Category Archives: My Frugal Finds…

Modern Vintage Changed my Mind about Michael

I’ve been searching for a nice gold watch for a while now, but have yet to come across one I like. Well, I shouldn’t say that – this Burberry one caught my eye…but I don’t have $695 to drop on a watch right now.

 Burberry Rosegold Watch

So, for the past few years I’ve been sporting this silver Timex timepiece. My grandfather has the same style in brushed gold that I always admired, so I went out and bought one for myself. I like the simplicity of the style, the stretchy wristband (except when my arm hair gets stuck in it), and purposely bought the men’s version because of its oversized, easy-to-read faceplate.

 Silver Timex

With the convenience of purchasing it at Target for the affordable price of only $34.99, it’s a no-brainer buy! Of course, I have had to pick up a couple replacements over the years because I’ve either shattered the front glass or somehow gotten water trapped in the inside; but at that reasonable price, I don’t really mind.

I did however want another one, a nicer one, in a different finish so I could have a second option. Some people will only wear a silver watch with their silver jewelry, while others go for the gold. I tend to mix my metals so it doesn’t really matter for me…but it’s always nice to switch it up a bit.

Out of all the timepieces I’ve looked at over the course of time, the brand I’ve come across the most has been Michael Kors. I’ve never really been a big fan of any of the styles stemming from the Kors collection – it’s either I try them on and they’re so heavy it feels like one of my arms is longer than the other or it has so much bling imbedded into it it’s blinding. See what I mean?!…

 Michael Kors Watches

I’m not trying to be mean to Michael! I’m just not big on sparkly things and for something I wear every day, I can’t have it weighing me down (I’m already crooked the way it is :).

But, I gotta hand it to the guy, he’s obviously doing something right – after all, he does dress the arms of millions of men & women. It’s hard to deny that he dominates the market when it comes to mainstream watchmakers!

Michael Kors (KORS) reported a net income of $145.8 million, for its second quarter. A 31% sales growth in North America was driven by watches, footwear and other accessories; accumulating a total revenue of $618.3 million in the U.S. and Canada. (forbes.com)

Perhaps I was a bit harsh on Mr. Kor’s & his design team to start; for my trip to the Modern Vintage Chicago market last month changed my mind (a little) and now has me eating (some) of my words. While perusing through Plumber’s Hall during the special edition of Randolph Street Market focusing strictly on clothing, accessories & jewelry; I came across this little jem!

 My Michael Kors Watch

It’s a close comparison to the original watch I wanted…and was 1/6th the price! I looked it over to make sure it was in good condition; all the parts are still ticking & tocking, the closure securely fastens, and it has a brand new battery – seemed like a deal to me! I like the basic gold band, sleek black dial, and it’s not too heavy to disrupt my movements. After doing a little research, I came to the conclusion this style was originally produced back in 2010. A little more modern than vintage – either way, a great find at my favorite market!

I haven’t changed my mind about Michael entirely…but one way or another, he managed to make his way into my jewelry box. Way to go guy!

Do you don a watch from the Michael Kors collection? Or would someone have to twist your arm to get you to wear one?

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Opposites Attract: Sheer Shirts & Bold Bottoms

I’ve always been a fan of mixing delicate fabrics with harsher opposites – and that’s exactly what I’ve done in these next three outfits! Even though the Free People pants are vegan leather, a heavier material more suitable for the fall/winter season, the sheer fabric and pastel colors that I’ve paired with them help transition them into the spring/summer season. Have a look…

Outfit #1:

Urban Outfitters Sheer Pink Shirt, Free People Bronze Embroidered Pants & Jeffrey Campbell Floral Wedges

Pastel Pink Shirt & Bronze Vegan Leather Bottoms

Sheer Pink Shirt, Embroidered Pants, Hammered Stone Necklace & Floral Print Wedges

A Closer Look: Sheer Fabrics, Feminine Floral & Intricate Embroidery

My Jeffrey Campbell floral print platform wedges are the basis of which I created this outfit around. The bronze leather pants coincide with the light brown background of the sandals, while my pale pink button-down shirt from Urban Outfitters and light green hammered-stone necklace from Anthropologie bring out the pastel flowers that bloom on the vintage floral motif.

