7.8.17

Bargain Bettie Goes Back to the Burgh!

Summer is in full swing, and what's a summer without a girls' weekend away?  My two besties and I went out to Pittsburgh for the weekend in June, and of course, did some serious shopping.  I've done some Bargain Bettie adventuring in Pittsburgh before, and was excited to explore the vintage scene in a different neighborhood this time-the South Side.  The South Side has been my favorite neighborhood since I was a kid!  When my family would visit my mom would always take me there for some mother-daughter bonding time.  We would shop to our hearts content, since the South Side had so many cool stores that were nothing like back in New Jersey.

Three Rivers Vintage was on my list to visit last time I was in Pittsburgh, but we weren't able to make it across the river on that trip.  Having visited now, I wish I had come here years ago!


For starters, my first impression was two words: GOOD DISCO.  A Lover's Holiday by Change is one of my all-time favorites, and it was bouncing from the speakers when we walked in.  I felt right at home!  The store was perfectly organized by category: dresses, jackets shirts, bottoms, long dresses, etc. They even had a great selection of vintage swimwear and a HUGE men's section in the back (men's swim trunks included!). One thing I LOVED was that all of the dresses were organized by waist size.  This made shopping such a breeze.


I would describe Three Rivers Vintage not only as a vintage shop, but as a carefully curated vintage collection.  Every item is treated as a treasure from the past that needs to be handled with care and respect.  The signs with specific instructions not to grab items by their fabric made this clear to everyone.  Nothing but respect for teaching others to respect vintage!


On that note, the owner and staff of the store guard their prized possessions with their life - do not be intimidated by the chains on the dressing room doors or the signs demanding care and attention when trying on your items! Scott, the owner, and his staff were SO nice - when I mentioned the blog and asked to take pictures of the store, he volunteered to take the 'best picture of the store' for me.  He stood on a stool, and took this picture of us shopping!


How often do you have an owner of a store do something like that for you? Reading reviews on Facebook and elsewhere, it seems like Scott and his store have a following, and you can see why!

On to my finds!  I was ESTATIC about my purchases from Three Rivers Vintage.  The price points were amazing - $30 vintage dresses in amazing condition?  Heck yes!  Check out what I took home below:

$32 50's Dress

$32 70's dress
$15 80's Pitt Sweatshirt.  Hail to Pitt!
Three Rivers Vintage will be a must-visit every time I'm in Pittsburgh!  They also sell through their Instagram, which I'm sure will end up hurting my wallet. :)

Scott recommended another vintage shop on Carson Street, Highway Robbery Vintage, so we made a stop there as well.  Another awesome store with a great selection.  It was so interesting to see the differences in the vibe and target audience of the store!  The setup and atmosphere at Highway Robbery reminded me of Urban Outfitters, and the selection definitely catered to that type of crowd.  Lots of vintage crew necks, converted grandma jeans to daisy dukes, and the vintage dresses seemed to fit that aesthetic.

I didn't have much luck, but my friend came away with two super cute sweatshirts.  They were both $20 each, and in great condition.  You sure as heck aren't finding new replicas of that sweatshirt at that price!


My ladies and I had an amazing time shopping the South Side, and spending time in my dear old Pittsburgh.



Until the next adventure, darlings!

xoxo, Bettie

4.8.17

Friday Finds - August 4, 2017

Happy Friday Darlings!

Here is my round up this week of steals and deals I've encountered.  Made any fantastic finds this week, or recently?  Let me know in the comments below!


Can we talk about these $4 earrings from Wal-Mart?



I am all about this bright and tassel earring trend, but it's not one I would want to spend $$$ on.  I was just talking to someone about how Wal-Mart is certainly upping their game when it comes to dupes, and I think these earrings are a perfect example.  They had a ton of colors in both styles.  Holding them and looking up close they are obviously a cheaper version, but for $4 they definitely satisfy the trend for me!


I love cheap sandals!



