Jeggings, Paisleys & Houndstooth, Oh My!

3 Apr

Just ask my mom, every since I was a little girl, I’ve had an unexplainable love for paisleys.

{Jeggings, Paisleys & Houndstooth, Oh My!’}
Photos by Adam Leach

So it was little wonder that when I happened across this sweater in the thrift store, the combination of the paisley appliques and the houndstooth detail, my impulse to purchase overwhelmed.

It was an impulse that I recognized in the moment ran the risk of backfiring, as the 1980s sweater hung like a wet paper bag from the hanger. Yet, the quality of the woven yarn and the silken details hedged that my bet would come full circle.

Getting home to style the sweater is where the real fun began to unfold, and I was absolutely thrilled at how this paisley look came together. See if you agree:

How Much for ‘Jeggings, Paisleys & Houndstooth, Oh My!’? $41.99

$0 1990s Camel Beret (Gifted from a Friend)
$0 1970s Arrow Cotton Paisley Shirt (My Grandfather’s a gift from my Mom)
$.50 Vintage Beads & Pearls (Thrift Store)
$.50 1980s White Belt (Goodwill Clearance Center, Lancaster, Pa.)
$3.99 1980s Paisley Sweater (Thrift Store, Union City, NJ)
$10 Camel Chelsea Ralston Boots (Charity Benefit Sale, West Chester, Pa.)
$10 Jeggings (Target, Edgewater, NJ)
$12 Knit Leg Warmings (online store)

{So} What’s the Take-Away?

Borrowing styles from across the decades, this look was pulled together from various sources, including hand-me-downs, thrifting, brand-new purchases and raiding my parents’ closet.

Robin Wallace, founder & creative director.

This proves two things: first, what goes around, comes around; and, thinking outside the box and being resourceful are major components for creating a defining style.

Also, never underestimate the “power of pairing.”

What I mean is that neither the paisley shirt or sweater would look at all cute or flattering without the belt or long necklaces. In fact, if I had just taken each of those garments at face value, I would have tossed them on the dowdy, give-away pile.

But because I looked at the pieces with the perspective, “what’s possible? how can I make the seeminly outdated and unattractive, relevant and sexy?” then that is what I created.

This week as you shop, or scan your wardrobe, consider taking the challenge of turning something that seems to have no possible style into a fashion-forward statement. Do you accept?

Check out the Thrifty Vintage Chic Facebook fan page and post photos of your successful style challenge!

All images on Thrifty Vintage Chic are shot in the context of real life. All images on Thrifty Vintage Chic are free from post-production “airbrushing” or touch-ups. All images and written copy on Thrifty Vintage Chic are copyright protected and may not be used without first gaining written permission.

9 Responses to “Jeggings, Paisleys & Houndstooth, Oh My!”

  1. Dawn April 3, 2011 at 8:38 AM #

    First of all, I don’t think the sweater would have made it at all without you. It’s the way you’ve accessorized it, the way you wear it with its playmates that makes it work. I also have a love of paisley, and your dad’s shirt riffing off the sweater–or vice versa–starts the flow. The hat and the “spats” add a beginning and end to the package, and the bead length makes you long and lean (you are,anyway, lol)–give added length. All in all, a well-accessorized outfit that transcends generations and adds up to NOW. PS: Your color choices are superb–rich, rich camel. And your dad’s shirt—to die for!!! xoxo


    • Thrifty Vintage Chic April 5, 2011 at 8:04 PM #

      Dawn … thanks for pointing out so many of the extra details that I couldn’t get to in the post, otherwise it would have been a book! The leg warmers I bought specifically because I wanted to create a “spat” look 🙂 so thrilled you picked up on that!! And, the colors, yes … so rich, makes everything come alive!! And ditto to everything else!! 🙂


  2. Jenn April 3, 2011 at 3:32 PM #

    I completely agree with the above poster. You MADE that sweater. It would have looked hideous on its own. And the paisley to go with it, just lovely!


    • Thrifty Vintage Chic April 5, 2011 at 7:56 PM #

      🙂 Yes, accessories and layers of detail bring it all together!! But I hope it gives a clear example of how an old frumpy and even dated sweater can still be made fun, relevant and stylish. Just like in real estate, where you have to look past the wall paint and shag carpeting … in fashion you have to see behind the obvious barriers to create a look!


  3. Sarah April 3, 2011 at 8:15 PM #

    What thrift stores do you go to in Hudson County?


    • Thrifty Vintage Chic April 5, 2011 at 7:52 PM #

      I hover around the Union City, North Bergen areas along Bergerline Ave. How about you?


      • Sarah April 5, 2011 at 7:59 PM #

        I go to Unique a lot. I don’t know of many on Bergenline except for The Salvation Army.


        • Thrifty Vintage Chic April 5, 2011 at 8:05 PM #

          haven’t been to unique … but I do shop a lot of the retail stores, and I do have a secret hidden little spot right off of Bergerline 🙂 we should catch up sometime and introduce each other to our faves!


        • Sarah April 6, 2011 at 8:03 PM #

          Is the store you talking about off of Bergenline called Galaxy? Unique is a nice spot u should go one day. We should definitely do what you said. E-mail me sometime.


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