Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Despite many Minnesotans' claims to the contrary this year ("Oh, it's been such a mild winter. It's practically spring!"), there are still officially 37 days left of winter. Clearly, I am counting. 

And while I have been learning more and more how to be in the moment, live in the present, and all that other hippie jazz, I couldn't help getting excited when I got my first signs of spring: girl scout cookies and fashion magazine covers touting "100 new looks for Spring" and all that shite. 

Nevermind the fact that it is still barely 20 degrees here in Minneapolis and that it snowed on May fucking first last year. When spring comes this year, I am going to be ready to grab it by its fashionable balls.

So with all that in mind, I present to you my springtime wish list of looks for less inspired by a weekend of leafing through fashion magazines.

Black and Yellow

Dress for Less

Fashion deets (clockwise from center):

The inspiration: Ashley Greene in Lucky Magazine (March 2012) wearing L'Wren Scott dress ($2,990)

Juniors Yellow Prom Dress $70 from target.com
and black belt from dorothyperkins.com

Neon Lace Layered Dress $29.40 from gojane.com
and Asos Super Skinny Waist Belt $11 from asos.com

SJP Bright Ideas

 The inspiration: SJP in Prabal Gurung on the Late Show


Outfit Deets (from left to right):

Scarf $28 from mango.com
Orange top $17 from target.com
Yellow jeans $23 from target.com
Red clutch $16 from macys.com
Turquoise wedges $47 from lorisshoes.com

Scarf $7.87 from hm.com
Purple shirt $12 from target.com
Blue pants $50 from lulus.com
Silver bow clutch $17 from dorothyperkins.com
Orange flats $46 from endless.com

Earrings $6.29 from hm.com
Orange blouse $31 from gojane.com
Hot pink pants $41 from lulus.com
Clutch $19 from macys.com
Heels $39 from dorothyperkins.com

That's it. Just a short little day dreamy spring post for today. For those of you still wearing parkas and cursing the sky, I will have a cute winter outfit post for you later this week!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Don't Let the Sunshine Fool You...

Don't let the sunshine fool you, it is motherfucking freezing out. Well, it is here in Minnesota, and reading blogs about rich bitches in L.A. is really starting to piss me off, so I present you with a short (but sweet) Minnesota winter outfit post.




 Outfit deets:
White fuzzy ear muffs from a clothing swap
Jacket from Lola in the Mall of America 
White Gap t-shirt (clothing swap)
Green sweater (from Sway about 5 years ago)
Belt (thrifted from Goodwill)
Black sweater tights from Target
Blue knee-high wool socks (from my mom's closet)
Puffy Steve Madden Boots (from Buffalo Exchange)

Side note: I LOVE Lola, which is a cheap and awesome BCBG spinoff store with locations at the Mall of America and Emeryville (apparently..). Anyway, I can't find an online store for them, but here's a link to an article about the grand opening of the one at MOA. Big ups to my BFF, Jess for finding this little gem of a store.

I also love my Steve Madden puffy wedge boots. Unfortunately, they are falling apart though, so I have been trolling the interwebs and thrift stores for a new pair. 

That's all for now. Happy Monday!

Thanks for reading!
<3- hallee

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Happy (Belated) New Year and WTF Have I Been Doing?

So it's 2012 and I haven't made a blog post since September. I could argue that I was busy stockpiling canned goods, bottled water, propane, and explosives in anticipation of the inevitable Armageddon that is supposed to come sometime this year, but that would be a lie.

I could also blame my lack of blog presence on the adoption of a new puppy in October, an event for which I was woefully unprepared. In particular, I could regale you with the disgusting, harrowing tales of her rotten bowels and how they nearly destroyed both mine and Justen's sanity and did indeed destroy the majority of our carpeting and bedsheets, but that might lead to a spontaneous, international heavy metal vomit party, which might be awesome in another context, but not so much for a fashion blog.

Please don't hate me for pooping in your bed

Or I could just tell you the truth. I am now an international super model. 

PSYCH! You guys all know I am curvy and pocket-sized. So I could never be a super model, but I was in a runway show:

That's right. Eat your heart out, Tyra Banks. In October, I proved that even vertically-challenged, bootylicious, 27-year-olds can rock the runway.

