Shopping on a Budget

Hello again! It’s Alexis with your latest FASHION CENTS. Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 7.52.42 AM

One complaint I often receive from people who want to get good deals is that they aren’t willing to wear old clothes worn by strangers. The thought of someone else once wearing those clothes somehow grosses them out, and while for some, that’s a reasonable excuse not to thrift shop, I personally think it adds character to the clothes. On a similar note, today I’m going to enlighten you all on some stores where you can shop for brand new clothes that are still VERY affordable. My effort is to appease those of you who want to dress both affordably and fashionably, but aren’t willing to wear used clothing. Here are some of my favorite affordable retail stores:

 1. CottonOn

When I first started college, I naturally visited the nearest mall soon after. On that first mall trip is when I discovered CottonOn. While I was there, I purchased two dresses for $5 a piece and was blown away by their prices and style! At the time, they didn’t have an online American store, but I quickly signed up for their mailing list so I would be the first to know when they did.

Fortunately enough, they launched their online shopping about a year ago, and their online selection and prices are even better. All of their clothes are super versatile and comfortable because they are made with cotton. To shop online visit and make sure to check out their sections called “Nothing Over $5” and “Nothing Over $10”.

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2. MadRag

I discovered this store while I was on vacation. We had extended our stay for a few extra days and I hadn’t packed enough clothes to last the trip, so I walked into MadRag with $25 and walked out with two pairs of shorts and three shirts. Unfortunately this store doesn’t offer online shopping, but if you visit their site, you can find a location near you.


3. TJ Maxx, Ross, and Marshalls

These are three stores I thoroughly adore. Their collection of clothing is very wide, with selections for everyone in the family.  They each sell name brand clothing at discounted prices. Brands like American Eagle, Coach, Nike, Calvin Klein, and more can be spotted on their racks. I’ve bought everything from Prom dresses, to church dresses, to work out clothes, and even to cute casual shoes.

A great tip that saves me tons of money is that I go straight to the sales racks before even sifting through any other sections of these stores.

Ross  |  TJMaxx  |  Marshalls

4. Wal-Mart


Wal-Mart Juniors Link 

Many people overlook Wal-Mart as a place for fashion, but every year for Christmas and my birthday my grandpa would give me a $25 gift card and I grew to love it more and more each time. Recently, camo skinny pants were on my fashion must-have list. Most places would sell them for at least $30, but I found them at Wal-Mart for $16.88. Here’s some ideas of things you can get at Wal-Mart.

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  Floral Peplum Top

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Check out the concept of this bargain! You can mix and match fashionable tops with bottoms to get an affordable and adorable bundle deal!

Mix-n-Match Denim Shirt and Colored Pants Bundle Deal

Now you know to never underestimate a store’s potential to carry cute clothes!  Just think about the next time someone compliments your clothes and asks where you got it, and you can confidently say Wal-Mart or CottonOn or any of the other stores many people overlook. You’ll know you scored a great deal.


Thank you all for tuning in to read yet another blog about affordable fashion. Remember to comment on this post with your thoughts or ideas on this article or suggestions on future articles.

How to Bring a Summer Look into a Fall Style


 The Summer Romper + Tights

This Romper from Anne Taylor Loft is so comfortable and cute that it shouldn't be put away for next spring.  Why not try a pair of tights to give a little bit more warmth for the cooler weather?  With the romper's classic colors and a simple polkadot, try adding an odd but subtly interesting pair of color tights.

Feet Romper

 The Summer Romper + a Leather Jacket

Romper and Jacket

With this outfit, a pale orange pair of tights was chosen to bring in the color of this unique rust colored leather jacket.

 Pairing your lighter summer outfits with tights, a leather jacket, and EVEN tall boots that are neutral in color - is a great way to pull your summer looks into Fall!

