Hey, it’s this shirt again! You’re going to see it a lot. :)
I got quite a shock when I first started shopping around for an oversized shearling jacket. I was hoping to find one with a moderate price tag + that great oversized shape. But upon searching Polyvore, I found that almost every single version of this jacket was a couple thousand dollars.
So I kept looking.
And … looking.
My searching process isn’t too fancy. I usually just try different combinations of keywords in Google or Polyvore, and filter the results by price so I’m not sifting through definite no’s. It took a couple of days and some serious searching, but I finally stumbled across this jacket on shopbop.
It was the one. Right shape, right price.
I’ve been wearing it constantly. It’s awesome.
So, let me ask you: When you’re set on a particular kind of piece, how do you go about searching + finding it? Got any wisdom to share with us?
coat: shopbop — back in stock (also similar for less)
tee: J.Crew (also different but equally cool)
jeans: old from Gap (similar)
bag: Marc Jacobs
JuliaBW, Brighton, UK says
I think this has got to be one of my favourite looks of yours so far! You look so cool and the jacket looks about four times as expensive as it is. If I hadn’t just spent £255 on some ankle boots I would have seriously considered buying it too. Your blog is really starting to teach me something about the way I dress and what’s important – thank you!
My search tactics are similar but if I really get my heart set on a piece that’s out of my price range I turn to eBay. On numerous occasions I have gotten the exact piece I wanted either new or gently used at a great discount.
I generally do the same or eBay), but I’m also a huge thrift lady and I’ve found some amazing pieces for less then $10 (like a beautifully lined grey wool coat). Usually I have to get them tailored somewhat, but it’s worth it to have a one of a kind piece that I wanted at an unbeatable price. Plus, it’s sustainable because it’s recycled :)
Thank you for the incredible blog!!
I always look forward to your posts! You’ve inspired me to re-examine my own closet. While capsule wardrobes and minimalism is still a far reach for me, I at least feel like I’m finally starting the journey! You have a 1000 mega-watt smile that makes everything you wear gorgeous
If I find the piece I want, I use EBay and Google’s Shopping search to see if I can find it for a cheaper price anywhere else. Then, I search coupon codes (or if it’s Madewell or J.Crew, I wait until Thrusdays when they usually open a new discount code) I just recently discovered Polyvore, it sounds like a good resource!
I’ve been wanting a shearling jacket like this, but it just doesn’t work for my body type (I’m learning to accept and embrace what works and not get too caught up in what doesn’t.) It looks great on you!
I generally tend towards Pinterest as a starting point and branch out from there when I’m looking for something specific. However, I tend to have a bad habit of not really thinking it through before I start my search. Then, by the time I find something, I practically have to buy it because of the time invested (it seems more logical in my brain). I want to work on following your model of really sitting down and figuring things out before running straight to the internet!
I have often turned to ebay also. Usually it’s after days (weeks?) of searching for something specific I know I want. This fall it was a peacock blue/dark teal corduroy blazer and a navy trench coat. Each took me forever to find, but I finally ended up getting them on ebay.
Ebay and playing the wIting game for a piece to turn up on clearance orat t thrift store…hard to do sometimes when you have your heart set on an item.
How do you like your boots? I jusr ordered them in brown based off of your wardrobe . I ordered one size up based on the recommendation.
Good job with the blog too…it is obvious you put a lot of time and though into your posts … I look forward to them every day.
Hi Kristy! Thanks for your kind words. :) I’m loving these boots — I wear them almost every day, and they’ve never given me blisters. Let me know how you like yours! xo Caroline
Caroline, I’m confused. Are the items of clothing you showed a couple of weeks ago in your winter capsule not the actual items you own? I’m seeing differences between the pictures, what you’ve linked to, and now what you’re wearing in daily outfits.
