Porter Flea Pictorial

Porter Flea Pictorial

I spent last Saturday morning at Porter Flea for Summer 2014, which was held at Track 1 in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood. Porter Flea is an artisan market showcasing the best of Nashville's modern handmade apparel and accessories, home goods, furniture, jewelry, prints, posters, paper goods, as well as packaged consumable goods from several local makers, millers, and bakers.

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Ikat Figure This Scarf Thing Out

Ikat Figure This Scarf Thing Out

I know, I'm really pushing the pun-velope. But seriously, even though I adore scarves I've never quite known what to do with them.

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Fashion Friday: Out Damned Spot

I promised to share with you what I wore to the Nashville Shakespeare Festival's performance of MacBeth.

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Okay, not as over the top as last week's Fashion Friday outfit. Nevertheless, it certainly stood out amidst the sea of grey sweatpants and beige puffer jackets. Honestly, is it that difficult to dress up just a little?

There's only a few recent pieces here, but the idea was to pay homage to the play and it's plot. Red, of course, is the appropriate color for this purpose. This Connected Apparel red cowl necked wool dress was purchased this past fall from TJ Maxx and set me back a mere $20. My wing tipped Mary Janes by Franco Sarto are 3" high - my maximum - and are five years old. The Marvin Richards faux fur leopard cape was my nod to the infamous soliloquy and is last year's clearance find from Stein Mart at $30. You've seen the skull clutch from Shi before so you know it was a Christmas gift. Although you can't see it in this photo I'm also wearing the antique citrine necklace I received for the holidays.

I enjoyed the production and set design of the play immensely. I did not enjoy a fair portion of the acting. It is the downfall of nearly every Shakespearean play I've seen that the actors race through their lines as if they'd just been set ablaze and must spit out their words before the fire can be extinguished. When will they learn to slow down enough to give the bard's words the weight they deserve? Lady MacBeth, in particular, was delivered manic from beginning to end, devoid of any sort of character arc whatsoever.

Still, I appreciate the actors, even Lady Mac, and those that worked so hard to realize a Shakespearean play on a cold January night in Nashville. It's not an easy task and I understand that all too well. I look forward to their interpretation of A Midsummer Night's Dream this summer.

Spashionistas Wanted

The outfits that I put together for Fashion Friday are based on my BODS profile. Sure, some of the items I use are beyond my price range but I’m certain I can find reasonable equivalents within my budget. I would love the opportunity to put some together for you for the next installment of Fashion Friday. If you’re interested email me with your BODS profile and we’ll make it happen!

Fashion Friday: September Style

This week I'm going to show you two versions of Fashion Friday. One is the haute couture version; the other is my budget workaround.         

Here are two outfits perfect for running around town in post-Labor Day style. Given that it's made up of separates either outfit's pieces are very versatile and can be dressed up or down in many different ways depending on what each piece is paired with. In my opinion versatility adds value. I'm more inclined to buy separates I can use in multiple ways because it makes my clothing budget money go further.

If you've got money to burn you can opt for the $2,400 Chanel Vintage tweed jacket, the Jason Wu color block stretch jersey pencil skirt for $695, Costume National leather sandals at $400, and the $3,400 Bottega Venata "Cervo" Fire (Orange) Leather Woven Satchel. Total cost for the designer label version is $6,895.

My version is considerably cheaper but no less chic. The black cotton Contrast jacket is from the clearance rack at Marshall's and set me back $19.99. My skirt is fresh off the racks of Forever21+. Can you believe an "XL" is considered a plus size? At $17.80 I could care less what they call it. I call it a good deal. My black XAPPEAL heels are from Rack Room Shoes as part of a BOGO so they cost me $16.50. The bag is a TJ Maxx find, a certified "vegan" bag from Urban Expressions and a steal at $32.00. Total cost for my cheap knockoff look is a whopping $86.25.

Now I'm off to get ready for the British Invasion. I get to play tour guide this weekend - I expect it'll be tons of fun!

Spashionistas Wanted

The outfits that I put together for Fashion Friday are based on my BODS profile. Sure, some of the items I use are beyond my price range but I’m certain I can find reasonable equivalents within my budget. I would love the opportunity to put some together for you for the next installment of Fashion Friday. If you’re interested email me with your BODS profile and we’ll make it happen!

