It’s Gonna Be A Long, Hot Summer

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Hello, Dear Reader, it has been many moons since I last posted and I apologize. I have been working pretty much every day, and my Swadley’s BBQ uniform leaves a little to be desired in the name of fashion. Luckily, with the sweet, sweet cash I’ve been making from my tips I was able to recently go on a mad shopping spree. I also would like to take this time to admit that I have become a devout addict of Ebay in my time away, and will showcase one of my favorite recent purchases in today’s outfit.
I went out to dinner with my family tonight and was desperate to do a little dressing up after a glut of barbeque stained t-shirts and jeans. One obstacle I faced was how to stay cool while doing so. If you are not from Oklahoma, let me just enlighten you as to the fact that summer is a brutal, sweaty time here (we had the hottest summer in the US last year). I believe our high temperature today was around 102, and it is only going to get worse I’m a-feared. Fortunately for my very hot-natured self, in one of my recent raids I acquired five skirts from Old Navy on clearance and with an added 20% off thanks to my sister’s Old Navy card.
Just a note, signing up for a card at a store you shop constantly (like we do at Old Navy) can actually be a good way to save money. My sister will oftentimes put a purchase on the card and then go home immediately and pay it. That way, she gets all the benefits of a card without the crippling debt. If you don’t like the idea of having a card somewhere, many places have newsletters and special offers you can sign up to get for free. Victoria’s Secret, for example, sends out some pretty great discounts and deals.
Now, for my outfit. I have to admit, I really love this one.

 (Photo credit: Cheryl Rowe aka ma mere)

White tank: American Eagle clearance, $5.50
Olive skirt with belt: Old Navy clearance, $7.99
White sandals: Ebay (originally Brioso, Ltd.), $12.50
Outfit total: $25.99

I was a dollar over this time, oh dear (it’s actually a lot harder than I thought to keep it under $25!). But I’m starting to realize how important having basic pieces are. Those sandals cost me $12.50, which hurt to pay, but now I don’t have to worry about buying white sandals, which I have wanted for about a year now. And for actual cute, quality sandals instead of the $2 plastic flip-flops from Old Navy, $12.50 is not that bad. I have been trying to buy a pair on Ebay for awhile now, and that is one of the cheapest prices I saw for a pair that wasn’t obviously someone’s great-grandma’s they were trying to pass off as “vintage” and fabulously stylish. I was especially excited for this skirt, because I got it and a new belt for only $8, a great bargain in my opinion. It was originally $9.99 on clearance but my sister’s 20% off coupon came in quite handy here. The shirt is one my sister found on clearance at American Eagle a year or so ago. All together, it made an outfit that I felt confident in AND which kept me cool (an incredibly important requirement for me; nothing makes me more testy than being hot).
I have to admit I cheated a little on my golden heart locket; I didn’t include the price because it was a gift from my mother. But I would like to mention how useful this locket is for me. I am actually wearing it backwards in the picture; the other side has a ruby in the middle and a pink and green flower etched around it. Absolutely gorgeous but it doesn’t match a great deal- thus, when I need a simple gold locket I just flip it around. I wear it all the time like that and there was no need to buy another necklace. There’s just so many ways to make the pieces you have multi-functional if you just get a little creative 🙂
Stay tuned in the next couple days because I’m going to overcompensate for my absence by posting probably too much. I just am going to celebrate the Fourth of July this Friday and will be doing my best to come up with a really cute outfit to show you guys and then Saturday I have a wedding to go to, and I’ll be wearing a dress I adore that I got for a price that still amazes me. But for now, I’ll leave you with what I think of as my summer gypsy look…haha.

Pax,
Sara

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As I Wander Down the Garden Paths, My Dress is Richly Figured

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Hi again everyone!
This will be my second and last post from Saint Louis, so hopefully that means my next post will be much better quality on the photos. Saint Louis is one of my absolute favorite places in the US besides Oklahoma, so I really wanted to do a couple posts while I was here.
Luckily tonight provided an absolutely gorgeous backdrop- we visited the Lantern Festival at the Missouri Botanical Gardens. Scattered over an already lovely garden were creations of silk, wire, and even glass bottles that light up at night and represent different aspects of Chinese culture. Maybe my favorite pieces were two enormous dragons constructed entirely of porcelain chinaware that breathed smoke and turned their heads periodically.

