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Shopping on baby budgets


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Mon, 09/27/2010 - 11:44AM by plentyforpennies 0 Comments -



'The Fashion of the World is to Avoid Cost'

Mon, 08/30/2010 - 11:20AM by plentyforpennies 0 Comments -

So ladies, I threw this outfit on in one of my mad dashes out the door this morning and on the bus to NY, I realized that the whole ensemble cost under $50!  Of course with that revelation I congratulated myself by one, blogging about it and two, going out and purchasing something nice for myself for my accomplishment : ) 

Yes, it can be done.  Delicious items can be purchased and you can end up looking like a million bucks, receiving tons of compliments without breaking the bank (oh, and even the sig.  other can not say a word against it). 



What I'm Wearing:

Top:  Anthropologie Petal Tank
          Orig. Price:  $88.00
          Paid:  $29.99

Pant:   JCrew Silk Drawstring
             Orig. Price:  $88.00
             Paid:  $19.00

Sandal:   Michael Kors

Bracelets:  Kenneth Cole
                     Specially made name tag cuff from Bali


'The Most Unkindest Cut of all'...

Mon, 08/23/2010 - 10:35AM by plentyforpennies 0 Comments -

...is the price cut that just doesn't happen.  When I first saw this dress, I fell in love with the skirt and yes, I know it's just a striped gray and cream, but there was someting about it that I loved.  I wasn't too crazy about the top part - lets face it, who wants a huge flower plastered across one's huge boobies.  So I decided to wait until it was marked down.  Unfortunately, the sizes started to sell out quickly, so I decided to do the unthinkable!  Yes, ladies, I purchased it full price (and it wasn't even something I absolutely loved)...

that is till now.  After a couple of wears and tons of compliments, it has grown on me like mold and I absolutely adore this dress.  Sometimes, just sometimes, my fellow shopahaulics, it pays to gamble.  You may just find that the article of clothing becomes your most adored item and something you could not live without!

What' I'm Wearing:

Dress:  Anthropologie Bold Boutonniere Dress  $138

Watch:  Coach

Shoes:  Urban Outfitters

What He's Wearing:

Shirt:  JCrew

Pants:  Banana Republic

Sunglasses:  Ralph Lauren


'Neither a Borrower Nor a Lender be'

Mon, 08/16/2010 - 2:47PM by plentyforpennies 0 Comments -

We've all heard the phase:  immitation is the sincerest form of flattery - and though I'm not too big on copying the exact ensembles I see on models in magazines or the manequins in stores (because hey, I'd like to think myself somewhat the fashionista and one who can throw a garment together), sometimes, just sometimes, a getup will come along that is just made for each other (and for me).

Anthropologie's Rising Vapor dress and the Expedition Obi were just too adorable to separate, and what else would that elephant belt look good with?  When I saw the belt in person, I knew I had to have it.  One, I'm a great animal lover and think elephants are the cutestest things, and two, I am in love with anything sequins!  So when I saw the belt paired with the dress, I knew that a borrower I'd be!

So ladies, although I say, don't fall into the habit of mindlessly coping styles out of books or stores, but only using them for inspiration, do realize when something is just too good to not duplicate!















What I'm Wearing:

Dress:      Anthropologie Rising Vapor Dress
                  Orig.:  $98.00
                  Paid:  $49.99

Belt:          Anthropologie Expedition Obi

Shoes:     Kenneth Cole New York



'Such Stuff As Dreams Are Made Of'

Tue, 08/03/2010 - 4:47PM by plentyforpennies 0 Comments -

My Fall 2010 Wishlist!!

 As much as I hate to admit it, I kinda like Fall clothes....kinda.  And why not, when there's all these goodies just waiting to be purchased!


Am in love with the whole layered look.   The thigh highs paired with the shorts make me soooo wish I didn't work in a law firm.  I may try and pull it off on a Friday though...hehehehe...The oxfords are a must have and I think I've spotted the perfect, comfy pair (alas, JCrew shoes do not fit me at all!)

The Harem shorts are a must and I will buy them and proudly strut about the halls.  Paired with the dark tights, demure heels and a blazer will dress the harems up a bit!

The mensware/military style of the olive coat paired with the relaxed shape and knit of the pants are a must for me in the fall.  My goal:  Non-fussy clothes that I can throw on in my inevitable tardiness in getting out of the door in the mornings. When it gets colder, I'll throw on a pair of tights beneath the pants and pair the coat with a chunky soft, warm scarf.

