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Stop! Father’s day is just around the corner and you won’t believe some of these frugal tips!

Father’s day is fast approaching, in fact, it’s literally just around the corner. If you’re a last minute shopper like me, you’re probably still scrambling to find some way to make the day special for dad, and if you’re REALLY like me, you’re attempting to do it on a budget. Don’t panic, because I’ve discovered and collected lots of great ways to honor dad, without breaking the bank. Here are some frugal tips for surviving Fathers Day. You can do it

1: DIY baby!

We all know the old school “give dad a tie for father’s day and he’ll be more than happy”. But, in recent years and in light of new technology, dads are more inclined to want you to shell out the big bucks for some pricey new phone, computer or gadget.

I found one here on Shop72.com, super cheap and can't be beat!
I found one here on Shop72.com, super cheap and can’t be beat!

But where’s the fun in that? Where’s the personalization? If you’ve got little ones and a dad who’s in need of a personalized new tie, I have the perfect solution. Find a cheap tie online and grab the masking tape and markers. Your kids about to go to work.

Step One: Lay the tie out flat on some newspaper and a hard surface.

Step Two: Take your masking tape and tape off the tie in a fancy or even simplistic design.

Step Three: Hand out your non-toxic markers and let the kids get busy. They’ll scribble, draw, and go absolutely crazy.

Step Four: Remove the tape to reveal their beautiful, homemade design that Dad can wear for a lifetime.

Have a T-shirt you can spare to their creative destruction? Even better! Let the kids go wild and design something truly unique and one of a kind. Dad wT-shirt covered in masking tape. Credit goes to Smallfriendly.comill love it and you’ll enjoy the creative “mom time” you’ll have while they’re having fun.

2: Printables!

If you have a printer laying around the house, your life and Father’s Day just got a whole lot simpler. Take the time to download a few printables and print them out so you, dad and the kids can have a ball filling them out and showing them off. Take for example thisFathers-Day-Printable-shirt-tie Shop72.com “I love my dad because” print out I found over on BeautyandBedlam.com. Print these out and let the kids fill them out, then hand them into dad and make him feel extra special. After all, isn’t that what Father’s Day is all about? Making dad feel like the superhero he is? After he’s done reading them and shedding tears of joy and appreciation, hang them up on the fridge or even frame them so the little ones can one day look back on them and remember all the love they had for dad. Especially when they’re teenagers and can’t fathers-day-word-searchstand to be told no. Fun little activities like this one are one of the best ways to show your appreciation for dad without running the risk of breaking the bank. Expensive gifts are fun every now and again, but nothing beats something that’s homemade and from the heart.

Another cool printable idea is a dad word search. This fun little activity is something the entire family can take part in and you can even set up prizes for those who find the most words! Give dad a Mr. Goodbar for guessing words like BBQ, kisses and respect. Soon your household will be filled with giggles and frustrated grunts because they “swear thoughtful just isn’t on the board!” Have some fun with dad on Father’s Day to truly make it a day he won’t forget.

3: Just hang out!

Seriously, just hanging out with dad will be infinitely more valuable to him than some expensive pocket watch. The time you spend with dad now is time you’ll never get back. While the little ones are still well…little, and everything is peachy keen. And for all you supermoms out there doing this on your own, these tips are for you too. Gather up the kids, print out some fun crossword puzzles, turn on the TV and just enjoy your time together. Being a parent will be the highlight of your life. And there will come a day when your babies look back on this special day you spend with them, and want to do it all again with their own children. Start a tradition this year with Father’s Day. dad-kids-on-couch

 Our First Warehouse Sale is a Success! You won’t believe what happened!

Dane Wilkerson Shop72.com Warehouse Sale
That’s Dane from eCommerce

Our warehouse sale has been a long discussed affair that we originally thought wouldn’t even happen. But, with a little luck, a little ingenuity, and a bunch of extraordinary people, we  got it done! From memorial day onwards, shop72.com has catered to the area, offering discounts, free gifts and more, all to better serve our loyal customers and make connections with the people in our community. And it’s not over yet, our sale is still going on, so come on down to our warehouse if you’re in the Belleville area for blowout sales and killer smiles.

Warehouse sale in Belleville
Our warehouse is looking spiffy!

The much anticipated sale kicked off officially on the first of June after months of painstaking planning and setting up our humble warehouse to look its best. It’s a handsome gentleman that we had to transform in order to appeal to the masses and, after worrying about it til we were all stressed out and above the legal blood/coffee limit, we whipped it into shape. Dane, our resident eCommerce manager and Linda, our Customer Service rep, took care to arrange everything, stocking racks and shelves with products and making sure everything was price tagged and ready to go. It was a hassle for them, working all day in the hot warehouse, but never once did they complain.

