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Go to TJMaxx and Marshalls for Exercise Clothing!

8 Oct

{This is not a sponsored post, I just really love TJMaxx and Marshalls!}

Yeah, I basically said it all in the title of this post. But I really think that most people don’t realize how great the exercise clothing sections are at TJMaxx and Marshalls!

I’m coming up on 3 months of going to the gym and with my new habit I’ve been whittling down my activewear drawer. I can’t stand uncomfortable workout clothes, so if I wear an item that drives me nuts, I launder it and stick it straight in the ‘donate or sell’ pile.

I’ve noticed with going to the gym, I have different needs when it comes to my leggings.

When I run outside, I usually wear a fanny pack around my waist to hold my license, keys, phone, etc. So, it’s okay that my leggings don’t have pockets. Actually, they do have that one little credit card sized pocket in the waistband, but it’s pretty much useless.

When I go to the gym, I really need an accessible pocket in my leggings.

I like to have my phone with me for music, or texting, or making a quick note when I think of something important. If I’m on the elliptical machine, it’s fine because they usually have a cup holder I can use for my iPhone.

The problem comes when I want to jump off the elliptical and use the machines and/or free weights. I have to sit my phone down, move it to the next place, move it again… it’s an annoying juggle.

I mean, it’s not QUITE as bad as those infomercials where people can’t do normal stuff without falling over, but it’s annoying.

So, I went to TJMaxx with some very specific leggings criteria: they had to be high-waisted, capri length, and they absolutely MUST have an easy-access pocket that would fit my phone. Bonus points if they were solid black or a dark color.

I checked every single pair in my size and came across three options. They were each right around $16, so I bought all three of them and I’ve been wearing them for the past few weeks. WHAT. A. CHANGE.

Oh my gosh, just having leggings with pockets has made my life so much easier! They’re also pretty darn cute, so I don’t mind running errands on my way to or from the gym.

Anyways, I couldn’t find my exact pair on the TJMaxx website, but if you are in the market for some fitness clothing I highly recommend you check them out. I’ve been telling all my friends in person, so I figured I’d tell my online friends too!

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A Ted Talk Recommendation & My Thoughts on Style

4 Oct

I’m not even sure how I came to follow Stasia Savasuck on Instagram. Maybe because she also enjoys thrifting? Or she’s a mom? Or she sees the world though a haze of positivity? I like her posts and how she approaches life. I like her style, which is a combo of fun, pretty and comfortable. I like that she feels confident in a bikini.

Back in August, she mentioned in an Instagram post that she was practicing for her upcoming Ted Talk. I made a mental note to check it out… and now that I’ve watched it I must ask you to check it out too.

So now I want to take you on a little ‘personal style’ journey of my own.

I remember trying SO HARD to fit in with the cool kids when I was in middle school and high school. I would meticulously choose a ‘cool’ outfit, but then feel like an imposter all day long. I’d be scared to dress too different. Too shy to overdress for an occasion in case I was teased. Or accused of trying to be ‘all that’ or thinking too highly of myself. Which is kind of hilarious in retrospect, considering we all probably felt like outcasts. I basically lived in jeans, t-shirts and a flannel.

It was the early 90’s, a flannel was practically mandatory.

In college I did a total 180 and dressed to be different. I streaked my hair with crazy colors (my favorite was purple), wore homemade red glitter Birkenstocks or big black Doc Martens (which I still have), pleather pants (which I do NOT still have), miniscule tops that showed off my flat tummy (RIP flat tummy). I didn’t fit in, but it was on purpose. By the way, in case you were wondering… pleather pants are not comfortable. FYI.

When I first started working in an office after college, I remember being really confused on what to wear to work. My first job was a casual office, so that was pretty easy. T-shirts and jeans. Boring, but effective.

From there, I went to work at a government-ish job, where I was the Director of Communications and Marketing. It was a great position and I even had my own office with a window. The only mentors I had to look up to were men. Men in suits. Most of the ladies I worked with dressed very conservatively. So I also dressed conservatively. I wore a lot of Banana Republic. My boss at the time would pit me and another woman of a similar age and position against each other. It was exhausting. She was more ‘finance’ to my ‘marketing’… so I felt like I had to tone down any kind of personality in my outfits to better compete with her.

