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…

What is YOUR Style?

The two most important days of your life are the day you are born, and the day you find out why!

From when we are five years old right up until, at the very minimum, we are eighteen, we go to school to learn…We learn some general subjects as well as those specialized to help us determine the career path we want to take in our life, but not only that, we learn how to interact with others, we learn how to be respectful all whilst we are growing and coming into ourselves.  So if we spend all this time learning and honing our interactional skills, learning capabilities and maturity, why would we not do the same when it comes to our appearance?  After all…in a world where judgements are rampant and our appearance is very often how people determine whether or not they want to do business with us, we should spend as much time if not more, learning and developing our presentation (and I mean personal appearance presentation) skills!

The challenge we face is that it is not as clear cut as school studies, relationship skills or even leadership skills.  So how do we grow our personal presentation capabilities?  Some people have innate skills, while others have to work a little harder, but the good news is that no matter how good we are, we can all learn more.

I will let you all into some of my secrets, which are pretty simple and I am sure you could figure them out even if I didn’t tell you (but just in case)…

  1. Don’t try to be something you are not.  I have talked about making sure you dress your age, but this goes even further than that.  Only choose styles that work for you, because wearing something just because it is “in” doesn’t necessarily mean it is going to look good on you.  I was just talking with some friends about how there are some styles that should NEVER come back in because they are not flattering, and I feel like mom jeans for me are one of those styles.  They do work for some people, but they are definitely one of the most flattering things for my body type.
  2. Dress for what you are doing.  Simply put – it is better to over dress for something than it is to turn up to an important meeting looking under-dressed or sloppy.
  3. Choose your colors wisely – again, just because a color is “in” doesn’t mean you should wear it.  Some colors can drain your color, while others are just a little too bold for what you are doing and who you are seeing.
  4. Notice how others are dressing, see how they wear belts, accessories, or shoes.  If you are wondering if a style of clothing would work for your body type, you can always google certain styles or check on Pinterest because there are always pictures of different body types.  Of course, nothing beats trying something on, but if you are looking to decide if something could work before you even get to the trying on stage, this is a great starting point.
  5. If you are unsure about how to put a whole outfit together, it is best to not get too carried away.  I do think it’s important to keep your style unique to you, but that doesn’t mean that you need to be so far out there that people remember you for the wrong reasons.
  6. Every store gets new styles, colors and fabrics throughout each season, so it is always good to check out the latest trends at Nordstrom, Macy’s and other department stores.  If you find a brand that you like that is great, but it doesn’t mean that everything they make is going to work for you.  Check out the styles, see how the mannequins are put together and use them as guidelines.

I love new seasons, and I especially love that we get all 4 seasons here in Utah because it gives me the chance to change my look every few months (although I must say that I am sooo ready for this rain to top and for hot days right now)!  Changing seasons allows me to keep my look fresh, change it up and adapt…

Even if you don’t remember anything else about this post, I want you to take this away with you…continue to learn about style.  Just like in anything else, it is not something where one day we can say we have learned all we can learn…things are always changing, new styles are coming out and old ones are being repurposed . That is why we need to keep it fresh.  Don’t be a follower or just stuck in your ways, find new ways to present yourself in the best way possible for your personality, body type and coloring.  I promise if you do this, you will feel more self-confidence and people will be attracted to that (whether it be business or personal relationships)…

Happy Hump Day!

Palazzo Pants

We don’t know who we are until we see what we can do!

Are you someone that likes to try new style trends or do you like to stick to those that make you feel comfortable?

One of my favorite trends right now is the Palazzo pants trend. I love it because it’s like wearing pants and a skirt at the same time. So for those of you out there that prefer pants – we got you! Or, for those of you out there that prefer to stick to skirts – we got you too!!

I have found such a wide variety in some higher end stores, and those stores that are a little less expensive. The pair I’m wearing in this post I was so excited about because I found them on clearance, and they were such a great deal (am I the only one that loves it when I can tell my husband that I have SAVED us so much money 😉 ? ) – similar pair linked here

I may not have talked about this but my 2nd oldest son is graduating High School this year and we just had his Senior pictures taken. As he was deciding what to wear for the pictures (he is very particular about how he looks, but he kind of got stuck in black and white thinking), he had a really hard time trying to decide on an outfit. He wanted to do two outfits, one more casual and one in church clothes, but for the church clothes he was having a hard time. I had recently bought him a pair of light blue pants, and a vest that was a darker blue color. He wasn’t convinced that the two went together, so was trying to explain to him that a contrast is sometimes even more classic than trying to match too closely. He begrudgingly wore it and the pictures looked really great.

