Thursday, January 31, 2013

Back to Basics

Sometimes you just have to do what feels good. Even if it is boring.


Occasion: Teaching, Attending Class
Shirt: The Limited (c/o Mom)
Cardigan: Old Navy
Pants & Belt: The Limited
Shoes: Target

I'm a boring person. Ask my husband. I don't have many hobbies or interests, and I'm content doing little to next to nothing. My simplicity extends to my wardrobe, too. I'm content wearing an outfit like the one above. Is it blog-worthy? Yes. Because my blog isn't about showing off the latest trends, it's about keeping it real ... and not wearing jeans and a t-shirt everyday.

[Therapy Session 2 continued below]

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Purple Prints

Occasion: attending lecture, dept. lunch
Sweater: American Eagle - old (c/o Mom)
Shirt: Gap - old (c/o Mom)
Scarf: The Limited
Pants: Elle via Kohl's
Boots: Mootsies Tootsies via Kohl's

Thinking too much can drive you bonkers. It's a hazard of the job (graduate student of philosophy). The best relief I have found is therapy. Click below to sit in on my session.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Casual Tuesday

I woke up this morning and decided I wanted to wear my wedge sneakers. They are borderline "bad purchase decision," but I figured if I could wear them a few more times, it might be enough to pull them back to the "good decision" side of things.

Occasion: Attending class
T-Shirt: Hot Topic - old {same}
Cardigan: American Eagle - old (c/o Mom)
Belt & Jeans: The Limited
Shoes: Candie's via Kohl's {same}

I have to thank Heather from H&K Style Journey for the outfit inspiration. A few months ago, I asked for advice on how to style these shoes. Heather suggested pairing them with a graphic tee and skinny jeans. It's funny that I didn't think of that myself because I am a jeans and t-shirt girl at heart. Seriously. In middle school, one of my classmates told me she was taking me to the mall to get a makeover. (I ended up coming home with an oversized orange gingham shirt.)

What do you think of this look? Do you have any other ideas on how to style wedge sneakers? Or do you think they belong in the "bad decision" group?

[Linking up with: 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Just Wear It

Recently I have planned an outfit before going to bed, only to wake up and choose to wear something else {1, 2, 3}. Well, last night I planned another outfit, and this morning -- brace yourself --  I actually wore it! {Truth be told I planned this outfit months ago, but have been putting off wearing it for one reason or another. Are you guilty of outfit procrastination?}


Occasion: Teaching, Attending Lecture
Dress
: The Limited
Blazer: Forever 21
Necklace: Groopdealz {here for $7.95}
Tights: Target
Wedges: Xhiliration via Target

I almost didn't wear this outfit after seeing this morning that the forecast called for high 60s. However, it was 6:30am, and I had no energy to change my outfit. Perhaps this is telling; I have been changing my outfit choices in the mornings because I have had time and energy to do so. Although I am not a morning person by any means, and I enjoy how flexible my schedule is (some days I don't have to be on campus until 2:30pm), I did enjoy that there was absolutely no second-guessing involved today.

This outfit was inspired by Bri from Work Clothes, I Suppose. {See her version here.}

[Linking up with Molly, The Pleated Poppy, Because Shanna Said So, Rolled Up Pretty]

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wet Hair and Pearls

Today my blow dryer blew a fuse about twenty seconds after I turned it on. Normally something like that wouldn't bother me (too much), except today was the first day of teaching this semester, and it was just above single digits outside. Call it a recipe for disaster.


Occasion: Teaching and attending class
Shirt: Tommy Hilfiger via ?? - c/o Mom
Cardigan: Banana Republic - c/o Mom
Necklace: Capri, Italy - c/o Mom
Pants: Apt. 9 via Kohl's - c/o Mom
Shoes: Christian Siriano via Payless

I love teaching and being in front of students, but I hate the first day of class. There is just so much pressure. {Granted most of it is due to a case of perfectionism.} Even if the first day is just going over the syllabus and expectations, it's unnerving. Let's not even get into the wardrobe aspect of it all. {Okay, let's.} I am embarrassed to confess, but I get really worked up over what to wear for the first day of teaching. And this happens every semester. I must have tried on ten different outfits last night, and hung up another ten options after that. I thought I had it all figured out, until I woke up this morning, looked at the options, and said to myself, "Dark purple and polka dots?? Puffy fancy collar and loose cardigan?? What were you thinking??"  With the clock ticking away, I decided to grab a button up shirt, cardigan, and pearls... because nothing says "I've got confidence" like pearls. Or is it having your entire outfit gifted to you by your mother that says it?

