Weekly Fashion Flair

Fashion you can buy, but style you possess. The key to style is learning who you are, which takes years. There’s no how-to road map to style. It’s about self-expression and, above all, attitude. – Iris Apfel

In our pursuit for creativity and remaining fiscally astute we are presenting our ideas on how to maintain your personal style on a shoestring budget. If you follow us on Facebook you will see how my personal style vacillates from my childhood favorites to my current bold and classy look.

 

I am the self-proclaimed bargain stalker. My ultimate price point is $5.00 or less and every clearance rack provides unique opportunities to meet my target price. Most people think it’s impossible to go anywhere but the thrift store to find clothes that reasonably price. Possibilities all around us and combining bargains with the right accessories you can upgrade any outfit and affirm that what I snag inexpensively has a higher worth then cost.  So let’s see what fashion finds we conjured up last week.

 

 

I knew I was taking a calculated risk wearing a denim dress to work on a Tuesday (Tuesday is my Monday in the summer). Yet when I wake-up with an outfit in mind that’s all the confirmation I need for an outfit of the day (OOTD).

 

I acquired this upcycled Bleach Tie-dye Gap Dark Wash Platform Shirt Dress from the 2nd Street Festival in NoLibs (Northern Liberty). The vendor was two young ladies that worked at a last destination thrift store. They find pieces they loved and upcycled them with a new patterns and/or reconstructed them. I regret that at the time they didn’t have a business cards. Yet if they see this post, hopefully, they’ll contact me so I can add a link to their business.

 

This dress was originally around $24.99; sales price $5.00. I paired it with Secret Treasures Control Top Seamless Twill Leggings from Wal-Mart for $7.81; sales price $3.00.

 

 

 

Bringing the Bright Colors on a Wednesday. I noticed this Lilly White Sleeveless Blouse at Ross. It was so impressive I got it in two colors. However, it took me until this year to find the right undergarment for it; the Victoria Secret Long Line Seamless Sports Bra.  My Sharagano Petite Trousers were purchased from the Goodwill in Cherry Hill, NJ for $1.00.

 

If you want to know about my recent acquisition of this amazing Vera Bradley Northbrook Tote click here.

 

 

Thursday was filled with Budget Friendly Name Brand Fashion and a Gazebo! The top was from Mr. Isaac Mizrahi Live collection. It’s a Tapestry Print ¾ sleeve Tunic from Jomar ($2.00; QVC Price $54.00). The Talbot Crop Pants were from the Village Thrift ($5.00).

 

 

Friday was a double outfit type of day. It was requested that we create a video for the Interactive Art Wall. So, I got to it first thing in the morning. I chose this outfit for the video and loved it.

This gently-loved LBD is from my bestie, Kimmie_41 and the rest of the ensemble came from Ross. Soho Apparel Ltd Blazer ($1.49), Big Buddha Aviator Sunglasses ($5.99), Fossil Necklace ($5.99) and Fossil Heart Charm ($3.99).

 

 

I prepped for my evening salsa dancing date with a little Ross retail therapy.  I desperately needed a new dancing shoes. I was able to find a pair of Clarks and moderately priced People’s Project LA (PPLA) shirt.

My date attire consisted of a PPLA Aaliyah Top ($.49; retail price $66.00), Old Navy Black Flutter Skirt (closet retro), and Clarks Peep Toe Nude Pumps ($24.99).

 

I must say, telling you lovely people the fine details of my style will probably save innocent passers-by/commuters from having to hear my retail shenanigans. Yes, I am the joyful lady on the bus/train/airplane that can recite the pricing details of every item she’s wearing. I think we all have it in us yet some of us wake-up bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and ready to share!

 

Understand that you, as a consumer, determine the value/worth of an item.  You can buy a Ralph Lauren dress for $114.00 retail or on clearance for $.49.  The intrinsic value of the item stays the same no matter the price point. Yet the reasonable purchase will allow you to leave $113.51 in your savings account.

 

What was your favorite outfit from last week that encapsulated your personal style? Let us know in the comments.

Update: Statement Pieces and Savings

My Vera Bradley bags arrived and I am impressed with these bags. They give a pop of color and classy look to an outfit.  I purchased the Northbrook Tote in Plum, Rouge, and a Snap and Zip Case for under $90.00. These Vera Bradley and my Harveys Seatbelt bags are my go to statement pieces.

