Tag Archives: cheap

The Intern’s Closet

I recently got an internship at an office in Washington, D.C. As I was packing and preparing myself for my life as intern, I took a look at my closet to see what I had that could work for an intern’s closet. My internship has a “business casual” dress code, so I knew I already had some items in my closet that could fit the bill. I didn’t want to buy and entirely knew wardrobe but I wanted versatility, so I was looking to add a few pieces that I could dress up and dress down. I scoured the internet for clues on what most professionals considered business casual. I stumbled upon this photo: business casual photo Here are the recommendations from the post,:

Pants (solid colors are best), Skirts (length that lands at or above the knee), Tailored dress Tailored shirts, blouses, knits, sweaters and cardigans, Blazers and jackets, Both closed toed and open toed heels are appropriate, Jewelry and accessories (such as belts, scarves, watches) should be classic and conservative

One of my biggest problems with D.C. professionals is that they look great at work, but everywhere else they look a little…interesting. I often tuck my heels (if I wear any at all) into my bag and wear cute, sensible flats on the train. I think more brands in the DC area need to invest in comfortable flats, because the market out here is serious! There are women in beautiful skirt and blouse ensembles with neon Nike sneakers on and men in well cut suits with New Balances on. For me, comfort is paramount. I enjoy getting dressed for my internship and I also enjoy the fact that I can leave work and go meet up with friends without having to change. I am comfortable and I look put together. My office seemed to be pretty casual, which explains why my wardrobe leans more on the casual side. Here are a few of my outfits and some tips for the first few weeks at an internship with a business casual dress code.

Tip #1: Show some personality with some color.

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I find most traditional black boring so I opted for a pair of cobalt blue skinny pants from F21

Tip #2: Wear a sleeveless top and bring along a sweater or jacket to adjust for the weather.

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I used online shopping websites to introduce cute inexpensive tops to my closet.

Tip #3: Use statement necklaces to make your outfits a little more interesting

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Statement necklaces tend to dress up outfits and make them appear more thought out

Tip #4: Invest in a bag is both cute and functional

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This bag is sturdy and spacious to hold my work, heels, and my lunch kit.

Tip #5:  Pair solids with patterns to break up the monotony of an outfit

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My houndstooth skirt

Tip 6: Substitute uncomfortable slack for jeggings 

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I’ve worn these wine skinny pants into the office multiple times and no one has realized they’re jeggings!

My favorite tip is the last one. I never would have thought I’d be wearing jeggings to work, but after the first day I realized my desk job requires me sitting for hours! I realized, I might as well be comfortable while I sit and work. When I decided to wear jeggings, I made sure they were the type that actually looked like regular pants (with a zipper, button, back pocket, etc.). I also both them a size up, so they wouldn’t be inappropriately tight. There is a wide variety of jeggings online and most of them are inexpensive. I know that there will come a day when I have to become a real person and buy an entire wardrobe of designer pants, but for now I am just a humble intern who wears stylish jeggings to work.  Those are my tips for dressing to impress as an intern. Are there any other interns out there? What do you all wear to work?

Cutting Corners: Getting Your Nails Done

For my birthday last week, I wanted to get my nails done. I searched high and low for Groupons and Yelp reviews of places that did a good job and were inexpensive. I found a great Groupon (mani/pedi for $15) that ended up being ten years away— so far that the gas I’d have to pay to get there cost more than the savings I’d be getting. No deal.

So my search continued for a good nail salon. I finally found one in my neighborhood and was able to get my nails (hands and feet) painted for a whopping $14!

I am a cheapo  spendthrift. I like to save money and will cut corners any way I can to save a buck when going to get my nails done.

Here are some times on how to pamper yourself for less:

Skip the Scrub

One way is to bring down the price of your nail salon trip, is to skip the full pedicure. I opt to use my at-home pedicure kit prior to going to going to the nail salon. In the comfort of my own home I can scrub my feet with a pumice stone, clip and file my nails, push back my cuticles, and moisturize my feet. Yes, that’s a lot of elbow grease, but I save in the long-run. When I tell manicurist I want to skip the spa pedicure and scrub, she/he will see that I take care of my feet and  won’t pressure me to get a full pedicure.

