Monday, April 14, 2014

Basic Wardrobe: Pants

Heidi gave me a great idea for this post when she mentioned that she's wearing more pants now than in the past, which is something I've noticed since I've stopped posting my daily outfits here! Here are my suggestions for pants for work, though this can be a very subjective topic depending on your work requirements, dress code, and your body type.



1. Black Straight Leg Pants - These are my #1 suggestion, especially if you're a teacher. I found an amazing pair at JC Penney a few years ago, and I still wear them quite often. They can also double for non-work outfits, so it maximizes my wardrobe.

2. Khaki Straight Leg Pants or Slim Leg Chinos- When I first started my blog, I had a pair of wide-leg pants from New York and Company that I wore all the time -- mostly because I bought them right out of college out of desperation. I had no idea what to wear as a teacher, and I wasn't very savvy about fit. That's a big reason why I started this blog, of course, and I'd like to think I've come a long way in terms of understanding fit and styling...but we all know there are areas we can work on! I bought a pair of straight leg khakis from Old Navy for about $7 around the time I started teaching, and they've been a casual staple in my wardrobe ever since. Biggest lesson: If you're going to have a pair of khaki pants, make sure the fit is amazing and you are comfortable in them. It's so easy for khaki pants to look frumpy and dated (yeah, that means no more cargo khaki pants. You know who you are). My mindset now is focused on finding quality pieces that will last long-term, so I'm actively seeking to invest in a pair of black and tan khaki pants. So, if you find a great pair, don't over-hesitate to purchase them.

3. Grey Pants - Fantastic for fall/winter, and they still look dressy enough for parent night or conferences (or whatever your work-meeting equivalent is). I really love Merona's ankle pants, but Mossimo had a really pretty pair of grey pants that resembled a tweed, so I invested in those a while back. If you purchase them in the future, size down -- they stretch out!

4. Navy Pants - I looked for a long time to find the perfect navy pants because they're kind of a non-denim alternative to jeans at work. Tricky, right? The pair that I have now are the Merona ankle pants I've linked above, and they're an easy go-to when I'd rather be wearing jeans. Because these are ankle, I'm a little more limited in terms of time of year I can wear them, so I'm on the lookout for a well-fitting pair of full-length pants.

5. White Pants - This one is pretty subjective, especially since I rarely wear the pair I have. My white pants were a hand-me-down from my mom, so I kind of see them as a "bonus" inclusion in my closet and I hold them to a different standard than the things I buy. I can definitely see how white pants would be a great option for (non-preschool or non-elementary) teachers, though I don't know how well they'd translate to the office environment.

6. Slacks - I think it's common knowledge that every woman should have a pair of nice dress slacks in her closet at all times, right? Well, forget that, because I haven't worn slacks in a long time...and wide leg slacks just make me look frumpy. I got rid of my last set of slacks after I posted a blog post of me in them and realized that I looked like the widest part of my thighs extended to the ground. It wasn't a good look for me. It has been four years since I've been through an interview for a job, so I'm a little rusty about interview formal wear. I will probably stick with skirts if I ever interview for any jobs in the future.

7. Patterned Pants - I love my black and white patterned pants and I highly suggest finding a pair of fun, quirky pants for work or office wear. Wear them with solid colors or even experiment with pattern mixing. I think these black and white pants would look great with a white oxford and black blazer!

8. Color Khakis - In more formal work environments, this might not be kosher, but I found a pair of J. Crew Andie Chinos in a neon coral and fell in love. I linked to a pair of light pink pants above, and I think a muted color is a good gateway pair to test the waters for potential expansion into the realm of obnoxiously colored pants. Do what makes you feel comfortable and good about your appearance, but don't get yourself fired over pants. That would be stupid. Just sayin'.

Do you have a favorite pair of pants for work? Any suggestions?
XO,

Friday, April 11, 2014

Accessories 101 : Scarves

I love scarves. I just hate that they compete with necklaces, or I'd wear them every day. Here are my tips for a perfectly balanced scarf collection:



1. Square Silk Scarf: Every girl needs one. I don't wear mine incredibly often, but it's a picture of sophistication when I do. If you're a professional, or will be someday, find a really nice silk scarf to invest in -- you won't regret it!

