Rain, Rain, Go Away

Bad weather can be depressing! However, you can still look stylish on a rainy day. From what type of material you can wear to how to stay dry without sacrificing style, dressing well when it is rainy out just requires a little planning in advance. Here are some of my rainy days tips.

1. Add a pop of color. Do not be scared to wear something fun and bright on a rainy day. Nothing brightens my mood more than a bold colored outfit.

2. Invest in a class trench coat. Trench coats can be inexpensive and super cute. They are such a classic and essential piece to have in your wardrobe. They are perfect for all occasions and especially rainy days.

3. Be careful of the materials you wear. Obviously suede is not a good choice. I would avoid leather shoes that have not been treated as well. You do not want to ruin your shoes.

4. Go crazy with the rain boots. There are so many cute rain boots out there today to fit everyone’s sense of style. Like scarves, they literally come in every color. Have fun and find a pair you love!

5. A sassy umbrella can be an awesome accessory. There are so many choices, so you do not have to stick to boring black.

A rainy day could dampen your inner fashionista, but do not let it. You can avoid becoming a rainy day disaster by planning ahead.

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What Gretchen Wore

I am a little obsessed with polka dots right now.  I found this black and white polka dot dress last weekend when I was looking for something completely different of course.  The sale at Macy’s was just too good to pass up!  Everything on their sale racks was 75% off.  I added a little pop of color with my fuchsia peep toes pump.  When the weather starts to get a little chilly, I will just add the black fitted jacket I already own.  By the way, a black fitted jacket is a must have for fall / winter.

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Please ignore my squinty eyes and blowing hair.  The wind and sun were not cooperating with this photo shoot.

Maximize Your Wardrobe Budget

The thought of having a closet full of clothes you love sounds amazing, but trying to afford it can seem scary. But even on the tiniest budget, a little bit of strategy and a few simple tricks can get you a great wardrobe without taking the fun out of shopping. I will help you figure out how much to spend, what purchases will have the biggest impact, how to find quality clothes for a good price and how to get the most out of your shopping trip.

When I go shopping, I try to live by the motto, “buy less, but choose well.” I try to treat my shopping like a treasure hunt for the ultimate wardrobe. When I buy new clothes, I make a shopping list, size up my options, and stick to the 70/30 rule.  70% of your closet should be classic pieces like a great white top and awesome black handbag, and the 30% should be for trendy, fun pieces like a hot pair of fuchsia pumps. That way, your closet is always in balance.  As a result, I have been able to find better clothes for my body, personality and budget. I am building a wardrobe that I love wearing everyday, and can actually afford. You can do it too. Let me show you how to shop on a budget, but still buy nice clothes and have fun doing it.

Have you ever seen a stylist’s mood board plastered with magazine pages, fabric swatches, photos of celebrities, postcards of art, and other random stuff? Stylists use these collages to capture a specific mood or style while working on a project. You should do the same. Before you go shopping, think of yourself as your own personal stylist and improving your closet as your current project. Your goal is to build on what you have, enhancing and adding to your collection of clothes.  Here are some tips.

  • Get Inspired – Gather style inspiration images in one place. Look carefully for common threads like colors, prints, and clothing shapes.
  • Make a Wish List Based on What You Own – Make a wish list of clothes that complement the favorites you already own. See what you realistically like to wear everyday. Keeping an actual record of what you wear may reveal some surprising trends in your wardrobe. While making your wish list, think about items that might pair well with your most worn items. You will get the most wear out of new items that look great with your current favorites.
  • Avoid Repeat Purchases – Look at the clothes you still have from last season and compare them to your wish list. You may actually own similar items to those you were hoping to buy. Unless the ones you own are worn out and need replacement, you can take some of these off your wish list, freeing up room in your budget for higher-impact purchases.
  • Find the Right Place To Shop – Look for a mall, street, or shopping center that has more than one store you want to visit. This will help you avoid wasting time browsing stores that do not have the products you are looking for.

