Monday, August 31, 2009
Does anyone else feel like doing laundry is like going shopping all over again? We finished five loads yesterday and in one of the black loads (we did an all purple/pink load, an all teal/blue load, two black and one white. Ha!), we found this cute, cute little smocked-elastic-waist v-neck cotton dress that we had completely forgotten about picking up (at Marshalls, probably?) recently. We were like "what the heck is this?" But we're thrilled we decided to be super-productive and plunder the depths of the hamper, because it is magnificent with the bright tights, boots, and new-by-us statement piece (OK so it's not huge or anything, but still, multiple strands are a stretch for us). We know the whole thing is pretty matchy-matchy, and frankly, we like it that way.
Earrings and necklace with vintage jet faceted glass, a gift from our dear friend IVStuffs and IVJools at etsy aka InspiredVintageJewelry- check out her blog!
Left hand: our David Anderson leaf antique bracelet, plus a luscious "end-of-day" charm bracelet in blues by us. Filigree ring from MetroStyle and pretty lilac sapphire engagement ring by JewelsCurnow at Etsy.
Right hand: Awesome new double-serpent crystal ball ring from the Oregon Country Fair, and studded faux leather cuff, totally pilfered from our just-about-teenage son (someone should really talk to us about this...)
We're terribly excited about our new faux-snakeskin scrunchy boots from Famous Footwear, complete with almost- perfectly reasonable walking heel. Oh, yes.
Are you apprehensive or pleased about the impending change of seasons? Are you feeling it yet where you are? Summer is our absolute favorite season of all, but boots are our absolute favorite footwear of all, so we're kind of OK with it.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
The print is turquoise, teal, periwinkle, spring green, bright violet and seafoam. Luscious:
We also thrifted a statement necklace back in June at Raspberry Beret, which we paired with (our first wearing of) our new psychedelic flower-patterned mesh surplice v-neck at the office on Friday (on the bottom, our orchid tiered hippie skirt). We doubt we'll be owning a bib necklace or anything else enormous in the near future, but layers of chains and teal-and-sea-green glass beads are just fine by us. We're flouting the petites-can't-wear-bold-jewelry rule:
It seems like the big-necklace trend will still be huge (ha, ha) for fall, and we recently saw (in September's 15th Anniversary InStyle) teal referred to as a fall color (? really?) so hopefully this will last us a while before we look hopelessly out-of-fashion. (Like we'd really care...)
What are your favorite trends that are continuing on from summer to fall? We discovered that our maxi dress looks adorable over a body-conscious teal sweater (from the same thrifting trip as the necklace) as a jumper, with our fake Frye motorcycle boots from Famous Footwear beneath, so we'll be wearing it well into the colder weather (it's also a magnificent just-hanging-around-the-house dress, as the empire waist and cup-and-strap construction mean braless is a possibility even for those of us who are more largely endowed and can rarely enjoy the non-constricted luxury).
While we usually advocate vintage thrifted and/or handmade, we have to admit that we're drawn to the clearance racks at the demonic T. Aren't you? Definitely hit them now, as they're transitioning out for fall items, so you can probably find a lot of cute stuff. Also, some of the dorm decor isn't so awful-- we just grabbed a microfiber "storage ottoman" in black, for $19.99, which is now housing our dumbbells so they're not just lying around the living room waiting for us to do something about this teacher arm! Check it out (bottom left/center):
(Yes, we are obsessed with purple).
Ooh! We forgot to mention that our Tar-geigh has all of their house brand (Prospirit) Balance Balls on clearance for $5. We got one for home for an office chair, and we're thinking we're going to go back and grab a blue one for the office, if we can convince them it's professional enough! Hooray for working the abs while you're required to be sitting on your arse!
Enjoy the last of your weekend!
Friday, August 28, 2009
Check out the set- click the pic for prices and links to the listings on Polyvore.
Overstock.com Clearance: Skirts & Dresses by ThriftyStylist on Polyvore.com
Have you ever shopped at Overstock? For clothes, household items, gifts? What was your experience?
Happy Friday and happy shopping!
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Here are some of our scores:
At Payless, with the BOGO 1/2 off sale, we got these cute little velvet flats for fall for $4.00:
Unfortunately the other pair we fell in love with wasn't even close to on sale, so we spent more than we like to at Payless ($24.99), and also had to buy a 6 1/2 even though we know they'll be rough to walk in, because the 7s slipped off the back too much... so we'll probably regret this, but we couldn't resist the platform and color and ruffle and perfect, perfect heel...
