Tuesday, February 26, 2013

All Hail Stripes!

Back in my gothy days, I foolishly stated that my future children would wear black.  Haha, of course, I did!  Silly, I know.  But I think we all go through thoughts of such folly at one point or another during our lives.  I'm a huge fan of stripes, on leggings in particular. And not just your basic 2-color palette, either. Color is one of the basic concepts in dressing children to look like children.   

I discovered color during my 3 years as Store Manager at Oilily, and learned how beautifully incongruent tones can work together, complementing what would otherwise be a rather ordinary outfit.  While multi-color stripes can be paired with certain floral patterns (be careful with that - I'll address it in a future post), they can also liven up something bland or ordinary, and can help pull together a random piece you have in the closet that seemingly has nothing to go with it. 

I can never have too many pairs of striped leggings for my daughter.  Under dresses, under skirts, with a tunic top, they are versatile, fun, and practical.  Denim tends to really pop when paired with colorful stripes, as in the photo below from Christmas (also paired with floral, btw). 

I see striped leggings often in stores, but for some reason, some just don't jump out at me, don't appeal to me.  You have to keep your eyes open for them.  The ones below are from Crazy 8 (the lower-priced little sister to Gymboree), Target, and Old Navy.  I'm pretty sure I never paid more than $6 or $7 for any of them.  And they're well-worn, as you can see, but they never lose their appeal.  I worry about the day when she outgrows a pair or rips out the knee during recess, and am always on the lookout for backups when I'm out and about.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Salvaging Damaged Goods

Samantha is usually pretty easy on her clothes.  Usually.  But there have been a few instances of irreparable damage to favorite items, occasionally of the dry-erase-marker variety, about as permanent as a Sharpie, if not more so. 

Remember this sweater? 

The one I got from consignment for $6.00 that I was so excited about?  It goes with so many things, and transitions between seasons, so I really knew I had a winner. 

Until the very first day she wore it.

Dry erase marker.  Or Sharpie. Or something else.  Whatever it was, it did not come out in the wash, and I was sad.  I happened to mention it to my friend and neighbor, who said, "Give it to me, and I'll fix it!"  She happens to be the craftiest person I know with a love of embroidery, and once I'd procured thread of the correct color, she worked magic with a few quick passes of a needle and voila, it went from its original state of this (sorry, no pics of the two marker dots):

to its new state of this, with two new little butterflies in the garden:

So there can be solutions to salvaging damages, you just have to think outside the box a bit.  Patches, embroidery, even just adding a new layer overtop to hide the issue.  And, in this case, the job was good enough that I should be able to re-consign it once Samantha is done with it, provided that the garden doesn't completely overtake the sweater in the future...

Many thanks to Laura for her quick thinking and her deft skills!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Look of the Week: Staying Warm

With a quick glimpse of the outdoor thermometer this morning, I shivered at the 20-something degree proclamation.  I know that's not all that cold for some of you, but for us here in the mid-Atlantic, it's pretty chilly.  That being said, with the changeable nature of this climate, tomorrow could very easily be a balmy 70 or 80 degrees, only to snow again the next day. 
As humans, we learn to adapt.  Like some creatures molt at the change from cold to warm, and others add an extra layer of soft, thick fur, our bodies have not yet learned to do those things on their own, and layering clothing is our way of adjusting for the weather. 
Below, my little model shows off some appropriate layering, which could easily be modified for colder climes by adding a pair of knit tights underneath the leggings, or a wooly skirt overtop.

*  Leggings from Naartjie, purchased for $7.99 on sale on a day they offered free shipping. 
**Hooded sweater was $3.00 from a local thrift store 2 years ago, and is layered under a basic pink tee.  This oversized bargain just lives new life again and again, and given that the sleeves are still needing to be rolled, I suspect we may get another year out of this great find!
***Boots were purchased for $8.00 from Off Broadway Shoes.  I'm the farthest thing from an extreme couponer, but the boots were $15.00, I had a $5.00 off coupon I got in my e-mail from being on their mailing list, and I had a receipt coupon for a few bucks (they give you a coupon for the dollar amount of 10% of your purchase every time you buy something!), taking it down to $8.00!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Seasons, Schmeasons...

Who says a girl can't wear a sundress in the middle of the winter?  And who says a boy can't wear short sleeves?  Capris?  No problem. 

I preach layers.  Not only can layers make a bold and eclectic fashion statement, but they can also serve to maintain warmth.  We know this from all of the turtlenecks and sweaters we (okay, not me, but many people) pile on in the winter.  I figure you can always add more.

Be practial, but still get some extra mileage from out-of-season-but-still-in-size items already stored in the closet. 