Hi Alice! I’m so sorry for the confusion. Most all of the pictures are what I actually own, but if I couldn’t find a picture of the exact item on the retailer’s site, I use one that’s similar. I’ll make sure to say that clearly next time. :) xo Caroline
Hi Caroline–Love your site! I can totally relate to searching and searching for an item when I focus in on one. I also try lots of combos in google and sites that carry lots of “interesting” and “different” styles like shopbop and asos (I always have great luck with asos–prices are great! but shipping does take awhile). I also second Bronwyn’s comment about eBay, though sometimes I’ll be searching for years for an item on eBay in the right color or price. I recently bought a handbag on eBay that I’ve wanted for 4 years!
I find that the internet is both a blessing and a curse when it comes to finding that perfect piece. It’s far too easy to fall down the rabbit hole of searching for a particular thing rather than settling for something else. That said, with a lot of patience, the payoff of finding the exact thing can be pretty sweet.
I got it in my head this winter that what I really needed was a gray wool trench coat like the one wore by Natalie Portman in Hotel Chevalier. I did countless internet searches and probably spent way too much time checking pinterest, polyvore, etsy and ebay. But then one day I saw it in Banana Republic. I still waited though, and with the holiday sales was able to get it 50% off! Patience really paid off.
It’s funny though how before the capsule wardrobe I would never get this obsessive about finding the exact, perfect piece. I’m still trying to decide if it’s a good thing or not.
That’s awesome, Amanda! I agree — I sometimes have to check myself when I get caught up in finding one specific piece. :) xo Caroline
My tactic is totally different: I try as hard as I can not to set my heart on anything from the start! This really allows me to care less for things which, in the end, do not matter THAT much… I am still working on it, but when something I like (even REALLY like) is out of my price range/ I don’t really need/ is sold out/ anything else, I try to take a deep breath and remind myself that life necessity are others… it does not work absolutely each time, but vast majority of times. And that feeling of being able to let go, aware of not having spent the time, the mental space and the money on it are a fantastic reward!
Love this! I think there’s so much peace to be found in that approach. I want to practice it more and more. xo Caroline
Not an exact Shopping tipp, but it helps to identify what key qualities draw you to a certain piece and what isn’t a definite must. I ended up with too many “similar but not quite right”s over the years by underanalyzing my wishes and therefore compromising in all the wrong categories.
Shopstyle is a great site/app. I search around a lot all the time. When I see things that I love, I gave them. When they go on sale, I consider buying them depending on finances, etc. That said, it makes buying everything within a few weeks hard. You have to open up the concept of when you shop. But this works for me. I’m usually buying for next season or to replace a piece that is failing me. It’s my first year doing this so I fail a lot.
I’m with Brownwyn on the ebay line of thought. I’m really into thrift/consignment store shopping. If you’ve got the patience (and a bit of luck!), you can find some great stuff. It especially easy to find things like fancy dresses/heavy coats which other people will spend a lot of money on, wear a few times and then pass it on when they get bored.
Your coat is beautiful and this outfit is so dang cool! Love it! If I wasn’t about to drop some serious cash on a hardcore winter coat, I would snap this beauty up. I search in a similar way and also try the same searches on Pinterest and also ASOS. ASOS has so many different brands and is such a big store, but they don’t always show up on my google searches. So I think it helps to search your terms specifically on certain store sites. I haven’t tried searching through Polyvore before. Good suggestion. I also second search on ebay.
I’ll do the exact same thing — but I’m so pick about what I buy, and usually have such specific ideas in mind, that it can take forever! I spent two years looking for the perfect pair of black ankle booties. Which probably means I should have bought 2 of them, but I guess I’ll just have to find a good cobbler. =)
Tania [girlwithanakita] says
I do the same thing! I use ShopStyle more than Polyvore. I’ve noticed that Polyvore has more of the fake looking sites based out of Hong Kong than American stores.
If I REALLY love something, I would stalk eBay every so often. I found my prized Michael Kors cognac leather jacket this way for a fourth of the price! It helps when you know your exact size in that particular item.
When the price is just too ridiculous, like the Burberry trench I want, I break it down to see why I love it so much and see I can compromise on a feature with a more affordable brand. OR I sell other things to make it happen.
