Saturday, November 30, 2013

{Outfit} Banana Republic Factory Holiday Looks: Elegant

As I sit here nursing my turkey belly (OK, more like stuffing belly), it's hard to imagine that the next set of holiday parties is just around the corner. I'm honestly struggling to even write this post because I keep slipping in and out of a coma. One of the best things about Thanksgiving is that you're able to stuff your face and still wear comfortable eating clothes (read: leggings and a loose tunic). The same cannot be said of holiday parties. While there is definitely no lack of food (and sometimes I think there is even more), the dress code expectation is a bit higher. Last year, a-line dresses were super trendy and this went along great with the eat all the things mentality. This year, however, is the year of fitted silhouettes. And while this means I'll have to taper my eating habits just a bit, finding a good quality sheath dress means you can still put away a pie or two and still look amazing.

This dress is a great example of such. Because the fabric is a very thick wool, it does not cling to the bad parts of my body but still accentuates the good. In true Banana Republic fashion, this dress fits fantastically and gives off an aura of elegance, but with a factory price. A whooping $30--kind of amazing right? This is the kind of dress you want to look for, for an office holiday party or fancier family event. Its conservative, but still trendy in its own right (BRFS really nailed it in the subtle tartan department), and can easily be dressed younger or older depending on jewelry and make up.

I typically can only wear petite sizes at Banana Republic, regular and factory, but in this dress (and I think the material has a lot to do with it) a regular size fit me better. Note: if you do come across this dress in-store, I did have to go up two sizes in petite or one size in regular to get it to fit properly. I normally wear a 0P, but there is literally no give in this dress. Even though I find myself coveting more fitted and conservative items lately, I still consider myself to be pretty young at heart. This dress is the longest dress that I own (maxi dresses excluded of course) and between that and the high neckline, this is a very mature item. To keep myself feeling young, I used a bright shade of pink on my lips and piled on the accessories. The metals and stones are a mix of neutrals and darker tones, so while they are trend pieces, they still hold a feeling of elegance. Of course, if this is not appropriate for your work environment, you can always go with a simple necklace and bangles. I promise you, you will still stand out.

If you still happen to have money left over (I do not) and are in need of a great holiday dress, Banana Republic Factory Store is having a 50% off all dresses event from December 02 to December 12! They don't have an online store, so this sale is good in-store only, but when I was there the other day, there was a slew of dresses appropriate for any occasion. Stay tuned for Monday's post to see what kinda of party a Banana Republic Factory dress can take u to next!

Banana Republic Factory Dress (c/o Banana Republic Factory Stores + Monogram Magazine)
New York & Company Necklace & Bracelets (here and here)
Lulu Townsend via DSW Bow Clutch (sold out - similar)


Thursday, November 28, 2013

{Shopping} My favorite Black Friday stores

Poor Thanksgiving... between Halloween and Christmas its gets totally overshadowed in the holiday decorations department. And then we sort of run right past it on our way to Black Friday sales. Well, here I am to say it first, before we get into any of the Black Friday craze.

Lets pretend these cookies are actually a turkey. Though.. lets be real? Cookies > Turkey any day of the week!

Happy Thanksgiving readers!

I am thankful for each and every one of you and the fact that you actually like my outfits and weird ramblings.

OK! On to the good stuff. Black Friday gets crazier and crazier every year. I'm thankful that I finally got rid of my DVD addiction and no longer care for most electronics. Best Buy and the likes are horrendous. Instead.. I like to deal with the crazy clothing shoppers! Who, mark my words, aren't much better. I feel like we should be calling it Black November at this point. I've spent so much money in the last month (FH pretend you didn't read that), that I'm actually not that excited for Black Friday. I won't be opting out completely, but I won't be going to all of my usual haunts. In any case, I thought I'd share my favorite shopping spots and the places I've felt that I've gotten the best deals in the past few years.