Just Paint, please!

I love french tips on my toes. I think it’s a classic look that goes with any outfit and it gives off the impression that “I like to take care of myself.” Getting a full french mani or pedi can be a little pricey, but getting just the french tip paint (some refer to it as a “color change” charge) can be a cheaper alternative. The salon I went to only charged me $7 to get french tips painted on my toes (no feet scrubbing included) and another $7 for my hands ($14 total). Even though I only paid for the paint, the manicurist still cleaned up around my nails so everything would turn out neat.

Additionally, some places will give you a discount if you bring your own nail polish. You might want to call in and check for your specific location.

Press On Nails

I have been known to wear press-on nails (gasp!) and nobody was the wiser. Hey, even Beyonce admitted to doing it sometimes! My favorite press-ons are the Kiss Everlasting brand in pearl French. The pearl finish makes it look like (from a distance) you just your nails done. My nails don’t grow that quickly so the tips can last up to a week if I’m careful. I wear them in size “Real Short” and they look very natural. These cost about $7 and are a great alternative to a full-blown manicure. They’re easy to apply and easy to remove. I’ve run out a snagged these the night before interviews, weddings, trips, or if I didn’t have time (or money) to get a pedicure done. Another upside is that they don’t damage your nails as much as acrylic or solar nails.

Do It Yourself

As you have figured out by now, I am a DIY (do-it-yourself) kind of girl. I can paint my own nails and put a gloss on them by myself, so I have a hard time paying anyone to do them unless it’s a very special occasion. I usually just run over to Walgreens or CVS and grab a bottle of nail polish, sit down and paint away. They’re not always perfect, but at least they’re free!

Diagram of how to paint your nails in a perfect world

Thrift Haul #2

Today I took advantage of my day off and stayed in, watched the Inauguration coverage, and went thrifting. I went to Family Thrift Outlet where everything was 75cents today. I bought about 12 items, all of which came to about $9.50! Yes, just under the budget! *fist pumps*

Here are some of my items:

I needed a few work pants, so I went searching. I found four pairs from brands GAP, The Limited, Issac Mizrahi and another random brand I hadn’t heard of. I was glad to find solid brands at such a low price. The only problem now is that I will have to hem most of the pants due to the fact that I’m short and I wear mostly flats.
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I liked the pattern on this shirt.thrifthaul4a

Oversized mens sweater!
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Something about this shirt screams retro bowling league to me, but I like it!thrifthaul6a

Found a mini-skirt to go with my bright tights!

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My sister has a super comfy movie sweater that I’ve been jealous of. This XL sweater does the trick.

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Not pictured are a silk floral skirt, a blue and white trim blazer (for my mom), and a tan blazer (for my sister).

Total price: 12 items for $0.75 = $9 (plus $0.50ish in tax)

A day and money well-spent, wouldn’t you say?

I made a deal with myself and my closet that for every 2 new items I bought, I needed to donate one thing. It looks like I’m going to have to toss out 4 old things. Yikes. I’m going to comb through my closet. I’m sure there’s a pair of daisy dukes crying out for a new home.

Product Review: Flexi Tail (Phone stand)

Every once in a while, I find an “As Seen on TV” product that has found its way to the dollar store. When products are $1, instead of 6 payments of $19.99, they’re so much more appealing. At The Dollar Tree today, I found a product called the “Flexi,” a mobile tail stand. It holds your phone upright, I suppose so that your hand doesn’t get cramped while you’re trying to view a movie on your phone or something.

So I gave it a try. It works in 3 easy steps.

#1. Place the suction cup on the back of your phone

(note: the suction cup is a strong little guy!)

#2. Lean phone into a comfortable position

#3. Feed the end of Flexi tail into the audio jack (optional)

And viola! You have a phone stand! I’ve always wanted one of these, I think. Well, now I have one. I think this is an innovative product. I might not have bought it, but I saw the cashier at the Dollar Tree using one and she demonstrated how it works.

Thanks Dollar Tree, for a cool new toy! :)