During the year I work on staff at an independent school, and I am lucky enough to get a very generous summer vacation. This summer I enjoyed every minute of my break...spending time with my family and friends, taking trips, and of course starting this website, Living Luxe for Less! But now that Labor Day is around the corner, my summer vacation has come to an end, and yesterday I went back to work.
So now that I am back to work and the sun is shining, of course I can't help but wish that I was still at the beach!
If I were headed to the beach today instead of the office, here are a few of the fashionable but affordable items that I would take with me!
There is one splurge in this outfit and that is the Roberta Roller Rabbit Kurta which is $70. Although this item is on the expensive side, this is such a great purchase because you will get so much use out of it! I wear my RRR tunics and pareos all summer long, and I get so many compliments on them! This kurta top would also be great with white jeans and sandals, or an espadrille wedge...don't just save it for the beach!
In this outfit I would say that the tunic is the real stand-out piece, and then I have selected other attractive, but low priced items to finish off the look...
I love a good one-piece! They are classic and chic, and also so comfortable! This Old Navy swimsuit is a beautiful color, and surprisingly most sizes are still in stock so late in the summer. It also has been marked down from $29.99 to $16.99 and it is a great deal!
This Essie Lilacism nail polish looks great with the green suit, and it is on sale for $4.99.
I know that no one wants to wear expensive jewelery to the beach, so I found these "cheap and chic" accessories to complete the outfit. The bamboo bangles are only $1.50 for the set, and these starfish earrings are on sale for $14.99 at Overstock...two great deals!
This J.Crew straw bag is so versatile it will go with all of your outfits to the beach, will fit all of your things, and it is also on sale for $34.50.
The beach towels are also a great deal...$10 for the set so you don't have to go to the beach alone!
Of course no trip to the beach is complete without a good book and a refreshing cocktail. I am almost finished with The Three Weissmanns of Westport by Cathleen Schine, and if I were going to the beach today this would definitely be in my beach bag. This book is fast paced and funny, and it is a great book for a day at the beach! And doesn't this margarita look good? Yummm!
Are you headed to the beach today? If so, what will be in your beach bag?
This week I am on my 2nd week of family vacation, and I am at Disney World in Orlando, Florida with my in-laws...all 18 of us! I never went to Disney World as a child, so this is a whole new experience for me.
Before coming to Disney I had a lot of questions about preparing for the trip, one of which being, what should I wear to Disney World?! After spending two days at Disney World, I can give you a few tips on what to pack if you plan on visiting an amusement park in August....
1. Wear light clothing because it will be hot! 2. Carry a bag that zips up so that you don't lose any of your belongings on the rides. 3. Wear a watch so you know when to meet up with your group if you split up. 4. Wear closed toe shoes if at all possible, as flip flops are not recommended for some of the rides.
Based on this criteria, here is a sample outfit that is both stylish and affordable for your next trip to Disney World or any other amusement park.
Whenever I go away on vacation I always want to bring home a little something with me to remember my trip. I also have a soft spot for all things nautical, so I am especially excited when I have a chance to bring home a coastal home accessory that will remind me of my trip all year long!
This past week I went to Cape Cod with my family and on our one rainy day we went shopping in Chatham. If you ever have a chance, you should check out the stores in Chatham, MA. They have a great selection of home decor, clothing and jewelry stores, along with many wonderful art galleries. One of my favorite stores in Chatham is Three Buoys because of their interesting and well priced selection of home accessories. Here are just a few of my favorite coastal home accessories for $30 or less from Three Buoys:
Starfish Frame, $25. I think I might like this frame a little more without the raffia tie, but I still think it is a fun coastal accent for your living room or bedroom. My favorite part about this frame is that it is weighted, so it would be a great bookend or accessory on a bookshelf.
Anchor Bottle Stopper, $15. This will keep your wine fresh, and remind you of your fun summer vacation every time you refill your wineglass!
Clam Servingware, $25.
Shell Frame, $16.
Shell Album, $30
Shell Plate, $16. This glossy decorative plate would be great for jewelry or on a desk or vanity. I have one just like it where we put our keys!
Sea soaps, $18 and Starfish Trivet, $15.
Black and White Print Bag, $32. And while you are shopping for your home, why not pick up an accessory for you? I thought this was an adorable bag for the summer, and such a great price!
Where is your favorite place to shop when you go to the beach?
Last week I had so much fun creating two different looks composed entirely of items from Target that I decided to follow up this series with another edition of Totally Target outfits!
