Apr 28, 2017

Blogging Besties: A Hiatus

Blogging Besties is a weekly series featuring Whitney of Whitney à la mode, Alex of The Cheerful Closet, Maricel of ::My Closet Catelogue:: and Selah of A Bibliophile's Style.  Each week, one of the bloggers will choose one component from the previous week's outfit to pass on in a brand new look.  This "take one, pass it on" challenge is an inspiration to stretch your closet and your imagination!



Attention: we would like to interrupt your usual viewing of Blogging Besties to make an announcement.  In order to gain fresh inspiration, we are switching up the order of our rotation starting in May.  Alex will kick things off followed by Whitney, then Selah and finally Maricel.  We are taking a quick break this week but look forward to seeing you soon!
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Apr 21, 2017

Blogging Besties: Transportation

The Blogging Besties series is the brain child of Alex @ The Cheerful Closet and Whitney @ Whitney à la Mode. In 2015 the series expanded to include Maricel @ My Closet Catelogue and me, Selah @ A Bibliophile's Style. It's based on the idea of "take one, pass it on," but we're passing on an element from another blogger's outfit. It's a fun challenge that inspires us to be creative!

Last week, Maricel made her own dress out of this adorable sailboat fabric:


The prompts she gave me were "pattern mixing, sleeveless, or something related to transportation".
I decided to take on transportation, but I went a different direction with it (ha, direction, get it?).

The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village.

― Roald Dahl, Matilda



Belle is my favorite Disney Princess (I also love Rapunzel and Mulan), and anything to do with books is exactly my jam. ;) We are taking next Friday off, but we'll be back on May 5th with a new AWSM order! Alex can choose from: graphic tee, Disney, or hobby related.
Previous Editions of Blogging Besties
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Apr 14, 2017

Blogging Besties :: A Nautical Look

Blogging Besties is a weekly series featuring Whitney of Whitney à la mode, Alex of Undergraduate Style, Maricel of ::My Closet Catalogue:: and Selah of A Bibliophile’s Style. Each week, one of the bloggers will choose one component from the previous week’s outfit to pass on in a brand new look. This “take one, pass it on” challenge is an inspiration to stretch your closet and your imagination!
  Last week, Alex gave us a hint of spring with her minty ensemble.


This week is brought to you by: “pencil skirt, flats, a nautical look, or a statement necklace". And for your viewing pleasure, I give you: a nautical look.

 

 My challenge week fortuitously fell during my Spring Break so I had ample opportunity to create an outfit. But as soon as I saw "nautical", I knew I had to challenge myself twofold and not just find a compliant outfit. I was gonna make a compliant outfit. Myself. As in sew it up. Because I've been hanging on to this fabric since last year and it's been begging to be made and I swore I'd use it before this school year was out and I was running out of time and what better incentive to sew something up but a blogging challenge? (Yep, I talk in run-ons when I'm excited.) So, challenge accepted. Fabric picked out. But what pattern? I really wanted to show off that border print and initially thought circle skirt. But the opportunity to make a dress was too tempting, what with that built-in stripe and all, so after perusing my library - yes, I now have a library! - of patterns, I ultimately settled on the Laurel from Colette because its simple silhouette was intended as a showcase for loud and vibrant prints.

 
I'm not gonna bore you with all my sewing woes - I'm still teaching myself after all, and what should've only taken four hours actually ended sucking up my last day of Spring Break - but can I just say the one thing I'm particularly proud of is that this dress is fully lined? Which eliminated the need for sleeves. Or a slip. (Even though I still wear a slip anyway because vintage.) For Selah’s turn next week, I challenge her to the following: pattern mixing, sleeveless, or something related to transportation. Vive le vendredi!

:: Just the facts, ma’am :: Dress – made by me Pumps – Aerosoles
:: Scream it from the top of your lungs :: Victorious by Panic! at the Disco
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Apr 11, 2017

Blogging Besties: Bare Ankles


Blogging Besties is a weekly series featuring Whitney of Whitney à la mode, Alex of The Cheerful Closet, Maricel of ::My Closet Catelogue:: and Selah of A Bibliophile's Style.  Each week, one of the bloggers will choose one component from the previous week's outfit to pass on in a brand new look.  This "take one, pass it on" challenge is an inspiration to stretch your closet and your imagination!

Last week, Whitney challenged me to wear silver and gray, bare ankles, or a shirt that matches my eyes. Well I don't own anything silver (weird, right?) and dark brown is just not quite as trendy as the color of Whitney's pretty blue eyes. So I went with bare ankles!


