I wore this outfit to go for a walk near the Mississippi River with my sibling and my cousin. It was a 60-70 degree day in November of 2021 that dropped a lot of degrees when the sun went down, and I walked 7501 steps per my cell. My sibling told me this outfit reminded them of that photo of Robert Pattinson in a tracksuit. I had never seen it before (and it was probably supposed to be intended as an insult), but Robert Pattinson is objectively beautiful and tracksuits are comfy af so… 🤷🏼
Vintage 90s Everlast Velour Zip Tracksuit with Satin Lining that I scored on ebay.
(not pictured) Hug Life Tee was a Xmas gift from a coworker/friend.
Unbranded Imitation Ugg Boots I inherited secondhand from a friend.
Unbranded Fleece-lined Hat was a Xmas gift from family.
Once I recouped my energy from creating a different character’s outfit, photoshoot, and blog post every day in October, I still wanted to try out these nails.
Some years back, I sold my entire nail collection (to a mom who bought it for her daughter & her friends to use at sleepovers 💕), and I have slowly but surely rebuilt my collection with solely Zoya polishes.
I do not have any affiliation with Zoya, but their brand was both within my budget and Big 10 Free. The color I chose to put on my stiletto nails is called Ki, and is described as “a complex multichromatic oil-slick shade combining silver, purple, blue and green in a shimmery metallic finish.”
While it was fun to have stiletto nails on, the transition from my fairly short, broken off nails (due to manual labor) to these long stiletto nails took some adjustment. Ultimately, I ended up cutting off the tips and filing them down to be more functional.
In the future, I plan to wear the stiletto nails again at full length, but knowing I have the option to cut and file them to change the shape is helpful too!
It was difficult to truly capture the beauty of this Ki colored polish from Zoya, so I have included a video below.
Currently, Zoya is doing a Nail Polish Exchange for Earth Month.
*Again, I have no affiliation with Zoya. This is not an ad. I just really love their polishes, and I want to share with other people as well.*
Here are the details from Zoya.
Do you have old, dusty (not so environmentally friendly) unwanted, bottles of nail polish? Trade them in for brand new Zoya colors, the world’s first toxic-free, longest wearing natural nail polish and let us properly dispose and recycle your old stuff! We’ll even give you a $5 credit for every bottle you purchase of a new Zoya Nail Polish (0.5oz Polish) towards. And (wait for it) Shipping is on us in the continental USA. See zoya.com for all details. Tell a Friend!
All Zoya Polishes adhere to our Big 10-Free Philosophy and produced, filled and distributed daily from our facility in Bedford, Ohio. Vegan friendly, cruelty free and environmentally sound. Made using plant based materials. Did you know our facility is built on reclaimed and environmentally restored land?
The Zoya Team
P.S. Did You Know ZOYA is a company of firsts?
▪️The first BIG 3, BIG 5 and Big 10 Free Formulas Free of harmful toxins ▪️ Utilizing Bio-Degradable Corn Starch Packaging Materials ▪️ Repurposes all packaging ▪️ Printed material made on repurposed paper using the most environmentally friendly ink ▪️ The Entire facility is built on environmentally reclaimed land ▪️ Our Facility is lit 20% from natural light with an aim of being 20% solar powered by 2025 ▪️ Zoya created the Annual Earth Month recycling exchange
This is the third post in a series. The first can be found here. The second here.
I have a note pad app on my cell where I have a list of things I would like to find secondhand while out thrifting. Some of the short-term items on the list I found (i.e. meat cleaver) and others are just perpetually on my list forever (i.e. fleece-lined jeans in my size). I did keep an eye out for turtlenecks this round, but none of the ones I saw in my size were something I could wear for character outfits AND would wear in real life.
At the store that I went to, the miscellaneous items are on the first floor, and shoes & clothing on are on the second floor. After I went through the miscellaneous items below and the shoes on the second floor, I then started looking at the clothes. I don’t look stuff up while I’m at the store. All the information and links I looked up once I was home and writing these posts.
