Frugal Fashionista

Howdy!

So, y’all know I’m a teacher. What you have probably also gathered is that I have expensive tastes! It is what it is. Everyone who knew me in middle and high school probably remembers that I was OBSESSED with labels. Back then, American Eagle, Hollister, and Abercrombie were staples in my closet! Unfortunately, my adoptive dad made great money, and I chose to make WAYYYY less. (Totally worth it for those students, btw!) The problem was that I couldn’t quite change my wiring enough to get down with Walmart. So what did I do? Take out crazy credit cards a la Lily of HIMYM? Call my parents for a shopping allowance?

Haha, no way! I just had to learn to be a frugal fashionista! I still wear name brands and have what I think is a pretty fabulous closet! I have just learned how to find those deals! Here is some of what I do when I shop:

1. Check the Outlet Mall first

OKC has a fabulous outlet mall that opened up a few years ago! I actually worked at the Nine West for almost a year in college! Yeah yeah, it’s last year’s clothing, but the prices are initially lower. Then, I wait for sales to get even better deals! Since there are so many designers featured at an outlet mall, you can build a versatile wardrobe just by shopping there, though I have plenty of other recommendations! Here is an outfit that is almost exclusively from the Outlet Mall!

Forgive the tired expression! I was finishing up my night teaching job at that point! ๐Ÿ˜ด

Skirt suit: Express

Leggings: Gap

Booties: Clark’s

The shirt and necklace are the only non-outlet pieces, and I got those on super sale! My students and colleagues complimented this outfit like crazy, and I paid a fraction of the original price for all of it! #balleronabudget

2. Thrift Shop, Macklemore Style

We all know that catchy song about “poppin’ some tags” from a few years back. While I personally don’t look for your grandpa’s clothes, I definitely thrift! I have found incredible pieces from Goodwill, Daisy Exchange, Plato’s Closet, Clothes Mentor, and other local shops. If you are in the OKC metro, here is what I would say. Preppy fashionistas seem to have the best luck at Clothes Mentor in Edmond. They are super strict about what they will buy from people, and they only take name brands! I have had wonderful experiences with them! Oh, and Kendra Scott lovers rejoice!! They have quite the spread! I think my most exciting find has been these Kate Spade shoes that I snagged for $25!

Wow!! I’m a sucker for a good pump, and the gold details make them special! Kate Spade is one of my favorites because of her ability to marry the classic and the whimsical! I don’t always like her prices, though, so this was the perfect find! I wear them at least once a week!

In addition to those gems, I’ve bought several items there and would highly recommend it! Daisy Exchange and Plato’s Closet can be more “trendy,” but I have been able to dig through and find some great stuff. Plato’s Closet can be especially helpful for workout wear! Almost all of my Nike shorts are from there!

3. Upscale Resale

This kind of goes hand in hand with the last one, but upscale resale shops are great if you are looking for something like a Lilly dress or a designer handbag. All of my favorites are actually in Florida! Remember my New Year’s dress?

Yep! Lilly dress for $50 at the upscale resale shop! (Recognize those shoes?) I’ll tell you more about the bag later! Another one you may remember from the summer:

This Lilly was $40 at a different one! If you are in Florida and you’re a Lilly fan, those shops almost ALWAYS carry Lilly, since she is a Florida phenomenon! Those pink shoes also came from that store! Boom!

4. Shop Super Clearance

Sometimes you just have to go to the regular mall. You can make this work just as well for you, though! I know threading through the messy clearance racks is a bit of work, but it can reap some major benefits! Yes, clearance is usually from a different season, but get your winter clothes for next year during the spring, and vice versa, to save some precious dolla dolla bills! (…why do I even try to be cool?) Not only do those items go on clearance, but there are some stores that do extra clearance at certain times. Dillard’s does an additional 30% off clearance once a month. It’s usually the 3rd weekend of the month. Cardholders get dibsies that Wednesday, and everyone else gets in that Thursday-Saturday! Their New Years Sale is even better! Additional 50% off clearance! Beware the crowds, though!

So if you find a piece you love that isn’t on sale, my advice is to exercise patience and wait for it to go on clearance, then wait again for extra clearance. If it’s gone, it wasn’t meant to be. I did this once with a total princess skirt! I found the most gorgeous tulle skirt at Windsor, and it was $50. I waited and waited, finally snagging it months later for $9!

