TBT #7 Packing

Is it spring break in your part of the world? Are you going to the beach? Or is that something that only college students do?

I am not going to the beach, but I am very excited about the trip we have planned. We are going to spend a week in Utah visiting the national parks. Since I am using this week to get ready for the trip, I thought I would re-post about packing.

After a few long trips, I finally figured out that I have a lot more fun if I organize everything before I go, and make it easy to find things to wear and to find things in my suitcase.

You will not be surprised to learn that I plan all my outfits ahead of time. Yes, I try them on. Yes, I take pictures.  I even write them down on index cards. Don’t judge. It works for me.

I  have also learned that organizing my suitcase makes for a much better trip. To be honest, I am a “rumbler.” No matter how carefully I pack, I can never find what I want in my suitcase without rumbling through it. Whatever organization system I have breaks down pretty quickly, and I get really frustrated trying to find my stuff.

A couple of years ago, I found something that totally revolutionized my packing……packing cubes!  I now pack different items or categories in the appropriate size cube (I even label them) and can find anything in a jiffy. And it is so easy to unpack my suitcase and put things in drawers. Most people would not have to label them, especially if they are different colors, but I need the extra visual reminders.

The ones I use are from eBags, and I love them. I have several sets in different colors, because I do share some with my husband, but he only uses one or two.

http://www.ebags.com/product/ebags/value-set-packing-cubes-slim-packing-cubes/115846

These are also available from IKEA:

http://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/20323061/

If you want to be thrifty, you can use Zip Loc bags in different sizes.

I admit that I am probably a bit overly zealous about this, but I have learned that the less I have to think about on vacation, the more fun I have, and the more it seems like a vacation.

Here are what my cubes look like. Most people would be able to remember that the purple one is “tops” and the green one is “pants”.  LOL

Cubes (480x640)

In my next post, I will show you the outfits that I packed for this trip.

If you would like to see pictures of most of the outfits I have put together, click on the page for the category you would like to see. On a mobile device, click menu to access the pages. You can also follow me on Instagram @over50under20.  

And…I would love for you to subscribe to this blog. If you subscribed, and are not receiving notices, check your spam, and add inbox@inchev.com to your address book.

THE PROCESS

You might think that if you want a cute outfit all you have to do is go shopping and pick out something. Au contraire.  Even if you buy a dress, which should be an outfit unto itself, it rarely is.  Almost everything needs accessorizing. To look “put-together,” you need to make sure that everything about your outfit works to make it an ensemble.

If you are one of the lucky people who has a perfect figure, then all you will need to do is add cute shoes, a purse, and some jewelry, and you have an outfit.  If you are like the rest of us, you might need to do a little more if you want to look your best.

For me, almost every outfit I wear has to be put together. I have definite figure flaws that need to be minimized, and over time, I have learned how to style outfits in a way that makes me look better than I actually do. LOL

One of the main ways I make up outfits is to try things on in front of my big full-length mirror and snap some selfies.  The photos I take are pretty raw, but they give me an idea of whether something is going to work or not. And once I have settled on the final look, the photo reminds me of all the items I put together so I can wear it more than once. Believe me, if I did not document it in some way, I would never remember which belt, shoes, or earrings I had used.

Here are some pictures from a recent session of experimentation:

  

  

This seems like a lot of work.  It is!  You may be one of those people who thinks it is too much trouble and you don’t care that much. I can appreciate that.  I just happen to be in the stage of my life where I have time to do it, and I really love making outfits.  It reminds me of my childhood, when I played “dressup” by the hour, or changed my dolls’ clothes 100 times.

You might not want (or be able to) spend so much time on your clothes, but at least take one afternoon or evening and experiment a little to see how you can dress to flatter your figure.

None of the outfits in this post is perfect. I don’t really love any of them. That’s okay. I can pick the one I like the best, or I can choose not to wear any of them. Experimenting helps me to find my style, even if I don’t always hit the nail on the head.