First up, I gravitated towards this tiana b. black flowy tunic dress with floral embroidery and 3/4 length bell sleeves. From my searches on the internet, the t i a n a b brand appears to have been sold at both Dillard’s and Macy’s. I could not find anything like this to link to or compare pricing. I paid $6.99.
I had very specific dresses in mind to look for, but I couldn’t pass up this APT. 9 Super Soft Mocha Sweater Dress. Originally retailed for $50 at Kohl’s. I paid $6.99. Bonus: It has pockets!
After I saw the mocha dress, I found this dress close by. It is a long (convertible) sleeve, button up, black Merona dress. Originally, it came with a belt, but there was not one for this dress. Uncertain what the original list price was, but almost certainly it came from Target. I paid $6.99. Bonus: It has pockets, and the tag says it was made from recycled plastic.
When I moved to the pants section, I was seeking either very distressed/destroyed jeans or pants with a high waist. The higher, the better. Some part of me was drawn to these bright blue Express skinny jeans. Skinny jeans on their site are currently listed from $80-$98 with some on sale for $39. These bright blue Express skinny jeans are around $43 on Thred Up today. I paid $6.99.
This next pair of pants I liked because of the texture of the fabric. They are a camel colored microsuede with the brand 111 State on the tag and a side zipper closure. Unsure where they were originally sold or for how much. This brand appears to be labelled as Vintage in a number of reseller posts, but the prices vary wildly. Also, none of the ones I could find look similar to these. I paid $4.99.
I was just about to give up on pants, and in my head I thought, I just want some high rise pants; won’t they have any? The very next pair I touched were these Super-High Waist Barely Bootcut 7th Avenue New York & Company black pants. I don’t usually believe in Fate, but it seemed the thrifting gods were smiling on me. The Medium size is not something I would usually buy without trying them on, but I held them up to my waist and they seemed like they would fit. These still have the original tags on them with the list price of $59.95. I paid $24.99 which is usually more than I would like to spend on a pair of pants. Fingers crossed that these work out!
This last pair of pants wasn’t found in the pants section. They are 100% Cotton, very lightweight, Raviya pants with elephants on them. A pair NWT are listed at $30 on Poshmark. I paid $4.99.
I reviewed my list one more time before I was going to check out and saw I had a black v neck sweater on there. I saw this attention brand one (after rejecting the turtlenecks present near it) and decided it was coming home with me to cross that one off the list. It has extra long ribbing on the sleeves which I appreciate. I paid $4.99.
I did buy one specific clothing item for my partner. This was untagged when I found it, and an employee did a price check to tag it while the cashier was ringing up the rest of my haul. This is a George Faux Sherpa Gray Hoodie currently selling for $19.96 at Walmart. I paid $5.99.
One of our cats claimed this hoodie right away.
Overall, I am very happy with everything I bought during this Thrift Store Excursion. While I spent more money than I would like to in a single trip, the quality and quantity of items I obtained were worth way more than the $210 I paid. Even though I don’t plan to visit another secondhand store any time soon, I am looking forward to my next trip.
In some upcoming posts on this site, I will highlight the items I purchased during this shopping spree as I build outfits around them and incorporate them into my wardrobe. I do not plan to post my outfit every single day (like I did during my October Halloween Outfit Project), but I hope you’ll stick along for the ride to see my sporadic updates until the next project hits.
This post is the second portion of one shopping trip. The first part can be found here.
Much to my spouse’s dismay, I purchased 5 pairs of shoes on my Thrift Store Shopping Excursion. I wear either a size 9 or size 8.5, depending on the brand & style. I tried all of these on at the store with a pair of tights on my feet.
