MARGE Clothing Outfit - Thoughtful Shopping

Thoughtful Shopping Update – Thrifting, 30 Wears and Favorite Pieces So Far

I’m way overdue for an update on my Thoughtful Shopping Series! The truth is I’ve been heavy on the “thoughtful” part and light on the shopping which I’m perfectly fine with. One of the shifts I’m noticing in my buying habits is that I’m slow as molasses in buying things now because I ponder my purchases for quite awhile.  If I do buy something, it’s usually because I really love the item, know it’ll fill a void in my closet and know I’ll wear it a ton. I can’t remember the last time I bought something impulsively. Since I haven’t been shopping much, I’m enjoying wearing the pieces already in my closet and am happy that I can feel content with what I already have rather than feeling the urge to buy something new every week.

Another reason my shopping has ground to a bit of a halt is because, quite frankly, I’m a little overwhelmed with researching places that sell ethically made pieces. If you follow me on Pinterest, you’ll see that I have pinned a bajillion fabulous pieces from various non-tall lines, some tall lines like MARGE, Diane Margaret, CAS Clothing or brands that offer custom-made items like Dress Mavens, Smart Glamour or CAS Clothing. It is encouraging that there is no lack of options (at least in the non-tall sector), but the thought of ordering something online from a company I’ve never tried before and the hassle of possibly having to return the item is making me hesitant to click “buy”. I think I’ve been spoiled with all of the in-person shopping I’ve done in Europe over the last year! The good news is I plan on making “thoughtful shopping” a way of life for the rest of my life, so I can take my time getting to know different brands…no rush or pressure!

What have I bought/worn recently? Read on to find out!

Second-Hand Shopping and Local Shopping

A local friend took me around to a bunch of antique and second-hand clothing shops the other day. She didn’t even know about my new shopping focus but the places she took me were so perfect and I will be back. I don’t have a ton of experience with thrifting and it usually conjures up images of cluttered, disorderly racks with a hodgepodge of items. On the contrary, these shops had a boutique feel and were very clean and organized. One of them carried mostly high-end or designer pieces and some were even brand new with tags. I’ve been on the hunt for more skirts to add to my summer wardrobe and a grey mixed print midi from Italian designer Elisa Cavaletti caught my eye. I find that skirts are one of the few items that I can get away with buying in a “non-tall” size. I went back to my Project Remix color scheme and paired the grey shirt with an orange sweater. The skirt has great movement, is super lightweight making it perfect for summer and looks just as great dressed up as it does dressed down with a white tee and casual sandals.

Elisa Cavaletti Midi Skirt

Elisa Cavaletti Midi Skirt

Love the way this skirt moves!

Elisa Cavaletti Skirt Print

Perfect mix of polka dots and florals

I also found a local shop that caries eco-conscious and ethically made clothing. I’ve stopped by a couple of times to browse and one of these days hope to buy something!

30 Wears Movement

What about all of the items I bought before I started thinking so much about my shopping habits? Obviously, I’m still going to wear these clothes and I realized I’ve actually worn the heck out of many of these pieces. When Alison from The Tall Mama wrote about the 30 Wears Movement, it really resonated with me. I was then thrilled to see Lauren from Six Foot Style write about this topic as well as Caroline from Pretty Long. Going forward, I am asking myself if I think I’ll wear an item at least 30 times and if I think it will hold up to 30 wears. If so, then I know it’s a good buy for me. Here are some items I’ve already worn well over 30 times (and hope to wear at least 30 more). If you have some items you’ve worn more than 30 times, post them on social media with the hashtag #30wears so we can all see!

Tory Burch lace dress
Year bought: 2012
Worn to: Weddings, work (with a blazer), dinners; holiday events

I adore this teal lace dress and it looks great after 4 years of consistent wear. Fingers crossed for several more years of wearing this beauty.


Tory Burch Lace Dress

J.Crew Black Jeans
Year Bought: 2014
Worn to: Work, dinner, everyday activities

I never realized how versatile black jeans could be until I bought this pair. These jeans are my go-to when I’m putting a dressy-casual look together for dinner or other events.

