I’m back with show haul! I know it’s been a minute since I’ve done a fashion haul( ya girl has been broke), but I was finally able to pick up a some new shoes. You may already know this, but I’m currently transitioning to a minimalist wardrobe (as mentioned in this post) and I have really cut back on my clothes spending. Instead of buying 40 things from forever 21 I’ve been buying maybe one or two from Madewell. I’m at the age where I want easy, transitional and durable clothing; not these quick fads that last today and gone tomorrow. One of the areas I’ve needed to step my game up in is shoes. Between the two of us Amanda is definitely the shoe fanatic (she stays complaining about my lack of heels) but shoe shopping for me is far more difficult than the average person because…..

I wear a size 11. Not a ” squeeze into a 10, but more comfortable in an 11″ either. I’m a straight size 11. No matter the brand or type of shoe.

I normally buy my shoes at Aldo, Steve madden, Nordstrom, DSW and Sole Society and on occasion Zappos. Currently my entire shoe collection is from Target, but since I’m trying to do quality vs quantity I decided to start browsing for some affordable but durable shoes. My one rule is this…

I can’t buy it unless it’s on sale. 

It may sound ridiculous to shop like that; especially if you’re a shoe hoarder like Amanda, but for me it was relatively easy and it worked! I got so many great shoes for cheaperrrr, all because I would wait for the sale. The perfect example is these Steve madden shoes…

Steve madden, Sneakers, Summer Shoes, The perfect shoes for summer, Perforated sneakers, Pointy Shoes

Initially $78, Saw them on sale for $45 (on Tuesday) but decided to wait until payday on Friday, Steve madden was having an additional 25% off on Friday so I got them for $25 bucks each.

The power of waiting my friends, the power of waiting! I initially just bought the white but it was such an awesome deal I went back and got another pair in black.

Steve madden, Sneakers, Summer Shoes, The perfect shoes for summer, Perforated sneakers, Pointy Shoes, shoes, flats

As for the shoes themselves they are very comfortable and edgy. I like that they aren’t the traditional round toe van looking sneakers and I absolutely love that they are perforated. Perfect for spring and summer!

Next up were these Birkenstocks. Let me tell you a little story about these. I hate Birkenstocks. I mean when that trend came back I just thought it was so tacky. Being that I have a size 11 foot I felt like Birkenstocks accentuated that and to top it off were chunky and ugly. I would see (and still do) girls wearing a beautiful maxi dress and then throw on some clunker Birkenstocks with it. Girl who let you out the house looking like that!??

I’m all for the trend now (sort off), but I think it needs to be worn properly. If you’re going for a grunge look, Birk is your friend. You want a slouchy boyfriend swag for the day..call Birk. You want to wear a pretty pastel sundress…leave Birk at home!

It aint for everybody; I’m just saying…

Aldo shoes, Aldo sandles, Birkenstocks, Thong Birkenstocks, Cognac Sandals, Sandals for summer, summer shoes,

I decided to go with a cognac color (because let’s face it..black is so cliché). I love the little thong in the middle and I also like the snakeskin detail. I think this is a fun twist to the classic Birkenstocks and are overall more flattering on your feet.

Now this is totally random but it was too good not to mention. I recently got a new multifunctional Iphone case. With me being a commuter it can get chaotic managing your commuter card, id, credit card etc. So I finally found one that could serve as an iPhone case and a wallet. This one from Madewell was on sale for $15(originally $25, score!) and it has been such a time saver. I no longer have to scour my bag for my wallet; I have my essentials with me at all times right on my phone. I will say the case is a little bulky, so when I do finally make it home sometimes I take it off; but overall totally worth it. Even when I’m going to the movies or just out for a quick bite with friends I don’t need a purse or a clutch. I just bring my phone! Perfect way to minimize your daily load (see how I’m incorporating minimalism into my lifestyle..I’m loving the new me!).