Of all the flat ballet slippers I own already, I do not have any pointy-toed options. I gravitated towards these because of the leopard print. Only upon writing this post did I learn they are Marc Fisher Analia Leopard Print Pointed Toe Flats. Marc Fisher shoes appear to sell from anywhere from $30-$300 a pair on their website. This exact pair is currently listed for sale on other sites from anywhere between $25-$75. I paid $8.99.
I also picked up this pair of white TOMS and carried them around the store without knowing how much they cost. It was one of 3 items I had to ask for a price check for at the register. On the TOMS website, these White Alpargata Canvas Shoes are listed at $49.95, on sale for $34.99. I paid $3.99.
Also, because of the print, I was drawn to these Franco Sarto Reeve Leopard Print Booties. On the Franco Sarto website, solid colored booties like this are going from between $170-$200. This exact pair of booties is listed for sale on other sites anywhere from $30-$155, but that $30 posting is an anomaly. Snag it now if you’re looking for these and they’re your size. I paid $9.99.
I was super excited to see these Lace up Black Boots with a chunky heel as the only “witchy” boots I own currently are wedges and don’t really provide the same vibe. After checking at home, I realized these are Target brand. There is a similar (but not really) style currently sold there for $39.99. This exact pair of booties is listed for $30, on sale for $12 on Poshmark. I paid $6.99. Bonus: I used these shoes for both Magenta and Ginger in my October Halloween Outfit Project.
I am super excited for all of the shoes I purchased. I have no buyer’s remorse at all. Also, I have already worn 2 of the 5 pairs. I’m looking forward to incorporating all of them into my wardrobe in the future.
Stay tuned for the clothes I scored on this Thrift Store Shopping Trip.
Going to a secondhand store to search for treasures is one of my very favorite things to do. When the Covid-19 pandemic started and lockdown began, thrifting became a luxury as opposed to a necessity, and I wondered when I would ever feel comfortable enough to go again. On my list of things to do in the future, I put down Thrift Store Shopping. Once I got vaccinated, it still sat on my list uncrossed off 5 months later.
It probably would’ve kept sitting there as an undone item, had I not created my October Halloween Outfit Project. In my spreadsheet of character ideas, there were certain things that I had listed that I didn’t own or didn’t have a sufficient substitution. For example, I really wanted to dress as Erin Hardesty from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but the prop/weapon that makes the most sense for her character is a meat cleaver. We haven’t really eaten meat in our house for almost two years, and the only one we owned was a tiny one that came with a cheese tray. I did think it would be kind of funny to do a photo shoot with a tiny cleaver, but I thought it would be better if I could find a cheap full-sized meat cleaver. This meat cleaver search was the thing that got me to finally go out to a secondhand store. So silly in the scheme of things.
Once I had made the decision to go to the store, I don’t know if anything would have stopped me. In my head, it felt like my last chance in 2021, both financially and logistically. With the headspace of not having gone thrift store shopping in at least two years and thinking that this trip is definitely my last chance this year, with the next trip to be determined, you’ll probably understand more when I tell you that I spent 2 hours and $210 on this trip.
The place I went to is a large, two-story store, and even though there was no mask mandate for the customers, the employees were all in masks, and everyone had enough space to distance from each other inside the store. (It was the only one I had envisioned myself going to specifically because of the size. Especially since a lot of secondhand stores are notorious for being crammed spaces, jammed full of items.) The business doesn’t warrant free advertising, so even though you might be able to read it on the price tags, I’m probably not going to type it out. (Just another example of “There’s no ethical consumption under capitalism” when income and money dictate spending patterns more than your moral alignment.)
Due to our grocery deliveries, our household has a tendency to stack up paper bags. While I wish there was a way to avoid this with our deliveries, I don’t know of any options right now. I have previously posted them for free on some “Giving Community” sites and apps and gotten many rounds of bags connected with new homes to be used again. I had one paper bag filled with folded up paper bags in my porch, and I grabbed it for this shopping trip. When I got to the cashier, I told them that I had brought bags, and any that weren’t use they could keep. I couldn’t tell if they liked it or I was a pain-in-the-ass, but they took them all without comment. I ended up returning home with four bags.
