2014 clothing acquisitions




The label has thrived on Pierre Balmain’s principles of simplicity, luxury and timeless elegance.  




Since this blog is my journal of sorts, I wanted to list my 2014 clothing acquisitions because I really want to keep track of my spending and also, to keep me in check for this year.  I say acquisitions because there are a couple of things that were given to me as gifts.  Nevertheless, they count as important parts of my wardrobe.  I'd say 2014 was a great year clothing-wise because I seem to have found myself...well fashion-wise that is.  Let's not get carried away Janet.






This coat.  It is one of the very best things I've ever found 2nd hand.  I found it in the dead of summer and didn't hesitate for a moment to purchase it.  Not cheap but considering the quality, not that expensive either.  I had to wait 6 months to wear it but it fits perfectly and is a forever piece.  $100










This Emerson Caftan.  I really still love this and it fits in perfectly with my forever wardrobe idea as an aging woman floating around in comfort. $40




This bird dress.  Given to me by Eshakti.  I am looking forward to wearing the daylights out of this come spring and summer.  I love that almost all of their dresses come with pockets.




This top.  Miu Miu, Christmas present from Alex and B.  Cannot wait to wear this too!




Vintage Mustard Cardigan.  I purchased this at the Pasadena City Swapmeet.  It seems to go with everything I own too. $10.



This top by Cynthia Rowley.  Purchased at Marshalls for my trip to Hawaii.  Love it because it is lightweight cotton and looks great with jeans.  $15



This maxi dress, made by Michael Kors $39 and this carry-on, Target $20. Both purchased for Hawaii.  Am probably going to sell the maxi dress on eBay soon.





This top free from Eshakti. Their sales drive me crazy but the company has such a great service with their semi-custom clothing and wide range of sizes.  The actual garments are very, very well-made and the fabrics are wonderful as well.  



This silk maxi.  I was so thrilled the day I bought it and now I'm like what was I thinking?  It's gorgeous, don't get me wrong but I really don't have much occasion to wear a silk maxi.  I don't regret it but it's borderline.  $50



This blouse.  I really love this vintage floral blouse.  I've worn it with my herringbone jacket a few times and it has such great possibilities.  $5



I bought these kitten heels on Saturday at the Goodwill for $6.  I'm including them here because I think they'd go great with the above blouse and that miu-miu top.

Total (including kitten heels) $285. 
*ooops forgot about the vintage sequin top $20
and 2 pair of jeans for the GW $6 ea = $12
Total $317





So that's it.  Honestly, I thought I had spent less, so laying it all out like this is good for me.  Thanks for reading and all your great comments.  A girl and her blog could not ask for more generous readers.  x




72 comments

  1. Such a score with that Balmain coat. I adore dresses with pockets. My daughter and I were admiring Sophie Hunter in Erdem at the Golden Globes and excited that the dress had pockets.

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    1. i know! why don't more designers use them? when i find pockets in a dress i'm thrilled!

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  2. You've got some great pieces here Janet. I especially like the vintage cardi (very 50's) caftan and Cynthia Rowley top.
    The Balmain coat was an exceptional bargain.

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    1. thanks fiona. my fave is the coat but i'm pretty happy with everything else too.

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  3. The coat looks like it was made for you, Janet. Great investment, especially considering the quality of desigher clothes from that era.

    /Bea

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    1. thanks bea. the quality is exceptional and the fit overall is too.

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  4. I absolutely adore that coat. Looks great on you! Also love the bathroom floor tiles. Would love to see a "house tour" post...... I love your decorating style/home almost as much as I love your sense of fashion. :-)

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    1. thanks anon. you can see lots of post of the house down below under labels. i feel like that's all i ever post about!

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  5. you know what's interesting is that these all look a part of a collection. They relate to each other very well. And a little more color it seems! I especially like the floral top. $285 is so impressive considering what high quality you've found. I'm not going to add up what I spent because I don't want to start 2015 by killing myself. But I did do an overhaul and donated like 99% of my clothes. So...I had an excuse. Maybe not for the fleet of monogrammed grocery bags, but that's helping the environment. Therefore doesn't count. :)

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    1. again killing it stephen. you need your own talk show!

      i suggest not adding it up b/c it was a real shock to me. i felt like i had hardly spent a dime but a couple of the items were pricey. overall i'm happy tho. x

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    2. Janet, it may seem pricey but they're basically all investment pieces, so at the end of 2015 add up each time you wore the piece and divide the cost by that. My favorite cashmere sweater was a $80.00 splurge four years ago and I think the cost per wearing now is $0.38 .. hmmn, I'm wearing it now ... $0.32? Lovely pieces. I envy you the coat!

