Goodnight Moon

I'm not referring to the bedtime story.

I'm fed up with ill-fitting, unflattering jeans that are prone to exposing more than I ever intended them to. I don't mind being called "cheeky" but I don't want the nickname to be a literal comment.

You know what I'm talking about. If you have to constantly tug on your jeans because they are migrating South without taking you with them. If you're perpetually shifting in your seat in a desperate attempt to cover your ass; literally. If your pants only feel like they're pulled all the way up when you're sporting a camel toe. If you can't take a full breath without your gut spilling out of your waistband. If the prospect of bending down to pick something up off of the floor is more terrifying than a shower in prison. If you can identify with any of these statements it's time for you to admit that you're no longer the teenager most jeans are built for and marketed towards. It's time to step away from the low-rise, ladies.

For me this has been a long time coming. I thought that some significant weight loss and getting fit would resolve all my denim dilemmas. But the fact is that because I'm in my 50's my body will always be rounder and less toned than when I was 30. When I walk with my crutches I don't want to stop every 20 feet and pull my jeans up, and when I'm wheeling around I don't want to back up so far in my seat that I back out of my britches.

So I went through my closet and donated every girly, junior, low-rise, too tight in the rear, too loose in the gut pair of jeans I owned. That left very few pairs - too few by Nashville standards. At the very least I wanted to acquire a crisp, white pair and a dark wash companion.

A quick trip to the thrift stores was a waste of time. The next step up the clothing chain yielded a white and dark wash, Michael Kors and DKNY respectively. Unfortunately they didn't fit any better than the ones I had just discarded. My last resort was the Opry Mills outlet mall. I had bought jeans from some of the major names like Old Navy and Gap before. I felt confident I could just waltz in and get what I came for.

Wrong.

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The jeans that had served me well were a thing of the past. The styles that worked for me had either been discontinued or redesigned - to sit even lower on the body! Mid-rise or even natural waisted cuts seemed to have disappeared.

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You can't really see it but every Calvin Klein style in the photo above says it sits "below the waist". Now, none of us want to wear the dreaded "Mom jean" but every style I came across barely covered my assets. Okay, I had clearly outgrown the well-known brands. Time to think outside the box.

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I had never shopped at Chico's before. I thought them to be too "old" for my taste and too pricey. But the sign above pulled me into their store, and a trip to their fitting room won me over.

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Finally, denim for grown-ups! No fading, acid-washing, whiskering, or distressing. No body parts suffocated, sausage encased, muffin topped, or mooned over. Just classy jeans in a contemporary cut that fit!

They need to be hemmed, of course, even the "short" length tends to be too long for me. As far as price goes, they were buy one, get one 50% off, which made them comparable to the Gap and several other stores in the mall. I couldn't resist and promptly snatched up a white pair as well.

Goodnight, moon. Go back to the night sky where you belong. Mine will stay stylishly encased in the indigo of my new jeans.

Fashion Friday: Laura Hine

Meet Laura Hine.

Laura is a fellow fashion blogger and author of wefly2. She has peripheral neuropathy which, in her case, means she has to wear custom orthotics in her shoes. Laura filled out a  BODS profile to get my input on an outfit for a group get-together to discuss fashion for disabled women. Like most of us she's on a budget so she requested I keep the outfit under $100. Classic casual is Laura's preference, "No mutton-dressed-as-lamb".

I can do that.

Laura describes her body shape as,  "Formerly hourglass, now more square–menopausal gain in waist and abdomen, broad shoulders, size 18 and busty but not huge."  I've given Laura two options here. Both share a very similar upper body shape and focus bold, solid color near her face (which, incidentally, is quite pretty).

Let's start with option one. The cardinal purple medium weight cotton blend cowl neck sweater dress is from Old Navy. It has an empire waist, hits just above the knee, and is priced at $39.

Because she has to wear orthotics in her shoes they must have a rounded toe and an athletic shoe style heel. These Lower East Side Alex side bow Mary Janes from Payless have a slight heel that mimics athletic shoes,  a rounded toe, and hidden elastic in the strap. These shoes are very comfy - I know this because I own them - and they are a steal at $17.

Laura has expressed a preference for fanny packs but I thought I'd show her a different option. The small Mossimo Supply Co. quilted chain crossbody black bag is from Target; it's also $17.

Finally, stylesforless.com has these black and silver stacked 6-piece bangles for $9.

Option two replaces the dress with a top and pants. The top is also from Old Navy, a fuchsia, medium weight jersey with a natural waist and cowl neckline that sells for $32. The pants are from Amazon.com. They are Lee's Comfort Waist straight leg pant in an indigo rinse, essentially a crisp-looking, more comfortable version of jeans. They sell for $28.

If you add up the totals you'll see that option one comes in at $82. Option two is slightly over-budget at $103, but Laura can skip the bracelets and bring the grand total down to $94.

I thoroughly enjoyed doing a real BODS oriented Fashion Friday. I hope Laura likes the outfits and has a terrific time at her meetup!

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!

It's A Cinch To Pinch Those Pennies

Last week I promised to share with you where I found the bottoms in this picture.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

I got these jeans at a thrift store for $4.98. In fact, I purchased everything you see below at one of three thrift stores I periodically pillage.

For my fellow disabled Spashionistas and anyone on a tight budget or a fixed income secondhand stores can be a boon. You're letting somebody else pay full price for a garment that has the potential to make you look fabulous when you score it for a lot less money. There are obvious downsides to the thrift store experience. You have to be willing to wade through a sea of so-so clothing to find that rare piece that's perfect for you. You also have to be willing to have it altered if it's a close fit.

Take these jeans, for example. These happen to be Nine West and fit me perfectly except for the length.

Given the fact that I'm on the short end of petite I expect any pants I find are going to be too long. I paid $6.98 for the jeans and another $9 to have them hemmed (you didn't really think I could sew, did you?). For around $16 I have name brand jeans that fit like a glove. The Westbound Petite I'm wearing in the photo above, along with a pair of Old Navy Sweetheart Jeans purchased for $5.98, are the only pants I've bought that didn't need to be taken up.

Other notable summer tops include the pink One World ombre  for $3.99; the RXB turquoise embellished tunic, also $3.99.

The black and white "mystery"  label-removed tunic for $2.98.

The gorgeous Ilyse Hart LTD black pencil skirt with white lace looks like a million bucks but only cost me $3.99! The third black and white item is a Sangria dress that I purchased for $5.99.

Fall picks start with the Sarah Arizona Petite dark sage top for $4.99 and the Worthington Petite black wrap top at $3.99.

This Ann Taylor Loft grey fringe wool skirt with appliqued flowers was a steal at $8.98.

Winter clothes are hard to find secondhand. This is especially true for sweaters that can't be altered and tend to arrive at the thrift store stretched, snagged, or pilled. When I find a great sweater I pounce on it. Take these two for instance. The white is a Raphaella angora/lambswool blend for $7.98. The pink Valerie Stevens is cashmere and set me back $10.99.

By my calculations that's a total of $84.81, including the $9 alteration fee, for 13 items. That averages out to $6.52 per piece. Is there any sceneario by which this does not qualify as awesome?

Please excuse the quality of these photos - I lent my photography rig to Vogue magazine. They promised to have it back in time for this shoot but, well, you know how that goes!

What's your best thrift store/charity shop/consignment boutique find?