Tips to make Bargain Shopping Simple

A good denim jacket is a must!

Nothing haunts us like the things we didn’t buy!

I have always enjoyed the challenge of finding a deal, bargain shopping and feeling like I have accomplished something.  Do you get excited at the prospect of “saving” money, even if you didn’t need something?
Buying things that are on sale is not always easy, there are a lot of things that I have bought in the past that have sat in my closet, tags still on, and never worn because I only bought them because they were a “deal”. If this sounds like you, then you definitely need to read on!

Have you ever heard yourself say “look how much money I saved” when you bought something?  I have to admit that I have told Brandon that many times and he just laughs because he knows that in order to SAVE that money, it means I had to spend money 😉

If you’re interested in saving yourself some money without stressing yourself out, and having fun – read on…

Take Your Time

One of the biggest reasons that some people might be more effective at bargain shopping is that they allow themselves time.  I know it sounds simple, but if you’ve ever been into a store like TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack or Ross you know that if you want to find anything you really have to dig.  You have to be able to rummage, to pull things out, and to check everywhere because things are crammed onto racks and not everything is where it should be.  I have been told that stores like this are an anxiety catalyst, meaning that it makes them break out into a sweat even just thinking about going into them, so it makes sense that if you don’t want to experience that feeling as intensely, you probably want to avoid peak times (weekends or lunchtimes).

Know What You’re Looking For

I have found my bargain shopping success comes more often when I have a specific color, style or fabric I am searching for.  Of course that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t jump at amazing deals just because they are outside your search criteria (unless they fall into the category of buying it ONLY because it’s on sale), it just means you have at least a goal in mind.  Knowing styles that work for your body is also helpful so that when you find something in your size you have an idea of whether it will work even before you try it on.

Give Yourself a Limit

This is definitely an area where I struggle a little because I don’t like to take anything off the table.  If I find something I like to be able to buy it, but there have definitely been times that I have told myself I would only spend a certain amount and I have always been able to find multiple things that have kept me under that budget.  One thing I like to remind myself of is that something is only a bargain if you can afford it…if you have the means.  I absolutely love a lot of designer shoes and I would love to have my closet filled with Louboutins, Jimmy Choos or Manolo Blahnik’s, but it’s also not something I want to spend all my money on!

Take a Friend

I am definitely a highly efficient solo shopper (anyone who knows me will attest), however, the most fun I have is when I have a friend – you know that person that will tell you “NO!  don’t buy it just because it’s cheap!”  Another rule of bargain shopping is that a bargain is not a bargain unless it’s something you will really wear!  Like I mentioned before, the number of times I have bought something that was a “deal” only for it to sit in my closet for ages until I spring clean and send it to goodwill!

I’m loving this green color right now – it is such a fun spring/summer color to add to your closet!

Break it up

If you are making a day of shopping, break it up by grabbing lunch or coffee, just to allow yourself to recoup even if just for a little while.  As you know I often go out of town on shopping trips and while I do spend 99% of the time shopping, I definitely take time to smell the roses, enjoy the food and company! If you are not a “shopper” by nature, then you will definitely want to make sure that wherever you’re going, you don’t plan on spending more time than necessary there. Even though I do love to shop, I definitely don’t like to spend too long in any store – I like to scan, and then leave.

Do it Online

Bargain shopping is by no means something that needs to be done in person.  Most stores have mailing lists that you can sign up for and will receive sale offers, there are also many sites that offer discounts, and daily deals, so there is honestly no reason that you can’t find a deal from the comfort of your couch.  The key with online clothes shopping is knowing the styles that work for YOU and reading the sizing guide because every store has different sizing).  Some of the best deals I have came from online sites, which I especially love because I am less likely to see someone else wearing the same thing! Some of my favorite online shopping stores are: ASOS.com, BOOHOO.com, HAUTELOOK.com and of course some websites like Zulily that offers daily deals, and Brads Deals. Amazon has really “upped” their game too – so if I am looking for something specific or want to see some fun, less expensive styles, I always search their inventory too!

