Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spring Break Haul

When I am at school I do not get to go shopping very often. This isn’t just because the mall near my school doesn’t even deserved to be called a mall (it is truly awful), but I can’t afford to go shopping at boutiques all the time. So when I was on spring break last week, I made sure to fulfill all my shopping needs. This need for shopping came at the perfect time considering I was in desperate, well maybe not desperate, need of clothing. I got a bunch of great pieces for amazing prices, and many are things I have been wanting for quite a while. Since I love all the pieces I got and think they make a great addition to my spring wardrobe, I thought I would share them with you. So here is my spring break haul!

Pants and I have a love hate relationship, and part of the time this relationship turns into a hate hate relationship. So when I find a pair of pants that fit and I actually like, I feel the need to share it with the world. Over break I received a pair of BCBGeneration trousers from my mom, that she purchased from TJ Maxx, and they fit perfectly! They are similar to a pair of jeans, but just a bit more fashionable and that to me is already perfect. What makes them a bit more fashionable is the fact that they are higher waisted and loose fitting, which ends up flattering my body type a whole lot better than an average pair of jeans. I will be able to pair these trousers with all kinds of shirts, which means I will get quite a bit of wear out of them. All in all I would say this was a good purchase on my mom’s part. So a big thanks to my mom!

Continuing on with pants, I purchased two pairs of pants at H&M for $28 and I am head over heels for them! They are high waisted skinny pants, not jeans, with a side zipper. They have no pockets in the front and only a fake pocket in the back, which means no added bulk, plus a bit of stretch which is always welcome when you’ve got a few curves like me. I got a pair in black and a pair in what H&M calls brown, but it looks more like a tobacco color. I have been in search of high waisted jeans, and while these are not jeans, I love them. They go with so many things, and I can both dress them up and down, which makes them a great addition to not only my spring wardrobe, but my year round wardrobe as well. What also makes them great is that I didn’t shed a single tear when trying them on and that is quite an accomplishment for me when it comes to trying on pants.

The last pieces I bought to cover my bottom are two pairs of shorts, and I mean it when I say that. I purchased them from Wal-Mart, and I am quite happy that I stumbled across them. Just like the H&M pants, not only did I get these for a great price of $28 total, but I also didn’t even cry when trying them on. Now if you have read my past blogs you will know that I am done with daisy dukes. I hate the way the look on me, and I honestly don’t think they look good on anybody unless they are a supermodel. The shorts I purchased have a 4.5 inch inseam, which is a length I am quite happy with considering most shorts sold for girls my age have an inseam of 2 inches or less. The first pair is a dark wash denim and the other pair is khaki, and both are great pieces that I can wear in both the spring and summer. To anyone who is looking for cheap shorts that are longer, I highly advise these because the quality of them seems quite nice and they actually cover my bottom.

Since pants and I don’t always get along, I make sure to have plenty of dresses in my wardrobe.When I came across this blue and white stripped dress in Forever 21, I knew I had to try it on. Luckily I loved the way it looked on me just as much as I loved the way it looked on the hanger. It has a very mod look about it and just like something Twiggy would have worn. I can easily add pops of color to the dress since it is so simple, and I think my red Keds will look great with it. Not only will I be able to wear it in spring, but I can easily carry it in to summer for a carefree look.
I was worried the peplum trend was on its way out, but luckily Stella McCartney and a few others kept it going, which is part of the reason I purchased this green one at Forever 21. That and I forgot to bring green clothes home for St. Patrick’s Day, which may sound stupid to some, but when you are as involved in the Irish community as my family is, green is a must.  I love the fit of this peplum because it comes in perfectly at my waist then flairs out for a bit of added volume. Along with the great fit is a great color that is perfect for spring and can be easily taken into summer. While I have not paired it with a belt like it is shown in the picture, I am sure that I will try it eventually. Plus this top can be worn with my high waisted pants too! While many think that a peplum doesn’t flatter mot body types, I think everyone should at least try one on because you may be surprised.

In the same shade of green is a light sweater, which I also purchased at Forever 21. Now I mostly purchased this to dance in over the holiday, but I also realize that it will be great to layer with on those chillier spring days. When it comes to sweaters I am very picky about the way they feel. If they are the slightest bit itchy I will not purchase them, but that was not the case with this sweater. As I said, I will be able to layer this over top of button downs, or underneath a denim jacket, which is necessary for the unpredictable spring weather. This sweater also comes in a few other spring colors, which makes me want to purchase another one.

Also from Forever 21 is this navy blue tank top with a ruffle around the neck, which I absolutely love. It has such a feminine look about it, and I love the adding more feminine touches to my wardrobe for spring. It also is very flowy, which I quite enjoy because I am not the biggest fan of skin tight clothing. Whether I pair it with a skirt or pants, it is going to look cute either way. Plus I can easily throw a cardigan on and it will still look adorable. It was also made in a bubblegum pink, but I surprisingly liked the navy blue a lot better.

