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."