BOLD  Beautiful  Budget

I'm a strong believer that you do not have to SPEND rich to LOOK rich.  Of course, the quality threads and Haute Couture names are dreamy, but for most, unattainable.  

I can't tell you the countless times I thought a dress was pretty, looked up the cost only to find it's $400!  I have a few tricks that will help you look like you spent all 400 Benjamins, but actually, you spent under $80.  Let's do this...

Bold stripes & the black bodysuit

Honestly, every closet should include a basic black bodysuit.  Pair with jeans or a big skirt.

It's easy, classic and under $20 at F21!

A bold statement piece should be in your closet.  A piece you wouldn't wear often, but you know it's there, ready to shine.  The B&W skirt is my choice for a bold, beautiful, and believe it or not, budget style!  $25!

The strappy slip-on mule.

In nude and black, these easy-on/easy-off heels are the perfect pair to that runaway skirt.

I pair my nude mules with jeans and a flowy blouse.

Focusing on staples that carry into each look, each mood, each part of the day.  Easy slip-on heels in black, nude and CLEAR are a must for the Spring | Summer.


My classic go-to for shades.

The higher the heel, 

the closer to heaven

"Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say,

and not giving a damn."

- Orson Welles

The Street & the creek

I talk about style essentials, and this tops the list.  Comfortable style, when the street meets the creek.

The utter importance of unplugging and wandering through the woods, this should be a fundaMENTAL part of your style.  And low and behold, inspiration in unexpected places.

My recent family adventure led me to write this "Street-to-Creek" anthem.  Look for the color all around, taste the rainbow, friends. 

Here we go...


Bright colors.  They are everywhere, inviting us to stare.  Intriguing us enough to inspire our personal style and attitude.  There is an intent behind colors ~ serving as a message to pay attention!  For me, and my 80's loving heart, I say the brighter the better!

Pops of color in eye wear.  Similar style here 

Distressed Pink Cargo pants.  F21, obvi 


Good ole galoshes.  Sperry Top-Sider Saltwater

bold and breezy

in stripes

Blue stripe tank. Comfy and only $10!   

Walmart, also obvi

"The secret of great style is to feel good in what you wear."

-Ines de la Fressange

The Tote & it's secrets

Whether it's a purse, a murse, a tote, a sack, we have come to terms that we need to carry a bit of a "Survival Case" on our shoulders.  Or, in the least, in the back of our truck.

I would call it my "Mom Tote," but after noticing the need from both men and women, children and adults, I realized "The Tote" is more applicable.

For my husband, his "tote" is the classic leather shoulder bag...See The Dapper King


Let's find out what's hiding in that tote, shall we?

The Quintessentials...

For me, I focus on SKIN, SNACK, SCENT, SASS.

Let's cover the basics and stick to a budget...

protect the peepers

That makes Scents

You gotta smell good.  That should be your cardinal rule.  Smell good and brush your teeth.  I know you want that YSL at home and in your tote, but this is a story about budget.  My favorite sprays are from Kindred Goods.

White Nectarine & Cashmere and

Velvet Woods & Magnolia

Soft and subtle.  And under $20!

Sold in-store at Old Navy.  Go find your favorite makes totes scents.

Aviators and cat eyes.  The best part about can try on so many different styles on the CHEAP!  

If you can scratch it, buy it on a budget.  I cringe at the thought of dropping a pair of new Ray Bans in the sand, permanently scratched by the finest sand pebbles.  Ouch.

Foster Grant Rose Gold aviators under $10!

Walmart Penelope glasses under $20!

The Needs vs the wants

Gum and Chocolate squares.  

They will save you in traffic, in line, in the office.  No matter, just put some snacks in that tote!  And some gum to keep it fresh.  


Vaselline Intensive Care...

I honestly don't leave home without it.  Been known to dab a bit under the eyes, too...gotta keep the peepers poppin'.

Headband, citrus hand lotion (World Market!), and my Mom's homemade hand sanitizer.  Feeling protected! 

These items are a must in your tote.

Jot this down.

A small journal and

a smart leather business card carrying case.

You never know who you will meet, so keep those business cards handy.  It's an organized and sophisticated touch when you hand them your card from a snazzy case.

And always keep a journal.

Whether it's a creative idea or a grocery list, you will need

to jot it down.

Blue Blockers for these hazel eyes

Blue blocker glasses.  Saving us in this new virtual world.  Reduces glare, and proves what I've been saying...
Smart is Stylish.


