Tastefully Trendy

A life and fashion blog by Sarah Beth

Tag: off-the-shoulder (page 1 of 2)

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Happy Halloween, y’all! I think we’ve discussed my love for Halloween before, but ever since college, I’ve been pretty into the holiday.

I wasn’t allowed to celebrate it growing up, so maybe I just have a lot of pent up Halloween spirit. Or maybe it’s simply that who doesn’t like costume parties? You get to flex your creative muscles, be whomever you want to be, and have an automatic conversation starter with literally every person. It’s the best.

I’ve also become a huge DIY-snob over the years. But just at Halloween. Every other time of the year, I’d much rather pay a professional then to get crafty. But, come October 1, I get the urge to scour Pinterest, buy fabric, and use a glue gun. And I firmly believe that if you don’t make your costume, it doesn’t really count…

But, sometimes, my vision isn’t QUITE achieved. This year was one of those years. I thought I could convert my well-loved, perennially-useful tutu into a skirt for Dorothy, and technically I did. But, I still kinda felt like I was the love child of Dorothy and Cherry Merry Muffin. (Side note: I referenced Cherry Merry Muffin to someone younger than me the other day, and they did not know what I meant. If you are in that category, please enlighten yourself here. And please do not tell me, because it makes me feel very old, even though I can still distinctly smell the doll in my head.)

Anyway…a friend asked me if I had sewn my costume myself, and I was very flattered by that question because I actually used staples, fabric glue, and velcro. But, it held together for the evening, and I did get a few compliments on the look.

My philosophy on costumes is always to give them a bit of a SB spin…I’m not a purist. So, the cropped, off-the-shoulder top achieved that goal for me.

My favorite parts of the costume, though, were tied between my shoes (obviously. These were red pumps I already had, and I bought the bows from Etsy and glued them to binder clips (my mom’s creative idea)); my hair – it turned out perfectly Dorothy; and my lipstick. I had seen some glitter lipstick on Pinterest that I was obsessed with, and while mine wasn’t QUITE as glittery as I’d envisioned, I think the results were still pretty

So there you have it. Whenever I make a project like this, it gives me hope for my future children. With a little hot glue and Google, Mommy might actually be of some help to them in their school projects.

As is my custom, let’s also take a quick walk through some costumes of yesteryear – because I like reliving them, and if any of you are new (or even if you’re not), maybe you’ll enjoy them, too. Specifically, let’s look at all the ways my hand-made tulle tutu has served me well.

Cinderella – my first use of the tutu. At my party last week, I saw another girl who was a tutu-d Cinderella. She looked cute, but, I wanted to give her some pointers, as she wasn’t wearing gloves or a headband. It’s all in the details.

A couple years later, I resurrected my tutu for what is probably my favorite costume of all time – the Tooth Fairy. Again, the details are what get me on this one – peep my toothbrush crown, the wings, my tooth wand, and even a little pouch for the teeth. It was the most fun to create, and lots of moms of little children asked to take my picture.

Three times might be the max on my blue tutu, but I’m not sure if I’ll ever wear a costume that doesn’t involve tulle in someway. I’m already thinking ahead to next year, and some options include Glinda (keeping with the Wizard of Oz theme); Little Red Riding Hood; and Tinkerbell. All of which could – and likely would – include a tutu, as well.

What about you? Did you/will you dress up this year? What was your favorite costume of all time? Do you feel as obligated to use tulle as I do? I’d love to hear from you!

<3,
SB

By Faith

Today’s post is part journal entry, part encouragement for anyone who thinks like me, and part “I feel like I need to say these things ‘out loud’ to really cement them”. But, I also have a cute outfit at the bottom of the page, along with a side-by-side with middle school me, so please join me for whichever part(s) are most beneficial to you. I hope it all will be.

Although I was raised in a Christian home and accepted Jesus at a very young age, there is one aspect of the Christian faith that has always been difficult for me – the actual faith part.

I don’t have trouble believing that God exists, that Jesus died and rose again for our salvation, that one day all who believe in Him will be in Heaven, or any of the other key elements of Christianity. I don’t even have trouble believing that God directs our steps and has a divine plan for each one of us. But, when you start getting into the specifics of what that divine plan might be, or how God relates to us on an individual level, that’s where I’ve struggled more.

