Tag Archives: fashion

Levi’s Curve ID

So Brittany had the great idea of adding a new reoccurring category to our blog called “Products We love.” I don’t know if it’s just a female thing (it probably is!), but if I find a new clothing, beauty, or food product that I absolutely love, I definitely want to share it with my friends! So of course I loved Brittany’s idea. For my first “Products We Love” post, I’m going to talk about a clothing item that plagues pretty much every women in America, and probably other countries too, unless she’s willing to cough up serious bucks for designer jeans. As I’ve said before, I don’t spend a lot of money on most clothes. It’s true that a great pair of designer jeans will probably last a long time. And if it’s a classic style, I could wear them forever. But jeans just aren’t something I want to spend a lot of money on. Unfortunately, paying less usually means sacrificing fit. They gap in the back, they’re too long, they’re too short, they stretch out and sag in the butt after a few hours, etc. But here’s the good news, there is a compromise!

I first heard about Levi’s Curve ID jeans awhile back, but you had to order them online or buy them in a Levi’s store and they were a bit pricier than what I normally pay for jeans (I’ve never spent more than $40). So I more or less forgot about them. Then, a couple weeks ago, I discovered that Kohl’s carries Levi’s Curve ID jeans, for less than they are online!

This line of Levi’s jeans come in all the regular sizes, washes, and styles, but they also have four different “curve Id’s” to better fit your body. There’s slight curve, demi curve, bold curve, and supreme curve. They’re cut specifically for different body types. the supreme curve jeans, for example, are cut higher in the back so they don’t gap, a godsend for those of us with small waists but a little more “junk in the trunk.” I tried on the demi curve straight leg jeans and LOVED them. They have a classic five pocket design (lately a lot of jeans I’m seeing in stores have flap pockets which I don’t really like) and the best part is that they’re mid rise. It’s so hard to find mid rise jeans that don’t look like mom jeans. The only bad thing about buying them at Kohl’s is they don’t carry them in in short lengths. But that’s really not an issue for me because my legs are so disprportionatly short that I still have to hem even supposedly short or petite length jeans. Sigh. But then again, my friend Stacy is 5’8 and she can never find jeans that are long enough. So I suppose it’s it’s better to have jeans that are too long than too short.

So head to Kohl’s or the Levi’s website and check them out! Online (and probably in stores as well), they range from $50-$58, depending on sales. I got mine on sale at Kohl’s for $39.99, but even when they’re not only sale they’re still less than $50 at Kohl’s.

P.S. If, like me, it’s been forever since you had a pair of Levi’s, don’t despair if you can’t even almost fit in your normal size. You haven’t gained weight, Levi’s just run really small!


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The #1 Secret to Making your Clothes Look More Expensive

I’ve talked before about mixing pricier items with cheap trendy items in order to get the most out of your clothes for the least amount of money. But I have one trick that I use more than other others. It will make your inexpensive clothes look more expensive, and who doesn’t want that?!

there’s a reason why the clothes you find at Target and Kohl’s are so much cheaper than brand names like Chanel, Christian Louboutin, etc. It’s because they’re mass produced. And because they’re mass produced, they’re not going to fit everyone perfectly, or even well. I know this struggle all too well. I have a tiny waist, fuller hips and butt, and disproportionately short legs. As my dad puts it, I’m not an off the rack kind of girl. I could let this totally frustrate me and just give up on wearing cute clothes. Instead, I alter a lot of my clothes. I’m not talking about spending tons of money at a tailor either, oftentimes, I can do the alterations myself at home or for very cheap.

one thing I always pay to have altered professionally are my pants. As I’ve said, my legs are really short. My best friend and I are the exact same height, but her legs are much longer than mine. Even petite length pants are usually way too long for me. I know I’m not the only one with this problem, because I see girls everywhere with their pant legs cuffed, or worse, dragging on the ground. Not much makes a pair of pants look worse than when the hems are torn, frayed, and dirty. Granted, I live in a city with a very low cost of living, but I found an alterations place that only charges $9 to shorten a hem.  I don’t buy pants all that often, making this really affordable. Occasionally, I also have skirts and dresses shortened. When something really flatters you, it looks more expensive. It’s that simple.

