Sunday, September 4, 2016

ten outfits under $35, part VII.

It’s cheap outfit time again!

This is my seventh blog post where the outfits are $35 or less. You can find the other six by following the links: part I, part II, part III, part IV, part V, and part VI.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.

Remember why I chose $35 as my price point? If you want the long version, feel free to look at any of the older cheap outfit blog posts. Here’s the short version: I started with $40, which was too easy. I moved to $30, which was too hard. Then I tried $35, and it was juuuuuust right. It’s the Goldilocks Effect.

As always, I must go over the outfit rules. (If you are familiar with this series, feel free to skip this part. Like last time, I pretty much copied and pasted this from a previous blog – with a few minor changes.)

1.) I will not throw together a crappy outfit just because its total happens to be $35. I spend a lot of time coming up with and tweaking these outfits, and any outfit you see on this blog is one 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 long time now, as I only have so many pairs of shoes that fit the price parameters. I’m reusing belts because I just don’t have enough belts to show you new ones all the time, nor do I intend to acquire that many belts.

3.) More about shoes. In past blog posts, I tried to use a pair of shoes only once or twice per set of ten outfits. Alas, I ended up putting together outfits that weren’t that because of my scarce shoe choices. I realized that I was hanging onto shoes that I almost never wore simply because they had been cheap enough for these outfits. That was a ridiculous thing to do, so I’m not doing it any more. I am using a few pairs of shoes as often as I please – and trust me, the outfits look better because of it.

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. (There are no clothing gifts in this edition, so just file this information away for later.)

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

6.) The prices on each item 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 – I record the prices almost immediately after purchasing said item.

7.) I’m not going to tell you about each and every item of clothing in a blog post. This is for your benefit as well as mine: you don’t want to read meaningless blather about some pants, nor do I want to write it. I will only tell you about clothing items that have a story, or that I find particularly interesting/exciting. We’ll all be better off this way.

8.) Finally, I tried to include items from a decent variety of stores while still providing a quality outfit. This has actually gotten tougher the longer I do the blog. My style is constantly evolving, and the older I get, the pickier I become about what I wear. I tend to get my clothes from a lot of the same places now, and I also try not to buy clothes just because they’re cheap. (I have definitely been guilty of this.) So while the variety has thinned, I am still able to put together some super-cheap outfits – and I would say that the quality has improved partly because of that.

Enough with the rules. Please enjoy the ninth (!!!) edition of ten cheap outfits!
shirt – Country Peddler – FREE! (was $10, used credit)
Silver jeans – Maurices – $33.29 (50% off and 10% off)
shoes – DSW – FREE! ($29.99, $20.15 and $10 off)
owl necklace – gift from Grandma
TOTAL: $33.29

Once again, Country Peddler and Maurices will feature prominently in this blog. Those two stores just have the best stuff at the BEST prices. This is not the first time (and hopefully not the last!) that I've been able to buy Silver jeans - normally priced around $90 - for LITERALLY a fraction of the cost. The owl necklace once belonged to my grandma Lorraine, meaning that she was wearing owls long before they were cool.

sweater – Paisley Pod – $15
jeggings – Country Peddler – FREE! (was $12, used credit)
sandals – Target – $19.99
TOTAL: $34.99

Deer heads were a total thing last fall, and I hopped aboard the deer head train. This particular deer head was acquired at the weirdest place – it was this sort of group clothing sale in a barn in the middle of nowhere. Yes – you read that correctly. I saw a flyer for it at a store in Luverne, and of course, wanted to check it out. James and I traversed the South Dakota countryside looking for this sale, and it was indeed a barn way out in the prairie. The road was SO MUDDY, we weren't sure if we were going to make it out. Inside this barn were several little stations with boutiques from the area, and the place was packed. There was nowhere to try things on, and I could barely get to the racks of clothing because of all rabid shoppers. Not my style. However, I did stick my nose in this thing called the Paisley Pod - it's a truck (!!!) made into a tiny traveling store. Inside, I found my deer head shirt, which meant that our day was not a total bust.

dress – Kmart – $12 (50% off + .49 in rewards)
booties – Maurices – $22 (50% off boots)
belt – Country Peddler – FREE! (was $5, used credit)
TOTAL: $34

Typically, I am not a Kmart shopper. I haven't set foot in a Kmart in YEARS, mostly because the two in Sioux Falls are terrifying. I probably wouldn't have given Kmart a second thought had it not been for a feature in Redbook magazine. (Yes, I am a subscriber to Redbook. Judge away.) Redbook has a segment each month featuring 50 clothing items/accessories under $50. Cheapskate that I am, I always peruse this section. Several months ago, they featured a chambray shirt dress - a combination that wouldn't have crossed my mind. I saw it and really liked it, especially considering my never-ending search for dresses with longer sleeves. It took me months to actually order it online, and when I finally did, I was lucky enough to get it for 50% off. When I went to check out, Kmart informed me that I already had an account - and not only that, I had $.50 in rewards from some long-forgotten purchase. Thanks, Kmart!

kimono – eBay – $7.99
jeggings – Maurices – $18 (buy one get one 50% off, $7.50 off)
shoes – DSW – FREE! ($29.99, $20.15 and $10 off)
rose cameo necklace – Good Buy Gals Watertown – $8.99
TOTAL: $34.98