Then, I served as the Marketing Director at an accounting firm for 6 years. Every single partner at the firm was a man. A man in a suit. A BORING suit. I wore mostly trousers and blouses, because I felt like I looked professional without drawing too much attention to myself. I had to fight for every ounce of respect I could at that job and wearing a pretty skirt or dress was like putting a target on my back. Being a marketing brain where everyone else has an accounting brain sucks. I can’t tell you how many meetings I’d have where I’d present an idea and basically get a pat on the head because girls are cute when they use big words. I overcompensated by keeping any happiness under wraps. Which included my wardrobe. They wanted me to be a peppy cheerleader, so I doubled-down with being as professional and closed off as possible.

Getting laid off from that job was probably one of the best things that has ever happened to me – both personally and professionally.

For the past almost 7 years I’ve worked in higher education. My job is in Part Time MBA admissions with a focus on external marketing and social media. Working at a university is awesome… people are open minded and supportive. I need to dress professionally, but I’m no longer squished into a conservative box.

Only over the past few years have I gotten confidence in my style. Ironically that was after I became a mom. Or maybe being a mom helped me realize that I’m setting an example for a little person.

I finally understand that I am a happier person when I wear something that I love. Sure, sometimes that is jeans and a t-shirt with studded motorcycle boots. But if I have a big presentation at work, you’d better believe I’ll have on a dress. I feel confident in a dress. I feel professional in a dress. And at the age of 41, I can say I also feel smart in a dress. And if someone wants to underestimate me because they think me wearing a dress makes me flighty or dumb… well, that’s their problem.

It’s freeing in a way.

Perhaps a part of it is age. I’m confident in my abilities and happy with myself. It also helps that I finally figured out what looks good on me and my body shape. It’s not about changing myself to fit into a particular item. Now, if something doesn’t work for me… it’s just not for me.

The point is, it doesn’t matter if you wear a dress, jeans and a t-shirt, or a button-up shirt and bow tie. Wear what makes YOU feel happy and most like YOU!

So if you haven’t already, set aside 17 minutes to enjoy Stasia’s Ted Talk.

And I’ll leave you with this:

“Style isn’t really about the clothes. It’s about who you are on the inside and how you choose to show up in the world” – Stasia Savasuk

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Trunk Club Review: Hit Me Baby One More Time

1 Oct

When I asked for a Trunk last month for my Birthday (you can read my review here), I really wanted to love something. You know the whole ‘treat yoself’ thing. But, it was not meant to be… so I sent everything back. A couple days later I received an email from my stylist asking if she could try again.

I have referral codes burning a hole in my pocket and figured there’s no harm in trying on a bunch of pretty clothes, so I sent her some instructions:

Hi Dana – I just updated my pinterest page with some ideas. I’d love to see some slim black not-distressed jeans (that I can sneak wearing to work on more casual days) like the ones I pinned. Also, some casual and comfy tops.

Want to see if she delivered?

(1) DL1961 Emma Power Legging Skinny Jeans, $178 on sale for $129, (2) Foxiedox Retro Flowers Mini, $180, (3) BLANKNYC The Great Jones High Rise Skinny Jeans, $98, (4) Maggy London Smock Shoulder Midi Dress, $158, (5) Gibson Cross Front Stripes Top, $39, (6) Gibson Surplice Stripe Top, $45, (7) Halogen Lace and Crepe Top, $59, (8) Madewell Seabank Cardigan, $88, (9) Free People Catalina V-neck, $68, (10) 1.STATE Wrap Front Knit Top, $59, (11) Vince Camuto Layered Look Top, $59.

The pinterest page I sent her had lots of fall colored florals and black, so my stylist definitely used it for inspiration as I requested. She even sent me one of the exact dresses I’d pinned and an almost identical tank top to one I’d liked.

If you’re new to my Trunk Club reveals (you can find them all here), I don’t typically photograph every single one of the items. When the Trunk first arrives, I usually go through it and narrow down my choices to a pile of my favorites. Let’s check them out!

Outfit 1: DL1961 Emma Power Legging Skinny Jeans ($178) and Halogen Lace and Crepe Top ($59)

Right off the bat, this Trunk is working for me a million times more than the last one. This tank top is almost identical to one that I had pinned and fits great. The top has such a pretty lace detail, and it looks great with jeans and would look equally as nice tucked into a skirt or under a blazer.

