Photographed by: Daniella Guzzo Photography

So this is what thirty-nine feels like, hey?  Ok…I can handle it!  I mean, I could do without some of the aches and pains in my joints, and maybe the gray hairs too, but all in all I’m feeling pretty great!  Turning forty is going to be a breeze – hahaha! (awkward laughter as I grip onto the arms of my office chair in terror
)

I laugh a little when I think back to when I was in my twenties; I thought I had it all figured out back then.  I had a good job, was bombing around in my “new” used car, I had a busy social life
you know, I was living the dream – lol!  Well not quite.  The reality is that I was still a baby.  I was exploring life and just scratching the surface of my potential.

By the time I turned thirty, I morphed into a more mature person and began eliminating the things in my life that were holding me down.  I call these things the “F” words:  Fears, “Friends” and Fantasies.  I started letting go of the fears I had of not being good enough or worthy of success.  I dropped the people in my life that called themselves “friends” and in fact were toxic and negative.  Most importantly, I let go of the expectations and the fantasies that filled my head about where I should be in life compared to where everyone else was.  Instead of comparing myself to others, I began celebrating my amazing accomplishments with others and nurtured my development and growth.  F#@k!, I loved my thirties for that! Oops…didn’t mean to use the “F” word!;)

Nadia Albano, Faux Leopard Fur Coat, Daniella Guzzo Photography

Nadia Albano, Faux Leopard Fur Coat, Daniella Guzzo Photography

All of these experiences have allowed me to grow wiser and more instinctual.  They’ve help me make clearer decisions and allowed me to enjoy life much more, with a lot less.  And it’s interesting that in the last 20 years or so, three things have always been constant in my life.

  1. My strong intuition and instincts.   I’ve always listened to my intuition and followed my gut instinct on everything.  It’s provided great strength in the desicsions that I’ve made over the years and built up my “intestinal fortitude”.
  2. My sense of humor.  Laughter makes everything better.  At the end of the day, no matter how things turn out, laughter is the best remedy.  It breaks the tension, attracts positive energy, changes your perspective and…burns calories – hahaha!  Bob Marley was quoted in saying, “A smile is the best curve on a woman’s body”.  You bet your bootie, Bob!  And I’ll add that it’s a woman’s most unique accessory.
  3. My love for second-hand  shopping.  Ok, maybe this one’s not as deep as the others but any time I need to escape the world for a while, I go hunting for treasures and it’s always so thrilling and creative for me.   It allows me to decompress, take my mind off of things and get inspired; not to mention add some cool stuff to my wardrobe and home decor, while recycling!  AND…Thrifting is like hunting; it requires patience, a good eye and great instinct – you gotta get it before it’s gone!
Nadia Albano, Faux Leopard Fur Coat, Value Village, Leather Jacket, Winners, Trousers, Club Monaco, Shoes, Manolo Blahnik, Daniella Guzzo Photography

Nadia Albano, Faux Leopard Fur Coat, Value Village, Leather Jacket, Winners, Trousers, Club Monaco, Shoes, Manolo Blahnik, Daniella Guzzo Photography

Outfit Details:

I’m thrilled to be partnering with Value Village and Eco Fashion Week for an incredible fashion event on April 9 – 14.  I’m taking the “Thrift Store Challenge” and pulling together a collection using clothing from Value Village.  I’m excited to share my collection and hope that you can all come out to support the event.

This week’s look combines elements of designer fashions with mainstream and second-hand finds.  The core of my outfit is black, which is always chic and timless, and my statement piece in this entire ensable is this gorgeous faux fur leopard coat.  I got it at Value Villiage, with my friend Claire, for only $69 and it’s to die for!!  My trousers are from Club Monaco (from last years) and I coordinated them with this black mock-neck short sleeved knit sweater from Winner.  I wanted to expose a little skin (and my great pedicure) and chose to do so with these beautiful metalic Manolo Blahnik shoes from Holt Renfrew.

Note: Each of these pieces that I’m wearing are essentials wardrobe “must-haves” as they can be stylized with pretty much everything in my closet, and in many different ways.

Style Tip:

  • Change the look of a great pair of shoes by adding fun shoe clips.  I found these gold bow ties at Value Village and they were the perfect match with these shoes!
  • Incorporate leather into an outfit to up the cool factor.  Don’t be afraid to wear your light weight leather jacket in place of your blazer.
  • Incorporate pattern into your wardrobe to add a little #NadittudeTM to your look.  It keeps things interesting and fun.
  • Have fun mixing hi-end items with mid-range and second-hand pieces.  It’s a great way to maximize your budget.  Plus,  Patricia Field does it all of the time!
Nadia Albano, Faux Leopard Fur Coat, Value Village, Leather Jacket, Winners, Trousers, Club Monaco, Shoes, Manolo Blahnik, Daniella Guzzo Photography

Nadia Albano, Faux Leopard Fur Coat, Value Village, Leather Jacket, Winners, Trousers, Club Monaco, Shoes, Manolo Blahnik, Daniella Guzzo Photography

Nadia Albano, Faux Leopard Fur Coat, Value Village, Leather Jacket, Winners, Trousers, Club Monaco, Shoes, Manolo Blahnik, Daniella Guzzo Photography

Nadia Albano, Faux Leopard Fur Coat, Value Village, Leather Jacket, Winners, Trousers, Club Monaco, Shoes, Manolo Blahnik, Daniella Guzzo Photography

Nadia Albano, Gold Shoes, Manolo Blahnik, Daniella Guzzo Photography

Nadia Albano, Gold Shoes, Manolo Blahnik, Daniella Guzzo Photography

Nadia Albano, Faux Leopard Fur Coat, Value Village, Leather Jacket, Winners, Trousers, Club Monaco, Daniella Guzzo Photography

Nadia Albano, Faux Leopard Fur Coat, Value Village, Leather Jacket, Winners, Trousers, Club Monaco, Daniella Guzzo Photography

Nadia Albano, Leah Alexandra, Moonstone Sunny Ear Jackets, Daniella Guzzo Photography

Nadia Albano, Leah Alexandra, Moonstone Sunny Ear Jackets, Daniella Guzzo Photography

Accessories:

I chose simple accessories for this look so not to compete with the the leopard coat.  These lovely Moonstone Sunny Ear Jackets, and my Adjustable Pear Shape Ring are by Leah Alexandra and are the perfect fit!

Nadia Albano, Faux Leopard Fur Coat, Value Village, Leather Jacket, Winners, Daniella Guzzo Photography

Nadia Albano, Faux Leopard Fur Coat, Value Village, Leather Jacket, Winners, Daniella Guzzo Photography

Nadia Albano, Leah Alexandra, Adjustable Pear Ring, Faux Leopard Fur Coat, Value Village, Daniella Guzzo Photography

Nadia Albano, Leah Alexandra, Adjustable Pear Ring, Faux Leopard Fur Coat, Value Village, Daniella Guzzo Photography

Nadia Albano, Faux Leopard Fur Coat, Value Village, Leather Jacket, Winners, Trousers, Club Monaco, Accessories, Leah Alexandra, Daniella Guzzo Photography

Nadia Albano, Faux Leopard Fur Coat, Value Village, Leather Jacket, Winners, Trousers, Club Monaco, Accessories, Leah Alexandra, Daniella Guzzo Photography

Thanks for reading, friends.  I hope this has inspired you to start thrifting.  Remember: shop, reuse and reimagine!

Happy Weekend, Everyone!