There are also plenty of minor alterations that I can do at home (or with my mom’s help 🙂 ) which make a big difference. Here’s a prime example. I found a cropped leopard print faux fur jacket at Kohl’s that I instantly fell in love with. I had a great coupon and it was on sale, so I snatched it up. There was just one minor issue, it had these two huge gaudy buttons that I hated.

Faux fur jacket: Heart & Soul, Kohl’s $61.60 (sale price at time of purchase)

I could have just ignored the buttons, or not purchased it at all. Instead, I cut off the buttons. Then, even though it was barely noticeable, I asked my mom to sew the button holes closed (What would I do without her? I can’t sew to save my life!).

I knew I was never going to button up this style of jacket, so those ugly buttons were especially pointless (sidenote: I think most cropped jackets look better when left open. But that doesn’t mean you always have to cut the buttons off. As long as you like them,  leave them alone 🙂 )

Here’s another example. I really like this shirt, but it came with a self tie belt that I didn’t like very much, plus it looked odd when it was tied. So I simply cut the belt off and used my own belt to define my waist. this particular trick can be used quite often. Just make sure you’re always going to wear a belt with that top or cut the belt with super sharp scissors and cut as close to the shirt as possible to avoid leaving frayed material behind

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Trends: To Follow or Not to Follow

I’ve posted a couple recipe posts in a row, so here’s a fashion post for you all.

When it comes to fashion, “trends” are a divisive issue. There are those who blindly follow any and all trends, wearing whatever fashion magazines and designers deem to be “hot right now.” They often change their clothing and accessories as often as the trends change, which we all know happens quickly. And then there are those who uniformly refuse to follow trends simply because they think its wasteful or that it infringes on their originality.

If you’ve been reading this blog for anything length of time, you know that I love to try out current trends. But I, along with lots of women, fall in the middle of the two extremes listed above. I don’t spend a lot of money on clothes in general (classics that I know will last and be in style forever are the exception. I have a leather jacket that I’ve had, I kid you not, since 8th grade). $40.00 is probably the most I’ve ever spent on jeans, and I especially don’t spend big bucks on trendy items. Also, I keep my clothes forever and I don’t necessarily stop wearing something just because it’s no longer the “it” item of the moment. Furthermore, just as I don’t refuse to wear something just because it’s trendy, I’m not going to wear something I don’t like simply because it’s a trend.

The faux fur trend that’s everywhere this Fall is a great example of this. Colored denim, riding boots, animal prints, lace, I love it all. But the faux fur trend just doesn’t appeal to me. I don’t dislike it, I just haven’t found any faux fur items I had to have. And that’s perfectly okay.

And then one day I was in Target and I fell in love with a winter coat…with faux fur trim. And that’s okay too! I’ve been searching for a long time for a reasonably priced dressy black winter coat. Since I already have a black North Face jacket and dressy winter coats in red, grey, and houndstooth, I wasn’t willing to pay a lot for yet another one in black. Needless to say, I’ve been searching for awhile. Good winter coats aren’t cheap. But then I found this beauty

Coat: Mossimo, Target $59.99

I was a little surprised by how much I loved the fur on this coat considering that I didn’t much care for any of the other fur embellished items I’d seen up until now.  But it looks great on this coat. And most importantly, the fur is completely detachable. I was willing to pay $59.99 for a good quality basic black coat, but if the fur hadn’t been detachable, I would never have paid that much. So now I have one coat that with the fur trim is a dressy coat with a little something extra and without the fur is a basic black  coat that will go with everything from jeans to a dress.

Fashion is so much fun! And it’s entirely possible to play around with trends without spending a ton of money. So the moral of the story is, don’t be too quick to follow every single trend there is or to shun them altogether.

