Looking Pulled Together While Wearing Swiss Cheese Underpants

If you are currently wearing a thong that started out as a pair of granny panties, chances are the rest of your wardrobe is a bit tired, also.

Note: This is a repost ’cause the original was posted when it was pointless. Were you really gonna run mark your calendar? I think not.

When I was growing up in the Seventies, one of my best friends came from a very humble home. Her life was like Ellen Foster but with more characters.

One Christmas Eve, her father feeling rather festive held a gun to her mother’s head. After he passed out in his drunken glory, her mother grabbed the gifts, some clothes, my friend and her 3 siblings and left. They had nothing. Four years later, as they were getting on with their lives, the house burnt down. Again, they had nothing.

About four years after that, my friend told me one of her secrets to looking pulled together when you are not…a good overcoat.

Her theory:

Aside from the room or office that you work in, the rest of society sees you in your on-the-way-to-somewhere-else clothes. Therefore, you could were a jacket or coat .

Now is the time to look for winter coats. Great prices and still a chance your size is there. Buy two sizes up for growing kids.

Buy the absolute best quality you can afford in the off season. Buy a trench coat in December and winter wool no earlier than March. Choose a fabric that can take a beating. Fleece, for example, is always,by far, at its best…in the store. Try a figure flattering classic shape that won’t go out of style.

As for color, your can’t beat navy. It takes a much longer time for navy to show wear than any other color. Period.

In Spring, Summer and Fall, my friend wore a beautiful olive trench coat with a removable lining. She used second hand scarves to keep the look fresh. In winter, she wore a full length wool coat in a charcoal herringbone. Black would get linty, white would get dirty, camel would show wear. Again, she changed her second hand accessories to give each year a new feel. She chose buttons over zippers, because they were so much easier to repair.

These two particular coats lasted her for more than the first decade of her young adulthood. One time we calculated the cost per wear. It figured to somewhere under a penny per day.

She always looked very pulled together, even though her life was eternally in chaos.

An overcoat. An overcoat that is on you when you shake hands and introduce yourself at that crucial, visual first impression phase of a job interview or meeting your kid’s teacher. An overcoat that hides your tired clothes for just a moment, until you can dazzle new people with your wits. Smart.

( Neighbor Nancy models her new fully lined wool walking coat, asking you to note the chunk hiding…I mean figure flattering princess seams )

Oh, and remember by the time you are at 80% off, you are paying less than the store did. Yippeeeee!

What is your favorite frugal fashion tip?


Frugal Fashion Quick Tip: Perking Up Sad Looking Shoes

So you all dressed up, but you shoes are looking rough. No money or time to get shoe polish, let alone new shoes. Somehow, when my shoes look worn out, I feel worn out all over.

Give this little tip a try.

This works especially well on leather shoes, just not suede.

Brush away any dust or dirt.

Grab a little hand lotion and massage it into the shoe. Be careful to avoid getting too much in little nooks and crannies. Also, you might want to remove any shoelaces.

Let the lotion sit for about five minutes then buff with a clean soft rag.

Saturday Afternoon Projects: Making Something Out of Nothing

As the recession deepens, one question hangs in my brain. How will we stay warm, as the money disappears and the heating bill just grows.

I found this nicely illustrated and photograph scarf tutorial project over at Repurposed.

Great project for a beginner. No knitting. No sewing machine. The author just uses a needle and thread.

Using an over loved t-shirts, anyone can make this stylish accessory.

Your teens whining about their wardrobes? Have them grab some t-shirts from the rag bag and give it a try.

Have an adventure. Try something new. Simple sewing could become a valuable skill in the next few years. Learn today.

Check out it out here and stay cozy

Published in: on February 21, 2009 at 10:48 am  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Recon at You-Know-WhatMart

There is nothing like a little middle of the night recon to help you shop more sanely and savvily. Get you insulated container of coffee and let’s go. Oh yeah, and grab your best friend. It’s more fun that way.

On NPR today, I heard that something like 94% of Americans live with in 15 miles of a You-know-whatMart.

There seem to be basically two kinds of shoppers. Those who buy everything there and those who buy nothing there. This is for the reader that is considering leaving the department store and trying You-know-whatMart. Or the regular shopper who simply hates the experience.

If you have never been to one, it can be an overwhelming experience. It’s huge, lighted oddly and smells a bit like dirty movie theater.

However, you can find good deals there.

Here’s how:

1. Never, ever, ever! shop on a Saturaday afternoon.
You will land in jail for murdering someone. Plus, you will rush to leave and just grab whatever, thereby not saving any money.

2. Do a recon mission.
Get a sitter. Send the kids to Granny’s. Go in the middle of the night, ideally 3:30 am. Yes, there are palates of merchandise everywhere, but that is definately better than people. The store is yours alone.

3. If you want service, ask for it.
Unlike the department stores or boutiques, no one will help you unless you ask for it. In the middle of the night, the people who stock the shelves are there. These are the people you want to ask for help. They know where the item is, if there is more in the back, when the next shipment is coming, and wether or not it is on sale.

4. Remeber you manners.
For some reason, everyone thinks that because you are in a cheapy store you can behave badly. You can not! Treat workers kindly. The worker that likes third shift is an odd duck, indeed.

5. Fondle the clothes.
Feel the fabric, check the stitching, try the zippers and buttons. Will it last? Check the fabric. For example, I won’t buy an acrylic sweater for two reasons. It usually feels better to the fingertip than against the skin and it pills when you wash it.

You found something you like? Check the label.Write it down. Look for other things made under that label. How do they seem? In boys clothing, there is one particular brand I know I can count on. My son can beat the tar out of them and this brand can take it.

6. Check out other items in which you are interested.
Same idea as above. Don’t forget to check the prescription policy at the pharmacy, especially if you have lousy or no insurance.

7. Ask about site-to-store shipping.
This is my favorite part. Free site-to-store shipping.

Now that you know what brands you like you can shop with knowledge and confidence in your pjs from your pc. They let you know when it is ready. At your convenience, you march straight to that counter, avoiding the general shopping mob and get your stuff. All still in the package, untouched by the masses. They even load it into your car. Nice.

The grocery section? Dunno, guess your on your own there. I do this.

Leave a comment about your adventures.

Good luck, soldier.

Published in: on January 30, 2009 at 11:25 pm  Comments (2)