Posts Categorized: shopping

Already Prettypoll: Save or splurge?

Although there are several wardrobe pillars that nearly every woman is willing to invest in – generally at least one from the classic triad of handbags, coats, and shoes qualifies – there is always some fascinating variation. Some women don’t give a hoot about bags but will spend big on coats. others don’t care about any of the triad, but will plunk down the big bucks for properly fitting bras and undergarments. Plenty need to invest in suiting or work attire for career reasons while others have learned that springing for perfectly fitting designer jeans is a wise use of hard-earned cash.

Me? I am perfectly happy to thrift my tees and layering items, buy my button-front shirts secondhand, and stick to cheap but sparkly costume jewelry. I am more likely to spend big on boots than sandals, but always go for quality handbags. My coats are a mish-mosh of thrifted and cheap lightweight coats and expensive, reliably warm and well-designed down coats. And although I find blazers fairly difficult to fit, nearly all of mine are thrifted. I just can’t stomach paying $200 for a brand new blazer for some reason!

How about you? Do you scrimp on jeans and spend big on dress pants? Put serious money towards shoes, coats, or handbags? Which items will you thrift versus the ones you prefer to buy brand new?

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Reader Request: Opaque White Shirts

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I’ve had many, MANY requests flow in through Facebook, comments, and e-mails for help finding opaque white shirts. Some of you are hoping to find button-fronts, others tees, but everyone is frustrated by the dearth of opaque options out there. And I hate to say it – especially since I pride myself on being able to find virtually anything either in person or online – but I, too, struggle to find white shirts that are truly opaque. I’ll occasionally find a knit tee that works fine with just a nude bra, but button-fronts? Forget about it. The Foxcroft shirt shown above is among my most opaque, but even it has a bit of show-through in certain lights.

So I’ll give you my few meagre tips, and open the discussion to everyone in the hope that some of you have found a few brands or styles of white shirts that don’t require work-arounds to wear.

Double-front knit tops

They’re getting rarer, but they do exist – mostly among brands that skew slightly older like Coldwater Creek and J.Jill. Obviously, two layers of cloth – even if that cloth is white – will be more opaque than one. And since show-through is often more of a problem in the front than the back, this style of top can work.

Higher-end and legacy brands

Very few Old Navy or Forever 21 white shirts will be opaque. Bargain brands cut costs across the board to pass along savings to the consumer, and thick, opaque, white fabrics are generally better quality and spendier than thin, translucent, white fabrics. I’m not saying you won’t occasionally find an opaque blouse or tee for a bargain at Target, or that every expensive designer top will be totally opaque. Just that my Foxcroft shirt above is $76 and considerably less revealing than my $20 LOFT clearance rack one. When I thrift, I can tell a Pendelton or Brooks Brothers shirt from a Gap or Express one just by feel; The cloth is thicker, sturdier, and harder to see through. I can’t say as I’ve found any recent styles anywhere that I’d recommend, but I know from experience that older brands, more expensive brands, and brands that cater to mature women are generally less likely to be peddling white shirts that will show the world your bra.

Ribbed knit tees

I prefer ribbed knits because I find them to be less clingy than non-ribbed knits, but they also tend to be a bit sturdier and more opaque. Now, I’m not talking about the wide ribs like you find in tank tops, but instead about the type of knit used to make “baby” style tee shirts. In fact, many of the shirts I’ve bought that fall into this category are called “baby rib” since the ribbing itself is so fine. Zappos has some examples from Alternative Apparel, Splendid, and other brands. I stocked up on baby rib Amber Sun tees from Nordstrom last year, too, and they were fabulously opaque. Some are thin, but ribbed knits are often a bit beefier than smooth knits.

Nude camis

That’s right, three measly points in and we’re already at work-arounds! Since few of my own shirts are opaque enough to wear on their own, I rely on my nude camis to take up the slack. Mine are cheapies from Target, smooth nylon, and they’re not shapewear but just meant to add another layer between bra and world. (Like this one.) My primary show-through issue is my bra, and this type of cami helps create an unbroken torso line beneath my shirt. In my opinion, utilizing this layering system is more sophisticated than layering a plain white tank top beneath a white button-front. Less show-through, more subtle.

Nude bras

Why am I bringing this up? Because several jobs ago, I met a woman in her early 40s who was wearing white bras with her white tops. Until I mentioned how fabulously invisible nude bras were, and how essential they were for days when white tops were worn. Her eyes got about as big around as saucers, friends. So just in case: A bra that is nude to YOUR skin tone will create less show-through than a white, colorful, or printed bra. Hopefully you’ve got one. Or are going to nab one right after work today.