The first of June rolled around a lot sooner than we anticipated though, but we were

Warehouse sale in Belleville
Things are still selling quickly.

finally able to open our doors to the masses. We posted on Facebook and Twitter, handed out flyers and discount codes in expectation for our customers arrival but, to our complete and utter surprise, people started showing up early! We couldn’t stand to turn them away, so our sale actually started a few days ahead of schedule. Customer after customer came pouring in until we really didn’t know how to accommodate them. We were so surprised—and still are! People love our housewares, chocolate fountains and shammy’s, but more than anything they’ve been all over our clothing items like our dresses, camisoles, leggings, shoes, cardigans and more. Except, instead of ordering online and waiting for it to be delivered, they took it home straight away. One woman even decided to wear a pair of our heels home, straight out of the box. This has been more than a success, we’re so excited to have our loyal customers–and friends!–showing up to hangout with us.This sale has been an extraordinary success and we can’t wait to promote bigger and better events for our customers in the future.

Summer Fashion Trends You Won’t Wanna Miss Out On!

Summer is no longer a far off, distant dream, it’s actually right around the corner for most of us here in the US. And, as the fashionista’s we know we are, if we’re not prepared we’ll find ourselves up a very specific creek without a paddle to get us home again. Summer fashion items are already trending on the the runway and even right here in our own neck of the woods. Let’s take a look at some of the most desirable, sought after trends for the upcoming season, from flirty, far-out bikini covers to rich cummerbunds for your beau; I’ll tip you off to some of the latest trends and how you can get them on the cheap. Your Summer holiday on the beach is about to get a whole lot more stylish.

Remember 2012, when the galaxy theme exploded onto the scene? Mostly thanks to tumblr, galaxy themed clothing items were all the rage and are recently coming back into circulation with the surplus of Pinterest DIY techniques. Anything with swirls and smatterings of color, bold, bright prints and neon are what the kids are asking for. And by kids, I mean the twenty somethings that can’t really afford to pay attention but somehow find the time to fill your inbox with requests for galaxy themed blog design. This season, bikini covers are especially on the rise expense wise. Even if you can afford the designer price tag, there are plenty of low cost, online options that mimic the pricer items even without meaning to. Let’s have a little comparison.

Shop72 Galaxy Bikini Cover
Lord and Taylor are killing me with their radio ads right now. Who can honestly afford their crap? I’d rather look cute and not go broke.

The bikini cover on the left is from Lord and Taylor and is a basic, boring black. It costs a whopping $54 dollars. While the cover on the right is a new item from shop72.com. It falls in line with current trends and is only $22 dollars. Half the price, double the fashion. Some people just prefer to pay for expensive, over-priced brand names, but when it comes to a flimsy piece of cloth you’re probably only going to use two or three times each  year, I say skip the name brand, no one’s going to notice if you don’t tell them. And I, for that matter, most certainly won’t. If you really want to get your bang for your buck this season, think deeply about how often you’re going to actually use an item and whether or not it’ll still be of use next year. Certain fabrics, cuts and styles don’t stand the test of time, so be extra certain that cute, $200 dollar chevron print swimsuit you’ve been eyeing is going to look just as good on you next Summer as it will in the next two months.

For men, cummerbunds and bow ties are back in season, and not only because thousands of females are shoveling them to the alter whether they like it or not. Prom season recently passed and men of all generations are still in the spirit of the roaring twenties when class was

David Oyelowo Shop72
HOLLYWOOD, CA – FEBRUARY 22: Actor David Oyelowo attends the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Moda Di Raza Burgundy Cummerbund and Bow Tie Set
Cummerbunds from Shop72.com at a steal for $9.99

still something to be coveted. Deep, rich colors like burgundy, red, wine and royal blue are being favored  over the normal black, while monochromatic and tame colors are shunned. David Oyelowo tore up the Oscar’s red carpet in a Dolce & Gabbana one button suit with matching bow tie and cummerbund. The color really stood out on him and, despite wearing red on the red carpet being a fashion faux pas, he looked dashing among the  other actors and boozed up starlets.  While Dolce & Gabbana may be out of everyone’s price range, you or that special someone in your life can luckily rock the cummerbund and bow tie look for under twenty dollars. I found this gorgeous set online and on SALE for $9.99. A freaking steal for superb style.

In shoe world, it’s still all about the platform heel. Popularized in the last couple years by Christian Louboutin, especially his Daffodile pump that has every woman foaming at the mouth, the platform heel is back this year with a vengeance. And, I can’t even kid myself, if I could swing  a grand for a heel from Louboutin, there’s no substitute in the world I would

Shop72 Blue Suede Pump
There’s somewhat of a difference but you can’t beat it for the price. $1070 VS $29.99.

settle for. But if you’re like me and tuition is more of a problem than footwear, you may be searching for alternatives. I found a beautiful blue suede heel that’s pretty darn close to Louboutin’s “Victoria”. And for a fraction of the original cost, how can you go wrong?

The chunky heel is another trend for this season that simply wont die. I’m not personally a fan of this one, but there are plenty of trendier fashionista’s who just can’t get enough of a fat heel. Fashion week was full of thick heels with fanciful patterns and mixtures of fabrics but suede came out on top like always. I found this lovely pair online for super cheap.  They would go great with a knee length skirt and blouse or even a pants-suit.

