Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Favorite Item of the Week - $14 Cardigan


Blue scoop cardigan - Walmart $14; Eagle T-Shirt - Walmart, Cuffed Denim Capris- Walmart, Yellow Striped Scarf (Old Navy I think?), Silver Ballet Flats - Walmart, Jewelry and Bag - Random internet sites

First of all... let me say I am addicted to the internet. It is what allowed me to search for all these great and affordable pieces and then put them all together by using "copy" and "paste." :) Don't you just love technology?

Now on to fashion...

My absolute favorite item of the week (and perhaps spring) is the cardigan! Not just any cardigan however, I am officially and completely in love with the White Stag scoop cardigan available at Walmart. The quality is amazing and does not feel like anything you could get for the low price of $14. It is a super soft, silky blend that reminds me of the fabulous August Silk sweater. It does not cling, does not stretch or lose it's shape, does not shrink, and does not fade. I have officially dubbed it the miracle cardigan. :) It is great for all shapes and sizes and hides a multitude of sins for those of us who have... well a bit more shape and size! :P It comes in beautiful, spring colors (fuschia, country blue and the ever-handy white). It is also available in some very adorable patterns. I personally bought the hot pink and white flowered cardigan and wore it last week over a hot pink dress (also available at Walmart). I got a lot of compliments and one guy asked me for my number, so hey... not too bad! ;)

You can dress them up as I did last week- over a summery dress, with a cute flouncy skirt and tank, or even a pencil skirt and waist-cinching belt for the office. Or for casual days, do something like what I put together in the above posted photo. Cardigans are perfect for spring- you can use them throughout the day when it is still a bit cool or if the day warms up, take it off and show everyone the cute t-shirt or top below.

Cardigan tip... roll the sleeves up a bit until they are almost 3/4. That will help keep the granny-look at bay.

Go get you one of these cardigans at Walmart!!! I love cardigans and have several and I PROMISE, this is the best one I've ever bought. I'm just trying to decide which color (all of them!) I want now. You can't beat the terrific cut and feel of these sweaters and especially for the low price of $14! Do not allow yoruself to be tricked into buying a cardigan a bit more expensive just for the name and "supposed" better quality. You will not be disappoitned with this gorgeous cardigan from Walmart.

Have a safe and happy Easter!


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Frugal Fashion Tip

So... now that you know my entire life story and reason I started this blog, I decided it's time to get down to business! :)

Here's a quick fashion tip to help you look great and save money too.

If you don't have the money to invest in a bunch of new, cute shoes for spring, just try adding life to your every-day shoes with accessories. You can use bows, ribbons, clips, etc. I'm not talking about going to the store and buying shoes clips and accessories, but simply using things you already have in order to revamp your current shoes.

Take these plain black flats for example... they cost me $8 on sale at K-Mart and are some of the most comfortable flats I have in my closet!

These are 2 children's hair barrettes that I bought to clip onto scarfs and coat lapels as "pins". They cost $2!

The other day though, I needed an aqua shoe to tie in a scarf I was wearing. I thought "Hey, why don't I clip those barrettes on my black flats as a fun touch of color?" I just slipped the clip part of the barrette into the velcro tab on top of the shoes and... Voila!

Adorable shoes to go with my outfit without having to invest in ready-made black and aqua shoes that I could probably only wear with a few outfits. The best part is that since the barrettes clip on, I can take them off to go back to the plain black flats or try other clips for different styles and colors. All for the grand total of $10 and about 30 seconds of my time to clip them onto the shoes! Well worth it! :)

Since this shoe revelation, I've thought of several other ideas for sprucing up plain shoes! Ribbons, bows, buttons, clips, flowers, etc.

I've already dressed up a pair of basic, black, high-heeled sandals with delicate pink ribbon tied into a bow on the ankle strap. The result was a soft, feminine touch to an otherwise plain shoe.

If you can't find a cheap clip or accessory to go with the colors or style that you want, you can always make your own! Craft and hobby stores sell the plain, silver clips at a low price. Buy several and make your own designs. You could use ribbons to make a multi-color flower for each shoe. You could glue buttons onto the clip in whatever design you'd like... squares, circles, hearts, etc. You could even glue coins or other unexpected items onto a clip for a whimsical touch to any outfit. Have earrings you don't wear anymore? Take them and glue onto the silver clip for a one-of-a-kind shoe!

Try accessorizing your shoes! It is an easy, cheap way to revamp your shoe wardrobe and "design" the perfect shoe to go with your outfit.

Au revoir my fellow fashionistas! :)

Viva La Fashion!

Monday, March 8, 2010

How It All Began...

My love affair with fashion began when I was 11 years old. We were on the way to my brother's basketball game and stopped by a store. While I was waiting on my mom, I noticed a magazine with a beautiful girl dressed in a gorgeous, formal dress. It was a prom magazine- the first one I had ever seen. My mom saw me eyeing it and kindly bought it to entertain me during the games later that night.

