Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fall Fashion on a Budget: Interview with Shari Braendel (and a Giveaway!)

Last year, I won a giveaway on Lysa TerKeurst's blog and got a chance to chat with fashion and beauty expert Shari Braendel. Joining with Proverbs 31 Ministries, Shari is a sought-after speaker for Christian women's retreats, conferences, and youth events all over the nation. A fabulous, fun, and refreshing fashionista, she regularly hosts workshops for women to help them appreciate their beauty, discover their natural assets, and learn what to wear so they can look and feel their best.
She also sent me a copy of her wonderfully informative book, If Clothes Could Talk...AND...she's so generously agreed to give away a signed copy to one lucky reader here today.
Read what she has to say, then leave me a comment about any fall fashion trends you might try to follow, how you balance looking trendy and being frugal (or how you don't balance it!), or anything else you want to share. I will close the contest next Thursday night at 7pm Mountain Time and post the winner. (Be sure to leave me a way to contact you if you're the winner).
Without further ado, here's Shari!

What are the fall trends you recommend we follow?

RED: This is the pop color of the season! Wear red shoes, carry a red purse or don a red jacket.

LEOPARD PRINT: This goes without saying…leopard never seems to go out of style but this year it’s bigger than ever! Find a pair of leopard ballet flats you can wear with everything. Depending on your budget, pick up a pair by Merona at Target or pay big bucks for Coach.
LEGGINGS: Ranging in price from $15 an up, these fashion come-backs must be worn with long tops and jackets. Bright patterns, denim, lace, leather and of course, black, will have you looking quite fashionable.
BIG TOPS OVER SKINNY BOTTOMS: (Skinny jeans or leggings, not skinny bodies, silly!) Big tops are everywhere and this look can be quite casual and laid back with flats or you can glam it up with lots of accessories for a night on the town.
BRIGHT LIPS: ‘Tis the season for a new lip color. Maybe this is where you should add RED to your wardrobe!
RUFFLES: Gracious, ruffles are everywhere! You’ll find them adorned on sweaters, tops, skirts, boots and purses.
MENSWEAR: Vests, blazers and menswear inspired trousers will help you look the fashion expert! Go plaid, herringbone, or stripes for authentic style.
VINGTAGE JEWELRY: Pull out your old charm bracelets from high school or grab one from your mother’s jewelry box and wear it with high style. Ribbons, brass, chain link necklaces, crystals and silk should beautify your wrists and neckline.
SPARKLY SHOES: This fall trend is an easy way to spruce up your outfit when it’s looking a little drab. Worn with jeans or your fanciest dress, these beauties will put a little spring in your step!
EMBELLISHED TEES: Let’s face it, since most of us live a rather casual lifestyle and would opt for a t-shirt most days anyway, why not add one with built in accessories? A little glam or a lot of glam, this is one way to be a bit more dressed up than usual, yet still have the casual factor going on.

You don’t have to wear every single trend listed here, but trends always update your wardrobe and make you look fresh and new. Try a few that strike your fancy!

How can moms be fashionable and frugal? Please share your advice for looking cute and trendy on tight budgets.

Have some basics that work. If you mostly wear jeans, then have 2 pair, but have at least 4 different tops or sweaters to wear with them. Have one pair of boots and a casual pair of flats so you can change up your look and finally have some great accessories to wear with these basics. If you only own one pair of boots or shoes, they should coordinate with your hair color so you can wear with most everything you own. The same goes for your purse!

If we're short on time, what "go-to" stores do you recommend (places you're sure to find cute things at fairly low prices?)

H&N, Target, New York and Company are sure to please every-time!

[Cheryl here: of course you can adapt Shari's suggestions and scour yard sales, your favorite second-hand store or thrift store to take those prices even lower!]
For moms short on time, what are the basics you would say are non-negotiable each day for taking care of ourselves?
Please, please, please wash and moisturize your face every night before you go to bed. Did you know that for every day you don’t take your makeup off, your skin will age 7 days? Yikes!!!!! Someone told me that when I first started in the fashion business and it has scared me to the sink EVERY single night since! It doesn’t have to be expensive skincare, but make sure it suits your skintype. Personally, I love Mary Kay’s Timewise products, but Neutrogena and Avon have good products, too, along with the department store brands. As for everyday makeup, try a mineral powder in a natural shade in place of liquid foundation because it’s fast, apply a coat of mascara and add a dab of tinted lip gloss and GO!
How can moms who are in a rut of wearing "comfy stuff" around the house break out of that habit, and should they (if they think it's no big deal)?

