back to skool.

It’s been awhile since the end of summer has signified the beginning of school for me (6 years, already?!), but I can’t help but totally get wrapped up in the change of the season, specifically the wardrobe change.

I’ve been pretty proud of myself for my efforts to not buy too many new clothes. I’ve gotten a few items here and there to mix into my closet/spruce it up and most of these purchases are focused on work-appropriate attire (because really, when it comes down to it, most of my “work clothes” are my “weekend clothes,” too, sans jeans). Macy’s has been my go-to because I can find so many great name brands super cheap, plus they dish out plenty of good coupons to make going back worthwhile. I have been and will always be a “sales rack girl”–there’s something euphoric about getting complemented on an outfit and knowing it only cost $20 to pull together.

The one drawback has been I’ve been feeling like my style has been… getting a bit old. Not old as in, I’ve-been-wearing-the-same-stuff old, but old as in, is-this-sweater-cute-for-27-or-cute-for-47? It’s hard to judge sometimes, especially because it can be relative: so when I’m scouring a rack and pushing aside pieces of Alfred Dunner-esque wear, something that appears cute/hip on the rack looks like I should have a hip replacement to wear it when I get it home.

I think I’ve been able to find a resolution for this issue: branching out. Although I won’t be completely abandoning my beloved Macy’s, I enlisted in a few other shops this fall to bring back a more youthful look.

Don’t worry, dear reader, I have not abandoned my shabby chic sales rack ways–instead I’ve just embraced more places that embrace the penny pinching.

The first on the list is Greene Street Consignment. I’m not sure why it’s taken me this long to fall in love with this store– I’ve been patronizing its S. Street location for as long as I can remember. But much like a John Hughes’ coming-of-age flick where the main character doesn’t realize the love potential of her devoted best friend until it was (seemingly) too late, my eyes have finally been opened to this great store! Greene Street carries the brands I love–Banana Republic, Urban Outfitters, White House/Black Market, and the stuff is a fraction of the price. And although it’s a 2nd hand shop, a good portion of the stuff I recently purchased there still had the original tags (ex: the $98 W H/B M dress that retailed for $100 which I got for $24). I found my new favorite summer dress there (the only downside I got it in the last dying weeks of the season) and some great stuff for fall. Better yet, I realized they have 5 different locations in the area, including Princeton (right near the record/used DVD shop D’s been dying to go back to now that he’s got his “list of stuff I want need” together). What’s that I smell? Dried leaves? Apple cider? Road trip? Yes, indeed!

The second had been my old standby who I have neglected for a few seasons, but who has welcomed me back with open arms… Target.

There’s a Target across from the mall, but it’s not especially convenient for me and so my trips there have been more limited than before. Plus, it seemed the last few times I browsed their clothing selection, I wasn’t particularly blown over or impressed, especially because their prices were comparable if not more expensive than what I was able to find at other stores with better brand reputations… I get that their trying to high brow it up, but c’mon, if you can buy bulk diapers and mayonnaise 2 aisles away, I do not feel compelled to spend $50 on a shirt from you, Target.

But I managed to find a few cute items to add to my own personal fall collection while browsing there: a cute basic brown skirt and a nice work/going out appropriate top…and best of all: cute, cheap SHOES!

Yes, my gender has worked tirelessly for equality and to break from perpetuating stereotypes, but I do believe it holds true that many women fall into the category of “shoe person” or “bag person.” And although I do love a pretty bag, I am usually totally bowled over by a cute pair of…whatever. Mary Janes. Pumps. Sandals. You name it. This trip to Target solidified that even further… My heart seriously fluttered when I saw these:

flannel mary janes! The pic doesn't do the color justice...

And even better? The price tag! $10!! Sure, they will probably be falling apart by the end of the season, but I don’t care. I may or may not have bought 2 pairs and I may or may not have already begun plotting my purchase of additional colors online. Don’t judge.

Also, I’m a little geeked out about the collection that Tucker by Gaby Basora put together for the chain’s fall line, which is launching on Friday. I’m trying really hard to be good, but there is a herringbone trench that kind of has my name on it…

A sample of the Tucker by Gaby Basora collection for Target