How Thrifting has changed my Life

By: Lauren Crupi

During my childhood, shopping at thrift stores was a regular occurrence. I often reminisce about the days I would spend at my grandparents’ house, which were filled with Salvation Army trips and lunch stops at McDonalds. My parents are both hardworking individuals who never failed to provide for our family. They have always shopped smart and instilled the value of a dollar into my life at a very young age. 

I have always had a love for clothing. For me, fashion is a way with words. I was a bit introverted and quiet, but I found that my outfits could speak for me. At first when I began thrifting, I was on the lookout for brands such as PINK, Hollister and Abercrombie (since I was a middle schooler struggling to fit in and could not persuade my mom to purchase a hoodie for $60). Sooner or later I was sick of seeing every girl wear the same thing and decided to start shopping for “myself”.Thrifting allowed me to try out new styles that I never would have before since the price was right. Thrifting allowed me to develop a sense of style that I never had before.

I believe that highschool was my breakthrough for style. Although everyone’s highschool experience was different, I believe that my choice in attending a vocational school greatly influenced the way that I began to view myself and others. I never had a huge group of friends until I was accepted into the health assisting shop, which is basically pre-nursing. I was surrounded with 26 hardworking and bright women who empowered me and others everyday at school. Simple compliments about my outfits and just compliments in general allowed me to feel acceptance that I had never felt before. Although I am not continuing my career path in the health field, I credit my health assisting girls for instilling me with confidence that I still try to carry with me today.

The number one thing thrifting has taught me to not care about is size. For years I have struggled with body dysmorphia. I would panic when I would have to take pictures at an outing with my friends or family because I was ashamed with what I saw in the mirror everyday. It wasn’t until I looked at those photos that I appeared totally different from what I saw in my reflection. Thrifting has allowed me to focus on the piece, not the size. With vintage pieces especially, I’ve had to size up with most items and it has made me not worry as much about the size I am, as long as it fits and makes me feel good. I discovered that it was easy to personalize a piece to my liking, whether it was cropping a shirt or cutting jeans into shorts. These simple adjustments have not only helped me keep fashion fresh, but they allowed me to finally accept myself the way that I was. Thrifting has made me embrace and love the body I was given.

I believe that everyone should try to thrift something once in their lifetime. Thrifting gives back to the community and prevents waste that accumulates from fast fashion retailers. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve been on the hunt for a certain item and ended up finding it or something extremely similar at the thrift. I remember when I thrifted my favorite pair of vintage Levi’s for five dollars and felt this rush that I soon knew I wanted to reach again.  Thrifting fashion is one of the ways that I try to reduce waste and help the environment. I know thrifting isn’t for everyone, but I recommend everyone to try it. Whether you attend a yard sale, flea market, or thrift store, you are impacting the world and community in a sustainable way. Thrifting has changed my life and it could definitely change yours too.

Simple and comfy spring and summer Outfit Ideas

By: Lauren Crupi

During quarantine, I have found myself discovering old and new favorites in my closet. I tend to thrift spring and summer items during the fall and winter months, which leaves me to rediscover certain pieces once the weather starts getting warmer. In this post, I will include 7 flirty and comfy outfits to show what I tend to wear during a week in the spring. I find these outfits perfect to recreate and transition into summer wear. 

Black Tank and Denim Shorts

This simple outfit is one of my all time faves. I paired my staple black cami with a pair of mom shorts. Along with this outfit, I included my everyday Coach crossbody bag and black grommet belt. This is my favorite outfit to choose when I claim that I have nothing to wear. It’s easy to assemble and is super versatile. You can leave this look as it is or dress it up with an oversized blazer and some sporty sneakers. 

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Floral Babydoll Dress

A babydoll dress is an essential for your spring wardrobe. This fun and flirty dress is perfect for a date night or to lounge around in all day. Dresses like these are perfect for when you want to appear put together without sacrificing comfort. I paired my Coach bag along with the dress, as well as with my platform black Vans to keep it casual. For a date night, instead of my Vans, I would switch them out for some low heels and add a light cardigan sweater. 

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Graphic Tee and Ripped Jeans

This outfit is my most worn out of all listed. I have found that pairing an oversized tee with ripped jeans to be a cool and casual look. I paired my Rubber Soul Beatles shirt with some thrifted Levi jeans that I distressed at the knee. I put on a pair of orange aviators to further fit the vibe of the outfit. Whether it’s running errands or hanging with friends, this relaxed fit ensures a trendy and stylish look.

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Overalls and a White Tee

Along with these other outfits, I needed to include these Thumper overalls that I thrifted last year. They are made of a woven cotton material that makes them comfortable and breathable. I have also replaced these overalls with denim ones for this look as well. I decided to pair a plain white tee underneath for a layered and put-together look. I would pair this outfit with my Vans and a mini backpack to attack adventures and errands all day.

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Cardigan, Tee, and Shorts

For this outfit, I paired a floral baby tee with a coordinating cashmere cardigan. I paired them with my favorite denim mom shorts and a brown belt. I love this outfit for an everyday look. Depending on the weather the cardigan can stay or go, and the shorts can be changed out for jeans instead. Out of all these outfits, I feel that this one describes my style the most. I love incorporating vintage and modern pieces together for a timeless look.