Outfit #2:

Urban Outfitters Sheer Mint Shirt, Anthropologie Purple Plaid Sweater & Free People Bronze Embroidered Pants

Mint Green Shirt, Purple Plaid Sweater & Bronze Vegan Leather Pants

Mint Green Shirt, Purple Plaid Sweater, Embroidered Pants, Amethyst Stone Necklace & Feather Pendant

A Closer Look: Playing with Pastels, Feminine Fabrics & Intricate Embroidery

My lightweight lavender plaid wrap sweater from Anthropologie is ideal for early spring; during those first few weeks after the initial warm-up when you can go without a jacket, but it’s still nice to have something to shield yourself from the cool breeze at times. When you take it off, layered underneath is Spring/Summer 2013’s hottest hue – mint!

Pastels are popular for spring in general, but it seems as though lighter shades of green – such as mint, sea foam, and pistachio have taken the #1 spot this season. Here I’ve paired a mint green sheer button-down shirt from Urban Outfitters with the iridescent bronze bottoms. An oversized amethyst stone necklace accessorizes the outfit and ties together the adorable combo.

*Yes, it’s the exact same shirt as the pale pink one in the outfit above, just in another color. Don’t judge me that I bought multiples of the same style – when it’s a basic silhouette and fits well, why not buy a couple! Plus, I got them on sale for only $17.95 apiece; it only makes sense to stock up on the timeless styles when they’re that cheap!

P.S. I have the same style shirt in black as well :)

P.P.S. Actually…make that 2 in black :P

Outfit #3:

Anthropologie Sheer Pleated Shirt, Free People Bronze Embroidered Pants & Jeffrey Campbell Patchwork Leather Booties

Ivory Anthro Pleated Shirt & Bronze Free People Embroidered Pants

Sheer Pleated Shirt, Embroidered Pants, Patchwork Leather 'Lita' Booties

A Closer Look: A Pleathora of Pleats, Patchwork & Leather

Just like the first outfit, statement footwear sets the foundation for this next outfit as well. Here, my bold Jeffrey Campbell ‘Lita Booties’ not only stand out, but also set the color scheme for the rest of the ensemble. The multi-colored patchwork leather booties incorporate the neutral hues of my ivory pleated blouse from Anthropologie and the bronze with gold embroidery bottoms.

Do you ever mix feminine fabrics with heavy weight opposites? Out of the contrasting combos I created here, which one is your favorite?

An Everyday Essential + Embroidery Embellished Bottoms = Effortless Style

I think this ensemble is the epitome of casual chic!

Free People Thermal & Embroidered Leather Pants

Free People Thermal & Embroidered Leather Bottoms Close-Up

Free People Thermal & Embroidered Leather Bottoms Detail Shot

Here I paired my gray graphic print “Love Bug” thermal from Free People with my F.P. bronze vegan leather pants. The waffle-textured top is an everyday essential while the embroidery embellished bottoms are a bit out of the ordinary – creating a balanced outfit that exudes effortless style.

My new nubby knitted “Bradley Boots” from Free People finish off the look; and the spattered metallic paint on the taupe wooly soles adds a bit more bronze to the ensemble! I don’t worry about wearing leather boots with leather pants because there’s enough of the textured knit in between to even notice. An added bonus, just like the embellished bottoms, I bought these boots on sale for only $29.95 too, originally $178.00!

Do you think blending the go-to basic with the statement bottoms is a good idea?

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I Can Pull Off (and Up) Leather Pants Better Than Ross Can!

I came by these Embroidered Vegan Leather Pants in the sale section at Free People about a month ago…

Free People Embroidered Vegan Leather Pants

I’m not surprised that the statement pants went on sale; even though Free People shoppers are fashion-forward, not everyone can pull off a pair of metallic vegan leather pants with embroidery embellishment along the leg.

