Showing posts from March, 2012

Fabulous Hat of the Week: GeeGee Louise!

Hail Shoestringers! You may recall in my September post Yes! Yes! More About Hats! I asked readers to send me pictures of beautiful and interesting hats they sport and/or make. And submissions have begun rolling in! So, over the next month or two I will be highlighting these chic chapeaux in a Saturday feature I call "Fabulous Hat of the Week".

First up is this amazing vintage creation worn by none other than one of the premier rising stars of the New York and Boston Burlesque scene GeeGee Louise:

GeeGee delights in challenging gender roles via both performance and fashion! Touring nationally, GeeGee may very well be playing in a town near you, so be sure to check out The Burlesque Impersonator, GeeGee's personal website, for tour dates and show info. But take heed readers: this site is definitely for the 18+ crowd and not for the fearless or fierceless!

Now back to the hat! What I love best is how its triangular shape and jaunty positioning off to the side reminds me of …

Vintage Vixen: Bettie Page Heralds the Summer!

Ok, I know tributes to pin-up princess Bettie Page abound, but there's always room for one more! My latest Polyvore collage is dedicated to my friend Walter, who just adores Miss Page. And can you blame him? This curvaceous cutie, whose modeling heyday was the 1950s, puts today's size 0 starvelets to shame!
BEACH TIME BETTIE! by shabbychicstyle on

Barely There, BRING BACK MY BRA! - Keeping the Girls Up When the Economy's Down

I have a hell of a time finding a bra that fits. I've been professionally fitted, still more often than not I end up ordering my bras online because I wear an odd size that I rarely see in the stores. Inevitably these bras are on the more expensive side. Still, pickings are slim so I got to pay. And this week I have my ire up because for the second time, after finally finding a bra that I like and that fits well... 
It has been discontinued!!!!

Marshalls: Even Bargain Buy Joints Can Do Better

I'll make this short(ish) and semi-sweet: several days ago, I was browsing through the Marshalls in the heart of Haute Hooverville's down town shopping district. I tried on a really nice rain coat --still too much for my budget even at half off but it fit so well I did consider it. There was only one problem: it was a belted trench coat with rather large, noticeable belt hoops ...and NO belt. I looked for the wayward belt amongst several racks of coats and neighboring racks but nada. I looked for another coat of the same brand and style but once again nada. I asked a sales associate that was passing by about it and how did she try to solve the problem? Seeing that there were no more coats like it, she went through all the different-brand trench coats to find a belt that matched the beltless coat close enough, knowingly damaging one product in order to fix mine, thereby putting a future customer in my self-same predicament. It was all so ridiculous, for every belt she suggested…

And the stories escaped...

Just my latest bit of whimsy!  My imagination is feeling the weekend coming on.

And the stories escaped... by shabbychicstyle

Jars! Jars! Jars!

In yesterday's post I waxed romantic about my love of glass bottles...jars got short shrift. Well, today I make amends to my clear, portly friends and share with you one of my most favorite jars in the world:

THE POLAR FRUIT COCKTAIL JAR!  (retails at $1 USD at CVS Pharmacy)

Yes, I confess, your dear little spendthrift Sally has on more than one occasion plunked down a hard-earned dollar on this product just to get the jar. In general I eschew fruit cocktail with its neon cherries pickled in Red #3 for the fresh McCoy --but look at how cute those jars are! Beautifully rounded and sturdy to boot, their greatest charms are the lovely little "ears" at either side. 
I have been waging a mammoth war against clutter this spring and have, I admit, gotten myself into an organizational Nam: situation futile but I'll be damned if we're pulling the troops out. I have managed to gain some high ground recently with my "home office" area, due in part to my formerly fruit…

Coming Soon Down the Shoestring...

My  SHOCKING  experience at Marshall's discount department store... unethical business practices alert!!!

