Party Outfit Under $100

Today was my little sister's 16th birthday party. I think her birthdays make me feel older than my own do!! Though I love having an occasion to get dressed up for, and it's always wonderful to have a house full of family, friends, and delicious food, no matter how many years have gone by.


I got the 'Leader of the Rack' dress from Avon a few months ago and this is my first time wearing it. I love the print, the pockets, and the length; though I'm not crazy about the poly-satin material.
I loved how the buckle on my cinch belt perfectly mimicked the pattern of the dress.
The birdcage pumps also made their debut - four inch heels are necessity when mingling with both my little sister and my sister-in-law to be, who tower over my 5' 2" frame.

Plus, I put together this outfit for under $100!

Leader of the Rack dress, Avon - $30
Demode Pump, Nine West - $50 (I got my Jessica Simpson Birdcage pumps from TJMaxx for $50, but since they are $80 on Amazon, I had to choose a similar pair for $50.)
Fringe Necklace, Forever 21 - $10.80 (Mine is from the Gap, and was only $10 at the time, but now it's only available in gold and is $25)
Sparkle Ring, Forever 21 - $6.80
Cinch Belt, Forever 21 - $5.80
Black Tights, Khol's - $5

Total = $98.40

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend!

Visit to Boston

In a completely spur of the moment and uncharacteristic decision (I can’t help it, I’m just a planner!) I left last Sunday afternoon for Boston; to visit with a friend.

Packing for trips always stresses me out, since I don’t really know what I'll be doing or what the weather will be once there. I tend to pack outfits I’ve already worn and tested out, so I know I’ll be cute and comfortable.

For Sunday, I went with a winterized version of the grey skirt and striped shirt outfit I put together; switching the cotton skirt for a wool one and adding a vest, leggings and boots.

Stripey (again)

On Monday I wore my denim button skirt with the bow top and new floral cardigan. I’m such a slacker, I didn’t take any pictures!

We spent the day hopping from thrift store to thrift store, hoping for some buried treasures. I found an amazing iridescent teal trench coat that was about ten sizes too big and a cute yellow jacket with navy flowers that was meant for someone with arms the width of toothpicks.

I did come home with a mustard bag that was originally from Aldo, for $10. I may however, gift the bag to my mother, as it is exactly her style and I’m such a thoughtful daughter. (I may have to borrow it though.)

Tuesday was shopping in Downtown Crossing, and I kept it low key in jeans and a sweater and snow boots, since the forecast said it was going to start snowing around noon. It didn’t.

Trying on some shoes in payless - cute, but maybe when they go on sale!

I came home with three great clearance finds at Macy’s, a bejeweled bib necklace marked down to $11; a pair of really cool filigree earrings for $10, that have beads attached to both the stud and the back, for a multi layered look.

I also got a sheer black and white patterned top with ruffles, despite my best intentions to stop buying things that I already have items similar to.

The new stripe patterned top paired with the floral cardigan - just to join the bandwagon.

At H&M I found a pair of low turquoise pumps and a floral skirt, both that I desperately wanted and neither in my size. I know there are a million H&Ms in Boston, but my friend isn’t as invested in shopping as I am, and dragging her along on such a mission would have been cruel. So I’ll just have to check the one near me back in CT.

Wednesday, instead of snow, there was more rain. My suede booties are a bit worse for wear, but hopefully when they dry they’ll be okay.

When I got home there was a small surprise for me, a pair of black peep-toe sling backs that my aunt no longer wanted, so I happily adopted them.

grey day

It feels like that was the weekend, but it wasn't - the weekend is about to begin, so yay!

Smile Upon Me

I have had no luck with thrift stores for months on end. I'd start out hopeful, trying to envision a day of adorable things in my size for under $5, and come home empty handed.

But yesterday was different. Finally!

At the first store I found a black quilted bag with long chain handles; and I'm not sure if I like it because I've seen particularly fashionable people carrying similar bags, or if I could indeed be a black quilted bag person. Most of my bags are big and bright!

Lace Lace Lace

Since I was being particularly chatty with the woman ringing me up, asking her about a bag that didn't have a price tag, and which one she liked best, she gave me the bag and two scarves for $4.50!

(the flower vase and table runner were my Mom's thrifting finds!)

