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A fashion blog about weekend style

 

Filtering by Tag: Budget

I'm Dreaming of a Vintage Christmas...

Jessica Wagner

Scottish Wool Pleated Skirt 

Make your holidays a little merrier this year with some timeless romance.

This winter I have been adding a little touch of vintage to our home – from classic glass ornaments to bottle-brush glitter Christmas trees. 

Always looking to add to my collection of inspiring vintage wear, I recently stopped into House of Dow planning to leave with an authentic ugly Christmas sweater, instead I happened upon the most magical Laird-Portch of Scotland wool skirt.

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Of course I was chatting it up with the sweet sales girl, and she told me it was new item to the shop, made in Scotland, probably from the 1970s. It’s beautiful in person you guys. The pleated kilt is made of pure wool with genuine leather straps and metal buckles at each side of the waist for adjusting the fit. I tried it on to be sure and loved how it hugged my waist. There is a moment that happens in the fitting room when you find a piece like this – it’s like discovering buried treasure. The wrap front with traditional fringed side is so classic. Plus that pine evergreen color! I basically wore this out of the store.

While I adore vintage clothing I am no trained expert. I will say I know a work of art when I see one. My best advice when shopping second hand is to converse with the seller. They know their stuff and will help point you in the right direction. If they are good they should have vast knowledge on what they are selling. Each piece usually has a story behind it. To me that’s the perpetual charm – getting to take home all those feelings of nostalgia.

Make sure to try everything on and know your budget. Some places might compromise on a price tag depending on the shop. Don’t be afraid to ask! And when you find something you love, get it! Nothing haunts you like the clothes you don’t buy, (or so I hear.) If you ever come across a Scottish wool skirt, say yes! It’s sure to draw admirers.

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As for the rest of my outfit, Rob picked out my velvety textured off the shoulder top and my shoes were another vintage find. My 1960-ish tapestry coat is an old Target purchase if you can believe that. It reminded me of Anthropologie. My love of granny fashion is nothing new. #oldladyswagger I wore this to a holiday gathering and felt all the holly jollies.

As we are only 12 (!) days away from Christmas, I hope you are finding time to enjoy the holiday magic and wish you many rich blessings as we head into this special time of year.

Peace and love friends! XO


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Outfit Details:
Coat: Old Top: Forever 21 (similar here & here & here) Skirt: House of Dow - Vintage (similar here & here & here) Shoes: Vintage (want these)

My Best Shopping Secrets

Jessica Wagner

White Lace Dress

Ok guys! I’m spilling all! I have a few tricks I use when shopping to score high-end items at a budget-friendly price.

Exhibit A: The Little White Dress

White and lace will have you ready for springtime brunch, cocktails, picnics and all the on-coming parties in between.


Splurge // Save

Guess which dress is more expensive...

The one on the right is the save! Originally $195, I nabbed mine on sale at Nordstrom Rack for $18. Here’s how.

The dress on the left is by Self Portrait and costs $$$. I was charmed after seeing it on it-girl fashion bloggers, and parading across Pinterest… but it will set you back roughly $500 (aka not in my budget.) I put “white lace dress” on my LIST so I would remember to scout one out.

I found the dress on the right, by Romeo + Juliet Couture marked down to $35 and then got an additional discount because the zipper was broken. This same dress was originally almost $200. You guys – I mean there is no other way to shop! You can’t get a dress anywhere this lovely for that price. My rock-star seamstress fixed the zipper for a few dollars. You can’t beat it. 

1. Bargin Hunt

Now, I know barging hunting is not for everyone, but this a great option for anyone on a budget, or for someone who likes name brands at a lower price. It's an affordable way to keep up with fashion and trends. I am a born and bred bargain shopper... (my mom is the Queen, I am her heiress.) I will splurge for special occasions, or when I find something that is just too good to pass up. My advice is to be a bargain shopper. This means something different to everyone, but look for discounts, shop off-price realtors, compare prices, shop sale and outlets. It’s smart! And I know you are a smart clever girl. I also love second-hand and vintage stores (that's where I found these pink vintage Gucci mules for a steal. ) Places like TJ Maxx and Nordstrom Rack are full of name-brand and designer fashions at a fraction of the price. It’s a great way to be able to afford high-end items. On-line sites like Poshmark are also golden for tracking down a sold-out item or high-end designer clothes and accessories.

