a personal style blog by Lauren Pfieffer

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Secondhand First

Secondhand clothing has always been the glue that holds my personal style together. Since I was 16 years old, I've looked to thrift stores, church rummage sales, estate sales, auctions, and consignment stores to drive the inspiration behind why I dress the way I do. Shopping secondhand has never been something I was ashamed or embarrassed by, and I personally couldn't ever understand why others viewed it that way. I wear clothes that someone else already wore? Cool! That gives my wardrobe a rich story, my style a unique twist, my community a voice, and my earth a second chance. Ain't nothing shameful about any of that.

Throughout the years, this blog has always been one part a way for me to document my personal style evolution, but also (I hope!) a platform that helps redefine misconceptions about shopping secondhand. Since recently focusing on my Instagram and blog more, I really wanted the things I cared about and am passionate for to be the center of what  I shared. I've been starting to post more try ons at the thrift store, styling hauls, completely thrifted OOTDs, and hope to soon share other accounts in the thrift community that inspire me! Through focusing more on this type of content, the response from you guys has been so unexpectedly wild. I've received so many messages from followers who were inspired by my tips, and went out to thrift for the very first time! I've also had people tell me I completely changed the way they thought about second clothing, and they're now obsessed. Nothing make me happier or feel more fulfilled that helping others discover the magic of secondhand shopping!

Something I'm really excited to dip my toes into and share my first time experience with you guys is online secondhand shopping! In-store has always been what I'm most comfortable with and I don't shop online at all, so this concept has really intrigued me for awhile now. The kind people at ThreadUP recently reached out to see if I wanted to select some pieces to try on and style. I made a challenge for myself to create a full look with the $30 credit they gifted me, and this is what I came up with!

Just like thrifting, you have to start with an idea of what you're looking for because ThreadUP receives over 15,000 new listings A DAY. No wonder they're known as the largest online thrift store! I knew I wanted an easy dress I could throw on for the hot days ahead, so I selected this paisley midi for only $13.99. Hats are also a huge style staple for me to spice up a minimal outfit, so I chose this grey felt brimmed hat for $12.99. To finish off the look, I cinched my waist with a grey woven belt for only $1.99, and I came in just under $30.

The whole process was super seamless and I would actually be really interested in investing in some name brand pieces for less next time I shop with ThreadUP. I really enjoyed how you could narrow down by brand, and they had some of my favorites like Madewell, Dooney and Bourke, and Coach for less. If you would like to try ThreadUP yourself, visit through here and receive $10 off your first order!

I wanted to share my experience with you guys because I really loved the idea of a more tailored online secondhand experience for those of you who get overwhelmed with traditional thrifting. What are your thoughts? Do you enjoy traditional secondhand shopping or the online option? I'd love to hear!

With much love, Lauren

Outfit details: 
dress c/o of ThreadUP | hat c/o ThreadUP | belt c/o ThreadUP | coach purse thrifted | sandals forever21 | necklace thrifted 

*Disclaimer - I was not paid in partnership with ThreadUP, but they did kindly gift me store credit for these pieces. All thought and opinions (as always) are my own!*

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Maturing My Personal Style

For those of you who have followed me throughout the years, you know my style has changed a lot overtime. From authentic vintage outfits in high school, to more twee-style dressing in college, it took me awhile to find what exactly my personal style was when I moved to New York. Vintage will always be a part of my style no matter what age I am or where I'm living. Although I enjoy traditional shopping in ready-to-wear stores, nothing gets my heart beating quite like a trip to the thrift store. 

dress thrifted
similar: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

blazer thrifted
similar: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

In the last two years, I've really wanted to start developing a more mature and refined style for myself that is still reflective of my love for vintage, but definitely does have nods to modern style. Living in NYC can be incredibly inspiring to see the world's best fashion right there on the street in front of you, styled by everyday women. It can also be incredibly disheartening because I don't have unlimited budget, and a lot of these fashion-forward pieces may not flatter my best assets. What's a good middle for being inspired, but not letting the inspiration make you feel bad about yourself?
heels forever21
similar: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

