Month: November 2015

Noel, Noel (and a Giveaway!)

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I’m not one to do my Christmas shopping ahead of time. Never have been. I’m usually scrambling the weekend before Christmas (sometimes even Christmas EVE!), trying to cram all of the shopping in at one time. It’s not exactly the best strategy. So,  maybe I should try a different strategy this year!
And the Junior League of Birmingham’s 25th Annual Market Noel may be enough incentive to break the old habits. I’ve partnered with them for this post.

Market Noel features more than 100 vendors from all across the country. That’s right–100 vendors in one place! You can find something for almost everyone on your Christmas list and have it all done before the Black Friday rush!

Here’s the general admission shopping schedule:

  • Thursday, November 19 – 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Friday, November 20 – 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m
  • Saturday, November 21 – 9:00 am to 5:00 p.m.

Tickets are $12/day or $24/all days.

Or…you can go for FREE!

The Junior League of Birmingham is sharing two tickets to give to two readers! Just leave a comment below and let me know if you’re a Christmas shopping planner or procrastinator! I’ll pick a random winner at 7p.m. November 18.

There are also other fun events going on besides shopping. For more details on a Girls’ Night Out and Fashion Show, click here.

Market Noel will be held at the Cahaba Grand Conference Center in Birmingham. All proceeds will benefit the 34 community projects of the Junior League of Birmingham.

Good Luck with all of your holiday shopping!! And as always, thanks for reading!



A New Look at Old Navy

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Disclaimer: I partnered with Old Navy Riverchase for this, but opinions are my own. 

When I think of Old Navy, the first thing that comes to mind is not usually career wear. I do purchase work clothes there on occasion, but I’m usually looking for casual, cute weekend wear. Or clothes for the kids, of course. But Old Navy has really stepped up its game the past few seasons! I’m looking at them in a whole new light and I’m getting the same feedback from a lot of my “insta-friends.”

So, when my local Old Navy at Riverchase Galleria reached out to me for this collaboration, I immediately thought of focusing a blog post on workwear.

Here are some of the looks I put together. Now, remember… this is…NOT I stuck with some of the styling methods I know, but I also tried to experiment as well. Some looks worked better than others. And at Old Navy prices, they just can’t be beat! Please note, prices are indicative of Veterans Day sales. They are subject to change. 

I thought this was quintessential workwear: blazer, shell, pencil skirt. The clutch may not be as practical for work, but you can’t deny it adds a certain chic-ness!    blazer ($20) // top ($12) // pencil skirt ($17) // fold-over clutch ($17) // shoes are mine 

Now this look, it was one of my faves! I love paring chunky knits with skater skirts. And I love olive and burgundy together! However, my older sister gave this ensemble a thumbs down. So I posted it to Instagram with the caption “this is a test…” I was seeing if anyone would leave feedback–good or bad–and got none! It received plenty of likes, just no comments. I decided, I don’t care what anyone thinks, if the outfit makes me feel good, I’m wearing it! 

  funnel neck coat ($35) // textured boat neck sweater ($29) // fit and flare skirt ($24) // sueded bootie ($32)

This jersey fit and flare dress is a closet must-have for its versatility alone. I paired it with a blazer to make it more office-appropriate. But it would be adorable with boots and a scarf! I would also order a tall length for myself (in 5’8″). 

  blazer ($20) // swing dress ($15)

The next trapeze top and Harper cropped pants were actually in different departments. But I thought this was the perfect opportunity to try the “matching set” trend! A camel blazer would be a perfect addition to make it more season appropriate. Side note: these Harper pants are relatively new to Old Navy. They are a great alternative to their popular Pixie crops if you want a little more breathing room!
Harper pant ($27) // trapeze top ($17) 

I looove me some colorblocking, so I was immediately drawn to this pink and orange sweater. I thought it would be fun to pair it with red Pixie crops and tone it down with black accessories. The tote is actually reversible (black/red) which gives you more bang for your buck!

sweater ($15) // Pixie pant ($27) // Infinity scarf ($15) // reversible tote ($30)
The picture doesn’t do this next coat justice. It’s an open, wrap coat that is totally on trend right now. I wore it over a cowl neck sweater dress that I LOVE! Again, I’d opt for a tall length here. 

belted wrap coat  ($59) // cowl neck sweater dress ($15) // knee boots ($44)

The pixie pant returns and pairs perfectly with this trapeze top. Add a blazer for a more polished look. 


I really loved the unique colors and pattern of this jacket–so much, I styled it twice! Once for a casual Friday look with coated denim and again with the same pencil skirt from earlier.  
  striped collarless jacket ($49) // coated jeggings ($32)


This was definitely experimental! I love pattern mixing and I think these compliment each other ok. But I probably should’ve styled the scarf differently. You could always ditch the scarf and try an open front cardigan (which are only $10 for a few more hours!) 
floral dress ($29) // buckle boots ($49)
I did throw in a few weekend looks that could apply to the working woman. I couldn’t resist considering they have such great, versatile fall pieces!

