Month: February 2014

Fat Closets and Empty Wallets

When you’re poor like me, you really have to become a master at tricking people so that they don’t know you live in a one-bedroom apartment with three other people and you frequently eat ramen for dinner. This is especially true at work, where no one really cares that your car insurance is making you consider roller-blading to work.

However, the great part about fashion is that you can be whoever you want to be, and it’s also exceptionally easy to make people think that you’re rich. The simplest way to do this is to have designer stuff that you didn’t pay anything for. What a walk in the park, right? Well, it actually can be. Follow my steps below so you can be better at bargain hunting than you are at your job.

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1. Before buying anything, check out RetailMeNot.com. This site collects coupon codes from across the Internet so especially before making an online purchase, browse RetailMeNot so you can possibly score some free shipping or something. Granted, I have never scored a truly great deal from this site, however it never hurts to get a few bucks off.

2. Get on eBay. Literally there is nothing better. Remember that time you went garage sale hunting and came home with a designer purse those grandparents didn’t even realize was worth more than $5? Yeah that’s kind of what eBay is like. If you are looking for a specific item, like a pair of shoes or a watch, take a look on eBay once every few days and see what they’re going for. Skeeved out by used stuff? You can buy it new and it’s exactly the same. But less money.

3. Do not be afraid of outlet malls. Yes, it is true that oftentimes, outlet and factory stores will deliberately make lesser quality items for their less monetarily blessed patrons. However, this stuff is still really freakin’ nice and is a fraction of the price. Go ahead. Explore the malls.

4. Find a favorite thrift store. Once again, remember that time you bought the $5 designer purse from somebody’s grandmother’s yard sale? OK that is exactly what thrift stores are like. I once bought a pair of barely worn Uggs for $2. If you’ve got some time, scour those racks and you can probably score some good finds. Last week I got a vintage Banana Republic leather vest for $15.

5. Groupon it. Some of us go to Groupon for some sick restaurant coupons, however we often forget that Groupon also features retail coupons with just as awesome values. Before you hit the mall this weekend, check it out and see what you can grab.

6. Compare your prices to Amazon.com prices. eBay tends to be cheaper than Amazon, but not always. Always check out Amazon as well before purchasing something in-store – you can usually get it cheaper online, plus there is more availability in terms of colors and sizes and you don’t even have to leave your home.

7. Get creative with your clothes. When you do make a large, expensive purchase, choose a timeless item that you can wear with tons of different outfits. Often, it’s only one nice item you need to pull together a bunch of not-so-great pieces. And the less clothes the better – only purchase items that you can’t wait to put on, not stuff you are so-so about.

8. Get in with vintage. Everyone is all about vintage these days… instead of buying something that is fake old for money, why not raid your mom’s closet? Like it or not, she’s got one of those leather skirts you’ve been eyeing from the 80’s. Eww.

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Work Pants Probs

Let’s get real – choosing business attire really isn’t rocket science. Pick a top that covers your cleavage, get some heels that don’t scream hooker, and get some… nice dress pants?

Here lies the issue – choosing dress pants is no walk to the cafeteria. I’m pretty good at looking at a piece and guessing at if it is going to fit me (and how) or not, however dress pants present a whole new pot of problems and before I was a business attire pro, I often struggled with in-store purchasing decisions. To save you the same hassles that I had, refer to this guide for how to choose dress pants next time you visit the Gap.

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1. Choose an all-weather material. If you’re cheap like me and you don’t really see the need in owning five pairs of black pants that all look the same, then choose one pair in a material and thickness that you will be comfortable wearing year-round. Don’t pick up a pair that’s staticky, holds in hairs, or is of a wooly material that is too thick for the summertime.

2. Tread lightly with tighter styles. If you’re short and kind of squat like I am, stay away from the tapered leg. You will simultaneously look like a piece of produce and sort of skanky. If you’re tall and skinny and you pair the pants with a looser top, you can probably get away with tighter style pants, but if you look like a normal person and you have some curves here and there, you should stick to a straight, looser leg to keep conservative. The idea is to not come home with indents in your legs from tight seams.

3. Always choose pockets. If you see a pair of pants with no pockets at all, just don’t do it. The second you take them home you will quickly realize how unflattering they are and how ridiculous you look. Instead, opt for full pockets or simply top-lined pockets on looser pants (where there is no pocket outline, but a top opening for one) which will balance out your shape.

4. Don’t forget about the hipline. We’ve been all about high-waisted for awhile, and this doesn’t end with shorts or skirts. High-waisted dress pants look great in the workplace, but if you’re trying to not stuff your wardrobe, then choose a style that sits a little above your hip bone so that you can tuck in a shirt and mimic high-waisted if necessary, but also drape a blouse over them appropriately.