Hi Tania! Hm…now that I think about it, you’re right — I do notice a lot of those sites on Polyvore. I’m going to try ShopStyle now. Thanks for the rec! :) xo Caroline
I also use ShopStyle! They search a lot of stores I can also go to in person, and not just online. Buying online scares me a lot — I don’t want to go through the hassle of returning and most of the time the fit isn’t how I want it.
I also found this one website called thehunt.com. If there is a particular item that other people are looking for just like me, I follow those “hunts”. I made a hunt of my own as well. It’s a neat idea!
This year I found myself with 3 styles I have been searching high and low ,but I think I missed the biggest season for them.. that would be the wedge booties and wrap coat similar to Caroline’s, and also some shiny cognac booties as well. I do get obsessive and can’t always seem to find them.. but it helps me figure out why I like an item so much and help me figure out my style more.
That coat is just epic! I am guilty of searching my usual shops online and if they don’t have it I throw my hands up in dispair, and give in. But I have found continually googling helps :)
Also loving the new pic of you at the top right of the page, I still am yet to master a classy top knot rather than my I-slept-like-this look. The new about you page is also fab. I adore your photos :)
Thanks for sharing
I found your blog last year from a link posted on “The Small Things Blog” and I have been following you ever since. I love your style!
I know this doesn’t work for all pieces, but if I’m really stuck on the way a certain designer/brand name has done a piece and find myself comparing every dark rinse denim trench coat (for example) to one particular brand name, I do a Google search on that brand’s name + the item. For example, “Selected Femme Coat”. Sometimes, I’ll even throw in the color. I ended up finding the exact coat I wanted for $55 (instead of $230) on a less popular shopping website based in the UK. Of course, to make sure that this website is legit, I do all sorts of Googling to see if I can find any references from other known websites and I read reviews about their customer service.
You look so cozy in that coat! Cheers!
I use ShopStyle over Polyvore like other commenters have mentioned. It seems much more user friendly to me!
I’m a new reader and this topic brings up a question I had about only shopping for a two week period. Let’s say you hadn’t found this perfect jacket. Would you have settled for something else? Would you kick yourself if you saw it a few weeks into your winter capsule?
I’m new to the capsule concept and am trying to reconcile it with my goal to be mindful of quality. This means that once I have an idea for a piece, I sit on it for a looonnng time. I’m worried that if I tried to do a true capsule approach and not shop, I would end up rushing to buy things that may not be a perfect/good quality just so I have stuff to wear. Just curious if you ever have this problem or what you general thoughts are!
Love the blog. I found it at the perfect time in my life.
SUCH a great question. :) In this case, I don’t think I would have settled for something I wasn’t excited about. I’m sure that I do miss out on some cool stuff, but so far I haven’t regretted it.
For example, in the fall, I really wanted this graphic sweatshirt from Madewell, but they were out of stock during shopping week. Later, I found out that they’d been restocked and I had a moment of “Argh!” But, ironically, when I shopped for my winter capsule a few weeks ago, they had ONE left in the store in my size. So I excitedly tried it on … and it turned out I wasn’t that crazy about it and I passed on it.
I always think you should do what’s best for you though. If you find the right piece mid-season, I say do whatever feels right + be confident about your decision. :)
Hope this helps!
Thanks for taking the time to respond! In the long-term I think I will end up with a pseudo-capsule approach and you’re right, I think it’s totally okay :)
I’ve spent the holidays reading all the posts since March and I’m fascinated about your online shopping skills. Do you know your size right on or do you end up returning stuff? I’ve seen my husband buy skate shoes online and I’ve just never seen anything like it! It would totally scare me to buy something and it not fit. Sounds like a lot of work, but I might be wrong…. I’ll try that for 2015! :)
Hi Mary! I actually shop in store as much as possible. If I do order online, it’s usually because I’ve had some experience with the brand or I’ve tried it on in a store already or I just can’t find anything like it in store. I agree with you — I feel like it’s a ton of work to ship something back. But ironically, you could make the same argument about shopping in store. Just comes down to personal preference. :) xo Caroline
When browsing, aside from checking my favorite trusted stores, I like to look on keep.com!