The blazer will be my staple this fall.  It sooo dresses anything up!  And with the way I'm feeling towards my profession, I'll be able to get away with alot more.  My motto: Lovely ladies, put a blazer on it!  The socks and platforms idea is just darling but I'll leave that for the ladies who can actually pull that off.  Besides, one foot of socks ALWAYS sags down around my ankle in a non-flattering way.


I will buy these sequined shorts and they will be my uniform on the weekends, and they'll take me through the cold, drab winter months as well.  Love, love, love the bag.  The chain handle is all the rage for me right now!


And speaking of chain handle bags!  Marc by Marc Jacobs has become my go to and this is the bag to have!  Very retro and lady like and not like anything I have, hence, I am quite justified in purchasing it!  Only wish the strap could be converted so the bag could be worn as a messenger bag as well.  But oh well...we can't have it all.


I'm really liking the relaxed look and feel of the Fall must-have silk shirts.  And paired with the darling black leather skirt, dark tights and lace up boots is all a mix of rocker, glam, tough/feminine chic.  I'm loving it!

Other must-haves for the Fall?  Fur.  Parka.  And boy oh boy, I found a two in one that almost makes me want to throw all caution to the wind and buy it full priced.  But I will follow my own advise and wait for a sale.  This combo will take me straight through December!

This is the coolest two-finger ring that I've seen so far (it's chain link with tiny Swarvosky crystals).  I'm not mad at this trend coming back at all!


I had previously wanted some floral leggings but these little cuties are even better because?  Yes, I can wear them to work too!


'Now Go We in Content', Packed Light, on Vacation.

Sun, 08/01/2010 - 6:24PM by plentyforpennies 0 Comments -
Since I'm on vacation, I'll keep this nice and short...</p>
Ladies, travel light!  If it's one thing my many travels have taught me, it's that.  No one wants to lug around heavy luggage or wait for it to pop up at baggage claim (my luggage is ALWAYS the last to make it around the merry-go-round).  It ain't merry!  In fact, it's tres annoying and a good waste of precious vacation time.
Perfect the art of the pack, ladies.  Determine your theme (based on where you're going)...know how you want to look weeks before your trip and start writing your outfits down piece by piece.  That way, you'll know what you need to buy and when it comes time to pack, you're not making a mad dash and throwing all kinds of pieces into your luggage.  You'll also end up with a more put together look while on vacation, and you'll breeze by everyone else with your carry-on, out of the airport and off to enjoy the tropics, the city, the beach!
Roll instead of fold.  Take two or three garments, lay them on top of each other and neatly roll them up.  You'll save space and save the need to iron later.
A little Samsonite is all that's required when the art of packing light is achieved, forgoing the need to make Samson's out of our boyfriends.
Step 1:  Plan, Plan, Plan
Step 2:  Roll, Don't Fold
Step 3:  Enjoy a virtually weightless vacation


Not Stepping O'er the Bounds of Corporate Modesty, but a Girl's Gotta Look Fashionable at Work!

Wed, 07/21/2010 - 10:29PM by plentyforpennies 0 Comments -

Corporate America: the machine that grinds and minces and spits out brown, black, blue and gray doppelgangers. Mine is a 14 year relationship, and I must say I bare the office setting no great love. How I long to seek out the new, the hip, the trendy; to roam stark showrooms and be eternally surrounded by tons of luscious garments, bags, shoes, accessories; to sit amongst the exhilaration of flashing camera lights, loud music while wisps of human beings strut down runways covered in fabulous wares.  Oh Fashion Industry, 'I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest'.

Down shift, Amy...

I have a non-eventful 9 to 5'er in a cookie cutter mid-town office building among cookie cutter cut-outs of law professionals. But no more can I let my job suck my creative soul dry or zap my inspiration. I will not become a drone! Ladies, I'm not saying go nuts (cause let's face it…this 9 to 5'er is putting the clothes on my back and paying other essentials like food and rent), but there are ways to spruce up your office attire.  In order to keep from blending in with the walls, I had to revamp my wardrobe so that I'd be motivated to get up in the morning.

