TAKING ADVICE

How well do you take advice? How well do I? This post is about how I should have listened to my husband. He is a straight-shooter, and as much as I hate to say it, is usually right about most things.

At the beginning of the summer, we were shopping together (a rare thing!) because we found a store that we both loved–Alexander’s Store in Blairsville, GA. I mean, this store has everything—furniture, shoes, clothes, guns, and much more. Because there was such a good selection of women’s clothing and shoes, we were in the store for several hours, and since my husband had long since finished his browsing, I convinced him to sit outside the dressing room and evaluate my try-ons.

I was looking for a dress to wear to my birthday party. Several dresses had made the cut, so I asked for an opinion. I really loved this one, and for some reason, when I saw it in the dressing room mirror, I thought it looked great:

My husband told me that it “made me look wide.” Yup. It does. But did I listen? Oh no, I believed the lying mirror and bought the dress. Of course, it doesn’t help matters that I paired it with an orange purse so that now it looks like a Halloween costume. Oh well. Maybe I can “fix it up.” If I have any luck with that I will post.

The featured photo is the one of the dress I bought for my birthday, which he said looked great. Maybe I should take him shopping with me more often!

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Bottom line, it is probably a good thing to listen to advice. Husbands and cameras do not lie, but dressing room mirrors do! 🙂

By the way both dresses and both pairs of shoes came from Alexander’s. It is a great store!

Many thanks to all of you who voted YES or NO to the white sandals. The yeses won by a relative landslide, so I will at least keep them until next summer…maybe I will find some I like better in the meantime. I am thinking white shoes will be on super sale right about now! And you know I don’t want to pay much.  😉

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.

$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.  

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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.

 

 

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.

NOTHING TO WEAR

Has this ever happened to you? You walk into (or look into) a closet full of clothes and say, “I have nothing to wear?”  If you are like most women, it has happened more than once.  There can be a variety of reasons for this. Sometimes it is just the mood we are in. Nothing in our closet seems to appeal to us.  Sometimes it is because we are feeling bloated or fat. (Do men ever think this way??? LOL)

In my case, for the most part, it just seemed to be that I could not figure out what to wear. I had cute pants, cute tops, cute sweaters, cute shoes, but nothing I tried on seemed to work. Especially if I were in a hurry…as in “we are going to a fancy party in one hour and I just realized the dress I wanted to wear is a little too snug in the stomach area, and I don’t really have time to try to pull something else together.”

Since I have started putting outfits together and documenting them BEFORE I actually need them, this problem has disappeared from my life for the most part. I am not naturally an organized, do-it-ahead-of-time kind of person, but I have learned to be better at it, because I have discovered that it saves a lot of stress in the long run.

I have to admit that I am still in the learning phase in many ways. Sometimes I have put on an outfit that I had documented a few months earlier, and immediately put it in the “what was I thinking?” category. But because I have put together a LOT of outfits by mixing and matching my stuff,  I can usually find something else without too much trouble.

For instance, I now have more that one dressy outfit in case I need it. I have found several inexpensive dresses  and of course, I can always wear my black pants if I am feeling fat or cold or if all my pantyhose have runs in them.

There are lots of ways you can document your outfits. The easiest way is to snap a quick photo in front of your full-length mirror. That way you will have it in your phone, and can access it easily.

PLEASE DO NOT TELL ME THAT YOU DO NOT HAVE FULL-LENGTH MIRROR.  It is 100% imperative to own one. No excuses. You can get one at WalMart for less than $10.00. Seriously, you can’t get dressed properly without looking in a mirror that shows the whole outfit, including shoes.

You can also just make descriptive notes on cards or in a notebook, take a picture of the outfit on a hanger or on the bed, or use an app on your phone that keeps track of everything in your closet (I will post on that another day).

I like pictures, but I also often use index cards when I am traveling. Each card lists everything (shoes, earrings, purse,etc) that makes up an outfit I like. I plan all the outfits I think I might need for whatever I will be doing. Helps with packing, and I use the cards to get dressed everyday when I am on a trip.  Might be too much for you, but it works for me!

The point is to find a system that works for you. I can promise you that know matter how much you think you will remember every item you used to make an outfit you loved, when the time comes to get dressed, and you are in a hurry, or stressed, you WILL NOT remember that the large black necklace looked better than the pearls, or that the red shoes were cuter than the black ones. Trust me on this.

You don’t have to do this all in one day. Just get started. The next time you put together an outfit that you really like, just make sure you document it in some way so that you can recreate it. If you keep doing this, you will soon have a lot of nice outfits to choose from.

Or you can take a day and style a lot of outfits at one time. Just try to do this when no one is home…and make sure you have some wine ready at the end of the day.  LOL

Good luck and have fun with this!

