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Fabulous, Functional & Frugal Fashion Tip #20

Preparing for Spring/Summer

Jessica Simpson Tinnay Sandal in Nude: The Tinnay sandal has a block heel and ghillie styling to add a trendy touch to your look.
DSW | Jessica Simpson Tinnay Sandal

If you’ve been a part of the Bold Blind Beauty Community for the last few months I’ve shared tips from downsizing to making the most out of what you have. Today I’d like to tackle how to update your wardrobe and save money at the same time by using technology.

Use a spreadsheet program like MS Excel or my favorite, Google Sheets:

  • Unsubscribe from all retail mailing lists. This eliminates the temptation to buy. Use a spreadsheet program to document favorite retailer’s hyperlinks to update or replenish makeup, skincare, wardrobe, shoes, and accessories.
  • Create and update a list of wants/needs. I use Google Keep a simple note-keeping app that syncs to all of my devices and has some cool features to allow for ease of organizing notes/lists by color or tags.
  • Create and maintain a spreadsheet containing a current inventory of wardrobe and accessories. This allows for ease of seeing what is needed down the road.

Use money-saving browser extensions for online shopping:

  • Honey – automatically finds and applies coupon codes at checkout with a single click.
  • Amazon Assistant – helps you make better decisions wherever you shop online by providing order updates, cost-saving product comparisons, can save products from any website to your registries or lists.
  • Ebates – Once activated the Ebates cash back button finds coupons and promo codes, and automatically apply them when you checkout.

Exercise Discipline

This last tip isn’t technology related but is important in helping you to stick with your minimalist strategy. An example of how I do this is planning ahead of time. My spring/summer wardrobe

Here’s my spring/summer wardrobe list:

Mustard colored, pointed toe flat slingbacks from Zara with metallic piece detail on the sole and elastic strap at the back for a better fit.
Zara | Flat Slingback Shoes

Fashion jewelry – I’m swapping out older pieces for a choker, earring cuffs, hoops, drop earrings, bracelet, necklace.

Shoes – One pair each: slides, sneakers, slingbacks, sandals (flat & heeled), flats.

Clothing – Denim dress (this has been on my list for a couple of years because I haven’t found one that speaks to me yet), white jeans, utility jacket, caftan, 3 tops.

Accessories – sunglasses and a ball cap.

It should be noted that for each new item, I get rid of an existing item. I’ll share my fall list in an upcoming post.

Do you have any fashionable cost-saving techniques to share? Please do tell.

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Jeans & Flats With A Little Bling

The Downtown Dinner Dress Dilemma

Sitting at my dinette table hands on knees with white cane propped up next to me.As of last week between the lingering winter-like weather, no money, the major parking lot renovation project at my complex, and NO MONEY, I’ve been feeling like a prisoner. Admittedly most days I am happily tied to my computer, there’s just something about being forced by external factors to remain at home that makes me crazy. I mean seriously if I don’t want to go anywhere gosh darn it I want it to be on my terms.

Oh well, at least this week the weather has begun making yet another turn towards spring and on Wednesday I headed to downtown Pittsburgh for a casual dinner meeting. Even I couldn’t believe I was about to embark on a trip into chaos with Donald Trump, Penguins and Pirate’s events all being held the same evening.

Here I am standing with my white cane in front of my breakfast counter.

Seated on bar stool in front of the breakfast counter highlighting the bracelet and rings.

So what does one wear when they could potentially be walking into a firestorm of political protesters and fanatical sports enthusiasts? Strategically thinking, this was not a time for ballroom formal yet what if I run into Mr. Right? Yet again what if mobs of people take to the streets and violence begins to erupt?

Seated on bar stool highlighting the flats.

After pondering these thought-provoking questions the solution to my what to wear predicament was simple: a dolman top, jeans, embellished flats and accessories for sort of a casual meets princess-type vibe.

The overall look was a nice presentation that was comfortable enough to allow for a quick getaway should the need arise, yet chic enough to meet my future soul mate. On a side note (this partly qualifies the no money thing) the only new item I wore was a bracelet that was a Christmas gift from one of my sons.

What follows is the description of my outfit in the attached photos.

