Wednesday, May 25, 2016

$1.50 Maxi Dress

Maxi dresses are an essential piece to a staple wardrobe. They are perfect for vacations, weekend wear, night outs, and the buffet. I mean really, what's better than a comfy maxi dress at an all you can eat Indian buffet? Every single maxi dress I own came from the thrift store. I thrifted this floral maxi from Goodwill wait for it...for $1.50!

My thrifting routine:

I narrow down my selection before I even go to the store.   There are so many styles to choose from, there are chiffon dresses casual jersey maxis, formal maxis, beach style maxis and so on. That's why  I always seek thriftspiration beforehand and take inventory of what I already own and need. I like to keep two staple maxi dresses on hand; one solid black or gray one for everyday wear and one bold, printed dress for fancier occasions.

I avoid low cut. Most modern maxi dresses are low cut or sleeveless so I keep an eye out for a practical cut that won't leave me feeling uncomfortable throughout the day. I stopped buying super low-cut dresses when I realized I was extremely limited in the number of places I could wear these dresses.

Experiment with vintage. Maxi dresses were extremely popular in the 1970s and made a comeback in a big way in the last few years. If you can find an original vintage style, don't pass it up! The styles are authentic and timeless. If you find a vintage style you love but doesn't quite fit, consider getting it altered for a classic piece you will have for years to come. It's always great to have at least one vintage piece on hand, and a maxi dress is the way to go!

I like to make sure my maxi dresses cover my foot completely. It makes anyone look taller which is especially great for us fun-sized folks. If I'm wearing flats, I make sure the dress hits right below my ankles. Maxi dresses are so fun to play around with. I've worn this six different ways already; with a cardigan, denim shirt, vest, jeans jacket, faux leather jacket, and on it's own. Play around with what you have and make the most of your maxi!

Details: Dress | Goodwill | $1.50 | Similar
 Jacket | thrifted | $6 | Similar
 Glasses | Marc's | 75 cents | Exact

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Casual Fridays

Casual Friday outfits are my absolute favorite outfits. I'm a big fan of the slightly elevated casual look. They are so easy to put together and  a welcomed break from black ankle pants and pencil skirts. Truthfully, getting dressed for the office is one of my least favorite things to do because it starts to get really old, really fast. When Friday rolls around, however, I'm ready to roll. This cardigan ended up in one of my donation bags after I manically cleaned out my closet one day, until I found myself frantically looking for it weeks later. This was the one time I was happy my husband left the donation bags in his trunk for weeks.

Outfit Details:
Cardigan | Thrifted $5 | Shop Similar
Shirt | Old Navy Shop Similar
Jeans | Target | $30
Shoes | Thrifted $2 |Shop Similar
Purse | Old Navy | $10 | Shop Similar

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Drugstore Bath & Beauty Finds

wearing MAC matte lipstick in Candy Yum Yum

If you follow Dina's Days on Snapchat (username: dinasdays) you may have seen a few snaps of my recent beauty purchases. Here's a roundup of thing I'm loving lately:

NIVEA Essentially Enriched Body Lotion
I used to use Nivea when I was younger and living in Jordan and I love that the product hasn't changed, in fact it's even better. This lotion is absolutely incredible and is less than $5 a bottle.

Wella Enrich Shampoo & Conditioner
I received a sample of this from a salon and used it when I was in a pinch and out of conditioner. I forgot I had used it in the shower and wondered why my hair felt bouncy and smelled amazing the next day. It's so good I had to buy the salon size on Amazon.

MAC Matte Lipstick in Candy Yum-Yum
I'm a huge sucker for pink lipstick and Candy Yum Yum is the perfect bright pink. It's the lipstick my models wore on the runway a couple of years ago. I love to layer this with Sephora Cream Lip Stain in Mandarin Muse for the perfect coral shade.

Garnier Hair Care Fructis Style De-constructed Texture Tease Hairspray
My hair needs a little texture and volume in between washes.  I received ORIBE Hair Care Dry Texturizing Spray as a gift at a blogger salon event and when I ran out and realized how expensive it was, I decided I needed to find a cheaper version. The Gariner spray is good and for $3 it gets the job done. It smells great and doesn't make my hair feel crunchy. However, I will say it doesn't even come close to the Oribe brand.

Colourpop Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick (Beeper)
Snapchat followers went nuts after I posted this lipstick, and for good reason. It literally lasted 11 hours and the Beeper shade is a perfect neutral.

What are you using lately?

Thursday, May 12, 2016

12 Months of Thrifting: how to thrift and style a maxi skirt

wearing one of my favorite thrifted maxi skirts of all time in NOLA, one of my favorite cities of all time!
For May's 12 Months of Thrifting prompt, we're focusing on incorporating a thrifted maxi skirt in your wardrobe. Whether you're running errands or out painting the town red with friends, this essential piece will never let you down. The thrift store is great for maxi skirts so I'm sharing my strategy and favorite styling tricks.

First, I bee line to the skirt section. The great thing about my local Goodwill in Akron is that they separate their long skirts and short skirts on different racks. This makes it really easy to narrow down my selection.

Pay attention to the style and cut. For maxi skirts, I like to make sure they hit my ankles, anything shorter than that is considered a midi skirt. I like to keep one basic knit skirt on hand in black for everyday wear and one bright or bold color or print, such as floral print for a statement piece.

Explore the suit section: some of the best maxis I've found have been part of a two-piece suit. Don't be afraid to take a peek under that suit jacket to see the skirt that's hiding behind it.

