Lessons Learned in Fashion :: Fashionista Friday

Summer is finally here and I am so excited to add new dresses and skirts into my wardrobe.  I put together a mini photo shoot on the hanger of some of my recent buys {since I always forget to take pictures of myself actually wearing them}.  Along with organizing the rest of the house, I am trying to get my closet in order as well.  I want only items that I love.  Clothes that I know how to put together and I know I will always feel good in. 
No more items that I only look good in on “I am feeling skinny days” or “I got that for a really great deal and am trying to make it work even though it obviously isn’t.”  My closet should be my friend not my enemy, so as I am learning some fashion lessons, I am trying to be careful with my future purchases, to invest only in items that I love and are realistic to how I live on a daily basis. 
I love the look of tank tops tucked into these flouncy skirts.  I see a lot of dresses right now mimicking this style, usually a plain colored tank and floral skirt.  So as a frugalista, I am doing the opposite.  Since I wear skirts as much as most people wear jeans, I try to keep my skirts neutral so I can wear them often and change up the look with my top.  So to pull off this look but have more options, I picked up this trendy floral tank at Walmart for under $4. 
Another tank from Walmart and a clearance skirt from Aerie {$12}.  I recently went to the mall {which I rarely do and got this Aerie skirt} and hit some of the trendier stores like Abercrombie, H&M, Hollister, and Gilly Hicks.  I was surprised that even their clearance items were still more expensive than what I am willing to pay for.  And I was shocked at how badly I wanted to find something for a great price.  Then I realized that I often do this in trendy stores {like Anthropologie!}.
I find I cannot afford their regular priced items, so I settle on something on clearance, that I don’t really love, but am hit with the “I want everything in this store because it is so hip and cute,” and later regret the purchase.  I am much better off at my usual stores {Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Ross} where I have less of the gimmies and actually buy items I really love for a reasonable price.
I also need to mention how much I love this skirt.  It is perfect tucked in and a fun addition to my neutral skirt wardrobe.  My other favorite part?  The elastic waist band! I realize that most elastic waist bands are a BIG no no.  But when done right, can be your best friend.  This goes back to creating a wardrobe that when you are bloated you still have something to wear and feel good about yourself.  More elastic waist band please. 
Dress from TJ Maxx…it is a swimsuit cover up but the perfect style for my body type so I will be wearing this much more than over a swimsuit.  It is okay to think outside of the box just make sure you have the proper undergarments to accommodate you {wink}!
Dress from Marshall’s.  You will notice a common theme in my dresses…a defined waist and usually some sort of shoulder coverage.  I am square shaped so I need my clothes to create that hourglass shape for me. I learned all about dressing for your body type in this book.  I promise it will change your life.
Loved the dress in black…but red looked really good on me.  Comfy and perfect for summer, I bought them both at TJ Maxx.
Shopping with my mom…we hit department stores with coupons in  hand…dresses from Macy’s on clearance.
…same thing at JC Penny.  This black dress was actually on sale as one of their door busters until 1 pm.  It was after 1 pm but if you ask and make a small fuss about needing it to be on sale, they will give it to you for that sale price.  Score!
And a worth the splurge cardigan on clearance at Hollister {$30}.  I am very picky about sweaters…they have to create a certain v-shape on top and hit certain places on my hips.  It is all about balance.  And so somehow I probably spend the most investing in good sweaters.  I wear them all the time so it is very much worth it.
And a huge trend I noticed was belts with fabric flowers.  I will be using my existing belts and adding my already large collection of fabric flowers.  Like the skirts and tanks, invest in the pieces separately to mix and match. These flowers can be worn on a belt, skirt, shirt, sweater, and in my hair.  Pink rose from a craft fair and white flower from Pleated Poppy.
Spill it…what fashion rules do you have for yourself?