At the second store I went to I found a pair of sand colored heels, brand new (the original price tag of $30 still stuck on them) for $7. They are half a size smaller than what I normally wear, but are a perfect fit!!

 I was looking at Morning Cloak's blog the other day and she mentioned how she loved her shoes photographed against a hexagon tiled floor - so I had to try it out!

Just for fun I had to snap a photo of this crazy sequined jacket I encountered - wouldn't it be great for halloween?

Have you had any great thrifting finds lately?

Cheap thrills

The other day I went to put on a pair of black tights, and realized that I was down to one pair, and that pair was in the dirty laundry basket.

I'm a little embarrassed to admit it, but I grabbed the tights and wore them anyway.

Not wanting a repeat performance, I headed to TJMaxx to find some cheap black tights and happened upon a mecca (okay, a clearance bin) of astonishingly cheap tights! None of the tights were in packaging* and frankly, it was a mess. I spent quite some time rummaging through the bin, but came out with six pairs** of tights, each $1 or $3!

I love wearing tights, they can completely alter an outfit, make a huge statement, or be completely unnoticeable. They are essential for wearing skirts and dresses in the winter, and just so fun!

Some tights retail for absurd amounts of money. I can't imagine spending more than $10 on a pair of tights, because no matter how thick, or reinforced they may be, tights will get holes, runs, and eventually deteriorate.

Now, some tights, I've had and worn for years and they are still going strong, others I wear once, end up with a huge run and have to toss them. Tights are too fickle to be an investment piece, so I'll happily buy them up for a few dollars and soon get my moneys worth.

So far I've only worn the diamond fishnets, but I'm super excited about the zigzag and striped patterns!

Just a bit of pink

*TJMaxx often sells tights in two packs and I know that inconsiderate people will rip open the packs to switch colors that they want, and then leave the cannibalized packs to fall all over the floor. I suspect someone just took all these displaced tights and priced them to move.

**My closet is really mad at me for buying six pairs of tights. When I came home it said, "Seriously Lyd, you really think those are going to fit in here? You're insane. Stop buying tights."

There goes the fear

I bought more horizontal stripes! I'm still finding it horribly strange that I am wanting to wear something I hated and feared for so many years. My sister tells me that on a subconscious level I've become more confident with my body and want to accentuate its curves.

The Gap was offering 40% off everything in the store yesterday (45% for card holders) so my striped shirt was only $5.50. Today I wore it with my white knit jumper (the same one as the grey from my style challenge), grey tights and grey boots. I was hoping for some spring-like weather today so I could have worn my bright yellow flats, but I woke up to three fresh inches of snow!


I also picked up one of the floral cardigans - I was having such a tough time deciding between the purple, blue, or yellow! For $19 I could have gotten two - but I settled on just the purple.

When I was at the register, I noticed that the leather belts had been marked down to $10, so I grabbed the orange studded one and still made it out of the store only spending $30.

I think I would be really cute paired with the striped shirt and my grey skirt!

The sweatshirt blazers were there, but were still full price and even with the 45% of still would have been $35. So I'm going to hold out, though I wonder how hard it would be to DIY a sweatshirt blazer? Head to the thrift store, find an XL sweatshirt to chop up... I could probably do it!

Charlotte Russe was another store offering great deals - an extra 50% off clearance! I picked up a lace dress for $10 and a navy skirt for $5.50.

I was a little hesitant about the skirt, the material looks a bit cheap and youthful. With the right accompanying pieces however, I think I can make it work.

See, with the white blouse, already classier. Though it's a wrinkled mess from being in the bag and the flash isn't kind.

Good shopping trip though - I made it out of the mall spending less than $50!

Valentine's Day

Today I am wearing my new skirt I found at TJMaxx yesterday and it was on clearance for $3! I even remember seeing something like it at Urban Outfitters last season for $40 - so I'm rather happy with it.

To be festive, I wore my bright pink top and my heart lock and key pin - the only piece of jewelry a boy has ever given me. And I do mean boy - I received it when I was in elementary school one Valentine's Day, a gift from the boy next door who didn't even give it to me in person, but left it on my back door.

Cold Wind Blowing

I've never had a super romantic valentines day. My first boyfriend gave me a single red rose. My second gave me a chocolate rose. I still have both.

I made the mistake of telling my third boyfriend that we didn't have to make a big deal of Valentine's Day and all I got was a card.

