Get it For Less Archives

DIY Sandals Redux

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Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I celebrated the nuptials as Matron of Honor at my big brother's wedding, enjoyed endless cuddles with my son and got all arts and craftsy making baby handprint/footprint ornaments for Grandma. I'm still on an artsy kick, so here's a fun summer project for DIY pinners, hipsters, crafters and other mommies on maternity leave.

Want to spruce up your old sandals? For a quick and easy revamp, hit up your favorite crafts store and check out the spools of cool ribbon for a chic under $5 footwear fix.

Fold a few 5 inch long strands of ribbon (tribal and stripes are my faves) over the top of your favorite t strap thong sandals. Secure with a thin matching cord where the t strap meets the ankle band for a brand spanking new pair of high fashion flippy floppies.

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p.s. This also serves as a great guise if your leather is all scratched and beaten up.

Bamboo Steno Sandals- Shiekh Shoes, $16.99
Ribbons - tambocollection & TheRibbonRetreat via etsy

What are a good pair of jeans that will fit my small waist but also my larger hips and butt?

-Suzy T.

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Hi there Suzy T,

Thanks for writing in. I'm sure that any chick who has back can benefit from this question. I myself have had many a pair of jeans that leave an annoying gap in my waist while accommodating my womanly, made for child baring hips.

Lucky for the both of us, the Perfect Fit Greer Skinny jeans from Lee are extra-flattering for gals who have a smaller waist and ample sized hips, creating an instant slimming effect, minus the gap. They come in 4 cool washes ranging from everyday light to date night dark rinses, and a go with everything grey, so you might want to pick up a few pairs.

They're originally $54, but you can snatch 'em on sale now for $36.99.

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xoxo,
sammy

Having a fashion dilemma or crisis?

Need to know what top goes with what bottom?

Don't go it alone. Ask Sammy!

Diaper Bag Envy

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After many countless hours of researching, registering and reviewing countless products for my little womb occupant, I saved the best item for last. Mommy's diaper bag.

As you know, I take great care in my choice of accessories and was not about to resort to a bag splattered with daisies, cars or hungry hungry hippo motifs. I had been told that you can use any bag as a diaper bag, but upon further investigation I decided that I still liked the additional features that baby specific bags brought to the changing table - i.e. waterproof lining for milk/sippy cup spills, included changing pads/insulated bottle holders, easy key finder attachments, and lots and lots of pockets. Oh yeah, and with my small stature and lack of upper body strength, it had to be lightweight.

Here are my favorites, with all styles priced at $85 or under.

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Since I'm having a boy, I immediately found myself attracted to crisp clean navy nautical stripes that are boy-friendly, yet more gender neutral than the selection of yellow, cream and mint green mommy bags I spied. There are bigger stow everything satchels for those early days when you're practically transporting the entire nursery to the mall with you, as well as quick change crossbody options that will hold all the bare essentials. The last option strays away from the versatile, go-with-everything French stripe theme but I had to get at least one super sexy designer bag because well, that's how mommy and her new stroller roll.

Babymel Satchel - Babymel, $85
Skip Hop Soho Crossbody- Layla Grayce, $30
Skip Hop Duo - Layla Grayce, $64
Russel Matos Diaper Bag- Amazon, $15.99
Rebecca Minkoff Marissa Baby Bag - Layla Grayce, $345 (I scored one on ebay for $85(!)

*p.s. Get 10% off any $150+ purchase at Layla Grayce with code LGCATALOG*

Nursing Niceties

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In a frantic effort to shop/register and prepare for this little Olympic bound kicker who is taking up prime real estate in my belly, I completely forgot that there are a few crucial items that I am going to need for myself.

After reading an informative blog post on how to pack your hospital bag, I realized that in addition to a going home outfit/essentials for the baby, I'm also going to need a robe, nursing bras and nightgown for myself. *Need is a relative term. I could, of course, get away with wearing the bleak hospital gown they'll provide me with for the entire duration of my hospital visit, but this stylish mama-to-be wants to make a good first impression on her new little man, potential guests, and I really don't want my tushy hanging out for all of the maternity ward to see.

I soon realized that similar to stylish maternity apparel, stylish maternity intimates can be equally expensive. A few hours of cyber surfing later, I found the perfect splurge and steal.


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Belabumbum makes gorgeous maternity bras, undies, nighties and intimates that make you feel pretty, both pre and postnatal. I picked up a nursing nightgown and matching bra and panty combo because they were too lovely to resist, but rather than splurge on another set, I hit Targay's Gilligan O'Malley collection for an almost identical black polka dotted nursing bra and matching hipster panties for less than a third of the price.

Next stop, diaper bag.

A couple of months ago, a crafty friend gifted me with a homemade lavender and oil sugar scrub that has been keeping my flaky skin at bay by exfoliating all of my driest bits and pieces. It was so luxurious that it sent me on the cyberhunt for other DIY scrubs that are just as potent and powerful.

Mission accomplished. I just found another super cool homemade beauty scrub recipe courtesy of the Beauty Place Blog.

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So...you could spend $38 on a fancy jar of spa scrub, or you can make a giant batch of your own with organic staples that are already sitting in your pantry.

Wake up and smell the smoother thighs by mixing half a cup of your used coffee grinds from your morning pot of joe with a quarter cup sugar and a quarter cup of extra virgin olive oil. Apply in a circular motion to your most cellulite ridden areas, rinse off, pat dry and voila! Your blood vessels will be stimulated, your skin exfoliated and hydrated, for thighs that will appear sleeker, smoother, and less dimply.

p.s. If your man is a coffeeholic, he'll think you smell good too.

Italian Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil The Olive Press, $19- $28
Demarara Brown Sugar Dean & DeLuca, $7.50
Organic Coffee Cafe Britt, $10.95

Mama Needs a New Closet

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I am now nearing maternityland and am discovering that contrary to popular belief, there are many cute and stylish un-tent-like options for today's mommy-to-be to choose from. First stop? The H&M MAMA line.

