Posts Tagged ‘Goodwill’


Daily Deal – Red Ruffles!

May 12, 2010

This outfit is not on the Inspiration Calendar,  but I was just too excited to show you the shirt, that I couldn’t wait for the IC to possibly have “ruffles” or “red” as part of the combination, so I went rogue and wore it.

Price Breakdown:

Shirt: DYI (or something like that – I can’t figure out the logo) $8.00 (Bargain Basket)

Capris:  Ann Taylor $3.39 (Goodwill)

Sandals:  Bandolino $14.99 (Foley’s end-of-season sale)

Belt:  $1.59 (Goodwill)

Total Cost: $27.97

Yes, ruffles.  The style that, back in February, I swore I’d avoid wearing like the plague.  And here I am, in all my glory, proud as a peacock to show off my ruffles.

I had many compliments on it, and I had one friend who couldn’t believe I’d found it in a secondhand store.

“That’s so in fashion now,” she said.  “I can’t believe someone’s getting rid of it already.”

Yep, I told her, that’s me.  Cutting edge of fashion.


Inspiration Calendar – Belt an Oxford over a dress

May 3, 2010

OK, I cheated here.  I didn’t have an Oxford that I felt would work over a dress, so I reached for this little Talbot’s belted jacket that I’ve been wanting to wear for months.

Price Breakdown:

Jacket:  Talbots: $4.69 (Goodwill)

Navy Sheath Dress:  Ann Taylor $5.89 (Goodwill)

Shoes:  Mootsies Tootsies $3.59 (Goodwill)

Total Cost: $14.17

I’m sorry, but I just have to toot my horn here, because I am gushing with Thrift Pride.  How cool is it that for less than 15 bucks, I can put together this timeless, classic outfit?  Somebody at Goodwill needs to use this photo for a new Marketing campaign: “How to dress like a million bucks for less than $15!”

I should do for Goodwill what Jared has done for Subway, don’t you think?

OK, OK, I’ll regain some humility, but I’m actually quite proud here, because I also have the good length factor going here on both the jacket sleeves and the dress, and that rarely happens with me.  Even the height of the heels seem to show off a bit of sassiness, don’t you think?

I guess the only thing this outfit is missing is a splash of color – maybe a nice yellow purse matched with a yellow scarf instead of the jewel-toned beads.  I thought about that the day I wore this outfit, but then decided against looking for the ultimate accessory for this outfit.

I just don’t want to go down that road of accessorizing for perfection.  I like the simple understatedness of this outfit.  Trying to dot the I’s and cross the T’s with perfect accessories just seems too…..too perfect to me.

However,  being the “fickle” or capricious nut that I am, my actions are once again contrary to what I write.  Yes, I decided that I didn’t want to get caught up in accessorizing.

But look what I bought that very same day:

They were $9.99 each, which is a lot for me to spend on anything, let alone purses.

The one on the left is Coach, and I’m confident it’s authentic, and the one on the right is Chanel, and I’m pretty sure it’s not.  But it is adorable, isn’t it?  And I’m not a purse person at all.

In fact,  I’ve just about doubled my purse inventory with these two purses.

What do you think?  Will these be nice additions?  Would they have worked with the outfit above??


Polka Dots update – the results are in!

April 16, 2010

I hated what I wore so much yesterday I wouldn’t even take a picture of it.  I just wanted to get out of a horrible outfit and move on….so no Inspiration Calendar today.  I blame the shoes.  My new brown Banana Republic shoes are horrible, by the way.  Very painful.

So today I’m going to bring you the results of an earlier poll.

About two weeks ago, inspired by the Inspiration Calendar, I wore a polka dot dress with a questionable hem-line length (too long, mind you, not too short!)

It’s a definite gray area for me, because although shorter dresses are much more flattering for my body type,  I absolutely love to drown myself in a nice long dress or skirt, and run around on flats, feeling like Elaine Benis from Seinfeld.  I don’t know – it’s a guilty pleasure I love to indulge in!

Long skirts and dresses make me feel cozy and comfortable.  When I first started this blog, I discovered I was wearing three long skirts per week (I own 39+ long skirts!).  Nowadays, through trial and error and lots of friendly coaching from the blogosphere, I limit my long hemlines to once or twice a month.

