Stripe Me Down

The day that I was going to write this post I had purchased two items: a 2 piece set and a pair of silk green pants. I was super excited about these two purchases because the 2 piece alone was just killer, and green is my favorite color. Those silk green pants were right on the money, AND speaking of money, I found $3.00 in the pants pocket! Whaaaaat?

But first I needed to clean and prep my garments.

I’ll be if I didn’t go through the fire cleaning my 2 piece! It was as if life was saying, Oh I’m gonna give you a story to write about.  I think I must have prayed about 10 times cleaning this outfit!!

What had happen’ was, I mistakenly put my silk green pants in with the black and white 2 piece not even thinking. Still had my wash settings on the low gentle cycle. When I went to open my washer ALL I SAW WAS GREEN! Water, GREEN! White stripes, GREEN! Collar, GREEN!  AGHHHHHHH!!!! Quick Quick! Turned off the washer, snatched the green pants out and sat them on the dryer still soaking wet. Started my cycle wash all over again. Then washed the 2 piece in the tub. Took it out. Doused the white collar and sleeves in OXY Stain Remover (great product). Scrub scrub srcub- frantically!  Wash. Scrub. Repeat. I repeated this entire thing about 5 times! Do you know how much water that is being used?!

Finally I said, “Bump it.” It would either come clean enough to where I could rock it out, or rock it to bed.

Let’s just say that morning came and I was content enough to rock it out.

The Outfit:  When I tried on the outfit I loved the baggy look, and this outfit took me back to 1999.  After washing it so much it did change the fit but not drastically.

06-23The Accessories,

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2 Piece: $9.99 @ Salvation Army

Necklace: $4.00 @ Goodwill

Earrings: From a dear woman

To bring the two post together: Cleaning your Thrifted garments and this post,  challenges can happen either by your own mistakes or from the cleaners. Sometimes you’re taking a chance with doing both. Read your labels and consider how to wash the item; especially, if it’s a delicate item.

Let me know your thoughts!

Cleaning your Thrifted garments.

Lengthy post but informative. It’s a 3 in 1. The overall take away is based on the title of this post, but I’ve included one personal story in this post, and attached another in the link. All very relevant to this post.  Happy Reading 🙂

Cleaning your THRIFTED garments.  Listen people, you don’t have to send your stuff to the cleaners- not all of it anyway.

When I first started thrifting years ago I sent everything to the cleaners. Everything. My cleaner bill would be between $20-$70! Back then it was “ok” because I didn’t thrift often and the cost every now-and-again wasn’t too bad.  As I started thrifting more you can image that $20-$70 adds up, and most importantly thrifting stopped making sense if I had purchased a $5.00 blouse and then turned around and paid $10-$20 just to have it cleaned. I should have just purchased a new shirt. But I just believed that the only way for my thrifted garments to not feel or smell thrifted was to send them off to the pros….yeeeeeaaaah, about that. The “pros” are not always pros at what they do. That’s story # 1. Keep reading.

Once I could no longer afford to send my clothes to the cleaners I took a chance a cleaned them myself.  I took time to read the tags and then researched on cleaning the particular material. Set my washer to the necessary temperature and washed everything on a low gentle cycle. After removing them from the washer I gave them a good shake and pull to straighten out the garment and then hung them to dry. BAM!

Done.

No bill.

Saved money.

I was quite surprised at the condition of my clothes from my own efforts. They were clean. They smelled so much better than when I’d send them off, and they weren’t faded nor had they shrunk.  I quickly became my own dry cleaning service.

There are some things that I just won’t clean: wool coats, sequin items. Things that seem extremely delicate I’ll take them to the cleaners because I don’t have the equipment to keep them from shrinking, or tearing, or burning.

Before I end this article lets digress right here for a moment. I wanna talk about these “Professional Cleaners”.  Shaking my head

On a thrift hunt I found a: $6.00 Green (favorite color), Nite Line, sequin, short sleeved dress, down in a part of Alabama that I’d never even heard of.  Sent it to the cleaners. As a matter of fact, I sent it to my mom’s cleaners that she’d been going to for yeeeeeeeeears. I was just that careful not to send it to a random spot. Couldn’t wait to pickup the dress. Got to the store. They showed me the dress and it seemed to be in good condition.  Got home (shaking my head). Pulled off the bag. Tried on the dress. Dress still fit fine…..