I chose to style this pretty green pencil skirt with an anchor print button-down and a statement necklace. I am counting this as bare ankles because technically my ankles *are* bare--it's just the rest of my legs are, too! 




Shirt: Old Navy (similarsimilarsimilar)
Skirt: thrifted via Clothes Mentor (similarsimilarsimilar)
Flats: Lucky (exactsimilarsimilar)
Necklace: Walmart (similarsimilarsimilar)

Maricel, for next week, your choices are: pencil skirt, flats, a nautical look, or a statement necklace!
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Apr 5, 2017

Currently: France Edition


As you read this, I'm off an a crazy adventure traveling around Europe with a group of students!  I'm leading a group of twenty-one from our school district through Italy, Switzerland and France.  I can't wait to tell you all about my experience when I return (plus a mini-series on a travel capsule wardrobe).  But for now, enjoy Currently: France Edition plus a few of my all-time favorite pictures from previous trips to France!

accomplishing: being a group leader!  This is my first time leading a trip like this and it has been a really big undertaking.  By the time this post is published, I hope that any possible kinks have been ironed out and that our group is having the experience of a lifetime!

feeling: all the France feels.  I've vacationed, studied abroad and lived in France in the past.  Needless to say, a part of my heart is always there and I'm so very excited to be back!

needing: lots of layers!  We will be starting in sunny Venice, traveling through the chilly mountains of Switzerland and ending our stay in springtime Paris.  The weather is going to be all over the place!  I really took into consideration layers when building my capsule.

practicing: my French.  Even though I'm a French teacher, it's pretty rare that I get to use my full French-speaking abilities in real life contexts with other adults.

pinning: absolutely nothing!  While you can follow some of my adventures on Instagram or Snapchat (whitneyalamode), I won't be spending much time online because, you know, I'll be too busy sipping that French coffee and enjoying my surroundings!
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Mar 31, 2017

Blogging Besties: Lace


Blogging Besties is a weekly series featuring Whitney of Whitney à la mode, Alex of The Cheerful Closet, Maricel of ::My Closet Catelogue:: and Selah of A Bibliophile's Style.  Each week, one of the bloggers will choose one component from the previous week's outfit to pass on in a brand new look.  This "take one, pass it on" challenge is an inspiration to stretch your closet and your imagination!

Did anyone else love Selah's take on polka dots last week with her faux-ka dots?!  I have such clever blogging friends!


From her look, she prompted me with pavé jewelry, lace or herringbone.  Believe it or not, I don't really own pavé jewelry or anything in herringbone!  That left me with one of my favorite textures: lace!



I'm loving the fact that the weather is finally warm enough for bare ankles!  Do you live in a climate where you get excited over something so silly?

For next week, Alex can choose to pass on any of the following: silver and grey, bare ankles, or a shirt that matches her eyes!



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Mar 27, 2017

Defining Your Personal Style

Is your personal style something that you spend time thinking about?  Since you're here on this, a personal style blog, my guess is that you do.  Do you feel that you have a defined sense of your style?  Do you feel that all (or at least the majority) of your outfits fit this mold you've created for yourself?

Lately I've found myself a bit lost when answering these questions.  Call it the plight of a style blogger who spends way too much time thinking about clothing!  But in any case, I want to have a definition of my style and to be someone you look at think, "Yes!  That's totally her!"

A few months ago during a heart-to-heart with my dear friend, Carrie, we got to talking about these questions and decided to really focus on answering them.  So, for the foreseeable future, Carrie and I will be taking the last Monday of every month to talk about this style journey we're taking!

Today we're both sharing a few thoughts on how to get started in defining your personal style!

Thought #1

Collect photos of yourself wearing various outfits (Carrie has done a great job of sharing her daily outfits on Instagram lately).  Divide these pictures into two categories: outfits in which you really feel like yourself and outfits that don't quite hit the mark.  Then take a look at these pictures and find some common themes in each category.  This will help you narrow done what works and doesn't work for you.


Here are four outfits that feel very me.  What I gathered from these photos is that I like classic and fitted structures, pattern mixing, vibrant colors and feminine details.

Thought #2

Create a Pinterest board for Wardrobe Inspiration (you can find mine here).  This board is where I dump any and every outfit picture that I love.  It doesn't matter if I can recreate the looks with what's in my closet or not.  From there I analyze the pictures in much the same way I look at my own pictures that I like.  What are the common themes?


