I go to local thrift stores (primarily non-profit) and usually bring home a large quantity of department store and designer clothing and shoes by spending only $30-$45 and a few hours looking for fashion items to be worn with my existing wardrobe.

The goal is to is to inform women of the fashion affordability of shopping at thrift stores, the benefit of donating, and how these organizations help disadvantaged, recovering and abused men, women and children.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Outfit of the week 12.29.14 - Holiday Edition

This outfit is great for ringing in the new year!

The red knotted dress and the black moto jacket are from Avon. The black mesh lace-up pumps are Isabel Toledo from Payless Shoes, and the Missy K skull clutch was a Christmas present to myself from Amazon.

This outfit is a combination of sexy and bad-ass!

I only paid $16.75 for this purse. I love it!

Christmas 2014

This Christmas season was different from those of the recent past. I actually received gifts that were more than cash (usually $20 in a card from my mom and brother).  Although I'm always thankful for any gifts I receive - this year was pretty good (I even received a $15 iTunes gift card from my son!).

My brother and sister-in-law gave me all this - plus a $25 gift card which I used to buy some PJs and slippers. I love that peacock bracelet!

My cousin gave me these loafers. she said that she found them at a garage sale. They are brand new - never been worn.

I bought myself this purse from Amazon. It's sooo cool!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

What to buy when

This is the time of the year when I de-clutter my home and donate household and clothing items I haven't used in the last year to make room for things of new.

Since it's gift-giving and receiving time, many of us will receive cash or gift cards to retail stores to purchase those apparel items we desire or need. Since this is a fashion blog, I will reveal the best times of the year to shop for certain clothing items that will normally be at deeply discounted or clearance prices. This rule also applies to shopping at thrift stores.

You may be tempted to buy resort wear like caftans, flirty dresses, shorts, and bathing suits - but it's actually the best time to buy outerwear (coats and jackets). Stores are cutting prices on outerwear to make room for spring apparel. So if there's a pea coat or puffer jacket that you always wanted but didn't want to pay full price - you can get it at a steal and still have the opportunity to wear it!

Spring blazers and raincoats will be on display in the stores, but go for stocking up on classic winter accessories like hats, scarfs, gloves, and boots. These items will be reduced for the end of the winter season.

You may see the newest spring shade of denim (coral, lime, hot pink) and light-weight cardigans, but it's the best time to buy fragrances - especially those gift with purchase promos. If you are a Bath & Body Works fan, this is when they have their semi-annual sale where you not only can stock up on your favorite body scents, but home fragrances and candles too.

It's approaching that time to wear sandals and bare legs, so you might be looking at those pretty summer dresses. Instead, look for the resort wear that appeared in January. Those caftans, shorts, and lightweight tunics will be at clearance prices so the stores can make room for their summer deliveries.

The stores will want you to stock up on beach wear and sandals, but it's a great time to scour the sales racks for heavy-weight knits and cashmere sweaters - which will be at a fraction of the original price.

Summer tanks and tees may be on display, but spring sandals will be on sale.

Fall deliveries in the newest shades, as well as dark denim colors (olive, wine, dark grey) will be on display at the stores. Go for deep discounted and discontinued swimwear and sandals (since the "summer" season is migrating into the "back to school" season).

The back to school season provides very little discounting on clothing. However, those spaghetti-strap dresses and summer casual items will be cheaper.

Look - but don't buy the cooler-weather clothing such as long-sleeve tops, denim jackets and blazers. Instead, think about stocking up on summer travel accessories like beach totes and weekend bags.

The stores will display the heavy-weight knits, sweaters and winter pants - but you may be able to find a few lightweight transition pieces (like a cotton jacket) to wear once spring has sprung.

Coats and boots will be on display, and everyone will be looking for their holiday outfit, or just preparing for the holiday season - but jeans will be at an incredible price!

It's the busiest time of the year for retailers as we buy gifts for others, and outfits for ourselves to wear to all those holiday parties. Sales are suggestive - and truly not a real savings.

If you are getting married in the near future, December is the best time to shop for a wedding dress and dresses for your bridal party. Bridal shops typically have sample sales and dress prices that can be slashed up to 80 percent during this time.