Stepped into the light like Carol Anne from the Poltergeist in 1982…

There it was! A BIG STEAMED STAINED IRONING BOARD PRINT IN THE MIDDLE OF MY DRESS! The steam had faded that portion of sequins from green to now having silver streaks in them! From the neck to the bottom of the dress you could see where they had laid the dress on the steamer, pressed down, and  let it sit from years-obviously!  Surrounding this steamed iron print were the sequins that were still very shiny and green. Half of my dress was sparkly, and the other hair was dull.

I called them knowing that they would deny or blame it on the dress. There was no hope of recovering my money. I actually didn’t care about getting a refund because the dress was more valuable to me, and they couldn’t replace that.  Straight up devastation.

I went online and looked for the dress. I found it! Not!  Couldn’t find the dress  itself but I looked for the green sequins hoping maybe that I could just resew new sequins on. I looked for a few fashion designers in Atlanta who could take on the project. Everything was a flop. I chalked it up as a loss and hung the dress back in my closet hoping for a miracle.

Well, months later…. a miracle came. Was searching online again for the dress, and there is was (different design), but same color sequin and same designer. The dress cost between $60-$70, but I was so thankful to God that I had come across it. Here was the dilemma. LOL. Yes, there was a dilemma. When I saw the dress I was faced with paying my tithes or recovering my loss. Don’t act!   See, I had just paid all my bills and only my tithes were left in my account. “Looooord, I’m going to pay my tithes, and if this dress is still here when I get paid again I’ll buy it.”

Needless to say, the dress is hanging in my closet. I have NOT sent it to the cleaners because after that I reeeeeally cut back on sending stuff to the cleaners. I will try it myself! before I send it out. That’s story #2. Click here Stripe Me Down

 

Hawaiian Silky

This post is about my hair….

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A woman’s hair: real, fake, long, short, blonde, black, blue… really is her glory.  When a woman has her hair done I am almost sure she can conquer the world. If not the world then she can definitely conquer that morning routine and spend more time on something else rather than her hair. Maybe that’s just me; I’m just saying.

I am natural (underneath) but wanted a sew-in to change up my look. The natural hair journey is just that- A JOURNEY! Just ask Domestic Naturalista  who has been growing her natural hair for years and it looks GORGE! I’m a fan. I know finally, right? I’m actually a fan of something. Check out my other post to read about the other things I wasn’t a fan of (LOL).

Back to this hair of mine. So yes, love love my hair. I purchased my bundles from

True Glory Hair .  At the time of purchase they were running a sale, 14″, 16″, 18″ for around $130! The lengths were perfect for the style I wanted. I am still (after 2 months) thankful for such a great bundle of hair! Minimal shedding and the natural smell of the hair wasn’t overwhelming at all. This hair has been easy to manage and tangle free! and that’s coming from someone who has a 5% tolerance for doing hair. FACTS!

Fortunately, I have wonderful women in my hair corner who are the 95% behind my beautiful tresses.

My install was done by LeVura. Check out my Denim post to see my photoshoot with her work! My hair (underneath) is still holding up, braids are still in tack, and so are my tracks. I can appreciate being able to pull my hair up or back in a ponytail and everything still feels in place. I’m typically very rough on my hair and with this install– WE GOOD!  I always trust LeVura to do my install  because she has a step-by-step process to ensure that the hair last as long as it does. Oh, and I am sooooo grateful that she’s not the kind of stylist to chop off all your length and leave you feeling like “I shoulda’ just got a 12″ bundle.”

The upkeep of my hair is done by Stephanie.  When my hair is needing some revitalization, Stephanie makes sure to: detangle, wash, and dry my hair before styling it. Even though I have to sit under the dryer forever (it seems), I’m thankful that Stephanie makes sure that my entire head is completely dry! She works her magic getting these natural edges to lay flat! 🙂 #praisehim.   After she’s done, my hair feels natural and flowy just the way I like for it to feel.

