Goodwill--I'm sorry for the bad things I've said about you.

12:58 PM

  I think one of the hardest parts of postpartum life (or the "4th trimester") for me, has been that black hole of fashion you fall into after baby.

   Nothing fits right, everything that was once a favorite or a staple item doesn't even come close to looking flattering.  And then of course there's the whole nursing issue.  Most of your dresses can't be worn at all, and tops need to be either button-down, or loose enough for comfort while nursing, long enough to cover up that delightful spare tire, and weather appropriate.  So you do the math.  All of the sudden out of an entire closet full of clothes, a few things will actually work, resulting in feeling like you either have to do a load of laundry every day or you will have nothing to wear.  And we all know that a load of laundry every day with a new baby just isn't happening.


   Then you have fall coming up right around the corner.  I don't know what it is about fall, but it makes me want to buy ALL THE THINGS.  I don't, of course, and I try to be frugal and watch what I spend, but man.  Fall gets me every time.  And so you combine the coming of fall with the desperate need for postpartum-friendly clothing, and the result is some major shopping cravings.

   However.  With three little ones shopping is a little more difficult impossible these days, and while I thought online shopping would be my salvation, it hasn't been entirely that easy either.  I don't have much opportunity during the day to just browse online, and then when it's finally quiet and calm after their bedtime I usually want to just go to bed too.

  I have never shopped at Nordstrom's, but their anniversary sale had tempted me to this year.  I started looking through all of the options, making mental notes of all of the staple pieces I would like to purchase, and starting to add things up.  The problem is, even with things on sale, sometimes pieces are still $30-$40 an item, and that is just not in the budget for us right now.

   So I was really starting to feel discouraged and dreading plunging into that "dark hole of fashion after baby" in the next four weeks or so, when I decided to try Goodwill.

   Now, I know thrift shopping is not a revolutionary idea, and I have been doing it for years.  But I had become quite disenchanted with it as of late.  I felt like Goodwill's prices were going up (which they are) without the quality getting any better (which it isn't) and it was so frustrating.

   For starters, I didn't have the time.  My trips into town with kids were kept as brief and one-stop as humanly possible, or the trips without kids seemed almost too precious and valuable to spend on thrifting.  And that made thrifting nearly impossible, because as I have found, the keys to thrifting are A. spending a long time in the store, looking through all the racks and aisles to find treasures, and B. Going often, so you don't miss anything before it's already snatched up.  And since my life leaves no room for either of those options, I had started to give up on the whole idea.

   But then I had a grandma day come around, and I didn't have some imminent, pressing, plan for it like I usually do, like a project that HAS to get finished or an entire house that HAS to get cleaned, and I so I decided to go to Goodwill.  And boy am I glad I did!

I went with 3 objectives in mind that I think helped me out immensely:

1. I try my hardest to only purchase good brands.  If I'm going to buy something that's already been worn, it needs to be a quality brand that I know will wear/wash well and last a long time.

2. I had specific items in mind that I was looking for.  Ankle boots, tunics, nursing friendly tops and fall pieces.  This helped me stayed focused and prevent wasting time considering any "cute" item that I happened to see.

3. And last but most importantly, I thought to myself, "WWJW" (what would Joanna wear)?  O.k. just kidding about that last one.  Or am I?  I think it's no secret that she is my style muse these days, and it can really help narrow down your shopping options if you have a cohesive look/style in mind.  It's definitely more cool and original to develop your own sense of style, but if you're like me and your mama-brain is fried and the LAST thing you can think about at length is your fall wardrobe...than you just pick a style to emulate.  And it makes it MUCH easier.

SO.  After much ado, let's get to the goods.  I was able to find: (from left to right in the picture)

1. J Crew graphic tee---$4.99
2. Fig & Flower embroidered top (brand sold at Anthro)---$6.99
3. Merona army green button down---$6.99
4. American Eagle cream tunic---$6.99
5. RDI color block tee (brand sold at Nordstrom's)---$4.99
6. Steve Madden ankle boots---$9.99

   I still think their pricing is doesn't make sense to me that a Target top is only 3 dollars cheaper than a pair of Steve Madden boots, but still.  I was able to get ALL of these great, nearly new, staple wardrobe pieces for around $40 total, the cost of basically one item on my wish list from Nordstrom's.  The fabrics feel great, there are no stains or tears, and those ankle boots?!  Definitely my favorite find.  They are super comfortable and will go with anything.  And they look like Joanna. ;) Definitely a win/win.

   And speaking of Joanna, one of the many style tips I've learned from her that I'm trying to implement into my closet is that less is more!  She owns TWO PAIRS OF JEANS, people.  She only owns several pairs of boots too, and says that even though every year there are cute, new styles that come out, she prefers to wear her boots and her jeans until they completely wear out.  It gives them character, and she enjoys the feeling that the pieces in her closet have memories and are "doing life" with her.  I love that.

   I have always wrestled with this mentality of super-consumerism and materialism when it comes to shopping.  One of my BIGGEST PET PEEVES is when fashion bloggers talk about "investing in pieces that will last you for years" but they still buy new things every season.  It doesn't make sense to "invest" $200 in a pair of boots that you're going to wear for one year.  And how is that Kate Spade bag an "investment" if you buy a new one in the spring?  That will just never compute with me.  But I can get behind the idea of it, if you're going to wear those same things for years and years to come.

Although I'd still rather pay $10 for boots I will wear for years and years. :)

Now it's your turn! Tell me some of your thrifting tips and finds, I'd love to hear!

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