Preloved Perfection | Value Village Holiday Contest

Preloved Perfection Nothing beats the thrill of a good fashion find…especially at a thrift or consignment store. Better yet when it’s in mint condition and at a wallet-friendly price. By now it’s no surprise to you all how much I love incorporating stylish preloved garments and accessories into my wardrobe, but I still get many of my readers and viewers asking, “how on earth do you find those gems Mana??!!”. Thrifting takes patience, practice, and an open mind. Also multiple visits, as stock is replenished frequently (daily for most thrift stores like Value Village, and weekly for more boutique consignment stores). Not all treasure hunts will amount in bounty, but if my last few visits to Value Village are any indication, there are hidden gems everywhere!

Preloved PerfectionPreloved PerfectionPreloved Perfection Case in point, this 70’s inspired outfit that was almost completely sourced from Value Village. The only exception? The blouse, taken from my mom’s closet (purchased in the actual 1970’s though!). But everything else, and I mean everything, was found on a thrifting adventure at Value Village. The standout piece is of course the fur and suede jacket, which was only $36. You should have seen the sheer excitement in my eyes when I spotted this gem, but funnily enough it was not in the coat section, but just hanging randomly within sweaters (a little side tip, keep your eye out throughout the store, and don’t overlook areas around mirrors where people have tried stuff on and left them). The jeans are mint condition J Brand bell bottoms, which were priced at $12, and with some minor alterations to the length costing $18, the total price came out to a bargain $30 (a huge win considering these babies retail for $250 brand new). The purse and brooch were both under $10 each, but their unique details give the entire look a very designer-esque feel. Total cost of the outfit: under $75!

Preloved Perfection

 

Preloved Perfection Preloved Perfection So preloved fashion equals stylish and affordable, but the cherry on top? The benefits it has on our planet. Saving perfectly new clothes from being dumped in a landfill is an important choice that I encourage everyone to practice regularly. It will make you feel good on multiple levels, I promise!

Preloved Perfection

 

Preloved PerfectionNow that you have some inspiration, I want you to share your fabulous finds for the holiday season with me! I have teamed up with Value Village for an Instagram holiday contest, with the winner taking home a $100 Value Village gift certificate, good for use at any location! Use it for yourself or to help you pick out some unique gifts for the under the tree.

Entry details:

  1. Follow @ManaMansour on Instagram
  2. Share your favourite thrift/preloved find (can be a cute outfit or even holiday decor) with the hashtags #thriftmas AND #stylebymana

* All steps must be followed to guarantee entry

Contest closes December 16 at 12 pm. The winner will be announced on my Instagram!

 Good Luck and Happy Holiday thrifting!

~ All photography by the very talented Isaac Wray. ~

#OOTD: Print Perfect

Style By Mana Print Perfect

As summer winds down, I am trying to get the most wear out of my dresses and strappy heels before the weather is too crisp to even think about putting them on. It’s also around this time that wearing transitional garments is key, in other words, items in your closet that work well for both seasons. A great choice is a dark print, like this French Connection dress. Dark prints have a dark background (either black or jewel tones) unlike their summer counterpart that is usually against white and have neon or pastel florals. This dress fits that bill but the cut is great for the last weeks of warm weather. Later on, it can be easily paired with black tights, a leather moto jacket and booties.

Style By Mana Print Perfect

Style By Mana Print Perfect

This also brings me to the topic of prints. Anyone who knows my style knows well enough how much I love bold, bright prints. If you think that wearing bold prints will make you look larger or that they are too loud, think again! Prints can actually be utilized to take attention away from certain parts of your body that you want to mask, while injecting a refreshing and colourful spin on any outfit. And especially considering the huge influence the 1960’s and 1970’s are having in fashion right now, injecting prints into your wardrobe couldn’t be more current and fashion-forward!

There are a few tricks on wearing bold prints that I want to share. Firstly, keep in mind that large prints give the impression of a greater surface area, so if you are a bit more curvy, best to stick to smaller patterns that are tightly grouped together. The smaller the print, the smaller the frame appears to the eye. A great way to choose a print, say like a floral, is to make sure the flowers are no larger than your hand span.

