beauty + fitness

Guest Post: Double Your Freshness, Double Your Funds

July 18, 2011

**My dearest friend, sister, and fashion mentor, Shayna, will be delivering today’s guest post!! She’s got great taste so you all are in for a treat. As she helps me revamp my wardrobe for the low low (#gradstudentbudget), perhaps she can help you revamp yours and save us all some damn money. Enjoy!**

Hey there, Gemites! Gemians! Gemers! Thank you (and Notorious G.E.M) for letting me guest blog on over here this fine Monday morning.

A little two piece and a biscuit about me: I’m a fashion addict. I live at thrift and consignment stores. I’m pretty sure that I’m really a 70 year old lady in a 24 year old’s body. I love everything vintage, classic and 1940s and beyond. I’m probably cheaper than your great-grandpa during the Depression and refuse to spend more than $20 on pretty much anything. Yup, think that’s everything – now let’s get to the good stuff.

Summer is moving along very quickly *Lady singer from Shaft says “shut yo mouth!”* I know, I know. It’s really sad to think about but we still have a good amount of time to be out and about in the sun looking new paint fresh. As I accumulate summer vacays under my belt, my wallet starts getting lighter and I have less money to spend on the wardrobe. Luckily there are a lot of simple but great ways to perk up your fashion matrix without spending all of your margarita money. Here are 3 ways that you can vamp, revamp and double vamp your oldies but goodies, and some places to shop for the deals.

1. Let’s get busy. This summer has given us some of the best prints and patterns. Tribal, aztec, animal prints, 80s color block, splatter, floral – tons. So adding any of these to an outfit is an easy way to spice up even the simplest combo. This patchwork tunic is from Forever 21. They have a lot of great patterned tanks, dresses and skirt in their sale section. If you are a little pattern shy, you canadd a printed scarf or other accessory to a simple tee and jeans outfit. For my fellas, the same goes for you. Graphic tees are very big right now, and I’ve also seen some very fly pattern tanks at Urban Outfitters for good prices. Their online sales have some colorful stripes but not many other patterns. But look around, they really have been everywhere this summer. So add some zing to your summer wardrobe with a little print or pattern, and stop dressing like Bob from Accounting. And sorry to all the Roberts who happen to manage financial information. I am sure you are very interesting.

2. Life of the Party. Sometimes you really only need one bing bang boom piece in an outfit. An easy way to get this is with a great shoe. has a bajillion cute pairs of wedges, flats and heels for women for super great prices. Men folk, I didn’t see as much for you here but Urban Outfitters has a few pair of slip-ons for under $20, as does Shoot for a shoe that really holds its own, and pair it with something simple. This lets you add variety to your normal jeans and tee combos, and gives you the freedom to pair pieces in a new way around your perfect shoe. So be on the hunt for something that pops, and wear it to liven up your summer pieces. You heard Danity Kane – time to put your open toes on and get jazzy.

3. Paper or plastic. This last one is just for the lovely ladies. A very easy way to take on outfit to the next level is an amazing bag. Clutches are very crucial for summer – but hobos, satchels, and long strapped (sometimes called “crossbodies”) bags can do the trick too. Personally I have been loving the look that a good structured bag gives to a free flowing maxi dress and sandals or jeans and a tank. These bags usually resemble doctor bags, or have some other kind of structured shape to them with short handle straps. I’ve talked on my blog about my open love affair with my flea market doctor bag find. It pairs well with any outfit, dressy or casual, and gives a very put together feel to either. Target has a really nice variety of great bags for a good price right now. Some are over the $20 I like to spend by not by much, so give their site and stores a good once over. Also go to your local thrift, consignment and second-hand shops and look for bags there. Most of the bags that I really love were flea market or thrift store finds. This quilted red leather clutch was from a Salvation Army for $3. I pair it with nothing more than a pair of jeans a grey tee to add a little something to the outfit. Bags are very essential to pulling an easy breezy look together, and with these great prices you don’t have to feel bad one bit about buying a lot of them. So next time someone tells you that you have a lot of baggage, tell them athankyou.

So there it is. Three very simple ways to sparkle up the summer clothes and keep looking good on in to fall. What are your go-to pieces to make an outfit? Anything I missed?

I really enjoyed guest blogging for you all and visit my site for everything about anything related to style (

Looking good, good looking –

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  • Reply Pants shoppin’ and guest bloggin’ | anything but style July 18, 2011 at 1:23 am

    […] Double your freshness, double your funds […]

  • Reply Ivy St. July 18, 2011 at 9:27 am

    Shayna, this was a GREAT post! As a grad student, I find it hard to be fashionable with such a tight budget. Since I am a plain Jane in every since of the word, my go to outfit is just a simple form fitting dress. I typically stick to solid colors and look for a nice high heal. Shoes can be expensive. Thanks for the links that you added. I would have never thought to look at the Sears catalog for shoes.