I just treated myself to a mini shopping spree at their new online store where I snatched up a few basics that should get me through the winter when layered with my pre-pregnancy flannel shirts, oversized cardigans, and x-tra long tanks. Their looks are comfy, easy, and chic to the max. Plus, they're so affordable that you can treat yourself to an entire new rotating wardrobe without spending a bundle.

Another added bonus? While you're shopping you can hit the kiddie section where you can pick up a few things for the pea in your pod.

Mama needs to multitask.

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Bootie licious

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It's official. My clothes are tight. This means that the only fashion extravagances that I can splurge on and continue to benefit from past my due date are as follows - cosmetics, jewelry, accessories and shoes.

All of the girls at the office are on my case about retiring my 4 and 4+ inch footwear, so I've been on the search for a seasonal, trend appropriate option that will still give me height, stability and extra room in case my feet start to swell. By George, I think I've found it - the suede buckle bootie.

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These Rag & Bone Harrow Nubuck Booties from Madison Los Angeles are at the top of many a style blogger's wish list, but mommy can't afford a pair of $495 shoes that by the way cost more than baby's crib and the first installment of their prepaid college fund combined.

A suitable alternative however, are the BCBG Paris Kerina and the Carlos by Carlos Santana Harvest Booties, both under $100 and both available at DSW. An even cheaper option coming in under $40 are deLiA*s Gianna Booties on sale for $39.90.

I put one of the price efficient pairs pictured above on my wish list for Santa, and hopefully he'll slip them under my tree before I head off to snowy Michigan next month. This kid isn't the only one who deserves a pair of cute booties.

Hat Check

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Every year when daylight savings time rolls around I always experience the same fall back side effects. I want to stay in bed longer, go to sleep earlier, bake anything that has pumpkin or cinnamon listed as the main ingredient, and I want to wear cute cozy winter hats. Indoors and out.

After doing a little fall cleaning under my bed this past weekend, I was thrilled to find a hatbox filled with goodies - my entire collection of previously considered lost beanies, berets, newsboys and graphic caps that had somehow vanished during my last move. It was like an early Christmas present.

If you're looking to replenish your own seasonal cap collection without spending your entire winter wardrobe budget, check out the cute and cozy winter hat collection at 599Fashion. You'll find Elmer Fuddish faux fur trapper hats, bright pom poms and patterned knit caps that will keep you toasty all season long.

My early Christmas gift to you - every piece is tagged at $5.99 or under.

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I've always wanted a puffer vest. It is the one seasonal piece that is the epitome of ski slope chic, but being a Miami girl where the climate rarely dips below 65, I could never fully justify spending a fistful of cash on a pricey puffer that didn't even have a pair of arm warming sleevies attached.

Now I have two reasons:

1 - I frequently visit my new extended family who live where it's cold, in the D.
2 - I found the perfect puffer that is priced just right.

Check out this absolutely arctic friendly Fur Trim Vest from the U.S. Polo Association. Featuring a slate gray quilted puffer design up front, all soft knit hooded business in the back with a removable faux trim on the hood for when you're feeling flirty/frisky/woodland animalish, or not.

I can wear it with thinner long sleeved tees, dresses and tights down south, cozy thicker sweaters, flannels, turtlenecks and thermals up north. It's surprisingly warm, incredibly soft, and I can't wait to show it off with jeans, a ribbed beanie and my Scotland honeymoon boots. Best of all? It's on sale for $36.99.

p.s. It also comes in a sweet shade of cream.

You know you want one.

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If there is one recurring item that I've spotted on every one of my most beloved bloggers' fall wish lists, it is the leopard print haircalf clutch. These days you can consider practically any animal print accessory a neutral that will add a touch of texture and a whole lotta jungle love to your outfit.

It says I'm here. I'm fierce. I am woman, hear my clutch roar.

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Image: wheretoget.it

Before you add this trend to your own fall wish list, a word of warning. Haircalf ain't cheap, so I've compiled a few of my favorite options that range from pretty affordable to a good chunk of your monthly rent payment, and a few haircalfs priced a little somewhere in between.

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Cynthia Haircalf Tablet Clutch, $75 Banana Republic
Clare Vivier Haircalf Clutch, $195 Saks Fifth Avenue
Prism Haircalf Clutch, $478 Shopbop
Jerome Dreyfuss Paf Leopard Clutch, $565 Madison Los Angeles

Wear it well. It's a jungle out there.

Quickie Patent Leather Polish

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Let's Talk Style Quick Tip of the Week-

Patent leather shoes looking shabby? Not just for windows, a spray of Windex will restore their glossy sheen in seconds.

p.s. Get these sexy shades of grey and neon pink pumps for only $17.99 at Shiekh Shoes*

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It's almost fall, and depending where you live in the continental US, it may be time to pack up your open toed sandals, breezy summer wedges and flippy floppies. We all want beautiful booties for the new season, and we don't want to have to pay a fortune to get them.

Submitted for your approval - these beyond bootyful Idore booties from Novus Shoes, marked down from $79.99 to, wait for it, $15. Featuring sweet suede, a chunky wood heel, laser cut stars and a gold zippered back with lightning rod pull, you can't go wrong with these babies, especially for the price.

p.s. They come in brown, black and beige to boot.

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Hi Sammy,

I'm looking for the perfect sun dress for summer that will show off my legs and isnt too much $$$$. oh and I hate flowers.

Thanks,
Jill

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Dear Jill,

You're right on track. The only staples a girl really needs this summer are a great fitting/slimming bathing suit that makes her feel awesome, shorts that will go with everything from a chiffon blouse to a cropped tank, and last but not least, the perfect leg showcasing sundress.

I don't know what too much $$$$ means to you, but I have found two pretty cute options on both sides of the price spectrum, in my favorite classic summer print, the polka dot.