Before I begin, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
❤ If you see an item you purchased recently on sale, do not ask for a price adjustment. Most stores will not honor a price adjustment on Black Friday and the ol' "It never hurts to ask" rule does not apply. It will hurt to ask. Sale associates are often tired and over run by the time you get to them. If its within your return period, its best just to buy the item now and return the higher priced one later.
❤ When in doubt, don't think. Just buy. This is like Marshalls shopping elevated x100.
❤ If you are looking for a particular item, do lots and lots of research beforehand. Sites like Slickdeals and FatWallet often have a Black Friday section up where you can search multiple ads for one item. Of course, good ol' Google doesn't hurt as well.

And without futher ado.. My Black Friday list:


Anthropologie: Extra 50% off clearance. Someone lied to me :( Its an extra 20% off Need I say more? ;)
Solestruck (online only): Extra 30% (Friday), then 40% (Saturday), and finally 50% (Sunday) off sale items. I love this store, but I literally shop here only once a year because of this sale. I've gotten Jeffrey Campbells for less than a $100 thanks to Solestruck and I'm not known to stop at just one. Plus you don't have to worry about shipping!! Its free worldwide!
H&M: Past two years this has been the only store I've lined up for. They give out scratchers to the first 100 customers and one year FH got a $50 one (which of course he gave to me because he's so awesome). Couple that with their $5 and $10 sales and you've pretty much only spent your time, not the money in your wallet. Haven't made up my mind if I'm doing this or not. Since I've moved the H&M I go to is in an outdoor shopping plaza and well, I don't like the cold. :)
Cotton On: 40% off the entire store. Cotton On typically has amazing clearance items so I never buy anything full price. I like their Black Friday sale for those occasional items that won't make it to clearance. However, I'll probably be passing on this this year. There's no Cotton On in my local mall and don't feel like driving around too much this year.
Express: 50% off everything (this includes clearance) in-store and online until 12PM. I will be passing this this year. Ever since I gained no minimum free shipping with my Express card, coupled with the fact that you can occasionally stack coupons with clearance now my Express has been pretty stacked.


Uniqlo: Their Black Friday sales tend to line up with their store opening ones, so its nothing terrible exciting. However, I am putting them on my consideration list this year because I actually have a Uniqlo within a 10 mile radius! I've been wanting to try out their skinny stretch jeans for a while now so here's hoping they have some on sale in-store.
Banana Republic: 50% off entire store, typically includes an extra 50% off on clearance. As you've seen on the blog, my tastes in clothing has shifted which puts Banana Republic in the wallet danger zone as of late.
Artizia: 10-50% off select items. Compared to the other stores on my list, this is nothing to write home about, however, my friend Jen loves this store and I've popped my in from time to time. There's a lot of high end items here that I normally can't afford (well more like I don't want to save up for) on a daily basis and they only do sales twice a year.


Kohls: $19.99 boots plus an extra 15% off (code: BLACKFRI)? You know I bought two of them right? There's also $15 in Kohl's cash (typically $10) for every $50 your spend and a slew of $10 PJs and 60% off sweaters. With prices like this, its no wonder all any one ever gets for Christmas is PJs and sweaters!
Modcloth: 50% off 100's of new sale items. They've been doing 5 item sneak previews since last week and then a larger preview on Tuesday through the ModCloth app. The "real" sale began on Wednesday but will continue until Sunday. Add in a 20% off coupon and free shipping? Oh and a $35 giftcard? Don't have to ask me twice. I did manage to keep my order under a $100 which is a small miracle compared to last years.

P.S. If you are wondering why there is a crude drawing of a girl with cookies on a Thanksgiving/Black Friday post.. well let's just say I'm also making this a Throwback Thursday post as well. :P Or y'know.. I ran out of time and couldn't come up with a sketch because I was stuffing my face full of Indian Pizza (yes this actually exists). ;)


Thursday, November 21, 2013

{Outfit} My Little Ponies and Riding Boots

I seriously have a weird fascination with horses. It is especially weird since I've only ridden a horse twice in my life (though both of those times were amazing). I think it goes back to some sort of childhood deprivation. I've always loved horses. I wanted to learn how to ride one for as long as I can remember. Unfortunately, horse riding lessons were high on my parents' "Things Pam is Not Allowed To Do" list (it was a close second between this and sleepovers; dating being the ultimate "nopes, never going to happen.") I don't really blame them, however. One of my mother's friend's daughters (wow that's a mouth full) fell off her horse and broke her arm. And given that I'd already busted my knee and cracked a helmet riding a bike (two separate occasions and yes, I was a clumsy child), riding a horse probably would've been the end of me.