2. Solid Color Pashminas: Like my experience with belts, I went through a phase where I thought having a scarf in every color was the most important thing. Please don't do that. It's overwhelming and crowds your closet with scarves you'll never wear. Choose a coordinating color in your wardrobe to bring out colors in your closet, or choose your favorite color to add some color to neutral outfits. My most-worn solid color scarves are my mint and yellow pashminas from Target. The yellow is perfect for fall -- and I think that's the time of year where I get the most wear from it! I think a good, red scarf is a perfect place to start!

3. Leopard Print Scarf: I think we've all arrived at the conclusion that leopard is a neutral. Just go with it.

4. Striped and Polka Dot Scarf: I think that these are in the same category, so I put them together. If you have more dots than stripes in your wardrobe, get a striped scarf...and vice versa. They do well for a little bit of pattern mixing, and helps you branch out a bit.

5. Black and White Scarf: A black and white striped top is a basic for your closet, so it's natural to include a black and white scarf in my list. The one I included above is perfect for pattern mixing or wearing with an LBD. I have a fantastic black and white wool scarf from J. Crew that works wonderfully in cooler months.

6. Square Pattern Scarf: This one adds a fun twist to tanks or tees and hangs well on dresses. Pick a palette of colors that plays to your favor or fits into a multi-outfit palette from your closet.

7. Pattern Scarf (in the long, rectangular sense, of course): This one has the same properties as the square scarf, but has a different silhouette and is probably a little bit more versatile in its ability to be tied in different ways. If you go for a cool palette in the square, I'd go for warmer colors in this one (or vice versa) just to keep a balance and prevent redundancy in your closet.

While most of my scarves pictured seem to fit within a similar color palette, my own collection is a little more eclectic. I try not to buy scarves similar to those that I already own--and my scarf hanger is pretty complete, so I don't buy them very often anyway! I know a girl who has dozens of scarves and wears them every day, but if you're like me and only wear them occasionally, I think this list will keep your scarf needs pretty satisfied!

Did I miss any categories of scarves?
XO,

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Accessories 101: Necklaces

A few years ago, you'd only find me in pearls. Seriously. I have a beautiful strand of pearls that I bought in Japan, and I was so proud of them that I wore them with everything. Then, my husband (then boyfriend) bought me a beautiful necklace of several strands of pearls and I wore those with everything I didn't wear my Japanese pearls with. I think that second necklace was my introduction into the world of statement necklaces, as it was a little bigger and made more of a statement than my simple strand of pearls.

It really wasn't until I started reading blogs and saw the Stormy Sea necklace that almost every blogger wore (remember that necklace?) that I realized how versatile big, chunky jewelry could be. I know that there are different levels of costume and statement necklaces, so I thought I'd show you my collection and explain how I wear them:



1. Pearl Cluster Necklace: Some things haven't changed! I still love pearls, and my necklace (this exact one) is perfect for work and special occasions. It's neutral enough to "go" with everything, but special enough that it stands out on its own.

2. Crystal Necklaces: I included two options above, though my go-to in this category is from Target and looks like this one. It's a great basic piece, and I love to layer it with my monogram necklace or other small chain necklaces. If you're looking to start your foray into statement jewelry, I'd start here.

3. Multi-color Necklaces: The two I have above are two that I own (though not from Charlotte Russe for the blue and pink one). I think they're both perfect for fall or spring, and have several colors in them to maximize their mixing capabilities. This is probably your next step after you've found a clear-color statement necklace. Stick with colors you have in your closet -- the Zizi Petalwork Necklace above, for example, has yellows, blues, and greens represented -- and works well with any varying shade of those colors alongside neutrals.

4. Flower Necklace: This one just arrived in my closet, and I can't help but think that it's a classier looking version of the J. Crew flower necklaces that were popular last summer. I feel a little more limited on what I can wear this one with, but it's a really pretty and interesting piece!

5. Tortoise Shell Necklaces: I have a couple that I love, though not this exact one. I really love the tortoise shell look, and I think it's perfect for the cooler months when brightly colored necklaces just don't feel right...and it classes up a plain black tee like nobody's business!

