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Fall On A Budget

At the beginning of October I shared my Fall 2012 Must Haves, which included eye-catching patterns & prints, faux leather, fun pants, tweed pieces, asymmetrical details, and the color de jour for Fall – Oxblood.

It’s easy to see pictures from the Fall 2012 collections and put together a mental list of all the things you want, and then give up in frustration because you can’t afford straight-from-the-runway pieces. But I’m here to tell you that we can very easily update your wardrobe for Fall without having to dip into your 401k. I promise!

I like to get one or two great new investment pieces each season – something like an updated but classic Little Black Dress, a chic new handbag, or a timeless trench – but I’ll also collect a handful of fun, on-trend pieces from less expensive stores that quickly update my looks for the season. There are great stores like Zara, ASOS, H&M, and TopShop were you can find trendy, well-made pieces each season for a steal. Read on for some of my personal suggestions & recommendations as well as a collection of great articles that’ll steer you in the right direction for all of your Fall 2012 needs.

I have to confess that some of my favorite places to shop are the Spanish retailers that I was first introduced to when I lived in Italy at the age of 21 – H&M, Mango, and Zara. The clothing is stylish and well-made, but doesn’t cost a fortune and the collections are updated frequently so there’s always something new in stores and online.
{Lace Trousers – $90 @ Zara, Blouse – $60 @ H&M & Contrast Panelled Dress – $30 @ Mango}
  • Where Do Editors Really Shop from Refinery 29 is just the sort of article that I love to read – Knowing where the most fashionable and stylish women in the fashion world shop is like being handed the keys to the kingdom! And wouldn’t you know it, along with the high-end designers that you’d expect them to mention, they also list great inexpensive shopping destinations like E-bay, Target, Zara, Amazon, Madewell, J.Crew, TopShop, JewelMint, ShoeMint, and even The Salvation Army. Great news, isn’t it?

Another lucky break for us fashion obsessed is that more and more high-end designers have been coming out with reasonably priced collections for retailer giants like Payless, Target, and Macys.

{Long-sleeve Shirt Dress in Red Geometric Print – $40 @ Kirna Zabete for Target, Long-Sleeve Satin Blazer – $60 (on sale) @ Nicole Richie for Impulse & Racquel Side Zip Bootine – $50 @ Christian Siriano for Payless}

  • Lucky Magazine’s 100 Cheap Fall Finds is a trove of fun Fall pieces from printed pants and embellished collars to chic dresses and leather trimmed jackets. In addition to featuring clothing from Luckymag.com, they included other retail websites like Romwe.com, Pixiemarket.com, Urban1972.com, Levis.com, and Ulta.com.
  • Two of the trends that I’m most excited for this Fall are printed pants and leather-trimmed pieces and luckily for all of us the fun website The Cheap Chica’s Guide to Style featured fabulous recommendations for both trends –  Geometry Class & Just The Sleeves Please. So no matter what type of fashion you’re in the mood for this site has what you’re looking for!

The less expensive secondary lines created by designers and sold at department stores like Bloomingdale’s, Macys, Nordstrom, and Kolh’s are great pieces to keep an eye out for.

{Left to Right: Marc by Marc Jacobs ‘Jac’ Denim Leggings – $140 @ Nordstrom, MICHAEL Michael Kors Sleeveless Cowl Neck Banded Bottom Dress – $45 (on sale) @ Bloomingdale’s, and LC Lauren Conrad Embellished Ruffle Tee – $40 @ Kohl’s}

  • Not quite sure how to approach stores like Nordstrom Rack, TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, or Ross? Refinery 29 took it upon themselves to teach us how in their piece Discount Shopping – How To Shop At Marshalls where they had three different editors put together 6 cute looks under $50. Wow!
  • Waiting for stores to have announce a big sale is a great way to find the pieces you’re craving without paying full-price. Not sure just how to make this tactic work for you? Check out Sales Rack Skinny: The Subtle Statement’s Sale Shop Tactics for tips that’ll help you find just what you’re looking for in stores or even online.

Are you still in the mood for more tips, recommendations, and suggestions for updating your wardrobe, Fall dressing, and online shopping? Stay tuned for an upcoming interview with Style For Hire and a series of informative posts all about online shopping.