Thought #3

Find a particular clothing brand or celebrity style that exemplifies the look that you are going for.  I'm particularly drawn to the classic but whimsical styles from Boden and I always love Reese Witherspoon's looks.  Keeping both in mind when thinking about style gives me something concrete with which to compare possible looks that I'm creating.



So friends, this is how I've jumped into defining and wearing my style that I've decided to call classically feminine with a bit of whimsy.  What do you think?  I would really love your feedback on the progress that I'm making and any tips that you might have!

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Mar 24, 2017

Blogging Besties: Polka Dots

 The Blogging Besties series is the brain child of Alex @ The Cheerful Closet and Whitney @ Whitney à la Mode. In 2015 the series expanded to include Maricel @ My Closet Catelogue and me, Selah @ A Bibliophile's Style. It's based on the idea of "take one, pass it on," but we're passing on an element from another blogger's outfit. It's a fun challenge that inspires us to be creative!

Last week, Maricel wore a vintage 60s polka dot dress:

The prompts she gave me were "mustard, polka dots, or something thrifted/gifted/vintage".
I took the easiest option and went with polka dots, or in my case, faux-ka dots:


These dots are made from oversized eyelet lace :



Not seen in my signature selfie, is this circular pave pendant:













































Next week, Whitney can choose from: pave jewelry, lace, herringbone, or she can break out some chevron (since that's really all herringbone is, imaright?).
Previous Editions of Blogging Besties
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Mar 20, 2017

Spring Bucket List


Happy Monday, loves!  I have a different kind of post for you today.  There are no outfit photos involved! You see, my sweet blogging friend, Leslie, proposed the idea of writing a Spring Bucket List and, because I'm to-do list obsessed and so ready for spring, I knew that I had to join her!

Here are the things I'm set on doing to make springtime a little bit sweeter:

1.  Buy fresh flowers for my apartment.
2.  Watch a Lansing Lugnuts (the local baseball team) game.
3.  Read a cup of coffee or a glass of wine on an outdoor patio.
4.  Go on a weekend getaway.
5.  Read a book in the courtyard of my apartment complex.
6.  Try a meal ingredients delivery service.
7.  Find a new hiking destination for #ourmonthlyhike with my best friend, Nicole.
8.  Purge my closet of clothes I no longer love.
9.  Buy a pair of fun sneakers for the warmer weather.
10.  Experiment with a more advanced yoga class.

What's on your to-do list for the new season?  Do any of ours match?

If you are looking for more springtime inspiration, check-out the Spring Bucket Lists from several amazing bloggers:
Leslie of Once Upon A Time and Happily Ever After
Michael of Out and Back
Danielle of Family.Love.Inspiration
Tamara of My Retirement Project
Ashley of Perks and Ponder
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Mar 17, 2017

Blogging Besties :: Layers

Blogging Besties is a weekly series featuring Whitney of Whitney à la mode, Alex of Undergraduate Style, Maricel of ::My Closet Catalogue:: and Selah of A Bibliophile’s Style. Each week, one of the bloggers will choose one component from the previous week’s outfit to pass on in a brand new look. This “take one, pass it on” challenge is an inspiration to stretch your closet and your imagination!
  Last week, Alex was fire with her pop of color.


This week is brought to you by: “layers, hot pink, corduroys, or a vest". And for your viewing pleasure, I give you: layers.

 

 It's a bit of a cheat, really. Yes, I have on an oversized cardi (my librarian cardi, as Aly calls it) which, on its own, would certainly count as a layering piece already. But I know you expect a little more than "good enough" from me, my friends, so I paired my cardi with a piece that looks like a sweater over a dress - more layers! - but is in fact a two-in-one affair. I guess dickeys were a thing for a while in the 70s, but I missed that boat entirely so the concept of faux layers isn't as horrifying to me as it ought to be. I quite like the efficiency of throwing on one thing while mimicking two things, and without the bulk of two things at that. This is a definite plus for me, living in the warmer climes of SoCal like I do. I also appreciate the minimal thinking involved in utilizing these two-in-one pieces. The designer has already done the color/pattern pairing for you; all you have to do is add accessories, a decision made simple by pulling from the pre-created palette. Oh, and I love that I don't have to do that discreet, skirt flip-shirt tug move that usually plagues me when I wear layers. (I just have to make sure my heavy cardi doesn't fall off my sloping shoulders.)

   

 The biggest bonus for this particular ensemble, however, is that it's thrifted vintage. I'm traveling decades, setting aside the 40s for the present and moving into my 60s phase right now. Go, polyester! For Selah’s turn next week, I challenge her to the following: mustard, polka dots, or something thrifted/gifted/vintage. Vive le vendredi!

