I’m sure you’re already aware but August 10th is my blog birthday and it just turned 4!  I’m having 4 glasses of wine to celebrate and am pondering the past year and the year to come.

Not joking.
Not joking.

Last August, I was busy Konmari-ing everything and embarking on a year of mindfulness.  It has been a good year, though, as cliche as it sounds, it passed by faster than ever.  Like, I can hardly remember anything.  (Or, I’ve had 4 glasses of wine.)  I do know the important things, like how I held my kids to the “buy-nothing-year” mostly, and how I learned more about fast fashion and ethical consumerism, and how I adhered to my $50/month thrifting budget!  My favourite posts of the year were my monthly thrift haul recaps!  I let those go in June once rest settled in the form of bunion surgery, and since then I have been in a weird state of inertia.  I’m out of my OOTD routine!  I’ve missed necklace opportunities!  I’ve had to buy new regular retail sneakers!!!  WHAT IS HAPPENING?!  WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO?!  Fortunately, one thing has stayed consistent: thrifting.

This was shortly before she almost dumped me out at the curb.
Nothing can stop me!  

This year I learned that, all jokes aside, thrifting is therapeutic for me.  I’ve built a better wardrobe, most of my pieces spark joy and have staying power in my closet, but that doesn’t stop me from going thrifting because something in the process is soothing, for me anyway.

However, I do NOT have a mustard jacket of perfection!!  Eddie Bauer, in perfect condition for $10!  #comfort #selfcare
And when you find something you’ve been hunting for a long while, the victory is sweet!

I don’t have a clear vision for the upcoming year like I did last year.  I’m no longer inspired by fashion challenges and I feel that pattern-mixing and other styling techniques are old-hat by now.  But, I still love thrifting and I still love blogging about thrifted fashion and I’m still honing my personal style, and so there will be a fifth year of VV Boutique Style, er, The Spirited Thrifter.  It might look a bit different; I might have to post less often – I am working more than double compared to when I first started blogging and there are just so many pulls on my time.  This past year, I often found myself awake past midnight blogging when I would have rather been reading or sleeping; that has to stop.  (Just letting you know.)  I’m also letting the Monday Style Prompt and Tuesday Try go, and instead plan to post a “Tuesday Tip” on Instagram.  I’ll still be trying out trends and techniques and polling whether a piece should be a spark or swap, but it might be on Instagram rather than the blog.  This year, I hope to spend a little more time on my nest and share regular “Thrifted Home” posts.  And this year, I hope to share more about sustainable fashion because that is ultimately my mission.  I’ve long since proven that thrifted fashion is affordable and stylish.  Now, in addition to my self-appointed title of Thrifting Ambassador, I want to be a Sustainable-Fashion Evangelist.  I want people to stop buying fast fashion.  I want you to outfit your kids in slow fashion.  I want to make a difference.

Such a great group of girls!  These girls WILL be the change of their generation.
These girls WILL be the change of their generation.

Now that my Ms. Universe speech is done, let’s get down to business – how much I spent and I how much I got this year…  First a recap of previous years:

  1. 2012-2013: $1007.10 for 186 items = $5.41/piece
  2. 2013-2014: $1390.30 for 271 pieces = $5.13/piece
  3. 2014-2015: $1143.85 for 199 pieces =  $5.74/piece

And this year… drum roll please… I spent a total of $979.55 for 169 pieces which equals an average cost per piece of $5.80!  If you’ve been following along, you know that exceeds my $50/month budget BUT I had a contingency pool of earned funds plus gifted thrifting for my birthday, Christmas and Mother’s Day which means that I was well within my $600 annual budget!  Yay me!  This year, I’m aiming to stick to $80 per month including all my thrifted clothing which is well within my clothing budget, and will allow me to avoid feeling guilty every time I sneak over $50/month every month.  I still plan to shop and support local and sustainable whenever the urge strikes me, and that doesn’t count in my thrifting budget but is nonetheless very worthwhile and something we should all be doing!

This time with my yellow tee $4, denim $4.90, Miz Mooz shoes $9.80, Matt&Nat bag $9.10, earrings $3 and necklace $4.
I love local, like this Leopard Please kimono…
1. Ethically manufactured Flatter Me belt 2. Accessories by LOCAL designer and small business She Does Create 3. Thrifted accessories 4. Accessories I've had forever like my red coral bracelet from Cuba.  It is a keepsake, sparks joy and is well made.
Or my Flatter:Me Belts!
Or my many She Does Create pieces!
Or local businesses and restaurants!
Or local authors and co-conspirators!
Or local authors and co-conspirators!