My brother's team was the last to play, but my mom was the official scorekeeper for both JV teams and Varsity teams. So while I sat waiting for my brother's game to start, I started flipping through the magazine! It was love at first sight!!! Page after page of frilly dresses- pastel creations that seemed to flout like soft clouds around the ankles of the models, dramatic satin numbers that were entirely too mature for high school proms, and sleek, long gowns covered with sequins! Thousands and thousands of sequins!!! (After all, it was still the 90's! lol)

As I turned every page and drank in all the "beautiful" gowns, I begin to dream of my own prom and wondered what my dress would look like on that one magical night. I was only 11, but I had everything planned. I wanted a classic black satin gown, my hair piled on my head with loose curls, huge high heels and of course Leonardo DiCaprio for my date. *sigh*

Whenever I could, I bought more prom magazines. I collected them and kept them in a box beside my bed. I would look at the same ones over and over again! I had every page memorized, with all my favorites circled and marked. Soon I started drawing my own dresses, looking to the magazines for inspiration. I had so much fun sketching my ideas and dreaming about creating such glamorous dresses. It gave me hours of entertainment! :)

Soon my magazine obsession led me to "Seventeen". I was in heaven! I had never read fashion magazines before and was amazed at the pages of trendy and somewhat insane outfits! The fascination led me to one astounding revelation... I was ready to start growing up.

Perhaps that doesn't sound so amazing to you, but believe me... I was not a normal kid. I grew up wanting to be just like my brother! He was my hero and idol. Where I was extremely shy and backwards, he was outgoing and popular. Where I hung back in crowds, he was confident and always the center of attention. Where I was quiet (and shall we just say it... a bit boring!), he was funny and always making people laugh. We grew up on 10 acres in Georgia and had no neighbors until I was in my late teens. Therefore my brother wasn't just my hero, he was my playmate and best friend. My childhood consisted of blowing up GI Joes and pretending to sword fight with sticks. All of these things combined made for one thing- I did not want to grow up, change, leave my fun childhood behind, be girly, wear makeup or do anything of which I thought my brother (or parents!)would possibly disapprove. I was comfortable. I was happy. I knew childhood wouldn't last forever and I didn't want to do anything that might speed the process along.

Example... imagine a 12 year old girl sitting on the side of the tub with her mom, shaving her legs for the first time, and... crying. Yes. I said crying. When my mom finally made me start shaving, I felt so silly, so out of my comfort zone, so (I still dread the words!) GROWN-UP. Even at that young age, I sensed things were changing and I did not approve! Therefore I bawled like a baby when she broke out the razor.

However, my magazines opened up a world of fun, fashion and teen years. A place where it was ok to play baseball AND wear makeup. A place where I could dress in camo and pretend to be a soldier but still tie my hair in a ribbon. My magazines gave me a push into the "adult" world and gave me the courage to be the person I wanted to be... a tough girl with a feminine side!

It was a slow process! I finally worked up the nerve to ask my mom for face powder when I was 13. I was around 17 when I finally started wearing mascara. It wasn't until my 20's that I got my first highlites.

Now, no one could accuse me of being tomboyish and not girly. I love all things glam and gaudy! Nothing beats feeling pretty and feminine! But this comfortable feeling of being "me" took time.

I've decided I don't like labels. I'm not a tomboy. I'm not high maintenance. I'm not preppy or bohemian. I'm not glam or grunge. I'm not modern. I'm not vintage. I'm just me... Amy. I'm a unique and complicated individual with a unique style to match. Learning how to be comfortable with myself makes me feel proud... and on a side note, it makes my brother proud too.

Those prom magazines turned my life around as it happens. (Many thanks to my mom for buying it for me so long ago!) I now admit freely that I love fashion and clothes! I'm obsessed with jewelry and accessories. I take joy in being feminine. I have more fashion magazines that everyone in my neighborhood combined! In my free time, I still enjoy sketching out my designs and dreaming about the day I can wear them. I still like sports, I still dress up in camo to play paintball, and I still love hanging out with my brother. But I don't feel the need to fit into a mold to meet other people's expectations. I am a melting pot of ideas and beliefs and thoughts- and my wardrobe reflects that!!!

And to think... it started with just one magazine! :)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Welcome to Viva La Fashion!

So... this is my first blog ever. Most likely no one will ever even read it! ;) However, I have decided to use it as an outlet and more importantly to talk about my one "true" love... fashion. ;)

Before all you spend-thrifts panic, don't worry! Although I appreciate a good brand and quality clothes, this blog is going to be about affordable fashion for the every day girl.

So who am I to give fashion advice? Well... I'm an every day girl like yourself. I'm someone who has been interested in fashion ever since... well ever since I opened a fashion magazine. (more on that in the next blog!) I have million dollar tastes but have to be satisfied with my slightly *ahem* humble budget.

I'd love to buy a Coach bag or Louboutin shoes or Gucci sunglasses, but alas I find myself shopping the clearance racks at Ross and Macy's. Somehow I can't seem to justify a $1500 purse when I know how I could use that money for others things (like my yearly budget for Starbucks! lol)

So... this blog is for you! From one normal, clearance loving girl to the rest of you gals that sigh over the adorable Kate Spade flats but who wear specials from Payless! :) Who says we can't ALL look terrific no matter what the budget?

Have fun reading and learning about my love of fashion and love of bargains! In the future, I'll give you fabulous tips on how to look great for less!

I'll also try to round up the best tips for makeup, hair and accesories so we can look and FEEL great without spending our entire checking account.

Although my emphasis will be on budget most of the time, we will also look at the fabulous designers of today and draw inspiration from their amazing pieces!

I hope you will enjoy learning about fashion as much I enjoy talking about it... and dreaming about it... and thinking about it... and... well I think you get the picture! ;)

Au revoir my fellow fashionistas!

Viva La Fashion!