June 19, 2012

The kind of outfit I usually wear to go thrift store shopping

...or anywhere in which trying on a fair amount of clothing is highly likely to occur.

Blossoms on the tree, blossoms in my hair vintage photo shoot, Jessica Cangiano, image_5

Blossoms on the tree, blossoms in my hair vintage photo shoot, Jessica Cangiano, image_1

Blossoms on the tree, blossoms in my hair vintage photo shoot, Jessica Cangiano, image_6

Blossoms on the tree, blossoms in my hair vintage photo shoot, Jessica Cangiano, image_3

Blossoms on the tree, blossoms in my hair vintage photo shoot, Jessica Cangiano, image_8
Blossoms on the tree, blossoms in my hair vintage photo shoot, Jessica Cangiano, image_2

Blossoms on the tree, blossoms in my hair vintage photo shoot, Jessica Cangiano, image_9

Blossoms on the tree, blossoms in my hair vintage photo shoot, Jessica Cangiano, image_7

Blossoms on the tree, blossoms in my hair vintage photo shoot, Jessica Cangiano, image_4

Outfit details

All hair flowers: Arden

Vintage Aurora Borealis glass bead necklace: from etsy seller Little Women Vintage

Sky blue sweater: Cleo (this sweater is a bit big in the torso for me, so I usually fold it in the back and hold
its revised shape in place with a belt)

Royal blue faux leather belt: unknown

Light blue 1950s gloves: etsy or eBay

Vintage black velour pencil skirt: etsy seller Lady Kitschener's Vintage Emporium

Nude seemed stockings: eBay

Black pumps: Payless

Lip colour: MAC Russian Red

Photography by Antonio Cangiano

♥ ♥ ♥

Spring was fairly late in arriving to our little neck of the British Columbia woods this year, but once it did finally grace us with its presence, countless blossoms and blooms began springing up around the neighbourhood. From luscious lilacs to charming tulips, pussy willow to whatever (I'm by no means an arboriculture expert) the gorgeous fuchsia hued blossoms were that grew on this tree that's located on the perimetre of our condo's front yard (does anyone know what type of tree this is?).

Knowing how short lived most start-of-the-season flowers are, I wanted to ensure we snapped some pics out in front of this tree before it's vibrant dark pink blossoms disappeared (this being the first year we've been at this house, we didn't know that tree was going to blossom and were thrilled when it did), so we did just that recently before I headed out on a day of second hand clothing shopping with my sweet mom.

While I utterly adore such days, they are quite tricky for me because I really need my health to be in a certain spot before I can even entertain the idea of doing something (which is for me) so physically demanding. Every now and then the universe cut me a break though and I do happen to have a day (or at least part of one) where I'm able to go out and spend a few hours trying on clothes at my town's various second hand and consignment shops.

Whether I'm going to such stores or am shopping for garments elsewhere (such as the mall or a big box retailer), I've learned over the years that you'll save a fair amount of time and continue to look fairly un-rumpled throughout the day if you stick with relatively simple garments that are easy to get on and off - and which don't stand to do too much damage to your hair (as you whip them over your head time and time again).

More often than not my thrift shopping day outfits consist of a simple neutral hued a-line or pencil skirt (worn with or without hosiery, depending on the season - in these shots I had nude seemed stockings on), a comfortable thin to medium weight sweater or cardigan, a camisole or full slip, and a sensible pair of shoes.
I generally forgo my usual bangle bracelets in favour of closer fitting stretch or clasp ones and/or vintage gloves (as I don't want to risk losing a bracelet in the process of trying clothes on), and keep the rest of my accessories fairly streamlined and close fitting, too (think stud earrings, princess length necklaces, and only those brooches in my collection with the sturdiest of fasteners).

When it comes to my hair I like to keep things somewhat low key, too, as a fancy or fussy updo can all too quickly get mangled as you're taking clothing on and off over your head. Sometimes I'll wear my hair curled and piled on my head in such a way as to channel Betty Grable, other times I'll use a headscarf paired with faux Bettie bangs, and quite often I'll stick with loose waves (care of my hot rollers) and a roll or two. Hair flowers on clips are pretty resilient usually, so one or more (or four in this case!) can be a terrific way to inject a bit more interest into an otherwise fairly plain vintage inspired look.

If you're not in the mood for a skirt and sweater however, another look I've sometimes donned for days like this is a basic vintage (or vintage appropriate) shirtwaist dress (again with a cami or full slip underneath so that you have that there ready and waiting for the you as you try on clothing). The buttons here can slow you down a bit though, but over all it's still a pretty quick garment to hop in and out of. High waisted trousers or jeans, too, assuming they're quick to slip on and off, can also be a good option for a day or fast paced thrift store shopping.

While we didn't unearth any actual vintage items (not rare at all, last time's awesome discovery of two 1950s hats is a rarity these days around these parts), I did pick up a few lovely vintage appropriate cardis, sweaters and tops, plus a stellar pair of shoes in a classic 1940s style that I've been hoping to find for ages now.
As such  the day was definitely not a bust at all. My health held up while we were shopping, and most importantly, I got to get out for a while and spend a terrific afternoon with my mom, which is always the very best element of our days spent thrifting together.


  1. You look lovely. I like the simple yet elegant outfit.
    Trying on clothes can be fun but exhausting too. I always decided to buy clothes whenever I'm wearing complicated outfits. I do wear and under shirt and that helps a lot.