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Eva Dress, Anthropologie, $198
Xhilaration Fit and Flare Dress, Target $24.99

p.s. dELiA*s has one in red.

Having a fashion dilemma or crisis?

Need to know what top goes with what bottom?

Don't go it alone. Ask Sammy!

Sometimes we women feel the uncontrollable urge to do something drastic to our hair. Cut it, dye it, gloss it, layer it, shave it, bleach it, keratin treat it, we've all been there.

It can stem as innocently enough from spotting a darling new 'do in a magazine, irrationally enough from ending a toxic relationship that you firmly believe was defined by your hairstyle...or it could simply be boredom, split ends, or the need for a trim.

I am currently feeling the need to liven up my own locks, toying with the idea of treating my tresses to the Karlie, but I'm a wimp and don't want to spend the next 6 to 8 months wishing I had my long layers to keep me company.

If bold color is your kryptonite, you no longer have to worry about committing your hair to a hot pink streak that you may or may not regret 24 hours later. Just chalk it up to experience with a non-commital set of Ombre Hair Chalks from Free People.

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You get a set of five multi-tonal chalks that are easy to apply and even easier to wash out. They're great for the beach, concerts, costume parties, and weekends when you want to just let your hair down. Choose from pink, blue, green, yellow or black sets that will punk up your plaits in seconds.

Added bonus? You can finally break up with the colorist who's been bleeding you dry. Chalk your hair happy for only $14.


Lace Bodysuit Bargain

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For my bachelorette party, one of my girlfriends gifted me with a delicate white and lacey bodysuit that I knew I couldn't wait to pack away for the honeymoon. To my surprise, it has become an underlying staple in my everyday wardrobe. It adds the perfect layer of protection under a sheer blouse, adds a flash of femininity when paired with jeans and a blazer, and obviously makes a sexy statement when worn solo. I've been on the hunt for a black one, and after a quick investigation I found a thrifty alternative to my favorite style for almost a quarter of the price. Wear it well.

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Stretch Lace Bodysuit - American Apparel, $38
Sheer Lace Bodysuit - Forever21, $10.80

Hi Sammy,

My work wardrobe is pretty boring -- all black,tan and gray trousers and pencil skirts with black/gray/white blouses. What's an easy and cheap way to make it less drab without having to buy a bunch of new pieces?

Thanks!!

-Margret
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Hi Margret!

Don't fret. Black and gray neutrals aren't boring, they're classic basics that are office appropriate, built to last, and easy to mix and match with anything. Congratulations on having a solid foundation of workwear essentials. Now, the key to boosting any basic? Just add color.

You can:

1 - pick up a bunch of colorful solid springtime tees for next to nothing (not too sheer)
2 - adorn your neck with a multicolored statement necklace, or
3 - add an unexpected pop of color to your feet with a cool patterned pair of pumps.

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A shoe whore at heart, I would opt for option 3. These Dango Pumps, for instance, are unchained at wait for it, $10.97. They'll look hot with a black or tan pencil skirt and totally cool peeking out from under a wide leg pant. You can get away with wearing the same shoes two times in a row and won't cause distractions by going against dress code, unless you work in a cube next to a strange dude with a shoe fetish.

Get yours now at Shiekh Shoes.

xoxo,
sammy

Having a fashion dilemma or crisis?

Need to know what top goes with what bottom?

Don't go it alone. Ask Sammy!


You don't have to blow your entire tax refund on a new, neutral bag for spring. This season I'm all about mini straw clutches and wristlets accented with posh white strips and shiny metal hardware. They introduce an earthy element while still reading as city girl chic. During her recent visit, my super stylish Mother-in-law showed off the coolest bamboo bag she scored during her Hawaiian vacation, and I was sold.

Here are a few of my favorite finds, from the luxe splurge to the real steal.

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Kate Spade New York Waverly Terrace Jeanetta Clutch, $268 at eBags.
Kelly & Katie Z Weave Straw Clutch, $34 at DSW.
Soiree Wristlet, $29.99 at Novus Shoes.

You're welcome.

Dear Sammy,

Help! I was just invited to a Halloween party fri nite. What is a hip last minute costume that I can throw together cheap?

Thanks!

Josie

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Hi Josie,

I feel your anxiety. My better half and I are attending our friends' annual Halloween bash this Saturday and we spent last weekend putting our heads together, brainstorming ideas for any creative costumes that didn't come out of a bag. We found something that works for both of us for under $10. Can you say Trick or Cheap?

If you're dead set against sporting a store bought costume, you have two choices. Hit the thrift stores or get your arts and crafts on. My first choice, based on your name alone would be to dress up like a rocker pussycat, but that may be too costly not to mention too cliché.

First step, scout out your own closet for ideas. I found the focus for our couples' costume theme while rediscovering some of my mom's old vintage dresses. For instance, that cool tribal sweatshirt you bought last season could be the starting point for a mod Native American ensemble, just add a cool do it yourself headdress, some tribal paint and voilá, you're dancing with wolves. Safety pin a bunch of feathers to a little black or white dress, add a mask and voilá you're dancing Swan Lake.

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After you've found some inspiration, hit Goodwill or the Salvation Army. Be patient, it may take awhile, but if you have a good eye you can most likely find a coordinating piece or two that will bring your look home. Be prepared, you might also find something completely different and awesomer than you originally intended. Go with it. You can always hit the costume store for some look cementing accessories that are way cheaper than a full out costume.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

*Shoulder baring gray sweatshirt + legwarmers + red pumps = Jennifer Beals à la Flashdance.

*Blue/denim jumpsuit + red polka dot bandana + bared muscle = Rosie the Riveter.

*Short shiny bridesmaid dress + dollar store tiara * patent leather Mary Janes = Toddler in Tiara.