Since I couldn't ride, I developed an unhealthy obsession for My Little Ponies instead. Yes, I realize ponies are not horses, but have you seen MLPs? They're about the cutest things ever invented next to Funko Pop! vinyls. Its also safe to say that My Little Ponies were the origin of my vinyl toy obsessions. Who needs a psychiatrist when I can psycho analyze myself on a public blog? :P

In any case, I haven't actually grown out of my MLP addiction. Instead I've been hiding it in the back of a closet, waiting for the day when I can play with them again. Firefly! Megan! We need your help! Ponies have been kidnapped and are trapped at Midnight Castle!

Yeah, I know... between this and the vampires, I need help.

Since I can't play with my ponies any more, my obsession has manifested itself into collecting horse clothing (and hordes of Pop! vinyls). It started with a dress, and then a sweatshirt, a scarf.. and now this amazing sweater. All thats left is to find a vintage MLP shirt to sleep in.. oh wait. I already have one!!

Happy Thursday everyone! Thanks for reading. What were (are) your childhood obsessions? I promise, no judgement from the vampire pony loving blogger. ;)

H&M Kids Sweater (currently in-stores, but not available online - similar here and here)
Foreign Exchange Dress (similar here and here)
Necklace from Nordstrom Rack
Target Tapestry Floral Clutch (similar)
Fergalicious (c/o DSW) Castello Riding Boot


Thursday, November 14, 2013

{Outfit} Two-toned Booties and Flying Hems

My favorite wardrobe pieces are always the ones that are most versatile. Thats why when I saw this dress on sale at Urban Outfitters (and for $10 no less) I knew I had to try it. I could see so many possibilities with it, and this outfit is one of them.

The dress on its own is stunning, but you know me and my love for weird hems. Being able to tuck this into a skirt or shorts and having the asymmetrical chiffon hang over is mind blowing. I can't wait to think of other ways to wear this.. and even wear it on its one one day ;).

Urban Outfitters Dress
Express Vest (old - similar)
Express Pleated Shorts
ShoeMint Nancy Boots (old - similar)


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

{Shopping Tips} Call of the Styled Coat

Call of the Styled

Last week ModCloth contacted me and asked if I would like to participate in their Uniquely You campaign. Of course I said yes! The feature item would remain a mystery for a few days, but I love ModCloth and I love a good style challenge, so I really didn't think twice about participating. When I found out that it was going to be the Call of the Styled Coat, I admit, I was a bit befuddled. While I love a good winter coat (especially one with toggles like this one has), the overall aesthetic was not something I would typically pick out. But I think thats the part of the Uniquely You campaign. It gives you a chance to see that while it may not be you initially, it can be styled into something that is you all together!

The real point of the Uniquely You campaign, however, are the very unique items that are being featured each week. The Call of the Styled coat is part of the Bea & Dot line. This line is ModCloth's own private brand and ranges in size from XS-4x! Bea & Dot is truly meant for the ModCloth customer. For this campaign I wanted to pick items that complimented the coat, but still rang true to my current style. I've been coveting clean and simple silhouettes lately, which is why I started with the Not a Moment to Waist Skirt. I've actually been wanting a plaid pencil skirt for a couple of months now, so this challenge is really only adding fuel to the fire. I decided to keep the rest of the outfit pretty neutral so that I could throw in some colorful accessories. I absolutely love the Coin a Phase wallet. Ugh, I don't know what it is about this time of year, but red just likes to screams its way into my wardrobe.