So when I wore this ankle length polka-dotted dress a couple of weeks ago, I had a poll to see how acceptable my choice was (Read Polka Dot Dilemma).

Here are the results of my ankle-length polka dot dress:
Yes!  The dress is lovely – 44%

Not! It didn’t work for Elaine from Seinfeld, and is doesn’t work for you – 26%

Maybe. Not my favorite outfit that you have worn, but it’s passable – 19%

So that, ladies and gentlemen, gives me license to wear ankle length dresses (sparingly!).

So let me roll out my other two ankle length polka dot dresses:

This one I actually purchased the day after I wore the polka dot dress in the poll.  I was doing a recon visit to my neighborhood Goodwill, and this dress was on the mannequin.  As I pulled it off and held it up to my body, a woman who looked like she knew what she was talking about exclaimed, “That is adorable! You need to get it.”

Unsolicited approval from complete strangers guarantees that an item will land a spot in my closet.

The next polka dot dress does not need any approval from anyone:

Remember Pretty Woman?   I just need a hat, some gloves, and a different belt, and I’m ready for my Prince Charming climb my fire escape and sweep me away!!

Price Breakdown on this brown polka dot classic?

Dress:  $1.99 (Goodwill)

Necklace: $1.79 (Goodwill)

Belt:  $1.59 (Goodwill)

Shoes:  $1.00 Bargain Basket Dollar Days Sale.

Total Cost:  $6.37

But don’t tell Prince Charming when he comes to rescue me that I’m such a cheap date….that’s our little secret!


Inspiration Calendar – Belted Scarf

April 6, 2010

You know…’s not that bad, is it?

On my last post, I lined up the Inspiration Calendar’s next six outfits, and today’s was “Drape a Scarf Around Your Neck and Belt It”.  My immediate thought was “Not!”  I just didn’t think I could (or would want to) pull it off.

But look what I did!!  OK, I probably need to get a different belt (I like the one in the example), but this little sweater set and scarf really work, don’t they?

Price Breakdown:

Sweater set:  Dana Buchman $6.75 (Restyle consignment shop)

Belt:  $1.59 (Goodwill)

Scarf:  gifted

Pants:  Banana Republic $1.00 (Bargain Basket Dollar Days Sale)

Boots:  $9.99 (Goodwill)

Total Cost:  $19.33 (Woo hoo!  Under $28!!)

I’m going to give it a 3 , because the belt just isn’t working.  (View my Rating System here).  But for someone who swore I wouldn’t even give it a try, I think this outfit could work.  What do you think?

Now to change the subject…Remember Shoe Stories Part One and Part Two?  And Finding Ferragamo?   Well, I still have tons more shoes to show you….in fact, I just have a TON of great little treasure I’ve been picking up here and there…..

So I’m going to start “My Daily Treasure” and bring these little treats to you one at a time.

So my first “My Daily Treasure” are these ADORABLE Enzo Angiolini Black Bow Pumps.

LOVE these!  They’re a great brand, they’re comfortable, and they’re adorable. They were only $3.59 at Goodwill!

Now THAT’S what I call a treasure!  They are totally new (you can tell when shoes have been worn by looking at the heel, and there is not a single bit of wear on the heel!)


Inspiration Calendar – Black Cardigan, Bright Scarf, dorky pose

March 25, 2010

Hello!  I sure hope my pose brings a smile to your face, because I am cracking myself up!

Tuesday’s Inspiration Calendar (IC)outfit combo was easy – maybe even a little too easy, because I even laxed on wearing a belt over the cardigan.

Remember, the IC is a “collection of trends, color combos or pictures of outfits from magazines and other media sources.” It’s designed to be “inspirational”, but for me, it’s as necessary as a morning cup of coffee (or diet Mt. Dew, in my case).  As I’ve said before, it’s Fashion for Dummies.

And here’s my price breakdown to remind everyone that being fashionable can sometimes cost less than a manicure!