I would say the perfect medium looks something like this outfit here! This is a very NYC inspired outfit -- neutral colors, simple shapes, and the ability to look effortless (even when you put in a hell of a lot of effort). All the items in this look aside from my shoes are thrifted, but still have an elevated polished look to them. This dress in particular has been a piece I've reached for over and over throughout the years since thrifting it. I've worn it styled classic here, with a little bit of a cool edge here, and retro inspired here The look I'm wearing in these photos may just be my favorite yet...

purse thrifted 
similar: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
With an oversized boyfriend blazer, this look could easily be worn to the office in the morning, then paired down with no jacket in the evening for a dinner date. I'm finally at the point in my life where I understand the need for versatile, multi-use dressing. All those magazine articles I read growing up must have stuck!

Hope you all are having a great week so far. If you aren't already, come follow along with my week on Instagram. It's been a busy one so far with three interviews and another one to go tomorrow!

With much love, Lauren

Thursday, June 7, 2018


Since leaving my full-time job, I've had a few people ask me if I had plans to transition into a full-time influencer instead of going back to the 9-to-5. Not necessarily have I contemplated becoming an 'influencer,' but I have thought about taking on a combination of self-employed roles like blogging, selling vintage, and offering freelance social media services to smaller businesses grow their social following.

jeans - Target
similar 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

For me, I've always worked in fast-paced, busy work environments like being a hostess, a sales associate, a barista, and most recently a social media coordinator. None of my work experience has ever been described as "relaxed," so the thought of working on my own terms as a freelancer was definitely an intriguing possibility.  How nice would it be to work from the comfort of my own bed every day, on my own schedule, creating stuff I love? Sounds like my (anyone's!) kind of dream.

bag - thrifted 
similar 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Over the last three weeks as I've been applying for jobs and interviewing, I've gotten a taste of what freelance work could be like. Most of my days start out in the morning working on my job search, then in the afternoons I work on my blog, Instagram, and budding vintage store on Etsy. Dedicating hours to these things was exciting at first, but now I find myself waking up with less gumption and inspiration. I feel unfulfilled, a bit lost, and sort of like I'm just throwing spaghetti at the wall, hoping it sticks. Freelance is definitely not what I thought.

What influencers do is incredible. I've seen both sides of the job from the brand side, to also working as a micro-influencer myself. There is truly so much behind the scenes work you don't see in what these content creators do. After taking these last few weeks to dive into this and explore what my next stepping stone may be, I'm not sure I could ever trade a full-time job for an influencer/freelance role. I'm fueled by busy days that fly by in a blink of an eye. I need structure to feel a sense of purpose and accomplishment. I miss interacting with co-workers and building bonds with others through teamwork. If you asked me three weeks ago I would have never said this but...I miss that 9-to-5 grind. It makes me feel fulfilled. 

shoes - thrifted
similar 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

This transition period of my life has been a very important one. I'm happy I let myself explore options to discover what makes me truly happy. I will always love making content, and it's been an absolute joy to come back to blogging as a creative outlet. I think I want it to remain just that though -- an outlet. I never want doing what I love to turn into something that feels like a chore or something I resent. I can't wait to see what my next chapter holds, whatever it may be.

With much love, Lauren

other outfit details:
blouse thrifted (similar) |  scarf thrifted (similar) | belt thrifted | hat target (similar)


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Living with Anxiety in New York City | Part II

Nearly two years ago I wrote a post on this blog about living with anxiety in New York City after having been recently diagnosed with anxiety disorder. Although this post is now a few years old, it often pops up in google search results and I still receive emails and private messages from others who connected with my story.

Last month I had an incredible opportunity to work with a senior - Fabiola Torres -- from the New York Film Academy on a project highlighting what it's like living with anxiety (and other mental illnesses). The opportunity seemed to come at the perfect time, as I had recently put in a resignation at my job and was starting to my experience anxiety again. It was/has been a difficult topic for me to discuss publically. 