Oh girl, I have some stories about that but we don’t have time here…but come one gals, it IS a big deal. When you look good, you feel better about yourself, it’s as simple as that. I know that comfy is important, but why not get a comfy sweat suit in a color that is flattering to you, and wear this when at home. I have a beautiful orange one I wear and even though I know I’m wearing it because it’s comfortable, others (like my hubby and son) think I Dressed up for them! Also gals, remember that your husband is most likely at work with well dressed women all day…when he gets home, you shouldn’t look like the wash lady, got it? At least comb your hair and smile!
Anything else you would want to add?

Remember it doesn’t take any extra time to pull on a pair of nice fitting jeans and a pretty sweater or v-neck tee than it does to pull on a pair of gray ugly sweats. Really. And, buy a full length mirror. I’m amazed at how many women don’t own one. Look at yourself from all angles before you head out the door.

Finally, remember you are beautiful, no matter your size or shape. Buy clothes that fit well, and that don’t cling. Clothes one size larger will make you look thinner. Try it!

Beautiful Blessings,

Shari Braendel
inspiring girls and women to embrace their self-worth by connecting fashion and faith

(This post is linked to Frugal Fridays)


  1. I've just got home from having my hair cut for the first time since December 07! Yikes! (frugal though! lol) I have to admit I feel like a million bucks! My frugal tip? I love Ebay for clothes for me and the kids! Great clothes often at bargain prices!

  2. I'm beginning to come out of my clothing rut. I have started to look at stores long before I'm ready to make a purchase. I choose what I like and wait for it to go on sale.

  3. Wow, still loving the blog! Hum...I seem to be frugal everywhere. I shop at Pennys most of the time, sometimes Target or Ross. I make just about everything in our house homemade, food wise, From Breakfast to Supper. I started making my own jelly, that is even a lot cheaper. Stop buying cereal. Its not good for you, and you eat a ton of sugar. Nolan loves my breakfast burritos. I am starting to make my own oatmeal with dried fruit to eat for breakfast. Its way better for you than the instant oatmeal packets. Even cleaners, baking soda and vinegar do a lot more than most cleaners you can buy. Of course I get my hair cut every 3 months, and am very picky who I go to, but cut a lot of other peoples hair! Hey they are being frugal coming to me for $15 a haircut, sometimes less depending on the situation. It's great for everyone! We are very frugal! HA!

  4. Wow Liz, who knew you were such a frugal expert?! We will have to talk more about this. I'm really curious about making jelly. I know where to find you :)

  5. Hi there,
    I read your comment over at Lysa TerKeurst's blog today and was interested enough to look up your blog and come visit. Am so glad I did too! Really enjoyed reading about fall fashion today. Am excited that RED is a good color cause that's one of my favorites! I found a brand-new red wool jacket at the Salvation Army Thrift Store last winter and had oh-so-many compliments on it! Also loved that vintage jewerly is in style this fall. I love it.

    I hope to visit again soon!

    God bless, Mississippi

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  7. Great post -- wish I had time to post more but I have to finish the steam cleaning I started...... Jodi

  8. I have enjoyed your blog the past few weeks. Some of your posts have made me really think. As for fashion I am the fashion impared. This books sounds as if it could help me. I am tired wearing the same white t shirts and jeans everyday.

  9. I love the tip about coordinating accessories with hair color. Love it!


    Great post! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Jaime SwartzendruberOctober 05, 2009

    What a fun blog! I try the "do it yourself" method for most everything that I can to help our family budget - and that is how I came to realize that the dog grooming fee was well worth the cost ;) For the kiddos' clothes, I try to get some things from yard sales or consignment stores and then fill in what's needed if I haven't found it - Ross and Loehmann's are great for off-price retail shopping. Our MOPS group did a kids' clothing sale this summer which helped a lot - I recommend volunteering at a consignment sale and taking advantage of the early shopping!

    The best deal I found on clothing for myself was also through MOPS. Our group had a clothing swap where everyone brought clothes, jewelry, and other accessories they don't wear any more(great chance to clean out the closet!). We all drew a number and took turns shopping. I ended up with several new outfits, mostly brand name, and all for FREE! This would work well with even a few friends...and it's a good excuse to have a get together!