It all started when I was trolling Craigslist for free shit and ways to make extra money as I do at least every other day, and I came across an add for runway models that did not have to be tall and skinny. Not tall? CHECK! Not skinny? CHECK CHECK!!

Anyway, unlike most Craigslist modeling posts, it turned out to be totally legit and awesome. I met with the designer, Ledah Hakim a few times before the show, and it turns out that she and I share very similar philosophies on what's wrong with the fashion industry. Ledah is all about making beautiful, fun, and AFFORDABLE clothes for ladies (and gents) of all ages, shapes, and sizes. You can check out some more of her steeze here.

Needless to say, it was an amazing experience and I am looking forward to doing it again sometime soon. But enough words, here are some pics from the show:

The amazing designer, Ledah Hakim

 My always-supportive and ever-handsome man :)

So that was my first adventure in modeling. I am looking forward to doing it again sometime. And no, it's not a good excuse for taking 4 months off from blogging, but I'm here now, right? And I missed you so. 

Thanks for reading!

P.S. All the lovely photos above were taken by the very talented local photographer Eric Davis

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Black and Blues

After a much needed backpacking trip in Northern Minnesota, I have finally begun to make my peace with autumn. Yes, it is officially here as of September 21st.

I really do enjoy dressing for fall weather. After all, Summer weather is great for sun bathing, beach time, and generally enjoying the outdoors, but it's also sweaty and gross, and as an especially sweaty girl, my summer style generally consists of being as close to naked as possible while still looking somewhat presentable.

But fall is all about the layers, and being from the Bay where it's 45 degrees when you wake up, 75 by mid-afternoon, and back down to 50 by the end of happy hour, I know how to do layers. (Winter layers are an entirely different story, but there will be plenty of time to discuss that in the coming months...)

This Saturday, after an especially nasty spill on my bike (think: GIANT BRUISES and ripped jeans), and a futile attempt to find a new pair of jeans at my favorite local clothing exchanges (Everyday People and Buffalo), I was feeling pretty down. Luckily, Justen and I were treated to a night of blues, pizza, and beer by Justen's awesome mom whose husband was playing sax for the band (Detroit Don King).

In honor of the music genre and my bruises, I decided to dress for the occasion by layering blacks, blues, and a little purple, along with my go-to fall boots:




Outfit deets: Gap cardigan (swapped), H&M tank top and mini skirt, black sweater tights from Target, clutch thrifted from Goodwill Outlet, belt thrifted from The Lost and Found, boots from some store in the mall two years ago.

Clearly, I am of the opinion that it is ok to mix black and dark blue, as long as you do it purposefully and tastefully, by using either blue as the accent to a black outfit (or vice versa) for example.

Anyway, I hope you're embracing the season change in your own way.

Thanks for reading! <3- hallee

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Be Here Now

So I managed to accidentally take a month-long vacation from the blog, but if you're a California girl living in Minnesota, August really seems like the best month to take a vacation from everything. The humidity has broken, but the weather is still amazing: the late summer sunshine casting beautiful long afternoon shadows on everything, the lakes are still warm enough to swim in, and everyone is still pretty much sun-kissed and blissed out. I've been enjoying the fuck out of the summer despite finding myself once again especially impoverished due to my current lack of a grown-up job.

But that was kind of the point. I made the conscious decision to be poor, tan, and happy this summer. Something about working in an air-conditioned cubicle during the summer makes me suicidal, even more so than the entire experience of another season in Minnesota, which will remain nameless, as I am currently in denial about the impending doom of its inevitable arrival.

It might sound a little hippie magic of me, but I've been trying really hard lately to just live in the moment while it lasts. That's what summer is all about, in my opinion.

I know, I know. You're thinking "Great, bitch. You're all fucking zen-ed out and tanorexic. Good for you. But this is a FASHION BLOG and I am poor and pissed off and I don't really care about your personal seasonal philosophy. You leave your readers for a month and come back with all this kumbaya bullshit? WHERE ARE THE FUCKING SHOES??!!"