I hope these ideas help Josie. If you use any of them feel free to pay me back in Kit Kats or peanut butter Twix.

xoxo,

sammy


Having a fashion dilemma or crisis?

Need to know what top goes with what bottom?

Don't go it alone. Ask Sammy!

Confession: Roughly once a week, (sometimes twice or thrice a week) I will come across a fashion advertisement featuring some product that I. Absolutely. Have. To. Have.

What can I say? Advertisers are doing their jobs and I am a sucker. But, after researching said products, I come to the realization that I. Can. Absolutely. Not. Afford. To. Have. It.

Once my depression wears off, I get back on my savvy shopping saddle and do a little investigative work of my own. I don't take the Canal Street shortcut by buying a fake, this is beneath me. Instead, I search for a similar product that is just as cool, but way less.

Recent case in point: I spied with my little eye this lookbook shot featuring a hot, sexy and summery Marc Jacobs Divers Watch from Shopbop for $275. I knew that fluorescent and neon hued timepieces were big this season, so I did some snooping/surfing and found these totally comparable Sprout Water Resistant Watches in a similar citrusy shade for only $75. Shout out to Sprout - these watches are also eco-friendly, they're made of corn. Seriously, corn.

I can stay on trend and save $200, which I can totally reserve for the next great thing that I. Absolutely. Have. To. Have.

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Confession: I am leaving on a cruise to Cozumel in 36 hours and am still shopping for shoes to stuff into the already overflowing wheelie bag packed in my head. I don't know why I'm even bothering. I have plenty of suitable shoe options already prepared and don't have the pesos to shell out for even more vacation-related accoutrements (aside from cervezas, margaritas and shots of Jose Cuervo, of course).

Besides, even if I ordered a new pair, they wouldn't ship in time... unless some overachieving UPS guy decided to Speedyboat Gonzalez my parcel out to me in international waters. Regardless, it's nice to dream, and I've been dreaming and drooling over the current Tribal trend that has been spotted showcasing the pedicured toes of today's top trendsetters this spring.

If I won the Lottery, I'd splurge on these Missoni Leather and Crochet Knit Platform Sandals for $1055, and still have plenty of cash left over to buy a closet full of Cozumelian caftans and a dozen rounds of Mexican libations for the locals. But alas, I have not won the lottery, so I could probably afford these not-cheap/not-scary-expensive Elissaa Wedge Slingbacks from Steve Madden for $129.95...

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OR, I could be totally budget-conscious and responsible by opting for these very reasonably priced Reeba Wedges by Mia for $39.99 or these Red Multi Guatemala Print Platform Wedges from LuLu's for a flat fee of $29.

Yes, I think it would be muy bueno if I chose the more responsible road less traveled, splurging on the just as chic yet oh so cheap shoes. My decision has been made, the tribe has spoken. I feel older. Wiser. Like I'm growing up and making smarter, more adult choices.

[Fast forward 368 nautical miles from now, at a bar in central Cozumel]

"Oye amigos! The next twelve rounds are on me!"

Faux No Chanel Tote

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Good morning LTS'ers. I hope that you all enjoyed a pleasant weekend and that your Monday mornings have gotten off to a splendid start. I, myself, am a little down in the dumps this morning due to dropping my boyfriend off at the airport 3 hours ago. He'll be gone for a week and a half on a business trip, so I will spend my time in his absence doing what any self respecting woman will do when her significant other is gone for an extended period of time. I will shop for purses.

The only problem is that most of the purses I want cost more than a freshman's first semester tuition at Yale. Marc Jacobs, Rebecca Minkoff, Chloé, Kooba, Miu Miu. It ain't happening. At least not in this economic lifetime. I know you feel my pain.

Can't afford an authentic Chanel bag? You have 3 options...
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1. Hit Chinatown in the Big Apple for a knockoff.

2. Hit eBay for pre-owned baggage.

3. Fake it with this chic black Quilted Lock Across Body Bag from Asos for $28.65. Or, make fun of the fact that you can't afford a real Chanel bag with this Thursday Friday Tote, also from Asos.

It's not that cheap, at $124, but it's a lot better than dropping over two grand for the real thing. Then you can move on to the next stage of amusing yourself while your man is missing in action. You can shop for shoes.

David's Bridal Does Prom

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When I was a senior in high school, I had a boyfriend who went to a different school. Come May, me and my Coral Springs High sweetheart were still going strong, which meant that I had the privilege of attending two, count 'em two proms. This also meant that I needed two, count 'em two prom dresses, because even though I would be dancing amongst a whole new crowd of graduating seniors, I wouldn't dream of recycling the same dress.

I had a limited budget at that time, but luckily my mom had a brilliant seamstress for a best friend. Mom's BFF project runway'ed up a stunning and sophisticated navy sheath that I wore to his prom while I shelled out my savings on a pink strapless sequined mini that I rocked at mine. Two completely different looks. Hair in a classy chignon for the sheath, down and spiral curled for the sassy sequin number. I was a pretty princess for two consecutive Saturday nights, and I loved every minute of it.

My options for prom shopping were as limited as my budget was back then, which is why I am green with envy over the hot new Prom Collection launched at David's Bridal.

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You heard it here, David's Bridal is more than just a haven for gowns to walk down the aisle in. They now have an entire collection of dresses and accessories for girls who just want to have fun at their prom, their boyfriend's prom, prom after parties, homecomings, and any event that a girl needs to get gussied up for.

Shop by style, from flirty modern minis to Kate Middleton worthy ballgowns; or by color, with brilliant hues, classic neutrals and bold patterns that just scream Prom Queen. David's Bridal also features plus size prom dresses and a haute selection of looks for under $100 for the budget-conscious fashionista.

My favorite look? The One Shoulder Beaded Glitter Ombre Gown pictured above. It moves, it sparkles, and it can make any gal look like Sophia Vergara...well, Sophia Vergara's little sister.

