Well…..I’m still in the midst of my minimalism / antimaterialism / I’m just not going to buy myself anything / obsessive cheapskate phase. So, I’ve decided to do a post focusing on how to get (what seems like) brand new clothes without spending any money.
TURN YOUR SKIRTS INTO TOPS
Yes, I understand. This may seem weird. You may feel a bit uncomfortable because you keep thinking, "does everyone else know this is a skirt???"
Well, my friends, this is how we deal with that.
1. Most people aren't paying that much attention, so they won't notice.
2. The people who actually do pay enough attention to notice the CREATIVE and AWESOME thing that you just did will probably be impressed and think something along the lines of...
wow. she is so creative. i love how she has the confidence to pull that off.
And now, for what we have all been waiting for.....
Example 1: Party Time
Here we have a pleather skirt acting as a top. To distract the fact that this is a skirt, I hid the elastic waistband in the second photo.
This could make a really fun party/going out look because of the edgy pleather on top. I added a cool choker (that I'm pretty sure either my mom or one of her siblings made in the 70s) for something funky and different.
I've styled this look with boyfriend jeans here, but you could style it with regular skinnies (something tighter to complement the flowy the top). If you're really feeling edgy, you could pair this with black skinnies, or even.....pleather pants! That would be so cool!!
For shoes, I'd opt for some oxfords for a daytime look with the jeans. But if you're going all edgy, you should definitely go for some platforms.
Skirt/top: H&M (Goodwill $4)
Example 2: Spots & Layers
This layered look is modeled after one of my all-time FAVORITE bloggers, the beautiful @Maria_Bernad.
Maria is always wearing very high-fashion, Vogue-esque types of outfits and that inspires me. We don't always have to wear our clothes in the conventional way they were designed to be worn. Making a bold fashion statement, like turning a skirt into a top, definitely helps us look different than everyone else and show the world that we are unique, creative, and confident individuals. Fashion is powerful.
White top: Goodwill $3
Cheetah Skirt/top: Living Harvest Thrift Store $2
Necklace: Quarter Moon Imports $5
Culottes: LOFT $14
Slides: Urban Outfitters $16
I am a Lead Ambassador for BANGS Shoes........Sooooo what does that mean?
All Lead Ambassadors are connected with the company. BANGS Shoes is a relatively new startup dedicated to investing 20% of its profits in entrepreneurs worldwide. As an ambassador, I actually get to cast MY vote and help select the entrepreneurs BANGS invests in. BANGS uses a program called Kiva.org. Through this program, I am able to read about the entrepreneur, understand his/her business plan, and see exactly what supplies the money will go towards purchasing—all from this website. Then, I vote on entrepreneurs for the company to support. From a juice-stand owner in Atlanta to a clothing maker in the Caribbean, I appreciate the way we always have such a wide range of entrepreneurs to choose from. In addition to being involved in BANGS’ entrepreneur selection, I get to help choose new shoe designs and designs for other types of merchandise, like shirts, hats, socks, etc. BANGS really values an individual’s voice in the company, and this is demonstrated in many ways.
I get frequent text messages from the founder, Hannah Davis, and we can have conversations! I’ve shared some of my ideas for shoe designs with her. It is so important and beneficial that Hannah is so accessible to all people who work with the brand. She clearly wants to connect with her ambassadors and devotes a lot of time to doing so. I admire this very much.
BANGS creates a wonderful network. Each seasonal term, I get put in a group with other regional ambassadors. We connect over social media and in a group message in an app called Slack. Each group is paired with a mentor, whom members chat with over phone. I’ve also enjoyed participating in campaigns the company creates to connect ambassadors who live all over the globe. Last term, I exchanged letters with a pen pal, someone who works in the environmental studies field in California!
Another thing I love about the Ambassador program is that I was able to build my own team of other people interested in BANGS shoes and their mission. These people purchased shoes and participated in Blitz days with me. One day each month, BANGS has a Blitz day, in which all ambassadors post on Instagram a photo involving their shoes. This was so exciting because I love styling an outfit to complement my shoes, AND I love taking a photo of it. This experience was also great because I was able to take a photoshoot with my team members—all of us styling our BANGS!
A few weeks ago, I ran into a girl wearing BANGS in an Anthropologie in Austin. It was so awesome to be able to approach her and chat with her about our experiences in the Ambassador program. BANGS helps you have connections wherever you go. I am eager to see if I will find any other Ambassadors / team members in college.
I wanted to use this post to share the wonderful experience I’ve had with BANGS. I encourage my readers to work with BANGS or a company like it. I really do enjoy the way I am able to play an active role in the decisions made in the company, and I appreciate the way the founder, Hannah, strives to remain so connected to her Ambassadors. Thank you, BANGS Shoes, for the positive impact you have had on my life and on the lives of so many others!
“Let’s go to (insert over-priced restaurant meal here)”
You’ve heard it. We’ve all heard it. I doubt I’m the only person who winces slightly when I receive a text message stating the above.
