Mar 31, 2014

All eyes on me

As a teacher who spends her day being watched by a hundred or so teenagers, getting dressed in the morning can be an interesting challenge.  What to wear becomes a more important decision when you know that you are being watched and judged (in good, bad and interesting ways) all day long.  Students are so incredibly observant.  They notice every little detail from a new pair of shoes, to a fresh hair trim (and there was that one time when a student actually asked if she could feel my hair).

My students also notice on the days when I put a bit of extra effort into my ensemble.  On this particular day, I wore my favorite dress and my favorite belt and I just felt good! Anyways, I had far more students than usual comment about liking my outfit, which goes to show that they really do notice the extra effort.  I even had one of my little lovelies tell me that I looked like I should be in a magazine (he won my "favorite student of the day" award, haha).  While this is extremely flattering, at the same time it makes me wonder about what they think of me on the days when my outfit isn't quite right.  Fortunately they don't actually say anything to me on these least not yet.

I wore this dress before with my favorite, chunky, blush scarf.  The beautiful details of the dress speak for themselves so I don't feel that I need to do too much accessorizing but I did want to add a little something special...enter this animal print, bow belt!

What I'm Wearing:
Dress: Gift (similarsimilar)
Belt: Anthropologie (similarsimilar)
Tights: Target (similar)
Booties: Belk (exact)
Watch: Urban Outfitters (exact)

DC in Style- Monday Bloom
Fizz and Frosting- Mix It Monday
Greater Than Rubies- Remix, Rewear, Restyle
Style Elixir- Style Sessions
The Style Record- Monday Must Haves

Mar 27, 2014

Blazer Lessons Learned

Believe it or not, I used to really dislike blazers.  Due to some traumatic blazer situations growing-up, I felt that blazers were too stiff and too masculine for my style.  Obviously I've gotten over my aversion to blazers and I've done so by learning what to look for in a good blazer for my body and my taste.  In fact, if there is anything I've learned from reading personal style blogs, it's that you can't just go out looking for a blazer, or a striped dress or a chambray shirt in general.  You must have some specifications in mind in terms of fit and styling potential.  If you don't, you will walk away with a lovely striped dress that doesn't fit or go with anything else in your closet (believe me, I've been there).

Recently Inge from This Ever Evolving Life wrote a similar post about her frustration with blazers and what she's learned about finding the perfect blazer.  She gives some fantastic tips and I thought that I would throw-in my two cents.  Disclaimer: these tips work for me.  I realize that your body is not exactly like mine and what works for me might be the worst advice for you.  However, I'm hoping that by pointing-out certain factors that go into the fit of a blazer, you will be more aware of what you can look for when shopping.

1.  Material: I have found that I prefer blazers made from softer, more flexible materials like knits and ponte.  These blazers feel more comfortable to me.  Also, the flexibility flatters my body by accentuating my thinner points rather than being boxy like some stiffer blazers. 
2.  Length: I know that some ladies purposely buy blazers in various lengths to create different looks.  I , however, have found that the only blazers that look good on me hit me at mid-hip.  Be conscious of which lengths look best on you. 
3.  Detailing and Color: I think that my style is rather feminine and I don't typically like incorporating menswear pieces into my wardrobe.  For this reason, I prefer blazers that have a little feminine detailing like a ruffle or that come in feminine colors (see above photo).  What is your style?  How can you find a blazer that fits with what you like and what you wear?

P.S.  When I saw these French bobbi pins on Anthropologie's website, I knew they had to be mine.  I'm a sucker for anything French!  Do you have any styling advice for cute bobbi pins?

What I'm Wearing:
Dress: Gap Outlet (similarsimilar)
Blazer: Gap (exact)
Necklace: Simply Charming Boutique (similarsimilar)
Bobbi Pins: c/o Anthropologie (similarsimilar)
Tights: From France (similarsimilar)
Flats: From France (similarsimilar)

 Basic Training Corporate Style- Fashionably Employed
Penniless Socialite- Favorite Fashion Friday
Style Elixir- Friday's Fab Favorites
Vodka Infused Lemonade- Très Chic Fashion Thursday

Mar 25, 2014


Until a few months ago, I had no idea there was such thing as an "official" color of the year.  Did you know that there is an organization, Pantone, that is the ultimate authority on all things color?  They have determined that the color of the year is "Radiant Orchid" and that the colors below are the it colors for spring.

The lovely Alex from Undergraduate Style has done a great series featuring products in each of the spring hues.  She is rounding-up here series by hosting a link-up today for which she has challenged us to create an outfit inspired by Pantone's spring line-up.

