Thursday, January 26, 2012

Style @ Any Cost

I went to the mall this weekend with my kiddies and my daughter wanted to go into Forever21 for some jewelry.  I figured I could grab some tights while there (they have the absolute best tights).  But much to my glorious surprise, which happens quite often at F21, I ran into the cutest little dress ever and just had to have it!!  It blows my mind at the things you can find in F21!  The only gripe that I generally have with F21 is that the stores are usually too freaking big and way too disorganized and I end up just walking away. But this F21 in Annapolis Mall in MD is so ideal that I will absolutely be going back! It is really small and quaint in a very boutique type of way and it appears that they took the best of the best the company has to offer and stuck it in this small store to maximize the space (and my shopping experience).  I loved it and there were so many pieces I wanted to buy but the kids started nagging b/c it's "not fair" when I buy more for myself than for them or spend too much time in a store when they got other stores to get to (the nerve).  Keep in mind, there are a lot of affordable stores but there are very few that offer the quality, design and variety in exchange for the discount.  F21 is one of those few stores and I've said it before that style is about an ability to put things together and pull it off regardless of the cost and the name printed on the label.  Just pay attention to the design, execution and material used when shopping at a discount store bc there is definitely a difference between cheap (NO) and affordable quality (YES).  And balance things out by adding more expensive, luxurious or quality pieces with the less expensive things to keep the look from going cheap. Here, this dress only cost me $30 but it was paired with a $600 bag, $200 coat, $150 boots, and great quality and designer jewelry.

There are so many things that I love about this dress I kinda don't know where to begin.  I guess I'll just start with the details b/c that's usually what you have to forsake in exchange for a reduced price, but not with this dress and often not when you find any good pieces at F21.  The bottom half of the dress is pleated.  The material is light like a chiffon and it came with a full silk-like slip built in under the dress.  There are pretty little shiny buttons at the cuffs of the sleeves and along the top of the shoulders. Overall, it just has this old school, vintage, fun, girly but sophisticated look.  The maroon color with the rose pink/beige polka dots made it that much more attractive.  I was getting all types of compliments from women and all types of "hollas" from men.  It was one of those easy looks that everyone liked.  What do you honeeyz think of this? What items do you gravitate to for a look thats appealing to all (particularly you) and versatile for work and play?

More pics, details and commentary below!

This coat is from Anthropologie and it's one of my favorite. I own a lot of different coats b/c unfortunately they are necessary in the Northeast and as I'm sure you can imagine, I don't allow snow or cold temperature to wreck my style game! So I use coats as another one of my favorite accessories.  This one is an olive green, double breasted wool with frills all around.  It's cute, light weight but warm, and easy.  I love the collar as well b/c it extends up and kinda cowls down.  Its versatile too. It goes well dress down and casual and also with professional more formal looks.  

I got these tights from F21 some time ago and as I mentioned above, their tights are the best.  I own a lot of designer tights that I've paid more for than I have for actual pants and I can tell you that they don't last longer than these $6 tights nor do they offer any greater of a design and pattern than these.  This particular pair has a zig zag criss cross like pattern going on. I don't have to worry about these tights running, ripping, drooping or too tight.  They fit perfectly, last long, and are cute. Duh, winning!!!

The next time I wear this dress I'll add some necklaces and maybe a belt but I was rushing (but of course) his morning and just pulled it on and kept it moving.  I'll probably switch up the boots as well just for a different look.  I love these boots b/c they have that worn and rustic look that goes well with the "vintage" type vibe with the dress and it also keeps the overall look.  They help to balance out the frilliness of the pleats and light material.  Like pairing cowboy boots with a dress.  I will also consider adding a cardigan or a blazer to change the look all around the next go around.  What cha think??  


  1. Cute dress and great tip on the tights. Now I know where to replace the tights part of my work "uniform" (dress, tights, and boots).

    1. I love your work uniform Jas! It's the best and easiest one to have!

  2. GREAT DRESS! I love when I find something special at Forever 21. I've also bought a few tights from them a year ago that are still going strong!

    1. Absolutely! Myself and a few co-workers participated in a secret santa this past Christmas and tights from F21 were on my list and I got 2 new pair! I was ecstatic! They were cracking up laughing.


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