Author Archives: TheSpenceDaily

Fly Girl Color Coordination

I DID IT.

I finally did it.

I finally freaking did it!

I took on the biggest project that a woman could possibly ever complete.

Organized my closet. 

Oh and I don’t mean like let me just straight shirts, and re-folding some pieces here and there. No, I mean color coordination! Even though it was a hassle…a huge headache and though I questioned myself many times throughout this project…”Why in the hell did I decide to do this!”…I found it all to be worth it at the end.

Paris Hilton's closet. Well one of them.Photo courtesy of http://www.furfauxandsequins.blogspot.com

I learned so much about my personal style and also about me, like for instance…I actually do have a form of patience. Who knew?! No but seriously, I learned so much more about my style. Like for instance, I have a strange love for cream and ivory colored clothing…anything. I also seem to love prints…very, very, very interesting prints.

I also was able to see areas that I might want to add to, such as colors that aren’t…cream colored for instance. Or that I am in desperate need of more skirts, and dresses. I’ve really become a pants/jeans maniac.

Though the task can seem extremely daunting at first, I encourage you to do it. There is so much that one can learn about themselves and their personal style through a closet. However, I would suggest maybe having a good playlist in the background, and   a bottle of wine during break sessions.

*When I arrive home I’ll snap some photos of my own closet and post them later!*

Until the next post,

Take care fashionista’s,

Monica, your (Re)Stylist

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On The Up and Coming…But On The Budget

This Thanksgiving break was wonderful! I was able to spend time with family members and finally met two new additions to the family, my 2nd nephew (pictures coming soon) and Kami Strong.

Recently married into the family in May to a long time family friend, so yep she’s basically family =). I love meeting new people so naturally I love new additions to the family, there’s so much to learn from some new entering your life and boy did I learn a lot about Kami. 

Kami Strong

Aside from the fact that she is absolutely GORGEOUS! Standing at over 6’0 and still not afraid to rock heels, she’s beautiful on the inside and out, highly intelligent and intellectual, she’s a doctor fresh into the field.

That makes 2 in the family. *PERFECT FOR MY HYPOCHONDRIAC BEHAVIOR =) *

Above all of this she’s on her fly girl fashionista…but get this…on a budget! “I’m a bargain hunter trying to pay down school loans!” Yes even doctors, especially those just starting out in the field have to live on a tight budget, like many of us young professionals building our careers. However, I do think it’s something that we tend to forget in our race to the finish line that is undergraduate, graduate, medical, or law school.

Ask any college student or soon to be graduate student what they look forward to most after college and I’m sure it would go a little something like this…”I can not wait to get a real job because this college life living is just not for me anymore.”

 

College Life Living = Broke just about ALL the days of your little college life. 

We strive so hard to obtain that job and fashionistas across the globe are jumping for joy at the thought of a new wardrobe! (You know we look for any excuse to buy new clothing) But like always, everything can be done within reason. Depending on your job, your salary may provide you with a little more disposable income, the key is to remember to maximize your dollar and you’ll be able to maximize your wardrobe and “welcome gifts from giving mothers, my purse was gift from her and my watch which I’ve had for two years was also a gift.”

The majority of Kami’s clothing pieces are (Re)Cycled her earrings are 10 years old with the exception of her black suede booties which are a month old and were on sale for $75. Also on sale was her dress for $40 bucks! It definitely looked like it cost more.

Kami Strong

 

The most important thing to remember when building your personal and professional wardrobe…is to make the sale wall your best friend!

Come back next week and I’ll show you how color coordinating your wardrobe will not only offer you peace and sanity but also to help you in maximizing your wardrobe while gaining perspective on figuring out and understand your style better.

Your (Re)Stylist,

Monica

 

 

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!

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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!

Your (Re)Stylist

Monica

 

 

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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.

Joy to my MAXIMIZER EARS!

 

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. =)

 

Your (Re)Cyclist and (Re)Stylist

Monica

 

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!