This embroidered-front dress was so cute! I styled it twice as well. I immediately thought to pair it with brown boots. Maybe it’s not exactly workwear but the long cardigan and belt help dress it up a little…I think! 

Shift dress ($42) // long cocoon cardigan ($29) // boots (previously linked)
This was my favorite look of the two. The long cardigan is so hot right now! You probably need one!  long cardigan ($39) // dress, boots previously posted  


And finally, I couldn’t end without some plaid scarf action! All the rage right now! I used it to bring together the colors in the Orange sweater and forest green Rock Star skinnies. 


textured boatneck sweater  ($29) // frost free vest ($20) // Rock star skinnies ($30) // plaid scarf $22)

As you can see, the prices are pretty amazing! You can thank a veteran for that! Most prices are good through Veterans Day, including 40% off $100 purchase.  PLUS two amazing ONE-DAY deals: 

  • the $25 Peacoat!!! Select peacoats will be on the sale Saturday before Veterans Day!!
  • the $20 Frost-free jacket!!! Also available the same day!! 

Kaitlin Harris manages the Riverchase Galleria location and can assist with any in-store sales! So, if there is anything sold out. She can track one down for you. Just call (205) 403-2815 with any questions! 

Thanks for reading and Happy Shopping! 

Can We Go Thrift Shopping? (Part II)

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Disclaimer: I partnered with America’s Thrift Stores for this post, but all opinions are my own.

Now that I’ve shown you the amazing deals I scored from America’s Thrift Stores, let’s talk about how I found the goods!

Here are SEVEN things I learned from my recent outing:

Enter with an open mind, yet critical eye. In Part I, I mentioned this was my approach. Be open to looking at something you didn’t initially expect to consider. For me, it was used shoes–the thought kinda grossed me out, but the right ankle strap was enough to change my mind! Also, make sure you are really thinking about the potential purchase–does it have stains? holes? fading? pilling? Am I really getting a good deal? Am I really going to wear this, or am I just getting it because it’s a great deal?

Here I am looking for a Louis Vuitton! ha! Seriously though. I was. You just never know! Source: America's Thrift Stores.
Here I am looking for a Louis Vuitton! ha! Seriously though. I was. You just never know! Photo: America’s Thrift Stores.
  • Dress accordingly. I had no idea until I walked in the store, but it had NO FITTING ROOMS! Say what?! I know, right?! So, if you don’t call ahead to find out about fitting rooms, be prepared to try something on in the middle of the store. I recommend wearing a long button-down shirt, layered over a tank/cami. Pair it with leggings and a slip-on shoe. This uniform will be helpful regardless of fitting room availability. You can always take off the button-down and slip things on/off over your tank top/cami as well as pull skirts and pants on over leggings. No, it might not be an exact fit, but it will definitely help you avoid scenes like the ones below! I had a heck of a time trying on dresses over my lightweight sweater and jeans! It was seriously comical watching me wiggle in and out of things!
thrift 4
This dress didn’t end up working out. I felt like it was too snug, but it’s hard to tell if that’s because of my lumpy layers underneath! Photo: America’s Thrift Stores
This dress actually provided enough wiggle room to remove my jeans and try on skirts! In the middle of the store. I know. Crazy!
Outerwear is sooo easy to try on. No problems here!

  • Learn the sale days. Just when you thought you couldn’t get a better deal…there’s a sale! Yes, even thrift stores will give you additional discounts on certain merchandise or on certain days. At America’s Thrift, different tag colors equate to additional discounts. Percentages off can change from week to week. Ask an employee for the sale scoop. Better yet, sign up for your favorite thrift store emails. America’s Thrift offers a 20% coupon for signing up! Some people also recommend learning when new inventory is about to hit the floor. America’s Thrift is constantly stocking the floor on a daily basis, so there is no need to wait for a certain day to visit here!

    Source: America's Thrift Stores
    That blue tag saved me an additional 30% off the marked price! Photo: America’s Thrift Stores
  • Stay cost conscious. Like I mentioned in my previous post, it can be easy to get a little reckless in a thrift store. I was able to quickly fill up a shopping cart. But when I broke out the calculator, I learned how easy it is to go over budget…even in a thrift store! Also, don’t forget to factor in cleaning expenses. Is it really that good of a deal if your dry cleaning or tailoring bills will make it the same price as a first hand retailer?

    Source: America's Thrift Stores
    After you’ve selected items you like, edit your items to keep costs down. Photo: America’s Thrift Stores
  • Know your brands/prices. Some thrift stores, including America’s Thrift Stores, factor in brands/labels/designers and condition of garment when pricing. It’s best to shop brands you already know so you can make accurate judgments on the value. Take the Gap dress I got. I know Gap brands like the back of my hand. So, I was pretty sure $7.99 was a tad pricey for a second-hand T-shirt dress. I think it should’ve been $5 at the most. But it wasn’t outrageous, so I decided to keep it. Plus, I really scored in other ways because I was familiar with most of the brands. If there’s any doubt about something’s value, just ask good ol’ Google! One of the worst feelings you can get from buying second-hand merchandise is realizing you paid too much. I still can’t get over that $10 Target blazer I bought from another thrift store last year! What was I thinking?!
  • Devote some time. If you’re looking for something specific–that’s great, but you’re more likely to find a real treasure if you are willing to take the time to browse. I spent about two hours in the store, quickly sifting through racks. I didn’t waste time looking at any colors, fabrics, old styles or silhouettes that didn’t appeal to me. Pants that fit are very hard to find for my longer frame, so I didn’t devote much time to those either. Outerwear, dresses and skirts got most of my attention.