But, it is an invaluable lesson, if we can get it, and the way God is teaching me about faith at the moment is by leading me to have faith for something VERY specific. I’ve literally never done this before. Sure, I’ve asked God whether or not I should take a certain job and had faith that He was directing me. Or, I’ve prayed for someone’s health or financial situation and believed that God would intervene. But, those all seemed very manageable and also generic enough that God could do a lot of different things, and I would still believe that He’d answered my prayer. These kinds of prayers did not “stretch” my faith or challenge my theology at all.

But this time is different. This time, there is no way for me to see God’s hand through a variety of solutions. I’m either right in what I believe God has spoken to my heart and He’ll do it, or I’m wrong and He won’t. And if He doesn’t, then I’ll have to wrestle with what that means. But there is no wiggle room. There is no way for a half-answered prayer here.

I’ve never been a “name it/claim it” person; it doesn’t fit with my theology. I don’t think God is a cosmic genie, up in the heavens ready at our beck and call to grant our wishes. However, I do believe that God is a good Father, I believe He answers prayer, and I believe He speaks to us in all kinds of different ways, if only we will listen. I also believe, as one of my mentors used to say, that He wants us to be in His will even more than we do.

So, when I felt that God laid something specific on my heart to pray in faith for/about, I didn’t feel that I was “naming” it and claiming it. Rather, I felt like He gave me the idea in the first place. Yes, it’s an idea that I’m super into, but I wasn’t just sitting around thinking of things I wanted and giving God His marching orders. Instead, I felt like God had invited me to join Him in working to accomplish His will by placing this particular situation on my heart. My responsibility in this task was to pray and to believe that He will do what He has said, which is both an honor and very humbling – but also a little terrifying.

I guess the reason praying for something specific scares me so much, besides the fact that I’ve never done it before, is that I could be wrong. And if I’m wrong, what does that say about my relationship with God – my ability to hear from Him, His willingness to speak to me, who He is in general…

Also, if I’m wrong, not only will I be disappointed, but I’ll feel foolish. I’m not talking to many people about this situation – you know, except all of you – so, there won’t be a lot of other people judging me if I misheard. But I’ll know.

But faith is risky by its very nature.

Everything good in life is: relationships, love, new ventures, investments. If we only made decisions based on very sure things, we’d have a limited pool of options available to us.

I was talking to a wise friend about this a month or two ago, and I expressed to her my fear about having misheard God and what the implications of that might be for my faith overall. She asked a simple question, “But, what is your alternative?”

That question put everything into perspective for me, because she’s right – I have no alternative. If God is not who He says He is, what hope do I have in life at all? A hopeless, godless life is a reality I can’t even fathom. So, then, if I believe God is who He says He is, how does that impact my daily life? Do I also believe that He speaks to me, and if so, what do I do about what He’s said?

As my friend and I were talking, I couldn’t help but think of several Biblical heroes who have faced very specific situations that were likely quite trying on their faith. I think we read these Bible stories as though the characters in them are just innately good, and they didn’t ever struggle to have the right response. But I bet it was just as difficult for them to exercise faith as it is for us. Thankfully, though, we have the benefit of their experiences to inspire us in our own.

For example, when faced with the very real possibility of losing her position – and her life – by going before the king uninvited, Queen Esther said, “If I perish, I perish” – and armed with the prayers of her people, she stepped out in faith and saved an entire nation from annihilation.

Abraham followed God’s word up the mountain to sacrifice Isaac, believing all the way that God would provide an alternative sacrifice. But if He didn’t, Abraham was still going to believe God and go through with what He had said. Fortunately, God did provide a ram in the thicket…just in the nick of time.

Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego stood at the edge of the fiery furnace, boldly proclaiming that God would rescue them. But even if He did not, they committed that they would not turn away from Him. In their case, their faith was so tested, they actually went INTO the fire before God saved them. But, save them He did and not even their clothes smelled of smoke.

What is even more encouraging about these stories is that not only did all of these people stand in faith in impossible circumstances, believing in God regardless of the consequences, but in each situation, God did come through and their faith was rewarded.

