Nov 30, 2015

Another Monday + Link-Up

Well, it's Monday again, friends!  I'm sure I'm not the only one that feels like Thanksgiving weekend just flew by!  I had lofty goals of checking-off to-do lists, spending quality time with loved ones and passing much of the time lounging about.  Do I feel like I got enough of any one of these things?  Of course not!

Why is it that time seems to fly the fastest around the holidays?  This is my absolute favorite time of the year and I wish that the clock would quit spinning so that I could truly enjoy what this season has to offer.

But here we are, back to the daily grind.  In honor of that daily grind, I'm featuring a pretty typical teaching outfit for me!

To me, the key to a good teaching outfit is comfort and fit!  When you are at the front of a classroom, you have about thirty pairs of eyes on you at any given time.  It's super important to not be tugging at your clothes or worried that something isn't covered-up properly.

Cute colored pants and a top with a bit of detailing are easy pieces to mix and match for a put-together teaching look.

My final "must have" for a day of teaching is a warm layer.  I teach in an old building with really inconsistent heat so my denim jacket goes on and off several times a day depending on the temperature.

What does a typical work outfit look like for you?

What I'm Wearing:
Top: J.Crew Factory (similar, similar)
Pants: c/o Stick Fix (similar, similar)
Denim Jacket: hand-me-down (similar)
Flats: DSW (similar)

Time to link up!

Nov 27, 2015

Blogging Besties: Black and White Stripes

Last week, Maricel wore an infinity scarf and double dog dared me to wear one too.

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While I respond well to encouragement, my typical reaction to a dare is:

So, no, I did not pass on the infinity scarf. Sorry, not sorry. Instead, I went with black and white stripes and a deep green skirt.

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Alright Whitney, I know I made this easy on you! You can choose from: stripes, circle skirt, green, ankle boots, fringe, and a pendant necklace.
Top: Chaps via Kohl's (similar)
Skirt: Old Navy (exact, in Night Dive)
Ankle Boots: Journee Collection via Amazon (similar)
Necklace and charm: Gingersnaps (exact necklace, exact charm)
Previous Editions of Blogging Besties

Nov 23, 2015

My Take on the GYPO Fall Challenge + Link-Up

With a blanket of snow covering the ground here in Michigan, I think it's time to recap my experience with the Get Your Pretty On Fall Challenge so that I can move on to winter style!

For those of you who aren't familiar with the Get Your Pretty On challenges, I'll start with the basics.  Each seasonal challenge costs around $50.  Upon signing-up, you receive a shopping list of both classic and trendy items that comprise a capsule wardrobe.  You purchase the items according to your own budget or find the pieces (or similar ones) already hanging in your closet.  Once the trial begins, you receive daily outfit formulas featuring the items from the list.  You get twenty-some outfits that are ready-to-wear!

What I liked:

I really love this challenge in theory.  I love the idea of remixable pieces.  I love pairing classic and trendy looks.  I love the hunt for all of the items on the list according to my budget.  And I especially love having cute outfits already planned for me (that way, getting dressed for school at 5:30 in the morning doesn't feel so daunting).

What I didn't like:

But like I said, I love the challenge in theory.  In execution, it just didn't work for me.  For one, sometimes the "outfit of the day" didn't work for what I had planned.  I just can't wear distressed boyfriend jeans to work on a Tuesday.  I ended-up using the outfit ideas out of order to fit with my plans but, for me, this created more work than just choosing an outfit from my closet.  I would spend my evening combing through all of the outfit combinations to find one that would fit my needs.  The next struggle was in making sure that all of the pieces I needed for that outfit were actually clean.

The other trouble I encountered was with the clothing items that I substituted.  For example, I couldn't find the grey cable knit sweater on the shopping list so I substituted the recommended neutral sweater that I already had in my closet.  I just didn't like my outfits featuring substituted pieces as well as I would have if I had purchased the actual recommended items.  This makes me feel like I want to buy each specific piece on the lists in the future...which just isn't compatible with my teacher budget.

In Summary:

I know that lots of women love these challenges so I'm in no way trying to portray it in a negative light, I just want to be honest about my experience.  And even though I found the program to be more difficult than I expected, I did find myself in the middle of a great Facebook community of women who were participating as well.  Everyone in the group was super encouraging and supportive.

All of that being said, I will not be participating in the Winter Challenge.  I'm hopeful that I can try another one in the future but I just don't have the money or time to give this next one a go.

The Outfits:

And finally, here are two outfits that I created based on the prompts from the Fall Challenge.

