Archives for October 2011

Fashion Personalities: Daniel Troppy

 You all know that I will advocate for thrift stores even if you wake me in the middle of the night, but I am not the only one! Today I wanted to share some advice and tips that I got from Daniel Troppy – a fashion blogger, store owner, for whom thrifting has not only become a lifestyle, but a career. I came across his videos last week, though I believe I was subscribed to his YouTube channel for a lot longer than that. He stood out to me because of his love for thrifting for brands. And he was nice enough to agree and answer some questions. I hope this will be helpful to all of you out there, especially my fellow Minnesota fashionistas (because if we don’t take measures into our hands, this State is going to drown in sweats and fleeces!)

Daniel doesn’t only have a YouTube channel, but he is also an author of a blog called The Thrifters – which I highly recommend. This is what he says about himself on his blog – I search for recycled luxury clothes daily. My motto is “luxury should be accessible to everyone not just to a few privileged.” It is my mission to seek out affordable STYLE so I can pass on the savings to my clients. Follow me daily on my STYLE adventures. Friend me on Facebook & follow me on Twitter. Toodles for now. Daniel your thrift curator! 

How did you become a thrifter? When and why do you keep doing it?

I discovered thrift stores when I first went to college and needed those extra things like pots & pans, flatware and dishes. It’s been 29 years ago so I can’t remember the very first thrift store I went into but when I talk to my oldest college friend Jerry he will tell that I was a thrift store addict then… Thrift store shopping is always an adventure because you never know what you might discover. Things change daily inside a thrift store so it’s always something new.

What are some thrifting rules or guidelines that you follow (or what advice would you give to a starting thrifter)?

I always tell beginner thrifters to pack their patience! I know I make thrifting fun but it’s work. I look at hundreds of pieces daily so you have to be patient. Thrifting is all about timing and luck.

Do you thrift for specific brands or specific styles? 

When I go out hunting I look for designer luxury pieces, always searching for those classic brands: Gucci, Hermes, Chanel or Versace. I have educated myself on labels and brands by looking at magazines, blogs & of course the NYTimes Fashion section. When I’m in doubt I just whip out my iPhone and Google the brand in question.

Do you have any crazy/funny stories to tell about your thrifting experience?

My funny store about thrifting is I was at Salvation Army and scored 2 Mies van der Rohe MR Chaise Lounge chairs that had the Knoll sticker underneath for $29.95 for the pair. I bought them and quickly ran outside to put them in my car but my car was so so small they wouldn’t go in. I called my partner Mitch repeatedly asking him to come with his car to help me haul these away. I kept calling and calling him and it kept going to his voice mail. The reason it was going into voice mail was because he was a pallbearer at his friends funeral!

What was the best thing you found at a thrift store?

I’ve found a lot of luxury pieces that are treasures like an Hermes scarf or Hermes jacket, Chanel heels, vintage Chloe suit, vintage DVF dress or even a vintage YSL dress but when I’m asked about an item I would have to say finding a custom made cocktail bar by Cartier for $3.25.

How often do you thrift, and how much time do you spend at a thrift store?

I hit 2-3 thrift stores daily and I don’t have a day off because I’m always shopping for my blog and my store Doubletake.

How big is your thrifted collection and do you wear everything you get?

My personal thrifting collection is huge because I’m out shopping for my Doubletake boutique and clients I’m also shopping for myself and partner. I have to say my closet if full of Armani, Burberry, Brioni, Lagerfeld, Paul Smith, Lanvin & Rag & Bone. Over 29 years of thrifting you accumulate things so I’ve narrowed it down to just the best and give the rest away. I talk about in my blog and YouTube channel that if you just scored 1 item from a thrift store and that item was a Gucci Pucci or Prada item then you add that to your closet . Slowly building your wardrobe and closet with great luxury is what I tell my readers and clients. What I like to talk about is over time building your designer wardrobe, it doesn’t have to be the first time you hit a thrift store but over time you will have a closet like mine!

I don’t know about you, but I am definitely going to follow Daniel’s advice, and in a few years will definitely show my luxury wardrobe 😉

Daniel’s blog

Daniel’s YouTube channel

Follow him on Twitter!/2thrifters

Visit his store

Happy Monday! I hope you find an inspiration today!


Experiencing The Sewing Experiment

I think I scored it big on Freecycle today, probably life changing big, but “life-changing” under one condition – if I master the art of sewing. Now, to me sewing isn’t simply following the pattern, it’s an experiment. Even when it comes to trimming/hemming/letting out some pieces. I often want to see how short or long I can go, and what I can do with the leftover material if there is any.

Now, here is what I got today:

A box full of lace trim, and some other sewing supplies, like zippers, ribbons, buttons, and some random earrings (which I thought would be fun to wear) I will definitely do a post on those!

And a box of sewing patterns:

There was a ton of children’s patterns as well, which I don’t need, so if you need some – let me know ASAP!

