{Fashion Cents} Frugal Fashion Finds Your Wallet Will Thank You For!

Frugal Fashion Finds

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To save on these fashion finds, use online coupons and promo codes below.

Save on your next fashionable find with online coupons & Cash Back. Enjoy these deals from smart shopping site BeFrugal.com:

1. Get 20% off fashion and home items with this Bloomingdales coupon code FANDF (expires 11/17). You can also earn 3% Cash Back for more savings.

2. Enjoy 25% off select women’s sale styles by shopping the J Brand sale (ends 12/25). You can also 8% Cash Back for more savings.

3. Treat yourself to $25 off your $150 or more order using this BeBe coupon code HOLIDAY13 (expires 12/8). You can also earn 5% Cash Back for more savings.

4. Get $15 off your $30 or more order with this Express coupon code 2980 (expires 11/17). And get 5% Cash Back.

5. Save 15% off any order of $100 or more plus get free shipping with this Steve Madden coupon code SMNOV1 (expires 11/30). Get more savings by earning up to 6% Cash Back today.

Note:  These codes were valid 11/15/2013.

If You Must Shop, Use Your “Cents”!

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{Friday Fashion} Smart Investments in Style- One Dress 5 Ways

I was cleaning out my closet the other day. You know that seasonal purge of clothes that no longer fits my style, clothes I have outgrown, and fads that frankly may be tipping the scales of age appropriateness. As Denia, a SMC contributing writer would put it, “I’m approaching the stage in life where shopping at trendy places like Forever21 should feel…well…awkward”. Don’t get me wrong, I never miss a chance to stop in a Forever21, but I wouldn’t build a wardrobe around it.  While I consider trendy clothing essential to an eclectic closet like mine, I know it is better to have a foundation of well-made classics as opposed to a closet full of cheap and cheerful pieces that constantly needs replacing.
Sure, every stylish woman’s closet should include staples such as the LBD and a classic trench; however, I am here to introduce you to a versatile piece of clothing that has become my favorite new investment piece – the Nikki 5-Way Dress. When I first tried on this convertible dress, by designer Abi Ferrin, I have to admit that I had a “get it girl” moment in the mirror, similar to how I felt in my first DVF wrap dress back in the day. This multi-functional dress flatters in five different ways; as a one-shoulder Grecian style (my favorite, by the way), as a one-shoulder with a peplum accent, as an asymmetrical tunic, tied to the side, or crossed tied for a belt effect. My favorite thing about the versatility of this dress is that it is good to my wallet because you can get five distinctively timeless looks for the price of one dress.

Check Out All FIVE looks!

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There isn’t a SINGLE reason white this signature Nikki dress belongs in every jetsetters, power-players, party girl, and busy bee’s wardrobe, but FIVE reasons. Starting at $155.00, that’s only $31.00 per look, you can’t afford not to add this to the list of foundational must-haves of well-made classics. Cha Ching… that’s the sound of me investing in quality and quantity at the same time.  Want to invest in your style?   Check out Ferrin’s others style staples on her site.  

Thank you to the sponsors of this post, Brandstyle Communications on behalf of Abi Ferrin. 

Which Look is Your Favorite?

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{Financial Cents} What Your Wallet Say About You?

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What’s In Your Wallet?

I’ve heard it said that you can tell a lot about a women based on the style of purse she carries and the contents within. Is she well taken care of? Polished? Neat? Messy? High maintenance? Laid back? I want to take this a step further and look at the center of money- the wallet. A women’s purse may reveal a lot about her, but her wallet sheds light on what she finds important and how she spends her hard earned money. Parents my keep photographers of their children.  Entrepreneurs may carry business cards.  Me, I carry a mix of business and pleasure. Below is my emerald green Cynthia Rowley leather wallet that I bought myself for Christmas and some of the contents within.  wallets

What does your wallet say about YOU?

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{Fashion Cents} Budget Friendly Fashion Statements

Wait… what does her bag say???

Years ago, the fad was to show people “how” many things you could afford, as people would brag about how much they spent on this or that. While this is still true in many cases, I am noticing an even cooler trend that is fun, witty, and fashionable. What is it, you ask?- Fashion Statements! No these aren’t the statement shirts and bags that were super popular in the early 2000s that had quotes from people like Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. These are fashionable acknowledgements of the times, with phrases like, “Can’t Afford a Birkin” and “My other bag is Louis Vuitton”. Occasionally, I would see someone with a bag like this and I would always chuckle a bit at the boldness of these women. I guess I was just surprised by the fact that these women were the opposite of the masses I see rocking fake labels, act like they are real, and suddenly make others feel bad for not having what they have. I mean seriously, no one believes your Birkin is real on a $22,000 salary and it doesn’t even come in that color, and having a purse doesn’t make you better than others…I’m just saying.  I think the problem is that sometimes great style is confused with a name brand.  Trust me, not all designer fashion is stylish, but the examples of these awesome, budget friendly, designer inspired fashion finds below, are.