I know. I was totally getting to that part. Geeez.

With all this being in the moment crap, I got to thinking about fashion and how the fashion industry is always obsessing about the Next Big Thing: parkas in July issues of fashion magazines, bikinis in Victoria's Secret winter catalogues, Fall collections on runways in the Spring and Spring collections in the Fall. I understand why. It's the nature of the fashion industry. It's about being on the cutting edge, the cusp of trends, ahead of the curve, and all those other cliche phrases.

And that's great and all for rich bitches who can afford to constantly be buying that Next Big Thing for the Next Season, but us poor girls often have to just take what we can get on the sale racks, in the thrift stores, and even (gasp) our own closets. Of course, this obsession with what's next in style is just part of the whole scam that is the American Dream. It keeps us wanting bigger houses, newer cars, faster gadgets, and the latest Manolos, and it makes those of us who can't afford to "upgrade" all our shit all the fucking time feel inadequate and stressed out.

So that's what being here now is really about. It's about appreciating what you have and working with it and not feeling like crap because you can't afford to go to Banana Republic and buy their Mad Men inspired line to "spruce up" your fall work wardrobe. It's about rejecting the idea that you need to be worried about a new winter jacket before the Autumn Equinox.

So it is in that spirit, of being in the moment, squeezing out every last ounce of sunshine, and not mentioning that five-letter "w" word until at least December that I present to you five summery things I am still enjoying right now:

1. Showing Some Skin and a Solution to Pit Stains

Ok, so you might be grossed out by my mention of "pit stains" but get over it. Anyone who sweats or has obtained clothing from a previous owner who sweats has had to deal with pit stains. I myself am an exceptionally sweaty girl and one night this summer when I was getting ready to go get drinks with my man, I found myself having a fashion crisis. After deciding to just go with a classic white tee and jeans look, I discovered that the pit stains on my favorite white tee had gone from borderline passable in dim light to just plain gross. But instead of throwing it out, I made it into a cute tank top:

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I'd been noticing a lot of slouchy tank tops with abnormally large armholes and also lots of undergarment-showing on clothing racks and magazines, so I decided to go all out and combine both. I think it worked out pretty well. What do you think?

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2. Riding My Bike

It's great exercise, it gets me outdoors more, and it's both cheap and environmentally-friendly. 'Nuff said.

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3. The State Fair and Food on a Stick

Justen's mom was kind enough to take our indigent asses to the Minnesota State Fair this weekend, and I am so glad I got to experience it. Amazing people-watching, everything you could ever want to eat fried or covered in chocolate (or both!) on a stick, and great live music.

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This is pretty much the best thing that has ever happened to me. 
4. DIY Headbands

Since I'm growing my bangs out, I have been looking for creative solutions to keep them out of my face. I decided to take some extra scraps of fabric I had laying around to make a couple headbands. If I can do this, ANYONE can. Seriously. I am absolutely terrible at sewing. 

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5. Art Deco Nail Polish

Summer is a time to have fun with your pedicure. I've been doing bright, diagonal color swatches. Check me out:

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Anyway, I hope you are enjoying the hell out of summer and appreciating whatever kind of fashion moment you are in right now. Thanks for reading this extra long post!


Friday, July 29, 2011

Shades of Sherbert

Summer is at it's glorious peak here in Minneapolis, and I am trying to enjoy every second of sunlight and warmth that I can eke out before Old Man Winter rears his ugly head again, which, judging by last year, will be sometime in September. 

In the meantime, I have been wearing colors to match my sunny mood: mixing bright reds, oranges, corals, and pinks with neutral accessories. Observe:

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I have discovered how short girls can wear the midi skirt trend: nude heels or platforms! They make your legs look miles longer. Almost like someone of average height! Almost...

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This necklace was an amazing gift: handmade by my lovely friend Bekah.
Outfit deets: American Apparel Shirt (Buffalo Exchange), Thrifted Vintage Skirt, Thrifted Platforms and Belt. 


I just love this belt, as you can see. I think it is a great way to create a bit of a waist and add a neutral accent to all the bright colored craziness. 