I'm already looking forward to having a daughter, and shopping for dresses for her prom. Maybe she'll follow in her mother's footsteps and date a dude that goes to a different school.

Then I can wear two, count 'em two dresses when I chaperone at both their proms.*

Summer style tip, ten words or less...

Old Jeans + Scissors + Cheese Grater = DIY Distressed Cutoffs!

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When it comes to seasonal footwear, espadrilles are a staple for spring. Espadrilles are whimsical, tropical, easy, effortless and have a cool name... and they've come a long way since their flat, unisex Sonny Crockett and Rico Tubbs days on Miami Vice.

Personally, I favor the slip-on styles over the fancy, complicated and strappy varieties, so I fell in love at first sight with Jimmy Choo's Phyllis Patent-Leather Espadrilles pictured below from Net-A-Porter. Our relationship was short-lived as I soon fell out of love with the $375 price tag. I could score truckloads of espadrilles from Payless for that wad of cash, not to mention this headless chick's entire outfit.

I can, however, spring for these Genisis Espadrilles from Steve Madden, pictured directly underneath the Phyllis Espadrille. The resemblance is uncanny, is it not? I did a double-take when I first saw them and then a spit-take with my Kiwi Strawberry flavored Vitamin Water when I saw the price - almost a quarter of the cost of the Jimmy Choo shoes I had just broken up with, at $89.95.

Doesn't it feel good to pay less?

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I'm over winter.

I realize that it's only mid-January and I have 61 something days to go before the birth of spring, but once all of the Christmas candy, cookies and wish list gifts are gone, I'm already craving Easter baskets, daffodils and planting the seeds of my new seasonal wardrobe.

I purchased the perfect little lime sundress yesterday, {note to self, buy self tanner for pasty white legs} and discovered another must have accessory that will help me celebrate the next budding season in style.

I've got Spring fever, and the only prescription is floral sunglasses.

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I can't think of a better way to embrace my upcoming spring awakening than with a pair of these fun and flirty shades. Thankfully, my newest obsession is practically as cheap as a box of marshmallow peeps, with most of my featured picks pricing in around $10 and under.

Take a peek:

*I heart great deals and I heart these I Heart Floral Sunglasses from deLiA*s for $10.50. Woo-ee-oo, you'll look just like Buddy Holly...if Buddy Holly's glasses ever had flowers on them.

Not marshmallow peep cheap enough?

*Forever 21 takes my flowery cheap shade craze a step further with these adorable classic Square Floral Sunglasses. You'll be pretty in pink without being in the red with these Wayfarer-like shades on sale for only $5.80.

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*If you're prone to puking when wearing pink or pastel hues, you can still embrace the floral eyewear trend with these black framed Full Tilt Floral Ditsy Sunglasses from Tilly's for only $9.99. They're Goth and fem-friendly.

**If you appreciate the finer things in life and sensible shades aren't your thing, go ahead and spring on a pair of Sabre Poolside Glasses that make a swell statement from Swell for $95.

My Forever 21 floral shade picks are twenty-five dollars cheaper by the dozen, but who's counting?

What a Croc

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Normally I am not a connoisseur of crocs, unless you work in a kitchen or are under the age of 8, but these Women's McCall Crocs aren't half bad.

For all of you crocoholics out there, Crocs is offering these babies at almost half off their regular price of $24.99 to $12.99 with code MCCALL1299 at checkout. Plus, stack code springfreeship to score free economy shipping. On top of all these reptilian savings, you don't even have to pay sales tax, unless you live in California.

Rock out with your croc out.

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When I look at old photos of myself as a kid, it makes me sad to notice the lack of variety in my wardrobe. Not during my entire childhood or preadolescence....just first grade. I had plenty of nice outfits. I remember my mother standing in front of the closet pleading with me to wear them. But when I liked something, I liked it liked it and wore the same thing or some slight variation of it until I either fell in love with some other article of clothing or when I grew out of it...whichever came first. For ten pages in a photo album encompassing my entire sixth year of life, I am captured wearing a Cookie Monster T-shirt, red velour shorts with contrast white piping and knee high tube socks.

It wasn't my finest hour.

I wonder if my first grade friends remember me as crazy Cookie Monster shirt girl. Note to self - Track down first grade friends on Facebook and ask them.

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Strangely enough, after my first grade graduation my style returned to what it had been back in kindergarten and Pre-K. Young, fun, bright, fresh and feminine. Just check out my stylin' summer minidress. The dress A+, the haircut C-....not feeling the Dorothy Hamill wedge.

This Bold Stripes Sundress from Forever 21 reminds me of the comfy, primary colored frocks that marked my return to the land of the fashionable living. It has a cool late 70's vibe and features bold, colorful stripes on a comfortable, easy knit sundress with an elastic-trimmed waist and a removable skinny waist tie. For only $22.90 I'm tempted to make it my new summer staple.

And it would look pretty rad with a Cookie Monster tee layered underneath.

Say My Name

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Most of you know me as Sammy for short, but we've never been formally introduced.

I've been blogging for Let's Talk Style for a little over a year now (Happy Anniversary to me), so I think it's about time my regular blog followers and I were on a proper, first name basis.

Hi, I'm Samara.

My first name isn't a common one, so I usually opt for Sam or Sammy for short. It's easier for folks to remember and pronounce, and I never have to repeat it during new introductions. Predominately known as a city in Russia and/or a type of winged tree fruit, my name received some brief recognition after the release of the horror flick The Ring in 2002. The antagonist was my namesake and for awhile people associated me with the freaky little girl with bad hair who came out of the TV. That was fun.

Growing up, I hated my name. I would dig through displays of personalized name plaques, mugs, stickers and other silly trinkets, always finding dozens of Samanthas, Sallys and Sarahs...but sadly, no Samaras. In the world of useless tchotchkes, I had no identity.