I wasn’t really looking for a pair of blue jeans, but once I put these on I changed my mind. These are FANTASTIC! They are super stretchy, nice and thick, have NO distressing and… they make my butt look good too. With that in mind, at $178 they are much more expensive than I would typically spend for jeans. I was pleasantly surprised when I checked my Trunk Club account and they are currently on sale for $129! I love both of these pieces, and they look super cute with my red camouflage Rothy’s too!

Outfit 2: DL1961 Emma Power Legging Skinny Jeans ($178) and Free People Catalina V-Neck ($68)

These are the same jeans, but this time I tried them with a pair of booties to see how they tuck in… and all is well. The top from Free People is so soft and oversized and flowy. To be honest, I could really see myself wearing this all winter long at home with leggings or sweatpants. However, I don’t love this top as much as the first outfit, so this one may lose out simply due to budget.

Outfit 3: BLANKNYC The Great Jones High Rise Skinny Jeans ($98) and 1.STATE Wrap Front Knit Top ($59)

On my request I asked for a pair of slim, black, not-distressed jeans and these are EXACTLY what I wanted. They are super comfortable and stretchy with a high waist to keep my tummy all sucked in. They are also thick enough that I can wear them all winter long without freezing my buns off. This top is a nice casual version of my typical wrap top. It’s nice, but I don’t love it.

I also tried the black jeans with one of my own sweaters:

Yup, this was exactly what I was hoping for. I could probably wear this outfit to work on a cold fall/winter day where I have no meetings or presentations scheduled.

Outfit 4: Foxiedox Retro Flowers Mini ($180)

Initially I was going to reject this dress when the preview came through because it is described as a “mini dress” and at 5’7” most mini dresses are WAY too short on me. This one is okay though, but would look even cuter with some black tights. The stripes on the sleeves and hem are a great contrast to the embroidered flowers. The fit is also pretty great, just skimming over my middle rather than clinging in a weird way.

Outfit 5: Maggy London Smock Shoulder Midi Dress ($158)

This is the exact dress I pinned and it just screams FALL, right?! I love the v-neck, the cinched in waist and the tiered skirt. It’s hard to tell in the photo, but the tiered skirt is actually on a diagonal, which gives for some nice swishy action when you walk. I love, love, love this dress and would wear it to work with a fitted cardigan topper.

Here are my quickie 6-words-or-less thoughts on the items I didn’t show you:

(5) Gibson Cross Front Stripes Top: Neckline too high.
(6) Gibson Surplice Stripe Top: Boobs look weird with vertical stripes.
(8) Madewell Seabank Cardigan: Just okay.
(11) Vince Camuto Layered Look Top: Too thin, can see bra.

Trunk Finalists
Okay, so if you’ve been playing along that leaves me with the following favorites from this Trunk:

(1) DL1961 Emma Power Legging Skinny Jeans, $178 on sale for $129
(3) BLANKNYC The Great Jones High Rise Skinny Jeans, $98
(4) Maggy London Smock Shoulder Midi Dress, $158
(7) Halogen Lace and Crepe Top, $59

I do have credits in my account that will go towards this order, which is super awesome. I also did quite a closet clean out and have a couple hundred dollars in my Paypal account. So, I’m kind of leaning towards buying ALL of my finalists and then just not getting another Trunk for a while.

I asked for some feedback on Instagram over the weekend and it looks like most people like the blue skinny jeans and black tank top. It was split on the black skinny jeans and I was surprised that most people really don’t like that midi dress. In fact, 77% of people say NOT to buy the dress… so even though I love it, I’m totally second-guessing myself!

So now I’d love to know what you think! Leave me a comment below!

10/3/18 Update: Okay, the decisions have been made — I ended up buying all four of my finalists! It’s quite the treat (especially when I’ve been thrifting most of my clothes lately…), but it was do-able with my referral credits and my Poshmark sales balance. I think that all four of the items will be in heavy rotation very, very soon! I just have to get past these 85 degree days…

 

If you want to have Dana style a Trunk for you I have her linked to my referral code here:  https://www.trunkclub.com/invite/QZFJ33 (Please note: if you use my referral link it will cost you nothing extra and it earns me a small amount to go towards items in my next Trunk).