This was one of my favorite outfits that I created from the daily prompts.  I really enjoyed the color pairing that I wouldn't necessary have thought of myself.

And this is an outfit that I didn't necessarily dislike but I would have liked it better if I had the grey cable knit sweater with a white shirt underneath.

What I'm Wearing:
Scarf: Target (similar, similar)
Pink Shirt: Old Navy (exact)
Red Pants: c/o Stitch Fix (similar, similar)
Gold Flats: DSW (similar)
Camel Sweater: J.Crew Factory (similar)
Pearl Necklace: Amazon (exact)
Black Jeans: Zara (similar, similar)
Leopard Flats: LOFT (similar, similar)

And now it's time for the Lovely Little à la Mode Link-Up!

Nov 20, 2015

Blogging Besties: of super casual Friday

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This week is brought to you by: "green, lace dress, cargo jacket, fall statement necklace, combat boots, earth tones, and fall classics". For your viewing pleasure, I give you: green, cargo jacket, combat boots, and fall classics (as in, the luvverly infinity scarf). The extra bits: I think it was a good thing for me to go on a style hiatus. Because I'm finding myself getting quite lax and relaxed with my wardrobe choices recently. (Actually, is it a chicken or egg scenario? That is, have I gotten more lax because I went on hiatus or is it because I went on hiatus that I became more lax?) Ah, conundrums! Suffice to say, I was quite pleased and relieved when I saw Alex's challenge from last week. Cargo jacket? Combat boots? I heart you, girl! Coz that's the perfect combo for a super Casual Friday ensemble. Like Alex, I had a hard time finding the perfect cargo jacket and this isn't it. It's too stiff and green for my tastes. But it's the warmest of the bunch (Oh, yeah. You know I bought and kept three of them in my search for the perfect one) so it won the toss-up. I'm still searching for my holy grail of cargo jackets, but until I can afford the J.Crew downtown field jacket, my quest continues. The combat boots are pretty perfect, purchased after my cheapie Charlotte Russe ones bit the bullet this summer. Of course, it took me multiple tries and several returns to find them - you hear that, cognac booties?! - but eBay did me right eventually. And the striped shirt? That's a Pinspiration, my friends. Otherwise, I would've thrown on a chambray button-down and called it a day. See what I mean by lax and relaxed? I still do feel more ready for a leaf-strewn walk in the woods rather than a suburban classroom, but such is my life nowadays. Anyhow, here's Selah's challenge for next week: forest green, stripes, black leggings, infinity scarf (Do it, Selah! I double dog dare you! LOL!), or outdoorsy wear. Vive le vendredi!

:: Just the facts, ma’am :: Top – Anne Taylor LOFT Jacket – F21 Pants – Karmaloop Scarf – H&M Boots – G by Guess
:: Linking :: Fun Fashion Friday @ Fashion Should Be Fun
:: Scream it from the top of your lungs :: Shake It Off by Taylor Swift

Nov 16, 2015

Paix pour Paris

I'm not sure that I have the right words to write this post.  I've spent the past several hours combing through articles, images and videos describing the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday.

I can't begin to imagine the shock and heartache that the people of Paris and of France are feeling.  While the French people are experiencing significant pain, I'm feeling my own personal hurt regarding these attacks.  I began studying French when I was twelve years old and have since chosen to build my life around my passion for this culture.  I've studied French, I've lived in France, I've loved the people that I met while there.  I currently teach French, sharing everything I love about this country with students every single day.  Today I hurt for the beautiful country and the beautiful people who hold a special piece of my heart.

While you are reading this, I will be talking to my students about the terrible events of Friday.  In the hours I've spent looking through pictures and watching videos of reactions around the world, I've created lessons for this week that I hope are sensitive, informative, heartfelt and hopeful.

Having spent my energy and emotion figuring out how to present this to my students, I haven't written an outfit-related post for today.  If you happen to follow my little corner of the internet, I know that you come for a light-hearted chat about personal style, so I apologize for not having that conversation with you today.  I'll be back with another outfit in my next post but, for today, here are some of my favorite images of Paris that I've taken during a few of my trips to the City of Love and Light.  Paix pour Paris.

While I didn't have an outfit post ready for you today, I still want to see your posts!

Nov 13, 2015

Blogging Besties: Green

I am just in love with Whitney's outfit from last week. That shirt and skirt look like they were made for each other--an effortless mix of colors and patterns.