Outfit of the week 12.21.14

This weeks outfit is half thrift store find mixed with a couple of old pieces from my closet.

The skirt and the Joan Rivers Classics Collection red crew-neck top is a thrift store find. The black boots and double-breasted swing jacket are pieces I've had for (probably too) many years. I would wear my signature black tights with this outfit.  

After I took this picture, I realized that the necklace may be a bit much.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The perfect fitting bra

Here's some sage advice from the stylist to the stars and royals Jacqui Stafford in her book The Wow Factor: Insider Style Secrets for Every Body and Every Budget.

Here are four ways to tell if you are wearing the wrong size bra and how to buy the correct one.

Scenario: Your boobs are spilling over the top, bottom or sides of the cup.
Solution: The cup size is too small. Go up a cup size - not band size.

Scenario: There's a gap in the bra cup.
Solution: The cup size is too big. Go down a cup size - not band size.

Scenario: The band across your back forms an upside-down "V".
Solution: The band is too loose. Go down a size in the band size so it sits straight across your back.

Scenario: You take off your bra and can see the outline on your skin.
Solution: Your bra is too tight. Go up a band size.

Scenario: You lost/gained weight and your bras no longer fit properly. You are no longer sure of your bra size.
Solution: Many bra sizing calculators are on the internet. All you will need is a soft or cloth tape measure and enter your measurements.


The best way to put on a bra is to lean forward and have your breasts fall into the cups. Stand straight, and fasten the back.

Make sure that your bra fits comfortably on the loosest hook first. So as the bra stretches due to washing and wearing, you can use the tighter hooks.

Outfit of the week 12.7.14

This week's outfit is one of my favorites.

The leather jacket and the print top with black leather trim in the front are retail clearance items I bought last year. The boots and pants are thrift store finds.

This fall season I find myself "back in black."

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Outfit of the week 11.30.14

This week's outfit is high-end, low-end, thrift store and a bit of illusion...

My taupe corduroy button-front dress is a 2013 thrift store find, and the "shootie" is from Payless Shoes.

The Dooney & Bourke purse is authentic - but I didn't buy it - I earned it! It was my award pick for 15 years of service at my place of employment (and that was three years ago).

The illusion part of this outfit is the turtle neck under the dress...it's actually a dickie (something you don't hear people wearing often). Wearing a dickie provides a layered look without the bulk. I own another one that resembles a white button-down shirt. It works well with V-neck sweaters (again without the bulk).

A turtle neck (real or fake) paired with the black tights under this dress is a chic fall look.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Fashion Show for the Ages

Yesterday I attended a fashion show that benefited the Fairfield Industrial High Alumni. The event was filled with mostly women of an advanced age as models and in the audience. Here's some pics...

This man brought the Rico Suave' to the show! 

He only made two appearances, but he was the real model of the show!

This was during the lingerie part of the show. They all wore furs over their lingerie.

I wonder if he's a real model? Or just fake it well...

She's a college educator who modeled at the request of a friend.

She's the widow of a former high school classmate.

She brought video vixen to the show!

I like this outfit! It's something I'd wear.

Outfit of the week 11.23.14

As promised in my last "Outfit of the week" post, this week's outfit has the second dress (of the two-fer) that I bought from QVC.

I created a Fall outfit by adding a black leather-ish moto vest (a Groupon find), shooties (Payless Shoes) and black tights (Walmart).

There's a leather belt in the picture, but that would be worn if I didn't wear the vest. This is my biker gone girly look!

Opaque tights of varied colors and patterns are a Fall and Winter style staple.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Wowed by "The Wow Factor"

This weekend I went to the library and checked out a book by celebrity fashion stylist and QVC's Isaac Mizrahi Live! program fill-in Jacqui Stafford called The Wow Factor - Insider Style Secrets for Every Body and Every Budget.

I loved reading this book! So much so, that it took me a 1/2 day to read the entire thing. It's not like it's a big book - it just held my interest, because it tells you how to look your best at any size, and achieve the look of a high-end shopper on a pauper's budget.

