Banana Republic Turtleneck [new, $4], Ralph Lauren Flare Skirt [new, $5], Ann Taylor Booties [new, $20], Chanel Sunglasses [secondhand, $35], Rebecca Minkoff Bag [new, $55], Black Tights [new, $5]
outfit total: $124
When you live close to the equator, winter is pretty unpredictable. You may get lucky with a chilly day here or there, but overall you can pretty much expect to sweat all year long. But for those of us that live for cute winter accessories and a variety of ensembles, it can be difficult to put together an outfit in January that doesn’t make you feel like you are in a sweat suit. One of my favorite ways to incorporate a winter feel is to wear a classic pair of sheer black seemed leggings. They are still thin and breathable but also differentiate your outfit from any other season of the year!
These tights are such a cute and cheap way to to spruce up a winter outfit. I literally got a 3 pack from Amazon for only $15! Plus it was Prime baby. *emoji jazz hands* I especially like the tights with the seam in the back because I think they really elongate your legs and accentuates what you got, girl. Who doesn't want to feel like a 6 foot supermodel? I definitely do.
Reused my Chanel ribbon for this shoot to hold my hair to the side and out of the way. I love the way the ribbon really adds an easy, feminine detail while looking easy and as if I'm not trying too hard. To get this look I took about 10 minutes to curl 2 inch sections of my hair with my straightener, tied my hair to the side with the ribbon, and made sure to leave a few mid length pieces around my face to not look too forced. Voila! Took less than 15 minutes start to finish.
Thanks so much for reading! Always happy to hear suggestions and comments, would love to know how you look cool for winter in the comments section below!
I often talk about how my Banana Republic credit card gets me some crazy good savings. After a recent SUPER successful trip to Banana, I thought I would share the plus sides to a store credit card and how to maximize the rewards!
I recently used my BR CC to book an upcoming girls trip to Las Vegas for my mom's birthday (you'll see more of that next month!) A few weeks later, I got the *beautiful* email that I had received a $100 BR reward! Naturally I wanted to hop onto their website and buy the first thing I saw, but I wanted to be smart about this and wait for the best time to shop. This is usually near the end of a season when they are trying to get all the old clothes off the shelves to make way for the new season's arrivals. Fast forward to this weekend when I came along with hubby on a little work trip to San Diego. He dropped me off at Fashion Valley, a high end shopping center right outside of the city that has everything from Chanel to H&M. Highly recommend!
ANYWAY. When I spotted the "60% off Sale" sign in the window, I knew my opportunity had arrived. Man did I score! I ended up leaving the store with 3 sweaters, a ruffle sleeve top, a preppy skirt, a sleek dress, and a gold bangle bracelet. Everything on sale! With the 60% discount, my total came to $160. Minus my $100 reward AND an extra 10% off I get every time I use my BR card, I only ended up paying $40 for everything! News flash, not one item I bought had an original retail price of $40! Keep scrolling to see more pics of all the pretties I got for under $6/item.
DISCLAIMER: Just like any credit card, you have to really be very careful about not spending above your means, and ensuring you can pay it off completely every month. If you don't, you can end up paying WAY more than you thought when interest and fees come into play.
So how do you use store credit cards smartly?
Thanks so much for reading! Did you find this useful, or have your own feedback on store credit cards? Leave me a comment below!
If you are following me on Instagram, you know I couldn’t help but share my excitement for the new to me Gucci loafers I received in the mail last week! Loafers have been on the top of my list for a while now because they are such a classic shoe that can pull together and prep up any outfit. When I came across these on Poshmark, I put an offer in right away! Ultimately, the seller and I came to an agreement at $49. With shipping I only paid $55 for a $500+ pair of shoes! I got super lucky with these because they are still in very good condition and the small wear that was off putting to other buyers were really just quick fixes (i.e. DIY suede cleaner and a lint roller). Like I always mention, you do have to be smart about buying secondhand designer items online. This could have been $55 wasted if you don’t do your research. For this post I wanted to put together a help post for buying Gucci loafers secondhand, but I think these tips can also be very helpful for any other high end purchase. Keep scrolling for tips!
1. serial number
Whenever you buy any sort of designer item (shoes, bags, pants, whatever) there is going to be a unique serial number printed on the label or somewhere on the item. It is really important to confirm that these numbers are present, and give them a quick google search to make sure it matches the item you are wanting to purchase. One of the first red flags of a designer secondhand purchase is no serial number. Don't be afraid to ask the seller for a picture of this!
Gucci loafers are well known for the buckles on their loafers, and they are consistent across all models. Make sure the ends are circles, and they connect together in the middle in a sort of clasp. Some knock off brands get away with a similar design of this, but Gucci's is very specific.
When you look at the sole of any designer shoe, it should be sturdy and well made. As well, ou can see that "Gucci" is engraved into the bottom, along with "made in Italy". Knockoffs will typically not be this crafted, or may even say that they are made in another country other than Italy. If they say "made in China" DO NOT BUY.
4. Small details + Overall Quality
Aside from that, be smart about your secondhand designer purchase. Look at the craftsmanship and small detailing. Gucci shoes will have "Gucci made in Italy" printed inside the shoe, similar to the sole. As far as the detailing goes, the stitching should be perfect, and any printing should be in a straight line. If you think something is too cheap for Gucci to make, you are probably right.
Thanks so much for reading! If you have your own tips, or want help shopping secondhand for another designer item, let me know in the comments below!