 

Sales Alert: Today is Vera’s Birthday and to celebrate customers are receiving 25% off their entire purchase (no discount code necessary). So, if you are interested in purchasing a Vera Bradley bag now is the time.

 

 

To get the details on this booty click Statement Pieces and Savings.

 

DIY: Interactive Art Wall

It is official, I love crafting wall art. Yup, I admit it. My homegirl and former regional rail rider @highheelmom made a headboard that inspired me. So, here is my quick and easy take on this project.

 

Step 1: Get It Together

Your Supplies:

Reversible Sequin Fabric

Ruler

Chalk or pencil

Fabric Scissors

Staple gun

Canvas

 

I purchased almost a yard of Casa Embellish Reversible Sequin in Navy/Silver from JoAnn’s Fabric, 24×48 Canvas, Arrow Trutac Stapler and 8mm Staples from AC Moore.

 

Learning Lesson(s): Casa Embellish Reversible Sequin comes in Navy/Silver, Silver Holographic/Iridescent, White/Champagne. The fabric cost around $29.99 per yard. To get a better price point see what Amazon has available and Joann coupons.

 

Step 2: Prep Work

I used my yoga mat to layout the fabric making sure to flatten the sequins down before turning it over (essentially, you are working with the back of the fabric)

Step 3: Make A Work of Art

Center your canvas on top of the fabric.  Using a ruler/leveler and chalk/pencil measure an additional 1 ½ to 2 inches around canvas.

Cut off the excess fabric.

 

At the four corners cut an angled slit. This will make it easier to have smooth corners. I attempted the gift wrapping fold yet the corners were lumpy.

 

Load your stapler.  Starting from the center of the longest sides, begin stapling the fabric to the wooden frame of the canvas. Smooth the fabric as you go.

Learning Lesson(s): You can always use fabric glue to bind the fabric to the canvas. 😉

 

On the shorter sides, begin stapling the fabric to the wooden frame of the canvas. Smooth the fabric as you go.

 

 

Step 4: Hang That Ish…

You can use Hercules Hook or Monkey Hook Picture Hangers to mount your artwork to the wall.

 

 

Enjoy your grand-scale interactive art!

 

 

What did you think of our Interactive Wall Art? Let us know the comments.

Statement Pieces and Savings

 

 

It was time to add a few designer handbags to my wardrobe after reading articles on how Human Resources Managers, the gatekeepers, are looking at your wardrobe and weighing it as heavily as your job experience. I thought I was doing something when I saw the Zulily prices for Vera Bradley bags. However, I would have never thought I would get a better price from the Vera Bradley website itself. The Northbrook Plum Tote retails for $148.00, it was marked down 65% to $51.80, and there was an additional 30% off online clearance to $36.26. The Snap and Zip Case retails for $34.00, was marked down to $11.90, and there was an additional 30% online clearance to $8.33.  Oh, let’s not forget Vera Bradley is apart of eBates and offers 3% cash back on a purchase.

 

 

Total Retail Prices for two Northbrook Totes and a Snap and Zip Bag $330 and the total I paid $83.29.

 

I can say it was definitely a good shopping day.  So if you are looking for a reasonable price designer bag that will be a statement piece you just found one. When they arrive I’ll take a pic for ya!😎😎😎

 

Northbrook Bag Description & Dimensions:  Exterior features one slip pocket. Interior features two slips and one zip pocket. Metal feet on base. Zip closure. 13″ w x 13 ¼” h x 5″ d with 6″ handle drop; 39 ¼” removable, adjustable strap.

My Screening Pass Life: Baby Driver

Baby Driver… in theaters June 28th

 

I was blessed with Baby Driver screening passes in the beginning of June. For once I am not going to discuss the movie… I am fascinated by the soundtrack.  I have never experienced a movie the made me want to see it again just to listen to the music in it.  There were at least 30 songs in this movie and all of them epic.  This movie had me musically captivated from the opening scene when Baby played Bellbottoms by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion on his iPod. I was orgasmically intrigued when the Incredible Bongo Band Bongo Rock album was part of product placement. This movie was setting up a name-that-tune/found-the-record nostalgic overload in my brain. As I sat in the dark theater attempting to write down every song I heard clearly know it was an impossible task yet that never deterred me.  Baby Driver is a brilliant movie, action packed, and full of redemption yet the music.. My goodness the music!!!

