What I Wore: Value Village, Shoppalu and Aldo Rise

There is nothing that irks me more than style shots that are praised for their “unholy style” when the person is decked out head-to-toe in the season’s most coveted items. I mean, if you are somehow lucky enough to get shoved into a closet full of designer goodies, how hard could it be to emerge not looking awesome? Would that same person succeed when digging through Value Village?

This outfit (in my eyes) is a prime example of why I truly believe you don’t have to have buckets of money to pull off a chic look. It’s made up completely of thrifty finds, hand-me-downs and fast fashion goods that ring up to under $300 from head-to-toe. How so, you say? Let’s start from top to bottom.

I’ve owned the exact same pair of sunglasses twice. The first time I found them was in Brick Lane Market in London, England, at a stall for 10 pounds ($15). Unsurprisingly, one of the arms would break off every other month, but I loved them so much I would always get them fixed. In some sort of miracle, I later found the exact same pair on St. Mark’s Place in N.Y.C. for $8. Here’s an insider tip: I also spotted these at The Public Butter in Toronto for not much more!

The gold studded jacket was a treasure found in a suburban Value Village on the way home from a recent visit to Niagara-on-the-Lake. Since everything and its mother has been covered in studs over the past five years or so, I wasn’t sure if I should buy it or not. Then I thought: “What the heck, it’s $7!” Besides the fact that it shoots really well, I love that when my best friend saw it she said: “OMG I have the dress version of that jacket. No, really, it’s by the same brand and it is vintage.”

Is there anything better in wardrobe world than an awesome white blouse? I really don’t think so. I have far too many to count, and can never have enough. This particular one from Shoppalu is on another level. Button-up front, T-back plus cut-outs — WHAT!? Wearing this blouse makes you feel like a celebrity, because when you have it on you get swarmed by people who want to touch and grab you, but instead of asking for your autograph, they ask you where your top is from.

Hands down, these (p)leather leggings are the most asked about item in my wardrobe. Every single time I wear them someone stops me and asks where I got them. Normally, I don’t mind sharing the details of a great find but this particular pair was a hand-me-down from a friend before she moved away and they are missing the brand tag. Honestly, I live in these, and they are on their last legs. Once they finally disintegrate I have no idea how I will dress myself on a day-to-day basis.

Finally, the shoes. These are the genius of Preen for Aldo Rise by Thornton Bregazzi, a.k.a the least talked about collaboration in the immediate history of designer collaborations. These are probably the most awesome of all. Why? They’ve got that strappy-chic vibe that I’m totally into right now, but with a block heel and perfect height that allows me stomp around town all day and all night.

What I Wore: Sunglasses from Brick Lane Market, black and gold studded jacket from Value Village, blouse from Shoppalu, pleather leggings from friend, cuff from Shoppalu, shoes by Aldo Rise x Preen.

Grace Carroll is a Toronto-based freelance writer whose work has appeared in ELLE UK, ELLEcanada.com, Plaid magazine and FILLER magazine. Keep up with her daily blog at www.graciecarroll.com.

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