I kind of copped out this week and passed on the color green, because I am enamored with this jacket I found at Old Navy! I have been looking for the perfect casual cargo jacket for the longest time, and I've ordered several from Old Navy in the past only to return them because they weren't right. I think what I like best about this is that it's more of a cropped length like my denim jacket--I can still wear it with a shirt and pants, but it's short enough to be flattering when worn with a dress (as opposed to longer jackets that bulk out at the hips.) It's also a soft cotton so although the color gives off the cargo look I want, it's super comfortable and fits so nicely. 

I wore it a few other ways this week, but for this outfit I paired my cargo vest and combat boots with my lace dress for a mix of masculine and feminine pieces. I finished it off with a multi-colored gem necklace which I have loved for this fall! 

Dress: Thrifted (similarsimilarsimilar)
Jacket: Old Navy (similarsimilarsimilar)
Necklace: Thrifted (similarsimilarsimilar)
Boots: Target (similarsimilarsimilar)

The elements of this outfit are: green, lace dress, cargo jacket, fall statement necklace, combo boots, earth tones, and fall classics! 

Nov 9, 2015

Mauve Sweater Pinned It and Did It + Link-Up

I think I might be a pin hoarder.  I love pinning cute outfits, fun decorating ideas and delicious-looking recipes on Pinterest but then forget to actually use them!  For that reason, I love this "pinned it and did it" prompt that Carrie, Casey and I use every once in awhile.  It urges me to actually make use of all that amazing inspiration I so fervently pin!

I've had this muted, cozy look pinned on my "Cool Weather Clothes" board for ages!  I created this board with pins that I can already recreate using pieces hanging in my closet.  I knew that my textured mauve sweater would be a good stand-in for the chunky blush cardigan in the photo!

While I think I did a pretty good job recreating the pinned outfit with what I have, I still like the inspiration look better!  I wish my grey tee were a little bit more muted and my cardigan a bit longer. Plus it probably doesn't help that I feel that my white jeans don't fit super well.

In any case, I'm so happy that I finally tried this outfit for myself!  And I won't go deleting the pin anytime soon, maybe someday I'll have a few new pieces in my closet that will help me get a little bit closer to that inspiration!

What I'm Wearing:
Tee: Everlane (exact fit)
Cardigan: LOFT (similar)
Jeans: LOFT (similar, similar)
Boots: Nordstrom (similar, similar)

Nov 6, 2015

Blogging Besties: Buffalo Plaid

Selah has the best collection of graphic tees so of course I loved her outfit last week!

I really wanted to copy her entire outfit but I thought it might be more interesting for you if I changed things up a little bit.  Here are the options that Selah gave me to choose from: "purple, a graphic tee, skinnies, dark wash denim, roses, ballet wedges and Buffalo check."

Since I'm all about the plaid (like everybody and their brother) these days, I chose to pass along a buffalo check shirt!  

Up until this week, I'd only ever worn this shirt with jeans and boots.  In fact, it has made only one previous blog appearance in which I asked for advice about how else to style the top.  Guess who suggested I try it with a feminine skirt?  Selah, of course!  To which I replied, "I'm thinking of a cute grey skirt that this could work with."

So, almost one year later, Selah has re-inspired me to get creative with my buffalo plaid!

For those of you following along, Alex will be passing on an element from my outfit this week and here are her choices: buffalo plaid, polka dots, pattern mixing, green, grey, ballet flats, or a glamorous necklace!

Nov 2, 2015

Polka Dots and Leopard Print + Link-Up

Ahh, I had such a wonderful and relaxing weekend!  What about you?  On Friday I threw a monster-themed baby shower for one of my best friends.  The rest of the weekend I spent passing out Halloween candy and relaxing with my handsome guy.  My one complaint?  That the weekend isn't longer!  I'm not ready for it to be Monday just yet.

Although I suppose Monday feels a little better with the help of a cute outfit and some pattern mixing!  Do you have a better day when you feel really good about what you're wearing, too?

While my favorite pattern mixing combination is leopard print with stripes, this fun animal print paired with polka dots is a close second!  I think it's the ease with which these patterns come together that makes the combinations so great.  Especially when you're working with black and white stripes or polka dots, you don't even have to wonder if leopard print will go, it's a no-brainer (and let's face it, we all need those when we're getting ready for work on a Monday morning).

Are you interested in seeing a couple of other ways to pair polka dots with leopard print?  Head over to Carrie and Casey's blogs to see how they mixed their patterns today!

What I'm Wearing:
Shirt: Express (exact)
Cardigan: Target (similar)
Necklace: Amazon (exact)
Skirt: Land's End (similar, similar)
Tights: Nordstrom (exact)
Flats: LOFT (similar, similar)

And don't forget to link-up the remainder of your Create28: Fall Looks or anything else you want to show off below!