5. Don’t pick something you have to stuff into. Don’t bet on losing weight before you’re going to wear your new pants – bet on wearing a belt. Choose a style that is a tiny bit larger than what you need – comfortably, so that you can sit, but not so loose that when wearing a belt, the material is visibly bunched at the top. It’s OK to wear a belt every single day – and it’s even more important to make sure every pair you purchase has belt loops, just in case.

6. Remember that you wear heels. Choose a pant length that sits directly above the top of your anklebone – this will ensure that your pants won’t be dragging too close to the ground when you wear flats but they also won’t be crop-length when you wear heels. On that note, stick away from the cropped pants… they’re pretty much unflattering on everyone, they make you look like a short middle-schooler, and c’mon, just pick one – shorts or pants?

Think slim, loose, straight, and light.

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Article idea courtesy of Megan Holt 

Stay Fashionable in the Frigidity

When your hair freezes five minutes after you leave your house and you ruined your outfit by shoveling out your own car, the struggle to stay chic from December through March becomes all the more evident. However, cold weather doesn’t also mean that you have to deal with ugly, puffy jackets and grandma hats. Especially if you’re taking cover in an all-seasons city like New York, a fashionable, yet warm, winter coat is a must to bring you through to the promised land of Spring. Check out some foolproof jackets that will get you from home to the office in one sniffling, pinked piece.

1. The Elongated Parka can be perfected with some caution and attention to detail. Be careful to choose a design that, although warm, doesn’t puff you up like a marshmallow and balances out by featuring a longer fit and ended a little above the knees rather than at the waist. Also, a stylish, girly touch such as a faux-fur hood can bring a jacket meant for utility into the realm of chic.

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2. The Printed Coat is a cool alternative to the typical black jacket. Go for neutral colors, like a black and white houndstooth or polka dot, to bring together any other look that you happen to be rocking that day. Bring the design together with a girly, curvy shape rather than a straight bottom. If you’re going to go, go all the way.

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3. The Poncho is the way to shield your beautiful designer bags from the harsh hail and snow and also achieve a different look from every other girl’s go-to jacket. To keep a classic shape alive, feel free to go nuts with some clever clips and feathers/hanging strands/etc.

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4. The Anorak Jacket is the tomboy’s take on a chic coat with a variety of pockets and zippers, a baggy (yet little fitted) shape, and equipped with a large hood, preferably lined with some sort of faux fur. Make sure your anorak, like your parka, keeps a longer shape and never ends at the waist.

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5. The Winter White is the 2014 all-weather staple. If you feel brave enough to face the elements with only dry cleaning on your side, then grab a classic winter white to beat the white after Labor Day rule for good. Go for a slender, elongated style with a fitted shape and no bells or whistles.

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For The Love of… Outerwear

I love outerwear. I love vests, scarves, socks, and any other accessories that I can a hold of that are cheap and I don’t have to try on in a dressing room. However, besides the fact that there’s no reason to undress for these wonderful articles of clothing, they are also great because they are easy to pair with tons of different sweaters, pants, and shoes, thus making for a very dynamic piece. 

However, the vest holds a very special place in my heart, mostly because my office is usually freezing cold. Wondering what vests you need in your wardrobe to acquaint yourself with the polar vortex? Look no further. 

1. The Army Vest 

These tomboyish, loose-fitting vests make for a cool and quirky look when pairing with patterned shirts, such as stripes or flannels, as well as dainty, girlish pieces such as white or lace. Plus, forest green matches great with other cool patterns, such as leopard, so feel free to utilize your belts and the fun shoes with this one too. This is why neutral colors are a beautiful thing. 

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2. The Faux Fur Vest

The fur vest is the instant glam-up for any boring neutral, sweater, or solid color. When choosing your fur vest, make sure you invest in a color scheme that makes sense with other colors that you usually wear (such as tan, gray, white, or black). Oh and also you’ll always be cozy in a little touch of faux fur. 

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3. The Puffy Vest 

The puffy vest is 2014’s coolest McFly trend bought back to life, which, unbeknownst in years prior, isn’t just for lumberjacks and snow snoveling. Instead, grab a puffy vest in a cool color – such as royal blue, emerald green, or the trendy herringbone – and pair with a button down and statement necklace. 

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4. The Leather Vest 

The leather vest, when done right, is an interesting edgy twist on a modern outfit instead of reminiscent of a biker gang bar gathering. When choosing a leather vest, look for one that is very simple (no bedazzling, no pockets, no strings, no oddly designed zippers) to keep your look chic and classic. 

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5. The Jean Vest

Unfortunately, the jean vest is not a good winter choice and is much more fit for fall and spring, so you’ll have to wait to utilize this one, however it is worth planning for nonetheless. Grab a jean vest in a light color for a classic, not sixth grade Canadian jumpsuit, look that is also simple with limited pockets, colors, shades, studs, and fringe. 

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