- Balancing Beauty and Bedlam - http://beautyandbedlam.com -

Frugal Fashionista: Covering the Problem Areas


Are you new to my Frugal Fashionista series [3]?

Find out how I dress in designer clothes for less. Yes, for mere pennies on the dollar, my entire outfit is less than $15, and did I mention…all second hand?

It’s no secret around here that I’ve been riding a weight loss roller coaster [4] (written 9/10, not ’11) and unfortunately, I have climbed to the top with a 15 pound weight gain just this past year, and I haven’t quite come down the other side yet. I’ll tackle this topic in another post, but in regards to fashion, there are simple ways to visually slim your appearance and picking the right pieces is key.

People who see me daily would have a hard time believing I’ve gained almost 15 pounds this last year. At nearly 5’8″,  I have an hour glass figure which allows me a five pounds fluctuation on a regular basis, but more recently, my challenge occurs with finding pants that fit. I do not want to purchase larger sizes, since I am now committed to getting this extra weight off, so I lean towards fashion focal points which don’t emphasize the tighter areas.


Look at your body shape. Do you know what it is? Do you understand your problem areas?

I am aware of mine, and since I’ve gained a larger muffin top and a bootee area where my pants are screaming for breathing room, I want to visually detract from those areas. All three of these outfits show longer sweaters and jackets that help cover them. My calves and approximately 6 inches above my knees are relatively trim, so in the outfit above, I paired a long jacket over my $5 TJ Maxx leggings and tucked the leggings into my yard sale black boots.

This $1 yard sale jacket is actually quite dated, but by pulling the jacket in at the waist with a $1 black belt and incorporating a pop of color with great accessories, it makes for an updated stylish look. If you could see the jacket by itself, you would have doubts about its Fashionista status, and given it to Goodwill yourself, but all together, it received a thumbs up when a fashionable high school girl complemented, ” I love your jacket.”


I try and remember to add at least one unusual twist to a more traditional outfit. Since a black jacket is very typical, this thrifted pink shirt with the varying neckline, along with the yard sale necklace and earrings did the trick.


Whenever I get talking fashion with friends, most of them say they just can’t wear belts. Especially, if the waist is a problem area, they think it attracts attention. I totally disagree. I think belts draw eyes in, minimizing the waist line. It takes a bit of getting used to, since it’s a paradigm shift, but you’ll thank me. Just give it a try.


When I added the black belt over the green tank, it reduced my look by ten pound immediately. The size of belts do make a difference. Each belt does not work with every outfit. At first I tried a thin, dressy belt and that was NOT good, my muffin top hung over the belt (yes, too much info, but just telling you like it is). When I added this wider $1 yard sale belt, it was perfect. (Just ignore the fact that my tank layering with the belt is a mess. I had been gone all day and just wanted out of my clothes. I really need to start looking in the mirror first and primp for you all, but I am just not a primper. ;))


Last year, do you remember my hunt for an asymmetrical sweater [10]? Well, since my middle name is “Murphy,” and it was the first thing I bought new in years, of course, it would be the one thing I lost. I left it in a hotel a few months ago, and since it’s been a staple in my wardrobe all year, I knew I wanted to replace it immediately. I was willing to buy it new and even looked in places such as The Limited, but I couldn’t find the style I wanted.

Guess what? Last week, I found one that I LOVED at Goodwill. I was SO excited, and for only $3.75, I did the happy thrifting dance (in my mind).

Typically, I would not wear this with a long black sweater, but I led worship last week and the choir needed to wear all black – black pants and black shirts. Since I was helping lead, I had a bit more wiggle room, so decided to add a pop of color to my all black look, and layered it over a long skirt instead of pants, which gave it a very elegant look (even though my tween daughter was mortified with the long skirt. ;)).

And yes, there’s no shame in shopping at Norstrom’s. It’s one of my favorite stores. 😉 This tank is perfect for summer or winter.


Again, another example of how the $5 Goodwill jacket and yard sale belt helps minimize the waist. These comfy $1 Eddie Bauer jeans do not fit perfectly,  but you’d never be able to tell under the jacket. I realize that all three of these jackets are black. Since my Frugal Fashionista posts are all about buying items second hand, unfortunately, I don’t always have the luxury of finding styles I love in varying colors. Trust me, I am keeping my eyes out for different colors.


These jeans are a size 12, but with the belt attached loosely, I love how it shaves “inches” off my waist.


I think my next challenge, after I finish the 30 Day Shred, needs to be the 30 Day Hair Challenge, where we all commit to fixing our hair for 30 days straight. :)

As I look through these pictures, I realize that my 30 second wash and go hair look came through a bit too clearly, so please, no emails about needing to fix up my hair or add more make up. Trust me, more times than I care to admit, especially when I lead worship, I’ve gotten to church at 7:30 am with my hair still wet.

Sometimes, that’s just life, and I’m still learning to balance both the beauty and bedlam in my every day. It’s all about baby steps and when my Frugal Fashionsta pictures start looking a bit more like model poses, and my photographer has been upgraded from my 8 and 12 year old daughters,  then I have officially arrived. 😉

So, I shared how I am dealing with my muffin top with these longer sweaters, are there ways that you deal with your problem areas or are you still trying to figure that out?