So, with all of these truths in mind, I’ve decided to press forward in the direction I believe that God has called me. It is a risk. I might be wrong. I might be disappointed. But, I also might grow in the Lord in a way I’ve never yet experienced.

Like Esther, I’m choosing to take a risk in faith, and if I perish, I perish (which, in this particular situation is unlikely to happen, but I can be dramatic, so the phrase seems fitting). And I’m excited to see what/how/when/why God will use my faith and work in my life.

A couple of years ago, I did a series on hope (parts 2 and 3 here and here). Faith is hope’s very close cousin. The other day, Sandi Patty, my childhood musical idol, posted something on Instagram from her husband, who commented that faith is the substance of things hoped for – a verse we all know. But, that means that faith is what allows us to have hope; it’s the basis of our hope. Faith in God’s goodness is what gives us the strength to hope.

First Corinthians says, these three things remain: faith, hope, and love. So, now that I’ve mastered the first two (jk about the mastering…), maybe you can expect a love series sometime in the future. I probably have an awful lot of lessons to learn on the “greatest of these”.

And now, as promised, here is my cute outfit – and a sudden transition.

I’ve wanted to get in on the overalls trend since they first rolled back into style a few years ago, but since I refuse to pay full (over)price for farm clothing, I had to wait until I could find a good deal. So, finally, at the end of summer, I’ve found my white shorts overalls, and I just hope they’ll still be in style next year.

I realize this picture is a little blurry, but I liked my face in it, so I’m embracing the blur.

This shirt was a vacation purchase, which is honestly the only reason I own it. It was more than I would normally have paid, but who can do math properly while you’re at the beach? So, I accidentally bought it and now I’m pretty happy that I did. In the close up, you can see more of the shirt detail – as well as the buttons on my overalls.

The last time overalls were in style, I was 12 and I was ALL ABOUT THEM.

So, in celebration of the style’s return, here is a side-by-side of 2019 me and 1997 me…who wore it better?

I am jealous of 6th grade me’s tan, though. I lived in Florida.

So, there you have it. What has God taught you about faith recently, or how have you seen him work in your life as you’ve stepped out in faith?

Or, if you’d rather, we can talk about overalls. What do you think of this trend?

As always, thank you all for reading. You’re all just the best.

<3,

SB

She’s Alive

Hello, everyone. It’s me – Sarah Beth. It’s been a while, so you might not remember me. Fortunately, this blog is full of pictures of just me, so hopefully it’ll all come back soon.

I haven’t written in a while because, well, I just didn’t really have much to say. And, editing these pictures takes so much more time than you would think for as poor quality as they are.

But, I got some new clothes recently that I wanted to show off. And more significantly, I’m still paying $10.95/month to maintain this little website, so I thought I should at least do something with my money.

Also, like the powerful influencer that I am, people keep asking where I’ve been lately. And by people keep asking, I mean one person asked if I still had that blog. But that was all the encouragement I needed.

To that one person, thank you. And, please email me back.

To address what everyone actually cares about: I’m not dating anyone. Actually, I’m not even using the dating apps right now. I still go on dates occasionally – if they happen organically. But, the apps can be exhausting, physically and emotionally. And, I know what I’m looking for, so I’d rather be more selective with my time at this stage of my life.

I have been on some great dates in the past 6 months, though – and some not so great ones (once, my date made me cry at the table and then the waiter thought he was proposing. It was a roller coaster of an evening.). But overall, I’ve had some nice conversations, learned a lot more about the military (naturally), and worn some cute outfits.

Which brings me to my next point:

I recently went hunting for a very specific item – a casual pink skirt. I never found the skirt, but that search led me to buy a ton of stuff from ThredUp, the online consignment/thrift store.

As someone who is not a fan of online shopping anyway, ThredUp was a particularly terrible experience for me. There is just not enough information about the items to know if you’re making a wise purchase or not. Of the 12 things that I bought, I only kept 5 – and a couple of those 5 I would have not kept, but they were unreturnable. (ThredUp doesn’t have a very friendly return policy, either.)