    Source: America's Thrift Stores
    Check out that crazy hairline!! I never noticed how extremely asymmetrical it was! Note to self: stop taking pics from this angle! Photo: America’s Thrift Stores
  • Consider where the money goes. One great thing about thrifting, is people in need will often benefit from the proceeds. Here is a link to the partners of America’s Thrift. I would lean toward supporting the thrift store that supports the causes you are passionate about.

    This isn’t “goodbye” to a wonderful thrifting experience, it was more like “see you later!” because I’ll definitely be back! Digital Media Specialist Christi Newman made it extra fun!! 

I can definitely say this thrifting experience was my best one ever and it really opened my eyes to the amazing finds that are available if you just give it a chance! If you’re in the Birmingham area and want to know which location I visited, it’s the one in the Huffman area. But I was told the one in Alabaster is actually the “big one.” Rest assured, I’ll be paying a visit to that one sooner rather than later. If you’re interested in seeing my next scores, let me know! I’ll definitely be posting them on Facebook and Instagram, but I’ll do another blog post if you want!

As always, thanks so much for reading!

Can We Go Thrift Shopping?

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Disclaimer: I partnered with America’s Thrift Stores for this post and received store credit, but all opinions are my own.

I admit, I’m not a big thrifter. I’ve always felt like I get good enough deals through retailers first-hand, so rummaging through racks of used clothing has seemed unnecessary. Still, I’ve seen friends on Instagram show off amazing finds and have always been curious as to what I could come across.

I did go thrifting once last year. I found a J.Crew blazer for $10–a pretty good deal. And I found a Mossimo/Target blazer for $10-not a good deal! It’s a prime example of what can happen when you thrift. You can get sucked in the mentality that I’m at a thrift store so it’s all a good deal! 

So I tried to approach everything with an open mind, yet critical eye, when I arrived at America’s Thrift Store.

I jumped right in at the first rack of women’s clothes I saw. Immediately, I noticed a camel, wool blend winter coat (that was hanging in the wrong place). Plus, it’s right on trend for fall! It was my size and still had the original $90 price tag on it! My price: $15.99. It was just too good to be true, so I seriously asked if this had been planted for me–they insisted it had not been! 😉

Moving on. I went through the skirts and was drawn to a white, pleated midi-length. I don’t abide by the “no white after Labor Day” rule, so I fully intend to wear this year-round since it isn’t a “summer fabric.” I’ve actually worn it already! See how I styled it on Instagram here. It had the original (ancient!) $29.99 JC Penney price tag on it. The thrift price was $3.99 but was an additional 50% off. My price: $2.00

Next stop: vests and ponchos because they are all the rage right now! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I immediately saw a faux fur vest by French Connection. I blogged about dabbling with fur last year and was happy to expand my collection! These could retail upwards of $250. My price: $6.99!!!

In sticking with the animal theme, I also found a Jones New York leopard print quilted vest. I don’t own a quilted frost-free type vest, and I thought the print would be fun to mix patterns with. Snagged it for $2.99!!  I continued on to more outerwear and found a lightweight black Express coat that would be super versatile for winters in the south. Price: $11.99.   I then moved over to dresses where I tried on several that didn’t fit quite right…except for a gray t-shirt dress from the Gap. At $7.99, I knew it was priced too high. Honestly, I can get a Gap T-shirt dress on clearance from the retailer for $10 sometimes. But I got it anyway because I really liked the way it fit, the versatility and it was in really good condition.  I browsed through the tops and pants and found some really cute options! Unfortunately, nothing fit as well as I’d hoped.

Then, I almost forgot about accessories! Almost. I quickly perused through handbags and nothing really caught my eye.

And as far as shoes go, I was not excited about sharing foot sweat with someone, so I just strolled through…Until I saw a cute pair of tan, pointy toe heels that looked to be in near perfect condition! Plus, when I tried them on another shopper complimented them, so I had to get them–duh! They were by Carlos Santana priced at $4.99 with an additional 30% off. My price: $3.49 So that was seven items for under $60! Considering the items included four pieces of outerwear, I’d say thrifting was definitely this bargain shopper’s delight!! I highly recommend trying a few thrift stores if you haven’t already given it a try!

Because I learned so much about thrift shopping, I’ve decided to make this a two-part series. In part two, I’ll share some CRUCIAL tips to consider for the thrifting novice! Trust me, you don’t want to miss it for the pictures alone!

Thanks for reading!!