    • Reply gemmieboo July 18, 2011 at 12:16 pm

      Ivy, i have to agree with Her Shayness on you NOT being plain in your cute solid, fitted dressed and cute heels. you always look GREAT when we go out. even your lab-wear is fashionable compared to most geeky researchers.

      you’ve got good style, now we have a Fashions-for-Cheap guru to guide us into buying even more great wardrobe pieces for our grad student budget 😉

  • Reply fashionablytardy July 18, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Thank you, Ivy St.

    Yeah Sears is never my first place to shop but recently their online options have been amazing. And they have free shipping deals and 15% off sales pretty frequently to make room for their fall stuff, so check there.

    And miss, there is nothing plain Jane about a nice high heel or your solid color freakum dresses. You betta werk. : )

  • Reply gemmieboo July 18, 2011 at 10:26 am

    great post, LS boo!!! lately ive been getting into more patterned tops with lots of fun colors–gives more options for accessorizing!

    lmao @ And sorry to all the Roberts who happen to manage financial information. I am sure you are very interesting. hilarious!

    i didnt realize Sears’ online shoe store was poppin! color me impressed. ill definitely have to check it out since my shoe game is severely lacking these days.

    im all for a cute purse/handbag. ive given a lot of purses to goodwill recently to make room to buy new (to me) ones.

    my only addition for “go-to pieces” would be FUN JEWELRY!!! i love big and/or dangly earrings, bangles, and sculptured rings. sadly, some of my favorite pieces are costume jewelry and they just dont physically stand the test of time.

    i cant tell you how many times ive been told by friends and strangers alike that they were going to steal the jewelry/purse/shoes right off my body–esp when im at church!! LOL

    again, great post Shayski. thanks for guest blogging for me 🙂

  • Reply fashionablytardy July 18, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Thank you, LS boo!

    And you are so right about the funky jewelry. You know I do the Delta girl rock and leave these pearls on all the time, but jewelry is a great way to spice it up. Back on my thrift store soap box, I have found some great (real and costume) vintage pieces at my thrift hideaways. In fact, bought an old lady’s whole jewelry box full of stuff once for $5. There was a lot of junk in there but also some really great earrings and bracelets.

    Thanks for having me love – hope the rest of the Gemians enjoyed it as much as I did!

    • Reply gemmieboo July 18, 2011 at 12:18 pm

      LOL yes you and your pearls. but you look great!! you have such a classic look that you dont need much to make your cute little face and your adorable curls stand out.

      i feel naked without big earrings. i feel like i need them to distract from my large eyes/eyebrows and frizzy hair lol

      p.s. we need to plan another thrift shop trip soon! my euro trip is almost here and id like some more things to take with me!

      • Reply fashionablytardy July 18, 2011 at 12:23 pm

        Yes! I would love to…any pay day friday I am recklessly spending $20 for 20 things by Saturday. Let me know when you’re free.

        And you know you have great eyebrows and blacxican hair – who you tryna fool?

      • Reply gemmieboo July 18, 2011 at 2:21 pm

        ok great!!!!!

        and my blaxicanness doesnt negate the fact my fuzzy eyebrows and frizzy curls lol

  • Reply Cheekie July 18, 2011 at 11:32 am

    LOVE this post, Shayna! I’ve already browsed your blog since our Twitter banter and I have to say I love your sense of style. The bag featured in this post is way too cute for words. ‘Cept I just typed some. Ah well, we can’t have it all. 😉

    But, yeah a good bag is my go-to piece to make an outfit. I’m a bag-fiend and I love how they can make (or sadly, break) an outfit. I also like bright shoes with the ol’ reliable little black dress. I love when that ONE color pops, which upgrades the entire outfit.

    • Reply gemmieboo July 18, 2011 at 12:21 pm


      total co-sign on the LBD w/ bright colored shoes. that is the absolute best way to wear an LBD. throw in a cute clutch and/or belt and you’re GOLD!

  • Reply That Damn African July 18, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    Good post, Shay. Shoes are definitely the thing that I’ve been slipping on (see what I did there?) the most. While most of my days consist of going to lab where wearing raggedy New Balance or Adidas sneakers are acceptable, I have few options in my closet when I need to be a bit more presentable. I don’t have any slip-ons so those might be my next purchase along with a new pair of Chucks. And as far as tees go, Target and Walmart are my go to spots for vintage tees. Most of their stuff is around ten bucks and I love goofy shirts that fill me with nostalgia.

