Monthly Archives: November 2011

Prayer+Patience+Luck = Amazing FIND!

Walking out of my work building, it hit me that I would be going home for Thanksgiving break, home as in Chicago a.k.a The Windy City. I’m not sure if it was the realization that my blazers and sweaters weren’t going to cut it with Windy or the brisk smack of bitter cold as I left work and walked to my car, but something clicked.

I needed a coat…A.S.A.P!

      On a prayer, literally, and a little luck I snagged a fabulous find! You see I’m very picky when it comes to three things in life; Coats, Shoes, and Handbags. I’ll go without either before I settle. Even if it means walking barefoot everywhere, freezing and carrying all of my belongings in my hands and or pockets.

Serious FACE!


Anyway, I set out to visit one of my local vintage shops, Maude Vintage (Maude V), I literally looked at the coat section and there it was, like it was waiting for only me.

A vintage yet modern Houndstooth fabric coat.


If you recall from previous post, I have quite the soft spot for such coats. The price you ask? $15 dollars! Imagine, I had budgeted out at least $30 (this vintage shop can be a little bit pricey). This was just a hands down no brainer for me.

I actually kind of felt like I stole candy from a kid on Halloween!

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Don’t Be Afraid of the Web, Saving Gas By Avoiding the Mall (Sometimes) and Other Seasonal Advice

Think about your favorite season. Is it spring? Do you love pastels, floral prints and bright colors? Or maybe summer with zesty oranges and electric yellows?

Whatever you love, hopefully you’re ready for the bombshell that is fall. That’s right. Lurking around summer’s youthful corner is the cool breeze, crisp smell and new trends of fall. When fall rolls around, it’s important to stay grounded and focused amid all the new trends.

Courtesy of

If you’re shopping on a college budget, it’s also important to make the best use of your time, because multiple trips to the mall or downtown Columbia can turn into a tricky expense and a waste of time. This week, I’ll share my favorite tricks for narrowing your focus and looking amazing at an even more amazing price.

Courtesy of

First, know where to shop. Although you might feel miles away from Nordstrom, H&M and Forever 21, you can still buy cute, stylish clothes here in Columbia. One of my personal favorites is Plato’s Closet. Because we’re in a college town, online shopping — a great tool if you’re web-savvy and a huge, overpriced warehouse if you’re not — offers brands such as Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, Divided by H&M and sometimes more high-end brands such as BCBG Max Azaria and Joe’s.

There are also a ton of vintage resale stores (if you’re into the more retro indie look) such as Maude V (We ALWAYS talk about them). If that’s not your style, there’s Buckle, which usually carries more modern trends and lots of leatherwear, along with other mall favorites. If you’re into the newer, 1990s retro comeback or army fatigue, Macy’s is where you’ll find it.

Madonna and Lourdes launched Material Girl in late August of 2010 — a brand that strongly re-embraces the tutu skirts, bright pink Ts and glittery leggings of the Madonna era. If you’re catering to your inner diva and have a boutique style in mind, I highly recommend Swank. With denim, tuxedo jackets, cocktail dresses, Juicy tracksuits and more, Swank is a boutique that lives in Columbia but has the spirit of the Big Apple and the Windy City breathing in every aisle.

Courtesy of

Next, go with what works for you. As Clinton and Stacy of “What Not to Wear” will tell you, “Tailor, tailor, tailor!” Simply put, fashion is a much larger concept than what we see on E! or read in People. There are some clothes everyone looks good in. My favorite example is stripes. No matter what size you are or how tall you are, you can wear the style, and it can be tailored to fit your personal style and comfort level. The taller or thinner you are, the bigger your stripes can be. If you’re shorter or heavier, they should be thin.

Vertical stripes look best on shorter women and horizontal stripes look best on taller girls. Skinny jeans and “jeggings” aren’t for everyone because the cut of jean might not suit your body type. My advice is to try things on. If you like the skinny, washed denim look but don’t like the fit, go for a boot cut. It’ll present the illusion of a great fitted pair of jeans without obscurely contouring your shape.