MARGE Clothing ANNI Blouse

Pre-dinner photo-op with the big cathedral in Trier

Black/white mixed print button-up maxi dress from Long Tall Sally
Year bought: 2015
Worn to: Weekend escapades; Weekday escapades: Countless trips; Work; Dinners

I call this dress my summer uniform because I wear it SO much in the warmer months. I’ve paired it with heels and pearls for a nice summer dinner and have also paired it with a short-sleeve cardi for the office since our dress code is so laid back. Clearly, I love it a bunch if I’ve already worn it 30+ times in a little over a year.

Long Tall Sally Maxi Dress

Castle day trippin

LTS Tall Maxi Dress

Cole Haan Flats
Year Bought: 2013

I am trying to figure out how to convey how much I’ve worn these shoes. I’ve literally worn them so much, they’re knocking on death’s door. The insoles are completely trashed from countless miles of tromping around and have needed replacing for awhile but I just can’t seem to stop wearing them. They’re so danged comfortable thanks to the Nike Air technology! Since they still look rather good on the exterior, I’m planning to take them to my shoe repair place to see if they can fix me up with a decent pair of replacement insoles. Let’s hope that gives them a second life!


Aquatalia waterproof suede boots
Year Bought: 2010

These Aquatalia boots (made in Italy) are still my most expensive clothing purchase to date. I can’t remember the exact amount but they were between $400-$500 and I saved up my pennies to buy them. I originally bought them for my December honeymoon to Europe. The boots needed to be able to hold up in winter weather, look good and be comfy for a ton of walking. Truth be told, they were torturously uncomfortable when I first started wearing them due to the very narrow footbeds and I thought I’d made a grave mistake. After a little time (and getting them stretched by a cobbler), I broke them in and have worn them almost every day for the past 6 winters. I recently had to replace the zipper pulls but other than that, they’re still looking pretty good. I love that I can get away with wearing them over tights with dresses or skirts, under bootcut jeans or over skinny jeans. And even though they were pricey, I don’t baby them. I’ve tromped through heavy rain, mud, snow, sludge etc. in them. The waterproof suede is surprisingly forgiving and easy to clean. I’m really happy that my investment in these boots has paid off with a comfortable item that I have worn for years.

Aquatalia waterproof suede boots

Aquatalia waterproof suede boots

Talltique Tall Bomber Jacket

My Thoughtful Shopping Pieces So Far

In addition to my thrifted grey skirt, here’s a little recap of my Thoughtful Shopping pieces.

Marge Clothing – ANNI Shirt and NAJA Skirt (c/o)

I adore these pieces separately and together. To see a full review of the ANNI top as well as how I styled it with jeans, click here. All MARGE pieces are made in the San Francisco area with ethically sourced fabrics from Europe and the U.S.

MARGE Clothing Outfit

Off-the-shoulder peplum top from CAS Clothing

I haven’t had a chance to wear this top quite as much as I’d like but I know I’ll definitely be wearing it more in the fall.

Tall off-the-shoulder top

Pretty Ballerinas flats

I’ve wanted a pair of Pretty Ballerinas flats for a year or so now and was pleasantly surprised to find that they’re produced by the family owned company Mascaró that has been making shoes in the same village on the Spanish island of Menorca for 95 years. On the Mascaro website, there is an invite for people to visit and tour the facilities. Maybe I can make that happen while I live in Europe! I bought these shoes in a size EU43 at a German store called Horsch which specializes in small and large sizes with a few locations throughout Germany. Even though I’ve had these shoes for only around a month, I’ve already worn them on my trips to the Mosel, Copenhagen, to work and around town. I hope they last me at least as long as my Cole Haan shoes!

Pretty Ballerinas Flats

Pretty Ballerinas Snake Print Flats 2

Feeling Inspired!

At the moment, I’m drawing inspiration from a few blogs and a new book. Lauren’s Six Foot Style blog has several posts reviewing ethically-made pieces most of which are from non-tall lines. I also love Karen’s recent review of her Tubino skirt which is designed and made in The Netherlands from ethically sourced fabrics. And it’s no secret that I love hearing what Alison from The Tall Mama has to say about sustainable and ethical fashion. Lastly, I just started reading the book Wardrobe Crisis: How We Went from Sunday Best to Fast Fashion by Clare Press, currently Marie Clair’s fashion editor-at-large and formerly of Vogue. I’ll be sure to share more about this witty and interesting book after I finish reading it.

