A Skirt With Pockets

After a year of blogging on Atlanta Native (the first few months were on blogger before I moved here to wordpess), I’ve started a new blogging journey.  See, when I first had the idea to start a blog, I didn’t know exactly what direction it would go in.  I figured I’d write about whatever I fancied and a general theme would emerge.  While I have succeeded in discovering what I enjoy writing about, I am afraid that the title “Atlanta Native” doesn’t quite fit anymore.  So, I’ve moved back to blogger and started fresh.  You can now find me here:

A Skirt With Pockets

(www.askirtwithpockets.blogspot.com)

While I’ve never considered myself fashionable enough to dub myself a “fashion blogger,” I am fascinated with fashion and view my style as ever evolving.  Challenging myself to the 30 for 30 Remix this past summer made me view my wardrobe and my budget in a whole new way, and you may have noticed from recent posts that I’ve become slightly obsessed with thrift shopping.  Basically I really like playing with clothes, but going on extravagant shopping sprees simply isn’t one of my top financial priorities; I’d rather save for vacations and my future than for designer duds.  I’m on a mission to strike that balance of loving my wardrobe and growing a healthy savings account.  So from here on out, you can follow my style progress on a budget at A Skirt With Pockets!  I hope you’ll visit!

p.s.

I promise to post waaaaay more frequently than I have here.  I’ve already made it 5 straight days of posts!

No Pants Allowed

I wore a dress to work on Monday and decided that I’d wear only dresses and skirts all week.  It wasn’t exactly a revolutionary idea, but it was a bit of a challenge to shun my favorite go-to outfits, which all include pants of some sort.  Between witnessing the Braves’ final loss of the season on Wednesday night and letting loose at a bachelorette party on Thursday night, I fell behind on posting outfit pics.  Saturday mornings were made for playing catch up, right?

Wednesday: Work

Thrifted blouse (Banana Republic), thrifted skirt (Ann Taylor), necklace from American Eagle, shoes from Marshalls (Nine West)

Wednesday: Play

tank top from Gap, hoodie from Target, skirt from Old Navy, boots from Marshalls, necklace from American Eagle and earrings are Towne & Reese from Heliotrope

Thursday: Work

cardigan from Boogaloos boutique, blouse from Target, skirt from Fab'rik, shoes from Marshalls (Nine West)

I was a very bad blogger and forgot to take a picture of my work outfit on Thursday.  I basically wore the outfit above, except the color of the blouse was grey instead of hot pink.  I bought the grey version of the blouse way back in March when it went on clearance at Target specifically to wear with this skirt when the season changed.  It’s good to think ahead.

Thursday: Play

Dress from Fab'rik

Again, I was a bad blogger and failed to get a full length shot of the dress I wore for the bachelorette party.  I blame it on the alcohol.  This pic will have to serve as proof that I did indeed wear a dress.

Friday

shirt is Banana Republic (bought at the outlet), skirt is Madewell, necklace is from Heliotrope, belt is from Old Navy, shoes are from Target

And that brings us to the conclusion of Dress Fest 2011!    I’m off to enjoy the beautiful autumn weather in a pair of my favorite jeans.  Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

All Wrapped Up

Dress, Necklace and Braclet: FREE from the clothing swap, Shoes: $54.99 from DSW (Me Too)

Rule #1 for wearing a wrap dress: pin your skirt together!  Otherwise, the slightest breeze will give people sitting in traffic an eye full.  A tiny safety pin was my best friend this morning as I strolled from the MARTA station to work.

The best thing about this dress?  It was FREE!  It used to belong to a friend of mine, and she was willing to part ways with it at the clothing swap.  Lucky me!

Oh, and those heels are the newest edition to my wardrobe.  I found them on a quick lunchtime DSW trip yesterday.  While I relish my thrifty finds in the clothing department, I’ve learned that it’s wise to fork over a little money when investing in footwear (and I’m a little leery of second hand shoes, especially from complete strangers).  I’ve gone the Payless route before, and the quality wasn’t there.  Surprise, surprise!  These beauts only set me back $60, so they weren’t too steep.  And they are considerably better made than most of the shoes in my current collection.

Dress Fest 2011 continues tomorrow, y’all!  Until then…

She’s a Lady

A couple of weeks ago I posted about a thrifting haul that included this dress from Goodwill.

I finally wore it today.  Not bad for $4.59, eh?