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Drenched In Philosophy

About two years ago my little heart was fulfilled. What filled my little heart you ask? The introduction to philosophy products by Grandmother. (Thanks Gran!) For anyone who knows me they know I can be very random and eclectic which for some reason makes gift buying for me extremely difficult so I hear, and here I thought I was helping the gift buying process for friends and family.

This difficulty usually results in me receiving money for Birthdays, Christmas, and other celebratory events. However for my 20th birthday my grandmother decided to shake things up a bit. On my doorstep was a large box with a note attached from my grandmother that read…

“The Perfect Gift.”

When I opened the box I found another box with the word Philosophy written so simply and beautifully on the box. When I opened it I found an array of shower gels with the cutest names like Snicker Doodle, Strawberry Shortcake and the best part they had recipes on the back.

So yes Gran did find the perfect gift because A. I like to smell great (who doesn’t) and B. I love to bake. I also love the fact that the company strives to use natural elements when making their products. In doing so their shower gels work great for a luxurious bubble bath, a relaxing shower gel and wait for it….SHAMPOO AND CONDITION.



I use the line for everything, from body washes, perfumes and even down to skin care, you just can’t go wrong.

The holiday season is near us so I encourage you to share the beauty that is philosophy with another RANDOM and Eclectic friend or relative of yours. =)


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Protecting your Investments

Designer jeans: $120. Lambs wool sweater: $70. Protecting your investment:

zipper jeans, courtesy of ($115) *sale*


Your wardrobe is a huge investment.You spend time, energy and — most importantly — money on building an impressive array of denim, cardigans, suits and blouses. Yet it seems like it becomes less of a priority to take care of them and thus, all these high-priced items need to be replaced.

Courtesy of, Saturday Lambs Wool Sweater, 49.99 (sale)

In lieu of the upcoming spending craze that proceeds Christmas, it’s important to take some time to read the labels on your clothing and make a resolution to take better care of them so you won’t be forced to replace everything. Maintenance is not hard if it is practiced regularly. This week, I offer you a few tips on how to preserve your wardrobe.

First, washing can cause your clothes to wear faster. So don’t use fabric softener every time you wash. This can weaken the fibers and cause them to get holes or, even worse, make them flammable. Another thing to remember is denim is dyed and has been stressed already in the process of its creation. That’s why important to either buy denim detergent or dry clean your denim to extend its life.

This is my favorite Denim wash by The Laundress ( Be sure to follow the instructions carefully and use cold water. And remember, if you're not sure, be safe and use less. (less is more)

Dark denims such as black, navy or gray can be dry cleaned to protect the color. If hung up in the closet (not tossed on your bed or on the floor), jeans can last two to three weeks before needing to be cleaned or ironed again. This also depends on how often you wear a particular pair of jeans (everyone has a favorite). You can also use denim soap to hand wash your jeans.

Second, everything doesn’t go in the dryer and everything doesn’t go in the washing machine. Sweaters, blouses and tunics are perfect examples of clothing that can be ruined in the washing machine. If the tag says “hand wash,” clean out your bathroom or utility sink, run mild to warm water and use a detergent that is not too concentrated so you can clean the clothing without leaving soap in the fibers. If it says gentle, use the gentle cycle because normal agitation might be too harsh. Also, brands such as Woolite and Cheer have special formulated detergents that help retain color and tighten fibers.

Washing machines can be pretty harsh on your clothes. If the clothes are made of more sensitive material, they are more likely to rip, unthread or stretch out in the washer or shrink in the dryer.

Finally, take the time to sort your clothes. I know in college it might seem cheaper to wash things in large loads but, in the long run, you could ruin your clothes by bleeding colors, shrinking or ripping. Then you will have to invest in new clothes. If you can only do three loads, try to do at least one gentle load for your higher-end clothing and save the other two for clothing that can take a beating. If you can only do two loads, do one warm and one cold. Invest in some plastic hangers or a drying rack so that you don’t succumb to the temptation of the dryer.

