Penny Pincher Fashion was founded in 2011 with the belief that great style should be accessible & attainable for everyone, regardless of your budget. I enjoy sharing my own personal style with you, along with affordable fashion finds, hair tutorials & beauty tips.
There are so many amazing Memorial Day Weekend sales happening so I wanted to round up some of the best deals for you here, along with all the codes you need to shop & save (see the full sales list here). Several of you mentioned wanting to see more neutrals, so I’ve hand-picked some chic options for you below (most of them are on sale now). I’ll be taking Monday off to enjoy the holiday with my family – hope you all have a wonderful long weekend!
Macy’s is offering 20% off select styles with code MEMDAY + free shipping at $49 (see my favorites here)
1) I’ll be in my third trimester in the peak of summer – it would be really helpful for me if you can round up some stylish maternity styles that I can wear in the hotter months.
My favorite stores for finding affordable & stylish maternity wear include ASOS, LOFT, Target, Gap, H&M and Old Navy. If you’re needing a swimsuit for the summer, Target also has some cute options at great prices (like this one-piece). Below I’ve rounded up the best budget-friendly summer styles I could find in a range of colors, prints & silhouettes:
2) I’ve been stuck in a rut of eating the same dinners over and over again – I think our diets are fairly similar so I’d love to hear some of your favorite meals that are simple & tasty.
I can definitely relate because I often get into the habit of just prepping the same meals over and over again because they’re quick & easy. Here are a few of my favorites that the whole family loves – most are Whole30-approved and two of these are also vegetarian. And all of these reheat well so you can enjoy leftovers the next day for lunch!
3) I’ve been slowly building a functional wardrobe of pieces that I love and I’m finally happy with what I have in my closet. But, what I need help with now is accessorizing – can you provide some suggestions of key accessories that you think every woman needs to complete a look?
Accessories are so important to completing your outfits & I love how adding a few key pieces can transform a look from basic to interesting. You definitely don’t want to go overboard though – sometimes less is more! Here are some of my suggestions for accessory pairings that don’t feel overworked, along with outfit ideas for each:
Statement Earrings + Rings
Larger earrings are ideal for pairing with tops that already have a lot of detail to them or pieces with an interesting neckline (think one-shoulder, ruffles, halter or lace-up detail).
Neck Scarves + Hoop Earrings
This pairing has a decidedly modern feel – if you;re choosing a bandana, pair it with tees, tanks & sundresses or if you opt for a silk scarf, try wearing with structured separates for a polished feel.
Layered Necklaces + Stud Earrings
Sometimes you can find layered necklaces that are several different strands but all one piece. But you can also buy them individually and mix & match based on your outfit. I wear mine with v-neck tees, off-the-shoulder tops & scoop neck dresses.
Memorial Day Weekend is just around the corner and I couldn’t be more ready for the long weekend! Tomorrow we leave for five days of camping at one of our favorite lakes. Getting our trailer out of storage is always exciting because it means that summer (and the end of the school year) is almost here!
With the upcoming holiday come some pretty epic sales, which makes it a great time to shop for those last few warm weather pieces you’re needing for the season. I’m honored to be partnering again with Macy’s to announce the launch of their huge Memorial Day sale, which starts today! You can get 20% off your purchase on select items sitewide with code MEMDAY through May 28th.
Whenever there are big sales like this, I think it’s a great time to scoop up those more expensive items that you normally wouldn’t be able to afford. During this particular sale, there are lots of brands marked down that rarely go on sale so I wanted to showcase a few of those mixed in with more affordable pieces. I shopped the site & created two head-to-toe outfits that are both comfortable & polished. Read on for all the details!
I wanted to build an outfit using what I refer to as “special” pieces, which are garments that have extra details that make them standouts. You all know how much I love a wrap top and this one is great for summer because it’s a gauzy material that’s super lightweight without being sheer. I also appreciate that there are hidden snaps on the side so even if it comes untied, you won’t be exposed! Other tops with great details to try: this wrap top, this linen lace blouse, this embroidered top & this striped bell sleeve shirt.
The embroidered scalloped hem of these jeans is so pretty & unexpected that I just had to have them! These would pair just as easily with a striped tank & simple slides for an effortless casual look. They are made of a really soft, stretchy denim, which makes them so comfortable & easy to move around in + the silhouette is a nice departure from my usual skinny jeans.
