Out of the Closet

4 Fun Finds for $80 and Under

By Charlotte on September 19, 2012 4:25 PM

Make every day casual Friday. That's my mantra now that Bob and I work from home and I'm the master of my own dress code.

This fall, I plan to live in last season's skinny jeans, comfy cords and bright-colored denim. (Yes, I'm lovin' that I already have wine-colored cords and deep-turquoise skinnies, both hot colors for the months ahead!) So I've been on a quest for cool pieces to pair with my casual favorites.


These lacey, vintage-inspired and borrowed-from-the-boys statements fill the bill and then some. Besides being right on trend, they're great budget stretchers because they go with just about everything.



Avon Button-Down Lace Top


I'm addicted to Avon's skincare and makeup products like the ANEW anti-aging line. But I never really thought about them having clothes.


Top - 400.jpg

Avon Button-Down Lace Top



So I was surprised when I saw the go-to beauty brand's fashion-forward apparel. I'm talkin' sexy color-blocked dresses, cozy shearling-trimmed vests and coats, and adorable animal-print accessories. Nice!


I especially like this cute, sheer button-down because it capitalizes on the romantic, lace look that's everywhere this year.


You can wear this cream blouse layered over a cami now. Choose ivory for a blended effect or a sassy shade to make the lace pattern pop. Either way, the delightful design flatters anything from skinny jeans to pencil skirts. Later, top it with a colorful crewneck sweater to show off the pretty collar (another hot trend).


At 5' 2", I'm normally restricted to the petite department so I'm thrilled this wallet-friendly, little number gave me a chance to venture out! But if you're short like me, you'll need to think tucked in because it is on the longer side.


$29.99 at Avon.com



Necklace - 350.jpgMama Can't Sing Jewelry


Bob and I discovered Mama Can't Sing jewelry on a recent visit to New York. Our son Cole lives in Brooklyn now, and we were there for an early celebration of his 26th birthday (Oct. 8 is the big day!).


The weather was warm and breezy. Perfect for spending Saturday afternoon at the Brooklyn Flea Market where we fell for these retro-inspired gems.


Although Bob doesn't share my fascination with trinkets, you know he had to have the cufflinks ($20) made from old typewriter keys. They seemed custom-made for a PR pro-turned-blogger like him.


Meanwhile, I went for a striking, matte gold necklace ($49). I love layering chains and lockets so I couldn't resist this long, three-in-one find with its lovely links. What better way to dress up a simple shirt?


Both pieces were handcrafted by a mother-and-daughter team from West Haven, CT, who collect and repurpose vintage pieces. I've never been so happy about recycling! 


Mama Can't Sing

Layered Necklace


Cufflinks, rings and custom item requests on Etsy.com


Mama Can't Sing Typewriter Key Cufflinks

Typewriter Key Cufflinks - 600.jpg


Sprout 6500 Bracelet Watch   


A big, borrowed-from-the-boys watch like the new Sprout 6500 is a fashion must-have. Wear it alone for a sporty statement. Stack it with bangle upon bangle upon bangle to up the style factor. Now, that's fun!


Sure to give your look a little edge, this trendy timepiece easily transitions from breakfast at Starbucks to dinner at Brio and all points in between. It has a gorgeous natural, mother-of-pearl illuminated dial and the chunky, bracelet-style band can be adjusted easily by your local jeweler. That's great news when you have puny wrists like me because it can be difficult to find an affordable watch that fits.


Even better, this eye-catcher comes in five great colors. I'm wild about deep purple because, besides reminding me of a smokin' hot 70s band, it complements blacks, browns, greens, oranges and, let's face it, just about every fall color. But I'm also drooling over the elegant white, minty green, soothing blue, winter-perfect gray and perky fuchsia options.


As a bonus, this eco-friendly timepiece contains sustainable materials like corn resin and a mercury-free battery.


$80 at Sproutwatches.com



Sprout 6500 Bracelet Watch

Bracelets - 600.jpg 

What's on your must-have list for fall?  Please let us know what fashion trends you're most excited about in the comments section below.


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We'd like to shout out a big "Thank You" to all the brands in this post

who provided samples for review and testing.



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In the Mirror

4 Skin-Kind Finds Under $30

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Finding the right skincare routine can be like walking a tightrope. I've gotta have beauty products strong enough to do the job without sending my sometimes sensitive skin over the edge.

That's why I like to play it safe with skin-kind finds like these. They're designed to deliver powerful results with no fear of unpleasant side effects. You can pick up these budget-friendly buys at your local Target, one of my regular haunts. (I shop Friday mornings to miss the crowd.) And now to the end of October, Target is offering special discounts on these and other fan favorites from Neutrogena, Aveeno and RoC. (Check the end of this post for details.)

Continue Reading »

Playing Favorites


When Charlotte and I aren't hip-deep in period dramas (Downton Abbey, Mr. Selfridge) we love a good crime story. Film Noir is my favorite genre (anybody up for Maltese Falcon, Diabolique or Elevator to the Gallows?) so we're always on the lookout for a new movie or series to scratch that itch.

Over the summer we hit the jackpot, by finding two gritty noir-ish series that satisfied our cravings. First we got hooked on the Netflix original series Bloodline. Then, we capped off our summer with the terrific Rectify from The Sundance Channel.

Continue Reading »

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