How Knowing Your Sister Bra Size Can Help You Save Money

How Knowing Your Sister Bra Size Can Help You Save Money || amayawritesHere’s a post for the girls: do you know your sister size?

When I was getting my undergarments for my wedding dress, I learned about sister sizes. In general, most people can comfortably wear three different bra sizes, not just one. I was floored, but also so relieved, when an undergarment in one of my sister sizes fit better than the one that I had thought was the only size I could wear.

How do you find your sister size? To find the “size up” option, just go up one cup size and down one band size than your usual. The “size down” option is the opposite: one cup down and one band size larger.  So a 36C, for example, has sister sizes of 34D and 38B. Keep these in mind next time you’re out shopping and try it out yourself.

How can this save you money? I love shopping for bras in the clearance section. For the most part, since it’s an undergarment, I’m not trying to follow trends or stick to certain colors. Having three size options instead of just one makes it easier to score a deal. If one of your sister sizes lands you in a size that is especially small or large, then you will have luck in online clearance deals, which often feature the less common sizes at either end of the size range.

I hope this post has been helpful, but I know it won’t work for all body types. Still, bra shopping is sometimes a frustrating experience, so any tips help.

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Transformation Tuesday: Graphic Dress to Graphic Blouse

Transformation Tuesday is a series covering wardrobe transformations. I hope it challenges you to expand the form and function of pieces in your closet.

A recent trip to the thrift store yielded this green and white Banana Republic graphic dress. As you can see, it could stand to be taken in at the sides, and perhaps the sleeves could be shortened to a more flattering 3/4 length. But that may be a project for another day. For now, it’s cold outside, and I know I’ll be layering this piece with other items so the cut is not as important as it would be if I were wearing it alone.

Whenever I see a dress, I also see a blouse. Today I styled my new dress as a top. Tucking it into a pencil skirt fixed the fit issue, and I just pushed up the sleeves with my cardigan I really like that I’m not drowning in the print after covering the bottom and sleeves with some solid pieces. Also, yay for my kitchen having the best light in the house!

Transformation Tuesday: Graphic Dress  to Graphic Blouse|| amayawrites

Dress – Banana Republic (thrifted)
Cardigan – Target Merona
Skirt – Ann Taylor LOFT
Fleece-lined leggings

How would you style a graphic dress?

My 2015 Vision Board

I was inspired by this post from Light by Coco to make a vision board. Here is how I am visualizing 2015!

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Images sourced from Pinterest searches

From right to left, top to bottom:

  1. Do a handstand. Build strength. Continue my yoga practice. Stay strong.
  2. Run more. Make a habit of it. Increase distance. Find new trails.
  3. Keep a prayer journal. Be consistent. Be faithful. Become a prayer warrior.
  4. Keep an art journal. Be consistent. Improve on texture. Improve on light.
  5. Keep knitting. Use yarn from the stash. Make my first sweater.
  6. Give better gifts. Remember birthdays. Don’t wait until the last minute.
  7. Maintain my blog. Post regularly. Keep up social interactions. Take more pictures for it.
  8. Do more “big girl” paperwork. Help with taxes, mortgage. Create and maintain a budget.
  9. Curate my wardrobe. Nicer shoes. Sleeker shirts. Increase professionalism.
  10. Pray more.
  11. Communicate. Makes more calls. Skype more. Remember birthdays. Friends, family, acquaintances.
  12. Eat what I love. Indulge in complicated dishes. Fill the pantry with my favorites.
  13. Bake a perfect loaf of bread.
  14. Handle my anxiety. Journal. Talk. Breathe. Fight back. Stay positive. Remember to smile.
  15. Work toward my dream. Get my sub license. Assistant teach. Stay sharp. Find a mentor.

The Uniform

I don’t mind having a uniform look. In the cold weather, it’s a long sleeved shirt, slim pants, boots, and a scarf. Really, it’s almost too common, but I try to add edge to it. Today, I tucked black jeans into brown boots and I clashed my maroon sweater with a rich blue, tasseled scarf.

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Now I’m off to go choose a different outfit. I just smeared my sleeve in cinnamon roll frosting.

How I Manage A Capsule Wardrobe in College

I didn’t mean to end up with a capsule wardrobe. I’m aware of the process and admire the concept, but packing for my last semester of undergrad, I didn’t think about putting together a small wardrobe, or keeping my items under a certain number. I did ruthlessly choose only the items that I loved and felt comfortable in. I did a few edits this weekend, pulling out my few summery pieces and putting them away. I put everything back in my closet and did a quick count. Including my two jackets and two cocktail dresses, I have 35 items.wadrobe.jpg

Not all of my clothes are pictured, and I didn’t count my scarves or shawls even though they are picture.

