Ready, Set, Shop! The #AVMFashionista Challenge

I've never been one to back down from a challenge (especially not one that included shopping!) but this contest was one-of-a-kind... A few weeks ago I was invited to participate in the Aventura Mall AVMFashionista Challenge

Joined by fellow bloggers (and friends!) Daniela Ramirez of Nany's Kloset and Stephanie Camargo of Midtown Chica, we were given 2 hours and a $300 Aventura Mall giftcard to shop for a head-to-toe look representing a specific trend. 

BEFORE: Dani, Stephanie & Kelly with our selected trends

I ended up with a trend called "Baghaus Brigade" which called for color blocking, bold geometric prints, and stripes. I was given a list of only five stores I could shop at, and my final outfit had to include items from at least two. My stores were Ann Taylor, bebeBloomingdalesGap, and M Missoni.

So many rules, So little time!

Though I could have knocked out the challenge in one trip to M Missoni, my limited budget would have left me with more of a commando look-- i.e. naked. (A tube top was 300!) My strategy was to briefly survey each store, and then go back for the pieces to build my outfit. Talk about overwhelming! I can only compare the stress I was under to the experience of shopping with an impatient dad or boyfriend.

Racing out of M Missoni... empty handed.
I bought my first item at the Gap, the only store I was sure I wouldn't buy anything at! My neon yellow and black striped sweater was the key piece I needed to build the rest of my outfit around. At only $19 it was a steal, but I had to get creative since it was a size XL.

To balance out the over-sized sweater I picked up sleek pleather leggings at bebe, along with a pair of sky-high platform booties. (Confession: I splurged on the shoes. I love them!)

bebe booties & pleather pants

With minutes to spare I raced back to Ann Taylor for the finishing touch to any outfit- accessories. My best find of the entire challenge was the beautiful necklace I fished out of  their sale jewelry pile for only $7! That's what I call cheap & chic.

Sweater by Gap, Necklace by Ann Taylor

My outfit complete and $11 to spare I raced back to the finish line to meet the rest of the AVMFashionista team! Stephanie looked fabulous in her flamingo print skirt representing her "Birds Take Flight" trend, and Dani was prim & proper in her 1950s themed ensemble.

AFTER: Dani, Stephanie & Kelly in final outfits

You can follow our journey as it happened by searching for hashtag #AVMFashionista on twitter. Check out the Aventura Mall facebook for exclusive video from the Challenge.

© Kelly Saks - Miami's Fashion Girl | All rights reserved.
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