Got these earrings from Sway on my vacation home. BTW, Sway is one of my favorite stores of all time, and now you can shop them online here. 




I love this skirt. It is so comfy and lovely. Also, I got glasses. Whaddya think?
Outfit deets: Shirt from a hipster garage sale for $2, Skirt (Swapped), Same thrifted belt as above, and earrings from Sway. 

I hope you're all having a lovely summer and getting in some quality outdoor time! I have been very busy procrastinating on grad school applications with Important Fashion Experiments, and hope to share the results with you next week.

Thanks so much for reading!

<3- hallee

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Californicated: The Thrifty Wedding Edition

I know I have been away from the blog for far too long, but sometimes life just gets in the way of important things like fashion and writing. I simply couldn't find the time to write during my amazing, action-packed trip to California, and when I got back to dear old Minnesota, things like finding a job and dealing with some major life drama kept rising to the top of my priority list. Also, the fact that our computer imploded has made it a bit more difficult to do things like check my email and update the blog.

Although the entire point of this blog is to prove how you don't have to sacrifice fashion and personal style just because you are poor, there are times when Real Life Problems are more important than figuring out what you're going to wear that day or how to keep your hair from frizzing out in the humidity. Rich people can pay other people (lawyers, chefs, personal assistants, accountants) to deal with their Real Life Problems, so they can focus on the newest gladiator sandal styles to update their summer wardrobe, but poor chicks have to deal with their own problems, and sometimes that shit takes time.

Enough whining. Let's talk about the two most amazing fashion discoveries I made on my vacation:

Number One: Super Cheap Wedding Attire

The main reason for my journey back to the homeland was for one of my bestest friend's wedding in San Diego. While trying to decide WTF to wear to the wedding before we left, I began leafing through my closet with dismay. Sure, I have lots of cute dresses, but most of them are either too casual for a wedding or the kind of fancy-but-dingy that I find very charming in thrifted clothes, but may be a little too quirky to be wedding-appropriate. Then, I stumbled upon an old bridesmaids' dress that my friend Meagan had given me last time I was in San Diego. While I thought the dress was cute, I had no idea when I would have an opportunity to wear it, but as you know, I'm not one to pass up free clothing, so I took it home with me and it sat in my closet ever since, until Nikki's wedding:

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Pretty cute, right? Of course, not all bridesmaids' dresses are this cute, but I like the idea of recycling the ones that are, and wearing them to another wedding. I added my thrifted pink pumps from the Goodwill Outlet that have been featured on the blog many times before, and a couple flowers from my friend Adam's yard, and voila!: a wedding outfit for a total cost of $1.50.

As you can see, the boyfriend looked pretty adorable as well. His entire outfit is also thrifted and probably cost less than $30.

I was also very impressed with my friend Adam and his boyfriend Robbie's ability to put together an adorable look with pieces from Marshall's and Walmart that was not only awesome and thrifty, but also matchy and 4th of July weekend appropriate:

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Dude, they are so cute. I want to vomit a little.

Nowadays, even being a guest at a wedding can cost a fortune, but a combination of thrifting and recycling (non-hideous) bridesmaids' dresses can at least keep your outfit costs to minimum without having to sacrifice style.

And for tips on how to save money on wedding gifts, I found this LearnVest article to be very helpful. Check it out!

Number Two: My New Online Shopping Obsession

After admiring (and threatening to steal) several items of clothing from her, my perenially adorable friend Bekah turned me onto a new online shopping obsession (like I need another one) while I was in Oakland: Go Jane.

Here are couple of Bekah's looks from Go Jane that I was begging to borrow:

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The print of this top is awesome, and the style is incredibly flattering on any figure.

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I love the girly dress with zipper-happy accessories!

I highly recommend checking out Go Jane. Their prices are reasonable, and while there are quite a few ugly items, there are so many that are super cute and flattering on curvy frames. They also have super cute shoes, which is always a good thing.

I will make a Polyvore set with some of my favorite items from Go Jane soon, but the public library computer won't let me right now...

Speaking of which, time to go computer shopping.

Thanks for reading! And I promise I will start posting with more regularity again.