Category Archives: cheap thrills

cheap thrill: accessory concierge

For all my preaching about quality over quantity, sometimes a girl just needs to take that last $40 in her checking account and treat herself to a little immediate gratification. Am I right? But of course, cheap thrills aren’t always all they’re cracked up to be (pleather shoes, anyone?). accessory concierge review

Luckily, I’ve met some friends that can relate. The lovely ladies behind Accessory Concierge, the newest (and quite possibly the best) “cheap chic” jewelry atelier on the block, are here to save you from those piles of jangly plastic junk by offering up a well-edited selection (read: no scrolling through endless pages of awful to get to the one or two goodies on the site) of the best bargain baubles around. And I, for one, can’t get enough.

accessory concierge cheap thrill: accessory concierge Read on

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cheap thrill: one very easy red dress

zara red dress cheap thrill: one very easy red dress

As I said yesterday, dresses are a major shortcoming in my closet. But I picked up this little red shift at Zara the other day (on mega-sale), and am quite a fan. It plays well with cardis and blazers now, but I can easily wear it solo when the weather warms up. It doesn’t look like much on that stick-straight model, but add some curves to the mix, and good things happen. Plus, it has those drapey front pockets which do a fine job of camouflaging tummies.

Turns out, there are quite a few excellent (and under-$30) dresses happening at Zara right now (I’m particularly optimistic about this one). Worth a look – just remember, watch those hemlines (Zara does love their minis). And when in doubt, size up.

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cheap thrill: chevron maxi skirt

I’ve seen two different itinerations of this chevron maxi skirt in the last two days, and stopped in my tracks both times. (In fact, in one case, stalked the wearer across an entire shopping center. Not sketchy at all, right?) Fashion-stalking is always a sign something good’s happening.

Honestly, it’s a toss-up between these two options, the grey/black and the cream/black combo, though I’ll confess to generally raising my skeptical eyebrow (the left one, in case you were wondering) whenever something hails from Victoria’s Secret. But then again, they knock it out of the park occasionally, so who am I to judge?

Whichever road you choose, it’s a no-brainer to style, and a great piece to get mileage out of now but still be able to wear all summer. And it checks in at a very budget-friendly $60.

chevron maxi skirts cheap thrill: chevron maxi skirt

Victoria’s Secret foldover maxi, $58 / Hive & Honey foldover chevron maxi, $59
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cheap thrill: the perfect contrast-sleeve jacket

go make noise1 cheap thrill: the perfect contrast sleeve jacket

Phew…I’ve been talking about so many spendy new collections this week! You must be tearing your hair out, wondering if I’ve forgotten all about the real world. I haven’t, I swear. But eye candy is good, and a girl can dream, right? (And occasionally splurge.)

But still. Since we live back here in the real world, I thought a Cheap Thrill was in order to make up for this week’s excess.  Read on

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cyber monday sale roundup

Don’t quit now…a handful of those lovely Cyber Monday codes are still good! Check out our updated list for your last shot at the best steals.

Ordinarily, I loathe this whole post-Thanksgiving shopping frenzy. But this year, I have so many deals just sitting in my inbox, it seems a shame (and downright rude, really) not to share them with you. So as they roll in, I’m posting them here. You’ll see the newest deals at the top, and I’ll rotate out the old ones as they expire (as best I can). Also, I’m only running codes for sitewide deals…no “limited edition” gift sets here. Enjoy…and if you spy a great deal, please share it in the comments!

Read on

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on the cheap: cozy up to sweater season

Fur-Collar

{Editor’s Note: I don’t find you guys nearly enough bargains these days, do I? So, how about an entire post where everything is $100 or less? Leave it to Kristina, who is a seriously impressive bargain shopper, to bring all this style on the most meager budget. No one will ever, ever suspect what a steal that luxe cardigan was, I can assure you. And the rest of the styling? Spot on.}

Kristina ~ It’s sweater season! I’m a cold weather gal, so I look forward to cooler weather and unpacking my sweaters all summer long. Even if you’re the opposite and you’re already counting the days to spring, you’re sure to appreciate the easy, inviting warmth of this gorgeous faux-fur sweater from John & Jenn, especially when you check out that price tag.