The Wow Factor talks about defining your body shape, the cut and fabric types of clothes that are flattering to that body shape, as well as insider secrets to what goes on behind the scenes of fashion and make-up photo shoots that we see in magazines. This book gives specifics about the best leg cut and shade of jeans, swim suits, and floral prints for your shape, as well a guide to key classic pieces every woman should have in their closet per age group (20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s+).  It even gives hair, make-up and skin tips for those who want a natural, effortless look like your favorite celebrity fashionistas (without giving names - just how it's accomplished).

I also advise to check out her website jacquistafford.com and catch her on the Today Show and on QVC selling the Isaac Mizrahi clothing line.

A fashionista's must-read!


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Outfit of the week 11.9.14

This week's outfit is my version of a picture I found in the September 2014 edition of Essence magazine.

It was this picture that started my search for a red and black coat.

None of the pieces are thrift store finds - but nevertheless a reasonably priced ensemble.

ABS Coat (Groupon), Black A-line Dress (QVC), Christian Siriano Boots (Payless Shoes), & Black Tights (Walmart)

The A-line dress was a great QVC purchase - it was a two-fer on clearance. I bought them back in the Spring while in desperate need of a LBD (Little black Dress). To get two dresses for the price normally paid for one was incredible!

For $29.96 I got both EffortlessStyle by Citiknits dresses from QVC. Next week's outfit will feature the print dress.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Outfit of the week 11.2.14

The black tee and red skirt are thrift store finds. The boots and burn-out tights are from Payless Shoes. I will wear my black leather blazer with it for a funky business look.

I love those boots!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Outfit of the week 10.26.14

This week's outfit has only one thrift store item - the red velvet shoes. The heather gray ponte jacket is from Target, The red top from Penney's, the gray ponte pants from Sears outlet and the purse is a family antique (my mom's great aunt).

I receive a lot of compliments when I wear this purse - and it's at least 65 years old.

Coupons for Mission Possible Bargain Centers

Recently, I received my Yellow Pages (YP) telephone book at my front door and I tend to look at the back of the book for coupons. This year's coupons are from Mission Possible.

Once I saw them, I immediately tore them out of the book then located a couple other YP books and took them too. They don't expire for a year - so I have a year's worth of thrift store coupons for Mission Possible.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Outfit of the week 10.19.14

The gray suede and patent shoes, the silver metallic v-neck tank, and the necklace are recent thrift store finds. The sweater and silver metallic cross body purse are from Avon. The gray trousers (a favorite of mine) are from Walmart.

I wore this outfit to work last week and received many compliments!

Payless (For Real)

I have an obsession with ankle boots and "shooties". So when a 15% off coupon arrived in the mail from Payless Shoes I immediately went to their website to see what's on sale. I originally thought about just buying a pair of tights with the coupon, but I looked at the shoes too.

I ran across these boots that called my name and they were on sale. The were by Project Runway Season One winner Christian Siriano and had a "funky" look - just like I like them! They were regularly $59.99 but on sale for $34.99.

Then I looked at the hosiery and found this burn-out style pair of tights that were just as "funky" as the boots...SOLD!

It was great that both items were at the same store - unfortunately they were at only one Payless Shoes location in the metro area (I know of atleast 8 stores around town) - of course - I made the Sunday afternoon trip to the store and bought them both.

So the boots at $34.99 + the tights at $9.99 - (minus) the 15% coupon AND an additional 10% with my AAA membership card (AAA membership provides lots of retail discounts) totaled $38.43 It was like I got the tights for free - Great deal!

Columbus Day Fashion Find 10.11.14

Columbus Day was a day off for me, so I decided to take the short trip to The Foundry to look for the one fashion item that seemed to be the hardest to find - a red skirt. I gave myself a limited amount of time and money with the sole purpose of finding this red skirt.

When I arrived, there was a table of designer shoes at the entrance and behold were a pair of COOGI boots that were worn probably once  - so I grabbed those quickly and went to accessories and found a stretch belt, There were two cardigans one red and the other black and white (which I forgot to include in the picture) and hoo-ray! - that illusive red skirt.