Worth the wait!! By the way, the only full-price thing in this entire outfit is the Kendra Scott. Gotta splurge sometimes! ๐Ÿ˜‰

5. Take Advantage of Hand-Me-Downs

I feel that hand-me-downs have been given a negative connotation in our society. Even Ron Weasley complained about having to wear hand-me-down robes. We all love having new stuff, but there are times when hand-me-downs are awesome! I especially love the vintage ones, because I’m old school like that! My adoptive mom is turning 80 this year, and she has some truly unique pieces from her younger years! I now have all of her old evening bags, as well as a hat and some kid leather gloves, all in impeccable condition!

Remember this hat? Perfect for church! The eel skin clutch also adds to this outfit, which, by the way, is made up of Goodwill, Women’s Exchange, and the Outlet Mall! I’m known for my hats at church, and this one is particularly fabulous! That gold evening bag from my New Years outfit? My mom’s! This one is amazing, because it is a genuine Whiting and Davis mesh bag, and it is STILL IN THE BOX! Mom is quite meticulous, and it paid off! She told me that was the “it bag” of her time, and now I carry it! My future daughter will get it as well, and it will pass through my family! How stinkin’ cool is that? Hand-me-downs are more than just thrifty. They are sentimental! Another one of note is the black Coach bag from my first outfit! It was my Mother-In-Law’s! So sweet!

I hope you have come away with some savings ideas! I know my ways can’t be it, so I’d love for you to comment and tell me what you do to save money on high-quality clothing!

๐Ÿ’•Shelby๐ŸŽ€

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Lent Has Begun!

Happy Saturday, everyone!

We had a fun week of Valentine’s Day, but Hubs and I were a little more concerned with the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday. What are the odds of having to fast on a holiday, right? ๐Ÿ˜›

We did it, of course! I gave up sweets, while Hubby gave up both red meat (yes, not just on Fridays!) and Facebook. After an early morning Ash Wednesday service at St. Paul’s, we took advantage of the weekday morning downtown and got our one meal of the day at Hatch! If you are an OKC area person, you know that the wait there is absolutely ridiculous during brunch. Wednesdays at 7:45 am are a different story! We were seated right away, and boy oh boy, was it fabulous! We ordered some awesome fried potato nuggets (without the bacon) for an app!

Mmmmm!!! So good! Then we both had the salmon eggs Benedict, since other meat is a no-no on Ash Wednesday! It might have been the best Benedict of my life, and I’m a brunch regular! The eggs were perfectly poached, and the fried capers added a fun twist!

10/10 would recommend!! Go if you ever have a weekday morning off and enjoy it!

Hatch is also incredibly cute! Those colors!!!

So, our meal on Ash Wednesday is nowhere near as important as the meaning behind Lent. I think that the whole idea of sacrifice is beautiful, whether you are religious or not. No matter what you believe, I challenge you to do something sacrificial to benefit someone else. Whether that’s sacrificing your time to volunteer, sacrificing money for a worthy cause, or simply sacrificing your pride when you realize you are wrong, we can all do something selfless to help others. While I’m sacrificing my sweet tooth for a bit, I also strive to focus on service. I hope y’all join me and do the same!

Do you observe Lent?

Even if you don’t, what is your favorite way to serve others?

Let me know in the comments!!

๐Ÿ’•Shelby๐ŸŽ€

Why Teachers Should Dress Up For Events

Hello! Long time no see! Life has been quite crazy lately. I’ll share more about that in other posts! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Today I want to talk about events and dress up days during the school day. Schools have many fun activities for the kids, and they love dressing up and getting to have a special day at school! There is something that can make their day even more fun: when teachers join in on the festivities!

We as teachers are so flipping busy, and dressing up on themed days can seem like yet another inconvenience to interrupt our precious free time. I swear, though, it is worth it to see the kids get so pumped up when the teachers participate! Plus, it is fun for us to get into character!

Yesterday was poetry slam day at school, so the 7th grade English teachers dressed up as dark, tortured poets! We went for the Beatnik aesthetic! We invited the kids to do the same, and everyone had a great time!

My teacher friend Jackie and I look like we belong on the cover of some indie album! It was so much fun!

My makeup is as dark as my soul! The bow is ironic. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So teachers, if you don’t usually do dress up days, try it out!! The kids will love you for it, and you will get a chance to have a little fun at work while still being professional! If you don’t have the items you need, friends’ closets and Goodwill work wonders!

What have been your favorite dress up days as a student or a teacher? Let me know!

๐Ÿ’•Shelby๐ŸŽ€

Mileage Programs

Hey hey hey! I am ecstatic today, because we booked our next trip to Seattle for March! One of my brothers is getting married at the beautiful Seattle aquarium! He and his fiancรฉ are going to make such handsome grooms! It will be a fabulous weekend!