If you are one of the many that likes the idea of bargain shopping but it causes anxiety just thinking about it, I hope these tricks or tips have helped!  I would love to hear if you have any ideas that I may have missed…hit me up 🙂

You can check out some amazing deals by viewing some shopping links I have put together for you – my latest favorite bargains…and these SALE items even have a bigger discount, just click the picture links below…

Casual doesn’t mean not dressing up!

When you don’t dress like everyone else, you don’t have to think like everyone else!

I am still learning this concept. For the longest time I had the notion that in order to dress casual it meant that I couldn’t dress up. And since I LOVE to dress up, I would very often have a hard time styling my casual outfits!

I am learning more and more every day, in fact, I would say that I am even starting top feel comfortable dressing down a little more than I ever have. I think for me the biggest challenge was that in corporate America I had to dress for business every day, and even on Friday’s it was a rule that we couldn’t wear jeans. That doesn’t mean I didn’t break the rule and wear different colors of jeans, jackets & skirts, but it definitely limited my creativity. Now I don’t have the same restrictions so I am starting to grow and have even more fun with my casual style.

Denim is such a versatile fabric, but I think it had a bad reputation for so long. I used to argue with my bosses that I would spend more money on my jeans than my business clothes, but somehow it didn’t change anything. I think the reason was that for most people, wearing jeans meant that they were in their “scruffs” and they would REALLY dress down the outfit to the point of just looking sloppy. Of course that wasn’t the norm, but it was what everyone seemed to remember unfortunately!

Hence, today’s post about denim…about how versatile, classy and professional it can still be!

Of course, I am not saying that anyone should not follow the guidelines of where they work, but what I mean is that if you have any leeway or any other times you can put together some denim outfits, then why not have fun with it 😉

Denim

Chambray – this is probably one of my favorite fabrics right now. It’s denim, but much softer. It is also not typical and could probably allow you to sneak by undetected in a company that has a rule of no jeans. It is feminine, it flows, and most importantly, it is cool for summer days whereas regular denim really isn’t!


Denim jacket – everyone needs one! Whether you are wearing it just to carry for those nights when you’re not quite sure how the weather will be, or you’re looking to dress down a more formal look…a denim jacket is such a versatile piece that I always recommend everyone has at least one (and I say at least one, because there are so many styles, that I would feel a little unprepared if I didn’t have a few different ones 😉 )

Denim skirt – especially one with a sexy slit is something that can be worn, look classy as well as a little sassy. I love a fitted denim skirt but there are so many styles out there, that there is one that will suit your body type and confidence level! Choose the style that best fits your unique style and dress it up with a nice blouse and some heels, or go for a more casual look with some summer wedge sandals and a T shirt!

I did a little research and found some great denim styles and I have linked them to shop below – just click the links…

Don’t be Afraid to be Different

Always remember that you are absolutely Unique – just like everyone else!

Do you fit the mold?
Do you identify as “normal”?

I don’t know what it is about the word NORMAL that just gets me going…

I know there were times in my life that I was laughed at for being different, for not being afraid to dress a little differently, for having strong convictions, and most importantly for not being afraid to stand up for myself.

As I get older I realize that I care less and less about what other people think, but care more about what I think about myself. In fact, that is one of the reasons I decided to start my blog. I wanted to share my belief that being unique is absolutely vital in this world, and it’s the only way that change will ever be made!

It’s not that I necessarily look for ways to stand out every day, but more about me making a decision to be ME every day regardless of what anyone else thinks. Now that doesn’t mean that I don’t like to try new and different things, embrace new styles or look for opportunities to put my stamp on something…it just means that I am doing it because it makes ME feel good and everything else is just gravy!

Take this outfit for example, nothing really groundbreaking…I added a little sass to a plain black outfit by wearing wonderful red booties and a scarf. Now, a scarf is nothing groundbreaking, except that I decided to wear it a little different. I wrote a blog post about a month ago about how wearing accessories doesn’t have to be just the traditional way – that you can also look for other ways to adapt the style to fit YOUR personality. I don’t wear scarves often and I think the reason I haven’t is because I find them a little too mainstream. Not that I don’t love them, but more that I haven’t really loved them on ME!

I will say that I did feel a little sassy wearing the scarf this way (not that the boots hurt either), but it made me feel like I was putting my own stamp onto the look and that always makes me smile!

