We stopped at Cracker Barrel yesterday, on the way to my son’s neurologist appointment. We were seated beside these pics of advertisements for men’s clothing. The fine print says that special tailoring costs $3.00. Nice price, huh?
i created my own version of the slouchy trouser outfit. see it and the price comparisons in an upcoming post! one thing i love about this outfit is that it’s comfortable!
I did forget two important things about camping. The first has to do with sleepwear. Privacy usually doesn’t exist when it comes to camping. We were fortunate in that our camp cabin had a shower curtain dividing the two rooms. But if we wanted to talk to each other, we had to be in the same room. I took my usual big t-shirt to sleep in. But if I could do it again I would take one of those boxer shorts and tank top sets, or in cooler weather a set with Long sleeves and long pants. They should be simple, not fussy. Now is not the time for satin and lace, even if you are camping on your anniversary! After all, you won’t feel beautiful if you are uncomfortable. If I had worn one of those pajama sets, I could have walked to the bathhouse without changing clothes.
I also would have paid more attention to my hair. It is important to remember that hairspray attracts mosquiotos. But at the same time, you should spend a little time on your hair. Part of having your own style is being comfortable with who you are. That may actually be what having your own style means. So unless you really do have that mythical amazing hair that looks beautiful first thing in the morning, you will need to spend SOME time on your hair. REAL SIMPLE magazine’s June 2012 has some suggestions for 5 minute summer hair. (realsimple.com) These are all variations of braids, but braids are really in right now, and they are relatively easy. (if you know how to french braid, which is the only benefit I got from being a cheerleaader in high school!). If you want to leave your hair down, there is always the option of the half up half down updo. I found instructions for these at www.hairstylesvillage.com . These styles don’t have to take a lot of time either. If you live in a humid climate, you will have some frizz. You can fight this by using bobby pins to hold down any stray hairs, and using a no-frizz shampoo and conditioner may help. I say may help because with my naturallly curly hair I have run through several of these products and I have not noticed any change in my hair. You can also use a pretty hairband to hold back the stray hairs from your ponytail. The ponytail is your friend when camping! But you don’t want to be one trapped in the ponytail slump. It might be a great way to fix your hair when you’re hiking back to camp after swimming all day. But I am sure you are way too pretty to use only the ponytail when camping! The whole purpose of the welfarechic blog is to help women-myself included!-learn how to feel beautiful and fashionable within our limited budgets.Camping can be a wonderful, inexpensive family vacation, and you can feel beautiful doing it!
For years my son and I have talked about how we want to camp at our local state park. The only public swimming pool in our area is in the park, and there are some beautiful, old style cabins along the road to the pool. So I was thrilled when I was able to schedule us a camping trip over the 4th of July holiday. All of the nice cabins were taken, the park is super busy over the 4th. But I thought the camping style cabins would be just as much fun, so I reserved one of those.
We were very excited as we set off for our trip. In the interest of my new fashion addiction, I searched the internet for “camping fashion”. I came up with one great blog called FABSUGAR. ( www.fabsugar.com/Fab-Finding-Follow-Up-Camping-Cutie-208693 ). This blog has great pics for 3 different camping looks.
Since this is welfare chic, it is always my goal to find ways to re-create the looks with lower prices. So while the denim shorts on the fabsugar blog cost $129.00, I bought a pair at our local Dollar General for $12.00. No, they won’t look as good as the designer ones, but if they fit well and are accompanied by the other pieces of a fab outfit, it won’t matter so much where they came from. Because this was a camping trip, those denim shorts were the mainstay of my camping style.
Like my denim shorts, the shirts I took with me had to be easy and comfortable. I didn’t want any tops that required tucking in or even layering. In a primitive camping cabin in July, it is way too hot for layering!
My first top was a loose fitting tee like the one shown in pic 7 of look#3. The one in the pick is gray, but mine is a coral color which i think looks better on my skin. This tee turned out to be a solid favorite, for camping trips or for any casual summer events. It is simple and well fitting. If left untucked it gently hugs the body, and the neckline hangs nicely, careless without being sloppy. I also took a simple knit top, turquoise blue with an empire waist, also chosen because it did not need to be tucked in.
Shoes are very important when camping, since hiking is almost always a part of the camping experience. If possible, campers should try to purchase the best ones. I found several nice looking hiking shoes from Merrell on www.shoebuy.com . Each pair costs around $100.00. However, I read recently that like leather handbags, well-worn keds are in style-great news for the welfare fashionista! ( www.reailtychic.com )
The fabsugar blog does recommend some excellent camping equipment, which would surely be important for more frequent campers. I was able to get 2 coleman sleeping bags and a great Coleman personal lantern, which was bright enough to light up the whole campsite. However, our camping cabin came with two overhead lights and an outdoor light, so we didn’t really need it. What a happy coincidence it was that the local furniture store and hardware store are owned by the same family. Earlier this year I bought some new mattresses at the furniture store, and was accidentally overcharged. So the camping gear I bought was covered by this old credit. It has been so long since I bought the matresses that it felt like I was getting the camping gear for free!
