October 18, 2017

Frugal Fashionista: Simple Party Style


Frugal Fashionista winter edition

Where has the time gone?

Unintentionally, I have not turned on my laptop in over nine days and it’s been wonderful. A hiatus wasn’t on the agenda, but I needed it. Unfortunately, it makes this Frugal Fashionista series – Christmas turned Party Style post a bit late. 🙂

A few weeks ago, I went thrifting with the sole purpose of showing that it’s possible to find something festive to dress up your holiday wardrobe without spending a lot of money.

Frugal Fashion inspiration and tips

Now, I realize that many of you assure me that you can never find anything at Gooodwill or thrift stores, but hopefully, this will show you that just a new shirt or fancy tank can make all the difference just by pairing it with what you already own. 

We aren’t invited to many fancy galas. Wait, we weren’t invited to anything fancy over the holidays, but I do love to dress a bit festive. I also knew that when I saw this $3.75 Goodwill fur vest it was love at first sight.

Have you noticed how fur accent pieces are really in style right now? This was perfect for some of the casual Christmas lunches that I attended.

Frugal Fashionista - fur vest $3.75

I layered it over my $1 thrifted shirt that I live in since it’s so comfy, then paired it with some big earring, as well as high heel boots of mine that I rarely wear because they are…ahem, high heels (and I’m all about comfy these days), It is an outfit that I’ll enjoy all winter long. I got so many complements on the fur vest. I had no idea why someone would donate it until I wore it once and realized the “button clasps” don’t really stay closed. That could be a deal breaker for some, but definitely not me.

Dress up ordinary outfit with a bit of bling

My main hunt was for some bling. Bling of any kind, whether through statement jewelry or clothing,  works perfectly during Christmas, New Years (as well as Valentine’s Days, so be on the look out.)

I was thrilled when I found TWO adorable shirts with bling and they were marked half off because they are “summer.” (I’m assuming.)
Frugal fashionista - designers outfits thrift store budget

Yes, here I show you why I think they were only $1.75. This is a tank with a racer style back so during winter months people ignore these shirts.

Don’t DO IT!!

Frugal Fashionista with bling

Look at how cute it is!!

I wore this to a women’s luncheon, but I didn’t know if people would be dressed up or not, so I met the dress code somewhere in the middle. All of my accessories had a lot of bling: big, jeweled earrings and bracelet and a long silver necklace. Then I layered a casual $3 yard sale, pin striped 3/4 length sleeve jacket with dress pants from TJ Maxx and casual pumps (yes, heels would have looked much better but I was going to be gone all day, so I went for comfort.)

Casual fashion with a bit of bling

It was a super fun, festive outfit that I just put together and I loved it.

Add some bling under a blazer - simple party fashion

Here was my SECOND fun, bling find from Goodwill.

Add some sparkle under a blazer for instant party fashion

What I love about this shirt is that I could SO easily dress it up for a very fancy night on the town. Imagine that the jacket I pulled off the shoulders was a classy black shawl and switch the jeans out for an elegant black skirt.

Can you envision it? Yes, it would be perfect for something formal and all for only a few dollars.

If you look at where I have the arrow, you can see that it’s a see through top meant to be layered. Fortunately, I already had a $1 Liz Claiborne camisole that worked well.

Since I wore my hair down again, I chose long earrings this time, but decided to forgo a necklace since the shirt really served as all the accent I needed. It’s much prettier in real life, with a neat sheen to it.

Frugal fashionista party style

Again, this was for a casual office party in a bar type setting, so I wore jeans and boots (I do live in the south ;)). Now, tan boots are NOT recommended as my first choice, but I didn’t have short black boots, so this is where you must embrace the motto, “It doesn’t have to be perfect to still work well.” 🙂 The boots were $19.99 on Black Friday and I wish I had found black ones.

The $3 yard sale jacket looks similar to the pin stripe one shown earlier because the sleeves are similar, but they are a much different on top.

Can you tell I got them from the same yard sale? When you buy a style you love or find a cut that looks good on you, even if it’s not second hand, buy a few!! I go to this lady’s yard sale every year because I LOVE her taste.

red for holidays

There’s a funny story behind this shirt. Again, I bought it for just a few dollars because I always enjoy finding things that are a bit different, especially when the sleeves are fun.

I wore it to lead worship for our church, so only about 5,000 people saw it on me.

Leave it to your family to tell you what they really think about something. Our 11 year old (my Frugal Fashionista police) mentions, “You old timey shirt is interesting, Mom.”

“Old timey? What do you mean? You don’t like it?”

“Well, the pattern is just interesting.”

Then my husband chimes in, “Yes, those sleeves look like Morticia on the Addams family.”

“What???” I exclaimed.

I think at this point he panicked and realized that didn’t come across how he intended, “No, the original Morticia, look her up, she was beautiful. You are thinking of the Munsters. Not her. Morticia is really pretty.”

Adding a little interesting vintage touch to frugal fashion

So, on his behalf, I looked her up.


She is pretty, and I will admit, the sleeve may just mimic hers a bit. 😉

mortica dress

Needless to say, I don’t regret wearing the shirt. I loved it for the week before Christmas and from up on stage, no one could see the dated pattern, only the cool sleeves as I held the microphone. haha

(It is now back at Goodwill if anyone wants it. ;))

Adding a little silver to the outfit

My last bit of bling is already back at Goodwill too. I took one for the team on this one and it actually could be really cute on someone with a different body type.