Fall Wardrobe Essentials

Soon the weather will be cooling down, and we will start to feel a bit of a chill in the air. So as summer draws to a close, you may be wondering what items to pull from storage and what you should buy new to transition into a fabulous fall wardrobe. Just follow my basic guidelines and start with these fall wardrobe essentials. You will be on your way to a stylish autumn season. Deep, rich colors and pieces for layering on cooler days are essential to the fall wardrobe. Earthy fabrics and knits bring warmth to a cold season, and subtle metallics and leather also make a comeback this time of year.

1. Long sleeved tees  Perfect for layering, long sleeved tees will keep you warm and add depth to a fall outfit. Blacks, grays, and creams are good colors to start with and can be layered under some of your more versatile warm weather clothes if needed.

2. A pullover sweater  A pullover can be a lifesaver when weather suddenly changes. Choose close knit styles for a tailored look or bulkier knits when you just want to cozy up with a good book and your favorite cool weather beverage.

3.  Boots This one is almost self-explanatory, but there are many styles, heights, and colors when it comes to boots. Choose a pair or two of favorites like ankle, knee-high, or mid-calf boots and switch things up depending on the weather.

4. Leggings and tights – Leggings and tights come in a huge variety of patterns and colors. There really is something for everyone. The bare legged styles of summer may not be warm enough for the fall months, but a good set of leggings can extend the life of some of your favorites, and tights make any skirt more practical.

5. Scarves – Another accessory worth stocking in many colors and styles is definitely the scarf. You can still wear scarves made of sheer fabrics during autumn, but can also start to introduce bulkier, warmer varieties.

6. Cardigans – Cardigans are another versatile essential for the fall. They can be found with or without buttons, long-sleeved, ¾ sleeved, colored, patterned, with hoods, and in all kinds of fabrics. For a staple, go with a neutral color that you can get a lot of wear out of, but if you have the budget for a second cardigan choose something fun.

7. Leather  I could be more specific, but if you choose even a single leather item for your closet this year, you will be on the right path. A leather pencil skirt, pants, or a jacket are great additions to any outfit.

8. A loose blouse  You just cannot go wrong where a blouse is concerned, no matter the season. Plus, they are perfect for pairing under a cardigan or pullover if it turns extra chilly.  For fall, choose darker, rich colors (try jewel tones) or creamy neutrals.

9. A sweatshirt / hoodie  There are going to be gray, drizzly mornings this autumn when you wake up and think one thing….I wanna be comfy. Those are the mornings to don your favorite hoodie and jeans. But a comfy outfit does not have to be a frumpy one. Go for a more fitted sweatshirt that flatters rather than covers your curves.

10. Metallic accessories If you have got your other essentials hanging in the closet it is time to add some bling. A little bit of metallic jewelry will go a long way in jazzing up your basics and you can start to look for clothing with built-in sparkle as well. Keep it subtle at first – bronze, gold, brushed metallics – then slowly kick things up by adding in more silver and sparkle as the weather cools.

Friday Favorites

As you probably already gathered, I am a shopaholic.  I could shop every weekend if my budget would allow it.   I wanted share some items I have purchased recently that I have not blogged about and where to find them.

My favorite jewelry store is Charming Charlie.  In my opinion, it is a grown up version of Claires.  I found an awesome cocktail ring similar to this one for only $10.  I have already wore it three times, so my cost per wear is ridiculously inexpensive.

cocktail ring

I found these booties last week on Justfab.com.  When you sign up for Justfab.com, is it $39.95 and they will send you a new pair of shoes or boots every month. You can skip a month or two if it is not in your budget that month, and your credit card will not be billed. These booties should be arriving any day on my doorstep.  Who is ready for boot season?

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I bought a silver chevron necklace a couple of weeks ago at Ann Taylor Loft for less than $20.  I seem to be wearing it more than once a week.  So again, my cost per wear is awesome.  Here is a picture of a similar one.

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These bad boys are from my shopping trip to Atlanta last month.  I was not even looking for shoes on this shopping trip, but now I cannot wait to wear them.  I found them at DSW for under $50.  Anyway, who leaves DSW empty handed…..I had to have these.

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My last favorite item is my white zippered vest from Ann Taylor Loft.  I found this when I had a coupon, so it was only $30.   I am literally wearing it today over a royal blue jersey dress with the silver chevron necklace.

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Pictures from Pinterest, EBay and Charming Charlie.