30 10 / 2011
Feeling like a walk, (or saunter), on the sexy side of life? Slip into one of fall’s hottest pieces: the beautifully bold bustier.
It was difficult to locate items that didn’t look like they belonged to one of tomorrow night’s festive frolickers, but a few stores managed to exude the essence of chic, not cheap.
Forever21 brings the rocker edge:
(Sequins and leather and sex appeal, oh my! First item available for $19.80; second piece available for $24.80. Images and prices from Forever21.com.)
From JCPenny’s Olsenboye collection, a clearance item with a more girly take on the trend:
(Down from $50.00 dollars to $24.00! Pair with a cozy sweater to bring this sweet and summery item into fall. Image and price from JCPenny.com.)
Lulus has the last budget option with a little basic black bustier:
(Flirty for $30.00! Sweeten with a full skirt and jacket or spice up with skinny jeans and heels. Photo and price from lulus.com.)
For a bit more you can channel your inner Sophia Loren with this Modcloth morsel:
(Inspire amore in this little number for $64.99! Price and photo from modcloth.com.)
To channeling your inner siren without splurging,
14 10 / 2011
Fall’s latest trend can only be described as demurely daring; rather than completely bare a sinuous stretch of skin, designers have opted to wrap it in sheer fabric, offering only tantalizing glimpses of what lies beneath.
(Olivia Wilde looking gorgeous in floor-length gown with some seriously sexy sheer sides. Image from streetglamourtoday.com.)
We’ll start with the more casual options, offered by our ol’ reliable (Forever21):
(Forever21 has got a ton of great casual options under its “GLAM IN BLACK” portion of the website…these three immediately caught my eye for their interpretations of the sheer trend! First item available for $19.80, second for $17.80, and third for $19.80. Images and prices from Forever21.com.)
Charlotte Russe has a few items that read more sexy siren than casual chic:
(Two trends in one: lace and sheer paneling! First dress also available in black and blue for $34.99, second also available in white for $29.99, and third also available in black for $29.99. Images and prices from charlotterusse.com.)
Sophisticated elegance is what Lulu’s brings to the table with its interpretations:
(I’ve gotta say, even though these are about ten dollars more than Charlotte Russe’s dresses, they’re actually my three favorite options. It might be that they would flatter my curvy body type; someone with a taller, slimmer frame might be better suited to Forever21’s rocker cool aesthetic. I think Charlotte Russe’s could flatter the gamut of figures. First dress also available in red for $39.00, second also available in burgundy for $41.00, and the third also available in red for $42.00. Images and prices from lulus.com.)
To sheer will in bargain-hunting for trendy pieces,
09 10 / 2011
Want jeans as spicy as you are? Look no farther than jeans in red, fall’s favored fashion hue.
(Hayden Panettiere rockin’ some jeans with attitude in the Big Apple. Sadly for us, her J Brand jeans are rockin’ a price tag of over two hundred dollars. Image from denimology.com/price from polyvore.com.)
Wet Seal has some fantastic flares in “biking red” for sale for $19.50 online:
(Perfect for those who prefer a little looser cut! Image and price from wetseal.com.)
Forever21 has a similar pair of darker red flare jeans as well as a brighter skinny pair for a just a few more dollars:
(I’ve gotta say, I’m really loving the bright ones! There’s something about that fire-engine red that really captures a spirit of youthful boldness. Flare leg jeans available for $24.80; skinny jeans available for $22.80. Images and prices from forever21.com.)
I fully approve of Hayden’s pairing of her jeans with a tough leather jacket; these bottoms are truly ideal for a night when you want a vibe more punk rock than cute and casual. And where better to find items that embody young punk rock than Hot Topic?
(What’s great about these is that we finally have the option of finding both blindingly bright skinny jeans and the more elusive darker red skinny jeans all in one place! First pair available for $29.00/second for $34.50. Images and prices from hottopic.com.)
To awesomely-priced punk instead of budget blues,
24 9 / 2011
Target’s been in the news lately for the Missoni collection fiasco, but I’m less interested in infamy than tried-and-true; I went into the store yesterday and made a beeline for a section that never disappoints: the shoe aisle.
I found a great pair of suede platform pumps that came in red, black, taupe, and gray for only $29.99:
(Mossimo’s paisley suede pumps are my new “Goldilocks” heels…not so high as to be unmanageable, and not so low as to read “dowdy.” Image and price from target.com.)
