Jan 30, 2014

Guest Posting at Undergraduate Style

Happy Thursday, lovelies!  I am so excited to be guest posting for the first time today!  I hope that you will take a moment to visit me at my friend Alex's blog, Undergraduate Style.

Alex is absolutely adorable and has become such a fun blogging buddy.  Not only is she sweet and cheerful, she has a great concept for her style blog.  Alex is a college student and writes about looking put-together on campus while on a student's budget.

Please stop-by Undergraduate Style to read my post about remixing college spirit wear (and hopefully you will become a regular visitor)!

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Jan 29, 2014

Pattern Mixing for Beginners

I've mentioned before (in this post) that I think pattern mixing seems very stylish since it is something that I wouldn't have even attempted before reading style blogs.  There is something so visually stimulating and intentional about a well put-together ensemble featuring multiple patterns.  As my style continues to evolve, there is still something exciting yet nerve-wracking to me about pattern mixing.  I want to mix it up but I'm never quite sure that it looks quite right.

There is one mixed combination that I feel very confident about, however.  You can't go wrong by mixing black stripes with leopard print.  These patterns compliment each other because they are classic and the colors are neutral.

If you want to venture into the world of pattern mixing, I suggest starting here.  Choose a clothing item featuring one of the patterns and an accessory featuring the other like I did for this outfit.  Once you've done this, try adding a boldly colored necklace or blazer to complete your look!

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Jan 25, 2014

Winter Pastels

I don't know about you, but immediately after the holidays are over, I find myself ready for spring clothing.  I embrace the plaid, the cozy sweaters and the dark hues until January 2nd when I decide it's time for sundresses and bright colors.

I do, however, think that part of looking stylish is dressing appropriately for the weather and for the season.  "High School Whitney" was okay with wearing a skirt with bare legs in February because she thought it was cute.  "Grown-Up Whitney" thinks that "High School Whitney" looks a bit silly (and chilly)!  For this reason, I try to continually embrace winter clothing until the sun really does come out.  Also, I know that when the temperature rises, I'm going to miss layering a button-up under a sweater...so I might as well layer-up for as long as possible.

In order to embrace the inter weather while satisfying my need for something springy, I turn to pastel colors.  Pastels are often associated with springtime but I also think that they are a refreshing accent color during the colder seasons.  They brighten-up an outfit but they are still soft and serene, two feelings I associate with winter.

Blush pink has always been a favorite color of mine and I have been wearing an awful lot of it lately.  I just want to bury myself in this chunky, blush scarf!  Perfect for lightening-up an outfit while keeping warm!  Here I've layered it over my favorite comfy dress.  I'm also wearing patterned tights to add whimsical detail to a basic outfit.

How do you satisfy your craving for spring clothing while still staying warm?

What I'm Wearing:

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Jan 22, 2014

Sister Snow Day Style

Well, I didn't get dressed today...but my sister did!  Let me explain.  I am currently enjoying the second of two glorious snow days during which I haven't changed out of my pajamas.  While leisurely enjoying my cup of coffee yesterday morning, my sister texted me for outfit help.  Now, there's nothing I like better than a good fashion challenge on a snowy morning!

My sister wanted to build an outfit around a J.Crew Factory skirt that I purchased for her for Christmas after she read this post.  My sister lives in Tennessee and I live in Virginia so I couldn't just pop over to check-out her closet and help her choose her pieces.  So here's where I relied on what I know of "outfit formulas" or pieces that always seem to fit together.

My sister's skirt is grey which makes for a lovely, neutral base for the outfit.  Next I asked her if she had any patterned shirts, from which we chose the polka dot blouse.  After that it was time to add a completer piece...the mustard cardigan is perfect!  And finally I asked her if she owned grey or black tights and boots.  I decided to go with black tights and boots to create a longer leg line.

I think that the outfit turned-out perfectly (it doesn't hurt that she's pretty darn cute, herself)!

What is your go-to outfit formula when you are in a bind?

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Jan 20, 2014


Aren't compliments just the best?  When I receive a compliment on one of my outfits, I know I've gotten it right...especially when the compliment comes from a very stylish friend. 

This ensemble garnered a couple of compliments which always leads me to contemplate, what makes this outfit cuter than others.  I really think it comes down to fit!  This outfit is comprised of pieces that are favorites, that I know fit well and that I don't constantly have to readjust (yay for working towards style resolution #3).  Also, when I observe the outfits of other bloggers as well as those of women I see out and about, it's always the girls with the well-fitting clothes that strike me as the most well dressed.  Knowing this, I'm working on being much more aware of fit so that I look as put together as I want to be.

This cardigan is one of my favorites since its neutral color works with just about any outfit and it fits well.  For these reasons, it was a natural choice to layer over one of my favorite comfortable-yet-polished shirts.  Throw-on a trendy tassel necklace and voilà, I feel put together!

To you, what makes one outfit cuter than another?  What is elusive quality that makes an ensemble more "put together" than others?

What I'm Wearing:

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Jan 14, 2014

Unexpected Basics

I mentioned in a previous post that I searched for the perfect chambray dress for about a year before I snabbed this one.  I knew that I really wanted a dress like this but I had no idea what an important item in my closet it would become.  It is on constant rotation and I've found bunches of different ways to style the dress (here is one example).

