Archives For Fashionable Finds

Do you have any idea how amazing it feels to find designer things at thrift stores? Even if these things are slightly worn, they have so much character and well, the ever important, THEY ARE DESIGNER! The even cooler thing? These things are likely vintage as well. Double bonus!

On Wednesday, it was an exceptionally sunny day here in Dublin. So, after my usual lunch date, I wandered over to Capel Street to hit up those thrift shops just North of the Liffey. It was a new area of town for me to thrift in, but there was a particular awesome find: a Carolina Herrera satchel.

CH Satchel

She’s a thing of beauty I tell ya.

CH Satchel - Front

Her handles are slightly worn and tearing, but that’s where the character comes in.

CH Satchel - Side View

There are two pockets on either side of the outer part of the bag. Perfect for stashing your mobile phone, headphones, sunglasses, or any other bits you don’t want hiding from you on the inside.

CH Satchel - Zipper

Look at those details! Exquisite.

CH Satchel - Lining

I’m fairly certain I’ve authenticated the bag, between the leather, the lining, the zipper, and the external details, but I can’t be 100% certain. Either way, she’s a lovely find and I’ll carry her around happily!

And when she’s not in tow? Well, she’ll have her spot on top of the wardrobe next to the Prada thrift store find. Two peas in a pod they shall be. The price tag on her? FIVE EURO.

This CH bag and the Prada bag are just two very understated reasons why you should NEVER EVER turn your nose up at thrifting. You seriously never know what someone might toss out — to your advantage! (Because let’s face it, if that toss ends up in a thrift store that doesn’t know/recognise the brand, I assure you it’s worth your while!)

Do you thrift? Why on earth not?

XOXO – K

 

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The Perfect Tote

January 20, 2014 — 4 Comments

I simply adore a good handbag, especially when that handbag is a tote! Now, what makes a good tote? Well, it has to have a few key qualities to pass my test: durability, functionality, & charm.

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Firstly, a tote (as with any handbag, really) must be durable, because despite my best efforts to be a loving owner, life seems to have different plans for handbags. My bag often gets kicked by servers at restaurants, knocked by passing tourists on the streets, and tortured by wind and rain while out and about in town. My bag gets tossed into cars and pulled out by whatever can be grabbed at the final destination. So, you can see now why durability is HUGE.

Secondly, a tote must be functional. Let’s face it, women carry a lot of items in their bags — from planners to make-up to sunglasses and everything else in between. My tote must be large enough to accommodate my fashion & beauty needs! Additionally, those little side-pockets may not seem relevant until you are frantically trying to find your bus ticket while the whole bus looks on as your entire purse contents spill all over the bus floor. (True story..) That’s just embarrassing! In this day and age, pockets are crucial because I cannot drop my shopping haul, the umbrella or coffee, and whatever else I may be carrying when I hear the phone ring and I certainly don’t want to spill the contents of my bag all over the bus again.

And finally, a tote must have charm. And charm means character, and color.

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I love my Angela Roi Sunday tote! She’s perfect in every aspect — she’s brightly colored, she supports a cause (breast cancer), she’s durable, and she’s certainly functional.

Every time I tote her around she steals the show. I carried her around Tennessee and Georgia while I was home and I couldn’t walk into a store and not get at least two comments about her! She certainly enjoyed the attention, and I was happy to point out she was Angela Roi rather than Kate Spade when the mistake was made.

OOTD - 12.26.13

This was certainly my first purchase from Angela Roi, but it will not be my last. I’m currently perusing the Square tote as well as the Cross-body. So many options!

If you need a new handbag, definitely stop by and check out this new company. You’ll be happy you did! And you can read more about them in my previous post: Angela Roi: The Intersection of Fashion & Philanthropy — Color for Cause!

XOXO – K

After that headline, I know I have you intrigued! So read on.

Having lived in Nashville for the better part of three years, I got to experience so much of what the city had to offer and attended many a function.  A year in to living there, I actually hosted my sister and sixteen of her closest friends in my house for a whole bachelorette weekend. That same weekend happened to be the weekend of the Country Music Festival. Naturally the girls had chosen this weekend to snag tickets and watch the shows. Do you even know how long it takes sixteen girls to get ready or what your house will look like after sixteen suitcases have exploded for four days?! 

What felt like a hundred hours passing, the eighteen of us were all gussied up and ready to hit the concert — and of course, the girls were all dressed the part in their cute little sun dresses AND COWBOY BOOTS. Me? Sadly, I didn’t own cowboy boots despite having looked and looked for the longest of time.

