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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Fashion Friday

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Most pregnant women get nauseous and sick. I, on the other hand, became a zombie. I was exhausted, to the point where I could have been mistaken for a narcoleptic. I wanted to (and did) lay down on any surface and close my eyes. This included the floor of the church sanctuary, my car on lunch breaks and sometimes even the random chair left in the handicapped bathroom stall. You have to understand, I am not the kind of person who naps, so this was a whole new experience.

Because I was exhausted, I could have gone to work in my pajamas for all I cared. But I did care and wanted to look nice. So, I came up with a solution. In those rare moments when I DID have energy, I gathered up my new maternity wardrobe and put outfits together.

I set out shirts I thought would go together with certain skirts, shoes and jewelry and took pictures of them. Then I uploaded them to my iPhoto and made a “Maternity Outfits” album. This was a super helpful reference to figure out what I wanted to wear when I woke up in the morning and my brain wasn’t functioning normally.

I’ve continued this with my standard wardrobe, since I’ve discovered that working and having two children can make me almost as tired as I was in the first trimester. I also take pictures of myself when I really like my outfits (hence the idea for “Fashion Friday”), so I’ll remember to repeat them at some point.

Because, let’s be real, wouldn’t we all like to go to work dressed like this? ;)

My cousin got married this weekend!

This is what you wear to attack a swap meet.

Happy Friday!

Fashion Friday

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Confession: I am obsessed with the word “totes”, short for “totally”. I realize it is equal parts awesome and ridiculous, but I can’t stop saying it. Does anyone else have this problem?! Something equally addicting is thrift store shopping. If you’ve never been thrift store or consignment/resale shopping, I really recommend it. I will warn you that your hands will feel dirty and gross afterwards, but the treasures you find will be totally worth it.┬áPeople have told me that they don’t like wearing things that are used, but I like to think of them as “previously loved”. ;)

Here are some tips to think about:

1. If possible, wear specific clothing to go shopping.

-Not all thrift stores have dressing rooms, so sometimes it is a good idea to wear clothing that will be easy to try clothes on over. A neutral colored tank top works well to try on sweaters and shirts, a skirt to try pants on under and slip-on shoes that are easy to take on and off. Unfortunately you most likely won’t be able to return items, so it is important to know it fits you really well before you purchase.

2.When you go in, start in the area of the item you most desire.

-Depending on the size of the thrift store, you might not get to everything. That’s why it’s a good idea to start with the item of clothing you would most like to purchase (shirts, dresses, etc.).

3. Go in with an open mind, not something specific.

-I’ve always heard that the higher your expectations, the more likely you will be disappointed. It’s highly unlikely that if you are looking for a “forest green cardigan from GAP with 3/4 length sleeves” that you will find it. Instead, just look through the cardigans and hope to find something else that might fit in your wardrobe. You also might be surprised with the amount of things that you find that you WEREN’T looking for. So, being ready for anything is your best best.

4. Look through the clothes quickly.

-Because you probably have a lot of ground to cover, it’s best if you skim the clothes quickly by looking at the fabric and colors and only stopping when you see something that pleases you.

5. Don’t be afraid to try on sizes that aren’t yours.

-Because most of these clothes have been owned before, there is the chance that the item has been shrunk or stretched out, so feel free to try on sizes that are close to your size. I am a size 12, but have clothes that are size 10 and size 14. This could also have a lot to do with the manufacturers not having consistent sizing. If you hold it up to yourself in the store and it looks like it would fit, go ahead and try it on. This also applies to shoes. In my wardrobe, I have shoes from 7 1/2 to 9. Just make sure to TRY IT ON!

6. Stick with brand names.

-I wouldn’t consider myself a “label whore”, but when I come across something in a thrift store that I like, I ALWAYS look at the tag. This gives me an idea of what size it should be to fit me, what the fabric is made out of and how well it is made. Get to know your brands as far as ones that might come from Ross, Target, Gap, Old Navy or Nordstrom because you are most likely to encounter these. This is not to say that if you find something that doesn’t have a brand on it, don’t get it, but just be wary of the way it is made. I have found some cool, possibly homemade things before. In this instance, judge how the fabric feels and how it fits you.

