accessories en-US 10 New Beauty Products You Need to Know About <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-new-beauty-products-you-need-to-know-about" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="makeup shopping" title="makeup shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>2014 is one hot year for new and innovative beauty products. But lest you hog <em>all</em> the beauty in the world, we've narrowed down the list to these top 10 beauty must-haves. (See also: <a href="">24 Places to Buy Inexpensive Natural Beauty Products</a>)</p> <h2>1. The Switch Kit by Amika</h2> <p>Finally, a good hair product that's also a space and money saver! <a href="">Amika's new Switch Kit</a> comes with a base that can be used with three different barrel sizes, so you get the look you want without having to buy another hair tool. With a digital temperature control, you can adjust the level of heat from 150&deg;F to 430&deg;F (66&deg;C to 221&deg;C).</p> <p><a href=""><img width="273" height="300" alt="" src="" /></a></p> <h2>2. Amrezy Palette by Anastasia of Beverly Hills</h2> <p>Named after one of Instagram's most reputable makeup artists, Amrezy, this palette was constructed and launched by long time beauty maven, Anastasia of Beverly Hills. The <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00LQAHU5G&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=S7ZVK7YC33NQQB7Q">eye shadow palette</a> has 10 gorgeous colors, perfect for both special occasions and everyday casual makeup.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00LQAHU5G&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=S7ZVK7YC33NQQB7Q"><img width="409" height="300" src="" alt="" /></a></p> <h2>3. The 2014 Fall/Winter Nail Collection by Gabriel Cosmetics</h2> <p>Gabriel's <a href="">newest polish collection</a> was inspired by the high fashion runway styles. It comes with six shades and three different spectrums: glossy, matte, and pearl. The best part of this line is that it is one of few companies that uses a &quot;5 free&quot; formula &mdash; meaning it is free of the harmful chemicals including formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, camphor, and phthalates.</p> <p><a href=""><img width="528" height="300" src="" alt="" /></a></p> <h2>4. Honey Dew Me Up Primer by NYX</h2> <p>Infused with light-reflective gold flecks, <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00M3GQ0EY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=WVBC3PFJB3CTZE5U">this primer</a> is made to create a radiant appearance by reducing redness and discoloration.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00M3GQ0EY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=WVBC3PFJB3CTZE5U"><img width="355" height="300" src="" alt="" /></a></p> <h2>5. Matte Lipsticks by Dose of Color</h2> <p>Punctuate your style and add a pop of awesome to any look with Dose of Colors' brand new line of <a href=";path=59">matte lipsticks</a>. Created by makeup artist and cosmetics expert, MakeupbyAnna, this genius color palette of lipsticks is a vegan product that's both cruelty and paraben free.</p> <p><a href=";path=59"><img width="388" height="300" src="" alt="" /></a></p> <h2>6. They're Real! Push-Up Liner by Benefit</h2> <p>The <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00KX7A30W&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=OP4Y5WCDLTAJX6GR">angled brush and push up</a> gel is made to tightly hug your lash line and simplify the application process. The gel formula has a matte black that stays where you put it without smudging, budging or drying out.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00KX7A30W&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=OP4Y5WCDLTAJX6GR"><img width="300" height="300" src="" alt="" /></a></p> <h2>7. Rescue Me Hair Mask by Leyla Milani Hair</h2> <p>Here's a beauty essential to have with all the wear and tear that hair goes through, from being under the sun, challenging weather conditions, and everyday products and oils. Made by the ultimate hair queen, Leyla Milani, this intense formula of argan oil and shea butter penetrates the hair cuticle from the inside out, <a href="">bringing the bounce and strength</a> back to your hair.</p> <p><a href=""><img width="385" height="300" src="" alt="" /></a></p> <h2>8. Perversion Mascara by Urban Decay</h2> <p>This <a href="">primer and mascara duo</a> can really add some punch to your lashes. The high-tech brush is made to add volume and separate each lash for a silky, long lasting finish. According to beauty expert, <a href="">Sona Gasparian</a>, the applicator's defined bristles are what makes the biggest difference by adding fullness and length to the lashes. The unique texture of the mascara's formula allows you to apply less layers for an everyday look or multiple coats for a more dramatic finish.</p> <p><a href=""><img width="450" height="300" src="" alt="" /></a></p> <h2>9. Mavens Sculpt Series by Motives</h2> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00I8MGFPQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=AXJ637JQE3RHHUTX">Mavens Sculpt Series</a> comes in two complexions: Fire for warmer skin tones and Ice for cooler skin tones. These palettes have four crème foundations best for highlighting cheekbones, covering under eye imperfections, intensifying the brow bone and creating a stunning profile and definition. Motives Cosmetics is expertly crafted in collaboration with six YouTube beauty sensations including <a href="">Teni Panosian</a>, and cosmetics gurus including, Lauren Rindinger and La La Anthony.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00I8MGFPQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=AXJ637JQE3RHHUTX"><img width="500" height="300" src="" alt="" /></a></p> <h2>10. Velvet Orchid Eau de Parfum Spray by Tom Ford</h2> <p>Last but not least, Tom Ford's captivating perfume, <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00JJHY9KC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=I7IRAFFAIBZFNAPP">Velvet Orchid</a>. Derived of oriental florals and combined with strong notes of citrus, lavish petals, rum, and honey, this scent is ultra feminine and exotic.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00JJHY9KC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=I7IRAFFAIBZFNAPP"><img width="318" height="300" src="" alt="" /></a></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="10 New Beauty Products You Need to Know About" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Nayri Leanna Gregor</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty accessories beauty beauty products Fri, 19 Sep 2014 17:00:12 +0000 Nayri Leanna Gregor 1215969 at Successful Men Carry These 7 Things Around With Them — Do You? <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/successful-men-carry-these-7-things-around-with-them-do-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="businessman smartphone" title="businessman smartphone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>To succeed in this world, it takes smarts, confidence, likability &mdash; and a handful of portable items to help you stay organized, current, fit, and performing at the top of your game. (See also: <a href="">Successful Women Have These 7 Things in Their Bags &mdash; Do You?</a>)</p> <p>Read on for our roundup of the things every man should keep within reach if he hopes to share a seat among the best.</p> <h2>1. Mobile Devices &mdash; Complete With On-the-Go Juice</h2> <p>You've got to stay connected, even when you're on the run. Smartphones, tablets, and whatever other gadgets help you keep up with email, news, and your loved ones' birthdays are essential. But what good are they when they're out of juice?</p> <p>A successful man needs to be powered up &mdash; at home, at the office, and in places where wall outlets don't exist (like the backseat of a taxi). That's why portable chargers are every successful man's must-have device.</p> <p>We recommend <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00A35KPQQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=3FNUBTEJ6JFRFBSI">IOGEAR's GearPower portable battery line</a>. (Pros: Allows for multi-device charging. Cons: Too big for your back pocket.)</p> <p>Or try the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00AANQLRI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=QKI72NMISGX5P7L4">Jackery Giant</a> (Pros: Cheaper than most competing brands. Cons: It's a bit heavy.)</p> <h2>2. A Slim Wallet</h2> <p>The successful man is too sophisticated to be shoving crumpled up bills and receipts in his pockets. A slim, sleek wallet with room for cash, credit cards, and business cards is a necessity for any man to be taken seriously.</p> <p>We recommend this <a href="">timeless bi-fold design</a> available at Target. (Pros: It's inexpensive and fits as many cards as will fit in your pocket. Cons: It doesn't allow much room for anything beyond the basics &mdash; cash and about a dozen cards if you double-up.)</p> <p>Or carry this <a href="">English-made travel wallet</a> by Corter. (Pros: Fits your passport, boarding passes, and a small notebook. Cons: Good luck fitting it in your pocket.)</p> <p>Whatever you choose: keep it light, and store your receipts elsewhere. George Constanza is not a wallet role-model.</p> <h2>3. A Memorable Business Card</h2> <p>The successful man knows his business card isn't merely an old-school status symbol to pass around at board meetings. It's his trademark &mdash; a snack-size version of his personality and business merits smartly packaged on a well-designed rectangle. Trumping even the Twitter feed, the business card is the most influential marketing tool he has. It's something he offers every new friend, acquaintance, and business connection. That's because the successful man knows everyone has something to offer. You can never tell whether it's the guy in the corner office or the bell boy down the street who will lead to that next big client, sale, or promotion.</p> <h2>4. A Nice Watch</h2> <p>It doesn't need to break the bank. But the successful man knows a good-looking wrist watch is more than a vanity piece. It's a symbol of maturity, reliability, and taste. It puts him on the same plane as as Tony Blair, who reportedly owns dozens of them, and President Barack Obama, who sports a <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002C40I18&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=YTHHGH5QZNRI3KCN">Jorg Gray 6500 Chronometer</a> designed specifically for the Secret Service.</p> <p>&quot;Watches are <a href="">one of the few items that a man can wear that he believes display true character</a>, signal that he is a member of a particular club &mdash; whether it's an Audemars Piguet or a Swatch &mdash; and indulge in a little dose of extravagance without, generally, drawing criticism,&quot; writes Jeremy Langmead of the Guardian.</p> <h2>5. A Healthy Snack</h2> <p>The successful man needs fuel to perform his best. And he knows it makes all the difference whether that fuel consists of processed sugars or healthful, natural ingredients like protein and vitamins.</p> <p>The natural fiber in apples and bananas can help keep focus between meals. Nuts like almonds and dried fruit like raisins are high in protein, which prevent energy levels from dropping during that mid-morning slump.</p> <h2>6. A Goal List</h2> <p>The successful man knows that dreams remain dreams until he sets them as goals. One way to forge the transition is to <a href="">create a big, bold, unfiltered list of them</a>. Once he has identified all the things he wants to accomplish, he's better poised to script a roadmap detailing what he needs to do to get there. Then all he's got to do it stick to it.</p> <p>Don't be afraid to declare your goals aloud to friends and family. Michael Phelps asserted to the news media his goal to win the gold in the 2012 London Olympic Games &mdash; something he accomplished twice, making him the most decorated Olympian in history.</p> <h2>7. A Gym Membership Card</h2> <p>Exercise is a staple of the successful man's regular routine. And not because he's trying to get chiseled abs. A <a href="">good workout boosts energy</a>, relieves stress, and releases those feel-good endorphins that make him feel like he can most certainly conquer the world &mdash; and smile while doing it.