Inspiration Recreation

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A maxi skirt...and a one!

Don't you just love it when you find a single item that is multipurpose?  Today's post is about an inexpensive maxi skirt I bought recently from one of my frequent shopping stops:  Ross Dress for Less.  Discount stores like Ross and TJMaxx are great places to find bargains but some shopping trips can be a "hit" while others can be total "miss".  Talk to the sales associates to find out what days and times the new weekly deliveries come in and when the new items will be put out on the floor to get the best selection at your local stores.

I spent a whole, whopping $10 on this black and white striped maxi skirt a few weeks ago at Ross! 

I bought this skirt thinking that I would just wear it as a casual, everyday kind of skirt but I later figured out a way to style it as a dress for more dressy occasions as well.  I like it when my money spent does double duty!

OUTFIT #1:  Maxi Skirt, Casual
Skirt:  Ross ($10)
Cami:  Target ($6)
Cardigan:  Forever 21 ($18)
Belt:  Ross ($6)
Sandals:  Anne Klein via Ross (old, < $20)

OUTFIT #2:  Skirt as Dress, Casual
Skirt: Ross ($10)
Cardigan: Forever 21 ($18)
Belt: Ross ($6)
Wedges: Aerosoles via Ross (old, < $25)

OUTFIT #3:  Skirt as Dress, Special Occasion
Skirt: Ross, $10
Cardigan:  TJMaxx, (old, < $15)
Belt: Ross, $6
Wedges: Aerosoles via Ross (old, < $25)

I know its nothing new, but I really like the idea of remixing or repurposing items in your wardrobe.  You save money because you're not shopping for new items as much, and what money you do spend is well spent because you get more wear out of the item.  However, shopping for items that can be repurposed and styled multiple ways is key!  Don't get me wrong, I definitely believe that you should have some unique, stand-out items in your wardrobe but don't forget the basics.  This used to be a major problem for me:  a closet full of nothing to wear!  I would have the hardest time trying to put outfits together because I never thought about how I could integrate an item into my existing wardrobe before I bought it.  I just bought it because I thought it was cute.  And because nothing in my closet went well together, I would often have to go out shopping again, spending more money, to put an outfit together!  My closet was a frustrating, money pit.  NO MORE!  I'm older, wiser, and a much better steward of my money.  Now when I'm shopping and I see something I really like, I force myself to STOP and THINK: 
  1. Do I need this item for a particular purpose (ie. job interview, work, special occasion, good foundation wardrobe item like blazer or pencil skirt, etc) or do I just want it because it's cute or trendy? 
  2. How can I style this item with pieces in my current wardrobe to create multiple outfits?  How much "wear" will I get out of this item?
  3. Is the item really worth the price or can I find the same item or something similar for a better price elsewhere?  Does the price match the quality of the material and craftsmanship of the item?
If I don't have a good argument for these questions, then I have to leave the item in the store.  It's not always easy but with time it becomes easier to walk away.  The money I save makes me feel better!  Not to mention the time I save when getting dressed in the morning because my closet is more cohesive now, not a bunch of random, hodge-podge.  Along with having the closet organized and color coded, it's much easier to pull an outfit together.
Well, that's all I have for today.  Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Ikat Maxi Dress

Quick post today to show-n-tell one of my many recent purchases that I mentioned in my last post.

I wanted this blue and white print maxi dress from Banana Republic the moment I saw but I could not bring myself to spend $98 for it.

Banana Republic Hailey printed, halter maxi dress
($98, but currently sold out online)

A few days a came across a ikat print, blue and white maxi dress in Ross Dress for Less at a fifth of the price of the BR maxi but achieves the same look and feel in my opinion.

Pink Rose Ikat print maxi dress via Ross ($20)

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Yes, I'm Still Alive!

Yes, I am still alive!  I apologize for being MIA for the past 3 months but I've been busy with grad school.

There have been lots of good sales and cheap (but cute) clothing finds that I've come across since my last post.  I'll do my best to "show-n-tell" as many of my favorite, recently acquired items as I can in my next few posts.  Yesterday I went to shop LOFT's 50% off clearance racks because I had a birthday reward voucher that would have allowed me an additional 15% off of my purchase!  Unfortunately, I was very disappointed with my store's selection and found nothing that I wanted to buy.  However I did spy a few newly arrived items that I will be keeping a close watch on for sale-clearance price... which I'm sure will not be for long.  I've learned to NEVER pay full price for anything at the LOFT.  Exercise a little patience and you can usually get the items you want for 30-50% off within a few weeks, either by a sale promotion or clearance mark-down.

