Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Clothes. Style. Yikes.

Audrey Hepburn. Two words that bring delight. If you've watched Sabrina, Roman Holiday, or Breakfast at Tiffany's, you know what I mean. The woman sparkled--and her style!--I want some of that!

Obviously, many other women still want some of that, too, because her look continues to influence fashion today. I recently read Audrey Style by Pamela Clarke Keogh (loved the book!), and I was captured by how flawless and effortless Audrey always appeared.

It got me to thinking--how would I define my style?

Soccer mom? Casual professional? Throw-on-five-year-old-jeans-and-call-it-good writer?

None of the labels really fit. I don't have much of a clothing budget, nor do I enjoy shopping for clothing in malls. The stores seem to have a lot of one style and not much of anything else. The current pieces don't flatter me. Empire waist? Makes me look five months pregnant. Super low-rise skinny jeans? Yeah, I'm laughing pretty hard at that one! Even Ann Taylor and Banana Republic--the go-to uniform stores for professional women of childbearing years--don't fit my life.

Here's the thing, I love clothes. I adore it when I throw on a great-fitting pair of jeans with a sweater and the whole image snaps in place. However, too many items in my wardrobe are good but not great. They don't fit well or they're old or they aren't a great color for me. Do you have this problem too?

My solution is to shop consignment shops and thrift stores. It allows me to try new looks for very little money. And I can't tell you how many designer clothes I've found with the tags still on! I always find perfect jeans at thrift shops, probably because they've been through the wash and have already shrunk.

Now mind you, growing up, the last thing anyone in my family would do is shop at a thrift store, but these shops have grown in popularity over the last few decades. Yes, 80% of the clothes are nothing you'd wear, and of the other 20% only several items will be right for you. But it's a fun way to enhance your wardrobe without breaking the bank.

How would you define your style? Do you want to burn most of your wardrobe? What precisely do you not like about it? Or do you love your clothes?

Have you ever browsed the clothing in a consignment shop? Was it fun or did it give you the creeps? We all have our own comfort levels, and some second-hand stores are better than others.

Join me on Friday to post one goal!


  1. I like the clothes from Coldwater Creek though I don't have the budget for them. For everyday jeans or shorts and a paint or ink spattered shirt.

  2. Wow three of my favorite movies names all in the first breath! I'd love to have the style Audrey Hepburn had, but alas I suffer from many of the same problems you mentioned... clothes that are too old and often ill fitting. I'd love to throw out my whole closet and start over again, that's not so easy on the budget!

  3. Good morning!

    CJ: Love that you're comfortable in an ink or paint spattered shirt! It reveals the artist in you. :)

    Kelly: Let's get together, have a bonfire, and go shopping! Ha! Ha!

  4. I find I'm fairly eclectic (note: not ECCENTRIC - ECLECTIC!) :)

    One day it's jeans and tank, the next it's a sundress, the next it's capris and a climbing tshirt and the next I'm in cotton pjs and a baggy ARMY tshirt.

    I think my style is determined by mood. I'm a mood dresser! :)

  5. I wonder if anyone will ever beat C.J. here? He's always first! Lol
    I hate shopping too and tend to repeat my casual/semi casual style even though I'm bored of it, particularly black. One day yellow and pink will be back in my wardrobe--hopefully before I'm 80!

  6. I love consignment shops. I have found some great outfits. I would rather go there before I hit the retail stories. One thing I do know is that I love color and my closet is an array of colors with just a bit of black thrown in.

  7. The BEST consignment shops are in NY and LA. You pay little, feel like a million, for not much. There's one in Soho that's fab.

  8. Oh, I am with you on the empire waist shirts! I look pregnant in them, too!

    I am about fed up with my wardrobe. Every morning I stare at my clothing and wish I could just throw them all out and start over. I'm not comfortable in thrift shops, though, so I just add items as my budget allows.

  9. I'm a vintage freak. Gimme a well-fitted vintage dress and I'll even wear it to bed! :o)

  10. I wear a lot of hand me downs because I am too poor to buy clothes and because my parents deemed it unnecessary to buy new clothes because I was getting all these new clothes anyway. I am a tshirt and jeans type of girl. I'll just pair a shirt with a skirt and I'm set to go. It doesn't help that i'm really short and it's hard to find clothes that fit.