So what do you guys think? Is this outfit just perfectly for the holidays or what? I, for one, have already added the Ready for Anything heels to my wishlist. I mean really.. Seychelles? Heart on the toe? If I had the funds, I would be checking out this instant!

Thanks for reading!


Thursday, November 7, 2013

{Outfit} The Golden Hour

This is a bad outfit. A really bad outfit.

And by bad.. I mean 90% of it is brand new. Shhhh.... Don't tell FH. Blame the shift in trends? Blame the fall season? Or.. we can blame it on the fact that I have absolutely no control over my wallet sometimes... all the time. Seriously, I swear it has a mind of its own! Amazing anorak with faux leather sleeves for less than $50? Done. Surprisingly comfortable ankle strap sandal heels? Why nottttttt? Five dollar H&M skirt that I stacked with a $10 Wrapp coupon? Um.. do you even need to ask?

Yes, this is a very, very bad outfit. But I love it.

Olive & Oak Khaki Jacket (c/o Marshalls.. at 60% off!!)
Foreign Exchange Multilayer Chiffon Top
H&M Leopard Print Skirt
Zigi Soho Tarion Heels
UrbanOg Bow Belt (similar)


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

{Shopping Tips} Why I'll Never Grow Up... and Neither Should You!

I went into H&M a couple of weekends ago 'cause I had a $6 Wrapp giftcard to burn. They've been having a buy one get one free on the sweaters, but every time I've gone into look, I never saw two that I liked. I almost walked out of the store empty handed, but decided to venture into the kids section before I left. I go back and forth on whether or not I need to stop shopping in the kids section of stores. Ever since I started introducing more yoga into my work out regimen.. well.. my butt and thighs can no longer fit into some of my kid bottoms. However, after this last visit to H&M, I am happy to say that I will still, and forever, shop in the kids department.. and you should give it a try as well!

Kids clothing is really a great alternative for those who are petite, short torso'd, or have straight hips (and on a related note, a size 7 or smaller in shoes). I don't really look at it as shopping in the kids department, but more so shopping a department that fits me. You don't need to be a 00 to shop in the kids department either. Most kids clothing goes up to a size 16 or 18, which can be equivalent to a women's XSmall to Medium. Like most women's clothing, it really depends on the brand. And even then, sizing can run inconsistent. I'm not saying it always going to work out. What I am saying is that its worth a try.

One of the best examples I can give is this past H&M trip. I came across the sweaters pictured in this post and it was instant love. For reference, I've found I can fit a 12-14Y in Girls and a 8-10Y in boys. The horse and zebra sweaters both remind me of something I'd find inside of Anthropologie for three times the price. When I was checking out at H&M, even the sales associate was admiring the kids products I'd picked out, commenting that this last set had some really great items. All of the sweaters pictured are $24.95 and included in the buy one get one free promotion. They were cheaper, had better fabric contents, and fit better than any of the adult sweaters I was interested in. Combined with my $6 Wrapp giftcard, it came out to $20.61 for two sweaters! (Sadly I ended up leaving the mint leopard at the store in an effort to be "good".)

Dress that can turn into a top for $25? Heck yeahhhhh!

Another great example I can give is with my J.Crew cardigans. All of my J.Crew cardigans are the Crewcut Caroline version. These cardigans fit the same as the women's Jackie version, but are priced at $39.50 where as the Jackie starts at $65 (note: fabric contents are different between the two). All Crewcut items ship for free, no minimum, where as you need to spend at least $150 to get free shipping for adult clothing. This is especially awesome whenever J.Crew does their extra 30-40% off sales. I've gotten quite a few nice, staple cardigans for $22 or less. (For reference I can fit a 12 and/14 in the Caroline and need a XXS in the Jackie.)

It's taken me a few years, but I've even gotten Anna to purchase a few kids items (and one that was totally on her own!). What have your experiences been? Do you think you'd be willing to give the kids section a try?

Thanks for reading! :)