Category Archives: Clothes

Where to Find Work Clothes on a Budget

Where to Find Work Clothes on a Budget, clothes on a budget, career clothes, budget work clothes, clothes for the office,

The other day my Dad and I were talking about office presentation.  He noticed that I had been trying harder to dress nicer while at work (thank you losing weight and feeling more confident!).  He started sharing with me how his view of dress has changed over the years.  Now don’t get me wrong my Dad still dresses super nice at work – suit, tie or sports coat every single day.  However, I remember when I was younger he was always to dressed to the top.  He never left the house without his suit, tie and matching jacket on.  Nowadays he’s a bit more relaxed with a sports coat (ha!).  

Not that losing weight is the key to feeling confident, but when you’re very self conscious losing just a little bit of weight makes a huge difference. 

Anyways…

I told him I was trying harder because I wanted to be taken more seriously.  I understood that as a young woman in the financial services field I needed to look like I can handle our clients’ needs.  And my Dad completely agreed.  He remembered when he was first starting out, he was younger and knew that first impressions meant a lot.  So though his season in the office has shifted, mine is just getting started.  

So here I am trying harder.  I want to dress with the confidence I have to handle our clients.  And it’s not easy when you wake up exhausted with a toddler that barely slept.  The last thing you want to do is iron your clothes, but that’s the one thing you need to be doing.  So I’ve been investing in better, high quality pieces to make getting ready more fun and easier.  

When I say investing… I mean buying great clothes at killer deals.  And I want to share my secrets with you.  Lately I’ve been trying to share with you my daily work outfits over on my Instagram Stories.  I try to stick to a pretty tight budget when it comes to clothes, which means I have to take excellent care of them so they last longer.

I started thinking there might be a lot of you who are in similar boats as me – you work in a professional office and need to dress to impress.  However, you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg to get good deals.  

Here are my favorite go-to places:

Kohls.

I love, love, love Kohl’s.  I get about 80% of my clothes here.  They are always having a sale or offer free shipping online.  So what I usually do is I head over to Ebates (you can join by using my referral link here) then connect to the Kohl’s website.  Ebates will automatically enter in any coupons they can find, but I still like to Google codes to make sure I’m getting the best deal.  I also try to time it right so that I qualify for Kohl’s Cash.  That way I can use the cash for other items I need later on or on some birthday gifts (to help with our gift budget) for family.  I typically ask for gift cards for Christmas and birthday so I can use those towards any new clothes.  

Target.

My next favorite place to score great deals is Target.  Again, I prefer to shop online so I am always using my Ebates (plus the closest Target is over an hour away!).  If you play your cards right you can time your visits to the store or online with their markdown schedule.  If I’m in an area to actually go in-store then I try to time it on Tuesdays either late morning or early afternoon.  That way staff has had a chance to start the markdowns and they will be scanning the new lower prices.  

I also purchase a lot of our diapers from Target (they have a similar subscribe & save feature like Amazon offers).  Our little guy seems to do better with the Up and Up brand diapers, so I try to buy those the majority of time.  Target will offer a deal where if you spend $50 or $75 in diapers then you get a gift card back.  So I time it to order a few cases of diapers (we go through once case a month) at at time when they go on sale to score a gift card.  Then I use that gift card to help buy any new clothes I need for work.

Walmart.

I know, I know… Walmart?  Yep!  It’s true.  I have found some great blouses and sweaters at Walmart.  I haven’t really been able to find any pants that fit me too well (my legs are super short!), but the blouses are great.  You can find a great top for a steal there.  Since we have a Super Center in town I typically do all of my shopping in-person, which makes it a lot easier.  I would recommend trying pieces on before checking out (or be okay with returning items).  Sometimes their sizing isn’t as accurate or consistent, but that doesn’t bother me too much.  

Keep Pieces Simple.

This isn’t really a store, but it’s a concept.  I love colors, but I’m not big on patterns.  So by sticking to solid colors -either bright, pastels, or dark then I can easily mix-and-match pieces together.  A pair of black pants goes with just about anything; however, a pair of patterned blue floral pants are harder to pair blouses with.  My big tip is just to keep your work pieces more simple so you can pair them with different items to give the illusion of a bigger wardrobe.

Packing for the Beach

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packing for the beach on a budget

J and I are planning our next trip to the beach in just a few weeks.  Eek! I’m so excited!  I love the ocean and this year our little guy is walking and so much more active then when we took him last summer.  We’re planning on doing so much while we’re there.  I’m not sure how we’re going to fit it all in!  I’ve let J be the vacation planner this year.  He booked the trip and he’s planning what things we’ll go do.  I know there will be some put-put in the mix somewhere… that’s one of his favorite things to do on vacation.  The only thing I’ve requested is some time relaxing and playing at the beach.  Other than that – it’s up to him!  

We’re not staying to far from Daytona Speedway so we’ll probably make a drive out there so J can see the track.  He’s always wanted to go to the Daytona 500… so visiting the track is pretty much the same thing, right? ha!

I’ve been in full planning mode for a few days now.  While packing for the beach I realized we don’t have any summer clothes that aren’t completely worn out or still fit us. #losingweight  I’ve ordered a few new shirts and shorts for J, but I needed a new swimsuit.  I’m pretty sure I’ve had the same two suits for the past 4 years.  They needed to be retired.  I also wanted to mix things up this year and get a cute tankini.  I found some one Amazon that were super cute and seemed really flattering.  But I needed to stick to a budget. 