There is a very thin line between casual and corporate-casual and day attire and night attire. It could be as simple as throwing on a pair of flats with that dress you wore to the jazz lounge last weekend; throwing on a long cardigan/vest with that sun dress that you use as a cover-up at the beach; or throwing a mini under the super mini. My company frowns on jeans, and I must admit (as far as some people are concerned) with good reason. You simply can't show up for work in ripped jeans, flip flops and a logo tee and expect to get away with it. Instead, swap out those tight, ripped or faded jeans for a flattering dark pair (the darker the better). Make sure there's some give to them. You want to stay away from wearing skinny jeans in a corporate setting. If possible, find a nice pair of trouser jeans and work up from there. Adding a blazer or a cardigan with a waist cinching belt adds some classic elements and a bit of structure. A nice pair of heels (half hidden by the length of your jeans) will give you height and lend some seriousness to your outfit. Have a cute, fun and flarey skirt? Don't shy from debuting it at the office. Just pair it with a more classic shaped top in a subdued color.

Don't forget to have fun with your accessories. If you must 'fit in', there's no reason your purse has to too. Shoes are another great statement maker: wearing a crisp white blouse and some black pants/pencil skirt? Put on that pretty red lipstick and red peep toe pumps (don't go red on the bag though…you want your lips and shoes to pop…think Dita Von Teese).

Never let your job dictate your wardrobe, because let's face it; how you dress is a direct statement about you, your personality, your mood, your va va voom! Of course you must dress within your job's requirements, but there's always a way to put some flair into your work attire. Be as bold, daring and imaginative as you can be within the confines of your work attire manual - always having a cardigan or tapered jacket on hand in case you have to meet with a client.

As much as I am not a pearls and cardigan set kind of girl, I do appreciate my Tahitian black pearl I bought in Hawaii and how it looks layered with my teeny tiny diamond necklace, and I just love how a long, updated cardigan can make a party dress suddenly just right for the day.  There are always ways around the humdrum norm, and oh what fun it is to find them out!





 What I'm Wearing:

Dress:   Marc by Marc Jacobs - Bloomingdales
                Orig. Price: $178.00
                Paid: $130.00

Belt:        Marc by Marc Jacobs

Skirt:      JCrew

Shoes:    Faryl Robin - Bluefly
                 Orig. Price: $200.00
                 Paid: $89.99


What I'm Wearing:

Shirt:  ArdenB

Skirt:  Calvin Klein - Macys

Shoes:  Kenneth Cole Reaction - Outlet Store
               Orig.:  $98.00
               Paid:  $59.99

Belt:    Urban Outfitters

Shades:   Carrera





What I'm Wearing:

Dress:  Urban Outfitters
               Price:  $58.00

Cardigan:   Linen Silk-Pocket Cardigan - Jcrew
                     Orig. Price: $88.00
                     Paid:  $23.00

Belt:         Urban Outfitters

Shoes:    Nine West

Next Up:  'Now Go We in Content', Packed Light, on Vacation.


To Thine Old Clothes Be True

Tue, 07/13/2010 - 10:09PM by plentyforpennies 0 Comments -

So due to the ineptitude of the USPS, I will not be receiving my prized Anthro dress I bought on eBay for a fraction of the original cost (and not to mention the dress was from 2 years ago so it's not available anywhere and that I lost sleep trying to post the winning bid). I am just so pissed and frustrated, but I'll have to let it go because there's nothing to be done. I can only hope that whomever it graces will treat it with tender loving care. Goodbye, Softshape Dress, goodbye! Parting is such sweet sorrow.

Now that I'm a little down, I decided to peruse my closet (I really don't feel up to spending any money for a while, as I lost money on this eBay dress...bitter much?  YES!) and came up with some really cool combinations from what I already own:

revamped a Gap skirt by adding a cute belt;

paired a belt and a sparkly tank with a Gap dress;

added a bib necklace to an otherwise plain tank dress; and

added a vest and a ruffled skirt to a tube dress, instantly making my old clothes feel new.

Ladies, you really must try it.  Pour yourself a glass of wine, throw on some fun music, stand in front of your closet (in cute undies preferably - to more easily try stuff on) and let your clothes speak to you.  If you're not hearing anything after a while, reorder/re-fold your garments and sip, sip, sip.  You'd be surprised at what you find back there in the recesses of your closet.  Some oldie but goodie that went out of style years ago but is back in style again. Some forgotten splurge purchase that was hidden in the back from the bf/husband's prying eye, tag still attached or that piece that will suddenly tie a couple of outfits together.

My closet probing really was refreshing and did cheer me up somewhat (I swear, everytime I think of the petal softness and utter cuteness of my eBay dress I could just scream!!!).  Ahem.  I realized all the great old pieces that I had and paired with some new accessory, expanded my closet, saved myself some bucks and made me fall in love all over with my closet.