Below are a few of my favorite “Statement Looks” :

She Makes CentsMy other bag is Louis VuittonCeline T-shirt

Photo Credits: Skreened, If You Seek Aimee Fashion, & Style With Benefits

Which look would you rock?

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Fashion Cents} Brand Loyalty or Brand Validation?

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Danielle and I have discussed how the psychological obsession with expensive products and luxury labels can lead to financial trouble. While setting up shop for the most relaxed SMC meeting ever, we discussed our favorite brands. Danielle likes O.P.I. nail polish and has a shoe game that would blow you away. I, however, have recently recovered from a serious infatuation with True Religion brand jeans and the both of these are pricey for the types of products they are. Sometimes within one’s own living circumstances, it makes no sense to step out of one’s’ budget for the sake of feeling validated by a brand. So why do so many people do it? Which has more value, brand loyalty or brand validation?

Let’s begin the conversation by defining these terms. Brand Loyalty is your devotion to a particular brand because of its proven usefulness. This is a tried and true product or brand that has won you, the customer, over for its merit or quality. (THINK: I’m loyal to Charmin tissue because of its thickness.) Brand validation, as its name suggests, is when a product’s mere reputation trumps the importance of its merit; thus fueling one’s desire for the label more so than the product. Yep, we let a brand validate us without proving itself worthy of its cost.

Brand names and their reputations are impossible to evade. Because of this, it is almost too easy to get lost in a particular brand so much so, that we allow it to eat out our pockets. The place where both brand obsession and financial logic intersect is where I am in my journey to financial freedom….SMC too, since she has repeatedly admitted that Chanel makes her feel pretty. In no way am I discouraging splurging for yourself or investing in expensive products that will hold you down in the long run. I, for one, own expensive jeans that have lasted years. When operating on a budget, though, it is imperative to think critically about the items you choose to spend your money on, and why. Are you loyal to your brands because they actually fulfill their purpose, or are your brands validating you while nipping away at your money? Granted, there is no cookie cutter way to address the issue of our obsessions with luxury brands. However, acknowledgment of this issue is a surefire way to begin searching for smarter ways to shop for the things you love…while staying within a budget, of course:)

Have you ever allowed a brand names to validate your purchase?  

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{Broke is the New Black} Are You Paying for the Fake Life with Real Money?

fake-life-real-money-moneyWelcome to the Good Life!

Over the past few years, social media has become a game changer. Its created jobs that did not exist even ten years ago, helped people connect who may not have had access to each other, and became a major catalyst for our cultural need to document everything. But what exactly are we documenting? – The life we live or the life we want people to think we live? All too often, I see people around me going into debt trying to rock the same fashion piece that they saw on one of the Kardashians. I asked this question a few months ago and I will ask it again, whose lifestyle are you funding? They can afford it, can you?
Fashion writer, Suzy Menkes called 2009 the “end of the statement bag” in a blurb for the 2009 autumn edition of H&M Magazine. She adds, “Insane shoes that mangle your feet, laughably expensive bags that no-one can afford; who can afford such extravagances in times of [financial] crisis?” If 2009 was the end of the expensive statement bag, then this must be the year of the appearance of luxury, where people are funding a fake life with real money. The reality is, even four years after the “fall of the statement bag”, we are still in a financial crisis.

Don’t get me wrong, I love fashion and will spend money when I have it, but I refuse to waste money staging a lifestyle for the world to see. I’m am not one of those people who are offended by the finer things in life, rather I feel sorry for those who mishandle their responsibilities in hopes of material possessions. This is not just a twenty-something problem either, as I witness people of all ages spending in excess to portray the good life…and for what? Public validation? Likes from Facebook, Twitter, and most notoriously Instagram from people you don’t even know in real life? Be yourself, rock what you love, but don’t go into debt doing so. Trust me, none of the people who “liked” your photo of those oh-so-fly out of your budget shoes, will help you save for that house you have on your vision board.

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{Fashion Cents Cheat Sheet} How to Accessorize Popular Necklines

Thanks Charming Charlie for this Cheat Sheet!

{Wise Words} Walk with a Purpose

NEW YORK RESORT 2013

{Happy Shopping}Christian Louboutin Sale and More on Beyond the Rack

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 Kick up your heels because these Christian Louboutins are going on sale now! If you are not a member of Beyond the Rack, click here to use my invite.
Happy Shopping,
Danielle