Penny Pincher Fashion July 2013 | Penny Pincher Fashion

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

HOW TO SHOP: Fast Fashion


My site always has been & always will be focused around saving money & finding affordable fashion.  But, I've learned through the years (sometimes the hard way) that you haven't really scored a good deal if the item you come home with looks cheap or falls apart after only a few wears/washes.  

We all know that Forever 21 is an amazing source for fast fashion - they have trendy styles at low price points with an overwhelmingly large selection.  However, with the good also comes the not-so-good.  I've personally fallen victim to buying pieces there, only to regret it later on because it didn't last through even one season.  But, on the other hand, I have also found items that have held up for years and are still some of my most favorite to this day.  After taking time to evaluate the difference between those that last & those that don't, I decided to share with you my findings & advice for how to carefully select pieces that will go the distance.  

My first tip is to stock up on accessories! I have tons of costume jewelry from Forever 21 that looks so much more expensive than what I actually paid. During last year's NYFW, no less than 5 people asked me about my sparkling collar necklace: "It's Dannijo, right?".  To prove my point, I've rounded up some of my current favorites from their site, which all look higher-end than they really are (no one will ever know!):




In addition to being accessory-focused, here are the other rules that I now follow to ensure I'm making a wise purchase when navigating their site/store:

1) Don't settle - If the fabric looks cheap, the seam shows signs of puckering or it isn't comfortable, put it back.  Stay away from half-lined skirts, too-sheer polyester & anything with more than 50% acrylic in the label.
2) Alterations are key - If the fit isn't exactly perfect but everything else is good, smaller problems can easily be fixed with the help of an experienced tailor (waist nipped in, new buttons sewed on, sleeves slimmed, hem let out an inch).  These little changes can go a long way towards making an affordable item look much higher-end.
3) Beware of faux - Make sure it looks & feels as much like the real thing as possible.  Avoid vegan leather that has a super-shiny finish or faux fur with a straw-like texture.
4) Structure counts - I've had the best luck with pieces made of more substantial fabric like denim vests, chambray shirts, tailored blazers & wool-blend coats.  The fit tends to be better & they also hold up more nicely after multiple washes.  To that end, I've included a few of my top picks from Forever 21 that you can wear now + into fall, all under $40:


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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Striped Tees + Printed Shorts



This month's Old Navy post is featuring shorts & tees - but instead of pairing these basics together, I decided to show you different ways to wear each of these patterned pieces separately.  Their printed shorts in this 5" cut are the perfect length and so easily can be dressed up or down.  Admittedly, I already own an impressive selection of striped tops, but these t-shirts are so affordable, ideal for layering & with just the right amount of stretch...I couldn't resist stocking up on a few more.  I'd love to hear in the comments below which look is your favorite and how you like to change up versatile pieces like these for summer!


What I'm wearing:
GapKids top (similar here or here), Forever 21 blazer (similar here or here), c/o Old Navy Printed Twill Shorts (on sale!), c/o JustFab Anais Heels, ASOS clutch (in blue here or in black here), Zara ring (similar), A.V. Max Cuff c/o Lemon Stripes


What I'm wearing:
c/o Old Navy Vintage V-Neck Tee (only $6!), TinselTown Denim Couture jacket (similar here or here), Laundry by Shelli Segal skirt (similar here or here), ALDO sandals (similar), Olivia Burton watch (similar), Pulicati tote (similar), Bracelets: Vintage, c/o Chloe + Isabel & Forever 21 (similar)



What I'm wearing:
c/o Old Navy Perfect Crew-Neck Tee (only $6!), Banana Republic skirt (similar here or here), Ralph Lauren pumps (similar here or here), Zara bag (similar), Michael Kors watch (similar), Bracelets: Vintage & c/o Stella & Dot, Lips: Maybelline Are You Red-dy


What I'm wearing:
This post is sponsored by Old Navy. Check out Old Navy's latest fashion lineup in store or online at oldnavy.com.

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Girl in Green



This weekend was full of unpacking boxes & continuing to get settled in our new house - it's been a ton of work and I'll be so relieved when we're done!  But, we did finally take a break from the chaos & gave ourselves a well-deserved rest on Sunday.  After being in a t-shirt & shorts all week, it felt so nice to paint my nails & throw on a girly dress.  I also couldn't wait to try out my new phone case from caseable, which arrived late last week.  I had so much fun browsing through the amazing artwork on their site to create my own custom case & fell in love with this illustration when I came across it - isn't it cute?  If you're looking for something special & unique, I definitely recommend checking out their site!



  


What I'm wearing:
Isabel & Nina dress (similar herehere or here), Madewell belt (similar), ALDO sandals (similar), Zara Braided Shopper (on sale!) & ring (similar), ALDO FedoraExpress bracelet, Custom iPhone Case c/o caseable, Nails: Essie Chubby Cheeks

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Friday, July 26, 2013

Wardrobe Workhorse


One of the most-worn items in my closet is, without a doubt, my white blazer.  It instantly dresses up a simple tee + jeans, adds structure to girly dresses & is the ideal layering piece for the office.  Mine is a lightweight linen blend with a tailored shape that I can wear almost year-round.  Take a look at all the different ways I've styled mine below (which also clearly shows my love for pointed-toe pumps), then shop the options below to find your own.  Hint: since we're nearing the end of the season, it's the perfect time to buy!