So in case you're counting too, that's our third pair of purple pumps. Obsession, anyone? We did almost buy some pointy-toed hot pink faux-leather 80s ones, too. Someone probably needs to have those- we just knew we'd get too matchy-matchy with them since we've been really into hot pink lately...
We bought a couple of cute flutter-sleeve tees for $5 each, with a great square neckline and shape, which you will no doubt be seeing in outfits to come soon. Super-summery without being revealing, and made from renewable rayon-- we are pretty much in love. Hot pink and deep violet, of course. And we went a little obmre-crazy with a pink v-neck and a purple smocked-waistband skirt, too ($5.00/$15.00 respectively).
But now, the moment you've all been waiting for-- the patterns!
First, an uber-flattering meshy surplice top with side-tie detailing in this crazy loud psychedelic print that would terrify us if it weren't our favorite colors all in one. $10
Lastly, we took ourselves far out of our comfort zone with a tube top (it has a shelf bra so there is some support going on) in coral with a pretty glittery floral pattern painted onto the front ($10.00). At some point we're going to need someone to tell us we're too old for glitter. Not yet, though.
We hope you're proud of us. We highly recommend the Bob's clearance rack right now, if you have one nearby. Most of the tops were less expensive than our local Goodwill. There are also hundreds of bikinis on final sale for about $10 a piece, and we think every girl needs multiple swimsuits, so if you wouldn't blind people by showing your stomach in public like us, snap some up!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Imagine our excitement, then, to discover Fair Indigo, a shop dedicated to fair wages and unusually excellent working conditions for its factory employees all over the world, and also natural fabrics, with extensive organic offerings. Thanks to like-minded blogger and new follower FinalClothesOut for the tip! Check out her awesome thriftiness, too!
Some of our favorite pieces on super sale and within our price range are the basic organic crew-neck T, in 5 colors and 5 sizes, $10.50 (also a great deal for any of the crafty types who screen their own designs- you can definitely charge more than you would for a Hanes or something because these are so much better quality and more responsible!):
Or perhaps you prefer a long-sleeve crewneck, to stock up for fall and winter; this one is also in 5 colors and 5 sizes, though they warn you that you need to order a size up (hence it being on clearance we imagine), $12.50:
And how cute is this perfect little T-shirt dress, available in this "stem green" and navy, $29.50:
A perfect work or interview shirt in 5 colors and 8 (dress) sizes, this princess-seam button-down in 100% cotton-- not organic, but at least still fair trade-- is only $22.50, with rave reviews and a customer rating of 4.7 out of 5:
If you wear neutrals other than black, unlike us, or you're into dyeing stuff, this linen/cotton tie cardigan has to be the perfect layering piece, for only $22.75 (75% off!) in S-XL:
We also adore this surplice-wrap-look sleeveless tee, in 4 lovely girly colors and 5 sizes, only $10.50:
...And we personally don't wear yellow but how freakin' adorable is this faux-cami-peekaboo blouse?? $22.50 (62% off):
The (not-so-latent) goth chick in us is screaming for this 100% silk ruffly blouse, which we envision more as a cardigan, over a bright camisole... $22.25
Speaking of silk, we adore this "flip skirt" in a dainty floral print. It's fully lined in acetate and they recommend sizing up if you don't like a slim fit at the hips. $24.50, sizes 2-16:
This perfect fall work skirt in a charcoal tweedy wool with ruffle hem is just adorable and a pretty universally flattering cut, only $17.25!
We wouldn't usually schill for somebody else's jewelry, (except maybe LoveErin or LonesomeRoadStudio) but these earrings are also handmade by artisans: a cooperative in Peru. (Each piece has at least one background story given, either from the factory or the designers.)
"Angeles Anonimos trains disabled folks in the fine art of jewelry making. They are thrilled that their jewelry is being sold outside of Peru for the first time at Fair Indigo; we are equally thrilled at the chance to bring their exquisitely hand-crafted work to you. When we asked Maria Elena, one of the founders of the group, how they came up with their name, she looked surprised it wasn't obvious. 'Anyone who buys jewelry from us is an anonymous angel.' " Wow. $23.40-- they are sterling silver and what looks to be glass and Swarovski crystal. Worth it.
