Monday, April 30, 2012

Mixing Business with Pleasure

Occasion: Proctoring student exams
Top & Pants: The Limited
Cardigan: Target
Necklaces: Forever 21, gift
not pictured: black flats c/o Target
Sometimes I try to mix "themes" in my outfits. A common trend lately has been incorporating a touch of masculinity to a feminine outfit. Today I mixed a traditional business casual (slacks and cardigan) but added a fun floral top (my "pleasure" piece). I had hoped to wear this top with a pencil skirt, but a cold front has swept in and swept my skirts to the back of the closet. [Translation: it's cold outside!]

I had a term paper due today, which I finished just in the nick of time. I have another one due tomorrow, so it's back to the grindstone I go. Wish me luck!

Friday, April 27, 2012

"Mixing Prints": Leopard and Stripes

Occasion: Teaching
Everything: The Limited
leopard flats: Christian Siriano for Payless
[My shirt was tucked in most of the day, btw]
This is about as close as I'll get to mixing prints - stripes (shirt) and leopard (flats). Only rarely have I seen it pulled off successfully, and the times I have, it still seems borderline unprofessional (to teach in). I spend a lot of time wondering whether we have become conditioned to seeing it and so we now see it as acceptable (i.e., brainwash) or whether it really does look good together. Why is it that retail clothing stores (other than J. Crew) have yet to get on the mixing prints bandwagon? Does J. Crew know something the other stores don't know? You doubt me, but I don't come to the table ill-equipped. Check out what's new at Banana Republic, Loft, The Limited, and Old Navy... no mixed prints. [Okay, so the Loft shows one, but it's a really gross outfit.] [I couldn't find Gap's page of pre-made outfits, but I didn't see any instance of print mixing, nor did I see it on Forever 21's website.] 

I'm not trying to sound like a snob. I just don't understand. I plead ignorance. So please enlighten me!

Have you caught on to the mixing prints fad? If so, what is your favorite way to do it? If not, what's stopping you?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Something Old, Something New, Something Leopard, Something Blue

Everything: The Limited
Flats: Christian Siriano for Payless
Wow. This outfit looks nothing like I thought it would. Weird. I thought it would look more like this, but I guess I should have taken into account that it isn't so dark everywhere I go. Oh well. I didn't repeat the outfit item for item since I added the leopard. I wore the purple belt to match the purple in the necklace, but I'm wondering whether a different color skinny belt would have done something more for this outfit? I just love purple so much!

Side note: This blue cardigan is the first cardigan that I ever bought at The Limited. It was on sale rack, for $15, and I got to use my student discount! At that time, I thought it was an amazing deal. Now I rarely wear this cardigan because of the crazy scoop neck -- you can see it in the picture. 

Husband is sick. I have two term papers due Monday, one of which I haven't even started. Wish me luck. If I get sick, I will lose it. I'm already feeling really, really tired, and it's only 9pm. Three more weeks. Three more weeks. Sigh. The thing about having a fashion blog is it reminds you on a daily basis of how much fun it is to dress up and look cute, but it also serves as a harsh slap in the face that it's only a hobby and not really a life (at least not for me). A lot of women say that if they look good, they feel good. I can't say the same holds for me, but I could say that if I look bad, I'll feel bad. I read an article once where Sofia Vergara said she'll dress to accentuate/flatter one particular body part. I'm not proud of any of my parts enough to flaunt them, and I'm pretty sure it's inappropriate to even let my ladies up for air while teaching college freshman. [Maybe I'll save that for the last day of school.] Does clothing affect your attitude? What do you wear (or do) when you want to feel good?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Floral with a Pop of Coral

Top: Charlotte Russe
Cardigan, Skirt, Belt: The Limited
Necklace: Forever 21
Flats: Steve Madden c/o DSW

When the daily predicted high jumps 20 degrees from one day to the next, what else is there to do but to act (and dress) accordingly?

In an effort not to repeat this outfit item-for-item as I did the first time around, I added the necklace to match the belt. Now I'm thinking it was a tad too much. What do you think: is it better to repeat outfits item-for-item once you get the outfit just right, or to keep trying to mix things up and never repeat an outfit (item-for-item)? 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Another Presentation Day Outfit

Occasion: Class
Everything: The Limited
Necklace: Forever 21
Flats: Dana Buchman c/o Kohl's

Yes, I had another presentation. Yes, this outfit lacks creativity. To see why, go to last week's presentation outfit.

For now, enjoy seeing the same tees more often. I have an emerald green scoopneck tee that I have yet to wear. I just can't figure out what to wear with it, and pairing it with jeans seems so... blah.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Power of a Sweater

Shirt & Pants: The Limited
Sweater: Zara
Pearls: from Italy - gift
flats: Xhiliration c/o Target - old

Sweaters are great. Especially this one.

