Dear Cheap JAP,
I am a legging whore but when I’m not wearing leggings, I go for the skinny jeans tucked into boots. The problem is, my jeans bunch up and are all uncomfortable tucked into the boots. A friend of mine told me a while back, that she heard about a new invention that kept the jeans in place–no bunching or anything. Of course, now I can’t find it because I don’t know what it’s called. Do you know? Or do you have any other recommendations? Maybe use the clasps that hold my sheets onto my mattress?
This is a common problem, fo sho. The solution requires the magic of an old pair of tights. Bust out the scissors, grab some old and/or damaged hosiery you’d otherwise trash, and cut off the legs a few inches above the knee. Observe:
Pull on boots. Doneskies. :)
(If you find your old tights’ elasticity has expired, a pair of stockings or knee-highs from any drug store is an excellent alternative. That is all.)
Dear Cheap JAP,
I’m going to be getting married in a few months. Everything about it is completely non-traditional – a justice of the peace sorta thing. I need your advice on good websites to find cute dresses. It doesn’t have to be white – I’m looking for an amazing dress under $300 that I wouldn’t have an excuse to wear otherwise (I live in the particularly unglamorous hills of Western Pennsylvania). I’ve tried bluefly.com, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, J. Crew etc. I’m looking for something slightly dressy – but not prom dress territory – something you would wear to a holiday party. Any suggestions?
Thanks, love the site!
Firstly, a big fat Mazel Tov to you and your beau! I’m uber impressed by your low-key approach to the whole wedding thang, and seriously honored to help. Based on the stores you mentioned, I’m guessing you want something in the under $500 range, yes? I’m also guessing said stores’ cocktail dresses were missing that attention-grabbing, special occasion-esque quality; I don’t care how big or small the wedding is, EVERY bride deserves to feel like the star of the show whilst tying the knot. What you need is a retailer that specializes in stunning, one-of-a-kind pieces at decent price points.
One word: Etsy.com. The “formal dress” category is chock full of unique, beautifully crafted pieces. Here’s six to get you started.
Both the Cream Couture Dress and the Key Lime Couture Dress are by Julia Lovan Designs ($350 each). I think it’s totally badass that you’re not tied to wearing white, hence the inclusion of the lime number. A fantastic alternative to the standard color scheme, methinks.
The Ruffle Dress ($290) is a bit more casual, but I think the stunning cut and ruffle details make for a glorious fusion of cocktail wear and bridal attire. The pearl and lace dotted neckline on the Silk Taffeta Wedding Dress ($265) scream Victorian mini. Awesome. I’m skeptical of whether or not said neckline can accommodate a bust above a B-cup, but it’s a stellar option if you’re on the small side.
The gathering on the Peaceful Afternoon Dress ($515) is TO DIE. And I know you said nothing long, but I had to include the Eco Chameleon Wedding Gown ($360) anyway. Why? Because it can be tied into three different styles! Amaaaaazing!
The obvious question here is Do They Have Your Size? Yes. How do I know this, in spite of the fact that I don’t have this information? Because EVERY SINGLE DRESS pictured is MADE-TO-ORDER, i.e. you send them your measurements, they send you the dress. The exact turnaround time varies for each designer; most dresses are finished within three to five weeks.
Do keep us posted on your final decision. That I’ll be needing pics of you in your custom-made dress should go without saying. ;)
I snagged this Marc by Marc Jacobs shopping tote yesterday at Buffalo Exchange in Austin, Texas for only $25.
I knew if there was one person I could share this find with, it was you!
I often have awesome luck at Buffalo, putting in at least an hour each trip to search the racks. It is always worth it, as I have scored Burberry, Polo, DKNY, J. Crew, Zara, Stella McCartney, and more.
Keep up the thrifting, I love seeing what you will score next!
I’ve been getting a shit ton of Cheap JAPtastic emails from you gals as of late, which is all kinds of awesome. Especially when I get two related queries and one ends up answering another. Tres convenient!
Ankle Boot Angst (Did I really just write that? You know you’ve read too many issues of Lucky when…)
i was wondering what your thoughts are on leather boots in the summer/what to wear with them in general. i have these (frye tina shorty cuff boots).
i love them but i don’t know what to do with them because i’m the least fashionable person ever. i read your blog because the only reason i will ever go shopping is if things are on sale/at the outlets and so i love it/you.
A Vintage Query
I have a question about how to style a vintage dress. I bought it awhile ago on Etsy.com and I just absolutely love it. However, I have no idea how to style it.
If you have any suggestions on how to make it look more acceptable for everyday wear, please let me know. I’m also in my mid-20s, and I fear looking too matronly. My ideal balance is classy, but still sexy. The length of the dress falls right to my mid-knee. I’m hesitant for it to go any shorter…
Ankle Booties, meet Vintage Dress. Vintage Dress, meet Ankle Booties. Play nice.
I don’t like to play stylist, because I’m of the mind that you gals can and should wear whatever the eff you want to wear as long as you feel great wearing it. There’s my disclaimer. Alas, your emailing efforts require a non-half-assed response, so here we go.
First off, Alyssa: Those booties are KILLER, so enough of this crap about you being the least fashionable person ever. The point of ankle booties, methinks, is to add a degree of badass to whatever you’re wearing. As long as you’re cool with the bare legs and boots combo, I’d def pair ‘em with jean shorts and/or dresses (vintage, or otherwise) in summer. If you’re a shorty like me, keep the hemlines high to avoid any midgetizing effects. And if you’re worried about the slut-factor, opaque, dark tights are an excellent buffer. Straight leg jeans and/or leggings plus ankle booties also equals awesome. If you can embrace the weirdness of this pump/boot fusion and not stress over whether or not you’re stylish enough to pull it off (you are, and anyone who thinks otherwise can go eff off), you’ll eventually come to see these booties as one of the more versatile things you own.
Onto the vintage pickle: Deland, this dress is totally gorge, so well done you. IMHO, hemline surgery is the most effective means of making something more youthful. If you hacked a few inches off this thing, you could go bare legs and flats in summer and/or opaque tights and pumps in winter and never have to worry about the looking-like-a-mom factor. The top part of the dress provides enough coverage to pull off a shorter hem; if the classy/sexy balance is what you seek, I think this is the way to go. (If you’re convinced, get this professionally shortened – it looks waaay too nice to scissor yourself).
If you’re still hesitant, I respect your modesty. Knee-high boots and/or ankle booties are an excellent alternative for modernizing an uber feminine dresses of this ilk. A thick leather belt at the waist might be nice too.
Ladies, best o’ luck with your finds. And thanks mucho for the queries – keep ‘em coming.
Dear Cheap JAP,
I found this Ralph Lauren *Black Label* (ahh) orange linen crop jacket at a Marshalls in the middle of nowhere for… $15 on clearance. It had to be a mistake because the retail price on the RL tags were $1,095 and it was in perfect condition. That means I basically got this jacket for 99% off. I don’t really know how I’ll wear it yet because it’s a bright red orange, but I just couldn’t pass it up!
Lurking nearby was another Black Label masterpiece, a black velvet strapless cocktail dress with a bubble skirt. Unfortunately it was still priced at $200 but I’ll be checking up on it frequently. Eek wish me luck.
Black Label at Marshalls for $15? ARE YOU SHITTING ME?! This stunner of a jacket’s more than a bonafide score – it’s an effing INSPIRING find! Don’t stress about the color; just go neutral on bottom (this would be KILLER with white jeans, methinks). I’m bright green with envy. Also very, very proud. :) Well done you!
Oooh, and do keep us posted on that cocktail dress.