Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Other Closet Orphans No. 1

Or, Hello, You're Still Here?


Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated. Or nonexistent. Take your pick.

I also have not given up taking photos of what I'm wearing from our PUD (Planned Unit Development for real estate experts, tiny li'l condos for those of y'all that speak plain English) parking lot. I think parking lot photos really speak to my expertise as a budget style blogger.

 The Deets: Spense dress (never worn with price tags still attached. No, I don't know why.); Liz Claiborne Flex Pumps in snakeskin (this is a neutral in my liberal style book); enamel hinged bracelet from Chinatown, NYC last October; same ol' ghostly skinny legs

So, sticking to my greatly exaggerated style expertise, I performed a little experiment last week with my "Other Closet Orphans". I've seen many style bloggers address Closet Orphans, but I'm on a dead overly super serious mission to discover as many clothes as I can that don't cost more than $5. Because I am on a no-shopping ban. Because I have no money. Yes, to both.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Karina Dresses: My Style

My style. It continues to challenge me, but I like exploring it via my blog. There are days I can tell what it isn't by the outfit pictures you don't see, or those days I don't feel quite right in my clothes - and therefore maybe not quite right in my skin.

The Deets: Gala Wrap Ladybug (courtesy of Karina Dresses); Fergalicious sandals (discounted to $20 on Amazon); Vintage silver bracelets (including two gifted from Jean)

My style. Sometimes I see my style shining true and clear through the better photos, and the feeling of total relaxation I have when I know my clothes express who I am and are appropriate for the occasion - and I feel absolutely natural and comfortable in my skin. Like I do in this easy and pretty Karina Dress.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wardrobe Workhorse: Red Cardigan

I'm so pleased that Megan (Mee-gan) is the first person to share her Wardrobe Workhorse. Her cutting edge style and beautiful shoe collection make her blog, The Fashionable Bureaucrat, a must-read and see. In her email to me, she describes why she wears her red cardigan so often:

I wear this red cardigan at least twice a week. It gives an instant pop of colour to any outfit and its bright colour makes me feel happy. It's also practical since it keeps me warm in my already freezing office and covers my tattoos when I don't want them on display. 
I keep trying to replace it since it's starting to show its age but I haven't yet found anything suitable.


Megan's tattoos are as lovely as she is. I hope you'll check out The Fashionable Bureaucrat!

Got a Wardrobe Workhorse or a Goodwill Career Wear Challenge (I'm upping the secondhand outfit ante to $15 after seeing the prices in NYC Goodwills) you'd be willing to share with us? You don't even have to be a blogger; we like reader contributions here, too. It's as simple as emailing a photo to me at lynne dot devenny at gmail dot com, with your outfit details and a  few sentences about it.

Many thanks to the gorgeous Megan for helping me get this started!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Wardrobe Workhorse: The Sofa Dress Again

Or, Real Women Wear the Same Clothes & Spend Time in Parking Lots


Part of dressing on a budget is wearing what you already own, maybe more often than you'd like. That seems way beyond obvious, but some of us (okay, me) like variety in our attire (as incentive to get up on weekday mornings). Plus, wearing the same thing twice is the kiss of death for a style blogger, right?

NO. Uh, well, I hope not.

Recently, I've discovered that I actually like - and need - simplicity in my life. If I find a piece of clothing, usually a dress or a skirt, that I love, I want to wear it over and over and over. It comforts me.

I know this "sofa dress" is a repeat on the blog, but it's a beloved wardrobe workhorse. It's made out of cool sofa fabric, it has a nicer shape than I do, and it could practically go to work without me.

 The Deets: Dress (Ross, 5-6 years ago); Cardi (Goodwill); Shoes (jcp clearance); Assorted jewels

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Goodwill Career Wear Challenge: Lydia

When I saw the super-chic and budget-conscious Lydia of Chic on the Cheap wearing this lovely Marc by Marc Jacobs dress last week, thrifted for under $10, I asked her if I could feature it in my Goodwill Career Wear Challenge, and she graciously said yes! I highly recommend her blog to new readers. Her photographs are beautiful, her personal style is modern and sleek, and she does a good job of intentionally shopping for economical items that re-mix well with her current wardrobe.

