Friday, October 3, 2014

Friday Faves: Back to School

2. Camp Director tote in plaid // ModCloth, $59.99
3. "Georgia" suede ankle boot // Vionic Shoes, $149.95
4. Notebook mug // LennyMud on Etsy, $18

These favorites of mine are not quite bargain finds, but every so often, it's worth it to splurge on some classic, well-made pieces!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Transition to Fall: Shorts (Part 2)

I'm back with the second installment of how to transition your summery shorts in to your fall wardrobe.
Read the first part here!

So besides adding tights or a button-down shirt, what else makes shorts work for fall? You know, besides having outside temperatures in the '60s-'80s of course...

3) Add chunky knitwear.
I love the juxtaposition of fabrics and textures when I wear sweaters with shorts. This classic loose-knit sweater goes with practically everything in my closet, but pairing it with these linen-blend shorts mixes things up a bit!

Sweater // JCrew Factory (Summer 2014)
Shorts // Old Navy (Spring 2012)
Shoes // Minnetonka, from TJMaxx
Necklace // World Market
Bag // Nine West, from TJMaxx

4) Go grunge with a flannel shirt. 
Ah, flannel. 14-year-old me would be so proud it's now worked its way back in to my adult wardrobe. A flannel shirt can be dressed up or down - I've paired it here with a tee in a contrasting color and pattern and some comfy, worn denim shorts. This would be a perfect outfit to wear while hanging out with friends, roasting marshmallows around a fire pit on a cool fall evening. 

Flannel shirt // Target (Winter 2012)
T-shirt // Target (Summer 2014)
Denim shorts // Gap (Summer 2012)
Suede boots // Gap (Spring 2012)
Camera necklace // assembled by me! 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Morning Coffee

A day off from work means a rare opportunity for a weekday coffee date. 

Last Wednesday, Bob and I headed to one of our favorite spots in town - Pistacia Vera - for warm drinks and some sweet treats. If you've been wondering who the mastermind is behind my photos so far - it's Bob! We've been having fun playing around with his DSLR camera and waiting patiently for the perfect light. 

The shirt I'm wearing is one that I've reserved for days where I know I won't be coming in to contact with any art supplies. It was one of my miraculous Ebay snags.

Back in 2012, I had been coveting a peter pan collar shirt for quite some time, but it was hard for me to find one that wasn't sold out and/or also in my budget. (I generally try not to spend more than $35-40 on tops). The lower-priced option from J Crew Factory was completely sold out, but my patience was rewarded when a similar style from J Crew popped up on Ebay in my size. Thanks to the "Buy It Now" option, this subtle and classic top was all mine! 

Top // J Crew via Ebay (Holiday 2012)
Jeans // Banana Republic Factory Store (Fall 2013)
Shoes // Coach & Four, from SteinMart
Earrings // DandyTree on Etsy
Glasses // Ted Baker, from Rinkov Eyecare
Purse // Schuler & Sons, purchased at Anthropologie (2012)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Transition to Fall: Shorts (Part 1)

Fall in Ohio can be a weird season - one minute it's 78 degrees, the next it's 45. It's hard to know what to expect, which often makes transitional wardrobes a bit problematic.

My mother has a system where she switches out her closets and dresser drawers for fall/winter and spring/summer - but I just don't have that kind of secondary storage space, so I wind up mixing my clothing all together. I like the unexpected nature of pairing different weight fabrics with each other anyway, and it gives me a chance to play with unusual combinations and to make each item of clothing wearable for as long as possible in any given year.


1) Add tights.
Pick a pair of shorts that are not too "summery" (denim, chino, or any other heavier-weight fabric will do) and couple them with some tights in a contrasting color. Black and brown are both classic hues, but don't be afraid to go a little bolder. I am somewhere in the middle with this maroon pair.

Bonus: instant camouflage for pasty legs!

Shirt // Target (Summer 2013)
Cardigan // Gap (Spring 2012)
Shorts // Express (by way of TJ Maxx)
Tights // Target
Shoes // City Classified, from Ebay
Sunglasses // CVS

2) Pair with a long-sleeve shirt.
I adore gingham because it goes with everything! I wear this shirt year-round - it's a perfect addition to a pair of high-waisted denim shorts. Great for a picnic, apple picking, or sipping coffee on the patio on a warm fall day.

Shirt // J Crew (Spring 2012)
Shorts // Macy's (Spring 2014)
Shoes // Born, from
Sunglasses // Costume Specialties

Stay tuned for Shorts (Part 2)! 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Outfit Inspiration: Maria

I have sort of a love/hate relationship with musicals, but I have to say - one that's stuck with me through the years is the West Side Story. How can you hate any production with dancing gang members?! A cool added bonus - my maternal grandmother's cousin, actor Simon Oakland, played Schrank in the film. 
 West Side Story film stills - 1961

One of my favorite parts of the musical (especially the movie) are the costumes and I've always love the chic simplicity of Maria's white dress. 

I must admit that as an art teacher and an artist, wearing the color white terrifies me, as the prospect of sitting in paint, polymer clay or a variety of other art supplies and/or being hugged by a child with dirty hands is pretty much imminent. 

Thankfully, this white dress is only for special occasions where there will be no richly-colored foods or art supplies. 

And yes, I am wearing white after Labor Day. 

Dress // Banana Republic Mad Men collection (Spring 2012)
Belt // vintage, from my maternal grandmother
Purse // Schuler & Sons, purchased at Anthropologie (2012)
Shoes // Bandolino, purchased at Marshalls (Spring 2011)

Since by blog is focused on affordable style, I should note that I only paid full price for one item I'm wearing, the handmade glass earrings from the ever-so-talented Kristin Perkins. I don't mind paying a little extra (or splurging, even!) on a quality handmade item, especially if it's made by someone I know. 

I will be featuring many handmade items on my blog in the future - including my own! Stay tuned and please share. 


Welcome to "Stylish on a Shoestring" - a blog dedicated to great style on a budget.

I'm still working on many of the details of this blog and thinking about what I would like it to become. What can you expect from my posts? Look forward to outfit inspiration, wardrobe essentials, spotlights on handmade goods, decorating ideas and more. I'll be sharing some of my own experiences from my years as a bargain hunter and a shopoholic!

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