  • Ann Taylor dark wash skinny jeans.
  • Victoria’s Secret deep v-neck dolman top. I’m not sure if this top is gray or olive but it’s a neutral shade that will go with just about anything. The long top (reaches to the bottom of my hips) has three-quarter length sleeves and is light-weight knit material.
  • DSW round toe pewter ballet flats (very old) beaded and rhinestone embellishments at the toe.
  • Silver accessories: chainmail statement necklace shaped like an inverted triangle with four decorative beads down the center to the tip, decorative floral cut-out disk-like drop earrings, decorative floral cut-out square chain link bracelet with tiny rhinestones throughout and two rings.

While the local news reported several arrests at the Trump rally, I’m happy to report that not only did our paratransit drivers avoid getting hung up in ridiculous traffic jams we only rode by one demonstration that seemed quite peaceful. Heaven knows when the fight or flight response kicks in I can run like the wind in heels because I’m more of a flight kinda gal.


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What Is Your Dress Code Personality?

Who Are You Really?

Three quarter frontal standing pose.In yesterday’s guest post, Glenda Harrison, said something that, in my opinion, goes to the core of personal style. “The key to living an inspired life is knowing thyself.” Knowing yourself is the first step to reach your style aspirations. Though it may be somewhat of a challenge for people who are blind or have vision loss this is not impossible.

Lifestyle is a major attribute to your dress code personality. If you live on a ranch and are an outdoorsy type individual, you probably wouldn’t be walking around in, say, heels, dress, clutch, and accessories on a day-to-day basis. That doesn’t mean you’re not interested in wearing this type of clothing it’s more that your lifestyle is one where a more casual, relaxed outfit rules the day.

Another characteristic that influences our style is disability or physical inability. For those of us who are blind or vision impaired our disability may require us to use a white cane, guide dog or other tools to enable us to live independently.

As we know, disabilities are not defined by just physical limitations. While we have a long way to go, the push on universal design, which takes into consideration the needs of everyone, it is my hope that one day we will also reach universal acceptance. But back to what I was saying…

Three quarter sitting pose.

Wearing clothing that fits well and in colors that are flattering to you is only the beginning of reaching or reinventing your style. Because there are so many categories of apparel and numerous types within each category, this post will easily become a series to continue our conversation on what works best for you.

Skirts & Shirts

To give you a brief overview of what I’m talking about let’s take skirts for example. They range from pleated, A-line, flounce, handkerchief, wrap, to slit, straight, trumpet, pencil, and more.

So to complete an outfit with a skirt you would need to pair it with a top right? Well within the category of tops, just like skirts, there are many from which to choose.

Given that there are so many different types of skirts and tops the combination of looks you can acquire is practically unlimited. Additionally, when you throw in fabric type, colors, prints, layering pieces, and accessories you’ve increased these combinations exponentially.

Rear standing pose.

It stands to reason then, that when we are looking at developing our personal style, we would want to choose those pieces in fabrics that work best for us and make us feel good. As I’ve said before and I will continue to say – style is personal to the individual and it does NOT follow rules.

I’ve seen articles on my body shape (the pear) where some stylists say that pencil skirts are not appropriate for this frame. I disagree. Admittedly I am hippy (always have been) however my hips have always been one of my best features and pencil skirts my hip’s best friend.

Another rear standing pose.

In the photos included with today’s post I am wearing a charcoal gray pencil skirt with a chambray shirt. My navy T-strap slingback heels with gray and burgundy bucket bag complement the colors in my top and skirt. I finished off this look with a bold bib style faux pearl statement necklace, cuff bracelet and earrings.

  • Chambray Shirt | Old Navy (similar HERE)
  • Gray Skirt | Ann Taylor (similar HERE)
  • Navy Slingbacks (old) | DSW (similar HERE)
  • Bucket Bag | Neiman Marcus Last Call (similar HERE)
  • Jewelry (old) | Similar pieces HERE, HERE and HERE

Remember how I said earlier that lifestyle plays an important role in style? Well it’s been two years since I’ve retired and my lifestyle has changed drastically. Though skirts and dresses are still my favorite items of clothing, I now have a few more jeans than I’ve ever owned.

Over the next few weeks I want to continue talking about personal dress codes and dive a little deeper into the types of clothing. The glossary (an ongoing project) on my blog contains many terms used to describe many of these items. Unfortunately there currently isn’t a way to link the terms to the glossary on but if this should change down the road I will certainly use the linking method to make it easier for you to quickly gain access to this terminology.

So what are some of your favorite top and bottom combos?

