It’s been one whole week since I returned from BlogHer’12 in New York City… and I just unpacked my suitcase. In my defense, I dumped the entire works into the washing machine and went on with my day. (Although, why that couldn’t be done six days ago… I’m pleading the 5th.)
Now I could do a post on all the connections I made, the newfound inspirations, yada, yada, yada – but I’d rather just break down how I managed to wear an entirely new wardrobe, consisting of four faboosh outfits, for under $200. Yes, I am a frugal fashionista.
Day 1: Thursday, August 2nd – on tap, a bunch of parties, including Mom Central’s Chevrolet Official Canadian Party. If you reside north of the border, the party is THE place to be. Situated on the rooftop of the Thompson Hotel, the consensus on Twitter leading up to event was to don a little black dress. However, since my resident LBD had seen too many private parties, I decided a new outfit was in order.
When Groupon offered a deal for $50 at the Le Chateau Outlet for just $25 a few months ago, I decided it was a great way to use up the Groupon referral bucks that were hanging around in my account. Hence, I didn’t actually spend money to purchase the Groupon, making it a neat way to pick up a new outfit dirt cheap. The dress was the first and only thing I tried on (I don’t do well with overwhelming selection) and I was quite pleased with the price: regularly $150, it was marked down to $69.99. Knowing my $50 Groupon would put a huge dent in it, I grabbed the dress – even though the fit was slightly off on top.
And that’s why it’s SO awesome to have a Mom with seamstress abilities – she was able to take two “invisible” darts in the back (pictured above) which effectively tightened and lifted the top to give me a perfect fit. Ladies, do not be afraid to tailor your clothes! Practically everything I own is altered in some way to fit my curves to a tee.
Next, I had been hanging onto a $20 H&M gift card that I had won at the last @ShopCatch Twitter Party. Sensing a small cross body purse would be perfect to store my room key, lip gloss and spare change, I grabbed a chic cheapie for just $19.99 (pictured in next photo), which meant that I only had to pay the taxes. Since I borrowed the sandals from my mom, my total outfit expenditure was just $25.18!
Day 2: Friday, August 3rd – Conference Day 1. I really wanted to wear something that could go from conference room to expo hall to streets of Manhattan. Plus, I had a private luncheon to consider and needed something loose and flowy in response to the 40°C heat. I had visited the Banana Republic Outlet in Mississauga with high hopes, and I wasn’t disappointed. (Please excuse the yellow-tinged iPhone photo… only shot I have from the day.)
First, the dress. It’s safe to say it was love at first sight, because I am all for colourful stripes that elongate the body, especially since I knew I’d be wearing flats with the dress. Not so lovely: the price tag of $110. (I mean, c’mon, BR Outlet! That’s a little much for 3 metres of semi-faded cotton). However, on the particular weekend that I had chosen to visit, Banana Republic was offering 50% off dresses, making it a reasonable $55. To sweeten the deal, I had a coupon for an additional 20% off purchases of $75 or more (found the coupon in In Touch, of all places – and valid in Canada!) so I persuaded the husband to grab a golf shirt so we could both save a few extra $$. After the additional discount, the dress rang in at $49.72 including tax.
My Aldo Falousta sandals were purchased two years ago and are my most beloved walking gear EVER. Fashioned to knock off Gisele Bundchen’s Ipanema sandals, I grabbed two pairs for $9.98 plus tax during their clearance two summers ago. Funny enough, I actually own two pairs of Ipanema sandals as well – which I paid over $30 each – and I actually prefer Aldo’s version. The straps are more elastic, the jeweled embellishments have better staying power (my Ipanema jewels all popped off) and they’re slightly more tapered, which fit my triple A-width feet perfectly.
Overall I was quite tickled with my day outfit and even garnered a “wow” and “you’re smokin’ girl!” from random New York street folk. #stillgotit
Total outfit expenditure was $49.72, as I already had the sandals, and attributed the purse expense to the first outfit.
Day 2: Friday, August 3rd – Night. I put much thought into this outfit because I knew it would have to serve me well for three private parties and the ever-festive Sparklecorn. Of course, I figured a jazzy, shiny dress was the way to go – especially one that played up my ASSets. Most surprising is where I found said dress: Laura. I normally don’t venture into the store (too many Mommy-type shoppers for my liking) but a skirt in the window caught my eye, and I happened to venture to the sale section to take a look.
Mmmkay. So I’m a *tad* tipsy in this photo and probably should have turned around to show how amazing my derrière looked in this dress. And, while I should have been rocking 4.5-inch platforms to play up the rouching, I just couldn’t bear to teeter all over NYC with blisters. Hence, definite shoe shame but nonetheless, one of my fave looks thanks to the overall great fit. The dress was originally $175 marked down to $69.99 – steal! Total expenditure: $79.09 including tax.
Day 3: Saturday, August 4th – Conference Day 2. It has to be said: NEVER be afraid of a little colour.
Okay, okay, PLEASE don’t think I am endorsing ANY of these looks; just @MyChaos, @ShopwithRobin and I having a little fun… with thousands of dollars in fur. Hand on heart, the salesperson at Saks Fifth Avenue was having heart palpitations as we carelessly draped “designer” pieces over our non-celebrity bodies and posed for photos. I think Tammi’s fur rivaled the price tag of a Toyota Corolla, while Robin’s Lorax-inspired number was a cool $8K. My gorilla suit? On sale for just $3.5K – why didn’t I just buy it?? Now someone else will be walking around Manhattan looking like Dr. Zaius. My loss.
Speaking of the Lorax, I get to model Saturday’s outfit with a special guest.
Let’s first chat about how much I love Groupon referral bucks. Every time a friend purchases their first Groupon from my referral link, I earn a cool $10 in rewards. Over time, they add up – and allow me to grab great Groupons at no cost to me. Such is the case with this Express Groupon – after applying $30 to a top which currently retails for $49.90, I was able to spend just $22.49 out of pocket. LOVE the cut-out sleeves and silky feel. The romantic styling is in direct contrast to the reptile print – dangerous!
Next, thank goodness for mom jeans. Seriously. Because last year, GAP put out two types of skinny jeans: Always Skinny and Forever Skinny. Forever Skinny jeans sat just 3/4-inch higher than Always Skinny, but it was enough to prevent plumber butt when bending over and effectively anchored the jeans to your hips. However, tweens everywhere raged that they weren’t low enough (coming from a generation that favours extreme low rise), and the jeans were discontinued. They were slashed from $68.00 down to just $19.97 online, and when I used a 30% Friends and Family coupon, I scored two pairs for just $13.98 plus tax each. Hell yeah! Total outfit expenditure: $38.28.
And that, friends, is how I spent $192.27 on four outfits for BlogHer’12. At every moment, I felt confident, pretty, and most of all, thrilled that I had spent the time and energy to put my best foot forward – without spending a ton of money. Can’t wait to do it all over again next year!