 

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored by Trunk Club, I pay for any clothing I purchase with my own hard-earned money. If you enjoyed my review and decide to try Trunk Club for yourself, the biggest compliment you can give me is by using my referral link. Thank you to anyone who chooses to click through and support my shopping addiction! This post contains ShopStyle affiliate links. This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you.

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September Thrift Haul

27 Sep

This month I decided to check out a new-to-me consignment store and was totally wowed over their selection. I didn’t actually think I was going to have any time to get to a thrift store, but my husband surprised me with a stop to my favorite location on my birthday weekend. And the whole family SCORED!

{Pssst, you can read about my previous thrifting adventures here}

First up, I tried out Chic to Chic in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The store carried a TON of designer brands and the prices were pretty reasonable for what they were offering. I ended up buying two items:

Nice Things by Paloma S embroidered green sweater, $80

I wasn’t familiar with this brand, so I did a bit of googling and it is from Barcelona, Spain. This particular sweater has the original tags still attached for $139, which is consistent with pricing on their website. While $80 is a bit high for consignment, this sweater is brand new, beautifully made, and the beading is fantastic.

I love that it is a neutral color that will fit in with so many items in my closet, but the beads add a pretty touch. I can see me wearing this a million times with basically everything in my wardrobe. I wore it for the first time earlier this week with a black dress and zebra patterned flats.

Vince Striped Sweater, $12.50

I’m such a sucker for strips. And designer brands at low prices. I found this exact sweater online and it sold for $185. It is linen and slightly sheer, so I’ll probably have to layer it over a tank top. I love the dropped sleeves and swingy shape! It was also marked down (twice) to the clearance price of $12.50. YES, please! I can’t wait to pair this with my distressed boyfriend jeans, or skinny jeans and my studded motorcycle boots!

At the thrift store, I found a couple items for myself, a bunch of items for my husband and even some games for Jack.

Alfani dress, size 8, $9.99

I saw this sleeveless shirt dress on the rack and immediately was drawn to the fitted top and full skirt. It was a size 8 though and I tend to be a 10/12 in dresses… but I tried it on anyways and it fit! It is totally the kind of dress that makes me want to twirl around to take advantage of the pretty skirt. I googled Alfani dresses and it looks like they are sold at Macy’s for around $100 or so. I just wore this for the first time yesterday with an ALL thrifted outfitsee it here!

Jones New York knit top, medium, $5.99

So this top isn’t really too exciting, but I really like the heathered color. It’s a size medium, but fits generously. I feel like this will be a nice ‘around the house’ top for me to wear with jeans or sweatpants, as it is super soft and comfy.

VanHeusen Traveler men’s shirt, XL – $5.99

I saw this button up shirt on the thrift store rack and immediately made my husband try it on over his tee… and it fit great. Love that this is the Traveler style that doesn’t need to be ironed! I found this same shirt on the Kohl’s website with a retail price of $60 and currently on sale for $30. This will go great with my husband’s suit for our upcoming cruise.

100% silk ties, $6.99 each

I’ve never bothered to look through the tie section before, but as we were about to leave my husband suggested we check it out. There were probably hundreds of ties there! From left to right, these are Nicole Miller, Jos A Bank Executive Collection, Gutteridge Dal 1878, and US Polo Assn.

The most interesting tie was the one with a Gutteridge Dal 1878 tag. I did some googling and it appears that Gutteridge Dal 1878 is an Italian brand that has been around since 1878. The brand is sold in Italy at only 60 boutiques and they are known for their timeless style. It looks like their ties typically sell for 42 euros, which is about $50.

Vineyard Vines flying fish 100% silk tie, $9.99

I wish Travis loved the design of this tie, because it is handmade, 100% silk and still has the tags on it! Vineyard Vines ties are sold on their website for $85, which makes this $10 purchase a steal. I bought this specifically to resell on Poshmark or eBay. It is a beautiful tie and I hope it finds a good home!

Assorted Games, $1.99 – $2.99

We ended up getting a Bionic Bug set (retail: $20), Hedbandz (retail: $20), Angry Birds (retail: no idea) and Cranium Big Book of Outrageous Fun (retail $20). We spent $11 on everything and EVERY SINGLE BOX was unopened. Isn’t that crazy?! So far Jack has played with the Angry Birds set and LOVED it!

Did you have any luck thrifting this month? Share your scores!

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