Nov 28, 2014

Blogging Besties: Mustard Cardigan

Happy Black Friday, my fashionable friends!  How many of you woke-up early this morning to hit those sales?  As much as I love shopping, Black Friday is not for me.  I prefer to sleep-in and enjoy a cup of coffee with my family.

Last week Alex wore this cute and casual look featuring a lace top, a mustard cardigan, an infinity scarf, skinny jeans and riding boots.

I don't know about you, but regardless of what Pantone says, mustard is a quintessential color of fall.  While it already feels like winter for many of us, fall really feels like it comes to a close with the Thanksgiving holiday.  So I thought, what a perfect day to pass on Alex's mustard cardigan!

The colors of this outfit just scream autumn to me (plus the stretchy material of the dress is accommodating to a turkey and cranberry sauce dinner)!

Some of you may recognize this dress from my line-up of choices for my upcoming class reunion.  While I won't yet reveal my ultimate choice, I will say that I did not decide to wear this dress...but I kept it anyway!  Some of you mentioned that it would fit in well with the rest of my wardrobe and I agree!

The adorable and fashionable (can you see her holiday collar?) Ruby, my sister and brother-in-law's pup really wanted to join in the fun...and how could I resist?

So the components of this outfit are as follows: a fit and flare dress, a mustard cardigan, brown tights, cognac riding boots, a pendant necklace, bangle bracelets, the color plum and lace.  You have lots to choose from for next week.  What do you plan to pass on?

But for now, show us what YOU passed on from Alex's outfit next week!

What I'm Wearing:
Dress: Target (exact)
Cardigan: Target (exact)
Tights: Nordstrom (exact)
Boots: Macy's (exact)
Necklace: Gift (similar, similar)
Bracelets: Alex and Ani

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Nov 24, 2014

Help! What to wear to my class reunion?

I'm having a hard time believing it myself, but I'm attending my ten-year class reunion on Saturday!  How is it possible that I graduated from high school ten whole years ago?!  I'm feeling pretty excited to spend some quality time with good friends and to catch-up with acquaintances I haven't seen in a decade.  Before the festivities begin, however, I need your help!  What should I wear?

After trying-on countless dresses, I have narrowed the choices down to three frocks:

Which would you choose and how would you style it?  Let me know in the comments section!  I will let you know which dress I chose next week!

I Do DeClaire- Confident Twosdays
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Nov 21, 2014

Blogging Besties: Lace Shirt

Hi friends! You may remember Whitney's look from last week:

It's super cute! I was a little stumped, though, because I don't have a white tee, blue scarf OR blue flats. But I DO have a lace shirt that I LOVE and wear all the time, so I reimagined Whitney's lace-overlay tee as my cream-colored lace blouse.

The elements of this outfit are: lace shirt, mustard cardigan, infinity scarf, black pants, black boots, and tribal print! 

Please feel free to link up below with any posts that have elements from Whitney's look! 

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Nov 20, 2014

Channeling Jane

Alternate Blog Post Title: When Your Dress Matches the Restaurant, and Other Blogger Problems

You may remember, about a month ago I was feeling inspired by the quintessential flapper, Zelda Fitzgerald.  Well, these days I'm letting my inner Jane Austen decide what to wear!

My dear blogging friends Maricel and Selah are once again hosting their monthly link-up, encouraging us to create an ensemble inspired by a literary work.  Sometimes they choose a specific theme for us to follow but this month they are allowing us the freedom to choose any book our hearts desire.  And what does my heart desire?  A little bit of Pride and Prejudice!

When thinking about my favorite books, Jane Austen and her works immediately come to mind.  I'm a sucker for the romance found in a good Austen novel but I am also encouraged by her intelligent, independent (and a just little bit sassy) heroines. Can I please be Elizabeth Bennet when I grow-up?  Especially if this situation involves a certain Mr. Darcy?  (Don't even get me started on the merits of Colin Firth's Mr. Darcy).

Now please allow me to explain my rather loose interpretation of Regency Era fashion.  Shall we start at the top?  A popular accessory during Jane Austen's time was the bandeau, a band (sometimes made of ribbon or pearls) worn around the head.  What better than a sparkly headband to mimic a bandeau?!  Moving on down, the silhouette of a regency gown involved an empire waist and a slim skirt.  For evening wear, a lady may show bare arms and an open neckline.  I wore my outfit to happy hour so I think this counts as evening wear, right?  And finally, I decided that the bird print of the dress was rather feminine and romantic, keeping with the feel of an Austen novel.

