My trials and tribulations with swim suit shopping

Spring break is right around the corner. As exciting as that is, it is also a terrifying feeling.

I am lucky enough to be spending spring break in the Dominican Republic with my best friends, and believe me, this was the best excuse to shop for a fab new beach wardrobe. I scored deals on dresses, cover-ups, sandals — you name it, I got it. I am saving one purchase until the last week, though: the dreaded new swimsuit purchase.

I find the onset of spring break to be terrifying is because it makes me remember that my New Year’s resolution of getting healthy and toning up quickly ended once the semester started. I consider myself to be a healthy person in that I know what food is right and wrong and I try to exercise, but with a full class schedule and an internship, that is hard to do sometimes.

I have found some ways to make this a more happy experience, though. Retailers are filling their stores with spring and summer clothes and, of course, swimsuits. How can we resist? This purchase means we are one step closer to summer!

With spring break nearing, the new swimsuit purchase in inevitable, so here are a few ways to ease the pain of trying on this season’s suits:

Don’t fuss over size – Each company has a different measurement guide so don’t worry if you notice a change in bathing suit size this year. Personally, I am a size small in Victoria’s Secret bathing suits and a large in Pac Sun swimwear [I’m not kidding]. It is nothing to fret over. Just make sure the suit is well-fitted and then size won’t matter.

Add color – Trying on a swimsuit in early March is probably the first time your legs have been exposed since September. Chances are they could use some sun, but don’t let your pale skin discourage you. I have found a lifesaver to fix this. Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs is a self-tanning spray that you can use on your legs and it instantly adds color, sort of leaving the effect of a sheer stocking. This way, you can see how the bathing suit will look in the summer. Or if you know you’re going to need a bathing suit, start using a self-tanning lotion and you can gradually add color to the whole body by the time you are ready to shop.

Bring a friend – It always helps to bring a friend when shopping. They are honest and will tell you what looks good. When you are swimsuit shopping, you are your biggest critic, so if you bring a friend, she is like a cheerleader on the sidelines supporting you. Because they are honest, they will tell you that you look great and you don’t need to worry about little things.

Tips like these will help you ease into summer pain-free!

Do you have any other tips on buying swim wear? Leave a comment and let me know!

 

Frugal Find: My Fair Lady Consignment Shop

I love when I hear about local shops and I am especially excited to tell you about the reopening of My Fair Lady Consignment Shop in downtown Pitman. After being closed for a short period of time, owner and former Rowan professor, Katherine Perez-Rivera, is reopening and revamping the business with a gear towards college students.

My Fair Lady specializes quality, in-season clothing, shoes and bags. They offer a great selection of vintage pins and jewelry from New York as well. Starting in March, the shop will have an open two hours once a week, where you can come to consign or to sell your clothes. It is just in time for some spring-cleaning!

To Consign – Call the store in the beginning of the week, starting in March, during store hours and see when they will be accepting clothing. During that time, you are welcome to come, no appointment needed; My Fair Lady will go through your goods and see if it is something the store could sell. If the clothes get the OK, they will hit the racks for 60 days. The store will give you a check at the end of each month for 40 percent of whatever sells. If your items don’t sell in the 60 days, My Fair Lady asks that you take back the clothes. The shop feels if it can’t be sold in that time period, then there is a good chance it won’t sell in the future. In my option, that is so refreshing! I’m used to constantly checking back and forth with other consignment shops and never knowing if and when it will sell. I love the 60-day rule!

To Sell: During the same open period, the store will also be accepting clothes to buy. My Fair Lady asks that the clothing comes in on hangers, clean and pressed, because they will be on the rack that day! If the store accepts the clothes and buys from you, there are two options; one is 15 percent in cash for whatever they will sell it for, or 30 percent store credit. I say, go for the store credit! The shop is filled with great items; it will be hard to walk away without buying anything!

For both consigning and selling, My Fair Lady asks that you only bring 15 items at a time, but there is no limit to how many times you can come a month.

Remember; call My Fair Lady, 856.256.0111, during store hours to get the details on the hours of consigning and selling. This all starts March 13, so open hours will be from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m., so mark your calendars!


How to Host a Clothing Swap Party

We all love the feeling of new clothes and accessories. It is an even better feeling when you don’t have to spend a dime on things. How is this possible, you ask? The answer: items from your friends’ closets.

 

I’m sure as you look through your closet each morning, quickly shuffling by each hanger, it seems like you have nothing to wear. We are all guilty of this. The clothes in front of us seem boring and overworn, but chances are that is not what your friends think and vice versa.

As a way to fix this problem, the idea of a clothing swap party is an intriguing option many people have been trying. It may just be another reason to throw a party, but add clothes and I’m sure your besties will be right over. Here are some tips on throwing a clothing swap party:

1.) Invitations. In hopes of making this a true party, invites are crucial. Whether they be via Facebook or traditional paper, send them to your gal pals. Offer the specific details such as time, place, date and instructions for what is going on. A common saying is “the more the merrier,” but in this case, the more the better selection of clothes! Even try offering food and beverages to make it a real party. Fact: no one says no to food.