Last week I wore this outfit that combined five of the ten spring colors: Radiant Orchid, Placid Blue, Hemlock, Paloma and Sand.  But it would be cheating to reuse an outfit (on my blog at least, I'm all about rewearing outfits in real life)!  So, in honor of the Color Me Tuesday Link-Up, I've created two outfit variations inspired by the color Cayenne.

For each of these outfits, I let my Cayenne pants be the star of the show!  I paired these pants with a white lace shirt to add texture rather than color.  Are bubble necklaces completely out?  If so, I apologize, but I thought that adding my pink bubble necklace added another pop of monochromatic color.

For my first look, I wore a grey (or shall we say Paloma) and white striped cardigan and for the second look I wore a denim jacket instead.  Which look do you prefer?

What I'm Wearing:
Shirt: Loft (exact)
Pants: Loft (similarsimilar)
Cardigan: Loft (similarsimilar)
Denim Jacket: Hand Me Down (similarsimilar)
Bubble Necklace: Francesca's (similarsimilar)
Wedges: DSW (exact)

Because Shanna Said So- Random Wednesday
DC Style- Monday Bloom
Fizz and Frosting- Mix-It Monday
Style Elixir- Style Sessions
Undergraduate Style- Color Me Tuesday

Mar 24, 2014

Guest Post: Alex from Undergraduate Style

Happy Monday, lovelies!  I have a special treat for you today!  I know that I have mentioned the amazing Alex from Undergraduate Style before.  Well, today you get the chance to know her a little bit better because she is guest posting for me here at Whitney à la mode.  You will love her genuine spirit, her adorable style, and her ability to dress on a dime.  Without further ado, here is Alex!

Hi! I'm Alex at Undergraduate Style, and I'm super excited to write a guest post for Whitney because I consider her my very first blog friend!

First, a bit about myself. I'm currently a student of Spanish and history at the University of Kansas. My blog is all about my attempts to develop my personal style and build a timeless wardrobe while still in college (and on a college budget!) I also occasionally blog about beauty, Greek life, and life as a resident assistant. But yeah, mostly style.

Anyways, Whitney approached me about doing a guest post about spring transition pieces--especially how I  transition between seasons on a college-kid budget! I've had to be especially creative in this transition season because I gave up clothes shopping for Lent! That means no clothes, shoes, or accessories until Easter. But never fear! Simple wardrobe remixing comes in very handy here. Here are a few ways I've transitioned on a budget that you can do too!

Especially here in the Midwest where the weather has been so fickle here the past few weeks, I haven't been able to go all-out spring. But that's why it's called a transition! It's important to keep your look spring-inspired while being prepared for weather that's just a little chillier than you'd like. Plus, tanks, shorts and sandals just aren't really in-season for spring--at least not together!

-Keep it balanced.

My rule of thumb is: keep one half of your body layered/covered up, and let the other half fly free (provided that it's warm enough, of course.) For example, you could wear a sleeveless blouse, cropped pants or jeans, and a pair of sandals or ballet flats. Your bottom half is more covered, but your arms get to soak in the sun! Conversely, you could choose to wear a refined pair of chino shorts paired with a light, 3/4 sleeve tee and booties or cute sneakers. You finally get to show off those gams after a long winter, but your arms and feet are covered up! See what I'm getting at here?

In this outfit, I chose a brightly colored sleeveless and sandals, but balanced it with longer pants! I also brought a cardigan with me to throw on when I was in a colder room.

-Play with color.

If you're wearing a traditionally-spring look, mix it up by using muted, cold-weather colors. On the other hand, if you find yourself forced to layer up in a sudden cold snap, surprise all the miserably cold people you encounter by choosing cheery spring hues! For example, make a patterned tank cold-weather-appropriate by adding a pastel cardigan. Add jeans and boots (and a coat, of course) and you'll be stylish AND toasty warm! In the look below, I wore a maxi dress and sandals (a traditional spring ensemble) but, in order to stay in season, kept the color palette neutral, adding only a muted mustard yellow cardigan for color.

-Pick one transition piece and WORK IT!

Pick up a fashion magazine or browse any online retailer and you'll see a million lists of must-have pieces for spring. I say, nay. Thou shalt not be ruled by what anybody has to say regarding must-have pieces. But, I do believe you ought to pick a transition piece that works perfectly for YOU and work it! This will save you tons of money and time spent shopping. Pick that one perfect piece, and use it over and over again in different ways. Use it as an exercise in creativity to see how many ways you can style that piece!

