There’s nothing like a good sale when you have a few extra dollars.  You almost can’t wait to give your money away for whatever tangible item it might be.  Well, I must confess, I don’t like spending a lot of money.  I like the classic combo of a sale price coupled with an exclusive coupon.  So, one Saturday morning as I’m scrolling through emails I find this and jump right in the shower and prepare myself for the journey.  I mean seriously, how could I turn this sale away.  I love 1/2 off – not as much as 75%.  😉

The second-hand store has my heart. I’ve always had a love for old pieces.  As a child, we would visit the antique market in the Eastern Market weekly.  I didn’t get into buying clothes from the thrift store until I was an adult. It started in small boutique shops then I ventured into the larger chains. I’m hooked and I can admit it. Oakland County locations are the best and if you’re from around here you know what the OC means! So, I walked into the Value World location with no purse, comfortable shoes and nothing but time. Yup! I was prepared for the hunt through stale industrial detergent smelling items for little gems I could add to my wardrobe. (I’ll be sure to take you along for the next round in a few weeks to show you what it looks like.)

My methods are focused and success driven. I have an idea of what I need in my wardrobe and what sections may produce the unexpected steal. These are the areas I focus on when entering a large thrift store for fashion: work, trends, men’s.

 

The men’s department gave me a blue oxford shirt (I forgot to get a picture.) This is generally what I pick up from that section or a cardigan/sweater.  It’s the tomboy in me that keeps me in that section. I like oversized sweaters and men’s dress shirts for casual days and weekend attire.

My shopping didn’t end with those 7 pieces.  The journey continued as I sought out a few trending items. Kimonos, scarves, and sequins.  Only one of these were fruitful – scarves. I like to wrap my hair/head up from time to time.  Sometimes it makes an outfit grand.  I only wanted the ones with great pattern or silk.  Now, if a scarf embodied both of these characteristics, God bless us all. After searching each end cap’s selection of scarves, I walked outta there with 6.  Some restraint was displayed because at one time while in the store I had 14 in my cart. Then when I got home I realized one of these things was hiding a secret.  I’m not a label whore but I literally screamed when I saw it but it said Balenciaga.  SCOOOOOOORE!!!!

The only hang up I have with Value World is their lack of fitting rooms. I’ve been spoiled by Salvation Armies, Mother Fletcher’s (RIP), and Lost & Found. The majority of your goods are clothing items and the return policy is non-existent. So, why wouldn’t you want to have at least one small area dedicated to physically seeing if this garment works for you?  I mean, I literally had an in-store associate cover me while I got 50% naked to see if that black dress would fit nshit. Heaven help someone that doesn’t feel this motivated to make meaningful purchases in the second-hand store.  I don’t care if the thing is only $5. It’s my money and I don’t want to waste it.  Do better Value World!

Tags

These are the tags from my haul. Okay, not all of them but 80% is damn good. LOL! Now, add them all up and divide that by .50. I walked away from the register with 20 items for $45. BINGO! The time spent was well worth it. All of these items haven’t been placed into the rotation. Some are scheduled to go to the cleaners. The scarves, shorts, and tops have been washed in Tide/Downy Scentables being dried with a Bounce dryer sheet.  That’s all I really need – ensure they are clean.

Since I began shopping at these type of stores, my anticipation about the mall is ever present. I don’t like spending full price and appreciate the individuality of secondhand finds.  It almost guarantees I’ll be the only one with a specific garment on at a particular time and I relish in my individuality.

Are you a fan of the secondhand/thrift stores?

 

 

The Kid only became a senior after June. Somehow or another he gets asked to the prom by a graduating senior. This all sound good until teenage girl anxiety walked into our lives.  I wasn’t expecting this type of stress until Spring 2017. The young lady’s prom showed me the areas I need to plan and execute for his send off.  Here’s the shortest version of this tale without becoming emotional.

So, when I was pregnant, I prayed to God to give me a son. He heard me. Then I prayed he’d be tall. Measuring in at 5’11”-6′ (depending on where we are). He heard me, again. I didn’t factor in was his charmingly fun attitude, personal sense of style and a little something people call swag which makes the girls gravitate to him.  He walks in one day and says “I got asked to prom.” WHAT?! We both think on it and decide it can’t be that bad. He just needs the following things:

  1. Suit
  2. Coordinating tie
  3. Corsage
  4. Haircut

Right? Oh, how wrong we were! We didn’t find out until the week prior what color her dress was. Then I hear his phone ringing EARLY one morning. Who could that be? He comes over to my room and says “I don’t even feel like going with her anymore.” She had called him and told him he needed to purchase his ticket to attend. This was not a part of the original deal. However, I tend to be a little compassionate to other children’s situation because I know everyone is NOT being parented the same. I coughed over the cash and got the items on the list.