[Linking up with Tara at Mix and Match Fashion for What I Wore to Work link-up]

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Nutella

It's official. I'm obsessed with red and leopard. Any time I see the two together, I get a little giddy. Weird? Probably. But you know I'm right-- red and leopard go together like Nutella and anything else. mmm... Nutella...


Occasion: Attending lecture
Top
: J. Crew {same, similar}
Blazer: Forever 21{similar here, here}
Scarf: The Limited
Bracelet: via GroopDealz
Jeans: The Limited
Boots: Madden Girl - gift

Have you been digging on any color/print combinations lately? Do you love Nutella as much as I do?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Debut: Polka Dot Pants

Yesterday I went to Old Navy and ended up walking out with a pair of polka dot pants. Are they practical? Nope. Are they the best pair of pants ever? Nope. But were they under $10 and super cute? You betcha.



One of my New Years' Resolutions is to stop buying things because they're at a great price. I failed at that on two accounts yesterday; these pants were $8.50, and I bought a v-neck sweater for $4.50 (albeit from the men's section). Old Navy has some amazing deals, and if you spend $25, you automatically get $10 savings for a future purchase. I look forward to redeeming it on one of these shirts. {I'm leaning toward the sea-blue floral or purple ditsy floral, but gingham is so tempting, too!}

Occasion: Class
Top
: Worthington via JCPenney {also seen here}
Cardigan: J. Crew {same}
Necklace: family heirloom
Jeans: Old Navy {same} {similar}
Boots: Lower East Side via Payless {same}
  
It's hard to believe how great of deals I scored on all of the pieces... I got the top for $3.25, the cardigan for $15, the pants for $8.50, and the boots for $20. Hopefully the outfit doesn't come off as looking cheap!


*This post was not sponsored by Old Navy... I just really like their deals :)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Mixing Animal Prints

Do you ever plan your outfit the night before? I do. I like to try the outfit on, walk around in it for a bit, and see how I feel. Do you ever wake up the next day and hate the outfit you put together? I do. When this happens, I frantically put together a different outfit as quickly as I can (often because I'm in a hurry running late). Today was one of those days.

Occasion: Hanging out with a friend
Top: Old Navy
Sweater: The Limited
Jeans: Elle via Kohl's
Boots: Lower East Side via Payless


For one reason or another, I wanted to experiment with wearing animal print on top and bottom. Remember last week when I wore floral pants and a floral top {here}? Since most of you didn't hate the look, I thought I'd try it with animal print. Have you ever mixed animal prints? How did it turn out?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Dark Hues for a Bright Day

When I woke up this morning, the sun was shining, and the day looked like it was going to be a beautiful one. Naturally, I opted to wear dark colors. [Actually, I was going to church and wanted to draw as little attention to myself as possible. For some reason, I thought, "Bright colors draw attention, therefore dark colors won't."]

Occasion: Church
Top & Jeans: The Limited
Boots: via Payless

I'm not sure what to make of this outfit. I've been confused lately as to whether one can wear black with dark denim. There's an idea floating lately around that navy and black match... I cringe at this thought, because I was raised that you should never wear the two together. Now, I wonder whether such a standard is timeless. What do you think? Can my outfit stand alone like this, or does it need color?

Necklace: via Amazon
Belt: Forever 21

I also tried it later with a bubble necklace and belt. Which version do you like more? And if you are not a fan of either look, what would you do differently?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

c/o Mom

Today is Third Thursday Links Party over at Work Clothes, I Suppose; the theme is blazers. I have developed a great affection for blazers over the course of this past year. Head on over to the party to show off one of your blazers!

I'm also linking up with Sharon at The Tiny Heart and Tara at The Penniless Socialite for Look What I Got. My look what I got's: this blazer and shirt. (Read more below.)