As I mentioned at great length in my Friday Finds earlier this summer, I beat the living tar out of my sandals!  Most pairs never make it through more than one summer, and if they do, it's because I purposely didn't wear them much.  Cue cute, cheap sandals!  These ones were on clearance at Express, and were an additional 40% off the sale price of $11.99.  They were originally $30.00, and I paid $7.19.

Lululemon Love!



I love Lululemon, but I love Lululemon even more when it's on sale!  My local store had some items on crazy markdown, especially for normal Lulu out-of-my-price-range prices.  I got these two pairs of shorts for $19 each!  I've been eyeing the minty Toothpaste color, and can't believe I was able to get them for the price of a pair of shorts at Target.  I also loved the color of the CRB tank  and for 1/2 of I went for it.  We Made Too Much for the win!

31.7.17

National Lipstick Day!

Happy Monday darlings!



As I'm sure you know, Saturday was National Lipstick Day, and to celebrate, our beloved MAC was giving away FREE lipstick.  That's right, FREE.  Leading up to Saturday I'm sure everyone did a double take when they saw those words; Free?  Without purchase?  No strings attached?  The answer (or so we thought) was yes, and knowing me, you better believe I was not missing out on free lipstick!  I'm sure there are lots of stories floating around the internet about how Free Lipstick Day at MAC went for them, so I thought you lovelies would like to hear some details about how it went for me (also, some tips on how to prepare for next time - hopefully there is one!)

My target was the MAC station I regularly visit at my local Macy's. When it comes to free items, especially irregular giveaways, I always get a little antsy that I'll miss out, so I planned to get there ahead of opening time anticipating a line.  I arrived about an hour before the doors were supposed to open, and there were already four other women waiting at the gate.

Yes I know, waiting over an hour for free lipstick on a Saturday afternoon may sound a little crazy, but it was absolutely worth it!  For starters, the four women who were there early with me were SO nice; we all got to chatting about makeup, which color we were going to pick, other things we have waited in line for, etc.  You can really bond quickly over makeup!  We all ended up following each other on Instagram, and I can't wait to see them rocking their new colors!


If you went to get your free lipstick, or if you are on social media and had friends who did, I'm sure you know that it wasn't exactly how it was advertised.  It was a free lipstick giveaway, no strings attached, however- you picked from a select group of colors, and each location had a limited quantity. Luckily for us, one of the fanatics in line, Sofi, had gone to MAC the day before and had taken a picture of their swatch sheet:


 According to the staff at our location, each store was given an amount based off of how busy their mall/store was.  Even though we were there so early, by the time they let the other doors in we were probably 20-30 people back or so.  When we got to the cashier the associates said they were already halfway through their stock!  The majority of people in the long snaking line behind us were definitely not going to get one.  It paid to get there early!

I ended up with two colors: Evening Buzz (cool lavender, matte finish) and Cyber (deep, dark reddened purple with satin finish).  A lot of people were disappointed (some even outraged) that the colors were kinda crazy - but I liked it!  What better way to try a color that may normally be out of your comfort zone than to get it for free?  If you're a true MAC-er you already have your Ruby-Woos, Candy Yum-Yums and Velvet Teddys, so getting a crazy color was fun!  Plus, it was free - beggars can't be choosers!


Overall it was worth a few hours of my time, and was such a fun start to my Saturday morning.  Since there was such a huge response, I hope MAC expands on it next year.  I think it would be worth it for them to make a limited edition color that they give out rather than a range of options, and specify how many each location will have.  Either way, you'll be seeing me in line next time!

Until the next adventure!

xoxo, Bettie

5.7.17

Bargain or Bust? June Edition

For a while I've been debating trying some of the fast fashion websites I've been seeing everywhere on social media.  You see their items all over Pinterest, their ads are on Instagram, and lately pictures I've been liking from the Like To Know app have been linking there as well.  For those of you who may not be familiar, there are a slew of sites out there (Shein, Cupshe, Zaful to name a few) with items that are on trend and priced ridiculously low.  However, there's the risk that you get what you pay for; I've found a scant amount of reviews about these websites, but the ones I have found have not been very good.  Some have commented on failure to receive their purchase entirely, sizing being completely off (normally too small), and items literally falling apart upon arrival.  With that being said, you all know I just cannot pass up what may be a good deal, so I've decided to start a Bargain or Bust segment of my adventures!  I'll make a purchase from one of these sites, and then review everything about my experience: what it was like shopping there, shipping time, how my items came, and how the items worked out.  Hopefully this can save some of you darlings some trouble, or can lead you to a treasure trove!