Links to MORE Trends that can be pulled from earlier this year into Fall


Photo Credit: Casey Taylor


Fashion Cents: Tips for Buying Cheap Clothes


Written by Alexis Gauthier Good-day Lovely Ladies! Alexis here :D I’m so excited to be part of the new Fashion ¢ents campaign, because a good fashion bargain is fashion that just makes sense. Today I wanted to share with you my heart behind this fashion feature and even give you girls a few tips on how to work the thrift store bargains!

Imagine yourself at a holiday party, fun friend outing, or even just walking the halls of school. No matter where you are, your desire is to look and feel confident, however with the pricy trends that have made their way to the runway and front covers of magazines, it is difficult to afford diverse outfits, let alone one astounding look! I’ve been there. We all have, however I was lucky enough to jump on the thrifting train at a young age.

Once I learned that I could get the same looks at thriftier prices, I never went back. Why? Because my clothing items were original and affordable. Sometimes it takes a little more time and effort, but I also get more for my money, so I have more options to choose from! Here are some of my thrift store secrets.


Salvation Army – 50% off Wednesdays

A lot of Salvation Army stores discount all of their shoes, clothing, and accessories 50% off all day on Wednesdays. I love this sale because I get twice for a price that’s already a bargain. Alexis Jean Vest Alexis Purse

A couple of my favorite items found at a recent Salvation Army 50% off sale!

Ask for discounts!

You never know how much money you can really save until you try. One time, I was shopping with a friend who was in an especially particular time financial crunch because her wedding was just weeks away. It was to the point that she couldn’t even afford the thrift shop prices, so I explained her situation to the cashier, and the sales clerk was sweet enough to add an ADDITIONAL 50% off. Another time, I had picked out a shirt with a lot of holes in it, which I didn’t mind because I know how to sew, and I showed the lady the holes and asked if I could have a discount. I ended up scoring the shirt for 50 cents!

Color of the day discount

Goodwill and Salvation Army ALWAYS have a color of the day. If you find clothes tagged with that color, you get a discount. It’s always like a treasure hunt, but definitely worth the search.

College discount

If you’re in college, almost every location honors students with a 10% off discount. I’ve been using this discount since high school by presenting my dual-enrollment ID. If you’re not in college, check your local thrift store for similar discounts like senior discounts etc. and plan a thrifting adventure with a college mentor or grandparent so you can use their discount.

99cents a pound

Okay, so here is one of my BIGGEST thrift secrets. There’s select Goodwill locations that are called Goodwill Headquarters. These locations are usually very large buildings with two sides: there’s the normal store with a very large selection, and then there’s section that is 99 cents a pound. You need to have a lot of time on your hands to sift through the tables and buckets of clothes, but it is so affordable in the end. I’ve been twice, spent $7 both times, and left with about 15 items on both occasions. That averages out to about 50 cents per item. My favorite buy was a sequin pair of Express shorts.

Plato’s Closet grab bag sale

This is one of my absolute favorite discounts, however it only happens once or twice a year, depending on location. Every summer Plato’s Closet draws in crowds of fashionistas with the alluring temptation of gently used name brand clothing combined with extra low prices. How? They have a grab bag sale! The object of the sale is to stuff as much clothing and accessories into the bag as possible so that it can still tie, and then all the contents of the bag are yours for just $20. I’ve lined up for this sale before, in which the line wrapped around the building and girls of all ages ran inside when doors opened. I ended up leaving Plato’s Closet spending $20 and getting 25 items of nearly new clothing, all because I strategically folded and stuffed.

So, there you have it: some of the best discount tips from the bargainer herself! I hope you enjoyed. Leave some feedback so I know what YOU want to hear about in my next Fashion Cents feature.

The possibilities are endless.


Sustainable Fashion: It’s a state of mind


Lately there’s been lot of discussion around Eco fashion and sustainable consumption. The latter topic doesn't merely focus on the fashion industry, but is also referred to when considering other industries like the food industry, for example. Previously we discussed on Top Buttons about up cycling trends, a phenomenon that has become a trend in itself. It is both fun and helps to extend the life-cycle of garments. Another important aspect to consider is our patterns of behavior when it comes to consuming clothes. Do we buy for the thrill or do we buy to meet a need?