With that said, if you’re looking for something VERY specific (like, you know the brand and size), or something where quality/fit doesn’t really matter, then go for it. The prices are great. But, buyer beware.

The skirt below was one of the 5 things that I kept from that bundle and it’s one that I wouldn’t have picked off the rack. However, once I put it on, I do really like it, so I’m not mad that I couldn’t return it.

This outfit reminded me of Meghan Markle’s character in Suits (my favorite show for fashion, btw). While she would have worn colors and patterns much more suited for a high-powered law office, the silhouette – crew neck sweater, pencil skirt – was a staple of her character’s wardrobe.

The trim down the back is my favorite part.

As opposed to feeling like a well-paid, well-dressed Manhattan attorney, this next outfit made me feel a little like Ronald McDonald. However…I’m obsessed with this skirt (easily my favorite purchase in the ThredUp group), and I’ll be wearing it a lot. I’ll also be wearing these rainbow shoes a lot – I mean, they go with literally everything and remind me of shoes my mom wore when I was a kid.

This next dress was not from ThredUp, but from Charming Charlie (which is going out of business – so, find one soon and buy all the things). Actually, most of this outfit is from CC: the earrings are, as is the barrette. I read somewhere that barrettes are very in right now, and I’m completely here for it.

The dress was $10, and honestly, I think you can tell it’s not a high quality dress. But, for $10, I didn’t really care. It’s a perfect summer date night dress (speaking from experience), and I can throw a sweater on and make it office appropriate.

Finally, here is an outfit I wore to work and probably shouldn’t have – I’m not sure off-the-shoulder is office-appropriate under any circumstances. But, I liked it so much, and my boss was out of the office, so YOLO.

The skirt is a very deep purple and originally from Express, but another ThredUp purchase. For some reason, I don’t usually wear pencil skirts, but thanks to these accidental purchases, I think I’m hooked.

It should be noted that I have other hairstyles than the 1.5 depicted here. But, I took all of these pictures on the same day to try to save time. It did not, in fact, save time.

Well, now you’re all caught up on my life and my wardrobe. I hope all of y’all are doing well, too. What fashion trends are you super into right now? How’s dating going for you? What major life changes have you recently experienced? I’d love to hear from you. Thanks for following along and for caring about my little life – it means the world.

<3,

SB

SB and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Date

I’ve had a suspicion for a long time that my fashion posts really weren’t the most interesting to many of you. Although the original purpose of my blog was to talk about clothing and trends, my audience (aka, you guys. My friends.) seemed to prefer the juicier topics. Based on the fact that about 200 people read my post about weight loss, and only 30 read the following week’s post about casual apparel…I’d say my suspicion was right (shout out to you hard core 30!).

So, in the interest of giving the people what they want, let me tell you about the worst date I have ever been on.

One of the conversation topics that often gets brought up on first dates, particularly if you’ve met the person online, is dating horror stories. And I’ve heard some doozies. Men especially seem prone to being catfished, whether in the more innocent form of a girl using older pictures with good angles, or the more absurd cases where a girl flat-out uses someone else’s pictures.

But I’d always felt a little boring when this topic came up. Either because I’m a pretty good judge of character and weed out the weirdos before I meet them, or because I genuinely enjoy talking to strangers, most of my dates have been pleasant. Pleasant, while not “good”, does not make for an interesting story.

Well, at least until a few months ago…

It started out like any normal Bumble date. We agreed on a specific public location (that I picked, because he was from Bowling Green – an hour and 15 minutes away).

Side note: it seems very flattering when a guy is willing to drive any distance more than 30 minutes to meet me for the first time. But I’ve learned that this should be a warning sign when we’ve only talked for a day or two.

Anyway, we met and I could tell immediately that it wasn’t going anywhere, but we were there, so might as well make the best of it. He told me that I was his first Bumble date, which I was totally fine with. I actually am always kinda happy for guys who have me as their first date from an app – I will be nice to them and I pretty much look like my pictures. If nothing else, it’ll at least be a positive first-date experience. (Side note 2: I told this to another date once, and he said I was the Bumble Mother Theresa, so if you guys want to start calling me that, too, I’m cool with it).