The day came and there was some early morning drama. Then football practice that prevented him from getting to the barbershop on time. This meant Taylor was calling every 5 minutes. He got to the point where he wasn’t answering the phone. Then the logistic issues rose. The car service was coming to our place, she was waiting on him in Roseville. I had become more involved than I anticipated.

He arrived and the mini photo shoot began. I was asked if I wanted to be in the pictures. No. My year was 2017. Seeing him all dressed up brought some ideas to the light. We only had a few more events like this left in his primary education career. They looked very nice together.


No rest for me, I was on task to pick them up from the prom and transport them home. Her feet hurt and he was carrying his jacket. As he helped her out the car to end the night, she thanked him. He had fun and was full of suggestions for his big day. I know it’s going to be on a grand scale because we always doing the most.  🙂

I’m a Midwest girl and we aren’t known for our fashion forwardness.  Most of us prefer to be comfortable daily and dress for occasions.  More than anything else we possess a special kind of individualism that creates a couple head turns.  I never really try when I put a look together.  My fashion is determined by several factors, iron, mood, and weather.  Accessories are not my thing either but this item has been included in more looks than my favorite wig.  Let me tell you a little bit about my go to adornment.

Belt

My leopard belt. I picked this up several years ago at Target.  They were having a sale on the belts and I was in need of a one from the brown family.  The other belts looked cheesy.  You know the braided type and then there’s the wrestling belt.  In need of something to tie my look together I settled on the leopard.  I’m a fan of the big cats but not in my fashion.  Little did I know this was totally going to upgrade me.  After a short while, I noticed whenever I was getting ready, which includes the look selection, that belt would make it to the bed as an option.  It was totally becoming a favorite.  Here are a few times it won the “Battle of the Belts.”


As you can see I’ll put this bad boy on with anything.  It just adds a bit of visual interest. Call this piece a little unexpected.  It’s not overpowering at all.  However, after years and months of wear and tear, I’m on the hunt for a replacement.  It has started to split at the seam and some of the faux fur has been rubbed off.  Until I find another, I’ll be rocking it.  Even in its less than pristine condition, people still say “love the belt!”  This thing has kicked my fashion score up a few notches.
Yes, this midwest girl may never be considered a fashion icon.  No, it’s not from a luxury designer collection.  Maybe, it’s not as impressive to some people but it’s a staple in my life. If you happen to know where I can get another (everyone in the tri-county area of Detroit must have one), let me know.  I’ll be sure to pick up 2 the next time. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m no fashionista. Just a regular degular shemegula girl that likes to look great no matter what the occasion. As I become more responsible with my finances, the Internet has become the best place for me to treat my retail addiction.  Here I can fill shopping carts, stalk sales, and shutdown without feeling the impulses the stores create.  Then there are times when I have cash and this form of therapy isn’t an option. Step in Polyvore app.  Here I can become inspired by all things fashion including home. Let me show how this has become my favorite app for my closet and living quarters.

(Just a little background – Tamika and I love fashion but these Midwest professional streets – wanna hold us back. Cue the Rick Ross tune.  After a few short hours of intense research on her part we had both developed a new hobby.)

I was in complete awe when I saw all the options and items.  We had always wondered where those pictures came from and now we knew.  However, we didn’t know it was going to be like this. Here are a few sets I created in my inaugural weeks.


There’s no denying fashionable side.  My true love is home fashion and interior design.  I often think about how great my place would look if I had an endless amount of cash – OMG!  Moreover, I have made a point to create a less than common approach in my own home.  Polyvore allows me to daydream in color and change my mind millions of times without spending a penny or having to return something because I found something better.  This was my 1st home fashion set on the app and it took me almost 2 days to create it.



The very unexpected component of this app is the functionality to purchase what you like.  I’ll keep my retail-addicted heart calm until I get a few more things in order before I start going crazy.  In the meantime, Polyvore is keeping my mind off of things I tend to think about more often than needed.

Join and you can follow me @marleazwilson.

 

 

 

According to my post, The Pledge of 2015, everything is moving as planned there is only one that slipping away. Moreover, I have time to correct that one.  In the mean while, we must begin embracing this fall weather that is upon us.  This is not my favorite season but it ushers in the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”  I’m getting excited just thinking about it.  Let me not get ahead of myself.  Here are the essential items I have tracked down for MY wardrobe.

I’ve been sitting here all summer looking for one of these hats in prep for the cooler months.  In a last-ditch effort to secure one before they are all gone, I found one that meet my specifications.  There is still a need for one of the featuring the floppy brim, but we’ll handle one chapeau at a time.  This whole finishing the look thing is starting to grow on me.  Hats are always a good move for me – great for semi-bad hair days.

ASOS Matador Felt Hat

Wide leg trousers have been a love of mine for years.  I know this isn’t the ideal garment for a small frame woman.  Yeah yeah yeah – I still like ’em.  If you know where I could snag a cool pair, let me know.  This image is strictly for reference.  They need to be above the naval and wide.  I see the look in my head and can’t wait to hit these crazy Detroit streets in them.