Clothing is expensive, but with a little care and maintenance, you can make it worth the effort.

Remember. Being a smart consumer isn’t about rebuying and respending. Its about being responsible.


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All About the Benjamins’

Go here first, they take cheap, mall brands. Courtesy of

In most majors cities, you can find thrift stores that sell awesome vintage clothing—this is nothing new. What is new however, the phenomenon of “cash for clothes” or the new craze of recyclable fashion. These stores are popping up everywhere and it seems like the closer you are to fashion, the better the selection is.

There are many of these chain stores across the country, but the two I’ve become most familiar with are Buffalo Exchange and Plato’s Closet—polar opposites on the “recycle” scale but both very good for broke, young and fabulous people like myself. Plato’s is a great place to sell your old, mall “high school” attire (Aeropastle, Abercrombie and Fitch, Holister,Old Navy, Charlotte Rousse)

and Buffalo’s is a great place to step your game up, grabbing marc jacobs, Chanel and left over Alexander Wang.

The beauty is that it takes years to build a good wardrobe which means that there is always, ALWAYS something you can get rid of in your closet. Currently, 55% of my wardrobe is recycled. And I’m a pretty well dressed, swanky sort of girl. What does that tell you? This is a movement. Stop what you’re doing, clean out your closet. Take the bag to your nearest resale store. They will probably take 5% of what you bring in. That’s ok. DO NOT TAKE CASH UNLESS THEY OFFER FULL VALUE.

from Armani to A Wang to Chanel to Mulberry, Buffalo Exchange has the brands you want at a price that you won't need to sell your kidneys for. Courtesy of

THIS IS CRUCIAL. At stores like Buffalo Exchange, they give you 50% in store credit or 30% in cash. You can see how silly it would be to take cash (Unless they are taking more than 5% of your clothes). Too much math? Don’t freak out. Just follow your heart. If you take less, you can’t buy those cute Chanel high waists….

Ok. Go change the world.

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Chillin’….Gunn Style

So I have this problem where I go through my wardrobe at the end of each season and toss things that I haven’t worn or will no longer wear. While I’m contributing to other fashionista’s closet’s this sometimes leaves me out in the cold, literally.

The ever occurring thought “Oh I’ll just get a new one next season” pops into my head and here I am next season, broke as a joke (but still lookin’ fly), buying and registering a new car will do that to you, and the cold weather is starting to settle in. Yet here I am with no winter coat and no boots for at least 2 or 3 more weeks. So how does a fashionista get herself out of this pickle, dill?

She makes it work!

The famous phrase of Tim Gunn

The famous phrase of Tim Gunn

*Side note* I promise this blog won’t become a blog where we only take pictures of ourselves and post them but hey a little self branding never hurt anyone! Look at Kim K!

Kimmy K

Last night I was reading Tim Gunn’s Golden Rules and I finished the Make It Work chapter and applied the phrase to my morning routine today. (Which by the way is turning out to be an interesting read. Check it out!)

The high for today was 60 but in CoMo (Columbia, Mo) this day could go either way! I had to wear an outfit that would keep me warm and cozy. But without a coat and boots, how was I supposed to make due?

Well the answer is simple. You reach into that closet and pull out that big cozy sweater of yours, a pair of dark denim skinny jeans, brown flats and blingin’ necklace and WERK!

Now, while none of these items were thrift store finds, this could definitely be a situation where one really has to work with what they have! My only suggestion would be for days where the temperature is lower than 60, to wear a turtleneck underneath the sweater and a floppy hat for a little attitude and mystique. To keep your feet warm I would definitely suggest wearing a form of tights underneath!

So to all my fly girls, what “Make it work!” situations have you been placed in? Share your experiences and your clever fashionista tricks!


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