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.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Outfit of the week 1.25.15

This week's outfit is majority retail purchases from long ago and last week's thrift store find.

The George brown faux-suede boots are from Walmart, the faux-suede brown tote is a gift with purchase item and denim jacket is from Lane Bryant, and the Merona red print dress is from The Foundry.

I love this outfit! Has a cool, urban look.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Outfit of the week 1.18.15

This week's outfit is half retail and half thrift store.

The Women With Control leopard skirt is from QVC. The tan suede booties and the brown long-sleeve tee are thrift store finds. The faux leather jacket was a 2014 leather store outlet find.

Tights are a must-wear for a winter look! A brown pair are tucked in the booties.

And another present??? Wow!!!!

My brother and his wife gave me another gift in addition to perfume, necklace, bracelet and gift card I received from them on Christmas - a Louis Vuitton purse! Yes, a never been used - but bruised one.

My sister-in-law is cleaning out her closet and found this purse. Unfortunately, this purse must have sat at the bottom of her closet for a while because it was severely mis-shaped and need some TLC. I've managed to clean it and working on getting it back to it's proper shape. I tried to do some research to see if this was a genuine LV purse and it's inconclusive. But that doesn't matter me - I like the purse whether real or fake!

I'm looking forward to more of my sister-in-law's closet rejects!

A great warm weather accessory!

Thrift store fashion finds 1.16.15, 1.17.15 and boots too!

I began the new year with several fashion finds at The Foundry yesterday. My goal was to spend $20 on clothes and to look at a TV. Well, I managed to do both for only $45.56.

I bought...
2 Dresses
2 Purses
2 Tops
1 Jacket
1 Toshiba TV (and it was on sale for $17.99)

Two of my items were 25% off, so I was very happy.

Worthington Knit Jacket - $5.24

Georgio Fiorline Tank - $2.24

Merona Print Dress - $4.99

Travel Smith Dress w/Roll Sleeve - $4.99

Liz Claiborne Knit Top - $1.99

Black Patent Purse - $1.99, Gold Metallic Purse - $1.99
Today, I made the awesome mistake in returning back to The Foundry to look for a brown thin belt. I didn't find it - but I stumbled across a pair of shoes, a sweater, several pieces of jewelry, and an unusual camouflage belt for an additional $25.00 - but no regrets.

L-R: Belt (.79), Ring ($4.99), Choker ($2.99), Necklace (.99), Charming Charlie Necklace/Earring Set (New - $2.99), Croft & Barrow Wool Sweater ($4.99), Reaction by Kenneth Cole Sneaker Wedge ($4.99)

Last week, I received a catalog from a company (I've never heard of) that sells strange clothing and goods. The plan was to look through the catalog and throw it away. Unfortunately, I found a pair of boots that caught my attention. They were odd (and I love odd), and I had to have them.  So I ordered the boots, and they arrived this morning. When I tried them on, they made my size nine look petite and my leg didn't look bulky with those operational pockets on the sides...so adorable!

Stay tuned for atleast three Outfits of the week featuring these boots - two of which, includes the dresses pictured above.

They were $99.95 - a great price for such an unusual boot!

I think I've bought enough to last me a couple months until I start looking for summer sandals.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

10 steps to ignite your style in 2015

Happy new year!

If you are like me, you use the start of a new year to evaluate what has gone well and what you like to achieve or improve this year. 

Among finances, career options and etc. - I also focus on what message I want to market with my style.

So...How happy have you been with your style this past year?

Whether you feel your style has progressed, it needs some improvement, or you feel that it could be turned up a notch (to get your groove back!) - these 10 steps from 40plusstyle.com may help. 

1. Go through your wardrobe and find the clothing hat makes you happy
You need to feel GOOD in your clothes. Determine which clothing pieces you own makes you feel or look slim, sexy, confident, or more professional. 

Don't wait until you lose the five pounds you gained over the holidays - start now with the body you have now. Then re-evaluate your wardrobe again when the pounds are lost.

2. Create outfits from these 5 pieces and try different combinations
Create new combinations with your happy pieces! See how you can mix and match them with your other clothes and photograph yourself.

3. Evaluate the photos
Ask yourself the following questions: Are you happy with the combinations that you came up with? Are there particular piece(s) that you are missing that would have created even more outfits? Are they basic (shoes, hosiery, sweater), or special show pieces (bold jewelry, scarf, designer purse) that are missing from your wardrobe?

4. Get inspiration from other sources
Go to Pinterest, your favorite blogger (hopefully me), or fashion and style magazines for outfit ideas that feature similar items to your happy pieces. Also, look for more outfit combinations and silhouettes you would wear when you add those pieces to your wardrobe. Create a file on your computer and save those images on your where you can look at them again.

5. Get even more creative!
Take time to go through your wardrobe again to find other combinations now that you got some more inspiration from the outfits from others. Hopefully you will get a clearer idea what pieces are missing from your wardrobe. Make sure to write it down so you can look for those items on sale (refer to my 12/21/14 "What to buy when" blog post).

6. Remove what does not make you happy
As you go through your wardrobe again, select the items you did not wear in 2014. Ask yourself why you did not wear them, and if these items should remain in your closet (and try to remember how you felt when you last wore those particular pieces). Assess whether those items need other pieces to become your style staple, or whether it was an impulse buy and you really didn't like the fit, color, etc.

Take time to remove clothing that does not make you feel happy and confident from your closet. Bless others by either donating them to a mission-oriented thrift store, or take them to a consignment shop

7. Create a detailed list of what works and what does not work for you
Now that you found out what you like and what you don’t, create a clear DO and DONT list. For example as your DOs you could write: ‘love deep red’, ‘love a-line skirts’, ‘want a lean silhouette that emphasizes waist’, ‘like a minimalist style’ and for your DON”T, ‘no ruffles’, ‘no florals’, ‘no horizontal stripes’, ‘avoid light yellow’. These are just examples, but make your list as comprehensive as possible and keep it handy whenever you go shopping. You can also write down what you feel is missing in your closet.

8. Evaluate your accessories
Accessories add "bling" to your outfit. Go through the same process and define what makes you happy.

9. Evaluate your grooming
Grooming is an important part of your style. Is your make up and hairstyle current? Look for inspiration online and in beauty magazines for makeup and hairstyle options. 

10. Put it all together and reserve some time for yourself!
Now that you have your lists and photos, hit the shops or continue shop your own wardrobe further. Have fun mixing and matching and playing with your outfit options. Have fun!

No matter how busy you are, make sure to schedule in some time for yourself! When you feel good about yourself, you will ultimately be happier personally and professionally. You can't care for others when you neglect to care for yourself. 

Have a fashionable and prosperous 2015!

Outfit of the week 1.4.15

This heather grey Kathy Ireland wrap dress is a 1990's throwback (her fashion line with Kmart dissolved back in the mid-'90s.) It's a 2014 thrift store find - but a timeless dress design (a' la Diane von Furstenburg). 

The black, faux-sued lace-up shoe are Isabel Toledo for Payless Shoes. Isabel Toledo became world-famous when she designed a lemongrass yellow wool lace shift dress with a matching overcoat that FLOTUS wore at the first inauguration of President Obama. I've also read that Mrs. Obama has been a long-time fan of her work since 2008 and buys Toledo's designs from Ikram Goldman's in Chicago.

The heather grey tights with the chevron design are from Walmart.

The grey tights will provide a different look from my usual black tights.