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  6. Love, love that you do style and fashion on a real-life budget. What pretty additions to your wardrobe!

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  7. Love the idea, but it's too late for me to do 2014. I'm going to be sure to keep a list for 2015, and see where I am a year from now.

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  8. Like Stephen Andrew, I also find it interesting to see more color and prints in your wardrobe. In trying to create a capsule wardrobe, I have been doing just the opposite - trying to get away from the flowy and flowery things and getting more solid neutrals. This shows me I can combine the two.

    I still love the silk maxi and the mustard cardigan is a new favorite. I was shopping for cardigans yesterday, and they were few and far between with most of the sweaters being either pullover or open with no buttons to close. So I am thinking a trip to the thrift store is in order. Another advantage of thrift store shopping is that you aren't tied to the current trends and fashions. I always enjoy your fashion posts - keep them coming!

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    1. Janet/Melodee
      I shopped for cardigans yesterday too. I found a black 3/4 sleeve Cable and Gauge very nicely priced at TJMaxx. I am applying myself to thinking toward a 10 year wardrobe (I am a very young 62). I want to only add the kind of classic items I can wear at 72 as well. I am tired of trendy and disposable type clothing. Several times I have done like Stephen and cleared out the majority of my wardrobe and started from scratch. I don't intend to do that expensive a change this year but I do plan to be very discriminating about my purchases. (even though I don't know how I will prepare for a cruise in April thinking like this)

      I basically wear a certain type look all the time anyway and accessorize the heck out of it.

      You really inspire me to put more thought into my shopping! How about more frugal food shopping posts-they surprisingly helped me hold myself more accountable!

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    2. melodee and brenhna, i think i realized after 333 that i had multiples of the same thing such as chambrays, white shirts etc paring down opened up the idea for more color!

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  9. Janet - nll your 2014 items are lovely and you have such an eye for what suits you. Can you give me an idea of how you found yourself in regards to style? I'm nearly 56 and still struggle with figuring out what is "me".

    All the best in 2015,
    Caroline

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    1. caroline the best i can offer is 333. until then i knew what i liked but lacked the discipline and so i had too many styles going on. so i guess my advice would be to do some version of project 333 -whatever suits you best. x

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    2. Ok - that sounds like a good idea. Thanks Janet!

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  10. What a great idea! I wish I kept track of my wardrobe purchases. Your "collection" is really colorful which actually was a surprise because I think of you as a minimalist of sorts. Love love love that coat...it is perfection for you ; o )))
    xo K

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  11. I have a new lovely image of being an older gal, wearing a comfy yet beautiful caftan and floating around looking at my flower garden, sniffing the lavendar and perhaps gathering a bundle of hydrangea to bring inside! Thank you, Janet! I couldn't wish for a better blogger!

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  12. The Balmain coat was an extraordinary find! Do post a picture of yourself in floral top, think it would look fabulous on you -so pleased you're doing some colour. That silk maxi is gorgeous and love belt. Couldn't you wear it out to lunch or in evening? It's dressy but with strappy sandals could be a bit more casual. It's something to wear for years yet and look fabulous in. Those shoes would probably work with it too.
    In response to Caroline - are we all just one person - or should we be? Think I'm lots of different people - doting Nonna, free spirit, young at heart, voluntary Op Shop worker, retired diplomat - and I wear whatever suits my mood and occasion. No longer constrained by having to wear something suitable if called up to the Minister's office at short notice (in any case I've always had a penchant for bright colours and my pollies used to say they loved them). But one of my friends just today told me she thought I was eccentric - though she softened the blow a bit by saying she thought I looked great - and she liked my spirit of adventure and fun. Still not sure about that - but I can live with it. We're v old friends (she was my bridesmaid) and we're meeting up for lunch next week - she's a bit of a free spirit herself and also loves to travel. And I enjoy fashion and style so much and also the fabulous individual examples set by FF and Heidi at Adelaide Villa - also their self discipline - and yours. Best wishes and Happy New Year Janet! Pammie x

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    1. take that eccentric comment as a compliment!

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    2. oh i agree with anon pammie. that would be the ultimate compliment to me!!! and i mean that!

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    3. Pammie,
      Thanks for your thoughts. You sound like a very interesting person and I'm glad that you feel comfortable in so many different types of clothes. Variety is the spice of life!