I didn't have any luck at the LOFT but I did find a few cute and affordable things in Forever 21 to brighten up my wardrobe:

 Colorful Stripes top (Oatmeal/Taupe, Medium, $14.80)

 Summer Fun shorts (light blue, 27, $14.80)

Eyelet Adorned Woven top (Cream, Medium, $19.80)

Embellished Knit tank (rust, Small, $17.80)

Here are a couple of outfit ideas I came up with:

Outfit #1:  Colorful and Casual
 Top: Forever 21
Shorts: Forever 21
Sandals (pictured below):  Merona via Target
Belt (pictured below):  Kensie via TJMaxx

Merona Emeline Sandals (pewter, $15)
(currently out of stock on line but may still be available in local stores)

Kensie Skinny belt ($4 on clearance from TJMaxx)

Outfit #2:  Dressing Up Bright Stripes
Top:  Forever 21
Wide Leg Trouser Jeans:  Gap (link here)
Belt (pictured below):  Forever 21
Wedges (pictured below):  Guess via Ross Dress for Less

Forever 21 Wide belt
(bought a few months ago but may still be available in some stores; $4.80)

Guess Tavish Wedges via Ross Dress for Less
(bought a few months ago; mostly likely no longer available; don't remember price)

Outfit #3:  Dinner with Friends
Top:  Forever 21
Wide Leg Trouser Jeans:  Gap
Wedges:  Guess

Outfit #4:  Celebrate with Friends
Tank (detail pictured below):  Forever 21
Wide Leg Trouser Jeans:  Gap
Wedges:  Guess

Sequin/Bead Detail

It's surprising to see such beautiful detailing like this on a piece of Forever 21 clothing!

Well that's all I have for now.  Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Craving mustard...?!

.... mustard yellow that is.  For the past several weeks I have become obsessed with all things mustard yellow and gold.  I even posted a set on Polyvore about my mad craving.  I used alot of old JCrew catalog photos for inspiration.

I think it all started with the Emersonmade Goldie skirt that I blogged about a few weeks ago (here).

I still haven't found a good affordable alternative to the Goldie skirt :(.  But I'm getting desperate enough to consider sewing my own... lol!  I do know how to do some basic sewing but I don't know if a skirt with pockets and pleats is within my sewing skill set.  Hopefully I will find something off the rack soon so I can avoid that whole ordeal.

However, I did find this inexpensive mustard-yellow cardigan from Forever 21 ($18, buy here).

Cute, inexpensive, and I like the pockets and brass-like buttons!  I like buttons... buttons and pockets... and cardigans... they're my favorite!

J over @ J's Everday Fashion had a post about mustard yellow and some other inexpensive sources for mustard-yellow cardigans (link to post).

Thanks for stopping by!
~ connie-nicole ~

Alternative School

My clothing budget is pretty small as a grad student so I often have to find inexpensive alternatives to the things that I really want.  Case in point... I love the Lunar Cycles top from Anthropologie (no longer available online) but Anthropologie is way out of my price range (even on sale sometimes)!

So I've been looking for a cheaper alternative and I came across this top from Forever 21 ($18).

What do you think? Should I keep looking?

Ultimately I want to recreate this look from Molly over @ Anthromollogies...

Really cute summer outfit don't you think?!

Friday, February 25, 2011

EmersonMade Goldie Pocket Skirt

I WANT...the Goldie Pocket Skirt by EmersonMade.

I LOVE this yellow skirt by EmersonMade but it costs $158, a bit steep for my budget. The color is wonderful and I like the drape and length.  AND... it has pockets, my new favorite feature for skirts and dresses!  I could get a similar look with the yellow Anthropologie Field Skirt:

However, the Field Skirt is no longer available online but some are available on Ebay for about half the price of the EmersonMade skirt - but still too expensive in my opinion.  Let me know if you guys out in blog-land come across an even cheaper alternative for a golden/yellow skirt (pretty please!).

I have a black & white chiffon blouse that would look great with this golden yellow but a navy & white blouse would look equally nice.  Inspired outfit created via Polyvore:
EmersonMade Goldie Skirt Inspiration

Click HERE to see another cute look on Janelle on her Basic Cravings blog featuring the Goldie Pocket Skirt.

Ann Taylor LOFT Deals

Yesterday I scored a couple of good deals on some "perfect for spring" items from the LOFT.  I got this champagne colored Floral Print Sheath dress and multicolored Abstract Floral Print Pencil Skirt.