While I was at the checkout there was this brown and green choker (I love wearing chokers) in the jewelry case, so I picked that up too, and in total spent under $35.

I found all of this in under an hour - what a quick shopping spree!

COOGI Boots $9.99, Red Skirt $4.99, Choker $$.99, Stretch Belt $.079, Red and Black & White Cardigans (not pictured) $4.99 each.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Outfit of the week 10.12.14

This week's outfit only contain one thrift store find - the jacket. The grey tank and trousers are from Walmart. The grey print J.Renee shoes and clutch are retail buys from long ago.

I love mixing textures and patterns!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Outfit of the week 10.5.14

This week's outfit has a stylish school-girl look. The tri-colored (black, light grey, dark grey elbow patches) cardigan and purse are recent thrift store purchases. The denim-colored skirt is from Walmart, and the black shooties are from Payless Shoes.  

Two great accessories for this outfit is the white dickey and a pair of black tights

Thrift Store Fashion Find 10.4.14

Today was a half price sale at Lovelady and if course I had to go and take a friend. I made a decision to keep my spending limit to $20, since I had made so many non-thrift store purchases recently. Happily, I was under budget spending only $13.46. My friend spent over $75 and bought many pairs of shoes and boots. Lovelady also gave away free hot dogs, chips and sodas...a great sale and free food is a good way to spend a Saturday morning!

Tan Suede Booties $3.99, Grey Suede & Patent Mary Jane $3.49, Brown Pumps $3.49, Sweater $2.49

Sunday, September 28, 2014

"Pleather" Binging and Groupons

Recently I discovered that I could wear dresses. I always thought that no dress could camouflage the more than ample parts of my body unless there was a sweater or jacket over it.

I'm at a stage of my life where I'm more comfortable with my body. There were certain pieces I've always wanted - such as a dress with leather in it. Although I can't afford genuine leather - I did find a great facsimile. So about a month ago, I coveted a "pleather" (or faux leather) and spandex dress in a mail-order catalog. I kept the book, and would look at it occasionally, saying that I will get the courage to purchase it. Every time I looked at the ear-marked page, I thought about ways I could make it work-wearable (which I did figure out with pieces I already owned). So last week, after reading the online reviews of the dress - I made the purchase. I will wait for the weather to get tights-wearing cooler for its work debut.

I wish I had her arms! 

I wish I could say that the dress was my only purchase last week, but nooooo...I was cruising the apparel section of Groupon, and I found three pieces for prices that I couldn't believe!

I found a YAL New York dress with faux leather accent in blue, and two ABS by Allen Schwartz coats. I've been searching for a car coat for some time, but I couldn't find one that called my name - nor was in my price range - until now...

She doesn't look too happy wearing this dress, but I will, because I paid $20.93. 

I absolutely love this faux leather and wool coat! It's retail priced at $238.00 and I paid $50.93.

I thought this coat was unique, so I bought it. It's retail priced at $158.00 and I paid $50.93 for this one too!

No more catalogs or Groupon apparel surfing until next year!

Outfit of the week 9.28.14

This week's outfit is thrift store, Walmart and Avon. The cow-print cloth purse, leopard top and boots are all thrift store finds. The taupe pants are from Walmart and the "pleather" and spandex moto jacket is from Avon.

This is a chic rocker look!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Outfit of the week

This week's outfit are all thrift store finds. The bronze metallic purse I found recently at Lovelady (new with the tag on), the Kathy Ireland sweater, Ann Taylor skirt and Nine West heels are from The Foundry.

Can't wait for the weather to cool so I can wear this. Another great fall (and spring) transition outfit.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Outfit of the week 9.14.14

This week's outfit is another part thrift store - part retail purchase. The t-shirt and sweater is from The Foundry, the shoes are from Target, and the skirt - Walmart.

This grey lace embellished, v-neck t-shirt is one of my favorite pieces. I love to take it up a notch with my denim-colored skirt, grey kitten-heels, cream chiffon-trimmed sweater, and a silver knotted necklace.

A great business casual outfit!