Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thrifty Thursday a la Paris

A little french inspiration for your Thursday... starting with a black and white striped tee as the inspiration for this outfit:
Fab Striped 3Q Top - Forever 21, $9.50

I'd pair it with the knit (how cool, a knit motorcycle jacket?)  jacket below from Forever21.  For a more relaxed look, try leaving it unzipped.

Knit Moto Jacket in Grey,, $15.50

Add a little delicate detail to the outfit with a thin silver chain or chains over top of the striped shirt, like this one below for $4.80 from Forever21.

Feathered Lavaliere Chain

Pair those tops with one of these two pairs of super cheap jeans, also from Forever21.  I picked two because I really think you could make this otufit work with either type of pant.  Yes, it would look more french inspired with the black skinny pant, but since we all know that the skinny doesn't work for everyone, the other option is cheaper and just as cute.
(L) Fab Flare Jean, $14.50 (R) H81 Double Stiched Skinny, $24.90

Add a simple, cute pair of black patent ballet flats from Target and... VOILA!  A cute french inspired and thrifty find for your Thursday.

Mossimo Odell Flat in black patent,, $12.99

Total cost: With Skinny Jean: $68, With Flared Jean $58

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Comfy Weekend

It's wednesday and I am really looking forward to the weekend.  I get so sick of wearing heels and skirts and uncomfortable dress shirts - often times I day dream about the possibility of wearing warm sweaters and jeans to work... maybe I should let my boss know that I would be more productive in comfortable clothes... "No, of course I wouldn't fall asleep!" ... I digress.  I was thinking today about a preppy/comfortable/casual weekend outfit for the fall... I've got something perfect for all of you that want to look cute on the weekends but still feel warm and comfortable.

I'll tell you something I love... stripes.  I don't wear them too often because they're really not that flattering, but as a layer underneath something else, they add a preppiness and visual interest to a casual outfit.  Take for example, this striped shirt from the Gap.  Anything with the word "Supersoft" in the name of it... sign me up. This tee will be the basis for the outfit - I like it because the grey and white stripes aren't too overwhelming.

Supersoft Rubgy T,, $19.50

Add a layer on top, especially if you aren't comfortable with the horizontal stripes, and to add some depth to the outfit.  With the grey/white combo, I love this "warm maize" cashmere sweater from J. Crew (don't you feel more comfortable already, just reading this!?)

Cashmere Cardigan V-Neck,, $168

You could wear the sweater buttoned or unbottoned.. I think it would look good either way.

Now... I found these jeans today and I think they are so perfect for weekend casual.  A really nice rich color, without being too dark.  They are also a really good cut that would flatter all body types and would be good with heels or with flats.  If you are going to wear them with flats, I recommend getting them tailored to the proper length.  Cuffing pant legs to shorten them can work for a period of time, but eventually the bottom will fray and you will end up with a hole in jeans where the cuff was - aggravating!

Emma Boot Stretch in Dark Contrast,, $80

Last piece of the puzzle to round out the preppy-comfy look is these Driving Mocs from J.Crew.  They come in a variety of colors, but I like them for this outfit in the Chocolate color.  It plays off the richness in the sweater and the brown buttons on the sweater.

Montobello Leather Driving Mocs in Chocolate,, $98

The pefect accessory to top the outfit off, and also to add another dimension of color to the outfit is this Dillon Satchel from Dooney and Bourke.  The burgundy color would blend well with the brown and dark yellow in the rest of the outfit, without being too matchy (something like a dark brown bag that matched the shoes might be a little boring). 

Dillon Satchel from Dooney and Bourke,, $235

I'll be back tomorrow for some Thrifty Thursday finds.  Enjoy your Wednesday evening - we're halfway through the week!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thrifty Thursday ... deal finder edition!

Hi All!
Thought I would mix it up a little this Thursday and give you tips for where I find my best thrifty (and still fashionable!) deals... so that you can too!

Work pants - BANANA REPUBLIC!  This place is a goldmine for sales on dress pants.  I have 5 pairs of pants from Banana that are on a heavy rotation in my Mon-Fri wardrobe and they all came from the sale rack at Banana for under $35.  I can admit I have a problem... I probably stop by Banana once per week to check the sale rack.  However, I would advise to steer clear of the dresses and shirts on their sale racks because they don't mark them down very far.