The date was fine. He had two Bud Lights with dinner, and we walked around town for a while after (because dinner ended too quickly for me not to feel guilty sending him all the way back to Bowling Green). At some point, he said that he couldn’t really read me, but I didn’t seem NOT interested. I took great pride in this because, while I was definitely not interested, at least I was nice enough that he didn’t feel like I hated him.

When we finally got back to our cars, he kissed me – and let me assure you guys, hard to read or not, that was NOT the vibe I was giving off. I then got in my car and drove the 15-20 minutes back to my house.

So far, this was a pretty par for the course poor date. Nothing noteworthy, just not good.

And then I got the call.

Literally as I was pulling into my driveway, buddy called me to say that he’d been pulled over and the cop could smell alcohol on his breath.

To save you from scrolling backwards, I’ll remind you of his drink order – two Bud Lights. He was a 34 year old, normal-sized, adult male. Two Bud Lights and somehow the cop could smell them.

Well, spoiler alert, fortunately, he didn’t get a DUI, but the cop wouldn’t let him leave unless someone came to pick him up. But, since he lived in Bowling Green, there weren’t that many people he could call. So, I turned my car back around to get him.

At this point, my niceness was wearing thin, and so was my patience. When I arrived where his truck was parked, he got in my car and said, “I hope you don’t think this was a line.” With no sympathy whatsoever in my voice, I replied, “Of course I don’t think this was a line. It would literally be the worst line in history.”

I wasn’t sure what we could do for an hour while he “sobered up”. He suggested we could just go back to my place, which I FLATLY vetod and suggested instead that we just go walk around some more.

After about an hour of walking, I took him back to his car and he drove back to Kentucky. I drove back to my home and hoped he never texted me again.

But, the next day, he did text me – only to say that while I seemed nice, he just didn’t think it was going to work out.

Y’all – HE dumped ME!

I let him save face, though, because there was no point in making him feel more embarrassed, and I didn’t want to see him again, anyway. So, all’s well that end’s well. And, as the silver lining, I finally have a really good worst-date story to share. Added bonus that it’s at least a safe worst-date story – despite his repeated efforts to kiss me, I really don’t think he was creepy or meant me any harm. He was just really green when it came to dating and had no idea idea what he was doing.

I don’t remember what I wore to meet that guy, but here are a couple outfits I have worn or would wear on dates:

I love this dress for its elegant simplicity. I almost always pair it with gold accessories and makeup and feel like a Greek goddess every time. The perfect summer dinner date outfit.

This one is good for a day date. I actually wore these shorts on one of my favorite dates, but that was in the summer. To make them a little more appropriate for a 90 degree fall day, I swapped my white off the shoulder top for a peach sweater-T (I wish I had had a rust orange top, but you make do with what you’ve got) and my sandals for booties. I think it works.

So there you have it – my worst date story. It’s probably not the craziest story I’ve ever heard, to be honest, but it’s definitely the craziest that has ever happened to me. Do you have any that top that? What’s your worst date – or the worst you’ve heard of? I hope you’ll comment because these stories are my favorites!

<3 ,
SB

Long Time, No See!

It’s been a while, y’all. When I went on my blogging break a little over a year ago, I wasn’t sure what the future held for Tastefully Trendy. Would I be back a week later? A month? Would I ever be back? Would anyone care either way?

Well, a few weeks ago, at least 30 of you voted in an Instagram poll that you’d like to see me back, which is way more validation than I needed. So, let’s dive right in. Here’s a look at my life since July 10, 2017 – by the numbers:

414 – approximate number of days I’ve been MIA.

8+ – pairs of shoes I’ve bought in that time period

Innumerable – Target trips

2: low-key celebs I’ve met and tried to slide into their DMs

0: times I’ve been successful


(Bobby Bones and John Crist – it’s not too late to get back to me!)

5: days spent on a beach trip to Pensacola

10: pairs of shoes I packed for said beach trip

Countless: hours it took to pack for same beach trip. Still the worst packer ever, guys.

1: Navy SEALs I’ve gone on a date with

1: Navy SEALs I’ve instantly fallen in love with (spoiler alert: San Diego and Nashville are too far apart.)

