Saturday, March 1, 2014

Secondhand Thursday, Friday and Saturday: Skulls, Polka Dots and Robin Hood

You may have seen my "Secondhand First" button on my sidebar. 

In January 2013, inspired by The Citizen Rosebud's pledge*, I committed to shopping secondhand first, followed by locally-made and/or designed and ethically-made. If you've ever check out my "clothes credits," you'll notice that a lot of my clothing is secondhand. And of course, I yak about my shopping a fair bit. 

Anyway, I'm participating in her first link-up: go here and check out all the other awesome and fabulous bloggers who eschew new!

Oh my gosh, am I glad it is the weekend; it has been a crazy few days. I moved 18 people to a new office on Thursday night, and worked a lot of extra hours (11, to be precise). 

But I did it in style! And it went off without a hitch. Ta-dah!
On Thursday, I needed to kick butt to get everything packed, moved and unpacked again, so I dressed the part - skulls!

I've had this skull-licious cardigan for about 3-4 years and it's getting a little worn. It is an item I bought new prior to my decision to shop ethically, but it's such a fun piece that every time I wear it, it earns a reprieve from being tossed in the donate pile. I even bought the matching pullover and sent it as a gift to Sal at Already Pretty*. I last wore it here (way down at the bottom) over Christmas 2013 with polka-dotted tights.
I did red tights this time, to go with the red cami and the red bow of the skull on the back.

I've seen metallic fabrics popping up here and there, and so when I saw this sweet steel grey skirt on the clearance rack at My Sister's Closet for $14.98 (here, last weekend), I snatched it up. With all the longer midi-length skirts proliferating, I'm feeling like I want some contrast with this mini (for me) length.
My spectacular "demented elf boots," as L calls them, aka the  Fluevog Prepare Guides, were last worn here (2nd outfit) for a casual outfit on a November 2013 weekend. They were awesome for stomping around authoritatively, although around 7:30 pm when I was unpacking the new office's kitchen and supply room, I had taken them off.

A shout-out to Fluevog, for being ISO certified for ethical production! Check it out in their FAQ here*.
  • All of our factories are ISO 9002 certified, which is primarily an international quality certification, that relates to consistency and standards of production and quality. In addition to that, from an ethical standard, our factories fully comply with the Labour Law of the PRC act of 2007 (also know as the Worker's Rights Act of 2008). This brings all of our factories in line with "Western" labour standards, and is checked regularly.
The stuff:
More skulls! All handmade, local jewelry.

Sweater (Kersh), skirt (Pink Tartan, consignment), boots (Prepare Guide, Fluevog), earrings (local), red/silver ring (Oscar & Libby's), spinner ring (Twang & Pearl, consignment).

After putting in a 14-hour day on Thursday, I came home and crashed - hence the lack of a post. Back to work a mere 6 hours later, I saved my favourite pre-planned outfit for last.
One of my favourite outfits ever!
I loved this outfit, loved these pants, adore this shirt and felt large and in charge on Friday. I worked like a madwoman all day, managed to get out on time (hurray!) and went to a pub for one of my coworkers' retirement send-off, then bused over to a local vintage fair with two other coworkers for a couple of hours, followed by a fabulous dinner at a local bistro. I staggered home at 11 pm to hang with L for another hour before calling it a night.

Whew, life is busy. And so are my patterns! Both my blouse and pants were purchased last weekend on consignment here.

Starting with this amazing blouse, which is a glorious paisley. Although the "black" is actually a very dark green, it perceives as black or dark grey, so let's go with that. I own a couple of other CAbi pieces (this wondrously ruffled blouse and this fitted brown leather vest, both purchased secondhand), and I like the quality. This blouse fits me perfectly.