Everyone knows that the summer is the peak of wedding season, and as someone who has been a bridesmaid ten times, I know that being a part of a wedding can be a lot of fun, but it also requires a lot of outfit changes! Here I have composed two wedding party looks composed of reasonably priced clothing and accessories all from Target for the ladies who will be attending bridal showers and bachelorette parties this summer!
And one other thing I want to point out about buying accessories from Target is that they have teamed up with the company Global Girlfriend to offer affordable, and great looking accessories and jewelry that have been made by women and communities in need. Global Girlfriend is a fair trade company, so you know that when you purchase an item from them that you are supporting a company that helps people in developing countries receive higher wages and better working conditions. Today the beaded gold hoop earrings that I have featured are from the Global Girlfriend line, and whenever possible I hope to showcase organizations that will allow you to buy something nice, but also give back to the community at the same time!
I hope you have been inspired to check out Target for your next wedding function! Do you like this series and do you want to see more Totally Target outfits in the future? Let me know! Have a great weekend everyone!
I am lucky enough to be spending this week with my family in Orleans, MA on Cape Cod. Every year my family gets together and rents a house in Orleans, and some of my fondest memories growing up are from our summer trips to the Cape. There is something so special and nostalgic about Cape Cod. Henry David Thoreau who spent a great deal of time here once commented on the appealing character of Cape Cod and its beaches, "A man may stand there and put all America behind him."
Unfortunately one thing Cape Cod is not known for is being inexpensive. Regardless of this fact, while I am here on vacation I hope to find a few ways for you to Live Luxe for Less the next time you decide to take a vacation to Cape Cod, or any other beach town.
One way for you to Live Luxe for Less on your next trip...
If you are interested in shopping on your vacation you should think about signing up to receive emails from all the stores you want to visit on your trip. Even if you can't visit the store on a regular basis, this will keep you up to date on whether the store will be running any special promotions the next time you are in town.
For example, I love the store Weekend which is located on Main Street close to Nauset Beach in Orleans, MA. Weekend has an eclectic, and stylish collection of women and children's clothing, home accessories, jewelry, books, and stationary. So...imagine how excited I was to get an email a few days before our trip announcing that Weekend was having a sidewalk sale this past weekend! What perfect timing, and luckily I did not leave empty handed!
When I saw a pair of standard pillow cases in such a beautiful blue ikat print marked down to $28 for the set, I decided that I couldn't pass them up! Here is the print of the pillowcases:
This set of pillowcases is by Kerry Cassill. Now this was an exciting purchase because not only was I thrilled to get a new piece of fun blue bedding on sale, but I was also excited to learn about Kerry Cassill and her designs. Kerry has been influenced by Indian prints and colors, and from this inspiration she has created a beautiful line of clothing and bedding. Here are a few items from her website:
Don't you just love this Kerry Cassill skirt? This may not be LL4L, but it sure is cute! And at $90 you could very well get your money's worth by wearing it to the beach, shopping on a hot summer day, or pairing it with a white tank, gold sandals, and a chunky turquoise necklace for a casual summer dinner with friends.
But at $26, buying one of these Kerry Cassill frames would be a great way to add a bit of Kerry's signature style into your home for less!
Another item I saw at Weekend that wasn't on sale, but that I thought was adorable and a great deal is this black and white ikat cropped jacket that was less than $60!
This jacket is by Mata Traders, and this is another brand that I had never heard of before my trip to Weekend. After checking out their website, I discovered that Mata Traders not only has a great selection of reasonably priced clothing and jewelry, but it is also a fair trade company! They explain on the company's website: "our fair trade clothing and accessories are hand-made in India by women's cooperatives and artisan groups. Livable wages, good working conditions, no assembly line factory production -- that's what you're getting when you shop Mata Traders." Doesn't it make you feel good when you can treat yourself to something nice, but also support a great cause? Here are a few of my favorite items from the Mata Traders website...and check out the prices!
Have you ever had to run to Target at the last second? You are in such a rush, and you are running late already, but you just need to make a quick stop to get paper towels, tooth paste, diapers, or whatever necessity you can't go one more day without stocking up on. So you run in and you have every intention of going straight to aisle 5, but then you see it out of the corner of your eye...is that a cute dress...at Target?!
Unfortunately you don't have time to contemplate trying the dress on because you are quickly taken back to reality by the screaming baby on your left, and the crunchy crinkling of candy wrappers in the clearance aisle of Easter candy to your right. All of a sudden you feel overwhelmed and you can't tell if this dress is actually cute, or if it was just your eyes playing tricks on you again. So instead of "wasting your time" to see if this dress is a keeper, you throw it back on the rack and run to aisle 5 to get your paper towels and get back on the road!