Well that’s all for this little haul. Leave your favorite shoes for summer below and be sure to check out my beauty haul here!

kierra again

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Most people when they look at the fashion industry see it for all its fame and glory. Runway shows, free designer clothes, styling celebrities and fancy trips to Milan and Paris. The stigma is that it’s all glitz and glamour…the good life. To some extent that’s true; I do get a great discount on clothes, and insider access to things that are highly raved and talked about ( i.e. award shows and TV shows). But it’s not always fun and games. The fashion industry is intense. To say it’s highly competitive is an understatement. The saying “it’s all about who you know” or “ your network is your net worth” really holds true here. You can’t get an internship let alone an interview without some type of connect or big named company on your resume. 

The jobs are a dime a dozen. Entry level positions left and right and there are a ton of different opportunities based on what you want to get into. You want to do management? Enroll in a store management program. You want to do merchandising? See if they offer an internship. The opportunities are really endless, but sometimes to reach your goals things aren’t always so cut and dry.

For the past two years I have been freelancing. Basically what that means is you get paid for the hours you work. No benefits, no sick pay, no vacation time (or if you do go on vacation it’s without pay), no holiday pay…Nothing but the flat rate hourly pay. By law you get overtime but usually as a freelancer( depending on the job requirements) they don’t have you work overtime. Why do this you ask? Because it gets your foot in the door. Sure you’re not building much equity in the company, and your money isn’t the most secure but it does gain you experience. And experience translates to money. Broke now but rich later.

showroom

My first gig was an internship that turned into a job. They paid me $15 per hour, my commute was 2 hours each way and I had to pay for my own parking ($5 a day). Now for those of us that live in California that’s barely, if at all, enough money to cover your bills. Let alone the time and gas you spend just getting to work every day. I was pretty much breaking even on my checks but I was getting good experience. I was working in a showroom that carried a few top brands and I had the opportunity to get a glance at behind the scenes. I didn’t like my boss, the environment was stifling, the company was poorly managed, but It was my first gig after college so I stuck it out.

3 months later they let me go, and I was really upset. I was planning on at least staying for a year! What was I going to do with just 3 months on my resume? Back to the drawing board it was…

The job ended in October and I wrapped up my undergrad in December. I now could devote my full time and attention to job hunting. This go around I knew what I wanted. Reputable company, I wanted to be doing merchandising (my degree is apparel merchandising) and at least paid parking. I wanted to make more money but I could afford my bills with $15 per hour, so worst case scenario I would take that. I also wasn’t very confident in myself either. As far as I was concerned I was starting over because in my mind 3 months wasn’t enough experience; but all experience is good experience! Even if you were let go, Always value yourself!!

georgia-may-jagger-for-hudson-jeansFebruary hit and I was able to land a gig at Hudson Jeans. I’ll talk more later on how I got the job (it wasn’t easy), but nonetheless they hired me. I was working in sales, even though I wanted to be in merchandising, but the company was reputable and I knew it would look good on my resume. This time I was going to make it to at least a year. The company had its rough parts but it was an upgrade from what I had come from so I felt good about it. The terms were the same though. I was a freelancer, and I only got paid the hours I worked. Again I took less pay than what I was worth because it was a good company and I just wanted to get hired.

The job was supposed to be temp to hire but they never actually “hired” me. They just kept me on as a freelancer, never making me permanent or with any chance of a pay increase, benefits…. nothing. I was quickly growing tired of it. I started exploring other options in LA but the truth was I was very homesick. I just wanted to be back in the Bay. November hit, I put in my two weeks’ notice and left. By the end of November I was back in the Bay Area.

I was feeling really bad about myself. My resume was beefed up but I had no money, no savings and nothing (monetarily) to show for it. I was back at my parents’ house in the same situation I was in before I went to college. But the truth was…I wasn’t in the same situation. Things were very much different. I had built a year worth of fashion experience on my resume, I made connects, I learned about what I wanted, didn’t want and overall honed in my skill set. Mentally and emotionally I was way more confident. I had my family here, my very supportive friends, and I was back in my favorite city ever. It’s crazy how time and your environment can change your mindset.

