Loris recently scored a pair of studded heels by BCBG at Steinmart for less than $30.00. She was super thrilled to see a Valentino "Rockstud" lookalike for $995.00 or is BCBG the copycat! Anyways, these shoes ROCK!
Starting salaries for teachers aren't much to text home about and at times you may question your career choice, but rewards may not always come in the form of dollars. That does makes "cents", doesn't it? With tight budgets, treating yourself to something special doesn't come around often, but for the times that you have a few extra dollars to spare, "Go for it!" The key is knowing your finances and not splurging on items that will lead to more credit card debt and headaches.
Loris and I walked into Chico's at Parkway Place Mall in Huntsville on yesterday and the item that grabbed our attention first was a statement necklace with a price tag of $129.00. Knowing that it was time to move on, we eased over to the clearance section where we found more necklaces 40% off already discounted prices. The mathematician in me knew that the $29.99 necklace that I admired, even at 40% off was more than I was willing to spend. We both "oohed" and "aahed", but in the end left empty handed.
But...back home at Burkes Outlet, I already had two items on hold to be purchased on today, 15% off discount Monday (50+). I had a beautiful ring by Guess for $9.99 and a Steve Madden cuff for $12.99, which was still more than I wanted to spend. I decided against the ring but purchased $4.99 earrings and the cuff bangle, both by Steve Madden for $16.81. The cuff originally sold for $26.00 and the earrings $10.00. A great bargain, even on a teacher's salary! If you're 50 and older, take advantage of savings on Monday, 49 and under, Friday is your day to save. You deserve it!
With PD (Professional Development) meetings to attend and IEP (Individualized Education Program) plans to complete, there's not enough time to be spent on coordinating outfits appropriate for classroom settings. This is where Nappy Models can help. We have created a TFSL (Teacher Fashion Supply List) composed of the top 10 core pieces for effortless spring and summer styles.
1. The basic cardigan by Lauren Ralph Lauren at Belk, ideal for spring mornings, cool classrooms, and coverage for those sleeveless styles.
2. Drawstring linen pants from Cato are as comfy as your favorite pj's but much more stylish. Pair with a tunic top, statement necklace, and summer flats for an effortless, classroom look!
3. Viconic corks sandals found at Dillards gives your feet the support that they need and have been clinically shown to help relieve common causes of plantar fasciitis, heel pain and knee pain related to over-pronation and flat feet. These will look great with maxi dresses and linen pants. Think style and comfort. Invest in proper footwear.
4. The white denim jacket! Found at Goody's online or in store. Pair with jeans, skirts, and as a cover up for sleeveless summer maxi's.
5. Jewelry from Cato. Who says you can't add a little "wow" to those classroom neutrals? Cato has all the styles you need to make a statement!
6. The maxi dress! Running a little late for bus duty? Just grab a tribal print maxi like this beauty by New Directions at Belk, top with a denim jacket or chambray top tied at the waist along with peep toe ankle booties or sandals. It's a time saver for those rushed mornings.
7. The chambray top! No wardrobe is complete without a utility style chambray top like this Soulmates top from Dillard's. Soft enough to pair with skirts, rugged enough to create denim on denim styles by pairing with your favorite jeans. You can even unroll the sleeves, tuck it inside slim fitting pants, and add a blazer for a more polished look!
8. The perfect white shirt, like this Jessica Simpson Papaya Tunic from Belk to pair with your favorite denim leggings or skinnies.
9. When jeans that sit low don't sit right in the classroom, you can sit pretty in dark denim Levi’s® 501® Indigo Trail CT jeans from Goody's!
10. A Brahmin tote from Dillards, the official "teacher" bag for Alabama's educators. This classic beauty will last until you retire and can be passed on to your next generation educator.
There you have it: foundation pieces for stylish, classroom looks!
***All images (except image of Brahmin tote) are from Belk, Goody's, Dillards, and Cato websites and are not the property of Nappy Model Inc.***
I was in Jack's getting an egg and cheese biscuit for my teenage, minding my own business, when I noticed a couple walking in. The lady was dressed nicely in floral casual top, calf-length skirt, and embellished thong sandals similar to those by Viconic found at Belk. Her hair was a very neat auburn natural afro and she was carrying a cute little Coach hobo. Yes, ladies can see all of this in a matter of seconds.
As I was preparing to leave, she walks over to me and says "Hello. We're out doing our ministry this morning and I was wondering if you were doing the same." I told her that I was not but was headed to a meeting at the Calhoun Christian Women's Job Corp in Anniston. She nodded her head in that "Aha" sort of way and said "I knew it. You look so classy and modest and you really stand out!"
Well, I guess if you're going to do Christian work, it wouldn't hurt to cover up!
If my wig could talk, it would probably say:
"Since I'm your one and only, why do you treat me so bad? You could at least buy a styrofoam wig head. Ugh!"
I was cleaning the trunk of an old Toyota Camry that my daughter drove in high school and throughout college. That's another blog for another day. Anyways, along with a bunch of clothes and shoes, I found two of my old wigs. One was short, dark auburn with mahogany highlights; something similar to the classic Fantasia cut and the other was short and curly, like an old Jermaine Jackson style. I took one look and they both went flying like frisbees into the garbage. There was a time that I would have several wigs ranging from blonde to midnight black with burgundy highlights, but now all I need is one go-to piece for special events. It would make sense to store my only wig appropriately, inside out placed in a hair net, or on a styrofoam wig head, but you can find that sucker almost anywhere in the house. Beside the dryer in the washroom, behind the bed, underneath a stack of books, or hidden in a box of papers which is where I found it last night. It look like it had taken a beating and I had an event this morning, so I needed to restore it asap. I went to Sally's and almost paid 7 bucks for a product that I didn't need. I had the bottle in my hand ready to purchase before I squinted my eyes to read "for synthetic wigs and hair pieces". When I asked for a product for human hair, the sales associate told me, "You can use any shampoo on a human hair wig as long as it has no sulfates and is alcohol and paraben-free." That meant a trip to Dollar Tree where I found the best shampoo for wigs by Salon Selectives. It had low-sulfates, paraben free, and I didn't bother to look to see if it was alcohol-free because 2 outta 3 is pretty good for a Dollar Tree product.