6. Long Necklace: I have one tassel necklace that fits this bill -- I think everyone should have at least one long necklace to mix things up!


I've made a lot of mistakes when it comes to jewelry, and I think most of them have been buying the "it" necklace for that season instead of buying what I really love. If you want to get the most out of your investment, buy what you like instead of what's "in." My two favorite necklaces are the Zizi Petalwork Necklace from Anthropologie and the Pearls and More necklace from PinkPineappleShop -- they were both gifts, but I believe they would have been worth it to purchase on my own. If my entire statement jewelry collection disappeared but for those two necklaces, I don't know if I'd even miss the rest! That should be your goal -- find one or two that become your collection instead of creating a wall full of jewelry that you only wear once (I should listen to my own advice, I know!).

What are your favorite necklaces?
XO,

Monday, April 07, 2014

Accessories 101: Shoes

Last post, I over-analyzed belts and talked about my journey from never wearing belts to over wearing them to finding a better balance. As far as shoes go, I find myself wearing the same ones almost daily, but I have a few pairs in my closet that mix it up every now and then.

As a teacher, I tend to wear flats on the daily. These are my basics that alternate as daily wear:



These, in my mind, are the must-have basics. I think that it's obvious that everyone should have a nice pair of black flats in their closet. They go with virtually everything and they're an easy go-to when you're on the run. I feel the same way about leopard flats and tan flats.

As far as brands go, I tend to stick with Merona brand from Target for my flats. The leopard ones above are extremely comfortable...and I got them in store for less than $10. Because I wear flats every day, they tend to, well, die fast. I had a pair of Tory Burch flats that I wore quite frequently over the course of a year and I was disappointed by how short their lifespan seemed to be. I'm all for investing in a pair of shoes that will last you a long time, but that didn't quite work for me with the Reva flats. I'm still on the hunt for basic shoes that might be worth the investment, but it's almost more fun to hunt for replacement pairs every six months or so (just being honest!).

I have a few pairs of "fun flats" that I love to mix in when I can, but I don't wear those nearly as often as the four above. 

I chose coral and turquoise as the two accent colors in my closet, as I have a lot of navy and black/white in my closet. Of all the colors, I think that coral and turquoise work well to add a balance or pop of color to navy or black and white outfits. Because I have a lot of black and white (and they're just wholly Audrey Hepburn), I love my pair of black and white shoes. My oxfords work as a casual shoe, but I've found myself wearing them more often to work! If you're looking to branch out and add some fun flats, try a fun pattern that incorporates major colors that your closet already has, or go for solid color contrast like I've done with turquoise and coral.

As far as heels go, I don't wear them nearly as often as I did in college! Even still, I've always gravitated toward neutral-color heels.

If I wear heels, I typically wear my nude/tan heels or my calf hair leopard heels. When the weather is warm, I love my Chelsea Crew Jezebel heels (I have them in a light tan/nude color instead of the turquoise -- these were the only ones I could find!). For special occasions, I wear my black studded heels...but only if I know I'm going to be sitting more than walking (meaning, I never wear them to work! ha!).

So, how do you determine what shoes work best in your closet?
XO,

Thursday, April 03, 2014

How to Pattern Mix

Popping in briefly to say that I wrote a little feature piece at Real Practical Housewives yesterday on pattern mixing. Go check it out! :)

XO,

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Accessories 101 - Belts

I recently got an email asking for advice on how to build an accessories collection -- asking specifically for shoes, belts, and necklaces, which are kind of something I love...so, I jumped on the idea for the post! Thanks, Anna Rose!

I've really been trying to create a more intentional "curated" closet, which would have saved me a lot of money and frustration along the way had I started with this mindset. Life and learn, right? I've cut back on shopping and I've only been buying things that I really love and that pull double or triple duty in my closet.
I'm hoping these series of posts will give a some ideas for a "starter" accessories wardrobe, while also offering suggestions for a minimalist approach to maximize the efficiency of each piece!

