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!

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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…

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?

A Clothing Swap Success Story

I have to admit, I wasn’t exactly sure how the clothing/accessories swap I hosted this past Monday night would turn out.  I had visions of everyone leaving empty handed, feeling as if they’d wasted an evening, and having to lamely remind everyone to look on the bright side – “hey, at least your closet is cleaned out!”  When I looked at my contributions, which consisted of things that I had zero desire to wear anymore, I couldn’t help but wonder who in the world would want to take any of it home?  Or would I find anything from another person’s reject pile to get excited about?  My worries were quickly put to rest.  Just take a look at what 13 stylish ladies brought to the table (and sofa, and arm chair, and floor…) Monday night:

Believe it or not, more things were brought into the mix after I snapped these pictures, but I was too busy “shopping” to capture them.  Needless to say, I scored tons of things I am ecstatic to add to my wardrobe: a purse, a pair of slacks, 3 dresses, 2 quarter sleeved length jackets, 2 scarves, several tops, several bangles, and 2 necklaces!  All for $FREE.99! (!!!)  A clothing swap is a frugalista’s dream, I tell you!

As the girls arrived and laid out their items I noticed several people eyeing a lot of the same things, and I started to kick myself for not coming up with any elaborate rules for swap decorum.  I’d read on another blog about a system that involved price level tokens to exchange for like-priced items, but that had confusion written all over it.  The idea of a “walk off” was suggested – the group would get to vote on who the item looked best on if 2+ ladies were vying for the same thing – but I figured we’d just put everything in a pile and have a free for all.  It worked out swimmingly, as there were plenty of fantastic finds to go around.  We didn’t have even a single “walk off”!  (though that would have been kind of fun…)

If you aren’t completely sold on the wonders of the clothing swap concept, check out my top 5 reasons why you should consider hosting or attending one.

#1: It’s an opportunity to gather your different groups of girlfriends.   I teamed up with a friend to host our little event. We both invited people from our respective groups of friends, and then a few of them brought along a friend – the more the merrier!  I really enjoyed meeting new people, including Cath and Lar of Asian Cajuns!  We finally met in person at the swap after messaging back and forth through our blogs.  You need to check out their blog if you haven’t already!

#2: It’s an inexpensive girl’s night.  I brought a bottle of wine that I had hanging around the house and about $15 bucks worth of snacks from Trader Joes. Everyone brought a little somethin’ somethin’ and it turned out to be a nice spread.  Oh, and of course there’s all the FREE swag…

#3: You can explore a trend without buyers remorse.  Case in point, two girls tried on rompers and left with them in their possession.  They may not have taken them to the cash register had they been in a store, but if it fits, multiple girls tell you it looks cute on you and you don’t have to pay anything, why not take it home?  If you find that you never actually wear it, there is no guilt in taking it to Goodwill once and for all.

#4: It’s motivation to get your closet organized.  I was prepared to focus on this aspect if the swapping had turned out to be a dud, but luckily it was just another perk.  One of the ladies volunteered ahead of time to take everything left over to donate to a charity she is involved in, so nothing went back home to sit in the deep recesses of the closet for another year.

#5: It’s nice to see your clothes go to a new home.  Just because you don’t want something in your closet anymore doesn’t mean you want it to end up in a landfill.  This swap proved to me that one woman’s donation bag is truly another woman’s treasure trove.  I was genuinely happy that this dress I bought 2 years ago (and never wore) found a more appreciative home!

She even found matching shoes at the swap - total outfit score!

I’m excited to play around with my new-to-me-items and see how they fit in with my wardrobe.  Stay tuned for outfit posts!

Clothing Swap Sneak Peek!

With my 30 for 30 Remix complete and a move on the horizon (more on that later), now is the perfect time to give the ol’ closet a good cleaning.  A lot of the clothes and accessories that I simply never wear anymore are in good condition and deserve a more appreciative home.  But instead of immediately hauling my two overflowing bags of threads to Goodwill, a friend and I are hosting a clothing & accessories swap next week!  I’m just about finished gathering my contributions, and here’s a sneak peek of the goods:

There's a couple dresses, skirts, pants, tons of tops and a few accessories (not pictured)

Have you ever heard of or been to a clothing swap?  They’re apparently all the rage these days with the economy being in a slump and all.  It’s basically a “girl’s night in” on crack; there will be wine, food, chit chat and completely guilt free “shopping”!  The idea is for everyone to walk away with some “new” items to add to their wardrobe without having to spend a penny.  Everything left over will be donated, which means more space in the closet.  Bi-winning!

What they say about one woman’s trash donation bag being another woman’s treasure is true.   I can’t wait to see what all of the stylish ladies attending are willing to trade!

If you’re local and want to join in on the fun, leave your email address in the comments section and I’ll send you the information!