      I guess I'm just not as spicey, LOL. And I'm on a tight budget so I want to zero in on my "Caroline" look and stick with what works best.

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  13. The coat and the shoes are making me swoon...
    I've spent far more than I thought I had and I keep track by writing clothing purchases in a book...
    even though I shop thrift shops it adds up.
    Love your tile flooring...

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  14. I doNOT DARE TELL YOU what I spent last year.......................I do not even want to know!I NEED NOTHING zero........but as a FASHION MERCHANDISING MAJOR I CANNOT HELP MYSELF!I adore CAFTANS...............and will live in them come a few years time!Having one made NOW as I write this in a RED VELVET!Don't ask the cost of that!Actually its OKAY but when you add up the fabric and then the seamstress it's NO BARGIN!I am a BARGIN SHOPPER believe it or NOT!
    I think your "ROUND UP" is sensational.................GOOD JOB!

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  15. I'm not in a buying mode because I'm trying to lose weight and I also am more in a continuing/necessary getting-rid-of mode. However, when I buy something new in the future, I've decided to scroll around Eshakti, so thanks for turning us on to them. I can't imagine getting a semi-custom outfit for what they charge; I'm pretty impressed and am glad to know the fabrics/workmanship are good. I have been staying out of the stores/malls and I guess I'd forgotten you could get a designer label at Marshall's, but of course I've seen the designers at Target and I got a really nice Jason Wu there, on sale a few years ago which I am determined to fit into. Zac Posen had some really well-made things at Target but the outfits were just too tween for me; even his affordable retail has such perfect architecture, like a beautifully-pleated skirt with just enough flip to be hip. I have recently gone crazy on Paule Ka's website; they have such classic, gorgeous dresses and skirt suits or slacks-suits. If I was rich, I'd buy out their whole Spring 2015 line although I'd need a bit longer hemlines (ugh, age-appropriate; will never forget the day I suddenly realized I had to pay attention to that, somewhat...or else look a bit ridiculous). Meryl Streep wore one of their dresses to the Golden Globes. I was trying to do euro conversion in my head but I think their average is about $800 for a day-dress and I can't afford or justify that for me and my lifestyle at this stage in my life. You are slowly converting me to the idea of vintage with these great labels; I bet if feels like, when you score one, it's winning a prize. I loved seeing the Miu Miu! It's right up your alley. Janet, okay, sell the maxi but don't you dare sell that silk one you just got at that amazing estate sale in Palm Springs. Give yourself a chance to wear it a few times come spring/summer, then decide; it's so beautiful and it seemed to fit you perfectly. I think you've gotten some really incredible finds. But I was wondering how you're handling the one-in, one-out rule (not that you can't stretch a few rules, but I also know that closet space is an issue in a historical cottage!). I was going to ask you, too, do you/Alex-Brit steer clear of items in vintage shops that have rips, balky zippers, missing buttons, need to be cleaned, etc. or do you get them anyway and then carefully work with them to restore their beauty? .

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    1. don't worry i'm not selling it just yet - and maybe never will but it reminds me to not get too caught up in the frenzy that is estate sale shopping.

      the one in one out rule is still pretty much in place. i could do a post on what i've sold this year too. but to be honest my closet is at capacity at the moment which is a good way to start this new year.

      i'm laughing at your last question ren alex and b. they actually prefer beat up garments. they love things from the 30-40s. mostly beat up items. they will make them wearable but really the rattier the better. lol

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  16. Fanning myself over that coat, what a find.
    They do all tell a story, that shows you're on the right track and you're further honing by working out that the maxi may not get that much wear. I love maxis but as I've gotten older I'm less sure about them, I prefer them on the youthful me.

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    1. i really like the maxi dress b/c it covers me up but i'm still cool in our hot summer. this one is pretty fancy tho.

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  17. You've got some exceptional pieces there, Juanita! My Grandma's best friend was Balmain's secretary in Paris in the 1940s. Even in her 70s she was an incredibly stylish lady! xxx

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    1. whoa, that's so cool re your mom. i bet she was stylish. i hope to do this coat proud!

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  18. I love the Balmain coat! The fit is perfect on you. Did you purchase it online? I would like to add some vintage pieces to my wardrobe but struggle with sizing. Do you have any tips?

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  19. Great idea for keeping oneself in check! If you decide to let go of the silk maxi, please please contact me! Katesalenfriend@gmail(dot)com....it's fantastic!