Let's talk belts first.
I never really wore belts until after I graduated college -- shocking considering how I can't wear an outfit without them now, but I always saw them as something you got for free with the purchase of a pair of pants or a dress or skirt, not something I went out of my way to buy.

Times have changed, of course, and I went through a phase where I thought having a belt in every color was the best way to be prepared and mix outfits around. Not the case. There's never a need to buy all the things.

I've found that a long, thin camel or tan color belt does well with pants and a thicker, but shorter tan/camel belt works well with skirts. If your waist and hips aren't terribly different in size, you can probably make them do double duty. I wear a camel belt with both neutral and colorful outfits, and if my house were burning down and I could only save one belt from my belt collection (assuming everything else is safely outside with my husband)...it would probably be my camel belt that I wear almost every day.

I would highly suggest starting out with belts like these two:


Once you've gotten some wear out of the basics, I'd probably stick with just one color belt, like pink, yellow, or turquoise, to add some pop to neutral outfits. Choose the belt color based on what color your wear the most, so you can also incorporate the belt into those outfits. Don't go for a full rainbow for your belt collection -- it will just confuse you and frustrate you by overwhelming you with choice! Start with one, love it, and wear it a lot.

Here are some colorful belts to choose from:


Once you've got a good neutral belt and a couple colorful belts, expand your belt collection based on what you wear the most.

My most-worn belt collection looks a little like this:



Next, I'll be talking about basic shoes and jewelry! If you have any ideas for an addition to this post, or you'd like to see something else, feel free to email me at alongthelinesofstyle@gmail.com or leave a comment!
XO,

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Style It! (Mint Shirt)

I'm really obsessed with the color mint right now. I saw this shirt in Anthropologie (also on Kendi a while back) and I fell in love with the idea of the shirt. The pockets, however, were a bit long for someone with any chest and there's an odd slit in the back that would prove difficult to tuck in. So, I took some initiative and my friend and neighbor from Real Practical Housewives helped me use RIT dye to make my favorite white collared shirt the perfect shade of mint. She's excellent with color theory, and even though I bought the wrong colors, she managed to duplicate this exact color. I think we used three teaspoons of aquamarine with one full teaspoon of yellow plus a couple drops of yellow to bring it back a little more green. Most of the directions online tell you to use teal and kelly green, but I think mine turned out way better...



She asked me how I'd style it and it got me brainstorming...While I may not have these exact items, I have enough similar ones to build these basic outfits.

Spring Work:


This necklace is definitely the inspiration for the rest of this outfit. My sweet sister sent it to me after seeing me post it on my Pinterest Wish List board and on Instagram with a lookalike. The colors of this necklace are perfect for all year long, but this outfit is one that's perfect for spring. I'm planning to wear this outfit to celebrate the warmer temps!

Work Pants or Night Out


I love my black and white pants -- and this top is perfect for a little pop of color with black and white as a base.

Just Jeans.


My version is my official go-to shirt when I have to dress on the go. I've already worn it three times with jeans, and I'm foreseeing a long relationship with this shirt. Those of you who know me in real life will just have to get accustomed to seeing this top for a while...

Any other ideas for styling this top?
XO,

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Style It! Black and White Graphics

The Elle Trend Report cites black and white graphics as a major trend this spring -- which is great for me because I've never considered it out of style! I believe black and white pieces are actually investment pieces -- they fit for a variety of occasions and will last as long for multiple seasons (and years!). Graphic prints are easy to find in tops, skirts, dresses, and pants...it's everywhere. I chose a few that are a little different from your usual polka dots and stripes.

My picks:

I chose this dress because it also fits in the spring trend of florals (shocking, I know, but I'm covering two trends at once, so that counts for something, right?). I tend to try to fit "trends" into my everyday work clothes, but I don't do a great job of incorporating them into my casual clothes...this dress pulls multi-duty for casual weekends, brunch, beach/traveling, or sushi dates. Not sure why I went with "sushi dates," specifically, but I guess I associate semi-casual dates (with my husband or with girlfriends) with sushi.

Also, I'm just kind of in love with this Kate Spade clutch...and it's kind of a bargain. You're welcome.

