Announcing “The Real Pretty Shop.” Come on in!

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Welcome to my shop! Today’s fare features handpicked wearables styled with you in mind.

It has to be said, Shannan is totally my inspiration for this venture. {Read my last post or just go here to see what she did.}

I wish I had each ensemble in every possible size but alas, these are one-of-a-kind pairings that I’ve gathered from some of my favorite thrifty places. Each set includes 2-3 items and a list of pairs well with ideas so that you’ll have some ready inspiration for mixing these pieces with what you already have.

You’ll find different styles here, everything from equestrian prep to stripes / boho pattern-mixing. I’m not trying to dress you like me. {My style is a little all over the map anyway.} I simply want you to see all the lovely, thriftable goodness that’s out there just waiting for your real self and your realistic budget.

Not to mention how FUN this was for me to match up these lonely separates with you in mind. {Dream job.}

I hope you’ll begin to see the possibility that waits within your own wardrobe, even if these particular goodies don’t get shipped to your doorstep.

Tomorrow I’m hoping to add some handmade goodies to the shop. {Think beaded tassel bracelets.}  Here’s a sneak peek:

tassel sneak peek
And now, for the goodies you’ve been waiting for:
S-1.1 BR wrap top + necklace S-1.1 collage

You guys. The pictures don’t do this one justice. It’s a heavy-knit, black wrap shirt from Banana. AND this fantastic, vintage-looking, teardrop statement necklace. Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday.

Size Small. Fits true to size. But it’s forgiving either size direction, larger or smaller, because it’s stretchy {hallelujah} + has a wide-banded waist + is a wrap top.


Anything. It’s the little black dress of shirts.

  • Dressy pants or a silk skirt. This could totally be holiday wear. {Don’t forget the red lipstick.}
  • Cigarette pants and flats
  • Bootcut jeans and wedges
  • Skinny jeans and tall boots or booties
  • Put a black cami under it to keep the look cohesive or put a contrasting cami underneath for something fun and colorful.


This is a super versatile and multi-seasonal piece. And that necklace {that I want to keep for myself} is perfection with just about anything.

The photo on the far right up there shows the elastic button thread on the sleeve that’s come loose on one side. And the Banana Republic tag is clipped partially out. Perfectionist Marian almost didn’t put it in the mix for those reasons. But this ensemble is too lovely not to share. So if it were me, I’d just clip off the thread and no one will be the wiser. I doubt people will be inspecting the covered buttons on the sleeve because they’ll be too busy eyeing your necklace.


S-2.1 tweed blazer ensemble w tags S-1.2 collage

This trio right here is glorious. Let’s break it down, shall we?

Old Navy tweed blazer. Size medium but it’s a smaller medium. Pale pink satiny lining, which is perfect because it’s a match made in Heaven with the…

Soft pink Banana Republic Fine Italian Merino Wool sweater. {That’s code for fancy and soft. And also code for I want to marry the luxury that is fine Italian merino wool.} This sweater is like a pink kitten that you can wear. And that asymmetrical row of buttons! Once again, I’m inclined not to share. It’s a medium but like the blazer, I’d say it’s on the small side for a medium.

I think the soft, feminine sweater benefits from the richer colors, textures, and menswear tailoring of the other two pieces. It’s helpful to think in terms of contrast. Opposite is the new matchy-matchy.

The navy and white small-checked oxford is Gap, size small. But it’s roomy for a small which is why it works with the other two pieces.

  • Skinny jeans and tall boots. {Very equestrian.}
  • Skinny jeans with booties
  • Boot-cut jeans with wedges {I’m thinking suede} or some cowboy boots.
  • And you can make countless other outfits with these separates. I wear my blazers with graphic tees or layered over a fitted sweater. Button-ups look great under a tee for a look that’s a bit more hipster. And that sweater, well, you could turn it into a blankie and sleep with it next to your cheek every night even though you’re a grown-up.


I’m sorry that just got weird.


