December 2, 2014

OOTW and how to mix high/low stuff

Yes, I used the word stuff. So not appropriate for a 30-something to do, but cut me some slack, it's 6am. Anywho, my aim is to do about one fashion (again, another weird word to write…how about clothes/style/what to flipping wear) post once a week and it'll probably be random. That means it would be helpful if you messaged/commented about what you'd like to hear about. For example, Jen I still owe you a post and some pictures about what boots to wear with those awesome boyfriend jeans! I haven't forgotten! How about I break my once a week promise and post about that maƱana?

I mentioned last week about quality VS quantity and I also said that quality doesn't have to be expensive. You just need to know what to look out for and where to hunt around for good deals. The easiest way to do this is to get to know your favorite brands. This takes time and perhaps a long try on sesh with a good salesperson - taking note of the feel, shape, fabric, and the vibe it gives you when you put something on. Ask lots of questions: does this stretch out? How much? How will it wash? Are these the right size? What would you pair it with? And anything else you can think of to get educated. It makes shopping way easier and, if you're like stupid me and buy something just because it fits/looks good for 5 seconds in the dressing room, it takes the impulse buying out of the equation (which is my main focus for how I shop this upcoming year - being SUPER picky about anything I bring home).

For example, here is a list of my favorite brands (again, these may be different for you) and some I steer away from:

tees: James Perse (I personally don't buy cheap T-shirts now because a good tee can last the test of time and elevate any simple outfit AND I find James Perse on eBay, wahoooo!)

denim: 7 for all Mankind, Citizens of Humanity, J Brand (my fav) - all mid-rise or high-rise. (I personally don't buy GAP/Old Navy/Target because they stretch WAAY out and show too much in the back if you know what I mean. I also don't buy low rise jeans because they really really really annoy me. Britney Spears should be shot put in time-out for making those popular)

sweaters: Vince, Equipment, Joie

blouses: Free People

outerwear: it depends. I have a spring trench from Old Navy I LOVE that has held up for a few years now. My winter/rain coat is from Lululemon and I just had to get a new one because I literally wore my old one out so much it was fraying - cost per wear for the win. And even though I don't buy GAP jeans/tees/sweaters (the quality just isn't there, they don't hold up well) I do love their puffer vests and jackets

fitness gear: pants: Zella. shorts: Lululemon. Sports bras: Lululemon. tops: GAP Fit.

This is in no way an exhaustive list of what I like, but it helps me to avoid brands/stores/stupid sale emails that don't fit into my categories and it helps me most of all to know what to look for in finding deals. Once you know what you like, you can then translate that to thrift/consignment shopping. At the end I'll list some of my favorite places for scoring good deals, but with consignment shopping (especially ONLINE consignment shopping) you have to be EXTRA picky because 1) it's harder to return if you don't end up liking it once it's home and 2) you have to be more disciplined because of the temptation to buy just because it's a good deal.

OK, now I'm just all over the place. Trying to type as fast as I can because before toddler-trouble man is up for the day. Lord help me with that one……

Here are some examples of what I wore last week (OOTW: Outfit of the Week for all you non-instagramers) and how I mixed items from Target/thrift shopping with others I invested in. (H means it's the higher end brand and L means it's not. Again, higher end doesn't have to be expensive.) If the item is still in stock, I've linked it. If not, I listed similar ones at the end.

(H) Top - Stem. Found half off at a little boutique. So soft it feels like Jammies. Similar here.
(L) Pants - Target. Again, feel like jams AND they have an elastic waist. 

(L) Top - Target. I've tried to get rid of it a thousand times but it keeps calling me back.
(H) Skirt - Leith, Nordstrom. Super stretchy, elastic waist, versatile pencil skirt. So comfy. Similar here.

(these are all quality brands but everything was 30-50% off)
(H) Button up: Rails, found on Amazon. (mine was on sale when I got it, but hunt around.)
(H) Sweater: Halogen, Nordstrom
(H) Jeans: DL1961, Nordstrom. These jeans have magic stretch or something 'cause they suck you in and don't stretch out. Can also find at TJ Maxx. Similar here.