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  20. Such lovely pieces and your total amount spent for the year is great! I took your advice on Eshakti from one of your previous posts and used the $35 coupon to order a dress. I figured paying $15 for a dress plus shipping, what did I have to lose?

    The dress arrived just two days ago. It is wonderful! The quality, the style, the service and yes the fit........I am now a fan of Eshakti. I am a 5 foot 8 and a size 12 so I was a little concerned with the size. But I followed their measurements and the dress could not fit any better.

    Their website is like a playground to me. So many to choose from! And I can honestly say there wasn't really anything on their website that I didn't like. I will be ordering more from them. Thanks so much Janet!

    Have a blessed day,
    Belinda

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    1. oh that makes me so happy re eshakti. the quality is so nice. i can't believe how nice it is at the price point. i know these are forever pieces for me. i would not even consider talking about them if i didn't think they were awesome. they have the ability to address so many sizing issues plus just general aging issues. glad you are satisfied!

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  21. You acquired some gorgeous pieces Janet! Love that coat...what a find!

    I agree with Vicki, don't you dare get rid of that silk dress. I'm sure eventually you will have an occasion to wear it.

    I dropped off my mother of the bride dress at a consignment shop before the holidays. (let's get real it will just sit in my closet) I thought it would be too difficult to sell on eBay...anyway, I couldn't believe how sad I felt after I left it there. My fear is they won't sell it and I'll get it back with snags, etc. And then it will be useless to a anyone.

    Have a great week!

    Linda
    xo

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    1. linda i have never had luck putting my things in consignment shops. i think it'd sell on ebay!

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    2. I called the consignment shop and I can't pick it up yet. Ugh. I will try on ebay if I get it returned in decent shape.

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    3. fingers crossed it will be sold quickly or still in good condition when you can pick it up!

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  22. That coat is beautiful! What a find! I love the mustard sweater also. Mustard is such a great color for fall and winter and pairs beautifully with gray, wine, and magenta.

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  23. It's really useful to see how much fellow lovers of clothing do or don't acquire during the year. I hadn't even thought of looking back, maybe that says something:).

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  24. I used the Eshakti $35 coupon from your post the other day to order a dress.STYLE # CL0032050

    This will be for a dinner on earlier mentioned cruise. After reading reviews of the dress I am really excited.

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  25. So envious of your fashion knowledge! I'm curious how you developed your taste and interest in fashion. Did you grow up around fabulously fashionable people?....I'm kinda feeling JCrew and Banana Republic midwestern...haha!......

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    1. that's funny! i really did not grow up around fashionable people. but i did grow up in a catholic school uniform that i really loved. i do remember being quite young and taking note of how all the moms dressed and being very interested in all that. i've just always been interested in fashion, decor and beauty.

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  26. Feeling a bit Midwestern "hickish" right now. I don't recognize the designer of your coat, but I think it is a beautiful fit on you. I love a "find." I'm enjoying these prints with your classic wardrobe. Taking note, and going to pop over to look at eshakti. :)

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  27. Oh my goodness do not get rid of that maxi dress. You may not wear it often, but sometime between now and forever you will have occasion to wear it. It's made for you.

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  28. Janet,

    I don't wish to sound out of line here, but you literally look like a doll in that coat. I am sure everyone agrees! You remind me of a Barbie doll my sister received for Christmas in the late1960's called Stacey. I always wanted to look like Midge! Do you remember those? They were so elegant.

    Sincerely,
    Debra from SENC

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    1. oh i do remember the stacey and midge doll. i only had a barbie doll myself. i still have her and every single little accessory that i collected. tiny shoes and nylons!

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    2. We loved playing with Barbie Dolls. I also had the one that had painted on hair. It had different wigs you could put on her. Now I understand that that particular Barbie is very valuable. Unfortunately, that Barbie ended up with a different Barbie head - one with Blonde hair that you could change the hair length on! You must have taken care of yours. We went through a lot of Barbies - most of them got haircuts and were colored with crayons. Also, even though GI Joe(he was my brother's) was not a Barbie doll - I liked him better than Ken!
      Sincerely,
      Debra from SENC

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    3. i played with my barbie every single day. i loved her! i never did cut her hair altho i was very tempted too!