Read on

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sale spy: mastering the mid-season sales

{Editor’s Note: Every year, mid-October rolls around, the fall sales begin, and I’m in a retail panic. Friends & Family is always first…should I go for it, or wait for the first round of markdowns? Is it too soon to be thinking about holiday buys? But this year, I have a secret weapon: SMC’s own Sale Spy, here to lend her expertise to the best sale season of the year!}

sale picks sale spy: mastering the mid season sales

Sale Spy’s picks: Painted Ikat dress, Anthropologie, $80 from $158 / Woven silk pencil skirt, Valentino, $239 from $795 / Sandwashed silk tee, J.Crew, $35 from $110

Roxanna K.K. ~ Friends, it’s my favourite time of year: the mid-season sales! (wait – do I say that every sale season? Well, I heartily mean it every sale season. I am always envisioning the unlimited sale possibilities…)

Anyway, I really do love mid-season sales. Now, for a sale devotee, you’d think I’d go crazy for the hard-core post end-of-season sales in January and February, and while I do love finding some crazy bargains at that time, the October/November sales offer so much more possibility. Here’s why:

The selection. At this point, stores have only gone through 1 or 2 rotations of fall merchandise (they typically change every 6-8 weeks,) so there are still plenty of sizes and colours in stock.

The season. You can actually buy something now and wear it from tomorrow to the end of the season. No hoarding clothes for next year or trying to squeeze in the last few wears before the season ends, as I am wont to do after end-of-season season clearance sales.

The trends. This is most important in my book. At the beginning of fall, there are so many trends to shop but you have no idea which will actually last through the season and beyond. At the mid-season sales, you’ve had a chance to see what sticks, and can now pick it up for a significant discount. For example, it’s worth splurging on silk blouses, leather details and colour with a capital C (especially fall staples like oxblood and mustard). However, neon, crazy prints and peplums, while still around, won’t have the same lifespan.

Some tips on shopping these sales:

+ Hang on to those receipts! Many big name stores will reduce merchandise initially and then have an additional markdown on sale merchandise a few weeks later. I get the merchandise at the first markdown for the best selection, but I will then get a price adjustment or buy it again if it is further reduced, returning the original item. This year alone I have saved hundreds of dollars this way (don’t ask how much I’ve spent!)

+ If you had your heart set on specific mid-priced items that are now on sale, go ahead and buy them instead of waiting for them to be reduced further (a lot of merchandise disappears from now until Christmas.) On the other hand, if there are more expensive pieces you have in mind but haven’t found exactly the right one yet, hold off buying them at these sales. There will still be two more rotations of merchandise and much steeper discounts heading into Thanksgiving and Christmas.

+ Investment items like jewelry, bags and fragrances may go on sale closer to the holiday season because they are good gift-giving items, so hold off on these for now as well.

Good luck, and happy sale-hunting!

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on the cheap: peplum potential

{Editor’s Note: I’m the first to admit, I’m a serious skeptic on this one. But Kristina’s making a pretty convincing argument for the peplum. Read what she has to say, and see if you aren’t at least a little bit tempted to try this trend by the time she’s done…especially since every one of her finds is under $75!}

Kristina ~ Before I even start (and before you start telling me that I’m crazy), please hear me out. It can be a wonderful thing to bring attention your hips. Yes it can! And the latest peplum trend does just that.

I’ll admit that peplums can be scary to attempt, especially with the array of options out there. Peplum skirts and dresses are everywhere, but I’ve found that a peplum top is the easiest and most flattering for a range of body types. Worn correctly, a peplum top will give you that coveted hourglass figure by adding volume to your hips and thus narrowing the waist in comparison. Relativity, ladies! For girls with boyish figures, a peplum top creates a fantastic illusion; and for curvy girls, a peplum can balance out your proportions and enhance the curves that are already there. A peplum is also a great way to conceal a bit of a tummy.

If you’re willing to give it a try, start with black. It’s always slimming, but paired with a pencil skirt, you’ll have a seriously sleek silhouette. If you want to toughen up the look, choose a skirt with a bit of leather detailing and some studded heels!

peplum1 on the cheap: peplum potential

Rib Peplum Top, Topshop, $48 / Faux-Leather Pencil Skirt, Kohls, $35 / Black Studded Sandals, Sears, $25

To keep your look on the playful and girly side, pair your peplum with skinny jeans and a pair of fun polka dot flats. As for the skinnies, I have a secret: the Love Jeans from Victoria’s Secret are hands-down my favorite jeans! They come in multiple hem lengths, are true to size, and fit like a glove for a pear-shaped girl like me. (Word of warning: they’ll shrink almost two inches when you wash them, so definitely opt for a longer length!)

To style these, add a bold statement necklace, some simple gold bangles, and a bag in a perfect-for-fall color. Peplum perfection!

peplum2 on the cheap: peplum potential

Sidewalk Skimmer, Madewell, $98 / VS Love Skinny Jean, Victoria’s Secret, $69 / Anna & Ava Neon Geo Frontal Necklace, Dillards, $35 / Gold Bangle Set, J. Crew, $29 / Liquorish Doctor Bag, ASOS, $61

What do you think? Will you be trying the peplum trend?

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