Tag Archives: upcycling

Cloudy Day Skirt

Today I’m wearing mostly black with red and white accents. Not exactly Christmas-y, but a popular color scheme for me. I often fall into the black (or black and white) with red palette. I try to swap out the pop of red for hot pink or bright yellow but I tent to gravitate to this.

cloud skirt

Jacket: Swapped
T-shirt: Target
Tights: H&M
Skirt: OPP
Booties: DSW
Bag: Couch

I won this skirt in a silent auction at last year’s Seattle Area Feline Rescue gala. SAF-R is the rescue groups where I adopted my three cats. The skirt is by Konnyaku, which has since been rebranded as OPP (Other People’s Polyester), a Seattle upcycled/repurposed fashion line.

red bag

I love the asymmetrical clouds accents and just how cute and comfy this skirt is. I wore it with black tights and a black T, and made my bag stand out against the dark backdrop.

black and white outfit

My bag is made from upcycled automobile vinyl. It was deadstock intended for a Volkswagen. Couch is a company that specializes in guitar straps but also does a great job with bags and wallets.


Filed under Ethical, Fashion

Going Boho with Jeans and a Jacket

Do you ever start creating an outfit from a single piece? In this case, I started with my shoes. I loved the sage green faux suede boots when I saw them online. They might not be the most neutral color but I’m determined to fit them in with my existing wardrobe.

boho vibe

Blouse: Bébénoir
Jacket: Forever 21
Jeans: Swapped
Shoes: Michael Antonio via DSW
Necklace: Brooklyn flea market
Cuff: The Base Project
Purse: Freedom of Animals

Jeans seemed like a safe bet. When I added my blouse, with its tone on tone embroidery, I felt slightly bohemian. So I embraced that boho feeling and added a peace sign necklace and PVC pipe cuff with a tribal vibe.

peace sign

My velvet moto jacket has made an appearance here before, and it’s such a classic style, that you can bet you’ll see it here again. I like pieces that I can wear in many different ways.

embroidered blouse

I can’t forget my purse by Freedom of Animals. I’ve wanted one of their bags for a while and jumped at the chance when I visited a Nordstrom eco pop-up shop on its last day and saw this on sale. Score! Freedom of Animals makes quality animal-free bags with great structure.

neutral and casual

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Filed under Ethical, Fashion

Timex as Accessory

You might notice that I don’t often wear a watch in my posts. I have occasionally, like I did with my khaki Timex. But I often figure that my phone has a clock, so why bother? Well, Timex reached out to me to see how I could add a watch to my outfits. When I like a style, I often pick several in different colors, and this watch was no exception.


It’s the same as my other Timex (with silver instead of bronze-tone metal). Now that I have two, I can swap bands and wear silver and khaki or black and bronze if I like. I also found straps in other colors on the Timex site. Now I can turn two faces into a bunch of watches! I chose this style the first time because of the large, simple face and because the band is non-leather.

Timex fashion

Dress: Swapped (Tucker for Target)
Leggings: JC Penney
Jacket: Swapped
Scarf: DIY
Flats: H&M
Belt: Ross Dress for Less
Bag: Alchemy Goods
Watch: Timex Weekender

Even though I might not always need the time on my wrist, a watch is a great fashion statement. I think you’ll see watches appearing more often in my posts. Do you wear watches?

accessory details

And to wear with my watch? My fall floral dress of course! A few of you recommended skinny jeans for this dress, and I’ve done just that. They’re actually denim leggings (I hate the word jeggings). They’re perfect under a long tunic or short dress. No zipper or pockets means no lumps or bumps. My dress lies smooth.

florals, rubber and leggings

I’ve been using this recycled innertube bag a lot lately. It’s deep enough to fit my laptop and the normal things I carry with me.

dress and jeans

I’m joining The Pleated Poppy and Transatlantic Blonde for link-ups today. Check out what everyone else is wearing!

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Filed under Ethical, Fashion, Product Reviews

Ocean Colors and DIY Earrings

Here’s a Throwback Thursday post. I originally made these earrings in the spring and forgot to show them off! They’re made of simple, thin strands of ribbon that I poked onto a fishhook-style earring. The best part: I got the ribbon for free!

DIY earrings

Whenever I buy clothes with built-in hanger straps, I cut off the straps so they don’t peek out when I’m wearing my clothes. Some stores like H&M use ribbon in the color of the garment, which means I have matching earring for anything I buy there.

When I pair shades of blues together, I’m reminded of the ocean. And the ocean remind me of nice weather (since that’s the only time I go to the beach). Outfits like this make me happy, even when I’m looking serious. (I’m smiling on the inside.)

cool shades

Top: target
Flares: Urban Outfitters via consignment
Shoes: Old Navy
Arm party: Various shops

I realize I’m wearing flares, and the trend is for skinnies. I still find them elegant though. Sometimes I’ll sew wide legs into skinny ones but I think I’ll leave these as they are.

sweater and flares

Do you prefer wide of narrow legged pants?