#noheavyoilsheen #extrabody #girlswithcurls

For outfit details check out my post Opposites Attract !

Opposites Attract

As I was ironing my clothes, my husband took a look at my outfit (with his nose turned up) and said, “You can’t wear polka-dots and stripes together. Isn’t that against the rules? Or is this now acceptable?”  I laughed as I thought about the many times he’d always given his opinion of my fashion choices–typically without my asking.

“Babe, you can wear anything nowadays.”

And that is true! In today’s world you can get away with practically putting any combination of clothing, colors, styles, and patterns together.  Polka-dots and stripes is one of those things! I love that combination because it can take a plain’ol outfit and turn it into something fun and funky when you eliminate a portion of the pattern (dots or stripes) and combine it with the opposite. So, instead of turning your nose up you may find that opposites actually do attract.

I found the top at a Goodwill. I loved the nude and black together as well as the fact that I could wear this shirt throughout the year. The fabric is really light and breathable, and the quarter turtleneck is not unbearable in summer weather.  I would not wear this shirt if the temperature in the summer is extremely hot simply because I can see the collar being a bother, but for a mild day or an over cast day it’s suitable.

I had the shirt for a while before I ran across the pants at another thrift store in Smyrna! It wasn’t a Goodwill either.  When I ran across the pants I immediately thought of the shirt I purchased a few months back. I was crossing my fingers hoping that I had found the perfect mix-match. When I got home to put the two pieces together and saw that they were the perfect mix-match I became excited about the vision that I had in mind for wearing the two.

The stripes in the shirt were comparable in size to the dots in the pants. One pattern didn’t swallow the other, and the nude color of the pants was spot on (two thumbs up for the play on words, Dana) with the nude color of the shirt.  Check out the photos below!

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I tried on other shoes with this look, but I like the simple black leather shoe with just the ankle strap and a peep toe.

The Accessories…

I found these earrings on sale for $3.00!  The spin on a stud earring was pretty cool to me. Sometimes I only want to wear studs and these little funky fur balls allow me to do that but with some brrrr to this simple outfit.

My arm charm by,

Sometimes I am item specific about certain things in my closet. I will hold onto something for a while (the shirt in this post applies) before I wear it simply because I’m holding out until I have the right outfit, shoes, or hairstyle (sometimes it maybe all three!). There are things in my closet til this day that I’ve had for years now for that reason, and although I recently purchased this bracelet I still wanted to wear it with the right outfit.

When I saw this bracelet I had to purchase it! Those black matte beads with the single black glossy stripe circling it was what I really loved about this bracelet! Oh, and of course that Red Bottom Charm was the icing on this beauty! The combination of the beads and the diamond gold ringlets just screamed MODERN, ELEGANT, AND FASHIONABLE! Which is why I love to wear Wrist Royalty Beaded Bracelets! You can stack them or keep it simple with a single bracelet either of which can be custom made to your liking! Everyone that I’ve meet with these bracelets love how personal they are to themselves and or for others they’ve purchase them for (clearly, these make great gifts for men, women, teens, and kids).  I’ve never  purchased a beaded bracelet– it’s just one of those things that I wasn’t a fan of, but these bracelets aren’t just bracelets that you wear and toss– these are you! And this Red Bottom Matte Black was ME!  The Red Bottom and the red lip- so my style.

If you want your wrist personalized and to see more pics of the arm charm, Check out @Wrist_Royalty  on Instagram! For those in the Atlanta area be sure to follow Wrist Royalty to see where you can purchase your bracelets!

Shirt-$6.00 @ Goodwill

Pants-$4.00 @ Thrift store in Smyrna

Earrings-$3.00 @ K&G

 

Prices going UP? On a Tuesday?

Value Village is another big warehouse type thrift store. Typically their items are color-coded by style. If you’re looking for a skirt head toward the skirt isle and you’ll find your color preference as well as the particular length (really makes shopping easy in such a large store). This store and Goodwill are pretty much similar in merchandise setup,  (this is my opinion as a consumer, but I’m sure an employee from each store can tell you some differences) the only thing that separated the two (as far as I could see) was PRICE! Value Village was waaaaay cheaper in comparison to Goodwill. As Goodwill has gone up (within the past few years- I’ll say around 2014 that’s when the prices increased [maybe a little earlier or later, but not too far from that year] definitely after the market crashed and everybody started shopping at thrift stores) you could still find good low prices at Value Village.

