Tuesday, July 9, 2013


I tend to meet people in somewhat random ways. Like the couple that I met in a grocery store. Or the fact that I met my husband through Facebook. Well, I did it again. When I told Jeremy that I wanted to meet up with Crystal from Seoul Sold when we went to Seoul for the weekend, he gave me the side eye. You know, the one that your loved ones give you when they think you might have lost it. He asked me if I actually knew her. Well...kind of. Knowing someone in the blogging world is just as good right?....I was actually relieved to hear that she had the same conversation with her husband. All through breakfast she kept tapping him on the shoulder saying 'See, I told you they would be normal'. Glad we passed the test!
thrifting in seoul
Uh-mazing fresh squeezed lemonade mixed with Sprite
I guess outside the blogging world it's just not that common to meet up with perfect strangers and have them for breakfast in your home. Odd. I'm glad neither Crystal or I had any qualms about it because we had such a blast! Jeremy and I headed up to Seoul Friday night with some good friends of ours Erin and Ryan (the couple that we stalked met in the grocery store) only to find out that the guest house we were staying at gave one of our rooms away. Thankfully we had stand up husbands who offered to take the shared dorm room while Erin and I slept quite comfortably in the double room (sorry boys!). Either way, the All-American breakfast that Crystal made for us the next morning at her place more than made up for it! I think my favorite part was actually that she had the liquid coffee mate creamer from the shop on the Army Base where she lives. That stuff is impossible to find anywhere in Korea! When I get back home, I'm going to be that weird person proudly displaying every.single.flavor of coffee mate in my fridge. Please and thank you.
thrifting in seoul
After breakfast the girls headed out for a morning of thrift shopping. This is something that I would frequent back home but since moving in Korea, I have had no idea where to go. Thrift stores aren't common here since there is a stigma of used items having the spirit of the previous owner. That's part of the reason why practically new furniture can be found lying on the side of the street (lucky for us). Luckily this isn't true for everyone because once you do find the thrifting areas, it's a gold mine!
thrifting in seoul
Crystal was kind enough to show Erin and me some spots she often goes and introduced us to the ladies she knows that run it. All three of us made out with excellent finds. Me, with three skirts and two dresses for just $36! That's what I love about thrifting, you can get unique, well made pieces for a fraction of the cost in the stores! And all the stuff I found were similar to the retro clothing styles that you find in the stores now. I love finding new ways to save money and find cute clothes (that actually fit!) while living abroad.
thrifting in seoul
Searching through the many bags of clothes
I had such a great time with Crystal shopping and getting to know her better. She's just as sweet in person as she is on her blog! I just wish she was sticking around in Seoul longer but sadly, this sweet girl is heading back to the states soon. If you haven't already, go check out her blog and her Etsy store. She has some adorable pieces for sale that she found in the markets that we went to!

I realize the above photo has nothing to do with thrifting but it's my favorite from the weekend. After thrifting she took us to food alley which is just cart and stall right after each other of different types of Korean food. She had us try 'drug kimbap' (kimbap with a spicy mustard sauce) which may just be the most amazing thing I've ever tasted, it definitely lives up to it's name because that stuff is addictive!

Oh and just as an added bonus, Crystal was kind enough to answer some questions for me on tips and tricks of rummaging through heaping piles of clothes while thrift shopping!
How is thrift shopping different in Seoul compared to the States?
Thrift shopping in Seoul is like a marathon vs. the states. When I go shopping in Seoul, I pretty much have to block off the better part of a day so that I can make sure that I have the time to investigate all the nooks and crannies of the markets that I visit. In America if you don’t have a care you are kind of SOL when you want to go shopping because you have to consider how will you get around and transport all your loot home, but Korea’s amazing transit system let’s me go wherever I want to shop in an instant. In addition to the great transit system I feel like things are not as centrally located in America like in Korea and so any shopping, and thrifting for that matter has a ‘shop till you drop’ feel because there is always ONE more stall that you want to get to.
How can you tell if something will be a good match for your Etsy shop?
I try to think about if I would like it and then I try to take myself out of my own personal tastes to really see the garment. Just because neon florals are not my thing doesn’t mean that it’s not on someone else’s must-have list and I think picking a well made, visually interesting, and detailed garment is the key to keeping the shop interesting. I’ve also tried to make note of what kind of items seem to go quickly and whenever I come across them I make sure to snap them right up!
What are some tips of the trade for thrift shopping?
I would advise anyone who wants to thrift seriously to have realistic expectations of what the trip will be like and what you might find. A lot of people go into thrift shopping like they are shopping in a chain store or boutique and that is just not the case. Thrifted clothing will have imperfections and often times will have show it’s age so when you consider a thrifted or vintage item you can’t expect a perfect item. Keep an eye out for something special that shines despite it’s age because with persistence and patience anyone can create an affordable and unique closet.

How can you tell if something will fit without trying it on?
I’ve gotten really good at eyeballing my size and can usually tell if something will fit without even measuring it, but that wasn’t the case when I first moved to Korea. Here are two tricks that I rely on to make sure that I get the perfect fit:
1. Keep a tape measure handy because measuring the bust and waist of an item is much simpler than trying to pull it on over your clothes.
2. I know the size of my neck. I know it sounds weird, but it’s a really common trick to getting a quick measurement on an item’s waistline. What you do is measure the total circumference of your neck, and make sure to memorize the magic number! Once you know this magic number, double it, and compare it to your actual waist measurement. Is the number you got from your neck spot on or is it an inch or two off? Next, take the item in question and wrap the waistband around your neck. If your neck measurement turned out to be smaller than your waist and the garment in question won’t even go around your neck then you can safely put it back. Using your neck as a measuring tool is a good base measurement that can allow you to make a snap decision if your tape measure isn’t around.

Any other bloggers out there have to convince your husband's that meeting up with bloggers you only know online is totally normal?