I am really into kimonos right now, and it's kind of ridiculous. Sadly for me, though, many of them have these enormous open sleeves, which means I get them caught on everything, which means I can’t wear them to work lest I rip them open. (I learned this the hard way: RIP, kimono #1.) I ordered this kimono on eBay after seeing the EXACT SAME ONE in a Sioux Falls boutique for about $40, and then searching eBay on a whim to see if I could find something similar for cheaper. Similar indeed. The rose cameo necklace has a great story: Mom and I were in the Watertown mall when we went into a shop called The Good Buy Gals. It’s part antiques, part restored furniture, part home décor – one of those little bit of everything stores. I was noticing all the neat jewelry in displays all across the store, and I selected this cameo (one of about twenty hanging by decorative pins). The woman at the register told me that all of the jewelry came from one woman’s estate sale – somewhere in the neighborhood of 900 (!!!) pieces dating from the 30s through the 50s. You can’t beat true vintage.

shirt – Maurices – $10.60 (20% off, $15 in coupons)
shorts – AE – $14.99 (buy one get one half off)
sandals – Modcloth – $5.99 (additional 40% off clearance)
Lake Poinsett sea glass necklace – Michaels – about $3 for supplies used
TOTAL: $34.58

I’m a little concerned that my sandals are totally ridiculous. They are BRIGHT SHINY GOLD, after all. You would tell me if I looked like an idiot, wouldn’t you? But they were $5.99, so I thought they were worth a shot. The first time I wore them to work, I may have blinded my coworkers, but once they regained their eyesight, a handful of them did compliment my shiny shoes. My necklace is made of Lake Poinsett sea glass! This past summer, Mom and I were strolling the beach when she picked up a piece of sea glass. I commented that I had never found sea glass before, and just like that, we were off – combing the beach like pros. Since that day, I have gathered (and been given, thanks to Mom) quite a collection of Lake Poinsett sea glass. I tried my hand at wire-wrapping the pieces, and after quite a bit of practice, some of them turned out pretty a-ok. I just love having Lake Poinsett sea glass that I can wear – Lake Poinsett is my favorite place, and all the better if I can take a small piece with me.

shirt – Maurices – $6.09 (20% off, $10 in coupons)
Silver jeans – Maurices – $24.50 (50% off + $10 in coupons + $10 in sorry coupons)
shoes – DSW – FREE! ($29.99, $20.15 and $10 off)
compass bracelet – gift from James (Hitch)
TOTAL: $30.59

This outfit is pretty self-explanatory. Good deals on clothes at Maurices. The bracelet came from one of my new favorite stores in Brookings – it’s a paperie downtown, and they have the coolest stuff. James bought this bracelet for me the last time we were there – it’s a bit challenging to tie by myself, but I really like it. On the front is a compass charm, and engraved on the back is “not all who wander are lost.” I like it so much that I’m even willing to forgive the misquoted Tolkien.

shirt – Style Encore – FREE! (was $8, $2 off + credit)
jeggings – Maurices – $22.20 (20% off, $5 coupon)
booties – Maurices – $12
anchor necklace – gift from Mom
TOTAL: $34.20

I have found myself moving away from shopping at large second-hand stores like Plato’s Closet and Style Encore because, frankly, I don’t have the patience. Those places are always stuffed to the gills with clothing, and most if it really isn’t my style. For every hundred shirts I flip through, I might find one or two that I want to try on. The only time I do take the time to look through their racks is when I bring things in to sell and I’m killing time while they weed through my stuff. That’s when this shirt, which worked out, as I am always on the lookout for nice neutrals (to go with all my colorful pants, of course).

dress – Modcloth – $28.79 (additional 40% off clearance)
sandals – Modcloth – $5.99 (additional 40% off clearance)
TOTAL: $34.78

Thank you, Modcloth super clearance, for making the purchase of this dress possible. I saw it on their website ages ago and fell in LOVE: after all, it was printed with octopi AND had pockets. However, it was $90. No way in hell was I going to pay $90 for that dress, no matter how squee the print was. But then? SUPER CLEARANCE. That does indeed mean that all sales are final, but I was willing to take the chance. And you know what? It fit like a damn glove.

sweater  Filly Flair  $15
jeans – AE – $19.99
shoes – DSW – FREE! ($29.99, $20.15 and $10 off)
sea glass necklace – ?? – didn’t buy anything I used!
TOTAL: $34.99

Filly Flair is a boutique in Sioux Falls, and (in my humble opinion) has the most ridiculous name ever. I feel like an idiot just typing it, never mind saying it aloud. Buying from them is risky, because they DO NOT give refunds if you don’t like something you buy – only store credit. I got this sweater on clearance, which was also final sale – so I wouldn’t even get store credit back if I changed my mind. Luckily, it worked out. I play the final sale game, and I play it well. This sea glass necklace was created by disassembling other necklaces I’d made (but never wore) and turning them into this. Therefore, I didn’t actually buy anything specifically to make this necklace, and I have really  no idea how much I spent on the supplies from ages ago. So I’m calling it zero dollars. Hope that’s cool with you.

shirt – Country Peddler – FREE! (was $9, used credit)
shorts – Filly Flair – $20
sandals – Modcloth – $5.99 (additional 40% off clearance)
Jamaica bracelet – RIU Montego Bay gift shop – $7
TOTAL: $32.99

Yet another Country Peddler freebie, and yet another Filly Flair final sale. I kind of love these shorts, even though I have questioned whether or not I’m too old to wear shorts with lace on the bottom. (James says I’m not, so I’m choosing to believe him.) This little bracelet is near and dear to my heart, as it was purchased in Jamaica at the very end of the best family vacation of all time. My sister has one in black, so we both can wear a little bit of Jamaica whenever we miss its sandy beaches and turquoise waters (which, honestly, is all the time).


So that’s it for this installment of the cheap outfit series! Can you believe that I’ve done nine of these already? Stay tuned for big number ten!

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