Your turn…

What do you think about the 30 Wears movement? Do you think you could get by only buying a few items per year and mostly wearing what is already in your closet? Do you have any items in your closet that you’ve worn for years?

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  • Reply Andrea@WellnessNotes August 15, 2016 at 3:35 am

    I really like the 30 Wears movement. If you think about it, why would you buy anything if you didn’t think you would wear it at least 30 times (as I write this, I realize that my new graphic tee will probably not hold up that long, but since it is really more of a souvenir, I hope to frame it before it’s completely destroyed… We’ll see how that goes).

    I know I have enough clothes that I really don’t need to buy anything new. I don’t usually buy a lot (and really have only been replacing basics in recent years), but I did pick up several pieces on vacation. Somehow things bought on vacation become more of a souvenir as they serve to remind me of the trip. But I know I could rethink those purchases a bit more…

    I really like the thought and research you are putting into what clothes you buy. It’s definitely something I plan on doing more…

    • Reply Tall Fashion Adventures August 21, 2016 at 5:53 am

      Happy to hear the 30 Wears movement is resonating with you! I totally agree that it seems odd to buy something that you wouldn’t wear 30 times but I definitely didn’t always take this into consideration (especially when I was younger). I was after the instant gratification of owning super trendy styles so I would buy cheap pieces that I knew probably wouldn’t last but that didn’t seem to matter when the price tag was so low. I never gave any thought to how the item could possibly be that cheap and both the garments makers and the company selling it make money off of it. I love your idea of framing your graphic tee. What a great re-purpose idea.

      I agree that items bought while traveling usually have nice memories attached. And now that you mention basics, I definitely need to replace some of mine. Just this weekend, I found a few eco/green/ethical fashion shops in my area that I’m excited to check out. Maybe I can find some basics there.

      Happy to hear you’re liking my thoughtful shopping posts!

  • Reply Paula August 17, 2016 at 3:10 am

    Because I am not a tall person, and it’s so easy to grab cheap things off the store racks or make something easy, I admire your thoughtfulness in choosing your wardrobe and making things work together and buying quality over quantity. I’m impressed!

    🙂 Paula

    • Reply Tall Fashion Adventures August 21, 2016 at 5:53 am

      Thanks so much Paula!

  • Reply Caroline @ August 21, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    Hi Beth,

    Thanks so much for the update on your thoughtful shopping series! I totally understand what you mean. When you consider more what goes in your closet, the end result will be that it’s gonna be much less. And that’s a good thing, because it’s thoughtful and sustainable. I love all your items from your 30 wears movement and I can see how they are very versatile and how you can mix and match them to create different outfits!

    Have a nice Sunday!
    All the best,

    • Reply Tall Fashion Adventures August 28, 2016 at 8:10 pm

      Hi Caroline! Glad you enjoyed the update. It is true – there is definitely less going into my closet these days but I’m not complaining! I’m enjoying this new lifestyle and getting creative with what is already in my closet is fun. 🙂

  • Reply Lauren August 25, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    Great write up Beth! I adore your Aquatalia boots and admire that you’ve taken the time and consideration to make sure they remain in your wardrobe (getting them initially stretched and later replacing the zipper pulls). It’s wonderful to keep a pair of boots that long and they are truly beautiful! I’ve been enjoying the 30 wears challenge, and have been purchasing less, and gravitating towards more timeless styles rather than current fads or trends. I am hoping this results in meaningful purchases that last for years to come.


    • Reply Tall Fashion Adventures August 28, 2016 at 8:13 pm

      Glad you like the Aquatalia boots Lauren! They really are SO well made. I’m happy to hear that you are also feeling thoughtful about your shopping. You really can’t go wrong with timeless styles especially if they will last for years like you mentioned. I love seeing your fashionable finds on your blog. Keep up the goods work!

  • Reply Thoughtful Shopping Switzerland Edition - Pink Maharani and I Love Tall January 15, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    […] grey jeans which I bought on my first visit to I Love Tall (I know you can’t tell under my Aquatalia weatherproof suede boots but they really ARE all of 38″ long) and my luxurious cashmere shawl from Pink Maharani […]

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