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Sunday, April 26, 2009

How To...Revamp Your Wardrobe & Shop Smart

I've recently been really stressed out with my closet. It's stuffed. There aren't any free hangers. I have to push through hangers like I'm Moses parting the Red Sea just to see what I own. Then, I started thinking
I should do some spring cleaning. I want to take all the items I don't wear to Buffalo Exchange and start over with my wardrobe. I start to look at each item and about 1/3 way through one rack of tops I realize I haven't picked a single thing out to get rid of! I've made rationales for keeping each item. Then, I leave my closet, frustrated, and come and sit down at my computer. I start fantasizing about all the new things I could by for my great, fresh, new wardrobe. I can't decide if I want something really expensive or a bunch of less expensive things. I start considering brands that I like, or am familiar with, and the whole process leaves me with a wish list of about a dozen clothing items, a crammed closet, and no plan.

After doing some research, I've come up with a list of steps for refreshing your wardrobe =) I am executing this process myself with confidence I will be successful! I'll keep you guys posted on how it goes and if I find any more tips along the way.

How To Revamp Your Wardrobe

Step 1: Purge Your Closet...With Patience
Okay, the first thing to do is to realize that this is not a Saturday morning project. In order to correctly analyze what clothes  you actually don't wear, you need to test yourself. Here is what I think is the best way to access this...
A. Turn all of your hangers so that the rounded hook is facing you, like so: 
A. (cont) Log the start date when this is system is implimented. One website suggested a minimum of one month is needed to access your clothing usage, but I will explain more about this in a minute! 
B. Whenever you wear an item, and you go to rehang it, face the hanger in the opposite direction. 
C. After a month, or whatever time period you choose, go to your closet! Anything that hasn't been turned around should go to the "give away" pile. The only flaw I see in this is seasonal change. If you do this during, for example, July where the climate is consistently hot where you live, you might be bias towards lighter, more summer-based clothing. In this case, I would not apply the system to heavier, more winter-based clothing. I would repeat the process when the weather changes and only get rid of the unworn summer clothes. 

Step 2: Give A Little, Maybe Get A Little, Too!
Take all of your unwanted clothes to a place like Buffalo Exchange or Plato's Closet. If you aren't familiar with how these kinds of stores work, I'll give you a brief summary. These are businesses that buy and sell recycled clothing. This means, you take all of your unwanted items to a store location and an employee will look at all of your items and evaluate if the store has a need/desire for any of your items to resell. In exchange for your clothing, you can usually either accept a certain percentage in store credit, or a smaller percentage in cash. For example, let's say at Buffalo Exchange they are offering 40% in store credit, or 25% in cash. They would like to resell one of your sweaters at $30. You can either choose $12 in store credit, or $7.50 in cash. 

Going to these stores is really a luck of the draw in my opinion. I've gone into Buffalo Exchange with only two bags and almost all of my items have been taken. However, I've also gone in with tons of stuff and hardly anything has been taken. The only tip I have regarding this is realizing that these stores are looking for items that other people will want to buy, so past trends or damaged clothing probably won't be taken.

There is another positive aspect to this step. Most of these stores will donate the items that they aren't going to take for you. That way, you only have one stop for hauling your old clothes around! Plus, you're doing a good deed, as the clothing goes to places like Good Will or local churches. 

Step 3: Rebuilding Your Wardrobe
For me this is by far the hardest step to master. The fact is that you will always need to purge your closet regularly; however, there are guidelines to this process. For one, it is ideal to only need to get rid of clothes because they are damaged and/or no longer fit. I always find myself getting rid of pieces that I only wore a few times, and then I find them detestful. To prevent this from happening, it is necessary to investigate what went wrong in the first place, and correct the mistake before any further purchasing. This leads us to part two of our segment on how to shop smart...

How To Shop Smart!

Step 1: Evaluate Quality vs. Quantity vs. Labels regards to quality, quantity, and labels I really don't think there is one set law that will generalize when it is good/bad to buy designer clothing at higher prices (and arguably at higher quality). It really depends on personal preference. I will share what I believe is appropriate in regards to this matter. 

A. Identify your core clothing. 

Core Clothing. core cloth⋅ing. [kawr, kohr kloh-thing] noun. 1) The most essential items in your wardrobe that you need/use on a regular basis and could survive on these items alone if necessary. 2) if you were stuck on an island for the rest of your life with one suitcase of clothing to bring, these are the items you would have.