Workout Clothes - TJ Maxx.  People don't often think to shop here for workout clothes, but they usually have a pretty good stock.  I've gotten sports bras for 2.50, shorts for $7.  Unless you are a marathoner or an athlete than needs special gear, bypass the Dick's Sporting Goods and head to TJ Maxx or Marshalls.

Bras/Underwear - I'll be honest, I've been known to frequent the 5 for $25 section in the front of Victoria's secret for underwear, but I have never and will never buy a $40 bra from there.  Those of you that know me know that I wasn't necessarily genetically blessed in the chest department, but I still like a good bra.  I've found some great bras at Target that last just as long and are actually more comfortable than Victoria's Secret.  Give it a try - you'll save yourself a lot of money!  Oh and recently, Forever 21 started making bras... and the convertible nude bra that I have is amazing/comfortable/CHEAP! ($4.80)

Jewelry - I have two really nice things that I have gotten as gifts from the boyfriend, but other than that, all of my jewelry comes from Forever 21.  I lose jewelry constantly, so I can't justify spending a lot on it.  I'd suggest buying your trendy pieces from Forever 21 because you won't be bummed if you think it's super ugly the next season if you only spent 6 dollars on it.  While writing this I decided to peruse the Forever 21 jewelry list for new stuff (they add new jewelry every week) and found two really pretty things:

 Lacquered Rose Petal Studs in Red, $1.80 (Comes in black, pink, purple, and blue too!)
These earrings are SO delicate and so cheap.  I would buy one in every color!

Filigree Bangle in Gold, $3.80
The cut-out detail is really nice and unusual.  A good find for less than 4 dollars.

What great deals have you found lately?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Preppy Officewear

So I got this great skirt at Target last week - it definitely looks more expensive than Target ($26.99) - it's a really nice fabric and its lined - the color in this picture is a little misleading, it looks more orangey to me in the picture than it is in person, it's actually a really nice camel-brown.  Clothing from target tends to run a little big; this skirt seemed big too, so I would order a size smaller than you normally wear.  This is a great neutral that could work in many outfits in your fall and winter wardrobe with a pair of tights and heels or boots.
Paperbag Skirt in Hazelnut,, $26.99

I would pair this skirt with this preppy double-breasted navy sweater vest from J.Crew (on sale for $59.99).  The vest isn't sewn closed, so you could wear it open for a more relaxed look or button it for a more structured look.  This vest also comes in grey, which I also like, but for this outfit, I would pick the navy. 
Dream Campton Vest in Navy., $59.99

This dress shirt below is a "Fab find" on Forever 21's site, and I couldn't agree more, especially for $12.50.  The cut of the neck is a lot more flattering on women than the usually dress shirt that buttons all the way up to the neck.  Since the neck on this dress shirt comes to a V, it elongates the neck, making you look more feminine, and making you look taller!  This would look so crisp tucked into the skirt with the navy vest overtop. 
Fab Pinstriped Woven Shirt in Navy/White $12.50

In order to add some femininity to this outfit since a lot of the pieces look "menswear-ish", I really love the necklace below from Anthropologie.  The flowers add a little flare to the normal strand of pearls, and give the outfit a girly feeling.
Bonheur Necklace, Anthropologie, $58

Since it is getting cooler out, I couldn't pass up the addition of a hat with this outfit.. and when I saw this Cloche style hat (popular circa late 1920's), I had to add it to this outfit.  It is the perfect final touch.  This hat looks black in the picture, but it is navy, and would look really classic and sophisticated with the pearls and the vest.  I love the bow because it kind of blends into the hat, but up close it is a nice detail.
Ring and Peal Cloche Hat, Navy,, $48

Lastly, pair the outfit with some sheer brown tights and these shoes that I featured a few weeks ago and you've got yourself a classic and preppy outfit, with hint of old world glamour.
Nadia Shoe, Nine West, $79

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thirfty Thursday... Date Night

For this edition of Thrifty Thursday, I came across an awesome deal on a shift dress from Old Navy that is currently only $15!  What a steal.  I liked the black and grey equally, so I decided to do two outfits, depending on what type of date you are going on, or what type of dresser you consider yourself.  On the left, I put together an outfit for a more adventurous dresser... yeah, you'll see the purple suede booties below.... not for the faint at heart, but CUTE (especially when you find out where they're from).  And on the right, I chose a more conservative, romantic look.  No matter which you pick, I am sure your man will be drooling at the first sight of you.
Twill Shift Dress in Pavement $15 (limited time) and you can get 15% off today!