He was having such a hard time because he believed that in order for the outfit to look good, that it had to match completely. I tried to explain that the new rules are that we create our own rules and not everything needs to “match” (it’s actually way more fun to NOT match!)

Check out some great Palazzo pants that I found and linked at the bottom of this post

Speaking of that concept, I had some fun mixing the floral with the pinstripe, but had I been stuck in an older, more traditional way of thinking, I don’t think I would have even tried it.

Here are some ways that I decide my outfits – I have found that when I am unsure about something I seek a little guidance from others that are already doing what I want to try…here are a few of mine, just in case you need a little inspiration:

  1. I try things on that at one time I might not have worn together and walking around my bathroom & bedroom a little to see how I feel wearing them. If they make me feel conscious or not great, I decide that the look doesn’t work for me on that day.
  2. If I found something and decided not to wear it (as in tip #1) I will try it another day, a sunnier day, a day when I am feeling differently about myself and life, and try it again. I have found that just because I don’t like something on one day, it doesn’t mean I won’t like it EVER…it just means I wasn’t ready for it at that time.
  3. I pick out a piece that I love and want to wear and find another piece with a color that is a contrast or compliment to that first piece. For example, Pink and Red are great compliments to each other, and a great way to get bold. The Navy sticking on my pinstripe top ties into the pants because the outline of the pattern is also in Navy.
  4. If I am having a day where I am not feeling like being really bold or like trying something new, I will stick to something I know I have worn before and I am comfortable in, and I add a pair of bright shoes (because I can always feel good in bright, sassy shoes).
  5. There are days when your audience requires that you are a little more conservative, then pattern mixing become a little more difficult. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t add a statement scarf, necklace or even a pair of tights.

The key is that no matter how you dress, the styles you like and how you are wanting to be remembered, you make sure that YOU feel comfortable. Dressing for yourself is so important because it allows us to take the focus to how we act and what we accomplish rather than how we look.

I believe in starting off the week great – so be the energy that you want to attract! HAPPY MONDAY.

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

New Spring Trends to Try…

Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will!

I don’t know about you but I am always looking for inspiration of new things I can try, how I can adapt things to suit myself and how I can incorporate current styles that I love into new season styles.

I have been really excited by a few that I have found recently, so I wanted to share them with you. Spring is my favorite time of year for trying new things because Winter and Spring are so different here in Utah that it really gives me an opportunity to change dramatically.

I love the optimism that spring brings, I love to see all the blossoms and flowers, and I love that the nights are longer. I feel like I have so much more time to do the things I want to do and I get excited about riding my mountain bike again, hiking, walking my dog through the neighborhood, and spending time playing ball outside or hanging by the pool with the boys.

Here are some great new styles and outfits I am excited to try this spring, what styles are you looking forward to?

Add a scarf – but wear it differently. Why not try tying it at the back rather than the front?

A pair of wide legged pants paired with some crochet or just rainbow colors

Add a pair of statement earrings to spice up your style – if you really want to rock out, style a simple denim outfit with some amazing tassel earrings

Leather with lace – the ultimate in edgy femininity

Break up an all black outfit with some colorful accessories or shades

Looking for places to find some of these styles, I have linked some great deals below…just click the links below…

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?

Denim on Denim

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail!

I have to admit wearing denim on denim like I am in this post is not something I have done a lot of, but I wanted to experiment, so I wanted to share.

I always had some preconceived notions that it had to look a certain way, that only certain people could pull it off, and that it always had to be a contrasting denim…what I found is that I actually loved it and I will more than likely do a lot more of it!

As we all know there are so many rules when it comes to fashion (at least how fashion used to be), but I am here to remind you that those rules are really just GUIDELINES and you can adapt them to yourself.

Before I moved over to the U.S. from England I didn’t wear a lot of denim, I considered it a lot more casual than I liked so I shied away from it. Since I have been over here, I have found that I love it for all occasions. The best thing is that it can be dressed up or down and I can create any look I want. When I used to work in Corporate America there were rules for dress, and at one point we used to be “allowed” to wear jeans on Fridays until Casual Friday’s were taken away because they started to become a little too casual. I couldn’t understand it for a while because the jeans I was wearing actually cost more than a lot of my business clothes, and I always dressed them appropriately, but nevertheless it perpetuated that thought process in me that caused me to believe that jeans were TOO casual.