2: exes who got engaged this summer

0: chiropractors I’ve hit on

409: days I’ve been grateful to live in Nashville (I subtracted the days I was at the beach, let’s be real.)

So, as you can see – not a lot has changed. I still love clothes and going on dates and my church choir. I still waffle between being hopeful and feeling discouraged about my life trajectory – sometimes even simultaneously. And, I still hope that my little blog is both fun and encouraging to those of you who read it. Thank you so much to all of you – your existence is good for my soul.

I’m still not sure what the future holds for Tastefully Trendy. For now, I’m thinking a weekly post might be both attainable and enjoyable for me. We’ll see. In the meantime, here are my vacation outfits – even more poorly edited than usual because I took them with my phone, in a mirror. But, I left on my Snapchat captions for your reading pleasure.

Honestly, y’all, my stomach is not my greatest feature, so this is as much crop as I dare. On a related note, I’m 33 years old.

This last outfit I did not wear on vacation, but I bought it and took it with me on vacation, and I love it, so it’s a bonus.

Thank you all for reading and encouraging me to come back. Please feel free to leave comments, and let me know if you have anything you’d like me to talk about – fashion or otherwise. Or, just say hey. Have a good week!

<3,
SB

Sunday Best

Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed!

Happy Easter, y’all! I hope everyone had a beautiful Sunday celebrating one of my most favorite holidays.

This Easter weekend was a little rough for me, but what better holiday to have a rough weekend before than Easter? It is so full of joy, and hope, and expectation. And brunch and pretty dresses! No matter what’s going on in your life, it’s pretty hard not to have your spirits lifted on Easter.

And, it DID NOT RAIN in Nashville for Easter. This is remarkable for two reasons: 1) it rains all the time here. 2) Rain was forecasted all day. You never know the miracles that will occur on this blessed day.

I’m posting this picture with my friend Hannah because although it’s a little grainy for some reason, it was taken much earlier in the day and is therefore a much better picture of me than the official outfit picture below. So, keep this one in your mind, and then proceed with caution and a forgiving eye.

I debated off-the-shoulder for church. Is that appropriate? I still don’t know. But, I figured since it wasn’t a LOW off-the-shoulder, I had my hair down, and most of the time I was wearing a choir robe, I could get away with it. Judge if you must. But, I know you can’t/won’t judge me for the florals – or at least, you shouldn’t, because I gave a very clear disclaimer that I am obsessed!

I usually love to look out in the congregation at church on Easter and see all the pretty colors, but I sort of forgot this year. Plus, I did notice a lot of white being represented. Even my own dress is more neutral than the usual bright yellow or coral I tend to be drawn to for Easter.

So, since I didn’t pay attention to people’s outfits at church, show me yours! Did you buy something new specific for the occasion, or recycle an old faithful?

Whatever you wore, I hope it was a beautiful day.

Two-fer Tuesday: Jailhouse Stripes

It’s been a while since I’ve done a twofer Tuesday, but no time like the present!

I really like these jailhouse stripes (or maybe more accurately, train conductor – they’re probably too narrow for jailhouse). Regardless, I think these highwaisted, cropped striped jeans are the best.

However, I wasn’t sure about them when I bought them, because in the artificial light of the dressing room, they really played with your eyes. I mean, in general, I try to wear clothes that don’t make people want to look the other way.

In the natural light, though, they seem to be okay, so I think I’m good. Except the camera doesn’t love them, either…you might have to zoom in pretty close to get an accurate look. Oh well.

In this first look, I’m combining another one of my favorite spring trends – off-the-shoulder – with my cute pants and some flats that actually hurt my feet more than most of the heels I own, but they’re so cute and universally functional, that I keep them. I ran some errands on Saturday in this outfit, then popped on some black heels for dinner with a friend that night.

Oh, and let’s not forget to mention my pink lipstick; as much as I enjoyed the dark berrys and browns this winter, I’m seriously so happy bright is back in season!

Next up is another casual outfit (I did wear it to work, but in hindsight, it might have been TOO casual). Anyway, a simple soft turquoise tee (you’ll have to take my word for it being that color, I guess), with a black scarf (I don’t have a cat; that’s all just my hair…) and some silver accents to complete the look. Easy, but still put together. Scarves are helpful in that way.
So there you have it – the return of Twofer Tuesday, thanks to my new favorite cropped jeans.