For the shoe options, with the black dress (we'll call this option #1), I love the purple suede booty below.  It is a big statement, but since it's paired with a black dress and other black/grey accessories, it works, because it isn't TOO much in one outfit.  For the grey dress, I love these Suede Peep Toe shoes - and both pairs are from PAYLESS! Can you believe it?

 Left:  Sasha Booty in Purple for $34.99
Right: Koture Ruffle Peep Toe in Black for $24.99

I picked the accessories below because they would work with both outfits.  I like the black belt to cinch the waist of both dresses,  since the traditional shift dress doesnt have much shape through the middle.  I also like the thinness of the belt because it gives you a figure but doesn't attract too much attention, since this isn't the focal point of the outfit. I picked the earrings just because I thought they were pretty.... a little bit of shimmer but not gawdy, simple as that.

Left: Drop Earrings from Forever 21 for $9.80
Right:  Faux Leather Skinny Belt in Black, $2.50

For the black dress + booties, I'd like to pair it with slightly see-through grey tights.  The grey will create a good buffer between the black and the purple, and keep you warm!
3-pack of tights from Forever 21 in Medium Gray, $4.50

Lastly, something to keep your sholders warm in these cool fall months: The pashmina on the left in Charcoal from Target for $19.99 would play off the grey of the tights in Outfit #1 and also give a little contrast up top to the black shift.... although I wouldn't suggest wearing it the way the model below is wearing it.. I think it would look better if she took those long edges and "flung" (if you will) them over the opposite shoulder to create more of a cocoon.
For dress option #2, I like the  pop of color near the face while incorporating the grey from the dress.  This magenta colored scarf is really delicate and pretty.

Left - Pacific Pashmina Wrap With Bamboo Box - Charcoal, Target, $19.99
Right - Two Tone Printed Scarf in pink, Old Navy $12.50 (+ add'l 15% off today)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Farm Chic

I was looking around today and found this beautiful shirt below (it should be beautiful, for the +$200 price tag!)  I really love this shirt... its romantic, flowy, and very pretty.  If you search a little, you can find quite a few shirts similar to this style in stores right now, if you can't break the bank to buy this particular Tucker style.
Tucker Smocked Collar Blouse, $264,

As much as I love the flow of this shirt, I also really like an addition of a  blazer over top of it.  The discord between the light, airiness of the shirt and the structured blazer create a visual interest for the eye.  I really like this wool blazer from J crew.  It has a slim fit and hits the hip at the exact right spot.  You never want a blazer to be too short or too long - use this picture as an example of where a blazer should hit on your body.
Butterscotch Wool Flannel Schoolboy Blazer, $178,

I think the combo of these two tops would look so perfect paired with a sleek high heeled leather boot.  I really like the curved lines of this boot because it adds another hint of softness to the outfit.. I think a pointed boot would be to strong to pair with the top portion of the outfit.  Add a nice medium-to-dark wash tapered jean for a good fit under the boot.

Boot: Eliza Slouch High Heeled Boot, Sale for $198, Banana Republic
Pants: DL1961 Kate Slim Straight Jeans in Twilight, $158

Who doesn't love a pretty (and cheap!) accessory?  I think this sea green colored floral ring  is the perfect accessory to this outfit, which is a good complement to the floral pattern of the shirt.  A thin, long gold chain would also look really pretty over the shirt - pretty, yet simple enough that it wouldn't take away from the shirt.
Shimmer Flower Ring in Green/Clear, Forever 21, $4.80

The whole ensemble gives me a "farmer meets chic city girl" vibe... and I love it.  Hope you do too!

