1-6-15 What To Buy Now for Spring

January 5, 2015, 5:19 pm by MSP


You are probably still in "post-holiday" mode (trying to get back to your regularly scheduled life). I’d also venture to guess that you aren’t looking to spend any money right now either...and you're wondering WHY I'm already talking about our spring wardrobes!

The fact is you can SAVE some serious money on your wardrobe right now. It's January and the end-of-season and clearance sales are just beginning! You want to buy basics that you can wear now and all the way into the spring. Spend a little and save a lot--it's the best strategy for clothes shopping!

When it comes to your wardrobe, sometimes you need to spend money in order to save money. This is the time of year to plan your core wardrobe and here and MissusSmartyPants.com we have the "must-have basics" list for you!

To have a better wardrobe (more outfit possibilities) you need to PLAN a better wardrobe! Shop now with this LIST in hand, and you'll look stylish today and into spring--AND at the best prices ever.


Find out what to buy at the end-of-season sales.

This week's list will help you save BIG while creating a more stylish wardrobe!

The Limited Striped Trench Coat

Typically, you will save the most by purchasing your basics at the "end-of-the season" sales. This is the time of year when store merchandise is being drastically reduced to make room for the new spring clothes arriving soon. Remember the “two J’s” ( January and July). These are the two months of the year that offer us the best opportunities for purchasing our clothes (and our family's) at discounted prices.

Of course we aren't thinking about spring right now since we're still bundled up in winter scarves; but a little advanced planning (or shall I say clearance rack shopping?) will improve our style dramatically!

Get a jump start on your spring wardrobe now...and you will spend less in the long run. This week you will get the LIST of what to buy now at the end-of-season January sales. This money-saving list will get your closet (and your wardrobe) ready for spring.

Love, Leslie MSP


Get "What to Buy Now for Spring". It's the best way start 2015! Order your MSP Personal Profile today!



MSP's Weekly Style Mission

This week's Style Mission is to wear a brooch!

Join me!!! Brooches are oh-so fun to wear! Talk about a conversation starter...a pretty brooch will get you lots of attention (so be prepared)!

Dress backwards. One day this week, create an outfit around the brooch you are planning to wear. I call this 'dressing backwards'...because instead of planning what you wear first---THEN accessorizing; START by selecting your brooch first (or any unique accessory if you don't own one) THEN plan what you are going to wear along with your brooch. In other words, start with a brooch then choose what you'll wear with it.


THIS WEEK: Let a brooch spark your creativity and create fab outfit like these...



Get creative...think out of the box! You can wear a brooch so many different ways. Wear it on your denim jacket (one of my favorite ways), perch it up high on your shoulder, on a hat, at your bust on your shirt or sweater, pinned onto a neck scarf, in your hair (either pinned to a hair tie OR on a headband) or even pin a brooch on your purse.

THIS WEEK: How are you going to wear a brooch? I'd love to hear...write to me at: missusmsp@yahoo.com   Love, Leslie MSP


What SYSters are Saying


Dear MSP and crew
I just wanted to write and thank you for your lessons, I just realised yesterday what a difference they have made.  Yesterday I had to drive to town for a doctor's appointment, and because it all went quickly at the hospital I decided to go on to the centre and have a look in a shop I like, to see if there was anything worthwhile for me in the sales.  Before MSP I would probably have hesitated, because the sales lady in this shop is very competent but rather pushy, and in the past I have come back with things 'sold' to me that in the end I didn't really like and didn't wear.

Not so this time!  I knew I was after some basics, and they should be things I would also be willing to buy at full price.  I know I'm a body type C and a winter.  I confidently declined the sales lady's suggestion of maroon and beige trousers.  I picked a lovely pair of black velvety trousers which fit me perfectly, added a simple top in pearl grey and the same top in bright red, and a nice belt.  I then asked the lady whether she could suggest a scarf from the sales rack that would go well with all this - which she did brilliantly - and when I put it all together I was so proud of my achievement!  I realised every piece could be worn at least three ways with pieces I already own, the fit was correct, every item was discounted and this bright scarf made my day!

I have always dreaded shopping (I usually stay home and sew), but no longer. Now I'm going to play 'dress-up' with my new pieces and wear that red top tomorrow.
Many thanks indeed from Anna in France


Dear Missus Smarty Pants,

Thank you for writing about exercise wear this week! You must have read my mind because I thought this would be a perfect topic for the new year.

These days, I go to the gym six days a week, but that’s not where I started.  About 4 years ago, after having a baby and being a stranger to the gym for a couple of years, I started doing aerobics 2 or 3 days a week at a church.  I went to Target and bought a few tops and bottoms to get me started.  I couldn’t agree with you more about dressing the part.  Wearing proper exercise wear in the proper fabric makes a big difference in how you feel while you’re exercising.

