October 17, 2017

Frugal Fashionista: Balancing Comfy Cozy and Cute


A few years ago, I distinctly remember a period of time when any day I actually got out of my sweats, my children inquired as to where we were going. I am one of those who really like being comfy, yet I know that how I dress affects how I act.

When I sleep in sweats and then never get out of those sweats throughout the day (cough, cough, not that I am admitting to ever doing that), it sets the tone for the day.  I am more sluggish, more lazy and somehow that emotional state can spread to another day.

Growing up, my parents would never let me wear jeans or sweats to school. I never understood that mentality and fought it for years, but I finally got it. They wanted me to dress as if school was my “job.” And they knew that when I wore sweats, it added a different tone to the day. Can I glean from that wisdom and apply it to my role as the Family Manager?

Every once in awhile, those stay in PJ’s days are completely necessary to just de-stress and relax, but once I saw a pattern developing, and it was affecting how I treated my days, I started implementing just a few changes.  If you are a stay at home mom, you may see yourself in this pattern. Now, I am not saying you need to get dressed up every day just to get spit on by the baby, but why don’t you try one small thing each day to take care of yourself.  Maybe it’s fixing your hair a bit more, putting on some make up or adding a fun accessory. For the last 20 years, I’ve always said, “I won’t leave the house without lipstick, mascara and earrings.” That funny mantra still lives on. 🙂

The above Frugal Fashionista outfit is a perfect example of how one can be so incredibly comfy cozy, spend virtually no money, and still feel good about how you look.

It all started with this White Gap shirt. I bought it at a yard sale only for the fabric, since I didn’t think it would be very flattering. It was one of those shirts I knew I could sleep in, but never thought I would wear out. It’s pajama like material and the soft fabric on my skin just makes me happy.

Last week, I found this purple asymmetrical shirt in the same kind of jersey knit, cotton fabric as my Gap shirt. The wonderful thing about this shirt is not only does it have the comfy cozy feel, but it gives the pop of color I like, paired with the long look that helps draw the eye away from those problem areas we talked about last week.

This sweet DIY felt flower pin was given to me by Kimba. By adding it to my shirt,  it adds just enough pop to really dress up the look. These flower pins are so easy to make once you get the hang of it, and there are so many fun options.

I definitely feel a tutorial coming on. 🙂

Last week, I casually mentioned doing a 30 Day Hair Challenge and I am SO going to do that on the blog in March. I love being able to fix my hair in 30 seconds, and that’s one of the main reasons I keep it a bit longer. Yet this look is a perfect example of how by  just taking one extra minute to put a few curls in it, and then pulling it loosely to the side, instead of my long pony tail, changed it up without needing to take a long time getting ready.

Remember last week we talked about how belts give a slimming appearance? Well, when I’ve worn this in the past, I have not tied it and kind of hid the string behind the shirt. I tied it this week and really do think it gives that illusion, especially with the purple over it. I wouldn’t wear it out without another shirt over it because it’s not that flattering solo.

And that’s my Frugal Fashionista Comfy Outfit that is cozy enough to sleep in,  but cute enough to wear out anywhere.

And that  sweet, silly girl is just another of my beautiful distractions as my son tried to get these pictures taken.

So, am I the only one that sometimes wants to choose cozy over cute?

How do you balance the two?


  1. heather toth says:

    Jen – Do Pajama Jeans count as sweats or pj’s?? Because I got some for Christmas and I think they are the greatest invention of all time…LOL


    Jen Reply:

    @heather toth, Those things are awesome and the best part is they can look dressy. 🙂


  2. Love this look! I always choose comfort over cute but this outfit looks like it really does do both!


  3. I am very guilty of living in sweats and tees unless I have to go somewhere. I think if my kids came home from school and I wasn’t in sweat and a tee they would wonder where I have been that day. Uggh.


  4. I like this look. My current problem is that I HAVE to invest in some real (by real, I mean, not athletic) bras. I currently have exactly one I can wear without it poking, pinching or itching me. So if I’m in an athletic bra… I should be in my long sleeve t-shirt and yoga pants, right? Busted!

    And I ADORE the mis-matched socks. That will forever be my daughter. Precious.


  5. I wear jeans most of the week, but find soft knitted sweaters or über soft tees that feel like Jammie’s but get me by the fashion police. I agree though getting out of the “comfy”zone at least a few times a week really up my attitude for day.