30 for 30 Remix: Outfit #21

I literally forgot that I owned this shirt.  I’m pretty sure I bought it at Ross for less than $10 about five years ago, and I’m fairly certain that this is the second time it has been worn.  It may not be super clear in the picture, but it has small pleats across the chest, which is why I picked it up in the first place.  It usually takes some sort of feminine detail to get me to buy a button down shirt.

shirt from Ross, skirt from Fab'rik, shoes from Marshalls

I’m really surprised that this shirt didn’t ended up in the donation bag a long time ago, as I never ever wore it.  It must have been hiding in the deep recesses of my closet just waiting for the perfect time to make itself useful.  Turns out that time is now, during my 30 for 30 Remix!  Rediscovering clothes is just as fun as shopping!  Well, sorta… 🙂

Friday Night (Outfit #20)

I’ve seen a lot of style bloggers wear a dress as a blouse with a skirt and wanted to see if I could pull it off.  Plus I was ready to get out of that stupid green shirt.  Here’s what I came up with for a Friday night outing:

dress from Fab'rik, belt from H&M, skirt from Madewell, shoes from Kohls, earrings & cuff from Heliotrope

Overall, I liked the look of this outfit, but it wasn’t exactly low maintenance; I had to keep tucking the dress in all night.  I’m not a huge fan of outfits that require a lot of fuss.  It might have held together better if the belt was thin enough to go through the belt loops on the skirt, so perhaps I’ll give it another shot sometime with a different belt.

I don’t have any other outfits to share from the weekend, as I pretty much lived in my Heliotrope duds (a special Heliotrope tee shirt and shorts, which I didn’t count in my Remix), and I ended up re-wearing a remix challenge outfit (this one) for Saturday night shenanigans.  I’m ready to start my last week of this remix!   Can you believe that July is almost over?  Just one more blazing hot month to survive!

What did you guys do this weekend?  I saw that there was a festival on Ponce… did you brave the heat to attend?

30 for 30: Outfit #11

You may have noticed that I’ve changed up the look of this blog… again.  I’ve decided that less is more when it comes to background and color scheme, but I also selected this wordpress theme because it comes with the RSS feed icon (it’s up in the top left corner).  Now you can subscribe to Atlanta Native, if your heart desires, and not depend on me shamelessly linking all of my new posts on Facebook.  No pressure, but it’s there…

And now on to the outfit du jour!  Atlanta sure has been living up to that unpopular nickname, “HOTlanta”, these days.  I’m anxiously awaiting a break in this sweltering heat wave, and I survived the high temps and humidity today by wearing an airy dress.  I bought this particular dress several years ago at Marshalls or TJMaxx for less than $20.  It sat in my closet unworn for a long time, but I’ve finally started getting some use out of it.

I didn’t have time to get creative with my self portraits this morning, and ended up not capturing the jewelry very well in the full length shots.  I depend on accessories to “make” a lot of my outfits, so I wanted to give them their fair share of the spotlight.  In order to do so, I had to improvise and use good ol’ Photobooth on my Mac today at work.  Here’s a lame picture of me hanging out in my cubicle at work:

I received the braclets as a Christmas gift, and they just so happen to pair perfectly with a necklace I bought at Fab'rik.

There you have it, folks.  Another outfit down, 19 to go!

30 for 30: Outfit #7

In celebration of Friday, I decided to wear the brightest colored shirt in my possession.  It’s another item that was recently rescued from the Goodwill pile, and I believe it will find its way back into the donation bag soon.  I thought I might be able to pull it off with the slight tan I’m rocking these days, and maybe add some interest with a belt, but a photo doesn’t lie: bright apple green isn’t my color.  The belt didn’t play out exactly as I’d imagined either, but I didn’t realize it until I saw the pictures (after wearing it all day at work).  I guess Cher Horowitz knew what she was talking about after all…

tee shirt from Target, jeans from J. Crew outlet, belt from H&M, shoes from Anthropologie

Seven days into this challenge and I’ve already put together two outfits I’ve been less than thrilled about.  It kind of makes me want to go shopping… but I will hold out, because this whole process is about figuring out what my closet is lacking, what needs to be removed from my wardrobe for good, and challenging myself to be a little creative with what I have on hand (a.k.a. save moo-la).  I didn’t make any promises that any of it would be fashion magazine worthy (a girl could only dream…), but I do have some outfits in mind for the coming weeks that should be more pleasing to the eye.

Got any big plans for the weekend?  It’s going to be a pretty chill one for me, which I’m totally cool with after all the hubbub of last weekend.  Maybe I can finally clean out those planters I’m posing next to above and put something pretty in them!  See y’all next week with more outfits, and maybe even a non-clothing related post thrown into the mix.  🙂

Outfit #5

I bought this Madewell cami and Anthropologie cardigan around the same time about two years ago, and starting wearing them together immediately.  Until recently, I wore the cardigan loose.  It took me a while to catch onto the whole “belt over cardigan” trend, but I’m fully on the wagon these days.  A belt doesn’t have to be through pant loops to hold things together!

Cardigan from Anthropologie, cami from Madewell, necklace from Urban Outfitters, belt from H&M, jeggings from Target, shoes from Anthropologie

A closer look at the top ensemble...

I love a pop of yellow! This necklace is a staple for my summer wardrobe. Expect to see it a lot.

Schuler & Sons Philadelphia shoes purchased at Anthroplogie on sale a couple years ago. They have the perfect heel hight (in my opinion) and are super comfortable!

Did I mention that my “jeggings” are from Target and only cost $15 on sale?  They are probably the best clothing purchase I’ve made in a long time.  I love the dark wash, which has held up remarkably well over the last few months with frequent washing.  Hopefully Target will still carry them when I wear these out!