Archive for Shopping

Reflections on style and some shopping results!

246932_10100498100389721_3514712_nSimon’s Surgeries: Update

Simon had his 2nd surgery, so outfit pics have been overshadowed by helping him get around.  He’s healing nicely.

Thoughts on Style

In the meantime, I got into a discussion with a friend that I wanted to share.  We were talking about personal style.  She informed me that mine was somewhat boring because I tend to prefer cardigans to jackets and tend to prefer fit-and-flare dresses or fuller skirts to sheath or body-con dresses and pencil skirts.  Her argument was that the latter were in style and were very flattering on “everyone”, so I should try them.

Here’s the thing.  I have tried them.  Gwynnie Bee has allowed me to try all sorts of things with no real risk.  Most recently (literally yesterday) I received and tried on a shift dress.  Then I put it in the bag and sent it back.  Even with shapewear, the dress made me look like I was all hips and nothing else.

But more importantly, I WASN’T COMFORTABLE IN IT.  I felt self-conscious.  I have the same issue with pencil skirts, and in addition I don’t feel as though I can move comfortably.

I don’t care HOW in style something is or how chic everyone says a look is.  If you don’t feel comfortable in it, you aren’t going to LOOK comfortable in it.  And if you aren’t comfortable, you sure as heck aren’t going to feel sexy, attractive, powerful or smart.

For me, that means an A-line or wider skirt.  Others may find they feel more pulled together in a pencil skirt, and that is their right.  (Chastity over at Garner Style TOTALLY rocks those, and she’s curvier than I am!) I’ll keep rocking my fit-and-flares.

On to something more fun: SHOPPING!

_9066308Remember this cardigan/jacket that was $368?  *happy dance* It went on sale for 40% off ($220.80), which is STILL expensive but a lot better.  At that point I showed it to my husband who agreed that it was an AMAZING, wardrobe-making piece.  After some negotiating about my spending money, I bought it and am spreading the cost out over a month to pay back our credit card.  I CAN’T WAIT!  This will be my perfect Arizona winter coat!

jumpers-and-knit-zhenzi-knit-cardigan-berry-purple-black_A22058_F5224Another thing I’ve been focusing on this fall is particular colors.  Specifically deep purples, plums, burgundies, wines, etc.  I’m also making an effort to buy better items, but fewer.  So I was surfing around and found this cardigan.  It arrived today and the colors are every bit as rich and beautiful as I wanted.  Expect to see it very soon now that temps are dropping below 100.  (This has the advantage of being a loose enough knit that I can wear it already…)2014-09-11_13-02-11

I used 2 different store credits I had this week.  First I had a store credit at eshakti – a dress I ordered had proven to be too tight through the hips, and they are absolutely amazing about returns, so back it went.  Instead, I bought this swing/trapeze dress and had them modify it with short sleeves.  It’s an incredibly light weight gauze in a beautiful red.  In general, I’ve been afraid of swing dresses, since many tend to look like a mu-mu on plus women, but this one has fixed pleating at the bust to keep it from belling out too much.  It’s cool, crazy comfortable, and is about to become a hot weather staple. You’ll be seeing it soon!

8f37a6253d56d7f14a08a931ebb9ad46The second store credit was with Modcloth, and this item hasn’t arrived yet.  One of the dresses I ordered had the weirdest shoulders that just sat wrong, so the dress went back and I decided to try to fill in that charcoal to gap I’ve previously mentioned.  I found this one and decided to give it a go.  Fingers crossed that it will look as cute on me as it does in the picture.  Per the comments, I sized up, so we shall see.

That’s all for now.  I hope to get back to outfit pics soon, and I am still on the hunt for the PERFECT burgundy purse (with no luck in my price range).

What have you added to your wardrobe this fall?

Craving this fall

Since I am currently spending all of my discretionary income on my dog’s knees, I have to limit the shipping I do this fall.  I’ve therefore been doing a LOT of air shopping.  And the great thing about shopping when you have no money is that it frees you up to look at things you can’t actually afford.  Leave it to me to fall head over heels in love with some of them.

_9066308For starters, I am head over heels in love with this Sejour jacket!  It’s gorgeous.  Of course, for $368 it darn well should be.  It’s a lightweight leather jacket that would be perfect for winter in AZ while, at the same time, it has that terrific waterfall front that I love so much in cardigans.  I have nothing even slightly like it.


Manon Baptiste Color Block Mini-dress.  The colors are amazing and the shape is gently flaring off the hips, something that looks much better on me than a body conscious or overly clingy shape.  $294.90 at Navabi.