The Deets: Marc by Marc Jacobs (thrifted, $9); Sam Edelman Shoes (purchased with gift card); Tahari bag (courtesy of TJMaxx); Ray-Ban sunglasses (courtesy of TJMaxx)

The only article of clothing Lydia paid for is the thrifted dress. The rest of her outfit is a combination of blogger giveaways, company sponsorships, and gifts from people who love her.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Real Women Wear Wet Pants

This is what happens to those removable faux fur collars that many winter coats have.
See, designers? Only a real woman's cat loves those scruffy add-ons.

I ventured into budget style blogging a few years ago, because I wanted to see real women wearing affordable clothes to work. So I present you with an outfit photo you'll never see in a catalog, even though you might really want to know what the clothes look like after a day in a real woman's life.

The Deets: SayWhat cardi (real old); J. Crew boat neck top (J. Crew Factory Outlet last year);
Express Design Studio fully lined wool pants (thrifted); Clarks loafers (Rack Room last year); Silver stretch belt (I've had it for at last three decades)

I know, seriously, wet pants!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Karina Dresses Meets Simply Creative

I'm a new Brand Ambassador for Karina Dresses, http://karinadresses.com/. My Karina Dresses are my absolute faves for simple but chic dressing. I can throw one over my head and consider myself ready for anything.

The Deets: Megan dress (courtesy of Karina Dresses); Mixed media necklace (courtesy of Simply Creative); Impo booties (Ross, old)


Today I'm pairing my 1940s inspired Megan dress from Karina Dresses with a beautiful necklace courtesy of my talented and stylish friend Suzanne Carillo, an artist who creates stunning jewelry and witty printable art, available through her Etsy shop, Simply Creative. I love how Suzanne's necklace adds a three dimensional sparkle to the rich floral print of the dress. Suzanne also shares her incredible fashion sense at her blog, Style Files.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Frye Riding Boots

You can see from the color of my hair that I don't post my outfits in order necessarily. I wear the same favorites all the time, including this striped dress that goes with pretty much everything. But I didn't wear this dress nearly as much as I wore these Frye boots scored from eBay in early 2013.

I wore them almost daily until our strange spring, and its manic weather, made getting dressed in the morning basically a crap shoot. What was most important was not to get my feet wet.

The Deets: Striped dress (old, Ross); Floral scarf (can't recall); Frye riding boots (eBay); Cuff bangle (Jada's Jewels); "Smurf tights"

I think I finally found a way to wear what my sister calls my "Smurf tights" to work without actually looking like Smurfette. A little goes a long way, yes?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Raging Menopausal Pimples

Or Struggling with Acne Rosacea at Age 50 ~ Part 1


I'm not really trying to be the face of middle-aged acne rosacea, but I want to talk about it because I know I'm not alone in struggling with this painful and often painfully embarrassing disease. It's not uncommon among women of a certain age, but many remain untreated. I know I want to be a big girl and not care about something as trivial-seeming as a few zits, but acne rosacea, especially during severe flare-ups, is much more painful and disfiguring than the occasional pimple. It's hard to ignore, because frankly it hurts, itches, and burns. From my perspective, pimples are not better than wrinkles.

I remember having some pretty unsightly acne when I was in my teens. I was (and still am) acutely shy, and preferred not to be noticed, but sometimes classmates made rude comments about my bad skin. My elders would comfort me with, "Just wait until you're out of your teens, your hormones will settle down, and you'll have lovely skin!"

If only those elders could see me now, with much more severe acne rosacea, that in many cases just gets worse with age, especially with the raging hormones of menopause. If I could hide in my office, great, but I frequently meet the public, and well, have this thing called a budget style blog. Taking pictures of myself required shedding some self-esteem issues over time, because I was always the one never in photos. Recently, I've started avoiding photos again because my skin has gotten so bad.

I took some self-portraits with and without a new mineral foundation today, at the clearing up stage of a bad breakout (couldn't work up the nerve during last few weeks) on a new skin care plan, and with my typical orange makeup face (because I haven't found a foundation that doesn't make me look orange). I can't just not wear make-up at all. Well, I guess I could, but uuummmm, no. I like light make-up and won't wear multiple heavy layers, so forget the layering of the green, the white, etc. often recommended for acne sufferers.