1) Winter Florals // 2) Double Flare // 3) Double Peplum // 4) Agave Denim // 5) Short Order // 6) Whiteout

SHOP WHITE BLAZERS:



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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Must-Have Shoes


I just couldn't resist sharing these amazing & affordable shoes from Dorothy Perkins that I'm currently lusting after.  Most of these styles will transition effortlessly into fall + they're all under $80 (hard to believe, right?).  You can also get 15% off when you sign up for their newsletter & don't forget to use code DPSHIP50 for free shipping when you spend $50 or more!*




*This post is not sponsored by Dorothy Perkins - I am just a big fan of their brand & wanted to share these great finds with you!

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Bejeweled Peplum



When getting dressed up for girls night or date night, I usually gravitate towards skirts & dresses, but lately have found myself wearing shorts more and more (mainly because they are so comfortable).  And while I typically don't think about "layering" this time of year, I really love the idea of a collared button-down underneath a peplum top (last seen here).  Since these pieces are both so lightweight, I decided it would work just as well for summer with a sleeveless blouse...especially when the collar is a bejeweled one worth showing off.







What I'm wearing:
Forever 21 shirt (similar here or here), H&M peplum top (similar), Jennifer Lopez Shorts (similar)ALDO Pumps (similar), Mossimo clutch (similar), c/o T+J Designs cuff (similar), Target Sunglasses, Lips: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Sweetheart

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

20 Under $20


Since last month's edition was all about brights, I decided to go in the opposite direction for July with muted neutrals, soft prints & metallics.  I also chose pieces that would make great outfits when paired together - all these items are easy to mix & match to create different looks.  And because they are all $20 or less, you don't have to feel guilty about buying more than one!



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Monday, July 22, 2013

Denim + Stripes



As popular as the denim-on-denim trend (aka "Canadian tuxedo") has become, I still had yet to give the look a try.  But when I scored this vertical striped blazer on sale last week, I instantly knew it would add just the right amount of structure & polish to my favorite chambray shirt and distressed jeans.  Finished off with the most comfortable flats I own & a crossbody bag, this is comfortable & easy weekend style.





What I'm wearing:
Forever 21 chambray shirt (similar here or here), Gap blazer (similar - extra 20% off w/ code EVERYONE)
Forever 21 jeans, Old Navy oxfords (similar), Forever 21 bag (similar here or here), Bracelets: Vintage, 
c/o Stella & Dot, Forever 21 (similar), ASOS ring (similar), Forever 21 earrings
Simply Vera Vera Wang aviators (similar), Lips: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Sweetheart

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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Sale Alert


If you're a Nordstrom cardholder, then you may have already taken advantage of the amazing deals they have going on for their Anniversary Sale.  This is a great time to purchase an investment piece for less (like a tweed jacket, leather bag or knee-high riding boots).  For those of you who haven't shopped the sale yet, I've rounded up my top 25 picks for fall below - all under $100!   






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Friday, July 19, 2013

Keeping Cool



The heat wave in NY reached an all-time high this week, which had me sticking to my lightest & breeziest pieces possible.  A silk sleeveless top & airy pleated maxi kept me just as cool as a tank & shorts, but was the dressed-up option I needed for a day of lunch & window-shopping with my girlfriend.  I'm glad I took the opportunity to get a little break in before our big move this weekend - we get the keys to our new house tomorrow!  It's going to be a lot of work transitioning and though I'm sad to leave behind my closet room, I'm thrilled to be gaining my own home office (pictures to come soon).






What I'm wearing:
Victoria's Secret Silk Shirt (similar), Mango skirt (similar here or here), Report Mazur Sandals (under $35!), Zara Braided Shopper (on sale!), Pieces collar necklace (similar here or here), Bracelets: c/o Lulu's (similar) & Forever 21 (similar), Lips: Revlon Super Lustrous Kiss Me Coral

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Steals Under $30


Every year when we hit the middle of summer, I start to shift my thinking when it comes to purchases.  These pieces are styles you can wear now & will transition seamlessly into the next season with just a few small adjustments.  And the best part is that they are all under $30, so you can really stretch your wardrobe budget!




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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Blueprint



It's no secret that I love mixing prints together, but sometimes the chicest look is also the simplest.  So, if you're intimidated by pattern play, pair one bold item with monochrome pieces - it lets the print become the focal point...and it makes getting ready in the morning a much less complicated process!

I've been keeping my accessories pretty pared-down this summer, which makes statement jewelry, like this coral cuff, ideal for accenting my look without feeling weighed down.  DaisyGem is generously offering 5% off all orders for PPF readers + in addition to this discount, they will be donating 5% of the net proceeds of all orders placed to Pencils of Promise (an organization that helps provide education to children in impoverished areas of the country).  Just use code PENPRO5 at checkout (thru 7/24) to receive your discount & help a worthy cause!






What I'm wearing:
Old Navy Shirt, c/o Dorothy Perkins Jacket, Mossimo jeans (similar here or here), c/o JustFab Anais Heels, Zara bag (similar), c/o DaisyGem Coral CuffForever 21 Arrow Ring, Simply Vera Vera Wang aviators (similar), Nails: Essie Bikini So Teeny, Lips: Revlon Moon Drops Blase Apricot

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