Memorable Music:  Deborah by T Rex, Easy by The Commodores, Neat Neat Neat by The Damned, Brighton Rock by Queen, etc. 

 

Did you prefer the movie, the soundtrack, or both? Let us know in the comments.

 

Odunde! Happy New 2017 Recap

On Sunday, June 11, 2017, my trek to Odunde had a few hiccups.  I walk allover the city of Philadelphia which means in an instant my plans change, arrival times vary, and I refuse to be frustrated because things will work out. As I approached 31st & Wharton two beautifully designed and maintained classic cars ride down the street.  Seeing these cars were just like finding a penny to me; it sets the tone that my day will be filled with joy.

 

Once at Odunde I bumped into my first cousin Michael while walking to meeting up with Lil/Big Sis and the children. The last time we saw Michael was over three years ago.  Odunde created the perfect opportunity for a Monroe Family Usie!

 

 

After a brief chat with the family we parted ways, I gorged on funnel cake with extra powder, and then it was time to start the vending adventure.

 

A Little Background: Normally I am an Odunde attendee. I get to see merchandise and haggle with the vendors. I am from a family of street vendors; however, most of them stopped in the 1990s. So each year I look forward to opportunities to assist vendors. Doing this brightens my day, brings back feelings of nostalgia, and increases their sales. 

In 2016, I had an insatiable need to fold so I offered to assist vendor Naturally Chic Fashion (NCF) with folding and packing merchandise at the end of the event. I enjoyed the 2016 experience so must that at the end of the event I offered my services for 2017. In May 2017, I emailed NCF to remind them of my offer and to confirm their attendance.

When I heard from Kevin, on Odunde Sunday,  I did not fully grasp that my 2017 experience would be predominantly as a vendor.  This year Naturally Chic Fashion had three booths. Kevin and I would be working the 21st & South Street booth together. 

 

 

It was fast pace, chaotic, fun, lucrative, and the best vending experience I’ve had in a long time. We had so many people attempting to make purchases that our team of two became three; my girl P.Battle jumped in to assist.

 

 

From A Vendors Prosceptive: We still got to experience the sights and sounds of Odunde. We partook in the delectable cuisine of the Caribbean Pot, friends/acquaintances/partners came to booth for hugs, we felt the reverberation of live drumming, and heard the faint sound of Whodini performing.

 

 

After a hard days work I was gifted NCF 2017 Statement Shirt Collection.  To see all the available statement shirts for purchase click on the my collection picture. 

 

My NCF 2017 Statement Shirt Collection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you NCF Crew for the experience and to P.Battle for your participation. Follow me on Instagram as I tour the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection rockin my MD gear!

 

What was your Odunde experience? Let me know in the comments.

 

Odunde! Happy New Year 2017

We are days away from one of my favorite New Year celebrations. Odunde is the observance of the Yoruba new year and is celebrated ever year on the second Sunday of June. Started by Mrs. Lois Fernandez in 1975, Odunde is the largest African celebration on the east coast.  I have been an attendee since I was a little girl and a vendor as a teenager.

 

The event starts of with a procession to the Schuylkill River to offer fruit and gifts to the goddess Oshun.

 

 

Every year offers participants exposure to international, national and new local brands, face painters, DJs, food vendors, etc. The marketplace and festivities span 12 city blocks starting at 23rd and South Street.

 

 

One of my cherished experiences each year is bumping into people I have not seen in forever and spending time with my girl/attendee P. Battle. We have met up for the last five years to shop, joke and enjoy the festivities. Last year she introduced me to awesome t-shirt vendor, Innovative Design USA.

 

 

Though Odunde is marketed as a one day marketplace there are events throughout the week.  They hold story telling, African Business Roundtable, Potter Class. On Saturday June 7, 2014, Odunde attempted to set the world’s largest Zumba class with the Guinness Book of World Records.

 

 

This Saturday Odunde is sponsoring a free yoga class from 10 – 11 am at Marian Anderson Recreation Center (740 South 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146). All you are required to do is register and enjoy the fun.

For more information on this week’s events go to www.odundefestival.org

 

Tell us about your favorite Odunde experience and if you will be in attendance this Sunday? Let us know in the comments.