No doubt you'll find a thousand things you love, but these are our favorites. We hope you enjoy the price break on what's normally a splurge... we sure will come payday ;)
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
We were looking for a summer dress for the office- something cotton and cute with a circle skirt, perhaps? Eyelet, even? Alas, the dress rack was filled with wretched polyester tents and horrific prints, so we came away with nothing... until we spotted, out of the corner of our eye, on the "not-yet-put-away" rack, something aubergine, and ruffly, and *gasp* beaded!
Upon closer inspection, it was a silk dress. A gorgeous one. In our size. By Laundry, which we're pretty sure is some sort of crazy expensive brand. Um. Yeah, sure is. Wow. It looked awfully narrow despite the tag, so imagine our excitement when it not only made it over the girls but totally and absolutely fit like a dream. Er, as long as we find some Spanx.
We paid $7. The silk alone is worth more than that, never mind the (seemingly hand-sewn) beadwork. Oh, we're so happy. We have nothing to wear this to, but we'll find something!
A tremendous thank you to the crazy woman who decided to toss this in the Goodwill pile for laziness, because any sane person would have at least tried to consign the thing.
We sense a lunchtime addiction brewing.
Do you love Goodwill? What have been some of your most amazing scores at thrift shops?
Monday, August 17, 2009
Here's our fairly faithful representation via Polyvore!
Outfit Aug 17- No Black! by ThriftyStylist featuring Forever21
We'd like to take this moment to lament that debenhams.com does not ship to the US, because dear god we find the greatest, cheapest deals while looking for "like items" to our wardrobe on Polyvore, like this adorable little linen-blend with silk trim cardigan on clearance for $8.30. Please come across the pond, debenhams! The thrifty fashion chicas on this side also love good deals! You lucky, lucky Brits!
Our actual cardigan is a sheer mesh shrug-type thing with a center tie. We found it at Vicky's on clearance a while back and we swear we'd buy one in every color if we could find them... Perfect office cover-up without the bulk or heat of a "real" sweater (it's looking to be in the 90s this whole week so we sure wish we had a few more of these!)
We're rocking more flowers in the hair (of course), although this time it's a hairpin-type double flower stuck into the top of our messy bun, instead of a tucked-behind-the-ear clip. We just ordered some rose-and-feather clip fascinators from SweetXcessories and can't wait to get them! We honestly can't believe we haven't been wearing flowers in our hair always. It's so us.
The least thrifty thing about this outfit is the bag. We did mention this purse back in the beginning, but it's worth another word. We normally don't care for expensive handbags- especially if they're only expensive due to the name brand- but we discovered this one, at HoakonHelga at Etsy, made from reclaimed leather (we're pretty sure it was something Prince made Sheila E. wear) and we had to have it. And we're glad we did- it's held up extremely well, looks terrific with just about any ensemble, and receives many compliments, which can be turned into opportunities to spread the bleeding-heart-liberal message about the issues of buying new leather :D
Do you like? What are you wearing for the "dog days of summer" (if you're in the northern hemisphere?)
Friday, August 14, 2009
Image via BudgetChic
Nor this one, from Parker via LuvCharlie, which is $148 (maybe it'll, uh, go one sale?)
So since those gorgeous 100% silk, saturated color, beautifully cut blouses are just existing in our wildest dreams, but we still love and crave purple and ruffles, here are some adorable (if not wholly comparable) versions under $25!
Most of these are from UK shops, (of course, should we say?) but all are amazing deals: $9-23. Click through to the set on Polyvore for purchase.
Are you a purple person? Are you excited to see such a preponderance, as we like to say, in fall fashions?
There are a bunch of boot trends happening for fall, including victorian/granny boots, western-inspired, knee-highs, foldovers, over-the-knees, and booties. Bold color is big, as are retro and innovative shapes.
We found a few cool affordable pairs on Etsy, which you might want to snap up if they're your size, as they're all singular vintage! (Most of the fall recommendations we've seen have topped $200 new, so be green and thrifty and find something unique).
