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Posts Tagged With: Bargain Shopping

Thrifting Pin-Up Style by Jen from Betties N Brimstone

***Guest Post by Jen from Betties N Brimstone***

Hi, I’m Jen from the Betties N Brimstone (www.bettiesnbrimstone.com) blog! I’m so excited to guest post today about one of my most favorite hobbies – thrifting! So many people tell me that they never find anything when they go thrifting… but you have to know WHERE and HOW to look! It also doesn’t hurt to go regularly. Some days I score big time, and other times I may walk out with nothing. Here’s a typical trip through the thrift store with me:

I start at housewares.

housewaresI collect Pyrex, so I buzz past there first, just in case…on this particular day, there were two pieces of Pyrex, but they were so dishwasher-damaged that it wasn’t worth it. Pass.

Then, I head over to pictures and frames.

framesI collect religious art, so I sometimes find an awesome gaudy piece for my collection. No such luck today, but there are always a bunch of chunky frames (you can buy these and just pop out the artwork and glass!) that are super cool for brooch display boards and other DIY projects.

Speaking of brooches, I like to wander by the jewelry display case to see what kind of cute brooches or other accessories are available:

broochesCurrently, there are a ton of cute holiday brooches available. I do dream of spotting a Bakelite bangle one day…but it hasn’t happened yet!

Next, I wander through the other housewares and decorative items. Today I found an awesome black cat sculptural ceramic piece that I think I’ll use to hold business cards at art fairs. Score!

Next, I stroll past the skirts, just in case.

skirtsSavers organizes all of their clothing by size, so I’ve developed a pretty good scanning eye for specific fabrics (I once snagged a Hell Bunny dress for $9.99!), and I seem to have most success at finding pencil skirts in vintage-y wool plaid fabrics. I’m always looking for swing or circle skirts, too.

One of my favorite sections as of late is cardigans! I have discovered that it is best not to put yourself in just one size. I’ve found awesome sweaters tagged large, medium, AND small, so you never know. If you have the patience, flip through all of them, and pull out anything that catches your eye. You can try them on later and weed out your faves. It’s amazing how many designer brands you can find on the rack!

bananarepublicI always look for pin-up-ish cardigans with a slightly fitted style to them, which usually means sizing down. Lately, I’ve been scouring for cropped cardigans, as I’m only 5’1” and the cropped style works really great over my vintage repro dresses. Be open minded! I’m always surprised at what works and what doesn’t prior to trying them on! Today I found four possible options that I threw in my cart:

cardigan-choicesI tried them on, and ended up keeping the black cropped cardigan (always a staple piece that one can use!) and the striped tie-style cardigan:

tryonNormally, I don’t go for tie-style cardigans, but I do love me some black and white stripes! I have a black Jenny dress from Pinup Girl Clothing that would be so cute with this! Score!

I have actually built up quite a collection of cardigans from thrifting, both cropped and longer length:

cardigansI actually keep a list of what colors I have, so that when I’m out, I can look specifically for colors that I don’t have, and don’t accidentally re-buy a piece I already have! The best part about thrifting for cardigans is that I typically spend $5-$10 per sweater, sometimes less if there’s a sale or I have a coupon!

Next, I head across the aisle to long-sleeve knits. This section is newer for me. I used to skip over it, until I realized how many awesome boat-neck-style tops I could find for my circle skirts for awesome prices!

boatneck1 boatneck2On the way to the next section, I pass by coats and skim the options. Today there was a super cool faux fur coat that’d be great for a pinup style! I don’t currently need a winter coat, so I passed, but how cool is this?

coatMy new favorite section is the lingerie and nightgowns. I’m on the hunt for awesome vintage nighties and glamorous robes!

lingerieSo far my collection is quite small. Only two vintage nightgowns. But today I found this awesome long sheer black robe/dressing gown that I am so psyched about! I think I’m going to start lounging around the house in this and pretend I’m Dita Von Teese. 🙂 All I need now are some maribou slippers.

My final stop on the thrifting rounds is belts and accessories. This is a great place to find vintage hair scarves! I have a ridiculous collection right now though, so I instead focus on belts.

belt-shoppingI’m kind of collecting a whole rainbow of options at the moment. The best part about thrifted belts is that I typically pay $1-2 dollars each, so if they don’t hold up, I’m not too sad about it. Today I spotted three options:

belt-ideasBut when I tried them on, one was too worn out, and the other two were too big. Whomp whomp. Even though I didn’t get any belts today, I have actually had a LOT of luck finding them. Check out this collection:

beltsEvery single belt in this photo was thrifted!