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Paisley Cami and Cords

This comfy and cute look has gotten me through most of quarantine. I paired this groovy paisley cami with some navy blue tie corduroy pants that I bought at Target a few months ago from the Wild Fable collection. Finding cute and comfortable lounge outfits is sometimes a struggle, so I was pleased when I recognized that these went well together. My slip-on Vans or Birkenstock sandals are my go to footwear for this casual look. 

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Denim Jacket, Tie Dye Tee, and Hot Pink Cords

On a day when I actually feel like “trying”, this is one of the outfits that results. These hot pink Lee cords are one of my favorite thrift finds. They are super fun and bold and perfect for spring and summer. I decided to pair them with my Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia tee and Rolling Stones denim button down shirt. I think this is a good outfit for attending fires and other excursions at night when the air cools a bit. I tend to pair this fit with my Nike Air Force’s and some fun crew socks.

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Rainy Day Diaries: Sustainable Fashion Edition

By: Lauren Crupi

During the last couple of weeks, I have found myself ridden with boredom. Scrolling through Instagram gets old quick, and thus has forced me to think of better ways to spend my time. As a fashion major, I’m constantly trying to stay up to date with trends as well as pieces in my own closet. There are too many times I buy something with a vision, but that vision never comes to life. During this freetime, I have taken it upon myself to rework some pieces I own into articles that will become weekly staples in my wardrobe. 

  1. The Recycled Rucksack

The first project I wanted to attempt involved many pairs of pants. On a few thrift trips, I gathered some awesome pairs of jeans, all of which didn’t fit me. The material was too good for the price so I purchased them anyway. After these sat in my closet for months, I finally found a use for these gorgeous pairs of pants: a backpack. I have attempted to make backpacks in the past but have failed miserably. This time around, I didn’t base it off of a particular tutorial, but instead picked parts from different videos I’ve watched in the past. I feel that tutorials can be quite intimidating, especially when you’re a rookie seamstress (like myself). If you have the mindset that the finished project doesn’t have to look perfect or like the one in the video, you won’t be as hard on yourself. This allowed me to take risks and design the bag to my liking, such as using the corduroy as pockets and straps for my bag. Overall, I’m more than happy with the turnout. If you would like to try to make a bag similar to the one I have here, I have found this tutorial by Dub Dub to be the most helpful:

  1. Distressed Denim

Although this is not something new, I find distressing denim to be timeless and worth the results. The distressing process alleviates my stress and allows for me to completely focus on the outcome. The pair of shorts pictured here were once a pair of jeans. I tried the jeans on and marked where I thought a good short length would be, and a bit further down to allow for some room because I like to cuff my shorts. After I cut them, I ran the edge of my scissors against the edge of the legs to fray the hem a bit. Finally, I  tossed them in the washer and dryer! Poof! A new pair of shorts! This is a great way to repurpose old denim in your closet that you want to keep, but don’t know what to do with.

  1. Easy Tie Dye Hoodie

This project is for the people who have too many hoodies that they don’t know what to do with them. While cleaning out my closet, I realized the hoodie abyss was real. This Post Malone hoodie was one of my favorites, but I haven’t found myself wearing it lately. I couldn’t depart with it, so I decided to bleach it instead. I pinched the center and twisted the sweatshirt clockwise until I gathered all of the fabric into a spiral. Then, I placed three rubber bands around the sweatshirt to keep the spiral intact and poured bleach all over the piece. Keep in mind that bleach can be messy to work with and can ruin the clothes you are working in. Whenever I bleach something, I wear a shirt that I bleached in the past so nobody can tell if bleach gets on it. I love the bleaching technique because you can apply it to so many articles of clothing and accessories,and it’s cheap!

  1. Simple 2 Piece Set

I don’t know about you guys, but sometimes I like to make things from scratch. As much as I love to reuse and upcycle clothes, sometimes I forget about the hoard of fabric I’ve accumulated over the past few months. In the pile of fabric, I picked this stretchy soft knit material that looked so cozy. I thought it would be the perfect fabric to make a cute and functional loungewear set. I made the tanktop based off of one I already owned. I folded the tanktop I had in half and placed it on the folded line of fabric. I traced the shirt but left a few inches for seam allowance. I folded the shirt in half the other way to get the backside of the shirt and repeated the same step. Finally, I made hems on the armpits, neckline, and bottom of the tank and sewed it together. It came out a little lopsided, but you can’t tell when it’s layered with a cardigan. As for the shorts, I followed ThePolkadotter’s tutorial on YouTube on how she sews a pair of shorts by only using 5 steps. I found this tutorial super easy to understand and follow compared to others. I am satisfied with the result and realized my errors. This will be a staple during these coming warm months.

ThePolkadotter’s Tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyUktOAc7bw&t=299s

  1. Painted Denim Jacket

Everyone needs a little paint in their lives. I have seen painted denim jackets in recent drops, on Depop accounts, and all over Instagram. I painted this jacket a few months ago but still wanted to include it. There are so many ideas for painted denim. I chose the Magical Mystery Tour album cover by the Beatles. I also sewed on painted patches I made out of a canvas bag I didn’t use anymore. I used acrylic paint, which was my downfall. As a broke college student, that was my only option at the time. But, if I planned it out better I would have used fabric or textile paint. Acrylic paint tends to come out in the wash and also makes the denim stiff. Put on your favorite playlist and paint! I never paint, but I found this project super fun and relaxing.  

I hope these projects inspire anyone who is looking for something to do. Although we are going through a tough time right now, I want to remind everyone to stay positive and creative. Let any ideas you have flourish! Try something new everyday. Stay present. Stay focused.