Occasion: Lunch Date, Errands
Top: J. Crew Factory - gift
Blazer: Banana Republic Factory - gift
Jeans: The Limited
Boots: Madden Girl - gift

I chose to wear this blazer for the link-up so that I could debut it. My Mom bought it for me over Christmas break. She is so sweet; I tell her something that is on my wish list (e.g., a non-black blazer), and she will search high and low, handing me blazer after blazer, hoping to find something I like. She found this blazer and told me that she was buying it for me since it was only $7.50. (Seriously! It was on sale for $15 and the whole store was 50% off!)

I wasn't sure how to style the blazer, so I decided to pair it with a shirt that my Mom had also bought for me on the same shopping trip. (Also a fantastic deal; $29.97 on sale, with an additional 40% off, plus a 15% student discount = $15.28.)

I feel like something is missing in this outfit. I tried on a few necklaces, but none felt right. I would have tried on more, but the husband was rushing me out the door.

In other news, I've decided I'm tired of my bangs.



After seeing this photo, I decided that my bangs require too much maintenance, and since I'm not good at hair to begin with, they really are not for me. (It probably doesn't help that I decided to cut them myself and cut too much.) It is only now, after cutting them, that I have remembered how much of a pain in the butt they were growing out back in 8th grade. This should be interesting.


[Also linking up with Style Elixir]

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Camo: Stay or Go?

Over the holiday break, I picked up a pair of camo pants from Gap (at a magnificent sale!). I have yet to decide whether they are keepers or not. There are so many opinions about whether camo is appropriate to wear as a fashion statement, as well as whether it's just ridiculous to wear camo anything (think "wolf howling at the moon"-print sweaters... ridiculous, right?).

I figured if I could come up with a few outfits, I'd be able to convince myself one way or another whether camo pants have a place in my closet or not. 

Occasion: Playing Dress-Up
Top: The Limited - gift
Cardigan: J. Crew {on sale here}
Necklace: The Limited
Pants: Gap {still available in some stores}
Booties: Candie's (via Kohl's)
Top, Necklace, Belt: The Limited
Pants: Gap
Flats: Old Navy
After I took the first photo (w/cardigan, w/booties), my husband asked, "What are you wearing?!?!" After I took the second photo (w/out cardigan, w/flats), he said, "That's much better!"

What do you think? Do you like either look? Do you have any ideas on how to style these pants?

 And should these pants stay or go?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Mixing Florals

Last night, my husband and I decided that we would go on a date today. After I had seen a picture in a magazine recently of a neutral sparkly top with a neutral cardigan, I decided to replicate the look. I wanted to wear something nicer than blue jeans, so I opted for black. It wasn't until I had put the outfit on that I actually noticed that I was mixing prints (floral with floral).


detail of jeans
Occasion: Lunch Date
Top: The Limited {also seen here}
Cardigan: The Limited
Jeans: Loft
Booties: Candie's via Kohl's
I think I like the look of the neutral cardigan with the top, but I'm not sure if I'm fond of this outfit altogether. I'd love for you to make the decision for me: love it or leave it? What do you think? Would you wear this?

I'm also curious-- would you wear a floral top with floral print jeans? Or does it work because the print is so subtle? I see a lot of striped tops with striped bottoms (see the cover of this month's J. Crew style guide)-- surely floral tops can work with floral bottoms?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Sparkles After the Holiday Season: Yay or Nay?

The other day when I went to the mall, I couldn't help but notice what was a common trend on the clearance racks: sparkles and sequins. I didn't think anything of this at first. Actually, I thought that there were some great deals, and that I should take advantage of them. Then I wondered whether I would even wear them before next Thanksgiving. After all, sparkles and sequins are perfect for the holiday season (i.e., day after Thanksgiving through New Years' day). But what about after we ring in the new year?

Can you wear sparkles and sequins after the holiday season?

Of course you can, in the same way that you can wear flannel all year-- but to me, flannel is really a cold/winter style, in the same way that open-toe shoes are a warm/summer style. And the point is, I could wear flannel in the spring, but I don't. I could wear sandals in the winter, but I don't. I could wear sparkles and sequins in the spring, and/but.... {fill in the blank for me!}

Do sparkles and sequins have a particular season to which they belong? Do you sport sequins and/or sparkles after January 1st? And if you do, how do you wear it (e.g., full on sequin skirt or subtle sparkle detail)? 



{source}

Right now, I think you could wear something like this year-round...


But save this for the holiday season....