Dress is Merona (from Target) - $4.59 at Goodwill, Necklace was free, thanks to the clothing swap, Shoes are Nine West (from Marshalls) - $20ish?

   Nothing makes me feel more ladylike than wearing a pretty dress or skirt ensemble.  My posture is a little straighter and I find it easier to smile when I’m sashaying around in a dress.  It’s a nice change of pace from my beloved denim.

The high temp today was in the low 80’s, which is the perfect weather for bare legs and short sleeves.  I didn’t even break a sweat on my walk to/from MARTA!  Since the forecast for the rest of the week promises similar weather, I’ve decided that today marks the first day of “Dress Fest 2011”.  Yessiree, I’m going to wear only dresses and skirts all week!  Huzzah!

Atlanta Fall Festival Round Up!

Last Friday marked the official beginning of autumn, which means temps are finally bearable, leaves are turning, and my calendar is loaded with fall festivals!  There are tons of opportunities for Atlantans to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather in the coming weeks.  Below are my top 5 picks for fall fun.

“Sunday in the Park” at Historic Oakland Cemetery

Did you know that this year will mark the 32nd anniversary of this festival hosted by the Historic Oakland Foundation?  Yeah, me neither.  The website promises “delicious food from Six Feet Under, The Varsity, Pallookaville and more… a variety of live musical entertainment, an artists market, living history demonstrations, storytellers, Irish dancers and a scavenger hunt.”  Sounds like a good time to me!  Heck, I’ll check it out just to get my corndog fix from Pallokaville.

When: Sunday, October 2nd from noon – 6pm.  Click here for more details.

Candler Park Fall Fest

Candler Park hosts several festivals throughout the year, so they know how to facilitate a good time.  Food, beverages, an artist market, live music, a 5k race, a tour of homes… this two day festival has something for everyone!

When: Saturday, October 15th (noon – 9pm) & Sunday October 16th (noon – 8pm)  Click here for more details.

The Little 5 Points Halloween Festival & Parade

The off-beat energy of L5P makes it the perfect host to the largest Halloween parade in the Southeast.  I attended last year for the first time and had so much fun as a plain clothed spectator.  If you’re having trouble coming up with a Halloween costume idea, you’re sure to find inspiration here!

When: Saturday, October 22nd.  Festivities begin at noon, and the parade begins at 4pm.  Click here for more details.

Taste of Atlanta

There will be over 80 restaurants offering samplings of their menu all at one place, you say?  Yes, please!  I’m stoked to have the opportunity to try so much food for only $25.  I never knew how great these types of events were until I attended Taste of Cheshire Bridge a while back.  Taste of Atlanta will be bigger and better!

When: Saturday, October 22nd (11am – 6pm) & Sunday October 23rd (11am – 6pm)  Click here for more details.

Cabbage Town Chomp and Stomp

I am so bummed that I will miss the uber popular chilli cook-off and festival this year! Hundreds of professionals and amateurs alike offer their take on the deceptively simple meat and bean stew.  Every team boasts a secret ingredient for a distinctive flavor.  Not a chilli enthusiast?  No worries.  There are plenty of other food options and drinks available to enjoy while you take in the live bluegrass bands.

When: Saturday, November 5th  11am – 6pm  Click here for more details.

Honorable mentions include the Decatur Beer Festival, which takes place on October 15h and is always a sold out event.  I did not score tickets this year, but I’ve attended in the past and had a great time.  Also on October 15th, Zoo Atlanta is hosting an event called Jazzoo.  Tickets are a bit steep at $100 per person, but it’s an all inclusive evening of food, cocktails, music (Yacht Rock!) and animals, and the proceeds fund programs for disadvantaged children.  Anyone willing to shell out the dough to attend Jazzoo with me?  Anyone…?

Now it’s your turn!  Which fall events are you looking forward to??

A Dress Fit for Strutin’!

Dress - The Lucky Exchange, Necklace - Clothing Swap (FREE!), Belt - H&M, Shoes - Target (4 years ago)

I’ve been waiting for the perfect fall day to wear this dress, and today absolutely fits the bill.  With temps in the mid-70’s and the sun shining, I can get away with short sleeves and bare legs.  It’s quite dreamy.