Cardigan:  Daisy Fuentes $4.69 (Goodwill)

T-shirt:  Gap (somehow acquired through the years)

Skinny jeans:  Cabi $3.89 (Goodwill)

Boots:  No Boudaries $25.00 (Wal-Mart)

Total Cost:  $33.58

First, the cardi.  I love it.  It’s long, comfy and covers everything. Of course, lately I have been raving about how far I’ve come in style, because I’m embracing more fitting tops,  but since the model wasn’t wearing a belt over her cardi, I decided to give myself a “bye” on wearing one, and I went for the baggy look.

Now, the skinny gray jeans.  LOVE THEM!  This was a wonderful find that I picked up just a couple of weeks ago, when I was stressing over not knowing what the difference between skinny, straight leg, tapered and pleated pants were.

I thought if they had spandex in them, then they were skinny jeans, because they made you feel skinny. Doesn’t that make sense?

Then I thought that if they were “skinny” at the bottom, then they were skinnys.  So remember when I wore this:

I thought they were skinny, but they are actually tapered.  But comments from that post and also from the You Look Fab forum helped to guide me in the right direction.  It’s really awesome, because I feel like I have personal fashion consultants right at my fingertips! So thank you all for contributing to my fashion evolution!

Here’s a real good definition of skinny jeans if you’re interested.

So back to my Cabi gray jeans.   Cabi is one of those personal shopper lines, like Doncaster, that I just learned about when I researched it from wearing my Come Fly With Me outfit.

Well, it was like the perfect storm the night I found these Cabi skinny jeans at Goodwill.  First, I had just learned what skinny jeans really were, so I was specifically looking for them.  Then, I had just learned from my Come Fly With Me post how exclusive the Cabi brand is.

So imagine my excitement when

a) I found skinny jeans

b) they were Cabi brand

c) they fit!!!

The fact that they were only $3.89 almost secondary here….OK, no it’s not.

d) they were only $3.89!!

So what do you think of my Black Cardigan and Bright Scarf ensemble?  I think it’s a at least a 3.5 or 4; I know I probably lose a point when I  knowingly reverted back to the 90’s with the baggy look.  Here’s the Rating System I developed. Let  me know what you think!


Inspiration Calendar – Blazer over Stripes

March 19, 2010

Since I love stripes, this was actually a tough combo because I had so many striped tops to choose from…

Price Breakdown:

Jacket:  Casual Corner $4.69 (Goodwill)

Striped Top:  BCBG $23.99 (Baubles N Beads consignment store in Houston)

Skirt: Amanda Smith $9.99 (Fashion Junction consignment store)

Shoes:  Ellen Tracy $3.39 (Goodwill)

Total Cost: 42.06

I’d give this outfit a solid “B”.

Actually,  I’m going to change the grading system to a rating system on a scale of 1 – 5.  I don’t know – grading with an A or F sounds so critical and negative.

So here it is:

5 – “Wow – you go girl! You have outdone yourself”

4 – “Looking good, sister!”

3 – “Passable, but could use a few tweaks to push it up to a 4 or 5 level”

2 – “Ummm, needs quite a bit of work.  You have one or two elements that you can build upon, but as a whole, this doesn’t work.”

1 – “Don’t go there, girlfriend.  Tomorrow’s a new day, so let’s just start over.”

There!!  I like my rating system! Positive reinforcement without judgment.

So like I said, Blazer Over Strips is a solid 4, and I’m OK with that.  I welcome any suggestions that might push it up to a 5 (gold jewelry?  a broach on the jacket? I know the jacket is a bit long in the sleeves,so it might never be a 5).

So let me tell you about the striped top in this outfit.  I remember buying this top as I was checking out my purchases at my favorite consignment store in Houston.

You might remember that I mentioned once in an earlier post that shirts for me are like an impulse buy of a candy bar at the grocery store check out lane.  I can be completely  finished shopping, and while the clerk is ringing up my order, I start grabbing shirts as I’m standing in line, and throw them on top of the pile without even trying them on.

The lady at Baubles N Beads actually knew this about me, and would purposefully slow down as she rang things up, because she knew, the slower she went, the more I’d buy…..