See, I’m not one to just buy ANY pair of cowboy boots. Oh no. I wanted PINK cowboy boots and I wasn’t going to settle until I found the perfect pair. I even talked to my friend Aly once about her cowboy boots because not only were they pink, but they sparkled–I thought I was destined to be eternally jealous! Well, that was until my husband took me to one of Paris’ greatest gems: Omaya Vintage.

This perfect little gem is very well known amongst those on the hunt for vintage — both Parisian and tourist alike. It is not a shop you will find in the main stream though, and I think I’ll be forever grateful we trekked out to it! Because…LOOK WHAT I FOUND!

Vintage, Italian leather, pink cowboy boots.

Vintage, Italian leather, pink cowboy boots.

I might not be living in Nashville at the moment, but suffice it to say when I return home (be it on a trip or for our final move back) I’m ready to hit the events in style finally! And of course, my cowboy boots will be unlike any others you’ll find in the city. DOUBLE SCORE.

But, what’s a pair of pink cowboy boots without a vintage, pink, crushed velvet, peplum jacket?  Why, nothing! So, this was my second big find at a different vintage shop in Paris.

Vintage, pink, crushed velvet, peplum jacket

Vintage, pink, crushed velvet, peplum jacket

The shop, oddly, I cannot recall the name of, but it was definitely in Le Marais with several other vintage shops lined up along the same street. It was a tiny little place full of every kind of hidden treasure imaginable from the 70’s, 80’s, and early 90’s. It was probably the best shop I’ve ever been in, price wise, that wasn’t a charity shop. If you are in, or will be in Paris, get your butt to the Marais area and get shopping!

So yes, I went shopping in many, many stores during my time in Paris and all I purchased (i.e. could afford) was these two vintage items. I call that a win because I could not be happier about these items and I know they’ll get a lot of love from me — more love than that 1,400 Euro fur thing I was lusting after!

Watch out Dublin, I’ll be painting you pink soon enough. XOXO – K

 

Before moving to Dublin, I was that person who cleaned out her closet twice a year and donated those items  to various charities around Nashville to make room for the shiny new things that were coming in. I’ll admit, I had no problems spending that $100-$200 a month on those shiny new things. I didn’t think I had much of a need to actually shop at the stores I was donating to. I had come a long way since my college days of living paycheck to paycheck; Having money changes your perspective! (I made myself sound like a complete snob right there, but, it’s honest–keep reading, I assure you I’ll change your mind!)

Then, I quit my job so I could move to Dublin with the hubs. Here we are, seven months later and I’m still jobless, and while we are certainly surviving on one income, my world has been turned upside down. I’m conscious of every single cent I spend now, and I don’t have the luxury of having shiny new things as often! I really feel like it’s back to the college days, of living paycheck to paycheck and it has been quite a humbling experience.

One day, a month or two in to my time here, while I was out strolling, I started weaving in and out of the charity shops here and I was absolutely stunned at what I was finding! So many cute and fun things, just waiting to be loved again–and in my new budget! I’m now in them weekly, because you never know what little gems you will find!

Last Friday I was lucky enough to stumble across some great things in the shops: an authentic Prada handbag and a BCBG Maxazria top.  (And these things I snagged for 13 quid, TOTAL) I also found some really soft cashmere gloves and a fun headband/ear warmer wrap.

Thrifting Haul: Total Spent? 16 Euro

Thrifting Haul: Total Spent? 16 Euro

Now, I know you want to get up close and personal with these items, so, here you go!

Cashmere Gloves & Head wrap for those cold winter days that are headed my way.

Cashmere Gloves & Head wrap for those cold winter days that are headed my way.

BCBG Maxazria Top - will look great with white jeans and my white leather jacket!

BCBG Maxazria Top – will look great with white jeans and my white leather jacket!

I know the thing you have the most questions about though is the Prada bag. Like, how did I know it was real? Well, I just KNEW. I knew in my gut from looking at the logo on the outside of the bag and once I unzipped the purse it confirmed it for me. Of course, real or fake, it was going to be mine!

Prada Logo

Prada Logo

I actually confirmed my find when I got home. If you’ll notice in the logo above the “notched” R that looks like a sideways diamond? Most knock offs forget about this little tedious tidbit in recreations. Additionally, if you get up close and personal with the lining of the purse, it is unmistakably detailed and the features are undeniably Prada. Being a thrift shop find though, it does not have the Prada card that designer items usually come with, or the dust cover. But that’s perfectly OK!

Inside the Prada bag

Inside the Prada bag

Moment of truth! Here’s my new arm candy: the canvas & camel colored leather glory that is Prada!