    I love Audrey Hepburn's elegance. Watched all those three movies, and absolutely gorgeous and classy in all of them.

    However, my younger sisters get new clothes now... how things change.

  11. Hi Jill -

    Most of the styles are geared toward younger, thinner bodies. I'm also finding it harder to locate clothing that's classic, modest, and affordable.

    I've looked in thrift shops, but don't like spending hours searching for the one decent item. I save thrift store shopping for household decor and books.

    Susan :)

  12. I love shopping at thrift stores. I've found some of my favorite stuff there. I do quite a bit of my shopping online too. I can't handle the mall.

  13. My style? Well, I aim to stay off of What Not to Wear:) I guess it would be defined as classic. I prefer timeless pieces than can go from one trend to the next. And yes, I agree, the Audrey classic idea is a good one to aspire to.

  14. I think I am more classic and basic so I can mix and match. WHen I was working, I bought all the professional looking pants I could find and then some tops that had something abit more to them. Now that I'm home, I live in gym shorts and a tank top:)

  15. Yes, I agree! Consignment and thrift stores are so worth it.

    Classic and casual for me. On good days, classy.

  16. Jill, I love this post!
    I've been spoiled growing up too close to Aspen, Vail, and Steamboat. The consignment stores in these resort areas are fantastic! Unfortunately, it has ruined me for buying anything at retail! Just got a pair of Dansko clogs for $25 last week!

  17. Love this! Everyone has strong opinions, which tells me you all care about your style. And wherever we shop, whatever the budget, we all attempt to do the best with what we have!

    Thank you so much for stopping by!

  18. Ohh, girl, I love clothes!
    However, you woudln't know it by what I wear, the last few years have been unforgiving..okay, so I've kinda..ya know...not tried hard enough
    Anyway! NOT the point, lol
    I too love Hepburn's style.
    My sister in law is flawless just as she was, beautifully put together just like she was, in fact, she just got a pixie cut, making her even more gorgeous!
    Fits her perfectly!

    If she puts on a bow, she looks put together, if I put on a bow, people stare and say, ummmm..a bow?


    no idea what my style is...don't even have one I suppose.

    It stinks.

    Consignment store? Where?

    Fun post!

  19. Just look at the photo!
    Hair? Beautiful!
    the serene face? So perfect..
    What an icon!

  20. I really admire people who know how to shop consignment and thrift stores. I seem to fail miserably. And yes, my wardrobe could definitely use some updating. T-shirts and jeans, that's about all I have.

    Fun post . . . and I love Audrey, too. So amazing, yet she seemed approachable.

  21. I really admire people who know how to shop consignment and thrift stores. I seem to fail miserably. And yes, my wardrobe could definitely use some updating. T-shirts and jeans, that's about all I have.

    Fun post . . . and I love Audrey, too. So amazing, yet she seemed approachable.

  22. I love clothes too. But I don't spend a fortune on them. I spend a fortune on BOOKS! So I cannot do both! :)

    Oh and I am not above second hand clothes stores :)

  23. Love, love Audrey! I feel much about my closet as you do about yours. Used to ove Ann Taylor, but doesn't really work for this now stay at home self:) I've gotten into vintage, classic clothes that you find on Etsy etc. I browse Thrift stores too, because you never know what you might find!

  24. I love clothes. Playing with patterns, textures, and colors is part of creativity for me. Now sometimes I goof horribly. I have also had compliments about how I dress. I get a lot of second hand clothes and it is fun because you can always change them at that price. I try to have the "cool Granny" look.

    I have those three Audrey Hepburn movies in a three-pack set. I agree it's a fashion bonanza. Love the shoes and big skirt in Roman Holliday, but does putting on black capris (Sabrina) make me look anything like Audrey? I don't think so.

  25. Jill:
    I like the outlet malls as well as the consignment shops. I can't wear polyester-the silky stuff from the 80's. So, I like summer time with the Tees and the golf shirt styles.
    Winter time finds me in sweats and sweatshirts or dark slacks and sweaters.
    I have had dressy clothes for church but, for some reason, they don't fit.:)


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