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 TIPS

If you are a regular reader, you know that I love to shop, but I don’t like to spend a lot of money. You also know that I follow other fashion bloggers, and that I learn a lot from them.  Today I am going to share (with her permission) some great tips from one of my favorite bloggers from When the Girls Rule  Here is what Julia wrote (slightly edited for length);  I have added a few thoughts of my own, which are in italics.

FIRST, you’re going to have to make more time to shop for yourself and to try things on. No longer can you run into a store on the way to picking up the kids. You can’t wait for the day before a big event to shop. You can’t just shop on your lunch hour. I know it’s hard to find more time in the day, but you’re going to have to give yourself more time to try on lots of items and try out many stores and brands. I would also strongly suggest that you NOT take your husband or kids…maybe a close friend or relative who is willing to help you. Just make sure you take turns…one day for you, one day for her. Don’t try to shop for both people on the same trip. As you gain more experience and confidence, you will be better off going by yourself. (Fewer distractions)

SECOND, expect to take lots of items into the dressing room and come out with one or none. Try them all on. And try on things that you think  probably won’t work, or are outside your comfort zone. If a certain style looks terrible, you will know not to try it again. But sometimes you will be surprised!  Give yourself time to try everything on. Look at yourself with that item on and notice what you like and what you don’t. Think color, fit, length, etc. I will easily take 30 items into a dressing room and come out with one or two. Just expect that outcome and adjust your expectations. Just think of yourself as a rare jewel and only rare items of clothing will be worthy to drape the jewel!

THIRD, now take the item home and try it on with what you already have. Were you under a spell in the dressing room? Do you already have the shoes or accessories to go with it? If you don’t are you willing to purchase them?  If not, just take it back! Otherwise those purple pants will just stay in your closet for years. 😉 Is it comfortable? Are you tugging or adjusting it a lot? Again, if so, take it back.  You will not wear something that is uncomfortable more than once no matter how cute it is.  Try it on with lot of items you already own, because sometimes there are some unexpected, positive combinations already there. And take pictures…even just with your cell phone in front of a mirror. If you find a great combination, it will help you to remember it; also helps you see if it really is flattering or NOT. Experiment with colors that you don’t normally put together…blue and brown, red and pink, yellow and black, whatever.You might make a really stunning outfit that way. Don’t try to match everything, unless you are going for a purely monochromatic look.

FOURTH, until you become familiar with a brand and their sizing, don’t order online. When you figure out a brand and their sizing, then it will be fine, and you can shop all you want online.

FIFTH, go to a store that has lots and lots of choices. You will have much better odds of finding something. Think Macy’s, Belk, Ross, TJ Maxx, or any store where you have a huge selection and good prices. 

SIXTH, and most important, when you’re in the dressing room and you try on something that doesn’t work, repeat to yourself, “It’s not me. It’s the clothes.”

I would also like to add that you should ALWAYS save your receipts, and DON’T REMOVE THE TAGS, until you are 100% sure you are going to wear the item. I have returned some items months after purchase.

I know we would all like to thank Julia for these great tips!

If you would like to read her original blog post, it is here:

Four Tips for Successful Shopping for Apple Shapes!

Happy Shopping!

 

GOODWILL HUNTING

Not too long ago, a couple of friends and I went on a mission. We started in the morning, and returned in the late afternoon.  Our mission?  To try to find cute clothes at the Goodwill stores in our area.

Mission accomplished!

Did you know that it was possible to find great stuff at Goodwill???  And the prices!!!  We purposely went on Tuesday, because in our area senior citizens get 25% off on Tuesdays. Oh my, does that ever make me feel cheap! But I don’t mind being cheap if it means I can buy some awesome clothes for ridiculously low prices. The price for tops was $4.92 before the discount!

One friend had scouted out a few stores ahead of time, so we planned to go to three or four that she thought were good….by good, I mean they were clean, organized stores with a wide selection of ladies’ clothing. There are many Goodwill stores within an hour of where we live, so we plotted our course and got on the road.

Remember I said that we planned to go to three or four stores? HA  We barely made it through two! But oh my goodness, did we hit the jackpot!

Now, you have to understand….there is a definite method to Goodwill shopping. It took me awhile to catch on, but I watched my friends who have had a lot of experience, and after I started doing what they did, I too had success.