Well, I went to Value Village on Tuesday with $20.00 to spend hoping to come out with a good number of items, five things at least…*Blank stare*… I came out with two items! Two!!Wait-a-minute! Are you kidding me?!

I knew going into the store that I was going to have a certain amount of time snagging stuff for me and holding my child’s attention. Usually when I’m in this mode (in and out) I know that I don’t have time to lollygag, and whatever I pick up needs to be worth it. This also helps keep dollars in perspective 😂. This ‘crunch time fil-a-bag’ shopping is not unusual for me.

Well, as I was on my thrift hunt I saw these prices that just seemed a tad bit higher than I remembered. High enough to make me raise my eyebrows.  If I saw something that I did like I had to glance at the price and determine if it was really worth it! In my head I’m thinking these are Goodwill prices! Sure enough as I kept quickly sifting through the hangers going from isle to isle I heard an employee saying to another employee how ridiculous the prices were. “How you gonna expect to sale clothes when you done jacked the prices up?” Her words, not mine.

A was able to find a Target brand dress shirt and a really really cute black dress that looked as if it had never been worn. The shirt was $4.00 which is very good, but the DRESS- $9.00!! I know what you’re thinking, “that’s cheap!” and you are correct, that is cheap in comparison to buying it new at a retail store, BUT when I could have once purchased the dress for $5/$6 dollars, $9.00 is a big jump. That’s close to $10.00; because, unless there is a sale the prices is going up, not down. There were a few other items that were priced pretty high. Bottom line is I was correct- they did go up on their prices.

It is what it is, right? Every business has to survive, and now that thrifting is EXTREMELY popular it was really only a matter of time before these well-known thrift stores started capitalizing on this trend of thrifting.

His Fedora continued…

05-18ha and this is how I wear it,

with a nice spring/ summer dress and my favorite easy to walk-in heels.

This fedora is made of straw and is suitable for spring, summer, and early fall.  The band around my hat matches the color of my shoes; which, I enjoy spacing my colors out from time to time and not having one color crowded in one area of my outfit. When I don’t want to be ‘matchy-matchy but not tacky’ I try to pick up the color in another area of whatever I’m wearing.

Now for the thrift finds…

My dress is not a thrift find but it was a CLEARANCE item from TJ Maxx! A steal is a steal anywhere, right? I saw this dress and again it was a dress that I wouldn’t typically buy. I was never a fan of the high-low trend, but I tried it on and WAHLAH! Trying on pieces works for me. I can’t just pick it up, put it in the cart and buy it. I HAVE TO TRY IT ON. A lot of times I find that something is or isn’t ‘what it is’ on the hanger.  I hate getting excited about something that I’ve found and getting home only to be disappointed.  So, tip # 1– TRY ON YOUR STUFF!!

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THIS PURSE…

I was at a thrift store in Kennesaw , GA and I picked up this bag and pondered over it from the time I put it in the buggy up until I got to the counter.  Was never a fan of big bags with tons of space but no compartments.  It seems like I’m not a fan of allot of things (LOL), but I just– screw it! I’m just not a fan of a lot of things.  All throughout the store I’m wondering if I want this cheaply priced bag or nah. One moment it’s on my shoulder and I’m twirling in the mirror, then it’s down by my side. Up on my shoulder, down by my side. I couldn’t make up my mind. I didn’t have a bag this color, style, nor size so I kept it in the buggy just in case I decided to get it I wanted to have it.

