The Scarlett Letter

March 26, 2010

Shoe Fetish

Filed under: Uncategorized — missscarlett19 @ 11:47 am
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Image by John Bonath

No, readers, I am not referring to some sicko guy who gets kicks over seeing a lady in some sexy heels. Unfortunately, the sicko to which I am referring to is myself! 

“Hi. My name is Miss Scarlett and I am a shoe addict.” I don’t know when this problem began. I’ve always liked shoes because no matter how much weight you gain or lose, your shoes will pretty much always fit. Especially since I’ve always been on the verge of plus-size and hard to find clothes that fit well. A good pair of shoes could pretty much make or break an outfit. 

Well, I was doing some spring cleaning this week. I’d already donated 6 evening dresses to a local dress drive to help young girls have a beautiful prom dress. Why I have so many fancy dresses, I don’t know. It’s not like I’m some A-list celebrity gliding down the red carpet every other night! I’d also donated a car load full of clothes to my local women’s shelter and still have more. Well, I decided to tackle the shoes this week. That was an adventure! 

I decided not to start in my closet, since those were shoes I (probably) wear most often. I began in one of the giant Rubbermaid bins sitting in my office/closet. I immediately pull out two pairs of penny loafers, one black, one brown. I put them in the “donate” bag. Why? Because I have at least one more pair in black, 2 in brown, and another pair in tan. Plus, I’m not really the penny loafer type. (See my post “Savvy Saving Shopping Secrets” and the part on sticking with your style.) I keep digging. I find one– yes, just ONE– brown slip on shoe. It’s mate has been missing for at least a year and a half, since before my last move. I don’t know where the heck it went. I put that Cinderella shoe on the shelf, hoping to find its mate somewhere else. Back to digging. I find ANOTHER mateless shoe. This one a black slightly raised sandal with a funky cut-out. Not a sexy shoe, but comfortable without being granny-like. I was so ecstatic! Why? Because its mate was all alone in my bedroom closet and I feared I’d never find it’s match again. How one loses just ONE shoe? I don’t know. It’s not like losing a sock in the dryer. Shoes are either on your feet in pairs, or they’re in the closet, or by the couch, or in your gym bag IN PAIRS! Whatevs! 

I keep digging. I find a pair of tan pumps with a bow going across the toes. Now these are different from my OTHER pair of tan pumps with a bow across the toes because… Um… Well… Let me think… Ooh! I got it! On this pair, the bow is tied in an over-under manner. On the other pair it’s under-over. Are you buying it? Alright. I’ll donate them to a very good charity– My shoe-challenged big sister. I don’t know HOW we’re related, but we share the same DNA! 

I keep digging. Just how big IS this bin! I find some metallic bronze pumps. Keep. Hey! They’re basic, neutral and simple, but add that special zing to an outfit. 

I keep digging. Think I may need to rent a backhoe. I come across my Christian LeBootays. I call them that because they’re fake Louboutins. Have the red sole and all. They’re black, platform & peep-toe. And they’re actually comfortable! I just want to kick myself right now! For months, I’d been scouring stores, searching for the perfect basic black platform pump, and here it was for the past year. Just sitting in this big ole bin! Ok, so I was looking for closed toe, but spring is here (somewhere) and these will easily take me through to the fall when I can resume my search again. 

Finally, I reach the bottom of the bin. I am exhausted, but feel extremely proud. I look over and see four pairs of shoes which will go to a needy woman who wears a size 8 1/2. Then I turn my head to the other side and see the pile of shoes that have saved me from having to go out and buy more shoes. Then I look at the pile in front of me. This pile is of footwear that I have no idea what to do with! They’re still in good shape. Still comfortable. Still somewhat stylish. But I have nowhere to wear them or nothing to wear them with. Do I hold on to them for another year and hope I get to wear them, just donate them or give them to my fashionably challenged sister? I rule out the latter because these precious shoes do not deserve to be mistreated like that. 

So readers, I am trying to curb my shoe fetish. It’s hard though. I still have a pair of yellow faux croc shoes sitting in their box. Never worn. I bought them as a birthday present to myself last year. Also have another pair I bought for my birthday THIS year. Purple platform peep-toe slingbacks with a hint of faux snakeskin trim. So very sexy! But alas, have not yet been worn! I need to go somewhere soon where I can wear them! I doubt I’ll be able to wear them three years from now! 