    • Reply fashionablytardy July 18, 2011 at 12:11 pm

      Thank you, B!

      I have really been loving seeing all these man ankles this summer. So I really appreciate a good slip-on, boat shoe or loafer on a man.

      have you ever been to Five Below? They have really great worn in looking t-shirts with nostalgic/funny prints. All their shirts or five or below (get it?). They are new to the Pitts but there is one in Monroeville, Waterworks and Robinson. You should check it out.

      • Reply That Damn African July 18, 2011 at 12:57 pm

        Welp, here I am thinking I was doing something with $10 tees lol. I’ll be checking out Five Below next time I get a chance.

    • Reply gemmieboo July 18, 2011 at 12:19 pm

      your tees are definitely a good look, B! you def have the look and personality to make them really work in a “im the coolest f*ckin nerd you ever met” way. not all ppl pull this off, lemme tell ya.

      i cant imagine your an African without slip on shoes. that doesnt even seem right. please fix that STAT

      • Reply That Damn African July 18, 2011 at 12:59 pm

        *looks around awkwardly after receiving compliment a la today’s VSB post*

        “i cant imagine your an African without slip on shoes. that doesnt even seem right.”

        What can I say? I’m a rebel.

      • Reply gemmieboo July 18, 2011 at 2:22 pm

        that damn rebel african *SMH*

  • Reply fashionablytardy July 18, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Thank you, Cheekie!

    And I agree about the pop of color. Until people try to get all rainbow bright on a sista and take it in the total wrong way. Less is really more with most things – and a well-placed pop of color is really all you need. I love pairing a printed shoe/belt/bag/accessory with the classic LBD too – leopard print is always great in my opinion. Thundercats assemble!

    • Reply gemmieboo July 18, 2011 at 12:24 pm

      im not really one for animal prints but i think they look so great on some ppl. some ppl just have that RAWR look and the printed accessories just make their look POP. #kittystyle

    • Reply Cheekie July 18, 2011 at 5:09 pm

      Right! Bold things like leopard print and/or bright colors are only good in moderation. They supposed to stand out, IMO, not take over your entire being. LOL

  • Reply pattycakes July 18, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Hey Shayna!
    Great post! Do you remember that I mentioned last week on your blog that I saw a few purses in a thrift shop that made me do a double take? Well, I went back! I got 5 purses and 2 pairs of earrings for 20 bucks! Yay, me! I think I should mention that thrift shops in areas with higher property value and more vanillas just happen to have really awesome used items. #CaribanaAintReadyForMe

    • Reply fashionablytardy July 18, 2011 at 12:35 pm

      Thanks Pretty!

      Double yay you! Thrift stores in the richy rich neighborhoods are always A-mazing. Also hunting down estate sales in the newspaper have always yielded great stuff for me. You gotta be ballin to have an estate worth selling anything from. And yeah it’s sad to be buying some dead old lady’s belongings but I think she would want them to be profiled correctly in her absence. I better see these finds in Toronto, plus some brightly colored booty shorts if I understand the dress code correctly.

      • Reply pattycakes July 18, 2011 at 1:24 pm

        Yes! Estate sales are the business! I need to find some of those! Speaking of dead old ladies, there was a yard sale in LA once and all of the purses and earrings belonged to this chick’s late grandmother. I found this adorable cream silk clutch that looked like something Joan Crawford toted around to cocktail parties in the 30s and some silver earrings that I still wear to this day. Unfortunately, the clutch had a stain on it that never came out. 🙁 ps- you’ll definitely see me stylin’ in tdot.

      • Reply gemmieboo July 18, 2011 at 2:27 pm

        ive never been to an estate sale. i’ll have to drag you with me to one in the near future. i think i could convince you to do that, right??

    • Reply gemmieboo July 18, 2011 at 2:24 pm

      wow look at you, Saks! a thrifty shopping fool!! you’ll have to let me know which thrift stores you’ve been too. im new to this and dont know the lay of the thrify pgh land just yet 😉

  • Reply keishabrown July 18, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    great post! you are a young version of my mom..
    (i wont mention she found both a DVF + LV travel bag…)
    my outfit must have a great pair of shoes, a great bag and at least one accessory (earrings, necklace, bracelet).
    and dont underestimate nail polish colour!

    • Reply fashionablytardy July 19, 2011 at 9:46 am

      Thanks keishabrown!

      People really do sleep on the power of great nails. I have a friend who does nail art so mine are usually a good color with a few designs on some. I’ve also used those Sally Hensen nail design strips. They have leopard print, lace, floral – very cute and easy way to give a little attention to your nails.

      And tell Mama Brown thumbs up for the name brand finds. I still talk about the Armani dress I found at a yard sale *cough “$4” cough*.

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