2. Buy Less, Choose Well

AKA make sure the juice with worth the squeeze. This is becoming one of my most important guidelines when making a purchase. You want a $500 dress but only have a $50 dress budget. You either need to save up, or be uber resourceful. Most likely you will find another dress that is just as good and save you money for something better. Learn to set aside that instant gratification impulse. It's like working a muscle – you need to use it regularly to reap the benefits. Do not - I repeat - do not put that thing on your credit card. Sticking to a budget will help you shop with conviction. Impulse buys rarely leave you feeling satisfied, in fact they leave you with a shirt that doesn't fit after one wash. Saving up to earn that special item gives you time to consider where your money is going. The bottom line – invest in classics, it will benefit your closet in the long run.

3. WAIT FOR IT.

REPEAT AFTER ME: There will always be cute stuff to buy.

This a little trick I like to play on myself when I need talked down from an impulse buy, because this happens ALL THE TIME. I fall in looovvveeee with something and have to have it. (I mean every other instagram scroll or Pinterest binge puts me in a want/need/pretty please frame of mind.) With everything available on-line it’s almost too convenient. It’s easy to click “add to cart” and never look back. Practice this mantra with me guys: There will always be cute stuff. ALWAYS. That exact seemingly perfect item might not always be there, or it might go and sale, and hey, look at you saving money and being clever. I promise eventually something better will come along. There will always be pretty dresses to buy and gorgeous heels to wear. So when you’re feeling sad about not being able to afford something (or know you will get in trouble if you come home with another pair of shoes) remember these things always come back around. 

4. The Want // Need List

Keep a running list of items you would like to add to your wardrobe. Mine is on my phone so I can glance it over any time. This can include a new pair of running shoes, a retro pair of sunglasses or a cocktail dress for a beach wedding. It will help you remember what you are looking for (so don’t even try on those cute hot pink rain boots in your size that you will only wear once because they don’t go with anything.) I like to keep this list to classic capsule wardrobe pieces, a few seasonal items and maybe a trend or two. You might see you change your mind on some of the items as you wait for a deal, or they come and go out of style. 
 

5. EDIT

Clean out your closet on the regular, not once a year. If you can’t keep up, at least try to edit down each season. I love to donate, and recycle. Let your closet breath. It will also help showcase your current style, as whatever you were wearing a couple years ago might not represent who you are now. Sites like Poshmark or Ebay are great resources for selling your gently used name brands. (Shop mine here!) I set the money I make aside to put back into my closet. Sort of like a one in – one out idea. Move on if doesn’t fit anymore, you only wore it once, or toss if it is damaged (stains, holes.)  I could write a whole post on this (maybe I will!) as it’s an area I think a lot of us struggle with. (A closet full of clothes and nothing to wear!) Also, this helps you see what you love and what gets the most airtime. Those are the pieces that cue you in to your favorite style and what you should emulate.


A couple other quick tips…

-Know the brand and their return/shipping policy. 30 days is pretty standard, but on-line can be different. If you are on the fence, bring it home and see how it looks. Put in on with the shoes and the bag. (I do this all the time – I don’t buy it and then I can’t stop thinking about it /talking about it and end up getting it anyway.) I rather have the option to return it, if it doesn’t work out.

-Try on a zillion things. (Although this can be a gamble – everything looks good or nothing works lol.) It never hurts to give something a try. I think this is how I find a lot of my favorite unique items. Snap a pic in the fitting room! It’s like having another set of eyes.

-Share. Borrow. Find a friend who wears the same size shoes and you just doubled your shoe collection. Swap clothes. I borrow from my sisters all the time and it really saves money. There are sites you can rent clothes from as well. Especially when you want something new for vacation or a special event. You know all your girlfriends have pretty wedding guest dresses hanging in their closet waiting to be worn again.

I hope some of these help, as I get asked this question fairly often - how do you afford to buy new clothes all the time?! The answer is I am a fox when it comes to clothes. (What kind of animal are you when shopping? Comment below!) I literally shop like a frantic animal on the hunt!! I have a tight budget. I don’t always stick to it – but I am honest about everything I buy to keep myself accountable. (Who doesn’t like to splurge on something nice that they just looooove?! ) I enjoy nothing more than curating the perfect outfit for any given occasion. It’s my “art.” If you are like me, this is the way to go (and if you are paying attention I am happy to share anything in my closet!) I guess what I am saying is, if you love to shop you have to practice smart shopping habits in order to maintain a fresh dream closet to actually choose from. Buy from ethical fashion brands, shop local and invest in the classics and know simple in always in style.


