Penny Pincher Fashion Penny Pincher Fashion

Monday, January 23, 2017

Luxe Neutrals

After the craziness of last week's schedule, it felt so good to take some time to rest & recharge over the last few days. My husband is finally home after nearly non-stop travel for a month & I got the chance to see La La Land, which was the best movie I've gone to in years.  Unbelievably, we had balmy weather again on Saturday & Sunday, so I could get away without having to wear tights (yay!).  

Since I was living in my "mom clothes" and workout gear for several days in a row, I was anxious to dress up a bit for an outing with my husband.  This rich toffee wrap coat is so warm & soft - I actually double checked the label when it arrived because it felt like cashmere!  It adds a sophisticated touch to modern pieces like a speckled sweater & military-inspired booties.  Here are a few ways I'd rework these items into different looks:

* Wear the turtleneck & boots with skinny jeans & a faux fur vest (add a red lip for a pop of color)
* Swap out the skirt for white denim, slip on flat loafers or comfy sneakers and layer the turtleneck under a tan moto jacket (I'm still crushing on this one)
* Wear the white skirt with a tucked-in bow blouse, paired with pointed pumps & a ladylike satchel
* Layer an ivory cable-knit sweater under the wrap coat, add a plaid scarf & pair with burgundy trousers & strappy pumps

What I'm wearing:
c/o River Island Skirt (similar here or here), c/o Dorothy Perkins Boots


Friday, January 20, 2017

January Q&A

One thing I do at the beginning of every year is evaluate the content that has been the most successful here on PPF. My measure for success is probably different than many other bloggers because I'm not looking at monetary achievements - I'm most interested in what gets you engaged, what you tend to respond to the most & what resonates with the widest range of women.  Because I receive quite a few emails requesting assistance with finding specific items or asking for advice in a particular area, I've decided these might be helpful to share on this platform for everyone's benefit.

This will be an ongoing series where I'll be answering questions that I've received over the course of a month.  If you have some that you'd like to send in for February, please email me & I will do my best to include as many as possible. My goal is to address a broader scope of topics in these posts (fitness, lifestyle, parenting, etc.), so nothing is off limits!  I'm always so grateful to receive constructive feedback because I rely heavily on your input to create more useful content - so, I hope this new series will be one that you enjoy!

1) My husband washed & shrank my favorite cargo jacket that I wear all the time.  Can you help me find an affordable replacement?


2) I started Whole30 at the beginning of January & feel like I've been eating the same combination of foods over and over again.  Do you have any go-to recipes that are simple to make?

Although I do enjoy paleo baked goods & gluten-free treats occasionally, the majority of the meals I eat are Whole30-approved.  I've found what works best for me is to do my recipe research on Saturday morning, make out a list of the ingredients I need, get my grocery shopping done that afternoon & then prep all my meals for the week on Sunday after church.  I have tried lots of recipes over the last 3 years & these are a few of my favorites that I make over and over again:

Sweet Chili Salmon (another quick salmon idea here)
Stuffed Squash (sometimes I swap out the squash for peppers or zucchini boats)
Cauliflower Fried Rice (serve as a side dish or make it a meal by adding shrimp) 
TIP: if you're getting tired of eggs for breakfast, try this (I make a double batch & freeze it!)

3) I've noticed that facial masks are a big beauty trend right now & I'd love to try some, but don't want to spend a lot to find a formula that I love.  

At-home masks are a great way to pamper your skin & help replenish your skin, especially during the winter months.  But, no one wants to buy a big tub of product only to be disappointed by the results...which is why I recommend trying small bottles or single-use sheet masks.  Most of these come in larger containers that you can purchase later if you like the formula.  I suggest choosing one that targets your particular skin needs - I've included a variety of options below:

NOTE: If you're willing to spend a little more, I highly recommend this charcoal mask.  
It's my absolute favorite & all my friends have fallen in love with it too!

4) I've finally started investing in quality wardrobe staples and want to make sure I'm protecting & storing them properly so they last.  How do you care for your real leather handbags & shoes to keep them looking nice?