Shop my looks by clicking any of the pictures below…

The scarf is linked on my Instagram story – or just click here to check it out…

Spring Colors

Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be!

One of my favorite things about a changing season is all the new colors that are around. Spring is such a great time to start wearing bright, bold colors and mixing and matching.

Yellow is such a pretty, happy and bright color. I love finding out the meaning behind each color and wearing that color when I need to feel a certain way or I want to create a certain energy. Spiritually Yellow is the color for freshness, happiness, positivity, clarity and joy amongst other feelings.

Today’s outfit includes chambray joggers, white mules and a fabulous top – all of which work perfectly for spring and certainly made me feel positive and happy standing amongst the spring flowers taking these pictures.

Joggers – linked to shop here
Studded slides – linked to shop here
Yellow eyelet top – linked to shop here
Sunglasses – linked to shop here

Do you have certain colors that make you feel a certain way?

We all have certain colors that we are more drawn to than others, so what do we do when we see new styles or trends that tell us to wear something that is not exactly in tune with what we like?  It seems like everyone is telling what we should and shouldn’t like…so how do we decide what is best for US?  Do we just wear what the fashion magazines and stores tell us?

I don’t think anyone should do something that is something that doesn’t make them feel the best possible way about themselves…so here are my top 5 reasons you should wear colors that make you feel good:

  1. We may not realize, but our energy (both positive and negative) can be directly correlated to what colors we like.  If our favorite color is Red for example, then we are going to feel great when we are wearing Red!   So it stands to reason that if you want to feel positive about life, yourself, and what is happening around you, then you should wear the colors that evoke a positive response within you!
  2. It is also true that while colors can cause certain feelings and experiences within you, they can also do the same in others.  Red is a very strong, confident color…but it can also be intimidating to others.  So while it is important to wear those colors you are in tune with, you also need to consider different shades within your favorite colors, so as not to cause adverse reactions in others.  Essentially, know your audience – and if you are dealing with someone that is not going to like you to be too bold or overbearing, then you shouldn’t wear a color similar to the Red dress in this post (darker or more muted Red tones are more appropriate in this case).
  3. It is important to get feedback from others when you try new styles or colors, but bear in mind their opinions may be more in tune with what they like than what is going to make you feel good.  You may have one friend that loves Green so when you try something Green she is going to think it’s amazing, but it may not feel the same way to you.
  4. For each season you are going to see different shades of colors, so if you want to feel like you are still “in style” for the current season, you can try different shades of your favorite colors.  Yellow is a great example, for summer and spring it is bright and bold but for fall and winter, you will see more mustard colors…they are still Yellow but they work differently at different times of the year.
  5. Finally, fall in love with your favorite colors.  Red is absolutely my favorite color, and whenever I am shopping I am innately drawn to that color.  After wearing it, I recognize that it is my power color and I pull it out when I need to feel strong and confident.  I am in tune with what works for me and makes me feel good…so fall in love with what you love and you can use that to help you feel amazing and confident when you are wearing something you love too!

Don’t forget to go and check out my latest podcasts – just click here to see the latest!

Stand Out – Your Own Way!

“The final forming of a person’s character lies in their hands!”

Style comes from inspiration, experiences, and emotions. And this is what you need to understand and create your own style; it’s important to tap into YOU so it’s an honest and true reflection of yourself. Now you may think that this sounds a lot easier said than done, but it’s just about feeling. Even the simple things like waking up really happy – you may want to add a little sunshine by wearing something yellow, because it’s bright and just like how you’re feeling. Make sense?

Here are some more examples…

A statement by accessorizing

Accessories are so much fun because you can mix and match them, stack them, tie them – and the list goes on. The more creative you are, the more freedom you will have to do whatever you like. For example, if there’s a chiffon scarf that you saw in the store and just had to buy it because it was pretty, you may not have actually thought of how you’re going to wear it. Well, why not turn in into a head tie one day, and a bracelet or wrist wrap the next? Or let’s say you’re feeling very sassy or funky – choose a pair of statement earrings to accentuate that feeling and make you look twice when you see yourself in the mirror. There is nothing better than seeing yourself in the mirror and REALLY appreciating what you see!

