Since thrifting allows for so much variation and experimentation, it is difficult to say with any certainty what my "style rules" are, particularly since I have learned that the old adage "you should never say never" is actually true (How else can I explain why I've started wearing lace-up pointed booties in all sincerity? Here are some pictures from a joke photo shoot we did at Saver's in college. I am wearing my "losing my virginity" outfit).
One thing that I can say with some conviction, however, is that I get a gross feeling wearing anything that is too little girly/frilly/catholic school girl uniform. Maybe it is because I am getting older, or maybe it is because sexualizing little girls is totally gross (almost as gross as grown women desperately clinging to their youth) , but I cannot get down with dressing like I am anywhere between the ages of 11 and 17 (ages before and after this are fair game. I mean really, have you seen how stylish kids are these days? I love it when they are all mismatched and look like a Skittle's factory exploded all over them). That said, there are some items in my closet which verge on the edge of "too innocent," but have made the cut (like this most adorable scalloped collar white button down I just got at work. As this one is a bit boxier than I would like, I am adding this blouse to my thrifting wishlist, should I find one to replace my new one).
Another item is my #4 BLACK FRIDAY THRIFTING pick—the red striped button up jumper with shorts.
I have been really into these jumpers with shorts lately, though it is difficult to wear them at this time of year (though I have been trying, with tights, tall socks, boots, cardigans, etc. etc.), when I just happened to stumble upon this one on my way out of Fox Valley Thrift, I knew I had a winner (tip: always keep an eye open at all times while you are in a store. You never know what treasure you might find hanging off the end of a rack at the absolute last moment). While "jumpers" can easily veer into little girl territory, this one stood the test, with the slightly boxy, button-down top; black dot detail in the pattern; and of course pockets.
I most likely will pair this piece with some black tights and a black cardigan at some point during the next four months, but I anticipate that it will be making quite a few appearances once the snow melts and we once again are blessed with warm weather (here's to hoping).