Chunky Heel Shop72
Not for this type of heel but it’s still business chic!

This heel is the fashionable business-woman’s wildest dream. The dark purple color is near black, making it super easy to wear with just about anything. Heels will always be ultra feminine, despite where they got their start. In a nutshell, fashion’s latest trends are all over the place this year. If you can swing the pricier items, totally go for them! But for those of us who can’t, we’ll just have to fake it until we make it. But, as they always say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And imitate we shall, while keeping our hard earned cash where it belongs; firmly in out pockets.

You’ll Never Guess Where Camisoles Came From!

Just like the great legging debate I brought up earlier in the week, tank tops vs camisoles will ultimately come down to personal standards, taste and etiquette, but for those of you caught in the middle of said debate, like I am, allow me to break it down and lay out the details as best I can. So, without further ado, let’s get this thing started.

Camis Are Not Tank Tops!

For those who don’t know and would probably never even bother to ask, camisoles didn’t  start out as a kind of shirt, top or any kind of garment meant ab-basiccami-8460-nvyto see the light of day. In reality, the camisole evolved from another former powerhouse of women’s fashion: the corset and, more specifically, the corset cover. Back in the Sixteenth  Century when the steel boned torture devices were at the hight of fashion, proper ladies used the bulky corset covers, which were made of varying fabrics, not only to cover their corsets but to add an extra layer of protection beneath their oversized dresses. Unlike the typical daily drudgery common in the 16th Century, the corset cover and all its evolutions thereafter has actually withstood the test of time and, as of today, hails as one of women’s favorite undergarments aside from actual underwear.

Tank Tops Were Once Men’s Underwear?!

Yes, you read it correctly. The first tank tops, ironically just like the first high heels, were originally worn by men. Popularized in the early 1930’s by American cinema, the iconic tank tp we know today as a “wife beater” or racerback tank, was once a cinematic device for screenwriters and directors to portray the young man, often Italian-American, in an intimate way. In the post War years especially, working class men owned maybe one or two good shirts, which  they saved for work or special occasions, therefore a man appearing in a scene wearing a tank top was a man with his guard down, at ease in his private life. It was often a za-tntop-t-1159-brightbluetime for the negative aspects of their character to come to the fore, think Robert De Niro in Raging Bull or Marlon Brando in A Street Car Named Desire. Men, especially Italian men existed in a dichotomy of the persona they presented to the public and that which they kept behind closed doors (via. swide.com). To put this in perspective, a man walking about in his tank top was equal to a woman strutting around in a terry cloth robe, ripped sweats and slippers, not at all how any respectable person would want to be portrayed in public at that time. Across the water in Italy and it was seen in a different way, free of the emasculating problems that affect an immigrant community, the tank top was seen simply as a symbol of masculine sex appeal. Dino Risi’s ‘Poveri ma belli’ (1957) saw Renato Salvatori sport the look as a Roman lifeguard, out in the public, bearing shoulders to the sun. The tank top’s evolution from hidden undergarment, through symbol of male brutishness, cinematic device, to iconic look and eventually to the catwalk mirrors the evolution of fashion itself: what we view as a trend often eventually evolves into the mainstream. Whether that’s good or bad is solely up to you, the consumer.

Ah, But Where Do The Differences Come Into Play?

Right…about…now. Ideal by themselves in hot weather or layered under warmer tops in cooler temps, camisoles and tank tops serve many of the same purposes — but they’re not quite the same thing. Tank tops come in a variety of styles and with different size straps, while camisoles have a more uniform look with skinny, usually adjustable, bra-style straps and even bra-like inserts that most women like to pretend don’t exist. Seriously, those things provide zero support and just as little coverage, why do camisole makers like to pretend they help anything at all…ever?

1: Camisole Characteristics

Because the camisole evolved from corset covers, the camisole tends to look a bit like lingerie; and, in many cases, it’s meant only to be worn as an undergarment. You can layer a cami under a cardigan, dress, top, sweater or just about anything you require extra coverage orza-tanktop-st-3000-bblu control in. Camis are usually fitted and made from a cotton blend or from stretchy material, such as rayon or spandex. Some camis have  lace trim, making them perfect to add modesty to low-cut dresses and tops.

2: Tank Top Types

With styles ranging from satin-crushed to casual, ribbed, A-line cuts, tank tops are more loosely defined. All tank tops are sleeveless and expose the shoulders. The straps vary as well — racerbacks crisscross in the back, halter tops tie behind the neck and spaghetti straps are thin and may or may not adjust like bra straps. You find tank tops with collars, deep V-necks or simple scoop necklines. Tanks tops may be fitted or flow loosely (via. synonym.com).

The bottom Line.

As I say with pretty much any fashion post, at the end of the day, the choice is yours. Whether you like going balls to the wall with leggings and camisoles and not much else, that’s perfectly fine. The point is comfort and how you feel about yourself at the end of it all. Never let anyone talk you into–or out of!–wearing what makes you happy with yourself. Who do you have to please other than yourself?