See for yourself. The results were beautiful but in the process of styling my wig to be placed under the dryer, I dropped my expensive $2.00 Conair and broke it! Darn! That's the second Conair comb that I've broken since the first of the year. Well, it's costs to be beautiful and you will never guess where that wig is now that I'm back home from this morning's event. Thrown on the dresser waiting for my 2 o'clock appointment!
Being a country girl means everything about me doesn't have to be just perfect. I haven't had a manicure in a while and my toes haven't seen polish in forever. My silver strands are sometimes packed into a fuzzy ball on top of my head or braided into unruly cornrows. Being a thrifty girl means I do want the best fashions but at cheap prices. Like the Ralph Lauren top pictured below. I found this plaid beauty hiding in the men's section for $2.00. And the white Old Navy linen maxi ($4.88), I've been wearing it every summer for about 4 or 5 years now. A combination of them both creates that RL aesthetic that I love and don't mind wearing while helping my friend change out the distributor in an old 1995 Toyota Camry. So what if it gets dirty? Well, all I did was hold the flashlight!
Too many times I've lugged a heavy purse into a thrift store, place it into a shopping cart like a toddler, and hold on to the straps for dear life. You never know when someone might decide to do a snatch and run, so you can't be too careful. It's too much of a burden and a distraction to keep up with that leather cow and focus intently on finding the best bargains, so sometimes it's best to leave the calf in the trunk of the car. Also, I've noticed that when I take no money into the thrift stores, I have better luck in finding the good stuff. Yesterday, for example, I jetted into the Goodwill with no purse, no money, and found a linen skirt by Eileen Fisher and a crochet top by The Limited in less than 15 minutes. Sure did! I simply asked the cashier to hold the items until I went the car and I was back in a flash! We all know that we can shop better when we don't have to watch the kids or babysit a heavy bag!
Two pieces for $3.99 each!
You should already know by now that hanging out at Belk makes me feel all sorts of pretty so it was only a matter of time before I re-introduced my Citi card to an eager sales associate. It began with a search for a summer dress for my Teen Tightwad to wear to her awards ceremony. Since saving money is top priority in our household, my search began at America's Thrift Store. I sorted through hundreds of dresses, disappointed with the selection, quality, and prices. $8.99 for used dresses with an unfamiliar brand names, probably from a trendy little mall store! You must be "high" on price tags! Some of the crochet styles were unraveling and others had very noticeable stains. I turned up my nose saying "Bump this" and I was on my way to Belk, Trussville location.
Belk was having a 40% off their clearance prices so you should really check with your nearest location to see if this event is still going on. I purchased a cute little printed dress for $8.99. Hold up! That's the same price as America's Thrift Store! The original price was $47.00 marked down to $14.99 with an additional 40% off! Now that's a deal. Since we were able to purchase one dress at a deep discount, I went ahead and purchased 4 more pieces. My total was $72.55 with a savings of $172.05. Wow!
Belk versus America's Thrift...I laugh! That's like Major League versus little league!
I occasionally run across clothing items by Soft Surroundings while I'm thrifting and both the name and styles are usually somewhat of a turn off. But today I spotted a denim pleated skirt by the brand that I thought would be cute with denim top and wood heel sandals so I grabbed it. The weight was a little heavier than I would want for spring and summer though, almost a quilted feel, hence the name Soft Surroundings, I guess. I tried it on and it fit okay, but I just couldn't get with the padded feel. So, I gave it a whirl around the store before deciding to place it back on the rack. On my way out, I began to think about why I'm so not into a brand who graces The Summit with items that easily cost $100.00 and up. It's the name. It sounds like a brand for seniors who need extra padding to brace them against falls or provide extra absorbent protection in case of certain accidents. It brings to mind images of padded walls, elastic waist no pocket jeans sold in the "mature" clothing departments, and those soft cushion comfort shoes. The name could easily be the name of a retirement, assisted living, or nursing home. I've just learned to love and accept my silver strands but I'm darn sure not ready to accept "soft surroundings".
Loris was home for Mother's Day and when I pulled a black maxi dress from my storage unit to wear she said "You need to throw that black dress away!" When I asked why, she replied "Cause you wear it all the time!".
There are reasons why I loved my black dress:
1. Black is slimming. Well, it's suppose to be but when I look at my photo, I can see that it really didn't do the best job.
2. A maxi dress is "concealing". It covers those unshaven legs and if it's long enough, no one will care that you didn't bother to polish your toe nails and wearing 99 cent flip flops from Walmart.
3. It's easy to accessorize. Any accessories will do from simple pearls to statement necklaces.
4. All I had to do is touch it up with an iron or toss it in the dryer for a few minutes and it was ready to wear.
It served it's purpose for Mother's Day. Loris and I took a cute picture together but I put the black dress to rest today. When I told Loris, she pretended to be surprised, however, I knew she was actually relieved. She doesn't have to worry about me hiding underneath that black dress countless times this summer, and I don't have to take my Mom's advice and wear a hot pantie girdle underneath it to keep from "shaking' behind. I guess I actually made three people happy and I won't be missing it at all. RIP black maxi!