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Alas, imagine my excitement when I saw a chic handbag named after none other than yours truly! This briefcase/purse hybrid has my name written all over it. The Samara Leather Tote is a steal from Forever 21 at $34.80 and is totally something I would wear, which is fortunate. I would hate for my name to be represented by a fanny pack or a murse.

It makes me wonder if there was ever a sad little girl out there named Coach.

March 20th marked the first official day of Spring and I am torn between conflicting emotions. I am blissful, but bitter. Perky, and pensive. Frisky, yet forlorn. It could be my hormones, or it could be the fact that boot season is over. This weekend I begrudgingly put my heavy knee-high boots away in storage, kissing them goodbye until Autumn. The process sadly brought back flashbacks of flushing my floating Beta fish Franklin down the toilet. The only difference is unlike my boots, Franklin won't come out to play again when the leaves begin to fall in early October.

Now I'm over it, and ready to buy some new shoes. Before you claim that your shoe budget has been eliminated along with your retirement funds, you need to know that there are shoes out there that can make you Spring into the new Spring season for less than the price of a dinner out. You have to eat, and you have to have new shoes to take the place of your old winter booties and Uggs. You can't very well walk around barefoot, can you?

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Espadrille wedges scream Spring, and you can find a colorful selection at a variety of price points. If money isn't an issue and you want to treat your inner shoe goddess, these Jimmy Choo Bombay Espadrille Wedges from Net-A-Porter make a fresh choice for four and a half inches of fabulous for $395. And frugal doesn't have to mean fugly. Payless Shoe Source is a great alternative for trendy styles that are surprisingly affordable. These Dexter Emma Wedges for instance make an adorably sweet statement, and add a bright punch of color for only $24.99. My third choice will give you a hit of espadrille ecstasy for only a tiny bit more than your Payless purchase. deLiA*s Selma Espadrille Platforms for $39.50 are casual, but cheerful. Trendy, and timeless. Flirty yet finished.

Just like me.

A few weeks ago I found a cropped seersucker blazer hiding in the back of my closet. That was a great day. Finding an old gem in my own wardrobe makes me feel even happier than finding a twenty in the pocket of my winter coat or last season's Coach handbag. I slipped my arms into familiar seersucker sleeves and found that it still fit perfectly. Score. And what perfect timing.

Seersucker stripes are usually my go-to uniform for Spring. Whether it be a seersucker blazer, dress, shirtdress, pants or shorts, it's a look that is sweet enough for church, casual enough for a barefoot walk in the park and can be dressed up easily with a trendy denim jacket or pretty cardigan.

If you want to fake the look of seersucker without the crinkly surface, try on some soft vertical stripes showcased here in a few select pieces from American Eagle.


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1. The AE Striped Satchel is the perfect way to experiment with pattern. If this girly accessory works for you, you'll be moving on to seersucker separates in no time. Did I mention it's on sale for $11.95?

2. These adorable menswear inspired Favorite Striped Shorts aren't on AE's top 10 list for nothing. They're short enough to be sexy, not skanky and match with any Spring tank or tee. Plus, if you buy one pair of shorts, you can get a second pair for half off, so you can treat yourself to these...

3. Tuxedo Striped Bermuda Shorts that are a bit longer and dressier when paired with a sharp blazer or jacket. You might be able to get away with wearing them to work and pay only $20 if you buy another pair of sweet shorts.

Those prices don't seer suck.

The beauty of fashion is that it allows you to be whoever you want to be. Slip on a black sheath and presto, you're Audrey Hepburn. Put on a white dress and stand on top of a sewer grate and you're Marilyn Monroe. Wrap a dead swan around your neck and you're Björk.

Any signature celebrity look can be re-created, and for a considerable amount less that the stars fork up at Lisa Kline, Kitson and other high profile celeb boutiques. If you want to emulate this model spinning around like Mischa Barton during her happier times when she was employed on the OC, try on these snug, starlet worthy pieces...

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Who wears short shorts? Young Hollywood wears short shorts! If you dare wear short shorts, shop dELia*s for Denim Short Shorts and pick up a Mischa inspired hippie Circle Necklace while you're at it.

Show your pride in all things Californian with this I Love LA tee from Alloy. You may love New York or Miami more, but when in Rome...wear shirts that say I Love Rome. Scarves are hot right now- neck scarves, head scarves, they add an air of mystique to any ensemble, plus they keep your neck warm and cover up hickeys you don't want your co-workers to see. Master Mischa's signature swirl with an Amber Striped Scarf from For Love 21.

Finally, nothing says "Hey I'm Hollywood royalty" more than a slick pair of Hollywood shades. These Hollywood Specs from Wave Fashion will make you fit in just fine, and who knows? With those peepers covered, you might even be asked for an autograph.

My friend Micki loves Maxis.

She'd live in them if she could, and why shouldn't she? Gwen Stefani, Nicole Ritchie, Eva Longoria Parker, Jessica Simpson and other fashion forward starlets are all enjoying the Celebrity Maxi craze this summer. The gowns are flowy, feminine and fabulous, and easy to toss in a carry on for a last minute holiday getaway.

Well Micki, consider this the Maxi pad, with plenty of Maxi dresses I've compiled for you to choose from... and no need to max out your credit card on these Maxis...they're all under $30 bucks each.

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You missed Woodstock the first time around, but you can still embrace your inner flower child in this groovy Tie-Dye Maxi from gojane.com. Or go with a chic Halter Necklace Maxi from Forever21 that goes from coffee and biscotti at Starbucks to cocktails and sushi for dinner with zero effort.

Feeling floral and flirty? Stop and smell the flowers in dELiA*s Emily Maxi Dress that's so adorably sweet, it gives me a cavity. Finally- Extra! Extra! read all about it, Newport News has a Summer Maxi Sundress on sale for only $19. Talk about Maxi-mum savings.

*Oh Micki you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind, go Maxi!

Belt it out.

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Let's talk cool celebrity trends.