What to Wear - Photography Edition

Some exciting news over here on my end!  My dear friend, Kelly (who also happens to be my boyfriend's sister) is an incredibly talented natural light photographer in Western Pennsylvania.  She keeps us all up-to-date on her most recent shoots by writing a blog and including her favorite shots from recent sessions.  Kelly asked me to be a guest blogger on her site to help give her clients some ideas about how to dress for their shoots.  In my first post, I walked through outfits for a family of four - and why it works.  Check out her site and if you live in the W. Pennsylvania area, hire this girl!

Monday, October 12, 2009


Well, my landlord turned the heat on, finally!  Thank goodness... it was a cool 40 degrees outside this morning... which brings me to the point of today's post:  Winter Outerwear.  I think a lot of people don't give a lot of thought to their winter coats/hats/gloves, but a winter coat is one mighty important piece of the wardrobe for two reasons: a) you wear it every single day for at least 3 months (4-5 for those of you in the northern part of the country!) b) if you buy a well-constructed coat, you will have it for at least 2 years (and this can save you money, rather than purchasing a new coat each year because your old one was crap). 

I'll take you through a few coats that I love and why:
Scroll Coat from J.Crew ($275).

Do I need to even explain why I love this coat?  Ahhh, the drama.  This coat is a beautiful color - great for the drab months of winter - like I said in my previous post, nothing like a bright color to pick you up and wisk you away from the drab feelings that come from a cold winter and pale face.  The scroll detail is really nice, too.  This coat is really beautiful, if you can get over the $275 investment, I think you'd be able to enjoy this coat for at least a few years.

Belted Wool Coat from Old Navy in Chinchilla, $69.50

For those of you in a warmer climate, I like this shorter, belted jacket with 3/4 length sleeves.  I think this coat is so chic and definitely looks more expensive than $69.50 from Old Navy.  It's also versatile in that it would look just as sharp with some skinnies and a pair of flats as it would with trousers and a pointed-toe shoe for work.

Betsey Johnson Quilted Pillow Collar, in brown, $126.65,

Okay, okay.  I know some of you live in places that get really cold in the Winter.  I can understand the necessity of a down jacket for those negative wind chill days - BUT, don't let your body look like a lumpy mess if you're going to do the fluffy jacket.  This choice is great because it comes with a belt to give you a waist while still doing the intended duties of keeping you warm - and it has a really cute collar to boot!

Laundry by Shelli Segal 'Dahlia" Coat, $191.25 (

This is a more classic belted, wool trench but it has fabulous details.  The layered collar is really pretty and different, and the "float away from the body" bottom of the coat is perfect for a woman with a pear shape.  The tie-waist accentuates the skinniest part of you and then the bottom of the coat floats away from the body rather than hugging and bringing attention to the larger parts that we aren't as comfortable with.  I also really like this dark red color.. a good contrast to a lot of the bright red coats we see in the winter.

Wool Blend Funnel Neck in Blink Pink,  $89.50,

Saw this in-person at Old Navy the other day - can't believe how cute it is!  This coat felt well-made and warm.  I also really like this color - I know it's a tad overwhelming, but pair this with a silver/grey pashmina to tone it down a bit and I think it is really sharp.  The coat also comes in a heather gray (which I thought was a bit of a snooze).  I love the look of the internal belt that peeks out the front to tie, but when I tried this on, it did cinch the waist a little bit less than I would have liked, because the belt is on the inside.  However, for $90, the style and color of this coat really can't be beat.

 I think a belted coat is usually the way to go.  It helps give you a shape through layers of long johns, sweaters, and big thick coats.  Gap and Bluefly are having sales on their outerwear for the rest of the day, so go see what great deals you can find!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thrifty Thursday continues ....

Let's face it, a LOT of men don't know how to dress.  It's the sad, but honest truth.  I don't blame them, there isn't a lot of variety out there to get them excited about dressing themselves from day to day.  I wouldn't claim to know a lot about mens clothing, but I can say from experience, guys love to be comfortable in their clothing. So today, I present to you a comfortable (and luckily, pretty darn stylish!) outfit for the guys in our lives. 

