Less Than Challenge

Living life with less than…


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What I’d Rent: Day-to-Night Designer Style for Less Than $80

About a week ago, I got an email from Rent the Runway offering me $50 off an order of $100 or more for my upcoming birthday. For those of you not familiar with Rent the Runway, it’s basically an online service that allows you to borrow pricey designer dresses and accessories for 4-8 days at a fraction of retail prices. I originally created my account when searching for a dress to wear to a fundraising gala, but to date, I’ve never actually rented anything.

It’s not looking like this is the moment to experiment with fashion rentals for the first time, since I don’t have a big celebration planned for this year’s birthday.  But just for fun, I’ve picked out three dresses (and coordinating accessories) that I would totally consider renting under different circumstances.  With all shipping, taxes, and insurance fees added in, and my $50 taken off, each one of these looks would cost less than $80 to rent for four days, compared to retail costs that reach upwards of $600!

OPTION 1: Bold & Bright

Option 1 Bold & Bright

Felana Dress by Tina Turk | Rental $50; Retail $248
Crystallized Salmon Drop Earrings by Kenneth Jay Lane | Rental: $15; Retail: $125
Keep  Your Cool Clutch by Rebecca Minkoff | Rental: $35; Retail: $325
Total Rental Cost: $76.63 | Total Retail Cost: $698

OPTION 2: Color Blocks

Option 2 Color Blocks

Rhombus Shift Dress by Trina Turk | Rental: $50; Retail: $298
Gold Bangle Stack by AV Max | Rental: $15; Retail: $110
Clean Break Necklace by Kate Spade New York | Rental: $35; Retail: $228
Total Rental Cost: $76.63 | Total Retail Cost: $636

OPTION 3: Perfect Print
(my personal fave)

Option 3 Perfect Print

Derek Dress by Slate & Willow | Rental $50; Retail $298
Keep  Your Cool Clutch by Rebecca Minkoff | Rental: $35; Retail: $325
Gwen Blue Agate Earrings by Kendra Scott | Rental: $15; Retail: $100
Total Rental Cost: $76.63 | Total Retail Cost: $723

I really love the dress in option 3, and I think Rent the Runway offers a cool concept that I’d love to try someday. But I don’t feel like my birthday is the right occasion to spend over $75 on an borrowed outfit – even if I were planning a huge soiree.

When the next gala on my schedule rolls around, or if I just can’t find a suitable wedding shower/bachelorette party/rehearsal dinner dress…well, that will be a different story.  🙂

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Less Than Look: Independence Day

20130704-115445.jpgHappy Fourth of July, people!! Today is one of my favorite days of the year, what with the sunshine, the hot dogs, and the happiness that are pretty much inherent to the holiday. And the fireworks. I looooove me some fireworks.

I also get a lot of joy out of working red, white, blue, stars, and/or stripes into my Independence Day look, and this year is no exception.

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I got this tank for less than $3 last summer at Target (thank you, 70% off rack), and I’ve been looking forward to wearing it on July 4th ever since. I did a little hunting and found something similar here in case your closet is short one patriotic racerback tank at this point.

The shorts are one of the two new pairs I was just telling you about, which means you should have no trouble finding them now at Target. (Is it obvious by now that I’m obsessed with Target?!) Whether you’re into the obvious Americana look today or not, a little denim seems entirely appropriate, don’t you think?

Whatever you’re doing to celebrate the Fourth, have fun and enjoy it to the fullest!


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Less Than Look: Super Shorts

I am super excited to share how I got two new pairs of shorts at Target last weekend for less than $25!

By combining a BOGO 50% off deal, a printable Target.com coupon, and 10% off through Cartwheel, I saved $14.90 and walked out with these great additions to my summer wardrobe for a grand total of just $23.08 before tax:

Super Shorts

Mossimo Women’s 3.5″ Denim Shorts | Merona Women’s Chino Shorts in Pink Print

Unfortunately for you, my readers, the BOGO 50% off sale was a two-day thing to start the summer, but you’re in luck when it comes to the coupon and the Cartwheel discount!

Click here to get $3 off any $15 women’s shorts purchase (and maybe print off a few more useful coupons while you’re at it). Then, go sign up for Cartwheel! I had heard about this “new spin on savings” from a couple of friends recently, and now I’m totally hooked. Coupons are all good when it comes to food, toiletries, and household goods, but when I can use them to save on clothes, and I don’t even have to clip anything, well…what a thrill!

Through July 6, you can use Cartwheel to take 10% off Mossimo and Merona women’s shorts, among many other things, so check it out and see how much you can save.

As a bonus, I also picked up two new graphic tees from the 70% off rack at a whopping three dollars each. I almost never wear graphic tees anymore, but between the price and the fun, floral prints, how could I resist? Two shirts, two shorts, less than $30. That’s what I am all about.


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CHALLENGE #1: Spring Fling

Put together a perfect spring outfit for less than $30.

Not much sun, but three days above 70 degrees!

Not much sun, but three days above 70 degrees!

Based on this week’s forecast, winter finally seems to have wrapped up here in Albany.  I am itching to add some new spring pieces to my wardrobe, and I have a shopping date booked on Tuesday.  Needless to say, it didn’t take long to develop the inspiration for my inaugural Less Than Challenge: put together a perfect spring outfit for less than $30.

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