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Head over Heels [For Fall Footwear]

Sorry this post is a little behind the times, this was yet another post that was written during our hiatus. But even though it’s no longer Fall, it’s only going to get colder out. So really, it’s still quite relevant 🙂

Being only 5’2″ and a girly girl, I love heels as much as the next girl. But sometimes you just want to be able to walk around campus, run errands, or go out with friends without worrying about your feet hurting. Unfortunately, it’s rare when fashion meets function, especially when it comes to shoes. But this Fall (and for several previous years) there’s a shoe that possesses this rare combination. Hello riding boots!


Riding boots are comfortable, versatile, and totally chic. I’ve wanted a pair of riding boots for about three Falls now. Haha! Unfortunately, most of them are quite expensive. But a few weeks ago, I finally picked up my first pair during a ridiculously good sale at Kohl’s. They’re not real leather, but it’s an impressively good imitation. And I’m absolutely in love with them.

Here’s another view of the detailing on the boot

Boots: Sonoma, Kohl’s $47.99 (current sale price at time of post, originally $79.99)

These boots look great with leggings, tucked in or under jeans, and with skirts. I wear them all. The. Time. And while they are definitely hot for Fall, these boots will work right through Winter as well. In fact, I recommend buying them slightly big so you can wear them with thicker socks in cold weather. Especially if you go for a non leather pair. Now, I know there are lots of boot styles out there, but one of my favorite things about this style (aside from the fact that they’re flat) is that they add a little something to an outfit, taking basic jeans and a sweater to the next level.

Because riding boots are often pricey, I opted for basic black that will go with everything. But I’ve been seeing cognac boots everywhere and I love the way they look with dark denim. Imagine my delight when I found an extremely affordable pair at Target. Admittedly, they’re obviously lower quality than my black pair despite both being faux leather. But for a trendy item that I may not wear as often, that doesn’t bother me.

Boots: Target, $34.99

I paired these with dark jeans, a white sweater, and gold accessories for an outfit that was simple, cozy, and stylish all at once. I’m sure I’ll come up with other ways to wear these boots, but pairing them with jeans and a sweater is an outfit I will definitely be repeating this Fall and Winter. I just recently convinced my mom to buy a pair of riding boots as well! These aren’t going out of style any time soon, and I promise you’ll wear them to death!


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Sometimes You Have to Say No

My mom has taught me a lot of things over the years. How to cook with wine, how (and when) to get what you want, and how to drive a car, to name just a few. But today, I have one specific lessons she taught me regarding fashion in mind. “Not to wear anything that doesn’t fit or isn’t  flattering, no matter how cute it was on the hanger.” I was reminded of these words of wisdom today.


I’ve seen girls wearing shorts with tights lately and I like the look, but it doesn’t work with just any shorts.


Well today I saw the cutest black tweed shorts. I wanted them immediately and they were a good price….But then I saw them on me. My normal size was a little too tight in the waist so I went up a size, but this made them big everywhere else. That plus a few tiny pleats on the front (why pleats?! they don’t flatter almost anyone) just ruined them for my body. I stood in front of the mirror for probably five minutes, trying to decide if I could pull them off. But finally I had to realize that if I kept them, I’d be wondering if I looked okay the entire time I wore them. And if you’re not comfortable in an outfit, it shows. So sadly, these shorts had to go back to the store. There’s just no point in spending money on something that isn’t flattering or doesn’t fit. Sometimes you just have to say no.

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Vanessa’s closet

I have a new post for you all that will also become a reoccurring feature on the fashion page. As I’ve said before, I get a lot of ideas for different ways to use what I already have in my closet just by watching the people around me. My city may not be a hot bed of fashionistas, but there are plenty of girls out there who really know how to dress well. So I decided that I would start ocassionally posting pictures of what I wore that day, not to tell you all what you should or shouldn;t wear, but to hopefully give you some inspiration when it feels like you’ve worn everything in your closet 1,000,000,000 times already. Sometimes it’ll be lumped in with another post and sometimes it’ll be by itself like today. I hope you guys find this feature useful. I usually won’t be talking much about the outfit, but if you have any questions feel free to ask. So without further ado, here’s the first outfit (sorry about the horrible picture quality, there is absolutely no natural light today):

Occasion: Work
Grey cardigan: JC Penney’s
Black dress pants: Kohl’s
Turqouise camisole: Maurices
Python belt: Anne Taylor, $19
Cross necklace: Maurices

I’ll continue to provide info on the price of items and where I got them like I have been, in case anyone is curious. But I keep my clothes for a really long time, so I may not always remember the price. Almost everything I’m wearing in this outfit is at least 2 years old and I honestly can’t remember any of the prices. And look, there’s that python belt again. I told you it was versatile!