  6. I wear a flower pretty much every day – even if I’m not heading anywhere. They make me smile! My clothes have to be comfy because my size fluctuates so much by the end of the day, which is part of my health issues, and can’t be helped. I really appreciate the comfort of soft knits more now than I ever did, but I’ve always liked how easy they are to wear.

    I used to work at a fabric store that sold wonderful knit yard goods. They were all different weights, colors and thicknesses and I had a hard time telling which ones would be too shear for modesty. I quickly learned to do a ‘stretch test’ because flat on bolt, a knit fabric would appear to be thick enough, but once I had the garment made it and wore it, it would look too shear to properly cover my bra (when making a top)or panties (when making a skirt). I learned to gently stretch one layer of the fabric over the back of my hand – if I could see my freckles, I knew it was too thin! Sometimes with striped knits, one color stripe would be totally fine, but the white or lighter stripes would be transparent when stretched. I still use this method for purchased knit clothing because on a hanger it can look just fine but be too revealing when worn. I truly believe that our pretty underthings should do their vital supportive work without being shown off!


  7. I am guilty of wearing yoga pants outside the house. Only around the neighborhood, like to school pick up, the grocery store/Target, or kindergarten basketball. And only one or *maybe* two days a week.

    Yes, I know. 😉

    What I have found during the non-summer months is a cute coat and scarf hide any number of sins. You look so much more put together even if your clothes are somewhat sloppy. Another thing I recently started doing was wearing a sweater or knit shirt/cardigan combo with my yoga pants whereas before I would always wear a hoodie, sweatshirt or fleece. Taking just this simple step helps me feel comfortable yet not sluggish. On the same token I feel much more energetic when I wear jeans with my sweatshirts and hoodies rather than yoga pants or sweats.


    Jen @ beauty and bedlam Reply:

    @BethB, I think yoga pants out one or two days may be a necessity. Haha


  8. I love it! You look great. It is a pretty put-together look but doesn’t seem like it would be hard to come up with. (You know the ones on tv shows that look interesting, but I don’t know how they chose all of the pieces to go together. LOL ) Thanks for another FF post — I love these!


  9. Jen,

    You just give me more ideas so please keep these post coming! Also, you look great!


  10. I love your frugal fashionista posts! I like to see what other real moms wear all day. As always, you inspire!


  11. I’m a homeschooling mom of 9, and don’t feel good if I see myself in the mirror looking sloppy. Mascara and simple hairdo every day, most days lately a cute scarf- even around the house. If someone stops by, I’m not embarassed. My 7 daughters have an example of taking a bit of pride in appearance, and not “letting it all go to pot” once they get married and become moms. My husband appreciate the few minutes that I take, too. No sweats or hoodies here!


  12. Love the purple on you! 🙂

    When I pick my boys up from school, I have to actually go in and sign them out every day. So I always try to make sure I look pulled together with a little makeup and nice casual clothes and cute shoes. I feel so dowdy if I’m wear sweats/yoga pants.

    I also am not a big fan of shapeless, oversized T-shirts on women even if they are comfortable. I have to wear one as my staff shirt for my part-time job and they are not flattering at all. T-shirts should be in a cut that is flattering for your body top. I do admit when I’m feeling blah and want to be comfy, I wear a black velour hoodie and pants. A bit more polished then sweats and yoga pants but just as comfy.


  13. Speaking of hair, have you seen the sock bun on Pinterest? I have a link on my blog here:http://waldenbunch.blogspot.com/2011/12/overnight-sock-bun.html
    It would be great for your long hair and it is THE easiest thing to do.


    Jen Reply:

    Too funny that you mentioned that. I have had a draft post with pictures sitting for about a year because I kept thinking I should do a video of it. I wear my hair like that nearly every single night and often get asked about it. Someone said, “you really should do a post about it” and a YEAR ago I said I would. HAHAH – yes, that is my procrastinators life. I am doing that 30 day hair challenge and that will finally be finished. 🙂


  14. I think it’s a fine balancing act of comfort & cuteness, for me, at least. If I am uncomfortable at work, it totally distracts me from, you know, working! Conversely, now that I am in management (and most of my manage-ees are 10-30 years older than me!) it’s important for me to look put together and professional. No jeans, no yoga pants, but at least leggings under a tailored skirt are a go! 🙂


  15. Loooove your website. Can’t wait to go clothes shopping at a thrift store. Thanks


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