Tuesday, June 14, 2016

ten outfits under $35, part VI.

Friends, it’s that time again. We have arrived at yet another cheap outfit blog.

I have said it before, and I’ll say it again: I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of putting these outfits together. I have also decided that it’s also good for my brain: I have to use math (well, math up to 35) and creative thinking to put together the best possible outfits within my set limits. And then I get to show you!

This is my sixth blog post where the outfits are $35 or less. You can find the other five by following the links: part I, part II, part III, part IV, and part V. Before I settled on $35 as my perfect dollar amount, I also wrote posts about outfits that were $30 or less and $40 or less.

You may recall how I decided on $35 as my perfect amount. Way back in my first cheap outfit blog (waaaaaay back in 2013), I gave myself a $40 limit. However, putting together an outfit under $40 did not present much of a challenge for me. Just THINK of all the things you can wear if you have $40 to spend! So I cut my limit by ten dollars and tried outfits under $30. But then, I ran into the opposite problem: while it was certainly a challenge to find outfits for $30 or less, I couldn’t add anything to the outfit that would make it stand out. Accessories were out of the question. Allowing myself a $35 limit not only makes me think hard about what I can and cannot put together, but it gives me enough room to add accessories and really make the outfits what I want them to be. So $35 it is.

As always, I must go over my rules. (If you are familiar with this series, feel free to skip over the rules. I’m not ashamed to admit that I totally copied and pasted this from my last cheap outfit blog.)

1.) I won’t include an outfit just for the sake of it being cheap. I put a lot of thought into these outfits, and any that you see here are outfits that I would wear in public.

2.) All of the clothing items you see here are new to the blog, with two exceptions: shoes and belts. I have been reusing shoes for a while now, mainly because if I couldn’t reuse shoes, this blog series would’ve been dead a long time ago. This will be my first blog post where I reuse belts, and it’s for the same reason. I only have so many belts, and sometimes, your outfit just needs a belt. Since I’m reusing these items, I won’t tell you about them unless they are new to the series.

3.) Something new about shoes: in the past, I have tried to only use a pair of shoes one time per blog post (or twice, if I was really desperate). However, I found myself putting together outfits that aren’t as great as they could be because of my limited shoe options. I also found myself keeping shoes that I almost never wore just because they were at a low enough price point for me to make outfits with them. No more, my friends. As a consequence, you’ll be seeing the same shoes more often than you used to. I hope you’re ok with it. If you’re not, don’t tell me.

4.) I will include gifts, but under only two circumstances: jewelry with no price or clothing with a price. If the gift is jewelry, its price will not be added to the total. (And chances are I don’t know the price.) If the gift was an item of clothing, I will include it ONLY if I know the price, which will contribute to the overall outfit total.

5.) Foundation garments (socks, tights, tank tops) will not be used as part of the outfit total.

6.) The listed prices are almost always exact. The longer I’ve been doing this, the better I’ve been at keeping a list of cheap items with the potential for this blog – and I note the prices ASAP. Some of the items are pretty damn old, though, and I have listed those prices from memory. And those prices are almost certainly within fifty cents. I rarely forget a good deal.

7.) In my last cheap outfit posts, I have said something about each item of clothing featured in each outfit (unless it was a pair of shoes or a belt that you had seen before). Turns out? That's kind of monotonous. If I buy a shirt at Goodwill for two dollars and that's the end of the story, then I shouldn't bore you with anything extra that I pulled out of my ass just so that I could say something (ANYTHING!) about said shirt. This time, I'm only going to tell you about the clothing items that either a.) have an interesting story, or b.) I have thoughts on. And trust me, I have a lot of thoughts.

8.) Lastly, I tried to include items from a variety of stores while still maintaining the quality of the outfit. It gets rather dull to see clothes just from one or two places. Then this blog might as well be a clothing catalog, and no one wants that.

Now that we’ve taken care of business, please enjoy the eighth (!!!) edition of my top ten cheap outfits!

shirt – Maurices – $5.24 (75% off clearance price)
pants – Maurices – $25.50 (25% off)
shoes – DSW – FREE! ($29.99, $20.15 and $10 off)
necklace – gift from Mark and Maria
TOTAL: $30.74

This is just the first of many pairs of colorful jeggings (yes, jeggings) that you'll see on this blog in the coming outfit posts. I love them for so many reasons - they come in super fun colors, they're stretchy and comfortable, they're good for work and a thousand billion times better than regular dress pants, and I can always get them on sale. The only downside to them is that they have no front pockets. Yes indeed: the front pockets you see are totally fake. I have a couple of pairs of jeans like this, too, and I really don't appreciate it. I know that because they're jeggings, they're supposed to be as skinny as possible, but seriously - just because I'm wearing jeggings doesn't mean I don't have shit to keep in my pockets. And do you see my necklace? It's a BIKE! Mark and Maria (James's parents) gave it to me for my 29th birthday, and I sure do love all things bike.

shirt – Country Peddler – FREE! (org $12 but used credit)
pants – Forever21 – $17.91 (10% off)
booties – Old Navy – $2.97
belt  – Forever21 – $5.90
necklace – Amazon – $3.99
TOTAL: $30.77

I am the not-so-proud owner of a pair of broad shoulders, and button-down (or button-up, if you prefer) shirts have long been trouble for me. A button-down would have to be rather large across the shoulders so as to fit me there, but the shirt would then inevitably be too large everywhere else. I would be left looking sloppy, bulky, and manly. So... not great. This is one of the few button-down shirts in my closet, and I dare say it fits me pretty much ok. And pretty much ok is good enough for me. I don't own very many pairs of pants from Forever21 as they are made to fit anorexic pre-teens, but I really love this pair. The moto detail on the knees makes me feel like a badass... or as badass as one can be when wearing them to work at a library.

