Flounce and Flare

So now that we are friends on Pinterest, we can have deep conversations about all the wonderful fashions we are viewing on a daily basis.

One outfit I have been obsessed with is this outfit featured in Lucky magaizne.

Side note: I don't intend to make everything about Pinterest going forward.

But! The great reveal here is the skirt shape. Previously I didn't enjoy a tulip flare silhouette but for some reason this outfit spoke to me and I had a change of my fashion-focused heart.

A flounce skirt is sort of a win-win.  If you have hips, the flare adds balance whereas if you are more straight through the hips, the flare creates some feminine curves.  This skirt is also a nice balance of structure and movement.  The pencil shape is sleek and professional.  The flounce is flirty and fluid.  Like I said...win-win-win-win.

Flounce Skirt For Fall

I love this outfit for many reasons but mainly because it's something to wear-now for this awkward, in-between time of year.  Cream chunky sweaters are officially on my radar and I think it is the next item up on my wish list.  Like the flounce skirt, I wasn't that crazy about this Rebecca Minkoff clutch but now I am having second thoughts.  This ALDO option is more affordable for almost the same look.  These burgundy shoes are amazing. I have a similar Sam Edelman pair that I wear to death.  Let's add a funky pearl ring and spiked bracelet set for contrast.  My favorite "almost lipstick" and Fall's hottest nailpolish shade complete this Pinteresting look.  Oh and there is a leather bow barrette.  I love it.

Happy Fall people.


CC Stands For Cobalt Crush

Every season one color emerges as the hottest, most in style hue.

This Fall cobalt blue is making a major statement and is a necessary addition to your wardrobe.

It's bright.  It's bold and ready to bounce with your basics.

CC Stands For Cobalt Crush

  1. Bauble Bar Bib $20 My favorite necklace hands down. Feel free to scour eBay for this same necklace.  Much less expensive but some downgrade in quality.
  2. Nine West Faycie Ultramarine Flats $39.99 A fancy flat that reminds me of the famous Sex and the City cobalt Blahniks.
  3. Mossimo Short Sleeve Dress w/ Zipper Pockets $24.99  This dress is so versatile.  Wear now while it's still warm out and with tights and boots come cold weather.  Great under a blazer or a leather jacket.
  4. Zara TRF Bowling Bag $35.90 A cobalt structured bag is a must-have accessory for Fall.
  5. Apt. 9 Ponte Peplum Top $28 Peplum, ponte and faux leather detailing?  Could this top be anymore perfect?
  6. Sole Society 'Elisa' Suede Bow Pump $59.95 Cobalt pumps are the perfect pop to any outfit. Try an all-black ensemble with cobalt shoes.
  7. Kendra Scott Cobalt Hoop Earring $36 So delicate and pretty.  Love with a black turtleneck.
  8. Express Ultimate Double Weave Columnist Pant $48 My favorite pant begging to be paired with a crisp white blouse for maximum brightness.
Personally I am happy cobalt is having a moment because it's a universally flattering color.  It looks good on most skin types plus it's extremely versatile as it pairs well with neutrals. See below for more proof that cobalt blue is the #1 color for Fall.

Oh what's that?  The new Couture Cheapskate on Pinterest?  Double holler!

Couture Cheapskate
Follow Couture Cheapskate on Pinterest for daily fashion that is affordable, inspirational and in some cases, aspirational.
Let's hear it for cobalt blue, Pinterest and the boys!


Fall All-Stars

Mid-September features two major returns: the NFL and Fall fashion.

And like the NFL, in fashion, you always play your All-Stars to ensure victory.

Fall All-Stars

Leather: Leather is the foundation fabric of any Fall wardrobe. The good news is there are many affordable faux options available at every price point.

Lace: The thing with lace is that it never really goes away no matter the season.  For Fall, it takes a darker, more noir turn in mysterious black.  Or gets a pop in jewel tones.

Leopard: Animal print is a year-round classic but feels more at-home in cooler temperatures.

Red: Red is a go-to color every season, however, this season red is more atop the color chart than usual as a new neutral.

Fur: I only like fur of the faux variety and fur is the perfect accent to make any look more luxe.

Studs: Hard core stud details are more abundant during Fall as fabrics become heavier.

When analyzing your Fall closet, these classics are your no-brainer players that you build the rest of your wardrobe around.


Animal Print Classic

Animal print is classic and a must-have in any wardrobe.

Sweatshirt Chic from GAP.

