Penny Pincher Fashion March 2014 | Penny Pincher Fashion

Monday, March 31, 2014

Now & Later


For my 2nd installment in this series (see the first one here), I decided to focus on a piece that I keep getting questions about...the midi skirt.  Its popularity is nothing new (I was talking about them last summer), but it has certainly gained serious momentum for spring.  Though the full dramatic styles are gorgeous statement-makers, I think a lightweight flowing option is much more wearable for every day.  

The key to making this length work is to pay close attention to proportions.  It looks best with tops that are either cropped, tucked-in or knotted at the waist.  If you need to add another layer for warmth, make sure it's a jacket or blazer that is fitted and shorter in length - denim & moto styles are perfect for this & provide just the right amount of contrast.  For those of you who are petite, be sure to find one that hits just below the knee or high-shin and choose pointed-toe pumps or nude heeled sandals to help elongate your legs.

I chose to create 2 outfits - one that's appropriate for spring and another that's ideal for the warmer summer months.  I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below and what item(s) you're interested in seeing highlighted for April!







What I'm wearing:
Tinseltown Denim Couture jacket (similar here or here), Mossimo shirt (similar), 
Old Navy skirt (2 years old; similar), c/o Sole Society booties (similar save or splurge), 
c/o Old Navy bag, c/o DaisyGem necklace, Forever 21 aviators





What I'm wearing:
Bar III top, Old Navy skirt (2 years old; similar), eBay belt (similar), Charlotte Russe heels (similar)
Mango clutch (similar), Bracelets: c/o Stella & Dot and c/o Max & Chloe, c/o ShopLately earrings
Nails: Essie Splash of Grenadine

SHOP MIDI SKIRTS


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Friday, March 28, 2014

Chino Chic


One important basic that my wardrobe has been lacking for years is a great-fitting pair of chinos.  I've tried so many that didn't fit quite right and even purchased some that seemed ideal until I wore them for a day and they became saggy in all the wrong places.  I ordered these on a whim as a "filler" to meet the minimum free shipping amount and was so pleasantly surprised when they arrived.  They are fitted without being too tight, have just the right amount of stretch and are the perfect length for wearing with heels, booties, flats or sneakers.  Thankfully, they come in a rainbow of colors & are on sale...so naturally, I ordered more!  (Note: I went down one from my usual size for a skinnier fit.  If you want a more relaxed/boyfriend feel, order the size you normally wear.)






What I'm wearing:
H&M blazer (similar), Ann Taylor top (40% off w/ code REFRESH; recommend sizing down), 
Maison Jules pants (on sale!), Prabal Gurung for Target heels (similar save or splurge), 
ASOS clutch (similar), Forever 21 ring (similar), Target bracelet, c/o Capwell & Co. necklace, 

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Perfect Pairings: Linen

For this month's edition, I decided to focus on a seasonally-appropriate fabric.  There is an unmistakable ease with linen that reads relaxed and effortless.  When looking for a lightweight piece in this textile, I prefer to choose one that is a blend with either cotton or silk, which produces a softer finish and doesn't wrinkle as quickly. I've created 2 outfits below featuring transitional pieces that will work both now & later - just swap out the jeans for shorts and the sweater for a sleeveless blouse!  (Care tip: the best way I've found to remove wrinkles from linen is to place a damp cotton cloth on top of the garment and then iron over the cotton piece with your iron on the high heat/steam setting.)





Left: H&M Sweater (under $20!) // J. Crew Earrings (on sale!) // Anna & Ava Cuff // ASOS Clutch  

Right: Madewell Blouse // Gap Jeans // Neiman Marcus Backpack (under $50!)

SHOP MORE LINEN


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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Free Flow


I get asked quite frequently about what closet essentials every woman should have (you can see my picks here: springsummerfallwinter).  For this time of year, though, I would have to say that a classic shirt-dress is near the top of my list.  This one is over a year old and I've worn it countless ways - layered under a cargo vest, cinched in with a leather belt, paired with a printed scarf & tucked into a midi skirt (worn as a shirt).  There's just something so easy about throwing on one piece that makes you feel instantly pulled together...and I love that every time I wear this dress, I come up with a new way to style it so it feels completely new all over again.










What I'm wearing:
Gap dress (see options below), ELLE sweater (on sale!), c/o JustFab heels, c/o Old Navy bag
c/o ShopLately necklace, Bracelets: Forever 21 (similar) & Vintage (similar), 
Forever 21 sunglasses (similar), Lips: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable (Rendezvous)
Nails: Sally Hansen Barracuda

SHOP SHIRT-DRESSES:


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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spring Jacquard


It can be tricky to navigate the sporadic spring weather - there's random blustery days, unexpected drops in temperature and sudden rain showers (or snow, if you live in NY!).  One of my favorite ways to get the most out of my closet during this time of year is to do some light layering with shells.  It may not yet be warm enough to wear these short-sleeve tops on their own, but I can extend my wardrobe further by pairing them with button-down shirts & blouses.  

You can make this office appropriate by styling with cropped trousers or a pencil skirt and dress it down with more casual pieces & denim for the weekend.  (Styling tip: this works best with button-down shirts/blouses made from thin materials like cotton or silk and with shell tops that have a bit of weight and/or structure to them.)  Take a look at some additional examples below & let me know if you give it a try!














