Make Mine Consigned: Missoni Sport, BCBG, and Nine West…Oh, My!

Consignment Outfit--Missoni Sport Skirt, BCBG Sweater, Nine West ShoesOkay, so this may not be a vegan “dish,” exactly but…

I am a supporter of eco-friendliness and believe that consignment shopping is one of the most fun, creative, and fashionable–not to mention affordable–ways to “recycle.”

Yesterday, I put together this outfit at one of my three favorite consignment boutiques in our area, Double Take in VA Beach (with the other being its sister store in Norfolk and Worth the Wait, also in VA Beach).  I was thrilled with it because none of it “came together,” so I wanted to share and put in a plug for consignment shopping.

I paid a bit more than I typically do (though it was still a steal), as this was a special outfit for a special occasion:  today is our 23rd wedding anniversary(!) and last night our anniversary dinner, of sorts, with Joe’s visiting aunt and uncle who I adore: Tony and Luella Ricci.

I am a huge Missoni fan, and the skirt is Missoni Sport ($63.99) [not the Missoni line that Target sold in 2011 and that still pops up on the secondary market!] Granted, that is more than I usually pay but, hey, it’s Missoni!  I was attracted to the skirt fabric, but also to what appears to be its mismatched neutral “camo” looking waistband which gave me the opportunity to “sport” neutral shoes–ultra-comfy high platforms from Nine West ($38)–and a twist-front top from Mod-O-Doe ($16).

The cardigan with its beautiful embroidery is my beloved BCBG ($32).  I love how the colors are perfect for the skirt, but the zig-zag pattern contrasts with the flowers for a look that isn’t too “matchy.”

Finally, the jewelry: the bracelet is Lucky Brand ($18) and appears made for the outfit, as it combines neutral stones with the colorful center one.  It could almost be reversible, as the back side of each stone’s metal bezel is embossed with a fabulous floral design.  The earrings are my trusty recycled aluminum wire flowers which, again, appear made for this skirt, but they work with so many items in my wardrobe.  (They came from Worth the Wait, new, from an artisan in North Carolina, but I can’t remember what I paid for them.)

I’m sure I’ll always make mine consigned!

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Vegan J-41 “Seabreeze” Sport Sandals–Jeeps are For Girls (on the Go)!

J-41 Seabreeze in CoralIf you are a frequent reader, you know three things about me: I’m vegan, I love fashion, and I love to walk/hike!  If you share these passions, read on!

You may recall that last July, I literally stumbled upon J-41 vegan sandals at our local Off Broadway Shoe Store just in time for my annual hiking jaunt in August with Cousin Earl.

You may also recall that I lost both toenails (ouch!) prior to that on a 9 mile hike with my pal, Katherine Jackson, in the Dismal Swamp.  I was wearing my nice lace-up athletic shoes, but I was wearing them with my husband’s cotton socks to keep ticks and such off my ankles.  Bad move!  The socks absorbed  moisture from the wet grass through the mesh of my shoes, not to mention the sweat (sorry!) from my feet.  The cotton expanded and made my shoes fit too tight, rubbing for hours on my toes, which actually didn’t hurt until afterwards.

So, last year, I was looking for open-toed sport sandals–I wanted nothing touching my toenails!–and the ones in the link above fit the bill perfectly.  Plus, I loved the girlie flowers on them which, as it happens, matches this year’s Tiffany blue toenail polish.  However, I have flat worn those sandals out!  I am still wearing them, but am in desperate need of a new pair.

In the market for a replacement today with this lots more walking and hiking on tap for this summer (including a trip with Earl again this August), I decided I wanted another sport sandal, but something with a closed toe to protect my newly grown back toenails (it took a full year as I was warned it would!).

The shoes had to be vegan, close-toed but open on the sides, breathable, stylish, and, hopefully, orange, this year’s fashion color.  So back to J-41 I went and was rewarded with this pair of “Seabreeze” sport sandals in coral and cream on sale for $39.99 at Boscov’s online, a $50 discount!  The shipping was hefty at almost $10, but the price was still far better than most of these non-vegan sandals (like Keen, Merrel, and Teva) which run in the $70-90+ range before any shipping is added.

I can hardly wait to kick-it in my new J-41s!

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My Favorite Way to Celebrate Earth Month (May) is Recycled Fashion!

Consignment Dress, Necklace, Shoes and Scarf-2Recycled fashion is my favorite way to celebrate Earth Month and, okay, every month. 🙂

My preferred venues are consignment stores, though I have had a little luck at thrift stores.  I don’t want to spend a lot of time shopping–I like to dash into my two favorite consignment stores on the way home from Saturday morning yoga–and thrift stores require a bit more looking.