I found this dress at The Lucky Exchange when I spent an entire Wednesday thrift shopping a few weeks ago.  It was originally $24, but the Scoutmob deal slashed the grand total to $12!  I have no idea what brand it is, as the tag has been cut out; maybe it’s vintage?  The colors and pattern whispered “autumn” in my ear and I swooned.  Thankfully it fit me perfectly.  Score!

I’m about to head to the East Atlanta Strut for the afternoon.  Palookaville, my favorite corndog food truck, is finally out of hibernation, so you can find me waiting in line if you happen to be at the festival.

Enjoy this beautiful day!

So Long, Mini!

Almost two years ago, I flew to NYC and bought a 2006 Mini Cooper S convertible from a very nice fellow I found on ebay.  I negotiated a killer deal since convertible season was quickly winding down in New England, and I avoided paying taxes since I purchased from a private seller.  All in all, it was a good purchase… except for the fact that I had to take on a loan to pay for it.

I lived without a car payment for the majority of my adult life, and I never really appreciated it until I had a shinier toy to cruise around in that cost a pretty penny.  For the first year, I just paid my car note without really thinking about it, but the expense of car ownership started weighing heavily on me several months ago.  Yeah, I take home enough money to easily make the monthly payments and maintain it, but I realized that owing the bank pretty much zapped all of the pleasure I derived from driving a “nice” car.  I started missing the crappy old Saturn that I drove into the ground through high school and college, which I had paid off by the time I was 18.

I considered kicking my installments into high gear and paying off the loan in record time, but the truth is that I didn’t particularly want to own it.  When I evaluate my priorities, owning a nice car simply isn’t one of them.  Even if I had a monstrous bank account, I wouldn’t purchase a fancy car (except, maybe, if I ever won the Mega Millions). There are so many other things I would rather do with my hard earned money than sinking it into a depreciating asset.

Now that I live with my BF in an area of town with access to a Marta train station, I don’t actually need a car.  So, as you’ve probably guessed from the title of this post, I sold my car today.  It hasn’t fully sunk in yet, but I can tell you that I feel considerably lighter without the $12k car loan on my shoulders!  Not to mention the burdens of insurance, trips to the gas station, and maintenance…

While I mentioned above that I don’t need a car right now, I am sure that I will want another one in the somewhat near future.  I’m guessing that I’ll tire of depending on others for rides and taking the train, but the next car will be something that I can pay for with cash.  And it won’t be so nice that my blood pressure spikes every time I spot a new dent or scratch.  A used Honda or Volvo will do me just fine.

For the time being, I’m living life as a pedestrian armed with pepper spray.  I’ve enrolled in the commuter program through work, which subsidizes the monthly MARTA transit card.  I plan on using MARTA through October and then deciding how badly I want a car.  My opinion of MARTA isn’t very high, so chances are I’ll be posting about my new used car here sooner than later.

I leave you on this fall-like Friday with the top 5 things about driving that I absolutely will not miss as I hoof it to MARTA:

#1. Traffic

  Not a big surprise.  Who likes sitting in Atlanta rush hour traffic?  Not me.  I particularly won’t miss the Freedom Parkway exit during my driving hiatus.

#2. Dodging Distracted Drivers

Please, get off your cell phones!   Now I have to depend on you to not hit me while I’m in the cross walk…

#3. Pot-holes

Most of the driving I did was in the city, and the roads suck.  ‘Nough said.

#4. Street Parking 

It’s been a way of life for the past few years, at my old apartment and here at the new place.  Parking on the street means leaving your car vulnerable to drunks walking on top of your car (happened to my neighbor) and having your window smashed in (happened to me).

#5. Gas Prices

Yeah, they’ve been on the decline recently, but you know that won’t last.  The Mini was a pampered car and took premium gas.  I’ll be happy to have something that is happy with regular ol’ gas.

I hope you all enjoy the fantastic weather in store over the weekend!  Until next time…

It’s a Thrifting Miracle!

I’ve read about people finding designer duds hanging alongside Faded Glory apparel in thrift stores, but I never shop with the expectation of finding anything grand.  If I spot a skirt or top from J. Crew or Banana Republic that’s in excellent shape, I consider it a fantastic find.  Today I went to Salvation Army for 50% off apparel Wednesdays, and found a true diamond in the rough!

