Gettin’ Guesty with Zoë Cullie of Haiku Ambulance

We have ANOTHER great contributor this week for Gettin’ Guesty!

Please help me welcome:

Zoë Cullie of Haiku Ambulance

We sat down (virtually) and chatted about how to dress great without spending major bucks. She a lover of thrift stores, style and is a fellow Denverite!

I’m pumped to share her Q&A with ya’ll.

And Then We Saved: How do you craft your outfits? Where does your inspiration come from?

 Haiku Ambulance: Each outfit is entirely built out of spontaneity and is inspired by any number of things. Most importantly these things: the weather, my mood, anything I’ve recently seen in a movie, online, or read in a book. But my real inspiration mainly comes from other blogs and the items I find in the thrift stores. 

ATWS: What are the biggest “tricks” and tips that you use when buying/looking for vintage/thrift items?

 HA: I think that hands down, the number one best trick is to look in every section. Some of my best pieces have come from either the children’s section, plus size, or lingerie. Try to think about it logically: you aren’t in a store that is selling the same piece in every size. Looking for a shrunken blazer? Look in the children’s section or sizes smaller than you. Looking for oversized items? Search a few sizes up. And always remember that the people in the thrift stores aren’t putting everything back properly. Either way it will pay off for you to look everywhere even if it seems time consuming. And also keep in mind that vintage sizing is wildly different than today’s, so a lot of the best vintage will be several sizes larger on the tag than what you are today. Also buy books on collectible items- things you would never imagine to be worth anything are sometimes the crap that sells for thousands. Read up and you will make better “investments.” 

ATWS: What is the best/worst thing about buying vintage/thrift?

 HA: The thrill of the hunt is one of the best feelings ever in the whole entire world. Knowing that you and you alone, were the one to find a certain item is incredible. Especially when that item is usually $2-$9. I think the overall “yuckiness” of thrifting is the worst. I have definitely gotten pink eye from a thrift store and wore trousers that smelled like manure because I failed to wash them prior to wearing. Always take hand sanitizer: that’s another great rule.

ATWS: What are your wardrobe basics/essentials?

 HA: For me the essentials are a perfectly fitting/feeling: blazer, pair of jeans, and high waisted skirt. And obviously you would need to throw some shirts and shoes in the mix, so you aren’t walking around with your boobies and dirty bare feet hanging out. 

ATWS: What’s the greatest item you’ve found while thrifting?

 HA: Oh goodness. The greatest item I have found… Boy. I have some really fantastic fur coats that are just insane. But I think that each item has the potential to be the best. At least at its own time, each item makes me just as excited as the last. And if we’re judging by how much use an item has received, then hands down it is my black blazer that did indeed come from the children’s section.

ATWS: When you buy new items what are you on the lookout for/what strikes you when you’re shopping “new”?

 HA: When I buy new things I seem to buy more trendy items. I also have pretty much decided that (for the most part) I will continue buying new shoes. My feet are an awful wreck from buying vintage shoes that never quite fit right. 

ATWS: How long does it take for you to get your outfits together? How do you motivate yourself to take pics in the morning outside when it’s freezing out!?

 HA: I wake up with roughly an hour’s time to get ready. I never plan anything ahead of time, so that certainly causes some chaos around the house from time to time. I honestly take the blog photos in all of four minutes before we go to work, so the freezing temps don’t matter all that much when it goes by so quickly! And when it’s cold it we can expedite the process in like two minutes.

ATWS: Have you always been into fashion? If not, when did you become interested in it?

 HA: I’ve always been a thrifter and I’ve always been into clothes. I think that getting into fashion itself actually came later in life. I have had an affinity for theatre and costume design, but my style was a bit more campy and silly until a few years ago. I’m glad to see that I’ve come a little ways since then.

ATWS: How long have you been blogging? Your biggest features/honors?

HA: I have been blogging for well over five years now, but I did my first ever outfit post a year and two months ago. I feel like every feature is an honor. I was exceptionally thrilled to be approached by and certainly 303Magazine was one of the most exciting things ever to happen. 

ATWS: You are the recent recipient of the 303 Denver Style Award! (Congratulations!) How did that feel to get that award?

 HA: Totally bizarre. It was a series of happenstance that ended up being utterly amazing. My dad was there when I accepted the award and it was truly awesome to see him so proud of me over something that I started as a hobby. And 303Magazine is such a great publication—it really puts out some great and gorgeous issues so I couldn’t be more humbled to be acknowledged by such a killer Denver institution.


Zoë Cullie of Haiku Ambulance ● THANK YOU ● for being a part of And Then We Saved!


2 thoughts on “Gettin’ Guesty with Zoë Cullie of Haiku Ambulance

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  1. Katie

    Love this post!! Zoe, you're super adorable!

    I am a huge fan of thrift and vintage stores for shopping. It takes a fair amount of hunting, but you can find some amazing pieces. I've gotten vintage coats, a Chanel bag for $7, and even some tap shoes! It's also a great place to source fabric- even if the dress is way ugly and has Golden Girls-esque shoulder pads, the fabric might be really cute and can be taken apart and made into something new. :)


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