In this post, I’m only going to discuss the non-clothing and non-shoe items. For starters, I got a colorful Pyrex 9×13 baking dish with a matching lid for $6.99. It was one of the first things I put into my cart because we live a meal prep lifestyle, and this is an item we can always use. I also know that the last one I bought cost me around $20. There was a pair of whisker relief dishes that I did not hesitate to grab as well. These particular ones are oval shaped with the design helping the cat whiskers not be stressed out by eating out of narrow bowls. Each bowl cost me $1.99, and they are definitely worth that for my cats’ comfort.
Sometimes shopping secondhand around Halloween is a bad idea because items you could usually get for less get jacked up in price to be sold for specialty costumes. One upside to hitting up a thrift store in October is that they have an entire section of costumes, props, and seasonal holiday items. While I looked at a lot of items that I didn’t purchase, I did let myself buy some frivolous prop items (that I didn’t require for my current project) because of their low price.
Black & White Masquerade Ball Hat $4.99 Heart HerbalLife Wristlet $4.99 Triceratops Headband $1.99 Dinosaur Tail $1.99 Silver Costume Gloves $2.99 Gold Tiara $1.99
I also specifically bought 3 items directly because of my project. I grabbed a Marshmallow Shooter for $3.99 to stand in for a gun for my Little Rock from Zombieland Double Tap photo shoot. I found a prop meat cleaver for $1.99. They actually had two versions. This bloody one or a glow-in-the-dark version. This one was the more realistic looking one of the two, and when I sent pics to my partner, this was the one they preferred as well. The fake flowers in the middle were $4.99, but now if I ever do Carrie, or another prom queen again, I have a batch of flowers to hold. This bouquet has already found its forever home in my vase filled with peacock feathers. It feels nice to have some flowers around that I’m not allergic to, and I don’t have to worry about my cats trying to eat them.
If you couldn’t already guess by my October Halloween Outfit Project consisting of only movie characters, I watch a lot of movies. On average, I watch one per day with my partner. Thankfully, we have very similar tastes in what we like to watch. Because a lot of the movies we like are more obscure, often they are not available for streaming on any platform for free. We have a fairly large bookshelf filled with our physical collection of dvds & blu-rays. Whenever I am at a secondhand store, I check out the selection to see what we don’t yet own but is something that we would watch over again.
One year I did a project where I went through our collection and made a spreadsheet broken down by genre and type (dvd, digital, blu-ray, etc.). This turned out to be ultimately worth my time & energy when I was able to send some pictures of the options at the store to my partner and have them check our spreadsheet to see if we already owned them. I think I put almost 10 back on the shelf that without the spreadsheet I would have bought as a duplicate accidentally.
I bought 16 movies and one season of a series for $1.99 each or a total of $33.83. (I think we used to spend more than that going to one movie in the theater for two of us with a tub of popcorn and a drink.) 3 or 4 of these I haven’t seen yet, and I’m looking forward to watching them all over the winter. I’m extra stoked about that copy of Stir of Echoes as I was recently looking to acquire a copy for our collection, and it seems to be a rare enough item that I was struggling to find it in stock and in my budget. #Score
Items that are not clothing, shoes, or dvds=$40.88 Dvds=$33.83 Non-clothing & non-shoes items total=$74.71
Those $1.99 price tags add up quickly! Watch yourself.
Stay tuned for the clothes and shoes I scored on this Thrift Store Shopping trip.
I was just going to find one Halloween costume to wear with pieces I already owned, but it turned into one outfit for every day of October 2021. Initially, I was just going to do this for fun, for myself, but my friend suggested I use my blogging skills to put my results on the internet. This post is going to be a brief overview of how I created these photos.
