Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wardrobe Wednesday: Outer Wear

I've never seen a smiling face that was not beautiful. –Unknown

Over the past few years I've been working on a little project. About five years ago I gained a considerable amount of weight that has just stuck around. My casual wardrobe of t-shirts and jeans didn't look good anymore and I just didn't feel pretty. It was around then that I started watching TLC's What Not to Wear, a make-over show that focuses on teaching people how to dress for their body type in age-appropriate and flattering clothes. I learned that I could embrace my body, no matter what size it was, and play to my strengths when choosing clothes.

The participants on the show are given $5000 to buy a new wardrobe and the hosts of the show sift through all the clothes they own and get rid of anything that just does not work for that person. While I did/do not have $5000 extra dollars to spend on new clothes, I've been playing along at home. I like to think of it as the What-Not-to-Wear-on-a-shoe-string-budget-distance-learning-program. I've been wanting to share with you some of the fun clothes I've found for almost a year now. I pay close attention to WNTW when someone with my body type comes on and I shop by “the rules” the stylists on the show give. I always shop the clearance rack in department stores and also shop at discount stores like TJ Maxx and Ross. I've gotten some really awesome pieces and have built my wardrobe up over time. Averaging it out, it comes to about $15 a month that I spend on clothes for myself. And the more cute new things I get for myself, the more I am able to let go of and get rid of those old clothes that just don't flatter me.

Despite feeling more put together, I have lacked the confidence to actually post photos of myself posing for the camera. The posing in and of itself is pretty scary. But putting yourself out there for public scrutiny under a microscope is terrifying. We're all friends here, so you'll be gentle on me, right?

I'm starting with outer wear {a.k.a. coats} because it is winter here and having a nice coat or jacket does a lot for how you feel when you go out in the cold. I showed you my new red coat last Friday but because it is just so darn cute I put together a little collage for today. I haven't really had a nice winter coat of my own for quite a few years now, mostly because it is a huge investment, but also in protest of winter. As if me not owning a proper coat would make winter not come. I usually wear a jacket with a sweater underneath, but if it gets really cold, sometimes I'll put on one of Mr. Bug's old Pea Coats from the Navy. They are black and wool and very boring. This is how you do a pea coat.
Style & Co. Double-Breasted Pea Coat with removable hood, Macy's
Retail: $150.00
Out-the-door: $18.69

Levi's 512 Dark Wash Bootcut Jeans, Macy's
Retail: $54.00
Out-the-door: $36.32
What can I say? If the jeans make your butt look good, buy them.

Boots: I'm pretty sure I got them at Wal-Mart 3 or 4 years ago and paid less than $15 for them.

This next jacket, a trench coat really, is the aforementioned jacket that I have been wearing fall, winter and spring for the last three-ish years. Maybe four, but I can't be sure. Now that I have a nice coat, I'll save it for late fall and early spring because I still really love it.

George ME Women's Double-Breasted Satin Trench Coat, Wal-Mart
Retail: $25.00
Out-the-door: $25.00
Even though I paid full price for this {I knew it wouldn't make it to the clearance rack, or even be there the next time I went back}, I still think it was a really great deal.

American Eagle Women's Avery Bow Flat, Payless Shoes
Retail: $19.99
Out-the-door: $7.25

Gray trousers, TJ Maxx
Retail: $60ish
Out the door: $16.99

Red by Marc Ecko Purse, second-hand
Retail: $70ish
Out-the-door: free

I have a more of my crazy bargains to show over the next few weeks. I went shopping a couple of weeks ago, spent $50 out-of-pocket, got eight items of clothing {the red coat was one of them} and saved $426 dollars. I feel fabulous wearing them because they flatter my body type and I got them seriously on sale. I want to show those things as well as a few other great finds from other shopping trips.


Barb said...

I love your bargains and to see pictures of you....cute cute cute!!! I watch that show too and one time I put together this jacket, shirt, and skirt, my husband said it wouldn't work but it did, I was so thrilled...from my own closet. Trying to follow some of their rules for me...

Ann Marie @ 16 Muddy Feet said...

About 18 years ago I too gained more than 50 pounds in three months, and another 25 over the next 6 months. Turns out my thyroid was whacked out. I had a goiter, and had it surgically removed, and it was cancer. No chemo or anything was needed, but I do take meds everyday now. If you feel fatigued and sluggish, might want to get yours checked out and see if that is what happened to you to. You look fabulous in the photos. I don't have the patience to find great deals on clothes, plus I hate shopping for clothes too.

Paulette said...

You are looking GOOD, girl! I love seeing your bargains, and I too am a fan of Stacy and Clinton, though if they showed up knocking at my door, I'm sure I would be prime WNTW fodder, at least the way I look around the house!

Seeing your navy trench, I have to tell you about the new London Fog black trench I found at GOODWILL last weekend! It looks very similar to yours and is so cute, I only wish it were longer in the sleeves and body to fit tall me (wah!) But alas, it is bound for Ebay, where I hope someone will recognize the bargain that it is and snap it up. Any of your readers wear an XL?? ;) I'm going to sell it for about what you paid for yours + shipping.

Shay said...

Oh la la look like a model in those pictures my friend.

One of the joys of life is a decent clothing bargain. And it sounds like you've managed to score quite a few !

Love that red coat ....

P I'm an XL ...but American sizing is so different to ours I am loath to say I'll take it off your hands !

Jen said...

Live the new segment! You look fabulous! I'm opposite if you: when I gained weight I stopped dressing cute and now reach for my jeans and hubby's Tshirts to wear. Love coats though! I have too many. They dress up any outfit and always look classy. What a great deal on your red coat! Can't wait to see what you have next week :)

QuiltNut Creations said...

I love your red coat; I have a similar one in green I got at Old Nave last winter. and how cute are your red shoes? you look great!