One of the coolest parts of this trip is that my round trip flight was about $100! My brother, the same one who is getting married, signed me up for the Alaska Airlines mileage plan years ago, and I had enough miles to get an almost free flight! This trip is now well under budget because of those miles! I signed Ben up as well, so we will each earn mileage points every time we go on a trip!

If you travel frequently or want to start, I highly recommend a mileage plan, whether it is through your favorite airline’s free plan or a credit card with mile rewards. I am partial to Alaska! Their flights are always pleasant, the points stack up quickly, and many of the flights are nonstop! We just have the free plan, but we are considering the credit card down the road for even more payback! Go sign up and start earning on your next trip! It is well worth it!

Have sweet dreams of travel!

๐Ÿ’•Shelby๐ŸŽ€

Awkward Times

Hello!! So, I was having a conversation with my “teacher BFF” (shoutout to Mandi!!) about awkward conversations with 7th graders! If you teach 7th grade, or have ever known a 7th grader, you know that it is a super awkward part of life! Puberty just makes things weird. The awkwardness is actually something I love, otherwise I’d teach something else! I totally “get” that age group, but there are still times when it is tempting to titter at some of their weird conversations. Whenever I feel the urge to laugh, all I have to do is think of this:

Meet 7th grade Shelby! She wore outfits of literally all pink sometimes, she wore way too much lip gloss, and she signed her school papers as Eponine. Yep, the oh-so-angsty Les Mis character. I guess I identified with her after the most popular guy in our grade asked me to the dance as a joke the year before. I was definitely “on my own.” Yeah, as you can see, I was super cool! NOT!

So if you ever feel like making fun of a middle schooler, just think back to that awkward middle school version of yourself and remember that this strange time is a rite of passage. Those kiddos are pretty awesome, even when they forget their deodorant or make “that’s what she said” jokes TO THEIR TEACHER. (Yep, someone tried it on me). Affirm those crazy heads, and let them know they are loved while providing firm boundaries. One day, they will grow into productive members of society just like we did!

Thanks for reading! Give a middle schooler a high five!

๐Ÿ’•Shelby๐ŸŽ€

First Musical Rehearsal!

Good evening!! I am so excited, because we had our first rehearsal for the school musical! We are doing Mulan Jr. and I am in charge of the choreography! This is so exciting for me, because I am able to be a teacher while still being active in the arts! I loved doing musicals when I was a kids and a teenager, and now I get to help give that experience to others! It’s a wonderful feeling!

The kids are super talented, and I am working with two amazing ladies to put on a fabulous production! The next couple months will be crazy busy, but I know the end result will be worth the long hours with teenage theatre people! ๐Ÿ˜›

If you work at a school, or at any place with opportunities for extra involvement, I encourage you to step up and be a part of something like that. As long as you keep a good work/life balance (something I still struggle with), it is rewarding to join an organization or volunteer for an activity. Getting involved with theatre and dance at school is a way I can do that (along with leadership team, social committee, and a separate dance team)! Push yourself and get involved!!

I am excited to update you on the awesome stuff that goes on during the musical! Talk to you soon!!

๐Ÿ’•Shelby๐ŸŽ€

Vintage Fabulous

Hello and happy Sunday Funday! I hope yours was filled with joy and relaxation! Mine was pretty fabulous, mostly because I wore a bunch of authentic vintage pieces to church today!

The outfit itself is current, but the hat, earrings, and clutch are vintage pieces, all from my adoptive Mom!! She is close to 80, and has kept many of her pieces over the years. She is now downsizing, and she passed down several items to me, for which I am most grateful!

The hat is ’60s, we believe, and in great condition! You are supposed to put a pin on the long part, so the hat can have many different looks! The pin I’m wearing today matches my earrings. My mom got the set at a home party for jewelry in the ’60s, and it has held up beautifully! They are great statement pieces! Plus, the pearl in the middle means that I can match it with my pearl necklaces, as I did today!

The clutch is real eel skin, and it’s from the ’80s! I never knew this, but eel skin handbags and wallets were an ultimate status symbol back then. They were expensive and sleek, so all the “it girls” had them! I guess my mom was pretty cool! ๐Ÿ˜‰ It was worth the money, because it is still in great condition 35 years later! I love the smooth elegance!

I am so thankful to have some true vintage pieces in my wardrobe! Some people would probably want to sell some of the items she gave me, but I think they are both stylish and sentimental. My goal is to take care of them so that my future daughter can have them next! Stay tuned for more awesome pieces from Mom’s wardrobe!

Do you have family items like that? What are they? Let me know, and thanks for reading!

๐Ÿ’•Shelby๐ŸŽ€