In the end, I purchased six items: two cardigans (one black cropped, one striped tie-style cropped), a vintage Tupperware canister in green, a ceramic black cat sculpture, the long black sheer robe, and a pale pink nightie. My total was $21. Seriously! Awesome!

whatIpurchasedThis was just one trip on one week to the thrift store. Every week is different from the rest. You just have to keep going and looking, and you never know what treasures you’ll end up with! I hope that this post helped you form a strategy for your next thrifting trip, pin-up style – and feel free to drop by my blog (www.bettiesnbrimstone.com) and let me know what awesome items you’ve scored while thrifting!

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Pinup Basics On A Budget by Miss Amy May

Hello lovelies, I’m Miss Amy May, blogger, clothes-addict and lover of cake! For those of you who know me from Instagram (on which I spend way too much of my time) or from my own blog, you’ll know I like to share any tips or tricks I have for ladies who are new to the style. For the rest of you, you should know I own way too many lipsticks, far more headscarves than I use, and approximately a gatrillion dresses. That being said I thought it would be nice for me to do a post on the pinup basics you will need as a lady who is newly looking to embrace her pinup style, with the added bonus that everything found on this list comes in at prices friendly to those lovelies on a budget.

bustier1Beauty

Long lasting lipsticks: A saucy red lip is an essential part of a polished pinup look. Personally I can’t risk a ruby pout that’s going to slip and slide all over my face, so I like my lip colour to be long-lasting. Thankfully there’s plenty of great red lipsticks that not only stay put but don’t hurt your bank balance. Here are some of my favourite budget long-lasting lip products.

pinupbasicslip1 pinupbasicslip2 pinupbasicslip3 pinupbasicslip4False lashes & Glue: For those who like a super heavy winged liner, false lashes can really round out the look. False lashes are one of those things that can be bought for $5 a pair in-store…or $3 for 10 pairs online. I tend to prefer the latter. Searching eBay for ‘false lashes’ and narrowing the price results to your budget will provide you with hundreds of results. Clear band lashes are less intimidating for beginners as they’re more flexible and the band is, you guessed it, less noticeable. A great thing about buying pairs in bulk is that you can cut the bands in half to create your own pair of corner lashes without feeling like you’ve ruined a $5 pair of lashes. Getting decent lash glue is something that helps to ensure your lashes aren’t going to ping off halfway through the day, so Revlon (under $10) and Duo (under $5) lash adhesives are both great glues which won’t bust your wallet open.

Eyeliners: Key to a pinup look is a killer cat’s eye winged liner. The kind of eye liner product you like is a very personal thing, but newbies to a winged flick shouldn’t feel intimidated into dropping heavy bucks on hyped up liner to get a decent cat’s eye. With winged liner the result is much more reliant upon practice and developed skill than it is a magic product, so it’s more important that you swap your kohl pencil for a liquid liner or a gel liner and get practicing. The Liquid Liner from E.L.F $2, Maybelline Eye Studio Gel Liner $9.99, Revlon Colorstay Liquid Liner $5.49, Maybelline Stiletto Liquid Liner $7.25 and  L’Oreál Paris Infallible Gel Liner $9.95 are all well-reviewed liners under 10bucks. Ladies who struggle getting their flicks on point can find a plethora of video tutorials and pictorials online to help them develop their knack.

Beauty Spots: A mole is certainly not a requirement of a full pinup face, but some ladies like to add one to their look anyway and there are ladies, like me, who have a beauty spot already that they like to fill in once foundation has left it awkwardly half covered. For a beauty spot that won’t smudge off with an errant swipe as may happen with kohl pencil, use a felt brow pen to colour your mark for long-lasting wear. Barry M Brow Pen in Dark Brown $4.99 and Makeup Revolution Brow Dual Ultra Arch & Shape in Dark £3.50 both give a smudge-resistant result that looks more natural than a dab of black liquid eyeliner.

pincurls9Hair 

If you want to pincurl your hair or step up your fabulousness with retro hair styles you’ll need several things.

Clips & Grips: A ton of bobby pins almost goes without saying, but you’ll also want sectioning clips for sectioning and setting your hair as well as pincurling clips, both of which you can get very cheaply online, most notably on eBay. Otherwise these things can be found at your local hair & beauty supply store.

Combs and brushes: You’ll need a teasing brush for backcombing, bonus points if it has a rat’s tail end as this is super useful for sectioning and parting your hair. If you want to get the best out of the effort you put into setting your hair, you’ll also need a smoothing brush. My favourite is the Denman smoothing brush. Both of these can be find, you guessed it, cheaply online on eBay and Amazon, or else at your local hair supply store.

Setting Lotion: Finding the right setting lotion for your hair can add up if you try a bunch of different brands, but I personally have had great success with the Motions At Home Foaming Wrap Lotion, which not only gives my hair great hold and keeps it soft, but also goes gently on your wallet at under $10 online or under $4 from Sally’s.