I moved in with my parents in November, but since it was so close to the holidays it was really hard to get an interview. Most companies were wrapping up 4th quarter, trying to make their financial goals for the year. They didn’t have the budget to hire anyone new. I enjoyed my two months off of work and in January I hit the books again.

gap

This time I knew exactly what I wanted, how much money I wanted to make, what company I wanted to work for. I had it all written out and I waited patiently for the right opportunity. I got a call from GAP HQ, to work in their merchandising department for Gap Europe Online. I jumped at the opportunity, and within 10 minutes of my interview they called and said I got the job. Buttttt……It was freelancing….again. I was filling in for someone on maternity leave and the gig would be 6 months. I wanted the position to be permanent but any experience is good experience and since GAP is my dream company I decided to just make the best of the situation.

I’m currently finishing my contract (about 4 months in now) and so far I love it. Love the people, the company culture and best of all the fact that I get to work in SF (which is my favorite city everrrrrrr).

I know you may have been reading this thinking I landed some awesome job in New York or London with incredible pay and benefits, but that isn’t the case for me (at least not right now). I wanted to share this with you because there are some important lessons to learn here. One being never give up. Every opportunity is a good opportunity you just have to choose to see the glass half full instead of half empty. Secondly, Always know your worth! If you sell yourself for a nickel that’s exactly what people will pay. Third: know when to walk away: I had plenty of opportunities come and go but I waited until I got what I wanted. And lastly, never take a job without some type of upgrade. You should always be growing!

Anyways I know this post is long but I hope you learned something! If you have any additional questions feel free to ask!

kierra again

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amanda

Put Your Stunna Shades On

If you’re from the bay then you know exactly what that phrase represents and even if you’re not from the bay, like myself, but were a child of the “hyphy” movement then you also know what this means. E-40 knew what he was talking about when he coined that phrase. He must have known that sunglasses instantly give you a little swag. Sunglasses are literally one of my favorite accessories. I love the way they just scream fabulous. I also love that they add some mystery to your look, and I personally use them to ignore people tryna holla at ya girl. I keep my sunglasses on and keep it pushin.(inserts deuces emoji)

Anyway, back to the task at hand. I wanted to show you guys what some of my favorite sunglass are for this summer and where to get them. Use them for whatever purpose you like whether its fabulosity, holla repellant, mystery, or like myself, all of the above!

Quay Australia ‘Quay Kittie’ , Sunglasses, cat eye, summer, spring, shades,

Quay Australia ‘Quay Kittie’ $40. These sunglasses are EVERYTHING. I’ve never been a huge fan of  cat eye, but I would wear the hell out of these

Quay Australia "Zig", sunglasses, shades, retro,

Also, Quay Australia “Zig” $40. These are gorgeous too. I love that they have a retro vibe with some new age cool.

Tag @inthegrey on instagram and show me your favorite sunnies!

amanda again

 

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neutral 1

You ever have those “Aha” moments when shopping? That “how the heck did I miss this” look hits your face? Well that just happened to me about 20 minutes ago. I’m treating myself to a little bit of shopping at Asos and when I looked at my favorites list I realized something, everything was neutral tones; the camel blazer, to the white and black pieces; I mean literally the only color I had was blush( does that count?). I’m slowly noticing my wardrobe transition from crazy color/prints to a more casual and calmer closet, but it really hit me when all 52 pieces in my favorites list were all neutral. I came across a few How to’s when building a neutral wardrobe and why in fact it’s actually a likeable option.

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Anyone who lives in La knows that our lives literally revolve around traffic. Whether you live in Hollywood or all the way in the valley your commute to anywhere is hell. It’s safe to say I basically live out of my car. I have about 3 commuter mugs that I rotate throughout the week, multiple soda cans in the back of my car (empty might I add) and a ton of other junk I’m too embarrassed to say. My car, my commute, my life is one big hot mess and I knew I had to do something fast to fix it. In a perfect world I would buy a new car, something fancy so I wouldn’t be tempted to trash it. But since this girl is currently ballin on a budget I tried to think of other ways to organize my life

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