This can vary depending on where you live as far as climate, and your core clothing is dependent on your lifestyle. I personally live in a warmer climate and am a college student with a part-time job. Here is my list...

3-4 pairs of jeans
1 pair of black slacks
1 nice dress shirt
1 pencil skirt
2-3 solid t-shirts (crew or v-neck)
1 light jacket/hoodie
1 solid cardigan
1 pair of yoga pants
1 pair of sneakers
1 pair of good sandals
1 pair of flats or closed toe pumps
1 pair of flat boots

B. The question of labels
Okay, in regards to brand names I really only have one rule: don't ever get label hungry. 

Label Hungry. la⋅bel hun⋅gry [ley-buhl huhng-gree] adjective. buying only for show of the label to please others or gain a sense of self esteem based on a brand name.

Here is an article that talks about why people get so label hungry. I think that if you have designers or brands that you like because of your experiences with that company, or you identify with the designer's mission or style, there is no problem with sticking with those companies. However, I would urge you to go outside the box on occasion and explore new  stores or brands on a regular basis. Myself personally, I like Joe's Jeans and True Religion the best, but all of my solid t-shirts come from Forever 21. However, I do have a solid t-shirt or two from Target, a pair of 7 for all mankind jeans, and a pair of jeans from American Eagle . I love all of them equally =) haha. 

Anyways, the point is don't buy something just because of the label. Buy something because you really like it and you feel the quality is supreme. Quantity, in my opinion, is never a good factor. Less is totally, 100%, without a doubt, more.

Step 2: Plan and Avoid Irrational Buys
The internet is your best friend when it comes to shopping, even if you prefer to do your shopping in the actual store, as opposed to online. I personally have a folder under my bookmarks labeled "Wants," and as I browse websites I often bookmark items I like under that folder. I go through all the sites after a week or so, and any that I no longer like or find inappropriate (for the season, price, etc.) I remove. This way, you avoid the evil "irrational buy."

Irrational Buy. ir⋅ra⋅tion⋅al buy. [i-rash-uh-nl bahy] noun. 1) a purchase made on a whim that later has consequences such as regret or guilt 2) a purchased item that is only worn once or a few times, and is then no longer desired by the person whom it belongs to 3) a waste of money 4) a bad investment

Now, once you have a group of core items in your "Wants" folder you have to consider two things before you make a purchase [1] what you need in your wardrobe [2] your budget. 

[1] For example, if you really feel like you need a black cardigan, that item should be a priority to buy. You can always manipulate your "Wants" folder to rank the links by which ones you feel you need or want most. To do this on most internet browsers such as Firefox, Safari, or Internet Explorer, just move your curser over the link in the folder, click and hold while you drag your curser up or down (depending on where you want it to go ranking wise) and release the click when it is in its desired position. 

[2] Okay so budgeting is different for every person, but the basic guidelines are to not exceed what you feel you can afford on clothes every month. Some people even make seasonal budgets. For example, let's say I have allowed myself $300 for winter clothes... I will buy a jacket, sweaters, and whatever else I feel I need for winter, and then I won't make any more purchases until Spring. I personally prefer shopping regularly, throughout the month, under a certain budget. Anyways, the bottom line is if you only have $50 left for your budget for the month/season/whatever and you want a cardigan, use the internet to find coupon codes and explore different websites until you find one that you like AND fits your budget. 

Whew! All that planning can be tiresome! I know it seems like a lot of work, but in the long run internet browsing can be fun and WILL help you avoid irrational buys. Now, if you prefer to shop in the actual store, you can use the store locator tool that every clothing website has, and find a telephone number for the store nearest you! Then, give them a call with information handy on the item you want, and most places will be more than happy to hold the item in your size until you can come into the store yourself. 

Step 3: Save Some Money!
Everyone loves a good deal- its part of being a consumer! The best way to find out about promotions or sales, both online and in the store, is via e-mail list. Subscribe to e-mails from your favorite stores, and they will send your regular information on coupon codes, upcoming sales, promotions/giveaways, and more! Some people prefer to have a separate e-mail account for these types of e-mails.