I only have one other knit dress in my closet and it’s a very casual striped style. So I love the idea of a comfy stretchy dress that also looks sophisticated and chic. This one has a rubber strap lining around the neckline so it stays put & you can adjust the drawstring waist to create a flattering fit (plus, it has pockets!). I paired it with these fun white heels, which give it a fresh modern twist, and the cutest wicker bag, which also has a longer chain strap for hands-free carrying. This dress would be great for those of you who have vacations coming up – the cobalt blue hue would look amazing with a tan (I’d pair it with these metallic flat sandals & a messy braid for the beach). More comfortable meets polished styles include this lace-trim dress, this printed fit & flare and this eyelet swing dress.
As I was working on this post, I looked back and realized that this is my 60th edition of Steals Under $30! Sometimes I can’t believe how quickly the time has passed since I started blogging and other times it feels like I’ve been doing this forever. But one thing remains the same after all these years & that is my love for finding great deals and sharing them with you! Below I’m sharing a few of my favorites & I’ve created 12 spring-to-summer looks using pieces that are all $30 or less:
Thank you all so much for your comments & feedback after yesterday’s post – I am just as grateful for the positive responses as much as the constructive criticism and I hope the next couple of months will be a great opportunity to expand the content that my site covers in a way that truly adds value.
For those of you who are still shopping, I’m rounding up some great affordable finds below, along with the best sales happening this weekend…
Macy’s is having a massive One Day Sale through tomorrow with tons of items marked down + free shipping a $25 (no code needed) – see my top picks here.
For a while now, I’ve been talking about doing a shopping freeze and I’ve been so grateful for all of your feedback & support surrounding this because I know it can be a sensitive topic. I’ve honestly been a bit bothered by the level of consumerism within the blogging industry lately and it’s something I’ve felt very conflicted about. I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve fallen into the trap of contributing to it. But, I have never wanted for my site to become a revolving door of advertisements or for my readers to feel like I am pushing them to buy, buy, buy. If you have ever visited my site & felt that way, I want to offer a sincere apology. I believe it’s my responsibility to be honest with you about my lifestyle, to share with you ways to be smart about your purchases and to help you save when you are buying.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that my husband & I are both self-employed and, due to some recent financial changes, we haven’t had much extra spending money each month after our bills are paid. We owed far more in taxes than we ever could have predicted this year (partly due to an error that our former accountant made on our 2017 filings). And we also have a daughter who will be heading to college in 4 years – though we set up a college savings account for her when she was born, we are suddenly feeling the pressure to start aggressively saving to build that up.
If I’m being honest, when I pulled my spring & summer clothes out of storage and began arranging my closet for the season, it was clear to see that I have MORE THAN ENOUGH. Sure, I may want new things, but it is definitely not a need. And because we have made commitments to cut back our spending in other areas of our life, it’s only right that I do the same…even if this fashion blog is my job! So, given all of these factors, I have decided to take a hiatus from shopping for June & July.
Even though my personal life circumstances have changed, I do understand that many of you are still shopping and I still want to be a good resource for you during this time. So, my regular posts like Steals Under $30, Weekly Top Finds and Deals Under $20 will continue + I’ll also begin some fitting room try-ons (one per month) to show you the latest new arrivals at some of my favorite stores. I will still be partnering with brands on sponsored posts as well, so you’ll be able to see new pieces that have been gifted to me. And a few of you also mentioned that you’d love to see multiple ways to wear one item/how to mix and match staples from your closet so I’ll be doing that too!
In anticipation of my shopping freeze, I have begun to really think more purposefully about the pieces I’m buying. I don’t need any more off-the-shoulder tops, statement earrings or any trendy pieces in general. So, I wanted to share with you the items that I have acquired over the last couple of weeks & the reasoning behind my purchases. Read on below for details about how my thought process is changing when it comes to shopping & adding new pieces to my closet!
Banana Republic Striped Top
I like to think of this as a modern take on a classic striped top – the square neckline is so flattering & it has an easy fit that makes it ideal for pairing with jeans & shorts. I also appreciate the 3/4-length sleeves, because I always push mine up anyway! This also comes in navy/white stripe and a solid white – definitely recommend sizing down!