I was browsing a rack of blouses, hunting for 100% silk, when I turned around to a sparsely stocked jacket rack.  A pinstriped blazer instantly caught my eye.  It looked to be just my size and very well made.  After quickly trying it on and finding that it indeed was my size and felt very study, I took at look at the tag and found “Paul Smith (made in Italy).”  I’d never heard of Paul Smith before, because I don’t have the time or money to keep up with designers, but I was curious enough to Google him to find out how much his stuff sells for regularly.  Turns out his current line of women’s blazers range from $650 – $935.  Holy cow!  I snapped this baby up for only 5 bucks!

I can't wait to get it cleaned and wear it!

 It may not look like much on the hanger, but it looks quite nice on a person (i.e. me).  I would model it for y’all, but I’m not picture ready this afternoon.  But I promise to post an outfit that includes this jacket once it’s nice and clean and pressed.

That’s the big find, but I also nabbed another silk shirt (a solid color and much closer to my actual size this time) and another nice blazer from Banana Republic from the Salvation Army, which came to a total of $11.31.  Can you believe that!?  Half-off Wednesday rocks!

I was pretty sure my thrifting karma tank was completely empty, but I decided to go browse around Goodwill simply because I had time to kill.  I walked out with two sweaters (New York and Co. & J. Crew), which looked like they’d never been worn, and a really cute dress that was originally from Target.  All for $16.94, bringing my total haul to the low, low price of $28.25!

Cute animal print dress from Target. It probably cost $24.99 originally.

So, that was my thrifting adventure for the week!  I have no idea when I’ll have the free time to do this again, but I’d say the shopping monster is satiated for the time being.  I’m looking forward to posting outfit pics more often to show off my thrift finds!

What’s the shiniest diamond you’ve found in the rough?

Thrifty Chic!

This outfit (excluding shoes) is completely thrifted!  I’ve been disappointed with thrift shopping in the past, but my desire to spruce up my wardrobe for next to nothing sparked a renewed interest in the treasure hunt that is thrift store shopping.  I have to be in a very specific mood to browse through jam packed racks of closet rejects, but with a little spare time, a lot of patience, and low expectations, thrifting can be really fun!

It all started last month when I took a random Wednesday off from work.  I had plenty of time on my hands and decided it was the perfect occasion to stop by a couple thrift shops that I’d heard great things about.  It was wonderful to leisurely pick through the merchandise sans the weekend crowd.

After my 30 for 30 Remix in July, I gave myself a $100 clothing budget for the month of August and was interested to see how far I could stretch it.  First I hit up The Lucky Exchange, a second-hand/vintage boutique in Ormewood Park.  I’d been meaning to check this place out for a while, and they just so happened to have a Scoutmob deal (woot!), so a quick peek was a no-brainer.  From there I ventured to Avondale Estates, a neighborhood just east of Decatur, to visit Finders Keepers, a second hand consignment shop.

I thoroughly enjoyed my shopping experience at both shops, which are well curated and organized to resemble regular boutiques, but with drastically lower prices.  That afternoon I purchased an adorable vintage dress from The Lucky Exchange, a J. Crew sweater, Tulle blouse, and a long sleeved tee shirt from the Gap (with tags still intact) from Finder’s Keepers, all for under $40!

I patted myself on the back and was on my way home when I passed a Salvation Army store.  Riding high on the finds I scored at the “nicer” thrift shops, I was willing to do a little digging in more suspect territory.  I’m so glad that I did!  Not only did I learn that all clothing is 50% off at Salvation Army on Wednesdays, but I ended up buying my very first 100% silk shirt for only $2.13!

Silk blouse: $2.13 Skirt: $4.50 Necklace: FREE (clothing swap)

I’ve never owned a silk blouse and that’s a pity, because they are awesome; silk feels absolutely sublime and is very figure flattering!  I’ve been intimidated by the hefty price tag that silk is accompanied by in regular stores, but various fashion bloggers have proven that silk can be affordable – cheap, even!  You just have to be willing to look, and pay a few bucks for dry cleaning.

I went into the Salvation Army store with only one objective: to find silk.  This required touching pretty much every article on the blouse rack and checking a lot of tags.  I was elated to find 100% silk on the tag of this blouse… and instantly deflated when I saw that it was a size 12 and from Casual Corner.  Still, I took it off the rack and continued on.  When the remainder of my search came up empty, I decided to try the blouse on just for kicks.  Initially, it looked like I’d put on a silk tent, but a few rolls of the sleeves and a tuck into my jeans and it didn’t look so bad.  I’d have preferred to find a solid color, but the pattern didn’t hurt my eyes too much.  For $2.13 I was willing to give it a new home in my closet.  Worst case scenario, it would find it’s way into my next donation pile.