Now, I consider myself to have a pretty progressive style sense, so naturally I was drawn to the bold bronze bottoms. And the fact that they were marked all the way down to $29.95 (originally $148.00)…that was just a bonus! I love the iridescent sheen that radiates off them in the light and the intricate embroidered design down the front. They’re surprisingly comfortable for being made of vegan leather; sometimes that material sticks to your skin because the heavy-weight fabric doesn’t breathe.

***Random Side note: Whenever I think of leather pants, I think of the episode of Friends when Ross wears a pair over to his date’s place. He’s overheating & uncomfortable, so he goes into the bathroom to cool down; but when he pulls the leather pants down…he can’t get them back up! He call’s Joey for advice, and after trying baby powder and lotion, he’s still left with his pants around his ankles. :/

Friends Episode - Ross Wears Leather PantsClick on the image to play video of the episode

Thankfully, whoever designed these unique pants must have taken that into consideration, because there’s a sewn-in cotton liner on the inside…so I’ll never run into the issue Ross had! :)

And for as much as the embellished bottoms stand out, they actually integrated into my wardrobe quite well! Take a wild guess at how many different outfits I created using these statement slacks.

Send me a comment with what you think the final count is & I’ll start showing you results tomorrow…!

All About Antiques in April – Modern Vintage Spring Fashion Explosion

It’s April – and this month is all about antiques! Earlier this month I blogged about my shopping spree at Clothing Optional’s close-out;  now I’m going to blog about my trip to the Modern Vintage Spring Jewelry, Fashion & Accessories Explosion today, and next weekend I’ll be blogging about my trip to the regular Randolph Street Market and the International Antiques Fair!

This weekend the producers of the Randolph Street Market presented Modern Vintage Chicago, a fusion of fashion-forward contemporary designs and classic vintage from the Mid-Century, Art Nouveau, ‘60s, ‘70s, and more. Vendors from around the country brought their textiles, jewelry, handbags, artwork and accessories from legendary fashion houses like Hermes, Chanel, Prada & Gucci, while Chicago’s leading indie designers presented creations of their own to shoppers.

Modern Vintage Chicago - Spring Jewelry, Fashion & Accessories Explosion!

Here are some snapshots from my day at the market…

IMAG4269Special Occasion hankies

IMAG4298Clowning Around!

Raccoon Jaw Bones (1)Raccoon jaw bones

Mummidied Cow Fetus (3)A mummified cow fetus

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I love the wooden boxes & old desks Susie, one of my favorite sellers at the show, uses as jewelry boxes to display all her merchandise…

Old Wooden Jewelry Boxes (1)

Old Wooden Jewelry Boxes (6)

Old Wooden Jewelry Boxes (3)

Old Wooden Jewelry Boxes (4)

Old Wooden Jewelry Boxes (5)

Old Wooden Jewelry Boxes (9)

And yes……every drawer is filled with one-of-a-kind treasures! Just like this…

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IMAG4343

IMAG4347

IMAG4349

IMAG4359

IMAG4363

IMAG4373

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So what did I walk away with this weekend? Well…

IMAG42633 needlepoint books; I bought a book of folk designs cross-stitch pattens for only $5.00 and the other two for $10 apiece. The Needlework Book is an embroidery, crochet and knitting how-to book that shows hundreds of stitches!

The Needlework Book Inside Pages (1)

The Needlework Book Inside Pages (2)

The Needlework Book Inside Pages (3)

And, of course – I bought a couple bones :)

IMAG4449I’m going to make a necklace out of one!

Don’t worry – I left the mummified cow fetus behind :) I didn’t want to spend all my money at once! After all…I’ll be back again next weekend!! ***And for free! A different dealer that I’ve made relations with gave me a complementary admission pass (usually $10.00) for being a repeat customer!

What’d you do this weekend?