Maxx-i-Mart-Shalling

Yes, I know it's not a real word, but it's how I save big bucks on new clothes.

Forget about the mall with it's pricey department stores. Unless I'm having a Cinderella Moment I'm not paying full price for anything I find in a major mall. The real savings are to be had in places like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Stein Mart, and outlet malls. Of course, it's still important to be choosy because even at discount prices it's easy to break the bank. Having said that, let me show you a few recent examples of my most notable acquisitions from the outlet stores.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Let's go clockwise and start with the fuchsia print blouson dress. I bought it in May during the grand reopening of Opry Mills Outlet Mall at Express. It was already on their clearance rack at $29.99 but with the added mall promos I got it for an additional $8 off. The white dress is Solitaire by Ravikhosra from Marshall's. I wanted a lace dress and tried on several at different stores, some of them much more than I wanted to spend, but none of them were flattering. This one has more of a flare in the skirt, was a better fit all around, and at $24.99 was too good to resist. Next we have a lovely Max Studio french navy top on seasonal clearance at TJ Maxx for a whopping $6.99. Because I'm petite I'll wear it loosely belted over leggings or a pencil skirt. Last, but not least, this gorgeous empire waisted Live and Let Live multi-colored top was $11.99 from Stein Mart's clearance rack. I am admittedly biased towards that store and may do an entire post about them in the future. So let's see, by my calculations the total for all four items comes to $65.96. I don't know about you but I think that's perfectly respectable in terms of the bang-for-your-buck factor. Oh, and the bottoms in the last picture will be part of our next destination. Aren't you just dying to know where I got them? Find any great bargains like these lately you'd like to share with us?

Your Support System

If there's one thing no Spashionista can do without it's support. The kind that you can always count on to be uplifting. The kind that makes you smile because you know it's always there for you. The kind that's so reassuring you know you can take on the world.

You do know I'm talking about your bra, right?

This is the second item in the "Budget" category of BODS that I will pay full price for if I have to because I think it's one of the most important articles of clothing you wear at any given time. Your bra should not only fit you properly, it should also be pretty enough to make you feel more beautiful for wearing it.

The majority of women give their underpinnings so little thought that they are wearing the wrong size bra, which consequently has the effect of making them look dumpy, lumpy, saggy and baggy. I already look Palsy so I need all the help I can get. If you've been paying attention you will also have noticed that I'm incredibly ample in the bosomage department. What I'm trying to tell you is if I can find beautiful bras that fit perfectly without breaking the bank so can you.

I am as enthusiastic about my lingerie as I am about my shoes with one major difference. Whereas I buy the majority of my shoes in person from Shi by Journeys I buy all of my bras online from Bare Necessities. After an exhaustive search both on and offline I find BN offers the widest variety of styles and sizes that meet my fit and fashion requirements.

First order of business is fit - potentially tricky if you're disabled, but doable. This is the part where all the other "bra fitting" blog posts out there tell you to go get professionally measured. I've been measured twice and they got it wrong (very!) both times. They measured me as a DD when I am, in fact, a G! You are better off doing this yourself or with trusted help, and it's easier to check for fit than it is to measure for it. Here's a great bra fit checklist. The important things to remember that the majority of women get wrong is your bra band shouldn't ride up in the back and needs to fit flush against your sternum. Your shoulder straps should fit comfortably without digging into your skin. Speaking of skin, make sure none of it is spilling out from the bra's cups. Got it?

In my book fashion is just as important as fit. Actually, when you're as well endowed as I am the revelation that you don't have to wear an ugly tank of a bra is purely blissful. Enter Elomi, the brand with styles every busty girl lusts after.

I own all of these bras and I don't mind at all if my décolletage offers a passing peek at them. These are but a sample of Bare Necessities' 1108 styles. I've tried other, less pricey brands but for me Elomi never disappoints. Fortunately BN offers inexpensive or occasional free returns. They always have some kind of sale going on as well and if you're a more common size you can almost always find a bargain. Alas, Elomi is one of those brands that only goes on sale several times a year but when it does I pounce and buy several more. I never buy the matching panties unless they are a cut that will flatter me and they are on sale; no exceptions. It's too easy to find inexpensive coordinating bottoms at places like TJ Maxx. So, like my shoes, I will pay retail for my brassieres if I have to - but I seldom do.

What about you?