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    4. How can I not jump in here! Did you ladies know that Mattel's 'Barbie Collector' site has a line of reproduction dolls from 'our' era (Janet, you're younger than I, but...)? I stumbled on it, maybe 10 years ago, when I was trying really hard to conjure up images in my head of my lost Barbies from so many years ago...just started googling and then came upon bits and pieces of the clothing I remembered, mostly offered on eBay and the Amazon secondhand marketplace...but, even better, finding out about these official repro dolls. If you get them when they're first offered, they're somewhat affordable, but then they sell out and some you CAN find out there in cyberspace but the price then jumps into the many hundreds. I definitely had the Barbie and her wigs, Debra, and my favorite was the bubble-cut blond wig. I dressed wiggy Barbie in a tweedy, nubby suit with a hat, wearing that wig. Barbie and her wigs, from 1963, was reproduced by Mattel for the adult collector in 2010. That tweedy suit was called "Career Girl" from 1963 and then reproduced...on a blonde-bubble-cut-hairstyle Barbie, of all things...in 2006...and, yes, I absolutely HAD to have her! This was MY doll!!

      If you haven't ever scrolled thru the Barbie Collector site, do it sometime. It's fun. Surprising what comes back into the brain from our childhoods once you see a photo. The Barbie fashions from 1962-1964 were a real reflection of stylish times.

      By the way, I did not like the painted-on hair; she was never without a wig when she was with me! I took black marking pen and painted dark highlights into her blonde wig. Have no idea where I came up with that idea. At least when I didn't like how it turned out, I could pull the tweedy-matching hat down on her highlights.

      This is why original, vintage Barbies and her fashions are hard to find and expensive...we were just little girls, the dolls were much loved, handled and played with; we did alter their looks, some of us. We kinda trashed them!

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    5. thanks vicki. oh gosh i had no idea about mattel. i cannot believe i still have mine and altho i played with them every day everything is in excellent condition. esp the clothing and accessories and case. i do think i have a long black wig, i will have to check. so much fun!!!

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    6. Well, what you have could be worth a lot of money, not that you'd ever want to let go of her!

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    7. i don't think so. but i'm gonna go check on ebay now. but yeah, she is kinda priceless to me. she was my "escape world" :)

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    8. Janet,
      As Vicki suggested, I had to have a look! I searched for the Stacey that my sister had and did not see her. Her hair was brunette and she had bangs. But...here is a link to a Barbie that looks like you
      http://www.fashion-doll-guide.com/Vintage-Dramatic-New-Living-Barbie-Doll.html, if you want to have a look. She is a brunette with an orange shawl with a silver and gold dress. I did not see the dark haired Midge that I remembered either. But this is weird..I look kinda like the Midge on the site - third one on the right! She's kinda homely looking! Ha! Ha!
      Sincerely,
      Debra from SENC

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    9. gosh that site has so many memories wrapped in it. omgosh i have some of those outfits. so happy i saved my barbie but i always knew i would! lol

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    10. My question is, where do you have room to store your vintage Barbies in your cottage?

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    11. hi carolyn. my barbies are in the case it's a thin (maybe 3 x 14) case. just one barbie and about 6 or 7 outfits. it also has a drawer in it that i have all her hosiery and shoes in. i keep it in a small rubbermaid container in the basement that has a few things from L and i's childhood.

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  29. If I looked as beautiful as you do in that silk maxi, I would wear it every Saturday night at an elegant candle lit dinner at home!

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  30. Wow, Janet. I'm feeling shame over how much I spent in 2014. Let's just say way more and don't look 1/10th as good as you. Time to look inward. Thanks for the reminder that beauty and happiness come from within.

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    1. don't feel bad, i spent way more than i thought too. this year will be better!

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  31. Love the coat, the MtiuMiu and the kit heels together whoa of course you need to pair it with slack/skirt. Also the vintage mustard cardigan is fab. So how often do you shop to score such finds? Do you have schedule like 3x's a week or just when you are in the area of a vintage/thrift store make a habit of popping in? eBay? Just curious you certainly have an eye for sifting thru the junk.

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    1. i don't have any particular schedule. if my friend M is in town we will try to hit an estate sale but really good ones are not that common. i'm having less and less luck at traditional 2nd hand stores in my area as they are now all onto the vintage game and have special vintage sections. that's fine but their prices are ridiculous. i don't know if i have an eye for things but for some reason things find me! that's the way it seems at least. x

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  32. Oh wow, you got some great buys there - love that coat so much! What an incredible find. Well, your clothing budget is completely admirable and pretty much unattainable in Australia. Even if you bought all items in the thrift shop you'd be paying way more than you spent on your entire wardrobe (taking out the free bits too). It's hard to find a bargain here...
    Dresses with pockets are key!

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