Penny Pincher Fashion February 2017 | Penny Pincher Fashion

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Tropical Getaway

If you're following along on my Instagram & Snapchat, you've already seen that we arrived safely in Mexico & are busy exploring the area together as a family.  My in-laws own a timeshare in Cabo, so they graciously provided us with a place to stay & all we had to do was take care of our airfare. This was our first time escaping the cold & heading to a tropical destination in the middle of winter & there's a lot that I learned through the process of planning for our trip.  I thought it might be helpful to share some of those insights for any of you who are traveling to a warm destination during the cold-weather months.  

My first step was to pull my spring & summer clothes out of storage to determine what pieces I already owned that would work for our trip.  I didn't want to use this as an excuse to spend frivolously & buy an entire "vacation wardrobe", especially after having just come off a shopping freeze where my eyes were opened to the fact that I already have more than enough. But, I knew that I wanted to purchase a few new pieces for the trip - so I set a dollar amount for myself that fit within my budget and I stuck to it.  I was able to find some great deals & stay focused on buying items that I knew I would wear well beyond our Mexico trip.  Here's what I bought:
It was definitely a challenge to find beachy items during the off-season.  As always, I recommend using ShopStyle if you're looking for something really specific (because you can filter by color, size & price point).  You can also locate warm-weather pieces by searching using key words like linen, crochet & embroidered.  Here are the best sites I discovered that have summer styles year-round + some of my top picks:

ASOS - wishing I'd bought this dress & this cover-up
Shoptiques - obsessed with this lace dress
Nordstrom Rack - picked up this ruffled dress for my daughter - almost bought this tank & this jumpsuit
Macy's, Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, Saks Off 5th (most department stores will have a "resortwear" section)

Whenever we are headed on a trip, I plan out all my looks in advance (right down to my shoes & jewelry) and take a picture of each outfit with my phone.  I do my best to adhere strictly to what I've planned out so I'm packing as lightly as possible.  I typically keep my accessories fairly minimal when traveling, especially if we're going somewhere warm.  Jewelry & hats are two of the most difficult items to pack and I've had my fair share of these get ruined over the years because I didn't have a solid system in place.  Here are the methods I now use to get my accessories secured in my suitcase & arriving in good shape:


For most trips, I use a travel organizer, which keeps everything neatly in place.  But if I don't have room for my jewelry roll, I recommend using these handy tricks:

Step 1: Thread any dainty necklaces through a plastic straw to keep them from getting tangled
Step 2: Pull out one large sheet of GLAD Press & Seal (match the size to the width of your suitcase)
Step 3: Lay your jewelry pieces flat & separated from one another on top of the sheet of plastic
Step 4: Pull out another large sheet of GLAD Press & Seal and lay it on top, carefully pressing down in between each item & eliminating any air bubbles (see example here)


Step 1: Flip the hat upside down & fill the crown with smaller clothing items - this is the perfect place to pack your swimsuits since they don't need to be laid flat or folded neatly.  Continue until it's completely stuffed full so the hat keeps its shape
Step 2: Place the hat right-side up on top of your bigger clothing items & shoes (this take a bit of maneuvering so the items don't fall out)
Step 3: Finish packing, layering items on top of the brim of the hat & working around the crown 

I hope this post has been helpful for you - if you're traveling to a warm destination in the next few months, feel free to email me & I'd be happy to share more.  I'll also be posting a recap of our trip + some of the looks I wore on the blog next week, so stay tuned!  Until then, you can get a peek of our Mexico adventures on my Instagram & Snapchat (ppfgirl).


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Weekly Top Finds

With the holiday coming up on Monday, tons of retailers have launched some pretty impressive President's Day sales for this weekend.  So, I've rounded up a few of my top spring picks & am sharing the details of all the coupon codes below you need to shop & save!

Anthropologie - extra 40% off sale items (no code needed)
Bloomingdale's - 20% off your purchase with code NEWARRIVALS (some exclusions apply)
Gap - Extra 25% off your purchase with code MORE (some exclusions apply)
Ann Taylor - 40% off full-price styles & an extra 50% off sale styles with code WEEKEND
White House Black Market - extra 40% off markdowns with code 50458
J. Crew Factory - 50% off everything (no exclusions; prices as marked)
Macy's - extra 20% off your purchase (some exclusions) + free shipping at $49 with code PRES
Express - 40% off everything (prices as marked) + free shipping at $50
LOFT - 40% off full-price styles & an extra 50% off sale styles with code HAPPY
Madewell - extra 30% off sale styles with code MOODLIFT
H&M - up to 70% off select styles with code 7779 + free shipping at $40 with code 0040
Nordstrom Rack - extra 25% off clearance items (prices as marked)
ASOS - 20% off your purchase with code PREZ20


Friday, February 17, 2017

Mom & Me Style

Many of you know that I refer to my son as my "miracle baby" - I was told I might not ever be able to get pregnant again & then Nolan came along & surprised us all!  He's turning 9 next month and I still can't wrap my head around the fact that this will be his last year in single digits - I honestly don't know where the time has gone!  As much as I miss those early years, I am so proud of the sensitive, brave & sweet young man he is becoming.  

