Tag Archive | fashion

Affordable Interview/Professional Dress/Stylish Outfit Ideas!

Aside from my job of being a full-time frugal fashionista, I have also worked for many years as a Career Counselor. In addition to helping others figure out what they want to do when they grow up, I also helped them prepare for interviews and gave guidance on how to “dress for success”. In preparation of me going back to work soon after a hiatus, I rotated my wardrobe to get my professional duds cleaned, pressed, and ready to go.

Today, I want to show you how you can put together professional looks without spending a ton of money on a new wardrobe. This should be particularly helpful for new grads and those re-entering the workforce after a hiatus like myself.

This first look includes a blazer that I purchased many years ago but was of good quality so it maintained its structure well over the years. I frequent thrift stores so I often see good quality blazers that can be purchased for around $5. It is worth it to grab as many as you can afford because they are great wardrobe staples. Dry clean them as you can (our local one price dry cleaner charges $3.50 to clean blazers). I added a simple blouse and basic black skirt which can also be found in regular retail stores for less than $10 but of course both are plentiful in thrift stores for even less than that. The shoes are from Shoedazzle from which I can often get deals for $10 or less especially during their end of season specials.

Interview Wear-Pink Blazer3

Interview Wear-Pink Blazer2

This next look features a striped cardigan that I’ve also had for years but had it cleaned and pressed at the dry cleaner. Cardigans tend to be less expensive than blazers so check out your local discount retailer (Ross, TJMaxx, Marshalls, Burlington) where you can find some for $10-$12. I purchased the pink camisole and classic black pants from the thrift store. I think I paid $1 for the top and $5 for the pants which look as if they have never been worn. Be sure to check with thrift stores in your area to find out days on which they offer additional discounts. It’s always good to save a few of your coins when you can! The shoes are from Ross where I paid $25.

Interview Wear-Black White Cardi

Interview Wear-Black White Cardi2

This look includes another blazer that I dug from the back of my closet and had dry cleaned. I found the dress on the clearance rack at Burlington for $8, the gold necklace is attached to the dress. A cute dress and accessory for one low price, you can’t beat that! The shoes again are from Shoedazzle, you really can’t beat their deals. One tip for shopping with Shoedazzle/Justfab…always skip the month so that you won’t be charged the $39.95 fee. Put a reminder in your phone/calendar so that you don’t forget. You can always get a better deal on their site by purchasing during a sale. You can use my links to receive 75% off your first order!

https://www.shoedazzle.com/invite/25440387/

https://www.justfab.com/invite/9823016

Interview Wear-Orange Dress

Interview Wear-Orange Dress3 revised

What I like about all of these pieces is that they are interchangeable to create different looks every day of the week. Mix and match tops, blazers, skirts, pants, cardigans, and shoes! Even the dress could be tucked in and worn as a blouse with the skirt and pants. You could also add a couple new (or thrifted) blouses to round out your work week (or month). The possibilities are (almost) endless!

I have many more money saving ideas that I am going to share in the upcoming weeks so stay tuned for more!!

See you soon!

 

 

Inside the Dressing Room: JC Penney Clearance!

Here we are again on another day with another dressing room try-on! Today, I am featuring items from the JC Penney clearance rack! I must admit, that I don’t typically shop at JC Penney but I heard that they had a decent plus size selection so I decided to check it out for myself. In true “me” fashion, I went straight to the clearance section because…I’m cheap and like to save a few coins when I can. Here’s what I found:

Distressed Skinny Ankle Jeans

JCP Blue Distressed Jeans

I thought that these jeans were super cute and they had a decent fit. I don’t tend to like mid-low rise jeans because they cut right across my “mommy tummy” so I usually have to size up or look for jeans with the most stretch. The clearance price is probably what I would usually pay for jeans.

JCP Blue Distressed Jeans price

Everyone knows that my favorite color is “leopard print”. Yes, I know it’s not technically a color but it is one of my favorite prints to wear. This peplum blouse was very loose fitting but was still figure flattering.

JCP Leopard Print top

The clearance price is a really fair deal which is 70% off the original price.

JCP Leopard Print top price

I’m not a bit gaucho pants/culottes wearer but these were cute on the hanger so I tried them on. I didn’t like them on me but they were super comfortable and they had pockets.