Banana Republic Cork Sandals
I have a pair of higher block heel sandals in cork that I wear all the time, so I knew that a lower heel option would be a great addition to my closet. These have subtle flecks of rose gold throughout the cork & they don’t hurt my feet after several hours of walking (would be a great vacation shoe!). I’m typically between a 9 and 9.5 in shoes and the size 9 worked best for me, but if you have a wider foot, you may want to go up half a size.
Ralph Lauren Anorak
I already own a bright red rain jacket (which I love), but I’ve come to realize that it isn’t the most versatile option due to the bold color. So I went on the hunt for a longer length anorak in a neutral hue and I set a budget of $100 for myself (I personally don’t mind spending a little more on timeless, well-made outerwear). When I came across this one on sale, I knew I’d hit the jackpot. The muted olive color makes it endlessly versatile & the leather accents give it a more sophisticated feel. I also like the hidden adjustable waist, which creates a flattering silhouette. I’d say this runs true to size (I ordered an XS) and it also comes in petite!
Topshop Buttoned Camisole
I’m a big fan of the button-up trend for spring, but I wanted to find a way to embrace it that would extend beyond just this season. I wear camisoles so much year-round, so I like that this one has a modern look & can be layered under all my favorite cardigans, blazers & jackets or worn alone with a cute skirt for the hot summer months. Their sizing can be a bit confusing so I ordered two to try and ended up keeping the US4 – however, if you have a larger chest, you may want to size up! This also comes in pink & blue here.
Marc Fisher Slide Sandals
I have a pair of black sandals that I wore more than I anticipated last year, but they are a suede finish with ankle straps so I wanted a more casual style that I could easily slip on and go. The woven texture of these makes them so comfortable because they have a nice give to them and the studded accents on the side gives a high-end feel. I went with my usual size on these & they fit perfectly – they also come in navy & a pretty metallic silver/gold.
As you can see, all of the items I bought this month are versatile neutrals that will easily incorporate into my current wardrobe. I took a look at the things I wear the most in my closet & purposefully chose to add these based on that. I always recommend waiting for a sale if you don’t feel the pieces will sell out quickly. I was able to get 30-50% off most of these by simply being patient and watching them closely.
We all legitimately need to update our wardrobes from time to time, but sometimes it can be easy to get caught up in that mode of buying. I certainly don’t want to portray myself as someone who has the means to constantly be acquiring new things (because I don’t). I don’t think that is realistic for most of us and, even if we had an abundance of income to cover it, is that type of consumerism really healthy? I will admit that I’m not perfect – I’ve made my fair share of impulse purchases & bought things I really don’t need, only to donate them the following year. For those of you who are, like me, looking to break this cycle, here’s what I’ve found works quite well:
1) Evaluate your spending habits & identify what’s driving you. Are you shopping to fill a void? to find joy? as a means of escape? to impress others? to maintain status?
2) After you’ve determined your motivation, try committing to a monthly budget and removing temptation as much as possible – this means not wandering into the clothing section when you’re at Target & unsubscribing from those relentless sale emails that fill your inbox.
3) Once you’ve solidified a plan, here are some questions to ask yourself before you do take the plunge & purchase something new. Obviously there will be exceptions, like when you’re searching for a special occasion piece, etc. But, this is a great guideline to use that should help cut down or completely eliminate unnecessary impulse buys.
How many different ways can I style this?
What items do I already own that I can pair with this?
Is this something I can still wear next year? in 3 years? in 5 years?
Do I have anything already in my closet that is similar to this?
Is this practical for my lifestyle? Will it work for several different occasions?
Does this fit within my budget? Is it worth the price?
Can I justify the cost per wear? Could I wait for a sale?
Is it comfortable & does it flatter my shape?
Does it fit well & is the quality good?
Will the wash & care be high-maintenance?
Does this make me feel fabulous when I put it on?
I know this post was a lengthy one, but these are things that I’ve been contemplating for a long time and I wanted to share all of it with you in the hopes that it will encourage you & give you some suggestions to take to heart. For those of you who are interested in joining me for my 2-month shopping freeze, please comment below & let me know so we can help hold each other accountable!
If you have any other ideas for blog content that would be helpful for you during this time, feel free to email me directly. Thank you so much for allowing me to be honest & share my heart and for following along with my journey. I will always be honest with you & I can’t tell you how grateful I am for every single one of you and for the ways you’ve supported this site (& my family!) throughout the years.