I get to the register and sloooooowly put the bag on the counter (still trying to make up my mind), a woman behind me said, “That is a cute purse. Is that real leather? Oooooh, that’s nice.”  INSTANTLY! Like within a matter of seconds I was fan!! Tip # 2, if somebody compliments you on something that you’ve been pondering ESPECIALLY while thrifting this means that you got somethin’ good, now hold on to it!  Once I got home and was able to see the purse in better lighting I noticed that it was a new bag! Quality leather, no stitches unraveling, no color fading. The zipper wasn’t broke and the tassels were full and not missing! THIS PURSE WAS A STEAL! The bonus was one year for Christmas I was gifted the red wallet (see photo below) which went perfectly with this bag!!

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Ear Piece

These vintage earrings added a little elegance to my look. I love vintage earrings because I find that many of them are just classy… and sparkly… and dazzlely… and dainty.  I love how they sit on the earlobe, and don’t tilt to the front almost like they’re falling off because you didn’t match the correct backs with them *blank stare*.  Seems like I never have the right earring backs when I need them, but these you sit them on the ear and screw to your comfort.

 

 

 

The complete look

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Fedora: was my granddaddy’s- Check out the story behind His Fedora

Dress: $10-$11 @ TJ Maxx

Purse: $5.00 @ America’s Thrift Store

Earrings: from a dear woman

Shoes: $70-$80 @ Dillards

His Fedora

Sometimes I never get into certain things until it has been passed on to me from someone else.  I’ve walked passed certain things at the store simply because it didn’t catch my eye or maybe I saw it somewhere and promised to purchase it if I came across it again. Well, I’ve come across many of those “wish list” items and never picked them up, and a Fedora is one of those things.

After my grandfather passed my mother went through a few boxes of his. She’d held onto those things ever since he’d been in a nursing home.  Papers upon papers. Letters and bills. Prescriptions and client information. Some of those documents were full of juicy devilish writings that gave us insight into what he really did. Amongst those boxes were a few things that I was actually glad she held onto.

My grandfather and I were not close, but we weren’t distant. I remember being a child and he’d pay my sister and I $5.00 to keep watch over his office. I’m not sure about the ‘watching his office’ part, but I enjoyed getting a few dollars to watch T.V and eat lunch!!

He became sicker as he aged and after a while he became bed-ridden.

While sorting through his boxes my sister pulled out this hat and immediately thought of me.  When she called to ask me about it I could hear in her voice that it was nothing she wanted but figured it would suit my taste. Sure enough she was correct. I saw it. I liked it. I fell in love with it. Nothing I’d ever purchased, but I was sold on just how chic a fedora is, and it became one of those things that from then on would catch my eye.  Although I can’t say “I purchased this cuteness at a discounted price from a thrift store”,  I will say that this hat is better than a thrift find. The memories of my youth, my granddaddy’s active years, and simply memories of him–priceless.

This was His Fedora.

 

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Check back to see more pictures and details of me in His Fedora!

Wrap Around

I was never a huge fan of wrap dresses, but I came across this soft hunter green Banana Republic dress while THRIFTING and thought I’d try it on.  First, I love the color. The soft green looked great against my skin. The other thing I like about this dress is the simplicity. No patterns, no designs– simple, a simple quality dress.  This is a very feminine dress: the deep v around the cleavage without showing too much, the belt cinches in the waist allowing the bottom half to fall around the hips in a pleasant way without bringing too much focus to the buttocks :-),

                 oh, and I love the leg action when I cross my legs (ooh-la-la).

So, this dress is another piece to add to my ‘look decent without having to do too much’ wardrobe.

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ACCESSORIES

I’ve worn this dress before and added gold accessories, but this time I wanted to add the red accessories which  surprisingly paired really great with this dress! I love the attention to my neck and to my clutch, my accessories don’t get lost in the outfit but these pieces actually make this outfit. Never woulda thunk it!

The necklace was gifted to me a while ago and I’ve worn it twice. I wasn’t sure of what to wear it with because it seemed kind of island-ish to me. Like something to wear to the Bahamas or a Luau, but it came through for this dinner date with my husband! YASS! (Palms face) I dreeead that word! but it felt unavoidable just then.

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This clutch was gifted to me from a client, an older gentleman. I was helping clean out his house and he had: this clutch, a vintage Dooney & Burke shoulder purse, and an old Vinyl record player that he let me have. I asked for them of course because he was just going to toss them!  NOOOOOOOO!!!!  Talk about someone’s trash being someone else’s treasure.