Animal print apparel may feel too wild for some, so a pair of comfy flats is the perfect way to ease into the jungle.  I am feeling ballet flats more than usual this season because of their slipper-like quality.  Ballet flats are the perfect footwear for leggings, skinny jeans and the chic sweats showing up everywhere this season.  A pair in animal print makes your outfit instantly more fashion forward and sophisticated.  Easy breezy.

This top is part of my personal collection.  The price is insane especially because the top doesn't look cheap. I know I have previously ended my relationship with peplums but they are just so flattering.  I tried this shirt on with black shorts the day I bought it and I loved how cute and comfortable my outfit became.  I also think this top will be perfect with a black pencil skirt when I don't feel like putting much effort into what to wear to work.

I saw a dress by MNG by Mango in this same print and style at jcpenney however I cannot find it online. This is basically the same dress but directly from MANGO.  According to my People StyleWatch September issue, the long-sleeve sheath is an official trend.  I can't imagine a better way to rock this trend then a long-sleeve sheath in a funky animal print.  Beyond.  With a pair of rock star black booties?  Double beyond. You can wear this particular dress four seasons and for $40, that's a complete bargain.

This is why animal print is a classic.  Besides being a neutral color palette, you can decide how conservative or wild you want to go based on your personal style.


Red Shoe Heaven

Red + Ankle Straps + Midi Heel = Shoe Heaven.

I am so relieved that midi heels are a thing this Fall.  Ever since Rachel Zoe said kitten heels were pointless, my heart has been broken because I love a smaller heel.  This season I will take my heels up about an inch but still firmly planted in that comfort zone of under 3 inches.

Red is always classic and a pair of red pumps has been on my wish list since last Fall.  That being said, the wild card here is the ankle strap.  Ankle strap shoes have been on the scene since Spring but now are officially in.  Believe it or not, ankle strap shoes are actually flattering.  By highlighting the thinnest part of your leg, your legs appear longer and leaner.  Done and done.

Fine.  Blake Lively is a bad example because she is perfection but you get the point.

So here's the deal.  Red shoes were on my wish list to begin with.  With this affordable pair from Sole Society, I am getting two trends for the price of one plus filling a perceived (read: not actual) hole in my wardrobe.  I am honestly having a hard time thinking of a more practical purchase.

CCTip:  Sole Society has the best feature, "Shop The Look" which features outfit ideas for each shoe. Perfect for if you are unsure on how to try a new trend. 


Bejeweled Camo Top

Sometimes things are so wacky, I can't help but love them.

Exhibit A:

Upon first glance, maybe it's not so bad.  But then you look closer and notice the bejeweled neckline.

I'm aware it's an obnoxious combination.  That's probably why this bejeweled camo top speaks to my heart.  I think it would be fun with distressed denim and some heels.  Perhaps with my faux leather pencil skirt as well?  I also love a jeweled neckline because no necklace necessary. It just makes my life easier.

And for $14, who cares if it's kind of crazy?


Laser Cut Love

Laser cut items are everywhere right now.

Laser Cut Love

Sometimes sweet.  Sometimes sexy.  Laser cut gives the illusion of lace but with more edge. Some call it a peek-a-boo.  I call it an easy way to add an elevated basic to your wardrobe.


Biker Bootie Bargain

If there is one thing you must add to your wardrobe for Fall, it's something motorcycle-related.

Studded Booties

These booties are an easy (and affordable) way to achieve the motorcycle trend without having to reinvent your wardrobe.  You can basically throw them on with anything in your closet and boom!  Instant on-trend outfit.  Best of all, if you're unsure of your inner biker babe, the price is right for taking this trend for a spin around the block.


Floral Blazer / Transition Piece

August shopping can be broken down into two categories: super sale or Fall-transition pieces.

This summer I wore this Forever21 floral blazer quite often:

This blazer was such an easy piece to throw over my basics (including this dress and these pants) that it got me thinking, "Self, wouldn't your life feel more complete if you had a floral blazer in a dark color that you could wear into Fall and beyond?"

Pins And Needles Summer Lady Blazer $49.99

Spoiler Alert!  The answer was yes.

Based on the picture above, it is hard to imagine this jacket in a less hipster way.  But looking solely at the fabric, I like the slightly tropical, but vintage feel of the print.  There is a nice balance between bold colors and soft neutrals to keep it from being too over-the-top.  I also like the ruched 3/4-sleeve which is a nice detail for those of us with longer arms trying to wear a juniors-cut jacket.