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The effect was utterly enchanting and it was one of my favorite things we did this week. As enjoyable as the experience was, there was no getting around the fact that the Gardens are enormous and required some very committed walking. We spent around three hours wandering around and my feet were very tired!
But I knew what I was getting myself into so no complaints. For my outfit, I chose something that would be comfortable and easy to walk in but would still look pretty. I was in a classy garden with an elegant lantern festival, after all. I kept it much simpler than I normally would, but I thought it appropriate considering how much hiking I had ahead of me.

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Black maxi dress with geometric patterns: Forever 21 clearance, $7
Bronze gladiator sandals: Walmart clearance, $7
Leopard bracelet: Cato clearance, $1.50
Tortoiseshell sunglasses: $5.80
Outfit total: $21.30

This is the only maxi dress I own, actually. I am, to put it bluntly, rather short and maxi dresses have a tendency to drag the ground when I wear them. I bought this one by chance at Forever 21 when I was looking through a big clearance rack. I liked the pattern and the ruffly hem and decided to try it for fun. I was happily surprised when it was the perfect length and gratefully took it home.
These are also my favorite sandals so they have a bit of wear and tear but I am in love with bronze so I still wear them all the time. I added the leopard bracelet because I thought it drew all the colors together and, just to warn you now, I’m also completely obsessed with leopard.
Again, this was a little more plain an outfit than I’m used to wearing, but I thought the garden and the lanterns provided all the ornamentation necessary 🙂 Hope you guys liked it, and hopefully next time my pictures will be a little prettier.

Pax,
Sara

PS I hope everyone noticed that I kept it under $25 this time! Haha

Meet Me in Saint Louis

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Hey guys!
Time for my first outfit post, ahhhh! Now, this week’s outfits will be a little different than what I hope they will eventually be, because this week I’m on vacation in Saint Louis with my family. This means that my photos are going to be a little sketchy in quality because they are coming from my camera phone, so my apologies! I just want to give you an idea of my style and, honestly, I’m just too impatient to wait any longer to post again.
My outfit today is pretty casual, I wore it out to dinner and a little walking downtown.
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Photo credit: Cheryl Rowe aka my mom

Red, white, and blue striped tank top: Old Navy clearance, $5
Black skinny jeans: Forever 21, $10.50
Navy Ked imitation shoes: Target sale, $9
Caramel braided belt: local thrift store, $1.80
Tortoiseshell cat-eye sunglasses: Forever 21, $5.80
Outfit total: $32.10

Now, I know I’m already doing bad here because my picture is not great. And then, I do the opposite of what I say I want to do with my blog and go over my budget limit on my first outfit.
But let me tell you why.
To create a functional wardrobe, you have to have (if you have ever watched What Not to Wear you’ll be familiar with these) “investment pieces.” These are items that are staples of your wardrobe and are worn constantly. However, unlike on What Not to Wear, you don’t have to invest a small fortune on these things.
In this outfit, I have probably my most important investment piece- my black skinny jeans. $10.50 may seem like a chunk, but for a great pair of jeans it’s worth it. And you only have to buy them once, that’s why they’re an investment.
Also another investment piece in this outfit is my shoes. I rarely pay nine bucks for shoes, but these were on sale and I wear them constantly. Like my black jeans, the navy color matches well with a lot of stuff and makes them an even better investment.
My final investment piece is my shades, and I don’t even really think I should count those towards the total. You can obviously leave them off the outfit and be fine. I have two pairs of sunglasses for about five bucks each that I literally wear with everything, and you can take them or leave them depending on tastes. But if you’d like a really cute pair for around six dollars, I’d recommend Forever 21.

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So concludes my first post. I’ll try to post again while I’m in St. Louis and I’ll make a point to keep it under $25 😉

Pax,
Sara