I even think of Jane as I look around my apartment, where I've collected bits and pieces of her and her work.  This print featuring one of my favorite Austen quotes hangs in my living room:

And of course I need an Austen nook in my bookcase!

And in conclusion, I leave you with my favorite quote from Pride and Prejudice:

"In vain have I struggled.  It will not do.  My feelings will not be repressed.  You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you." - Mr. Darcy


What I'm Wearing:
Dress: Hand me down (similar, similar)
Tights: Nordstrom (exact)
Booties: DSW (exact)
Headband: Gift (similar, similar)

Other Fun Link-Ups:
Literate and Stylish and The Modern Austen- Pantone Week: Cognac
Work Clothes, I Suppose- Fall Footwear
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Nov 18, 2014


Today I'm excited to be participating in two of my favorite link-ups!  Sometimes it takes an extra push to really use your clothes creatively, which is why I look forward to some of these blogging challenges.

Heidi from Literate and Stylish and Marissa from The Modern Austen are hosting their yearly Pantone-inspired fall color challenge.  For those of you unfamiliar with Pantone, they are the ultimate authority in color.  They declare a color of the year as well as the seasonal "it" colors.  Heidi and Marissa have chosen to feature one of the fall 2014 colors each day this week, and today we are celebrating cypress, a dark olive color.  While olive is a really versatile neutral, I don't own much in this color.  Thank goodness I dug-out this cypress Everlane tee upon which to build my outfit!
literate &  stylish

I'm also excited to link-up with Andi of Just Another Smith and her co-host Danielle from Goodwillista for one of Andi's famous theme weeks.  This week blazers are in the spotlight.  Can you believe that I didn't used to like blazers?!?  I am now convinced it was because I was choosing the wrong fits and fabrics for my shape.  This is the blazer that changed my mind!  The fit is feminine and the fabric is oh so comfy...not stiff at all!

This entire outfit was inspired by the cypress t-shirt and the blazer.  At first I wasn't sure about such a boring, neutral outfit (not that neutrals have to be boring).  Then I discovered that this jeweled necklace pulled-out all of the right colors in the ensemble!

You may notice that these are not my typical type of blog photos.  I took advantage of a trip to LOFT and used their humongous mirrors for an impromptu photo shoot.  The sales girl probably wondered why it was taking me so long to try on the clothes!  Check back next week to find-out what inspired this fun afternoon shopping trip!

What I'm Wearing:
T-Shirt: Everlane (exact)
Necklace: LOFT (similar, similar)
Blazer: Anthropologie (similar, similar)
Pants: Gap (similar, similar)
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Nov 16, 2014

October Budget

Whoa!  How did it get to be November 16th already?!  I have to admit, I'm ready for the holiday season.  Bring-on the Thanksgiving feast, Christmas carols and time spent with loved ones.  I can't wait!  But before we get there, I still have to tell you about my October budget purchases!

I have to admit to having already blown my quarterly budget and we haven't even made it to December yet.  It doesn't feel good to tell you this, but I want to be transparent about what I have to work with in my wardrobe.  I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I have taken on some extra responsibilities at work lately.  The extra work also comes with some extra money.  With my first larger paycheck, I allowed myself a little splurge.  After this, though, I'm using the extra money for responsible tasks like saving.  You know you are a grown-up when you are more excited about saving than spending.  Hello, adulthood!

On to my October purchases:

1.  Cognac Purse: Original Price- $49.99 Price Spent- $37.09
I have been in the market for a "use for everything" cognac bag for several months now and found the perfect one at the Nine West Outlet.  You can see the purse in this post.
2.  Skinny Cognac Belt: Price Spent- $15.85
I went to Anthropologie to return a dress and "accidentally" found myself in the sale section.  I don't feel too terribly, though, because I got this belt for a great price!
3.  Wide Belt: Original Price- $58.00 Price Spent- $29.95
I purchased this belt during the same Anthropologie trip to replace my beloved wide cognac belt that finally fell completely apart.  While I will miss my trusty friend, I'm excited about the quality of this new belt!
4.  Pink Cardigan: Original Price- $26.94 Price Spent- $17.59
I saw this cardigan on Danielle and immediately fell in love with the blush pink color.  If I had a signature color, this would be it!
5.  Striped Tee: Original Price- $19.94 Price Spent- $13.39
See my above comment about blush pink.
6.  Buffalo Plaid Shirt: Original Price- $54.95 Price Spent- $32.97
I have been loving buffalo plaid shirts on other bloggers lately so I decided to try one for myself.  I really liked the muted tones of this one.  I think it will make for pretty winter layering.
7.  Black Wedge Booties: Original Price- $104.15 Price Spent- $74.15
This exact pair of booties is what I've had in mind to purchase all fall.  I looked around and couldn't find a pair that fit the image in my head any better.  This is a bit more than I would prefer to spend on a pair of shoes but I'm hoping that the quality makes them a smart purchase.

