Birthday Haul, Part 1
Birthday Haul, Part 2
Today, my sons turned five months old, and I am happy to announce that I have lost 95 of the 100 lbs. (45.4 kg) that I gained during my pregnancy. Yet, my pre-pregnancy clothes just don't fit me right, even though I've pretty much gone back down to my pre-pregnancy weight. Why? I have no idea, but the clothes just don't look as cute on me as they used to.
After I had finished mourning the fact that my cool and stylish clothes could no longer be worn by me, I decided to go on a shopping spree, as part of my month-of-hauls (gosh, that sounds awful when I type it out that way!).
However, the fact that the size of my family has doubled also means that I have to budget wisely.
I guess you can say that I have champagne taste with a beer budget. For me, I like clothes that look timeless, can be worn from day to night, season to season, without breaking my bank account. I do not believe that you have to spend a lot of money on expensive clothes in order not to look cheap, since even an expensive dress can look like the cheapest thing on Earth when worn inappropriately.
So, below is my guideline for how to look expensive without breaking the bank, including pictures of what I actually bought for myself.
- Choose natural materials, such as cotton, silk, wool, etc. Polyester/poly-blends are fine, as long as they resemble natural materials. Meaning, nothing that looks like it's straight out of the '70s!
- Wear deeper colors, such as black, dark gray, navy, and muted green.
- Absolutely no beads (unless it's a formal dress, but I am not addressing that today), fringes, glitters, or sequins. And, for the love of all things beautiful, no plastic rhinestones! A beaded/sequined dress can look beautiful, but can cost a lot of money if it's a high-quality one; a less expensive beaded dress might be covered in lower-quality beads. On a limited budget, we have to pick and choose.
- Studs, maybe even some spikes, are fine, as long as you keep them reasonable. You can lend a Rock 'N' Roll edge to an outfit without making it look juvenile by keeping studs, for example, to only one piece and keep everything else solid, clean, and basic. A good example of this is the studded front sweater, shown in #4.
- There's no need to drape oneself in diamonds in order to look expensive. If anything, the look is far from stylish! Pearls are always a good alternative; you can find nice quality pearls at reasonable prices, or even go with good fakes. Did you know that Jacqueline Kennedy wore faux pearls throughout her entire life, but nobody ever questioned her jewelry because the rest of her outfits were so chic with classic, clean lines that made them look expensive?
- Speaking of pearls, avoid gigantic plastic ones. Keep your pearls modern by purchasing pieces that also have a lot of metal mixed in, as shown in picture #7. Of course, a simple pearl strand is a classic and is always nice, but it can be tricky to wear; one wrong move and you could end up looking like Granny on Easter Sunday!
- Find a fragrance that you feel comfortable wearing. Remember that you should be the one wearing your perfume, not your perfume wearing you. A good perfume does not have to be expensive either. For example, Aeropostale's Bayla perfume, as shown in the picture, is a nice blend of Japanese cherry blossoms and sandalwood, and it is quite inexpensive. Click here for my guide on how to choose the perfect perfume for yourself, and then read about the different perfume families here.
- Inexpensive fashion jewelries are definitely acceptable. For example, I think that the two pairs of enameled heart earrings from Forever 21 (picture #9) would complement many outfits without cheapening them. When choosing fashion jewelry, make sure that it's not tarnished, has a missing stone or bead, is peeling, scratched, etc.
- However, cheap accessories that actually look cheap can ruin even the most stylish of outfits. Imagine dressing nicely, with a pair of fake leather boots that look plastic, have loose threads, visible glue marks, etc. Of course, it is not necessary to wear genuine leather; many of us oppose leather for various reasons. There are good quality faux leather shoes, as shown in picture #6.
- A nice, simple scarf can really tie an outfit together, and can be worn year-round as long as it's seasonally appropriate. For instance, a scarf of lightweight linen is perfect in the Spring and Summer.
Where to purchase:
From Aeropostale: Item #s 1, 6, and 8.
From the Express: Item #s 2 and 4.
From Forever 21: Item #s 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, and 11.
What is your most favorite fashion advice to share? Please comment with your answer and if you have a blog, feel free to leave a link, too! :-)