Thursday, November 25, 2010

Shopholic no more! (I think)

I would be lying if I said I was always a budget shopper. Yes, I was as a teen and now but there was a year or two that I wasn't, at all. I was 19 and discovered a magical thing called a "store credit card". This wondrous piece of plastic made it possible to buy the clothes I wanted without all that money. It started with a trip to the Gap Outlet. I had a budget of $40, and had all sorts of great slightly defective garb in my bag. I went up to the register to pay and was greeted by a sales associate that told me the magic of the Gap Card. 20% off my first purchase, awesome! What? 20% off the first Tuesday of every month? Special sales for Gap Card holders? That sounded like a miracle. Let me say first that I worked at the Gap for a year when I lived in New York and sold many of these cards to my customers, but for some reason the way the sales girl explained the card to me just did something to my brain. I wont blame her though, if there is something called karma this was probably it.

On the ride back home with my long time boyfriend I felt guilt. I knew I had the money for the clothes, but now I had $40 that I wasn't going to have before. We ended up going to the local liquor store and buying mass amounts of Vodka Red Bulls. It was a great night, I had a new white Banana Republic dress and a cute Old Navy Nordic baby doll top with a matching scarf. I was in a guilt filled heaven of clothing and booze.

At the time I worked at Victoria's Secret, my next day working I did an other stupid thing, I signed up for the card at my own job. I was like a drug dealer using my own product. I didn't even like Victoria's Secret. So on it came, new floral slip I could wear as a dress? It's mine now! New perfumes, they were all mine. It became such an addiction, anything that slightly caught my eye I needed. Even worse my credit limit got bigger and bigger. At the same time my minimum payment also got higher, which of course was the most I would ever pay.

After about six months of shopping with my stores, Victoria's Secret, Banana Republic, Old Navy and The Gap I needed more. I decided it was time to apply for a Macy's Card. I got approved and on came the expensive Chinese Laundry over the knee boots I could never afford normally, Daisy by Marc Jacobs, Benetint, and tons of BCBG clothing. I maxed out that card after only 2 months. It gets worse though.

Around this time my boyfriend lost his job, and I was now only working part time. I signed up for a "real" credit card. My Visa with the starry night illustration became my constant companion. I put everything on credit, I had to. Target shopping sprees, dinner, everything. It got to the point where I had to stop, all my cards were maxed out and I didn't have the money to keep doing this. I would like to say I have all my debt in order, but I don't and it is no fault but my own. I do not go crazy shopping anymore though. I will usually only buy things under $20 these days, and very rarely. I have more clothes than anyone could ever want or need and they have become a burden. I now try to stick with pieces that pop. I did buy a lot of staples in my crazy shopping days, so I don't need any of those. I feel guilt buying any clothing these days, seriously I don't need them. Never sign up for a credit card unless you plan on paying off everything you buy right away. It is so easy but I was young and had stars in my eyes.

I hope no one judges me on this article, because you have no idea how hard it is to share this with the world. My mantra now is, do shop but do so lightly and within your budget.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Perfect Floral Dress Under $25

I love floral dresses, that is one thing that has been concrete about me throughout my years. I once cried all the way to church as a little girl when I spilt a little water on my new Sunday best floral dress. Floral dresses are almost always in style, just a different print or cut. So today I am going to give you a few options on floral dresses, which will be easy considering it is fall now and a lot of summer dresses are on clearance. Add a trench, leather jacket or blazer and you now have the perfect fall outfit. Add sweater tights, scarf and cardigan for the colder days. Our budget is $25 or under. Here we go!

Forever 21 Floral Bodycon Dress - $14.80
Very Clarissa Explains It All!

American Rag Sleeveless Crochet Lace Floral Bubble Dress - $20.99
Who doesn't love a bubble hem? I am a fan for sure, and this dress is cute as a button.

As U Wish Strapless Challis Dress - $23.90
Is this possible? The perfect sweetheart dress in a cute floral print. Nordstrom Rack would be an other place to check out for that perfect floral dress (this dress is in low stock).

Forever 21 Floral Shift Dress - $22.80
I am in love with this one, some of my favorite colors.

Alloy Gia Floral Dress - $19.99
This dress reminds me of Zooey Deschanel, it is fun and looks rather vintage. I think this dress is begging to be paired with a skinny high waisted belt. I love this one.

Merona Flounce Front Dress in Poppy Print - $24.99
Right at the top of budget we have this flirty poppy print dress from Target. A red floral is kind of different and I would love this with a bright 50's cardigan and maybe muted tights.

Hope you like these dresses, I would wear all of them.


Hello there! I love fashion and shopping, but like a lot of girls in their 20's I am pretty low on money. I have always been pretty good at dressing to the nines on close to nothing so I decided to start this blog to share my tips and finds with my other like minded fashion lovers. Here are some questions and answers...

Why did you start this blog?

I have been involved in the online fashion community for several years and notice a lot of people spend a lot of money to get looks they could pay much less for. There is nothing wrong with designer clothes, but I have my fair share of vintage designer clothing from sifting through consignment and thrift stores. Whenever I first started posting looks online people would comment about how they were surprised I got something from such and such store. I never have let my lack of money stop me from dressing the way I would like. I grew up in a home with very little money but I loved the fashion in my favorite magazines. I ended up growing up to become a bargain hunter and I want to share my finds and ideas.

Where are some places you shop?

I was lucky in my teen years to get an allowence of $20 sometimes twice a month and other times my mom would give me $5. I had a high school boyfriend that I would drag with me to target, savers, the 99 cent store, $5 styles stores, Mervins and Ross. I am not sure why he put up with these crazy shopping trips that went on for hours on end. Anyway, I would look over everything in the stores I went to trying to find something that screamed my name. These days I shop mostly thrift but I am always on the lookout for a great deal at stores like Urban Outfitters, Target, Anthropologie, anywhere that puts on a decent sale. An other great way to dress nicely for less is working part time at a store you like, a lot of stores I have worked at gave anywhere from 30%-50% off to their staff.

How much does the outfit you are wearing cost?

I am wearing a vintage mod trench that I bought from a thrift store that cost me only $3. A vintage sweater that once belonged to a male friend. A pair of high waisted jean shorts, I bought a pair of mom jeans for a dollar that I cut and cuffed. One pair of black tights I got for free from my old job at American Apparel given to me from the mannequin drawer. Finally a pair of oxfords from target on sale for $5. Grand total: $9. I will not turn down free clothing and accessories, most of the time I can work them into an outfit.

Can I send a question about how to find a certain trend or style for less?

Of course, I love hunting down affordable takes on trends. Just send an email to with a photo of what you are looking for and how much you would like to spend and I will try my best to find something for you.

If you have any other questions for me, just let me know!