After a year of sticking with that, I felt I was ready to join the big local health club and decided to update my exercise clothes and I thought I’d share some of the lessons I learned:

#1 – be careful wearing any color bottom other than black!  I was horrified after a class when I noticed in the mirror that it looked like I had peed in my pants!  Fabrics darken when they get wet, so test it out at home first!

#2 – I couldn’t agree with you more on the cotton t-shirt.  It looks bad, it feels bad, plus the fabric gets heavier when it’s wet.  I don’t know how people do it.

#3 – Don’t depend on the built-in bra in some tops!  Again, I was horrified after a class (thankfully not the same class as #1) when I saw these two wet spots right on top of my boobs.  I had depended on the built-in shelf bra and it let me down.  Unless my top has foam padded cups, I always wear a sports bra (with foam padded cups) underneath.  As in lesson #1, wet fabric darkens! The foam cups seem to absorbed the sweat before it reaches the fabric.

#4 – Your recommendation of the Nordstrom Seamless Hipster Briefs saved me from the thong!  I don’t worry about VPL’s and they stay put, so no panties moving around where they shouldn’t.

Nordstrom Seamless Hipster Briefs


#5 – As far as the stink goes, I throw my sweaty gym clothes over the edge of the laundry basket when I get home to let them dry (if I don't wash them right away).  When I wash them, I do it in warm water with a small amount of detergent and about ¼ cup of my homemade laundry booster (1 box washing soda + 1 box borax).  I then hang them to dry.  I NEVER put my expensive lycra in the dryer!  I’ve been doing this for years and have no stink and my 3-year old Lucy clothes still look like new.  My personal opinion is that people tend to use too much soap in the wash, which doesn’t rinse out completely, and that is what hangs on to the smell.  I only use a tablespoon of Tide for my largest loads; most of the time, I only use a teaspoon or two (in a front-loader).  Adding vinegar in the softener dispenser can help rinse out all the detergent, too.

#6 – I really like my Asics and my spin classes, too! J

Thank you for this topic this week.  I practically live in my gym clothes.  I lay them out the night before and put them on first thing, even if it will be a while before I go to the gym, because just like you and FlyLady said, I’m ready to walk out the door, no excuses.
Speaking of, I’ve got to run to my class!
Lots of love for all you do, Beth in Washington State


HELP! White tops, underarm stains...


MSP HERE: Yes, sometimes you need to replace your white tops seasonally because some fabrics make it hard to get the stains out. 

However, we can minimize them by understanding that we need an enzyme based detergent (like Tide Ultra) to break down the protein-based stain, like perspiration. Wash immediately to minimize stains, and yes, as needed prepare yourself for replacing white tops seasonally.

Love, Leslie MSP


Dear Leslie,

Many thanks for continuing to educate us about the details of stylish 
dress -- I am thrilled to have the new number "3/4 of an inch from the 
floor" as my new and faithful guideline for wearing slacks.  

Wow did that 
make things easier all of a sudden. Knowing how much length is enough on 
slacks has long been a tough dilemma. My inseam falls at the borderline 
of average/tall and it is an ongoing issue to know which way to go.  Now 
I have a real working number to strive for (and purge by).

It's the extra details like this that make my MSP subscription an investment 
returned many times over and helps change the look to better and better. 

Thanks a million, Susan

MSP HERE: Dear Susan & MSP SYSters,

Hem length is very important to our overall body proportions…so let's get it right, SYSters! (BTW, SYSters stands for Show Your Style)

A pair of pants will be correctly hemmed when your hem clears the heel of your shoe (approx. ½” past the heel) but rests on the front part of the shoe, creating what is called a “break”.

MOST women (regardless of height) wear their pants too short! (FYI: most catalog models are wearing their pants too short!)

Love, Leslie MSP


From the MSP Style Forum

Very timely post about being frustrated while shopping.

I just got back from shopping today and came home empty handed and frustrated, because I also have a mostly empty closet now that I have gotten rid of all the mistakes that were filling it. As I was driving home (an hour away) I realized that even though I came home emptied handed, that was an improvement over the past, thanks to MSP. I was looking for some specific items that I need and I didn't find them so I didn't buy anything. No wasting my money buying something that wasn't right. I also didn't spend hours trying on stuff that didn't work for me either, again, thanks to MSP. I can now walk through a store and focus right in on what will work for me. I gave myself a little pep talk that I just need to make regular, short trips to keep looking....because I can only find what I want if I am actually out shopping. And the only way I'm going to find those stores / brands / lines that work for me is to keep trying.

So, hang in there with me, SYSter. We'll get there! We will! :-) Melanie