Which of these looks would you rather wear? And what’s the verdict on these stripes – delightful or dizzying? Let’s talk!

The Day I Went Shopping

Y’all know how I’ve been complaining about this fashion rut I’ve been in lately?

I had a feeling that a good shopping trip would cure my blues and give me some renewed inspiration. But, after several failed attempts recently, I was very nervous that I might never have a good shopping trip again (perhaps a bit dramatic, but it was a legitimate concern!)

Well, I was fortunately wrong. So very, very wrong. This weekend I went shopping, and 5 hours later…was the proud owner of more new clothes than I have ever bought at one time in my entire life. I ended up with 23 new items (well, 2 of them were tights, which don’t really count. So, 21 new items) and paid a grand total of $102.00.

Are you guys caught up on New Girl? I don’t want to spoil anything, but when Allie meets Winston’s mom, they discover that they are both card-carrying DDS – deep discount shoppers. I should be in this group. Let me break it down for you:

My highest average spent per item was in TJ Maxx. I have always liked TJ Maxx, but it’s hard to find true steals there, since they never run sales and put very few things on clearance. So, I paid full price for both the pair of pants and the off-the-shoulder (this will be a theme in today’s post) top I bought, for a grand total of $37 (all prices include tax, unless otherwise noted.). However, I forgot to take a picture of these. I think I’m still a LITTLE on the fence, because, well, they were full-price, and that doesn’t fit in with my DDS creed!

Next highest total was at a consignment store. Y’all, this is why I so rarely shop at thrift/consignment stores. It’s only a little bit because I think thrift stores are dirty and smell bad and I don’t like the hunting through garbage aspect. It’s also very much because I can find new things for the same or less money. Nevertheless, the consignment store was my first stop before I knew I was going to hit pay dirt elsewhere, and I walked away with a cute dress, sweatshirt-top, and blouse for $33. Not bad.

Next up is Ross. This is like the poor man’s version of TJ Maxx; literally, and figuratively. I’ve never seen so much emphasis on loss prevention than at Ross, where you are greeted by a security guard wearing a jacket that says, well, “Loss Prevention.” It’s not a pleasant shopping experience, but of the three big discount clothing stores – TJs, Marshalls, and Ross, I’ve found Ross to have the best dress (and sometimes shoe) collection. So, I go in there for those two departments alone. This time, I think I found my Easter dress. I’m still trying to decide if off-the-shoulder is appropriate for church (I’ll wear my hair down, and have a choir robe on most of the time…feel free to weigh in). It was $10.99 (plus tax).

But here’s where it really starts getting good. I had a couple gift cards for JCPenney – one I knew had $25 on it; the other I’d recently found and could have had $2.93, for all I knew. Anyway, JCP had items on their deepest clearance level, PLUS an additional 25% off coupon. So, for $28, I got a skirt, two pairs of pants, and a pair of shorts. And, my other gift card also had $25, so not only were these items totally free for me, but I still have about $21 left over!

And yes, those are silver pants. Because why not?

And now for my shopping masterpiece, I present, Old Navy. I know they’re cheap clothes, so to say I got good deals there is not probably as exciting as finding the rose-printed LOFT sweatershirt pictured above for $7. But, I will still revel in my victory.

When I recently opened the Old Navy credit card, they immediately sent me an offer that if I used the card outside of their brand within the first 30 days, I’d receive a $30 rewards card. So, I did (and promptly paid it off, of course. Credit card companies probably don’t love me.). Then, a few weeks later, they sent another, similar offer. If I used the card twice outside of their brand, I would get $45 in rewards! So, I bought some gas and a water bottle, paid it off, and had $75 of Old Navy credit to my name.

Well, thanks to the never-ending sales at Old Navy, as well as a very well-stocked clearance section, I struck gold. 2 pairs of pants, 2 dresses, 1 tank top, a sweater, 4 shirts, and 2 pairs of tights later (so, that’s 12 items), my bill came to about $98.  By itself, that’s a pretty good deal for 12 items. But, after my rewards, the total I owed was $12 and some change. Y’all. Twelve dollars. That’s a dollar per item. For new clothing.