What do you think?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

My Go-To Shopping Outfit

Do you have a go-to outfit for shopping? It seems like I do -- either a button-up shirt and jeans, or a top with a long cardigan and skinny jeans. It's comfortable, it's cute, and it's easy to thrown on and off for a quick change.

Occasion: Shopping!
Top
: The Limited {also seen here}
Cardigan: J. Crew Factory - gift
Necklaces: The Limited
Belt: Forever 21
Jeans: The Limited
Flats: Dana Buchman via Kohl's
This is what I ended up wearing. I chose the skinny jeans, with my new cardigan to match. I chose the top because I haven't worn it in a long time. I thought the yellow flats added a nice pop of color. I couldn't decide on whether to wear the short necklace or the long one, so I chose both! 

I also scored an amazing deal today:


{Coat: The Limited {here}}

Guess how much I paid?


$10. Seriously. $3 of which I had on gift card. Oh, and that $10 also bought a pair of tights. Admittedly, I had coupons, but still. A deal is a deal. And I love amazing deals.

EDIT: HOW I SCORED SUCH A GREAT DEAL:
Coat on sale in store for $39.99. [Items tend to be cheaper in store than online.]
Virtual dollars ($25 off $50 purchase) meant I needed to find something for $10.01.
Tights were on sale for $10, bringing total to $49.99.
Sales associate said I could use my virtual dollar (even though I was technically one penny short of qualifying), bringing total to $24.99.
Used $15 reward coupon (for being a cardholder), bringing total of coat and tights to $9.99.

HOW YOU CAN SCORE A SIMILARLY GREAT DEAL:
- "Like" The Limited on Facebook now, and get a free Virtual Dollar (this automatically takes off $25 for any $50 you spend-- including clearance. It's like taking 50% off!).
- Be a cardholder!

[This is entirely my own advice; I have never been contacted by The Limited.]


[Linking up with The Pleated Poppy and Rolled Up Pretty]

Thursday, January 3, 2013

GOMI and A Journey in Style

This isn't my best look ever, but I'll get to that later. I felt comfortable in this outfit, and better than had I just worn jeans and a tee. Sometimes I consider not posting outfit pictures because they are plain and boring, but then I remind myself that I KNOW that many of my outfits are plain and boring.

But if my outfits are plain and boring as I claim they are, then why blog? 

That's a very good question, and one I still cannot answer (even after writing this post).



Occasion: errands, hanging out w/family
Top: The Limited {same}
Jeans: The Limited {same}
Boots: Madden Girl - gift

So why blog? 

There are plenty of reasons not to; one of which I recently encountered. The other day, I learned about a website known as GOMI {get off my internets}. After scanning the forums for a little bit of time, I felt like all life was sucked out of me. I am admittedly susceptible to negative energy, but this was harsh. For example, J. from J's Everyday Fashion is one of my favorite bloggers, and I never realized how much some people dislike her. Take today's outfit for example:



J. paired a sequin sweater with camo skinnies. I actually really like this outfit -- the sparkle is a nice touch, without being too much. Now, some of the comments on GOMI revealed a disdain for the purse and/or the shoes (a common theme of the general comments against J.). Since I don't have may shoes, and rarely ever carry a purse, I didn't notice, nor do I care. The comments also hash on her post rather than her outfit. Maybe it's just that I don't have much time to read each and every word of ever blog I follow-- I admittedly read my favorites, and skim the others or just look at their pictures. 

Now the other portion of mad hate (apart from so many other popular bloggers) focused on fashion bloggers as a whole. Although I doubt hope my blog will never make it onto GOMI, I feel as if I should state my intention and approach loud and clear.

I like clothes, and I like shopping. I also like putting in minimal effort when I can and want to (including getting dressed!). I do not believe that I am "fashionable". I don't care for runway fashion. Blogging for me is a superficial, trivial hobby, and at the end of the day, means next to nothing. I find more value in the relationships I've built and the opportunity to get a break from school without resorting to watching TV.

Let me explain.

Two years ago, the world of fashion was something entirely foreign to me, and honestly, I had no intention in visiting - let alone moving to that world. I was satisfied attending class every day in jeans and a tshirt. I was satisfied with black dress pants and a cardigan or button-up as my teaching attire. 