Pick the shoes

Shoes, shoes and more shoes. You really can never have enough (I know I can sound like a broken record, but it’s the truth). I love wearing a different pair of shoes each day, and they have to flow with my ever changing emotions too. If one day you’re in a ‘bring it on world’ kind of mood (it happens to all of us) a pair of pointed toe booties for that vibe would be perfect. If you’re feeling a little more feminine, you could try a pair of strappy sandals or pretty colored stilettos.

Another tip to use is to match your whole look – including your hair to the shoe. More casual shoes or boots mean that you can get away with a messy ponytail or bun, whereas a business vibe like the stilettos you would want to wear your hair in a more sleek and smooth style.

The confidence

Confidence is something that comes from inside, from how you feel about yourself, so it’s not something you can just choose to wear. However, you can choose to work on your confidence every day, so that when you walk out your door, you can hold your head high knowing that YOU feel amazing about who you are, and knowing that the rest of the world will follow suit with how YOU feel!

Business like a Boss Lady

She knew the power of her mind, so she programmed it for success!

Just in case you missed my Video Podcast, I wanted to talk a little about Business Style and how it doesn’t have to be boring.

I think this was one of the most important realizations I had when I was working in Corporate America. YES – there are rules, but NO – it doesn’t mean you can’t adapt them and still be business appropriate.

I am a firm believer in that fact that you can look amazing even if you are not in a business suit or the traditional styles of old business. I’m not condoning breaking the dress code at the company you work at, but I have found that dressing appropriately for business doesn’t mean that you can’t still march to the beat of your own drum.

As women we have so much more opportunity to create our own look than men do, so why not take advantage of all the amazing offerings the world of fashion has for us?

Here are a few of my own suggestions and things I did that helped me feel great about my business style:

  • Incorporate bright colors – yes, you can add a bright colored blouse but what about really stepping it up and adding a pair of bright colored pants or a skirt. Red is always my favorite go-to, but there are so many others like green, purple, orange and yellow – or pretty much any color that is bold and stands out! Bold patterns are always find to wear too – like these cute joggers that look professional yet funky!
  • Add a little lace – it is so feminine and looks so professional as well. By adding something lace to your look, you will immediately elevate the look from ordinary to fabulous.
  • You don’t have to stick to traditional fabrics – try adding some leather or velvet. Gone are the days when wearing something less traditional is a bad thing. Leather was once thought to be edgy but now it really can be made to look feminine and classy by wearing a pretty blouse, and some stand out shoes!
  • Don’t forget the details – accessories can be the thing that elevate an otherwise ordinary outfit. By adding some cute jewelry, a scarf or carrying a bag that is fun – you will immediately draw peoples eyes to those pieces. Which means, if your business style is understated, you can make it more sassy and fun by adding some gorgeous accessories. Beware though – in this situation, less is more. Don’t over-do it…keep it classy!
  • You know my philosophy about shoes…well, it applies to business style as well. When you wear a pair of shoes that is colorful, bold or unique that’s what people more often than not will remember. I’ve talked about how someone’s shoes are usually the first thing I notice…well, I can tell you that I am not the only one 😉
  • Business IS all about looking professional – you having a jacket handy is a good thing…but that doesn’t mean that the jacket has to be ordinary. In fact, finding jackets that are unique is always fun for me – like the blazer I’m wearing here with the leather accents. Professional – YES! Unique – YES!

A lot of dressing for business in a way that still expresses your personality is really about changing your mindset. It’s about being open to exploring differentiations and creating your own interpretations of the rules.

None of the pictures I’ve posted are inappropriate business style, but can you agree that they are my unique style? I have found that I am happiest when I am not conforming to the opinions of others, but rather adapting situations to suit my style – but doing it in a way that is still social acceptable and fun! Sounds like a win/win doesn’t it?

Are you ready to explore your business style?

What’s New for Spring

If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got!

Are you someone that embraces change? Do you like change in any area in your life? For many people change can feel like we are losing control and that loss of control can cause frustration and even fear.