</p> <p><em>What's in your wallet? (Or pocket, or satchel, or briefcase?) Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Successful Men Carry These 7 Things Around With Them — Do You?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Brittany Lyte</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips accessories goals success things to carry Mon, 15 Sep 2014 09:00:04 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1209129 at Wantable: Designer Accessories at Discount Prices <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/wantable-designer-accessories-at-discount-prices" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="fashion woman" title="fashion woman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Who says you need to pay a premium for designer goods? There are ways to get around the sticker price on the latest in fashion and beauty, if you know where to look. Here's a look at <a href="">Wantable</a>.</p> <h2>About Wantable</h2> <p>Wantable is a company that aims to match you up with accessories, makeup, or intimates you're sure to love. For $40 a box, or $36 for a monthly subscription, their in-house and guest stylists will select a number of designer and boutique products based on your answers to their easy-peasy style quiz. If you don't like what you get, simply return the whole box for a full refund.</p> <h2>The Goodies</h2> <p>Despite a couple misses, the <a href="">Wantable accessories boxes</a> have been good to me so far. And it seems like the Wantable team really cares about sending you the right kind of products &mdash; they are constantly refining the style quiz to make it more comprehensive while keeping it easy to use. Since my first box, they've added questions about hair length and bracelet size, and modified existing questions to get a better sense of what you love, like, and dislike. Speaking of which, here are mine:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Love:</strong> Classic, Mix 'n Match, Earrings, Necklaces, Hair Accessories</li> <li><strong>Like:</strong> Rock 'n Roll, Boho, Bracelets, Gold Tone, Silver Tone</li> <li><strong>Dislike:</strong> Rings, Watches, Sunglasses, Glam</li> </ul> <p>How did the stylists do this time?</p> <h3>Titian Earrings</h3> <p><img width="605" height="302" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Do these earrings come in other colors? I ask because <em>I want them all</em>. This combination of yellow, olive, tan, and dark gray stones set in gold makes for a neutral accessory piece that works well with most wardrobe colors, but what I really love is the asymmetrical cut of the stones. It adds some fun to a fairly ordinary diamond layout &mdash; and who doesn't like fun? This is the kind of detail that wins me over on so many of Wantable's offerings.</p> <p><em>Retail value: $20</em></p> <h3>Alexia Bracelet</h3> <p><img width="605" height="302" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Here's another neutral piece in black, dark red, and nude. The enamel and gold outline adds a nice shine to this geometric bracelet, which I appreciate. I also appreciate the elastic bands running through the bracelet that make it super easy to slip on and off. This is not your flimsy kids' jewelry kit elastic, either &mdash; it's sturdy stuff! I can absolutely see this bracelet becoming one of my go-to pieces.</p> <p><em>Retail value: $17</em></p> <h3>Lilith Necklace</h3> <p><img width="605" height="302" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>I wasn't entirely sold on this necklace when I first took it out of the velvet Wantable pouch. There is a lot going on for a necklace, what with the faceted stones, pastel beads, and row of gold-tone flowers. The chain is quite a bit chunkier than what I usually wear. But then I tried it on, and suddenly, somehow, <em>everything works.</em> I guess I shouldn't always get too caught up in the details; this time, I had to step back to appreciate the full effect of the statement necklace.</p> <p><em>Retail value: $34</em></p> <h2>Is It Worth It?</h2> <p><img width="605" height="302" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>The retail value of this box came out to $71 &mdash; that's $31 savings by purchasing the accessories through Wantable. I might not have picked these pieces on my own (and especially not at those retail prices), but they definitely suit my style... once I gave them a chance (lookin' at you, Lilith!). That's part of the appeal of a service like Wantable, though. They send you products that will work with your style and lifestyle, but you can still count on the goodies to be different enough to surprise. They take you outside your comfort zone, right inside your home!</p> <p>Now, is the element of surprise (and a number of really cool products) worth $40 a box or a $36 monthly subscription? It depends on how much you usually spend on similar accessories, makeup, or intimates. Of course, $40 for 3-4 accessory items can seem like an extravagance to some, but if you regularly spend $20 apiece on jewelry, a <a href="">Wantable box</a> may be just your thing.</p> <p><em>Disclaimer: I received a free box for an honest review.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Wantable: Designer Accessories at Discount Prices" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Amy Lu</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping accessories fashion Wantable Mon, 23 Jun 2014 21:00:04 +0000 Amy Lu 1147075 at 7 Style Secrets for Women That Flatter Every Shape <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-style-secrets-for-women-that-flatter-every-shape" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="trying on clothes" title="trying on clothes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I'm happy to cast off those bulky sweaters and shapeless layers now that summer is just around the corner. In fact, I've been weeding through my closet to find warmer weather clothing this week, and one of my bad habits finally caught up with me. I'm notoriously awful at trying things on before I buy them. So, as you can imagine, there are lots of gently worn (and new) garments in my closet that simply don't flatter my shape. (See also: <a href="">20 Simple and Stylish DIY Clothing Projects for Women</a>)</p> <p>I've resolved to tighten my belt, so to speak, and buy only clothing that I've slipped into before purchase. Beyond that, I've also discovered that choosing outfits to flatter my specific body type not only make me feel good, but they also ensure I'll wear them time and time again. Here are a few universal &quot;rules&quot; to make your next shopping trip a success.</p> <h2>1. Showcase Yourself</h2> <p>If you've got it, flaunt it! We all have features of our bodies we'd like to hide. Avoid cloaking yourself in a potato sack dress and &mdash; instead &mdash; shift that focus to your best asset(s).</p> <p>When you shop for new clothes, try to choose items that <a href="">celebrate your unique body</a>. For example, if you have great legs, go for a shorter skirt that shows them off. If you work long hours in the gym for strong arms, wear a sleeveless dress. Focus on just one or maybe two of your favorite features at a time to avoid over-sharing, if you know what I mean.</p> <h2>2. Get (the Right) Fit</h2> <p>No matter your body shape or size, basic <a href="">attention to fit</a> can take any outfit from blah to better. Note that sizing is often different depending on designer or brand, so what you wear in one frock you might size up or down in another. Always try items on before buying to assess for fit that flatters. Pay attention specifically to where a shirt hits your shoulder (should hit at your natural shoulder), any areas of pulling or bunching of fabric (either too tight or too big), as well as sleeve length, hems, and waist rises. Basically, if you notice something is too long, too short, or too <em>anything</em> &mdash; you should try another size, consider investing in tailoring, or skip altogether.</p> <h2>3. Pick Up Patterns</h2> <p>What you've heard is true! There are certain patterns that work <a href="">best for certain body types</a>. Whether you're curvy, pear-shaped, petite, or long and lean, there's a pattern out there for you that will help you look your best. Petites do well with vertical stripes that lengthen, pears can shift the focus from the lower half by concentrating busy patterns on the top, plus-sized women can get away with gorgeous florals, and long and lean gals can go as bold as they desire.</p> <h2>4. Exude Confidence</h2> <p>Another less tangible (and free) style trick? Carry yourself with confidence.</p> <p>Posture is a big part of the equation and can make remarkable difference in your appearance in only seconds. If you're looking to improve your stance &mdash; check out these <a href="">easy stretches</a> that will have you standing up straighter in no time. The cheat sheet: It's all about keeping a neutral spine, an open chest, and your eyes up and looking directly at the world ahead of you.</p> <h2>5. Choose Comfort</h2> <p>It's hard to stand up straight if you're always fussing with your skirt or top. So, be sure to select fabrics and cuts that are both comfortable and appropriate for whatever you're doing. Even the most formal occasions don't need to be out-of-this-world uncomfortable. Look for fabrics that give and cuts that cover, and stay away from anything that might otherwise give way to an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction.</p> <h2>6. Accessorize</h2> <p>Accessories can help highlight your favorite features, and a perfect example of this is with belting. If you have a great natural waist, for instance, accentuate it with a skinny belt placed over a flowy dress. On the other hand, beware of those extra wide belts. Though they seem like they might mask a trouble zone, they'll actually call more attention to it. (See also: <a href="">Affordable Accessories to Kickstart Your Style</a>)</p> <h2>7. Shop Smart</h2> <p>I'm a big clearance rack shopper, but I'll be the first to admit that you can find lots of duds and end up wasting money under the clever guise of savings. If you settle for fit or form, you may find that $5 top sitting stagnant in your closet years down the line. The good news: There are many ways to <a href="">cut clothing costs</a>, so don't let the dollar signs cloud your judgement. Follow all the previous style &quot;rules&quot; even with the most enticing markdowns. That way, you won't be stuck with a closet of items that don't flatter your body and feel obligated to wear them regardless.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite flattering style tricks? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="7 Style Secrets for Women That Flatter Every Shape " rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Style accessories clothing fit fashion how to dress Mon, 09 Jun 2014 19:00:25 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1142121 at 21 Frugal Ways to Make All Your Outfits Look Awesome <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/21-frugal-ways-to-make-all-your-outfits-look-awesome" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="women posing" title="women posing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Looking like a million bucks doesn't necessarily have to cost that much. These simple and easy tricks can be integrated to your <strong>#ootd</strong> (outfit of the day) routine to make a vibrant statement with just a few snips and clips, using the wardrobe you already have. It's all about learning to pair the right items together, figuring out unique ways to repurpose and embellish basic pieces and most importantly, accessorizing with the right colors and patterns. All of these fashion statements can be inexpensive and take only a few minutes, if that.</p> <h2>1. Spice Up Your Sandals</h2> <p>Add some flare to your plain old sandals by <a href="">cutting up a sarong</a> and wrapping it around the vamp of your sandals and around your ankles. This simple addition can spice up any plain summer or spring outfit.