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July, 2011

  1. Go-to Housewarming Gifts

    July 25, 2011 by SavvyInTheCity


    My favorite housewarming gift as of late is a custom address stamp.

    For about $30, you can buy a self-inking address stamp in a style that fits your friends (or family) just right.

    I picked up several fun save-the-date stamps this month from the Etsy vendor* "Save the Date Design." Here are some similar samples from the vendor/artist's site:

    (I actually got one one like this for a cat-loving girlfriend and her husband – they just bought their first place and its such a neat house!)

    And for the newly live-in couple, I have a slightly different gift recommendation. Two things:

    1. Poopourri is sure to prevent a few major awkward, "don't go in the bathroom for a little while…" conversations between two newly cohabitating lovebirds. It neutralizes "Number 2" potty odor. You spray a few sprays into your commode before doing your business, and somehow… magically any odor is essentially undetectable. Bathrooms become safe zones again. Read happy consumers' reviews here. ($12 for a 4-ounce bottle on 

    2. Microwave splatter cover. Part 2 of the cohabitation gift package will prevent more fights than awkward conversations. No one wants to clean the microwave, and it gets so freaking messy inside. Splatter shrapnel from cheesy, tomato-y and buttery foods will cause one significant other to nag the other: "seriously, can you cover that pizza or that pasta dish next time!?!? Ugh – it gets so baked in there. YOU clean it!" (Nordic Ware 10.5-inch Splatter Guard – $8 on

    What do you buy for friends' housewarming gifts?

    *If you haven't been to check out Etsy, you're really missing out! Or your pocketbook is thanking you… one of the two. But seriously, Etsy is amazing. It's similar to in terms of it being a buy-it-now online store (not an auction site like eBay), except for most all the items are handmade or homemade. Etsy is an especially great place for unique gifts and things for the home. A search for "address stamp" under $30 yields 3,400+ results. Crazy! Some of my fave finds: picture frames, throw pillows, jewelry, handbags. Go. Explore.

  2. From the Pages of InStyle

    July 18, 2011 by SavvyInTheCity


    I was flipping through the August 2011 edition of InStyle and saw not one, but two, items that were very similar to thrifted items already in my closet.

    Of course, I love this.

    Thrifting for the win!


    (Bulgari Serpenti snakeskin clutch – $2,100)


    J. Renee clutch, also snakeskin, from Salvation Army approx 7 years ago ($3).


    Diane Von Furstenberg ring – $8,200.


    Miscellaneous/rando earrings I bought during an eBay rampage about 3-4 years ago.

    Keep your eyes peeled when you're in Goodwill — you may just find something fierce (and later to be seen in the pages of Vogue, In Style or Glamour).

  3. Double-take: Cobalt Skirt and White Tee

    July 14, 2011 by SavvyInTheCity


    Totally coincidentally, Kat, summer intern at my office, and Kendi (style blogger extraordinaire) were way on the same style page this week!

    Kendi from Texas, as seen on her super cute blog:

    On Kendi, Bamboo top, Thrifted skirt, Payless kicks, Anthropologie necklace.

    Coworker Kat, stylin’ and profilin’ at our office in Atlanta:

    The similarities are uncanny, even down to the look/feel of the sandals — all she needed was a chunky turquoise necklace! Kat’s skirt is thrifted, too, and her shoes are from Zara (marked down to $40 and super cute).

    Both cute, both deal-conscious ladies!

  4. Goodwillin’ – Don’t Hate!

    July 12, 2011 by SavvyInTheCity


    Some of you may hate on this post because you can't stand the thought of hunting through racks of pre-owned clothes for a garment that you 1) like and 2) is your size.

    But the rest of you should be hatin' that you weren't with us on Saturday finding these killer deals!!

    I'm talking the likes of Banana Republic, Tahari, Express, Alfani and J.Crew! Jealous yet?

    My sibs Anna and Paul are big thrifters , so they suggested we hit up a few of our fave secondhand stores on Saturday. Then our enthusiasm became contagious. I invited along a new friend as we were both leaving a baby shower, then I texted a coworker to suggest she should come, too. So before we knew it, we were rolling five deep in the Atlanta thrift scene. The best part: we all love the thrill of the hunt and share an extreme enthusiasm for a good deal (pre-worn or not)!

    Additional bonuses: the gals in our crew were all slightly different sizes and shapes. This worked out most excellently. If I tried on a blazer that was a touch too snug, I passed it along to one of the other gals to try. And they all did the same. Four girls covering LOTS of territory. Bonus 2: this crew wasn't your run-of-the-mill conservative dressing bunch; we explored everything from business aprop from boho funky.

    Photos from our Saturday afternoon thrifting* adventure are below. As you'll quickly notice, Saturday was on fire with blazers. I didn't mean that to come out as some kind of bad pun, but it really was a big day for blazers! As I've mentioned in previous posts, buying out of season is one of the best ways to get a good deal. Summer = a time when many people are cleaning out their winter closets. This = a win for us!

    We started at Last Chance in Decatur, which is like Goodwill or Salvation Army but a teeny more expensive (let's say a blazer that's $5 at Goodwill may be $6 or $8 at Last Chance) and a little more random. The staff cracks me up — hip late 20 somethings and early 30 somethings. And heads up, friends, Last Chance has a mega half-off sale EVERY Monday!

    Sister Anna found a super cute red blazer by Etcetera. This is great for her middle school teacher wardrobe (no, I'm not being hard on her attire choices… she really is a middle school math teacher) and she can wear it out with a pair of jeans on a Saturday night, too. Felt brand new, too! I think Anna paid $8 tops.