In my quest to curing myself of this disease, I reached out to my friends on Facebook. “(Miss Scarlett) is finally admitting she is a shoe addict” I entered as my status update. Rather than sending me links to S.A. (Shoe-aholics Anonymous), or the name of a good psychiatrist, one of my old college friends (you know, I graduated just two years ago), sent me a link to a new and fabulous shoe shopping site that I had not seen before. Such an enabler! Oh well! If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!


March 22, 2010

Miss Scarlett’s Savvy Saving Shopping Secrets

Filed under: Uncategorized — missscarlett19 @ 1:32 pm
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Spring is here! It was a perfectly gorgeous weekend in my city. My plan was to do some work, but some how the only work I did was repeatedly whipping out my debit card.

I’ve always been a smart shopper. More out of necessity than by choice. I grew up in Marshalls & TJMaxx. I was in those stores so often that I eventually decided it would be best to just work in their corporate headquarters. My other fave stores: Filene’s Basement, Target (or Tar-jay for the bourgeoisie), H&M and Old Navy. I’ve heard good things about SteinMart, but have yet to shop in one. And Burlington Coat Factory is really hit or miss, you need patience in there.

But we ARE in a recession. You can’t be spending your money all willy-nilly, right? Right! So how is a girl supposed to be fashion forward and still have some money left over to put in that fierce new purse? Well follow my tips and you will!

I like classics. Twin sets. Pencil skirts. Pearls. These items never go out of style. I’ve had some classic items since college (so only two years now… Yeah right!). I know it will always look good on me. Jackie Kennedy had her own style and stuck with it. But find your own style. Whether it be cool & classic, feminine & flirty, polished & professional, or nice & natural. And stick with your style for the most part. It also helps you establish your brand. Not to say that a professional chick can’t rock a ruffled skirt every now and then. Knowing your style makes it easier to shop because you’ll always know you have something to go with that item you’re considering.

accessories are one of the easiest– and cheapest– ways to create a totally new look. This is where stores like H&M and Forever 21 come in. They have some great cheap jewelry. Yeah, the gold might wash off, but that bracelet would have been out of style by the time that happens and you only paid $5, maybe $8 for it anyway, right? Now take your basic little black dress. How many ways can you wear it? You can be simple and classic and put on several strands of pearls. Go edgy and rock a studded belt and an armful of bangles. Be fanciful and free with a flowy scarf. Add a cardigan or a denim jacket. Five inch gladiator heels or ballet flats. A black sequined clutch or a bright yellow hobo. If you get creative, you can easily wear the same dress all week-long without anyone noticing. Well, you might wanna invest in some Febreeze or sumthin’. I’m just sayin’!

It’s October in New England. You’re in Target. They have a whole bunch tank tops in black and white on sale for $2.50. (I’ve seen it happen.) It’s gonna be too cold to wear them now, but you know you’ll need them come summer time. Buy them NOW! Why wait til the end of April when they’ll be $14.99 again? And same thing if you see a basic wool cardigan in a classic color or snow boots and you live in Michigan. Buy them for 75-80% off now and put it in storage until winter.

Wait… didn’t I just tell you to do the opposite? Yes. Am I losing my mind? Yes, but that’s besides the point… It’s snowing out, and you see a totally awesome flourescent pink chiffon dress with ruffles and shoulder pads (Ok, just PRETEND it’s totally awesome! I’m trying to make a point here!). And best of all, this fabulous frock is 90% off! What’s a girl to do? LEAVE IT ON THE RACK!!! So what if it was all the rage this past season. Odds are it’s too trendy to be in style next year and if you wear it, you’ll be looking like a fool. Plain and simple.

Great styles never truly die. They just go into hibernation. Some of the frequent fashion faves are the nautical look, military style, and animal prints. For example, I bought this navy Ralph Lauren jersey halter top about seven years ago. I wore it for a season or two, then but it in the back of the drawer for a while, and this year it’s coming back out. I’m going to pair it with some white Bermuda shorts from last season and a new red or gold belt and some new jewelry. My red belt only cost me $4.95 at H&M. Can’t beat that! I suggest you go with the more subtle trends, like a simple navy and white striped shirt, an army green structured jacket or a zebra striped cardigan. Remember, your clothes should be inspired by these ideas and not the exact item, unless of course you ARE in the military, a captain of a ship, or a real live tiger.

Well, these are just a FEW of my secrets. Hey, I’m not gonna divulge ALL of them! Gotta keep some things for mysefl! But I hope these tips help you look fabulous and stay frugal this season. And BTW, for more chic & cheap living tips, check out my girl The Frugalista!

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