September 30, 2016

All Photos By: Kristen Tomkowid of Little But Fierce Photography

Happy Friday !

F21 Lace Up Dress - Shop it here
F21 Hat - Shop it here
F21 Choker - Shop it here
Moto Jacket - Shop similar here and here
Cap Toe Slingback - Shop here

As someone who is paid bi-weekly, it is at the end of every 2nd week that I am reminded of my need to be thrifty.  That is my inspiration for today's post.

Most of the time when someone asks me about something I'm wearing or where I got my outfit from, they are skeptical when I reveal just how little I paid for it.  So from now on, Fridays on Catch My Thrift will be dedicated to showcasing a complete outfit that totals $50 or less (not including the shoes or the outerwear) because chances are you already have those pieces and you won't need to buy them.

My whole outfit pictured above is from Forever 21.  Dress, necklace, and hat came to a total of $33.  You really can't beat that price.  To add my own flair to the look, I added a leather jacket and these cap toe sling backs to elevate the outfit as a whole.  The leather jacket polishes the flowy dress and the small heels give the outfit a sophisticated feel.  Without the hat, this outfit is a perfect day-to-night look for a 9-5er.  You could even throw on some pumps or over-the-knee boots depending on where the night is going to take you.

I've realized recently that there are some pieces you just shouldn't spend a lot of money on.   You can find quality looking pieces if you know what to look for and trust me when I say that just because the clothing is cheap does NOT mean your outfit has to look cheap.  Sure, it would be great if every single piece in our wardrobes were made of silk and cashmere, but hey, we live in the real world where you can still get that runway vibe without dropping $500-$1000.  My outfit pictured above is from Forever 21.  I have a new found love for that store.  You really can’t beat their prices and they've really been heading in a more sophisticated direction lately. Obviously I love my Free People and the unique brands out there but when someone says they refuse to shop at Forever21 it just bothers me.  Anyone can shop there, you just have to know what to look for and what to avoid.

First and foremost...... upon entering the store, head straight to the Love21 section.  This is their contemporary brand, designed with us twenty and thirty-somethings in mind rather than teenagers. The designs are definitely more sophisticated, the color palette is more neutral, kind of like a yeezy season 2 feel, and there’s a stronger emphasis on quality trimmings and fabric.  It’s also where you’ll find most of the pieces you see in the fashion magazines and the prices really aren’t noticeably higher than what’s available in the rest of the store.

Now here's some tips/tricks on what to look for and how to style these pieces to achieve that "model off-duty", sophisticated vibe.

1.  Play With Neutrals

There's just something about camel, cream, tan, and other shades in the neutral family that make you want to kick your feet up and call everyone daaaahling.  Mix together different neutral shades for the ultimate luxe look.

2. Tailoring is KEY

A good blazer and button-down shirt go a long way.  But pair them together and you've got a sophisticated, polished look instantly!

3. Matchy Matchy

Pick a bag and shoes in the same color, or pair your sweater or even hat to match your bag. This is one of the easiest ways to give your outfit a high end appearance.

4. Go Monochrome

Head-to-toe white or black is sure to give off an air of elegance.

5. Shiny Metallic Detailing

Emphasis on the shiny.  Nothing looks cheaper than dulled down hardware or tarnished gold/silver.  Look for pieces with shiny gold or silver buttons, or a fancy exposed zipper, for an added touch of sophistication.

6.  Choose Your Patterns on the Right Fabrics

F21’s cotton and rayon pieces are to be avoided.  They fade and pill quickly in the wash making them appear extremely cheap.  It’s better to stick with polyester and viscose, which hold the dye better and don’t pill as easily.  Avoid small, complicated prints like paisley and tiny, multi-color florals.  The smaller and more complicated the print is, the more opportunities there are for something to go wrong (aka for it to end up looking cheap).
Instead focus on simple, graphic prints, like stripes, polka dots, and plaids in high-contrast color combos, like black and white. If you recognize what the print is from 10 feet away, then skip it.

7. Layer UP - A Great Leather Jacket is a Girl's Best Friend

A quality leather jacket is any fashionista's secret weapon. It elevates denim, polishes flow-y dresses, looks chic thrown over the shoulders and is most definitely a must-have for every woman.  My leather moto jacket above is All Saints and I was lucky enough to get this $600 beauty on Tradesy (New With Tags still attached) for a fraction of the price.  It was still more than I'd typically like to spend on 1 piece of clothing but it was so worth it.  The dark green color is different from your average leather jacket but it still matches with just about everything that I wear.   

To help get you started, here's what's hot at F21 right now:

As always, thank you for reading along today.  I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!!

xo Corinne, Catch My Thrift  

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