Experiment with vintage. Every single maxi skirt I own is vintage that I've made new again. I love to mix and match my vintage pieces with modern styles for a look that's all my own.  Make sure to seek some thriftspiration from Pinterest or your favorite retail stores to see what kinds of maxi skirts you can replicate from Goodwill.

$1 maxi skirt

not thrifted, but purchased at a bargain from a local boutique called NOTO.

For a streamlined look, I tend to tuck in my shirt, wear a cropped top, or tie a button down at the waist, especially if the skirt is full. Sometimes I'll wear my skirt with heels, wedges, or flats. Just as long it covers most of my foot. I love t o add blazers, denim jackets, or vests to any maxi skirt.

About the Challenge: 

12 Months of Thrifting is designed to help you build a functional wardrobe on a budget. Each prompt represents an essential and staple wardrobe piece you will be able to wear for seasons to come. Each month Dina's Days and Goodwill Akron share tips on ways you can thrift and wear each of these prompts. Share your finds using the tag #12Monthsof Thrifting on social media.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

How I learned to dress for my body

For years, I would find myself skipping over the sections in magazines that explained your body shape and how to dress for it. Are you an Apple? Pear? Or Diamond? What if you were a little bit of apple and pear with a hint of diamond? I have never able to relate.  But this bothered me because I really wanted the tips.

I revisited this idea recently to see if my perspective or body has changed. I still don't fall neatly into a category. But something did change. There was a comfort in knowing I wasn't boxed into a style or color category. Instead, I gained confidence knowing how to choose what is right for me, regardless of what the guides say.

Let's be clear: I don't have anything against these guides because that's just what they are; guides. I don't think they are meant to be taken literally and often times some of  the tips are actually very helpful if you are able to translate it properly to your own body.  Sometimes I'm like "hell yeah, chart,  you were so right," and other times they completely miss the mark. For example, I don't think  women should follow the rule of  loose fitting clothing to "hide their fullness" and completely agree with the charts that tell you to embrace prints, wear fitted clothing and gasp! accentuate your full body with a wrap dress.

I think the key is not to put ourselves in a specific category all the time. It's important to try not to completely eliminate a style because these guides or Pinterest tells us so.

The thing is, I'm wearing the biggest size since college. I'm not at my thinnest and have a good 30 pounds to lose before I'm actually healthy again. So I'm certainly not completely at peace with my body.  Through trial and some terrifying errors though, I've been able to gain the confidence and comfort in knowing how to choose what's right for me.

If I had to strip it all down to the basics, it came down to this:

Trying things and not being afraid to fail at them:
First I made a conscious effort to note what I've personally found works and doesn't work for my body. This meant being totally honest with myself about my comfort level and build. I'm short, curvy in some places, small boned in other areas, and my weight has fluctuated pretty drastically over the  last decade. Being honest with myself eliminated the stress of trying to squeeze into a junior's top when I really wasn't a junior's size.

Practice, Practice, Practice
How do you get good at anything? You practice till you get it right. Comfort and style don't  just happen, it takes a little effort. This meant spending a lot of time trying on clothes and returning things at the store and being okay with that. Wouldn't it be nice if we were all stylists and this all came naturally to us? Instead, I sought inspiration everywhere and spent time in my closet putting things together.

Evaluate your progress.
I took pictures of my outfits and evaluate them (and still do).  I send pictures to my sisters and ask questions. And even more effectively, I actually write down what I liked and didn't like after a long day in an outfit so I can remember how and why I felt about something. The days I found myself physically uncomfortable in something even though it was trendy or cute, I made note so the next time I cleaned out my closet or re-evaluated my wardrobe, I remembered how I felt in that outfit.

And most importantly, I stopped feeling pressured to wear something I really didn't want to wear deep down inside.

For example, I realized that ankle pants make me look more streamlined,  rolling up my sleeves makes me feel comfortable because the sleeves are always way too long. Though I'm not supposed to emphasize my mid-section and bottom half, I actually love printed skirts and adore fitted midi dresses. I feel beautiful in off-the-shoulder clothing and cropped jackets seem to work for me. I'm also not supposed to wear wide-leg jeans but will never get rid of my $5 find. I don't feel comfortable in fitted tops and prefer flowy ones for practical reasons. And the list goes on...

However, With all that said, it's also very important to keep an open mind to branch out, at least once. I always tell my clients at our Goodwill personal thrift style sessions to be open to at least one new thing. If you feel awful in it, then you can at least say you tried it on and gave it a shot.  You'd be surprised at what you find. I used to always skip over fitted dresses because style guides say I shouldn't dare wear dresses that hug my body because of my not-so-flat midsection. But I feel confident as ever in a fitted dress.

How has this helped me? 
I've been able to save money knowing that a certain style doesn't work for me and I stopped forcing things to work. Shopping and getting dressed has gotten so much easier over the last ten years.
 I've spent a lot of time and money on trends (ex. faux leather leggings) because I really liked the idea of them and loved the way they looked on other people. But the reality was they didn't work for me - and not because these charts told me they weren't for me, but because I felt uncomfortable and unproductive in them. I don't feel comfortable in shorts because they just ride up and I get tired of pulling them down all day. I think stilettos are classic and timeless but find them extremely impractical and uncomfortable and would rather rock a stacked heel or wedge all day.

To me, style and dressing for your body boils down to two things: comfort and confidence. If you don't feel comfortable in your clothes, it's going to show. And if you feel good in your clothes, it's also going to show. And confidence is contagious as hell so let's all start spreading it around. 

Outfit details:
Blazer | Thrifted | $7 | Shop Simliar
Jeans | Target | $30
Shirt | Old Navy | $11
Shoes | DSW | $30 | Shop Similar