If you would like to see pictures of most of the outfits I have put together, click on the page for the category you would like to see. On a mobile device, click menu to access the pages. You can also follow me on Instagram @over50under20.  

And…I would love for you to subscribe to this blog. If you subscribed, and are not receiving notices, check your spam, and add inbox@inchev.com to your address book.

TBT #6 How to Buy an Outfit for Less than $50

In this Throwback Thursday post, I am returning to a challenge I gave myself last summer. I had received a gift card for $50 for my birthday, and decided to use it to put together a complete outfit. Here is how I did it:

  • Went to Ross to look for a dress
  • Tried on about 40 dresses
  • Tried on dresses in my size and one size up and one size down
  • Did not look at the price tag before I tried on..most Ross dresses are less than $20
  • 35 dresses were a definite NO
  • 5 dresses were maybes
  • 1 dress was clearly better than all the rest, so kept that one
  • Paid $11.00 for my dress (On Tuesdays Ross offers 10% off to ages 55 and above)
  • Went next door to Famous Footwear
  • Started in the clearance section
  • Found the perfect pair of heels to go with the dress. Price tag said $25
  • Went to check out…actually on sale for $17.00
  • So far,  have spent only a little more than half of my budget, so still have some left for accessories and purse
  • Went to Cato to look for a necklace
  • Found one for $6.00
  • Received a purse I had ordered earlier.  Cost: $6.00
  • Bought a stack of bracelets for $10.00 at Glitzy Chiks
  • TOTAL: $50.00
  • Made it! Right on the nose!

 

Bottom line…it is possible to find inexpensive clothing if you are willing to do a little work.

If you would like to see pictures of most of the outfits I have put together, click on the page for the category you would like to see. On a mobile device, click menu to access the pages. You can also follow me on Instagram @over50under20.  

And…I would love for you to subscribe to this blog. You don’t want to miss all this great shopping advice. 🙂 If you subscribed, and are not receiving notices, check your spam, and add inbox@inchev.com to your address book.

 

 

 

 

$150 Shopping Spree

I have been posting a lot about shopping lately! I guess it is because it is still not quite spring, and I am SO ready to wear some colorful spring clothes, so have been on the hunt.

The main reason I went on my last shopping spree was that I had a gift card for $150, which I have been saving since Christmas. It was to one of my favorite “cheap stores”– Beall’s Outlet. When my daughter was in town a few weeks ago, we spent the day looking for bargains, and we definitely found some! I can’t wait to show you all the cute things I bought.

Since it is still chilly here, I will start with the great little trench coat….perfect for spring temperatures. It was $13.99. Yes, that’s right– $13.99. I had just seen a really cute trench coat look on a blog, but really did not go out to look for one. Just happened upon it. It is actually the right length and the right weight. I feel like this will be one of my wardrobe staples for years to come.

Just so you know, here is what I got for my money:

 

3 pairs of shoes, 1 pair of boots, 1 coat, and 6 tops. Oh yeah. I am the QUEEN of cheap shopping. 😉

If you would like to see pictures of most of the outfits I have put together, click on the page for the category you would like to see. On a mobile device, click menu to access the pages. You can also follow me on Instagram @over50under20.  

And…I would love for you to subscribe to this blog. If you subscribed, and are not receiving notices, check your spam, and add inbox@inchev.com to your address book.

 

TBT #5 Big White Shoes

This post was part of one I did when we returned from an Alaskan cruise. I thought the shoe advice bears repeating, so here goes:

When I travel, I ALWAYS wear comfortable shoes. You cannot have fun if your feet are not having fun. However.….you do not have to wear ugly shoes.  And let me say right now that I really cannot think of any occasion when big white athletic shoes are appropriate.  If your comfortable shoes look like any of these, it is time for a change:

White shoes (627x640)  DSC_0339 (351x640)White shoes red pants (640x547) 

These photos are are just a sample of what I saw….big white shoes were everywhere.   It is a little hard to take pictures of people’s feet without them noticing, so I was only able to get pictures of a small percentage of the offenders, but I think you get the idea.

