HOW I LEARNED TO EMBRACE MY INNER VERA BRADLEY

VeraBradleyBags

Vera Bradley is not the hippest brand. I don’t know how much you would have to pay Kim Kardashian to carry a Vera Bradley bag. In fact, I don’t know that you could come up with any sum of money that would make Kim Kardashian carry a Vera Bradley bag.

I first realized how uncool Vera Bradley bags are after I bought one secondhand at Housing Works, in keeping with the Fashionmomix philosophy of saving money and recycling goods. I was very happy with the bag; it was inexpensive and the quilting made it comfortable. Then I wore it around a goth friend of mine. “OH, that’s a Vera Bradley bag,” she said. Her tone and demeanor made it clear;  I had committed a major fashion faux pas.

So once that bag fell apart, I forgot about Vera B. Flash forward to this summer. I was looking for a summer handbag, and nothing was the right fit. All the expensive leather bags I coveted were way above my budget. Plus they were heavy and uncomfortable for the summer heat. I kept coming back to Vera. Her bags are soft, light, and colorful, just what I wanted in a summer purse. I decided to stop being a fashion snob and buy two! After all, you’re not cool if you’re worried about being cool, AND if you’re not true to yourself. So I learned to embrace my inner Vera Bradley. Perhaps you can too someday.

HOW TO BUY A MILLY DRESS FOR 15 DOLLARS

MillyWe’re in the midst of a heat wave here in New York City. But I’m staying cool in this Milly dress. My bank balance isn’t feeling the heat either, because I only paid $15 for it! Where did I find it, you may ask? Of all places, at a church secondhand sale. NEVER turn your nose up at a secondhand sale!  You could be missing out on a great bargain and great fashion. Hey, if Milly is good enough for JLo to wear on her birthday, it’s good enough for me, especially at $15.

THIS MAN CAN MAKE YOU MORE BEAUTIFUL

TodMarks

Well sort of. I follow Consumer Reports’ Tod Marks advice on checking the unit prices on products religiously. Case in point, check out the prices on these two bottles of Cerave lotion.

Cerave1cropped

I like beauty products like Cerave because there is no fragrance added that could potentially irritate my sensitive skin. Now you would think you’d save money if you bought a bigger bottle. But look closely at the unit prices.

Cerave2cropped

The smaller 8 ounce bottle actually costs less because it’s priced at $1.37 an ounce, while the 12 ounce bigger bottle is $1.50 an ounce and costs more! Now this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy Cerave – I still do. What it does mean is that you should always check the unit prices, and bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better.

WHY YOU WANT TO BE OUT OF SEASON

ComptoirSweaterIt’s March, the month when spring is supposed to arrive.  Instead, it’s snowing today.  But even though it’s gray and gloomy, there’s cause for cheer.  That’s because in-between seasons are a great time to find bargains.  Right now you can find winter/ fall clothes for super cheap and wear them right away!  Take the Comptoir des Cotonniers sweater I’m wearing.  It was 50% off at Second Time Around.  And their sales are still going on!  Plus the stores probably won’t be crowded because of the snow.  In the meantime, here’s a cute video on how to pronounce that label’s rather daunting name:    

WHAT CUPCAKES TAUGHT ME

CupcakesNever be afraid to ask for a sale price.  Never.  Be bold, speak up for the bargain rate, and guess what, you’ll usually get it.

Eleni's06

Case in point:  Eleni’s.  I love their cupcakes.  They taste great, they’re nut-free, but they’re not cheap.  I saw a surprisingly low price listed online for the Valentine’s Day cupcakes, so I called to order a dozen.  But my receipt showed I was charged $12 more that the price on the website.  I called and was given a $12 refund, even though the customer service rep told me the price online was incorrect (it’s still up on the site by the way).  Score!

tea-collection-logo

Then there’s my favorite clothing brand for boys – Tea.  Their prices are on the higher side though, so I always watch for sales.  But when I recently tried to buy some sweaters from their winter clearance, my online order didn’t go through due to poor wifi.  I didn’t take the loss lying down though.  I called the next day and the salesperson kindly gave me the lower prices, even though the sale was over (and yes they do follow ethical work practices).

So ask, just be nice when you do it.  People are more likely to give you a deal when they’re treated with respect.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

heart

Go Red For Women

GoRed

I haven’t been able to post as much as I’d like so far this year.  But I’ve been busy supporting important causes.  Here I am in my Costume National dress, a bargain I found on Gilt, to support #NationalWearRedDay.  This is my #GoRedSelfie to join @GoRedForWomen in the fight against #heartdisease !