Fashion and style is no exception – I see so many women particularly that are unwilling to try new styles. OK, so I’m not saying that when bootie shorts come out you should rush to the store and buy a pair, because we all have to accept our limitations and know boundaries of what is acceptable…and with me being a 50 year old woman I have no problem admitting that bootie shorts are waaay beyond what is acceptable for me – believe me, I’m doing everyone a favor 😉

However, each season there are new styles that are worth giving a try. I love to check out all the latest new trends, make a mental note of what areas of the body they accentuate, and then decide if they are something I want to try. If they fit in category of hitting areas I want to accentuate and those I would love to avoid (according to my body type), then I will take myself to a store and try a few things on. Well – I don’t actually try things on in stores very often but I will buy things I know will fit me and take them home to try on in front of my own mirror (in my own habitat so to speak).

Wide legged pants have been around, they’ve changed slightly over the years, but they are something that can work for just about any body type. I love them because even though I am 5’5” I feel like to need something to lengthen my legs. They do just that…they can hide a multitude of evils, such as muffin top, large upper legs and a stomach pooch.

They are a great addition to any spring wardrobe, but before you go out looking for your pair, consider this:

  1. Try them on – you can’t judge how they will look on you if you are just seeing them on the hanger.
  2. Steer clear of busy patterns, large pockets or other things that could distract from the pants themselves – you don’t need to add anything unnecessary to this look, the wide pants are enough of a statement.
  3. If you are not tall, wear high or chunky shoes to add even more length to your legs.
  4. Make sure they are not too tight…there is nothing worse than a pair of pants that are supposed to be loose, hitting in the wrong areas and accentuating things that you are actually trying to mask.

Now you should be ready to go shopping and see if you can find a pair that works for you…

I am highlighting a great pair of Palazzo pants that I purchased from Nordstrom Rack. I fell in love with the color. I wore them with a dressy blouse and chunky high heeled booties. Of course, as spring gets closer and I don’t have to worry about walking outside in the snow, I would add a pair of great platform sandals to finish off the look.

I think you will find if you try some of these pants on, you will be really happy with your look.

My pants & T Shirt are Zara – I’ve linked a similar pants here & shirt here
The shoes are an older pair of mine from Vince Camuto – I’ve linked a similar pair here
Sunglasses from Quay are linked here

Add a little Snake Print to your Life

It takes courage to mix things up and conviction to push a look to its limit. When you do the reward is personality, flair and passion!

My Grandma was one of my style icons, and I loved her because her whole life she expressed herself through her style and didn’t worry about being different. My Grandad worked for a shoe company in England and because of that she had sooo many pairs of shoes, and was always ahead of the trends (maybe this is where I got my love for shoes from). She wore bold fabrics, colors and styles and was one of the first people I ever saw wearing animal print. She knew the power of style and confidently expressed herself in a way that made people sit up and pay attention!

Because she had such a huge impact on my life, I have always wanted to be the same way…try new things and stand out from the crowd.

Snake print or Python print is so huge right now, and I know if my Grandma was still around she would be sporting all the latest looks. It’s not that it is brand new, but I do think it’s a great transitional print that can take us through all the seasons this year. Because it is such an amazing print you are going to see it in most high street stores and online, in a variety of different styles.

Just like no two leopard prints are the same – snake print can come in so many shapes, sizes, colors and styles. I am mixing 2 different colors of snake print in my outfit today, and I love the effect because it just amplifies the look even more. I love the mix of colors and the depth that it brings.

At one point in my life I might have considered it to be a little much to wear 2 different colors of the same print, but what I have found as I get older is that I kind of like coloring outside of the lines…not letting the fear of what others think affect how I dress, what I do and who I am 😉

Another way to wear more than one print is to choose different prints (snake, leopard, zebra etc), mix the patterns but wear them in the same color. It’s OK if you’re not quite there yet…stick to what makes you feel comfortable!

I have linked a few of my favorite snake print pieces below – including the pants I’m wearing

The Power of Femininity

I have linked my entire look at the end of this post…check them out – some great sale pieces to look for!