  2. I wish I looked that good while thrift shopping. I usually reserve my vintage for special occasions and Sundays at church. I do try to incorporate vintage inspired in to my daily wardrobe, but it all depends on what I'm doing that day.

  3. Wow, you look much nicer for a day of thrifting than I do. I opt for jeans and a tee shirt with my big Moop messenger bag. I plan on digging, getting dirty, and hauling a lot home. You sure look beautiful!

  4. I love the color of that sweater with your hair/skin tones. Just lovely.

  5. Casual but still very glamourous, very 'you'! :) I'm always a bit sad to see those lovely spring blossoms gone so fast, a bit of rain or wind and they're gone! They've all disappeared now where I live but the flowers are replaced by vibrant green everywhere!

  6. Wow! Yet another marvelous outfit, and you're glowing as always. :) I especially love the sweater and your gloves. And of course your hair flowers. So early summer. Pretty pretty pretty. Have a wonderful week, Jessica!

  7. Looking very lovely my dear! Love the pastel blues and you even found matching gloves! Sounds like a perfect day with a loved one! I know what you mean about loose garments to help with the changing and trying on....can get tricky especially when its vintage pieces! Hope you are having a fabulous week!
    May x

  8. Hello, dear!
    The photographs are really beautiful!
    The flowers are lovely, has a vibrant color!
    I love the flowers you use in your hair, they are beautiful!
    Their clothing is also very beautiful.
    I closed my blog temporarily.
    I'm just posting on my other blog which is
    I prepare delicious food!
    I hope your visit there!
    Enjoy the spring flowers too!
    I will always be here to admire their photographs!
    Kisses from Brazil

  9. Like your tips! Personally, If I've planned shopping, I always prefer to wear skirt and top, so that I don't have to remove everything if I'm just trying on a top or bottom (and so I can make more sense of the item I'm trying on when it's on - a top without a bottom can be hard to properly appreciate, particularly if it's one that needs tucking in!). I always wear a petticoat but prefer not to wear a full slip, in case I want to try on a strapless top/dress or one with a rally fitted bodice. A petticoat and camisole is best - again, as separates, where one or the other can be removed. And finally, a belt, to make sure you can properly try on dresses that require a belt but don't come with one - or those one-size-too-big dresses that might just work if the waist is pulled in...

  10. Just me again, catching up with your posts. And, for what it's worth, baggy jeans, pink mohair cardigan, saddle oxfords...all marvelous! BUT, the powder blue gloves, now that's something to die for. I would have loved those for prom a zillion years ago! So glad you're wearing them now.

  11. Looking good Jessica. Is that your dog or your Mom's dog in the background? The flowers are stunning aren't they? Are the Bougainvillea?

    1. Very good spotting regarding the cute little pup. No, he doesn't belong to either of us, he (or she, I don't actually know) is a neighbour's, who just happened to pop up while we were out shooting. Not that I mind in the least, animals are always welcome to join in on any photo shoot with me that they'd like :)

      I wondered if they might be bougainvillea, too, but think that the flowers here look a bit smaller and more compact. It's possible though that they could be. I should take some of these snaps down to the local nursery and see if anyone there could shed some light on what this tree might be.

      Thanks so much for your comment and idea regarding the tree species, dear lady.

      ♥ Jessica

  12. Hi darling ladies, thank you very much for all of your wonderfully sweet comments, I wholeheartedly appreciate them and really enjoyed reading about some of your own tips on what to wear while out thrift shopping.

    ♥ Jessica

  13. cute outfit ♥ the blue fits perfectly to you hair color.

  14. Such a beautiful and simple look! The blossoms compliment you so well. I missed the cherry blossoms for the most part this year, as we had lots of wind and rain when they bloomed.


  15. Wow...beautiful blue and beautiful blossoms. Perfection! xox

  16. Even though it is a very simple outfit, you still look very smart. That colour is perfect on you. I like the coordinating flowers in your hair, and your gloves too. I think this is the perfect outfit for trying on other clothes. I have lost count of the number of times I have worn jeans and boots, then stood in the changing room in a pretty dress and socks!

  17. I'm so glad that you were able to go out and spend some wonderful time shopping with your Mom!
    That tree is absolutely gorgeous; I am really glad that it was a pleasant surprise to you and your husband. :D
    I ADORE your whole look!! Absolutely smashing! Light blue is my favourite colour and it goes so well with that ravishing red hair of yours!

  18. Nice outfit, I especially like the 3/4 sleeve and gloves combination. The tree in the background is so lovely too, you always manage to find such great backgrounds for your outfit posts, my boring white wall pales in comparison ;) Well done!

    1. Thank you, dear girl, the setting is actually just our front yard (well, kind of our yard, kind of the general green grass covered property around our condo, if that makes sense), but it certainly does work excellently during the better months. Come winter, I'm sure you'll be seeing scads more indoor shots of me, too. :)

      ♥ Jessica

  19. Beautiful, especially in amongst all that stunning blossom. The colours are wondeful. I have to make simular clothing choices for work. All my beautiful old vintage gets ruined when i'm wrestling mannequins and up and down ladders all day. I'm glad your health held up for your shopping spree and you got to enjoy it. Sounds like you got some goodies. x

  20. You look fabulous Jessica! Love your gloves. And these are such lovely photos!

  21. I love your hairstyle...personally,I don't try things on because I hate it, I just buy what I like, and since I usually buy very cheap items ,if happens that they don't fit me I just throw them away...or if it's something very beautiful or very vintage I re-sell it