2ndhand Knowledge


Follower Milestone + Gift for You!

I’ve hit a milestone number of official followers (people subscribed via Bloglovin’, email, WordPress, or other feed reader), so to celebrate, I made some buttons for my blog to share with you! If you have your own blog and have a list of favorites or daily reads somewhere, I’d love your support! Click here to see the buttons and get one (or click “GRAB A BUTTON” in the menu above). I have several lovely color options available, as well as a couple sizes. If you just have a list of links to blogs you enjoy rather than image buttons, I’d love your support that way as well if you’re a regular reader. 🙂

If you follow my blog but don’t use one of the methods under the “FOLLOW ALONG!” section to the right, I’m now getting into the habit of sharing about new posts via Instagram. So follow me @maggarama to stay informed about my blog. I may start tweeting about them, too.

And while on the subject, if you use Google Reader, I’m sure you’ve heard the news. I’ve been using Feedly since last fall, and I highly recommend it as an alternative. Right now it’s connected to Google Reader, so you can easily import all the blogs you follow when you sign up. When Google Reader eventually shuts down, however, Feedly will switch to a new system, and you won’t have to worry about losing everything. I actually wrote about how much I love it on my design blog: read here.


If you have a blog you think I might enjoy, share in the comments! I keep a blogroll page with my regular reads. I update it about once a month. And definitely let me know if you use one of my buttons – I’d love to see them in action! 😀

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Secondhand Shopping Tips

There are “Thrifting Tips” articles all around the blogosphere – I know because I’ve read may of them. But being someone who has been shopping secondhand my whole life, I figure it might be helpful to contribute my own thoughts. So here they are…Maggie’s 8 secondhand shopping tips:

  1. Stay in the know. Subscribe to your favorite consignment and thrift stores’ Facebook pages, texts, Twitter accounts, emails, rewards programs, etc. Stores that are social media savvy will post pictures of new and desirable items to their Facebook/Twitter (recently, a store I follow on Facebook posted some amazing leather combat boots in my size. Unfortunately, I was out of town so by time I was back they had sold. I’m still bummed about that). It’s a great way to be the first to know about great items…and for me, a great motivator to go shopping too much. Emails are a great way to keep in the know about events and sales, and many emails contain coupons. There are all sorts of reward programs. Some stores have punch cards (get a stamp for every $10 spent, for example, and when the card is full you get 20% off) and some stores have VIP programs where members get special deals and discounts.
  2. Go often. The great thing about secondhand stores is that the inventory is always changing. It’s worth a look as often as you can go. Stop in quickly once a week or every other week to see what’s new. That’s how you snag the amazing leather boots or the designer dress in your color.

  3. Either go with some specific needs or go completely open minded. Completely opposite mindsets, I know. But there really are two ways I shop. I either go planning to spend two hours in the store trying on EVERYTHING I like and buy $100 worth…or I go thinking, “I need some jeans and a nice skirt. I’m JUST going to look at jeans and skirts,” and I just buy what I need. How you choose to shop depends on your time and your budget. If you go often, then you can probably go open-minded without needing two hours per visit because you’ll just be checking out what’s new since your last visit. Another reason going often is a good idea. 🙂
  4. Learn your favorite stores. There are a few stores in my area I consistently go to, and there are many secondhand stores I never go to. After visiting them all, I just stuck to the ones I like – the ones I know I can always find stuff that fits my style, have prices I can afford, and are neat and attractive. Visit all your local secondhand stores a couple times and figure out the ones that you like. Also, always check out consignment and thrift stores when you travel – it’s one of my favorite things to do. It’s interesting to see how style varies from place to place, and I always find something unique.
  5. Go for the gold and be picky about the fool’s gold. I.E., learn to recognize quality and be picky about things of lesser quality. For example, if I find a J. Crew cashmere sweater that fits me perfectly, for $15, I’m definitely buying it. BUT, if I find a Target brand top (or some other cheap, for lack of a better word, brand), I’ll only buy it if it’s really cute, still in great condition, and super cheap because I know it’s not going to last as long as something high quality.

  6. Get familiar with the jeans that fit. I used to go in a store, grab every pair of nice jeans in my size, try them on, and only get one pair. Now I have a nice little mental list of the brands and correlating sizes that work on me (Gap and J. Crew are my main trusty, always-fit brands, but there are 3 or 4 others that often fit me well, so I always try those on too). Knowing this will help you filter through the overwhelming amount of jeans that many stores have and make shopping for them a little less onerous. Another little tip – always look at the jeans. At least for me, finding PERFECT jeans is very very rare, so I always make time to breeze through the jeans isle.
  7. Look at all sizes in tops. So yes, I’m normally a small, medium, 4 or 6 in tops, but I have a few extra smalls and a few larges that I love. I would have never found them if I didn’t look at all tops in every size. Of course, this takes a little more time, but if you have the time it’s worth it. I’ve also found many misplaced items – a small mixed in with the extra larges, perhaps – so you never know what a shopper might have quickly stuck in the wrong place to get it off their hands. Some stores are better than others about keeping their racks neat.
  8. Don’t ignore the items that look ugly on the hanger. As I said earlier, be open-minded. I often grab saggy-baggy or oddly shaped tops or dresses, only to try them on and love them. The human body is not shaped like…a clothing hanger, so don’t assume it will be ugly on you.