Here are my faves:  Tortoiseshell and Crystal.

Cognac & distressed love

Rich and bold, always in style. Deep cognac.

Distressed and worn, keeps it fresh and effortless in a way. 

California vibe, always IN. 

Comfort in cognac loafers. 

A chunky won't lose your keys with this big beaded ring. 

Throw on and go, with style. Easy staples to add to your closet...

And then there was you...

Grab your closet celebrity and take a walk with me for this next

style highlight: The Style Art.  That one item bought, KNOWING it may or may not ever be worn, but to you, it's a piece of art.  The prized possession that you want to admire, even if on the rarest of occasions. 

The Boudoir Beethoven that stands now as the proud feature among your yoga pants and raincoats.  I know you have that special piece, hiding:

◽ Sky-high-thigh-high boots, perhaps? 

◽ Floor-length mink?  shh, I won't tell that you have a coat at Jedi-level "Russian Bond Girl." 

And how do we find these outlandish-to-most style pieces on a budget?? 

You either inherit them...or you get lucky on one of your boutique scavenger hunts.

You just need to keep those peepers wide open.

But for vintage-wannabe pieces on a budget, I'm all about it!  It didn't actually have to be worn 50 years ago for me to fall in love. Vintage inspired works for me.  ❤

Pink Lady:  When I saw this dress, I have zero idea why it captured my attention like it did.  It stared at me. 

"Where the *** am I going to wear that?  It's like 1950s Grace Kelly-meets-1980s Prom.  *gasp*  SOLD!" 

One day, this beauty will shine at a Russian Ball or Gala, but for now...dress-up with my daughter in our single-tree apple orchard will have to do.

Who knows what may be in style when my kiddo is grown...what's mine is hers, and Style Art is always fun to inherit.

Curious about the cost?  

Store:  New York and Co.

Original price:  $150

Sale price: $75

Email promo:  $25 off $75

Additional 15% off coupon applied...drum roll...:  $43!

A piece of art ❤ 

a cherished item to be handed down through generations ❤ 

a Gourmet Gala ensemble 

...for under $50. 

I'm sorry I couldn't hear you, I was shining too bright

It seems, in our isolations, that our yoga pants, sweats and PJs have been worn to full capacity.  It's time to break out the COLOR!! 

Bold stripes, bright colors, WINE, SUNSETS...sorry, got carried away.  You get the idea.  Let's shine when we finally get that long coveted restaurant reservation.

"I love being a woman and I was not one of these women who rose through professional life by wearing men's clothes or looking masculine. I loved wearing bright colors and being who I am."

- Madeleine Albright

Casual Cat Chronicles and the city doll

So, if someone asks you "Are you a Casual Cat or a City Doll?" you answer, "Yes."


Come on, kitten, take an evening stroll with me, tapping on the old bricks of our sweet historic town.  Sun is slowly setting. but the window shopping shall commence. 

Stay Chic.  Stay Curious.

On the lucky occasion we get to hop from antique store to pub, let our outfit coincide with our surroundings. We must dress like we are ready to discover that hidden Salvador Dali, or perhaps that Chanel bangle marked $8 (one can hope...). 

If all else fails, here are the silver look adorbs, and the pub is serving up ice cold brew.  Let's wash the day down and kick-up our clear clackers, shall we?


Easy tie paper bag pants, a staple in my closet.  Can dress-up and way down.

Lace top with a just feels appropriate to wear as I peruse the goods of the past. 

But then we bring it back to the present in clear heels and an orange pom clutch from Lulus, bam!

When the boutiques re-open and implore us to look beyond just their windows, dress-up a bit.  It makes the shopping experience that much more fun. 

You heard it right here, right meow.  

Simple casual staples that can be worn a dozen ways.


Loafers:  I have 2 favorites that I wear with almost every outfit. 

Cape Robbin Satin Bow (pictured) and Indigo Rd. Hayze4 Taupe.

Slip-on/Slip-off and super cute.  Yesss.

Cuddle Sesh...

Linen Blazer:  Pairs with nearly everything.  As easy and breezy as my holiest jeans, style should simply accentuate your confidence and comfort in your own skin.  Sometimes it doesn't have to be a bright orange pair of heels to stand out, it can be a blank canvas, like a blazer and white tank.  I said sometimes, y'all.

Clean lines, uncomplicated colors, comfort from head-to-pointy-satin-toe.

Prove that simplicity can pack a punch.  

©2020 by The Popped Collar.