My second find was in line with fashion’s fascination with all things fair and feminine:
(Xhilaration’s Shannon pump is available in silver, black, and red for only $19.99! This heel is a dealImage and price from target.com.)
I’ve been looking for some footwear in the wine color that is all the rage now that also won’t require a bottle of Pinot Noir to forget the fact that walking around all day in them has caused your feet to turn into blistered meat slabs. I found what I was looking for in these Merona wedges:
(Merona Milena Suede Wedges available in black, gray, and red for $29.99. I love items like this that can be adorably appropriate whether you’re stuck behind a desk all day or constantly on your feet! Warning: head into the store for the black and gray options, as they appear to be sold out online. Image and price from target.com.)
To shoe cravings that end with savings,
14 9 / 2011
Living in the South means you have three choices when the weather’s hot and humid, (which it usually is): bum it in your athletic shorts, give Daisy Duke a run for her money, or find some smart-looking shorts in a quality material. Given the choices, I would take a style cue from film actress and fashion darling Emma Watson and opt for the third selection. (If it’s cooling down where you live, this post still applies; just add tights for a fall weather-appropriate take).
(Emma looking amazing in lace shorts. Image from socialitelife.com)
She looks fantastic, but I’m going to take a wild guess and say that this outfit is probably affordable only to an actress as successful as Watson. Luckily, Modcloth and Forever21 have a budget friendly take on two key pieces of this outfit: the lace shorts and the blush blazer. Several sites offer good deals on the nude pumps.
After seeing the shorts selection, I would turn to Modcloth in a time of style need. Every other store, including my beloved Forever21, has options that are either more casual than upscale, or more dowdy than stylish. Need proof? Look no farther than these “Take the Cake Tea Shorts.”
(A bargain for the quality at $44.99. Image from modcloth.com)
You’ve seen the blush blazer before, as worn by the gorgeous Blake Lively two posts ago. Here it is again, from Forever21:
($29.80 from forever21.com. It’s turning out to be quite the versatile blazer: useful for creating looks both uptown and quirky chic!)
Finally, the nude pumps. Sometimes timeless transcends trends; a nude heel will never not be in vogue, (as an added bonus, they make your legs look crazy long).
I found two options for the heels, courtesy of amiclubwear.com and payless.com:
(First pair from amiclubwear.com for $18.99, second from payless.com for $34.99. Whether the nude veers towards pink or beige, each pair of pumps is a deal!)
To the inexpensive emulation of an icon,
12 9 / 2011
You know her as one of the original, (and most popular), YouTube makeup gurus; with a flick of the wrist, she is capable of everything from showing the proper method of applying eyeliner to creating a creepy and complex Tim Burton inspired look. I think of Michelle Phan as the savvy lady who helped me save a ton of dough with a simple trick.
(Now you see her, now you don’t. Images from tyeshadaniels.blogspot.com and thegirliegeekblog.com)
The foundation of a flawless makeup look is…well, foundation. For those of us who don’t have flawless skin, foundation is not optional. I used to apply mine with my fingers, but found that come noon my foundation looked splotchy and uneven, if it even showed up at all.
I thought the solution would be sponges like these:
(32 pack of Studio Tools Latex Sponges for 2.79. Photo and price from target.com)
The problem wasn’t with the job they did; my foundation was much more evenly applied. Unfortunately, it isn’t advisable to reuse makeup sponges, (germs!). And an added monthly expense was the last thing I needed.
Enter Michelle Phan. Artist that she is, she uses a brush to apply her foundation. I excitedly went to my local Walmart and bought one of these:
(A $5.00 Paris Presents: Foundation and Concealer Brush; price and photo from walmart.com).
The foundation was as evenly coated as when I used the sponges, but what to do once I had dragged it all across my face? The Phan came to the rescue with this video which shows how a minuscule amount of detergent and olive oil can completely clean your brushes without drying them out. Using common household items, you can save so much money and still look phlawless:)
To being Michelle’s Phan,
27 8 / 2011
You don’t have to travel all the way to Neverland to snag a fantastically trendy Peter Pan collar! Celebrities such as Alexa Chung and Emma Watson have turned the look into a fall must-have; (don’t worry, Americans can pull off this trend too!)
(Image from bloglovin.com. Love that she kept it street chic yet sophisticated!)