Prada

Prada

I know I’ll probably never have another haul as good at this one, but hey… it won’t stop me from swinging by more stores each week! My personal favorites? Oxfam on South King St. (top of Grafton) and Vincent’s on South Great George’s Street. And hey, if I can find such awesome stuff in the charity shops, it saves me a lot of money to still have High Street items!

Sitting here now, thinking about all of the things I have donated in the past, I realize something: if I’m donating High Street and designer items, I bet others are too. (Prada bag case-in-point, right?) So, why have I been so hell-bent on having the shiny and new when there are plenty of items out there needing a home and supporting a good cause? Yeah, definitely humbled.

Do you thrift? Why or why not? What have you found that you just absolutely adore?

Recently I traveled to Europe where I visited London, Paris, and Brussels. After I recuperated from an overnight flight and adjusted to the gloomy London weather, I began noticing fashion trends that were unlike anything in the US. Here are the top five trends from my travels abroad.

Trend One: Western European women have a fascination with panty hose. The first few times I spotted the panty hose, I didn’t think twice about it. But the more women I saw, the more I realized this wasn’t a few; this was the majority! Now, London weather isn’t known for being particularly outstanding, and while I was there, it was quite gloomy and chilly (though it never rained – thank goodness!). I saw tights under skirts – which, isn’t so different from the US. The outlying factor was the significant number of women wearing panty hose underneath…wait for it…SHORTS!

Being a southern girl, the only time I’ll be caught dead wearing panty hose is in the middle of winter, when my job requires it. So what makes panty hose so much more attractive to Europeans? I’m still formulating an answer to this one, unfortunately.

Trend Two: London men LOVE all things skinny – specifically jeans. While I understand that clothing trends ebb and flow, and right now skinny (particularly colored skinny) is IN and London men have embraced the trend more than men I have seen in any city recently. Perhaps though, this observation is biased in that the only cities I have seen recently have been southern – where the American men tend to embrace a completely different trend, that somehow never seems to fall out of style. I don’t particularly love the skinny look on a man, but I support a man who is willing to rock it out.

Trend Three: Parisian men prefer a completely different look than London men, and it involves a more refined, professional look. This is MY preferred look for a man, so naturally I was in drool heaven. I won’t say all, because I’ve learned there are always people who prefer to stray from the norm, but most Parisian men seemed to sport this look. Of course, there one could argue that I stayed in a very upscale part of Paris, on a seemingly ritzy shopping Avenue, but we ventured everywhere – literally everywhere. Man, after man, after man, dressed to kill with the suit (and sometimes tie) – and for the most part, it wasn’t the laid back suit style. I’m talking crisp, clean lines, neutral tones, and occasional pin stripe. Paris, your men stole my heart (almost enough to make me want to learn French!)

Trend Four: Brussels is an interesting little place. I was happy this was the last stop on my journey as I’m not sure my feet could take much more walking. Belgium is known for beer and chocolate. Brussels has both, in bountiful quantities, but with a side of PDA and dogs, dogs, dogs. (The rest of Belgium may be similar, but I have no basis to comment on the rest of the country.)

If you think of utilizing a dog as an accessory (think Elle Woods), you would generally think of a small, toy dog, right? I’m here to tell you that I saw every size dog being toted around as an accessory on this leg of my journey. I sat at dinner one night in complete amazement watching as dog after dog went by. At one point there were even dogs in the restaurant, chilling under the tables and chairs of their owners, which for an American is completely unheard of unless it’s a service dog! I think men in the states use dogs as an attention getter (we all know it’s true!), but I didn’t get that vibe for the most part there; hence the dog as an accessory spin. Who knew dogs could be so fashionable?

Trend Five:  In contrast with the title, this is less of a difference, and more of a common denominator; yet still worthy of mentioning.  A tourist is a tourist – it doesn’t matter what country you are in. You can spot a tourist a mile away. Comfy-looking clothes, tennis shoes, and a camera. I can venture to downtown Nashville and spot the tourists even before I get out of the cab. So, as much as I hate to write about tourists, they fall into my fashion themed article, and feel they at least deserve a mention. After all, I was a tourist myself in these fabulous cities. And though I had good intentions of not looking like a tourist by packing non tennis shoes and cute, stylish clothes, I found myself falling victim to the tourist ways (mostly thanks to running a half marathon and killing my feet, but nevertheless….) but hey, we went to a lot of touristy palaces and attractions so I guess I still fit right in! I did attempt to avoid touristy food establishments, as I wanted to experience the country I was in to the fullest food extent possible. I guess the priorities of this fashion blogger changed slightly outside of her comfort zone.

All in all, I had a fantastic trip and would love to hear any and all themes you have noticed while traveling yourself – be it in your home country, or in a foreign place.