Please note that I am not saying that you cannot wear white sneakers. But there is a way to wear them and a way not to wear them. Jennifer Anniston makes white sneakers look adorable.

Jennifer Anniston sneakers (398x640)

Here are the ones that she is often photographed in:

superga (382x382)

Superga Unisex 2750 Cotu Classic Sneaker,White,39 EU (Women’s 8 M US/Men’s 6.5 M US)

Here is a link to a blogger that I follow. Notice how cute her shoes look!

And speaking of what not to wear on your feet, PLEASE be careful how you wear hose. Most people do not wear pantyhose at all anymore, but if you do, they should be sheer and worn with a dressy closed-toe shoe. I know you would NEVER do anything like this:

Hose and sandals (640x420)

Or this:

Pantyhose and boots (462x640)

If you would like to see pictures of most of the outfits I have put together, click on the page for the category you would like to see. On a mobile device, click menu to access the pages. You can also follow me on Instagram @over50under20.  

And…I would love for you to subscribe to this blog. If you subscribed, and are not receiving notices, check your spam, and add inbox@inchev.com to your address book.

SHOPPING THE CLEARANCE RACKS 2

Hello Friends,

In a previous post I told you how I had found 11 items of clothing for $65.00! If you remember, I returned 3 things, so I had 8 left. These 8 items cost less than $50.00! They are mostly for winter, but there is one cute spring top, and a year-round skirt. I don’t usually post photos of just clothing, but can’t resist showing you what you can do with $50, if you are willing to spend a little time to try things on, and don’t mind saving things for next year. Of course, our March is turning out to be quite chilly again, AND we are going to Utah in April, so I will wear some of these before next year. Yay! Here is what I got:

I have not spent a lot of time trying them on and styling them yet. The photo of me was just a quick try-on, but you will definitely be seeing some outfits soon.

A few more thoughts on shopping the clearance racks:

  • Don’t buy something just because it is inexpensive
  • Use this phrase to help you remember: If you don’t love it, don’t buy it.
  • Don’t just look on the racks which are “your size.” Clothing sizes vary, and different styles fit differently. I literally have things from a size small to a 3XL, and I am neither of those sizes 😉
  • Try on lots of things. If you only find one thing that’s okay. Sometimes the treasure hunt is better than others.
  • Scan the prices before you check out. Sometimes things get put on the wrong racks, or you may discover that the price is even lower than you thought. 😉
  • Make sure you look at the prices. When I am clearance shopping, I don’t like to pay a lot for one item, even if it is 75% off the original price. 75% of $185 is more than I want to pay for a clearance item!

HAPPY SHOPPING!

If you would like to see pictures of most of the outfits I have put together, click on the page for the category you would like to see. On a mobile device, click menu to access the pages. You can also follow me on Instagram @over50under20.  

And…I would love for you to subscribe to this blog. You don’t want to miss all this great shopping advice. 🙂 If you subscribed, and are not receiving notices, check your spam, and add inbox@inchev.com to your address book.

 

 

TBT# 4 Hair’s the Thing

In earlier posts, I encouraged you to color your hair if you need to and to make sure your hairstyle is updated and is a flattering look for you. If you are afraid to try something new, one of the easiest ways to get an idea of what style and color looks good on you is to try an online virtual hairstyle site.