The best budget-friendly option I’ve founds is from our old friend Forever21. Again, I couldn’t seem to find it online, but luckily I had snapped it up last week in the store.
This top was less than $20.00; the excellent price was only one of several reasons I snatched it from the rack like there was no tomorrow, however. The Peter Pan collar, as a youthful look, can easily become too juvenile, but the quality of fabric and simple black and white color assures the modern look will not stray into childish territory.
To be extra careful, I pair this top with black skinny jeans and heels. Come to think of it, Forever21’s black skinny jeans are online, and at an excellent price. Be sure you know your European size though, as it seems this shop is following the trend of confusing its shoppers with its sizing system. When I went in the store, I was like, “try on ALL the jeans!” (I swear the hyperboleandahalf meme has penetrated my subconscious by now.)
( For only $10.50, these jeans are yours, ladies! Picture and price from Forever21.com).
Almost an entire outfit for around $30.00 sounds like a fantasy worthy of J.M. Barrie’s imagination to me…thanks again, Forever21!
—To fulfilling budget fantasies,
18 8 / 2011
I’ve decided: if I ever get married, I will definitely skip the traditional white wedding gown in favor of a chic, (and infinitely more flattering), blush dress. Apparently I’m not alone in my adoration of the subtle tint; fashion has fallen again for the rosy tone. From rose-gold jewelry, (which flatters every skin tone), to light pink frocks, blush is undoubtedly one of the season’s hottest colors. There’s just something about a shade named after the flush on your cheeks when you spot that special someone. Is there any color more associated with romance?
The one and only Carrie Bradshaw wore a blush Jill Stuart ruffle dress in part one of the SATC finale; what more significant shade to wear while telling your true love about moving to Paris, the most romantic city in the world? (Alright, so she was moving there with another man, but who said love was simple?)
(Designer info and gorgeous photo from http://www.fashionist.ca/2010/05/sex-and-the-city-carrie-bradshaws-20-most-memorable-fashion-moments.html).
Fortunately, finding similar dress for your own passionate encounters is simple. Now that the subtle color is red hot again, you can strut your stuff in your very own blush outfit without sacrificing your life savings.
(Photo and price from forever21.com)
This delicate strapless will only set you back $24.80! It’s available online, so no need for you busy bees to lug yourselves to the store if you know your measurements. Yes, the dress is on the lighter side of the blush spectrum, but it has that same sweet-as-cotton-candy feel without a sour price tag. With all the money you save, you can go on as many dates as you want with whomever makes you blush!
-To your rosy romances,
16 8 / 2011
No outfit, no matter how cute, (or inexpensive!), is complete without a complementary makeup look. Unfortunately, good palettes can get as expensive as designer duds. Even worse, you probably know how you want to wear any clothing you buy; makeup, however, (particularly bright tones), may require a bit of tutoring to prevent a hot Sci-fi mess. But to whom can you turn, in your color conundrum, when all the Youtube makeup greats use expensive brands like MAC?
Enter my new favorite makeup guru, Youtube user emilynoel83. She has saved my life many times, because not only does she upload easy-to-understand tutorials, but, a girl after my own heart, she provides affordable versions of must-have makeup.
The makeup shade, (yes, as in singular), my friends went in on for my birthday was lustily labeled “Naked Lunch.” It was glorious shade of pink that was neither too harsh nor too light; a perfect girly tint that registered sophisticated and feminine instead of glittery and prepubescent. It also cost about $15.00.
(My costly birthday present: photo from onlineshoppingx.com)
Much to my delight, my talented teacher has recently posted a video entitled “Affordable MAC Eyeshadow Dupes!” She scoured the aisles of many a drugstore to find exact matches of their most popular eyeshadows for a fraction of the cost.
Case in point, she found a match for “Naked Lunch” and two other MAC shades for $3.00 in a Wet’nWild palette. That’s right, folks, three shadows for three dollars as opposed to three shadows for $45.00. A total of $42.00 in savings is okay by me!
(Oh, sweet savings! There’s the shade, labeled “EYELID!” Picture thanks to beauty-besties.blogspot.com).
Visit Emily on her youtube channel, as mentioned above, for all the duplicates and a slew of other tutorials dedicated to making you as adept with makeup as she is. Love the looks, love the shades, and love the savings!
Here’s the video itself: http://www.youtube.com/user/emilynoel83#p/u/18/YILFQeZZ5SI
Here’s to you(tube),