Headscarves: These are as much a god send for covering up your still-damp pincurls and a bad hair day as they are for finishing up a perfect style with a pretty bow. You can buy classic paisley style bandannas online super cheaply on eBay, but if you want that vintage nylon coloured scarf look without dropping the big bucks for modern repro scarves, you’ll be thrilled to learn that large kids’ juggling scarves work as a thrifty replacement. I bought a pack of 10 colours on eBay for £10 delivered and no one has ever known these weren’t retro headscarves until I excitedly told them the real truth in a braggy-bargain reveal. Search for ‘juggling scarves’ and choose a scarf or a pack of such which measure 70cmx70cm so they’re large enough.

Hair spray: UK readers will be thrilled to learn that Tesco Maximum Hold hairspray not only does an amazing job but only costs an incredible 80p! For international readers, Samy’s Fat Hair 0 Calories Amplifying Hair Spray will keep your quiff in place in a serious way for $12.99.

Hair Flowers: Hair flowers are a key part of many pinups’ look, but getting pieces in multiple colours can really add up for someone who’s on a strict budget. If you don’t have the money to spare for several different pieces, buy yourself a cheap glue gun from a local craft store, some crocodile hair clips and some felt, then pick out your favourite artificial flowers from the craft store or on eBay to make your own handmade pieces. Apart from saving money, it means you can make the pieces in the exact colour combinations you want.

Clothing

Overhauling your closet to go full-on pinup can be an expensive endeavor, so remember to keep an eye out for separates from the mall/high street that can be made to look retro with the right styling. Crop tops, cropped pants, pencil skirts, cropped cardigans, A-line skirts and twinsets can all be styled easily to form a vintage inspired outfit. The next time you’re in Forever 21 or shopping online remember to picture all the clothing you’re seeing paired with a red lip and a killer pincurl set to see if it gives you that vintage feel.

There are also reasonably priced retro brands out there such as Hell Bunny and Lindybop which are kinder to your wallet. If you’re in love with some of the more expensive brands, such as Pinup Girl Clothing, Unique Vintage and Queen of Hearts, signing up for their email newsletters through their websites and following them on Instagram will often mean you’re the first to know when there’s a discount code available or a sale beginning. Setting up alerts on eBay for new listings under your favourite search terms of the brands you love most means you can also get lucky getting a gently used or brand new repro piece for less cash. Just search for the term you want to be notified of, such as ‘Bernie Dexter dress,’ narrow the search criteria down to whatever you want by size, type or colour if you want to get specific, and click ‘Follow This Search’ button listed shortly below the search bar. You can choose for new listings to be emailed to you daily or for the search to merely be listed in your saved searches so that you can check it manually when you log in online or on the app.

pins12-e1425058528466

In a £3 top from high street chain Primark, an eBay belt and eBay bangles

Jewelry

Finding bling for that perfect 50s screen siren look needn’t be an old hollywood headache. Even searching ‘Crystal fashion necklace’ on eBay will give you a wealth (ba dum cha!) of options for some gorgeous neck candy that won’t break the bank. Likewise if you want to get an arm full of bangles without paying the mall price of $8 a bracelet, heading to your nearest thrift store, vintage shop or charity shop will often give you lots of bangles to choose from at a snippet of a price.

pinuppersuasionnecklaceThere are many different facets of a pinup look that you can pick and choose from to suit you, but it’s important to remember that this style isn’t exclusive to anyone, and not least only to those with more generous budgets. If you love any aspect of the styles from eras gone by then there are ways to incorporate them into your modern life and ways to do so without overspending. I hope that whether you’re strapped for cash or happy to spend you’ve found some great tips here that you want to try.

Thank you Jessica for having me on your wonderful blog ❤

missamymaysignoff

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Black Friday Tips & Tricks

so-haute-black-fridayLadies it’s time to get down to business…let’s talk Black Friday! Most of you already know that this is the one day of the year where American based retailers have to MOST INSANE sales to kick off the holiday shopping season. The great thing is a lot of retailers outside the US now take part which means even more great savings from many of our favorite online shops and avoiding long lines or dealing with the madness of other shoppers. Now here’s the thing, don’t go crazy with spending…you will really regret it when that credit card bill comes next month. To help prevent overspending or buyer’s remorse, we’ll go over some helpful tips on how to maximize your savings and not break the bank.

wish-list1) Make a wishlist at each online retailer and narrow down your choices in the days leading up to Black Friday. It’s time to practice tough love…do you really need that skirt in every colour? Do you have an event to wear that evening gown? Be practical! Buy the items that you’ve wanted for months but may have not had the funds to pay full price. It’s easy to like all the pretty pinup dresses but do you really love it and see yourself wearing it often? Don’t be afraid to add things to your wishlist and remove them as you narrow down your choices.