Knee-high Leather Boots, $14, at Trends4Today, size 7
Hot mama 80s boots, $14.99 at AufDeMaur, size 8
Crochet-vamp victorian granny boots. $18 at Reruns, size 8
Western-inspired bootie, $18, at VintageOrphans, size 7 1/2
Cherry Red Foldover Flat Boots, $20, at HellCatVintage, size 6
Totally Awesome 80s white strappy boots with RHINESTONE HEEL DETAIL, $20, at SimplyMaggieMay, size 9
Purple velvet slouch boots (more rhinestones!), $23, at LillysCloset, size 6
Kitten heel knee-high boots (great to dye, perhaps?), $22, from TreasuresInAnAttic, size 8 1/2
Perfect 70s vegan leather knee-high boots with buckles, $24.00, from PaintedSoulDesign, size 6
Black suede tall boots with RIBBON-BOW OPTION! (We would so do that), $24.99 at PlumberryVintage, size 7
80s scrunchy-vamp red kitten heel ankle boots, $25.00 at DayliteandDark, size 7
European granny boots, $27.95, from bOmode, size 8 1/2
Cheetah-lined red foloder ankle boot, $28.00, from Saminator, size 5
(if you have bigger feet check out these similar ones in a 7 1/2!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
The thing we love most about Ramit is, of course, that he doesn't tell you to stop shopping. On the contrary- he tells the story of a friend who spends about $5,000 on Manolos and such every year. But she budgets it in, friends, and is still saving for her future, because she cuts corners in other places, like sharing an apartment. How many of us can say that we've planned our shopping so carefully?
We thought we'd share some of our recent "conquests" in the money-saving arena and other things we were already doing right, in case you're thinking about a similar path.
1. Contacted the IRS, who is holding our 2008 refund due to us filing for an extension in 2004 and then never actually filing (although we did pay!). This means that -- if the paperwork ever comes-- we can file for the missing year and receive a refund for that year as well as the one that's due for 2008! We aren't a big fan of confrontation or the telephone, so this took a lot of guts for us, but they were surprisingly helpful (us: "lost all of the paperwork in a move." Them: "We'll send you a packet with everything you need to file." !!! Way cool!) This probably saved us about $4000. That we haven't had for ages because we were too scared to call. Don't be scared. They're in the business of public service, lest we forget-- they're really not always the big bad wolf.
2. Got our credit report, which wasn't as bad as we had expected (only one late payment, when we totally didn't get our Target bill, grrrr. They even said when we called "oh yes, it looks like the bill came back to us." Bleh! We stopped using the card since they hiked the interest rate. Not worth it.) Then, we called our bank to see about refinancing our mortgage since according to "popular wisdom," we should have a better rate due to our credit score. Not that they've called back, but it's a step toward saving more. (Hold on, calling again... Woohoo! Finally got a live human and a recommendation about something called "rate modification" which is different from refinancing... We'll see how that goes!) UPDATE: For a $1500 fee, they are willing to "recalculate" or something rather than actually refinancing (saving us re-inspection, closing costs, etc.) and drop us to their prevailing (almost half a percentage lower) rate-- which, if we're doing our math correctly on the mortgage calculator, will save us $69,000 over the life of the loan! Let's see... $1500 now or $69,000 later? SOLD! (Now for that tax refund... cough... Or maybe this is a good time to transfer some $ out of that down payment subaccount!)
3. Canceled cable. What a waste of $60/month! The only things we ever really watch are What Not To Wear on Friday nights and the Simpsons. New Simpsons are on Hulu the day afterwards, and we have our beloved fashion blogs to make up for missing Stacy and Clinton, so really, what was the point?
4. As we mentioned in our "At Home" post, we are making our own cleaning products, using washable napkins and hand towels, and have joined a CSA to cut down on our grocery bill (drastically!). We're also trying to bring breakfast and lunch to work and cook dinner just about every day (er, trying being the operative word here).
5. Started tracking our spending religiously, whether keeping receipts or updating our "expenses/income" spreadsheet at work. After a month or so of this, we'll examine where our money is really going and try to adjust accordingly. We'll set a real BUDGET for clothing purchases that fits into our income stream, rather than saying "ooh! We got paid! Shopping time!"
Thankfully we were already on the right track, though; we have zero credit card debt (never got one- we know ourselves too well!); already had a 401(K) to which we're contributing the percentage allowing us to receive the max match; had opened a Roth IRA in our early 20s (which has lost several thousand dollars since then, oops... we picked stocks we loved and/or thought would do well, instead of investing in a decent "target date fund," which we now have done thanks to Ramit, so maybe it'll stop tanking so hard), and had opened an ING Orange Savings high(ish)-interest account, to which we contribute with a small automatic monthly deduction from checking.