So anyways, I remember this shirt hanging behind the counter and I fell in love with it.  When I found out it was my size and it was from BCBG, I was sold.  This was back around 2001 – 2oo2, and I think I had just learned that BCBG was a hot brand.  And I remember I paid $23.99, because that was a lot for me to spend on a shirt.  But it was striped, and it was BCBG, so I didn’t have a choice at that point.  I had to buy it.

So I bought the shirt “sight un-worn” (which is a terrible shopping habit I have, despite my attempt to overcome it with my 2010 Shopping Rules).

When I eventually tried the shirt on at home, I was horrified to find out how form-fitting it was – very “spandexy” and snug.  This was almost 10 years ago, and I don’t know when that extra-small-tight-fitting-shirt trend started, but I surely wasn’t comfortable with it.

So therefore, that shirt has literally sat in my closet for nearly 10 years, because I didn’t feel comfortable wearing something so tight.  But I couldn’t get rid of it, because it’s so cute.

The problem was, once again, I just didn’t know how to wear it.  I definitely can’t wear it without a jacket over it, because it’s too tight and short, and I’m still uncomfortable with THAT look (i.e. exposed hips).

And wearing a shirt without a collar under a jacket?? That certainly wasn’t in my fashion comfort level.

Fast-forward to today, and since I have started writing this blog, I have become more comfortable with wearing tighter shirts, and wearing them under jackets is as normal to me as wearing a belted jacket.  Yes, 10 years after the trend started, I’m almost up to par.

So once again THANK YOU Kimberly and your Inspiration Calendar!!!  That cute little striped shirt may never have seen the light of day, had you not inspired me to wear it.

OK, one more thing.  Just a visual statement on how screwed up the American women’s fashion sizing it.  Remember yesterday’s pants were incorrectly marked as a size 0?  Check out what size the skirt was that I wore today.  I guess this just reinforces how important it is to try things on….


Inspiration Calendar – Belted Animal Print

March 5, 2010

Hello and welcome to the third day of 03-IC – which is my attempt to “wear” my way through the Inspiration Calendar.

I can’t emphasize how much fun I’m having – and how inspiring it actually is.

This may surprise you, but sometimes, I just buy things without really thinking it through.  I just buy them because they look cute, and then they sit in my closet.  At the point of purchase, I never really ask questions like – “what am I going to wear this leather jacket with?” or “how am I going to wear this dress?” or “am I really going to wear an animal print to work?”

The Inspiration Calendar answers these questions for me.  I mean I really feel like my wardrobe has the chance of making sense to me now.  Before the IC, it was a huge cesspool of unrelated clothing articles that are cute individually, but cause me extreme stress every morning when I try to figure out what to wear.

Now, with the IC, I feel like I have a road map to fashion!

And an excuse to wear my wild animal print.

Well, here it is, my wild belted animal print outfit.  Growl!

Sorry, that’s the only “wild” thing I have in my closet!  But I’ve never worn my cheetah top, so this was a great opportunity to let it out of its cage.  Again, growl!

Price Breakdown:

Jacket:  Rafaella $4.69 (Goodwill)

Cheetah Sleeveless top:  EK Designs $9.99 (Fashion Junction)

Shoes:  Ellen Tracy $3.39

Belt:  $1.59

Skirt:  Gianni $1.00 (Bargain Basket)

Total Cost:  $20.66 (again, under $28!)

Nope, that’s not a typo.  I bought that skirt a couple days ago at Bargain Basket’s Dollar Days sale.

Wanna see what else I got?

I also got:

-3 more pairs of black pants

-a navy wool pea coat

- a pair of white shoes

-another pair of jeans

-another gray dress

-another white shirt

-and one more pair of tall brown  boots.

Total cost:  $13.00

Just in case you forgot I was a shopaholic!!

As for Day 4’s Inspiration Calendar:

Layer a dress.

Hey, I can do that!! Remember Polka Dots?


Day 23: Just don’t walk…

February 28, 2010

Sorry – I got so excited about my polka-dotted dress(es) that I posted Day 24 before Day 23…..

I got my inspiration for this outfit from a woman I saw walk by me on the skywalk.  She was wearing a red sweater, black belt, gray skirt and black boots, just like I am here.  I thought to myself – what I great look!  I can do that!