Because I had my anxiety under control for so long, it almost felt shameful to have to face it again. Even now as I write this, it's difficult for me to say aloud and acknowledge this debilitating, uncontrollable feeling. Anxiety for me was so easy to hide because I was more afraid of being seen as weak or relying on it as a crutch for why I couldn't do something. This fear helped quell anxious habits or thoughts, and I was able to live fairly undetected of the true issues I had going on.

Now entering my third week unemployed as I continue to search for a new job, it's a little bit harder to hide the anxiety and terror I feel on a daily basis. I wake up every day filled with dread, wondering if I made the right decision to leave a stable job to pursue my passion. Enjoying my days are difficult -- I don't take time to let myself relax because it feels like I should be applying to new places, adjusting my resume, going on interviews --- anything. All in all, I feel somewhat like a loser, definitely terrified, and truly lost for the first time since moving to New York City. 

Participating in this video helped remind me that I made it through these dark times once, and I can do it once more. Trying to keep my head high and do what I've always done -- put all of me into all I do. Passion and hard work will not go unnoticed or unrewarded. I can do this, and you can do it too if you are struggling with anxiety, OCD, or depression. 

Thank you to Fabiola Torres and Catherine Kobayahsi for the incredible opportunity. You can check out more of Fabiola's work here

With much love, Lauren

Sunday, June 3, 2018

New York City Eats- Taiyaki, Smorgasburg, & Van Leeuwen!

vintage macrame bag

vintage macrame bag
Happy Sunday all!

I hope it's been a lovely weekend so far for you. Mine has been quite...filling to say the least! New York City has endless options of foods & sweet treats, and I seemed to have taken advantage of all of them at once this weekend. Friday I celebrated my 2 year anniversary living in New York City with one of my absolute favorite treats -- Taiyaki! A Taiyaki is a Japanese dessert that features a fish-shaped waffle with ice cream piled inside. The NYC location has delicious flavors like matcha and black seasame, or traditional American flavors like vanilla and chocolate. Taiyaki is a must visit if you're coming to the city!
Taiyaki NYC
On Saturday I went to Smorgasburg, which is a food festival hosted in Brooklyn every weekend during the summer (Williamsburg on Saturday & Prospect Park on Sunday). There's over 100 vendors carrying all sorts of food varieties -- there's too many to list, so see them all here! Smorgasburg is another place I highly recommend if you're visiting the city. It's a great way to try many of the top eateries in NYC all in one place. Plus, there's a simply stunning view of Manhattan to enjoy while you eat! Yesterday I got jerk chicken dumplings with a pineapple sauce, then topped it off by splitting mozzarella sticks with my roommate. Still can't get over the seasoning on those!

Finally, I tried the infamous Van Leeuwen ice cream in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Van Leeuwen is a cult-favorite here in NYC, known for using fresh ingredients and having a robust selection of vegan ice cream. Locations can be found throughout Brooklyn & Manhattan, but all the ice cream is made in Greenpoint! I tried a single scoop of the peanut butter and marshmallow crunch and man oh man... it may have been the best ice cream I've ever had. 

van leeuwen ice cream in greenpoint

vintage macrame bag

vintage macrame bag

vintage macrame bag
Today, I'm definitely taking a break today from all the heavy eating and hoping to simply relax & get some work done! I'm excited to share these outfit photos with you all that I took last week, featuring this beautiful vintage handbag. I found this vintage macramé bag during my last visit to Ohio for $2 at my favorite store, Volunteers of America. This bag features stunning handwoven macramé and a really unique wooden handle. I actually set the bag down too hard a few week back and snapped the handle in half -- I was devastated! Luckily, a little bit of wood glue did the trick & the bag was back in business. I've been finding a ton of lovely vintage handbags recently in my thrift adventures -- looking forward to sharing them with you all soon!

With much love, Lauren 

outfit details:
dress thrifted (similar)| bag thrifted (similar from UO- comes in black) | headscarf thrifted (similar) | heels old navy - also comes in black!
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