Since then, no one I've dated has made it to February 14th, so on my fifth Valentine's Day without a boyfriend, I made myself a drink. I really enjoyed cutting tiny hearts out of lemon and orange peels.


I spent the better part of the day just taking elaborate v-day themed photos.

For this shot, I went and found an expresso machine in the basement and had a conference call with my ex-barrista friend on how to get some good foam. I also made a special heart stencil to sprinkle the cinnamon through.

Then I went to see Valentine's Day with my Mom and Sister, and I even treated. It was really cute, not entirely predicable and very enjoyable, even though Taylor Lautner disappointingly did not take off his shirt.

Hope everyone had a really lovely day.

Imaginary Valentine

Valentine's Day is 25 hours away, and the only person buying me gifts this year, is me. For my romantic day, I'll probably go shopping, eat ten pounds of chocolate and then go to see Valentine's Day with my Mom.
Here are some lovely things under $50 I might like to surprise myself with on Sunday.
Clockwise from left
White lace slip - Victoria's Secret, $48 If there were a man in my life this Valentine's Day, I wouldn't object to spending it in this - sexy, but still so tasteful.

Compass Rose Necklace - Mod Cloth, $15 The idea of an anchor and a compass as a romantic gift makes my heart melt.

Peter Golden Tail Ring - Mod Cloth, $15 He's just so darn cute!

Forget Me Nots Linen Pillow Cover - Etsy meringuedesigns, $31 Forget Me Nots on a throw pillow - a sweet little reminder to look at every day.

Red Heart Mug - Starbucks, $7 I always love Starbucks's mug designs, nearly my entire cabinet is a Starbucks mug retrospective of the last six years (although I usually wait and get them on clearance).

Bird Cupcake Stand - Esty whitneysmith, $38 I love how sweet the little bird looks perched on the edge of the stand. Also, I would like the cupcake to be included.

Glass Sculptures - Pier1, $30 and $45 Funky and abstract - if I had these I know I would sneak them into the background of a million photographs.

Vintage Italian Perfume Bottle Necklace - Etsy natahoa, $33 I can imagine myself stepping into a powder room, pulling the cap off the bottle and dabbing perfume behind my ear before returning to a fabulous party in a grand hall and flirting the night away...

Jean Paul Gaultier CLASSIQUE Eau de Parfum 0.67 oz - Sephora, $44 I'll admit it, I chose this simply because I loved the bottle.

Antiqued Rhinestone Ring - American Eagle, $15 Bold cocktail rings are so fun to wear and I adore the vintage look.

I[heart]U Chocolate Bloomsberry & Co., $5 This chocolate reads: I [heart] Chocolate but U aren't getting any.

Bouquet of Roses - 1-800-Flowers, $43 I don't care how cliche they are, a bouquet of roses will never be a disappointment.

Snow Day

Today was an unexpected snow day, and rather than using my suddenly free time to be productive, I was engaged in four iPhone scrabble games, got caught up on a few tv shows (White Collar, Leverage, How I Met Your Mother), tormented-- I mean photographed my dog, and experimented with my teal knit skirt and black eyeliner.
Snow Day

The problem with the teal skirt is the length, and the fact that I bought it online, probably choosing to ignore the length measurement, and believing that something just above the knee on a model would work for my height.

Since I wont bother to return things if I have to pay for shipping, I just kept the skirt assuming I would figure out how to make it work. Hemming is clearly not an option, but perhaps cutting off from the top and creating a new waist band?

For today, I just pulled it up as high as I could and belted it to keep it in place.

(click to enlarge to see eyeliner)

The Rundown
Teal knit skirt Urban Outfitters - Feather print top Wet Seal - Brown slouchy cardigan TJMaxx - Brown leggings Poof - Red peacoat Nine West - Brown snow boots Pajar -
Plaid hat Gap - Brown cinch belt Steve Madden - Gold filigree earrings Avon

I also spent far too much time trying to find a cute - but classic - trench coat, and failing. Now matter how hard I try, I always want the crazy ones. The yellows, the pinks, the patterns... The closest I came to 'classic' was this ruffle trench at New York and Company, on sale for $30.

And the winner is...

The green snake cardigan and the white ruffled blouse!
It was close race with the purple ruffled top, winning only by one vote. That was fun - I think I'll poll more outfits in the future!

