Every time I hit “publish” on these Frugal Fashionista posts, I get a little sick tummy feeling.
I feel crazy putting myself out there as a Fashionista, especially when I know that 99.5% of the things in my closet were purchased second hand. Then, I ponder your past comments and it enables me to hit that button.
Do you know how it thrills my heart when people share that they have walked into a Goodwill for the first time since reading this series? Or that you’ve shopped your closet and realized that you have core wardrobe pieces that were forgotten?
One of my favorites was my reader’s comment that told me her husband thanks me for saving their budget, and his wife needs to hang out with me more often. 🙂

Honestly, that is why I do these posts. To give you permission to think outside the box. You are not alone if you desire to get that budget under control, and sacrifice to do it (although, for me…it’s so fun…it doesn’t feel a bit like sacrifice.)
Most of society screams, “You must dress, decorate and purchase this…” to succeed.
My heart mourned last week when I actually had someone say to my face, ” I would never wear something second hand… it feels so desperate.”
(Diving into what the root cause is of those feelings will be a separate blog post .)

Had I not been secure in the why’s and how’s of why I dress, decorate and live frugally, that comment would have given me quite a few sleepless nights, and hurt feelings. Instead, my heart was sad for her. I love knowing that money doesn’t drive who I am or where my worth lies.

Please know, that if you have never walked into a Goodwill or purchased an item from a yard sale, you are still my kind of sweet friend. Many of my closest friends just laugh with me (or at me, actually) when they hear how excited I get about scoring an amazing treasure for a $1.
For me, it’s not about what we purchase, where we shop or how much we spend, it’s just getting to the heart of the matter.
Why do we spend the way we do? Why are the majority of Americans living with maxed out credit cards? How can we live in freedom from financial bondage in a society that puts such pressure to “Keep up with the Joneses.”
I haven’t taken the time to dive into some of these personal finance issues, but I will as I share my “Riches to Rags” story this fall.

Sheesh, I didn’t mean to climb up on a soap box, but can you tell I am passionate about this?
Now, onto my Frugal Fashionista…conference style outfits.
I am one that takes five minutes to pack, but when I looked in my suitcase after those five minutes, I found 3 outfits all in black, with spurts of color from the wraps I chose.
Hmm….I realized I needed to brighten it up a bit, and this outfit certainly did that.

I bought this skirt at a yard sale months ago. $1 with the store tags still hanging.
Since I wondered if it was a bit too bright, I had yet to wear it. But I wanted to wear those awesome red shoes and couldn’t find something that worked…it was HOT outside.
When I matched it with an all white sweater, it brought it all together.

Limited white cardigan – $2, yard sale
Green tank – $1, yard sale
Skirt – $1, yard sale (with tags)
Awesome red shoes that my sis found – $2, yard sale
Total for the outfit: $6

When my daughter saw my skirt with the store tags, she gasped and said, “Mommy, you bought that new skirt just for your conference?”
I replied sweetly, “What do you think?”
” I didn’t think so,” she smilied. 🙂

Just so your in the designer fashion know, “they” say that red is the new black. You can wear it with anything. 🙂

Both days I left my camera in the hotel room…what was I thinking?
Here is my attempt to recreate my Friday outfit…today.
At the Blogger Meet and Greet, one of my new favorite bloggers, Tina from Antique Mommy, gave me the once over and said, “You don’t look like you’re frugal.” Love her!

You know how much I love wraps of all kinds.
Many people feel as if they can not wear black. They claim it washes them out, which may be true, and that makes me sad because I love black. Well, my suggestion is to spruce up all things black with splashes of vibrant color.

Long Gap shorts – $4 – Good Will
I love these because I can go from ultra casual to a night on the town look by adding heels (not that I get many of those, but hypothetically speaking ;).
Black tank top – $1 at Carolina Thrift (with the store tags still attached).
Everything in the store was 50% off, and I had a total bedlam moment as the whole store flooded while I was there. It is quite the story. 🙂
Shoes (pictured at the top of post) – $4 Goodwill.
Wrap – free from a friend who knows I love them and was going to give it to Good Will.
I should have spent a bit more time making sure the wrap wasn’t crooked, but this gives you a sneak peak at how they are very versatile in their look.

On Saturday, I left my room at 8:30am and didn’t make it back until midnight.
Sweet Stephanie from Dayspring/(in)courage took this for me in the wee hours.
And no, I didn’t plan to match the carpet.

I found this dress the day before She Speaks at Goodwill for $5.
When you hit a larger thrift store, one tip is to look at the rack that the employees have recently wheeled out. Those are items that have just been donated that day and typically employees unpack bags/boxes at one time. and hang that grouping on the same rack.
If you happen to hit the jackpot of someone with designer clothing in your size, they will all be in that one spot. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does…it ROCKS!
Another place I look is the dressing room rack where people have just put back what they don’t want to purchase. This is how I found two fun dresses. Someone with great taste, in my size, took the time to search through for some gems. For whatever reason, she didn’t want a hand full of items, and I loved everything she returned to the rack.

For those of you who have a predetermined concept of Crocs. Take a look at my shoes…aren’t they adorable? Yes, they are high heeled
Crocs and they are SO comfortable.
No, I didn’t get those second hand, but I got them free, does that count? (Plus, browsing their site, WOW, there are some great deals.)
It was really chilly in the hotel, so sweaters were a necessity. I would have worn a green cardigan, but since I had already worn green the day before, the $2 Limited white sweater was all I had packed.
There’s a big girl moment with this dress. Those of you who follow me, know I am passionate about great style with modesty. This is the shortest length dress I own by far, but it’s still fun and length appropriate for the day, although maybe not “business casual.”
I had a cute suit coat and pants picked out for my speaker evaluation group that evening, but when our blogging session, which included the launch of (in)courage ended late, I didn’t have time to change.
Guess what one of the comments was about my appearance on evaluation? Inappropriate for speaking…skirt too short.
Ah yes, the irony there wasn’t lost on me. 😉

Sunday – I wore a cute pink top and black pants, but after having to redress today for my black/green outfit, I was not taking the time to do that again. So I stole this picture from Emily.

the shes

Stephanie from DaySpring, The Nester, Especially Heather, Jen, Holley, Emily and Dawn

Thanks for coming along on my Frugal Fashionista conference style edition.

Considering that when I add up the total amount of money spent on four outfits, and it totaled $25, I don’t care if someone thinks that’s desperate…I am desperately in love with what that does for my yearly clothing budget. 🙂

Posted at Rhoda’s