Here, I dressed-up the basics with some brown-toned accessories.  I'm telling you, leopard-print flats are SUCH an easy accessory that adds fun detail to an outfit.  I've been seeing a lot of tortoise shell accessories lately and I think this necklace completes the ensemble nicely.

A favorite, basic dress and a few fun accessories make for an easy and put together look!

Do you have any clothing items that have unexpectedly become staples in your closet?  What are some of the ways that you wear this particular piece?

What I'm Wearing:

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Jan 9, 2014

Pants Problems

Bonjour!  Just popping-in today with a simple outfit.  Blouses with cute detailing are such versatile pieces to have in your closet.  They are work-appropriate but are great for play as well.  You can tuck them into skirts and trousers or wear them to dress-up a pair of skinny jeans.  Fun blouses make for a great foundation under all kinds of cardigans, blazers and jackets, too!  I love interesting details (like these adorable grey and red polka dots) because you can let them be the star of the show or you can add more accessories like statement necklaces and scarfs.  The options are endless!

In my post about style resolutions, I mentioned that I want to refine my closet so that all of my clothes fit well and comfortably (no adjusting allowed).  In keeping with this goal, I really need to work on my collection of pants because I have been feeling quite dissatisfied.  Lately, I don't feel like I have any pants that I truly like.  None of my jeans fit quite right.  I am constantly hiking them-up and would ultimately like to own pairs that I can wear with or without a belt.  I do like my dress pants but I feel like the cut isn't quite up to date.  I would like to own a few pairs with slimmer legs.

That being said, I have the hardest time finding pants!  Pants shopping is the worst, in my opinion.  And this is where I hope you can help me.  Do you have any pants suggestions?  Tell me about your favorite jeans and your best dress pants.  I would love your recommendations!

What I'm Wearing:
Perfectly Coutured
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Jan 6, 2014

Style Resolutions

Happy New Year, fashionable friends!  I've missed you!  I spent the holidays at a ranch in Texas that didn't have internet (yes folks, internet-less places still exist in this world).  Before Winter Break, I had the lofty idea that I would seek-out coffee shops with wifi to update Whitney à la mode. Instead of following through, however, I relaxed in my pajamas while eating delicious food.  Do you forgive me?  I hope that you will because the waist of my dress pants doesn't feel so forgiving at the moment.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that I popped over to Pasadena, California to watch my Michigan State Spartans win the Rose Bowl!  Check-out this post to recall my extreme Sparty passion.

I've noticed other style bloggers writing about their New Year's resolutions.  Since I started this blog to hold myself accountable for dressing more stylishly, I thought that the accountability factor might also hold me to some of my own resolutions.  I have lots of goals for myself in 2014 but this is primarily a style blog so I will focus on my fashion resolutions:

1.  Create a clothing budget: when I started reading style blogs I went overboard with the spending.  I started feeling guilty about this so I put myself on a (mostly successful) spending freeze for October-December.  I think that by creating a budget for clothes, I will have a more healthy attitude about buying clothes (as opposed to bingeing and purging) and will be more careful about what I decide to purchase.
2.  Only purchase easy, wearable clothing: I don't know about you but the sight of a "Dry Clean" or "Hand Wash" only label fills me with dread.  Some of my favorite pieces are high-maintenance items so I'm not promising to rid my closet of these items.  I am, however, going to make a conscious effort to read washing directions before I purchase items.  I will only purchase high-maintenance items if I absolutely NEED them...if not, it's machine wash only for this girl!
3.  No pulling: If an outfit doesn't quite fit correctly, if I have to tug it, yank it, adjust it, retuck it, etc., it is out the door!  Sometimes I get an outfit idea that doesn't quite work-out in reality.  Often I'm guilty of being too stubborn to give-up on my "brilliant"idea even if I'm uncomfortable all day.  From now on, I will refine my wardrobe so that all of my pieces fit well and will only wear outfits that actually work in real life, not just in a picture.
4.  Clean out that closet: I have been working on this for a few months now but I have a ways to go!  I'm terrible at doing closet purges because I suddenly find myself sentimentally attached to all of my clothes.  I have found success, though, in getting rid of two items per week.  I find that this method is not as traumatic.  I will continue this until I have a closet of purposeful and well fitting items.
5.  Dress in a blog-worthy way everyday: I truly wear each and every outfit that I show you.  However, you've probably noticed that I don't post every day.  There are many days that I just don't feel blog-worthy and a I save my "cute" outfits for picture days.  This sort of defeats the purpose of my blog which is to encourage myself to dress more stylishly in real life, not just in blog world.  I'm not in a position where I can take pictures every day but that doesn't mean I can't look cute anyways!

So, blog friends, please hold me accountable to these goals!  Do you have any style resolutions for yourself?  I would love to hear about them!

I'm pretty sure I got the inspiration for this outfit from Audrey who has this exact same sweater.  It follows a pretty simple, go-to outfit formula: button-up + sweater + statement necklace = cute, easy and put together!

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