Total Spent October- $220.99
Total Spent this Quarter- $220.99 (Total Saved $108.84)
Total Remaining- $29

As you can see, I bought several wardrobe basics.  It feels like I spent a lot of money this month but I think I will get a lot of wear out of these staples.  Tune back in at the end of this month to see how I overspent my budget.  Haha.

As usual, linking-up with Fran's Budgeting Bloggers.
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Nov 14, 2014

Blogging Besties: Plaid Skirt

Happy Friday, loves!  When Alex wore this amazing DIY plaid skirt last week, I just about died.

Okay, okay.  That might be a slight exaggeration.  But I was super excited because I own the skirt that she modeled her homemade little number after!  I nailed this "take one, pass it on!"

As of yesterday, the holiday season has begun, in my opinion!  I don't know about you, but this girl rocked-out to Christmas music all the way to school and all the way back for two straight days now!  I'm even writing this post while burning my beloved Winter Candy Apple candle from Bath and Body Works and drinking hot chocolate.  It's the most wonderful time of the year, y'all!

That being said, I refrained from creating the Christmas spectacular ensemble that could be made with this skirt (my initial outfit involved red tights and a red shirt, I'm not kidding).  I toned down the holiday explosion by working with the blue tones in the skirt...but you better believe that the red tights and reindeer tee are just waiting to be paired with this plaid beauty!

This weeks outfit: white lace tee + blue scarf + plaid skirt + blue sparkly flats.  I can't wait to see which of these pieces you and Alex pass on next week.

And don't forget to link-up with your version of Alex's ensemble from last week!

What I'm Wearing:
Top: LOFT (similar, similar)
Scarf: Gap Outlet (similar, similar)
Skirt: J.Crew Factory (similar, similar)
Shoes: France (similar, similar)

Previous Editions of Blogging Besties:

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Nov 9, 2014

Casual Teacher Style

I wore this outfit last week on Tuesday for a teacher in-service day.  I enjoy these days for a number of reasons.  For one, we usually get to sleep-in a tiny bit because our meetings start later than the typical school day.  It's also nice to have a change of pace every once in awhile.  Obviously I enjoy spending my days with students (or else I wouldn't have become a teacher), but a quiet day spent in meetings feels good from time to time.  Finally, I like that I get to dress down in jeans with a cute top!  We are typically allowed to wear jeans on Fridays but only if we wear a shirt that supports or school or a college (in order to encourage our kids to continue their education beyond high school).  I have certain tops that I only like to wear jeans and it feels good to get to pull them out of the closet every once in awhile!

Do you have tops that you only like to wear with jeans or is your wardrobe fully mixable?

What I'm Wearing:
Top: LOFT (similar, similar)
Vest: Eddie Bauer (similar, similar)
Jeans: American Eagle (exact)
Booties: Old Navy (similar, similar)

DC In Style- Monday Bloom
Fizz and Frosting- Mix It Mondays
I Do DeClaire- Confident Tuesdays
The Modern Austen- Sunday Best
Style Elixir- Style Sessions
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Nov 7, 2014

Blogging Besties: Cognac Purse

Hi friends! Alex here! If you remember from last week, Whitney wore an adorable ensemble featuring a puffer vest and a floral skirt, with black and cognac accents. I loved her outfit and decided to pass on the cognac bag! 

Why the cognac bag, you may ask? Because I just bought it this week as a birthday present to myself! Actually if we're being honest, I gave myself a few birthday presents..but this bag was definitely worth it. I've been looking for a cognac purse for a while now and this one is just PERFECT! I think its structure and ladylike feel fits my style perfectly and I just love strutting around with it! Plus it was a snag at only $30 at TJ Maxx. Can't beat that!

I'd also like to add that I made this skirt myself this weekend! I didn't have anything on my calendar, and I've been wanting to try recreating my beloved J. Crew Factory Pleated Mini, so I bought some fabric and went at it! I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, and I think I'll love having a plaid skirt! 