I spray all of my suede shoes & bags with a waterproof protector & swear by this cleaning kit for getting out spots (the brush is key!).  Most designer purses will come with their own dust bag, but if you've purchased yours on clearance or second hand, it's a good idea to buy one to store your handbag in.  I also recommend using an insert for bags that are larger and/or very soft leather so they keep their shape while not in use.  Here are some must-have products that will help you care for your leather & suede bags and shoes:

5) I just finished breastfeeding my son and found that my bust size has changed from what it was pre-pregnancy.  I would love some recommendations for everyday bras that are supportive & comfortable for a busy mom.

Believe it or not, my favorite t-shirt bras are from Gap & Aerie.  I have this one in three different colors & it works under my most fitted shirts and washes up so well (there's a wireless option here).  This scalloped bralette is another one of my favorites because it has a pretty design & it's super comfortable (if you have a larger bust, this one is a more supportive option).  These are my top picks for comfortable everyday bras:


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Ivory Fringe

I'm taking a little break from winter wear today to share a spring-like look with you, mainly because we just had to take advantage of our unseasonably warm weather before it disappeared again.  My husband has been traveling all this week, which means I've been holding down the fort on my own - between carpool, musical theater rehearsals (my daughter just got a part in The Wizard of Oz) and my own work deadlines, I'm feeling so ready for the weekend!

This outfit is one of my favorite mom on-the-go/casual weekend looks - a soft cardigan, slouchy tee, boyfriend jeans & comfy flats.  When you add in special details like fringe, patchwork & a little sparkle, it makes even this combination of basic items feel polished & chic.  Cardigans are essential for that in-between weather when you're ready to shed your coat, but still need an extra layer of warmth - I'm realizing I don't own nearly enough of them in my wardrobe!  Some more to love are this cable-knit, this nautical-inspired option & this classic striped style.

What I'm wearing:
T Tahari Fringe Cardigan (similar under $20, under $25under $30 or under $60), 
Caslon Slub Tee (v-neck option here or here), c/o Arizona Jeans (similar here or here), 
Jeffrey Campbell Flats (more colors here), c/o Old Navy Bucket Bag (in nude here), 
Anthropologie Necklace (also love this & this), c/o BaubleBar Rings,
Lips: Trish McEvoy (Plum Brown), Nails: Essie Good As Gold



Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Closet Cravings

Today is the first post in a new seasonal series where Abbey & I will be sharing our personal wish lists with you. Since I'm on a shopping freeze until the end of the month, I've been doing a lot of "window shopping" - basically, this consists of stalking items online, bookmarking them and going back to purchase once February hits.  This typically works quite well because waiting a few weeks allows for some items to go on sale.  

We have both compiled a few of the pieces below that we'd love to add to our wardrobe for the coming season and we're sharing why we selected them + some additional affordable options for those items with a higher price point. We'd love to hear what you've got your eye on for spring - if there's anything specific that you need help finding, feel free to email us & we'll help you track it down for less!


Every year when spring rolls around, I tell myself I'm going to invest in a high quality trench...but I have had the hardest time finding one in the right color with all the details I'm looking for.  This one has the classic double-breasted shape I'm wanting + the faux horn buttons give it a luxe feel.  I've dug up some more trench options here: under $160under $140, under $100under $60under $45.

Blush Cold-Shoulder Blouse
I happily embraced the off-the-shoulder trend last summer, but quickly discovered that it wasn't always the most practical choice because it can be hard to keep them in place throughout the day.  This top is a genius hybrid because it has the same look, but the straps help everything stay put so you aren't constantly adjusting (and no need for a strapless bra!).

Horn Spike Earrings
I'm definitely a fan of statement earrings, but you don't always have to go big in size to create an impact.  The cool modern design of these horn earrings gives them a refined feel with a bit of edge.  They're small enough to wear every day + the neutral color means they'll go with just about everything.  I've recently fallen in love with this brand because all their pieces are sleek & elegant - see the full collection here.

