We love a good bargain -- and so does Sarah Dean, the brains and curly hair behind The Year of Living Thriftily
, a great fashion and bargain blog straight outta Austin, Texas, where Dean lives with her husband and daughter. Dean says she wants to be "Rachel Zoe when she grows up," and, like Zoe, she works as a fashion stylist. She also shares her great taste in vintage clothing through her online boutique, Magnolia Family Vintage
Dean "believes in the power of Spanx, that being overdressed is a good sign, and Diane Von Furstenberg is actually a sorceress with magical powers to make women look better." We totally agree.
Sarah Dean's a busy lady: She runs the online vintage boutique Magnolia Vintage and the blog The Year of Living Thriftily. Check out her winning wardrobe.
Your favorite clothing items: I have a soft spot for my Betsey Johnson dresses and 2 or 3 vintage cocktail frocks that only come out once or twice a year.
Your most nostalgic item: The dresses I wore to my bridal showers. They were all picked out for the occasions and they remind me of a lovely, hopeful summer.
Sarah in wedges and a soft grey skirt.
The most expensive thing you own: My Monique Lhuillier wedding gown. I found exactly what I wanted and took it home, no questions asked. On my wedding day, I looked exactly as imagined I would when I was seven years old. All pouf and satin. It was worth every penny.
Your biggest regret purchase: Anything and everything I ever bought with the intention of "fitting into" later. I fell into that trap too many times in my life. If it doesn't look good right now, today, I don't buy it.
Your best bargain find: I have found vintage Lanvin, Dior, Ungaro, and Betsey Johnson in thrift stores. The runner up would have to be the two pairs of black ankle boots I found in Wal Mart for $20 each. I have never gotten so man compliments on shoes!!
The thing you end up wearing every day: My vintage, taupe, campus-style boots. Even I get bored looking at them. I can't help it, they have taken on the actual shape of my feet now and they are so comfortable.
A Native American-themed sweater punctuates a skirt and boots pairing.
Inside her vintage-filled closet.