Now, mastering US measurement system is going to be a challenge for me, someone who grew up in a metric world! But I am sure I can conquer all those inches and a half 😉

Now, I will be sharing my projects with you, I will also be using lace and trim in DIY’s and smaller projects!

I want to ask you for advice though, if you sew, or know someone who sews/designs/fixes/tailors clothes, send them my way, I would love to talk to them and get some advice! (My mom is the first person I am going to turn too, because she sewed a whole bunch of clothes for me when I was younger, but I would love someone else’s advice!)

Thanks for reading and subscribing, I love everyone’s advice and comments! Hope you all had a great weekend! I have something special for you all tomorrow 😉



Outfit of the Day – October, 29

Sharing the gorgeous Minneapolis weather with you! I heard it snowed on the East Coast today, so I wanted to share a little bit of sunshine, and my outfit!

Outfit breakdown:

Suade boots by Mexx

White coat from Nordstrom’s (thrifted at the Salvation Army for $4)

BCBG Max Azria dress

Steve Madden sunglasses.

Hope you all are having a fabulous Saturday, we are celebrating my husband’s Birthday today, that’s our 2nd celebration this week, tomorrow is the final one with his parents!



DIY Friday – Easy Halloween Costume Idea

Hello, I work at Target, is what you should be saying if you decide to go with my costume idea!

I know a lot of fashion bloggers have been posting on the subject of Halloween costumes, and I decided to jump on the wagon as well!

Living in downtown Minneapolis, sometimes I feel like living inside Target! Yesterday Nicolette Mall was decorated with Christmas banners – something about Target Winter dazzle, or whatever it was! So I thought why not dress as a Target employee for Halloween! I am sure you all have a pair of Khakis and a red shirt tucked in somewhere in your closet! Plus it’s always fun to add some creativity to your costume, so I added this huge Target name tag. It can be done by simply drawing the company’s symbol on a piece of paper – the bigger and the more obnoxious – the better!

Happy Halloween everyone!


Disclaimer: The back of my shirt (which is actually the front 😉 says I’m lovin’ it and has the McDonald’s symbol – I didn’t have a plain red shirt and didn’t want to turn it inside out! )

I am A La Mode-ing again

This is so exciting, and I know that I have already shared this on FB and Twitter, but here it is – the weekly Links A La Mode round up for this week! See if you can find me 😉


27 OCTOBER 2011



Edited by: Fajr Muhammad of Stylish Thought




I love how multi-faceted fashion blogging has become. In the beginning it was mostly celebrity style driven but has evolved to include everything from personal style, social commentary, fun fashion trends and high fashion! While blogging is becoming a staple of our everyday world, fashion blogging is continuing to push the envelope.

Fashion is converging into lifestyle and we are defining the medium and what it means to be a fashion blogger. Check out the diverse links this week that our pushing our craft to new places.




New Jackets at ShopbopOpening CeremonyAdd DownRED ValentinoRLX Ralph LaurenMackageJen KaoVena CavaDomaWinter KateHalston HeritageVeda,Gryphon, & Ella Moss.

It’s better when it’s FAUX

I was inspired by one of my readers to write about faux fur, vests, coats, you name it. I have been dying to get my hands on a good quality faux fur piece for a long time, but seems like thrift stores don’t carry too many of those, so looks like I am going to have to splurge on that!

Faux fur vests are also very in this fall. They go well with everything – jeans, skirts, dresses. Plus when it’s high quality, it is usually nice to the touch, and who doesn’t want to wear something that’s also soft and cuddly, and a fashion statement at the same time? I am telling you ladies, it’s all better than a fleece jacket!

In the picture on the left you see two of my favorite fall trends combined – polka dots and fur vest (it’s faux, so that makes it eco friendly 😉 )

Sometimes, when you are not sure about the whole vest thing, and want to stay on the safe side – go with a collar, like this one on the right.

Shorter vests are a great option too – and trust me, they look good not only on blondes!

Great faux fur jackets are always an amazing find – check out this cheetah print one from Nordstrom!

It’s always amazing to come across a jacket with a faux fur collar, so if you score one – take good care of it and it will last you many many years.

Just remember – some faux furs aren’t meant to be! It’s not okay to be wearing faux fur boots (I remember them being popular in Russia back in 2003/2004). Nothing and no one will advocate for you if you are walking around with “animal” feet! You are not a yeti!

So remember, don’t go over the top with all the faux, and if you want, sometimes there is room for real fur!





My Coupon Experiment

Since we don’t subscribe to the Sunday paper, weekly mail in coupons are all I have, plus some in-store coupons, and the random coupon here and there I get from the manufacturer and which usually comes with a sample. I have to admit when it comes to in-store coupons, Target beats them all! The great thing about Target are sales/clearances which you can combine with a manufacturers coupon and a store coupon and viola – you have at least 40% of savings right there!