budget calculation2) Be mindful of your budget. Make a tally of your wishlists at ALL the online retailers to see how much you’ll be spending pre-sale pricing. Factor in the approximate discount offered by the retailer in previous years and know that it’s likely to be around that same mark. It is SO easy to get carried away with all the great deals and it will leave you regretting your impulse buys when the excitement is over. Most of us have a budget to follow, be sure to maintain that and not go over just because it was “on sale”.

image043) Prioritize. Which items are most important on your wishlist? The majority of online retailers are in different time zones so this will allow you to effectively manage your time. Organize your schedule based on the sale start times for each one. There’s nothing wrong with having your game plan written out in detail, this will help you keep everything on track.

Crossing out Plan A and writing Plan B on a blackboard.4) Have a backup plan. Often websites will crash when the sales commence and might require you to use another web browser or mobile device to not miss out on your coveted items. This means, BE PATIENT! Retailers know when the website crashes and have their IT teams on standby to get them back up and running ASAP! They too don’t want this to happen and usually have a backup plan in the wings just in case. Getting snippy or complaining is not necessary; it just fuels the masses of hysteria.

havefun-15) Have fun! Who doesn’t love saving money and buying gorgeous clothing? Don’t forget to relish in the hunt and share your purchases with me on Facebook! For the first time in years I have decided to forego Black Friday shopping and save my pennies so I will be living vicariously through all of you!

If this is your first Black Friday or a seasoned BF shopper, I hope these tips will enable you to effectively manage your money saving skills on the biggest shopping day of the year! I will be posting as many sales on my Facebook page as possible, please feel free to send them over my way & I’ll repost for all to enjoy. 🙂

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Recovering Sale Hoarder

Although I should practice what I preach, sometimes it is simply impossible to resist making impulse buys during a sale. I am one to love a bargain and passing up on it just doesn’t seem like a good idea. This used to be my biggest downfall and lead to a closet full of unworn clothing brand new with tags. I was a sale hoarder. Thankfully I have really made a conscious effort to stop doing this every time there was a deal too hard to resist and now only slip from time to time. During Blame Betty’s Anniversary Sale, it was impossible to pass up the Grace Red Flock Dress by Laura Byrnes Black Label for only $60!

Available in sizes XS to 2X in a variety of colors/prints ~ MSRP $156USD

IMG_0485Seasoned PUG shoppers appreciate that each item has a custom size chart and they are generally spot on when it comes to finding the right size. Since the Grace has minimal stretch, it was a sure bet to go with my waist measurement and ordered a Medium. It was a very good decision not to size down as the Medium just fits in the bust (36”) and waist (28”) even though the size chart states the bust is 38”-40”. For the ladies with a larger bosom, I would highly recommend sizing up without a doubt. The Grace features a fully lined upper body with a shelf bust construction and side zipper. The overall design of the dress is incredibly well-structured and feels very luxurious. What makes this dress truly unique is the stunning black contrasting flocking reminiscent of the 1940-1950’s. The pleating in the gathered full skirt hangs perfectly and can be worn with or without a petticoat. At 5’-4”, the length falls a few inches below the knee and required no hemming.

IMG_0492The moment I laid eyes on the Grace, I was beyond thrilled with my impulse buy…it was worth every penny! To my surprise, it was quite a struggle to get in and out of this number due to the dreaded side zipper. Not only was it frustrating, I was wondering if I was actually going to be stuck just trying to maneuver out of mine the first couple times. The dress is VERY structured and the fabric has little give, both contributing factors to the ease of dressing. Do not get me wrong, I absolutely love the Grace but make sure to get dressed BEFORE doing hair and makeup! The side zipper is another reason why I believe it runs small in the bust area in comparison to the size charts. If I was any larger than 36”, the Medium would not fit for sure. I have been informed the non-flocked versions of the Grace are more flexible and true to size.

IMG_0490I was so excited to wear the Grace for Christmas Eve this year but sadly fell ill and ended up in pj’s for the evening. The flocked colorways are ideal for various winter/holiday festivities since the fabric is quite thick and heavy. Accessorizing is simple; pair your favorite high heel pumps with a vintage inspired necklace and/or earrings to finish off the ensemble. The Grace would be fabulous with a petticoat or the PUG Canvas Underskirt for those who prefer less volume like me. In the review photos, the Grace is as is with no additional underskirt.

IMG_0487PUG has recently released new colorways in the Grace, perfect for summer. I’ve had my eye on the Pink Floral on Purple Satin…hopefully I can score an amazing deal on this one as well during future sales. What are your favorite bargain impulse buys?

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