</p> <p><img width="174" height="125" src=" " alt="" /> <img width="174" height="125" src="" alt="" /> <img width="190" height="125" src="" alt="" /></p> <h2>2. Cut It Out</h2> <p>Take an old maxi skirt that's lost its charm and cut it up to create a high fashion, <a href="">runway inspired skirt</a> by adding your choice of fabrics and ruffles.</p> <p><img width="605" height="454" src="" alt="" /></p> <h2>3. Reconstruct an Old T-shirt</h2> <p>Take an oversized T-shirt and turn it into a trendsetting <a href="">crop top dress with cutouts</a> and a twisted keyhole above the waist.</p> <p><img width="144" height="238" src="" alt="" /> <img width="144" height="238" src="" alt="" /> <img width="195" height="238" src="" alt="" /></p> <h2>4. Embellish</h2> <p>Turn a casual tank top into a stylish spring fest by <a href="">sewing or gluing a strip of daisy embellishments</a> to it.</p> <p><img width="500" height="500" src="" alt="" /></p> <h2>5. Decorate With Clip-Ons</h2> <p><a href="">Transform your shoes</a> with a click of a clip and instantaneously go from a day to night look in seconds.</p> <p><img width="605" height="492" src="" alt="" /></p> <h2>6. Add a Belt Over a Coat or Jacket</h2> <p>Feeling a little chilly but still want to look fabulous over the coat? <a href="">Add a belt over the layers</a> to seal the deal.</p> <p><img width="404" height="605" src="" alt="" /></p> <h2>7. Repurpose a Scarf</h2> <p>Turn your <a href="">scarf into a beautiful headpiece</a> and channel your inner Audrey Hepburn. Add your personal style to it by adding a bow, lace, or other frill on the top or side to complete the look.</p> <p><img width="495" height="454" src="" alt="" /></p> <h2>8. Mix Up Prints</h2> <p>Think outside the box and combine two <a href="">opposing prints</a> to create a bold and sassy outfit. Some great groupings include <a href="">florals with stripes</a>, animal prints with lace, and denim with Aztec patterns.</p> <p><img width="321" height="482" src="" alt="" /> <img width="279" height="482" src="" alt="" /></p> <h2>9. Pair Denim With Denim</h2> <p>Toss out the typical T-shirt and jeans look and go for <a href="">denim-on-denim</a>. You can create a nice color block effect by mixing lighter shades with darker ones and accessorizing to taste.</p> <p><img width="400" height="400" src="" alt="" /></p> <h2>10. Make a Statement in Printed Hose</h2> <p>Spice up a solid colored outfit by adding a <a href="">printed pair of pantyhose</a> that becomes the focal point and stands out in any crowd!</p> <p><img width="352" height="605" src="" alt="" /></p> <h2>11. Pick the Right Frames</h2> <p>Add the perfect pair of sunnies to compliment your face by <a href="">choosing the right one for your face</a> shape.</p> <p><img width="605" height="567" src="" alt="" /></p> <h2>12. Add a Floral Headpiece</h2> <p>To <a href="">soften up an outfit</a> and create an ethereal look, consider adding a <a href="">floral headpiece</a>.</p> <p><img width="259" height="300" alt="" src="" /> <img width="200" height="300" src="" alt="" /></p> <h2>13. Tank-Formation</h2> <p>Turn a tank into a feminine <a href="">off-the-shoulder top</a> by cutting off the sleeves and tying two knots on one side. No sewing required.</p> <p><img width="342" height="400" src="" alt="" /></p> <h2>14. Add a Rope Belt</h2> <p>Use a <a href="">rope</a> or a <a href="">scarf as a belt</a> with any loose top or dress to accentuate your waistline and create the illusion of an hourglass figure.</p> <p><img width="266" height="400" src="" alt="" /> <img width="265" height="400" src="" alt="" /></p> <h2>15. High-Waist, High Fashion</h2> <p>High-waist fashion has been all the rage for the last couple of years and it doesn't seem to be going anywhere. Say &quot;Bye Felicia!&quot; to old mom jeans by reinventing them into <a href="">high-waisted shorts</a> you can wear all summer long.</p> <p><img width="190" height="115" src="" alt="" /> <img width="171" height="115" src="" alt="" /> <img width="214" height="115" src="" alt="" /></p> <h2>16. Wear Knee High Socks With a Dress</h2> <p>Remodel your short dresses in colder climates by adding <a href="">knee high socks</a> to your outfit. It's a great way to <a href="">keep warm and be in vogue</a> at the same time.</p> <p><img width="278" height="400" src="" alt="" /> <img width="267" height="400" src="" alt="" /></p> <h2>17. Stack Your Bling</h2> <p>Bling at its best! One of the easiest ways to take an outfit from drab to fab is to <a href="">stack your bracelets</a>, watches, and bangles to create a killer arm party.</p> <p><img width="605" height="398" src="" alt="" /></p> <h2>18. Add Buttons</h2> <p>For an extra textured design and spunk, you can <a href="">add buttons</a> to almost anything; tops, shoes, jeans, dresses, <a href="">belts</a>, and more.</p> <p><img width="237" height="200" src="" alt="" /> <img width="283" height="200" src="" alt="" /></p> <h2>19. Add a Pop of Neon</h2> <p><a href="">Adding neon</a> to your outfit is a fun way to <a href="">draw more attention</a> to the rest of <a href="">your ensemble</a>.</p> <p><img width="175" height="270" src="" alt="" /> <img width="180" height="270" src="" alt="" /> <img width="180" height="270" src="" alt="" /></p> <h2>20. Metalicize Your Shoes</h2> <p>Create a trendy <a href="">metallic toe cap in minutes</a> by adding spray paint to your solid colored heels.</p> <p><img width="429" height="362" src="" alt="" /></p> <h2>21. Go for a Colored Blazer</h2> <p>For a more conservative yet chic outfit, go for a <a href="">colored blazer</a> rather than the typical black or grey blazer. A <a href="">vibrant colored blazer</a> can be the perfect finishing touch to a cocktail dress or act as a <a href="">transitional piece</a> to throw on after work to go on a date.</p> <p><img width="167" height="250" src="" alt="" /> <img width="225" height="250" src="" alt="" /> <img width="179" height="250" src="" alt="" /></p> <p><em>How do you make an outfit look awesome? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="21 Frugal Ways to Make All Your Outfits Look Awesome" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Nayri Leanna Gregor</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Style accessories fashion outfits Tue, 13 May 2014 08:48:14 +0000 Nayri Leanna Gregor 1139096 at Try a Wantable Box If You Like Pretty, High-Quality Surprises <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/try-a-wantable-box-if-you-like-pretty-high-quality-surprises" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="woman" title="woman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I like pretty things. I also like getting good deals on pretty things, which can end in disappointment if said pretty thing doesn&#39;t hold up as well as I expected. I like pretty and cheap, but not, you know, <em>cheap</em>. After receiving a number of <a href="">Wantable</a> accessory boxes in the past few months, I can assure you that the pieces are definitely not cheap in quality.</p> <h2>About Wantable</h2> <p>Wantable is a Milwaukee-based company that aims to match you with hand-picked products you&#39;ll probably love. Start by choosing one of three categories &mdash; accessories, makeup, or intimates &mdash; and take the easy-peasy style quiz. Seriously, all you need to do is move a slider to &quot;Love&quot;, &quot;Like&quot;, or &quot;Dislike&quot; to show how you feel about a style item that they give you. However, do set aside 5-10 minutes to complete this if you&#39;re indecisive like I am, as there can be a lot of items to go through. Then, for the cost of $40 for a one-time box or $36 a month if you subscribe, Wantable will send you a number of premium, boutique, and full-size products that their stylists have picked out just for you. You&#39;ll most likely get the things you &quot;Love&quot; and probably some things you &quot;Like&quot;, but never what you &quot;Dislike&quot;.</p> <h2>The Goodies</h2> <p>I&#39;ve gotten a few misses in the past, but my overall experience with the accessories boxes has been quite positive. So you can get a sense of how well (or not!) the products matched my style, here are some of the answers I gave during the quiz.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Love:</strong> Classic, Mix &lsquo;n Match, Earrings, Necklaces, Headbands</li> <li><strong>Like:</strong> Rock &lsquo;n Roll, Boho, Bracelets, Scarves, Gold Tone, Multi Tone</li> <li><strong>Dislike:</strong> Rings, Watches, Sunglasses, Wood, Skulls, Leatherette</li> </ul> <p>And these are the accessories the stylists chose for me:</p> <h3>Haven Scarf</h3> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>I think if I saw this scarf at a store, I would stroke it longingly and walk away because, in my heart of hearts, I know I can&#39;t justify spending $26 on what is basically a long rectangle of fabric.</p> <p>But because I didn&#39;t buy it at a store, and it&#39;s already mine upon arrival, you bet I&#39;ll wear it to shreds! You can&#39;t tell from the photo, but there are gold and silver threads&nbsp;woven in, adding some fun sparkle to the muted colors. The smoky blue, ivory, and dark rose are great neutrals that match well with most everything in my closet. And despite its loose, open weave and delicate appearance, this scarf has held up extremely well against sharp zippers and accidental snags.</p> <p><em>Retail value: $26</em></p> <h3>Aggi Earrings</h3> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Remember when I said I liked pretty things? The Aggi earrings are so pretty. Wearing them makes me feel like my ears have wings&mdash;black and light-blue gemstone wings. The pale pink softens and completes this classy, unique piece. Love it!</p> <p><em>Retail value: $15</em></p> <h3>Zoey Necklace</h3> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>I wore this necklace to my birthday dinner and got compliments from friends and strangers alike! The Zoey necklace packs a lot of punch; there might be too much going on if you wear a busy, patterned top. Wantable suggests a cream sweater, but I&#39;ve found that this necklace looks great against a bright orange lace dress, too.</p> <p><em>Retail value: $36</em></p> <h3>Phoebe Necklace</h3> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 605px; height: 302px;" /></p> <p>I&#39;m usually less excited about minimalist jewelry. I thought the infinity-sign <a href="">Imagine earrings from a previous box</a> were too basic to be worth its portion of the $40 cost of the box. Well, it turned out that I got so much wear out those earrings that they now have a permanent place on my desk, where I can reach for them at a moment&#39;s notice.</p> <p>So, sure, the Phoebe necklace is a simple gold square on a chain, but I see its potential. I can layer it with other necklaces; I can also wear it on its own when I&#39;m in a hurry or I want to dial back on the accessories. It&#39;s basic and it&#39;s easy, and sometimes that all you really need.</p> <p><em>Retail value: $15</em></p> <h2>Is It Worth It?</h2> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Wantable really delivered the value in this accessories box. Everything suits my style and they&#39;re quality pieces to boot. The retail value of everything in this box came out to $92, so that&#39;s $52 in savings through Wantable. I can&#39;t imagine buying the Haven scarf or the Phoebe necklace at full price, but I would purchase the Aggie earrings and Zoey necklace in a heartbeat. (I do have a wedding to go to in a few months; I think they&#39;ll work quite nicely!)</p> <p>While $36 a month can be a hefty expense for accessories if you&#39;re not much of a fashion person, a one-time box at $40 may be a great treat for yourself or a friend once in a while.</p> <p><em>Disclaimer: I received a free box for an honest review.