I started my Bargain or Bust adventure with Shein.com.  I selected this one in particular because I recently saw a top I LOVED posted by a fashion blogger on Instagram, and Like To Know led me to Shein:

(C)Chictalkch
After looking around the website, the prices were so low I couldn't not take a chance!  Plus, they were offering Free Shipping on any US order, and I received a $3 off coupon for creating an account on their website.

Some initial thoughts while filling my cart:
  • There's an overwhelming amount of items on the website, and no real way to filter aside from general category (tops, blouses, dresses, etc.).  I've been searching for a yellow dress in particular, so sometimes those filters are nice to have to narrow down what you are looking for.
  • After a while everything seemed to follow the same trends: lots of the light blue color that is in right now (not complaining, I'm a little obsessed myself), tons of ruffle sleeves, grid prints, and tie front shirts.  
  • SO MANY CROP TOPS.  Obviously I am all for a good crop top with a high-waisted bottom, but those won't always work for me in the workplace!  
  • Like I've read in reviews, the sizing was not standard, and they make it clear to check the the listed measurements for each item.  I really wanted to try this skirt, but the biggest size they have wouldn't fit my waist!  I also read the comments, which were super helpful when it came to sizing concerns.  One girl posted a picture of herself wearing a skirt, but said she ordered a large and she normally wears a small.  That one wasn't going to work for me!
  • It's hard for me to believe something is actually embroidered when it's $13.  Stayed away from those items!
  • Overall my shopping experience was easy.  There were a few glitches with the website (I put some items on my Wishlist that said they were in stock, but when I went to check out they were out of stock).    
I ended up purchasing these three items:


Following the size guide I ordered a medium in the shirt on the left ($15), a large for the skirt ($17) and the shirt on the right was One Size - my least favorite thing to see! ($10).  I used my coupon code, and my total came to $40.99 with "shipping insurance" for $1.99.

The order, shipping, and delivery process was pretty seamless, but took a while.  I received a tracking number three days after placing my order, and then the package was delivered almost exactly two weeks later.  Not too bad considering the tracking showed the package originated in China.

Packages came neatly wrapped in plastic.  Opening each one up individually, I was actually surprised at how cute they turned out to be - I think I was expecting the absolute worst!  The quality is definitely not there and the material is extremely cheap.  The button up shirt borderline felt like a paper gown from the doctor's office, and when I opened each button threads came out everywhere from the button holes.  When I tried the shirt on to take pictures for you, I noticed a slight thinning of the fabric that I'm sure will quickly lead to a hole.

HOWEVER, with that being said, I was pleasantly surprised by how cute everything was, and more importantly, how everything fit!  Each item actually fit me perfectly.  I had also heard horror stories of items not being anything remotely like the picture online, and I don't think that is the case with my order.  I think my items look like what was reflected, and are darling!





Overall I am pleased with my purchase.  I'll definitely put each item to good use, and with the price, if that use is one wear before it falls apart I will certainly not be too heartbroken!

Rated: Bargain! (with the quality expectation)

Until next time darlings!

xoxo, Bettie

30.6.17

Friday Finds - June 30, 2017

Does anyone else absolutely beat the crap out of their sandals every summer?  No matter how hard I try, I fail to keep my sandals in great condition - I guess you can say I "Walk Hard"!  Since it's a guarantee my sandals will be tattered within a few months, I'm always on the lookout for trendy pairs on the super cheap.  An online boutique I follow had been posting outfits with these adorable sandals, and I was surprised to find out they were from Payless!  A few weeks ago they were having a sale on all sandals, plus there was a coupon for an additional 25% off.  I decided to try two other pairs as well; after coupons my total purchase came to $28.47!  Unfortunately the ones I had specifically made the order for were too narrow, but the other two pairs fit perfectly:


Left: Rayna Chopout Sandal - $7.49 with coupon
Right: Trixie Leg-Wrap Flat - $11.24 with coupon

The soles of the Rayna Chopout sandals are a little flimsy (they feel really thin, almost like cardboard!) but they look really cute on.  I've received so many compliments on the Trixie Leg-Wrap Flats - they remind me of a pair of sandals my mom got from Anthropologie years ago.  