JCP Black Cropped Gaucho

The price tag was on upside down but these were only $11.09.

JCP Black Cropped Gaucho price

Now what I do love is a good cardigan. Cardigans come in handy on so many occasions. You can layer them for a streamline look or just for additional warmth in a cool office. This one was at an awkward length on me being just a tad too long.

JCP Black Cardi

The clearance price is a great deal for a cardigan that will look great….on a taller person.

JCP Black Cardi price

These black skinny ankle jeans look like any other jean from far away in this pic but up close…

JCP Black Ankle Pants

There is sequin on the bottom! How is that to add a little pizzazz to your wardrobe?

JCP Black Ankle Pants close up

With a markdown of 80% off, these pants are a great deal!

JCP Black Ankle Pants price

Because I can never pass up a good cardigan, for the above stated reasons, I had to try this one. It was chunky and warm and had this cute detail on the arm.

JCP Beige Cardi

This one had a decent price for such a thick sweater but I could wait till it’s a little lower.

JCP Beige Cardi price

I had to journey over to the dress selection and found this beauty:

JCP Floral Dress

I’m not usually into long dresses because I’m so short and they tend to look like too much material on me. But the empire waist design and sheer panels at the bottom caught my eye.

JCP Floral Dress close up

I guess the cheapskate in me is always looking for below $20 deals but this one just might be worth the clearance price.

JCP Floral Dress price

Overall, I must say that JC Penney did have a decent selection in their plus size clearance and I may journey back over there again to see if the prices drop a little it more. As you can probably tell, the fit was all over the place. I tried on items from a size 0X(14W) to 20W and they all fit. So, it’s safe to say, you really have to try on items or know how certain fabrics fit on your body to ensure a good fit.

See you next time….on another clearance rack!

Four Stylish Ways to Wear One Cardigan for: Work, Play, and Formal Affairs.

Earlier this week, I posted my first “Inside the Dressing Room” where I tried on several pieces from Lane Bryant’s clearance section. I selected two pieces from that try-on: a cardigan and a black bedazzled belt. Today, I’m going to show you how I will work these pieces into my wardrobe for a variety of occasions.

Werk” Wear:

Who said work-wear has to be boring? I love the way this purply-eggplant color cardigan looks with olive green.

LB Purple Cardi Black Skirt

Sure, you could wear it with a little longer of a skirt to make it more “professional“. I mean, if that’s the look you’re going for…

LB Purple Cardi Black Skirt2

Date Night:

If you’re anything like me, you like dressing up and dressing down at the same time. I wore this cardigan as a top using the belt as closure. I paired it with this cute distressed skirt from Rainbow that I snagged for only $3 (on clearance, of course)! Now I’m ready for a date night!

LB Purple Cardi Denim Skirt

Speaking of date night, my hubby gave me these beautiful flowers. I can’t wear my wedding rings due to an eczema breakout on my fingers and I look incomplete without them šŸ˜¦ šŸ˜¦

LB Purple Cardi Denim Skirt2

Formal Wear:

Got a special occasion banquet, formal dinner, or wedding to attend? This cardigan/belt combo pairs well with this black wide-legged jumpsuit. Cheers!

LB Purple Cardi Black Jumpsuit

I’ve had this jumpsuit for years and it has served me well. If you can find one, snatch it up, you won’t regret it.

LB Purple Cardi Black Jumpsuit2

Casual Wear:

Lastly, I had to show you that this cardigan looks great with jeans too!

LB Purple Cardi Jeans

Where am I going in this outfit? I don’t know but it’s comfortable, cute, and just a little bit sexy.

LB Purple Cardi Jeans2

So there you have it, four looks for the price of one belt and one cardigan. When shopping, I always choose pieces that I know can work easily into my existing wardrobe. It’s also great when I can find a color that plays well with others since, like most people, I tend to have a lot of black pieces in my closet.

I hope you enjoyed today’s blog and I’ll see you next time for more try-ons and styled looks!

Inside the Dressing Room: Lane Bryant Clearance!

Happy Monday Everyone!

