#Partygirl Problems: Finding the perfect outfit for a Christmas Party

This time next week I will be home in PA, and in all honesty, it could not come sooner. I can’t wait to see my friends, family and my dog, Marshall đŸ™‚ As you probably know, Christmas break is filled with reunions and get-togethers with friends you probably haven’t seen since August. I already have a party, bar crawl, and family get-togethers planned and my vacation hasn’t even started yet.  Dressing for holiday festivities can be stressful and expensive. You want to look your best but you don’t want to dole out a ton of dough while doing so. I don’t know about you but I’m super excited for this break not only because I’ll get to see everyone I love, but I can finally ditch the leggings and baggy sweatshirt getup #blamefinals.

If Olivia Newton-John can't get away with the leggings and sweatshirt combo, no one can

If you’ve raided your closet (you should at least go through it 2-3 times) and don’t have a single thing to wear to that high-school reunion or family gathering, fear not. Here are a few outfits for every holiday party, brunch, church service and dinner party imaginable. **Everything is under $50!**

Brunch with the Besties

Brunch

New Year’s Eve

$42.99 Mod Cloth Midnight Sun Dress

Ugly Sweater Party

I absolutely GUARANTEE you will take first place in the ugly sweater competition with this baby

The Bars

Night out

Christmas Mass

$39.99 from Lands End Canvas...I have this dress and it is so comfortable!

Christmas Dinner with the Fam

$35 Dorothy Perkins Red Cross Panel Dress...Dress this up with a great shrug, statement jewelry or a great pair of heels!

Christmas Morning

Seriously, who ACTUALLY gets dressed up to unwrap presents? Not I. Not I.

Also, my apologies about the layout. I’m trying out Polyvore so I’m still trying to work out the layout kinks. If you haven’t checked out the site do so, or not, because it is so addicting!

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Current Obsession: Pinterest

For the last week and a half, whenever I go on my computer I do three things. Check gmail, Check Facebook, and go on Pinterest for hours upon end. If you haven’t heard of Pinterest, it’s essentially the greatest thing to happen to the internet since I decided to start blogging (I kid, I kid…kind of).

So here is the deal on Pinterest. You request an invite and a few days later you can sign up for an account which then installs a tab on your book marks bar titles “Pin It!”. Whenever you see something online you like say, a recipe or DIY tip, you hit the “Pin It” button, and it automatically takes the image from the site and adds it and the link to one of your categorized boards. I know it sounds confusing but seriously, you’ll thank me later. Additionally, you can browse through other people’s boards and follow members and “repin” things that they put up.

An example of users' "pins"

For me, I like to use Pinterest to find new recipes to try, and new workouts to do after I try those new recipes. You can create your own board categories like Fitness, DIY, or Cheap Recipes to name a few. It’s a great way to organize your favorite things on the internet without having your bookmark bar look like a James Joyce novel.

If you want an invite, tell me! Or if you are already on Pinterest, follow me!

Work It: A College Girl’s Guide to the Work Wardrobe

I know I mentioned  this a few posts back, but it is ABSOLUTELY necessary to have a work wardrobe in college. Interviews, career fairs, networking lunches and internships opportunities have an uncanny way of appearing seemingly out of the blue so it is best to be prepared for any situation. So what exactly is a work wardrobe?

Let's hope Samantha is bidding on a new work outfit...

Well, this is where is gets tough. Over the past few years, I’ve had internships that have required me to wear everything from workout gear and sneakers, to trendy-casual, to semi-formal business attire and everything in between. However, during my experiences, I’ve learned that there are a few essential items that every working gal needs in her closet. I’m not going to lie, good-quality business attire can be astoundingly expensive, and that is bad news bears for someone on a budget. Luckily, here are a few, affordable staples that will make you look like a million bucks without actually spending that much.

1. The Suit

AGB Jacket Two Button $39.98 and skirt $29.98

I actually own this blazer in black. Macy’s AGB line is perfect for a college budget. Affordable, well-made, and figure-flattering (sizes range from 4-16 US) AGB’s suits should be in every gal’s closet. Each separate is an exact color match, and they also make work pants as well. Also, from my experience, the jacket is seemingly wrinkle-proof!

2. Black or Nude Heels

Target's Mossimo Black Pump $29.99

It also comes in nude

When shopping for a work heel, make sure you feel absolutely comfortable in them in the store. I know heels and comfort go together as well as Kim Kardashian and marriages (sorry I had to), but there is nothing worse than spending eight hours in uncomfortable footwear. Can’t wear heels? Don’t worry! There are a ton of affordable, fashionable flats out there that look just as professional. Also, make sure your new kicks aren’t too high, 3 in at most.