I like this jacket because it looks comfortable but still has nice details that add some style to it.  I also dig the grey color, but it also comes in an olive green and a black, on sale for $39.50 at Old Navy.
Jersey Lined Military Jacket in Pavement

I can say that I am totally jealous of the shoe choices for men... mostly because none of them look painful.  I really like this Onitsuka Tiger sneaker from  It has a sort of retro feel to it, and I love the preppy colors.  It's not a super good bargain at $65, but it's definitely cheaper than a lot of sneakers out there for guys.
Onitsuka Tiger Ultimate 81 in White, metallic, navy and yellow

I  like this bright white tee to contrast with the dark jacket and also bring out the bright white in the shoes.   It's a heavier weight cotton tee and it's only $12!
Sueded crew neck tee in Bright White

It can be quite a challenge for men to find a good pair of jeans, and I find that a lot of them can't justify spending $200 on the perfect pair...(oops, I have made this justification one too many times!)... so for the men, we're going back to the basics - LEVI'S!  Macy's is having a sale on some of their Levi's Brand jeans, and they honestly look just as good as the $100 jeans from other stores.  This pair is on sale for $36.99.
Levi's 527 Boot Cut in Rigid Broken

Hopefully the man in your life can find a way to fit this into his weekend casual wardrobe.  A little bit of style and a lot of comfort!

Thrifty Thursday

Hi All! Yesterday, I mentioned the great sales that many stores are having right now.  Unfortunately, some of those sale prices still are a little high for a lot of our pocketbooks.  I'm going to start positing a wallet friendly outfit on Thursdays - but the same rules still apply: all outfits will be readily available via internet or most shopping malls near you (but don't forget to factor in the cost of shipping if you are going to order online).

 For this outfit, I pulled together pieces from Target and Forever 21.  The total cost for the outfit below is a little over $55... for an ENTIRE outfit! 

This adorable pair of shoes is from Target for $19.99.  A small price to pay for such a cute shoe!  There were multiple reviews on that stated that this little number looks even better in person - they seem to have been selling this shoe for a while now, so get them before they sell out!
Sheryl Floral Print Ballet Flats - Gold

I love these tanks from Forever 21.  I own a few of them already.  At $2.5, what a steal... I wold pick one up in every color for layering.
Fab Solid V-Neck Cami in Cococa

This sweater from Target looks so comfortable, i guess the name Cocoon sweater says it all - and it's on sale right now for $15!  Wear it open for a more relaxed look, or cinch it with a belt. 
Mossimo® Black: Long Sleeve Cocoon Sweater - Polar Bear

Pair this with a straight leg jean from Forever 21 for $19.80... and there you have it!  Cute girl-on-the-go outfit.  I like putting skinny jeans with flats so that your pant doesn't drag on the ground and so you can show off the flat.....However, if you have a pair of straight leg jeans that don't drag on the ground when you walk, they would look great with the flat, too.
Stretch Denim Skinny Jean in Dark Denim

Cute outfits can be found almost anywhere, it just usually takes a little more patience to find the bargains.  Try to find pieces that seem well constructed, because they are out there - even at the less-expensive retailers!

**** Update:  I had a reader ask what type of belt I would suggest if you wanted to cinch the sweater at the waist.  In this case I would go with a skinnier, "dainty" type belt, so not to overwhelm the delicateness of the shoe.  I found this awesome belt on J.Crew and it's on sale for 14.50!  I like both the Redwood color and the Pale gold color - both would complement the shoe nicely.
Superskinny Patent Leather Belt in Redwood and Pale Gold

***Another update!  Apparently only if your feet are TINY can you enjoy the beautiful Target flats above.   One of my readers asked for any other ideas for something similar to the flat above since she really liked it, but can't find her size.  Unfortunately, flats this pretty don't come with a $20 price tag very usually... so we can go one of two ways with our other options.  A) Expensive but pretty .... on the left from J.Crew Patterned Classic Ballet Flat in Washed Shell - $90 smackers... pretty high for a little ballet flat, but reaaaally cute! From Charles David, the shoe on the left has a dainty bow like the target shoe, and this shoe looks a little more substantial -  Serenade in Blush from for $64.95

B) Cheap but don't look much like the ones I showed originally... which is probably more important to those of you looking for thrifty, yet cute finds: 

Both of these are from target - On the left, Madalena in Berry - I loooove this color and the suede makes this shoe look a lot more expensive that $20.  On the right - Valda in Cognac.  The ruffle is really pretty and something you don't see too often for $24.99.