Outfit Details:
Dress: Romeo + Juliet Couture (sold out, but was here, love this one) Hat: Old (love this one) Shoes: Vintage Gucci Pink Logo Print Mules (similar here) Bag: Jessica Simpson Lorelei Clutch (similar here) Watch: Old (also love this one) Lips: Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Baci

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What are your favorite shopping tips!?! Share in the comments below!

Borrowed From The Boys

Jessica Wagner

The Coolest Loafers Of The Season

Menswear inspired clothing is at it’s best when paired with relaxed, feminine details.

These luxury Gucci loafers have been around for some time (have you seen these ones?) While this style may be nothing new, these particular slides feature a rosy floral embroidery that feels perfect for spring.

When I spotted this pair (at Forever 21 of all places) I had to give them a try. (Alas, this may be the closest I will come to owning the actual high-end set.) This was a definite save, as the splurge was just not in my relative future.

When it comes to fast-fashion vs. luxury brands, weigh your decisions carefully. While I have been lusting after the real deal, I rather save my pennies for a classic Chanel purse or something that I know won’t be off-trend in a few months. That’s not to say you shouldn’t invest in a quality loafer, but you might want to pass on the added details that may not withstand the test of time. The great thing about finding a similar style to a high-end look is that you can stay within your budget. This really allows you to go for a test-drive. Before investing in luxury pieces, say sunglasses for example, spec out a similar pair at a lower price point and see how much you really love them/wear them. Nobody wants those shopping regret blues!

For this outfit, in terms of going for a minimalistic boyish look, I layered my new-found loafers with a men’s vintage tweed overcoat and it’s seriously one of my favorite pieces. Personally, I have found this style hard to come by. Tweed blazers seem to be more abundant in options than the longer jacket style for women, but this coat is such an easy, smart layer any time of year. This one has been in my closet a long time, and shows some wear but I think that’s part of the charm! When searching for one of your own, don’t be afraid to look in the men’s (or little boys!) section.

Keeping it feeling femme with a hint of lace. A white button up shirt can make a subtle sexy play when paired with an eyelash bralette. Button downs should be slightly fitted through the body and hit below the waist. Tuck in the front, for a loose look.

As for the rest, try a slouchy handbag and retro feeling shades. The '90s are here to stay, so why not try a pair of slim oval lenses? 

Dark-wash, raw-hem jeans, with an exposed ankle are still rounding out my favorite style denim, and keep it weekend-friendly.

As for hair: casual, effortless, elegance. I can’t wait to share with you guys how my experience using HairStory’s New Wash the last month has been going, but spoiler alert: I am loving my hair and having more fun with it in it’s natural state than I thought possible. Somehow I think we are brainwashed to believe if we don’t spend a certain amount of time tweaking our hair it doesn’t look good, and that’s just not true! I’m so used to having to curl and get those coveted “beach waves” that don’t come easy unless I invest a chunk of time to getting them just so. I have been washing, air-drying and leaving it natural and straight with the help of two other HairStory products, their Hair Balm and Dressed Up lotion. They give it subtle texture and I love running my fingers through it or pinning it up in a “real girl” bun. For some reason I’ve always felt self-conscious about my hair being “flat” or looking “boring” - if that’s the right word. I think my hair is also enjoying the freedom. (Anyway, full post and review to come!)

With Spring close at hand, I am ready to trade in my winter shoes for easy slip-on styles (and as we are about to go see Beauty and the Beast -favorite childhood Dinsney movie- there is no better time to add some rose -themed floral embroidery to your repertoire!)  Ever appropriate for that allure of apparent effortlessness. Relaxed and easy as Coca-Cola in a bottle (not Diet.)

Outfit Details:
Jacket: Men's Vintage Tweed Overcoat (similar here) Top: Old Navy Classic White Button Down Bra: Forever 21 Sheer Eyelash Lace Bralette Jeans: Free People Destroyed Ankle Skinny Shoes: Forever 21 Horsebit Floral Loafer Mules Glasses: Urban Outfitters Bag: Zara (old, similar here) Earrings: Stella & Dot Triangle Path Ear Climber Lipstick: Tart Creamy Matte Lip Paint Birthday Suit Nails: Sally Hansen Lavender Cloud