What do you do on a hot September morning when the sky is as blue as the ocean and the breeze is still warm? You thumb your nose at the rules of September and wear white; all white.Read More
Well, not exactly.
Next month I will be celebrating my 52nd birthday. I'm not depressed or upset by it, but I do feel a pressing sense that time is running out for me to accomplish everything I'm planning to achieve before my warranty expires. So, in that vein, I'm going to venture outside of my comfort zone and try a few things I've always been afraid would look ridiculous. There will be successes and there will be failures, and I will be the first one to point them both out.
I'm standing in front of Nashville's iconic Exit Inn night club. The wall behind me is actually a who's who of predominantly rock royalty that have graced the club with their performances. I've never been - they used to be inaccessible - but I plan on trying to check them out soon.
I'm wearing all white (terrifying), sleeveless (mortifying), and wearing florals to boot (mystifying). But I'm being brave about my leukophobia, anthrophobia, and cellulitephobia! Here I am in a white peplum top by Premise. I've always has big arms so I normally steer very clear of sleeveless tops and elasticized waistbands but this one is cut in such a way that it really works for my body type. Here are my white jeans from Chico's making their inaugural appearance. They are very comfy and fit just right. I do think they're still a tad too long and probably need to go back to Ann Rich to be hemmed even shorter. The floral scarf is from Shi. I was visiting my friend Matty there recently and I confessed that I was clueless as to how to wear a scarf. He draped it on me just so and said, "Like that". The beautiful silver multicolored cuff is from Stein Mart. The bandage on my other wrist is from Vanderbilt Orthopaedic Hand Clinic - more on that in the future. I'm reprising my metallic pewter skull clutch, also from Shi, as are the ZigiSoho metallic pewter spiked shoes from several seasons ago.
After the wonderful time I had at the National Czech and Slovak Museum's Alphonse Mucha exhibit, we still had an entire day in Ceder Rapids before our return to Nashville. We decided to explore some of the surrounding area and ended up at the Amana Colonies. My new friend Deb Brown suggested that we meet there for lunch but I decided that it was high time to do some serious shopping before the noonday meal
The Amana Colonies are similar to the Amish and Mennonite communities you may be familiar with one big exception; they enjoy all the same modern conveniences that we do. You can read more about the history of the Amana communities here.
It was really lovely to see all of the old buildings and the specialty shops. Alas, only half of the buildings had access for wheelchairs, but this is understandable because there are historical guidelines that have to be adhered to in the modification of any of the buildings to make them accessible. Instead of being upset I was thrilled to take in the scenery and I decided I was going to patronize the shops that did have wheelchair access!
We went into the Amana Woolen Mill and saw the looms used to weave cotton and woolen items. There were all manner of blankets, scarves and other items available for sale, all of which had been made right there. As you can see from the picture I decided I could use a few scarves. I also found a wonderful white wool blanket with my initial monogrammed on it that was on clearance because it had been custom-made for someone who did not pick it up.
I also went into a cute little clothing boutique called Yana's. I picked up this red and pink stone bracelet which my husband actually pointed out to me and a headband with a beaded flower on it. The headband, which seems fairly unassuming, makes quite a statement.
The weather was perfect. I wore my purple pants with a white shirt and my grey studded oxfords. I also wore my big purchase from the previous day - a silk scarf from the museum featuring one of Alphonse Mucha's decorative patterns.
All in all it was a lovely day. Next time I will show you where we stayed and the new friends that I've made.
This week's Fashion Friday is a little unusual in that I'm actually in it.
Yes, I'm back at Shi, but this time my motive was to visit my friend Matty. You remember Matty from my post That Cinderella Moment? Well, I've been so busy it's been a while since we've connected in person. Besides, I wanted to show him how well my Not Rated King of Pop oxfords (pictured on the left) went with my uber thrifty outfit. I'm wearing my $7 Westbound Petite thrift store jeans along with a $9 red Cable and Gauge tank top with silver hoop embellishments and an $11 ForCynthia white dolmen sleeved sweater. Not bad for just shy of $30, right?
But Matty knows me well, and knows my weakness for chicness. When he brought out these Sugar Leopard Print ankle boots - with a 3" wedge heel - three things raced through my mind in the following order...
"Love, love, love, want, want, want!"
"They probably won't fit."
"I can't stand up in a heel that high." Remember, if I can't at least stand in the shoes I can't have them.
Not only did they fit, they fit perfectly! That takes care of thought number two. As far as the heel height is concerned, because wedges are by design more stable I stood up not once, not twice, but three times with ease and confidence.
That just leaves the initial thought. Yes, I bought them and I will wear them often!
• 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!
Last week I promised to share with you where I found the bottoms in this picture.
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?
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.
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?