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Try a Wantable Box If You Like Pretty, High-Quality Surprises" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Amy Lu</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Style accessories Wantable Mon, 10 Feb 2014 10:36:11 +0000 Amy Lu 1116895 at Wantable Accessories: Funky Elegance at a Discount <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/wantable-accessories-funky-elegance-at-a-discount" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="woman wearing jewelry" title="woman wearing jewelry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Why pay full price when there are discounts to be had? Makeup and fashion accessories are no exception. With <a href="">Wantable</a>, you can get premium makeup, accessories, and intimates at half price &mdash; or less! While you won't know exactly what will arrive, a style quiz ensures that you'll love what you get. (See also:<a href=""> Affordable Accessories to Kickstart Your Style</a>)</p> <h2>About Wantable</h2> <p>Wantable is a Milwaukee-based company of about 15 employees spread to as far as New York City. They aim to match their customers with sure-to-love accessories, makeup, and intimates. For $40 (or $36 if you sign up for a subscription), you receive a number of goodies valued at $80 to $100, all which suit your personal style. How do they know what you like, you ask? Well, <em>they</em> ask &mdash; in the form of an illustrated style quiz. (See also: <a href="">Surprise Yourself With a Wantable Box</a>)</p> <h2>The Goodies</h2> <p>The accessories I've gotten from Wantable have been great so far. There were one or two misses, but nothing to make me want to return the whole box. The style quiz really seems to work! Here's a sampling of my loves, likes, and dislikes:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Love:</strong> Classic, Mix 'n Match, Earrings, Necklaces, Headbands</li> <li><strong>Like:</strong> Rock 'n Roll, Boho, Bracelets, Gold Tone, Silver Tone</li> <li><strong>Dislike:</strong> Rings, Watches, Sunglasses, Wood, Leatherette</li> </ul> <p>And these arrived in the mail:</p> <h3>Akoya Necklace</h3> <p><img style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Look at this. Look at it! I mean&hellip;wowzers. I am rendered speechless by how gorgeous this necklace is. It manages to make pearls and rhinestones &mdash; pretty traditional elements in jewelry &mdash; a little funky, but not so much that it would be out of place at an elegant soiree. I would absolutely pay full retail for this.</p> <p><em>Retail value: $28</em></p> <h3>Lavi Bracelet</h3> <p><img style="width: 596px; height: 298px;" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>If you need a bracelet to go with the above necklace, this one will do quite nicely! The gold settings that make up the Lavi bracelet have tiny balls on the corners just as the settings on the Akoya necklace do. Don't worry about being too &quot;matchy-matchy&quot;, though; transparent faceted gemstones make for an interesting twist. The extra bulky spring ring clasp is something I don't see every day (which is nice!) but it's also a little hard to maneuver (not so nice).</p> <p><em>Retail value: $28</em></p> <h3>Calida Earrings</h3> <p><img style="width: 605px; height: 302px;" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>With these Wantable boxes, there's always something that gives me pleasant surprise. (I guess that's the point, isn't it?) From the front,&nbsp;the Calida earrings seem like&nbsp;a simple black round set in a textured gold frame. But from the side, you'll see that it's actually a crown. It's not noticeable unless someone gets up close and personal with your ear, but like the colorful patterned lining of a trench coat, <em>you know it's there</em>.</p> <p><em>Retail value: $18</em></p> <h3>Imagine Earrings</h3> <p><img style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>The Imagine Earrings are small, silver-toned infinity signs. I guess they're&hellip;nice? They'll work fine if you need a basic piece of jewelry that's not too showy. I would be spending all day checking to see if they're perfectly horizontal on my ears, but that's just me.</p> <p><em>Retail value: $20</em></p> <h2>Is It Worth It?</h2> <p><img style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>The total retail value of this box is $94. At $40 per box, this translates to $54 (57%) savings. While I am somewhat underwhelmed by the Imagine Earrings, I love everything else &mdash; especially the Akoya Necklace. You miles may vary, but for me, the beautiful necklace and bracelet make&nbsp;this box worth it! <a href="">Check out Wantable now</a>!</p> <p><em>Disclaimer: I received a free box for an honest review.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Wantable Accessories: Funky Elegance at a Discount" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Amy Lu</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping accessories fashion jewelry makeup Wantable Mon, 02 Dec 2013 11:01:25 +0000 Amy Lu 1098612 at Do Wantable's Statement Accessories Say Yay or Nay? <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/do-wantables-statement-accessories-say-yay-or-nay" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="woman with accessories" title="woman with accessories" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are you up for a sort-of surprise? Just answer a quiz and <a href="">Wantable</a> delivers! Although you won't know exactly what you'll get, you can count on Wantable to personalize your box just right. I received some beautiful, bold pieces in this box (yay!) and one that is a tad less impressive by comparison &mdash; but each one definitely suits my style.</p> <p>For some people (myself included), the price might be a smidge high for a regular expense. But if you're used to paying premium for quality products, a Wantable box may actually help you save money. (See also: <a href="">Where to Find Inexpensive Accessories</a>)</p> <h2>About Wantable</h2> <p>Wantable aims to match their customers with makeup or accessories they're sure to love. The goodies in each box are hand-picked by Wantable's in-house and guest curators, based on the answers you provide in a super easy style quiz that only wants to know if you love, like, or dislike the options they present to you. For a one-off box at $40, or a subscription at $36 per box, you receive 4-6 full-size makeup products or several pieces of quality accessories (the exact number seems to change month to month). With each box valued at $80 to $100, you could save up to 60% on the latest in beauty and fashion. (See also: <a href="">Wantable Makeup Box Review</a>)</p> <p>If makeup and accessories aren't your thing, Wantable has also rolled out an intimates box with stylish and comfortable essentials (think camis, tanks, socks, tights, panties, and soft bras).</p> <h2>The Goodies</h2> <p>We're back to accessories with this month's box. My <a href="">previous accessories box</a> was a hit overall. How does this one stack up? To give you an idea of what the Wantable team had to work with, here are some of my answers to the style quiz:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Love:</strong> Classic, Mix 'n Match, Earrings, Necklaces, Headbands</li> <li><strong>Like:</strong> Rock 'n Roll, Boho, Urban, Multi Tone, Beads</li> <li><strong>Dislike:</strong> Rings, Watches, Sunglasses, Leatherette</li> </ul> <p>And here are the products they sent me:</p> <h3>Estella Earrings</h3> <p><img style="height:340px; width:605px" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Can something be both elegant <em>and</em> cute? Yes, and the Estella earrings prove it. The warm apricot gems in their stately oval shape, the tiny pearl-like beads at the top, and the whimsical bows and flowers all come together in old-fashioned quirkiness. My mom, who loves elegant and cute things, walked off with them at first sight. (See also: <a href="">Affordable Accessories to Kickstart Your Style</a>)</p> <p><em>Retail value: $24</em></p> <h3>Aubrina Earrings</h3> <p><img style="height:340px; width:605px" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>I don't usually buy black earrings because they get visually lost in my hair, but I can count on the Aubrina earrings to stand out thanks to the silver trim. They seem to recall the standard diamond shape that you often see on earrings, but the rounded corners &mdash; more clover than diamond &mdash; softens the look. The earrings feel a little heavy, but the backings are secure enough that I'm not at all worried about losing one.</p> <p><em>Retail value: $22</em></p> <h3>Emmy Necklace</h3> <p><img style="height:340px; width:605px" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>I think I would like the Emmy necklace more if the green bars were larger. It's such a beautiful color, and I want more of it! As is, I'm a little underwhelmed, but I can see this working as an everyday, I-just-need-a-spot-of-color kind of accessory.</p> <p><em>Retail value: $28</em></p> <h3>Gretchen Necklace</h3> <p><img style="height:340px; width:605px" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>I thought this necklace looked fairly ordinary at first. It's basically a circular pendant on a long chain &mdash; and that's what you would see from a distance. But then I <em>really</em> looked at it, and I fell in love with the details. The construction of the pendant (two main rings looped together by twine-like wire) and the many different textures bring interest to an otherwise simple shape. My only worry is that the out-facing rhinestones along the edge can damage sweaters and other delicate clothing. Then again, I can imagine the necklace being a mildly effective weapon &mdash; it's certainly sturdy enough!</p> <p><em>Retail value: $24</em></p> <h2>Is It Worth It?</h2> <p><img style="height:340px; width:605px" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>The retail value of everything in the box came out to $98. There is no way I would purchase any of these pieces at their full retail price, so the 59.1% savings is too far removed from my budgeting world to really get me excited. But if I think about it from a different angle &mdash; these pieces are gorgeous, and they're only about $10 each! &mdash; I would say this box is worth it.</p> <p>I want to emphasize <em>this box</em>, because the cost for monthly boxes can really add up. (Seriously, there's no way I'd be able to keep this up if I weren't reviewing these boxes.) And while Wantable tries to match up the goodies with what you like, there's no guarantee or one-item return policy &mdash; full-box returns only. Still, I think the Wantable experience, quiz and semi-surprise and all, is a fun treat for special occasions and an awesome gift for the makeup or fashion inclined.</p> <p><em>Disclaimer: I received a free box for an honest review.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Do Wantable&#039;s Statement Accessories Say Yay or Nay?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Amy Lu</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping accessories fashion jewelry makeup Wantable Tue, 29 Oct 2013 09:36:03 +0000 Amy Lu 981555 at The Greatest Frugal Fashion Makeover Ever: Refresh Your Wardrobe for $25 or Less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-greatest-frugal-fashion-makeover-ever-refresh-your-wardrobe-for-25-or-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="wardrobe" title="wardrobe" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="172" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We're all busy. When you're busy, it's hard enough to do basic things like eat well, get enough sleep, and exercise. Keeping up a quality wardrobe that lets you show off who you are in a fun, refined way often falls by the wayside. If money is an issue, it's even easier to let things slide, since browsing when you can't buy anything is just plain depressing. (See also: <a href="">10 Steps to Update Your Look on a Budget</a>)</p> <p>But all of us in need of a revamped wardrobe are in luck, because it's cheaper and easier than most of us think (or, at least, easier than I thought!) to refine your look and make sure you're saying what you want to say every time you get dressed.</p> <h2>Before You Shop</h2> <p>One of the best ways to revamp your wardrobe is to start with what you have. Think this is backwards? Let me show you how it works.</p> <p><strong>Analyze Your Wardrobe</strong></p> <p>Before you do anything else, look through your whole wardrobe. This means everything, including the clothes you have stashed away in the back of your closet. Look even at items that are too big or too small, as they can give you clues to what you like and don't like. Then, put all the clothes you don't like or that don't fit into one pile, and prep the rest for laundry.