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Kat Depner, personal stylist from Portand, Oregon, shares styling advice on her blog

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Beat The Heat: Kat’s Summer Thrifting Treats



100 degrees in Portland!


When summer temperatures get unbearable and intermittently sticking my head in the freezer for reprieve is futile, I find that nothing hits the spot like a musty and generously air-conditioned thrift store. If you are looking for a bit of reprieve from the treacherous sun but are weary about spending your afternoon in a thrift store, don’t fret! With these 3 game changing thrift guidelines, you may find yourself choosing your local Goodwill to your freezer to beat the heat this summer!


Rule #1: Bring Cash


At it’s worst, thrifting can be an eternal buffet of frivolous purchasing stupidity. To mitigate that outcome, I recommend setting a budget, bringing a set amount of cash and leaving all other forms of payment at home. This is built in accountability you will thank me for later and ensures that you won’t end up with yet another pair of gently used yoga pants buried at the bottom of your dresser drawer.


Rule #2: The 7 Second Rule


If an item doesn’t catch your eye and resonate within 7 seconds, its not worth mulling over. Trust me. If you take 10 minutes draping an article of clothing over your head and dancing with it in a distorted thrift store mirror wondering if it can work, chances are it’s time to move on. So rather than get overwhelmed by the troves of clothing awaiting you, give yourself a seven second rule and carry on.

Kat Depner in palazzos

Rule #3: The Wow Factor


And last but not least, look for items that have a wow factor – things you wouldn’t normally be able to find at your typical stores. Unique prints, silhouettes, vintage styling – these are the features that you can really profit from by going thrift. Save staples like tanks and layering tees for the standard brick and mortar.


With these three rules in place, I shut the freezer door and opened the door to my local Goodwill. Here’s what I found on my treasure excursion!


Treasure #1: Palazzo Party


This pair of yellow silk palazzo pants from Zara makes my heart smile. I saw it from a distance and knew it was meant to be in the first 7 seconds it was in my hands. It’s silky, wide legged and adorned with ample pockets: the perfect place for my hands to rest when I don’t know what else to do with them. The black and white polka dots on a mustard yellow backdrop is vibrant and strangely nostalgic of my childhood hero: Fred Flinstone. Do you see it too? The decision to purchase these pants may have been completely rooted in my nostalgic childhood cartoons, but I regret nothing. To finish this look, I’ve paired it with a simple crew neck black tank and a pair of strappy sandals.

Kat Depner in Zara Mom Jeans

Treasure #2: Mom Jeans


I have a very contentious relationship with mom jeans. The promises of offering me a coin purse shaped back side, bunching crotch and perpetual camel toe are some of their most compelling downsides. Yet everyone and their mom (pun intended) seems to be sporting some iteration of this as of late. When I saw a distressed pair of these swaying in the distance of the return racks, I approached with caution. They caught my eye immediately and I found myself in a state of internal turmoil - why would I knowingly entertain anything that would give me a large bunching crotch?


But since it met my thrifting rule of catching my eye in less than seven seconds, it was now a serious contender for purchasing. With its light wash and distress across the knees, I suddenly got more Janet Jackson “Love Will Never Do” cirque 1990 vibes than I expected.


This is one of the most surprising purchases I have made. It’s one of the trendiest staples of the season and violates my style tenants of following trends, but alas, feeling a little like a young Janet Jackson can make anyone bend their rules. Since these pants are more relaxed you want to bring balance to your frame by matching it with a tucked in and form fitting top. A bodysuit will play very nice with any pair of mom jeans. Here I’ve paired it with a crew neck body suit and strappy sandals.

Kat Depner in Adidas dress

Treasure #3: Naomi Osaka + Adidas Dress


I love Naomi Osaka. She terrorizes opponents on the courts, then wipes away their tears and nurses their egos back to health with kind words and her sage wisdom after every game. She is compassionate and fierce, and I hope to grow up to be just like her one day. In the interim, I can steal her style.


This high necked shift dress from Adidas is a showstopper. This dress is made for the maximalist: with its mix of tropical print sleeves and concentric Aztec diamond designs, it says “Hello world, I have arrived.” The relaxed boyfriend cut offers luxurious comfort while the high neckline provides a bit of structure and makeshift tailoring. While I possess patterns galore in my colorful closet, this is a stand-alone iconic three stripe Adidas piece that sits as the crown jewel of all my patterns. To bring a bit of unexpected contrast, I paired this colorful athletic ditty with a pair of impossibly tall black platforms that ooze a bit of 60’s flare. And voila, the mix of the two genres creates a bit of quirk and visual interest - enough to liven any sleepy summer afternoon.


Beat The Heat


As temperatures rise and you are looking for a new way to beat the boob sweat, look no further than your local thrift store. With a few guidelines and rules in place, you will spend the afternoon hunting for enchanted treasures with ease of mind and ease of temperature. Remember to cut yourself off with a capped cash amount, go for the wow factor, and if it doesn’t catch your eye in 7 seconds, it’s time to walk. Happy thrifting!



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