I wore the collar buttoned right to the top, and the ruffles down the front and at the cuffs are actually pleats. I have a thrifted vintage cream camisole underneath.
But I know you are giggling with the gleefulness that is these pants! Don't you just love them? They were a joy to wear; they had just the right amount of stretch, they are a polished cotton, so they have a teensy bit of sheen to the fabric's finish, and the length and cut are perfect on my body. They also have a side hidden zipper, and a good rise (not too low, but not high-waisted), and are by Tara Jarmon, made in France.
I got lots of compliments on this outfit. People responded really well to the pattern-mixing. The keys here are that there are two neutrals - white and black - with one colour, and that one pattern is a regular geometric and the other is an organic paisley/floral. I also like how the movement of the blouse contrasted with the straight cut of the pants.

For my outerwear, I have been digging into some of my winter-spring transitional items, like my leathers and my mid-weight coats. This long velvet and plaid wool and satin coat is a favourite.
It's by Vassali and is made in France, and I bought it on consignment a couple of years ago. A vendor at the Vintage Fair was very taken with it and called it "a masterpiece."

The stuff:
Thrifted shoes! I last wore them here for a couple of hours in January when I was sick. For the amount of walking I did in these (barefoot!), they held up really well. My feet were very tired by the time I got home!

Blouse (CAbi, consignment), pants (Tara Jarmon, consignment), shoes (Town Shoes, thrifted), earrings (the Cobbler).

I was a little disappointed in the Vintage Fair this time around - a lot of the same vendors, and even some of the same stock that I've seen 3-4 times or more.

However, I did have a little luck at Zenkat Vintage's* booth, as I did last May (here, purchases from her shown, way down). Her booth and pieces are well-presented, and she has very good prices. I saw a lot of comparable items at other tables/booths for a lot more money!

Enough blathering, here's what I got:
The circular necklace isn't made of real pearls, of course, but it is strung/woven with thread and knotted to the clasp, which is an inexpensive metal. I like the bold shape of the necklace and it lays perfectly on my collarbone. Although it's probably from the 60s, this is a timeless piece. It was $5.00.

I can't resist rhinestones, but I'm really picky about them. I prefer them to be stamped, and in really good condition. I like an unusual colour and shape, which these curved champagne-coloured beauties have.
They're stamped "Weiss" - according to the interwebs, the block capitals name was the first mark used by this company, starting in 1942. Cool. These may actually be from the 50s.

Today, I slept in and then L and I went to Floyd's for brunch with Nick. I dressed for utter and complete comfort. I ended up looking like Robin Hood. Sure, let's go with a light cosplay look - it's the weekend, so why not?
The soft green tee is a layering piece that I usually wear around the house. I used to wear these tops for work on casual days, but I prefer a more dressy look now that I am an old bag, hee.

This caramel sweater is soft and loose. I last wore it here in December 2013 for a casual Book Club look. It was thrifted for $13.50 and I've worn it four times, so I'm at just over $3 a wear.
Realizing I've forgotten to put my lips on. Vizzini's up to no good.
 The skirt is my olive-green washable suede Danier maxi, thrifted a few years ago for $10.50.
I last wore it here (2nd outfit) in December 2013, also for Saturday brunch. I do like maxi skirts for weekends!

When I did the stair shot, I didn't think it was that cold out, so I wore a jean jacket and no scarf or gloves out.
Wrong move. It started to snow lightly while we were in town. Good thing we were barely outdoors!

The stuff:
My first wear of these so-ugly-they're-awesome Fly Girl shoes, purchased on consignment here last weekend. They were pretty comfy, but admittedly, I only wore them for a couple of hours, and I was sitting most of the time. I'll do another outfit with them soon.

Leather bling:
Both cuffs are locally-made. Those earrings are home-grown vintage - I bought them in 1994 when I worked at LA Express (a former division of Suzy Shier in Canada).

Sweater (Coldwater Creek, thrifted), skirt (Danier Leather, thrifted), belt (Plum), shoes (Fly Girl, consignment), airplane cuff (Catalyst Leather), gear cuff (SkinZnHydez), earrings (LA Express, 90s).

And now, off to make chili for the Oscars tomorrow! L and I have our friend Elaine over. We do our own ballots, eat, drink wine and Elaine and I check out what everyone's wearing. Tonight, L and I are going to be chillin' with Vizzini and playing board games (there may be more wine involved), and detoxing from our long work-week. 