Filed under Crafts, DIY, Fashion, Thrifty

Floral Dress for Fall

I picked up this Tucker for Target dress at a clothing exchange last spring. My friend never wore it because it was too short for her 5′ 11″ frame. I get it! It’s short on me and I’m barely 5′ 7″.

Tucker dress

Dress: Tucker for Target via swapped
Jacket: Swapped
Tights: Target
Pleather boots: MIA
Scarf: DIY
Belt: Swapped

But with tights, I feel covered up. I didn’t wear this with bare legs in the summer, but it’s a fun fall dress. And with the black background, the floral seems seasonally appropriate.

floral and denim

I paired the dress with merlot tights this time. There are so many colors in the dress that I can wear lots of different tights with it: forest or marigold are my two next choices.

outfit details

You might recognize my scarf. It’s one of the DIY t-shirt scarves I made a few years ago. I liked the light blue and how it played with the wine and denim.

Without my jacket, the dress is obviously summery, but I’ll just keep layered and keep on wearing my summer clothes into winter.summer dress

Do you make “out of season” clothes work year-round?

I’m joining two link-ups today: Passion for Fashion at Lena B Actually and Friday’s Fab Favorites at Style Elixir. Check out what everyone else is wearing!


Filed under DIY, Fashion, Hot and Cold, Thrifty

Casual Denim Dress

Hubby and I went out for brunch at the Blue Star Café in Wallingford. I love their hearty meals, and especially that they can veganize any of them. I had a tofu scramble with non-dairy “cheese” and toast and home fries. Delicious! And of course a mimosa is a brunch must-have.

tofu scramble

I wore a denim dress that I picked up recently. It’s a simple shirtdress style that I can cinch with a belt. Today I chose a skinny white one but it would be fun with a wide belt or sash too. I’ll try this in the cooler weather with tights.

denim dress

Dress: Old Navy
Pleather belt: Steve Madden
Faux suede boots: Novacas
Bag: Flea market in Harlem
Cuff: B.O.R.N Fashion
Sunglasses: Target

I love going sockless in the warm weather–sandals are a favorite–but I find boots take a summer dress into fall even before the weather is cool. It’s still relatively nice out but sandals are starting to seem less appropriate. Swapping in a bootie grounds the outfit and is a nice fall transition.

dress and booties

These booties proved to be invaluable on this occasion. After brunch, I got an invitation to meet up with friends. So hubby took my car and ran errands and I walked to the University District. I have to say, these boots are made for walking!

outfit details

I’m also incorporating some of recent finds from my New York trip. The bag, from a flea market, is made of upcycled upholstery fabric. My cuff is from a great store on 125th called B.O.R.N (borrowed, old, refurbished, new). I’ll write about all the wonderful things I found at that store real soon!

I’ve joined Monday Bloom and Style Elixir for linkups – have a look at what everyone else is wearing!


Filed under Ethical, Fashion, Thrifty

Two of a Kind: Matching Pink Tops

When I was a kid, my mom would dress me in outfits that matched hers. I was her Mini Me. Well, I’ve since developed my own sense of style and prefer a unique look, but we do still like some of the same things. So when my aunt sent us a care package all the way from Germany, you can imagine my mom’s delight when she saw two matching tops.

matching pink tops

Tops: Clockhouse via gifted
Bottoms: Thrifted
Shoes: Target and Old Navy
Cuffs: Wrecords by Monkey

My mom brought the tops to New York and we had an impromptu photo shoot. Thanks to my Tante Marion for the pretty tops! She always manages to find things that I really like!

I paired my top with dark denim Bermuda shorts. They were perfect for my trip and went with the flats and wedges I’d packed.

Jean, seated

Jean, standing

My mom wore her top with lighter denim capris. We both have on metallic ballet flats. Hers are pewter; mine are gold.

mom seated

Mom, standing

We even have coordinating cuffs. When we were at the Brooklyn flea market, we met a local designer who was selling bracelets made from upcycled records. My mom’s has a peach-colored NYC skyline on hers. I went a little grittier and chose one with pigeons, rats, coffee cups and trash bags. I like to keep it real!

record cuff

After the shoot, I changed into a different outfit. Don’t get me wrong–I love the top, with its Grecian styling. I just don’t want to match anyone else! We went to Harlem Tavern and treated our photographer (aka my dad) to a delicious peach hefewiesen and sweet potato fries.


Do you prefer a unique look or do you sometimes coordinate with a sister, spouse or friend?

I’ve joined Style Elixir for a group link-up. See what everyone else is wearing!


Filed under Architecture, Art, Fashion, Travel

Gray Cropped Skinnies and Flats

Today called for comfort so I opted for this super soft t-shirt and gray skinnies. I bought these shorts for $5 at an outlet store. What a deal! I’ve worn them dozens of times, making this a great buy.

shades of gray

T-shirt: Goodwill
Pants: Suzy Shier Outlet
Leather-look belt: Truth Belts
Rubber Cuff: Rogue City Killers
Shoes: Compassionate Couture
Rubber purse: Alchemy Goods

I’m on track to wear these flats a lot too. I bought them at the vegan bloggers conference I went to in May and I’ve worn them a lot already. In fact, they’re coming with me to New York. They’re the perfect city walking shoe.