So, find your local and when you’re not thrifting, shop there.  Now, I know what you’re thinking: 169 is a lot of pieces coming into my wardrobe!  However there is also a lot of goings!  I constantly edit and though I am not as rule-bound as “one in, one out,” it all balances out.  Most importantly, my closet can handle it and my budget can handle it.  My closet is my happy place.  My clothes are a curated collection!  I’m evolving into minimalism in the sense that I’m surrounding myself with things that I love, even if some of those things dresses happen to be numerous.  And Konmari, I just want to say, I’m over you.  I *love* my collection.  It sparks joy, a whole lotta joy and as for the rest of my house, it ain’t a tiny Japanese apartment.  I have acres, literally.  When shit needs to get done, it’ll get done.  When I *need* to declutter and purge, I will.  So there.  (Phew, that felt good.)

Here are some of my favourite pieces I thrifted this year…

Those Elevenses pants!
My mustard skirt! xoxoxoxo
Black tee $2, linen blazer $3.50, Bussola sandals $7 plus She Does Create accessories.
My Anthro-brand maxi skirt!
Striped maxi dress perfection for $7!!!!
Striped maxi dress perfection for $7!!!!
Here's an outfit from my wild times in Saskatoon last weekend... Kimchi & Blue dress $5.60, teal cardi $4.90, suede boots in a shocking #mixnotmatch burgundy $11.90 plus leggings and accessories from my collection.
Those burgundy boots!  
DANIER LEATHER jacket, fits me perfectly, in mint condition for $17.50!!!!!
I could go on!  They’re all my favourite!  Don’t make me choose!!  What pieces were YOUR favourites this past year of thrifting?

Thank you for your patience as I recover and begin wearing normal clothes and get my groove back!  It seems I’m shifting from a Type A performance-driven personality to a Type B chillaxed personality.  If I’m striving for anything, it’s to enjoy and accept the moment for what it is.  Don’t get me wrong, I still have goals but if they don’t happen, does it really matter?  Not usually.

Anyway, I had on earrings and 4 bracelets, so that counts.
Here’s a goal I’m succeeding at – upping my arm party to 4 instead of 3!  #armpartyolympics

If all this sounds interesting to you, stick around.  Follow my journey.  I won’t be snap-chatting or Instagram-storying #sorrynotsorry because I have real social to do, and less media.  I do not need more reasons to pay attention to my phone rather than my husband, kids and friends.  Luckily, I consider YOU my friend.  I so appreciate anyone who takes their precious time and spends it reading what I have to say and looking at what I have to wear.  Thank you, truly.  Cheers to another year of spirited thrifting adventures!


  1. The Spirited Thrifter

    Thanks for reading and the compliment! I truly appreciate it! U0001f618

  2. Rose by His Grace

    Congratulations on four years of blogging!  Truly you have been a blessing and inspiration to many!
    Thank you for sharing your future plans for the blog, and mostly, thank you that you will continue to bless us with your wisdom, senses of humour and thrifting adventures.  
    I love your conclusions about how you love your collections and will maintain them, “Thank you very much, Konmari!”  Yes, it is good to downsize and declutter, but not be obsessive about it.  Harmony is needed, but hard to maintain.  
    I am glad that you want to have more of a sense of harmony with family, friends and blog time.  As much as we love your influence and involvement in our lives, we know that your little people, your husband, and the people that are physically in your life need your attention too.  
    Looking forward to another great year on the blog.  Thank you for your faithfulness!

    • nicole

      Thank YOU for your kind words as always! I look forward to your comments and find them so encouraging!!! Maybe my word next year will be harmony!!

  3. IdaMay Currie Frischke

    U0001f44cU0001f3fc I also enjoy it-makes me smile every time. U0001f60a
    Cheers to 4 years and many more to come!U0001f377U0001f377U0001f377U0001f377

  4. The Spirited Thrifter

    Thank you SO much! I take this as a very high compliment coming from my Grade One teacher!! 🙂

  5. ThriftshopChic

    Love that striped maxi dress on you…very close to coveting over here even though I don’t own/wear any maxis. The fit is fantastic!

  6. ThriftshopChic

    I love that striped maxi dress on you…the fit is fantastic! Close to coveting over here even though I never wear maxis.
    Enjoyed reading your thoughts on how your thrifting process/philosophy has shifted – good food for thought.