High Waist Crepe Wide Leg Trousers

Something tells me in my heart of hearts that I’ve had a cape and really didn’t know what it was until it was gone.  Hell, I don’t even remember it.  THIS as my cousin would say is as good as GOT.  This piece screams personality, sophistication and undeniable style – don’t that sound like me.  I like the idea of the black but if I discover an ecru or camel colored one.  Lord, please still my heart every time I want to wear it.

WOOL BLAZER CAPE BLACK

The is no fall, spring, winter or summer for that matter that doesn’t require Timbs.  It’s beyond a cultural thing.  These are the new Air Force 1s.  They can turn any look on its head and change the game up.  Try a nice floral dress featuring beautiful makeup or distressed denim accompanied by the infamous white tank and these hoofers.  I don’t know about you but I like the sound of it.  I ruined my last and a new pair is an obligation.  It’s that unexpected piece in any woman’s wardrobe, that isn’t working in manufacturing or construction.

CLASSICS

The 90s was a great time!  Baggy clothes, plaid and dark lip liner.  Who could forget the golden age?  NOBODY!  I remember owning a hunter green bodysuit that displayed my lady lumps perfectly.  Well, they’re back and I’m jumping back on the saddle.  The designs are fresh and the curves of my womanhood fit perfectly in place.  Being more confident in my body and skin is going to make for a better experience in 2015 and beyond.

Bodysuits

Your list might be different and mine might grow some more.  That doesn’t change the fact that I need to pick these couple of garments up to add to my collection.  Whatever you do within the last few months of the year, make sure it’s Beau Miss

😉

I’ve been sharing the different events in my life with your for almost 4 years.  Over the pats couple weeks, I’ve been thinking of other ways to communicate with you.  This would be a way for you to attach the voice with the words I write.  The YouTube channel (Bmisunderstood) has been very interesting to me.  However, looking through hundreds of channels, I’ve decided to organize my content for the best delivery to the viewers.  This would include my how-tos, beloved favorites, book recommendations and thrift shop finds.  There may also be a few get ready with me and “Conversations with Momma.”  I’m excited and you can expect at least two videos a month.

In the meantime, you can catch me ranting, raving and discussing my latest posts and other items on my mind via Periscope.  You can follow me @Stoical127 to watch my live broadcasts.  As much as you all have connected with me, I would like to see all of you that have been following me over the years.  We’ll give these things a shot at connecting us further.

Be sure to let me know what you think!   🙂

Rent is a concept that many of us are aware of in lieu of ownership.  The official definition is to pay someone for the use of (something, typically property, land, or a car).  What they didn’t mention were high fashion garments for special occasions.  This is my newest best friend- respectfully after music, books, google and carryout, LOL.  The program is affordable and convenient.  Here is just a little insight I have on Rent the Runway and some fashion friendly options for our pocketbooks.

I don’t claim to know everything.  So, when my friend Tony was getting married, I realized I needed a great dress for this event.  Let me add that my ex would be there in all of his – hell I don’t know what to call the momma’s boy.  My co-workers had mentioned Rent the Runway before in conversation.  One for her own personal use and the other for the girls going to prom from her non-profit.  After scrolling the selection of several stores and factoring in the cost of the ticket with hotel, renting was a feasible option for me.  I checked it out and was amazed by the selection and prices. There is a little something for everybody.  Dresses from $30 and up.  This was a match made in the stars – more like my favorites on the task bar.

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I’ve used their service a total of three (3) times in the past 2 years.  It’s very easy to use.  Give them the date of your event, place your order and ship it back.  Other women who have wore the garments post their reviews of the item and give details about their size and shape.  I have found this to help a great deal in picking out the right size for myself.  The dresses I have ordered fit perfect and the compliments were never ending at the events.  As you can see I’ve worn dresses from some of the top designers in the business and a new collection I had never heard of in my life.

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Pay attention to the cost of renting the dress for one event to the price to hang it in your closet and pray for the day you can wear it again.  Yeah – that’s what I said!  They also send you a second dress in another size to ensure you have a comfortable fit.  In my initial test run for New Year’s Eve, you can see the size 0 dress hanging on the closet door.  They ask that you order items to be shipped one full day before just in case you need to make a change.  The dresses are packed to prevent any additional need for irons, steamers and whatever else we use to knock out wrinkles.  And the real brilliance of the program is the prepaid shipping materials for returning your purchase. Drama free – Gotta Love it!!

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I’d advise all of my fashionable followers and family to give this program a try.  They also have an app available on Android and iOS.  This may not be for some of you rich folks but for all of us on a TIGHT budget, it’s s godsend. Here I am in all the garments.  There’s also an opportunity to buy some dresses during the clearance event.  One of these dresses I truly wouldn’t mind owning. Can you guess which one? 🙂