Take a cue from O.C. cutie Rachel Bilson (or the stylist from her last Nylon cover shoot) by toughening up a sweet party dress like this ivory cream dream with a rock star grommet belt. Everyone loves the unexpected.

Another celebrity trend I'd like to try? Dating other celebrities. As far as I know, Rachel's still hooked up with her Jumpers co-star Hayden Christensen aka Anakin Skywalker.

Forgive me for my UsWeekly moment. Back to fashion...

Get the dress from Delias on sale for only $14.99, and save even more cash by snagging a belt from your garage band boyfriend's closet.


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It's my party and I'll wear a belt if I want to.

California dreaming.

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Summer is all about the sundress.

What'll show off your new summer tan (real or fake) better than a white minidress paired with some oversized shades and a sweet bag? Nothing I tell you. Nothing.

I feel like I checked into the Hotel California in this vintage creme dress from American Apparel's new vintage division - California Select.

It's light, airy and cool on even the hottest summer day...and it's cheap...and boys dig me in it. Enough said? And it can totally get you through the seasons if you pair it with a turtleneck and some tights to keep you warm on a winter's day (on a winter's day).

You don't have to live in LA to be California stylin'. Wake up from your California dreaming and log on to Ebay...
and don't forget the SPF.

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I wish we all could be California girls...

*sammy

It's peanut butter jelly (shoe) time.

Dear readers,

I offer you the fountain of youth for $10 in the form of a jelly shoe.

I might have dissed jellies before, but if they're selling them at Urban Outfitters, they've gotta be back in again. Even mega designers like Michael Kors, Fendi and Marc Jacobs have jumped on the jelly bandwagon.

If you're still unsure, I've constructed a little jelly pros and cons list.
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Pros-
1. They'll protect your tootsies from hot sand on the beach, coral, shells and stones in the water...
not to mention rough concrete.
2. They're comfy.
3. They're super cheap.
4. They're way cuter than they were in the 90's.

Cons-
1. They make your feet super sweaty.
2. They leave weird design imprints on your feet.

I guess the pros outweigh the cons, so feel free to...

Do the peanut butter jelly (shoe), peanut butter jelly (shoe)
Peanut butter jelly (shoe) with a baseball bat!


Keepin' the jelly jammin',

*sammy

Cheap. Green. Cool.

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By now you've probably noticed the coolness factor has increased exponentially at your local Target, featuring creations from esteemed designers like Proenza Schouler, Jovovich-Hawk (Resident Evil star-slash-model-slash-designer Milla Jovovich's line), and the lovely designs of the wispy, ever so ladylike Erin Fetherston.

Guess what? Target just got even cooler.

Rogan Gregory is the newest hot-as-sin artiste designing for Targét's GO International line.

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Featuring pieces made from organic cotton at unbelievably low prices, Rogan wants us to look good and feel good about wearing his eco-conscious rags.

My favorites? A toss up between his striped jersey t-shirt (that doubles as a dress for shorties like me), and his crisp linen striped vest. Wait, that yellow leopard print tank is pretty cute too. Oh yeah, the line also features chic swimwear and the most adorable terry cloth hoodies.


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The only problem I've found with GO International is that the pieces seem to go too quickly...at least in my size. Rogan's line is there until June 28th. So wake up before they're gone gone.

I wonder if LC picked up some pieces after she loaded up on Reeses Pieces from the candy aisle.

Keepin' it on target,

*sammy

Cheap kicks

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Dear Caprilee,

Is it tackie to buy shoes at Payless Shoe Source? I don't have lots of $$$, but want some new summer shoes.

-Jackie

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No Jackie,

It's not tacky shopping at Payless. What's tacky is spelling tacky with an ie.

Not to sound like I'm on the Payless payroll, but seriously- why pay more? It's perfectly acceptable to buy shoes from Payless. I'm giddy for these Liddy Canvas Wedges by American Eagle. They come in a lovely summer shade of canary yellow for only $19.99, and if you can't afford that, what can I tell you. You might have to hit Goodwill and invest in some previously owned shoes that someone's Great Aunt Ida wore in the swingin' 60's. That, or something in the form of an Old Navy flip flop.

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Happy shoe shopping Jackie...and while school is out, crack open a spelling book or two. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

*Caprilee

Flat is back.

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As we know, I am a wedge-aholic, willing to risk numerous trips and spills all in the name of fashion. I usually grimace at the mere mention of the word flat. It conjures up memories of having baloney sandwiches thrown at me while being called Fanny Flat-chest by big fat 8th grade meanies...but, there are rare occasions when a flat finds it's way into my heart and I'm willing to sacrifice height for hype. That's why God created stepladders.

Besides making my podiatrist happy, these Steve Madden Copula flats are so adorable, I think you should only be allowed to wear them if you're simultaneously licking an ice cream cone. Something in a sorbet.
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They're on sale for $39.95 from $59.95, which means I might have to buy two. Maybe I'll wear a different one on each foot and double fist a strawberry and pistacchio cone. Doubling my pleasure, doubling my fun.

My Copula runneth over.

Teen beat.

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You don't have to be a teenager to dress like one...that is, if you're under sixty. Sorry Mammer (I used to have a friend who called her grandma Mammer...it made me laugh).

Cardinal rule in wearing clothing meant for teenagers-

1. As long as your boob and/or hiney isn't hanging out, you're fine.
2. Be wary of message tees. You don't want to be a thirtysomething prancing around town in a T-shirt advertising that you pooped at the mall today. That's just poor form.

Take a look at this cuter than a kewpie doll Jennifer Dress from dELiA*s.

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It's tropical chic, age appropriate, and at $39.50, you won't have to blow your entire allowance on it.

p.s. Next time you hit the ladies room at the mall, keep it to yourself Mammer.

*Keepin' it PG-13,

sammy

Gold Rush.