Another good way to save money is to be an outlet shopper. An outlet store is a store where the company sells their clothing direct to its consumer at a discounted price. How do they do this you ask? They cut out the middle man and sell direct to the consumer, or the items may have very minor damage. When shopping at outlets be aware of two things [1] getting money crazy with all the good deals. Stick to your plan! Avoid the irrational buy! [2] inspect all clothing like crazy for damage before you buy.

Some of my favorites are Off 5th (Saks Fifth Avenue Outlet), Nordstom Rack (Nordstom), and Nike Factory Store (Nike). You can find outlet stores, and even whole outlet malls, near you over the internet! 

Step 4: Graduation
Now that you have completed all of the above, you know how to revamp your wardrobe and recreate an amazing, quality wardrobe. Here are some other items I would think about buying to compliment your core clothing

1-3 scarves
1 waist belt
1 hip belt
1 pair of black casual jeans (I prefer skinny, but whatever cut you like is fine)
1 pair of earrings
1 neutral colored clutch
1 larger tote or hand bag (for everyday use)
high quality, comfortable bras and underwear


Spring Dresses On Sale! currently has tons of spring dresses sale- up to 80% off designers like Marc Jacobs! Additionally, shipping is FREE! Yay!

Photo: courtesy of
Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sales and Coupons I

I've decided to search for some online promotions and coupon codes to share with you so we can all save a little change =) I'll try and do this frequently and get as much information about how long the coupons are valid for, etc. Happy saving!! Receive a Free Black Tank While Supplies Last.
Code: Enter GIFT4ME at Checkout
Ends: April 30

bebe Free Shipping On Purchases of $150+
Code: Enter 09SPRING at Checkout
Ends: April 26

Bluefly $30 Off First Purchase of $150 or More
Code: SHOPSTYLE30 at Checkout. New Customers Only!
Ends April 30

Lancome Free Shipping With Code AND Free Gift With Purchases of $50 or More
Code: APRILSHOWERS at Checkout
Ends: April 24

Neiman Marcus Free Shipping!!
Code: SHOPNM at Checkout
Ends: April 28

Pink Mascara 10% Off Site Wide. Excludes Sale Items
Code: SPRING10 at Checkout
Ends: May 31

Urban Outfitters Free Shipping On Purchases Over $75
Code: OHSHIP at Checkout
Ends: April 27

Victoria's Secret Free Shipping On Purchases of $100 or More
Code: FREE100 at Checkout
Ends: April 27

Wet Seal Free Shipping on Orders Over $20+
Code: Free09
Ends: December 31, 2009

Steve Madden Free Shipping On All Orders!
Code: none! its automatic!
Ends: April 26

LuLus Free $5 For Signing Up On The Mailing List!
Code: n/a you have to sign up!
Ends: never??

LuLus 15% Off of Your Entire Purchase!
Code: lovelulus
Ends: never??

Aldo Access to an Exclusive Clearance Section! Go to this website and enter code!
Code: 5489548
Ends: never??

Baker's Shoes 10% off next purchase
Code: welcome1108
Ends: never?? Free standard shipping on all U.S. orders over $50.
Code: GJSHIP50
Ends: never??
Thursday, April 23, 2009

Look for Less: Rihanna

Rihanna was spoted in Hawaii in late April sporting..
Denim: J Brand Ripped Tie Dye Skinny Jeans- $218
Shoes: Christian Louboutin Deva 120 Boots- $1095
Bag: Gucci Backpacker Convertible Bag- $3350
Coat: Marni Teal Duster Coat- $1300
Total: $5,963.00

In my opinion, the key piece in this outfit is the bag. The color brings the color of the Marni coat out and the fact that it's a backpack matches the casual feel of the jeans.

If I owned this bag this is how I would wear it (it's fun to fantasize, right?)...

By the way the bag below IS the actual Gucci bag Rihanna has =)!

Cardigan: Moschino Cheap & Chic Neck tie cardigan – $730
Tunic: VPL Parabloic T Dress – $475
Bag: Gucci Backpacker Convertible Bag- $3350
Boots: Nine West Women's Iceblue Bootie- $85
Necklace: Max & Chloe, Willa M Gold Lotus and Buddha Necklace – $70
Pants: ISDA & CO - Ponte Slim Leg Pant (Black) – $128.50
Bracelet: Urban Outfitters, Cluster of Leaves Hinge Bracelet – $24

Here's a recreation of Rihanna's look...

