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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Few Fashionable, Yet Frugal, Finds

This is my favorite time of year to shop for winter clothes. All of the shops are trying to clear out their excess merchandise before they begin the process of inventory. I received emails from most of my favorite stores announcing that their clothing and accessories were marked 40 to 70% off the sale prices.

I was very blessed to have received a few gift cards at Christmas. They totaled $100. I wondered just how much I could stretch them and patiently waited for early January before heading out to spend them.

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First things first: I went through my closet and made a list of what I was lacking or hoping to add to my wardrobe. I definitely have a shortage of casual clothes. This was quite evident last semester at college. It is hard enough to fit in at my age but even more so while wearing “slacks and a sweater set”.

Experts say that if you have worn a trend decades before you then you should pass it by when it occurs again. I thought maybe, just maybe I could get away with a look I loved in the 80’s~ skinny jeans. Who remembers Bongo brand with their ankle zippers? :)

I quickly realized that this time around my body, now post two babies, would require a “curvy” fit skinny jean. Now that is an oxy moron if I have ever heard one. I love a good dark wash and actually found these jeans at Target. They were on sale and I used my red card so they came in at $20.

The shirt style is “The Perfect Shirt” by J. Crew and boy is it ever. I think I have 3 or 4 of these shirts in various prints. They are truly terrific quality, made of 100% cotton and hold up wash after wash. It’s not a wonder they start at $69.  This navy and green gem was marked down to $29.99 and was an additional 50% off. It also looks cute under a sweater. On this day I paired it with several vintage necklaces and my Grandma Jingles’ broach. A pair of green Anthro flats from the 2012 sale season are still going strong. Quality does count.

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I also wanted colored skinny jeans. I found this gray pair at Ann Taylor Loft. They were marked down to $29.99 with an additional 50% off. The cozy sweater was from Anthro. I am blessed that my daughter works for the company and a few times a year they offer a friends and family special of 40% off everything including sale merchandise. So the sweater ended up costing around $29.99. It had been in the $100 range.

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The 100% cotton t shirt was also a Loft find. I loved that it was cut on the bias. I think the diagonal lines give it a bit of fun interest. It was $10. The Fossil necklace was a previous steal. You can’t see clearly in this photo but the turquoise has “veins” running through it that are the color of the sweater which ties it together while adding happy color to a very neutral base. As I have gained a bit of weight recently (stress eating) a neutral base helps to shift the focus from my mid section to my face.

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The ballet flats from Banana Republic are fantastic. I have been wearing my soft gold pair at least twice a week. They are made of soft, dreamy leather and hold up really well. Again, this is an item that starts at $98. I found these “gunmetal” flats marked down to $40 with an additional 50% off.

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I guess you can tell I really love these jeans and flats!

With my gift cards running low I checked my shopping list and saw that I still needed a navy blouse. I ventured into Madewell. I love their clothing as it tends to be fairly classic and is indeed made well.  This 100% cotton blouse was originally $98. It was marked down to $29.99 with an additional 50% off. 

I wore it on this day with a navy sweater but wanted to show that is short sleeved. So, it will probably show up in the spring perhaps with a skirt. Wouldn’t yellow or red be fun?

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The best part is the embellished peter pan collar. It buttons up the back.

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So after my $100 gift cards I ended up only spending $25 for two pairs of pants, three shirts, and a pair of shoes. Now that is day well spent!

What bargains have you found?


Linking to:

What I Wore Wednesday, Friday Fab Favorites


marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

They all look fabulous and you look amazing. I love how you accessorize too. Hugs, Marty

Rita C. said...

All of the finds are great, but outfit #2 is my fave on you, Laura - shows your most youthful side!
Love all the stores you're shopping - my faves too! I found some great skinny jeans at WalMart (Levi's) for just $20 (regular price!), and Eddie Bauer 'favorite' t-shirts can often be found at Sam's for $10 - theirs, as well as JCrew's t-shirts, are def my favorites - staples too!
And yes, I remember Bongo jeans. :)

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

You really look beautiful in your new clothes and it's always good to buy things that go with items you have in your closet. I need to go through my clothes again! I tend to wear the same thing to often. I love skinny jeans and Fossil is my favorite brand. I think I have the butterfly bracelet that matches your necklace. It's fun to make the money did GREAT!!!

Blackberry Lane said...

Beautifully coordinated outfits and such great bargains. You look wonderful!

Vel Criste said...

In love with all 3 outfits Laura, and the best part is how you embelished them!

Lorrie said...

Great finds, Laura. It pays to be patient and wait. Your accessories are fun!

Linda said...

You look adorable, Laura. :)

I haven't been doing any shopping lately - honestly, I haven't left the house in 2 weeks except for once or twice and am just returning to work today after 20 days off. 2 weeks of that was planned and 2 days were snowdays, since we were bombarded here in east-central Illinois. Roads are still horrible out today, so my attire is boots, leggings, tunic and sweater. ;)

Love, Linda

Jodi said...

I love hearing stories of great shopping deals! way to stretch those gift cards! I like everything you chose, welcome back to the world of skinnies :)

Charm Bracelet Diva {at Home} said...

Patience is a virtue, right! Kudos for waiting for those sales and getting such great (and cute) deals! I found skinny jeans a few years back when it seemed like I was wearing knee-high snow boots all winter long (in Illinois) so I actually NEEDED skinny jeans to fit into my boots! Now that's all I wear....other than boyfriend jeans in the spring. Love the collar on that cute blouse!xoKathleen

Ceekay-THINKIN of HOME said...

I haven't bought anything YET! but I am getting ready for some new jeans!!

Denise said...

Wow, you got a lot for $100 -- good for you!! I love the second outfit on you; it looks great, but all are really pretty. I haven't shopped for any clothes bargains, but I would like some colored jeans.

Have a wonderful day, Laura!


Denise at Forest Manor

ImagiMeri said...

Well you definitely need to go shopping with me via the huge women's section because I never find deals like that except at Walmart where I get my $5 shorts. Everything is lovely, but then the model makes it.

Love ya'

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Loving what you picked out!! Everything looks beautiful on you!!!!!

Jill Flory of Sew a Fine Seam said...

Good for you! love how you get such quality stuff so cheap! I like that turquoise necklace too ;)

Rena Designs said...

Love all the Fashions! Bongo's always looked good with Red High Heels! ;}

Butterfly 8)(8 Bungalow said...

It's all pretty.

I didn't know that about clothing. Probably because I hate shopping, but it is really helpful to know with a tween/young teen and for myself;)

Debbie said...

Major scores in both thrift and cuteness! I love your specific style. I also love your figure. In my head, mine looks just like that.

I'm fanciful that way...

Bonnie said...

You look fabulous and I love all your finds. I liked this post a lot. I have been wishing that there were more fashion blogs. We read so much about home decor and where to find items and it is great. However, I also have trouble finding age appropriate clothes that I feel comfortable in and at good prices. Your post gave me several ideas. I also was glad to find that you were linking to, What I Wore Wednesday. I will check it out.