Then, when two people commented that they liked the style of the red sweater on Will the Real Expensive Sweater Please Stand Up? , I knew what I had to do.

Price Breakdown:

Sweater:  Relativity $3.89

Belt:  Banana Republic $1.59

Skirt:  Charter Club $12.99 (Fashion Junction)

Boots:   Unknown $9.99

Total Cost:  $25.28

A note about the skirt…….I bought this on Get Shorty:  The Final Chapter, and I thought I loved the spandex element to it.  By the end of the day, I was cursing it!

It might not have been the spandex – maybe it was because I was wearing textured tights – but this darn thing crept up on me in the front with every step!!

Unless someone can give me a solution – perhaps a slip?  – this skirt is not staying around long.

Note to self – walk around the store a few laps before you purchase anything…..


Day 24: Polka dots!!

February 27, 2010

This outfit was inspired by my friend Laura.  We were out for lunch the other day, and she ran up to me grabbing the skirt of the black and white flowered summer dress she was wearing, topped with a nice black cardigan, shouting “Look!  I bought this at Goodwill the other day!!”  She was so proud, and she looked great.  I thought to myself, “Hmmm….I can do that!”

Price Breakdown:

Dress:  Positive Attitude $5.89

Jacket:  Apt. 9 $6.00 (Fashion Junction)

Boots:  Unknown $9.99

Total Cost:  $21.88

I LOVE this look!

OK, not so sure about if boots were the right choice here.   I just automatically reach for boots when there is 6 – 10 inches of snow on the ground.  Sometimes, when I have the foresight, I wear my Uggs to work, then change into my strappy Ellen Tracy sling backs, but I wanted to emphasize how you can take a summer style dress and winterize it, so I stuck with the boots.  What do you think?

I also wanted to show you how great the dress is on it’s own – I can see myself wearing this to a wedding or semi-formal dinner engagement.  Ignore the boots and imagine it with a nice pair of strappy sandals.  Don’t you love polka-dots?

Speaking of polka-dotted summer dresses, I found the HOLY GRAIL of summer polka-dotted dresses!  Can anyone tell me where you’ve seen it before ?  Here’s a hint:


Day 22 – Oops I did it again!

February 26, 2010

In this post, I really wanted to talk about the Boyfriend Blazer, and how versatile it can be – from dressing up some jeans to jazzing up your business casual attire.  However, if you’ll look at the pants length, I have once again made a huge fashion faux pas.

Price Breakdown:

Boyfriend Blazer:  Banana Republic $4.69

Teal Tunic: Ann Taylor $2.29

Pants:  Eddie Bauer $1.99

Boots:  Nine West $18

Total Cost: $26.97

I feel like I’m back in 7th grade.

7th grade was a pivotal time in my life.  Upon returning back to school after summer vacation, I immediately noticed that there was something different about all the other girls.  They had changed.  They seemed taller, bigger, more mature.   They were wearing make-up, carrying purses and  wearing bras because they had boobs.

It was like they had all gone off to “How to Be a Girl Camp” and came back with all this new information about things that I didn’t even know existed.

Me?  I had spent the summer like I always did – climbing trees and catching tadpoles.

With my recent outfits, I feel I’m right back there in 7th grade – everyone knows all these things about fashion that I wasn’t even aware of! Where have I been when all these fashion rules were made?  How could I have been so unaware?

Today’s topic is pants length.  And for all of you who were like me, unaware of the the current fashion standards, I have done some research by trial-and-error, and I can bring back some information for you. In other words,  I feel like I have attended “What is the Proper Pants Length”  camp.

Here’s what I’ve learned from the always helpful, kind supportive women at You Look Fab:

– Almost skimming the surface of the ground is about an eight of an inch off the ground – which is an ideal length. The photos on the left are perfect for bootcuts and wide legs.

- Skinny legs however, are different. Hems that taper cannot skim the surface of the ground – so we allow them to scrunch a little at the ankle instead.

For more information about pants length, visit click here.

So it’s back to my closet to re-evaluate my pants collection.  No wonder why I wear skirts all the time.  Pants are complicated.

Several people have commented how difficult it is in winter to wear pants this long in the winter.  Any thoughts?


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