slip, and a beautiful vintage full slip. I was so pumped and showed my hubby when I got home, and his look was all...Um, that may be a step too far. I remained undeterred. I was thrilled. And no joke, I have been wearing them on repeat--no more skirts sticking to tights and riding up! And another layer for warmth in cold weather! Our grandmothers knew what they were doing. And, I have to admit, it feels pretty sexy. And a sneak peak of the slip is in the first photo with the tweed jacket. I "slipped" it in there...*wink wink.*

This was a time for me to start thrifting again, and it brought to the surface a few issues--good and bad. On the good side, I am hitting the thrift shops again! My track record is strong with finding things I like and WEAR from the charity shops, which is a really great part of this. Conversely, I have a small closet, and not enough room to house TOO many treasures. Even though I am trying (*wink). My clothes and shoes are currently spilling out on the the floor and my sweaters are in a Rubbermaid tub next to my closet. Not the pretty dressing area of which girly dreams are made. Sounds like a purge is in order, no? Near future project alert! I'll get to that soon. But for now, I am just enjoying these new things I found, and planning how I can squeeze more into the closet I currently have....

xo, Ann Marie

Thanks, Instagram.

A few weeks ago I went down a rabbit hole on Instagram, and I made a discovery.

There was a small movement in the UK called #SecondhandSeptember, and I was super excited. I knew right away I was ALL IN to jump on board. The concept is to take the month of September to do no NEW shopping, but shop only at thrift/vintage/charity shops. No newly manufactured clothes and goods for the whole month.

Now surely there are many of you who are totally confident to do a whole month of no shopping, whether new or used. There were many years when I would have agreed with you, but over the past few I have definitely become more of a "shopper." I used the stolen moments while my youngest was in preschool to roam shops. Actually, I was primarily wandering TJMaxx, thanks to its favorable proximity to the school. Not mad about it. At any rate, my shopping had been on the uptick. So this experiment has not only environmental implications, but speaks to our (read: my) consumerism and need to find satisfaction in new things. So, a whole month of no new, while not too intimidating was still a little intimidating. But I was ready. I immediately posted to my Instagram that I was taking part in this UK experiment and kicking it off in the States! Nothing like a little public accountability to keep me in check. ;)

I went about my (now kid-free thanks to SCHOOL) days like usual, but I stayed out of stores. But, of course my interest was peaked as I followed this hashtag (curse you, Instagram, for your time-sucking-ability) and after a few days of seeing other people shop used, I had to head out to see what treasures I could find.

I have learned the hard way that if you fall in love with something at a thrift shop, you HAVE to buy it. Like, HAVE to. Because each piece is "one of a kind" in the sense that you may not run across it again. It makes you feel competitive, in a way. It's a like a sport. I don't play sports, so I am guessing BTW, but I say it with enthusiasm. In that first thrift trip, I found a Zara scarf-print satin dress, a crew neck cashmere sweater, and a fabulous 1980s vintage Joan Collins-type, massive shoulder pad sequin dress. SPECTACULAR.

One simply DOES NOT pass up thrift shop sequins.

These were excellent wardrobe additions. Though I have no parties in my near future to which I will wear the sequin dress, I stand by the decision to buy it. Really, friend, sometimes you just have to enjoy yourself. Perhaps I will be the best dressed parent at our upcoming conferences with my kids' teachers (it could happen). It was happiness on sale for $9. I was thrilled with my purchases. And even on that trip, I put a few things that I really liked back on the rack. See? I am getting better already. jk

The whole point of my participating in Secondhand September was to heighten my own awareness of my consumerist habits--and I love any excuse to go thrift shopping, as well so I considered it a win-win. It did rekindle a love affair with Goodwill. YAAAASSSSS. I did make a couple of other trips (see the goods here) to thrift during the month (September is looooong, y'all), but I was more careful with my choices than I normally would have been. More thought = better. The US makes up more than 28% of the clothing purchased annually world wide. In the 1950's Americans purchased on average, less than 25 new items of clothing per year. Currently, the number is about 70 new items. Whoa.

This has made me hyper-aware everytime I wanted to buy something, which was, admittedly, often. Not proud about it, just being honest. For example, when I was roaming Target and might have just thrown the $5 earrings into my cart, or a beautiful lipstick, or some moisturizer that just smelled yummy...I just didn't do it. I left it on the shelf. It was both disappointing and strangely liberating.

Personally, I don't thrift for environmental reasons, but I know many people do so. There is so much waste produced by clothing manufacturers, and culturally, we tend to purchase waaaay more than we need. I am guilty. Truly. I am not claiming to be the exception here.

To be honest I didn't NEED to shop AT ALL during September. But to embrace the constraint of shopping to only used items made a for a fun challenge. All of this has got me thinking more about my own habits--which to keep and which to break, and that is always a good thing.

What about you? What habits have you examined lately? I want to know!

xo, Ann Marie