Our fiance was laid off in May and is moving in with us in October, (our housemate moved out this month so we have two months with no help with the bills!) so it's really imperative that we take care of this now.
We still need to get a real credit card to start building more credit, since we've never had a car or anything... and apparently paying a mortgage on time for 12 years doesn't account for much.
How conscious are you of how much you spend? How about saving?
Has anyone else read Ramit's book? Highly recommended! Let us know your thoughts!
Happy saving and conscious spending ;)
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
...And it doesn't look too bad! Maybe we'll try this again ;)
This is the corset belt we mentioned recently, from MetroStyle (which is, incidentally, the same as Chadwick's, both located here in MA). Unfortunately the elastic back is not adjustable, so we had to safety-pin it so it sits on our waist rather than our hips. Oh well! It still looks ridiculously cute. We got a lot of double-takes on the way to work from older women, so evidently this is not your usual day look, or maybe you're only "allowed" if you have no curves (which would be awfully limiting) but we don't really give a damn.
We're wearing a little cardigan from H&M via Goodwill for the office, and the skirt is a linen a-line with "stripes" running down it that are really splits in the fabric, held together with coordinating openwork rickrack-type trim. Awww, how adorable :)!
Earrings by us:
(Complete with terrible 5-second touch-up pedicure; some polish is better than rubbed-off polish, we figured, apparently overzealously).
Moar shoes (stealing Eednic's line!):
We love how the studs on the slides help play up the rock-n-roll nature of this outfit-- also why we chose an army green cami. A little bit punk rock, a little bit girly: that's how we like it.
A little extra bonus today: Thrifty Stylist Boston BEAUTY!
We're rather obsessed with eyeshadow and usually match ours to our top. Today is emerald green with chartreuse highlights and a nice thick cleopatra cat eye. Our eyes are small in proportion to our head (which is also small, but our face= very round) so if we aren't wearing eye makeup we look like some kind of beady-eyed little alien. Swear.
We're also trying to grow out the ol' eyebrows after years and years of overplucking. We are somewhat tired of looking surprised all of the time ;)
We hate really heavy brows, but hope that a more natural line will help dramatize our eyes and also balance out the proportions of our (we think) enormous nose, forehead and chipmunk cheeks :P
Do you pluck? Or wax? A lot? What are your opinions on heavier, more natural brows?
And what do you think- should we keep rocking the belts even though we're not used to them and not so sure they flatter us? Thanks to all of the bloggers who have inspired us to try, at least!
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
We had never heard of Yoox.com before, but on our first visit we found it to be a lovely and generally well-set-up site, although a bit rich for our blood since it focuses on high-end designers. However, a little bit of scouring in the clearance section might bring you great fortune- there are pages of under-$25 items, and although most are in one size and color only, you might get lucky with a great score! They're also offering free shipping through August 17th.
We're particularly enamored with these items brought to you via Polyvore (the only maddening thing about Yoox is that it's almost impossible to copy pictures; even with Polyvore, only a few of the items we wanted to feature would "clip." You'd think sites would want the publicity, sheesh!):
From left to right, black (velvet satin!) pencil skirt; cream cami with beaded fascinator detail; cropped flare lavender pants; elbow-length coral jersey v-neck; dark brown "eco-leather" (does that mean recycled or vegan? ack?) kitten-heel western-inspired boots. All $20. Check out Yoox and click on clearance and then use the size function to search for only items you might actually be able to wear, so as not to disappoint yourself terribly (just about every pair of cute jeans is in a 27. Our 12-year-old son, who has 7% body fat, has a 27-inch waist. Come on now). As always, click the picture to get to the specific listings via Polyvore.
There are also some fabulous deals this week at NY&Co... Free shipping on all orders of $75 or more. Plus jewelry is BOGO 50% off! And pants and jeans are BOGO FREE!!! *o_O*
Here are some of our favorites:
Perfectly Purple NY&Co Clearance by ThriftyStylist on Polyvore.com
And check out their 30 under $30 page~ it's like they're channeling us!
We're going through shopping withdrawl just looking at all of these gorgeous things, so someone please let us live vicariously through you!
Happy shopping :)