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They just raised the credit line on your AmEx Gold card...What better way to celebrate than on this Alexandra Dillon Sequin mini dress? It's gold, it's glam, and it'll go great with my new gold grill. Okay...maybe not.

Originally $169, on sale for $49.99 at Victoria's Secret. Wish I could score some gold free panties too while I'm at it.

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It's worth it's weight in gold.

*sammy

Bite Me.

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It's official. I've been bitten by the Bitten bug.

If you didn't already know, fashion icon Sarah Jessica Parker has her own line of apparel sold exclusively at Steve & Barry's stores nationwide. The line is aptly named Bitten...I know what you must be thinking: big ass flower pins, vintage frocks, miles of Manolo Blahniks, gold nameplates, newsboy caps...a fusion of whimsical eclectic, neo-bohemian, and princess couture. You're wrong.

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The key looks are comprised of American classics- smart, comfortable staples that are wearable, and made for chicks of all ages, shapes, and sizes...and I went and saved the best for last- Bitten won't break your bank. In fact, every piece in the line is priced at $19.98 and less. If you don't believe me, check out this Mercer two button vest for $8.98. That's a deal that's good enough to eat.

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Sarah Jessica says, "Fashion is not a luxury, it's a right." True dat Sarah. It's our inalienable right. I think we need another amendment to the Constitution...the right to bear cool, cheap duds. I'll write to my Congressman.

I've bitten off more than I could chew.

* sammy.

Are you ready boots?

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These boots are made for walking
and that's just what they'll do...
one of these days these boots
will be on sale from Jimmy Choo.

Nancy Sinatra was right. That day is here. Get these ruched prairie boots from the master of fab footwear Jimmy Choo before they're out of your size. Don't let the name fool you, Laura Ingalls from Little House wouldn't be caught dead in these. I know it's gladiator sandal season, but it's never too early to start stocking away for Fall. Retail value is $1200...You can nab 'em at Bluefly.com for $599. That's a bootylicious deal if I do say so myself.

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I wish I were rich and skinny enough to wear True Religion's Rich & Skinny jeans. They're on sale at eluxury for $159 (marked down from $216) plus free standard shipping on orders of $150 or more. That'll make you at least $57 richer. I can't help ya with the skinny part.

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Do you think the folks at True Religion have a Middle Class & Stumpy jean? If so, I'm on it.

*Keepin' it short and stumpy,

sammy

Gone with the Cami.

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Spring is almost here, and nothing says Spring more than camis and capris...except maybe ladybugs and daffodils.

Score the franky cami from JCrew before they're all gone with the wind. You can layer it, or wear it as is...plus it comes in other fun colors like sour lemon and fresh clover. It was $58, but i'll give it to you for $39.99...because you look hot today.


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If it's not your style, that's cool. Franky cami, I don't give a damn.


*Keepin' it thrifty,

sammy

Be Shifty for Cheap.

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I'm over my closet.

Last I counted, I have half a dozen LBD's (that's an acronym for Little Black Dress for my gentleman readers). They say a girl can't have too many little black dresses, but they can if 1- They all look the same, and 2- They all look the same.

Never fear, I've got a Juicy deal that'll make your mouths water...more than when you first glimpsed Brad Pitt in that cowboy hat in Thelma and Louise. What have I got for you? A little black dress for a little bit less. Look at that, I'm a poet and I didn't know it.

Follow Amy Winehouse's lead (sans the drug addiction and hairdon't) and get back to black with this i'd swear it was vintage Juicy Couture Embroidered Shift Dress. It's delicate, it's airy, and it belongs on my body. Originally $238, you can nab it for $195. Not a huge discount, but $43 will definitely buy you the collector's edition of Thelma and Louise so you can relive that scene where Brad plays bang bang with a hairdryer.


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Get shifty now before your size goes buh bye.

I will wear it with a fox, I will wear it with bagels and lox.

*Keepin' it cheap.

sammy

Hush.

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I have a secret.

It has nothing to do with Victoria, and no...I don't see dead people. Sometimes I wear my jammies outside. There I said it. Before you judge me, allow me to talk you through the method to my madness. I don't wear pajamas with feet/trapdoors in the booty, or the onesies I blogged about earlier this week. I wear sweet little chemises, slips, camisoles...items that are just too damn pretty to wear under a comforter. I wear them with jeans, tights, boots, hoodies, chunky sweaters...anything that'll toughen them up a bit and give me coverage in case the nighty nightie is too sheer. Tell me this look doesn't deserve to be seen out and about:

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And did I mention how much cheaper they are than dayclothes? Get your own at Urban Outfitters for $32.

I pity the fool who doesn't wear their pj's all day.

*Not keepin' it secret.

sammy

Cheap Trick Jacket

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Confession. I online shop 'til I drop. I look for the latest bargains and rejoice when I find a designer item that i can actually purchase without having to eat ramen noodles for a month in penance for. I just found a pretty sweet deal if I do say so myself, and I'd like to share my find with all you lovely fashionistas...and my newest reader Bob. Hi Bob.

Check it- The Elie Tahari Caprice jacket. It's flirty, it's feminine, it's perfectly cropped, has an adorable mandarin collar, and it'll look pretty badass with my new skinny jeans. Originally you're looking at a $628 price tag, but now you can get it on super sale at Neiman Marcus for $220...and did I mention the jacket is tricked out? Yes my friends (and Bob), it is totally reversible. So in essence you're getting two count 'em two jackets for the price of one. Or $110 each. Any way you slice it, it's a fine piece of jacket pie.

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Plus free shipping at any price with code NMAPR. Don't say I never gave you anything.

*Keeping it real.

sammy

Samara Sanchez

About Sammy

Sammy Sanchez is a Miami based freelance writer, greeting card designer, and self-professed USWeeklyholic. Sammy loves tall coffee light frappuccinos, vino not from a box, and Mark Ruffalo...not necessarily in that order.
contact sammy

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