Monthly Archives: September 2008

Fall Fashion: Part II

I’m slowly making my way through my Fall must-have’s and today’s purchase came in the form of an adorable, military style-gold buttons and all- black wool coat.  It was on sale for $149 (+ free shipping) on the Victoria’s Secret website and I couldn’t resist.  I’ve looked everywhere, including EBAY, for something comparable and all I seem to find are Marc Jacobs and Juicy Couture versions for $400+.  No coat is worth that much, unless its a over-the-top fur and trust me, I’m on the hunt!

Bring on the cold weather!!

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The Barnacle Chronicles

I was unpacking my purchases from my weekend at the King of all malls, King of Prussia, and I was listening to NPR hoping to hear some better news about the economy…well, no such luck.  But I did hear their guest refer to deal shoppers as “barnacles”, which is what retail analysts refer to us as.  He also said that stores hate “barnacles” and will do anything to keep us out of their stores, but is that really news to anyone??  I for one am going to embrace the title and make it sound like the new “it” phrase.  Moving on to more exciting things, this is what I picked up on my deal hunt:

It’s a great sunny yellow silk dress from Old Navy that I got for $15 and that will more importantly make me smile when I wear it on a dreary winter day in January…that’s priceless.  I’ll pair it with some textured tights and boots to keep my legs from freezing and layer a chunky knit cardigan over it with a great skinny belt so I don’t get lost in the mass.  I can also wear it to work with a shrunken blazer and some great patent pumps to make it look more polished.

I also picked up a great basic: a silk racerback tank/tunic in navy for $19.  I wish, wish, wish they had this in other colors because I would have picked it up in every one available.  It’s just the right length to wear over my new pLeather leggings but thin enough to tuck into some trouser jeans for a more casual look.

In times like these, knowing how to shop on a budget and looking like you didn’t just lose half your net worth is a must!

Links: Jeans, Shoes, Scarf

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I’m clearly full of questions today, but here’s another one that I’m totally stumped on…and not stumped as in should I or shouldn’t I…it’s more like why, oh why?

Now I totally get this is perfectly in line with the boho-luxe trend we see every fall, but this takes it just to the precipice of costume-y.  I’m ok with it in the glossy editorials of my favorite fashion magazines, but I just can’t agree with it when it’s on the girl in front of me in the Starbucks line.  Sorry, Melis! =)

And…notice how LC has it on her hairline instead of in the center of her forehead???  It’s as if her good fashion instincts were screaming “NO!” but Lo insisted she wear it so she just kind of half-assed the look!

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Cheap or Chic?

When you think of a gold watch, do images of 65 year old men that just retired from the police/firehouse come to mind?  Yea, well me too which is why I have to ask…

is wearing a gold tone watch-that isn’t Cartier or Rolex- cheap or chic?  I really want one and I’ve been looking high and low for a great alternative to the fabulous and highly coveted Daytona and/or Roadster kinds.  After much deliberation and research, these are the best two I’ve come across.

Watches (L to R): Swatch “Full Blooded”, Michael Kors “Oversized Gold”

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My ten year high school reunion is right around the corner and while I won’t be attending, I can’t help but feel a little nostalgic as I look at the invite.  One of my favorite memories from high school was cheerleading at Friday night football games and being the budding fashioista that I was, wearing those adorable uniforms or cheer outfits as I prefer to call them now.  I know, I know!  I couldn’t be more of a cliche…a blonde cheerleader from Texas…but in my defense, I was a brunette back in those days!  

My uniform was 100% polyester and I coudn’t help but love it oh-so much.  I started to think about fashion and cheerleading and how big name designers, like Vera Wang, have made their fashion stamp on the sport.  In 2003, she designed the new uniforms for the Eagles Cheerleaders and this was the sad result:


Was she serious with these “designs”?  Where’s the high-fashion, the details, the workmanship, the embellishments??  I suggest Vera stick to designing couture wedding gowns and low-budget lines for Kohl’s.  These girls looks like they went Dick’s Sporting Goods, found some white sports bras and just decided to grab some pom-poms on the way out.  And BTW, taking away the skirt is cheerleading blasphemy.   No one can get away with white short-shorts (that double as underwear) on the field except for the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders.  Their uniform is vintage, timeless, and those white boots are killer!

And if you happen to have a pair of those white boots in your closet, here are some great ideas on how to wear them without looking like a cheerleader reject.

Stick to a dark neutral pallette of blacks and greys and keep the accessories simple…these boots are the lone star of your outfit!

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Pretty in Plaid

It took me a while to warm up to this but I found some pieces that are just too cute (and cheap) to pass up.  And with more feminine silhouettes, prettier colors and playful details you can’t go wrong with these Tartans.  Take a cue from LC and them pair with sky-high heels to help up the sex-appeal.  BTW, hers are YSL and way to pricey for my wallet, but you can get these for a fraction of the cost!

And if plaid still feels too lumberjack for you, don’t buck the trend…try a colorful accessory like this one instead!

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I die.

