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November 10, 2015

Fashion Inspiration with The ReFashionista

A question I get asked most frequently in my ReFashionista endeavors is, “Where do you get your fashion inspiration?” People want to know how I look at a thrifted piece or a future refashion and know it’ll somehow work. There are a lot of ways in which I do this, from studying the time between past trends’ resurgences (fashion is cyclical), to what appears to be becoming nostalgic in film, TV, and music videos, to websites I always seem to grab ideas from.

Here are a just a few of my favorite sources of thrifty inspiration.

The Sartorialist

Scott Schuman is one of the most influential fashion bloggers in the world. His blog captures images of street fashion from all over the globe, from the subtle to the bizarre. The biggest thing I like about The Sartorialist is that it features stylish people, rather than fashionable people. Stylish people are the influencers. Fashionable people are the followers. His influence has spread far beyond the blogosphere, and was named one of TIME Magazine’s Top Design Influencers.

I always seem to find something that sparks an idea for my own blogging in the beautiful designs he curates so dutifully.

Any of these items could be found in similar form at Goodwill.

Any of these items could be found in similar form at Goodwill.


I love visiting Anthropologie stores and perusing their website of artfully designed clothing with vintage flair. However, I don’t actually own anything from there as I can’t justify spending $200 on an embellished sweater, when I have a perfectly good sewing machine that is more than capable of adding on a couple of ruffles to a $2 one.


That’ll be $128…or you could just…you know…spend 40 minutes stitching on a couple of ruffles to a plain pullover.


Since I spend so much of my life in front of a glowing screen, I love paper magazines. Vogue is one of which I subscribe to. But they also have a great website as well that features content you won’t find in their magazine. I take a lot of inspiration from high fashion…you know…that really absurd stuff you see on the runway and think, “NO ONE would wear THAT!” What you miss when you think of these shows in that way, is that everyone does end up wearing that…just in a more watered-down more manageable form.

I mentioned before that fashion is cyclical, and this is most apparent when you examine the fabrics and silhouttes present on the runway. But for those less-imaginative folks, they also feature ready-to-wear designs like this one by Gucci.

When I look at this, I think: 1. Find lace dress 2. Add zipper & tailor 3. add ribbon detail to waist. 4. Look like you're wearing Gucci.

When I look at this, I think: 1. Find lace dress 2. Add zipper & tailor 3. add ribbon detail to waist. 4. Look like you’re wearing Gucci.


TV isn’t just TV, my fashionable friends. It’s style research. I’m currently moving on from a 50’s-60’s Mad Men phase wherein I was wearing more full skirts and mod shells to a Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries where I’m going to a 20’s style dropped waist look.

This is my favorite thing on Netflix.

This is my favorite thing on Netflix.

Thrift Stores

When you enter a thrift store, you have no way of knowing what you’ll find, and that’s part of what makes it so exciting! At the end of the day, you just have to trust your own judgement and choose what you like. I’ve been told countless times that my skirts are modest enough, that I need to “dress my age” *YAWN*, and that I clash too much. I’ve also noticed that none of the people who have told me these things have had the influence on fashion that I have (and that they’re not altogether pleasant).

Just be you.




  1. I think you are so clever in what you do with the clothes that you find. I also love Miss Fisher’s Mysteries and will probably watch them all again just at look at the clothes and the hats!

    • Thank you so much!

      I just started watching the show, and I’m HOOKED! She’s such a cool character.

  2. I love your creativity. Your refashions are most always cute and very wearable. Keep up the good work!

    • Thank you! 🙂

  3. The Sartorialist blog is really interesting! And yet some of the people pictured look just a little bit homeless.

  4. Absolutely love Miss Fisher! I drool over her clothes in every episode. Even her most “casual” outfits are stunning.

    I got a sewing machine a few years back and haven’t even taken it out of the box. I don’t know the first thing to do. It’s been over 30 years since my home ec class. I think your ideas are great.

    • MIchelle! Get it out of the box! Viva la ReFashion!

  5. Honey – you are always ‘spot on’! I’m 54 and have been refashioning since my teens when money was short. It took many years of pouring through magazines, watching TV/movies and great stylists on the street to develop my own ‘look’. I’m now perfectly comfortable with my thrifted fashions even though money is no longer an issue. You have such a wonderful attitude and I wish you many happy years of influencing the ‘Next Generation ‘!

    • Thank you! I WISH I had started in my teens. And wow would refashioning have been helpful when I was in college!

  6. I love all your refashions. I can’t believe anyone would be negative towards you. You have inspired me to do a bunch myself. Thanks.

    • Ha! You’d be amazed. Thanks so much! Isn’t refashioning fun?

  7. I love your blog and creativity!

  8. I think you do a fabulous job and after reading all your blog posts (in a month) you’ve inspired me to refashion my clothes. Just did my first piece yesterday!

  9. Just recently found your blog and joined you on Facebook and you re-inspired me to get back in my studio for myself sometimes and re-fashion things. Thank you, you are a great inspiration! As long as you are comfortable in what you wear it will look great;) Wear it with pride.

  10. “Dress your age” and “clash too much”?!?!?!?!? You look amazing! I love your creativity, ideas, and results!! I have read every one of your blog posts and you delight me and all of your other many faithful readers!!

  11. Love it!