There are actually quite a few Manon Baptiste dresses that I’m lusting after, most not as bright. The shapes and details are gorgeous.  At $271.90 this maxi-dress isn’t getting into my closet anytime soon but I adore the color and the detailing of the slit at the thigh…



Moving on…  I haunt ebay and after-christmas sales, looking for good deals on Eileen Fisher.  I went to the site and found this outfit and fell head over heels in LOVE with every single piece.


And I could have it.  For a mere $894.  ($418 for the cardigan/jacket, $278 for the tank and a mere $198 for the pants.  The shoes would be another $300.)

In their defense, the pants are reusable for this stunning outfit that makes me want to try to save up the money for the $518 cardigan:


I adore the detailing, the deep blue color and the fact that it is cashmere.

More in my price range, however, is this $78 silk scarf…


I love the deep, rich, dual colors, and am sure I can find a charcoal top somewhere…

Shoes and Handbags will each have their own separate posts, btw…

So what do you think?  Any crazy-expensive items you are lusting after this year (or at the very least hoping will go on deep discount)?


Impatiently waiting for fall

BtbpbRdIUAAmTIvIt was 116 degrees in AZ this week.  That makes it FAR too hot to ride my bike to work (or rather to safely get home after work – the morning’s are OK). Walking the dog is something that happens around 10pm, if it happens at all. It’s also monsoon season, which means that many nights we get rain and a dust storm/haboob (see above).  All this has me looking longly forward to fall; cooler weather (by our standards at least), but more importantly fall colors.

One of the things I’m fascinated by is color analysis; which colors make us look better, which don’t.  I’ve worn colors that didn’t work for me in the past (mustard, orange) and others that were amazing (oxblood, navy).  This past spring I got my colors done officially and confirmed what I kind of already knew:  I’m a Dark or Deep Winter.  (Think also Ellen Page, Sandra Bullock, Anne Hatheway – Brunette, Dark Eyes, Pale Skin)

Summer isn’t a bad shopping season for dark winter because all our colors don’t have to be dark.  In fact, we can wear a LOT of the really strong colors you see in the summer – cobalt blue, fuchsia, primary red, etc., as well as looking terrific in high-contrast color blocking.  But dark winter coloring is winter leaning toward autumn, which means that a lot of the really rich, deep, jewel tones that come out in the fall are our BEST colors.

So I’ve started shopping.  Here’s what I’ve ordered this recently:

image1xxlimage1xl_9066208 _9065717_9100617

(Items 1/2: Zulily, 3-5: Old Navy, 6/7: ASOS, 8-10: Nordstrom)

It looks like a lot, but I would be amazed if I kept all of it.  For example, the Old Navy items involved taking a bit chance for me – their fit varies wildly. Still, if you look at the colors, they are ALL fall shades.  Deep, rich, and strong.

Notice also that most of these items fit the climate of AZ – even though the colors are dark, the sleeves are generally short and the fabrics are light.  (The one exception is the cardigan, but it matches too perfectly with the colors in the print top next to it; I couldn’t leave it behind.)  I can start wearing these items any time now.

It’s a start.  Most lines haven’t released their fall collections yet, so I expect to find many more items over the next few months.  I’ll post what I find!

Shopping Sunday – Things I ordered today

Over the last week a lot of stuff I ordered recently and returned has gotten credited, so my spending money bucket was refilled.  I used the opportunity to do a little shopping.

aubriella-frontI am hopeful that this dress (Aubriella from Igigi) will look every bit as amazing on me as it does on her, but you never know with these things.  It’s an expensive dress, so if it doesn’t work it will go back.  However I thought it was too pretty to NOT order.

(I always worry about this shape.  Right under my bust is my smallest part, but it’s not wide, so the wide waist on this could require shapewear to lay correctly.  I hate that.  We’ll see though…)

My biggest worry, though, is that they had 18/20 or 26/28.  No 22/24, which is my normal size.  I ordered the 18/20 on the theory that it is my hips that usually require me to go up and that shouldn’t be an issue with a full skirt.


I ordered the cardigan off BeyondTheRack in both black and white.  They look lightweight and easy to wear  for the summer (although the white one is long sleeved).  We’ll see.  At $17.99 each, it’s kind of hard to go wrong.

bestieskit_3pc_1I placed an order to Julep that included 4 new nail polishes.  Three are in the HelloGiggles Tickled Pink Ombre Besties kit, although I won’t use them in that way.  I was just looking at my polishes last night and realized that I didn’t have what most would consider to be pretty basic colors.  Along with that I will be getting a coral/orange color called Georgia for free using the discount code SPRINGCOLOR; you add the color to your basket then enter the code at checkout.  4 colors for $28 = $7/color, which is a very reasonable price.