Where/what is your go-to for sandals?  Any sales I should know about?  Do tell in the comments below :)

xoxo, Bettie


14.6.17

Bettie is Back! Quick NJ Shore Pit Stop

Hello dears,

It's certainly been a while, but after a hiatus your darling Bargain Bettie is back, and with a vengeance!  I was able to score my old work laptop for just $100 (talk about a bargain!), and am ready to get back to updating my fellow thrifters and deal-lovers with my finds.  Just because I haven't been writing certainly does not mean I haven't been shopping (obviously), so hopefully I can catch you all up on some of my deals through more regular Friday Finds!

My most recent shop stop was a stumble-upon moment while spending the day in Red Bank.  I'm planning an event for my company at the GORGEOUS Oyster Point and Molly Pitcher hotels, and after a walk through had some kill time in town before heading on the road home.  I grabbed a quick bite to eat at Taylor Sam's (probably one of the best salad's I've ever had) and was walking back towards my car when I noticed the windows of Greene Street.  The outside of the store looks so chic I wouldn't have even known it was consignment, had the words "Shop, Recycle, Consign" not caught my eye!



The first thing I liked about Greene Street from the moment I stepped in was the ambiance and set up. High ceilings, great lighting, a bit industrial chic with good music; it definitely had a great boutique feel.  Everything felt very fresh; it didn't feel like you were shopping secondhand or consignment at all.


The store was organized into clothing item type: a rack for shirts, a rack for dresses, a high-end designer rack, etc.

A decent men's section!

A section of dresses along the wall.
One thing I LOVED about Greene Street was their shoe section; something about the way they displayed their shoes made me want to desperately find a pair!



For my fitness ladies there was an Activewear rack.  I pulled a super cute Lululemon CRB and a pair of Athleta knickers to try on.  Unfortunately neither fit, but if you're a secondhand Lulu/Athleta junkie like I am, the rack is definitely worth a look.

Ultimately I entered the dressing room with a very heavy hand of hangers - a great cherry printed dress from J.Crew, a funky patterned babydoll by BCBG, and some other fun pieces:


My absolute FAVORITE was a plaid fit n' flare.  I was so sad that it was tight across the bust and was pulling!  It was ever so slight, but pulling in that area is a pet peeve of mine when I wear clothes, so I knew it would constantly bother me.


In the end Greene Street had a really great selection of fun, different pieces.  Everything I had pulled was in really great condition.   By my standards it is on the pricier side; while you're paying significantly less than in-store prices for clothes that are in like-new condition, $30.00 and up for a second-hand, current trend dress isn't my idea of a knock-your-socks-off find (I'd rather spend that on amazing vintage!).  For instance, the plaid dress I liked was $28.95 - if it had been under $15-20, I would have more seriously considered purchasing in light of the pulling. However, if you're simply looking for prices you could find on a clearance rack at your normal mall stores, this would suit your fancy.  Greene Street is actually a chain with multiple locations in NJ and the greater Philadelphia area - I'd love to check other locations out to see what their stock is like.  Apparently they have a men's only store in Chesnut Hill - maybe I'll bring my sweetheart and get his opinion!

My stop at Greene Street was a fun way to end my nice summer day in Red Bank.  I know I barely scratched the surface of fun shopping in this town - I'll be sure to report back when I return for some more serious hunting!

Until the next adventure,

xoxo, Bettie

P.S. - Red Bank is 15 minutes away from one of my favorite places in the world, Delicious Orchards, so you bet I made a pass on my way home.  If you come to this area, don't leave without the world's best cider donuts and pies!



 

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