S-1.3 rose cardi ensemble w tags S1.3 collage

For when you want the comfort of pajamas but the look of someone who hasn’t completely given up. These are real clothes that feel like loungewear. Let’s take a closer look.

Banana Republic cardigan, size medium. It has two little wooden buttons that are just for looks. This is one of those cardis that’s loose and drapey and infinitely wearable.

J. Crew vintage cotton, gray, v-neck tee, size medium.

And check out that hand-knit triangle scarf with so much love woven into its soft, snuggly fibers. {I can’t stop with my obsession for all things cozy and soft and kitten-y.}

When you think about a hand-knit triangle scarf, you probably think of your great-grandmother’s shawl. This is not that look. I mean, it can be if that’s your thing but I prefer to let the triangle drape in the front and then wrap the skinnier ends around the back and back up to the front. {Like the picture up there.}

  • Skinnies and booties {probably my personal favorite with this}
  • Leggings
  • Any kind of jean. But don’t go too baggy since this is already a loose and flowy ensemble. Aim for balance.
  • Your sofa and Netflix



S-1.4 coral swing top w tags

S1.4 collage

This color looks great on anyone. For real. We’ll talk about colors another day but if rose and coral and blush all had a baby, it would be this shirt. This is Old Navy, size large. It has an empire-ish waist that gathers at the smallest part of a gal’s torso and provides such a flattering shape. It has a v-neck crossover neckline so grab a cami or tee for underneath. I’ve paired it with a patterned infinity scarf that’s sure to look swell with lots of other pieces in your wardrobe.

This is definitely a multi-season set. A loose cardi or jean jacket for now but also perfect for spring.

  • Skinny pants or jeans. {Again, we’re aiming for balance. Loose and flowy up top mean that you can go with a slimmer look on the bottom.}
  • Jean jacket
  • Longer cardigan
  • Any fall / winter piece like boots, booties, or a sweatery scarf make a lighter-weight top transition perfectly into a colder season. When spring rolls around, swap out the boots for sandals and the scarf for a chunky beaded necklace.



S-1.5 BCBG top w tags

S1.5 collage

I snatched up this fab top as soon as I locked eyes with its striped, perfect-weight, BCBG-ness. This shirt is so awesome that it could stand alone. But I can’t bear to let any piece stand alone so I paired it with this bohemian chevron scarf for some fun pattern-mixing and color. Just go ahead and treat yourself to this ensemble for Thanksgiving. And give thanks for bargain BCBG.

  • Skinnies and booties. Or tall boots. Or flats. You’re the boss.
  • Colored skinnies. A bold, black and white, flowy top like this is begging for some fun color on the bottom to make it pop. I have some chartreuse skinnies I’d loan you but I love them too much. Really, any color skinny jeans or pants would look fantastic with this.
  • Tuck it in and wear it with a skirt, jean jacket, tights, and tall boots or booties.
  • White jeans or pants. {Yeah, you can wear white in winter now. Just call it “winter white” and you’re good to go.} Throw on some wedges and you’ve got yourself a snazzy outfit. I just said snazzy like it’s a real word people still use. It must be getting late.
  • A chunky, beaded, colorful necklace
  • A fun-colored cardigan



S-1.6 world mkt top w tags

S1.6 collage

Doesn’t this make you want to order a Chai latte and gaze out the window? I love the colors of this botanical, flowy top from World Market. It has the most perfect brass buttons at the top. And the sleeves have little ties on the ends threaded with tiny glass beads. I love unexpected details like that. The size on the tag actually says large / extra large.

I’ve paired this very autumnal blouse with a wintry infinity scarf from H&M. The sweater scarf {with sequins woven in — bonus} adds some wintry substance to the lighter weight top. Again, because it’s cotton and 3/4-length sleeves, it’ll transition perfectly into spring.

  • Jeans. Any and all jeans.
  • Any and all cowboy boots.
  • And don’t forget that you can tuck a flowy top into a skirt and it takes on a completely different shape.
  • A wooden beaded necklace.
  • You’ll want to wear this scarf with All The Things for All The Winter Days.
  • Again, a Chai latte. Venti.