And then the unexpected happen. Life happened. I didn't know where I'd be in the fall of 2011, after I had received my Masters degree. I had been applying to PhD programs, but wasn't sure if I would even be accepted to any of them. One day, I was walking through the mall, and saw a sign outside of Charlotte Russe: "Now Hiring". I went in, and asked for an application. On the way out, I wondered whether I could even picture myself working there. Loud music, crammed quarters, teenage clientele? I then asked myself where I would rather work. I went to The Limited, and asked for an application. Three days later I had an interview, and two days after that, was scheduling my training shifts.

Fast-forward two years [to today]. I have a blog, which captures this fashion journey of mine. I've followed some of my favorite bloggers for the past year, and I've seen new blogs sprout left and right. I think we all have our different reasons for blogging. When I first started, it was a way to push myself to wear something other than jeans and tshirts to class. It was also a way to document my outfits, to keep track of what I had worn, what I liked, etc.

I have learned a lot about myself, and I hope to share some of my lessons with you in the upcoming week or two before the semester resumes.

Until then, let me reiterate: I still have no idea what looks good on my body and what does not. I still have no idea what the difference between warm colors and cool colors are, and I don't know which sort look better on me. I have a lot to learn, and a lot of styles I still have yet to try.

The point is, I think most of my outfits are plain effortless. A black sweater and green skinny jeans? Yep. Plain. Effortless. Do I expect anyone to copy this outfit? Probably not. And if they do, it's not because they were inspired by me. I am not pretending to be an inspiration to anyone. I can only hope to inspire people not to go to restaurants in pajamas (which I swear to you, I saw two nights ago, and countless other times), and to show how easy it is to look good without buying expensive clothes every other day.

I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do with this blog, what it means, and why I do it. In the mean time, I hope you enjoy my journey ... in style.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Silky Soft

I've been on the hunt for a lavender shirt for quite some time now. I love purple, but somehow the items in my closet that are purple are all dark shades of purple. I found a shirt on Old Navy's website that fit the bill perfectly, but I wasn't willing to shell out $30 for it. I've also been on the hunt for a silk shirt, or something comparable to silk, but haven't been willing to shell out $100 for it.

After the movie yesterday, my husband wanted to go to Dick's Sporting Goods and told me I could go to Old Navy (next door) if I didn't want to join him. Umm... okay! I marched straight back to the clearance section, and found "the shirt." It wasn't quite the shade of purple I had hoped for, but for $7, I couldn't complain. I don't actually own anything in this color, either, AND the hubs was actually fine with me getting it!


Occasion: Pedicure w/mother-in-law :)
Top: Old Navy {shop here}
Jeans: Loft (in black floral print) {shop here}
Booties: Candie's via Kohl's
I was slightly on the fence about this shirt since it's a size bigger that I would normally get. Originally I thought it wasn't that bad, but after looking at these pictures, I worry that it looks sloppy. What do you think? Is it unflattering? Or am I just being too critical? {Please tell me what you really think!}

[Linking up with The Pleated Poppy and Rolled Up Pretty]

ALSO-- thank you to those of you who were delighted by my post yesterday-- I honestly had no idea that anyone even missed me, let alone noticed that I hadn't been posting. Your comments made my day :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year, New Cardigan

Happy New Year!!

I apologize for being absent these past few weeks, but I have been in need of some time away from blogging. I've been relaxing, watching plenty of TV, playing The Sims, and hanging out with family.

The day after Christmas, my Mom and I went to the Outlet Mall and bought a few new things (at amazing prices!). One item I was especially pleased to find was this longer cardigan! {This is my first J. Crew (Factory) purchase -- it was on sale, with an additional 40% off, and a 15% student discount! Gotta love it! This cardigan is simple, but I can see myself getting plenty of wear from it.}

Occasion: Dinner and a movie
Shirt: The Limited
Cardigan: J. Crew Factory - gift
Necklace & Jeans: The Limited
Boots: Payless
I wore this outfit today when my husband, mother-in-law, and I went to see Life of Pi. I enjoyed the movie, but wished I would have been warned about the potential motion sickness. Has anyone seen the movie and felt nauseous during it? 

PS: It turns out that my camera was under warranty and so Canon fixed it free of charge! Well- they sent me a refurbished one. Hooray!

[Linking up with The Pleated Poppy and Rolled Up Pretty]
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