Friday, October 18, 2013

The style for the budget savvy - Part 1

Having done the last two posts about Zumba fashion trends, I thought I'd follow them up with a third post (in two parts) on shopping locally, basically getting a similar style while spending less. The idea came to me as I was shopping for groceries in my local Mejier and spotted a neon yellow shirt on the clearance rack for $7.99. I had been looking for something yellow to go with my black cargoes. Initially, I was planning to buy this yellow asymmetrical top (on the right) from for $37.00, but I didn't move fast enough and now all they have left are sizes L and XL. Although, maybe that turned out for the best, because I saved almost $30. Here's me below wearing my new yellow top. This is the first thing with sleeves I've worn to class in a very very long time. It's light and fairly shear, so I gambled that I wouldn't overheat; a gamble that payed off. It has those drawstring things (I don't know what the real term is) that you can pull to shorten the shirt on both sides. On the hanger in the store, these were tied in a bow. I wash everything before I wear it, so when this came out of the dryer, both sides had untied. I almost tied them back into bows and then didn't. I thought if I left them dangling, they'd work like the ribbons on my cargoes. And sure enough they did!

Now, part of what you pay for when you shop from Zumba's store is the Zumba Fitness trademarked logo and name on the clothing. The yellow top pictured above has a tiny one the model's left side. If you follow the link on the picture to, you can see the back view which has a really big logo. Don't get me wrong, I love the logo and I have...a lot of clothes with the logo on them. But, if you're willing to forgo having that on your clothes, you can still look stylish and colorful and you don't have to settle for black and grey and...*shudder*...brown... After having good luck at Meijer, I decided to spend some time this week looking in some shops that I thought would have nice looking active wear at nice looking prices.

On Saturday, me and the whole family were at the mall and we stopped at Sears for me and my continuing search for a grey boot. I found what I was looking for along with a really nice red pair that I had not been looking for but nevertheless had to have. While I was checking out, Bry wheeled our younger son around in the stroller. Just as I finished, he came back and said, "Did you know they have a $3.99 clearance section over there?" Hrmm, no. No I did not... Love that man. One thing I found on that rack was a black top made out of lace.

I held it up and turned to Bry and said, "I need to find some neon sports bras." I bought that black lace top with the idea that I could wear something colorful under it. This is it over to the right. You can see that there's really not much to it and that it's designed to go ever something else. I found the red sports bra at a different store, more on that in a minute, but I wanted to show an example of what this looks like with something underneath. Zumba also has a shear black top (on the left) currently for sale that is designed to go over a sports bra. It's on sale right now for $25.50 (originally $28). This top is also available in pink and white. I feel pretty pleased with finding a similar look for considerably less. Incidentally, I wore the red sports bra and black lace top with my red cargoes this Wednesday night for class; the reds are pretty much a perfect match.

Sears tends to have competitive prices and durable clothing.

TJ Maxx (for the Canadians, it would be Winners - same corporation):
TJ Maxx was one of the first stores that came to mind when I started thinking of places where I could find stylish active wear at reasonable prices. I've shopped there (and at Marshall's) before and I've had good luck, so odds were... While I was there, I found some fun things and took some pictures.
This is the same sports bra, the lighting was just a little odd from the one angle. The back view shows the color more accurately.
I bought this, it's the red sports bra in the photo with the black lace top. The tag on the front says, $25 (compare at $34.99). The second tag on the back says, $75. Really? $75? I figure it's at TJ Maxx because no one was insane enough to buy it at -that- price. Below, is a similar style of sports bra available from Zumba (also available in grey). This top from Zumba is on sale right now for $24.50 (originally $40). And yes, the price for the pink top is marginally cheaper, but one, I don't have to pay shipping and handling for the red one and two, the size selection at Zumba is limited given that it's a sale item; only the grey version is still available in my size.

Some other things from TJ Maxx... I tried these items on and decided they weren't quite my style. But everyone's style is a little different so I took some pictures and made some comparisons for you.

 The blue top from TJ Maxx is $15 (compare at $19.99). The blue top from Zumba is the Cut Me Loose Racerback, it sells for $24.00 and is also available in black and cherry.

The pants from TJ Maxx are $24.99 and I very seriously considered the pink pair. The only reason that I didn't buy them is that, like the newest Zumba capris, these don't have ribbons. I specifically want pink ribbons, so I'll be patient. The pants from Zumba are the Feelin' It Cargoes in pink and indigo (also available in green) currently on sale for $45.50, originally $65.

***Side note: After making sure my link to the pink cargoes was accurate, I noticed a curious thing. With exception of XS, every single size is still available in spite of the fact that it's a sale item. I hadn't even bothered to look figuring that there was no way my size would still be there. Huh. Time to order. Budget savvy? Meh, they're on sale. Hey, ribbons are no joke my friends.***

These are examples of "bubble tops". They are long and have an elastic (or drawstring) bottom so that the top sort of bubbles around the waist and hips. I've seen these in Zumba's shop many times. Each line of clothing usually has one and I've always wondered about them, but from trying on the one in TJ Maxx I now know that this particular style isn't for me. I'm pretty sure it's because I'm short. Add, "No bubble tops." to the list of Short Girl Problems... Heh. The top from TJ Maxx sells for $19.99. The top from Zumba is the Cut Me Loose Bubble Top. It is currently selling for $34 and is also available in pink and black.

The leggings from TJ Maxx sell for $19.99. The leggings from Zumba sell for $49.99 and are also available in heather grey. Up until I tried on the leggings from TJ Maxx, I was considering buying the leggings from Zumba. In this line of clothing, there are legwarmers available that are super cute, but they need to be paired with leggings -- not cargoes. What I learned from trying on the black and yellow leggings is that I am not really a leggings kind of gal. Sorry legwarmers... It's cargoes all the way.

TJ Maxx is great for variety, but once it's gone, it's gone. So if you see something you think you'd really like, as in 75% sure (or more), get it because chances are if you wait a week, you'll be out of luck.

Best advice: The great thing about shopping locally is the ability to try on the merchandise -before- you buy it. Zumba has its own little fashion niche and if you're not sure what style(s) suits you, trying things on is a good way to figure it out -- like me, with the leggings. Now I know: don't spend money on leggings and legwarmers that could be better spent on pink ribbons...I mean cargoes.

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