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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've been 2ndhand shopping for several years now.

This summer, I had an office job for about 25 days (3x/wk for the summer session at a college).

Since I was only going to work 3 days/wk, I wanted to see if I could get by with a minimal wardrobe:

  • tan skirt (Lands' End)
  • black skirt (Jones New York)
  • gray pants
  • purple t
  • red t
  • navy t
  • blue t
  • brown t
  • print t
  • 3 pairs of earrings
  • about 5 scarves
  • about 5 necklaces

Also, an unstructured black jacket and a turquoise shell that I wore on the first day.

Every day, I was able to put together a workable outfit.
I had plenty of variety.
I enjoyed making outfits (on Polyvore, as well as in my head). For example, the purple t and the gray pants could be worn with the green/purple scarf; or the soft botanical print scarf; or the silver necklace; or the gray/navy scarf.
Except for the jewelry, everything was bought 2nd-hand.

Anybody else have 2ndhand wardrobe success stories?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
For fall/winter, I have a "casual" office position: I can be called in 0 days/week, or 5 days, or anything in between.

I'm working to design an office wardrobe, also mostly 2ndhand.

Here's what I've got so far:

black skirt (Jones New York)
gray pants
brown floral skirt (rayon)
tencel (denim-color) skirt
navy pants

t-shirts in purple, red, navy, blue, and brown
mock turtlenecks in ivory, navy, burgundy, and black
2 pullover sweaters: rust-colored wool; ice-blue silk/cashmere
about 8 scarves
about 8 pairs of earrings
about 10 necklaces (6 bought today at a craft fair).

Since every top goes with every bottom, I'll be able to make plenty of combinations from these 14 basic items and 2 sweaters.

Except for the jewelry, all were bought 2ndhand.

What I'd really like to add to my wardrobe is a couple of vests, but I haven't found any I like.
And, I'm looking at cashing in some points for a Lands' End giftcard. There are some skirts on sale ....
 

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Discussion Starter #3
BTW, if you are trying to mix and match your clothes, polyvore is a lot of fun -- you pick out clothes similar to those you own, and you make 'sets.'

Let's see if I can link one. Of course, my black skirt wasn't "Maison Martin" for $400. Mine was thrifted for about $4:

summer work - day 8 - Polyvore

It's like playing paper dolls!
 

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I went to the site .. Neat site but WOW the prices lol. I was telling hubby i wanted a black leather jacket ,to wear with jeans . I have seen several a the thrift store but either way to big or my boobs get smashed in them. I won't pay new prices. But i said to hubby i found a leather jacket he said well if its not alot go ahead and get it.lmao the one i looked at was $695 NOT IN MY WORLD. They have alot of really cute stuff..So i passed on the leather jacket,,
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I went to the site .. Neat site but WOW the prices lol.
I ignore the prices. What I do is find something similar to what I own, starting with item & color. Then I look for similar styles.

For example, I did a search on denim skirt. Here are the first five items that popped up:
search denim skirt - Polyvore

Then I searched on denim skirt again, but I chose a mid-blue from the palette tool. Here's what I got for the first 5 items:

search denim skirt - blue - Polyvore

After that, I paged through to find a denim skirt that looked like mine. Then I added some of my other items to make a 'set' of work clothes:

office - denim skirt #1 - Polyvore

Now, my turquoise earrings sure didn't cost $495 from Nordstrom! Mine kinda look like those, but they're earrrings that my DH picked up from a woman who had a booth at a gas station when he was on a trip to Santa Fe!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
And, I forgot to add: my denim skirt cost $4 at the thrift store!

If you want to see some really great Polyvore sets, check out this blog:

The Vivienne Files

This woman does great posts:

Sometimes she sees people wearing outfits and makes polyvores to show what they look like.
Sometimes she writes polyvores to show how to pack for trips.
And sometimes, she takes a few basic items and shows how to update them into many looks.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
BTW, I have a few items I'd like on a wish-list for when I'm thrifting. (Your black leather jacket would be like that). Keep looking, and you might find one.

I have a tiny little thrift store close to me; I'd have to drive 40 miles to find a Goodwill. But most of my clothes have come from that tiny thrift or a couple of church basement thrifts. Very limited choice, esp in larger sizes, but I've found enough to build most of my wardrobe.

My latest find -- I need to wash and try on -- a JJill linen sweater in my size.

My greatest find is probably a black wool winter coat, from Geigner of Austria. It looks a lot like this one:

Geiger of Austria Classic BLACK Women's Boiled Wool Jacket

I paid $5.00
 

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I love the site. I sat on it for 3 hours in the middle of the night ,, i couldn't sleep.. Gave me some really cool ideas.
 

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Pretty interesting and great ideas. Had to stop looking at it so I didn't feel the need to go out and purchase more accessories!
 

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That's a great idea!!!! In my closet is:

3-3/4 length sleeved tops is blue,pink, and white
2-long sleeved tops-navy, teal
3- pairs of dark washed jeans
2-dressy stretchy tops with cap sleeves
1- shrug cardi

I think a dark knit skirt would be good to add in here...have to keep a look out.
 

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I based the majority of my wardrobe from the fashion advice of
Tim Gunn's Guide to Style:

1. Basic Black Dress
“We all know that you can dress it up to take it out, that’s its intention, but you can also pair an item like this with a cardigan for work. So it’s an easy item to transition.”

2. Day Dress
“This is a dress that you’re probably going to wear to work. It is never intended to be a dress that you would wear to a cocktail party alternative.”

3. Classic White Shirt
“This should be in every woman’s dressing vocabulary,” Gunn says. Pair it with jeans, a skirt or dress pants for an easy, polished outfit.

4. Classic Blazer
“This is the easiest way in the world to dress up a T-shirt and a pair of jeans and take them almost anywhere,” Gunn says.

5. Dress Pants

6. Trench Coat
Whether it’s that traditional khaki coat with military details or a fun, red color that pops against your hair or skin tone, Gunn loves a good trench.
“It’s my coat of choice because you can wear it to the grocery store, you can take it to the opera,” he says.

7. Good Pair of Jeans
“For me, the style of choice is one that falls straight from the widest part of your hip and that is in a dark wash,” Gunn says. “No distressing.”

8. Skirt
Pair with the white shirt and the blazer for an easy, polished look.

9. Cashmere Sweater
“Cashmere will not pill, so this will be very, very serviceable in your wardrobe. You’ll get a lot of wear out of it,” Gunn says.

10. Sweatsuit Alternative
“This is an item that’s easy to throw on, that allows you to look sophisticated and polished and is an alternative to the sweat suit,” Gunn says. “Depending on your taste and lifestyle, this can take on many different forms.”
 
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