So why exactly are manufacturers content to churn out translucent white shirts year after year? Cost savings, undoubtedly. But just as women everywhere are baffled by the lack of sleeved dresses available to them, we’re all scratching our heads about this one. None of us actively wants white shirts that show everything, and just about every last one of us would be willing to shell out a few extra bucks for options that are truly opaque. Hopefully the market will hear our frustrated cries and make some changes soon.

Until then, anyone have resources to share for opaque white tees, tops, and shirts? Bought any lately that don’t require nude camis or other layers? Especially interested in brands that carry petites, talls, and plus sizes, but any suggestions are totally welcome!

Outfit details here.

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for alreadypretty.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

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This Week I Love …

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… quirky prints. This Kate Spade scarf was a recent eBay score for me, as I just couldn’t resist the adorable and unusual print showing heavy black glasses frames. (I’ve got a similar pair of reading glasses. The scarf is long sold out, but you can still get the print on this umbrella.) And although I tend to gravitate toward geometrics and watercolors, I’ve seen and coveted several quirkier prints in recent months. Case in point: My Beebop & Wally bird print dress. Not quite my usual, but irresistibly fun to wear no less. Here are some other quirky printed items that have caught my eye of late:

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Chuck Taylor Floral – $60

Earlier this week on Facebook, we were chatting about Converse because I’d spent a good hour monkeying around with their customization tool. And although I’ll likely go for a classic or whip up some leopard print Chucks for myself, I do love their stock prints, too. Especially this floral grid. Also seriously tempted by the Wonder Woman pair.

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eShakti Spectacle Print Cotton Linen Dress – $99.95

Well looky here: eShakti has a glasses print dress that’s pretty darned close to my scarf print. And, as always, it comes in sizes 0 – 36W and you can customize sleeves, hem length, and neckline! WIN. (Also definitely more colorful than mine, but here’s a glasses print scarf that would be super fun for spring and summer wear.)

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Charmed to the Corgi Socks$11.99

Corgi socks. Need I say more? I thought not.

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Leith Kitty Kaleidoscope Scarf – $34

My inner Cat Lady rejoices. This is a 52″ square, lightweight poly scarf and with that white background it’ll work great for warm weather. If the red is too much for ya, it also comes in a black/gray print, green on white, and turquoise on white. Meeeeeow. Also adore this lightweight cat-print trenchcoat. And this pink and black cat print dress. I could go on …

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Sandee Royalty Yellow Bicycle Skirt$78 – $88

My black and white striped skirt is one of Sandee’s handmade creations and it is FABULOUS. She’s added some fun and funky prints to her repertoire, including this bright bike print. Also loving her newsprint and typewriter with “I love you” message options. All skirts are custom and no upcharge for larger sizing, so just send along your measurements!

skull print sweatshirt

Planet Gold Skull Print Knit Top$12.99

You all know I have a soft spot for skull prints. This one mixes it up with a rose or two, and I love that some of the skulls are inverted. Lots of movement in this funky, quirky print. Comes in S -L and sizing is juniors so it will run small. Couldn’t find a truly similar top in plus, but Torrid has lots of skull prints.

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Hound Sleuth Dress$79.99

Also can’t resist a dachshund print – see my vintage shirt here! This dress includes a tulle underlay to keep that skirt looking foofy and full. Hemline looks a bit short to me – see the customer photos for an idea – but would still be such a joy to wear. Available in sizes M – 4X, sold out in S and XL.

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Kate Spade Reversible Printed Trouser Belt$41.14 – $64.99

This belt has been on my wishlist for AGES, but I just can’t seem to justify the price. However, since it’s reversible it’s really two-for-one … hmmm. Available in this yellow floral and a pink floral with pale green buckle.

star print t shirt

Denim & Supply Ralph Lauren Short-Sleeve Star-Print Tee$39.50

Perhaps the most conservative of our quirky prints, but still less common and classic than dots and stripes. There are lots of fun galaxy prints floating around these days, but I have to say I prefer iconic, stylized stars like these. This lightweight tee is available in white with black stars and black with white stars in sizes XS – L. This tee has smaller stars but comes in three colors in 0X – 5X.

fossil keyper bee print

Fossil Keyper Mini Shopper$68

Fossil’s entire Key-per line is packed with quirky-yet-wearable prints. I love the stripes and dots, but this bumblebee print takes the cake for quirk. I’m deathly afraid of bees, but still would consider carrying this bag. It’s just so darned CUTE. And it’s coated fabric, so fantastic for spring and summer use.

Are you a fan of quirky prints? What are your favorites? Retro ones like cherries and bows? Animals? Literary prints – glasses, books, and typewriters? Do tell!

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for alreadypretty.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

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