Anyways, I decided to do a month of coupon experiment, when every time Sam and I would go grocery shopping, we would use some coupons (I didn’t go crazy over anything) and write down how much we saved.

So it all came up to $88.62 a month, taking into consideration that we’ve only been grocery shopping 3 times, and spent around 50 bucks each time.

Now all the saved money can go towards… well, we don’t really know, but today we donated to the United Way, so I think that’s a good cause.

I am not an extreme couponer, and don’t claim to be one, I just like saving a few dollars here and there.

I might do another experiment like this, but with clothes. You know sometimes you find brand new things at thrift stores, like this black Gap dress:

The original tag was still on, with the original price of $59.95! That’s how much percent of savings? 99%?

What are the things you save one? And what do you splurge on? Let me know, I would love to hear from you!



PS. I am also going to be appearing in the video Support Where you Live for Minneapolis Foundation holding letter “I” and waving 🙂 I don’t know if that video will ever be up on YouTube, but I will let you know if it is!

Fall Uniform

This is again another IFB Project, that I thought I’d do. I think this is an amazing way to see what fashion bloggers are actually wearing, and not just blogging about 😉 I wear so many different coats, that I thought it would be pointless to show them all, but I will show my fav print. The most important items that comprise my fall uniform are my boots, scarves and bags – so here you have it – BeingZhenya’s Fall Uniform!

Plus my favorite fall print of all times:



PS. What is your fall uniform?

Vintage America

Target is not the only store that is famous for collaborations with top designers. Macy’s has recently started selling Karl Lagerfeld’s collection, and Nine West has launched a new collection called Vintage America.

When I first saw the NW add, I was immediately drawn to it, I loved the song, the idea behind it. And I got extremely interested in the collection! The mystery for me was Karen Elson. I had no idea who she was. And maybe for some of you her name means a lot, and stands out for a million pictures, shows, designs, etc… I still didn’t know one tiny bit of information about her.

I started reading about her, and she turned out to be a model, singer/songwriter, gone designer. After I read that one sentence about her, my respect towards that Brit skyrocketed and if I admired her after just watching the ad, I started admiring her even more for all the other achievements!

Her magazine covers are also worth checking out! (I just picked a few out of many)


The Karen Elson for Nine West Vintage America Collection collaboration combines the musical spirit of the Nine West Vintage America Collection with Elson’s ethereal fashion and love for vintage treasures.

The vintage-infused footwear, handbags and jewelry collection drew inspiration from the 1930’s Dust Bowl and show girls to create the perpetually cool “on the road” and “stage” accessories, which incorporates rich color tones, sequins and vintage charms.

The story of the collection is told through three of Elson’s songs off her debut album The Ghost Who Walks, and ties to the designs.

Karen designed this limited edition collection bringing her signature passion for vintage to life.

You can read more about this collection and collaboration in Elle, NYMagazine, T Magazine, Huffington Post and many others. But I wanted to share my favorite pieces from the collection with you.




I hope you enjoy this collection as much as me, especially if you are a vintage lover. It’s amazing to see the designs of the past obtain a new twist in the hands of contemporary artists!

PS. Like this post if you dig her hair 🙂 Her songs are also worth listening to! Not everyone will like them, but they are definitely something!



MM is for Marilyn Monroe

My Week with Marilyn is a movie, that comes out November, 23, 2011 here in the US. With an estimated budget of $10,000,000 the viewers are definitely expecting a lot from it.

I have to admit, I am not that charmed by MM, yes, she was gorgeous, could sing, and had this wonderful bubbly personality that everyone admires. I think that with MM it’s either you love her, or you don’t, but I have somehow managed to fall into the “meh” category.

To be 100% honest with you, I am a lot more interested in Michelle Williams, who gets to play her in the movie. I remember her back when she starred in Dawson’s Creek. That was one cute TV show. And to me, she resembled MM even then. I guess Hollywood has finally noticed that too!

A lot of people are being judgmental, saying that they should’ve had another week or two of castings, but I think MW is a perfect fit. And maybe they put a birthmark on the wrong side of the face, it’s just a movie, and no one is trying to give you a new MM.

I loved MW’s Vogue interview, her honesty about not being able to replace MM’s curves, and the fact that she had to eat ice cream for breakfast every day. To me, that is the worst thing about being an actress. I remember when Renee Zellweger had to put on pounds for her part in Bridget Jones, and that thought alone gives me nightmares. I know she lost it all afterwards, but still.

I am going to watch this movie, and I am getting excited for it, because they will be showing vintage clothes, and giving a sneak peak into the lifestyle of 1950’s. I hope they do a really good job at that!

If you’ve missed the Vogue Interview, I suggest you still look through the slideshow. But if you are too lazy to do even that, here are some of my favorite pics!

And finally my absolute favorite!

What is your opinion on the movie? Are you going to see it?


Happy Saturday everyone!