Day Seven: Black Pencil Skirt
Last worn: September 2009
Green snake cardi

So my Style Challenge of wearing items that haven't been worn in a long time, or ever has come to an end. I think I did quite well, wearing a total of 12 neglected items. I think next time I feel like my wardrobe needs some refreshing, rather than heading out to the mall I should just dig around in the back of my closet and the bottoms of drawers.*

I wont argue with the results of the poll, black and white is classic, and the snake cardi is bright, patterned and a bit quirky. I adore my camera necklace and seem to want to wear it with everything.

I really love this pencil skirt, particularly the double direction zipper pulls, so I can unzip the bottom, just a bit. Why I've been ignoring it, I simply do not know, but now that I've got two other outfits planned out, I can't even try to make excuses!

The Rundown
Black Pencil Skirt H&M - White Ruffled Blouse Gap - Green Snake Cardigan Express - Argyle Fishnet Tights TJMaxx - Cutout t-strap Pumps Kenneth Cole Reaction - Camera Necklace Etsy - Earrings TJMaxx

*Nevermind. Knowing I have lots of great items already in my closet is never going to stop me from buying more.

Two outfits for Saturday

Finally posting yesterdays outfits! I got so delayed because my typical Saturday night is spent in front of my computer, but last night I actually went out, and not just out to dinner home by ten - but out to a bar and danced on a balcony until last call. It was fun.

So without further ado;

This week is my style challenge to wear the clothes I haven't worn in ages, or ever.

Day Six: Shattered Glass Skirt
Last worn: Never
Shattered Glass Skirt

This was a Target clearance find from last August, and it had quite a few negative reviews because of the pleats on the rear and girls getting upset about how it made their bums look big - I however, saw it as an opportunity to fit mine into a juniors sized skirt. I think they are cute.

I love layering necklaces, and I took the chain necklace which already has seven chains, added the long pearls and then to top it off, attached a cameo I grabbed on clearance at Joann Fabrics and hooked it on with a stray lobster clasp I happened to see on the floor.

The Rundown
Shattered Glass Skirt Target - Navy Top Gap - Black Boots Migliorini - Chain Necklace Khol's - Pearls Handmade - Ring Lia Sophia - Earrings Dava

I did style this skirt a few weeks ago for Eyeliah's virtual Birthday party, but I didn't actually wear it that day.

Later... for an evening out I went to my grey bubble dress, which I wore last time I went out in Amsterdam.

Day Six and a half: Grey Bubble Dress
Last worn: September 2009 (yeah, I haven't been out to a bar in five months)
Night Out

I can't help but to be a little sensible when going out into the frigid winter evenings. I wore my tights and my boots, I even put my little cardi-vest on for an extra layer. I also wore my wool coat -- I would rather deal with a bulky coat inside than get hypotherma outside without one. And I saw quite a few girls in mini skirts, tanktops, stilettos and nothing else freezing outside. What are they thinking?

The Rundown
Grey Bubble Dress TJMaxx - Black Cardi-Vest Express - Black Fringe Booties Steve Madden - Gem Stone Belt Urban Outfitters - Cuff Bracelet NY&Co. - 'Diamond' Earrings Aldo

Since I'm a day behind now, the winner of pencil skirt showdown tomorrow! Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Outfit Choices

Getting dressed did not happen today.
I decided to spend the morning drinking cup after cup of boiling hot apple juice (yes, delicious), resting and using my metal powers to make my cold go away. I did plan on getting dressed eventually, but when 4 p.m. came and went and I was still pajama clad I thought I might just plan out tomorrows (or maybe Sundays) outfit instead and extend the style challenge a day.

The unworn item to be remixed is a black pencil skirt I got a H&M over the summer and have only worn once before, sometime in September.

I came up with three choices, and thought it might be fun to let you decide which I should wear!

Option One features the white ruffled top from the other day and a bright green snake print cardigan.
(inspired by What I Wore)

Option Two features (another) ruffled top, but this one is a purple jersey and has been paired with a grey wrap.

Option Three features a floral top (with more ruffles - where is my head?) and a purpleish blazer. It doesn't look purple at all in the photo - should have used the flash!
(inspired by Selective Potential)

Which skirt remix do you prefer?