To start with, I think that in one or several stages of life, many of us have fallen victim to buying or acquiring stuff as a product of social pressure and the desire to conform and be a part of the “in crowd”.  Also perhaps we purchased for therapeutic reasons of getting something new to feel better about one’s self. It seems as though the western consumer mentality leans towards the famous adage: He who has the most toys wins. This mentality has given rise to the predominant culture of mass consumption which in turn has a great impact on endangering our environment and the lives of garment producers working to meet our unending desire for MORE. You can read about the conditions which garments are often produced under by reading this article, Sweatshops still make your clothes.


So what can we take from this? Well, how about thinking about what motivates you to buy in the first place. There’s nothing wrong with loving fashion and following new trends. But in the end, making use of what you already have and being the best steward of it, can have a big impact in shaping consumer culture in a positive way. It’s all about our state of mind. If you can be happy and content with the things that you already have and maximize the benefit of their use, you may find yourself loosing the need to acquire slightly varying replicas of what you already have.

Clearly, sustainable fashion is a wide and vast topic that can and should be covered in greater depth. With this being said, I hope to write more on this is the future. Till then I leave you with this passage:

For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we (have the basics of) food and clothing, we will (and should) be content with that. (1 Timothy 6:7- 8)

- Sandra

Where to Find Modest Shorts: Trendy Vs. Appropriate


Whether a girl is 5, 9, or 16 years of age, she can purchase the same style of super short shorts. Shorts literally can't get any shorter than they make them now.  With the combination of summer heat, the  fashion industry promoting, and clothing stores lining the shelves with these super short shorts, it's no wonder the trend has caught on. One might ask, "so what does a pair of  MODEST SHORTS look like?"  Well, when comparing a 0'' inseam to a pair of shorts with a 5" inseam, the 5" inseam would be considered more modest than the 0" inseam.  We can all agree on that.  But we know everyone's definition is different on the matter.  And truthfully, a modest length can't be based on the length of an inseam, because the height of a young lady affects where the short will hit on the leg.  With that being said, we are working to find shorts that provide more coverage than most of the current trends offer.  Since a mid length is still fun, reasonable, functional for all body types,  and provides more coverage, this is our starting point.

Questions to think about

When it comes to the length of my shorts, what is my boundary? Do I have one?  Should I have one?  When someone sets the boundary for me, Do I get frustrated? Why or why not?  Are there environments where longer shorts would be more appropriate than others?  What are those places and why would this be so?

A thought to consider

The fashion industry is not encouraging us to have healthy boundaries out of respect for ourselves and others as they continue to promote clothing that is shorter and tighter than ever before.  Simply put, there is a lot of competition for your bucks and they are doing every thing possible to get us to buy their clothes.  This encourages young women to care more about wearing what's trendy than what is appropriate.

Often what is trendy conflicts with what is appropriate.

But it is possible to have a healthy balance of both...

This doesn't mean the  Bermuda style is the only modest option!  (Although Bermudas are nice too.)  But finding a pair that reaches mid thigh (even for a taller girl, although much more difficult), would be... reasonable.  Shorts that are mid thigh do not inhibit airflow during the summer heat.  They work well with all sorts of trendy tops.  They look great on all body types. Wearing them makes a bold statement... It portrays the fact that just because something is popular doesn't mean you will wear it.  Also, there is no doubt that young women will look attractive in a mid thigh short, just as much as, or more than a super short short, and they are functional for most settings.

At Top Buttons we love a good challenge, and it is quite challenging to find modest shorts.

School Shorts 

If you want to get a head start on getting your wardrobe ready for the upcoming school year, here are our Top Buttons's picks for Fall 2013!  (They would be great shorts for summer too.)  We will provide more Modest School Options as we get into July!

A MODEST TIP:  Shorts with High Heels

When wearing high heels, the inseam tends to appear shorter as the heel raises you up and elongates the leg.  When wearing Bermuda shorts, a girl can wear heels with no problem.  Even heels with a short that hits mid thigh could look great with the right pair of wedges.  But you might consider wearing a low heel or flat when the shorts are borderline mid thigh or above, otherwise shorts look shorter than they actually are.

