Ballin on a Budget

In Accessories, Cocktail Dresses, Jewelry, Shoes, Work Wear on August 27, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Sorry for my ghetto-fab heading, but the line hails from a Nappy Roots song of the same name (a college-era favorite) that popped up on my iPod during my brisk morning run this a.m. (it was almost chilly out!)  The lyrics couldn’t have been more timely, as, due to recent “budget  cuts” in my shopping allowance (now that I’m a Magpie Mrs. there are other, more appropriate methods of allocating resources, i.e. investing, saving, and buying “adult” things, like the remaining sets of china not purchased on our registry and shelving for our closets…yippee), I need to scale back and either a) only buy strategically (challenging given my impulse buyer tendencies) or b) take a look at lesser-priced merchandise and prowl lower-end retailers more frequently.  I’ll opt for the latter, and have already had no problem locating a slew of “cheap thrills” to update my wardrobe without breaking the bank.  All items in this post are under $100!

To begin with: I’m in love with these versatile, worn-in tees (on super sale now for $7.99-$12.99, Madewell):

We all know my obsession with the poppy red color — and I’ve already imagined a bajillion scenarios for wearing it.  Situation #1: To the gym over a neon sports bra (I lovelovelove Target’s C9 by Champion line — you can’t see the full rainbow of bright colors they come in online, but I have bought them in a range of colors in the store and die over them — $16.99, Target) and a pair of black Nike leggings ($50, Nike):

Side note: I know it’s odd to think about coordinating a sports bra with a t-shirt, but anything that puts a little pep in your workout step is a good thing — and I kind of like to clash colors a bit, i.e. BRIGHT red with BRIGHT pink, or BRIGHT green with BRIGHT orange.  Fun.

Situation #2:  On the weekend, with a ruffled, cropped trench ($98, Limited) and a pair of matchstick jeans ($98, J. Crew):

I’d add a pair of snakeskin ballets to the mix ($51, Endless) and funky enormastuds (kinda love the mismatchiness of this pair — $65, Max and Chloe):

Situation #3: For work, tucked into a high-waisted pencil skirt ($78, White House Black Market):

Layered beneath a tangle-o-chains necklace ($69, Banana Republic) and some all-business black patent pointy-toed flats ($57, 6PM):

Add on a roomy black tote and you’re set ($90, PiperLime):

And while we’re on the subject of work-appropriate wear, why not take the military look into the office space with this army green shirtdress, only $32 at ChickDownTown?

I’d probably pair it with a leopard print scarf (for some reason I feel that those two trends — militarista and animal print — dovetail perfectly — $35, ShopHarmonyLane):

For dressier nights out, I’m with this asymmetrical brush-stroke-print dress from UK’s Warehouse ($89, Warehouse):

I’d pair it with these sparkling distressed crystal studs ($30, Rachel Roy) and some uber-high greige pumps ($58, Aldo — P.S.: Olivia Palermo’s been spotted in Aldo’s shoes):

And now, a few “just because” pick-me-ups that top my fall shopping list (and are affordable to boot!).  First up: this unbelievable bow-front tote in right-on-point greigey-taupe ($86, Melie Bianco):

Second: this dainty little “reminder” bow necklace, which I want to wear with everything and anything.  Love it’s delicateness ($55, ByBoe), including easy cotton knit dresses like this affordable Erin Brinie number ($55, Erin Brinie):

And — OK — this goes admittedly (though not by much) over budget, but how precious are these Vivienne Westwood bow-toe flats ($130, Urban Minx)?!

Because they are almost like jellies — perfect rainy-day wear, I’ll conclude with another gray day find: the most perfect slicker ever, retro-styled like the Morton salt girl and all ($72, ModCloth):

Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain…

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