I hope these tips are helpful for you! Do you have any tips for secondhand shopping?


Blazer Inspiration

I recently pulled a couple blazers out of the dark depths of my closet hoping that by making them visible I’d wear them more often. To motivate myself even more, I made this inspiration collage with images from around the web of blazer-wearing done stylishly. A summary of the ideas I pulled from the images follows, as well as links to the sources. Click on the collage for a larger view.

  • Wear it with a maxi skirt for a casual yet comfy look. Wear it with an above-the-knee a line skirt for a more girly, fun look.
  • Make a really stand-out blazer stand out even more by wearing it with a neutral one-color outfit (like black).
  • Layer it up! Add a voluminous scarf and a hat.
  • Layer a solid blazer over a patterned top. Try lace or stripes.
  • Try a chambray shirt. It’s still casual, but more structured than a tee.
  • If the blazer is neutral, ad a layer underneath that pops. Try a deep pink or a neon color.
  • Dress it down. Wear it with a screen print tee and sneakers. Try some rough denim. Have at least one more polished piece though, such as a skirt or some nice loafers, to keep the outfit from looking frumpy.
  • Be bold with a textured blazer (velvet, wool). Wear it with fun florals, fringe, and layered on accessories.
  • Keep the outfit simple and wear stand-out shoes (like those metallic oxfords).
  • Wear a bold necklace. Bonus points if you also wear a bold pattern.
  • Pair the blazer with more casual trousers, like chinos.Heels will keep it looking sophisticated.

One great thing about blazers is that most consignment and thrift stores have plenty of them, so you should be able to find one that fits your body and taste if you ever need one. If you can get your hands on the latest issue of Real Simple Magazine, there’s an article in it about how to determine if a blazer fits you properly.

Do you have any tips for wearing a blazer – perhaps a way you like to wear them that’s not listed above?


And the color of the year is…

Being a designer, I love all things Pantone. I particularly love the fashion color reports…even though the reports include too many colors to really dictate what I wear, they’re fun to look at because they have fashion designers craft looks around each color and provide a few words about it. I also really like that they choose a color for each year. It’s fun to anticipate what that color might be. The Pantone color of 2013 is EMERALD! I LOVE this color.

Here’s a little inspiration board I put together to start thinking about how to style this rich, lovely, bold color. I love that it’s a color so abundantly found in nature, and it’s also pretty timeless (don’t you love those vintage photos I found?). I also think it’s a color that works well for all seasons. It’s rich and deep – perfect for fall and winter, yet it suggests life and growth (green trees!) for spring and summer. Click the image for a larger view, and see below for links to where I found them.


swatchbracelets, velvet blazer, skirt, purse, coat & hat, Emerald City, scarf, nails, vintage dress, Northern Lights, Kate Middleton, lake & trees, vintage hat, shoes, sparkly shoes, fabric

If you want to hunt down some emerald to add to your wardrobe at a consignment or thrift store, I suggest looking for accessories (jewelry, scarves, purses) and basics (tees, cardigans), as you’ll probably have the most luck finding those things. I did see a pretty emerald dress the other day in Your Stuff Consignment Boutique, though, so who knows. You may just get lucky! 🙂

How do you feel about the color of the year? Do you like it?


2012 Roundup

So as my last post of the year, I’ve gathered some stuff that I posted in 2012 right here in one convenient post. Enjoy!


Here is a selection of some of my favorite outfits I wore this year. Click the image to go to the original post.

grybrn4 redblue3 IMG_2200 copy
outfit3 blog3 magblog
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Secondhand (Not Second-Rate) Gift Guide

How to Wear Summer Dresses in Colder Months

A Million Ways to Wear Chambray

The Art of Wearing Stripes

Tips on Mixing Patterns and Textures

Carbon Footprint  (how material purchases are left out of the equation and why buying used is a good choice)

Packing Tips: Part 1 and Part 2


DIY Outer Space (or Doctor Who) Tote

DIY Nordic Sweater Inspired Tee

DIY Peter Pan Collar


Jessi Arrington: Wearing Nothing New TED Talk

Portlandia vintage clothing store skit

DIY: origami necklacetassel necklacescalloped bagpolka dot shirtlace teecolor block teetulle skirt

A Lady’s Guide: Seasonal Closet Switch

Tips from a J. Crew Stylist & how to properly roll your sleeves

Tips for Successful Thrift Shopping

How to Dress for Any Occasion

Three Tips for Pattern Mixing

24 New Rules for Clothes from the New York Fashion Week Runways (silly)

Wild shoes from 1939

a DSLR camera simulator that helps you learn to use your camera

Tilt Shift Maker – for photographs that make the world look miniature

My favorite blog for simply browsing pretty pictures

I was in a promo produced by Discovery Channel!

One of my favorite desserts…avocado pie

RageChill – adjust the meter to get music based on your mood

Budge – an adorable mobile health improvement app

Need a compliment?

Draw A Stickman