2.) Set up rules. You don’t need friends bringing their old gym clothes to swap, so set up some ground rules to make sure everyone is getting a fair deal. First, the item must be gently worn. No holes, loose threads or stretched out material. Think of it as you selling your clothes and to get the best price, the clothes must be in tip-top shape. Second, the items must be in season. No one wants that holiday sweater from last Christmas. Right now would be the perfect time for you and your friends to go through spring clothes and see what you may want to exchange. These parties are great for the beginning of each season. Third, you must be able to part with it. If you are not yet ready to separate yourself from that floral maxi skirt, then don’t bring it. Don’t get someone’s hopes up for nothing when you can’t give the article of clothing up.

3.) Clean up. To make your space more inviting, try cleaning up your room or apartment. Make mirrors readily available. If possible, try to make the space look like a store, where each friend is able to comfortably display her goods and also browse the merchandise. To make it even easier on traders, set up stations with shoes in one corner, bags in the next, tops in another.

Let the swapping begin!

How did your clothing swap party go? Leave a comment and let me know!


Trend Report: Emerald for spring!

The reports are in! By the look from what designers are putting on the runway this week at the Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week and what the celebs wore on the red carpet this award show season, the color trend for spring is emerald.

From Pantone

From Pantone

Named color of the year by Pantone, who is the global authority on color, emerald will sure to be seen all the way through summer. The color of the year in 2012 was Tangerine.

My current favorite trend is colored jeans, and emerald fits this mold perfectly. Pair the green pants with a lemon zest blouse and linen colored flats. Or jazz up a work day outfit with a emerald blazer. There are so many possibilities with the trend that you will find it very easy to style emerald. It is also perfect for the color-blocking trend.

The gorgeous Anna Kendrick rocking emerald greens and a black blazer for a dressy casual look.

The gorgeous Anna Kendrick rocking emerald greens and a black blazer for a dressy casual look.

My all time favorite, Pipa Middleton, emerald jeans and navy sweater

My all time favorite, Pipa Middleton, emerald jeans and navy sweater

Color Blocking from AxThread

Color Blocking from AxThread

This color is not just for clothing, but also a great trend in accessories. Wear a chunky emerald necklace with a pink top or sport a green clutch at night. It is the perfect pop of color and such a cheery hue that screams spring! Also, the emerald trend in just in time for St. Patrick’s Day.

Even go for an emerald eye shadow, nail polish and dare I say it, mascara.

How are you wearing emerald this spring? Let me know! Leave a comment.


Perfect time to shop? Now!

Do not let those few warm days last week fool you. We are still in the middle of winter. Our friend, Punxsutawney Phil the groundhog, did not see his shadow so spring is not here until March 21. Prepare yourself for some more cold weeks ahead.

With that said, as you may have seen if you have been shopping recently, it is time for clothing stores to put out all their spring merchandise. Yes, it is all very exciting and pretty to look at, especially because all the bright colors that are more fun than the drab winter clothes, but don’t fall for it.

Spring clothing is at its highest price point right now. It is all a test by the store to see what consumers are buying, what sells and what doesn’t. After they do all their research, there tends to be a price change. Winter clothes, on the other hand, have all been sent to sales and clearance racks, and this is what you most definitely want to take part in.

Sweaters, boots, pants and winter coats are being marked down every day, and this is the chance for you to dive in. This is one of the few times I will pass up my go-to places such as H&M, Forever 21 and Urban Outfitters. I head straight to the department stores. Brands like Calvin Klein, BCBG, Kensie, Guess and more have their winter items marked at a fraction of the price. This is the time to stock up on good quality sweaters or even spoil yourself and get a new winter jacket. The prices will make you feel guilt free and you will surely be thankful for those new sweaters and jackets when you are walking to class in the cold.

January and February are the best months to buy a winter jacket because from the store’s point of view, they feel everyone already has one by this time. Stores need to make room for their spring collections, so the longer you wait, the better deal you may find. However, you may find less of a selection to choose from.

Take my advice and hit the nearest department store for not only quality winter clothes but incredible prices.

Gotten any killer winter deals recently? Let me know in the comments!


Keep those New Year’s resolutions up with cute work out clothes!

Welcome back to a new year, dear readers! Not only are we in a new year, but also a new semester. Anything is possible. You can bring up that GPA, make amends with friends, get organized and so much more. A big New Year’s resolution people have every year is to get in shape, and this one is extremely important to me. To start off this new semester right, here are some fun, fashionable and frugal places to get active wear to get you ready for the gym.

Old Navy – From sports bras to yoga pants, Old Navy has it all. With every season the store changes its active wear to fit the weather and fashion trends. As neon has grown increasingly popular over the last year, neon-colored gear is being seen more and more. I personally love Old Navy’s active wear because not only is it reasonably priced, it is also stylish. Look for their camis with built-in support and detailed ruching on the chest and waist. Active wear ranges from $10 to $35.

H&M – Sportswear is new to the Swedish retailer. As you may know from previous columns, I love H&M, and I can now keep my sense of fashion as I am transitioning into a healthier lifestyle. They offer colorful geometric-patterned sports bras with comfort and support. Though the gear is trendy, it is extremely functional as well. Bras, jackets, pants and accessories in the latest styles and colors range from $10 to $40.

Marshall’s/T.J. Maxx – Off-price retailers are great for buying current-season, brand name designer goods for a low price. Available brands include Nike, Reebok, Adidas and more for a fraction of the cost at other retailers like Sports Authority. They also sell matching sweatsuits and sneakers for a great price. The active wear ranges from $5 to $40.

  • Insider tip: never overlook a sales rack. Sportswear is normally one of the first items to get marked down.

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,100 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 5 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.