In my bedroom, I had set up a green screen and a ring light. I had used this previously for my Rainbow/Multicolor photo shoot for the #ColorWeek2021 Instagram event. I learned the hard way that you want your green screen to be as flat and tight as possible. The more wrinkles that are in it, the more spots you have to edit. After steaming my green screen, I also used clamps to pull the sides tighter. I had to lift the bottom off the floor and pin it up at night, every night, otherwise, one of my cats kept running full speed into it to use it like a slip ‘n’ slide. Between the moving it up and down, steaming, and clamps, I still was never able to get it as smooth as I wanted.
On top of the ring light, I also added two photography lights (that I had already from my light box photography stuff) to try to cut down on the shadows. Shadows also have to be edited out when removing a green screen and adding a different background. The ring light has a holder for a cell phone, and at the beginning, I had my 10 second timer set to run back and forth between hitting the camera button on the ring light stand and getting into a pose on the green screen. That was a total pain, and when I was holding legit weapons, I asked my partner to take photos of me instead.
My brother found out that’s what my process was and let me borrow his bluetooth remote shutter for his cell. (I ended up buying my own.) The only problem with this was that if I was in a pose where I had to hold something or use both my hands, it was sometimes not possible to hit the shutter button on the remote without the remote ending up in the image. In these instances, I still had to ask my partner for assistance.
Once I had the photographs taken, I would move them from my cell phone to my computer. On my computer, I have a program called GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) that is basically a free version of Adobe Photoshop. I first taught myself how to use layers and Fuzzy Select via this tutorial. Then, I learned about the Select by Color tool, but because my hair is teal/blue that didn’t always work well. I often had to use the manual Free Select tool to remove sections the other Select tools didn’t capture to remove.
Changing the background to a solid color for the comparisons was done with the Bucket Fill tool. The hardest part of editing the backgrounds was finding background images of the specific scenes I wanted to use that were a large enough size. I had to learn how to use the Scale tool to move the images of myself into the right spot in the frame, but often I gave up on trying to make them the appropriate size when it was “close enough”. Sometimes, having to do a photo shoot, photo edits, write a blog post, and get it polished enough to publish all in one day was too much work to get all nitpicky in the weeds about small details like green screen haloing. Plus, it gives it a punk diy vibe that I kinda like.
All of the comparison collages were made with an app on my cell phone called Collage Maker. I was limited a little with the backgrounds and available fonts in the free options, but I had still enough variety to use different (yet relevant) ones throughout the entire month. I love this app and have used it for years.
For only starting to learn how to manually edit photos around a month ago, I think it is going fairly well! I’ve taught myself a bunch of things just through trial and error. Anytime I get stuck, there’s always a tutorial somewhere out on the internet to help. If you have any questions on the process of using a green screen and editing a background, please let me know, and I will do what I can to help. If you’ve got tips, I’d love to learn more too! 🙂
This was described as Honey Brown, but it is definitely more red than that. I’m not mad at the color it is, but it definitely gave a different vibe to the characters I used it for than what I anticipated.
(Currently selling for $14.99, so don’t sleep on that deal, if you are thinking of getting this one! I’m not salty about the price drop. Ok, I’m a little salty.)
This is probably my favorite wig of the 5 showcased here, but that’s probably because I don’t ever plan to have black hair on the top of my head again in real life. As such, I feel like this is the one I will get the most use out of in the long run.
When I was in the planning stages, there were a lot more characters I was going to use this wig for that I ultimately used my blue hair for instead. I slightly regret buying this wig now, but chose it specifically because of the two-toned blonde colors within it.
I was really excited to get a long, wavy red wig, but this one was pretty disappointing. The part is awful, and even when trying to move the hair to cover the part, it was obvious that I was wearing a wig. Because of this, I chose not to use this for all the characters I originally planned. Most of the redheads, I did with my blue hair instead.