So, after yoga yesterday, I stopped in both Double Take and Worth the Wait looking for whatever, but needing a wrap to wear last night to a dance concert.

The dress (Fire Los Angeles) and necklace I wore–which drew compliments from strangers–came from Double take last spring. And the vegan shoes (Nine West) came from one or the other; I can’t remember which.

When I was at the counter purchasing the dress, I looked down into a jewelry case and spotted the necklace.  Though the pieces came from different consignors, they were brilliant together!  When a pairing like that is laid before you, it would be irresponsible not to accept the “gift”…or so my thinking goes.  🙂

Last year, I was taking the ensemble to San Miguel over Spring Break where our friend, Federico Correa, opened an art gallery, so I didn’t need a wrap.  Here, though, the nights are still a wee bit cool and, certainly, performance venues can be a bit chilly.  My next stop, Worth the Wai,t is currently sporting a wall of beautiful long, wide scarves.  They were new, but they were perfect.  So, I chose one in a lovely aqua-teal color, but when I got to the counter, I noticed there was a “run” in the fabric.  There were no more scarves in that color, so I went to study the rainbow of choices again.

I hadn’t memorized all the colors in the dress before I left, so I was unsure.  But my eyes lit on a multicolored striped one that I could almost swear contained ALL of the right colors.  It would be a bold contrast and striking statement if it did; and an utter disaster if it didn’t.  But I trusted my instincts, bought it, brought it home holding my breath, and it was perfect!

There are still 3 more  weeks to celebrate Earth Month.  So do it in style!

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The Blooming Platter, eBay, and BCBG–My Favorite Kind of Recycling!

I have some new recipes coming soon…I’ve just been waiting for a sunny day–when I was home before dark–to photograph them.  And you’ll love these flavorful dishes!

But in the meantime, I wanted to share my latest find by way of encouraging fashionable recycling if you’re not already hooked.  I am an unabashed consignment shopper.  On the other hand, I’m not wild about clothes shopping in thrift stores generally speaking, but I have occasionally gone in looking for something for  my art classes and emerged with something like a fabulous pair of Impo shoes.  Recently, I’ve struck gold purchasing “like new” clothes and shoes from eBay.

This gorgeous  BCBG top that I bid on  last Saturday became mine last night as I just learned this morning when I logged in.  Whew, that was a long time to wait to score a win!  But worth it, don’t you think?  I love its beautiful fall colors that are zippy rather than earthy-drab.  This item happened to be new with tags and an original price of $98.  (For a knit top?  Really?  Even a gorgeous one?)  My uncontested bid of $29 won the goods.  Yay!

With that fashion victory tucked away, I am now off for a full day of dog walking, gardening, reviewing the Stephen Alexander Homes house at Fall Homearama 2012 for Hampton Roads Magazine, a little shopping for items my kids need for their current art Challenges at school, and dinner at some friends’ house.  Hope your Saturday is similarly full and satisfying! (If interested, read my review of the Stephen Alexander house in the Spring 2012 Homearama here.)

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My Latest Vegan Shoe Purchase–How Bloomin’ Cute Are These?!

Jambu J-41 Jolie Vegan Wedge

Back in July, I shared my then new discovery: J-41–Adventure On vegan shoes with their Jeep technology and cool styling.  I still wear them every day to walk the dogs…I even wore them with a cute dress to school on Friday!  My husband thought  the ensemble looked great.  And he wishes that the company made shoes for men.  But, alas, it’s a chicks only thing!

Now that it’s September and school has been in session for a week–I’m so lucky…I LOVE my students!–I’ve been thinking less about summer hiking and more about how to look stylish in work clothes while keeping my tootsies comfy with a lot of standing and walking on hard surfaces every day (think linoleum over concrete).

Fortunately for me, J-41 makes vegan dress shoes that aren’t too dressy or expensive.  I was giving up hope after a fair amount of online searching until I thought of revisiting J-41.  I mistakenly thought they only make athletic shoes.  Wrong!  There were several options to choose from; I selected the Jolie Vegan Wedge with a sexy little peep-toe, and their characteristic tiny floral pattern.  I also love the cutouts.

Though the shoes have a little bit of a “cloggish” feel to them, I don’t think they look too “hippy-ish.” Do you?  Why do shoe manufacturers think that vegans want to either wear 1) the 21st century equivalent of “earth shoes, ” 2)  RIDICULOUSLY high caricatures of a platform shoe, or 3) super high end designer shoes?  (Don’t get me wrong in regard to the latter…the mind is willing, but the pocketbook isn’t!)