In my opinion Target usually has a number of items that are both surprisingly fashionable, and affordable. But sometimes it is difficult to take a clothing item out of the discount store context, and figure out what you will wear it with once you actually take it home.
Below I have created two sample outfits, one for a casual brunch or lunch, and the second for a night out on the town for cocktails with friends. Every item listed below can be purchased at Target, and this just goes to show that you can wear Target from head to toe and still look good baby!
I hope these outfits have inspired you to consider Target the next time you need a fun new outfit. And I found so many cute things at Target this week, if you like this post, I might just have to continue this series next week!
On Monday I wrote about my inspiration for LL4L (aka Living Luxe for Less), and I included an outfit which was typical of something that I might wear on a summer weekend. This post was intended for you to get to know me better, and learn more about my personal style. I also offered tips on how I found some of these items at a reduced cost from their original price, because no matter the post, this space will always be focused on "spending less, and living better." Two of the items from this post, a watch and a purse, were over $100, and I promised to follow up later this week with some comparable, yet more affordable options to the gold watch and black clutch that I referenced on Monday.
First, the summer clutch...I was able to find 11 wicker or rattan clutches, all on Amazon, and all for under $88! Who knew that you could buy such adorable handbags on Amazon? I wish I had known that three days ago when I bought a few new books!
Which handbag is your favorite? I am torn between the gold and silver rattan clutch, and the navy wicker stone clutch!
I also know that I would be very happy if I were able to take home the Pedre black or orange croc watch. What a great accent for any outfit, and the orange watch would add such a fun pop of color. Are any of these watches calling your name?
Thank you for visiting Living Luxe for Less!This space will be dedicated to helping people bring a little bit of luxury into their lives, no matter their budget.
With the high cost of many designer and luxury goods, and the increasing demand for us all to look good and stay up to date with the latest trends, it can start to feel like living well and enjoying nice things can be forever out of reach. To satisfy my own desire to live well and enjoy a “luxurious” lifestyle on a budget, I have found it is necessary to seek out the best deals, and be creative in my attempts to affordably add a little bit of luxury to my life. To give you an idea of my aesthetic, and what you can expect in posts to come, here are a few of my purchases from the past year that are fun and fashionable, but also affordable! See below for tips on how I made a few of these purchases even more affordable than the items' listed prices.
Banana Republic Silk Braided Top and Espadrille Wedge: This top was originally $69.99 and the shoe was originally $59.99 (though I believe it has now been marked down to $39.99!) When I made this purchase I had a 30% off coupon, which Banana Republic seems to be sending out more and more lately! This made the total purchase for the top and shoe $90.75. If you are not signed up to receive emails from your favorite stores, you should add your name to their email list so that you can receive all of their coupons and promotions.
J.Crew White Denim Matchstick Jean: I bought these jeans at the outlet instead of at the regular store. The J.Crew Outlet has many similar items to the regular store, and in my opinion, these jeans were the same quality as the full price version. These jeans were $59.99 at the outlet, and all denim was 30% off the day that I bought the jeans, so they were reduced to $41.99. BUT, J.Crew also has an educator discount of 15% off which they will honor at the outlet, so the final cost of the jeans was $35.69. If you are a teacher or work in a school, you can get this discount by using your school ID at any J.Crew store.
Michael Kors Gold Tone Watch: This was admittedly a splurge for me. I had been wanting a nice watch for a long time, and while Cartier and Hermes are still on my wish list, this seemed like a nice affordable compromise. I also waited until I had a 20% off coupon for Bloomingdales, so the final cost of the watch was $144. This watch fits great and it has such a classic look. I have gotten so many compliments on this piece!
J. McLaughlin Rattan Clutch: Lucky for me, this was actually a gift from someone with great taste! I believe this clutch is priced at around $150, which also makes it a great deal compared to many other rattan clutches that were produced this spring and summer. I love J. McLaughlin, and I find that they have a great selection of chic and classic, yet reasonably priced clutch handbags. I have received many compliments on all of my J. McLaughlin handbags over the years because they have such a classic design, and they are all bags that I will carry for years to come.
I believe that the ring and necklace are both great deals, and they add a fun pop of color to the outfit. The ring is a great price for a piece of Kenneth Jay Lane jewelry, and you would never guess that the necklace was from Target.
BUT, if the price of this watch and bag are just too much for your budget, stayed tuned for later in the week when I will show you a few similar styles for less!
In the coming months I hope to share with you many ideas to spend less and live better.And if you have any comments, questions, suggestions, or a “living luxe for less” item that you would like me to write about, please contact me.Enjoy!