I actually bought two of these from different sellers because I wasn’t sure if either of them was going to arrive in time. I was planning to pair these bangs with the long straight black wig, but never ended up doing that. Instead these bangs were used with hats, hoods, and photographic angles to give the illusion of a full wig.
I actually think this clip on bangs piece is awful because the way the small part of the bangs was cut you can tell the entire hairpiece was already warped before they did it. I had to angle it on my head in a weird way for the bangs to end up straight across my forehead. That said, it still worked for my purposes.
One of my exes introduced me to Ginger Snaps on our first date, and I will forever be grateful. I’ve repressed most of the rest of our relationship, but how had I lived my life up to that point without seeing Ginger Snaps? A horror movie starring two gothic sisters who loathe the suburban life and yearn to die rather than be doomed to be trapped within the constraints of domestic American life.
Brigitte: Just say you won’t go average on me.
Ginger: Just ’cause some gonad gets his zipper going? I’d rather be dead.
One of them gets “the curse” and started to change physically and mentally while the other tries to save her from becoming something monstrous. The analogy between werewolves and puberty might seem cliché, but for me, this movie spotlights the way society views females, especially during their terrifying adolescence.
The best quote I found when doing research to grab pictures and such: “Ginger is an embodiment of these impossible binaries: she is at once sexually attractive and monstrous, ‘natural’ and ‘supernatural,’ human and animal, ‘feminine’ and transgressive, a sister and a rival.” (Why does this make me wanna write an academic paper about this movie? #EnglishGraduateProblems)
Ginger: [to Brigitte] A girl can only be a slut, a bitch, a tease, or the virgin next door.
It was a toss up between Ginger and Brigitte, but my wardrobe leans more towards Ginger’s style. I actually invested in some fangs and claw nails for this character (and another I ultimately didn’t do), but I just wasn’t feeling all that effort when it came time to do it. I also considered dressing as Ginger and Brigitte’s mom, Pamela, as she has some great outfits in the movie.
I also did a variation of this outfit where I put a black Gap Body zip up hoodie and a Romeo & Juliet Couture Cheetah Cardigan that I got secondhand and could never live without now. (I literally looked for it in my closet to wear and had a moment where I freaked out that I couldn’t find it, before I remembered it was on the clothes rack of character costumes I had for this project that was in another room. lmao)
I also did a variation of the base outfit, without the hoodie and sweater, but instead with a Blue Vintage Jerold Coat with Silver Buttons. This coat is so amazing! I’m pretty sure I got it from my grandmother, but it could’ve been a clothing swap too. There is a belt for it that I have curled up in my deep pocket too.
For my hair, I used this wig that I was originally the most stoked to get, and then, ended up the most disappointed in, out of all the wigs I used. I was going to use it for more characters, but ultimately decided against it. It isn’t the worst, but I had different expectations.
For my accessories, I wore three silver hoops in each ear (which is something I used to do all the time, and I will probably keep these in now for quite a while). I also put on a few silver rings that I wear often. On my neck, I have a three strand black choker and a necklace I made specifically for this project out of a couple shells and a couple of beads that look like bone, with a black cord, and a brass bird skull pendant from Michaels. (I initially made earrings with the bird skull pendants, but they were way too heavy, so I wasn’t upset to take them apart to make this necklace.) Other accessories I considered: a silver hoop belly button ring and a tail.)
For my first prop, I brought back my beautiful butcher knife. Even though the tip has snapped off, it is a lot sharper than I remembered! Escpecially after all these photo shoots, I anticipated it to be duller.
For my second prop, I used a milk carton. There’s a specific scene with a milk carton in this movie, and I already had one in the house. Other props I considered: a pink razor (with or without hair/fur stuck to it), a book on lyncanthropes, a strawberry shortcake, polaroid camera (especially if dressing as Brigitte), a field hockey stick, a cigarette or joint, a bone pen, dried wolf’s bane/monk’s hood, and some severed fingers.