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” ~Theodore Roosevelt

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Style Word Association Part II

Boho, Glam & Casual Chic

Headshot of me and my "Edgy" hair.As promised in today’s post (a continuation from last week) I will talk about the 3 remaining styles (boho, glamorous and casual chic) referenced on Stitch Fix. To refresh your memory below are the 7 styles with one word that comes to my mind whenever I think of each style:

  1. Preppy – The Hamptons
  2. Romantic – Feminine
  3. Classic – Timeless
  4. Edgy – Risk-takers
  5. Bohemian Chic – Free Spirited
  6. Glamorous – Hollywood
  7. Casual Chic – Relaxed

I had so much fun with last week’s post that the very next day I was feeling “Edgy” and decided to dress the part. Now I’m not about spikes, studs or combat boots but when I turned 35 I did something so counter to my personality for me it was considered radical. Yup, I got a tattoo, leather biker jacket, and I was gonna sign up to learn how to ride a motorcycle but then I just settled for leasing my first new car (a five speed). No one could tell me I wasn’t cool – well no one except for my kids – and all because I had this thing for obeying the speed limit. Before I get into today’s three styles I wanted to take a quick moment to review my “Edgy” look:

  • St. John’s Bay White Keyhole V-Neck Tee (old) JC Penney’s
  • Style & Co. Dark Rinse Skinny Jeans Macy’s
  • Black Faux-Suede Jennifer Lopez Moto Jacket (similar) Kohl’s
  • Black Faux-Suede Rampage Kavi Wedge Mules DSW
  • Silver Accessories: Short pendant necklace on leather strap, medallion-like drop earrings, chain bracelets, 2 rings
  • Asymmetrical/tousled pixie cut wig (similar)

1-DSC00621 1-DSC006121-DSC00609

My hair was the edgiest part of my outfit and to test it out I posted a picture on Facebook and got all kinds of “I love your hair” comments. I like the way the hair falls across my left eye and has a tousled look on top (I feel radical whenever I wear it). Ok enough with edgy let’s move on to boho.

As a child in the 60s I remember the whole love, peace, flower children movement. While the bohemian style of today is not quite as hippie-like as in yesteryear whenever I hear boho it conjures up thoughts of a free-spirited, artsy, eclectic type individual. I have a few friends who fit into this category and they are the most creative, intelligent, easygoing, outgoing people with whom everyone wants to be around.

The boho style is carefree. Think layers and mix assorted textures like a tank or tee with a fringed cover-up or gauzy kimono. The look can be as simple as a breezy ethnic-inspired print dress, sandals and a hat. Prints range from paisley, florals, to fashionable and colorful patterns.

Boho outfit from Pinterest
Pinterest Boho

Pinterest has an endless supply of photos and information on anything under the sun. The boho look I selected from Pinterest features cutoff blue jean shorts, a peasant top complete with tassels, sandals, fringed handbag, colorful tribal print earrings, gold ring with turquoise stone and a brass cuff bracelet with turquoise, pink and brown beads.

Grace Kelly, Katherine Hepburn, Lena Horne, Lauren Bacall, Dorothy Dandridge, Lana Turner, Ava Gardner and Diahann Caroll are among the most glamorous women to grace the silver screen. Glamorous to me is Hollywood and I swear I can hear Madonna singing Vogue in the background.

Glamorous Pinterest
Pinterest Glamorous

Sticking with the summer theme, the glamorous look also has shorts and sandals but it’s the colors and color coordination that makes this outfit look classy. I could see myself adding a summer hat but that’s just me.

The cuffed shorts, tote handbag, sandals and oversized sunglasses are all in shades of tan. The red tank with tiny white polka dots appears to be lace across the upper back and the gold jewelry – bracelet and ring (with the exception of the hoop earrings) also picks up the red of the tank in the stone on the ring and portions of the bracelet. The look is casual elegance and not overdone.

Casual Chic is that effortless yet very well pulled together look. For example a color coordinated jogging suit with coordinating running or other cute shoes, nice handbag and perhaps a scarf and don’t forget the I don’t care attitude.

Casual Chic Pinterest
Pinterest Casual Chic

In the casual chic picture are white jeans paired with a tan dolman sleeved loose fitting top, pink printed scarf, pink watch, gold/tan sandals and gold/tan clutch.

The other day a friend of mine sent me an email stating how much she liked a bit I wrote on style in last week’s post and I thought I’d end this one with that thought. Here goes:

Style like art, is a form of self-expression and communication which encompasses the whole person. An extension of oneself, style begins on the inside with our personality, lifestyle, values, likes, dislikes, mannerisms and it permeates all areas of our life. ~Steph