 My wardrobe would never be complete without a white
button down, which is why I purchased a new one immediately after discovering my other one was wearing out. The ones at Forever 21 have a very nice fit, which is why I have bought the same one multiple times. I think that everyone should have a classic white button down in their wardrobe, and I highly recommend the one at Forever 21. I also purchased a flowy floral button down at TJ Maxx that ties at the bottom, which is a very cute detail. However, I have yet to take a picture of it, so you can just imagine it.
The last thing I purchased at Forever 21 was a pair of cat eye sunglasses. Ever since I saw Kourtney Kardashian wearing a pair, I knew I wanted a pair just like them. I love sunglasses, but I am very picky about the way they fit and how they look on my face. This pair was only $5.80, and fit very well. If anyone wants to find a pair of sunglasses, you might want to try Forever 21.
The final thing I purchased over spring break was a swimsuit. I am so picky when it comes to buying clothes, and the same goes for buying a swimsuit. I have been searching for the perfect high waisted swimsuit after seeing Taylor Swift’s adorable polka dot one last summer. After being unsuccessful time after time, I randomly decided to look on ASOS, where I finally found the perfect suit. Not only is it high wasited, but it has a great floral pattern. A great thing I discovered about ASOS is that for being a college student you can get 25%, which got me about $20 off of my swimsuit. No complaints there!

Like I said, I was in need of a serious shopping trip, which is exactly what I did over spring break. Hopefully if you were in need of a few ideas for spring that my haul helped you out. Happy spring shopping!


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Fashion on a Budget

Seeing as though I am a college student, I don’t have massive amounts of money to be spending right and left. However, this doesn’t stop me from buying clothes because if it did, I would not be a happy camper. I can afford to buy clothes because I am what some might call a “smart shopper”, which I learned all from my mom. She has taught me that I don’t have to buy all the brand names and high end items, yet I can still look fashionable and on trend. At this very moment I am wearing a classic little black dress that is on trend and fits great, but one thing that you won’t know by looking at it is that it is a $5 dress from Wal-Mart. That’s right, I am wearing clothing from Wal-Mart and actually admitting to it. This is only one trick that I use to keep my closet stocked with trendy clothes, which means that I have many more to share with you.

If you haven’t realized it at this point, I am quite obsessed with fashion magazines. Vogue, InStyle, you name it and I most likely read it. While I do take a lot of tricks and tips from these magazines, I do not take the prices. Just like a little kid when they get the Toys-R-Us Christmas catalogue, I highlight, circle, and note all the things I would like to own. Just a couple days ago I got the Anthropologie catalogue, and before one of my classes started I was highlighting and annotating it just like you would a textbook (I’m sure the people around me thought I was crazy). Just look at the picture! However, I do not go and buy these specific items, but shop around for cheaper versions of them at stores like Forever 21. To me it does not make sense spending quite a bit of money on items that will only be in style for one or two seasons. A pretty penny should only be spent on items that are going to last quite a bit longer than a season, which leads me into my next trick.

While I did just go on about not spending a lot of money on clothes, there are items that I highly advise you splurge on. If you know that you are going to wear an item a lot, why not get a high quality piece so it lasts longer, rather than buying a cheap version that will fall apart after a couple months. I experienced this first hand when I spent $175 on leather Ralph Lauren riding boots this summer, and I do not regret it a single bit. With the amount of wear that I get out of them I can honestly say that they have paid for themselves many times over. I wear my boots at least two times a week if not more, and if I had bought the cheap faux leather version I am quite positive that they would already have fallen apart. Other items that I advise you splurging on are winter jackets (I splurged on one and do not regret it), leather jackets, and timeless pieces that will always be in style. You will save loads of money in the long run if you buy the high quality version of classic items, instead of spending small amounts repeatedly to purchase the same lower quality item.

As I said earlier, buying cheap trendy items is the way to go. So you are probably wondering where you can purchase such items. Well, there are so so so many places you can go and here are a couple of my favorites. Most girls I know love Forever 21, and luckily one of the largest stores in the country opened up right by my house. Not only do they have all the latest clothing trends, but they also have massive amounts of accessories. Why spend $20 on a ring when you can get four rings for the same price at Forever 21? Also, while there sale section is completely disorganized, if you have the patience to search through all the racks you will most likely find something at a cheap price. I found an ugly oatmeal colored sweater with an array of colored polka dots for around $5 in their sale section, and I could not tell you how many people tell me that they want to steal it from me. Target is another great store to find trendy items for cheap prices, and they always have the hottest designers doing collections at reasonable prices, which I can’t help but squeal about. I swear by TJ Maxx, as does my mom and sisters. I have found so many designer items, from purses to dresses, at amazing prices. I have spent countless hours in TJ Maxx and do not regret it a single bit. I even bought a Homecoming dress there and got quite a few complements on it, so obviously there is nothing wrong with shopping there. You may not think of Wal-Mart, Sears, and K-Mart when it comes to clothes, but I have found pieces that you would never know were purchased at one of them. I don’t lie when somebody asks me where I got one of these items, I just laugh and admit to my smart shopping. One other place that you should consider shopping for trendy clothes for cheap are consignment shops. They have high end clothing at cheap prices, and does it really matter that they were last season? I don’t think so!

There are also many simple things you can do to cut down the cost of clothing, while still being fashionable. A trick that I always use, and I mean always, is shopping the sale racks at the end of each season. By doing this you can get some great pieces at really low prices. Some of them you might not be able to wear immediately, but in the long run you saved a lot of money. When shopping at department stores like Macy’s or Dillard’s always look for coupons before shopping. Department stores always have coupons out, and whether it is 15% off or 50% off, you are still saving money.

As I said before, I would consider myself a smart shopper. I am one of those people that get excited when they by a dress that was originally $75 for $20. I think that I because I buy clothing from such a wide range of stores, my wardrobe is unlike any others. So what if I bought a dress at Wal-Mart or bought something that is last season, I am proud of the clothes I own, and I don’t care what people think of my wardrobe. So own where you shop and what you buy, and stop caring what people have to say about it.