For me, this piece is a cargo vest. I've been searching for the perfect one since last summer, and I found one in the nick of time, right before Lent (and, therefore, my shopping fast) began! I personally really like having a vest as my transition piece because it is such a valuable layering tool. I can add it to a long-sleeved shirt on days where I need a little extra warmth, or to a tank or short-sleeved blouse for visual interest! It's so easy, but the possibilities are endless! But again, pick something that works for you. Vests aren't for everybody.

Here's one way I wore mine!

Thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to guest post, Whitney! It's been real! Happy remixing!

Mar 20, 2014

Stitch Fix Review #2

About a month ago, I wrote this review of my first Stitch Fix box!  Not familiar with Stitch Fix?  They are a fun personal styling and clothing subscription company.  Basically, your very own personal stylist will send you a box full of goodies and you get to choose what to keep and what to (very easily) ship back.  Please read my first review for more details.

If I have convinced you to try Stitch Fix, I would be super duper appreciative if you would follow this link.  By doing so, you will give me a bit of credit towards my next box!  Merci beaucoup!

I mentioned before that my first box wasn't exactly what I wanted, but I wrote a detailed review of the fix and was hoping for improvement the second time around.  Well ladies, my stylist nailed it this time! I loved several of the items in my fix but was only able to keep one thing for financial reasons.  

Without further ado, I kept these amazing red pants!  I've mentioned before that I really struggle with finding pants that fit well.  For this reason, I was skeptical that someone could just send me a pair, without me trying them on first, and they would fit.  But they do fit!  And now I finally have a pair of colored bottoms!  I like these pants so well that I've worn them three times already (see below for these looks) and I mentioned in my Stitch Fix review that I wouldn't mind receiving more pairs in different colors, hint hint.

Here are the items that I decided to return:

While I really enjoyed the detail of the dress, the fit was off for my body.  The skirt was a bit too short for how much it flared.

If you can't tell from the photo, this shirt is covered in tiny, adorable swans.  I loved the print but the shirt was a bit too small.

I so wish that I could have kept this shirt, but alas, the pants won.  This shirt was comfy and cute but just slightly too pricey...and the pants were too good to pass-up.

I liked this necklace...but again, the pants won!

When I decided to keep the red pants, I was a little nervous about thinking of a variety of ways to wear them.  For my first pair of colored bottoms, I'm not sure I would have chosen red.  But beggars can't be choosers...and did I mention how well these pants fit??

Anyway, I shouldn't have been nervous at all considering I've worn them three times so far!

For this first look, I drew inspiration from the style card that came with my Stitch Fix.  The stylist recommended a striped top with a camel cardigan.  My striped shirt will definitely be worn with these pants again and I liked the addition of the neutral cardigan...I might not have thought of that one on my own.

I wanted to somehow make the red pants a little less bold and I think I did that by adding this floral scarf.  The scarf has red tones that work with the pants but the other colors in the flowers help to soften the look.

Nautical is back in this spring!  A navy and white striped blazer create a sharp look!

If you are interested in my future Stitch Fix reviews, please follow me at Bloglovin'!

What I'm Wearing:
Pants: Stitch Fix (similarsimilar)
Striped Shirt: Banana Republic (similarsimilar)
Cardigan: Target (exact)
Black Flats: DSW (exact)
Grey Tee: Everlane (exact)
Scarf: Gift (similarsimilar)
Colored Flats: Toms (similar)
Blazer: Banana Republic (similarsimilar)
Tassel Necklace: Loft (similarsimilar)

Delusions of Grandeur- Favorite Fashion Friday
Simple Sequins- Fashion Item Friday
Style Elixir- Friday's Fab Favorites
Vodka Infused Lemonade- Très-Chic Fashion Thursday
Work Clothes I Suppose- Third Thursday Threads

Mar 19, 2014


On Monday, my school district had our tenth snow day!  I'm beginning to fear that we are going to be in school until July making-up these days!  However, you won't find me complaining too much because there is nothing I love more than curling up on my couch on a chilly day with a blanket, hot coffee, my cat, and a good book!

I have loved reading for as long as I can remember.  My parents read to me regularly when I was tiny.  As a child, I devoured American Girl books and just about anything else I could get my hands on.  These days, I love a good murder mystery with historical fiction novels coming in a strong second.

The book-lover in me was delighted to hear about a link-up at Selah's blog A Bibliophile's Style.  The link-up is called Thoughtful Third Thursday (I know, I know, it's only Wednesday...I'm a day early).  For this link-up, Selah has challenged us to wear an outfit inspired by the book that we are currently reading.

