While I have been committed to shopping on the secondary market before the secondary market was a thing, I do fall prey to the more than occasional fast fashion purchase. Topshop, Asos and H&M can all sucker me in to indulging in a trendy, non-sustainable shopping moment. Add a sale into the mix, and I am powerless to resist! And while they all hold a special place in my heart, my love runs deepest for Zara. I think one of the biggest mistakes I think we can make as we try and move society toward more green living is adopt an all or nothing attitude. When 85% of what I own was acquired on the secondary market, I try to be kind to myself when I fall victim to fast fashion’s charm. I take great care of my belongings so when they no longer suit me, I can donate them to places like Dress for Success or sell them to places like Buffalo Exchange.

Occasionally those worlds collide. When most of the fashion of today is inspired by fashion of the past, it is only natural that your thrifted finds will look and feel like the present-day trends. And while going through photos from a recent shoot whilst browsing the Zara app on my phone, I noticed that a couple of my recent thrift-heavy outfits fit the current Zara vibe.

More specifically, Zara’s menswear inspired looks and the cozy, eclectic story they are currently selling with oversize jackets and sweaters combine with pleated midi skirts and tops in unexpected fabrics. There is an emphasis on an oversize, slouchy fit, mixed patterns and textures and a juxtaposition of styles.


My menswear inspired look includes two of what I refer to as my personal style trinity items- thrift and designer consignment (the third being new, but more on this Style Formula on a later blog post). The sweater is vintage Ralph Lauren that I found at Austin’s Gucci Goodwill (It’s a real thing – see here.) paired with a pair of men’s trousers purchased from the same location. Why go menswear inspired when you can go straight up menswear? Especially when you are trying to achieve that effortless, relaxed fit. My Fendi Zucca print mules were a score from The Real Real. This look was so cozy and comfortable. The pants had the same easy fit as many of Zara’s trousers, while the mixed patterns in the sweater and shoes gave the outfit the same visible interest Zara is know for. The leather and pony hair purse also adds more texture. It is a vintage Gucci I found on eBay that makes frequent appearances on our Instagram.

My next outfit got its start because these two thrift purchases were hanging on the rack right next to each other. I loved that the jacket was different than the typical kimono style coverup that usually features this type of fabric. It is very well insulated and kept me warm on a pretty chilly day. I love it when form meets function for the whopping price of $9.99! And the skirt! It was one of those finds where I thought I was crazy for putting it in my cart because it had absolutely no hanger appeal. The top has a tighter pleat than the bottom giving it a unique silhouette, but somehow just works. Best of all, it is a vintage Lord & Taylor item, one of my favorite labels to find! I look forward to pairing it with everything from oversize sweaters to blazers with belts this season. The jacket is embroidered satin and the skirt is a Fortuni-type pleated fabric, which fit the Zara bill of mixing textures. The athletic vibe of my crop top and Chuck Taylors puts a check in the mixing styles box. Sequins and sneakers? Why not? I finished the outfit with another The Real Real find, a vintage Gucci purse.

What are some of your favorite current brands to thrift?