fFrugal Fashonista Designer outfits on a thrift store budget

For nearly six years, I’ve carved out a tiny corner in this crazy blogosphere world.

What started out as authentic snippets of my life with five children and the crazy things that come with balancing beauty and bedlam turned into an entirely new genre of my writing under the umbrella of frugal living. Two years into my blog, we survived another long round of unemployment, and so much of what I wrote centered around surviving thriving and raising kids on basically a year long spending sabbatical.

So much of who I am, how we raise our children and core values we hold dear, came through life lessons learned through our years of unexpected financial hardships, the worst occurring before I even started my blog.

The Frugal Fashionista series didn’t come from that unemployment time. Believe it or not, my designer outfits on a thrift store budget came long before my blog. It just so happened that when I first posted my “accidental frugal fashionistsa post in 2009,” I was one of the first to “come out of the closet” so to speak in the Goodwill fashion world.
Frugal Fashionista - designer outfits on a thrift store budget

$5 Thrift Store Dress that I wore for Easter

Five years ago people weren’t singing “Thrift Shop,” and there was no one putting up pictures of themselves sporting their latest Goodwill finds. I was an oddity and people came around just to see if it was for real (and I’m so embarrassed at some of the outfits now. Fashion sure does change quickly.) 

I was thrilled to crack open the door to this way of shopping and it meant so much to hear excitement through comments and emails from ladies who for the first time were dressing fabulously on a budget they could afford.

But the fun world of blogging where I could spontaneously post and not worry about pinterest and good photography and everything being “just so” has changed with technology.

I miss those good ole days. The days where I didn’t spend much time editing and just shared because I wanted to encourage others. My personality is so spontaneous and “take me as I am” that this current shift has really stifled me in ways I don’t like.

I started second guess myself, over thinking everything and then I just stopped posting. Not just with Frugal Fashionista posts, but others as well. I have been exhausted and sticking to things that are safe, which is ironic because in real life, I run from safe. I am so much about risk and dreaming big, but insecurities have a way of being magnified in this social media world and they rear their ugly head. I want to be honest about that.

We live in this pinterest perfect world with so much beautiful content out there, that for the blogger like myself where life is rarely perfect, yet awfully beautiful in an embrace life kind of way, it’s a challenge and I’ve had enough.

I just can’t begin to wrestle with the comparison trap because I don’t have the time to measure up. I am living life in my highest calling: as a mom struggling to raise children, as a wife wanting to give more time to her husband, as a Christian desiring to make a difference flawed and all, and even as a business woman wondering how she can possibly keep up with the new talent surrounding her.

Those are topics I need to spend my time on and share more glimpses of that here on the blog.

I’ve lost some of my long time readers during this period, but I hope to bring you back.

Can you tell this isn’t just a “Frugal Fashionista” post. It’s now become fashion meets Psychology 101 post.

 Let's get this frugal fashionista series going again

I posted the picture above 22 whole weeks ago on Instagram. I LOVE IG and facebook updates. For me, it’s old time blogging and how I used to share. Here’s what I wrote.

“After a long sabbatical from my Frugal Fashionista series, I’m putting aside the insecurities of why I stopped. Women need to be encouraged that regardless of ones budget, you can have fun with fashion.

So my imperfect fashion posts will resume, complete with crooked necklace, $1 Gap yard sale tee, gap outlet pants, $3 thrifted cardigan and two day old pony tail.”

Then guess what? I never started!! And I was skinny then. (Yep, gained ten pounds since that picture, but that’s a whole different post. I love my carbs and it will always be a balancing act.)

The insecurities of not measuring up started whispering and I just postponed and postponed.

A little back ground – I HATE posting for pictures of myself. I feel silly. My 11 year old daughter is my photographer and it’s rare that we get that perfect shot. Most of my Frugal Fashionista pictures are taken after a full day of living life.

I have NEVER ever dressed just to take a picture, therefore make up, hair and life get in the way, but readers in their “bless your heart” kind of way always make sure they let me know if I need to stand up straighter, wear spanx under my dress because my muffin top was showing, use eyebrow pencil (and yes, I do, but by the time I take pictures, it’s gone) or whatever tip they are sharing to make sure I look better than what I’ve posted.

Frugal Fashionista $5 dress

$3.99 Goodwill shoes, barely worn. If wearing used shoes kind of freaks you out, I wrote a post:

Should I seriously wear second hand shoes?

It starts to wear. I’m not a fashion blogger, nor do I put myself out there as one, but it goes back to the fact one can hear 10 complements, yet it’s the one negative that sticks with you.

Well, no more.  I’ve been thinking alot about what needs to come back to this space and Frugal Fashionista is one of them, not because I care so much about what we all look like, but because I don’t, yet with just a few tweaks, it makes all the difference. We have worth and value regardless of those voices that tell us just the opposite. It doesn’t matter what size we are or if our weight fluctuates. We are women who need to embrace who we are in all stages of our lives.

 I have lived life in sweat pants, but when I spend a bit more time carrying about myself, I feel better about myself, yet I never get consumed over it. We don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to do that and over the years, I’ve encouraged women that they can look like a million bucks on a thrift store budget.  I still believe it. I still shop like that (even though for the first time in our married life, I have extra money to spend on clothes if I choose to). Nothing has changed here in my heart.

It a normal girl fashion posts. 🙂

So I am back, and I hope you’ll come along this journey with me. I’m going to hit post without editing!!! I am going to assume that while some of you may think I am crazy to share all of this on a fashion post, there will be some of you who will breathe a sigh of relief knowing that as women, we are all on this comparison journey together.  I want to replace those lies with truth.

We are beautiful, even when we don’t feel it. We have such value, even when the world whispers otherwise, and we are loved by a heavenly Father who wants nothing more than to assure us of how special we are.

And on that note, scroll back up and look at that adorable Coral Dress I found!! $5!! Can you even believe it? It’s so unique,  it fit perfectly and when you find a dress like that, snatch it up. I would have paid more than $5. 🙂

$2 earring haul

 $2 clearance earrings from Rue 21. Yes,  you may be surrounded by teens,  but my jewelry haul was amazing.

Note: hair that needs a highlight, eyebrow pencils that haven’t been used, wrinkles that come with a beautiful life and odd smile that I am chuckling about.

Favorite $1 yard sale shirt with super fun sleeves, $1 tank, purple pants from Tanger outlet and another pair of those $2 earrings from Rue 21.

I still love this outfit with the fun pop of color pants. It does pay to invest in a few good pieces. I’ve worn these shoes for FIVE years and they are by far my most comfortable heels.

So glad you are here!!! It’s good to be back. 🙂