Experiment with the different pieces that you come across while you dance and sip and sing. It's actually quite fun.  Challenge yourself and put things together that you probably wouldn't have in the past. I'm sure you'll find, as I have, a smorgasbord of new outfits made from totally 'vintage' stuff that was just lying about in your closet. It almost makes up for the swipe of the credit card and the intoxicating smell of new clothes. Almost...

RIP Softshape Dress

Orig. Price: $188.00

eBay Price: $54.00




What I'm Wearing:

Tee:   Forever 21

Skirt:   Gap

Belt (new):  American Apparel, $16.00

Shoes:  Nine West

What I'm Wearing:

Dress:  Gap

Tank:  ArdenB

Belt (new):  Marc by Marc Jacobs, $88.00

Bag:  Coach

Shoes:  Via Spiga

Turquoise Earrings:   Etsy

What I'm Wearing:

Dress:   JCrew

Belt (new):   Anthropologie Leaps and Bounds Belt $32.00

Necklace:    Lord & Taylor - Cara Accessories


What I'm Wearing:

Dress:   Victoria's Secret

Vest (new):  Bloomingdales All Saints, $118.00

Skirt:  Free People

Shoes:   BCBG

Up Next:  Not Stepping O'er the Bounds of Corporate Modesty, but a Girl's Gotta Look Fashionalbe at Work!


To eBay or Not to eBay? That is the Question.

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 10:39AM by plentyforpennies 0 Comments -
Continuing on in my love of all things Anthropologie and from almost depleting my savings account on all their delectable items, I have turned to the somewhat untapped resource of eBay.  Why, you ask, am I sharing this secret?  Well, I do know how it feels when the funds are low yet the yearning, pulling sensation of wanting to spend is eating away at your mind and you can no longer function until you have that dress that you saw at lunch-time folded in swathes of tissue paper, stuffed safely away in the store bag and grasped in your hand.  eBay is a great source to turn to when funds are low and you need that shopping fix (when accompanying a friend to the store and fulfilling your high by the swipe of her credit card is simply not enough). 
Yes ladies, I am a proud shopahaulic!
eBay!  In order to safely eBay, however, it is imperative to do your research.  I will use Anthropologie as my example as I have just recently snagged a couple of great finds on eBay that I either failed to try on when the item was available on-line/in-store, or had way too many purchases and was forced to make the dreaded 'cut' decision.  With Anthropologie, as with any other store or brand, you must become familiar with the merchandise and the fit so that you will not be taken in on eBay (and waste precious pennies when it could be best used elsewhere). Through browsing and randomly trying things on at Anthropologie, I've become quite familiar with not only their labels, but also how each label fits me. 
Here are a couple of examples:
Burlapp - runs slightly small, so depending on how the dress is cut, I may go up a size
Fish Fry - runs tts
Floreat - runs tts
Girls from Savoy - runs tts
Leifsdottir - runs tts
Moulinette Soeurs - runs slightly large for me so I go down a size
One.September - runs tts
Plenty by Tracy Reese - runs super small so I go up a size
Ric Rac - runs small so I go up a size
Possessing this knowledge is key for shopping on eBay.  Not only can you spot the real deal, but you can pretty much hit the nail on the head in your size (because most items on eBay cannot be returned). 
Be diligent in your bidding but not too diligent; you don't want to run the price of an item up unnecessarily.  Put it in your watch/wish list and watch it like a hawk.  For those of you that have App enabled phones, download the eBay app so that you can better encircle your prey! Towards the last seconds of the auction, swoop in for the kill by placing a bid that is your absolute highest bid, and you will almost always be the winner. (Note: eBay will bid for you, up to your highest bid - the auction may end at a lower price than your highest bid amount and that's all you'll have to pay).  That is why the last minute predetor bid is crucial.  While the other bidders are frantically hitting the $1 increment increase button, you have secured the item by placing your highest bid just seconds from the end.  You are the stealth bidder, grabbing your prey by surprise!  Make sure you check to see if the item isn't duplicated on eBay for less (always remembering the motto, 'if I pay less for this, I can spend elsewhere).  You can almost always grab an excellent find (as I have with my Anthropologie dresses) on the cheap, paying just as much or less than the Anthropologie store sales price.  But beware, for though a rose by any other name may smell as sweet, the same cannot be said of a cheap knockoff.
What I'm Wearing:
Dress:  Anthropologie - Girls from Savoy Bayan Dress
Orig.: $188.00
Sale Price:  $49.99
eBay price: $62.00  : (  Ya win some, ya loose some; but Anthro didn't have my size by the time this went on sale...so eBay to the rescue!
Vest:    Saks Fifth Avenue (back of the closet find)
Clogs:    Vintage
What I'm Wearing:
Dress:     Anthropologie - Silken Pathways Dress
              Orig.: $168.00
              eBay Price:  $99.00
Belt:       Lucky
Shoes:    Coach
Next up:   To Thine Old Clothes Be True