The thing that women still have to learn is that no one gives you power. You just take it!~

There are some mornings that I wake and want to feel a little softer, a little more gentle and feminine. I used to think that by doing that or acting that way it meant that I was soft or weak, but what I have found is that it makes me more approachable, less intimidating and it is a hat that we as women need to wear at times and not be ashamed of.

I’m not saying that’s it’s about acting different from who we are, but if we have that inside of us, that piece of us that likes to dress up (kind of like when we were little girls) wearing something pretty, frilly and feminine – then that’s what we shouldn’t be afraid to do.

There are some days when it is not the type of day I know I’m going to have, so I dress appropriately…but on those days where I feel like I don’t want to just be a #bossbabe, but want to feel in touch with my inner feminine side, this is how I dress.

I don’t care who you are, there are multiple personas inside all of us, and channeling them all I think it vital. Do you act differently at work than at home? I know I do. At work I am more like a CEO and at home I need to be there emotionally for my family. Dressing in a feminine way is just a way of expressing that different persona inside of you. Are you with me?

Certain styles and fabrics just scream femininity – here are a few of my favorites:

  1. Ruffles – wearing a pencil skirt is sexy, but when you add ruffles, it just softens the whole vibe. Not removing the effect, just making it a little more subtle.
  2. Lace – is classic, delicate and always a great feminine look.
  3. Embroidery – especially floral embroidery is a way to add a feminine touch to a piece that may have just been ordinary.
  4. Up do – when I really looking to amp up my feminine style, I like to wear my hair up. I like it to look soft rather than edgy, and in today’s post I added a gold bun cuff to add a little extra something.
  5. Velvet has the versatility to be both feminine, luxurious and sexy. It may not be considered a fabric for spring and summer, but I always find ways to add it in if I really feel like my outfit needs it. For example – I have a really cute skinny pink velvet scarf that when worn with a leather jacket and jeans can add just a small touch of femininity.
  6. Patterns – floral is obviously feminine but there are so many other patterns that can add to your feminine style. Such as: eyelet (or broderie anglaise), smaller brightly colored geometric patterns (especially when I think about African fabrics), brocade, stripes and hearts.

Obviously these aren’t the only way to create a feminine looking style, but they are definitely some to consider. If you have any questions about a fabric, pattern or style, don’t hesitate to contact me and I will answer you!

Denim & Florals

What makes things memorable is that they are meaningful, significant and colorful!

I can feel optimism in the air in anticipation for Spring and the beauty it brings. It is the perfect time to bring out some floral patterns, add a little color into your life, and feel the vibrancy of the season.

As I was growing up I was never a big fan of floral patterns, or even the color pink, but I can tell you that as I am getting older, I embrace my femininity and welcome any style that allows me to feel feminine, classic and confident. Of course, I also like to be uniquely me, so by adding a little denim, it was the way for me to show my style while embracing the femininity of this dress.

The amazing thing about floral patterns is that there are SO MANY to choose from. There are ones with large, tropical flowers and ones with smaller blossoms – both of which can have a bright or subdued undertone, and can fit your style perfectly. If your style personality is a little less bold, then stick to muted tones, and smaller flowers, whereas if you are a little more willing to let it all out, you could try some patterns that include reds, yellows and cobalt blue…depending on which color best suits your skin tone.

As we have been planning our spring break trip with the kids, I have been doing a little shopping (both online and in stores) and I have been excited to see that a lot of stores are already adding these prints (and they’re not all dresses). I found a few of my current favorites and linked them below – you can shop them by clicking the links.

The little denim jacket I am wearing (which is a little different and more dressy than a typical denim jacket) is one I had in my closet, but I have found some similar ones and linked them below. Honestly there is always a time I love to pull out a denim jacket…so having one to me is a wardrobe essential.

My shoes are again a pair I already had but I loved pairing the polka dots with the floral dress, to add even a little more sass. Mixing patterns is still something I am learning, it kind of goes against everything we have learned…but I have to tell you it’s been really exhilarating and fun – so why not give it a try! Because here’s the thing, nobody REALLY knows what does and doesn’t work, so even if you aren’t sure, there is a very low chance that you will get it wrong 🙂

This Monday is beautiful and sunny here in Salt Lake, and I am excited to start breaking out even more florals – what styles get you excited?