dress – Modcloth - $18.89 (70% clearance + 30% off)
booties – Maurices – $12
necklace – Etsy/Hobby Lobby - $4-ish for supplies
belt – Modcloth – FREE! (came with dress)
TOTAL: $34.89

I have waxed poetic about the Modcloth house-cleaning 70% off clearance sales before, and this is one of two dresses you will see in this blog that came from such an occasion. The 70% off dresses always start out way out of my price range, but I sure am happy to keep my eye on them and hope for the best. And sometimes? Sweet success. There is a downside: anything you buy at 70% off is nonreturnable, so you'd better hope that you like it and that it fits. And if not? I never spend more than $30 on my 70% off finds, so the loss wouldn't be huge - and I can always take it to Country Peddler! I am not the strongest jewelry-maker that you've ever met, but I Frankensteined this together out of two necklaces I never wore. Now it's one necklace that I wear all the time, even though the ends of the anchor are weirdly stabby.

dress – Tyanas – $21.48
booties – Maurices – $12
TOTAL: $33.48

Tyana's is the one clothing boutique in Luverne, and I totally love it. They have great stuff, and it's affordable (obviously very important for me). And once in a while, you can find a real score in the clearance section. I don't remember how much this dress was originally, but it was on clearance when I bought it. I am forever on the hunt for affordable long-sleeved dresses, and this one is quite excellent.

dress – Modcloth – $26.99 (70% off)
booties – Old Navy – $2.97
belt – Modcloth  FREE! (came with this very dress)
TOTAL: $29.96

Here's the other 70% off super-clearance dress. This one had some negative reviews on Modcloth (pro tip: ALWAYS read the reviews), so I was a little iffy, but I (obviously) chanced it. The print is freaking adorable. There are foxes. FOXES.

sweatshirt – Style Encore – FREE! (was $10, 50 % off + store credit)
Silver jeans – Maurices – $33.29 (50% off and 10% off)
shoes – DSW – FREE! ($29.99, $20.15 and $10 off)
scarf – gift from Megan
TOTAL: $33.29

Shirts with deer heads on them were very much a thing this past fall and winter, and I most definitely fell victim to the trend. This color (dusty purple? mauve? who knows) was also super-trendy (see: jeggings in the first outfit), which worked out for me - ever since seeing tons of this color on Gossip Girl (yes, I watched the whole series on Netflix last winter. go ahead and judge me.), I've been wanting to add some to my wardrobe. These jeans, like the jeggings in the first outfit, also have fake front pockets. SO ANNOYING. But like the other jeggings, they're stretchy and delightful, so I'm willing to overlook.

dress – Lauriebelle’s Boutique – $33.60 (20% off)
heels – Modcloth – FREE! (came with weird heel, couldn’t exchange, full credit)
belt – Modcloth – FREE! (came with dress)
TOTAL: $33.60

I have a love/hate relationship with maxi dresses. So many of them make me look a.) pregnant, or b.) like a sister wife. (Forgive me, for I have used that analogy before, but I don't have a better one.) The problem lies mainly with sleeveless maxi dresses. They're all fine and dandy in my summer downtime, but if I wear them to work, I need a cardigan. Cardigan + maxi dress = sister wife. I got this dress at a boutique in Tea called Lauriebelle's, and it was the last in my size - AND the entire store was 20% off that day. Not only did I get to add another elusive long-sleeved dress to my closet - I finally found a flattering work-appropriate non-cardigan-requiring maxi dress.

sweater – Country Peddler – FREE! ($11, used credit)
jeans – ebay – $32.99
heels – Modcloth – FREE! (came with weird heel, couldn’t exchange, full credit)
bracelet – gift from James (Unglued)
TOTAL: $32.99

It's been years and years since I've purchased jeans on ebay, but I went through a short phase during which I got several pairs from ebay. (That was pretty much the only way I could afford "new" jeans.) There are only a couple of pairs left in my closet (mostly because I was too poor to eat when I bought them, therefore purchasing them in a size much smaller than I wear now), but this is one of said pairs. The bracelet came from my current favorite store in Sioux Falls: Unglued. It's downtown, and it's full of candles, jewelry, art, and all sorts of great handmade stuff. You should totally go. You'd love it.

shirt – Country Peddler – FREE! (was $9, used credit)
Silver jeans – Maurices – $31.50
booties – Old Navy – $2.97
belt – Country Peddler – FREE! (was $5, used credit)
TOTAL: $34.47

I am in love with the color of this shirt. I don't know what you'd call it exactly (fuchsia?), but I love it. Even though I purchased it in my correct size, it's pretty enormous, hence the belt. You'd be amazed at the number of outfits that can be saved by a belt.

shirt – Maurices – $13.50 (buy one get one half off)
jeggings – Maurices – $18 (buy one get one 50% off, $7.50 off)
booties – Old Navy – $2.97
TOTAL: $34.47

Remember those jeggings from the very beginning of this post? Here's another pair. Olive green is my new go-to neutral. It's the perfect color for pants: it's as versatile as khaki, but without the blah factor. Also? Dirt and stains and stuff (very real dangers when working at a library) don't show up as easily. Olive green is the way to go.


My friends, we've reached the end of yet another cheap outfit blog. Stay tuned, for there are always more cheap outfits in my closet, just waiting for me to show you!

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