Anyone who has ever shopped with me knows that I always start in the clearance section. Why pay full price for something when you can possibly find something just as nice for a fraction of the price? Sometimes I wonder when are the best times to hit the clearance at certain stores. Most times we expect the best time to be the end of a season but sometimes not. So, I decided to start a new adventure to help all other clearance-heads out there who may not have time to go from store-to-store. The easiest way to show off what I’m liking best: dressing room try-ons.

Up first is Lane Bryant. Not only did they have a decent selection marked down to clearance prices but they were also offering an additional 40% off those clearance prices! I guess I picked a good time to go!

Please excuse the yellow haze created by the lighting in their dressing rooms.Ā 

Livi Active Wear- I tried their active wear for the first time. I like the fit of the pants and the cute lace detail on the side. I’m not too big on long sleeved workout wear though. How about that weird placement of their security tags??lol

LB Dressing Room Active WearLB Dressing Room Active Wear2

I’m a firm believer that a well fitted blazer/jacket completes a look. Lane Bryant had a nice selection of well-cut blazers on clearance. This light pink number was still a bit pricey even with the discounts but I can see why. The cut and the amount of stretch makes this jacket fit like it was tailor made for your body!

LB Dressing Room Light Pink Blazer

These tapered ankle jeans had a decent fit and can be worn dressed up or down.

LB Dressing Room Light Pink Blazer2

Another jacket was this beautiful eggplant ruffle hem bomber-like jacket. This jacket would be great for work or casual looks.

LB Dressing Room Eggplant Jacket3

 

Close-up to see the silky-shiny texture of the jacket.

LB Dressing Room Eggplant Jacket2

This cute military-style jacket that has just enough stretch for a figure-flattering look.

LB Dressing Room Pink Blazer

These pants didn’t have as great of a fit as the jeans. They seem to be either too loose or not loose enough in certain areas, I can’t decide.

LB Dressing Room Pink Blazer2

This short kimono/poncho style cardigan has a rich purple color and luxe ribbed texture that made this simple piece look oh-so-fancy.

LB Dressing Room Purple Poncho2

I paired it with this belt that was also on clearance which had this beautiful jeweled detail that was covered with a plastic film for protection.

LB Dressing Room Purple Poncho

They had a few dresses but this was the only one in my size. I love the ruffle detail on the sleeves and the pockets. I just didn’t think this dress was too flattering on me.

LB Dressing Room Gray White Striped Dress

Every wardrobe needs a cute denim jacket and Lane Bryant again has gotten it right with the cut of their jackets. The amount of structure and stretch makes this an easy piece to wear.

LB Dressing Room Denim Jacket

The frayed details on the cuffs and hem adds an extra interesting touch.

LB Dressing Room Denim Jacket2

All in all, I was pleased with the selection of clearance items available at Lane Bryant. I must also mention that the section was clean and very well organized making it easy to see all that was available. I did purchase two pieces that I will do another post on how I styled them. Can you guess what they were?? Stay tuned for the answer, how I styled them, andĀ more clearance rack goodies!

 

Fall Fashion Looks: Work,Casual, and a Night Out.

The smell of freshly fallen leaves and pumpkin spice flavored things are everywhere which means that it must be Fall. For the fashion industry, Fall is the prime time of year to feature all the high fashion looks. Most just love to finally have some relief from the blistering heat and being able to pull out the jackets for some cute layered looks.

Even though it it now technically Fall, it sometimes reaches 80 degrees where I am. Through September and early October, I will probably be mixing some lighter Summer pieces in my Fall looks.

This first look combines two of my favorite things: A crisp white shirt and animal print. Every wardrobe should include a well fitting white shirt and as far is I’m concerned, animal print is a neutral color.

Avenue White Top Leopard Skirt2_edited-1

Fall is…..an over-sized sweater and leggings period…

Vera Wang Gray Lace Sweater2_edited-1

Playing around with solid colors and animal print to create a simple but statement look that can be worn for work or a casual day.

Black Embellished Top Magenta Long Skirt_edited-1

A well made cardigan sweater is a great investment piece and can be worn for a polished, professional look or paired with a tee and jeans for a clean, casual look.

Tan Sweater Animal Print Skirt02_edited-1

Everyone needs a great evening look. Whether its date night or girls’ night out, pairing a top with a little bling with a black pencil skirt is an easy, chic look.