</p> <p><strong>Deep Clean Your Clothes</strong></p> <p>Depending on the age of your clothes, what they're made of, and your usual washing practices, you may need to do different steps here. The idea is to make your existing clothes look as good as they possibly can. Bleach your whites, and treat for armpit and other stains. Make your colored items pop and your dark items look crisp. Wisk DeepClean Power Blasts are known for helping with this project, but you can always treat stains with a Tide pen and add OxyClean to your detergent for all around cleaner clothes. (See also: <a href="">Defensive Laundry: 9 Ways to Help Your Clothes Last Longer</a>)</p> <p><strong>Revamp Tired Items</strong></p> <p>This can mean any number of things. Cover holes or stains that you can't get out with applique, patches, or handmade flowers; or <a href=";page=1">mend them</a>. Go over the stitching on boring items with a contrasting color, or add ribbon. You can even shorten or remove sleeves, change a hemline, or <a href="">restyle a T-shirt</a>. When it comes to revamping your clothes, you're only limited by your creativity.</p> <p><strong>Trade-In Time</strong></p> <p>Find a local consignment store that has items you'd like to own, and take in any clothes that you own, but don't wear, for a trade-in. Keep in mind that many consignment stores are choosy, and will only take clothes that are in good condition, made by name brands, and/or in the particular style that the store specializes in.</p> <p><strong>Host a Clothing Swap</strong></p> <p>If you like your friends' clothes, and you're all around the same size, host a clothing swap. There are <a href="">many ways to do this</a>, but the gist of the idea is that everyone comes together with the clothes that they don't want anymore and everyone gets to shop from the other closets. Anything not taken home is generally sent to a thrift store or donated elsewhere.</p> <h2>Shopping</h2> <p>Once you've done everything listed above, it's time to do a bit of shopping with your $25. It will help if you decide what you are looking for before you go, so you don't end up spending money on something you don't like or that will not be useful to you.</p> <p><strong>Shopping Second-Hand</strong></p> <p>One of the best ways to find quality clothes at a much-lower-than-retail price is to buy items second-hand. This takes some extra time and energy, as you often have to look through hundreds of items that you don't want to find a few that you do, but you can often buy several name-brand items for less than $25. Be sure to go to thrift stores when you have some extra time, so you won't feel hurried as you browse the racks. (See also: <a href="">10 Things to Look for Every Time You Visit a Thrift Store</a>)</p> <p><strong>Jewelry</strong></p> <p>If you generally feel good about your wardrobe but you just want to spice things up a bit, jewelry can be just the thing. <a href="">$25 can get you a decent statement necklace</a>, or a couple pairs of new earrings or a new bracelet. With a limited budget, you won't be able to buy a lot of jewelry or even whatever you want. With some patient searching, though, you should be able to find a piece or two that will help you say what you want to say with your clothing.</p> <p><strong>Scarves</strong></p> <p>Scarves are similar to jewelry in that they can change or enhance a look without much effort on your part. Again, you won't be able to buy many scarves or even every scarf you want, if you're on a limited budget. For <a href=";searchidx=20">interesting choices</a> (and often lower prices) try an ethnic market. African, Indian, Mexican, Native-American, and Asian markets often sell scarves in fabrics and prints that you won't find elsewhere. (See also: <a href="">Affordable Accessories to Kickstart Your Style</a>)</p> <p><strong>The Skinny Belt</strong></p> <p>A simple skinny belt, in black, white, brown, or grey, can add versatility to many outfits. Belt a shirt or a dress under the bust, at the waist, or low around the hips, for three <a href="">entirely different looks</a>. Experiment with what you like best and what looks best on your body. You may find that you like the belt worn several different ways, or you may prefer one or two. Either way, you've added versatility to your wardrobe.</p> <p>Revamping your wardrobe on a budget takes some focus and intentionality, but you'll feel better about the way you look when you're done. Don't be afraid to take your time so that you can figure out your style and what looks good on your body, and buy accordingly. Happy hunting!</p> <p><em>What are your favorite, frugal ways to freshen your look?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The Greatest Frugal Fashion Makeover Ever: Refresh Your Wardrobe for $25 or Less" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Sarah Winfrey</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Style accessories laundry new wardrobe Thrift shopping Tue, 13 Aug 2013 10:24:32 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 981038 at Love Makeup or Jewelry? Surprise Yourself With a Wantable Box. <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/love-makeup-or-jewelry-surprise-yourself-with-a-wantable-box" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you like surprises? Do you like trying out new things? If you're also into makeup or fashion accessories, then you'll want to check out <a href="">Wantable</a>. I gave it a test run recently, and while I'm not sure it's a good fit for me, I can definitely see how it can work out <em>very</em> well for others! (See also: <a href="">10 Places to Find Inexpensive Accessories</a>)</p> <h2>About Wantable</h2> <p>Based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the Wantable team aims to match you up with fashion and beauty products they know you'll love. From the About Us page:</p> <blockquote><p>&quot;Each month our in-house and guest curators hand-pick beauty and fashion jewelry products from hundreds of quality boutique, specialty, and premium vendors to find the best on-trend items. Then we use each customer's unique profile and purchase history to select the perfect set of products just for them.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>You may wonder, what's this &quot;unique profile&quot; about? It's pretty simple. They use data derived from a survey you fill out to make sure the products in your box will suit your tastes.</p> <h2>How It Works</h2> <p>You're launched into a tailor-made experience right from the homepage. Start by choosing between two categories of goodies &mdash; makeup or jewelry &mdash; then complete a survey that asks about your style and preferences. Once your order is in, they'll send you a box with 4-6 full sized beauty products or 3-5 pieces of jewelry and fashion accessories.</p> <p>The survey takes about 5 minutes. The questions start off broad (What styles do you prefer? What kinds of products do you want?), then gradually shift to the details (How long do you like your necklaces? Do you like matte, shimmer, or glitter nail polish?). They give you some options &mdash; with pictures! &mdash; and you can move a slider to <em>Love</em> or <em>Dislike</em>, or leave it at <em>Like</em>. Wantable's &quot;curators&quot; will then use your answers to pick out items you're likely to love and leave out altogether the ones you dislike.</p> <p>Each box is valued at $80 to $100. You can choose to buy a single box for $40 or subscribe for monthly boxes at $36 each. They ship automatically each month, and you can cancel or skip the subscription at any time. Returns seem pretty painless &mdash; just use the original box and the prepaid return label, and send it all back at any time &mdash; even if the products were opened or used. However, it's an all-or-nothing deal; you can't return one item and keep everything else. (I asked. More on that later.)</p> <h2>The Goodies</h2> <p>I took the survey for both categories but ultimately chose the box of jewelry and accessories. The box itself is a sturdy little thing that should fit in most mail boxes, and it's stuffed with enough packing material (namely, paper strips and a sheet of bubble wrap) to ensure that it all arrives safely. There's also a return shipping label, just in case.</p> <p>To give you a sense of what the goodies in my box should look like, here are some of my choices on the survey:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Love:</strong> Classic, Glam, Rock 'n Roll, Quirky</li> <li><strong>Like:</strong> Earrings, Bracelets, Necklaces, Silver Tone, Gold Tone, Multi-Tone, Acrylic, Beads</li> <li><strong>Dislike:</strong> Seasonal, Rings, Wood, Skulls</li> </ul> <p>And here's what they sent me:</p> <h3>Suzi Earrings</h3> <p><img width="600" height="325" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>The stud earrings look pretty basic, right? Except they're <em>huge</em>. Well, not <em>huge</em> huge &mdash; just way larger than any pair of studs I already own. The scale and square shape gives an otherwise simple design that <em>wow!</em> factor I keep hearing about but never really see out in the wild. Until now.</p> <p><em>Retail value: $20</em></p> <h3>Alisandra Bracelet</h3> <p><img width="600" height="260" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>I wasn't really sold on the white-and-gold bow bracelet at first. I thought the design was cute but kind of forgettable, and I couldn't figure out how to get it open. Here's a play-by-play:</p> <p>&quot;I see a hinge, but I can't pull it open.&quot; Some gentle tugs. &quot;Huh. It's still not opening.&quot; Stronger tugs. The bow twists to one side. &quot;Oh no, I broke it! I broke it!&quot; Bracelet slides open. &quot;Wait. Hold on. I think I got this.&quot; I slide a notch into the corresponding hole, and swing the bow into place, securing the bracelet. &quot;This is the <em>best bracelet ever</em>.&quot;</p> <p>There wasn't even a survey question about whether I like everyday objects with interesting mechanics (I do)! Even though I know it's just a coincidence, I feel like the Wantable folks <em>really get me</em> with this bracelet.</p> <p><em>Retail value: $26</em></p> <h3>Drew Earrings</h3> <p><img width="600" height="316" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>I love these. I love them so much. They're exactly the kind of earrings that I go <em>&quot;Ooooh!&quot;</em> over &mdash; but far sturdier than most earrings I see at department stores.</p> <p><em>Retail value: $22</em></p> <h3>Nicola Sunglasses</h3> <p><img width="600" height="306" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>Guys, I really like how the sunglasses look, but I think I made a mistake here. I tend to overthink surveys, so it took me 15 minutes to do the Wantable jewelry survey when a normal person would only need five. But see, when I overthink things, I also tend to make really dumb mistakes &mdash; like answer that I like sunglasses (which I do, generally) when I can't wear non-prescription ones. I don't want to return the other pieces along with the sunglasses, so I can either get prescription lenses installed&hellip;or give them to my sister.</p> <p>You're welcome, J.</p> <p><em>Retail value: $15</em></p> <p>I think Wantable's curators did a great job; I did really like what I got.</p> <p><img width="600" height="366" alt="" src="" /></p> <h2>Is It Worth It?</h2> <p>I opted for the jewelry box because I don't usually wear makeup and I wouldn't know what to do with 4-6 full sized, brand new mystery products all at once. (Probably comb YouTube for makeup tutorials.) However, I was still a little skeptical about my choice. I can't really justify spending $40 on a few pieces of accessories, and the thought of steadily accumulating jewelry over the course of a $36/month subscription frankly scares me. Even if they <em>are</em> such well-made pieces.</p> <p>But if you're already in the habit of spending a little extra for quality jewelry or makeup, <a href="">Wantable</a> may be a good fit for you. The total retail value of the items in my box was $83; at $40 per box, that's just over 50 percent in savings &mdash; and that's on the low end. If you receive a pricier box (say, max value of $100), you could stand to save 60 percent on goodies you might not have purchased at full price.