Ashley LeMieux's Thrifty Style

Phoenix transplant Ashley LeMieux is known not only for her sweet style, but also for her charitable efforts. 

The 24-year-old is self-employed and dedicates her days to working on her blog, The Shine Project, where she shares peeks into her daily life and outfits, as well as running her own handmade jewelry business, vintage shop

She's also working on her fundraising efforts where she hopes to raise $20,000 that would help four inner-city Phoenix high school students during their first year in college.

LeMieux says her personal style is a true reflection of who she is, and that letting her clothes send out a positive message about her personality is a must. 

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"It's a creative outlet for me to express my mood, and to stand out a little in the crowd," she says. "It's important for me to send a positive message before introductions are even exchanged."

What are you wearing?

I'm wearing a vintage dress that I picked up during one of my weekly thrifting excursions. My leopard pumps are from Steve Madden.

Can you tell us a little bit about your style? 
My style is pretty girly. I love fun dresses that show off bold patterns, and I could wear creams, pinks and grays any day of the week. I layer often, so I'm excited that fall is coming. I love mixing colors and textures together, and finding a great vintage gem is better than Christmas! I definitely don't get caught up in designer names, and am the best bargain shopper you'll ever meet. Big claim, I know.

What are some of your favorite places to shop?
As far as shopping for vintage items goes, there are several thrift stores around Arizona that never let me down, as well as estate sales (House of Hamblin Estate Sales). When I become sick of getting suffocated from clothes that smell like grandmas and moth balls, Forever21, H&M, and Nordstrom's Rack are my first stops. Girly and cheap!

What was the last clothing purchase you made?
Jean trouser pants from Forever21, and an orange poncho.

What are you favorite trends for fall?
Every time I see colored pants I want to cheer! I absolutely love them. Polka dots will also be making many cameos in my fall wardrobe, along with soft color pallets and pleated skirts.

What item of clothing do you covet at the moment?
I'd have to say that the only thing I've ever really wanted is a Michael Kors watch. So Michael, if you're reading this, I'm your go-to girl.

Give us a childhood memory of you and clothing. 
When I was in elementary school, I was a complete tomboy. To the point that I was literally picked first for every football, basketball, and soccer game that we played at recess. I didn't have cute clothes, and I remember a couple of girls asking me in class why I never cared about what I looked like, and if I had more than five shirts. That was in 5th grade, so I decided that I'd get new clothes for junior high the next year so people would think that I looked nice. My tomboy side still comes out sometimes.

What do you like to accessorize with? 

I love chunky necklaces and unique stud earrings. I also think that the right belt can really bring an outfit together.

Where would you love to have a shopping spree?
This is such a hard question! I'd have to say Nordstrom, especially because it wouldn't be my money.

Name five things every woman should have in their closet.
1. Solid color blazer
2. Pair of heels with a big bow on them. I promise they are essential.
3. Jean trouser pants
4. Floral printed dress
5. One pair of colored pants

What is your one piece of fashion advice for Phoenix? 
Go explore places that you can find great items for really cheap. I swear the most compliments I get are from clothes I get for under $5 at a thrift store. Express yourself through your style.

One new idea for every day in 2011. We're talking big, small, local, international, in action, and on the drawing board. Here's today's -- what's yours?

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