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When to Spend and When to Save

I’m a huge bargain shopper. It’s a quality that has been instilled in me by my mother who is awesome with money and never spends more than she has too on anything…Unless the quality warrants it. And that’s an important thing to remember when you’re spending money. This applies to nearly everything you buy- including food- but we’re going to focus on clothes/shoes/accessories in this post. So when should you spend a few extra bucks, and when is it okay to go for the cheaper option?

When to spend

1) Depending on the item, accessories can fall into both categories. If an accessory is versatile and can be paired with bargain items to make them look more expensive than they are, it may be worth the money.

Remember this picture from my Belts 101  post? I bought that belt during a BOGO sale and didn’t actually pay the list price ($38). But it’s still the priciest item I’m wearing (undergarments don’t count!). Because python is a neutral and I wear belts a lot, this item was worth the price.

2) Anything that sees constant use- like athletic shoes, a winter coat or boots, work clothes, etc- is likely to fall apart if you go with the cheaper alternative. So in those cases, spending a few extra bucks may be worth it

3) Don’t forget, it’s okay to splurge occasionally! Now I’m not encouraging you to spend so much on one item that you have to eat cereal for dinner every night for the rest of the month. But if you really love an item, you have the money available, and there is no cheaper alternative (or the alternative is so cheaply made that it’s not even worth the saved $$), go for it!

When Not to Spend

1) You’ve probably heard the old saying, “splurge on classics, save on trends.” This is definitely something I follow when I’m shopping. But to make it more generalized, if you’re not going to get a lot of use out of something, you probably shouldn’t spend too much on it.

Turquoise isn’t really a “trend.” It can be worn any time of the year and, as far as I’m concerned, never really goes out of style. But I admit, I don’t wear this bracelet too often. And that’s okay, because I bought this for $7 at a flea market. Yes, you read that right, that bracelet is not real turquoise and I only paid $7 for it. That hasn’t affected the number of compliments I’ve gotten on it though. Bargain shopping is a beautiful thing!

2)  Sometimes  you will find two items that are nearly identical in both appearance and quality but have significantly different prices.  This doesn’t happen often, but it happened to me today!

For a long time, I was not a fan of Uggs. But things change, especially when you suddenly find yourself living in a climate where boots are a necessity not a fashion accessory- and one that you wear almost nonstop for at least 3 months out of every year. Last Winter I found some boots at Kohl’s that had the same design as Uggs. I bought them in grey and brown, but by the time I decided I wanted them in black too, they had sold out. It was starting to get late in the season for boots (for the retail world anyway) and I wasn’t able to find anything similar at other stores for a reasonable price. Fast forward to this year. I found these boots at DSW and have been drooling over them for awhile now. But at $59, I knew I’d have to save up for them. I especially wasn’t going to spend that much money on boots when it was still 80 degrees out!

Last winter when I was trying to find the above mentioned boots, I found some at Target. They were just sold out of the black color in my size. I figured now might be a good time to look for them again, before it starts snowing and boot sales go through the roof. Well, I found them again! And at $32, it was much less of a burden on my budget. They’re genuine suede, they’re comfortable, and I think they’re pretty darn similar, don’t you?

Really, the only visible difference is that they don’t have the brand name emblazoned on the back like Uggs and Bear Paw boots. Granted, winter boots are something that you wear constantly and if you buy a cheap brand, they might fall apart. Salt and slush can be especially hard on cheap boots if you wear them too often. However, I’ve always had good experience with Target’s Xhiliration brand, they’re suede not synthetic, and they’re not the only black winter boots I own. With all of this in mind, plus the fact that they were the last black pair in my size, I snatched them up! So remember to keep your eyes open for bargains like these.


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