The best part of my week is on Wednesday nights when my husband takes our daughter to youth group and Nolan & I get to spend time just the two of us at home.  We usually play games (Settlers of Catan is his favorite), build Lego creations & read together.  Nothing beats getting that quality one-on-one time with him and I cherish those moments - because he is growing up so quickly, I want to make the most of every minute!

During the course of my pregnancy, the doctors warned me that he was going to be an active kid because he was constantly moving around in the womb...and they were right!  Any clothing that I buy for him has to meet his high standards of softness & flexibility.  Those of you who are moms know how picky kids can be about their clothes - and considering how quickly they outgrow them, it makes no sense to spend a lot on something they'll only be wearing for a few months.

The Jumping Beans line from Kohl's has been a long-time favorite of ours since he was a toddler because they have pieces that reflect his personal style, they hold up well through multiple washes & they're wallet-friendly too.  He currently wears the biggest size they carry in this brand, so we'll be very sad when these no longer fit!  He loved these shorts because they're lightweight & easy to move around in + they have an easy elastic waist, which means he doesn't have to mess with a zipper.  We also got this striped tee in two different colors, which will be great for transitioning into spring & summer (they're already packed in his bag for Mexico).

My typical "mom style" is casual basics with a twist - this layered look incorporates trends in a way that feels effortless.  This quilted bomber is made from a soft knit material that feels like a cozy sweatshirt & is just the right weight for spring - it's a nice change from my cargo or denim jacket that I usually wear on the weekends.  I layered this ruffled-hem top underneath to give it a feminine feel & finished the look with cool metallic sneakers - perfect for running around after him all day long!

On me:

On him:

Thank you to Kohl's for kindly sponsoring this post.
All opinions are 100% honest & all items were hand-selected by us.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Steals Under $30

I think spring might just be my favorite season to shop for - and there are so many incredible deals to be found right now!  I've currently got my eye on these taupe mules, this eyelet blouse & this floral dress, which proves that I'm definitely feeling the feminine trend.  I've scoured the best online sales & rounded up nine looks below using pieces that are all $30 or less - I'd love to hear which one is your favorite & what's on your wish list for the coming season!

ONE:  Cargo Jacket // Lace Sleeve Top (also in black) // Floral Skirt
Studded Saddle Bag (also in tan & blue) // Heeled Mules
THREE:  Pleated Panel Dress (also in red) // Lace Crochet Clutch // Strappy Heeled Sandals (also in nude)
SEVEN:  Plaid Shirt // Pastel Blue Sweater // Distressed Skinny Jeans
Blush Pointed Flats (also in tan & black) // Ivory Satchel (also in tan & blue)



Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Lightweight Layers

We took advantage of our warmer weather & got several sets of outfit photos taken so I can share some more transitional outfits with you over the next few weeks!  First up is an easy casual look with lightweight layers - I've had these skinny jeans since last fall & can't believe that this is the first time I'm wearing them!  It's nice to switch it up & try something different from my usual black, white or blue denim.

Duster cardigans like this one are a great layering piece for the coming season - the longer length gives them a modern, sophisticated feel and they add another element of interest to your look.  If you're tall like me, you can get away with a mid-calf version, but if you're on the petite side, I suggest sticking with a style that's at the knee or slightly above so it doesn't overwhelm your frame & throw off proportions.

We leave on Saturday for Mexico, so I went on the hunt last week for the perfect white t-shirt.  This proved to be more difficult than I anticipated because nearly every style I tried on was too see-through.  But, I'm happy to report that I eventually found 3 winners in different styles - this v-neck tee (I got a Small), this ribbed top (I'm wearing a Medium here) & this boyfriend tee (I got a Tall XS).  If you're looking to refresh your tee collection for spring - I highly recommend each one of these!

What I'm wearing:
T Tahari Cardigan (similar), Forever 21 Top, SP Black Jeans (similar here or here), 
Sole Society Booties (similar; lower heel option here), Retro Luxe London Belt (another option here), 
NastyGal Bag (similar here or here), Forever 21 Necklace (similar here or here), 
ASOS Ring (similar), Bracelets: Vintage (similar) & Lucky Brand



Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Six Years

Guest Post by Ryan T. Smith
It's been six years since the beginning of Penny Pincher Fashion and, after all that time, I think I've earned the right to take over the site for a day, so I asked if I could share my thoughts with you on this milestone.  Some refer to me as "ppfguy", others call me Rodger (you know who you are), but my name is Ryan & I get the privilege of being married to Kimberly.  I have been the silent partner, here from the very start, when PPF was first hatched as an idea while sitting in our tiny rental apartment back in 2011.  
I thought blogging would just mean Kimberly scouring the internet for great deals to least that’s how it started.  Readers quickly asked to see the clothing items worn, which meant more shopping, which then led to pictures needing to be taken.  I had no abilities as a photographer, nor any time during the week, so we started on the weekends with our little point-and-shoot camera on the back patio of our apartment (you can see the first photo shoot in all its glory here).
To see the way this site has grown over the years is's far greater than anything we ever imagined or planned. I'll admit that at times it's felt overwhelming - I'm simply a self-taught photographer doing his best to keep up with his wife’s vision.  I honestly know nothing about fashion, but I like that she shares some of her soul with you through more honest, personal posts where she talks about her her trials & gives you a little glimpse into our family (here & here).  But, there are also a lot of things that you don’t see.
You probably don’t know that she actually hates being the focus - out in front of the camera - and if it weren’t for me and my big mouth, none of our friends would even know she writes a blog.  She keeps quiet about what she does because she doesn’t like extra attention being put on her.  You don’t see the heartache she goes through when people are mean to her or steal her hard work - those are the most difficult moments because it's my job to protect her...and yet, I can't shield her from every arrow that comes her way.  You also don’t see the people who have reached out to her because they are struggling & the way she invests herself in their lives, encourages them and builds friendships with them.  She thrives off of those interactions & they are the things she enjoys most about her job.
For those of you who aren't familiar with our story, my wife single-handedly saved our family by ramping this blog up to provide the income we needed to survive when I was laid off from work in 2012 (read more here).  She has poured herself into it for that very reason and has happily taken on the responsibility of meeting our financial needs.  I count it a privilege to be able to do this with her in some small part & I recognize that it is a tremendous blessing to get to spend my days working right alongside her.

I wanted to take a moment today to share my thoughts - yes, to say that I'm proud of my wife. But, also to let it be known how grateful I am that she has an incredible community of women who are supporting her efforts, cheering her on & who value the work she does. There is so much negativity on the internet & social media, so I appreciate that you as her readers have continued to keep PPF a positive, uplifting & safe place. I think it's remarkable that my wife gets to work in an environment where women of all ages, sizes, races & shapes are celebrated and encouraged to love themselves just as they are. I'm here to say that this has not gone unnoticed & to express my thanks to each of you for playing a part in creating & contributing to that for the last 6 years - as the man who loves Kimberly & wants the best for her, that means more to me than you'll ever know.


Monday, February 13, 2017

Updated Classics

I know many of you have to dress for the office each day and you've mentioned how difficult it is to look professional while still maintaining your personal sense of style.  While my job doesn't require a lot of "business professional" pieces, I do like to take classic styles & give them a modern twist.  This cashmere-blend sweater & a-line skirt are good examples - the silhouettes here are timeless, but the color pairing is what really makes them stand out.

This super-soft sweater comes in 8 gorgeous colors & is so flattering (love the ribbed detail).  This peachy blush hue + army green + taupe combination is so unexpected, yet it somehow works.  I loved the of-the-moment utility feel of this crepe skirt (a huge trend for spring), plus the color & shape make it easy to dress up or down.  To add more interest to this look, you could layer a classic trench on top or throw on a silky printed scarf.  Other items I highly recommend are this striped jacket (so chic with a simple tee & jeans), this ruffled blouse (I'd wear with these trousers) & this floral dress (paired with these heels).

Today is the last day to take advantage of an amazing sale happening at Banana Republic - shop in-store & get 40% off your $100 purchase or get 40% off your $200+ purchase online (no code needed).  The best part about this sale is that there are no exclusions.  If you frequent their site, you know this is extremely rare - even the popular BR picks & Heritage line are included.  See more of my favorites in the scrolling bar below!

What I'm wearing:

Thank you to Banana Republic for kindly sponsoring this post.
All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.


Friday, February 10, 2017

Weekly Top Finds

We're finally in the home stretch to spring...or so I thought we were until Winter Storm Niko arrived yesterday.  But, even if the weather isn't cooperating, now is still a great time to get a jump on your spring wardrobe - and there are tons of great sales happening this weekend to take advantage of!  I've rounded up some of my top picks here - I could not believe that my favorite Cluse watch was marked under $50!  I've also been on the hunt for a new denim jacket & this one looks perfect.

1) Silk Square Scarf (30% off w/ code HEARTYOU) // 2) Lace-Up Sweater ($10  off w/ code 1655)
3) Suede Open-Toe Booties (great ankle boot option here) // 4) Lace Mesh Blouse (also in black)
5) Leather Loafers (also in black & gray; 30% off w/ code TAKE30OFF) // 6) Crochet Tunic (love this one too)
7) Pink Plaid Shirt // 8) Textured Pleated Skirt (also in petite) // 9) Ruffled Sweater ($10 off w/ code 1655)
10) Denim Jacket // 11) Leather Watch (also love this one) // 12) Leather Tote (comes in 5 colors)