Trends on a Budget: Building Looks Through Thrifting

Spring is here, which means it’s time for warmer weather, nature walks (from a social distance, of course,) and pastel-toned, floral outfits. Even though I’m not spending any money on things like clothes right now, I still love scrolling through online shops and seeing what trends are on the rise. I especially love browsing ThredUp, which is the world’s largest online thrift store, in order to put together potential outfits and search for rare fashion finds. Secondhand shopping is both extremely beneficial for the environment and cost effective for your wallet. Additionally, with the current health circumstances, online shopping is the perfect way to add to your wardrobe! Today I’m going to walk you through five potential spring outfits I pieced together using ThredUp, explain why they work, and let you in on how much you can save on clothes by thrift shopping. I’d also like to disclaim by saying I am not sponsored or paid by ThredUp: this is genuinely just an app and a service I love. I’m so excited to share it with all of you. 

Side note: I didn’t include links to any of these items, because they are all thrifted goods (meaning there’s only one of everything) and most of these items will be sold within days. If you see something you really like on ThredUp, you better throw it in your cart ASAP before it gets sold!


Look 1: Country + Boho

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Of all the digital outfits I’ve put together on ThredUp, this is definitely one of my favorites. I absolutely adore floral prints, and this sweet v-neck dress is absolutely gorgeous and so vintage! One of my favorite things about spring is having the ability to layer up or layer down outfits, which is why I decided to pair this dress with a jacket. It’s not quite warm enough for flip flops and sandals, so I paired the outfit with some brown booties instead. This outfit because is modern and fresh, but also has an old-fashioned charm, particularly in the shape of the dress and the print. 

Dress: $60 $21.99

Ankle Boots: $189 $48.99

Denim Jacket: $119 $28.99

Shoulder Bag: $398 $91.99

Savings: $574


Look 2: Springy + Fresh

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This outfit could be ideal for a warmer spring day, as the hem is a little bit shorter and the sandals are open-toed. I absolutely love the mixing of prints, especially when there’s color involved, and that’s exactly what this dress celebrates to me. It’s very put-together and dressy, but also casual enough for everyday wear. In my opinion, these colors would also look great on every skin tone, particularly that mustard yellow jacket. If you check out the Pantone Spring/Summer 2020 NYFW colors, you’ll see that several of them appear in this outfit as well.

Dress: $60 $18.99

Jacket: $35 $16.99

Wedges: $89 $20.99

Wallet: $45 $17.99

Savings: $154


Look 3: Classy + Casual

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Okay, I know fedoras aren’t exactly the most celebrated fashion staple, but I think this one looks absolutely adorable when paired with a striped short and some classic corduroys. Horizontal stripes are a great way to make your figure appear slimmer, if that’s something you’re looking for in a garment, and the classic red flats offer a cute pop of color. This outfit is also extremely affordable- you can buy all four of these items for under $60. Just another reason to consider the benefits of thrifting and what it can do for your wallet!

Pullover Sweater: $36 $11.99

Cords: $70 $7.99

Flats: $48 $22.99

Fedora: $24 $13.99

Savings: $121


Look 4: Cute + Formal

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Hopefully, none of us are going out to any parties or events in the midst of a global pandemic, but nonetheless, this is generally just a gorgeous formal outfit that can be easily dressed up or down. First of all, I’m absolutely in love with those heels. I strongly feel that nude pumps or wedges can pair nicely with any outfit or color. The wide belt, similarly to horizontal stripes, can also mimic a slimming illusion in the waste area. I think the print is lovely, the outfit is cohesive, and the asymmetrical shape really adds a sense of interest and uniqueness. 

Dress: $24 $16.99

Wedges: $119 $43.99

Belt: $36 $10.99

Shoulder Bag: $60 $29.99

Savings: $137


Look 5: Punky + Funky

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Lastly but certainly not least, I wanted to put together something a bit edgier and youthful. I really like the way a graphic tee pairs with shorts, and this style of shorts is actually very on-trend right now. Bermuda shorts are also really trendy, so you could alternatively pair a graphic tee with a pair of those as well! Because the top and the leather shorts already have so much going on, I decided to keep the rest of the look simple and just pair it with a simple gold bracelet. It looks effortless and chic, while still giving off some edgy high-fashion energy. I would totally wear this outfit, hands down. 

T Shirt: $13 $10.99

Leather Shorts: $895 $106.99

Heels: $398 $68.99

Bracelet: $25 $11.99

Savings: $1,132


I hope you found this article interesting and informative! I’m not a professional stylist or a fashion guru of any sort, but like I said, I’m really interested in clothing and following trends throughout the year. If you’re looking for new, cheap, sustainable additions to your wardrobe, I highly recommend checking out ThredUp. I promise you won’t be disappointed! Stay safe, everybody.

Tips for Having a Low-Waste Wedding

Even though I am very single and nowhere near close to planning my future wedding, it’s still something I enjoy daydreaming about and reflecting upon. Especially since I became more interested in the low-waste movement and the vegetarian community, I’ve wanted to compile a list of ideas I’ve crafted for my own personal ceremony and reception. I hope you find this article helpful, and possibly even gather a bit of inspiration for your own wedding!

By the way, I like to use the phrase “low waste” instead of “zero waste” because I think it’s impossible to be completely, 100% zero waste in all aspects of your life. “Low waste” is a much more appropriate term to me, because it acknowledges that slow-living and low-waste lifestyles are never going to be completely perfect. Nonetheless, any effort towards sustaining the environment, small or large, is a feat that should be celebrated.  