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Links You’ll Love

Fashion:

Outerwear is always one of my favorite parts about dressing for Fall, and with all of the fun patterned and colorful blazers in stores this season I’m even more excited than usual. Not sure where to start? Time to check in with the experts! The Glitter Guide’s Fall Shopping Guide: Blazers.

One of my new favorites to keep an eye on during Fashion Month is Russian designer and photographer Ulyana Sergeenko. Her style is dramatic, eye-catching, and perfectly over-the-top. And luckily for us fashion lovers she’s just one of many chic up and coming Russian fashionistas making the scene these days! You’ll thank me after you check out all of these lovely ladies in Bougeotte’s Modern Russian Czarinas Are Being Born.

Beauty lovers have been buzzing about the new Courtin-Clarins beauty blog that launched last month. If you haven’t gotten a chance to see what these French beauties have to say now’s the time! WhoWhatWear – The Scoop: Claire & Virginie Courtin-Clarins.

Patterned pants and all-over-prints on suits and shorts suits are all things that I’m excited to wear this Fall and next Spring, so why not check out some fabulous versions worn lately to get you in the mood? The Next Evolution of Fashion’s Print Obsession: The Printed Suit.

I recently discovered a fun new fashion blog that I’d love to share – Advanced Style was created by Ari Seth Cohen and celebrates the fabulous fashion of the older generations. As someone who grew up on Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant movies, couldn’t wait to start working after college so I could have a formal wardrobe, and dresses up to travel – this is right up my alley. I love the formality and classic approach to fashion celebrated  by previous generations and this website is a great place to find stunning photographs of just that. Enjoy!

Health & Fitness:

I remember thinking at 18 that 30 was so old but now as I’m swiftly approaching the big three-oh my thinking has changed – I’m looking forward to the things that I’m going to accomplish in my thirties, the goals I’m going to set, the places I’m going to visit. Needless to say I was thrilled when I saw this article – Does life really begin at 30?

Sweet potatoes are a great favorite of mine – I love that there are an endless number of recipes that you can make with them, from snacks to savory dinner to sweet desserts. Versatile and delicious, what more could a girl want? More recipes to try of course! 10 Healthy Sweet Potato Recipes: Easy and tasty sweet potato recipes, each with about 300 calories or less.

Finding new recipes, reading about food, health & nutrition, and finding great food blogs written by creative, passionate people are some of my favorite pastimes so I was thrilled when Green Thickies posted a list of the their favorite blogs – Some I already knew and others I eagerly looked up. I had dozens of recipes printed in minutes! 🙂 Check out 8 Best Vegan Blogs for links and recipes to try!

Sometimes when I look at a recipe I’ll immediately think “no” in my mind when I look at the amount of oil, butter, or sugar being recommended. Rather than count certain recipes out, we can substitute healthier, nutritious ingredients for the more calorically dense, fattening ones. Apple sauce is one of my go-to ingredients to lighten up a recipe, but for Fall why not try pumpkin? How to Substitute Pumpkin Puree For Butter and Oil.

Speaking of pumpkin, this was one of the first pumpkin recipes I made this season when Trader Joe’s started stocking the shelves with canned pumpkin – How To Make A Quick Healthy Pumpkin Pie Fudge. So. Good.

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Links You’ll Love

Fashion:

Are you a fan of metallics? They can be a great way to spice up a look for Fall or make an outfit nighttime-ready – Style File: Metallics.

Black and white is one of my favorite color schemes, it’s chic and really stylish and you can spice it up really easily with a splash of color – Street Style Update: Black & White Outfits @ New York, Milan & Paris Fashion Weeks.

If you’re in the market for a sweet dessert-inspired necklace why not support an amazing cause? She’s The First sponsors girls’ education in the developing world and has created a too cute cupcake necklace to further their cause – She’s the First Tie-Dye Cupcake Necklace.

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I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been a fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes books and have thoroughly enjoyed all of the recent remakes from the movies to the BBC & US-based TV series. Clearl I’m not the only one as Apartment Therapy put together a great list of Sherlock Holmes-inspired home decor – Get This Look: BBC’s Sherlock.

Healthy & Fitness:

Do you track your daily food intake? While it can see daunting to keep track of every single thing that you put in your mouth over the course of the day, it can be a useful and informative project. Commonly people over – or under – estimate their intake of calories, fat, protein, fiber, and vitamins & nutrients. Over the years I’ve tried a handful of programs – From Slimkicker to Livestrong to the My Fitness Pal app (for Android!) that my boyfriend recommends to his CrossFit clients. I highly recommend giving this a try, you may be surprised by what you find out!

