Tag Archives: fashion

Fall Etsy Picks and Thrifty Tips

The Autumn wave has breached as the landscape transforms, tumbling into a metamorphosis  of renewal.

Fall is such a special and cozy time of year. Full of gorgeous colors, fresh after rain air, tea, apple cider, pumpkin everything, comfy clothes, soups, boots and time for rainy day projects. I always feel like I’m hunkering down after a wild summer to revisit progressive endeavors.

It’s also time to recover your cold weather clothes and prepare for the months ahead. I love dressing for fall weather because you can incorporate summer pieces with winter pieces and get creative with layering.  Here are some of my tips, tricks and picks for Autumn wear.

Photos I took in New Hampshire last fall

Tip #1: Clutter Cleansing

I was elated when I finally purged my closet of clothes that hadn’t been worn in a year or more. I took two large and over-stuffed boxes to our local Buffalo Exchange to sell. When sorting through my closet I made two piles: One to go straight to Goodwill (clothes that are out of season or not of current trend standards but still clean and in good wearable condition) and another pile to try to sell to Buffalo. The pieces I picked out for Buffalo had to meet certain standards of the store. These standards, as I understand them, are: current trends, in-season, unique vintage, classic staples and costume wear.  If you live in a climate that has inclement fall and winter months, you have an opportunity to create more space in your closet for bulky coats and warm clothes by packing away your warm weather clothes. This is something that I began doing as soon as I moved to Oregon from Southern California where 80 degree days are not uncommon in December.  The clearing and re-organizing of your closet is good practice with the change of seasons and change of times as it makes picking out your clothes each day less time consuming because all your seasonal wear is front and center. It is liberating to down-size, organize and simplify. I have found that my taste and style has changed considerably over the past two years. It was great to finally get my wardrobe up to speed with my evolving life.

Tip #2: Hit The Thrift Stores for Next Season’s Staples

Early to mid fall is a great time to visit your local thrift stores for winter essentials before they get picked over. Thrift stores can be absolute gold mines for gently used, sometimes high-end and fantastic quality finds. Now’s the time to look for boots, sweaters, coats, wool skirts, dresses and belts.

Some of my favorite boots are vintage from stores like Goodwill and St. Vincent De Paul. I usually look for genuine leather that has aged well and have a great broken in look but still have some miles left in them. I’m a fan of knee high boots and have had good luck in the past finding nice heeled dress boots that are great for work, especially when you can hide knee socks underneath for those chilly days in the office.

When I’m sifting through the sweater racks, I first scan for quality and condition of the fabric. This season I’m looking for classic cream cable knits, chunky over-sized sweaters and silk, cashmere blends. Next, I inspect the cut and fit. Sweaters can sometime feel unflattering and boxy, especially when the fabric is stretched or shrunken which can be typical when buying 2nd-hand. It’s always a good idea to try on the garment and check for any stains or smells.

Over at the coat rack is where you may find a real diamond in the rough. There’s nothing quite like finding a unique and quality vintage coat that fits you just right and that will keep you warm but still chic. Look for brand names and condition of the exterior, interior and closures. Keep in mind that a cute old wool coat could easily be revamped with a new set of buttons.

My go-to staples to wear in the fall and winter are wool skirts and dresses. I am most comfortable and feel best prepared for rain and snow on my way to and from work when I’m wearing a wool skirt or dress, thick tights, knee high waterproof boots and a coat. Wool naturally repels water and moisture and feels like your wearing a blanket as you sit on the job or at school. The tights and boots combo is always in-style but you also don’t have to worry about the cuffs of your pant legs getting soaked or the look and the wrinkly aftermath of stuffing your pants into your boots. My favorite wool skirts are from Ann Taylor Loft and Banana Republic and were all found at thrift stores.

Belts are always a cohesive accessory to tie an outfit together during any season but I’m always on the hunt for good quality leather belts during the fall and winter. They can look great at waist level over a sweater, a dress or a coat for more of a figure flattering look and you can also up-cycle them into boot accents, adding them as straps to a favorite found bag, cuff bracelets, headbands and more.

Tip #3: Search Etsy for that must have fall trend piece

Here are just three great fall trends that you can find on Etsy and second hand stores. I will post more of my Etsy picks in the weeks to come. Click the image to see larger and click the numbers below for links to the listing on Etsy. All items are below $35.00.

One ~ Two ~ Three ~ Four ~ Five ~ Six ~ Seven ~ Eight ~ NineTen ~ Eleven ~ Twelve ~ Thirteen 

One ~ Two ~ Three ~ Four ~ Five ~ Six ~ Seven ~ Eight

One ~ Two ~ Three ~ Four ~ Five ~ Six ~ Seven

What are your favorite Fall styles and trends? Would love to hear from you!




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Filed under Style, Vintage and Antique

Cinco de Mayo

I’m so excited to burst with love for my Mexican heritage! The 5th of May was not an especially festive day in our household while growing up but in the past couple of years I have made it a celebratory day of Mexican culture along many other Mexican-Americans. Though Cinco De Mayo is not the Dia de la Revolución (November 20, 1910), it is the day in 1862 that marked the monumental Mexican victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla during the French-Mexican War which lifted the spirits of the Mexican nationalists and came to symbolize unity, hope and pride. Here’s a little snid-bit of history for ya:

“Certain that success would come swiftly, 6,000 French troops under General Charles Latrille de Lorencez (1814-1892) set out to attack Puebla de Los Angeles, a small town in east-central Mexico. From his new headquarters in the north, Juárez rounded up a rag-tag force of 2,000 loyal men—many of them either indigenous Mexicans or of mixed ancestry—and sent them to Puebla. Led by Texas -born General Ignacio Zaragoza (1829-1862), the vastly outnumbered and poorly supplied Mexicans fortified the town and prepared for the French assault. On May 5, 1862, Lorencez drew his army, well provisioned and supported by heavy artillery, before the city of Puebla and led an assault from the north. The battle lasted from daybreak to early evening, and when the French finally retreated they had lost nearly 500 soldiers. Fewer than 100 Mexicans had been killed in the clash” 

– History.com

This year, I am making my family recipe tacos from scratch for a bunch of friends. I can’t wait to sip mojitos, blast mariachi and reggaeton music while dancing salsa and cooking up a beautiful meal to share.