Casual Office:

This outfit incorporates a few other trends -- pops of color, lace/sheer top, pattern/texture mixing, and an awesome statement necklace. I have a pair of pants like this that I wear often, but I tend to play it safe by wearing a white shirt with colors mixed in my accessories. Also, these pants are $9.99. Snatch them up.

Here are some small ways to incorporate a little black and white in your everyday life without going full-blown head-to-toe:



Do you have any items or pieces that you love but don't know how to style? I'm looking for your ideas and suggestions! Email me (alongthelinesofstyle@gmail.com)!

XO,

Monday, March 24, 2014

Style It! (Lace Dress)

Easter is a nostalgic time for me -- long before I got married on Easter weekend a few years ago, my mom always made Easter the time of "refresh your wardrobe." My sister and I got new white Keds (90s kid throwback), "running" sneakers, white dress shoes, and a brand new Easter dress. I still continue this tradition sans Keds by looking for the perfect new spring dress (even recently bought these sneakers in an obnoxious lime green color with neon pink laces...can't give up all of my 90s tendencies).

I can't get lace dresses out of my mind -- I'm seeing them everywhere and I'm convinced that they'd be the perfect staple for your Easter dress, sorority recruitment, summer beach travel, and (in some colors!) summer weddings.


I really love this green dress -- I think it might be the one this year. Obviously, you could wear it by itself with sandals and subdued earrings, but I thought I'd go a little bolder with its outfit just to show how versatile it is! Add a belt if you're an hourglass or have a large bust and have drapey-top-induced tent syndrome like me. It's easy to add some funky accessories--let the dress's pattern play into your accessories or keep it neutral to let it be a statement on its own.

Sorority Recruitment




I remember searching with my girlfriends for white dresses for sorority recruitment in college. You girls going through it now have it so much easier -- it seemed like white dresses became some kind of green light romanticized trophy that we could never find...! I really love this white dress -- and this outfit could probably even double for a Rehearsal dinner or Bridal shower (if you're the bride, of course). One amazing thing I discovered in college, as well, were fake-hair braid headbands. My hair never allowed me to do the braid-wrap over to look like a headband, so I always cheated with an actual headband. You can find them at Ulta or cheaper stores like Icing or Claire's -- they work for long or short hair and create an easy, elegant hairdo!

Beach and Brunch:

How funky and different is this dress? I really love the homage to the 20s with this dress and some pearls, but I really love mixing in other eras with the 50s/60s inspired vintage heels and a snakeskin belt (is that 80s?). This is another dress that could be simple on its own, but the details really make a big difference! Unstructured dresses aren't just for any body type -- and I always add some structure with belts if there isn't an obvious waistline. I included a white lace dress that has a little more of that structure, and I'm sure it would work with this outfit, too!

EveryDay:


How could I not include an outfit with Keds after mentioning them? I love the gold-toned ones here, but if the texture/print clashes with the lace too much in your mind, a simple white pair would work, too. This dress basically takes the t-shirt dress up a notch (remember those?). I love the metallic bow belt with this -- and I think a simple cameo or gold necklace would keep it away from "wear all the things" territory.

I really love all of the lace dresses I picked -- and I'm pretty sure I'd wear them all if I had them. I have a gorgeous maroon lace dress from Target (looks just like the red one I included in the round-up) and it was perfect for fall and winter weddings and special events. I am excited to pick out one for spring!
XO,

Friday, March 21, 2014

Style It! Spring Skirts

I have really missed blogging lately -- I thrived on the support, advice, and community that the blogging world has, and I've been brainstorming ways to participate in blogging without having to take pictures of myself everyday. I want to put my style and ideas out there without putting myself out there.

I have decided to revamp this blog as a personal shopping blog, not a personal style or fashion blog. Let's go shopping together -- and discover new ways to add these items to other pieces in your closet. Email me at alongthelinesofstyle@gmail.com if you have an idea or item you'd like me to feature in a "Style It" post!

For my "pilot" and slightly experimental post, I thought I'd take on an item that shows up every year around this time. To celebrate spring, I'm starting with a simple staple -- colorful, patterned skirts!