Every time I see Rachel Zoe wear her ridiculously gaudy yet utterly fantastic Cartier Panthere ring.  I’m obsessing about it each waking moment (when I’m not working of course) and am on the deal hunt for a suitable alternative since I don’t have an extra $10k lying around for this kind of purchase.

So far everything I’ve found online looks like it belongs to some South Philly Italian mobster’s wife, and not in the fabulous Sharon Stone/Casino way.  I think I might have to go vintage on this one.

This post is dedicated to my BFFE! 🙂

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Travel Traumas

Yesterday was one of those incredibly frustrating travel days that you can’t even wish on your own worst enemy courtesy of  my favorite airline, US Airways.  This is the LAST time I ever travel with them…I don’t care how much more I have to pay for American (Tip: Use SideStep for the best travel deals)!

Anyway, since I spent about 7 hours of my day in the airport I noticed how horribly people dress when they travel.  They must think they become invisible once they cross the security checkpoint and that what their wearing gets a free fashion pass just because they’re en route to Milwaukee.  Sorry guys, no such luck here. Here’s a pictorial of some of my favorite airport offenses:

Head-to-Toe Juicy        Adult Crocs        Cute-sy Luggage      

After seeing repeat offender after repeat offender, I got to thinking about what would be a comfortable yet stylish outfit perfectly suited for travel and then I saw her…

wearing a comfortable white tee, long black blazer, dark skinny jeans, black snake skin flats, and carrying the perfect travel accessory…a gorgeous, roomy and elegant carry-on bag.  Try this outfit next time  you fly the friendly skies and leave the items above for children under the age of 12.  










Links: Blazer, Jeans, Handbag, Shoes

NOTE:  If you’re traveling 12+ hours then you do get a free pass and go ahead and wear an adult onesie for all I care!

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Mom…is that you???

I was asked to give some fashion and beauty tips on WE Women’s Entertainment as a part of an ongoing series on their network.  It was an incredible opportunity and I can’t wait for them to air!  For the shoot, I was dressed by their stylist to look more like their core demographic so that I would come across more “relatable” to the audience.  Well…this is the exact outfit they put me in:

To be fair, I totally get that not everyone is into fashion, but let’s give our Moms a little more credit, no??  My Mom is incredibly fashion saavy (with my help at times) and if she were to wear that, she’d spice it up a little and at least leave it unbuttoned!!  Here are some suggestions on how to de-Mom-ify your look:

1. Add bold jewelry: necklaces or bangles layered together and a fabulous cocktail ring will always make a statement.

2. Belt it:  a skinny belt worn at your natural waist in patent, animal print or an exotic skin will add some much needed glamour and help define your figure.

3. No khakis:  lets leave those to the Men and opt for some great wide-leg trousers in a dark grey or with a colorful pin stripe instead.

4. Prints, Prints, Prints:  if you must be conservative on both top and bottom, interject some visual interest by pairing your cardigan with a blouse in a fabulous print…it will break up the monotony of the whole look! 

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A. Britney : US Weekly

B. Obama : White House

C. Bikini : Summer

D. All of the Above

The correct answer is D!!!

Great boots are a must-have item for Fall and finding the perfect pair can sometimes be frustrating, which is why I have to share my EBAY gems with you today.  If you don’t yet have an EBAY account…what are you waiting for?  GET ONE! It is one of the best places on-line to find incredible deals on shoes, handbags, and even clothes.  Now if you think wearing someone else’s used stuff is gross then get over it.  Send it to the dry cleaners, get some new insoles, spray some anti-bacterial in/on it…problem solved!

$19.99                                 $21.95                            $22.99

I found these killer vintage boots in the last few weeks and I am complete in awe of them.  Where can you find leather boots like this for under $25???  They’re all one-of-a-kind, I don’t have to worry that everyone will also be wearing them, and-huge plus- they’re already broken in for me.  Do a search for “vintage boots (insert your size here)” and see what footwear wonderment awaits you!!

PS:  Always look for the orange “Free Shipping” icon and it will save you serious cash!!

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Ahead of the Game

One of my favorite ways to update any plain or boring outfit is with a great headband.  Blair Waldorf/Leighton Meister proves that these hair accessories aren’t for little girls anymore with her sophisticated and unique headgear showcased on this season’s Gossip Girl.  Unfortunately, for those of us without the Upper East Side trust funds, Blair’s headgear is uber-pricey and of the Jennifer Behr kind.

My suggestion is get some great inspiration from the Behr site and follow these super-easy DIY instructions:

For the headband, use a 17″(length) piece of ribbon in 2″ wide silk/satin (measure your head before you cut it, otherwise you take the risk of having a headband too tight or too loose).  Attach a 3″ piece of elastic to the two ends using a hot glue gun or Farbic-Tac.  Find a fabulous rhinestone applique at M&J Trims or a local fabric store and VOILA…Budget Blair Waldorf!

PS:  If you’re not the DIY kind, check out these fabulous Lace or Feather versions for under $5.

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Hot Wellies?

While that might sound like an oxymoron, I’ve found photographic evidence that proves otherwise.

I’ve been searching high and low for just the right rain boot to get me through the dreary Fall/Winter here in Philadelphia and when I saw this picture I was S-O-L-D.  I’ve been looking at Hunter boots for some time now but seeing this pic made me pull the triger, or in this case, click the “Add to Cart” button.