Happy Wednesday and thanks so much for reading! Today I wanted to round up a few of the good deals and fancy finds I’ve gotten the past few weeks (Manolos!) PLUS share my all time favorite pant with you all. Keep scrolling!
J. Crew Ruffle Top [new, $10] Gap Skinny Cropped Pants [new, $30] Manolo Blahnik Leopard Flats [secondhand, $20] Chanel Sunnies [secondhand, $35] Rebecca Minkoff Shoulder Bag [new, $55]
Outfit total: $150
First of all...these shoes!!
If you follow me on Instagram you’ve definitely already been introduced. These lovely suede leopard print cuties were an eBay find that I got only $20!! A typical pair of Manolo flats can set you back anywhere from $500-thousands! This pair has definitely seen some wear and will require a trip to the cobbler for a pick me up, but I definitely think they have more life to live. Never turn down a double digit pair of Manolo Blahniks!
A little history: I have had SUCH a difficult time with jeans and pants. Whatever fits up my hips is too big in the booty and waist. I end up with a serious case of saggy bottom! But NOT with the Gap skinny ankle jean/pant. I love these pants because they are made up of a stretchy, almost leggings like material that fits super close and doesn’t sag. Plus the high waist and crop length are tres chic and make me feel like a sophisticate 1950s housewife. Who doesn’t want to feel like that?
IN LOVE with this one shoulder ruffle top, and feeling super #blessed I live in an area where I can sport something like this in January! I actually just bought this top this weekend at J. Crew. If you love their preppy chic pieces as much as I do, run don’t walk to one right now because they currently have the old season on clearance with an additional 50% off. While it is final sale, I scored this top for only $10!
Thanks so much for reading! As always, leave a comment below to let me know what you enjoy reading and what you want to see in the future! :*
I decided to write a little bit differently for this post and share some things I've learned from buying and owning a "luxury" car. If you are looking for a new car now or maybe in the future, keep scrolling for some food for thought of what I've learned over the past few years..
Something to definitely keep in mind when making a luxury vehicle purchase is how quickly your car will lose value once you drive away. My car is a 2012 Audi A4, which we bought when it was 3 years old. We paid $20000 for it, but when it was brand new it cost nearly $40000. In 3 years it had lost half its value. Many other luxury cars have a 60% depreciation rate after only 5 years! If it matters to you to have the newest model you may want to consider leasing a vehicle, which I will touch on later.
2. Cost of Regular maintenance
Ok so now you’ve bought your car. Awesome! One good thing I’ve found about luxury cars is they require regular maintenance less often. Yay! However when you do go in for that oil change or spark plug replacement, you are going to have a shock when you see the bill. For my Audi, just an oil change sets me back $200 at the Audi dealership maintenance center. And for the more in depth regular maintenance every other oil change? $2000! I have found a trusty ma and pop shop close by that does these services for half the price Audi charges, but these costs can still really set you back, and are MUCH higher than services on a Ford or Honda. I’ve read that some luxury car brands are starting to offer covered maintenance for the first couple thousand miles when you buy brand new, but this is voided if you buy the car used.
3. Cost of gas
Because luxury vehicles are high performing machines, they require a higher quality gas to ensure optimum performance. That means the manual stipulates using the 91 premium gas. For those not super gas savvy, that’s the very most expensive one at the bottom of the gas price board. From what I’ve understood, this gas is the cleanest and won’t have much gunk to build up in your engine overtime. While this gas is typically only $.20-$.30 cents more expensive than the cheapest gas per gallon, this can add up over time. My car has a 15 gallon tank, and I fill up on average once per week. That’s approximately an extra $240 A YEAR I’ve spent to fill up with premium gas. Ouch!
4. Cost of parts
Similar to the cost of maintenance, the cost of parts and repairs are EQUALLY outrageous. Funny story: last year I went to a job interview. It went great and I got the job! I went back to my car, put it in reverse to get out of my parking spot and...nothing. My car wouldn’t reverse! I called a tow truck but naturally it didn’t show up until everyone left the office for the day (including the woman who interviewed me) and blocked every one in their spots while he tried to get my car up on the truck. Way to make a good first impression Sydney! Anyway, turns out my car needed a brand new transmission. With parts and labor, the total bill came out to over $15000!! Luckily (!!) we had bought an extended warranty when we purchased the car (because the manufacturer warranty was close to expiring) that covered EVERYTHING. In the future, I will always purchase an extended warranty. The price varies, but we bought this warranty for $1500 at the time we purchased the car. We ended up saving around $14000! With the cost of parts for these cars, I would highly recommend to be protected under a warranty.
5. Lease vs own
As I mentioned recently, luxury cars lose value quickly. They don’t hold value like other investments, i.e. a house. My first car was a 2004 Mercedes C class. It was such a sweet car, and was top of the line in 2004. My parents bought it for me in 2010 for $20000, and I sold the car 5 years later in 2015 for $5000. It was still in pristine condition and under 100k miles, but it had still lost so much of its value. Therefore, I don’t find the investment of purchasing a car as beneficial in the end as buying a house, which can essentially zero out the price in the end, if not actually make you money. But when you rent a house, you will never see that money again. In reality, it’s just not the same with a car. If it is important to you to drive new vehicles, leasing may be a better option. Regular maintenance is typically included, and after a few years you can just swap it out for a pretty new one (with that amazing new car smell!) Something to think about!
Thank you for reading! This is definitely a different type of post for me, so I would love to know what you think in the comments below. Let me know if you want to see more posts like this in the future!
Live for luxury? No trust fund, no problem!
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- Marie Claire, September 2016