Here are some fantastic options at multiple price points and varying styles for different ages:




Banana Republic Mid-length Skirts · ModCloth Plus Skirts · Boden Mid-length Skirts

I chose three skirts to style, but I believe you could apply the same "outfit formula" to any of the skirts above. It's my goal to hit multiple styles, ages, and price points with the outfits I create.



I would wear this to the office, church/synagogue, or to any kind of meeting. If you're a little intimidated by the pattern mixing, simply exchange the striped top for a solid color shirt that brings in colors from the skirt. I would, however, avoid wearing the same color shirt and shoes, as you'll look a little more matchy-matchy than put-together. Wear a white button-down for an easy, chic look, but you can also pair it with solid purple, turquoise, navy, or yellow! This skirt is the perfect skirt to mix around and experiment in your closet.




This outfit is completely inspired by spring break. It's casual, relaxed, and would be perfect on the beach! Exchange the fedora for a simple ponytail, and you've got a great brunch outfit with the girls. Toss on some heels instead of the oxfords, and you've got a casual work outfit or an everyday errands outfit. I think that this outfit would work for all ages -- I could see everyone from elementary school to great-grandmas rocking a variation of this outfit!



This outfit is definitely for the younger crowd. While I'm all for "wearing what you want," there is an age limit on some sets of clothing. This outfit is perfect for an undergrad class or a casual night out with friends. The moto jacket toughens up the florals, but a denim jacket would keep it sweet and simple for those of us whose styles are a bit more feminine. Tuck the shirt in if you have an hourglass shaped body, or leave it out if you have a ruler-shaped figure. Toss your hair in a messy bun for a relaxed, easy outfit!


Which floral skirt is your favorite and how would you style it?
XO,
W

Sunday, December 29, 2013

To Everything There is a Season

To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven: A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted, A time to kill and a time to heal, a time to break down and a time to build up, A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, A time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, A time to get and a time to lose, a time to keep and a time to cast away, A time to rend and a time to sew, a time to keep silence and a time to speak, A time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. What profit remains for the worker from his toil?
- Ecclesiastes 3:1-9

My husband recently told me that his goal in life is to be content. I mean, I loved him before he said that, but I really felt like he unveiled the meaning of life and my ultimate ambition.
Contentment. That's what I want out of life.

I believe that it is time to wrap up this project and begin a journey to contentment and focus on being the wife, teacher, coach, grad student, and athlete who wears the clothes. 
Almost every day for about two and a half years, I have been a part of many of your lives, and you have been part of mine. I am humbled that so many of you found me and stuck with me, even when my outfit choices were missteps. I love that so many of you have joined in my journey -- I am truly grateful for the friendship and guidance all of you have provided me.

This blog began as a journey to find my style through the transition of college student to a professional woman.  I started this blog because I had great ideas about how I wanted to dress, but I just didn't know how to translate them into reality. This is not a George W. Bush Mission Accomplished on a battleship moment, but I really believe I've come a long way from a mismatched, inconsistent wardrobe to a much more methodical approach to what I wear.

This blog has been good for me in so many ways, but I have found myself spending a lot of time and energy focused on what I wear every day and what I want to buy next. I've become so discontent and anxious about what started as a hobby. I want to get away from checking stats, traffic sources, and worrying about comments on Pinterest or other forums. This can be incredibly unhealthy, especially when I have so much positivity in life around me. I want to spend more time reading, running, being with friends, being grateful...and just looking up from a computer screen in general. I want to spend more money on others than I do on myself. I want to think more about the needs of others and think less about my excessive desires and what I'm going to wear. 
You can always email me at alongthelinesofstyle@gmail.com for anything -- I have it forwarded to my personal email, and I will always have time for you. I still plan to be available for styling services, as it has become a fun little side hobby!

You can also find me on Instagram (@alongthelinesofstyle), as I plan to continue posting my daily outfits there just to keep me on my toes. I feel like there's so much less pressure on Instagram because it is so much quicker and easier...and I feel as though it's more personal than an intimidating blog comment system.
Who knows...I may get bored and come back. I might even write an occasional update. I still plan to read all of your blogs in my "retirement," so expect to see me pop up every now and then for a comment or two. 