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A simple watch and a few rings kept it youthful.

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I was looking for a picture of the leg action that I mentioned above- HERE IT IS! Leg action!

THIS ONE IS FOR MOM, or should I say FROM MOM!
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This photo is a little blurry but my moooom loved my outfit and wanted to take a few photos of me. The photos were *clears throat* cute. I took a look at them and pointed out a few things, but she didn’t care and probably would have wanted me to post them all: cut off leg, dog in the way, dress twsited, eyes closed– JUST POST THEM!! Well,  for her efforts I told her I’d showcase her new found calling of photography to the world.  Yay mom.

Love you mom :-*

 

 

 

 

 

Dress: $7.00 @ Goodwill

Necklace: Gifted

Purse: Trash to treasure

Cross Ring: Found on the ground

Shoes: NOT thrifted. Definitely going to do a blog on those one day!

Denim

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Simple. Cute. Denim is one of those pieces where you can dress it up or dress it down and still look beautiful. Denim is my go-to choice for the times when I need to look decent but I don’t want to put in the effort to do so.

You can pair denim tops with business skirts, dresses, dress pants, and sweats. You can pair denim bottoms with dress tops, a nice blazer- anything! Denim is it!

Thrifting denim is pretty cool in that in order to find a unique denim piece you have to look carefully. Denim is in, well denim has never gone out-of-style and for that reason it’s tricky coming across a cool denim piece aside from pants or skirts. Those two things are pretty easy to thrift; however, make sure you try on your bottoms, and make sure the crotch is not stained. I know! Very gross, right? Well, that’s how I feel when I come across a cute pair of pants that have obviously never seen a washer. These are the woes of thrifting folks.

 

The Little Major Things

 

The accessories. These are the little things that make the difference but the major things that bring attention to your face, arms, and hands. Be them small or gody-looking. Taking the time to finish the outfit with earrings or a necklace, bracelet, or ring–these things matter. No, doesn’t have to be much. Your arms don’t have to be weighed down with bangles upon bangles from your wrist to your elbow, BUT you do want to make an outfit come to life with some jewelry pieces, costume or real depends upon the outfit.

For this look I chose a pair of earrings that I’ve had for years. These earrings were super heavy at one point and I removed some of the “dangly” pieces (the technical name is not coming to me) for fear that my earlobes would split (at least that’s what all the older women kept hassling me about), now they are much lighter.  The necklace I purchased from a boutique (years ago) here in Atlanta. I love this necklace because it bends and twists different ways. I’ve twisted it so much that sometimes the finished look doesn’t hold, but it still works. I’ve also used it as a bracelet–it’s just that long!

The purse in the second photo I snagged for– you won’t believe, but 50 cents!! Yes! I had to get it. I mean cute or not it was FIFTY CENTS! Picked it up in Cummings, GA. I can’t even remember the name of thrift store. I do remember the sidewalk into the door was full of stuff! Just stuff! And waaaay down in those bens was THAT purse.

 

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“SHOE ME THE MONEY”

Get it? Shoe? “Shoe me the money”? I thought that was cute. Take that Tom Cruise!

Anyways, the shoes, right? These are NOT thrifted. Yeah, no. Not too many of my shoes are thrifted. Haven’t quite got into purchasing my shoes secondhand. Why come? 🙂  I don’t know. I guess I feel like sweaty feet is contagious, and putting my foot in another persons old dusty pooted out shoes doesn’t quite settle well in my sole 🙂 Now, I have come across some NEW shoes that I did snag. Every now-and-again I’ll quickly try on a pooted out shoe (that’s cute), but my foot is in and out! Snap. Just like that! If I’m not careful I won’t even catch a glimpse in the mirror– it’s just that quick!

So these Black Oxford Pumps I purchase from either Macy’s, or JC Penny’s, but these are classic shoes that are comfortable to walk and stand in for long periods of time. THAT IS KEY!!

Earrings: Can’t remember

Necklace: $10-$15

Shirt: $6 @Goodwill

Pants: $7 @Goodwill

Shoes: $40-$45

Purse: 50 cents