Cardigan: Dillard's Fever horizontal-stich cardigan – $59
Cami, Forever 21, Lace Trim Knit Cami – $6.80
Bag: CC Skye The Blake Bag in Blue – $598
Jeans: Blank NYC brown faded stretch skinny jeans – $47
Boots: Wet Seal, Peep Toe Snap Bootie – $24.50
Total: $735.30

Tip: if you can find a less expensive bag, you can make this look for well
under $300!! Happy hunting =)

Help from
Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Worthy Website:

I recently discovered this website, and its a little gem amongst the humongous internet highway. This vintage boutique gives a cute hippie-meets-prairie vibe and best of all most of their clothing is under

Here are some items I like! Everything goes really really quick so jump on anything you like right away!

Emerald Bow Tie Skirt
Oversized Brown Scrunch Bag

anacaona aztec chiffon dress

gold studded pointy heels

I just bought the bag and the dress for now, they didn't have the shoes in my size =(, but I'll write a review when they come in! Yay!
Saturday, April 18, 2009

Photo Inspiration: Lighthouse

This blog is geared towards providing you (the reader) with ways to spice up your wardrobe. I like to help you find ways to recreate celebrity looks for cheap, follow upcoming trends, and mix-n-match pieces you already have in a new way to create a completely fresh ensemble. However, every piece of clothing ever sold has been conceptualized from inspiration.

I'd like to show you that just because you may not be a fashion designer, doesn't mean that you can't use inspiration to build your closet. I will be randomly posting outfits inspired by a photograph I have found. I try and pick everyday scenes so that you can see, your everyday life can take your attire in any direction you choose!

Photo Inspiration 1: Lighthouse

Here's The Photo...

...and Here's The Outfit....

Sunglasses: Marc Jacobs black logo aviator sunglasses – $150
Top: Diane von Furstenberg Molly silk top – $210
Ring: Kate Spade 'color CafĂ© - Brompton' Ring – $39.90
Binoculars: Swarovski Idomeneo Crystal Pocket Binoculars – $950
Shoes: Start London, Nicholas Kirkwood Blue Suede Shoes – £479.50
Clutch: Stuart Weitzman black satin 'Nite Bownight' clutch $45

Now, I know this outfit isn't the most budget-friendly, but the idea here is that you can take a photograph into a store and make yourself a stunning outfit. I know some of you might be thinking there is NO way I'm carrying a photo around a store, but I ask you to reconsider! 

This could also be a really fun way to get together with your friends and have a little competition. Give everyone the same photo and meet back and see what everyone made from the photo! I'll be reposting this blog with different pictures/outfits, so if you see this repeated its not a mistake! Enjoy!
Thursday, April 16, 2009

Urban Outfitters Family Sale!

The URBN Inc. stores (which includes Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, and Free People) are all having a ton of stuff on sale right now, and they all have a lot of cute stuff!

Here are the links that will take you right to the sale's section. You can often modify the sales section to specific categories (tops, shoes, etc) but I prefer browsing them all!

Urban Outfitters               Free People                     Anthropologie

Here are some of my favorite items on sale as we speak:

This is a collection of my favorite on sale items right now. Starting with the swim suit at the top left corner, this piece is from Anthropologie. The top and bottom are each now $49 from originally costing $88. The colorful flats are also from Anthropologie. These Ikat Skimmers were originally $198 and now are $99.95. The backpack is from Urban Outfitters; this Deux Lux Traveler Knapsack was $58 and is now $49.99. The canvass tote is from Anthropologie and was $98, now $49.95. This bag would be great for school or travel due to its durable material and wide storage component. The jeans are an AMAZING deal from Anthropologie and there are only a few sizes left, 7 For All Mankind Mercer Lexie Petite were $185 and are almost 50% off at $99.95. The plaid bomber jacket is from Urban Outfitters, marked down to $39.99 from $68. The striped long sleeve is a nice feminine/casual piece from Free People and is now $29.95 from its original price of $68. The boots are on sale from, Zuliman Slouch Boot by Jeffrey Campbell, were $228, now only $140!! These boots would be great with skinny jeans, dresses, or even leggings and a tunic. The watch is actually a Betsey Johnson watch from and is marked down to $69.99 from $95. Finally, the tan ankle boots are from Urban Outfitters and these BDG Au Naturale Shortie Boot will cost you $39.99 from the original price tag of $68.