 
 
I loved this bralette tankini swimsuit so much that I ordered it.  Plus it was less than $25.  WHAT?!?! I really liked how it has some added coverage with the tank top, but still looks cute.  Plus it totally fit in my budget!  I can’t wait to wear it on the beach!
I also ordered these swim trunks for our little guy to wear. I just thought the octopus was adorable!  I like swimwear that has built in UPF protection for our son.  It gives me a piece of mind knowing he has a little more protection over his body then just sunscreen.  Also, they were less than $10, which was a huge bonus!  I added in this super cute rash guard for some extra protection up top.  Again, this shirt was less than $10. I think he is going to look so cute in it!  Ah! I can’t wait!

Now the only thing left to order is J’s swim trunks.  He’s not the easiest to buy for.  He’s picky than I am when it comes to his clothes.  We’re flying this year instead of driving, so we aren’t packing as much as we did last year.  We’re only staying for part of the week instead of the full 7 days, too.  I wrote a blog post on some awesome beach hacks for baby and I plan on packing a lot off that list so we can make sure to have a stress free vacation.

Packing for the beach is so much fun!  I know as our trip gets closer I’m going to be buying sunscreen and aloe (just in case) and loading in all of our new clothes.  I’m so excited for our first family vacation as a family of three.  This is the start to something great – I know it!

 

Now that the moving is done, it’s time to unpack

moving_boxes
Oh how I hate moving. Something about moving furniture, boxes, trying to stay organized is one of the most tiring things I can think of.

J and I are officially in our new place; however, the unpacking has begun. It’s a challenge combining two people’s apartments into one house. Compromise is huge. J has dealt with the fact that I get more of the master closet than he does, but I have accepted that I now have a Bud Light picture hanging in the kitchen. It’s all about compromise people. I’m trying hard here.

While moving I’m sure that there will be items that you no longer need/want to keep. For instance, I have a lot, a lot of clothes. So, I went through while packing and unpacking to see what I don’t wear on a normal basis. I’ve collected about 6 garbage bags full of clothes to donate. Now I’ve done my research and have decided to make my donation to Missouri Council of the Blind that is here locally.

This week will be long and feel like it’s going to be some time before all of the boxes are unpacked. Just keep working, one box at a time. I had a goal to get the kitchen in order, most of the master bedroom, and the guest bedroom (mainly because my Mom and sister are coming this weekend). Slowly, but surely it is coming together.

Cheers,

Mere

Check Marks for Fall

fall

Now that it is finally starting to feel like fall around the heartland I can create my fall to do list.  Here are a few of the things that I cannot wait to cross off with my favorite season of the year.

1) Ghost Tour of the historic Pythian Castle here in Springfield.

2) Carve a pumpkin.

3) Host a ‘family’ Thanksgiving dinner with J and the pup.  Since are families live 3 hours apart it will be hard to spend time together on the actual day, so we have hopes of celebrating together – just our little family.

4) Update my wardrobe with a few new chunky cardigans and eye catching scarves.

5) Spend some time reading something out of enjoyment and not necessity.  First up – Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

6) Complete a few crafts that I have been putting off, including my new nail polish display rack.

7) Start researching a new home to rent this coming Spring.

8) Become a bit more organized with my budgeting.

9) Drive to my absolute favorite in the world Apple Butter Festival in Kimmswick, MO

10) Develop some new post ideas and tutorials.

Now that fall has officially arrived, what are your plans?

Fall y’all

Last week it finally started to feel like fall around these parts. I was excited. I love fall.

Something about the cooler weather, carving pumpkins, and sweaters to make me happy.

sweater: Ross, leggings: TJ Maxx, boots: Hunter, purse: Coach (similar here), watch: Relic, bracelets: given.

twirly, twirly, twirly

When I was a little girl my favorite game to play was dress-up.  My mom would save what I called “twirly dresses” where I could spin and spin in them.  I dreamt of this life where I would be able to wear fancy dresses on a regular basis, have my hair beautified.

I was the little girl who would play in my Mom’s makeup collection.  I would step away with makeup caked on, mascara all over my eyes and the brightest lipstick shade that I could find.

Years later, I’m still that same little girl when it comes to getting dressed up.  Well, minus the mascara all over my face.  I have a little bit more skill in applying makeup these days.  Although, I find that I still like the bright lipstick from time to time.

J and I went out for a night on the town a few weeks ago for a red carpet night at a local bar.  It was nice getting all dolled up and meeting up with friends for a good stiff drink.

Friday Five

clouds copy

1) I have a thing for cloud pictures. I think that’s apparent.

driving copy

2) I’ve got a pup that is sneakily trying to learn how to drive. Take my eyes off the driver for one second and somehow she’s in the seat.

beernsalad copy

3) Yummy dinner with friends at Garbo’s in Springfield this past week.

outfit copy

4) Quick glimpse of my outfit this week. Now with school back my clothes are lasting much longer than my average 8-5 job. Try 8am – 10pm.

lake copy

5) Nothing beats a day at the lake. Tubing. Fishing. Relaxing. One word can sum it all up – perfect.

Just something about it

longflowingskirt

A blue skirt that swooshes when you walk.  Makes you command attention.  Add a fedora, some wedges and I think you may just have it.

Or at least that’s how I feel when I put this skirt on and no one is going to tell me any different.

Skirt: Windsor (similar here), blouse: F21, Fedora & Wedges: TJ Maxx

For some reason I feel like a vintage housewife

cleaninghouse

But wearing jeans, of course.  I was running late to my night class and decided to just not change from working on a few projects.

whitet

shoes

t-shirt: Wal-Mart, jeans: Express, shoes: F21, Headband: Modcloth (bonus from my Birchbox), watch: belonged to my Grandpa.

I call this one my…

outfit

nerdy professor look.

warbyparkerglasses

stella

shirt: TJ Maxx, Skirt: F21, glasses: Warby Parker, necklace: JewelMint

jewelmint_skull