</p> <p>I can also see Wantable working very well as a gift &mdash; and they give you that option. They'll send the recipient a link to take the survey and will charge your card when an order goes through. It makes a nice gift for a young woman with a budding makeup collection, or anyone who likes surprises that aren't <em>too</em> surprising. I can think of a number of family/friends who would enjoy the Wantable experience, survey and all.</p> <p>Final verdict? If the price doesn't faze you &mdash; totally worth it.</p> <p><em>Disclaimer: I received a free box for an <strong>honest</strong> review.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Love Makeup or Jewelry? Surprise Yourself With a Wantable Box." rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Amy Lu</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping accessories fashion jewelry makeup Wantable Mon, 10 Jun 2013 10:48:33 +0000 Amy Lu 978030 at Affordable Accessories to Kickstart Your Style <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/affordable-accessories-to-kickstart-your-style" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Feather earrings" title="Feather earrings" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Stylish people with a frugal streak know that building a wardrobe around classic cuts and chic, quality basics is the best way to save money while dressing like you mean business. But even the most classic styles can seem stale after a while, which is why fashion-conscious people who still like to pinch their pennies know how to utilize accessories to make their sartorial choices stand out.</p> <p>Accessories are pretty much anything that you can get away with not wearing (so, for instance, pants are not an accessory). Accessories go in and out of style more frequently than clothing, but are often all you need to update your look. You can wear the same black turtleneck and black jeans for years, but build a real wardrobe out of the accessories that bring color and character to the outfit. (See also: <a href="">10 Places to Find Inexpensive Accessories</a>).</p> <h2>Scarves and Cowls</h2> <p>Scarves and cowls aren't just for staying warm &mdash; they are must-have accessories. Choose colors that compliment your coloring &mdash; scarves and cowls are the perfect way to bring out the color in your eyes or to accentuate your great hair. Scarves in bright pink and red can shine some warm light on sallow skin.</p> <p><img width="570" height="381" src="" alt="Cowl scarf" /></p> <p><em>Photo credit: <a href="">Angela Wierzbinski at MissMisoDesigns</a></em></p> <p>Scarves aren't just for women, as men have also been rocking a wide range of plain and pattered scarves for years. Keffiyeh look particularly manly, and most women are total suckers for a guy in plaid. Learn <a href="">how to knot a scarf</a> and watch how women react to you (the ability to fake an Italian accent might also be of aid).</p> <h2>Belts</h2> <p>You may have noticed that belts have made a real comeback over the last few years. You can put a belt over more or less anything &mdash; dress, jacket, trench coat, sweater, long shirt &mdash; it doesn't matter. Belts can add a bright pop of color to an otherwise staid ensemble and offer a hint of a waistline for people who lack one.</p> <p><img width="357" height="594" src="" alt="Girl in yellow belt" /></p> <p><em>Photo credit: <a href="">Ashley Marcin at (never home)maker</a></em></p> <p>Right now (Feb. 2011), the trend in belts seems to be a mix of skinny, colorful leather straps, and large, corset-like bands in black or brown. Where you go to buy one really depends on how long you plan to wear it &mdash; if you only need it for a couple of seasons, a cheap belt may suffice. However, if you want a belt that will last a long time, check out Nordstrom Rack, Filene's Basement, or Ross to see if you can score a discounted, but well-made Italian leather belt.</p> <h2>Hats</h2> <p>Hats are finally making a comeback after years of languishing in the closets of vintage collectors. Credit (or blame) <em>Mad Men</em> for making a casual chapeau more acceptable, but I for one am delighted to see people wearing hats, not just caps, as a part of their personal style.</p> <p><img width="570" height="380" src="" alt="Hat" /></p> <p><em>Photo credit: <a href="">HeatherHeatherHeather</a></em></p> <p>There are so many options when shopping for a hat, and while you certainly don't have to follow current trends, you could do worse than checking out a modern fedora or pork pie hat at your local mall. I ended up with a stylish herringbone fedora this weekend at a BOGO sale at Men's Warehouse.</p> <h2>Floral Accents</h2> <p>Fabric flowers of all shapes and sizes are still major fashion accessories right now. Flowered belts are a huge accessory at the moment, and <a href="">calexandra's Etsy shop</a> features this beautiful spring-like design that would make a plain white t-shirt look like a million bucks.</p> <p><img width="570" height="442" src="" alt="Flower belt" /></p> <p><em> Photo credit: <a href="">Carlotte at calexandra</a></em></p> <p>The great thing about fabric flowers is that you can stick them ANYWHERE. You can buy silk flowers at your local craft store and remove the wire stems and leaves to make pins, barrettes, headbands, <a href="">brooches</a>, <a href=";ga_search_query=shoe%2Bclips&amp;ga_search_type=handmade">shoe clips</a>, bracelets, bib-style necklaces, collar appliques, sashes, belts, bridal accessories, and more.</p> <p><img width="570" height="467" src="" alt="Flower" /></p> <p><em>Photo credit: <a href="">Georgianna at aSundayGirl</a></em></p> <p>If you are crafty, you have even more options for floral accessories, such as <a href="">making fabric flowers yourself</a>. <a href="">aSundayGirl</a> sells tutorials for under $5. You can use any material, including silk, denim, and even lace. Another popular option is the <a href=";feature=player_embedded">folded ribbon rose</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe width="480" height="390" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" src="" title="YouTube video player"></iframe><br /> <a href="">Go to the video</a></p> <p>If the DIY force is strong in you, you can easily find tutorials online on how to make any style of fabric flower. The awesome craft blog Hey Jen Renee has a really simple tutorial on <a href="">how to sew simple fabric blossoms</a> onto a plain t-shirt. Simply Vintagegirl has an easy post that shows you how to singe the edges of silk to <a href="">make fake flowers look like real flowers</a>.</p> <p><em>Money-saving hint</em>: If you buy silk flowers, only buy during a sale. The mark-up on silk flowers is ridiculous.</p> <h2>Headbands&nbsp;</h2> <p>You've probably seen headbands and hair accessories taking up more shelf space at your local shopping mall. Headbands are an easy way to make you look like you put extra effort into dressing, even if you only had a few minutes to get ready.</p> <p><img width="370" height="491" src="" alt="Headband" style="" /></p> <p><em>Photo credit: <a href="">Gina at Acute Designs</a></em></p> <p>Buying handmade is great and worth spending a few more dollars on, but don't pay full price at any retail outlet &mdash; you can find cheap ones in the bargain bin at any major department store.</p> <p>Look for colors that add a pop of visual interest but work with your hair color and can be integrated into your overall look. Headbands are a life saver when you don't have time to wash your hair, too &mdash; just collect it into a messy ponytail or muss it around with a little hair pomade, and place the band strategically.</p> <p><img width="370" height="472" src="" alt="flowered headpiece" /></p> <p><em>Photo credit: <a href="">Thatiana at House of Telsa</a></em></p> <p>For people who get headaches because of bands pinching behind the ears, the thin metal headbands that are sold at drug stores are a good option. They can be bent slightly to reduce the tension applied to your scalp. Headbands are perfect for your glue-gun skills. To add a flower or accent to a plain headband, simply clear the back of the flower/applique so that it is more or less flat. Apply glue to the headband, place the accent, and then glue a piece of felt to the underside of the headband in such a way that it covers the underside of the accent piece. Then trim excess felt away until it can't be seen from the front.</p> <p>If you prefer using ribbon or elastic headbands, Love Maegan has some lovely pictorial tutorials on <a href="">how to attach silk flowers and lace to headbands</a>.</p> <h2>Jewelry</h2> <p>Jewelry is a timeless option for changing your overall look from blah to elegant (or funky, or spicy, or whatever). Jewelry comes in such varieties nowadays that there is something affordable for everyone out there.</p> <h3>Bold Jewelry</h3> <p>Big, bold jewelry has really taken center stage as of late with the introduction of the bib necklace. Easily the fastest way to turn a t-shirt and jeans into a dressier affair, the bib necklace is generally at least two inches tall by four inches wide, and hangs across the chest a little like a baby's bib (hence the name), but minus the regurgitated food...hopefully.</p> <p>Bib necklaces are on sale at your local Macy's because retailers are busy bringing in the latest spring accessories, which will include MORE bib necklaces in different colors.</p> <p>If necklaces aren't your thing, then large plastic and wood bracelets are selling for mere pennies at JCPenney and Macy's, right at this very moment.</p> <p><img width="570" height="575" src="" alt="long feather earrings" /></p> <p><em>Photo credit: <a href="">Rachel Junek at Pixie Glamour</a></em></p> <p>Another popular item at the moment is a good pair of feather earrings, and I am completely taken with the super-long feather earrings (above) sold by <a href="">Pixie Glamour</a>. They look great with short hairstyles and dress up pretty much any outfit. They aren't for the shy, but it's much more fun to make a statement than to be a shrinking violet, anyway.</p> <h3>Vintage Jewelry</h3> <p>Etsy and eBay are great places to find vintage pieces. Very few things can take an outfit from dullsville to outstanding faster than a vintage brooch. Enamel, milk glass, and rhinestones are all very popular options, and there are thousands of antique items out there looking for a new home.</p> <p><img width="570" height="425" src="" alt="Brooch" /></p> <p><em>Photo credit: <a href="">Carrier's Cozy Cottage</a></em></p> <p>A good rhinestone brooch or fur clip can be used with cardigans, scarves, sweaters, blazers, little black dresses, evening gowns, and wool coats. They are versatile and elegant. That said, remember to keep a cool head and not overbid on anything on eBay.</p> <h2>Vintage Glasses/Sunglasses</h2> <p>Vintage glasses came back into style during the mid 1990s, thanks to the band Weezer and their ode to Buddy Holly. Fortunately, vintage <a href="">glasses</a> have more or less remained in style since then, which means that you can snatch a pair at pretty much any used clothing/antique shop for a steal. Get your own prescription added to the frame or go with fake lenses if you actually have great eyesight. If you sit in front of a computer monitor all day, ask your eye doctor about getting graduated lenses (like bifocals) that give your view of your work an extra boost.</p> <p><img width="570" height="473" src="" alt="Glasses" /></p> <p><em>Photo credit: <a href="">Deb at BibbysRocket</a></em></p> <p>Etsy sellers like <a href="">BibbysRocket</a> have a wide range of authenti vintage frames, or check out your local vintage/secondhand stores. There are so many styles of glasses that are &quot;in&quot; at the moment. You can pick up a style ranging from 1950-1988 and still be totally in the now.</p> <h2>Bags/Purses/Satchels</h2> <p>Carrying a purse is almost a given for most women, even women who swear that they don't need to carry much to survive. Having a quality bag that you can use for years is one option, but if you haven't settled on your forever purse yet, you can change your bag as often as you change your mood.</p> <p>A poorly made purse will fall apart quickly, so look for quality handbags at thrift stores like Goodwill or the Salvation Army. A ripped lining or seam can be repaired, and finding a good vintage purse with decent &quot;bone structure&quot; can be a real boon to your wardrobe.