Meet Janel.

This beauty is giving us a modern twist on a 90's inspired look with her printed (and shoulder padded) button down, light rinse Levi shorts, nude sandals, and bold lip color. We are so excited to showcase Janel to you today because her unique features can speak to many of us. What you wear can be seen as an artistic expression of your style and how you feel. This week we want to inspire you to shop smarter but to also speak to those who can relate with Janel because this woman is making a simple statement: "Be you."

Starting from the bottom, we wanted to softly accent Janel's legs for this look and so we decided to go with a pair of nude skinny sandals from Express (a great go-to store for chic, yet trendy apparel). These may be hard to come by when thrifting but if you decide you don't have a pair in your closet and want to try a retail store, we suggest Forever 21, DSW, Aldo, or Steve Madden. Each of these stores have great deals more often than not on sandals, heels, boots and more. With that said, we've also got a few tips on how to style with a pair like Janel's.

Tip 1 - Monochrome

Here we want to avoid going nude and looking nude. Our advice is to stay away from body-con when going nude. If going for a fitted look, try a crop top and pants or a skirt to show a little skin.

Tip 2 - Pastels

Wearing nude shoes will keep the focus on your colorful outfit, creating the perfect backdrop!

Tip 3 - Dark Hues

Same with pastels, if you want to keep the focus on your bold outfit rather than your shoes, nude pumps are the way to go. Want longer legs? Strappy sandals (like Janel's) are the perfect accent. Quick tip: shorter hemlines, longer legs.

For more on nude heels, click here.

Next, we have Janel's thrift finds! Both her shorts and her top were bought for $1 each. WINNING! ...and the good news is, that you could do the same. Fact: while thrift shopping can take a lot of time and patience, if you put in the effort, you can leave with style treasure. With Janel, we have a pair of classic Levi's shorts; this brand has made a major comeback (like most fashion) and while they have re-branded and sell items full price, you can find a great pair at spots like Goodwill or Salvation Army as well. Our biggest tip here is to keep an eye out for jeans. Remember, creativity, creativity, creativity---you can always turn a great pair of jeans into distressed shorts or just cut them for a length of your choice.

With her top, she found a pattern that was perfect for own personal style. Prints can be hard to fit into a specific category; essentially, if you see it and you like it, you'll try it and possibly buy it. Keep an open mind when it comes to this, with so many different patterns out there, at a thrift store it's just important to browse. For more on prints, click here. If you check out our behind the scenes video here, you can also see that we decided to tie the front of her button down to compliment the final silhouette. This simply add an chic appeal to her casual look. Not to mention, it was easy and only took a bit of creativity. You can click here for a quick tutorial on how to DIY a basic tee here but for more on how to style with tie-front tops click here. Now, some would say there is an art to thrift shopping so you don't get overwhelmed, go over budget (due to the plethora of cheap items), or waste time. We narrowed down some guidelines that we go by when shopping below. Again, remember closet first, creativity, then shopping and while this week we're inspiring you to spend a little money, it's still important to know what you have first!


Your Closet.

Since you plan on adding to your closet, it may not be a bad idea to get rid of a few things you can't fit or wear anymore. We're all for sustainability, but sometimes our fashion needs a new home. I make an effort to give items to friends or donate every few months. Our advice here is to filter out items and see what you have ti give away.


Decide how much money you're willing to spend that day. We shoot for about $30/store when shopping. If you're trying multiple stores, adjust accordingly (i.e. $20/store for 2 stores).


Pick Sections – Narrow your shopping to specific areas so that you stay focused and don't get overwhelmed. What's your goal for today? Ask yourself, and manage your time so you can essentially get "in" and "out." Remember, you've got to browse so give yourself time to look through!

Ask Yourself.

Feel like you picked up too many items? Narrow down your choices by asking yourself a few questions: 1) Do I own a similar pieces already? 2) Can I wear this immediately, or do I need to wait for a special event? and 3) Is this something I’d actually wear or just wish I could wear? Be honest with yourself, and your wallet.

For more, click here.

The great thing about glasses or sunglasses is that you can style them any way you want, from classics and tomboy to punk and casual or sexy, all you need is the right balance. When it comes to aviators, it's important to know that proportion is key. You don't want to wear a pair of glasses that take away from your facial features. In order to achieve balance, we have a few tips that should help you when choosing a pair of frames. According to Topology Eyewear, well-proportioned oversized glasses will let your eyebrows peek through and aim for your eyes to be positioned at the horizontal center and vertical top third of your lens to avoid looking cross-eyed. For a guideline to choosing the right style and shape, click here.

Challenge: Wear what works! No one can tell you how to be you and the key to having more outfits isn’t having more pieces in your closet but having pieces that you can wear multiple ways. Janel is the perfect example of someone who took a few resources and made an investment in her closet, for less than $15. This week we want to challenge you to thrift shop. Try your local thrift store, Goodwill, Plato's Closet, Second Time Around, etc. and use our suggested shopping guidelines. Be inspired and share your creativity with us by using the hashtag #andieandaj on Instagram or Facebook! We're also on Pinterest and Tumblr now but be sure to check out some testimonials here and our second YouTube video below for a closer look at our process with J A N E L!

Till next week,

Andie & AJ

Find the look:

Sandals (Express)

Shorts (Goodwill)

Top (Goodwill)

Aviators (Forever 21)

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© 2021 A.J. Dunlap