BUY A SECONDHAND DRESS

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Photo by Terje Sollie on Pexels.com

This is actually something I wanted to do before I even got interested in low-waste because I think vintage wedding dresses are absolutely gorgeous. Considering that fashion is one of the most wasteful (and environmentally harmful) industries in the world, it was a no-brainer for me to decide I want to buy my wedding dress second hand. Not only is that more cost-effective, it also means less waste is being thrown into the environment. One of my favorite places to browse vintage wedding dresses is Etsy, but there are also physical vintage shops where you can find wedding dresses as well. In fact, I live fairly close to a warehouse full of vintage clothes, and I know from personal experience that there are TONS of gorgeous 1950s-1960s wedding dresses there. 

Image result for samantha van wie wedding


USE DIGITAL/RECYCLED PAPER INVITATIONS

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Photo by Dmitry Zvolskiy on Pexels.com

Sending out invitations is one of the most crucial parts of putting together your wedding, but it doesn’t have to be wasteful. One way to go paper-free is to simply send your invitations digitally, using either a graphic designer or designing them yourself using a program (such as Canva, which is free!). Alternatively, if you’re not a graphic designer and you don’t feel comfortable sending out a digital invitation, consider the possibility of sending your invitations on recycled paper. Not only does doing so benefit the environment and reduce waste, it is also very cost-effective for your wallet to opt for recycled paper instead!


ASK YOUR FLORIST ABOUT ZERO-WASTE OPTIONS

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Photo by Secret Garden on Pexels.com

You don’t need to spend an exorbitant amount of money to have a beautiful flower arrangement for your wedding. Depending on your personal resources, you may want to consider making your own arrangements instead of going to a florist. Or, if you’d rather go to a professional for your flowers, ask if there is any way you can approach the task in a more low-waste way. For example, since many professional arrangements come with foam in them, perhaps you can ask your florist to skip the foam and plastic to cut back on waste. It would also be ideal to order flowers from a local shop, as this will boost your local economy and result in less gas emissions.


UTILIZE LOW-WASTE FAVORS

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Photo by Porapak Apichodilok on Pexels.com

This tip is one of my personal favorites on the list, and it’s also possibly the easiest. When you are planning favors guests, bridesmaids, etc., consider giving gifts that promote a low-waste lifestyle. Reusable straws, cups, and bags are all thoughtful, affordable ways to show your appreciation while still sustaining the environment. Even more, these are gifts that will last years (or even a lifetime), if they are taken care of accordingly. If you’re looking for a place to get started, Etsy has tons of customizable options for cups, water bottles, bags, etc. Additionally, little plants or succulents can be a wonderful and adorable gift to give away as a wedding favor! I’ll leave links to some of my favorite shops below.


INCORPORARE MINIMAL(IST) DECOR

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Photo by rovenimages.com on Pexels.com

For the ultimate low-waste, minimalist wedding, make sure you pay close attention to your theme and decorations, and how you can theoretically cut back on unneeded clutter and waste. For example, why not make your own simple, minimalist flower arrangements for the table and use things you already have your house instead of going out of your way to buy more stuff? After all, you’re probably going to discard all of those decorations anyway after your big day. Another idea would be to have your guests take the flowers/vases home with them, as a memory of the wedding (and that leaves you with less cleanup, too). Not only is this going to be better for the planet, but it will also save you money on your wedding in general.


HAVE A VEGETARIAN MENU

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Photo by Sebastian Coman Photography on Pexels.com

Because I am already a vegetarian, this tip was already a no-brainer for me. However, even if you’re normally a carnivore, you may still want to explore the benefits of having a vegetarian menu for your guests. The meat industry is shockingly wasteful and contributes to issues such as water degradation, acid rain, coral reef degeneration, and 18% of ALL human greenhouse gas emissions. Yikes! Even if it’s just a small step, like only serving plant-based dishes at your wedding, you are still taking a positive step in the direction of protecting the earth and her animals. I’ll leave some links to my favorite vegetarian dishes below that I believe would be perfect for a wedding.


DONATE YOUR LEFTOVER FOOD

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Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Depending on how many guests you invite, it’s entirely possible that you will have a ton of leftover food. See how much of it you can divvy up to your guests so you don’t have to toss it out; or, if you’re feeling really fancy, find out if there’s a local business, homeless shelter or organization that you can donate your leftover food to. Not only does it cut back on waste for you, but it also has the potential to brighten up somebody else’s day with some free food!


FINALLY, SUPPORT SUSTAINABLE BRANDS

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

If you’re getting married, it’s probably very likely that you’re going to sign up for a gift registry. My advice would be to put as much research into the gifts/products you want as possible, to ensure that you are supporting brands with the most ethical, earth-friendly missions. For example, if you’re looking for new bedding, plates, or towels, see if your store offers an organic/fair-trade brand for that item. Of course, it’s not possible to find a low-waste option for everything, but it’s at least worth a try.


That’s going to be it for today! I hope you found this list helpful and informative. Regardless of how you choose to execute your wedding, the most important thing is that you’re marrying the love of your life. Everything else will follow in suit.

My favorite Etsy shops for wedding ideas:

Vintage Wedding Dresses

Customizable Water Bottles

Reusable Metal Straws

Monogram Bridesmaid Bags


Vegetarian Recipes for Weddings:

Vegan Stuffed Shells

Vegan Italian Wedding Soup

Grilled Ratatouille Kebabs

Butternut Squash Risotto 

Blackberry Wine Hand Pies