</p> <p><img width="570" height="476" src="" alt="vintage handbag" /></p> <p><em>Photo credit: <a href="">Claudia at Lange Vintage</a></em></p> <p>Many women will find a purse they love and buy it in every color, but it can be smart to change out your style. For instance, carry a clutch in the winter, a hobo bag in the spring, a canvas satchel in the summer, and a structured handbag in the fall. It's not just that style gets updated to match the season, it's also good, ergonomically, to change the way you hold your bag.</p> <h2>Tights/Leggings</h2> <p>Bit by bit, even the most conservative among us have come to accept the presence of leggings in the general populace. Leggings are perfect for wearing under an extra-short dress or skirt, saving the world from knowing exactly which undergarments we have selected today.</p> <p><img width="570" height="530" src="" alt="leggings" /></p> <p><em>Photo credit: <a href="">BeauBazar</a></em></p> <p>Tights, of course, are a lifesaving accessory in any woman's wardrobe. Like nylons, but without the extreme fragility, tights let you get away with wearing skirts and dresses in the dead of winter, <em>even if you haven't shaved your legs in a good long time</em>.</p> <p>We will not discuss <a href="">jeggings</a>.</p> <h2>Leg Warmers/Arm Warmers</h2> <p>When leg warmers first made a comeback a couple of years ago, I howled in protest. &quot;This is not <em>Flash Dance</em>!&quot; I would mutter at teenagers who bopped on by, oblivious to a grumpy 32-year-old who was unable to cope with her childhood style coming full circle already. But I was won over quickly enough when I realized:</p> <ol> <li>I have a fondness for pretty much anything from my days in ballet.</li> <li>Leg warmers look amazing over a pair of heels, giving a &quot;faux boot&quot; look.&nbsp;Just be careful not to trip on them.</li> </ol> <p>Arm warmers are often associated with the Gothic aesthetic, but I have a raspberry pair that keep me warm in my sub-Arctic office and add a pop of color to my traditionally dour wardrobe. I also love arm warmers made from recycled clothing, like this pair form <a href="">Euphraxia's Closet</a>.</p> <p><img width="570" height="495" src="" alt="arm warmers" /></p> <p><em>Photo credit: <a href="">Molly Schwarzenberger</a></em></p> <h2>Colors</h2> <p>Lastly, let's talk color. Colorful, fashionable accessories have never been so widely available and so affordable. Every season, designers trot out the latest &quot;it&quot; colors &mdash; one or two shades that are supposed to be lovingly used in the fashion world until the next season rolls around. Fashion is, after all, fickle.</p> <p>That said, seasonal color choices can really give a needed &quot;oomph&quot; to basic office blacks, whites, and grays. Let's talk about the color combinations that are big right now &mdash; there are so many that there has to be something for everyone.</p> <h3>Unexpected Color Combinations</h3> <p>Combining two or more colors that normally wouldn't &quot;go&quot; together is extremely fashionable now. Baby blue with bright red, dark yellow and light gray, lime green and oatmeal, turquoise and coral, navy blue and yellow... the possibilities are endless.</p> <p>Tracy Owens Chasteen, owner of <a href="">Polished Two</a>, a popular Etsy shop, started making jewelry when she found herself with a lack of personalized options in the marketplace. Tracy now makes custom pieces of jewelry that she sells at incredibly reasonable prices, and has a particular knack for finding colors that contrast and compliment at the same time.</p> <p>&quot;I actually started making affordable jewelry because I wanted interesting, boutique style accessories, but could not afford all of the latest trends when I was on an entry-level salary,&quot; Tracy told me. &quot;To solve that problem, I learned how to make my own jewelry.&quot;</p> <p><img width="570" height="427" alt="" src="" /></p> <p><em>Photo credit: <a href="">Tracy Owens Chasteen at Polished Two</a></em></p> <h3>Soft Neutrals</h3> <p>Neutrals are always classic choices for wardrobe basics or accessories. By neutrals, I mean black, white, gray, beige, taupe &mdash; inoffensive colors that aren't particularly exciting but that, because of their lack of character, are interpreted as classy. I'm not knocking neutrals; I'm personally a huge fan of both gray and taupe. This season's offerings are just plain packed with neutrals, from camel-colored wool shorts to dark gray blazers.</p> <p>This season, stylists have put a romantic twist on neutrals by incorporating pinks into the mix. Go to any young fashion department store, and you'll find wispy blouses in sheer fabrics, floral patterns, sheer lacy camisoles, all in shades of dusty pink, taupe, gray, and beige.</p> <p>Working neutrals into your accessories is extremely easy. Basic black necklaces and bracelets always make a striking statement. A pair of beige leather gloves looks as good against a red wool coat as against a denim jacket.</p> <h3>Metallics</h3> <p>Burnished gold, bright copper, and sparkling silver are incredibly hot tones this spring, and a little glitter can go a long way into brightening dull winter skin and adding accents without necessarily having to rely on bright colors.</p> <p>Metallics are especially popular in make-up tones right now, so you can add a bit of sparkle to your morning mirror time through a quick swipe of gold eye shadow across your lids. Feeling shinier? Get your hands on some glimmering body lotion. Sparkly leggings, shoes, and plastic accessories will all be widely available in your local department stores &mdash; keep an eye out for online deals and coupons.</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Affordable Accessories to Kickstart Your Style" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Andrea Karim</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="">Style articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Style accessories affordable fashion cheap jewelry Thu, 24 Feb 2011 14:00:09 +0000 Andrea Karim 491243 at 10 Places to Find Inexpensive Accessories <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-places-to-find-inexpensive-accessories" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Woman holding jewelry" title="Woman holding jewelry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I'm picky with accessories. At the moment I have three pairs of earrings, a handful of necklaces, and a few purses that I really like. Perhaps because I don't buy new accessories that often, I find that when I do go shopping, I'm often floored by the prices. ($200 for a purse? A <em>purse</em>? As far as I'm concerned, if I'm spending $200 for a purse, it should convert into a bulletproof vest or have a tiny refrigerator inside to keep sandwiches cold.)</p> <p>Unsurprisingly, when I do buy accessories, I always try to get a good deal. Here are ten of my favorite places to find inexpensive baubles, bangles, and bags.</p> <h3>1. T.J. Maxx</h3> <p>90% of the purses I've used over the last 10 years &mdash; including a sleek Nine West computer bag, a wacky-but-adorable ruffled purse, and a gorgeous grass-green leather satchel &mdash; have come from <a href="">T.J. Maxx</a>. The store offers a variety of designer clothing and accessories, high-quality home goods, and more at deep discounts. Ross and Daffy's both offer a similar selection, but T.J. Maxx remains my favorite name-brand discount store.&nbsp;(See also:&nbsp;<a href="">5 Tips for Scoring Discount Designer Handbags</a>)</p> <h3>2. Etsy</h3> <p><a href="">Etsy</a> is an online marketplace where thousands of artists and craftspeople offer unique handmade items for sale. The wide variety of vendors means there's also a wide variety of prices for accessories ranging from jewelry to handbags to belts and even shoes. Plus, you can feel good knowing that your purchase is going directly to a small businessperson.</p> <h3>3. Claire's</h3> <p>I know that this mall staple targets the teeny-bopper set, but <a href="">Clarie's</a> can be a great store to hit when you're looking for a necklace to match a specific outfit, or when you'd like to try a new trend without investing a lot of cash. While you're at the mall, Forever 21 is also a great store to check out.</p> <h3>4. Vintage, Thrift, and Consignment Shops</h3> <p>Some of my favorite pieces are gently used items I picked up at thrift, vintage, and consignment stores, including a pristine purse that features a needlepoint portrait of a spaniel on the front. In general, a vintage store is great for finding good-quality, but older and more expensive items. Thrift stores, meanwhile, can be kind of a crapshoot, but also tend to yield yield cheaper and newer items. Right in between those two are consignment shops, which sell up-to-date, gently used clothing and accessories.</p> <h3>5.</h3> <p><a href="">Overstock</a> is kind of like an online T.J. Maxx &mdash; a place where you can find discount name-brand items ranging from low-end to high-end (Gucci, anyone?). Overstock also frequently offers special sales and coupons to people on their mailing list.</p> <h3>6. A Craft Store</h3> <p>Can't find what you want for a reasonable price? Make it yourself! Obviously, this won't work for everything &mdash; I'm not suggesting that you go buy an anvil and soldering iron and teach yourself the art of fine silversmithing &mdash; but if you've had your eye on a cowl scarf, beaded necklace, or peacock-feather earrings, your new accessory could just be a few craft supplies and an online tutorial away.</p> <h3>7. Friends and Family</h3> <p>Several of my accessories are &quot;hand-me-ups&quot; &mdash; accessories that my younger sister was getting rid of. I've also gotten some great items by doing <a href="">clothing swaps</a> with friends. Accessory swaps can be even better than clothing swaps, because you don't need to worry about gathering friends who are all approximately the same size.</p> <h3>8. Your Closet</h3> <p>One of my friends is currently participating in the <a href="">30 for 30 Challenge</a>, where participants buy nothing new for 30 days, but instead challenge themselves to remix their existing wardrobe. Technically you are allowed to buy new accessories (just not clothing) during the 30 for 30 Challenge, but I think the philosophy of looking for new ways to wear existing items is great. If you have a belt that you normally wear around your hips, see how it would look around your waist. Try wearing a favorite neck scarf as a headband. And make sure to clean out your drawers and shelves &mdash; even if you don't find something old that you want to wear in a new way, you might find something you can sell or trade for a new-to-you accessory.</p> <h3>9. The Clearance Bin</h3> <p>End-of-season clearances can be great places to stock up on items for next year. Just make sure to buy things you really like and avoid anything that looks too trendy &mdash; it's no funny to squirrel away a beach bag or winter gloves if you're going to take them out the next year and decide you hate them.</p> <h3>10. Anywhere...with Caveats</h3> <p>I am a firm believer that if you truly love something and you'll continue to wear it, it's better to invest the money in high-quality goods that will last than to buy something cheap that you'll have to replace. I have a pair of red Frye boots that I purchased a few years ago. I've already had them resoled once, and they continue to be one of my favorite pieces of my wardrobe &mdash; totally worth it.</p> <p><em>Where do you get your accessories? Are there any great places that I missed on this list?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Places to Find Inexpensive Accessories" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Meg Favreau</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="">Style articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Style accessories affordable fashion budget wardrobe Mon, 14 Feb 2011 14:00:17 +0000 Meg Favreau 490192 at Get your PC to give you coffee, bacon or even an orgasm. <p><img src="/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/015E000000053670.jpg" alt="coffeepc" title="coffeepc" width="350" height="263" /></p> <p>As a frugal shopper, I like to make my products work hard. If I can get something to double as an equally handy item (for instance, a belt buckle that opens beer bottles, a portable TV that&#39;s also a flashlight) then I&#39;m happy.