:: Just the facts, ma’am :: Dress – eBay Cardi – F21 Boots - Ross
:: Scream it from the top of your lungs :: The Calendar by Panic! at the Disco
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Mar 16, 2017

Tulle


I think it was the very first time I watched the opening credits of Sex and the City that I realized how feminine, romantic and fun a tulle skirt can be!  In this outfit, I feel like the best possible combination of Carrie Bradshaw, a princess and a ballerina.



I'm so grateful to have received this skirt from Zaful and happy that my friend, Carrie, picked it out for me!  (Carrie, how did you know about my decade-long dream of wearing a tulle skirt?!)  I was a little bit nervous about the "one size fits all" sizing of the skirt but am pleasantly surprised by the fit.  It is definitely a pretty and comfortable length!  The elastic waistband is a tad on the tight side but not unwearable.  (I'm normally a medium for reference).


As much as I love tulle, this skirt is a bit much for everyday life.  So I decided to style it for a winter (because brrrr) date night look!  I'm excited to bring the skirt back out when the weather warms up!
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Mar 10, 2017

Blogging Besties: Blue & Brown


Blogging Besties is a weekly series featuring Whitney of Whitney à la mode, Alex of The Cheerful Closet, Maricel of ::My Closet Catelogue:: and Selah of A Bibliophile's Style. Each week, one of the bloggers will choose one component from the previous week's outfit to pass on in a brand new look. This "take one, pass it on" challenge is an inspiration to stretch your closet and your imagination!

Last week, Whitney looked positively radiant in her fun sweater vest and multicolored stripes! Because I do not own a sweater vest or anything in multicolored stripes, I decided to go with the "blue and brown" prompt by default. Luckily, I had the perfect outfit to fit that description!


For my "blue and brown" outfit, I styled my navy blue vest with my brown cords, with a layered shirt & sweater underneath. I finished this outfit off with a glam necklace at the neckline!




Shirt: Old Navy (similarsimilarsimilar)
Sweater: Target (similarsimilarsimilar)
Vest: Old Navy (similarsimilarsimilar)
Cords: Old Navy (similarsimilarsimilar)
Necklace: Francesca's (similarsimilarsimilar)
Watch: Target (similarsimilarsimilar)
Shoes: Converse (exactsimilarsimilar)

For next week, Maricel can choose from the following prompts: Layers, hot pink, corduroys, or a vest!
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Mar 8, 2017

When Sweatshirts are Pretty


Can we take a quick moment to observe the massive ice sheet that I'm standing on?!  For whatever reason, the patch of sidewalk right outside my front door turns into an ice skating rink regardless of how much salt is used.  The rest of the sidewalk will be completely cleared but this ice remains.  It's a wonder I've made it all winter without falling.  Although now that I've said that, I'm bound to wipe-out soon!



Alright, alright, now we can get to the clothes!  I've reviewed some pretty fun pieces from Zaful in the past but, you guys, I've found my favorite!  This sweatshirt!  First of all, it's super comfy (you know, being a sweatshirt and all).  On top of that it's super pretty and will be easy to dress up or down.  Who doesn't love a sweatshirt you can wear to work!?


I wear a size medium in most brand but typically size-up with Zaful.  I'm wearing a large here and still had plenty of room underneath to layer my chambray shirt.  I would very highly recommend this sweatshirt if you are thinking about it!

Anyways, Happy Hump Day!  I hope you are having a fabulous week!
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Mar 6, 2017

Le Bon Macaron


You know those days that are just good for your soul?  The days where the simple pleasures show you just how beautiful life is?  I had one of those days back in January and I'm just now getting the chance to post about it!

On a lovely day off from school, my best friend and I took a day trip to Grand Rapids, Michigan.  We started the day at the cutest coffee and macaron shop, Le Bon Macaron, the site of this photo shoot.  After coffee and sweets, we shopped all afternoon and then had dinner and drinks at Brewery Vivant. Amidst our busy lives, it was just so nice to be able to spend a day together doing fun things and experiencing some great places that Michigan has to offer!




For our date, I wore an outfit I loved!  Plenty of color, a whimsical print and classic lines are features that feel very me.  Evidently, my favorite kind of outfit is sort of reminiscent of a bunch of macarons!



So thank you, my beautiful friend of the past decade, Nicole, for being with me through thick and thin (and for taking these pictures)!  I can't wait for our next day together!




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