Right now I'm reading The Passion of the Purple Plumeria by Lauren Willig.  This is Willig's tenth installment in Pink Carnation, one of my all-time favorite series!  These books have a little bit of everything that I love: mystery, history, France and romance.  All of the books take place in England and France during the period after the French Revolution.  The main characters are spies, their lovers, their friends and family.

The heroine of The Passion of the Purple Plumeria is a self-proclaimed spinster-turned-spy, Miss Gwendolyn Meadows.  While on a mission to find two missing teenage girls (whose disappearance may be more sinister than implied), Gwen's heart begins to warm towards the charming Colonel William Reid.

My outfit is inspired by the title of the novel and the personality of the main character.  With "purple" and "plumeria" in the title, obviously I had to wear purple and a floral print.  My mind immediately jumped to this cardigan and upon perusing my closet, I found that it really complimented the floral print in this blouse.  As a pragmatic woman and daring spy, Gwen prefers sneaking around in breeches as opposed to her typical daytime dresses.  For this reason, I knew I couldn't dress in too girly a manner and opted for pants over a skirt.  The addition of a metallic belt made me feel all put together!

Make sure to stop by A Bibliophile's Style to see other literary-inspired styles and I hope that you will pick-up The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, the first in the series by Lauren Willig!

What I'm Wearing:
Blouse: Target (similarsimilar)
Cardigan: Old Navy (exact) <-- Not currently in purple
Belt: Francesca's (similarsimilar)
Pants: Gap (similarsimilar)
Shoes: Lindsay Philips (exact)

A Bibliophile's Style- Thoughtful Third Thursday
Because Shanna Said So- Random Wednesday

Mar 17, 2014

Turtles Are Green

Every year around St. Patrick's Day it occurs to me that I own very little green clothing (with the exception of bajillions, yes bajillions, of Michigan State t-shirts).  I always find this a little bit odd considering I really like the color green and it is a color that compliments my skin tone.  Huh.

Anyways, on this loveliest of Irish-inspired holidays, I am showing you my fun Ninja Turtles sweatshirt...because, hey, turtles are green!

I'm cheating a little bit because I actually wore this sweatshirt on Saturday and would not wear it on a school day.  I know that some people like to only invest in clothing that can be worn to work as well as on the weekends.  I tried this for awhile considering it seems like a smart financial move but it didn't really work for me.  I began to feel that even my cutest, most trendy tops were just "teacher clothes."  For this reason, I keep a small pool of cute items that I only wear on weekends.  The bonus is when my weekend attire consists of an adorable and comfy graphic sweatshirt.

How do you categorize your clothes?  Do you separate work and weekend wear?  Or do you only buy items that work for both?

What I'm Wearing:
Shirt: I bought this at a candy store.  Weird, right? (similarsimilar)
Pants: Gap (similarsimilar)
Sandals: From France (similarsimilar)

Bon Bon Rose Girls and Mom Trends- Monday Mingle
DC Style- Monday Bloom
Fizz and Frosting- Mix It Monday
Greater Than Rubies- Remix, Rewear, Restyle
Just Another Smith- Green Week
Style Elixir- Style Sessions

Mar 13, 2014

Post-Christmas Plaid

As you've probably noticed, it has been quite cold in recent months, making a cozy, plaid shirt a desirable outfit option.  However, I know that I often associate plaid shirts with the holidays...particularly this red and green plaid shirt.  My lovely best friend owns this same shirt and recently asked for tips to wearing it after the holidays and into the (chilly) spring.

Here is one way to de-holiday a particularly festive plaid shirt (or any plaid shirt for that matter).

Pattern-mixing is a always a fun way to add interest to an outfit!  By adding a boldly-patterned sweater layered over your plaid shirt, you make the plaid a little bit more subtle.  I think that a stripes would look great with plaid as well!

Another way to take your favorite plaid shirt into the spring is to find a lighter accent color in the shirt and to play it up!  For example, there is a bit of mint green (so popular this spring) running through this shirt.  I could layer a mint sweater over top of the plaid or I could wear some mint skinny jeans to really accentuate the springy hue.

Do you have any other tips for taking your favorite plaid shirt into the warmer seasons?