Woven Bucket Bag
We're heading to Mexico in exactly one month, so I'm beginning to plan out my packing list for our trip.  I already have a larger catch-all tote for the beach, but this woven bucket bag would be the ideal size & style to carry on our daily adventures & into town.  I also love this embellished crossbody & this straw bag.

These might just be the perfect spring shoe - they have a sturdy block heel, modern shape & woven texture that makes them look much more expensive.  Plus, the rose gold finish will go with everything from relaxed denim to flowy skirts.  I'm also eyeing these metallic loafers (on sale now!) & these scalloped flats.

I'm always on the look-out for simple everyday jewelry that will add a little polish to my looks without feeling overly fussy.  This hammered pendant is lightweight & versatile enough to wear with basic tees & sweaters or my favorite tops & dresses.  Other pretty styles to try are this layered necklace, this spike pendant & this dainty chain.

Button Flared Trousers
I am a sucker for anything with nautical details and these sophisticated pants are reminiscent of a Balmain style that I was lusting after, but could never afford.  I'd pair them with a silky white blouse & bold red lip.


Leather Strap Watch
I'm always drawn to jewelry styles that are a little bit quirky, so this leather watch has been on my wish list for a while.  I like that the design is fun & unique, but that it has a classic shape, so it will go with everything in my closet - more options to try here, here & here.

Fringe Hem Jeans
I've almost completely converted my denim collection to high-waisted versions and now that we're approaching spring, I'm anxious to get a light-washed pair.  The raw fringe hem on these gives them a cool modern feel that will pair perfectly with loafers & strappy sandals for both casual and date night looks.

Flare Sleeve Top
Exaggerated sleeves are definitely having a moment right now & I'm finally ready to embrace this trend.  I think the key is to find a style that is as simple & chic as possible, like this fluted-sleeve top.  The crisp white poplin would make a great backdrop for a sparkling statement necklace.

Black Moto Jacket
I've had a black moto jacket on my wish list forever, but I've been holding out for a faux leather option that feels & looks like the real thing.  I was eyeing this one before the holidays and was so happy to see it finally go on sale - the shape & detailing are just what I've been looking for.  Here are some more affordable styles I love: under $50under $60, under $80, under $90 & under $100.

Metallic Block Heel Sandals
I have quite the assortment of statement shoes, but one type that's been missing from my closet is a metallic option. The crackled leather finish of this pair makes them more wearable and less futuristic than other silver styles I've seen & I like that the heel is a substantial width.

The neck scarf trend is one I'm fully on board with and I've been searching for a more casual style, but didn't want one that looked like a bandana.  This navy printed scarf has a laid-back feel that will be ideal for wearing with striped tee & denim jacket for an easy weekend look.

Tweed Crossbody Bag
It was love at first sight when I came across this little pink bag.  The tweed fabric makes it versatile enough to wear now and the lighter color will transition nicely into spring & summer (it also comes in a smaller clutch here).  


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Ring The Bell

One of the fall trends I was quick to embrace was bell-sleeves & I'm happy to see that this style has got some staying power and will be sticking around through the spring & summer months.  This sweater has perhaps the most exaggerated sleeves of any that I own, but I love it paired with a simple skirt, silk neckerchief & lace-up booties. You could easily add tights to this look (and a wool coat) - this fleece-lined pair are my favorite to wear in the winter because they keep you toasty warm.  If you're worried about the excess fabric of the bell-shape getting in the way, you can opt for a 3/4-length sleeve style with a similar flare, which has a less dramatic (but equally pretty) effect - see more of my favorite affordable options below.

What I'm wearing:
BCBG Sweater (similar here or here), thrifted Milly Skirt (similar herehere or here), 
Who What Wear Scarf (similar here or here), Mossimo Booties (similar), 
NastyGal Bag (similar here or here), BaubleBar Earrings, Similar Rings
c/o Abaco Sunglasses (also in black & tortoise)