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!

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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? 🙂

It’s been a while since I chatted with you guys about my journey to happiness.  Somewhere between the spring and the upcoming summer I became lost in living and not telling my story.  I’m not going to hold you up as I get you caught up on all the details.  There’s a bridal shower, new business growth, Beau Miss Home additions, a house guest, Victoria’s Secrets, beautifully tressed, Poshmark, his super 16 birthday, the garden and Oscar (my bike).  Seems like a lot!  It probably is but I won’t drag it all out in this post.  Let’s dig right into it in chronological order.

The last time I spoke with you all was on an “Oprah Says” post.  What I didn’t tell you was I was playing host to a house guest better yet recognized as the man I love.  These were unfamiliar waters for me as I have kept individuals away from this level of intimacy with me.  We’re talking about sharing my space with another adult and a teenager.  I was slightly uncomfortable about it at first because we had just finished arguing about something.  Then the more he was here I relaxed but I had to wrap my mind around the “TEMPORARY” sign that hung over the matter.  This was not the way my life would be always, things would go back to normal for all of us soon enough.  It was fun and very insightful.  I learned more about myself and the intricate nature of our relationship.  Thanks to some unconventional guidelines and very open communication, we made it!

20131225-185955.jpgThe older I get get the more people I know entering into the martial stage of their lives.  Some of you might remember this picture when I announced my current place of employment.  All of us ladies, started this journey together with hope of making strides in our careers and lives.  Two of them have went on to pursue other positions within the organization.  The other has begun the walk into holy matrimony within the next several weeks.  We’ve enjoyed the bridal shower and keeping a far from “Bridezilla” engaged in enjoying the moment before she gets her MRS degree.  I’m sure we’ll all meet again at this gorgeous occasion.  Can you guess which lady is making the leap?  Well it sure as hell ain’t me!SoMe 3

A while back, I told you all about me making extra money through Poshmark.  Since that post I deactivated my account and settled for taking my garments to local secondhand stores for profit.  I opened an account again – not to sell but to purchase whatever I had been looking for and couldn’t find at the stores.  So far, I’ve scored a coat, sweater and my favorite Zara tunic that I was swooning over after my one night stand in Chicago last year.  It has been a godsend to me as I’ve become over exhausted with traditional shopping.  Whenever I think of something specific I want, I click on the app and search through hundreds of offerings until I discover the exact item I’m looking to buy.  Try it out!

In the process of all of this happening, my number one guy turned 16.  That’s right, in 1999 I gave birth to a little baby that has grown into a young man.  We didn’t do much in the terms of celebration.  Partially on the terms of the kid’s procrastination and indecisive ways.  We just couldn’t reach a conclusion for the party.  It came and went but I was still excited to witness it.  We’ve been through a lot.My Duke

I’m going to stop right here.  There has to be a reason for you to come back and visit with me once more.  We’ll get into some of the other topics, in their own post or a remix version.  In the meantime, keep a smile on your face and offer one to someone in need.

The season is still high for people to declare their New Year’s resolutions.  I’ve told you about my feelings on all that jazz.  You all know I prefer the idea of planning.  My office area is set for successful documentation of these things.  While going through some of the blogs I follow, I made my way to Tall Glass of Style.  I found a bit of inspiration on her style resolutions post.  The piece spoke to me because i’m a tomboy at heart.  There are times when I get involved with the very feminine activities of daily life.  On the general side of things I’m more of a wash & go kinda girl.  So here are my plans and so far in the new year – I‘m doing good.

My 2015 Beau Miss Plan

1. Do Laundry More Frequently

I have more clothes that allowed.  However, I tend to run through everything then struggle to pull my look together or buy more of the same item.  Something that I want to wear is always in the hamper.  This would result in me having shorter laundromat visits.

2.  Get Ready Get Ready Get Reeeeeaaaady

I’m kind of an early bird.  After the school run, I’m up until I take a nap.  It would be beneficial if I just got my clothes together then. This means all the way down to the undergarments.  That’s usually where I waste a lot of time. 

3.  A lil Definition

I love make up but you wouldn’t know it by the way I come out most days. A simple wiggle of the mascara, fluff of blush and lip color can go a long way.  I want to be as ready and prepared to present myself daily.

4.  Closet Queen

My clothes are in several areas of my home.  IKEA will be seeing a few more of my dollars to create a more effective flow for selection of my looks.  This space will require me to become more savvy with my storage choices.

5.  Not A Sneakerhead

I don’t have multiple pairs of gym shoes.  It’s not because I don’t like them.  The reason is more about me buying out of necessity.  This year I plan to incorporate more athletic wear into my wardrobe.

6.  Protect Ya Face

We all know that black don’t crack! I want to make sure it doesn’t lose it’s glow, firmness or gain any problem areas.  I’m taking better care of my face and skin through proper moisture, hydration and cleansing.  Night creams are my thing, right now.

7.  The Classics

Through my Pinterest-ing , I’ve discovered several list that inform you on the classic garments you need in your closet.  Work must be completed on my must haves.

8.  You Can Do It

Seriously considering constructing an article of clothing from a pattern.  I dabble in altering my clothes.  Making them may be a whole new world for me but I’ll keep you informed.  Between my love for Beaute’ J’adore and MiMi Styles – I can’t take it anymore!

9.  Dress My Age

Pay more attention to the garments I purchase.  Age appropriateness is key for me right now. I know I look good for my age but there is NO reason to dress the same way I did decades ago. For Pete’s sake I have a 15 year old kid.

10.  Keep wearing What I Feel

For the most part, what I wear is a reflection of my attitude for the day.  This is the driving force behind everything I put on and there’s no reason to change this EVER.

Do you have any fashion or maintenance plans for the new year?

HGTV has been the channel of my heart since its premier in 1997. I like tackling home decor projects and creating my own personality in a space. This year I pulled all the stops out while creating a comfortable space for my family. All these episodes and Pinterest pins came into play as I settled in to the new digs.

I’ve painted more this year than I have in my entire life! It was all great fun, even the hauling of six solid oak chairs up and down 3 flights of stairs. The bedroom projects were the most fun. I’ve never displayed the young lad’s chalkboard wall. This has proven to be a great communication medium for us.

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The dining room is NOT complete as of yet but here’s a peek at the wall.

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Then I tackled a gallery wall of different size frames. It is not complete yet because I haven’t stopped to get 2 (YES, I said two!) pictures resized for their respective places. Here’s a shot of how that turned out so far.

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This is my family wall. The years to come will possibly result in the area growing. I’m happy with it. Then there is the entry way into the apartment. A small collection of picture taken from my Instagram.

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I have a few additional projects but I’m almost complete. It’s been fun. However, I won’t be engaging in too much of this activity in the upcoming year. Why? This place will be finished! 😉