Recession Chic

a down economy does not = ugly shoes

Repair those previously fab shoes to be like new! October 13, 2009

Filed under: Fashion — karakrautter @ 7:27 AM
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When I wear out a pair of shoes, I usually get rid of them. Often they would look dingy, need a lot of help or are now out of style and didn’t cost that much to begin with. However, this fall I decided to get two of my favorite pairs of shoes fixed, so I could get another year out of them.

The first pair are fantastically unique Prada heels. I found them years ago at DSW for a great price, yet within the first few years I wore out the heel and tore up the sole. Since they weren’t cheap, and I’ve never seen any others like them, I’ve refused to get rid of them. They’ve moved with me at least 3 times and I cannot even remember the last time I wore them. So, it was time to bring them back to life!

The wonderful guys at the Austin Shoe Hospital replaced the heel, re-soled them with a little extra cushion, and shined them up. I cannot wait to wear them!


The second pair I purchased at Nordstroms in fall of 2007. These Franco Sarto black booties were not terribly expensive, but for the past two fall seasons I wore them at least twice a week. I knew they were on their last leg when I heard the nail head clink across the bathroom tiles at work after a long weekend of fun in NYC. For at least a month I had them in my car to have them fixed, but I never got around to it. My motivation to repair these came when I saw for the third year in a row that booties and leggings were prevalent in the September issue of Vogue.

For these, just a heel replacement and shine did the trick. Just like new!



Purple Party Dress! October 1, 2009

Filed under: Fashion,Purple — karakrautter @ 11:23 AM
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So, I really love the holiday season. And, since today is the first day of October, I think it’s fair for me to start blogging about my fashion, decor and feasting plans for the final few months of this year.

My love for purple continues and seems to grow stronger with every passing month. For the holiday parties of the season, I decided to finally get a purple cocktail dress. My ‘friends’ at BCBG told me I must have this one, so I got it. 🙂 Can’t wait to wear it!! *I will need to steam it first.



Fashion Redux: A bridesmaid’s dress from yesteryear June 24, 2009

Filed under: Fashion — karakrautter @ 8:53 PM
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Yes, we’ve all been told it before. “The dress is super comfortable and you can totally wear it again.” But, how many of you have actually worn a bridesmaid’s dress again? Now, I’ve known several girls that just had to pick something in a certain color — I know they’ve worn the dresses again. However, when it comes to the wardrobe for a bridesmaid, that’s still the exception, not the rule.

Last summer I was in the wedding party of a dear friend on mine from graduate school. Luckily, the dress she chose was comfortable and a good color for me. But, I’m not the tallest girl, so the full-length nature of the dress did swallow me a bit. As the reception wound down, several of us bridesmaids agreed that the dresses could be worn again if they were shortened.

Almost a year later, I finally got around to taking the dress to my alterations lady. The dress was in pretty good shape post dry cleaning, so I decided to see about turning the more formal gown into cocktail attire. Just after $30 and a few weeks, I have a ‘new’ dress!

Check out the transformation.




Bargin Shop Online May 4, 2009

Filed under: Fashion — karakrautter @ 11:56 AM
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Here’s a great list of places to get some recession shopping done without spending money on gas, compliments of Recessionwire.

Gilt Groupe

Gilt Groupe offers daily sales on the best men’s and women’s designer merchandise at incredible savings—think Zac Posen, Alvin Valley, Jack Spade.

Look up your favorite store at this free site, and it pops up available codes.

Sign up for Ebates and when you buy at participating stores online, they will credit your account, typically for 1 to 10 percent of each purchase. Every three months, Ebates will mail you a check. Sound too good to be true? Check it out yourself. You can also have the money sent to a Paypal account or have it donated to your favorite charity. Sephora, DSW, Bluefly and Victoria’s Secret all participate.

Shop It To Me

Don’t have time to scour websites for the best deals—especially when that sexy dress you want might not be available in your size? Select your favorite brands at Shop It To Me, and it will automatically search top retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales and Bluefly, and send you daily or weekly updates about pieces you might want that just went on sale.
Have a little fun and save an average of 50% off retail prices with this quick-as-lightning website.  Every two to three hours a new item is posted, with an in-depth description of the piece and it’s designer.  The selection is great, the pace is fast and the savings can add up.

Heavenly Couture

At Heavenly, everything is $17.95 or less. Choose from drapey dresses and colorful camisoles, denim shorts, and even jackets and hoodies. Stock up on multiple pieces and get free shipping. Shoes and accessories are coming soon.


Coming Soon: Nordstrom Rack Store in Austin March 24, 2009

Filed under: Fashion — karakrautter @ 3:38 PM
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So, my dad just sent me this article from the Austin Business Journal announcing Nordstrom’s plans to put a Rack Store in the Gateway Shopping Center. Another reason I love Nordstrom, they actually pay attention to what their customers need. Not only is their service top notch every time I’m in the store, they are helping us all be recession chic with great clearance items and great prices on the best brands. Can’t wait!


DIY Pedicure March 21, 2009

Filed under: Fashion — karakrautter @ 10:34 AM
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My bi-weekly pedicure was probably the first ‘luxury’ I decided to cut last fall. Sure, the onset of winter did help the sacrifice not seem so bad. Now that spring is here, my feet need to be sandal ready. Just as a recession should not mean ugly shoes,  it shouldn’t mean un-kept toes either.

Instead of heading to my favorite nail salon, I spent my Saturday morning cleaning the condo and giving myself a pedicure. The key to a good DIY pedicure is taking your time. Any time I rush, my toes look a bit mangled. Exfoliation and finding a fun new color helps it look professional. My favorite polishes, OPI, are being sold at Sephora now. A few weeks ago I noticed that they are carrying a cute, springy line for ‘girly geeks.’ So, I picked up a new color (I’m Wired) and a few free samples from Sephora for my mini spa Saturday.

What new OPI color are you wearing for spring?


Find Your Recession Style March 16, 2009

Filed under: Fashion — karakrautter @ 2:57 PM

I’ve really enjoyed having Recessionwire in my Google reader over the past month or so. They really are posted a great balance of recession-related content — humor, job advice, recent layoffs and fashion.

Here’s a link to a great post they did on identifying your recession style. I’m totally ‘Chic Sophisticate.’  Which one best describes your style these days?