These were around $70 on Amazon–so easy and no shipping charges!

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The Perfect Vegan Shoe for Gals on the Go–J-41 Adventure On!

Jeeps are for girls!  Read on…

On Monday, I posted on FB about my 8.5 mile hike with my good gal pal, Katherine Jackson.  But I didn’t mention it here, as food was not really the focus.  Getting to and from Lake Drummond in The Dismal Swamp on  a 90+ degree day was!

While I loved our time together, the exercise, and the beautiful lake, I’m not so wild about all of the mosquito/fly bites I came home with on my calves and ankles, though it was my own fault.  While we were slathered in sunscreen, we neglected insect repellant.  At any rate, worse still is my bruised big toenail on my left foot.  I was wearing good shoes, so I’m not sure what happened other than that I had discarded my last pair of footies–holes had appeared in every one–and wore a pair of my husband’s athletic socks which I had to kind of “squish” into my shoe because the socks were too big.

Last night, I finally acknowledged a true injury, so I soaked it in epsom salts, rubbed it with alcohol, and iced it this morning.  But it is apparent that I cannot wear closed in athletic shoes, footies that fit or no, until this toe heals, and I walk miles every day with our dogs even when I don’t hike.   I REALLY hope I don’t lose the nail.

So, I woke up this morning resolved to find a solution made more urgent by the fact that  my beloved cousin, Earl, is coming from Houston on August 8 specifically for day hiking.  Do you ever feel almost “called” to stop in a store where you rarely, if ever, shop, knowing that they will have what you need?  Well, that happened today with Off Broadway Shoes.

Years ago, I purchased my all time favorite summer walking shoes there.  It was one of the designs that resulted from the Nike/Cole Haan partnership.  I wore them for two seasons unti they finally had to be retired.  (In fact, I bought a pair of unworn Nike/Cole Haan slip-ons this summer at a consignment store thinking they would be my go-to summer shoes even though the size was smaller than I normally wear.  Sadly, however, they kill my feet, though they were comfy in the store.)

Though Off Broadway didn’t have any Nike/Cole Haans, they did have a brand I wasn’t familiar with called J-41 which combines Jeep technology with style, comfort, eco-friendliness, and animal friendliness in their Vegan Collection!  The style I chose, “Hampton,” is from that collection.  And they match my sky blue Vespa. 🙂

According to their website–and the shoe box–“J-41™ products are made with 100% recycled and recyclable packaging. All J-41 outsoles are constructed with partially recycled rubber. In this small way we hope to do our part to help save our great outdoors for future generations. Recycle On.”

Not only that, but these Jeep designed shoes are said to be trail rated, contain compressed rubber with superior traction and durability, and boast toe and heel bumpers for protection against the elements.  Plus, the Jeep Memory Foam Footbed is removable and contoured to cradle feet.  Sounds good to me.  And look at those cute–but not too cute–little flowers!

I wish I hadn’t wrecked my toe, but I think I did the best I could for shoes to baby it while it heals.  If you are similarly on the go, I hope you’ll check them out.  You can purchase them online and they have a number of closed-toe styles.

Adventure On!

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Hot Vegan Platform Sandals by Madden Girl

No, I won’t be serving these on a platter, blooming or otherwise, but I had to share this exciting find…

I just purchased this sexy pair of vegan platform “Kenji” sandals by Madden Girl in taupe for a mere $47 (that is not me in the photo)!

Don’t you think they’ll spiff up just abut everything I might wear this summer and even early fall?

If you’re thinking, “I could never wear a heel that high,” wait!  Until the last few seasons when platforms made a comeback, I couldn’t either.  In fact, yesterday at graduation–yes, we have unleashed 400+ more PAHS students on the world (and I hate to see them go!)–several teachers with tired feet at 4 in the afternoon were asking how I could wear the (totally hot) Marc Fischer shoes I had on all day.  The answer is “Platforms, baby!”

If you haven’t already, check out Alternative Outfitters Vegan Boutique to fill quite a few of your fashion needs and desires, including these shoes.

Walk lightly on the earth, but leave a big, stylish vegan shoe print!


Photo credit: Alternative Outfitters Vegan Boutique.

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Sassy Vegan Consignment Shoes

What does a vegan wear to the VB-SPCA Fashion Show which just happened to be in April, National Recycling Month?

Sassy Nine West vegan shoes of course!

These were “recycled” from one of my favorite consignment stores in Virginia Beach: Worth the Wait.

If you’re not a consignment shopper, maybe these shoes will convert you!

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