Navy Blue Top with Sequin Embellishment2_edited-1

I hope this post gave you some inspiration to have some fun with your Fall looks. I noticed that I wear a LOT of animal print so I guess you can say it’s my favorite “color”.

I have more looks coming soon so stay tuned!

Shop these looks in my eBay store…Dazzling Emerald plus sizes (affiliate links)

Avenue Brand White Shirt Size 22/24

Express World Brand Animal Print Skirt Size L

Simply Vera Wang Gray Lace Sweater Size 2X

Black Long Sleeve Top Fits Sizes L-2X

Croft & Barrow Fuchsia Tiered Long Skirt Size XL

Talbots Tan Cardigan Sweater Size 2X

Lane Bryant Animal Print Wrap Skirt Size 28

Saks Fifth Avenue Navy Embellished Top Size XL

 

Transition to Spring…Outfit Ideas

Spring season is here even if it doesn’t feel like it most days in my neck of the woods. Nevertheless, I wanted to at least mentally pack away my winter shroud in exchange for some lighter fabrics.

Often you’ll find that I like to layer a structured jacket over a dress. Sometimes the jacket just completes the look. Other times, it’s really not warm enough yet to wear the short sleeves by themselves. Either way, it has kind of become my signature look.

blue-striped-dress-denim-jacket.jpgGray Jacket Peach Dress edit_edited-1

Continuing on with the jacket-wear theme, it could be used to add a pop of color to an otherwise color-less look like I did with this green jacket.

Green Jacket Black Skirt2

As you can tell, a jean jacket is usually my go-to in order to top off a look. It is truly a wardrobe essential.

Denim Jacket blue skirt_edited-1

Then we move on to warmer days (hopefully sometime soon). Since I did this try on in the comfort of my own home with the thermostat set comfortably at 70 degrees,Ā  I decided to try a romper. Honestly, I didn’t think I would like it but the generous off the shoulder sleeves and shorts cut just right won me over.

Blue Romper edit

This last look shows how I would rock a sleeveless and very form-fitting body con dress. I paired it with this over-sized sheer blouse. I wore a belt on top to put some shape back into the look. You can have the balance of having a cute trendy look without showing it all if you know what I mean.

Peach Dress Printed Blouse.jpg

I hope you enjoyed these looks as much as I enjoyed putting them together.

Just so you know, I will listing all of these pieces for sale. Many are not yet listed so if you’re interested, send me a message and I’ll give you the details. Any unclaimed pieces will later be listed on my ebay storeĀ here

Thanks for reading and stay tuned or follow me so you don’t miss my next post!

 

Speaking of Penny Pinchers…Have You Visited My Ebay Shop?

We’re going to take a brief pause from my “diys” to explore the other side of saving money and looking good. After a brief hiatus, I have listed items in my ebay store. Just in time for fall, you will find good deals on cardigans, jackets, jeans, and skirts. Dazzling Emerald plus sizesĀ on ebay has items for the budget savvy plus size fashionista. Find great deals on brand names for a fraction of the price as items are new or pre-owned but all in great condition!

These crop jeans are great for the fall and a perfect palette for a diy distress project.

Plaid Shirt denim capris2 edit

Get distressed crop jeansĀ here

This satin look skirt is great for dressy or work looks and is so figure flattering!

gold-cardi-brown-skirt-edit.jpg

Get this brown wrap skirtĀ here

This bodycon bandage pencil skirt is so hot and will hug your curves beautifully!

floral-duster-blue-skirt-edit.jpg

Get the blue pencil skirtĀ here

Speaking of brand names, this Chaps sweater retails for $50 but get it for half off of that!

chaps-sweater-black-skirt-edit.jpg

Get this Chaps sweaterĀ here

Everyone needs a good cardigan for a chilly day or to have on standby in a chilly office.

Blue Cardigan edit_edited-1

Get this blue cardiganĀ here

I’m going to coin a new phrase, “glam professional”. How else can you describe this look?

 

Blue Blazer Cream skirt edit

Get the ivory knit skirtĀ here

Get Blue BlazerĀ here

 

Be sure to follow me at Dazzling Emerald plus sizes on ebay and check me out often as I will always add new items!