In this article, I’m going to give you some easy tips on how to save a few bucks next time you’re eating out.
First, it bothers me that our society has become so centered around food and eating. In a country that is facing an obesity crisis, we should not be living to eat. Meals at most restaurants are extremely (and often deceptively) high in calories. I believe in this principle of a healthy lifestyle: food should not be such a source of entertainment. We should use it to fuel our bodies to live our lives.
Now, my issue with money comes into play. As all readers of this blog know, I shop at thrift stores. In fact, there is an 87% chance that the cost of an average restaurant meal is the same as (if not more than) what I paid for both my shirt and my pants. For the most part, I would rather spend money on a tangible (and wearable) garment than on a very forgettable sandwich.
But, I have to disagree with myself a bit. Sometimes (once a week or every few weeks) it is nice to treat yourself. This morning I consumed two large chocolate chip, walnut pancakes. It was ten dollars (generous tip included), and it was magical.
All in all, I feel that eating at restaurants should not be habitual; it should be an occasional treat. This article was not intended to be offensive in any way. I simply wanted to share some ways I am able to save money while living in a society obsessed with eating out. Comment down below if you found this helpful or if you think I need to get off my soap-box.
This Christmas break, I decided that I was going to spend my free time doing something meaningful. So, I checked out My Promised Land by Ari Shavit.
I get pretty tired of always seeing headlines in the news concerning global issues, such as the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine. I feel guilty because I’m 18 now, a VOTER, and I don’t know much about the global issues that affect our country’s foreign policy. Reading My Promised Land helped me take an important step towards opening my eyes and becoming an informed citizen.
I would recommend this book only to someone who is very VERY dedicated, for several reasons.
All in all, I really enjoyed my time reading this book. A comparison can be made between my feelings after a good run and my feelings after reading about 40 pages of this book. In both instances, I feel extremely productive. Becoming more informed about the underlying reasons behind issues facing our world today made me feel very good about myself.
I mentioned earlier that this book reads somewhat like a history book. This is true, in the sense that it is full of information and has important dates to remember. Yet, Shavit guides readers the history of Zionism in a way that keeps them entertained. I truly admire Shavit because he clearly put countless hours into seeking out people, interviewing them, and using their stories to add life to his history of the Zionist movement.
In this post, I am not just trying to recommend My Promised Land; I am wishing to encourage my readers to immerse themselves in an eye-opening book. Pick an issue that interests you and visit your local library. Even if you do not even finish the book you check out (I still have about 100 pages to go in My Promised Land), you will still learn something that will open your eyes to something you knew little about before. You might be humbled. You might look at someone, or a whole group of people, in a new way. You might develop questions to google for further research. You might have more enlightening commentary to add to conversations. But I do know this: you will definitely be glad you did something to inform yourself about global issues and to broaden your span of thinking on to something way outside yourself.
Meh. That’s the way most teens would describe Christmas. It’s pretty depressing that we no longer find ourselves anxiously and excitedly waking up at 6, yearning to see what Santa brought. It’s depressing that the entire day is pretty mediocre, when just five years ago—still fresh in our minds—IT WAS THE BEST FLIPPING DAY OF THE ENTIRE YEAR!!!!
Well, fellow teens, we could sit here and wallow in the melancholy nature of our current Christmases……..or we could try to look at them differently and make them better. I’ve decided to change my point of view and make Christmas exciting again.
“Giving is better than getting.” My mom, and your mom, and probably all moms worldwide always ALWAYS say that. But it doesn’t really make sense when you’re in fourth grade. Because what the heck could possibly be better than getting that American Girl Doll bed you know Santa’s going to bring?!?!
At different stages in our lives, we all eventually come to realize that giving is, in fact, better than getting. My advice to all teens suffering mediocre Christmases is simple. THINK ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE. Figuring out what to get for Dad can actually be fun and not an uncomfortable chore!!! You need to listen attentively and remain vigilant for a few weeks, or even a few days, prior to the big day. You’ll be AMAZED at how easy it can be to think of something that your family members would be happy to receive on Christmas. It definitely doesn’t need to be expensive. If it is useful, funny, sweet, and most importantly, THOUGHTFUL, then the recipient will be pleased. She’ll be flattered because your gift made it obvious that you care about her enough to spend your time thinking of her. Pretty soon you’ll be in the store. You’ll find that thing. You’ll smile, you’ll giggle, and you might even take a picture of it and send it to somebody because both of you know just how much your person is going to LOVE that gift. Then you’ll come home and put on that Peanuts’ Christmas CD in the background and you’ll wrap that gift. And you’ll repeat this process for several different people.
Pretty soon, you’ll start getting excited for Christmas. You don’t really care what Santa brings you, but you CANNOT WAIT to see your family members open the awesome and perfect gifts you got them!!!
This, my fellow teens, is how we fix Christmas. Invest your time and energy in other people’s wants and needs. This way, Christmas will be a nice experience again.