Goodies: Some sweet vintage Mexican pieces for sale on Etsy, a fun DIY decoration for your fiesta from the Free People Blog and one of my favorite reggaeton songs!

*Click to see image larger and let me know if you’d like the link to any of the items for sale*

Click the Photo for instructions to make this fun and festive garland

ahhhh “El Amor” This song brings me back to a club in Arequipa, Peru dancing Salsa in the early morning hours. This song seemed to re-energize the dance floor with smiles.


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Filed under DIY, Music, Parties and Events

Setting the Stage and The Thrifty Gals’ Guide To Summer Festival Style!

I am elated to finally present my first blog post and to introduce what will become a project that will fuel years of passion and ideas into action. Before I get into the content, I’d like to lay the groundwork of what has taken so long and what it means to me. I’ll get into my purpose and the importance in another post. Get ready! It’s about to get real verbose in here (you can always skip to the pictures).

The truth is that I have been grappling with the confliction that has barricaded each stint of progress while planning this blog. I have been coming to terms with the fact that I am indeed passionate about a cultural force that brings much satisfaction, expression and creativity on an individual level while having damaging effects on the environment with an industry that under values and mistreats its workers to feed a insatiable drive for consumption and waste.

Fix: Recycled, Surplus, Fair-Trade and Handmade Fashion!

I have also been torn with taking photos of my personal style. I am a behind the camera kind of girl with a deep love for photography. That being said, I am ridiculously uncomfortable in front of a camera and have this amazing ability to appear completely unnatural and awkwardly un-photogenic. Other reservations have been contiguous with the concept of vanity. I have a difficult time being in front of a mirror and the idea of taking, editing, and working with photos of me is something that I long thought would be difficult for me to do whole heartedly and with the earnestness that I expect for the quality of content that I’m after.

Fix: Recruit my beautiful friends to help and get over my qualms and build some confidence!  It’s not about me; it’s about personal expression, creativity, imagery, design, art and the magnificence of the human machine.

Then there is the question: When am I going to have time for all of this? I have been apprehensive about throwing another ball of fire into my juggling routine – I am blessed with a full time job, an amazing and supportive boyfriend, fabulous friends, a jubilant dog companion, an online business, and a whole host of activities and projects that keep me busy and active.  In another couple of months I’ll be throwing school into the mix which will make for a vivacious whirlwind of productivity.

Fix: Blog about it! Write and capture snapshots of my lifestyle and what consumes me, excites me, and keeps me going strong.

Lastly, what has been the biggest hurdle of all was not having a quality camera or blog design that would meet my standards of how I imagined the look, feel and overall experience would be for the reader.

Fix: Stop making lame excuses and make do with what I have! The layout maybe cookie cutter, the photos may not be of striking quality but this is a work in progress. I will be constantly growing, evolving, progressing this space and that may just be the most beautiful and natural element about it!

So here you have it – My first post! I’m ready to get my foot in the door to the astoundingly dynamic and diverse world of style bloggers.  I have put a lot into this one and I will do my best to keep my content rich and alive, vibrant and fun, inspiring and thought provoking, danceable, laughable and energized! If you read my ramble, wow! Thank you! If you stuck with where your eyes were drawn – I certainly don’t blame you.


I love festivals. I love the freeform community that is built over a couple of days. It’s as if the energy that each person emits jolts everyone collectively and unites with the buzzing vibrations to create an electrification of togetherness that is marvelously invigorating. A byproduct is a culture of acceptance that radiates through the crowds. I love dressing creatively, dancing freely, exploring new music and relaxing with good friends having a picnic with a cold beer and taking in the grooves and energy of all the people enjoying themselves with a big smile. It’s a fun chance to be creative, expressive and free to be a truly unique person in a sea of others. How great is that?

I’ve put together unique outfit inspiration for your viewing and idea brewing delight. All items are $35.00 and below from Etsy and are all recycled or handmade and support small businesses! Hope you enjoy. If you have any questions, comments or feedback please share! All items were and may still be for sale on Etsy. If you are interested in a purchasing an item or 10 please email me and I will let you know if it has already been sold or send you the link to the item in the Etsy shop. If it has already been sold I can send you other suggestions or search tips.

Etsy is a seemingly endless source of recycled and handmade fashion. There is a great chance you’ll find your perfect festival outfit – Happy treasure hunting!

*Click to see full size*

Leather and Lace

Tropical Colors and Flora

American Spirit

Scout (Love the earrings and harmonica necklace!)

The Raver

Fresh  Comfort (Lot’s of accessory pairings could go here!)

The Mermaid (Check out those crochet leg accents! Saw similar in free people.)

The Gypsy Soul

The Festi Fairy

Classic and Feminine

Coastal Country

Forest Chic

City Rocker (My favorite!)

Avant Garde (Amazing leggings!)

The Artist

World Traveler

I could have gone on and on and on. What was your favorite?

Stay tuned for posts on DIY summer accessories, packing lists for festival camping, summer bucket list ideas and much more!


Filed under Parties and Events, Style, Vintage and Antique