I thought a lot about how I would end my blog and I feel like I have so much more to say about my experiences and my gratefulness for all of you. For now, though, I leave you with this, the most beautiful passage in this section and a reminder to live your life to the fullest:
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He also has planted eternity in men’s hearts and minds, yet so that all people cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to be glad and to get and do good as long as they live; And also that every person should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God.
Ecclesiastes 3:11-13
As always
XO,

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Most Worn




What I Wore:
Shirt: Kohl's - $20
Sweater: Target - $10
Blazer: Target - giftcarded
Pants: JCP - $25
Shoes: Target - $30

So far this winter, this grey blazer is probably the most-worn item in my closet. I've also been wearing this jeweled collar button-down (and the white version) ad-nauseum. Every week in my outfit planning, I seem to have these items in at least one outfit--and I'm trying to stagger them as much as possible. I think that I've almost been doing a 30 x 30 without realizing it!

Similar Styles:




XO,

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Holiday Spirit



What I Wore:
Shirt: Target - $15
Sweater: Target - $15
Pants: Target - $25
Shoes: Target - $15
Necklace: eBay - $10

 I wore this outfit for a day of baking with some sweet co-workers. We made basically everything--sugar cookies, peanut clusters, spice cookies, Christmas wreath corn flakes... It was such a fun and simple way to spend time with each other--and it was exactly the break that all of us needed. That what this holiday season is about. It's so important to take time out of your busy go go go life and just enjoy the company of those you love.

Similar Styles:




Merry Christmas!
XO,

Monday, December 23, 2013

Public Speaking



What I wore:
Sweater: Target - $7
Shirt: Target - $20
Skirt: Target - $20
Boots: Steve Madden - $112
Necklace: LOFT - giftcarded

I wouldn't say that public speaking is so much of a fear for me as it is a major anxiety. I got recruited to speak at one of our full faculty meetings. Basically, the head of a committee gave me a topic and told me to explain it to the crowd. Our faculty meetings are an hour and a half...and they saved me for the very last five minutes, guys. I sat there in a pool of anxiety until our headmaster finally called me to the microphone. I think it went well, of course, but I'm just not very good at extemporaneous speaking or improvisation in front of over 100 adults. I can handle twenty kids at a time, but there's just such a difference when you're standing in front of an auditorium full of your peers!

Anyway...I said all of that to say that I chose to wear this because it's bright, fun, and slightly distracting in case I had a major case of the ums. I didn't. I think I only said it once. Bright pink FTW.

Similar Styles:



XO,

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Awkward Layers





What I Wore:
Sweater: Target - $18 (giftcarded)
Button-down: Kohl's - $20
Skirt: Target - $20
Belt: from a skirt
Shoes: Payless - $20

A few things you need to know about this outfit:
1. I hate ironing. I'd just rather not. I steam cycle everything once and that's all the effort I give. #sorrynotsorry
2. I was sick again in this picture (twice in three weeks), hence the weird eyes, bagginess, and forced smile.
3. Sickness makes me bloated (because I subsist on a diet of ice cream and Sprite Zero and no exercise when I don't feel well) and I'm totally showing that off in these pictures.
4. I'm going to blame the bloat/extra poofiness on bulky layers even though that's a complete and total lie.
5. I feel much better now, but I will always blame any residual poof or bloat on my clothes.
6. However, I take credit for any clothes that create a slimming effect. I hope that doesn't come across too hypocritical.


Similar Styles:




XO,

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Coordinating



What I Wore:
Shirt: Target - $20
Cardigan: LOFT - $15
Necklace: eBay - $15
Pants: JCP - $25
Shoes: eBay - $50

Despite over two years of blogging, I have yet to fully ditch my color coordinating tendencies. There's just something about matching colors that just makes me giddy.

Also note: no crazy hair today. Lesson learned.