Last weekend I found this great little red cardigan from Gymboree at a local consignment shop for $6.00.  Although I'm not really a huge fan of red, I was immediately struck by the pink and orange embroidery on the front, and knew it would have a very practical place in Samantha's wardrobe.  Wanting to bring new life to a pink sundress (purchased 2 years ago at a thrift store for @$2.00) that I don't even recall if my daughter worn last summer, I layered it under the sweater to bring out the pink embroidery, and over a pair of jeggings (oh, how it pains me to type that word, silly as it is, but eh, what else would I call them?).  I just love ruffle details, and I love experimenting with layers!  Topping the outfit off with a pair of boots, she looked as ready for school as any other child this time of year.  The cardigan is made of a lightweight cotton that will carry through to the summer months, and this look would have worked just as well over a regular pair of jeans, with the cuffs rolled to just skim the tops of the boots.


Of course, you may be saying that you live in the frozen tundra of the north, and that's fine, too - like I said, you can always add more.  Put a long-sleeved shirt under the sundress, or just layer for the outdoors by adding a fleece hoodie before putting on a heavy winter coat.  I'm reasonably certain it is not a frozen tundra inside the classroom.

Got a favorite short sleeved shirt of your son's that you'd like to get more mileage from?  Layer a long sleeved tee underneath, ala Big Bang Theory (only without the geek factor), and a hoodie over top.  (Can you tell I love hoodies?) 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

It's Naartjie's Treasure Tuesday!

Each week, Naartjie features items in each department at 40% off on their website.  You have to search the department to find the items and uncover the deals.  Let me tell you, there's some good stuff in there... 

I'll list today's great finds here, but going forward, I'll be posting the Treasure Tuesday reminder under the Upcoming Sales and Promotions tab of this blog, above.

Today you can find:

Newborn Girl

Mikayla floral pants (now $7.77)

Pieced sweetest spot print cardigan (now $10.17)

Baby Myra soft shoe (now $13.77)

Newborn Boy

Giraffe print one piece (now $11.97)

Baby Girls

Aston floral belled capri leggings (now $9.57)

Aston floral ruffled car applique tunic (now $10.17)

Lil Winona strap ballet flats (now $16.17)

Baby Boys

Marrakesh print cracker shirt (now $10.77)



Cracker pants (now $16.77)

Kid Girl

Aston floral ruffled car applique tunic (now $10.17)

Aston floral belled capri leggings (now $9.57)

Winona strap ballet flats (now $16.17)

Kid Boy

Adjustable waist cracker pant (now $16.77)

Marrakesh print cracker shirt (now $10.77)

Happy shopping!

Monday, February 4, 2013

About that Header Picture...

I speak with the authority of a well-practiced parent when I say I know my kid's cute.  She is.  Like, really cute.  (*grin*)  But the vast majority of the photos I post on this blog will likely not be of her, specifically, and will instead focus on what she's wearing.  I mean, that's the main intent of the blog, right? 

Just wanted to clarify.

Now, about that header picture.  Since this is also about not spending a lot of money, I'd like to highlight the costs of the items you see above.  Some of them were purchased early last year, before I knew I would be creating this blog, so I'm a little bit fuzzy about what I had actually paid for them, but I do know that the prices I quote are super-close, if not spot-on.  The boots were part of an end-of-season clearance at Sears last spring, purchased for a mere $12.00, in a size I knew that would fit her this year.  The ruffle-trim capri jeggings were from Walmart, bought for @$3.00.  Why I didn't buy multiple pairs, I have no idea, but she's about to outgrow them, and I'm really kicking myself about it.  The purple plaid dress is short-sleeved and buttons up the front.  The cotton is light and comfy, but she's still been able to wear it during the winter with a lace cami underneath and a handmade cardigan from her Nana over the top.  I found that dress at Target for @$6.00 in clearance last year.  The denim jacket (it's super-stretchy, and the detail and finishing on it are exquisite...) was from Pumpkin Patch's store-closing sale last year at a slight splurge for @$14.00.  I just knew it would be worth it, and it's paid for itself over and over again in its usefulness.

(By the way...in the 2 photos below, please don't count the number of visible buttons vs. button holes in her jacket - Mommy did it again and sent her to school with the button in the wrong hole... Okay, so I just admitted to it so you're all gonna look now.  It's okay.  Live and learn.)

All of the items have gotten a ton of wear over the last 3 seasons, mixed and matched with other seasonably-appropriate items.  On the day this photo was taken, the weather was an unseasonably warm 60-something-degree January day (who'da thought the next day it'd be snowing??), and I was only too happy to skip the addition of a coat.  I'll have another post one day about the critical addition of denim to just about anything.

My girl has been a shining star in this project, a completely willing participant when I ask her, oh so nicely, to let me photograph her outfits for my "friends," her only payment the promise of being allowed to view the photos aftewards...and a BIG kiss from Mommy.

So lucky, I am!