Anthropologie: 'Oh How I Love Thee, Let Me Count the Ways'

Mon, 06/28/2010 - 5:18PM by plentyforpennies 0 Comments -

So ladies, I am currently on an Anthro binge. On a tiny budget, my tiny closet in my even tinier apartment is full to the brim with fabulous Anthro dresses, and I am glad to say that only one of those said dresses was paid for at the original price (which incidentally, wasn't paid for by me). My secret? One combined sweet little word: Wish-list! Coupled with diligence and sheer fanaticism, you must stalk your wish-list. Worship it, visit it hourly, until that original price has been crossed out and the beatific, angelic mark-down price of up to 40% off appears.

I tell you ladies, it is worth the work! And, not to mention when your sig. other questionably stares at your bag laden hands or while riffling through the closet finds the new added treasure, you can brightly and happily proclaim that you got it at a fraction of the cost (and do remember to include the original amount and your perseverant insistence on waiting for the sale, to show what a savvy, patient, and diligent shopper you really are).

The stalking of the Wish-list is, however, only 90% effective. The remaining 10% is that of your gut feeling, that nervous, anxious, tingling 'I MUST HAVE THIS NOW, IT'LL NEVER BE AVAILABLE IN MY SIZE WHEN IT DOES GO ON SALE!' feeling that only you can determine when your finger touches the soft garment of that glorious frock or your eyes happen upon that delectable item that was just newly added online. Then, and only then, must the plunge be taken. The item must be purchased! Yet still, there is redemption. The sales receipt! Keep this. Study it, hold it near and dear in that designer wallet (which always retails for more than ever it holds). This technique coupled with the stalking of the item, still placed in the wish-list for the anticipated sale, will almost always guarantee the beloved price adjustment.

Embrace the price adjustment! Find out each of your favorite store' s policies and the day they give mark-downs and commit this information to memory. If necessary, hold on to the purchase, tags still attached, until the last day of said price adjustment and if the item is still obstinately holding out at the regular price, return the item and buy it over again (preferably at another store, making certain that the other store has your item in stock) or, if at all possible, buy a second of the same item. You have just purchased an extra amount of price adjustment time. If you are victorious, and if you took scenario one, simply go back to the store and present your receipt for a price adjustment. If you opted for scenario two, return the earliest purchased item, and simply price adjust the newest. You have now successfully saved money which can now be used to purchase even more things or, can be responsibly tucked away in a bank account to make your spending money in the first place that much more justifiable.

Yes, it may sound like a lot of work. But I am not in control of my urge to shop. It is an addiction which I am not ashamed of. My head is held high! However, not having an infinite amount of funds and in order to fulfill my secondary obligations (i.e., rent, car payment), I have had to think up creative ways to spend and save money. And the above wish-listing, price-adjusting madness has allowed me to purchase exactly what I want, not at the time I want them, and for a fraction of the cost!


What I'm Wearing:

Dress:  Anthropologie - Subcontinent Dress
               Orig. $148.00 
               Paid $79.00

Ring:    Citrine Druzy - bought off the streets of Manhattan 
              Paid $15.00





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  What I'm Wearing:  

Oxfords:  Anthropologie -  Hispanitas
rig.: $218.00 
aid: $49.00

Top:         Free People

Shorts:    Shopbop - T by Alexander Wang

Bag:       JCrew


What I'm Wearing:

Cardigan:  JCrew - Silk Pocket Linen Cardigan
                    Orig.:  $88.00 
                    Paid:  $23.00

Tank:           Bloomingdales - Aqua Silk Tank 
                     Orig.: $58.00
                      Paid: $34.00

Jeans:        Gap (I own three pairs of these, I love them so!  These, I choppd off though...)
                     Orig.: $78.00
      Paid:  $7.78

Shoes:        Vintage pewter platforms

 Earrings:    Diamante Jewelers (NYC)

Next up: To eBay or Not to eBay?  That is the Question.