Here’s how the shop will work for now while we give it a trial run. I tried to set up the e-commerce feature on my blog but it required code and the gnashing of teeth so I’ll have to wait.

  1. See something you like? Go to the comments section and tell me what number outfit you like.
  2. Then include your PayPal address in the comment box. This is very important. If you don’t include your PayPal address, I can’t send you an invoice. {Or your outfit.}
  3. I’m going to do what Shannan did. In her thrift fix, she let people leave comments for a day or two, set a deadline, and then randomly picked a “winner.” I’m going to do the same thing, at least this time around. So even if someone has already commented on the outfit you want, comment anyway since you all have the same chance to win. The comments will close at 2 pm EST on Wednesday.
  4. I can’t ship your items before payment. Obviously.
  5. All outfits will ship USPS priority mail flat-rate shipping. You guys, shipping is expensive. I really didn’t know. So in an effort to keep this truly affordable, your ensembles will be smushed into a tiny gelatin capsule that you’ll have to soak in water for 20 minutes and then poof, your outfit will dislodge. Kidding! But it will be tightly folded up like origami when it arrives. I apologize for the wrinkles. Blame the USPS. Throw your duds in the dryer with a dryer sheet and a damp towel and you’ll be good to go.
  6. No returns, much as it pains me. {My people-pleasing self hates this rule but it just has to be.} If for any reason an item doesn’t work out, you can pass it along to a friend, split up the items {keep what works for yourself or pass along what doesn’t to someone else}, or donate it to your favorite thrift shop.
  7. Any items that don’t sell before the comment deadline will go in the shop. Or in my closet. {I’m looking at you outfits #1 and #2.} I’m working on “The Real Pretty Shop” button for my sidebar.



I’m exhausted now so it’s your turn. If you spy something you want to purchase, leave a comment with your PayPal address and the the outfit number. {Go here if you don’t have a PayPal account but would like to get one. It’s free and it makes e-commerce super easy and safe.}

Even if no one claims a single thing, this was such fun. And if y’all claim all the things, well, I’ll have more sizes and styles next go ’round and we’ll just see where it all leads.

And keep those ideas for “Real Fashion” posts coming. I can’t wait to make it a regular segment.

You may also like these posts:

That Time I Put Liz Claiborne Labels in My Target Shoes

The Women Who Inspire Me With Real Fashion {And I’m opening a shop. Or shoppe if you want to be fancy.}

Don’t want to miss a post? You can subscribe and have each post delivered right to your inbox. As always, you may unsubscribe any time you like. {I promise not to sell your address to pirates, aliens, spammers, or The Gap.}


  1. Katie says


    I love this. I wish all of them were my size! Almost all my clothes are secondhand. After spending most of two years in developing countries and tending two beauties, I lost track of anything fashionable. Can you do a whole season wardrobe box for people like me!???

    • Marian says

      Deborah, so I know that outfit would have looked fab on you but unfortunately you didn’t win this time. Don’t worry, I’ve got more blazers coming soon so come back next time! Hope you and yours are doing well. : )

    • Marian says

      Joni, thank you for visiting the shop! Unfortunately you didn’t win outfit #5 but hopefully I’ll have some pretty things for you next time and you can try again!

    • Marian says

      Richella, thank you friend! Also, you can put your name in the running for the outfit you want and I “draw” a winner. At least that’s how I’m doing it for now. : ) And I’m working up some more cute smalls / mediums. {Blazers are coming…}

    • Marian says

      Ashlyn, thank you!!! This one ended at 2pm but for future sales, go ahead and put your name in for what you like. For now, I’m drawing a winner if I have more than one person who likes an outfit.

    • says

      I haven’t seen all of these films, but am thrilled that the important historical doc, How to Survive a Plague, is among them. Saw it at Sundance. See this film, created by cobbling together some 700 hours of film, much of which came from hand held camcorders, and be sooo enlightened about the courageous acts of ACT UP and TAG. Makes one see new possibilities of raising up in protest.


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