The shoes are from Compassionate Couture, an all-vegan, eco-friendly online shop (I had the pleasure of meeting the founders at the conference).

thrifty outfit

As luck would have it, Compassionate Couture is having a sample sale right now. So if you’re in the mood for a cute bag, belt or pair of shoes, now’s the time to shop!

I’ve joined Style Elixir today. Check out what everyone else is wearing today!

Sample Sale Image


Filed under Ethical, Events, Fashion, Thrifty

Primary Colors

I’m actually surprised that these neon pants are still in rotation. I bought them over a year ago and thought they’d be a fad. But at $10, I didn’t mind.

yellow and blue

Top: H&M
Pants: The Gap
Upcycled belt: Couch Guitar Straps
Shoes: Flexx
Ring: Etsy Rain craft fair

Well, I love the boyfriend cut and how comfortable they are. And, despite being painfully bright, I like the color. Definitely noticeable. Every time  I wear them I get compliments–or at least comments!

upcycled belt

Today, instead of wearing neutrals, I went primary. The complementary color to yellow is blue, so I thought that would work. And for fun, I added a red vinyl belt. It’s made from deadstock (unused materials) and would have been a VW seat but sat in a warehouse, unneeded, until the Couch Guitar Straps company rescued the fabric and turned it into belts and guitar straps.

green accessory

I was trying for an all-color, no black outfit. I did, at least, stick to neutral footwear. Green is a secondary color but I managed to wear by green nerds ring (it’s made of tiny candy set in resin). Not edible, but really fun.

brights for summer

On a side note, now that my hair is longer I’ve been using my Hana flat iron a lot more. I love the results and I’m glad I had the chance to try it as my hair was growing out.

I joined the Anything & Everything blog hop at My Thrifty Chic, Monday Bloom at DC in Style, Style Sessions at Style Elixir and Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet. Check out what everyone else is wearing!


Filed under Ethical, Fashion, Thrifty

Why I Shop

At the beginning of the year I joined the Wartime Wardrobe Challenge, a fun way to monitor and limit consumption by using the clothes rationing coupon system used in the UK during WWII, when supplies and raw materials were limited. I started with 66 point and they were supposed to last me all year.

Well, I’m out. I’m out of points so I’m bowing out of the challenge.

I did learn a few things from it though.

First, if it really was wartime, and my brothers and husband were off fighting Nazis and fascists, I probably wouldn’t feel like shopping.


Second, I didn’t really change my shopping habits or use my points carefully. Every month or so I’d remember the challenge and tally up what I’d bought and how many points it was going to cost me. I knew that for every coupon overspend, I’d need to donate to charity. I already do that and I’d have to buy a lot more to catch up with the amount I’ve already given.

Third, our economy relies of the exchange of goods and services. If everyone stopped shopping, it wouldn’t be a good thing. That said, living within ones means is really important–being in debt is dangerous.

I like shopping second-hand–it’s a great way to make my shopping dollar stretch further–but charities aren’t always perfect. Sometimes their workers are exploited while their CEOs make millions. Sometimes the things Americans don’t buy get shipped to Africa, essentially ruining their domestic textile markets.

What I look for, in order of importance, are:

  • Animal-free clothing (as a vegan I don’t buy fur, leather, wool, silk, etc.)
  • Quality items that won’t fall apart and end up in a landfill
  • Fair labor conditions where workers get a living wage
  • Green business practices that have a small carbon footprint

An example of something I bought that meets these criteria is the pair of Novacas boots I novacasbought. They’re 100%vegan, from a European worker-friendly factory, and are PVC-free. I got them from a local vegan business, The Chocolate Shoebox, that I was happy to support.

I also recently ordered two pair of jeans from Sonas Denim, a San Francisco company that uses denim scraps to make great new patchwork-style jeans. The company is vegan-owned and donates 10% of its profits to animal welfare groups. When my new jeans arrive, you can bet I’ll be blogging about them!

My purchases at ROThe Base Project hires African artisans to create one-of-a-kind bracelets from discarded PVC pipe. Brilliant! You can see The Base Project bracelet in this photo, along with another vegan bracelet, handmade ring, and one-of-a-kind dress. I bought them all from Roberta Oaks, a shop owner an up-and-coming designer in Honolulu.

Next month, when I visit NYC, I’ll be buying a wool-free winter coat from Vaute Couture, another vegan company I’m happy to support.

It’s not my job to single-handedly keep the economy going, and shopping ethically is not a simple thing–there are lots of factors to consider. However, I’m happy to spend when I can afford to and support businesses I believe in.

I’m grateful to the Little House in Town and The Double Life of Mrs. M for organizing this challenge and getting me thinking about shopping.


Filed under Ethical, Fashion, Thrifty