Note the purple and red...2 of Fall's top colors

After finding such success with my Forever21 blazer, I am confident in this purchase because of the blazer's versatility.  The floral blazer works with dress attire for work and casual pieces (i.e. denim) for a laid-back yet polished look.  There is nothing I love more than a statement piece that is surprisingly neutral.

This floral blazer is the perfect August combo; on-sale and something you can wear into Fall.

And P.S.....floral is going to continue to be a trend for Fall.

CCTip:  Shop online for the best end of summer deals.  Summer sale merchandise is pretty much out of stores by this time of year and what is leftover on the sale rack is usually gross.


Keep It Simple Summer

Lately I just want to keep it simple.

I am drawn to easy pieces that aren't fussy and can be worn alone or with the more statement items in my wardrobe.

This dress did not get the best reviews but I happen to like it.  For summer, it's a nice weight and can be worn just with simple accessories. It can also be dressed-up with a statement necklace or under a jacket...sometimes even all of the above.  I think this dress has a nice polish despite being simple, and most important, comfortable.  I like it so much I own it in black and grey.

Keep It Simple Summer
As far as accessories, I live for sandals that mix black and brown.  All you need is one pair!  This oversized clutch is to die for and under $20.  I promise you people will think it's designer.  I also have been on the hunt for simple gold star studs similar to the Gorjana pair.  This pair for only $8?  Done.  If there is one piece of jewelry that people love of mine, it is this cheapie chevron necklace.  I am not sure why but I will take it.  Especially for $4.  I like to layer mine with shorter, more delicate necklaces.

This is my favorite lip gloss for summer.  For some reason the image is waaaaaaay more orange than it is in real life.  The gloss also has a bit of a shimmer (that you also can't tell from the picture) but have no fear, the shimmer is not scary.  This BB Citrus gloss is just the perfect subtle shimmer that almost looks like you are wearing nothing except better.

I think this is going to be my mantra for summer: keep it simple.  Really it is your simple pieces that serve as the important foundation to your wardrobe. I think this sets me up for fashion success.

CCTip:  I don't mind taking extra care when washing my less expensive garments.  Whether it's washing by hand or dry cleaning, I feel like I am extending the life of my clothing and therefore extending my savings by making the extra effort.


Target Dresses Under $30

I feel like when I try-on clothes, I either hate everything or love everything and therefore feel panicked over what I am going to take home and what I am going to leave behind.

Such was the case when I tried on dresses the other day at where else?  Target.

Target Dresses Under $30
  1. Merona Women's High-Low Hem Sundress $24.99 This dress reminds me of Lily Pulitzer but more sporty.  I like the stripe detailing mixed with the tropical print, this season's most stylish pattern.  I also appreciate the tie waist which allows for a more flattering custom fit.
  2. Xhilaration Juniors Eyelet Shift Dress $24.99 Meet the dress that came home with me except I opted for cream.  I have been searching for a white lace dress and thought this was the perfect choice because it can be worn casual or to the office.  Despite being a juniors dress the fit is more generous and okay for those of us with hips.
  3. Mossimo Women's Pleated Knit Dress $27.99 This dress has been on my mind non-stop since I left Target.  First, you know I am currently obsessed with leaf print.  Second, the gathering at the front is draped so well that the dress looks designer.  It would look amazing under a black blazer at work.
  4. Merona Women's Kimono Sleeve Maxi Dress $29.99 Maxi dresses are officially on my "do not buy" list but this dress may be the exception.  The description is kimono but I think it feels a little Grecian with the crossover top and empire waist.  What I like about this dress is the hem is not all the way to the floor intentionally so when paired with heels, for once, I don't look like I am prepping for a flood.
The common theme among these dresses is I feel like the quality is exceptional for the price.  There isn't any sacrifice when it comes to fit or fabric which is key when shopping on a budget.  Add beautiful jewels, a smart clutch and stylish sandals to really escalate the look of each dress.

CCTip:  Because not every Target carries the same clothes, they have a wonderful "find in store" button on their website that helps narrow down your target destinations and saves you time searching.


CC Mommy Presents: The Braided Racerback Tank

CC Mommy is here with a cute and affordable tank top that I think works for Moms and non-Moms who struggle with hiding their mid-section when the temperatures rise.

During my almost daily check at Forever21.com, I came across this braided racerback tank.  I initially took a closer look because of the cool hunter green color but quickly realized the relaxed, flowy fit could make it a summer staple worthy of purchasing in black and white as well (only a $10.80 price tag).

See...I am wearing shorts.

