March Plaidness

Cheapskate Savings: Plaid Button-Down

I bought a similar plaid shirt from Old Navy last Fall and I was surprised how often I wore it.   This Spring I bought the blue blouse to the far left for $15.  The fabric is lighter and therefore ideal for warmer weather and layering.  I am going to use the J.Crew $78 plaid blouse as a source of inspiration for styling options.


Striped Sweater Savings

Ordinarily I would do a Couture vs. Cheapskate for this sweater, but I am having a lazy Friday.

Patterson J. Kincaid Flynn Cardigan
$198  $118 at Cusp  To Buy

Striped Shaker Stitch Cocoon Cardigan
$49.90 $24.95 at Express  To Buy

I am sure the more expensive sweater has a better fit and a higher quality, but for $24.95, the Express striped sweater is looking mighty good.  I love these sweaters that act almost as jackets because they pack polish and comfort.  This sweater looks just a good with a pair of dress pants as it does a pair of jeans.  A perfect option for dressing-up your t-shirts too.  Work day to weekend at its best.

Enjoy your weekend!


A Grey Outfit w/ Hot Pink Shoes

Typically this is how my fashion inspiration comes together: watching Gossip Girl.

The obvious source of inspiration would be Serena van der Woodsen when in fact it is her mother, Lily van der Woodsen who often captures my attention.  Lily's commitment to chic, modern neutrals inspires me.  (I also find her hair color thought provoking.)  Case in point a few weeks ago when she wore this grey on grey ensemble:

You can see Lily's look is more refined but I do believe she is wearing grey denim. Her footwear was also black stiletto heels (duh...she was at the hospital) which got me thinking of another grey ensemble I constantly reference:

What if we interpreted Lily's and Emma's outfits for more everyday wear?  One more casual, run-around-town option and another wear-to-work, dressier option? All based on the idea of a grey outfit with hot pink footwear.  Would the fashion world allow this mash-up?

Turns out the fashion world would and on a more realistic, less celebrity-driven budget:

Celebrity Inspiration: Emma Stone

Items included in set:  Old Navy Cable-Knit Sweater $14, Forever21 Denim Skinny Jeans $28, INC International Concepts Snakeskin Pumps $89, Butter Women's Snail Bow Flat $120, Michael Kors Whisper Medium Hoops $45, Elie Tahari T Tahari Stacked Sparkle Ring $38, Vince Camuto Rhinestone Pyramid Ring $48, Armani Exchange AX 'Retro' Sunglasses $65, Lucky Brand "Emmie2" Ballet Flats $59, Laundry By Design Jersey Peplum Dress $69.25

First, my grey denim are a staple in my wardrobe this time of year.  Perfect transition bottom...and for $28? Even better price tag.  The $14 sweater is officially on my wish list too.

Women's Cable Knit Sweater
$13.99 at Old Navy  To Buy

Now to that dress...are you kidding me?  The season's hottest accessory, the peplum, falling from the waist...amazing.  An exposed zipper down the back and knit jersey!!!  Clearly this dress is calling to me.  It is almost half off so I will try and resist but I am not making any promises on how long I will last.

I realize these particular styles may not be for everyone but this color combo can serve as an inspiration as you work with your wardrobe.  If you prefer a more structured and classic grey dress, I recommend this highly affordable option from The Limited.  No peplum but still a comfortable knit that allows for year 'round wear.

Ponte Stretch Dress
$39.99 at The Limited  To Buy

So whether you are inspired by Lily or Emma, a grey outfit with a hot pink shoe can be just the look you need this time of year; a little neutral, a little bright.


Seeing Spades

While researching hot pink blouses, I came across this look:

Trouve 'Spades' Scarf
$48  at Nordstrom  To Buy

The look on its own is simple and stylish.  An easy look to put together using items you may already own but I think the scarf steals the show.  I love the spades!  It reminds me of playing cards and the anticipation of winning a hand.  Plus, it is $100 less than the Kate Spade 'Signature Spade' scarf.  Signature savings!


Minty Fresh

So while we are drawing fashion inspiration from MCs, it is only fair we look to our #1 ladies fashion lover, Kanye for a little minty fresh styling.

There was some controversy surrounding this look as the fashion police assumed Kanye was yet again wearing women's clothing.  Well, the joke is on them because Acne makes this sweater in a men's and women's version.  Yet again Kanye laughs at our silly assumptions.

Mid eye-roll

While I have some concerns with his overall look, I can't help but love the combination of a mint knit sweater with gold jewelry.  Mint is one of Spring's hottest colors and this combo is definitely "wear now."  Gets the Spring Fever going!

By the way, the female version of Kanye's sweater costs $385.  Yikes!  Below are some more affordable sweater/necklace options in mint and gold, all under $100 combined.

Can you guess which Kanye-inspired minty fresh option is my favorite?  What option do you prefer?


2 More Pieces at H&M

While at H&M, I found two more super stylish pieces at an exceptional value.

H&M Houndstooth Dress
$17.95 at H&M  To Buy

Well, I didn't buy the dress the other day because truthfully, I already bought it back in September but in the white and black houndstooth.  Houndstooth was all the rage this Fall so I thought for $17.95, it was an easy pop piece.  The material is a thicker knit so it does not cling and the shape is more boxy so it hides any muffin top.  Because the dress is knit, you are able to wear it four seasons which is an insane value.

When I bought the white option the pink was not available which devastates me to see it now.  I think it would look so cute with my new green pumps also from H&M.

Green Suede Pumps
$24.95 at H&M  To Buy

My other find is a little less exciting but you really can't beat a nice blazer.

Short Boucle Jacket
$49.95 at H&M  To Buy

I love the color orange but it doesn't look good on me so an orange, black and white boucle blend is the perfect alternative.  I am impressed with the fit of this jacket for the price tag.  It has nice tailoring and the proportions are just right.  You can't help but think of Chanel whenever you see a tweed jacket so that is always a good thing.  This jacket is less sweet and more funky though.  I also sized-up for a bit more length.

A jacket like this is perfect for Spring with blouses, dresses and even with jeans...so versatile.  The outfit below is how I intend to wear the jacket at work. Substitute jeans and a t-shirt for a more casual, yet pulled-together, look.  Another four-season wonder.

Even if I had snatched up these two pieces, my total bill would have been less than $200 at H&M.  I would have a total of seven versatile pieces that are stylish, easy, modern and comfortable.  I can also wear all of the pieces throughout the entire year giving me many wardrobe options.


Transition Tees

A long-sleeve t-shirt is a worthwhile investment this time of year.

A thicker cotton provides warmth and coverage; color and stripes add fun.

Colorblock stripe boatneck tee
$45 at J.Crew  To Buy

Colorblocked Stripe Tee
$45 at J.Crew  To Buy

These tees are casual perfection when worn with jeans and boots.  Equally stylish with black skinny pants and flats or heels.  And for a more dressed-up look?  Tuck said transitional tee into a pencil skirt or pleated midi-skirt.  Alone or under a jacket, this shirt is polished but comfortable.  Come warm weather, this tee with capris, shorts and sandals feels fresh and fun.  Year-round wear at its finest.

Not optional any time of year?  An amazing statement necklace.

Short Chain Rhinestone Necklace
$34 at Arden B.  To Buy

$45 might seem like a lot to spend on a t-shirt....fine it is a lot...but the styling options are endless.  Sometimes it is worth spending a bit more on a polished basic because you get an increase in quality and fit. Because these tees transition from winter to spring, your cost per wear will be next to nothing.