What I'm Wearing:
Shirt: Old Navy (similarsimilar)
Sweater: Target (similarsimilar)
Necklace: Simply Charming Boutique (similarsimilar)
Pants: Gap (similarsimilar)
Shoes: Lindsay Philips (similar)

Linking-Up With:
Delusions of Grandeur- Favorite Fashion Friday
Vodka Infused Lemonade- Très-Chic Fashion Thursday

Mar 10, 2014

Less is Truly More

Last weekend I did something that I thought would be really difficult but in the end feels oh so good...I cleaned-out my closet!  Over the course of the school year, I've been weeding-out pieces a little at a time...but one look at my closet would have told you that I had way too many clothes.  When you have way too many clothes, you sometimes run out of hangers and the clothing piles start to grow.  Basically, I just could not keep things organized.  And you know that I wasn't even wearing the majority of what I owned!

The time had come for a clothing purge!  I am so fortunate that my best friend from Michigan came to visit me and was willing to help with the endeavor.  I think that I was so fed-up with my closet situation that I had an easier time than usual parting with my clothes.  I said "au revoir" to approximately half of my wardrobe!  Here are some tips that I have for a successful closet clean-out:

1.  Enlist a friend to help!  Sometimes we have a special place in our hearts for a piece of clothing and are therefore blind to the fact that this particular skirt is no longer stylish (and hasn't been for some time).  You need a friend to set you straight!
2.  If you are feeling unsure, get rid of it!  There were several pieces that I debated back and forth about.  Ultimately I decided that if the decision is that hard, then I obviously don't love it and I don't need it!
3.  Look for duplicates.  So my dear friend pointed-out to me that I probably don't need two Lakeshore High School Cheerleading sweatshirts from the early 2000s for nostalgia purposes.  One would really do the trick.  And that goes for anything!  Do you need two chambray shirts?  Probably not.  Clear-out some space for new and unique pieces by getting rid of duplicates.
4.  Out of sight, out of mind.  If you are really struggling to part with your things, stick them in a bag or box and then hide them in the basement or in a coat closet (someplace where you won't be constantly reminded of them).  Wait a few months, if you haven't gone to dig-out that sequined mini-skirt from college, then it's time to say goodbye.  And my guess is that you will forget that mini-skirt even exists!
5.  Reorganize.  While your wardrobe is splayed across your bedroom, take the time to reorganize what you do decide to keep.  You will feel like you are looking at a brand new closet!  In my efforts to reorganize, I purchased some Huggable Hangers (I've heard good things about these babies).  I'm looking forward to having a more uniform look in my closet and to the space that these hangers will save.

I really encourage you to follow these tips and to clean-out your closet.  I cannot tell you how much better I feel about my wardrobe now!  I believe that I now wear 100% of what I own.  I can actually see all of my clothes in my closet.  And oddly, with less clothing, I feel less inclined to go shopping because I better understand what I have and how it works.

When I have completely converted to Huggable Hangers, I will post some pictures of my newly organized closet!

Also, I'm planning to sell much of what I decided to get rid of but I'm a newbie to the world of consignment clothing.  Do any of you have any tips, tricks or advice about getting the most for your clothes?

This outfit features a colored cardigan that I love that had been lost in the abyss of my crowded closet.  I'm so excited to wear it more frequently now!  The color and the length of the sleeves are perfect for the approaching spring weather.

This animal-print dress is a fun, neutrally-colored piece that I can pair with a multitude of colored cardigans and blazers.  Plus, it will look cute on it's own this summer with a pair of colorful flats.

What I'm Wearing:
Cardigan: Banana Republic Outlet (similarsimilar)
Dress: Loft (similarsimilar)
Necklace: Simply Charming Boutique (similarsimilar)
Tights: Target (similar)
Boots: Piperlime (similarsimilar)

Linking-Up With:
Because Shanna Said So- Random Wednesday
BonBon Rose Girls- Monday Mingle
The Brandied Pair- Sit-Down Style Sessions Link-Up
DC in Style- Monday Bloom
Fizz and Frosting- Mix It Monday
Greater Than Rubies- Remix, Rewear, Restyle Theme: Colored Cardigans
Style Elixir- Style Sessions

Mar 9, 2014

I Am Beautiful

In the world of style blogging as well as in the real world, it is easy to be caught-up in looking perfect.  I know that I am guilty of comparing myself to celebrities, other bloggers and to women I see on the street.  I am guilty of obsessing about the few pounds I've gained.  I am guilty of complaining about my perpetually frizzy hair.

Can we take a collective break from these negative thoughts and take a deep breath?  Ok, are you with me now?  One, two, three, breath in, breath out.

Agi at Vodka Infused Lemonade is hosting a thoughtful link-up where we share our make-up free faces.  What a perfect moment to appreciate who we really are and to take a step back from self-doubt and negativity.

So my friends, give your face a breather today!  Your frizzy curls, your freckles and your laugh lines are what make you beautiful and unique!