Monica,

Your (Re)Stylist

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Park Bench Fashion Show

Do you ever find yourself at times chillin on a park bench, sippin’ your pumpkin spice for Starbucks and taking in the scenery? By taking in the scenery I mean people watching, or fashion scouting as I like to call it. Then you see it!

That one outfit that is so well put together that you literally watch the person walk as if you are front row at N.Y.C. Fashion week. They’re a model walking down the runway but then…they catch you…AWwwKWARrrrD. Not like this has ever happen to me, *sarcasm major there*.

Sometimes I just can’t help myself! Especially when it’s such an interesting piece like a cool spin on a blazer that looks like a shirt and a pattern that mimicks that of houndstooth. Now, fellow (Re)Cyclist Jasmin or Jazzy J, as I like to call her, actually spotted this funky piece at the end of lecture. Fortunately for us Elisa is an acquaintances so that takes away some of the awkwardness. Either way we were hooked so yes I had to get a picture and show it to you all.

 

I love houndstooth fabric so much that I had to retire my winter coat because I wore the hell (literally) out it. I think black and white checkered fabric (done right) is just one of those fashion staples that is so classic and works with just about any and everything! Though I’ve seen houndstooth or checkered blazers before I’ve never seen it quite like this. If it wasn’t for Jas, I would have never noticed that it wasn’t a shirt but a coat/blazer.

Simple put the outfit was vintage chic.

Now I’ll admit I was so enthralled with this blazer I forget to get prices for everything but never fear, I’ll get them and post them soon but for now draw inspiration from the outfit and hit those vintage shops and create your own fly girl look. Just remember to hit the pavement like a model…what’s wrong with being someone’s fashion show for a few minutes. 😉

 

-Monica

Your (Re)Stylist

 

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Pretty in Pink

If there is one thing that I love (besides a good thrift store) is a good sale and I am not talking about the 15% off or 20% off sales. I never really understood those sales promotions…I mean, thanks for saving me…tax? Personally I prefer the sales that look a little something like this…

ADDITIONAL 50% OFF ALREADY REDUCED ITEMS!

I live for those days when I receive e-mail notifications from my favorite stores because truthfully speaking sometimes you just want something new but not with a huge price tag! Patience once again is the key! Just like thrifting when it comes to shopping the sale you have to be willing to dig. The end reward is amazing when you have a top that was once priced at $68 and is now down to $8 or pants that were once $54 and are now $12.99. (True Personal Story)

Spotted in Leopard

I’m also a fan of mixing sale items with my thrifting finds and so is Solida Wise, a soon to be graduate of the University of Missouri and a good friend of mine. I love how she mixed pieces found at Goodwill and items found on sale. I was especially jealous of the boots that were originally $110 and she only paid $40 bucks for.

“I am all about budgets but I like new pieces as well just not with the heavy price tag. So I shop sale racks pretty heavily or my friends closet which is where I got my necklace!” 

Most people think that if items are on sale they must be pieces that are going out of style or season, which is not always the truth. I always suggest to friends to take a quick glance at what’s seen on the runways during Fashion Week, pay attention to colors, silhouettes and prints and always remember to think classic and polished.

Pretty in Pink, fashionable for any Fall Day

Keeping this in mind and what you saw on the runway while shopping the sale racks will help you seek out those trendy pieces and look just as fabulous as Sonni on a Fall day.

Be sure to check back next week for style tips on dressing a curvy figure, I’ll show you how to hide the flaws and flaunt your best assets!

Your (Re)Stylist

-Monica

Shopping Information: Boots, Journeys originally $110, sale price $40, Dark-Denim Jeans, Marshalls, $14.00, Sweater, Goodwill $4.00, Pink Jacket, Goodwill, $7.00, Scarf, Express, sale price $10, Purse, Goodwill, $3.00, Necklace, free thanks to a friend!

 

Not Your Typical HeadBand!