I found a site that is a lot of fun and easy to use.  You just have to sign up and upload a headshot of yourself. One of the cool things about it is that if you find a style you like, you can print it out and take it to your stylist. Here is the one I found:

http://www.thehairstyler.com/virtual-hairstyler

Here are some of my looks using a virtual hairstyle site:

IMG (445x640)Hair 2 (640x502)hair 3 (543x640)hair 4 (500x640)hair 5 (640x589)

So funny to see all the different looks! I will not definitely not be going for any of these.  🙂

I long ago decided that I want hairstyle that is quick and easy, so that limits me to something that I can wash and blowdry with a minimum of styling. That also means that I have to get it cut about once a month. Not to mention that I would probably be completely gray if I did not get my hair colored.  I say “probably” because I have not seen the natural color of my hair since about 1984!

I would LOVE to hear from you if you try this. Did you find a new style or color?

Thanks for checking in. Don’t forget to subscribe by e-mail if you want to receive notice of new posts.

If you would like to see pictures of most of the outfits I have put together, click on the page for the category you would like to see. On a mobile device, click menu to access the pages. You can also follow me on Instagram @over50under20.

 

 

SHOPPING THE CLEARANCE RACKS

I’m sure it will not surprise you to learn that when I go into a store, I head straight for the clearance racks before I even look to the right or to the left. I am not saying that I only buy clothes that are on clearance, but I do always check there first. You never know what you will find!

Last week I hit the jackpot. My favorite store in town (BELK) had TONS of stuff on sale. Spring is coming, which means time to clear anything out of the store that looks wintry. Rack after rack of things just waiting to go home with someone.  I just had to adopt some of the little orphans. 😉

I don’t mind buying winter clothes at this time of year ….some things can pretty much  be worn for three seasons, and if not, I will just put them away until next year. When I get out my winter clothes next year, I will be surprised to find some nice new things that have never been worn.

I  tried on a million things and ended up with eleven tops that I really liked. Yes, ELEVEN! I truly laughed out loud when the salesclerk totaled it up….$65.00!

When I got home and tried everything on, I decided that three of the items should probably go back to the store. Even though they were inexpensive, I returned them because I have learned that you should not keep things because they were cheap. One top was a color that is not flattering to me, one was just a little too long, and one just didn’t go with anything I had. I am very happy with the eight things I kept. You will definitely be seeing them.

This time of year is great for finding bargains. Let me know if you find any. Can anyone beat 11 items for $65.00???

If you would like to see pictures of most of the outfits I have put together, click on the page for the category you would like to see. On a mobile device, click menu to access the pages. You can also follow me on Instagram @over50under20.

TBT #3 Little Old Ladies

Hello friends. In an earlier  post, I asked you to consider coloring your hair instead of going gray. I feel sure that I offended quite a few people, and if so, I apologize, but one of the cool things about blogging is that you get to express your opinion. My opinion is that women look younger if their hair is not gray, but if you have a different opinion, I respect that.

I know that some women are proud of their age and their gray hair, and have no desire to look younger than they are. I respect that also. There is no “right or wrong” in this area. Your hair is one of the things that portrays on the outside how you perceive yourself on the inside, and how you want others to see you. If you want to be perceived as a wise older woman, then your look should reflect that.

Most of my friends are over 50, and we have had some interesting conversations over a glass or two of wine. I can truly say that no one in my circle of friends and family feels like a little old lady, or even a wise old woman. We all feel young on the inside, and don’t want to be stereotyped as anything like a “senior citizen.”

In response to the last post, my grandchildren’s other favorite grandmother, made an interesting comment about why she decided to go back to coloring her hair after being gray for awhile.

“I decided to color because strangers were literally treating me like an old woman, complete with “little lady” comments. It didn’t fit how I felt.”

Now you have to understand that Judy is one of the most stylish and put-together people I know. She is one of my biggest inspirations.  She always looks beautiful, and is very energetic, active and creative. She is one of those people who acts her “inside age”–about 30.   And I have to admit that she looked beautiful with gray hair.  

But I still believe that gray hair ages most people, and am so thankful that there are so many great color options today!

If you would like to see pictures of most of the outfits I have put together, click on the page for the category you would like to see. On a mobile device, click menu to access the pages. You can also follow me on Instagram @over50under20.