Work out shorts

Work out shorts are typically pretty short, or they are bizarrely over the top in length and amount of fabric.  But we found a few that would be TB approved...We would like to find some other options.  If you know of any, please comment below!

Our Favorite Places To Find Modest Short Options: The LimitedThe Gap, and Loft

Our Top Buttons Pinterest Account would be a great place to find some other ideas on how to wear shorts that are both current and modest!  We are as excited about summer as you are!  Be on the lookout for some changes coming to our website.  You will be pleased.  


Photo Credit: Beth Carter Photography


It’s Not That Black and White


  I’ve been checking out these stunners for far too long and finally had to lay my hands on them.  I’m not really the type to run after every single trend out there but you have to love print trousers.  This black and white Aztec printed trouser is a statement in itself.  It would simply look just as amazing with a simple black top lightly accessorized with a few bangles and a necklace. However, if you decide to play on a bright colored top, you might choose to keep the accessorizing minimal. Chances are, you've already created a nice work of art.! I just couldn't resist adding my oversized DIY bow as a cherry on top of it all. It’s not that black and white. Just have fun and play around with the look!

You can find similar items by clicking these links.   Pants | Sweater
Post by: Sandra Eneh

Sunshine in Borås, Sweden



Spring is coming surely but slowly in Sweden. The most visible sign of this is the radiant sunshine that peaks through the clouds- on almost -a daily basis. The days are longer and people's moods are getting brighter. This time of the year is altogether joyful but always seems like a new phenomenon every year it comes. It's only now that I realize how long the winter darkness has lasted.


Ever since I remember, spring brings a radical change to the types of clothing people wear up here in the north. All of a sudden we move from very dark gloomy colors to brighter and happier tones. You can really see the transition and its impact on people's behavior.
godz6 I don't know anything better than to soak up the sun. Just recently, we really experienced some amazing weather here in Borås, Sweden. After many months of being heavily wrapped up in woolen sweaters and knits, I was able to grab a pair of open-air pumps that I have been waiting for so long to wear, paired up with a colorful top + a neat pencil skirt. This is a look I would normally sport back at my home town when going out for Saturday lunch with the girls. Sadly, though, I guess I'll still have to wait for better days to come. It's still a period when you really can't predict the weather. I guess it's just Scandinavia really...


Written by Sandra Eneh
(Sandra is a regular contributing team member for Top Buttons and has her own personal fashion blog too!  We are looking for other young fashion bloggers from around the world with a conviction for modesty in their styles.  If you are interested in being a guest or regular contributor, click here.)



With longer legs come greater challenges to dress modestly, especially with the current trends.  The goal is not to set a standard by which all judgements on modesty should be made, but rather offer a perspective and some suggestions to consider when shopping with modesty in mind from one tall girl to another.  Miss Amelia with her breathtaking smile and gorgeous long blonde hair,  is 5 feet 9 inches tall. She is a full head taller than most of her peers.


The issue of finding dresses and shorts that reach her mid thigh has been a challenge for her for many years.  If a person is petite or average in height, they might not realize just how difficult it is to find stores and styles that offer more conservative options for taller girls. Tall girls living in the southern states might have even more trouble.  With skimpy summer trends and squelching heat comes the battle of flesh versus staying true to values.

"It is possible, if you are willing to work at it," says the resident tall girl, Miss Amelia. She was all smiles as she shared her challenges and the tricks that she has learned to dress with dignity, despite the push of the culture to do the opposite.



