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?

Meet Me In The Mid-Tones

Is being a hot tamale or a cool cucumber just not right for you? Do you feel like a rainbow reject when it comes to all this color stuff? Don't despair; meet me in the middle.

As the name implies if you're a Mid-Tones mama then your palette is neither too bright nor too pastel. Your skin either has blue undertones or a peaches and cream complexion and your eyes are light in color. You are the most neutral canvas of all. Without color you look washed out, but too much makes you look like your clothes are wearing you.

Mid-Toners can do a bit of crossing over into the other two groups. Just proceed with caution. Stay away from khaki and beige at all costs. Soft burgundy is a great neutral and navy works, too. Purple is your color, just be sure to keep it toned down.

Think fresh, clean colors like those below.

I compiled all of these images using Polyvore.

Do you fall into  this group? I do - it took me a long time to figure that out - and guess what? Once I knew what colors worked on me I didn't trash all the clothes that weren't the right shade. Instead I devised a work-around.

If you've stuck with me so far I thank you for wading through the technical aspect of these posts. In the next few posts I'll talk in a much more personal way about how I stumble and bumble my way through this. I would love to have your questions and personal observations on the subject of color. Post them in the comments section, on my Facebook page, in a tweet or in an email .