Inexpensive Inspirations: Bottles and Jars

Today I find myself thinking about bottles and jars. Colorful and/or interesting shaped bottles have been very popular as a home decor accessory the last couple of decades, and why not?! They can add just the right touch of bohemian, shabby chic elegance to a room...of course they can also be expensive! Jars still fly under the corporate radar for the most part but pretty bottles became quite spendy as soon as they went designer. There are still bottles to be found on the cheap, however, if you don't care to spend Pier 1 prices and the like (though you can find some really cool china and glassware in their clearance section from time to time). Flea markets are always good & Goodwill stores are a fantastic source for such tchotchke. And of course attractive containers for food items etc. that you buy can find new life on a shelf or table. I've been known to buy something just for the jar/bottle (nothing too expensive however!)
Here's a recent collage I made inspired by o…

Shoestring Reads: Making Money "Buy" the Book

Books! Books! Once again my thoughts turn to one of my favorite things: a good book. Alas, I don't have the budget to accommodate my habit but as I have said before, the library is a budget bookworm's best friend. Recently, however, I took advantage of a wonderful options for getting the most bang for my book, as it were: selling back used books in good condition to a local bookstore. It's a common practice among mom-and-pop and small chain bookstores, and it can be a great way to get a little extra cash or store credit --as well as clearing room on your bookshelves. Some places just offer store credit based on a percentage of the original sale price, and other bookstores give you a choice between cash back or credit with the store credit value typically worth more. The store I sold books to recently does the latter: 15% of the original price in cash/check or 20% in store credit. And I took the store credit! So, for 6 books that I didn't much care for, and that were j…

Looks I'm Loving at the Moment: Ginnifer Goodwin in Once Upon a Time

As Mary Margaret Blanchard (AKA Snow White) on ABC's fairy tale/fantasy series Once Upon a Time, Ginnifer Goodwin rocks a sweet vintage look that one can duplicate on any budget, featuring classic lines and wardrobe staples punched up with a fresh mix of colors, patterns and some loverly lace:

And if these looks are a bit too sugar and not enough spice for your taste, check out the princess-turned-renegade kit Blanchard sports as her alternate identity, Snow White (Confused? Watch the show!):

You may not find these pieces off the rack but with imagination, you can throw together an outfit with a bit of fairy tale forest flair that will serve you well in the "the real world"  ...or is it?

Camera Died. No New Pictures For Awhile...

BOO. I had a really cool mini-renovation I did to this chair that I wanted to show you today. DOUBLE BOO. And in true Shoestring fashion I cannot afford another camera at this time. Never fear, I'll always find something to write about and I may have just one or two Shoestring goodies on my SD card that I've been saving for a rainy day, so stay tuned.

Fashion Make-Believe: Nothing Goes Too Far


Inexpensive Inspirations: The Trippy Stylings of Singer Julie Driscoll

Ok, at some point soon I'll need to take a break from my 1960s/1970s obsession to highlight vintage looks from other eras-- but Driscoll's 1968 cover of Donovan's Season of the Witch is just too fabulous to pass up. I can't think of another performer from this time quite like her. She stands out. She does her thing with complete commitment to the self...and Shoestring News applauds that:

Shoestring Sharing: OUR 100TH POST!!!! Spotlighting Agnes Pareyio

Wow, this ship first sailed on Nov. 1, 2011 and already Shoestring News is at its 100th post!!! Shoestring Sally is nothing if not prolific. In this short amount of time, I've shared with you all a lot of my personal inspirations, art, fashion and basically whatever creative doings I've gotten myself up to. I've groused about money, materialism and my ongoing struggle of being a Have Not in a Must Have society. And trust me, I have tons of fab superficiality coming down the shoestring: more fashion, more shiny objects distracting my magpie mind, more things I think are cool that I've made or spent my money on...or simply slavered over because I don't have the money to spend! But when thinking about what I should focus on for this milestone post, it hit me that this is a day to talk about what really matters, those things that may not keep us en trend ala the runway but that help others and inspire the soul.

I am currently involved in a local Haute Hooverville chari…

The Cult of Audrey: All Style and No Substance

Back we go to fashion land to look at one of the most famous style icons of our time: Audrey Hepburn. She is perhaps the ultimate role model for women who long to look chic but don't make much money: her wardrobe was so basic, so simple, all clean lines and wardrobe staples that can be got at any price. A black turtle neck or long-sleeved T, ballet flats, a tailored white button down, just to name a few. Even now, almost 20 years since her death, she remains as inspirational as ever. But I am troubled by what I observe to be a disconnect these days between what she looked like and who she was. It is as though she has been reduced to a paper doll, a commodification, an image young women buy without little thought or awareness of the inner beauty and admirable life of this woman. An entire generation of consumers now walk the earth that have never known Audrey Hepburn as real, a living person whole and three dimensional beyond the charm and polish of Holly Golightly. Thus, I see co…