(H) Tank underneath: James Perse. Again another half-off find.
(H) Sweater: Halogen, Nordstrom
(H) Jeans: Joe's, TJ Maxx.  (except I'm so sad because these are on their last leg I've worn them so much……) Similar here
(H) Boots: Sorel, Zappos. My winter investment shoe/boot. Waterproof for our dumb rain.

(L) Tshirt: BP, Nordstrom. I'm a sucker for stripes and this was only $15. But it's really soft.
(L) Puffer vest: GAP.
(H) Jeans: Citizens of Humanity, Nordstrom. 

Right: (for church)
(H) Sweater: Halogen, Nordstrom (same black one as above)
(H) Pants: J Brand. similar here
(H) Coat: Tahari, Amazon. found on sale WITH a 20% off coupon code.
(H) Boots: Stuart Weitzman, Nordstrom. Had my eye on these for two years and they went on sale (NEVER HAPPENS) scored the last size 7 in the company. Fate? I think so.

I just realized I only have shoes on in two pictures, LOL.

As you can see, even if it was the "higher end" brand I scored every single item here on sale (except for the J Brand pants in the last pic) for an average of 50% off each item and a lot of the things I got were cheaper than the links - some 'cause I found them elsewhere, had coupon codes, or it was a random sale. Since I now know what I like, I can keep an eye out for deals. Plus I do a lot of comparison shopping before I pull the trigger. It's amazing what you can find on Amazon and Nordstrom will price match anything.

Here are some of my favorite places to score deals:

*eBay! - I hunt for James Perse and score brand new tshirts for as low as $20, regular $60.

*Thred UP - But know what you're looking for/how it fits because they don't offer free return shipping. I learned this the hard way when I had to pay $15 for return shipping for a sweater. Aaaahhhhhh.

*Tradesy - another online consignment shop

*TJMaxx - Great place to score Vince and high end jeans for over half off. (And they are online now!)

*Amazon - a lot of the things I find on other retailers will be less expensive here

* - a spin off of Amazon. Again great deals.

*Local consignment shops - in Tacoma: MEGS & MO. In Portland/Vancouver - MOADO.

AND, my last and most important tip o' the day: if you online shop, go through Ebates. They offer cash back for purchases (even eBay!) and it adds up. To check it out click the link below. I do get a kick back if you sign up and shop (as with the links above) but I guess that's worth it since the kids are clamoring for breakfast and I'm STILL EFFING TYPING.


Alright, I'm done. I hope that was helpful and not a waste of like an hour of my tired fingers or something. Again, if you have questions shoot them my way. Because I'd rather shop for you than for me. I like the hunt but my closet is closed for bizness.

The End.


Cat said...

Since I am the opposite height of you, I have a really hard time with jeans. I can't rely on longs, can't rely on brands or anything because they'll likely be too short and nothing is consistent. These Levi's - long enough. Those same size - too short. And I hate shopping with the kids and in general, so I'm wearing jeans that are 4 years old and have holes in the knees.

I also struggle with what size am I, since I have been pregnant or nursing for (EVER) much of the last 5 years. Once we are done with kids, I can perhaps maintain a body shape for longer than 6 months and then will feel like investing in clothes. How did you deal with the ever changing baby bumps and body shape?

Kristine Mauss said...

Cat, I'll have to look around for longer inseam jeans to see what I can find! But, you could always embrace the rolled/cropped trend and cuff them to your ankles. They look awesome with boots that way. Either one big wide cuff (rolling up once) or 2-3 smaller rolls depending on how much fabric you have to work with.

And I will work on a post about how to shop when your body is ever changing because OH MY WORD is that the chance for my life, haha. I think the longest I've gone in 7 years without being pregnant or nursing is 5 months and even then my body was still trying to bounce back! Thanks for the suggestion!