Category Archives: Idea on the Dime

Love Lasts Forever

For the love of fashion.

 

Ever been in love? Me too. Ever loved something in your closet so much that you thought you couldn’t be without it. Me too.

 

It's not the same sweater but it's very similar and retails for about $60. (Courtesy of Google/A&F)

Case and point.

 

My Abercrombie and Fitch sweater vest, circa 2008.

 

I bought the vest my senior year of high school and it quickly became a staple in my wardrobe. Imagine an oversized cable knit men’s sweater vest with large tortoise shell buttons and large pockets.  Gorgeous right?

 

Well of course, while Abercrombie’s brand tends to be very well made and last long (this may be why they remain #1 on the retail indexes both online and in-store), nothing last forever. At least that’s what I thought.

 

BCBG Dress/Courtesy of BCBG Max Azaria

Over the years, the pockets in the front began to weaken and the lining couldn’t hold it up any longer. I thought this was the end. Then my mother fixed it up for me (I can’t sew) and that problem was solved. Then I retired it away for a while, thinking it wasn’t in style. Lucky for me, big thick knits came back in season this season and I was able to bring it back out, only to find out that it seemed to fit me oddly. I was worried.

 

Last week, I bought a BCBG Max Azaria sweater dress and to dress it down, I thought “why not layer it?” What ensued was one of the best pairings I’ve made in a long time.

 

 

 

 

What I concluded, then, is that you should never give up on anything. Love. Or your favorite sweater.

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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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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 Forever21.com

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 HM.com

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 TLC.com

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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All About the Benjamins’

Go here first, they take cheap, mall brands. Courtesy of http://www.platoscloset.com

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 http://www.buffaloexchange.com

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.

Your (Re)Cylclist

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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!

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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Eco Fashion: The Home Decor Edition

With a few sheets, you could have a beautifully decorated living room

If you’re anything like me, you want everything you own to be pretty, fashionable and chic–including your living space!
This week, I’m giving you a few tips and tricks on how to make your home, apartment or just your bedroom even more eco-fashion centric.
For starters, decorative pillows are extremely expensive. Instead of buying $37.00 Dwell Studio Pillows from Target, you can make your own functional pillow. Plus, you can coordinate even more since sheets come in all sorts of funky cool colors and patterns. And with the same sheet, you can make your own curtains and window dressings. All for under $40 bucks. That’s less than the cost of one designer pillow.

What you Need:
2 Throw Pillows (any color, you’ll be doubling the fabric so you won’t see whats underneath. Stay away from patterns though)

1 Sheets set (pillow case, fitted and loose)

*depending on how many windows you are covering and how big they are, this may change

Sewing Machine

Tape Measure

I won’t go into every detail but essentially, you’ll use the pillow cases for the throw pillows and the sheets for the window coverings. If you’re not good with a sewing machine, go to your nearest Michaels, Dry Cleaners or Seamstress (Check out the yellow pages to find those),give them your measurements and cough up about $15. That’s still cheaper than custom window coverings from a fancy home decor place.

And what about covering your walls?

the cardboard poster on either side of the bottle usually change every season, and all the department stores usually throw them away....unless someone wants them

There are endless, cheap solutions. You can head to your local department store and ask them if they have any post seasonal decorations in the back. Chances are, they do. I work at Macy’s and Perfume Pop Art is the first thing you see when you walk into my abode.And for a uniform, clean look, go to your favorite home store (for me it’s Target) and check their clearance kitchen items. You’ll see some plate chargers (they look like giant plates). Grab 4 of them. Then head to the craft store and grab some cool stamps and an ink pad. Stamp each charger with the same symbol and hang in a uniform location. At my house, they are surrounding the decorative mirror that serves as the center focal point of our living room.

These will make awesome additions to any space.

Finally, If you have a favorite pair of pajama pants or a really cool graphic tee that you can’t fit anymore or that shrunk in the dryer, those make awesome room decorators as well. Depending on how big the shirt is or how much fabric you have you can make pillows or frame the fabric for a cool work of art that is unique to your space.

Curious Doodles, a blog dedicated to DIY, shows you how below.

Last but not least, the most unexpected things can be used to decorate your room and chances are, they’re already in your room.


Ribbons and Headbands and Clips, Oh My!

Old bracelets, ribbons, headbands, fashion magazines, postcards and even feather’d hair clips can be used to pull back curtains, decorate your walls and add life to your space. I even have an old wine bottle that I use for a vase.

Now Go! Be Creative!

-Jasmin

Your (Re)Cylclist

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It’s Halloween! Get Ready for Simon Doonan–On CLEARANCE! (and other simple, re-imaginable costume ideas)

It’s the night before Halloween, and all through the house, not a costume was chosen…no candy was out.

If you have tons of money, you could go buy these peices...or you could make your own 🙂

What are you going to do?? Halloween is literally right around the corner and with most parties taking place the weekend before, you have to have SOMETHING ready before friday….Here are some ideas.
So what happens when the Minneapolis-based retail chain — the second largest discount retailer in the world — and the face of Barneys New York unite? What about the most chic Halloween costumes ever? Last year, Doonan introduced a series of costumes for the entire family (even the family dog) that are just as fashionable as they are occasion-appropriate.
The line, which hit stores Sept. 12, 2010 had a variety of inspirations and features 14 signature costumes. The costumes range from spins on the traditional threads, such as diva witch and A-list celebrity, to more imaginative costumes such as giant candy corn (Candace Corn) and spaghetti. Perhaps the most obviously chic costume is the glamour ghost, a large sheet-like hooded dress with the words “trick or trend” stylishly printed on the front. Doonan’s clever ideas are a twist on the popular and stylish interpretation of the fame-obsessed society we live in.
Halloween is probably the only day you can wear anything and essentially go crazy. Platforms, fishnets, pink wigs, body glitter — the whole nine yards. Anyone can throw in a Bumpit, bathe in tinted moisturizer, overdo the eye make-up and be Snookie for Halloween. But not just any girl can pull off a stylish plate of spaghetti or a glowing piece of candy corn.

Check out this link to find out what’s left:

http://www.target.com/s?searchTerm=simon+doonan&category=0|All|matchallany|all+categories  Plus, since the attire is now on clearance, you can grab several different pieces of each look and make it your own.
Not into cookie cutter costumes?
Try Urban Outfitters Online. They carry a few trinkets, headbands, hats and glasses, funky tees. If styled correctly (with things you already own), they can pass as the minimalist’s perfect costume. My favorite? A headband with giant pink bunny ears. Throw on one of grams old sweaters and you’re a fuzzy bunny. Throw on a sexy leotard and your a playboy bunny. Cliche? Yes. Easy? Mos Def.

Got a bunch of Hyvee bags in your kitchen and some tape? Be the Paper Bag Princess.

Here’s my favorite!
If you’ve ever lived in a dorm, you have a dry erase board. All you need are some angel wings (you can get them as cheap as $15 since you don’t necessarily need grown up wings).Get an old, plain shirt, take it to a T-Shirt Screening place (Acme, Flying Cow) and get the Twitter logo on it. You are now TWITTER.

**if all else fails, either go get a masquerade mask or  go grab a cute Halloween T from Target–they are simple, cost less than $20 bucks and they say things like “I’m a ghost. BOO!” or “I’m a celebrity”. Corny but cute.

Happy Halloween to all, and to all and fun (safe, sexy, exciting) night!
-Jasmin
Your (Re)Cylclist
and Costume Designer 😉
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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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