7. Look for wear and tear & be honest about whether you would wear it a lot.

-Look the item over carefully for any rips, snags or material that looks like it could pill easily. Depending on the wear and tear will help you decide how much you like it and if you want to keep it. Also, make sure that it’s something that you would wear often and be a good addition to your wardrobe. Don’t just buy it because it is a good deal. It is helpful to shop with a friend in these instances to give you honest opinions about your purchases. It is also a good idea to check the tag for the care of an item, such as if it needs to be dry-cleaned.

8. Know what works on your body type.

-If you know that you look horrible in pencil skirts or cropped jackets, it’s probably not a good use of your time to bother trying it on. Go ahead and skip these items. If it’s an item you are unsure of, it could be a good idea to try it on because you could be surprised to find a new style that works for your body. Don’t bother with items that don’t fit you really well or aren’t comfortable.

9. Think about how you could accessorize or fit the item into your wardrobe.

-While I shop, I hold items up and make outfits with them in my head. If I see a pretty cowl neck sweater, I think “this would look great with a denim skirt and knee-high boots”. This will help you decide whether or not to purchase an item.

10. Don’t get discouraged, be consistent.

-Thrift store shopping is hit or miss, so some shopping trips might be seem like failures. But there will be those amazing finds that you get, that will make the search totally worth it. When you do start finding a lot of great deals, beware it’ll get super addicting! You will want to go all the time to see what you can find.

Some other tips include: taking cash with you, checking store hours before you head out, since thrift/consignment store hours aren’t always the same as normal stores.

With this next outfit, I really wanted to wear my red tights with this dress, but the “dress” ended up being too short to wear to work. Thankfully, I found an alternative I liked just as much and was more modest AND comfortable.

Happy Friday!

Fashion Friday

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I am a designer lovin’, label seeking, penny pincher.

I’ve always been a sucker for deals and low prices. It’s genetic and runs deep in my blood. I got the deal-hunting gene from my mom, who got it from her mom, who I’m sure got it from her mom and so on. In fact, my best friend made me so proud a couple weeks ago. She found a dress she really liked, but complained that it was “Sixteen dollars!?!”

Don’t get me wrong, I get my JCrew catalog and greatly appreciate everything in Anthropologie, but I would never buy anything from them. I don’t think it’s physically possible for me to spend that much money on an item. My deal hunting ways are so bad that when I go to already low priced stores like Target or Old Navy, I go straight to the clearance sections and that’s it. I believe if you really want something, just stalk it until it goes on sale. I’ve gotten spoiled from getting such great deals that it’s not worth it to me to pay full price.

A couple years back, I was at Plato’s Closet (best store ever for cheap fashion nuts) and found some adorable red leather Marc Jacob flats for 10!!!!!! I ran them up to the check-out counter and exclaimed to the salesgirl, “Marc Jacobs for only $10?!!” She looked at me as if I was speaking Chinese. I walked out feeling like I had won the shoe lottery. They were half a size too small, but I made them work. I was just super grateful that no one, especially that designer-naive sales girl, had scooped them up before me.

I’ve decided to start “Fashion Friday” because I LOVE putting outfits together. I believe in quantity in my closet over quality. More outfit choices suits my ADD need for constant change. Since I am a working mom, I try my best to look not only presentable, but cute as well. Sometimes it’s trial and error, hit or miss, but I thought it’d be fun to post pictures of my outfits throughout the week. In coming posts, I’m going to post tips about:

-shopping for clothes at thrift stores

-accessorizing

-finding your own style

-dressing cute even when you don’t feel like it

and

-random thoughts from Rena :)

Feel free to comment/ask questions and I’ll do my best to get back to you. Happy first “Fashion Friday”!

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