And get this, I only paid $50.10 for both!  "How?!", you ask.  Well they were both on the sale racks and there was 40% off sale items plus I used my $20 Loft Rewards I recently earned! The dress was orignally $79.50 and the skirt $69.50, so I saved $100 bucks - oh happy day!  I recommend going in-store for good sale deals because the sale price in-store seems to always be cheaper than the one's online.  The online sale prices are $70 for the dress and $65 for the skirt.  My sale price tags were $60 for the dress and $50 for the skirt.  However, the advantage to ordering on-line is that there is usually a wider selection in size availability than in-store (at least in my experience).

I also wanted to note that I got both items in the petite sizes (size 4P) even though I'm not petite (5'5") because the regular sizing hemline fell too far below my knees. I felt like a mean, matronly school teacher - even in these bright pretty patterns.  Here's a few fitting room shots with the petite sizes on:

The petite sizes fell at or just above my knees, and they passed the bend-over and sit-down test.

I think both of these are so pretty and will be perfect for spring.  The colors of the pencil skirt are kind of on the bold side for me (I normally live in neutrals) but its so pretty and it was such a good deal I couldn't resist.  I have a peachy-pink sateen tank that I think will go well with it. 

I think the sheath dress will be perfect for church or a wedding.  One of the stock photos on Loft's website show it with a brown belt at the waist, I may try that.  The belt gives more definition to the waist.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Summer Dresses

Quick post today sharing a few inexpensive dresses that are on my shopping list for summer.  I think these dresses should carry me through most of the typical summer events (i.e. trips to the beach, barbecues, warm alfresco dinner's with friends, etc.)! 
Summer Dresses

The first dress is a navy and white nautical themed dress from Ruche ($39.99) that would be perfect paired with espadrilles for a trip to the beach.  My sisters and I usually take a trip to St. Augustine, FL each summer.  I think the army green shirt dress from Old Navy ($29.50) would be perfect for a backyard BBQ.  And the dotted dress from Forever 21 ($22.80) is a nice choice for the warm and muggy summer evenings here in Florida when my friends and I go out for casual outdoor dinners.

For more information on the items styled in these summer dress outfits, follow the links below:
Dotted Woven Dress
$23 -

Ring-Cinched Belt
$48 -

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Momma's gotta brand new bag

I have a new favorite bag... and nope, it's not a Coach or Louis Vuitton bag.  [I'm a super cheap grad student remember!]

This little lovely is courtesy of none other than....Target (Tar-shay if you want it to sound all hoity-toity).  It's a Merona bag, and here's what I love about it:
  • only cost $30 bucks (but its currently on sale for $27, click HERE to buy),
  • nice and roomy (but not gargantuan enough to carry a body in ),
  • comfortable to wear,
  • it feels quite soft for a faux leather-type material, 
  • can be carried as a tote, shoulder bag, or use the long strap to throw over the shoulder (hands-free shopping!...and texting...and carrying 50 lbs of library books...and drinking a hot cup of tea!) 
  • silver hardware (which I prefer a million times over gold hardware),
  • and its a nice neutral dusty mauve color (its listed as "Pink/Purple" on the website).   
I don't normally carry purses in this color - I'm normally a black or brown bag girl.  This bag is also offered in GREY and TAN.  The grey is currently available online but it was sold out online and in my local store when I bought my bag.  So if you want the grey, you might want to jump on it like NOW.  The tan color is eh... to me.  I wasn't wowed enough to buy it even though that's one of the first colors I reach for in bags.  I initially wanted the grey because I wear alot of black and charcoal grey (a habit I'm trying to break) but decided the mauve color would be a nice change.  Plus, I've been looking for light grey and taupe colored bags and I think this is a happy medium. 

More reasons I love this bag:  It seems to go well with both the black and grey colors that I normally wear.  It also goes well with pastel colors.  Its formal enough to wear in business casual situations but the soft structure of the bag gives it a casual enough feel that I can just as easily pair it with a simple jeans, t-shirt/cami, and cardigan look.  I think I'll get my money's worth out of this one!

 Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Inspiration Recreation: Cardi and Print Dress

Quick post today about an outfit I was inspired to recreate.  Scanning through Google Images, I came across this daily outfit post by Sascha at, posted January 6, 2011.  I thought it was a very cute outfit but I'm not really a big fan of floral prints, (I mean I don't hate them but I don't love them either... they're okay sometimes), so I opted for a geometric print dress from Forever 21.  I'm not sure what shoes Sascha wore in the inspiration outfit but I think brown lace-up booties or my new Target lace-up cage heels will look good with this outfit.  She also appears to be wearing tights in the inspiration photo. I may wear some black tights as well, especially if I decide to wear the lace-up booties.
Inspiration Recreation: Cardi & Print Dress

Inspiration Recreation: Cardi & Print Dress by connie-nicole
Pulling It Together Sweater
$68 -

Cracked Vintage Skinny
$32 -

Thanks for stopping by!