3. Work blouse

A shell like this one from Banana Republic is a great top to layer under a blazer

Button-ups and I do not get along. In fact, we hate each other. The puckering, the ill-fitting waist, the collars that simply won’t stay creased, I’m officially over the button-up. Which is fine because there are so many cute blouse options available. Ann Taylor LOFT and Banana Republic are two great stores that have super-cute shells and blouses to go under blazers and cardigans. Although BR and AT are a bit pricier than what your budget allows, they often have great sale items and last year after Christmas Ann Taylor LOFT offered a 50% your entire purchase no exclusions! Just make sure when shopping for a shell, that it is not see-through and is appropriate for the office. Another tip: sign up for email lists to receive exclusive offers and sale notifications, just be warned they send a TON of emails.

4. The Cardigan

Who says cardigans are just for librarians?

Offices are freezing year round. So you better stock up on a few cute cardigans to keep you warm. Add a little personality to your outfit by going with an embellished or embroidered cardi or pair it with a bold colored shell or statement necklace. This cardigan from Target is not only cute but super affordable at $24.99.

5. Structured Bag

My dream bag from Etsy. Okay so its $199.00...how many days until Christmas?

I currently work at a radio station which requires me to go out and collect sound with a recorder and mic. I also need a notepad to jot notes and often receive a ton of press releases during the day, so I need a purse that is not only cute, but functional with pockets galore and enough space to hold everything I need.  Etsy is a great resource for unique, affordable, well-made bags. And another plus? You are supporting small business entrepreneurs in the process!

Have any other wardrobe staple suggestions? Share them below!

Thrifty Thursdays Fridays

I’ve got a riddle for you: What do the following objects in the pictures have in common?

Any guesses?

Still stumped?

What if I told you that not only did I get everything here at thrift stores, but every item was less than $15? Would you believe me? Well you should. As a college student, thrift stores are great for finding unique, well-made clothing and accessories for super cheap if you know where and how to look. Luckily, I’m here to help. I’ve been thrifting for about eight years, and any thrifter can tell you there is not better thrill than nabbing a great item for a few bucks (or in some cases a few cents). I’m going to be honest here, thrifting does take time and patience. It is not the most fun to sift through the land of misfit clothing. However, the rewards do pay off. Here a few of my favorite finds.

Dooney & Bourke Purse from Goodwill: $10

Vintage scarf from random PA thrift store: $8

That blue blazer in picture one? Thirty dollars cents. I would give you a close up shot, but it has a date with the dry cleaners later today.

If you have never been thrifting before, or, like many, gave up after setting eyes on the umpteenth 5K t-shirt, I’ve come up with a few rules/suggestions that will make you a pro thrifter in no time.

Thrifting Commandments:

1. Thou shalt not buy if thou does not absolutely love it. Just because the price is right, doesn’t mean the look is.

2. Thou shalt not be label-conscious. A big mistake for first timers. That $30 Burberry shirt? No one’s going to care if you got a huge deal on it. They’ll be too busy trying not to laugh at your hideous shirt.

3. Thou shalt not buy stained/hole-y/pill-y clothing. This should go without saying. I usually avoid buying sweaters as many are not in the best shape. But, if you’re looking for the perfect pair of worn jeans or a soft leather jacket? I’d say a thrift store should be your first stop.

4. Thou shalt try and try again. Like I said, thrifting takes time. You may not find what you are looking for the first, second or third time, but believe me you’ll strike gold soon enough.

5. Thou salt seek out unexpected areas/stores. Want to know a secret? Some my best finds came from small-town thrift stores. Many times stores in the city know how much they should charge, but a lot of the mom-and-pop joints sometimes pass over a diamond in the rough. My $0.30 blazer? I got in a $3 fill-you-bag sale in upstate New York.

6. Thou shalt haggle. I don’t know why more people don’t do this. Yes, it may seem annoying, but you can score some major deals this way. Because thrift stores set their own prices, they are more willing to make a deal. Buying a few items? Offer the lot for $20. Also, look for non-profit thrift stores. I’ve found they have offered me deals on purchases without me even asking!

7. Thou shalt do your research. This rule is mostly when purchasing a designer bag. Youtube, Ebay and Spotfakehandbags.com have great articles on how to spot a fraud.

Here are a few of my favorite thrift stores:

-The Goodwill: I have found that they offer a greater selection on designer bags and accessories. Also, their auction-based website has some great discount designer duds.

-The Salvation Army: Great for furniture and household goods. Also, my neighborhood salvation army always has half-off sales and a great selection of coats and leather belts.

-Non-Profit Thrift Stores: If you are looking for a well-tailored suit or brand-names, non-profits are usually the way to go.

Do you thrift? What was your favorite find? Let me know!

Thrifty Thursdays

I loves clothes and shopping. Know who doesn’t? My bank account.You may have limited means in the financial department, but there’s no excuse to let your wardrobe reflect that. It just means you have to get creative and wander off the beaten trail.  Each Thursday I’ll feature a few great little numbers from some unlikely sources with every piece under $50 (and much, much less). This week’s finds are from the Haus of Kmart. Oh and they’re all less than $20 a pop.

shirt dress on sale $18.74

rt. 66 heart ring: $2.99

tunic top: $18.74

jaclyn smith bracelet: $15.00

Do you have any unexpected fashion sources? I’d love to know about them!