    Coworker Kat asked if this skirt was "too crazy." Ten out of ten dentists recommend this skirt, so she bought it. No seriously — no one else at work or among Kat's friends will own a skirt like this, and uniqueness goes a long way. I'm picturing this skirt with a simple black tee. I'm thinking this set her back $6.


    Is it bad that I kind of regret not buying these hot pink stretchy cropped jeans? My friends and fam decided against them Saturday, but I'm kind of thinking yes! Oh well, they did NOT make it home with me but would be cute with gladiator heels and a cropped, soft leather jacket and a white tee. A girl can dream.


    Anna asked if denim shirts were still "in." I wasn't really sure. My brother Paul said yes. In the end, I don't think Anna bought this top, but it sure was cute (and Banana Republic!). Someone suggested pairing with light khaki shorts and strappy, flat sandals.


    Stephanie is a pal who works at Last Chance. She knows and understands my love for the thrift, and we bond over a mutual love for coffee.


    Coworker Kat's Last Chance wins: jade danglies (these were for unpierced ears but she couldn't resist), boho artistic skirt, funky pendant necklace (if she didn't buy this, I would have!), wood baubles and a real leather bag. Kat knows how to feel out a real leather bag. I don't remember her exact total but it was somewhere around $20… for five items!


    I didn't leave with any clothes, but I did take home these acrylic and gold and gunmetal chainlink earrings. Total: $8. I always wish I had more earrings that incorporated gold, so these new offwhite ones will help.


    Jamie scored in the shoe department with these patent, lace-up booties and some 70s-inspired summer sandals. Both pairs are appropriate for Jamie's workplace, so she scores triple points with these kicks.

    And on to the Buford Highway Goodwill (one of my faves in town). Know that this Goodwill has many English-as-a-second-language employees, but that's never impacted anything about my experience or customer service:

    This stretchy, cropped, tan/beige blazer was too cute to pass up. Nice work, Kat!


    I got lucky with this bolero/jacket. It didn't fit one of the other girls quite right, and happened to work for me. It's wool and Banana Republic — can't wait to wear this in the winter with everything from a little black dress to a white tee, jeans and pointy black shoes. And for $4.50 for an item that was definitely over $100 new? You can't beat that! Similar pre-owned items are selling on eBay for $50 plus shipping.


    I was so glad Anna liked this cropped little jacket. Outside of work, she's almost exclusively a jeans and solid tee kind of gal (as evidenced by her outfit under the jacket), so I was happy to see her like something a little more bold and feminine. Looking foxy, fo-fanna! Like the other blazers at Goodwill, this baby was $4.50.


    This Tahari blazer was an incredible find! It feels like butter and fit like a charm. I have a more ill-fitting blazer in my closet that I'm going to pitch to make more room for this sweet thang. A similar blazer, which is available at Macys and has a less flattering cut, is $98! At Goodwill – $4.50!


    Kat said, "I knew as soon as my arms went in the sleeves that this blazer would be perfect." And it looks great! Dark grey/slate from Express. Again, something that would be $100+ retail that we found for $4.50. Score!


    I was iffy about this Alfani blazer (also $4.50) but talked myself into it. Like the one Anna picked up at Last Chance, this could easily be worn casually or at work. Alfani jackets easily retail for more than $100.


    Anna doesn't think she needs a classic black blazer in her life. Someone else speak up and tell her she does! With black pencil skirts, skinny jeans and more — homegirl would benefit from having one in stock. Sure, this particular one may not have been perfect for her, but I like the idea.


    Isn't Jamie cute? We met through a mutual friend but quickly bonded via a mutal love for thrifting. Much of Jamie's closet is from Goodwill. Her favorite locations are in Roswell and on Buford Highway, and she usually has the most luck with shoes and dresses. I think the last three times I've seen Jamie, she bragged on the $5 thrifted dresses she was wearing. The best part? You. would. never. know. unless. she. told. you.


    I've wanted a maxi skirt but have been too chicken to buy a cheap one online. The simple, black, non-textured one I tried on at Target made me look like my rear belonged to a 60-year-old scrapbooker (read: not flattering). This red one is long enough for my 5'8 height and the red will likely be more fun than black or dark brown. Not to mention I felt comfortable taking the maxi skirt fashion risk since this only set me back $5.


    I guess this French chic/nautical stripe thing is still in. Either way, I only paid $3 for this nearly new J. Crew tee and $4 for these J. Crew shorts. Yes! I may wear the navy/white striped shirt with a black pencil skirt to the office with long, faux gold necklaces.


    Paul's always a sucker for a nice polo-style shirt, and he found several this past Saturday. Nice work, Paul!


    This dress was so super cute on Jamie (if it's even possible, maybe even cuter in person). When you're shopping for light or white items second-hand, be especially diligent in checking for spills, drips and other stains. Jamie did and this item checked out fine.


    Jaime also racked up on J. Crew shorts (usually $40 new). Someone Jamie's size dropped off these shorts in about 10 different colors, which really worked out great. Shorts – $4.


    No fake smiles here.

    What are your recent thrift wins? And what are the hot spots in your area?

    *Apparently iPhones don't recognize the word "thrifting." Thank goodness I double-checked a text to my coworker before I pressed "send." It autocorrected thrifting to "thrusting." Imagine this text with the words switched out… "Hey! We're going to be doing some thrifting on this side of town this afternoon – you should come!"

    P.s. a special shoutout to my friend and professional contact Lauren, who bought one of her first thrifted items recently, partially because of this blog! In Lauren's own words: "I got a cool Ann Taylor skirt with a geometric print, and some drunk girl on the streets of Boston pulled me aside to comment on it! Must have been a great find."