thrifted blazer

Erica, 28

“I’m wearing vintage Levi’s that I hemmed, Zara booties, a panZi USA tee that I cropped, thrifted oversize blazer, and my favorite red beret. My style is a mix of vintage and classic, masculine and feminine, but is very mood based and always evolving. Red has always been a favorite of mine. I am building a nice little collection of red staples to add a pop of color to my outfits. Oh, and leopard print. I’ve always been a sucker for leopard print.”

Oct 4, 2017 ∙ Union Square

Thrifted Transformations | DIY Cape Blazer by coolirpa



Amazing photo shoot a week ago. I lugged two duffle bags worth of outfits around Brooklyn, changing in the middle of the street, reapplying lip chap, and suffering a broken choker. The price you pay for a proper Instagram modeling career. Yes, the “likes” were worth it. Very fun day, especially pulling together looks–some pieces sitting in my closet for months before finally seeing the light of day.

Top left: Topman Harris Tweed blazers, Tokyo thrift store sweatshirts

Top right: amazing vintage leather coat from an equally amazing friend, Topman mesh tank, Topman trousers, army supply store leather gloves, topshop choker (that tragically broke mere seconds after this photo was taken).

Middle: fucking stunning coat from Vintagewares in Brooklyn, camo jacket from Topman, black hoodie from NVRMND, glasses are Urban for $3 girl

Bottom: Harris Tweed/Tokyo thrift store sweatshirt combo, Topshop boyfriend fit jeans, white dress shoes from Tokyo dept store.

Photos: Valerie (middle shot); Elvir Ali (rest)


My personal best thrift find,             - 2/21/14

Picked up this 1960’s classic double breasted blazer last Friday. I actually noticed it initially for it’s buttons. I am always on the lookout for interesting blazer buttons. A nice set of blazer buttons can run you a couple hundred bucks, and if you are lucky, you might find a set of Ben Silver gold plated buttons in a thrift store, fairly cheap. 

Well, this is no Ben Silver story.

The buttons caught my eye because they had, what I thought were, engravings of Julius Caesar on them. Research turns out they were probably the Greek god of wine, Dionysus. 

But….this is no wine drunk tale of Greek gods or Roman generals

The blazer itself was made by A. Sulka and Company. Quality construction, despite having actually been made in the US. It has all the usual signs of quality, hand stitched lapels and buttonholes, full canvas construction, etc.

This, is not an ode to fine tailoring. 

This post is all about the buttons. I saw the buttons first. I liked the buttons from the beginning, before I even knew the jacket was made by Sulka, before I identified the engraving on the front, and before I checked to see if the were Ben Silver or some other known buttonmonger. Heck, I didn’t even expect them to be anything but hollow brass, or possibly two piece gilt buttons. I certainly didn’t expect them to be so darn heavy in my hand….like they were made of lead or some other weighty metal.

Could it be? I flipped one over, to see who made it. The backs were smooth, and coated with 50 years of dust. I didn’t see any back marks at all. Just a small neat round shank and what seemed like an unusually generous amount of thread attaching it to the breast of the jacket. Just as I flipped the button back over to look at the front again, I saw it….just a little reflection variation on the other side of the shank.  I spun the button around 180 degrees, and read the three small characters under my breath. 14K.

Solid 14K gold, all 12 buttons, 6 large for the front and 3 smaller ones on each cuff. I’m not sure how long I stood there in awe. No one came down the aisle, and I may have been there 5 minutes, speechless, unblinking, possibly not even breathing. I wasn’t even looking for gold buttons, just something that looked cool enough to make a few bucks on…..but hey, it pays to look.

Monday morning I was the first customer in the door at the local jeweler. I had the buttons tested and appraised. The jeweler was enthralled by my story, amazed that anyone would have such a “gold mine” sewn onto their blazer. He paid me $1057 for the buttons. I was ecstatic!

“Easiest grand I ever made” I said, as he handed me the check.

“Well, you have to subtract what you paid for the jacket” the jeweler replied.

“Six bucks” I said with a smile.

“I gotta shake your hand” he said, while simultaneously reaching his hand forward.  I shook it firmly, turned and walked out the door to a beautiful Monday morning. 


Another cummerbund outfit. As I’ve told you guys I’ve really been enjoying the cummerbund here lately. Not only does it give visual interest and adds flare, it can also hide the dreadful over blousing/additional material that can often happen with us plussize guys.

In This Outfit

Shirt 18 ½- Calvin Klein by way of Burlington Coat Factory

Blazer 48- Thrifted for $5

Pant xl- these are actually smart joggers. The have the shape of joggers without the elastic at the ankles.

Cummerbund- thrifted for a $2

Shoes 12- H&M

Nacklace- Rugged Warehouse

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I just read an article on about the Navy Blazer and why every GUY should own one. As I read through I realized they were absolutely right except for one small detail - Every WOMAN should own one as well.

The Navy Blazer is “a closet staple that goes with everything.” It’s so true. So to help you gals, I totally stole their idea and came up with three looks styled around my thrifted Ralph Lauren navy blazer ($7 I’m good) that’s cute and easy.

The Navy Suit
Must have for any businesswoman. Professional and classic but not typical like a black suit. I paired mine with conservative black pumps and a muted blouse. A white oxford would work as well. Great for important meetings and presentations.

Casual Friday
I’m really into classic brands so I paired my blazer with Levi’s and Chuck Taylor’s. Some brown leather loafers would really set this off as well. If your job is a little more strict about casual Fridays try this with a white oxford and tailored khakis.

Fun & Flirty
The great thing about the navy blazer is that you can pair it with almost any bright color. I paired mine with an electric blue pencil skirt. The blazer keeps it professional so you can have fun with your other pieces. It sort of balances everything out. Another fun bright color that pairs well with navy is pink! You can even go out after work in this look.