</p> <p>So, I&#39;m sat researching articles for Wisebread and I look down at my computer, ashamed. It has only ever been a computer. Surely, I thought, some bright sparks out there have figured out ways to make the PC into something so much more. Well, they have. Boy, they have. They&#39;re called casemods, and I found so many different functions for the humble PC that I was blown away. Until...until...</p> <p>...I found the USB gadgets! And I was even more amazed. So, I present to you my findings for making your PC work oh so much harder than it ever has before. Get it to brew you a coffee, a beer or even get some bacon grilling. I&#39;m not kidding. If you&#39;re a lady, your PC can even give you an orgasm. Now that is double-duty and then some. </p> <p><strong>1- The Coffee Brewing PC. </strong>- This one has been around for a while. I had some trouble digging up specs on how to do it yourself, but I did come up with a few leads <a href="">here</a> . <strong><br /></strong></p> <p><img src="/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/caffeine_machine_1.jpg" alt="coffee pc" title="coffee pc" width="345" height="459" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>2 - The Beer Machine.</strong> - Presumed at first to be a prank, but from what little info I found this one actualy looks feasible. Of course, mixing beer with electricity, especially something as sensitive as a PC, maybe foolhardy. Here&#39;s a <a href="">link </a> to set you on the path....</p> <p><img src="/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/beer_pc.jpg" alt="beer pc" title="beer pc" width="344" height="338" /> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>3 - The Hamster House </strong>- And why not? It&#39;s warm, it&#39;s right next to you as you play your games, it&#39;s a greatr pet home. I think. I wouldn&#39;t want to find poop in my RAM though. No details on this unusual build other than this link <a href="">here</a> .</p> <p><img src="/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/hamster.jpg" alt="hamster pc" title="hamster pc" width="359" height="320" /> </p> <p>And then...the USB gadgets....</p> <p><strong>4 - The USB Vibrator with multiple attachments - </strong> Ladies, now you know what to ask Santa for. This little package of pleasure was originally invented by Brits (so I&#39;m told...hey, I&#39;m happy to believe it). It retails for $36.95 <a href="">here </a> and the write up is, well, pretty good: - </p> <p><em>Completely controlled by a tiny microprocessor, the vibrator compontents can easily be manipulated to give you an ultimate deep and penetrating orgasm. It has 10 unique preset pulse/vibrate rhythms, includes 5 interchangable latex probes and a Self Adjustable Finger Ring Vibrating bullet.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/usb_vibrator.jpg" alt="usb Vib" title="usb vib" width="364" height="245" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>5 - The USB Pencil Sharpener</strong> - Now, if you&#39;re hard at work at your PC and still have the urge to do things the old-fashioned way, here&#39;s a cute gadget. It all runs off the PC power, again. Keep &#39;em sharp. Only $7.95, right <a href="">here</a> .</p> <p><img src="/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/isharp2l.jpg" alt="usb isharp" title="usb isharp" width="400" height="266" /></p> <p><strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>6 - The Homemade USB B-B-Q</strong> - I&#39;ll be honest...from the pictures I&#39;ve seen, I&#39;ll pass on a sandwhich made from this stuff. Yikes. But if you do happen to be hungry and want some fresh-grilled pork, a few USB cables and a heating plate will do it. Find out more <a href="">here</a> .</p> <p><img src="/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/usb_powered_bbq_7.jpg" alt="usb bbq" title="usb bbq" width="390" height="246" /> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>7 - The USB laser-guided missile Launcher</strong> - Let&#39;s face it...when your boss sneaks up behind you at work, wouldn&#39;t it be great to give him both barrels? Well, do so at your own risk, but here&#39;s the price - just $49.99 right <a href="">here</a> .</p> <p><img src="/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/rocket_launcher_v2.jpg" alt="missile " title="missile" width="333" height="353" /> </p> <p><strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>8 - The USB fragrance burner</strong> - If you&#39;ve been grilling bacon and chugging beer and coffee at your PC, this one could come in handy. A nice, pleasant device in an array of quite silly macho toys. Only $9.50 from <a href=";CartID=done&amp;nextloc=">MWAVE </a> (but they recently ran out of stock). </p> <p><img src="/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/usbfragranceoilburner4.jpg" alt="oil" title="oil" width="383" height="287" /> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>9 - The USB Vacuum cleaner</strong> - So, let&#39;s imagine that you&#39;re chewing on your freshly grilled bacon sandwhich from your USB griller, and breadcrumbs fall into your keyboard. No problem. Simply pop in the USB vacuum and clean up the mess. Simple. $14.95, <a href="">here</a> . </p> <p><img src="/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/vacuumfull.jpg" alt="vacuum" title="vacuum" width="442" height="294" /> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>10 - The USB Lava Lamp </strong>- 70&#39;s retro-chic updated with a 2007 twist. Not quite as funky as the original, but hey, it works off your PC&#39;s power and that kind of energy-saving, right-on idea is very hip and trendy, baby. Just $12.97 from many outlets including <a href="">this one</a> . </p> <p><img src="/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/USBLavaLamp_full.jpg" alt="lamp" title="lamp" width="422" height="316" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>11 - USB heating gloves</strong> - A great invention if you happen to by typing in an igloo, but I really don&#39;t see the point otherwise. But if you do happen to suffer from cold hands instead of cold feet, pick up a pair. They&#39;ll keep your toasty. $22.99 from <a href=";ProdID=1706&amp;dc=froogle">Perpetual Kid</a> .</p> <p><img src="/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/usbheatinggloves2.jpg" alt="gloves" title="gloves" width="394" height="295" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>12 - The USB Butt Cooler</strong> - If you happen to have a hot butt (and I don&#39;t mean that in the way it sounds...or do I?) then you&#39;ll benefit from the USB butt cooler. Just plug it into your USB port and your cheeks will not be rosy for hours. I only found it in Japan, <a href="">here</a> . </p> <p><img src="/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/butt_cooler.jpg" alt="buttcool" title="cuttcool" width="322" height="275" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>On my internet travels, I also found USB slippers, a coffee mug warmer, a desk fan, beverage cooler, ashtray and many more weird and wonderful things. One great site to get you started is <a href=";cat_id=008&amp;cat=USB+Gadgets&amp;pgSize=63"></a> </p> <p>Now, go put the PC to work. </p> <p><em>Photo from </em><em><a href=""></a> </em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Get your PC to give you coffee, bacon or even an orgasm." rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Paul Michael</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Life Hacks DIY accessories casemods custom built DIY gadgets gifts home computer power sharing toys unusual USB weird Tue, 08 May 2007 19:00:16 +0000 Paul Michael 609 at Pursenalized <p><img src="/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/handbag_small.jpg" alt=" " width="160" height="120" /></p> <p>Like <a href="/if-the-shoe-fits" target="_blank">many Wise Bread bloggers</a>, I love <a href="" target="_blank">Target</a> for a number of reasons. I love their sales racks, where you can find perfectly good wool skirts for $4.99. I adore that they carry clothing sizes that fit women like me, women who could be featured in a remake of Sir Mix-a-lot&#39;s &quot;Baby Got Back&quot;. Target has brought style to the masses, and for that, they will always be a favorite of mine.</p> <p>The only problem with shopping at Target is that everyone else shops there, too. Thus, you are bound to run into people who are wearing the EXACT same thing that you are, or carrying the same handbag. The latter is my current problem.</p> <p>Now, this might be further proof that I have yet to conquer my vanity, but I like to stand out a little bit. Shopping at Target and other large chain stores can make this difficult, because they sell so much stuff. </p> <p>So, when I&#39;m slummin&#39; it with a $21.99 Target handbag, and I frequently am, I want to avoid standing in line at the grocery store sporting the same bag as the three women in line in front of me. I can&#39;t help it - it&#39;s not a snob thing (yes, it is), it&#39;s a woman thing (a snobby woman thing). </p> <p>In fact, when I went to Target a couple of weeks ago, I picked out a black fake leather hobo-style handbag that I thought was particularly nice - not overly wrought, not to young and whippersnappery, no garish patterns; accents included some braided leather straps threaded through oversized rivets with tassles at the ends. As I was walking out of the store, I saw not one, but two women in the parking lot with the same purse.</p> <p>I gazed down at my new purchase. I could return it. It&#39;s easy enough to return stuff at Target, right? But I actually liked this bag quite a bit. So I decided to personalize it.</p> <p>I was very crafty as a kid, making my own jewelry and clothes. My hot glue-scalded hands were a constant reminder that I marched to the beat of my own fashion drummer. Now that I&#39;m old and lazy and not particularly creative, I don&#39;t even have the supplies to totally make over this handbag. Gone are the days of painting a self-portrait on my backpack. No, I was going to have to find something really easy.</p> <p>I walked back in to Target and immediately found what I was looking for - a long black scarf with multi-colored polka dots. Polyester. Cheap. I purchased it and drove home.</p> <p>Once home, I got to work immediately (don&#39;t you love how fashion can spur you into action? I do). The idea was really simple. I removed the long braided strappy things with a pair of sharp scissors and threaded the scarf through the purse&#39;s rivets instead. I tried tying the scarf in a variety of styles before settling on one.</p> <p><img src="/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/handbag.jpg" alt=" " width="448" height="336" /></p> <p>I LIKE it. It feels so French, or at least my idea of French - the real French may or may not tolerate polyester scarves.</p> <p>Now, this isn&#39;t revolutionary, not by a long shot. But it&#39;s a bag that will probably last me 6 months or so (if you do the math, that&#39;s $2.33 per month of use). I can change the scarf out for others if I want, or remove it all together and hang bunches of cheap charms from each rivet (I might do this). So far, no one has recognized the bag, but lots of people have complimented it.</p> <p>That is, unless I run into someone who is carrying the same handbag AND wearing the same scarf. Then I&#39;ll be forced to do something more creative.</p> <p>I&#39;ll be doing later blog posts about pimpin&#39; your purse, so I don&#39;t want to spoil anything, but other ideas for personalizing or customizing your handbag include hanging charms from it (charms can be bought cheap at craft stores, or go to Good Will and buy old earrings), covering it with old brooches, dying it a new color, and more. </p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Pursenalized" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Andrea Karim</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping accessories arts and crafts customized handbag purse scarves shopping target Fri, 02 Feb 2007 18:42:06 +0000 Andrea Karim 247 at