 When asked which stores she has the best luck finding clothes that fit her tall frame and body type, she said, "I get most of my shorts from J Crew, and occasionally Loft.  The 'teenager stores' don't make an alternative for taller girls like me. Their options generally consist of short and shorter. Both J Crew and Loft make it so easy to wear longer shorts, because they have all the same patterns but offer them in a 3, 5, or 8-inch length."  The petite young woman could more easily find shorts that reach mid thigh, while someone with Amelia's height might have to wear at least a 5 or 8 inch inseam to even get close to mid thigh.  Then there are the "bermudas."  Not everyone is fond of this knee length style.  They are, however, a super safe option. Some might argue that they don't look fantastic on their body type.  This thought process is likely encouraged by the current trends to wear shorts that barely cover one's bottom.  When all the fashion magazines show styles and celebrities wearing super short shorts, it seems natural that many would want to do the same.  But that doesn't mean that they should!

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Taller girls may also be limited in the current trends they can wear modestly.  Responding to this idea, Amelia said that a trend she wished she could pull off is the high waisted shorts.  "They look so cute on petite girls with a tucked in shirt and the right accessories.  But when I wear them it seems like all you see are my mile long legs!  Unfortunately that's one trend I've had to give up on."  She also admitted that she doesn't always wear the longer shorts, but that she tries her best to balance it out by wearing a looser fitted shirt that undeniably provides full coverage on top to balance the outfit out.

Here are some trends that Amelia likes to wear and she added some tips to make the trend more modest for the tall girl.


The Tunic is adorable to wear to outdoor lunches and beachy events, but she recommends wearing thicker leggings, jeggings, or even comfy skinny jeans underneath.  Otherwise, if you bend over at all, everything will be exposed.




The patterned shirt dress is classy.  And this particular dress does hit mid thigh on Amelia, but she still feels more comfortable in it (especially in this time of year) with a pair of tights and tall boots.  It must be added that with this young lady, an outfit isn't complete without the right accessories!




With the longer length of this dress hitting just above her knee, she  feels comfortable wearing the wedges to make it dressier.  Often times a shorter dress paired with high heeled shoes make the dress appear even shorter.  This is something for the tall girl to keep in mind when trying to dress more modestly.


 So what can keep a tall girl motivated when the modest fashion odds are stacked up against her?  Good role models? A scripture verse?  Accountability?  Any and all of these ideas would be valid and helpful.  Amelia comes from a large family.  She has 5 brothers, and 17 cousins.  There are many little eyes looking up to her which keeps her in check.  "Since my family is pretty close I have my brothers that constantly monitor my outfits. They make their opinions pretty vocal and will let me know if they think I’m wearing something too short, even when I don't ask for their opinion." In addition to sharing about her young family members, She said that her Mother has been a great example and has encouraged her along the way. "My mom is an influence that helps me keep my standards high. Since she is also tall and has shown me great alternatives while being fashionable. I also stay motivated knowing that I don’t dress to impress people on earth, but want to be a representation of Christ through the way I look and act," she said.


It is safe to conclude that it does take more effort to find decent clothing for the taller young lady, but like Amelia says, "don’t give in to what everyone else says is 'normal.'  "I know first hand that being tall and modest is a hard combination, but it builds character and makes your outfits worth the extra effort. I have one last tip when buying shorts or dresses that are a little shorter," She continued. "Try buying a size up from what you would normally wear. There is no need to feel self conscious about the size of your clothing. When you wear bigger clothes it not only makes you look slimmer, but also draws the attention away from your legs. This adds a little length and width, instead of your clothes seeming tight and short."

Thank you, Amelia!

More Tips from the Tall Girl can be expected pre-Summer!

***We have thoroughly enjoyed working with Beth Carter!  She has donated her professional photography services to support our cause for many photo shoots.  We are thankful for her, and look forward to working with her more in the future!***

Style Your Phone

Style Your Phone

From studs to chevron, phone cases are getting their very own wardrobe. Designers like Tory Burch, Kate Spade, and Karl Lagerfeld are offering a number of cases that are fun, modern, and trendy. Above are just a few cases that we love. Check them out and add a little style to your phone!

If you already have a case that you absolutely love, we want to see it! Upload a picture on Facebook and tag Top Buttons.

Happy Styling,


Tory burch

Tory burch

Tech accessory


Tech accessory