Okay so I know last week I told you I’d give you some D.I.Y tips by using cufflinks, but I found something even better! Aside from the relationship articles I really love reading Cosmo magazine for their health and beauty tips.

Mila Kunis in Cosmo Magazine

Mila Kunis in Cosmo Magazine

This issue the magazine featured some very creative tips to recycle your jewelry down to your jeans! The most intriguing bit was about “Hair Necklaces”!

The idea is to wear old necklaces like a headband and since I’m always down for something new…I decided to try it out for myself and with friends!

The different tones in the necklace draw attention Kheyra Halane's beautiful hair color!

The article mentions that you should first spray the clips and pins with hairspray to give the necklaces extra hold and to secure them in your hair.

After that find 3 or more necklaces and lay them out flat on a table as shown in the pictures below.

Steps 1, 2, 3

Follow these easy steps!

Next, connect the necklaces using the clap at the end and remember to do the same to the other end. Finally connect the entire necklace to form the headband.

Now that you’ve connected the necklaces and formed the headband, play around with it to form different styles. You can twist the chains for a more noticeable and bulkier look. You can also space out the necklaces or wear them closer together. This works great especially if you chose tones that are different. Denita McCarthy, a Junior at the University of Missouri also suggest incorporating a ribbon for added style.

Denita show's you three ways to rock your chains!

If you’re not comfortable wearing necklaces in your hair in fear that of tangling, no worries. Turn your old ‘laces into bracelets, another necklace, or a ring if it’s a small chain-link bracelet as shown below. Add an exotic nail polish to your tips to draw even more attention to your accessories.

ReAccessorize your necklaces

Simple, easy and the best part about recycling your old necklaces? You make room for new ones!

Come back next week for more D.I.Y tips!

-Monica

Your (Re)Stylist

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The Mommy Budget

Though I’m not a mommy yet, (one day!), I always find women who are fascinating. I look at the women in my family and it still boggles me how they are “jacks of all trades” but still manage to stay fly and on a budget. So with that in mind it shouldn’t surprise you why I admire LaNee Bridewell, a graduate student studying Social Work at the University of Missouri. I met her over a year ago when she worked in my department.

Audrey Hepburn without the black turtleneck

She’s incredibly smart, a Bill Gates Scholar recipient and very driven. I’ve always found it amazing how LaNee manages to stay incredibly stylish while transitioning from Undergraduate to Graduate school, being involved in her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Incorporated, various projects and programs that support single mothers in college, all while raising her beautiful son Jia.

One day in typical girl talk conversation I shared with LaNee that lately my luck has been low with finding good blouses at Goodwill. “Sometimes it’s hard to find something nice but you have to be willing to dig. I like to dig because the end reward is worth it” is her response to my frustration and many others. ” I go often, sometimes I don’t find anything and sometimes I walk out with one piece but that one piece is always a winner. ” I’d have to agree after spotting her in a very pretty fuchsia shell top from Goodwill.

“This was just one of those “that one piece” and my pants (a pair of black knit ponte pants) I’ve had these for so long I can’t even remember when I bought them. I think the most expensive thing I have on is my Oxford’s, which I paid $15.00 for but this top was either between $3.00 – $6.00″

Shell Top

So how does a graduate student and a mother of one stay so incredibly stylish? “I spend a lot of time in thrift stores, consignment stores and the Goodwill during some of my free time” says LaNee. I believe LaNee and many other single or married mothers are proof that you can still be fashionable as a mother all while striving for a degree in higher education.

“My son will always be my number one priority but sometimes I like to treat myself and I’ve learned to do so without breaking the bank plus I love finding good bargains! Who doesn’t love a good bargain?!”

I surely love a good bargain but you all should know that by now. So I’ll keep searching and maybe one day soon, I’ll find that “one piece blouse.”

Come back next week for D.I.Y tips and I’ll show you how to accessorize cufflinks and broken necklaces in more ways than one!

-Monica

Your (Re)Stylist

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