Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Savvy Outfit of the Day - $31 J Crew Cool

Ever have one of those days when you just want to sit in the house all day long in your PJs? Yeah, I had one of those yesterday, but I had to get some eBay items I sold into the mail so I pulled together this outfit that reflected my mood...gray, oh, with a hint of red of course because I'm still alive and kicking, by golly!

The Breakdown
No Boundaries graphite graphic T ($10 Walmart/ARP $10), American Eagle Cream cords ($5 thrift store/ARP $40), lace tank top ($4 Rave/ARP $4), David Aaron suede kitten heels ($4 thrift store/ARP $50 David Aaron is owned by Steve Madden), JCrew thinsulate gray wool coat ($8 thrift store/ARP $150 ), Johnstons of Elgin scarf (a gift from my Tante in Germany over 10 years ago), red patent leather Coach gallery tote (a birthday present from a dear friend).

Grand Total: $31
Approximate Retail Cost: $254
(not including the Coach or scarf since they were gifts)
Savvy Savings: $223

I found this top when I was shopping at Walmart for household items. I thought it was pretty cute for just a casual top, and at $10, not a bad price either. It reminds me a little of Juicy Couture and some of those more trendy looking brands (I use to be in the music industry so it's ok if I go funky now and again). Like Clinton Kelly says, just keep the trend to one part of the outfit if you're a little "older" so that you don't look like you are trying too hard. At 40, I don't want to look like I'm trying too hard but I'm not ready for Golden Girls polyester!

Cream colored pants and a classic like this JCrew coat keep this from looking too casual. It would be easy to change the purse for a black purse and change the scarf to red and have a different outwear look. The gray coat is very versatile and although rather neutral in and of itself, great to pair with pink, red, blue, etc., and well, $8 for JCrew coat can't be beat.

So, a red purse. Who would have thought a red purse could be so versatile. I wear it all the time! The funny thing is that this comes from a woman who
never really carried a purse regularly till after I had Superstar #1 at the tender age of 33 (Yeah, I hear you gasping out there). I told you I was a tomboy growing up! Seriously, I'm thinking back and not a single purse stands out in my mind. I don't even remember what I did, though I vaguely remember using a wallet and sometimes stuffing money and my license into my back pocket.

Once kids, and all their STUFF came along, that chapter of my life shut rather soundly and yet another wonderful world opened up to me. The world of purses! It started out when I decided somewhere around the second child that A) I didn't need to carry around SO much stuff, a couple diapers & wipes would do and B) if this stage of carrying extra stuff was going to last for a couple years, why not carry the extra stuff in just a purse?

Thankfully the thrift store was my "laboratory" which allowed me to try different purses without breaking the bank. With the help of eBay (and the selling off of purses that didn't work as well for me), I was able to slowly start a collection of purses that were not only useful but FUN. I like how I can "dress up" an outfit like this one, with a pop of color. Any number of black leather purses would have been fine with this outfit, but the red is a nice surprise that stands out a little more and I love it.

On a side note, I do have several different wallets as well, but I find that changing over from one purse to another is enough changing for me. I do occasionally swap one out when the clash between purse and wallet is too much, but for the most part I'm not organized enough to do so on a regular basis.

Changing purses is easy. I generally have but a few things to switch over: wallet (a gorgeous Kate Landry electric blue patent leather wallet I got at Dillard's last year for $8), make-up bag (a cute studded Coach wristlet I found at the thrift store for $6 last summer), cell phone, and MP3 player. Sure I may collect a few things along the way or throw in the antibacterial wipes for the Superstars when the purse is big enough to do so, but for the most part, that's it. Changing purses has been a great way to keep me organized as well.

One last note for the day, another great thing about savvy shopping is that I've gotten a chance to try things I wouldn't ordinarily try. For instance, the bright blue Kate Landry wallet. Had it not been $8 I would not have bought it. It's now my favorite. I get tons of compliments on it from teenager cashiers on up to people as old as me and older (ha, ha, ha), and it's easy to clean, a definite plus in my world with Superstars!

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