Upon becoming a mom, I've notice that my summer style has changed a bit.  Pre-baby I often found myself wearing some sort of fitted tank.  And while I still love my tank tops, I am less enamored with my post-baby mid-section which is not flattered by anything super-fitted.

What happened to my waist?

braided racerback tank

This top will be super comfortable yet also flattering.  It will also lend itself well to one of my favorite summer trends: printed skinny jeans and shorts.  I plan on wearing a bandeau in lieu of a bra but think this tank can also be layered with another tank top underneath if you need more support.

CC Not The Mommy Says:  What happened to my waist?  Sounds like this tank would work for my muffin top from too many Skinny Cows and Scandal-watching on the couch.  I also like the length of this tank for us longer torso gals.

CC Mommy Tip:  I happen to like Forever21's skinny jeans (lots of elastic and great prices) but I have also seen many cute printed skinny jeans at Gap and JCPenney.


Things I Love This Summer So Far

Summer is only two days old but I have already fallen in love with the following:

Things I Love This Summer So Far

  1. Dove Body Wash in Blue Fig & Orange Blossom $5.50 A nice thick formula with a light summer scent.  Doubles as shaving cream for maximum moisture.
  2. Old Navy T-Shirts $7.50 For some reason Old Navy tees get better with age.  I live in them during the summer.
  3. Bath & Body Works Limoncello 3-Wick Candle This candle is potent.  Makes your house smell recently cleaned.  And perfect for covering up inside grilling gone bad.
  4. Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple This book got a lot hype.  Not the best book ever but I finished it in mere days.  A quick and fun summer read.
  5. Skinny Cow Limited Edition Chocolate Covered Cherry Cones I don't especially love cherries but these cones are delicious AND only 150 calories.  You feel like you get a lot of ice cream for the calories.  A food bargain if you will similar to microwave popcorn.
  6. Scandal I signed-up for Amazon Prime by mistake but have been using it non-stop to catch-up on Scandal.  ABC does not show that sucker anywhere for free.  I find myself falling in love with Olivia Pope.  My life has purpose again after the end of tv season.
I also love the super moon.


Drapey Printed Pant

It should come as no surprise that I have my eye on yet another pair of printed pants.

They are my favorite.  I love them and I won't stop.

You can probably tell from the photo (or the description), these pants have a slight drape which equals super comfy.  Fancy pajama pants anyone?  The weight of the fabric is perfect for summer and of course is super versatile as you can dress these pants up or down with a quick change of your top and shoe.

LOFT Julie Print Pant

Because of the drape of the pant, a fitted top is a must to keep the look from going too far into pajama zone.  I like this white peplum top but if one stop shopping is your thing, LOFT has an option too.  What would an outfit be without a statement necklace?  I keep coming back to this one from Kendra Scott because the colors are so versatile and I love a chunky stone.  I mean who doesn't?

This ring is always a go-to for me too.  I should probably just make the purchase already.

Another item I have had my eye on for some time is this straw clutch from Express.  In-person it looks far more designer than its price tag.  As stated previously, graphic raffia is hot this summer.  Case in point, see this clutch from J.Crew for about $150 more.

Here is another pair of shoes I have added to my collection this Spring.  Slingbacks are my new thing.  A pointed-toe shoe, especially one in patent leather, can escalate a somewhat casual outfit to more dressed-up in one quick change.  With a drapey pant, you need a more sophisticated shoe if you want to be able to wear these pants to the office.  Of course I would add a black blazer too.  Shocking.

As much as I love these pants, my current strategy is to wait and see if they get another markdown.  There are still many sizes available online so that might mean another mark.  Read those reviews y'all.  Love all the comfy comments.


Weekend Alert: H&M Summer Sale

H&M started their Summer Sale and this is how I intend to spend my $10.

H&M Black Embroidered Tunic $10

This tunic reminds me of some stuff Isabel Marant has been doing lately.  It is a little roomy but I think it would look cute with shorts, leggings or jeans like the model below.  Also like the model, I have some lace-up heels waiting in my arsenal to perhaps partner with said tunic.

One little detail I don't want you to miss is the lower hem in the back.  Who doesn't like a little extra coverage?  I also think the model is whistling a tune because she is so happy with her purchase.



Sometimes in the summer you have to do some off-season shopping to really maximize your savings.

Take, for example, one of my favorite style-setters, Kate Moss, sporting a mint green fur coat:

While I am not endorsing her coat, one thing I can get on board with are her Isabel Murant Blackson boots.