How to Pick a Perfect Orange, or perhaps more accurately, Oranges, Paul Anka, My Daddy & Me

Dear Shoestringers, let's take a break from fashion & decor and focus on the "frugal foodie" within. Eating abundant fruits and veggies is Mother Nature's secret to looking luxe, for nothing screams the good life like glowing skin, sparkling eyes and a soft, shimmery head of hair: all byproducts of a healthy diet. So when you're on a tight budget, you can't afford to buy an orange that turns out to be a lemon under the peel. But never fear, I have a technique for picking juicy sweet citrus every time. Well, okay, maybe my system isn't foolproof. All I can say is I've not bagged a bad orange since employing my little pick trick. But as this post's title suggests, I got more than oranges on my mind: it would have never occurred to me to share my produce shopping secret if it wasn't for, yes, the singer Paul Anka and my daddy.

Pictures of Random Stuff I Dig

a cool new plate I got for under $2 from a 75% off sale table
finding a new way to wear an old belt after shopping my closet
brown leather buckles on a little black dress --a pic snapped at Lord & Taylor's
an oval-shaped glass simple, it's elegant

Shoestring Reads: Tigerlily's Orchids by Ruth Rendell

Once again, I am here to share with you my latest library find. For I wish I had a room to fill with books from floor to ceiling, instead of these bare rented walls with paint whose wont is peeling. And my books would be the finest made, all hand-cut page and leather. Instead I trudge to libraries in frigid, rainy weather! Seriously though, I love libraries and without them, where would I be? They entertain for free --ok, I'll stop rhyming now, that last one was not intentional! And libraries certainly keep me from spending all my money at bookstores, for despite my tendency to emphasize fashion on this blog, few purchases give me as much pleasure as a new book. For more tips on how to best "shop" the library in lieu of buying out the bookstore check out my previous review In Search of the Rose Notes by Emily Arsenault
But enough of roses, on to Tigerlily's Orchids by Ruth Rendell!

Fashion Bucket List: Vintage Halston

Siiiiigh! Today, I share with you my latest Polyvore creation. Once again I ruminate on what I would wear if I wasn't living life on the shoestring: an authentic,vintage Halston gown. Halston is right up there on my list with Ossie Clark. Someday, I tell myself, someday. In the meantime, I'll keep scrounging T.J. Maxx for fanciful finds and dreaming up ways to make mass-produced merchandise from Old Navy and H&M mine own. But one day...
HALSTON: the Look, the Man, the Attitude by shabbychicstyle on Polyvore

My Very First Straw Hat! - $9.90 USD


More Blooms For Your Buck!

In my last floral-themed post I shared with readers a picture of the white daisies I bought this past Sunday. As always, I recut the stems and changed the water every day, but after a few days, the flowers were ailing and much of the stems below the waterline had turned brown. Still one needn't toss bouquets out before their time! With a little diligence, you can indeed get more bloom for your buck!

What I do is cull out the wilted flowers as needed, cut the stems as high as necessary and seek out new containers & ways of arranging the flowers to the best effect. This often calls for breaking up the original bouquet into smaller arrangements but the result is I enjoy my flowers much longer than if I just left the bunch to wilt as a whole.  

So look around your home and discover new ways to show of your budget blooms:

Oh the weather inside is frightful!

Shoestring Sally here, reporting from an apartment with no heat. Yup, on the coldest, snowiest night Haute Hooverville has seen in quite awhile my usually ardent radiators are giving me the cold shoulder. It has been an unseasonably warm winter here but March has decided to come in like a lion. Don't worry, I won't freeze to death. I am running a little heater to take the chill off the room before beddy-bye (Disclaimer: never let a heater run unattended, and never while you are asleep, and always unplug it when not in use!!!) and I got the thickest wool socks ever knitted on. Plus the emergency repair line has been called and luckily the hot water isn't out too (yet!) so I had a hot bath. Still, 'tis times like this when the worrying thought, "What if this doesn't get sorted out by the weekend?" flurries through my brain like wayward snowflakes that I wish I had the means to check myself into a swank hotel. Or that I lived somewhere warm year-round --but …