Wishing all of you an awesome weekend! I'll be back on Monday.

*in all cases linking 'cause I love - I get nothing but good vibes from these fine people


  1. I adore those bird skull earrings, where did you get them they're divine. As ever you look wonderful and give me heaps of inspiration.

  2. The shirt with those red pants is a great look. I would not automatically put them together but they really kick it up a notch. Rest up this weekend...

  3. Hello Sheila! Your posts are always so inspiring and often put a smile on my face after my long day at work. Due to the time difference, whenever I read your posts, it felt so refreshing though it is already late night here. I am in Asia, so we should be about 12-13 hours apart with us ahead. I admire your array of attires and more often than not, you have very excellent thrift luck and I envy your hauls! Keep it rolling coz you rock girl! xoxo, Jen

  4. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Robin Hood outfit including the "so ugly" shoes. That is an outfit I would wear. You look fantastic in those polka dot cropped pants. They really suit you. I never feel comfortable in pants and find it difficult to get a good fit. I love that you didn't pair them with stilettos which is what every fashionista does. And the demented elf boots-well how can you not love those! Not only do they look great but of COURSE they must always be referred to as the demented elf boots. Thrift shopping in Courtenay is not nearly as exciting.

  5. Oh my goodness...the red polka dot trousers with the paisley is the Best!!! The shirt almost looks like a toile! Red with black and white is always classic...of course you have that special flair for making outfits pure drama! Beautifully done Sheila!

  6. The "robin hood' outfit is my favourite! I love the cowl neck top with the long tee layered under it. I had a beautiful purple cowl neck piece I liked to layer like that, but it was rarely ever cold enough here. I ended up donating it a while back.

    So glad your office move went well, although it did result in a very busy week for you!

  7. Ha, I did similar thing when I realized I hadn't put lipstick on and the timer was just about to reach the point of no return!

    I love that toile-y paisley blouse with the polka dot pants! I think that's the best pattern mixing I've ever seen.

  8. Just so's you know, I always get distracted by your first outfit and fuzz over by the end... BECAUSE I am tickled (exactly the right word) by your first outfit. Large and in large, you betcha. I'd squee from this chair if that word was in my vocabulary.

  9. You are a COVER GIRL for second hand shopping, Shelia.

  10. I just knew those polka dot trousers would look great on you! (Forgot to mention, when you showed them to us before, that a size 40 is a European size equivalent to a UK 12/US 8, just so you know for next time!) They look just fabulous with the paisley shirt.
    You HAVE had a busy time, hope you're relaxing today. xxx

  11. Such a plethora of FABULARSE!!!
    I'm really loving that skull cardi and those skull earrings most of all, and admiring your effortless stylishness! Bloody hell! XXX

  12. Ah beautiful Sheila! You are the unofficial poster-child/spokeswoman of the #secondhandfirst movement! You exemplify how chic you can be while still focusing on sustainable shopping choices! I lurve the polka dot pants and the crow skull earrings! Thank you for linking up!

    PS: Trying to get your contact info as we want to feature you for an upcoming #secondhandfirst post. Can I get your email?

  13. I am completely in LOVE with the polka dot pants outfit (not that the others aren't fab but that one is just WOW in my book)
    I spied some black with white dots crops recently I may need to aquire as i'm inspired by your outfit for spring!

  14. unnfff that last pair of shoes. They are perfection and so cute. So are those PANTS.

    Secondhand shopping is the best. Especially for quirky shoppers.

  15. LOVE the red polka dot pants, they're amazing!! And I like the Fly Girl shoes, I'd totally wear those too!

  16. You know i love printed pants! so these red polka dot ones are just outstanding.


Comments are so incredibly special, and I love them and hug them and treasure them forever. Please feel free to tell me what you think!

I'm not currently able to respond to comments, but I will make every effort to answer questions. I do read every single one, and appreciate your comments.

Please note that comments containing affiliate links spam-y sites, spam comments and anything I deem inappropriate will be deleted.