I decided to try something a little different for this month’s edition & I hope you all will like it! Typically, I create a collage of random items under $20 (see last month’s post here), but I thought I would instead create head-to-toe outfits using pieces that are all less than $20. I would love to hear your feedback & if you find this more helpful or if you prefer the original format – please let me know in the comments below!
Here are some of the best finds at a few of my favorite retailers this week…
For those of you who are moms, I want to wish you a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend! My husband leaves to go out of town on Saturday morning, so we are celebrating tonight with a special dinner & a family walk along the canal (my favorite!). If you’re gifted with a little free time and/or spending money, here are the sales you need to know about + some of my top picks:
READING May is mental health awareness month and, as someone who has battled depression, I think there is always more we can do to keep the conversation going in this area. Over the course of the last year, my daughter began to struggle with anxiety and it has really opened my eyes to the pressures her generation is facing that I never had to deal with. (side note: if you’re in the same boat & can’t afford weekly therapy sessions, this workbook has helped her so much!) This message was so poignant & a wonderfully-timed reminder: “You deserve to feel just as beautiful on the days you wear no makeup, and the days you don’t shower, and the days you feel like you’re depressed. And you have an obligation to take care of yourself from the inside out, because that’s how you can truly feel beautiful.”
WEARING One of my favorite accessory trends for the season is resin jewelry. Not only does it have a cool modern look, but all of the pieces are incredibly lightweight, which makes them ideal for the warm weather months. I’ve come across several styles recently – some with a marbled look, some that are reminiscent of mother-of-pearl and some in pretty pastels too! I just bought these statement earrings, but I also love these hoops, these pink drops & these flower earrings.
MAKING I’m always looking for ways to create healthier versions of the foods my family loves, especially when it doesn’t require turning on the oven (no one wants to be baking in the summer). These vegan key lime tarts are a delicious way to indulge your sweet tooth without the added sugar or dairy. The combination of the citrus flavor & the cool creamy filling is so refreshing on a hot afternoon! These would be great to take to a summer barbecue, but they’re also easy to whip up and just keep in your fridge to pull out when a craving strikes (they freeze well too!).
LOVING Net bags are one of the hottest styles for the season and after crushing on this designer version for months, I was happy to find a more reasonably priced duplicate here (though it’s still a bit out of my price range). This post basically convinced me that I needed one of these bags for beach trips, farmer’s market hauls & everything in between. Check out even more affordable options here, here & here.
USING I just pulled out our sunscreen from last year and realized that it had expired, so I went online to order more and found out that it was discontinued. I took some time hunting for new options and eventually ordered a couple to try. I can’t say enough good things about this formula – the subtle bronze sheen it gives to skin blurs imperfections & dark spots and the scent makes me feel like I’m on a tropical vacation! I love this brand because it’s mineral-based, vegan and free of phthalates, sulfates & aluminum. I also ordered this spray-on for my husband & kids (because they hate the lotion formulas). Right now, Target is offering a free $5 gift card when you spend $20 on beauty items, so it’s a great time to stock up!
When I think of sundresses, I think of lightweight breezy styles that are effortless & easy to wear. As we get closer to summer, it’s essential to have at least a couple of these in your wardrobe that you can wear to BBQ’s, picnics, Sunday brunches or weekend trips to the farmer’s market. In many cases, I find dresses to be much cooler to wear on those really hot summer days versus a tank & shorts. So, today I’m sharing two new dresses that I recently picked up that are both on sale now!
Gingham is such a classic summer pattern so I know I’ll be able to wear this dress for years to come. I love that it has smocking in the back of the bodice, which ensures a flattering fit. It’s fully lined but the fabric is really light so it doesn’t feel heavy while you’re wearing it & it’s machine washable (which is always a bonus!). I’d say this runs true to size & it’s 25% off when you order online today (discount taken at checkout) – this also comes in solid black & a pretty floral pattern here. More maxi dresses to love: this floral print, this ruffled wrap dress & this eyelet maxi.
I’ve always loved dressed with tie-front details but many styles I’ve tried are a bit too revealing with the cutout in front. This one is tastefully done and I like that you can tie it as tight or as loose as you like based on your bust size (and it has pockets!). I know I will get asked about what kind of bra to wear with this dress & this one is my go-to (still provides support but doesn’t show at all)! This week, Target has B1G1 50% off most of their dresses (including the one I’m wearing below) – more of my favorites include this striped midi, this eyelet dress & this button-front dress.