Style By Mana Print Perfect

Style By Mana Print Perfect

And finally, it’s important to anchor vibrant patterns with a strong block colour. A great way to choose which colour is to pick out a colour from the print, like I have done with my accessories here. The black belt and black purse (taken from the black background of the print) anchors the look, while the blue shoes, taken from the same blue colour of the print, creates a cohesive look without adding any extra busyness.

Style By Mana Print Perfect

This #OOTD photo series is the first part in my collaboration with the immensely talented Ellen Ho of Hong Photography. Ellen has captured me for different editorials throughout the years and her spirit, talent and vision never ceases to amaze me. Also, a huge thank you to the beautiful Gurveen of Pink Orchid Studio for working her magic on my hair and makeup. Gurveen so effortlessly brought my vision to life and I felt so beautiful. Excited to share more photos coming soon!

Style By Mana Print Perfect

 Outfit Details: printed dress- French Connection, BCBgeneration blue suede heels- Winners, vintage black snake-skin cross-body clutch- Front & Co, thrift black leather and gold belt- Value Village, gold cuff- Kate Spade.

Vintage 101: Top 5 Tips on Shopping Vintage

vintage bannerFrom as early as age 14, when my interest in fashion and personal style began, I have shopped and loved vintage/thrift. Those first experiences with vintage were rummaging through my mom’s closet, picking out fabulous pieces that she’d kept from the 1970’s and 1980’s. Wearing them might have gotten me a few weird looks from the other girls at my high school, but I felt great, not only because I looked so unique, but also because I knew the stories behind the garments. Stories like how my mom went to Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City in 1973 to pick out a professional wardrobe, or finding small-town jewelry shops in Idaho on road-trips (as a side-note, my mom did her university studies in the US). Fashion has proved to be cyclical, but rather than always buying it new, I love incorporating the same trends from when they were first appeared on the radar. Not only does it give you a chance to have and wear one-of-a-kind pieces, but there’s also a history behind those pieces and the designers who made them…many of whom don’t design anymore. The added bonus? It’s good for the environment too.

Shopping vintage can be a bit overwhelming however. Many times the stores are jam-packed with a hodgepodge of different things, all displayed together, so searching through them can take a lot of patience and time. From my experience, I’ve compiled a list of my tips when shopping vintage, to make your shopping trips a whole lot more productive and fun.

  1. Give yourself a lot of time. Vintage shopping isn’t like running into Club Monaco to quickly grab a blazer. As I mentioned above, items are not always merchandised as clearly as other stores, and if you’re going to a thrift store like Value Village, it’s even more spread out.
  2. For the ladies, when shopping vintage, wear a handbag that’s cross-body or just bring your wallet. You’ll need your hands to look through garments and feel things, so the last thing you want is your hands to be tied up.
  3. Look at the make and quality of the pieces before purchasing. A lot of clothes were manufactured in North America or Europe back in those days and it should say so. Also look at the materials; if an item is mostly made up of acrylic or synthetic fibers, it’s not really worth it.
  4. Go for pieces that are classic, rather than what’s funky or outrageous, for example, a beige trench, a navy pea coat, military jackets, cashmere sweaters, etc. Also, any designer pieces that are classic to the brand, like a quilted Chanel purse or an LV suitcase are great finds. Not only do those pieces never go out of style but they actually increase in value if they’re keep in good condition.
  5. If it doesn’t fit but you absolutely love it, find a good tailor! This is something I think a lot of shoppers are weary of. They see something they love but if it’s not in their size, they disregard it. A good tailor can customize a piece to fit your body perfectly, which can modernize it as well.

Lastly, if you’re in the Vancouver area and want to know where to go for great quality vintage clothing, check out the clip below from my show West Coast Style. I featured two of my favourite local shops on an episode I did in season 1.

*I LOVE VINTAGE photo courtesy of the talented M’c Kenneth Licon.