The totals are:

  • 4 skirts
  • 2 body-con dresses
  • 2 cocktail dresses
  • 4 pants
  • 5 sweaters
  • 2 dolman tops
  • 4 nice tee-shirts
  • 2 plain black long sleeve shirts
  • 1 denim button-up
  • 4 tank tops
  • 3 cardigans
  • 2 coats

I do laundry about twice a month; it’s easier now that I am wearing boots because before I was limited by the number of invisible socks I have. I wear most of my garments twice before washing them, unless they get stained. It’s not apparent to anyone that I have a small wardrobe, or else they’re just not commenting on it.

I’m just so pleased every time I open my little closet and see my favorite things; looking put together has become convenient because I simply don’t have very casual clothes (by choice – capsule wardrobes can certainly exude casual style if the owner desires). Even when I wear my wide-legged jeans and a loose sweater, the colors and fabric are on point so it never looks sloppy.

I can tell that I am on the verge of needing to replace a fair amount of my items as my taste in fabric changes (matures, maybe). For example, I have a bright red sundress that is made with a very swingy jersey; it was a favorite when I got it a few years ago, but these days I desire a thicker, sturdier fabric for dresses and will probably replace it with a ponte fabric piece. Some of my items are getting to be four years old and starting to look it with pilling and color fading. I am starting to research the lifespan of higher-end clothes, as these four-year old items are the exception, not the norm, of the places I tend to shop at.

Capsule Wardrobe Resources:

How I Care for my Clothes

A few simple practices have allowed me to keep my clothes fresh-looking, well-maintained, and wearable for many years. Besides learning to recognize good fabrics and quality brands, these care tips are how I stretch the lifespan of my clothes.

  • I wash all my clothes in cold water in the machine. Workout clothes, sweaters, undergarments, and washable hand-knits are all put in. If I have to hand-wash, I still use cold water.
  • I turn anything with lace, a printed design, or other appliques inside out to prevent fading and fraying. Like this Xhiliration dress from Target.

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  • I also turn my dark denim inside out to prevent fading and bleeding onto other objects. Like this Ann Taylor Loft pencil skirt

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  • I put all bras, fancier undergarments, and hand-knit socks in these mesh lingerie bags from Target. They sell for under $2 and are great to have on hand. I also place any garment with long ties, such as this teal shirt, so that the ties won’t get wrapped and stretched during the wash.

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  • If it’s not a casual tee shirt, workout clothes, plain underwear, or jeans, then it gets air dried. This might be why my clothes stay fresh for so long. This does mean my drying rack is overflowing and there are sweaters drying on towels on top of the machine. But when I remember that lint is frayed fibers from your clothes, I am happy to take this step to ensure that my items don’t wither away bit by bit. If my clothes seem to have dust or fibers on them, I use a lint roller, which is much gentler.
  • I hang most of my clothes on appropriate, sturdy hangers. If I feel that a dress is especially drapey and heavy, I will take its weight off the straps by looping the skirt of the dress back up over the hanger. This helps it keep its shape longer.
  • I don’t fold my hand-knit socks in each other, because this stretches out the yarn and I find that the sock that was folded over the other tends to fit looser around my ankle. Commercial socks with more nylon can handle this.
  • I put on and remove my clothes carefully. This means not tugging at sweaters, pulling up my jeans by the belt loops, or taking off my shoes by pressing the back of the heel down (like the picture below). I unzip, unlace, and unclip everything.

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My go-to brands for quality and longevity are Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor Loft, Mossimo (Target) for shoes, Take Out (Kohls) for cardigans, Hanes Concealing Petals for bras, and C9 (Target) for activewear. If a cotton item (like tees and jeans) is very soft, I usually won’t buy it because it doesn’t tend to hold up. I avoid slub knit fabric because it pills unevenly and looks “tired” very fast. My most tenacious purchases have been a pair of cardigans by Take Out (at Kohls) which are a cotton and acrylic blend. They are nothing fancy, upscale, or even very soft, but I’ve worn them at least once a week for the past four years and they are still good as gold. So sometimes you can find surprises, although two Take Out pullovers I bought the same year lasted just one season because they pilled immediately

I hope these tips help you with the care of your wardrobe.