My big focus right now is on shoes; my closet purge last weekend involved a lot of shoes, and I need to replace them.  I’m OK on basics, but don’t always have the fun, colorful ones I might want for certain outfits.

CSH-W-UW00699-050411I also ordered two pairs of shoes from Cushe.  The first was a pair of wedge heels with arch support that looked kind of fun and sporty.  Called Entwine, they come in several color combinations and are currently on sale for $59.99.  This is actually their Black pair, but I love the colorful accents.

CSH-W-UW00857-092811The second is a pair of closed toe flats that looked cute and had the arch support I need.  We’ll see if they are as comfortable as I think.  They are called Koa Suade and are on sale for $55.99.  When I work at the shelter I HAVE to wear closed toed shoes, but no one says they have to be trainers.  This is far cuter!

images (1)I also ordered a pair of Trotters Kristin sandals in Pink off Zulily.  Zulily is another flash sale site, but focused on Moms and Kids.  I’ve been particularly impressed that they always have at least one plus sized gallery, often get neat stuff (like overstock from SWAK), and carry a lot of what I would call “comfort” brand shoes.  (These are brands that focus on cushioning and arch support, which is what I need these days.  I discovered Cape Clogs through Zulily, and they have the navy polka dot shoes I’ve shown here before for sale today.)  They also focus on more reasonably priced lines; no $1000 purses.  I think I order more off Zulily these days than any of the other flash sites.

So that was my weekend.  No guarantee that some or all of them won’t go back, but those that don’t are certain to show up on here soon enough.

Stripes and Polka Dots – LOVE it

IMG_2206I’ve seen several other blog posts lately showing stripes and polka dots together, often with a big pop of color.  Each time I thought “I love that; I need to try it.”  But it wasn’t until this weekend that the last piece of the outfit puzzle fell into place.  To make it work well you need the stripes and polka dots in the same palate (in this case black and white), so it wasn’t until I found the right scarf that I could put this outfit together.

If you ever decide to follow me off to Coldwater Creek for pants, take note: they run big.  I buy 20s most of the time, whereas other brands I need a 22 or 24.  The great thing about 20s is that you can go into the store and try them on there.  Then, if you do need a larger size, you can order it online.  However my experience has been that the 22s are too loose.

I admit that there is something of a matchy-matchy thing going on with the bag, which isn’t optimal.  I need to find a good simple, plain black bag.  I have a whole cabinet full of bags and not one is a relatively simple black bag.   But I have my eye on one on LittleBlackBag.

LittleBlackBag is a really interesting site; you purchase 1 discounted item (usually a purse or jewelry) for either 29.99 or 49.99; they add around 3 additional items (although you can’t see what they are until after you purchase).  Lately they’ve had some good brands (Melie Bianco, Betsy Johnson, Kenneth Cole).  Once you’ve checked out, you can then TRADE with other people on the site.  So if you see something you want but didn’t get (or don’t like one of the freebies that was put in your bag) you can trade with others to try to get something you like better.  You don’t have to, of course, but you can often easily change colors or trade up so that you end up with a higher value bag than you started with.

This bag came from my first purchase at LittleBlackBag, and I didn’t trade it at all.  I had seen it in teal and though it looked great, but (as we discussed before) teal isn’t really one of my core colors.  So when I saw it in hot pink, which IS one of my colors, I jumped on it.  In the end the “retail” value of my bag was over $200 (although no one anywhere pays full retail prices for most of these items).  Throughout the month they periodically add new items for you to choose from and potentially trade.  The end result is a good deal on an attractive bag that came with some bonus jewelry.

Photo on 2-19-13 at 10.17 AM #2

I don’t generally shop at Lane Bryant often but was lured in by a skirt you will be seeing soon and a dress that I wanted to try on (but which, sadly, wasn’t flattering).  However that particular trip was justified all on it’s own with this scarf.  It’s black with white polka dots in a variety of sizes.  It’s very light weight, soft, and easy to wear. I never would have looked at Lane Bryant for such a thing but could not be happier with it.  Note that it is no longer available in black and white on the web site, so you’ll have to hit your local store.

This outfit makes me so happy.  I feel stylish and put together without being a fashion victim and staying true to MY core styles.  This is one of my favorite outfits since I started this blog, which is really saying something!

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