Can Sweats Be Chic?

Many fashion critics would say that wearing sweatpants or exercise clothing outside of the house or gym is a big no-no, but let's face reality: there WILL be times when one of the following situations applies:

1) You need to go to a class at 8:00am, and the alarm goes off at 7:45am.
2) You need to leave the house to run one small, 10 minute errand.
3) You're sick, but need to leave the house to go to the doctor's, pick up medicine, etc.

Especially in college, sweats are notorious for being the on-the-go convenient and comfortable outfit. However, can sweats be cozy and still be fashionable? Here are 5 looks by one of my faves, Jessica Alba, sporting a variety of ways to wear sweats. In each outfit I'll give you tidbits on how I feel you
can be chic in your sweats!

Outfit 1: On the Way to the Hair Salon!

This photo was taken as Jess left a Beverly Hills salon in mid April of 2009. This photo has been widely publicised because of Jess's transformation to light tresses from the darker brunette look she's been sporting since daughter, Honor Marie, was born.

Jessica sports pale pinks and Robin's egg blue, both are very common April colors. Below I have recreated his ensemble for only $162! If you are interested in any of the items I have also linked each item to direct you to a site where you can purchase the item! Happy hunting! Tip: If you are able to find a less expensive scarf, this outfit easily will cost you under $75!!

Forever 21 Scoop Neck Pocket Tee
Outfit 2: On the Way to the Gym!

These pictures were taken of Jessica premotherhood at a gym in Southern California. Keeping it simple with athletic attire is a must. I would suggest investing in clothing made from synthetic material that is sweat resistant for the gym, such as Nike's DryFit line.

 If you aren't headed to the gym, sporty sweats can be a great alternative to more traditional, baggy pieces. The outfit Jessica is wearing could go well with a backpack for attending classes, or a tote for running errands. I've again recreated the outfit below and not including the iPod or water this outfit will cost you only $131! Yes!







Outfit 3: On the Way Out-The-Door, and its Chilly!

Weather can play a huge factor in comfy ensembles. When it's cold or chilly, who doesn't want to stay in bed all warm and cozy?! Fortunately, there IS a way to marry the warmth of your duvet and your desire to look cute. How? Color and accessories!

As we can see here, Jessica uses a mustard colored diaper bag with lavender and purple pieces. A creative color combination like this can take your outfit to a whole new level! Instead of a diaper bag, you can substitute an oversized tote bag for carrying your laptop, books, etc. My recreation totals

1. Forever 21 Metal Aviator Sunglasses in Gold/Brown






Outfit 4: On the Way to the Airport!

The airport is notorious for travelers wrapped up in cotton and fleece. Although sweatpants are the only way to go (See "What to Wear Traveling" coming soon!) it certainly is a popular item when jet setting. The number one cardinal rule for any traveling outfit is LAYERING! Why? Because temperatures vary from departure to arrival. However, you also want pieces that you can easily remove and put on during security check. Jessica demonstrates this perfectly with flip flops and an open cardigan, both easily removable. 

This is my favorite recreation. I am a huge fan of neutrals (as most of you know or will come to know). This outfit will cost you $104!! =)




$14.99 (sale!)

6. Aldo Lizzette Scarf               


Outfit 5: On the Way to the Mall

Jessica is scene here outside of one of my favorites, Missoni. What I love about this outfit is if you look at the top half of her outfit, you get a European sailor vibe that would go great with skinny jeans and boots. Now, just focus on the bottom half, and it has a tennis feel to it. I like how she has taken two different themes and blended them into one totally new theme with her outfit. My version will cost you $288

1. Free People Exotica Sunglasses

I think this look can be achieved with the proper pairing of clothing items. The key entities to wearing sweats, in my opinion, are:

-A big roomy bag
-Comfortable shoes

Notice that most of what I just listed are accessories. Make sure that you pair that comfy hoodie with a scarf or a bit of color to make it look more wearable and not pajama-like. Enjoy and let me know your thoughts!!

Photo Credits:,,20272333_20609218,00.html
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