Here is what they taught me:

  • Wear simple clothing that is easy to take off, and easy to put clothing over…do not wear bulky sweaters or something with a lot of buttons
  • GET A SHOPPING CART
  • Find out what the “color of the day” is. Any item with that color tag is 50% off
  • Take look around the store, and see where the ladies’ clothing is located
  • Go to one of the sections (pants, dresses, tops, sweaters, coats, etc)
  • You will notice that the clothes are arranged by color, not by size
  • Start looking for anything that catches your eye
  • Work fast. Don’t spend time looking at t-shirts, drab clothing, or brown items,  LOL
  • Pull out everything that you like or think you like, and put it in your cart
  • Don’t worry about the size, unless it is obviously way too small or way too large (If your friends are not the same size as you, pull and put in their cart)
  • Continue to move to the sections you are interested in (pants, skirts, etc)
  • Repeat the pulling process
  • After your cart is full, head to the dressing room
  • There is usually a mirror outside the dressing rooms, so try on as much as you can (like coats, sweaters, or tops) right there while you are waiting for a room to open up
  • Take the rest into the dressing room, and work fast
  • Ask for a friend’s opinion if you are not sure

If you do this correctly, you WILL find something. You need to have an open mind, and be willing to try on a lot of stuff.  If your town does not have a Goodwill with a large selection of ladies’ clothing, (or if you don’t want your friends to see you there….but then again…. you would be seeing them there too HAHA) check out other stores within driving distance. Most metropolitan areas have them in every community.

It does take some time, but what great shopping doesn’t? Plan to go when you are not in a hurry, and don’t take your husband or the kids. It is a good idea to go with a friend or two, because you can look for things for each other, and get unbiased opinions on things you try on.  After all, you wouldn’t want to make a $3.69 mistake! LOL

The friends I shopped with are very stylish and always look great. You would never imagine that they shopped at Goodwill!

Here is a cute jacket that I wore with black pants. I don’t know if you can see in the picture, but it has stripes.

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The jacket and bag were both purchased on this Goodwill trip.

I bet you would not have tried this on because it has shoulder pads! But you need to have an open mind.  Look how cute this is. And after I saw it, I would never remove the shoulder pads. I can see why they were so stylish at one time. The broader shoulders make your bottom half look smaller.

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Didn’t get a chance to style this, but it is the perfect jean jacket for me:

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Here are the items that I will save for spring:

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I bet by the time you see them on this blog next spring, you will have totally forgotten where they came from. 😉

I think our mission was very successful! And very low-cost.  The most expensive item I purchased (the gray wool blazer) was $5.22 .My lunch cost twice as much as that!

I don’t have a photo of it, but my friend hit the jackpot. She found an exquisite Calvin Klein cocktail dress in a gorgeous shade of purple. It looked brand new.

Sooo…..grab friend or two, and hit the road. Good hunting!  I would love to hear back from you if you have any luck.

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram. Just look for Over50under20.

That way you can see the outfits without having to read all my rambling. JK!!  I hope you will do both.

 

SWEATER SHOPPING

As you know, I have a lot of sweaters. I use them to add color, to hide my midsection, and to cover my arms. Even if you don’t need to hide your midsection or cover your arms, sweaters are still a great option for changing the look of a dress (like Old Blue) or for adding color, or for coordinating with accessories. And a black sweater is pretty much a necessity, like a pair of black pants.

I am not saying you need to wear a sweater every day. Even I get tired of the sweater look. But if you don’t have at least a couple of colorful cardigans, you are limiting your options.

Several of you have asked where I get my sweaters.  Many are old favorites, and I have no idea where they came from, but I have bought some recently, so thought I would share with you.

Good luck! Hope you can find some beautiful, colorful sweaters, so I will not be the only sweater girl around. 😉

Here are some links for cardigans. And of course do not pay more than $20!  If you click on any Amazon links to purchase, I do receive a small commission. The colors shown are just illustrations. All of these have multiple color options, starting at $13.95.

mbj-sweater

MBJ WSK780 Womens Keep It Classic V Neck Cardigan L WINE

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BILY Women Long Sleeve Transparent Button Cardigan Sweater Black Large

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NINEXIS Womens Basic Crew Neck Long Sleeve Button Down Cardigan RUST L

old-navy-sweater

http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=60783&vid=1&pid=278719002

There are many other places to get reasonably-priced cardigans. You just have to look. I have sweaters from the following places, so check them out. Sometimes there is a much better selection in the store than online.

The Loft, Gap, WalMart, Target, SteinMart, Macy’s, TJMaxx

My new favorite is the Made By Johnny (MBJ) available on Amazon.  There is a huge selection of colors, and the detailing is very nice. I love the row of buttons on the sleeve. I ordered the Large and it fits me perfectly. I can even button it:

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I know, I know. It is brown! But I just ordered in other colors. And I needed this color to go with a specific dress that I will show you in another post.

Thank you all so much for the comments and suggestions on Old Blue. It was so interesting to see what people liked! Some people loved one look that another person did not care for at all. There was not a clear favorite, but the two that got the most votes were:

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The whole point of the series was to show you that you can take one dress and wear it a million different ways. Some are definitely better than others. But that’s why it’s called TRIAL and ERROR. You have to experiment to find the right look.

FYI, if you are wondering, my personal favorite was the orange sweater and leopard scarf.  I just like the bright colors.

If you missed that series, here is a link to the first post:

OLD BLUE

Go buy a sweater!