What I'm wearing:
c/o TopShop topOld Navy ShirtMossimo jeans (on sale!), c/o Sheinside trench (similar here or here), 
Zara heels (also in black), Banana Republic satchel (similar here or here), c/o BaubleBar earrings
c/o T+J Designs cuff (similar), Nails: Sally Hansen Barracuda, Lips: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Cherish






Row 1:  Merona Shirt + Gap Top // H&M Blouse + TopShop Top // Sonoma Shirt + Warehouse Top
Row 2:  Gap Shirt + Miss Selfridge Top // Gap Shirt + H&M Sweatshirt // H&M Blouse + Dorothy Perkins Top

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Monday, March 24, 2014

Brand New Bag

It's finally that time of year to trade in your black, brown or bordeaux winter bag for something a little lighter & brighter.  To help with your search, I've rounded up the best that spring's new arrivals have to offer and kept the price tags all under $85.  I included bags in a few different categories: satchels, clutches and totes - so whether you're looking for an everyday piece or something a little more special, I've got you covered.









Satchels:  Steve Madden // JustFab // Miss Selfridge (on sale!) // JustFab
Pastels:  BCBGeneration // ALDO (on sale!) // Gap // ASOS (also in mint) // Dorothy Perkins
Embellished: Accessorize // Accessorize // ASOS // New Look // Anthropologie
Totes: Olivia & Joy // Warehouse // BCBGeneration // Violet Ray (on sale!)

MORE BAGS UNDER $80:


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Saturday, March 22, 2014

PPF Illustrated


Just a quick post today to share this amazing illustration that Michelle Baron sent over to me.  She is so incredibly talented and I'm honored to have one of her drawings.  You can check out more of her fabulous artwork here and browse her Etsy shop here - she has custom illustrations, cards, invitations & more.  Thanks so much, Michelle, for the sweet gift!

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Balancing Act



When my husband and I first got married, he worked in the running department at NIKE, which meant free access & frequent visits to the employee store.  Because of those perks, I definitely dressed a lot more casually back then.  Even though I now gravitate towards sophisticated & polished styles, my husband is always begging me to wear sporty outfits.  {Secretly, I think it reminds him of our newlywed years - a simpler time before we had a mortgage, kids & school tuition to think about.}  This look is kind-of a happy medium: it's dressed down (which he loves), but also incorporates elements that I feel best in (like a structured blazer & layered necklaces).  












What I'm wearing:
Worthington blazer (similar here or here), Xhilaration teeLevi's jeans
c/o Dorothy Perkins sneakers (also in navy & white), Clare Vivier clutch (similar here or here), 
Necklaces: Zara (similar) & ASOS (on sale!), Lips: Revlon Moon Drops Orange Flip
Nails: OPI A Roll in the Hague

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

20 Under $20

Today is officially the first day of spring and I, for one, couldn't be more ready to usher in a new season. I'm focusing on injecting lots of color & unique pieces into my wardrobe and all of these items below fit the bill. Since I was able to find so many great deals this month, I couldn't fit them all into one collage - so I've included additional options for you to browse through that are also all $20 or less!




MORE UNDER $20:


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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Powder Blue


I have been wanting a pastel blue moto jacket for months (as evidenced by this wish list), but the one I previously had my eye on was slightly out of my budget, so I had to let it go.  Then I came across this style and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it.  This pale blue is such a pretty color for spring and the faux leather is buttery soft, unlike some other brands I've tried.  It's the ideal layering piece for our back-and-forth weather that can't seem to make up its mind!










What I'm wearing:
c/o Dorothy Perkins jacket ($15 off w/ code TAKE15), Old Navy shirt (similar here or here), 
I Heart Ronson skirt (similar here or here), Forever 21 sandals (similar here or here), ASOS clutch
Zara bracelets (similar here & here), c/o Prima Donna ring
Lips: Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm (Elusive) + Smashbox Lip Enhancing Gloss (Fame)
Nails: OPI A Roll in the Hague

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Day to Night + $200 Giveaway


I've talked at length before about how easy it can be to give into impulse purchases.  In the past, I had the worst self-control when it came to browsing through clearance racks...and, even if I didn't NEED the item in my closet, it would end up coming home with me because I couldn't resist turning down such a great deal.  However, I've recently turned the corner and started sticking to a more strict budget (only using money I've made from selling old items on PoshMark).  It's really helped me evaluate purchases more thoroughly and it also creates less turnover in my closet.  

Which is why I felt it was a natural fit to partner with H&R Block to talk about their new prepaid Emerald MasterCard. This is a fool-proof way to ensure you stick to your budget when shopping.  It's a loadable debit/credit card that you can put money onto (no fees, no bills) + an easy way to make sure you only spend what you have in your account.  So, if you're like me and have a hard time saying no to those amazing sale finds that you don't really need, this is the perfect solution.  

In keeping with the theme of their Emerald Card, I am sharing two ways to incorporate this hue into your wardrobe for spring.  Can't get enough of this rich green shade?  Check out my Pinterest board of affordable pieces - everything under $75!  Take a peek at the outfits I've created below & then read on for how you can enter to win $200 courtesy of H&R Block.




HOW TO ENTER:

1) Follow PPF on at least one of these platforms: Facebook or BlogLovin
2) Leave a comment below

This giveaway will close on March 25th at 11:59pm EST and a randomly-selected winner will be announced the following day. Good Luck!

Disclosure: H&R Block has asked me to help promote the Emerald Prepaid MasterCard. The prize was provided and may be shipped to the winner by H&R Block, but all opinions expressed in the post are my own and not those of H&R Block. Entrants must be 18 or older and located in the US only. No purchase necessary in order to win prize. Winner to be chosen at random.


And our (new) winner is...
Kelly

Congratulations & thank you to everyone who entered!


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