I have a computer post-it note on which I make a little list of the fashion items that I think I REEEEEAAAAALLY want. I have a super small clothing budget, so I’ll look for my wish items on ThredUP ( http://www.thredup.com/r/LOARJH Hello, $150 red jeans for $15.), keep my eyes open when I’m at thrift stores or yard sales, watch for the items to show up on my local classifies Facebook page (sort of like small-town Craigslist), and check at a couple favorite stores when I see there’s a really great coupon or sale (I got my vegan leather moto jacket at American Eagle for less than $40.) When I shop this way I have to be a little flexible on what I want (it’s a lot easier to find “cute, printed leggings” while thrift shopping than “green, pink, and grey fair isle pattern leggings), but I make it work.
Sometimes after looking unsuccessfully for a couple of seasons I decide that I don’t really want fill-in-the-blank item as much as I thought I did. Sometimes I find out that I really did want it but just can’t find it or justify the expense, and I have to let it go. Sometimes I figure out how to make it work with something that was a GREAT deal but is a little different than what I envisioned. Sometimes I decide that it’s worth taking the time to save up and really spurge. And sometimes, when the stars align just so, I find the perfect item for a screaming deal, and I am a very happy girl.
Love how you described all this, Christina. I feel the same way, but haven’t been able to put it into words. :) xo Caroline
I would normally head straight to the shopping sites that I’m familiar with and do a search on those sites. If I couldn’t find anything, I would try brick and mortar stores or just wait for the right piece to come :)
I shop sales… I have a list of things I am interested in purchasing in the future, and I just browse online or in-store sales until I find it (or don’t).
But, the real reason I commented! That jacket looks super cute on you, but the pictures on the website where you bought it don’t do it any favors. If I had only seen those, I wouldn’t think it was a good looking jacket! I actually like the cheaper forever21 version better! They should pay you a commission for making their jacket look better ;)
Love the outfit! Especially the T.
personally, I like checking out ebay, especially if it’s something with a vintage look :)
Love the jacket!
I was searching for an oversized shearling jacket for this winter as well, I went with the eBay approach and found a 100% shearling coat for 100 bucks! I like how you can do a save search so you type in the keywords of the item you’re searching for and it will update you automatically when there are new items available that match your search. If you’re not in the “need it now” hurry I’d say eBay is a good way to shop for nice second hand pieces (I’ve gotten so many great items that I’ve been looking for for a fraction of the retail price, I’m obsessed)!
That’s awesome, Caroline! I’ll have to try that out! xo Caroline
Hey, Caroline, would you tell me a bit about these boots? I love the look and am wondering if you’re wearing them with the straps tightened in these pics… It looks like there’s more length to the straps than I see on Amazon. I’m close to pulling the trigger and ordering them (via your link — I want you to make a commission for the great rec!), but I’m curious about sizing. Did you order your usual size, or did you size up any? Thanks for your help!
Hi Helen! Yes! Actually, I poked a few new holes in the straps so I could wear them a little tighter. They look awesome loose too, but I just wanted them to be a bit more fitted. I need to cut off the extra bit of strap. :) And I actually sized up one and a half sizes — I’m usually a 7, but I got an 8.5. The 8 also fit, but I wanted a little more room for thick socks. Hope this helps! xo Caroline
Ah ha! Thanks so much for the response, Caroline. Another question: What will you use to cut off the extra bit of strap? I like the tighter look and am wondering how I’ll successfully (and neatly!) cut through leather. Suggestions? xx
Trying to figure that out right now, since I want it to look nice and rounded — and intentional. :) I’ll let you know if I come up with something! xo Caroline
I search for what I want on the search engine called dogpile and then hit “shopping” on the left side menu list. Pictures come up with prices. I use dogpile because it is the search engine for other search engines and usually I can find something close to what I want. The other idea, someone mentioned, was searching specifically with long tail keywords on pinterest.
I am in love with the simplicity and chicness of this blog! Every post really seems to draw me in; another great post! I definitely hope to find a new staple piece for my wardrobe soon!
hi Caroline! now that a few years have gone by since this post, I’m curious to know if you still consider these boots stylish? :)