So Whitney, the ball's in your court now! This outfit consists of a cognac bag, a white sweater, a statement necklace, an A-line skirt, wedges, and plaid! 

If you recreated or passed on an item from Whitney's outfit last week, please link it up before, even if it's an old post! We'd love to see it! 

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Nov 6, 2014

31 Days, 31 Ways Remix: Recap

Phew, I successfully completed my 31 Days, 31 Ways Remix using only 17 pieces of clothing!

Here are my absolute favorite looks from the remix:

Lessons learned: I like the look of my cuffed chambray layered over or under another piece of clothing.  I also like a silhouette with a defined waist.  And finally, the more layers, the better!

And in the name of transparency, here are my least favorite looks:

Lessons learned: The black skirt is too short to layer over the striped dress.  When I don't feel like pieces quite flow together, I tend to not like the outfit.  I need to listen to my gut!

This is the first time that I've ever completed a month-long remix and I made a few general observations along the way:

-Working with a small number of clothing pieces actually made getting dressed easier!  Having fewer options to choose from made putting outfits together much more simple!

-I didn't have any trouble creating 31 outfits with only 17 fact, I think I could have created more.

-That being said, I miss the rest of my closet.  I'm happy that I'm not actually sick of the pieces that I chose, just ready to use the rest of my wardrobe again.

And finally, I'm personally curious to see which pieces I used the most and which a used the least, so let's do a little bit of math!

Items listed in order from most used to least used:

Chambray Shirt: 11
Skinny Jeans: 8
Orange Lace Tank: 6
Polka Dot Sweater: 6
Black Skirt: 6
Striped Dress: 6
Green Blazer: 5
Purple Cardigan: 5
Red Pants: 4
Blue Skirt: 4
Beaded Tank: 3
Grey Polka Dot Tee: 3
MSU Tee: 3
Navy Pants: 2
Ponté Pants: 2
MSU Sweatshirt: 1
Denim Vest: 1

I am not at all surprised that my chambray and skinny jeans got the most wear.  Basics for the win, right?  I am a little bit surprised that I didn't wear my navy and ponté pants more.  I suppose that I do usually like skirts and dresses better...which was shown in my remix!

In conclusion, I'm really glad that I completed this remix because I learned a lot about getting dressed and my taste in clothing.  I'm not sure, however, that I would ever want to go as far as doing a capsule wardrobe because I really like all of the clothes in my closet.  I will be happy to try a remix again but not for awhile!

31 Days, 31 Ways Remix

Greater Than Rubies- 31 Days, 31 Ways
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Nov 5, 2014

31 Days, 31 Ways Remix: Week 4 Outfits

Ahh, life finally slowed down just enough for me to photograph the last of my 15x31 fall remix outfits. If you haven't been following along so far, I have been completing the challenge posed by Caitlin of Greater Than Rubies to create 31 brand new ensembles from a chosen number of pieces.  To spice-up the remix challenge she even included daily style prompts!

For this final week of the challenge, I didn't follow the prompts because I had some special things happening that required certain types of outfits.  I still dressed in my remix pieces, though!

October 22nd:

I flew home to Michigan on this day so my ensemble had to be comfy and easy for air travel.  Moccasins were easy to slip off and on at security and the cardigan and scarf were cozy layers for the trip!

October 23rd:

On Thursday, I attended a conference for language teacher's so I wanted a classic, polished and professional look.

October 24th:

I wore this outfit for day #2 of the conference and to give a presentation!  A blazer always makes me feel extra professional so my green one was a must.

October 25th:

You may notice that this sweatshirt isn't one of my 15 pieces.  I attended a Michigan State football game on Saturday and my t-shirt wouldn't have been warm enough.  So I guess you can say I'm now working with 16 pieces...

October 26th:

After five days of fun with colleagues, friends and family, I needed a no-brainer outfit to wear on my trip back to Virginia.

October 27th:

Monday meant back to work and teaching outfits.  Confession: I added this denim vest at the last minute...which leaves my ultimate count of pieces at 17.  I still think this is rather low so I don't feel bad at all!

October 28th:

I've never thought to layer a chambray under a tank...but I love how this turned-out!

October 29th:

Almost there!  In the home stretch!

October 30th:

Only two more to go...

October 31st:

And done!  I've successfully completed my first month-long remix!

I'm proud of myself for sticking with this challenge!  Stay tuned for a remix recap!

31 Days, 31 Ways Remix

Greater Than Rubies- 31 Days, 31 Ways
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