I can’t live without music in my day-to-day life and I REALLY can’t live without music at the gym. If I forget my headphones or don’t charge my mp3 player, odds are I’ll skip my workout. So finding new tunes for my fitness sessions is essential – Whether they’re new tracks on the airwaves or I’m rediscovering CDs from my youth.

We’re heading into the holiday stretch now and with all the family gatherings, social events, and holiday festivities on the horizon, why not make a healthy eating plan that’ll allow you to not only show up to everything looking fabulous, but also feeling great? Check out The No Meat Athlete’s 10 Simple Guidelines for Eating Healthier than Ever and get inspired!

Shopping at your local Whole Foods or health food store can be a daunting prospect – There’s a reason they call it Whole Paycheck! So why not get some advice & tips to arm yourself before your next trip? Prevention’s Smart Buys At The Health Food Store.

If you’re anything like me, you’re always in the mood to try something new in the fitness arena. From boxing & pilates to running & yoga, I’m always interested in finding new ways to keep myself interested and to keep my body from plateauing. Classes at the gym or local Y can be a great option and with endless choices to pick from learning a little about them in advance can’t hurt. So read on – TRX: 6 Things to Know Before Trying a Class.

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Fall Fabulousness

Fall is by far my favorite season – I love the weather, I love the fashion, I love the holidays, I even love the decorations – From Halloween pumpkins to Autumn leaves to Thanksgiving turkeys. And here in San Francisco, Fall has most definitely arrived.

As far as I’m concerned the decorations box or closet it one of the best parts about changing seasons! So why not try some of these fun ideas to spice up your home for Fall – Glitter Guide’s 10 Simple Fall Decorating Ideas.

If you’d like some seasonal pictures frames why not try this too cute technique to spice up your photos! Easy Halloween Framed Pictures from Lilac & Lace.

If you’re not in the mood for traditional orange pumpkins this season than give this fun new style a try – DIY Glitter Pumpkins from The Glitter Guide.

Taste of Fall

A lot of what makes Fall to me is what I’m putting in my mouth! 🙂 I’m always dying to break out the squash, pumpkin, and apple pie by the time Summer wraps up. Here are some fabulous recipes to get you in the mood too.

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What’s your favorite part about Fall? Do you like recipes that showcase all of the Fall produce that’s hitting the stores?

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Links You’ll Love

Fashion:

Whether you’re watching the US Open or America’s Cup, a stylish spectator outfit is a must – US Open 2012 from Net-A-Porter.

Are you starting to prepare your wardrobe for Fall? A great skirt with tights & killer boots is always a fabulous option so check out WhoWhatWear’s suggestions for Fall 2012 – Market Watch: Fall Skirts.

One thing that I always look forward to when Fashion Month rolls around are the Garance Dore and Net-A-Porter Fashion Week video collaborations Pardon My French. She talks to fashion greats, reviews the collections, meets designers, interviews fashion insiders, and just generally gives you a great behind-the-scenes look at all of the Fashion Month madness.

You know how much I adore a versatile piece in my wardrobe – especially when it comes to packing for a trip. Refinery 29 clearly agrees – Oxford Shirt Styling Tips: 1 Oxford Shirt, 3 Easy Ways To Style It.

One of the fun Fall trends this year will be finding pieces that have your favorite artwork translated onto them – Whether you’re a fan of the Renaissance Masters or Graphic novels, there are pieces out there for everyone! This Time Tomorrow – Wearing Your Art On Your Sleeve.

Health/Fitness:

Don’t have time for a run? Not interested in the membership fees at your local gym? Why not head online to find the perfect workout for yourself – Fit Club: The Country’s Best Virtual Workouts.

Are you looking for some healthy meals to feed your family to ensure that they’re getting all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that they need? Here are some great recipes to try:

No matter how much time you spend in the kitchen familiarizing yourself with new tools – or re-familiarizing yourself with tools you haven’t used in a while – is an important part of staying on top of things so check out The Blissful Chef’s Cooking Tool of the Month Series.

Medicine and bosu balls are two of my favorite gym toys – If you use them right they can keep your workouts both challenging and fun. Don’t believe me? Check out FitSugar’s Don’t Let the Medicine Ball Intimidate You — 5 Easy Moves!

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