Regular price is $119 and WAY out of my budget, but if you wear a small size (Women’s 5-7), you’ve got a deal…

$59 +free shipping for the kids version at Zappos.  Get them in Eggplant, Navy or Black, pair them with dark skinny jeans or leggings on a dreary day and heat up the rest of your look.  Bring on the rain!

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So, a little birdie just told me that 2 fabulous Maxx New York bags will be featured prominently on tonight’s episode of Gossip Girl.  While they won’t be  on my 2 favorite upper-eastsiders, keep your eyes on Penelope and Izzy!!

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Fall Fashion: Blazer, Jeans and oh-so hot pLeather Leggings!

Sundays have inevitably become my day, since my DH is not only a HUGE Eagles fan, but also a season ticket holder.  So I spent the bulk of my day shopping up a deal storm all over town!  Here’s what I found:

Amazing Theory Blazer for $59 on Clearance at TJ Maxx.  And while this purchase did exceed my golden $50/item rule it was so worth it and see Grey Ankle Jeans below if you need more convincing.

Black Skinny Jeans with the most amazing fit for $16.50 at Old Navy.  I promised myself to full disclosure on this blog, so I will let you know that I am not above shopping in the kiddie section and that’s exactly where these babies came from!

Grey Ankle Zip Skinny Jeans for $24.50 at Old Navy also in the Kids section.  And,  this is VERY IMPORTANT, I always cross-check prices online (which you should always do) and found them there for $16 so I immediately went back and got my $8.50 back!

And the icing on the cake, my highly coveted pLeather Leggings for $42 at American Apparel.  Now, that’s a little pricey, as is everything at AA and I don’t promote ever buying basics here, but I have been obsessing about them for weeks so it qualifies for 2 reasons.

1. It was not an impulse buy

2. They will make me look like a rockstar and I have endless tops/tunics and Louboutin heels to pair them with so I don’t have to spend any more money to make an unforgettable outfit!

I’m also wearing one of the above mentioned unforgettable outfits on Tuesday night to a party so I will post the final look for your viewing pleasure.

Grand Total for 4 Must-Have Fall items:  $ 133.50

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One-Shoulder: Fashion Do or Don’t?

 I’m watching the red-carpet arrivals at the Emmy’s and I can’t help but notice that so many celebs are showing off their enviable upper bodies in glamourous one shoulder gowns. IMO, this is a total DO!  It’s sexy yet subtle at the same time. Here’s a great version from F21 that gives you the same look in a more budget friendly way.  Try it with opaque tights, ankle boots and a long cardigan for daytime OR pair it with textured tights (lace if you’re really feeling sexy), some killer heels and bold jewelry to play up the gorgeus peacock color for night.

But this look is not for everyone…if you’re busty or if you’ve been missing gym sessions lately skip it.  With all the attention on your shoulders and arms, tight and toned is a must!

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Fall Fashion: Part 1

In an effort to curb my spending on totally unnecessary items that I’ll never wear (you should how many things in my closet still have F21 tags!) I’ve decided to make a list of items that are essential-according to me- must have’s for this season.  I love Fall Fahion-especially the boots- like no one’s business and once the temperature drops below below 80… it’s game on!  Here’s my re-re-re-edited list of items that I am allowed to purchase:

  1. Fur Swing Coat
  2. Plaid Shirt Dress
  3. Black Suede Fringe Boots 
  4. Hunter Rain Boots
  5. Black pLeather Leggings
  6. Black Shrunken Blazer
  7. Black and Grey Ankle-zip Skinny Jeans
  8. Black Wool (cashmere maybe?) Coat
  9. ?????
  10. ?????

As you can tell, I’m very into Black and that’s only because I refuse to wear it during the Spring/Summer so the only time I can exhaust the color is during the Fall/Winter.  I left #9 and #10 blank because I prefer to write my lists in 10’s and I’m really not sure just what will go into those two blanks just quite yet, but I’ll let you know.  

As always, the bulk of these purchases will be made for well under what you would expect to pay and I’ll post my findings as I work my way down the list.  Happy Shopping!

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Welcome to CheapChica!

Any good fashion magazine will give you great ideas on how to get a look for under $100, but then you end up looking like you only spent $100.  The real challenge then becomes, how do you look like a million dollars when you’re totally on a budget???  Well, here’s the lowdown on me:

  • I love fashion.
  • I love to get dressed up.
  • I love to shop…for anything.
  • I love to get “deals” (my husbands word, not mine).
  • I don’t like to spend more than $50 per item.

These 5 pillars of mine pretty much drive the fact that I will shop anywhere and I will comparison shop like it’s a competitive sport in the Olympics.  I also believe that investing in certain critical pieces will always up the ante of your look and let you get away with wearing a $9.99 shirt from Old Navy.  And, of course, confidence helps.

I hope this blog will allow me to share my latest finds, address your fashion dilemmas and most importantly, that reading this will open your eyes to new trends, fun ideas and help you save lots of cash in the process. After all, looking good has nothing to do with money! 😉

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