Since I’ve gained back 15 pounds this year (yes, I am starting my Carb and sugar detox on January 12 if anyone wants to join me), I have to be careful about the cut around my waist/top area.

P.S I’ll blog about the detox and share on FB if you need a reminder/accountability)

Should it stay or should it go Go

See where the arrow points? How that fabric gathers right under my (can I type ) boobs, just screams “Add ten pounds to how you look.” Plus, do they really think someone would wear that without a shirt under it? I guess so and that’s why we see so many women with cleavage hanging out, but it’s not flattering at all (on me or them) but the shirt dress was a fun silver material and I purchased without trying it on. I think this would be cute on someone with a smaller top side. 😉

Remember when I did my “Should it stay or should it go” Frugal fashionista post? Well, the black top was already in the goodwill bag to get rid of. It was a definite GO, but I was desperate for something to wear over the dress and my cardigan was dirty. Yes, that’s real life, isn’t it? Along with the dog? We’re just a mess. 🙂

SO that is a wrap for my Frugal Fashionista, simple party edition. Remember, sometimes it just takes a bit of bling or fur or Morticia like sleeves to have fun dressing up your wardrobe.

Take a chance. Do something different. The beauty of shopping second hand is that I can take a risk for a few dollars and if I decide I don’t like it, I haven’t broken the bank. No regrets!!

Have you found any fun thrifted finds lately? I’d love to hear.



  1. Your bling tops with those jackets and your zebra vest are just adorable on you!


    Jen Reply:

    Thanks so much, Traci. 🙂


  2. I always look forward to these posts! : )


  3. I think all of your outfits look cute.. but personally, I like the morticia blouse the best.. lol.. I’ve paid big money for a blouse very similar to that.. several times.. 😉 But Im a bit older than you too.. maybe that matters. 😀

    Im definitely heading to LC land and soon.. I might as well start on Jan 1… I’ve got a long way to go & a short time to get there.. 😉


    Jen Reply:

    I am SO glad you liked that red blouse. I did too and loved the sleeves. They were just unique and something that not everyone wears. It was that family of mine – such naysayers. 😉


  4. Have you ever painted shoes? I bought spray paint for leather shoes from a shoe repair shop. I painted my own and then touched up my boys when theirs got scuffs .


    Jen Reply:

    I have done some touch ups, but I don’t think to the extent you are talking about. Sounds like a fabulous idea!!!


  5. grammygoodwill says:

    I always enjoy seeing your posts like this. I’m getting better at looking at possibilities for my outfits, but I have a way to go to even get in the same lane with you. I think you look great.


  6. Regina Jones says:

    I’d like to know which Goodwill stores you frequent. I live in Charlotte, but drive to Mooresville or Concord when i want to find really good stuff. Charlotte has 11 area stores, but they are all not the same. Ballantyne has a good selection most of the time. Christmas was a busy time at Goodwill, but i find more new and never worn items in Mooresville and COncord stores.


    Jen Reply:

    I am a bit away from you and completely agree that not all stores are created equal. It’s so important to know the right ones. Some have amazing clothes but no home good items and vice versa.


  7. I love seeing your thrifted outfits! So cute…and inspires me to try new and different looks. This is my favorite thing about your blog. I hope you will show more fashions. Thanks and Happy New Year!


  8. I’m an avid thrifter and LOVE your fashion posts. You really scored on the sparkly tops! And for the record, I think you looked great in the last outfit that you re-donated!


  9. Love these posts! You look great in all of the outfits.


  10. I saw a post where someone spray painted a couch! I don’t know if I’d go that far, but I would give it a try on shoes/boots. Has anyone seen this painting technique done on upholstered furniture? I can’t remember what paint was used…would it be unhealthy?
    Happy New Year to all..here’s to following you later in the month, Jen!


  11. Loved your 2nd and 3rd outfits. Both my Christmas outfit (get together with a large family) and New Year’s outfit (at our best friend’s) were thrifted from head to toe. And I got lots of compliments. Like you, I like to layer and buy blingy tanks all the time. It’s so fun to look fabulous and spend barely any money. Money that can be used for more important things!


  12. Thanks for sharing your finds – the good and bad – to help people learn to love thrifted. It’s the off day that I’m not wearing all or mostly thrifted clothing, shoes and accessories. Recently one of my fav stores had to close down and had everything marked half off and then 75% off – so I went twice and got things we needed and then a few extras! My favorites were dress pants for my husband, two little black dresses, long-sleeve t-shirts and a cream sweater.


  13. I really enjoy your posts for Frugal Fashionista. I’m one of the women who fall into that category of never finding anything when I’m thrifting. I’m plus-sized, tall, and have feet the size of Clementine! Most of what I find is very, very outdated, and just don’t fit my body type. And forget finding shoes. Bane of my existence.

    But what I do see is possibilities, and am reminded to look at things with different eyes.

    I find it very easy to pick up items for my boys…jeans, trousers, shirts…easy peasy. And my daughter loves thrifting…she knows she can get more for her money that way! (It is a bit of a challenge shopping with her, since our personal styles are so very different, and she shops keeping in mind our school district’s very strict dress code.)

    Thank you. Keep on show us possibilities. 🙂


  14. PS I love your tan boots!!!


Share Your Thoughts