I found the black Ann Taylor skirt that I’m wearing here at Goodwill last week.  I also scored a button down blouse from J.Crew and a pair of skinny black cords, a button down shirt, and a long sleeved tee (with tags still on) from The Gap.  All for a whooping $26!

Like I said, I have to be in the right mood to thrift shop, but my recent success has me looking forward to my next thrifting excursion!  My little stay-cation next week will afford me a lot of time to go on the hunt if I fancy.

Are you a fan of thrifting or does the ick factor outweigh the bargain possibilities?  Have you found any treasure lately?

Remember Me?

Hello, friends!  It’s been quiet around here lately, but I’m still here!  I made only 5 measly posts in August, which seems like nothing compared to July’s 30 for 30 Remix shenanigans. September promises a lot of fun happenings and a few challenges for me, so except more frequent updates!

One major chore that I’m glad to have checked off my to-do list in August was moving.  I ditched my studio apartment in Inman Park and moved into my BF’s Grant Park town-home.  That’s right, we’re living in sin!  He asked me to officially move in when we celebrated our one year anniversary on August 3rd.  I had to give my apartment manager 60 days notice, so I was planning on moving things over a little at a time through the end of September.  My plans were expedited when a friend expressed interest in renting my apartment starting September 1st, which meant I needed to get out of there completely on the last weekend of August.  Moving sucks, even when you don’t have much to move.  I’m so happy it’s over, and now September can be spent getting settled in here.  The BF and I are both new to this whole living with a significant other thing, so the adjustment period may spur an entertaining story or two.  And I’m itching to try my hand at a few decorating ideas around here, which should be interesting!

I have quite a bit of free time on my hands this month: the long Labor Day weekend is upon us, and I’m taking a full week off of work in the middle of the month.  I don’t have any exciting travel plans, just a ton of vacation time that I need to use up.  I originally planned on using that week to complete the move, but now it’s simply free time that I’m going to make the most of.  I’m thinking a trip to the zoo, a hike or two, and maybe a couple museum visits are in order – a nice little stay-cation.  I’m definitely open to suggestions, so please comment away!  And let me know if you happen to be available for some fun the week of the 12th… I’d love some company!

I don’t think I’ll do another 30 for 30 Remix challenge again any time soon, but outfit posts are sure to make more appearances around here.  I’m so excited to wear the items in my fall wardrobe!  The 10 day forecast includes a couple of days with high temperatures in the 70’s, which has me all giddy and dreaming of layers…

Oh, and I mentioned a couple of challenges for September; the two biggest are selling my car and studying for/taking the GRE.  I’ve decided to sell my car for a couple of reasons.  One is financial: I don’t like having a car payment and insurance, maintenance and gas add up quickly.  Secondly, the stress of owning a “nice” car outweighs the enjoyment for me.  Almost all of the driving I do is in the city, which causes a lot of wear and tear on a vehicle, and I have to park on the street, which means a lot of bumps and dings.  I can’t help but feel a little tiffed every time I see a new scratch, and I hate that.  After a lot of thought, I’ve decided that I’ll be a happier person with a car that I don’t care as much about and can purchase outright.  I will not be in a huge rush to buy a new (to me) car right away since my new residence is within walking distance to a Marta train station.  I’m going to take advantage of that for a little while and see how it goes.  Is Marta really smarta?  I’ll find out (with pepper spray in hand) and report back!

And I decided to take the GRE on a lark a few days ago.  A new test format was introduced in August, and there is a promotion of half off the testing fee if you take it before Sept. 30.  I don’t have any immediate plans to go back to school, but hopefully I’ll figure out what it is I’m doing with my life before the score expires in 5 years – ha!

Since this post has turned into a complete ramble-fest, and blog posts with pictures are better than those without, here are a few pictures from my trip to Spain 2 years ago.  This time 2 years ago, I was wrapping up my first full day in Barcelona. *sigh*  I want to go back to there.  My friend and I started off in Barcelona, then flew to Sevilla, and ended up in Madrid.  It was wonderful.

Parc Guell in Barcelona

Sevilla

Fresh Churros!

Madrid

That’s all for now!  I’ll be back soon, I promise!