However, said boots will set you back a mere $1300.  I guess if you are wearing a 3/4 length mint fur coat, money is not of concern for you.  But it is for me.  That is why I have been eyeing these boots from everyone's favorite copycat Steve Madden.

The Madden boots are not an exact imitation, but knowing our buddy Steve, I'm sure the Marants were the inspiration.  I can't hate though.  For $50 bucks, I am down with these boots. And although not necessarily a summertime purchase, the price is pretty awesome.  Besides being about $1200 less than the Marants, these boots have been marked down from $130, which is a savings of $80 bucks.

Perhaps these stylish yet affordable boots are worth purchasing now and holding onto for Fall?

Allegedly Fall is going to be all about the rock star style.  These boots from last year feel like a good way to get started.  You can't beat the price as they are on sale from last Fall.  Plus, doesn't the weather feel a little fall-like right now anyway?

Although many stores are promoting summer sales, this is not the lowest prices will go so if you can wait, do so.  That being said, now is a great time to pick-up fall/winter items from last season before they are cleared out to make room for new fall inventory circa July.

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Summer Pool Days

The summer is upon us and one of my most favorite summer past times is hanging by the pool.

First things first, who doesn't hate swimsuit shopping?  This year I committed to the one-piece and I was quite happy with this option from Old Navy.  I didn't realize the "control max" meant Spanx-like but I can't say I minded.  It was just a little hard to get on the first few times but I did appreciate the extra suction.  The hot pink color and retro-inspired cut make this conservative silhouette more fun.  It is also nice to be able to move around more freely and not worry about losing your suit.  Holla one-piece!

It may be hard to see but this tunic from H&M is the perfect swimsuit cover-up.  The price is right and there is a color option for every swimsuit.  I personally own the zebra print.  The lightweight fabric is ideal for poolside lounging and beating the heat.  Such an easy, comfy piece as all cover-ups should be.

Neon Woven Hat + Old Navy Swimsuit

To complete my swimsuit look, a wide-brimmed hat (which is much cuter in-person) and of course a fancy beach bag.  I would never wear jewelry to the pool but this beaded tassel necklace from LOFT is just too perfect to not include.  I am also on the hunt for these super affordable flip-flops from Forever 21.  

After a hot day at the pool, is there anything more refreshing than a good old wipe down of the sweat and chlorine that has accumulated on your face?  These towelettes are my new favorite. They are designed to cleanse and exfoliate leaving skin bright and fresh.  The scent is also refreshing.  Very necessary when I am over here sweating in my one-piece.

So I am ready for the pool!  Now I just need a day off and some sunshine.

CCTip:  Target has many cute and affordable hats perfect for shading your face from the sun.

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On The CC Radar: Loft Necklaces

LOFT has a ton of cute stuff right now but I feel like they are truly shining in their necklace selection.

Loving Loft Necklaces

This is just a sampling of the cute stuff LOFT has in-store.  I love the tassel detail both in beads and yarn.  This season you will see a ton of tassels as they are a big trend in accessories and apparel.  If tassels on your clothing feel too hippie for you, then a necklace is the perfect place to test drive this trend.

So cute with a navy tank. What an unexpected combo...heart.

These prices are on the high side but LOFT tends to run lots of promotions that help lower their prices.  I will for sure keep an eye out for these to go on sale as I am really into the Fireball Wooden options.  I love a good wooden necklace.  Plus this one has rhinestones which I can never resist.


Gingham Kitten Heels

The other day CC Mommy shared with you her gingham style.

Today I am going to reveal a pair of shoes that have been hot on my radar for months.

One can't help but see how the ShoeMint Karen was inspired by the Miu Miu gingham slingbacks that were everywhere circa last year.

Although these Miu Mius would set you back well over $500, you cannot deny their versatility.  I mean look how cute they are with a pair of jeans?

So this is our point.  Not only is gingham a versatile fabric in general but it also makes for a highly versatile shoe.  A gingham kitten heel can be worn casual with jeans or dressed up with a pencil skirt.

Gingham Shoes // Casual
Gingham Shoes // Professional
Items same as above except H&M Pencil Skirt $23.

I love a shoe that works both casual and dressed-up.  All we have to do is change the bottom of each outfit and keep everything else the same and the shoe works in both cases.  That might build a strong argument for making an investment in the Miu Mius last year but I think these gingham kitten heels are a cute and affordable alternative.  Plus who wants to troll eBay for worn shoes?

I just wish the Karens really took the imitation is the most sincere form of flattery seriously and found a way to add those dang bows on the back.  They are darling.