Similar Styles:



XO,

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

On Replacing and Evolving



(yes, that's a Hello Kitty ornament)



What I Wore:
Cardigan: Target - $20
Tank: Target - $15
Skirt: Target - $20
Belt: Target - $6
Boots: Steve Madden - $112
Necklace: Amazon - $43

If you click my labels below, you'll notice there's one for "leopard cardigan." I've had a leopard cardigan ever since I started this blog--and I wore it like mad. So mad that it got really worn out. It was almost kind of like the "starter wife" of cardigans. I originally got it because it had the holy sartorial trifecta -- I liked it, inexpensive, and allowed me to try something new without spending a lot of money. After realizing how much I actually wore it, I began plotting to upgrade it. I found what I called an "adult leopard print" pattern at J.Crew, but I couldn't commit to the pricetag, so I waited and waited until I saw this one at Target a few months ago. I knew I had finally found it -- so I promptly divorced my first leopard cardigan and went through the ceremonial process of shopping cart to closet. I've already worn it at least a dozen times since I got it--it seems like every other post involves this cardigan (#sorrynotsorry).

I suppose that I could also use this exact story with the boots I'm wearing today, too, but I just wanted to perhaps explain that my closet has been a process of trial and error, and it's constantly evolving into something that's better than it was when I started this blog. And that's pretty okay with me.

Similar Styles:


XO,

Monday, December 16, 2013

Holiday Wishlist (and a Giveaway!)

I've been really good about buying gifts for others this year, and I think I'm almost finished! However, if you're like me, holiday shopping has made it almost too easy to make a wishlist of your own. Here are a few things that are on my own wishlist this Christmas:


Coupons.com invited me to participate and pass along their  Coupons.com Holiday Sweepstakes. One winner will have a chance to win $100 in Amazon.com giftcards. I'm slightly kind of obsessed with Amazon, in case you didn't know...$100 would pay for most of my textbooks for my grad class in the spring or help me get everyone even more awesome gifts, so I think this is a fantastic giveaway. Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

While you're visiting their Sweepstakes rules, make sure you check out the Coupons.com holiday gift guides...and maybe find a little something for yourself. (The mom gift guide is my favorite...even though I'm not a mom, I'm pretty sold on Kate Spade bags, scarves, bags, and candles. Just sayin'.)

(Coupons.com provided me a giftcard to host this giveaway...and I will be using said giftcard just as I mentioned above -- I'm buying my textbooks for grad school in the spring. I'm so responsible, guys...ha!)





Good luck!
XO,

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Pants All the Time



What I Wore:
Sweater: Target - $7
Shirt: Old Navy - gift
Pants: JCP - $25
Necklace: c/o Rosewholesale
Shoes: Target - $25

I've been wearing pants a lot lately. I can't put my finger on why, exactly, but I'm definitely going through a phase where pants feel super comfortable. Some days, it seems as though my job requires a lot of forethought and intentional dressing.

Obviously, there's the weird weather factor, but I'm teaching a really cool unit right now in which my kiddos are creating their own country. It's a really awesome project and the kids are all over it. I'm not much of a lecturer anyway--my class is very much activity and project-based. I spend the entire day walking from desk to desk, squatting, kneeling, bending over, sitting at desks next to them and talking them through their decisions, and dealing with random technology issues on their laptops. I need some obvious neckline coverage, but pants just work better when I'm literally crawling on the floor.


When I accept sponsorships and wear any items, it's my duty as a blogger to be honest in both my review and about where I received the item -- so I couldn't just receive something and gloss over my experience, right?
Rosewholesale sent me this necklace. I got really excited when they contacted me because they basically have every necklace that you could ever dream of for really really low prices and free shipping. I thought this would be a great store to share with you--and I still think it is--but I was a little disappointed when this necklace that I chose arrived with a few pieces out of place. It was an easy fix (all I needed was my husband's OCD and some super glue), and they acted surprised that it happened, which tells me that this might not be the typical experience. I am disappointed, however, that they didn't offer to replace the broken necklace or make it right -- they instead asked for a "neutral review" instead of complaining about the broken necklace. I told them that I fixed the necklace, but I always intended to be honest with you guys first and foremost. I don't want to be that blogger who takes every sponsorship and raves about everything. If I have a semi-bad experience, I'm going to tell you. Obviously, we always risk that something will get broken in transit, but I might be willing to try them again for some of their other necklaces...at my own risk, of course.

XO,