Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Capsule Wardrobes/Closet Cleanout: The Purge!

closet clean out the purge

One of the most important parts of cleaning out my closet is just that, the actual cleaning and removing of items. For me it's not a big deal, as it is something that I do multiple times a year. The biggest thing was figuring out what to do with the items I decided not to keep. For this particular purge I followed a few rules:

1) Pull everything out of the closet/dresser drawers/from under the bed. You'd be surprised what you find tucked away in a dark corner.

2) Inspect everything carefully looking for snags/stains/missing buttons/broken zippers. If you can't clean it or repair it, get rid of it.

3) If you aren't sure, try it on! Things looks different on the hanger than they do on your body. This is especially important if it's something you haven't worn in a while as even small body changes can make a difference.

4) In general terms, if you haven't worn it in a year, it probably needs to go. Some folks say 6 months, but in all honesty that doesn't work for me and where I live. 6 months ago we were in the dead of winter, so it's pretty obvious that summer dress hasn't been worn in the past 6 months. A year puts you in the same season as you are in now (give or take a few weeks, as we're just now getting into warm spring weather).

After several days of purging and sorting, I found myself with several piles of items I no longer wanted. I broke these down into three categories: SELL, DONATE, TOSS. The toss pile was easy, as it contained items that were so worn/stained/damaged that they weren't worth donating or trying to sell. The donate pile contained items that were used but not damaged but were probably too dated to be worth selling. The sell pile was the largest as it contained gently used if not new items, in current styles, and usually were recognizable brands. Based on the brands and amount of use, these items were divided into three piles to be sold on different sites. I used a combination of Like Twice, ThredUp, and Poshmark to sell my clothes.

Like Twice logo

ThredUp logo

Poshmark logo

Like Twice and ThredUp are online consignment boutiques, they'll send you a large mailing bag with a pre-paid label, and you send them your clothes, shoes, handbags and then they'll tell you how much they were willing to pay your for them. Like Twice is more particular on what brands they take, so if you own a lot of stuff from Old Navy or Forever 21, they aren't the site for you. But because of this, you will more likely be offered more because of the more "designer" labels you might own. ThredUp will take items from the likes of Old Navy and Target, but keep in mind that since these items are normally inexpensive in their respective stores, ThredUp won't offer much for your items. 

Poshmark is different as it is an app you can download onto your smartphone or tablet and you can set up your own boutique and sell your items yourself. You take pictures of your items, add a description and set your own pricing. When someone purchases an item from you, Poshmark creates a pre-paid shipping label for you, and all you have to do is pop it in a box and send it on its way. In exchange, Poshmark takes a cut of your sale and you pocket the rest!

I've had luck will all three markets, and each have their pros and cons. That being said, I still have a pile of items that I haven't gotten rid of yet (most of which are listed in my Poshmark closet) as I wait for yard sale season to begin. After that, whatever may be left is off to Goodwill.

Up Next! After the purge, the finished product (for now)!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

My $10 Tenth Doctor Cosplay

David Tennant as the 10th Doctor

my 10th Doctor cosplaymy 10th Doctor cosplay

Indiana Comic Con was the first time I had ever attempted cosplaying before. My brother is really good at it, and he convinced me to give it a try. I can't sew to save my life, so I knew that any outfit I put together would have to come from items found in my closet and my local thrift store. Thankfully thrifting is one of my favorite pastimes, so I was up for the challenge. And in all honesty, I already owned the shirt, coat and shoes, so all I needed was the suit and a tie.

So here's where it gets interesting. I have several branches of Goodwill near me, and I tend to bounce between them all, but this particular day I walked into one I'd never been to before. Now I can't speak for all Goodwills, but around here on the first Saturday of each month, the entire store is 50% off, and on Sundays, the chosen "color of the week" is 99 cents.  Well wouldn't you know it, the day I went to this Goodwill it was Sunday, and as I browsing the racks I came across this two-piece suit, and it was my size AND the color of the it was 99 cents! Can you say score!?! 

So here's the breakdown (not counting shoes):
Brown pinstripe suit 99 cents
Shirt (already owned but thrifted) $3
Tie 99 cents
Trench coat (already owned but thrifted) $5

Total $10!

Moral of the story, don't count out your local thrift stores for costumes, be it for cosplay or Halloween or whatever!