Our primitive camp cabin did have a small mirror on one of the closet doors. But fashion is not totally about looks on a camping trip. I read in one fashion blog that no one will look fabulous camping. If you think fabulous means makeup and hours of prep, then no, you won’t look fabulous. But I think there is a different kind of beauty in camping. When you are absorbed in nature, hiking for the fun of it and even enjoying the growing ache in your calves, you have a special glow. It’s a ruddy, healthy glow, and your eyes are bright with the reflection of the campfire.
So we went on a wonderful beach vacation last week, 4 days of ocean waves and family fun. It was wonderful! And unfortunately an education in vacation packing for me.
I stayed up till 3am the night before the trip. Of course I had to take care of everything for my 10-year-old and my 6 month old first. Then I started packing my clothes. I had visions of packing that amazing mix and match plans, where you take 4 pieces and get 8 fabulous outfits out of it. I did manage to create a few outfits like that. I also made sure I was packing clothes that actually fit, even though I hate what size I am right now. I folded and rolled everything carefully to make sure nothing got wrinkled. I had even packed one daring white sundress which I planned to wear every evening. I set the bag by the door with the other bags, and dropped asleep for about 2 hours.
Morning came, we got ready, and the cab came. I took my baby girl out and put her in the cab, assuming that my son and the cab driver were putting all of our bags in the cab. When we made it to the train station, the first thing I said was, “where is the other bag?” As you must have guessed, the other bag, the one with all my clothes and my daughters clothes, as well as all my toiletries, was sitting at home beside the front door. We live an hour from the train station so there was no chance of going to get the bag.
I wasn’t going to waste any of my son’s first beach vacation worrying about that bag. So that evening, after swimming at the beach, we went walking along the strip looking in the beach shops. There are always plenty of beach stores where you can get swimsuits, tee shirts, sundresses, and everything you need for the beach. I bought 2 sundresses and 2 tops to wear with the denim shorts I had worn on the way there. I had packed our bathing suits in another bag so we didn’t need to buy those. I also bought my daughter 2 littler beach sundresses and a onesie with dolphins on it. I had all of her sun hats so we were safe with those too. I spent approximately $200.00.
On the one hand, the shopping trip was a success. I had clothes to wear at the beach, and I had clothes for my daughter as well. My son had packed his clothes in his backpack so he didn’t need anything, a fact I pointed out to him when he complained about going shopping:). Of course it wasn’t his fault! I had just assumed that he and the cab driver had picked up all the bags.
But on the other hand, I spent way too much money. And I really hadn’t thought my purchases through. I had picked great clothes for my baby, but she could have done with one less dress. For myself, I had bought one sundress with a small strap that tied around the neck, with a very pretty blue and turquoise on white pattern, and a round accent brooch. I had also bought a one shoulder black sundress that looked very flattering. But I forgot that I did not bring a strapless bra with me, so I had to come back the next day and spend $20.00 on a strapless bikini top, of which I bought a medium when I needed a large. I will definitely wear the sundresses here, once I do find a strapless bra that fits me. But it must be fairly obvious that I did not think my purchases through.
I did better on the tops. We went to Walgreens, which was amazingly located right on the strip. I got the toothpaste, shampoo, etc. that I needed, once again not noticing that I could have asked at the front desk of our hotel for complimentary toiletries of every kind. But I found some “popcorn tops”, so-called because the shimmery satin-like fabric is ruched in such a way that it looks like popcorn. They were one size fits all and cost $10.00 for 2 of them. I ended up wearing these almost everywhere we went.
One good thing is that jewelry is really cheap at the beach. I found earrings for $6.00 and cocktail rings-one of my new favorite accessories-for $3.99. Of course these are costume pieces but that is what I would have bought at home anyway. And I bought a few clips and combs for my hair while we were at Walgreens.
I did learn a lesson about overspending, something I am almost always guilty of. But I learned something else as well. When you have fewer choices, you spend less time choosing your clothes. In vacation mode, I wore my new things without questioning how I looked. I liked the pieces I had, and they blended together into a casual beach look without being cutesy or matchy-matchy. We didn’t have much time to do all the things we wanted to do there, so I didn’t waste time getting ready. The result was that I wore things I liked, in outfits I felt good in, without worrying what others would think. One teenager who rang us up when we were buying souvenirs said, “You’re a pretty hip mom.” I took that as a great compliment.