My favorite part is that I almost bought that hot pink sweater when it was new and probably like 30% off. I would have paid $25-30 for it. Instead, I paid $3.47! Or, you know, nothing, depending on how you attribute those rewards.

So…it was a good day. Also not pictured, the (also off-the-shoulder) blush, silky top I’d bought at Kohl’s earlier that day for $8.

I don’t anticipate I’ll go shopping again anytime soon; my wardrobe has been completely revitalized, and my wheels are turning thinking of all of the new outfits I can create! So, maybe my mojo is back, after all. Let’s all hope.

Are you a DDS? If so, what are some of your best finds? I get way too excited about good bargains (as evidenced by this very long post), so I’d love to hear your stories!

Greenery

I tend to wear colors in phases. Earlier this year, I couldn’t get enough peach/soft coral. A summer or two ago, I was all about the hot pink. Burgundy/wine is still riding high in my esteem. But, lately, I’ve really been feeling green – particularly, rich greens, like forest or emerald.

Imagine my smugness, then, when I learned that Pantone has declared “Greenery” as the 2017 color of the year. While that spring green shade isn’t my favorite, I felt very ahead of the trend by already deciding I needed more green in my wardrobe. (Please note: this decision might have been influenced by the greens already beginning to creep into stores. I think this is a chicken/egg argument, and I’m maintaining that I was ahead of the curve.)

Here is one of my favorite recent green purchases – an off-the-shoulder top. Of course.

off-the-shoulder-green

I like to call the full outfit, “how many trends can I wear at once?” How many do you see (it’s like one of those games from Highlights magazine when we were kids)?

1-off-the-shoulder-greenAlso, my dad calls these the shoes that every woman owns. I don’t know why he says that. Do you own shoes like these? My dad is not usually on the cutting edge of fashion, but maybe he’s discovered something I haven’t. Please weigh in on the great shoe debate, and have a happy weekend!

NYE 2017

Well, we have arrived in 2017, y’all! I’m excited for the new year, as I am every January. I don’t have anything in particular that I know will happen this year – but I have hopes for lots of good things!

One of those good things is to grow this little blog of mine. I love it so much, and I’ve heard from many of you who read it, that you love it, too. (Thank you for that!)

To that end, I’ve launched a new Instagram account, dedicated solely to all things fashion. I’ve long thought hashtagging my way to a wider audience was the best method of growth for me, but I didn’t want to annoy other friends who aren’t as interested in that aspect of my life.

Now, I don’t have to worry about irritating those people, while I can also focus on meeting more insta friends who share my interests!

So, if you’re in the not-likely-to-be-annoyed category (as you probably are, if you’re reading this), please feel free to add me: Tastefully Trendy. Should be pretty easy to remember.

Now, to the matter at hand. New Year’s Eve! In my adult life, NYE has become one of my favorite holidays – in part, because it is such an optimistic night. In full reality, because I get to wear sequins.

This year, I couldn’t find ANYTHING shiny in stores. I guess I waited too late and all the sparkles sold out. So, I was forced to wear one of the three sequin skirts I already owned…and I actually was very pleased with the result.

dsc_0029-2Off-the-shoulder: check. Choker: check. Cute furry hot pink clutch (that’s actually an Ipsy makeup bag): check. And of course, sequins and shiny shoes: check and check!!

Here’s a close-up of the off-the-shoulder detail (and my makeup! My secret is great highlighter and NYX’s matte setting spray!).

1-nye-off-the-shoulderAnd the rest of the outfit (sans ring, because I forgot to take a picture of that).

1-nye-sequinsSadly, one of those cute pearl earrings were a casualty of the evening. I somehow still had the back, but the pearl itself was nowhere to be seen (insert sobbing emoji). Oh well. On a happier note, can we talk about how good my new camera is? I mean, look at those silver shoes sparkle!

Did you all have a good New Year’s Eve? Any fun plans? My party was Y2K themed, so you know it was amazing. I hope yours was, too, and that it sparkled and shined with all the magic and promise of a new year! Send me your outfit pictures – I’d love to see your shimmer!

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