I honestly do believe that jeans or denim of any time can look just as professional, if not more when done correctly, than any business wear. It is also a fabric that is highly adaptable, versatile and fun…so experimenting is always fun! So, here are some quick and easy steps to styling your denim that will work for anyone:

  1. Add a statement piece – this is exactly what I did with my super funky jacket that my mum customized for me. The Black sleeves really break up the look and make it much more eye catching. Adding really cool accessories can work too.
  2. Steer clear of adding a denim handbag, scarf or shoes…it can be just a little too much for a denim on denim outfit.
  3. Make sure that the shade of denim you choose flatters your body type – the darker the denim the more flattering it is. If you are really craving a lighter shade, then make sure that the cut is only hitting you where you want it to.
  4. Adding a loose, flouncy denim like chambray is a great way to create a more feminine vibe.
  5. Try not to look too “matchy” – wearing the exact same shade on the top or bottom, with nothing to break it up, can just look like you’re trying to hard to get that perfect match.

You can shop some of my top denim picks by clicking the links below…

5 Tips to Help you Find your Unique Style

Be what you are…This is the first step to becoming better than you are!

One of the easiest ways to put together an outfit is to find unique pieces that express your style and personality. Take the outfit I am wearing, it is a simple skirt with a fun statement bow, a simple short sleeved sweater and some funky earrings. It’s simple, yet I feel like it is really noticeable because I chose a few statement pieces.

So the question is, how do you find things that match your personality? It can definitely be something that requires a little thought and inspiration if it’s not something you are comfortable with. Here are a few things that may help you figure out how to create your own unique style personality:

1. Find things that you are drawn to. If you love a certain color – then use that color to create your look. If you love a certain style and you find yourself drawn to it, why not try it on for size.

2. There are so many styles that I love, but I know from the experience of trying them on that they don’t all look good on me. So, I allow myself to try things, and see how they make me feel – obviously the goal is to feel good AND look good.

3. Remember that your size doesn’t have to determine that you have style. When you have confidence, everything else just seems to work out! When we walk with our heads held high, absolutely believing that we are worthy and strong, that’s what gives defines us. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in worrying what size something is, but honestly no one can see the size label on the inside of your clothes, so why worry about it?

4. Make sure you have plenty of accessories. These are the things that can make or break an outfit…so make sure you have plenty to choose from.

5. I have always trusted myself. When I have a feeling that something is right for me, my instincts haven’t steered me wrong. When you have confidence and believe that you are amazing, listening to yourself becomes easier and easier the more you practice it.

The best thing about any style is that it is always a moving target. Your style isn’t going to remain the same forever, in fact, it changes all the time…

Sometimes finding your style and refining it can be intimidating, so the first thing to do is recognize that you want to make a change or you need help. Asking for help from a friend or seeking inspiration from magazines or blogs is not a shameful thing, in fact, everyone does it. I am always looking for new ideas, researching trends to see what I do and do not like, because I know I don’t know it all.

If you are looking to change your style completely or just seeking a few ideas, I hope that you found something useful in today’s post.

My amazing skirt was sold out, but I have linked some similar ones as well as the sweater and some earrings…just click the links below to shop my look.

Thank Goodness for Warm Jackets

Life was always a matter of waiting for the right moment to act

I don’t know if I’ve been feeling the cold more since I came back from my birthday trip, or it’s just been A LOT colder, but I can tell you, taking pictures has been pretty painful 🙁 . It probably doesn’t help that my whole family, including me, has been sick all week with the flu.

It seems like we get moments of optimism where the sun shines, it gets up above 50 degrees and I start craving riding my mountain bike again. Of course, the foothills are still covered in snow, so I realize that it won’t be around the corner, but I do at least get hope. Then, just like this week, it snows, snows again and gets to temperatures in single digits or the teens.

Are you anything like me where you have a hard time thinking about style and fashion when you’re really cold? I find myself just wanted to wrap up in thermals and not leave the house (if only that were possible). Unfortunately, because it isn’t possible, I find myself searching my closet trying to come up with ways to create looks that make me happy while at the same time trying to not freeze to death – LOL.

A good jacket definitely helps, but when the wind is blowing hard and you have to stand outside for more than 5 minutes, the thickness of your pants and the amount of skin you are showing becomes more and more important. I know when I am going somewhere like skiing or sledding I am always really prepared but I find myself not quite so prepared for day to day activities.

This outfit that I’m wearing was perfect for a workday, but not so much for standing outside taking pictures – which of course I had to do because the lighting was just right.

I am linking the details of my outfit (the top is sold out but I have linked some similar), and the jacket is ON SALE so such a great deal. Click the links below to shop any of the pieces of my outfit.

Plans for the weekend: Sleep, clean, shop (ordering delivery from Costco because I hate going there at the weekend), and relax.

What do you have planned?