Story time! My parents have friends in Canada, and those friends have daughters. It became a tradition that any time we went to visit them, the girls would take me to the mall. The first step was always H&M, and then Zara. This sweater was beyond my typical price point for sweaters, but it had cute buttons on the cuff that I couldn't resist. That, and I was given Canadian money as a gift, so I had to spend it. (After all, what would I do with Canadian money in the States? Exchange it for half its worth? Ha! Yeah right!)

Yes, this outfit is more or less a replicate of this outfit, but I maintain that a different sweater makes all the difference - even if it is the same color. I feel like this one will be much more of a go-to (or one that I might replicate) more often than the other. 

Oddly enough, J over at J's Everyday Fashion has the same question for you today: Have you ever found success after a failed first attempt at an outfit?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Pops of Yellow, Take 3

Button up: The Limited - gift
Necklace & Skinny Belt: The Limited
Cardigan: Banana Republic - gift
Pants: Apt. 9 c/o Kohl's
Flats: Mossimo c/o Target
I feel like a broken record for saying this, but I originally planned to wear this outfit with light grey pants. Since those are ill-fitting, I decided on dark grey. I was hesitant about the grey and dark blue, but I said to myself, "Eh, who cares?" and made it work.

And yes, that is a yellow skinny belt (to match the yellow necklace). I received two compliments on that today.

It was a good day. Too bad I have so much work to do this weekend.

Only three more weeks.

We can do this.

Ready, go.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Presentation Day Outfit

Occasion: Class
Tee & Crops: The Limited
Leopard flats: CS c/o Payless
Sorry for the really boring outfit (at least the leopard flats add some interest!). I had a presentation today, so comfort and confidence was key. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. What is your go-to for feeling good?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Black & White and Red & Gold

Necklace: Forever 21
Everything else: The Limited
black flats: Merona c/o Target

I've been wanting to wear this outfit for a while now, but with grey pants. Since my grey pants are ill-fitting on me these days, I decided to just wear black pants instead. Hey, it works.

[I apologize for the lack of motivation. I have a lot of work to do these days and very little time in which to do it. Sigh.]

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Balancing Act: Pink and Orange

Everything: The Limited
cognac flats: Steve Madden c/o DSW
Wearing pink and orange together has caught on like wildfire this season. I'm still not sure if it actually works, but I thought I'd at least give it a shot. I think the key is moderation. I decided to go with a dark plain bottom piece to keep the color concentrated to the top half (hence the nude flats, too). I also went with a less vivid shade of pink. The outfit turned out better than expected, so hoorah!

Fashion tip of the day: (which actually comes from Marion over at Marionberry Style) When wearing a top with a solid color, consider accessorizing with a long necklace for added interest!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Belted Vest

Inspiration: J's Everyday Fashion
Button-up: Gap - old/gift
Sweater Vest: JCPenney - old
Necklace & Belt: Forever 21
Pants: The Limited
Black Flats: Mossimo c/o Target

I'm not entirely pleased with this outfit. It looked better on the hanger than it did on. The belt should be swapped for a darker belt, the vest should be buttoned all the way, etc. The problem with the vest is that it is longer than I would like, so it looked weird buttoned up completely. Maybe next time I'll try to pull it up a bit. [Am I being too critical?]

I still like J's outcome more. But, hey... at least I tried something different!

Where does your fashion inspiration come from? Do you try to replicate looks, or do you prefer to take bits and pieces and make something your own?

Keep reading for my weekly wants!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Holy Cowl! (Pink and Brown)

Occasion: Teaching
Pants & Necklace: The Limited
Top: Express
Leopard flats: CS c/o Payless
It didn't hit me until I got to campus that I was a repeat offender. Yes, that's right, I wore two cowls in one week. I'm not sure if that's a big deal. I had no clue what I was going to wear this morning, and pink and brown is just an easy go-to. Orange and brown looked cute, but too gimmicky. As does yellow with brown and green with brown. So what can you wear with brown?

Colorblock Cardigan

Hey, look at me, I'm a real blogger!

Occasion: Class
Cardigan & Tee: The Limited
Jeans: Charlotte Russe
Purple Flats: Old Navy

But in all seriousness, I'm not sure how I feel about this cardigan. What other ways can it be worn (other than jeans and a white tee)?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Back to Basics

Button up: Tommy Hilfiger - c/o Macy's??
Cardigan: Banana Republic
Pants: Daisy Fuentes c/o Kohl's
Pearls: from Italy
[everything pictured are gifts]
Not pictured: black heels Xhiliration c/o Target
I put this outfit together one day two years ago, and it's been a go-to ever since. I decided for this week not to plan my outfits the night before. So far, so good. I feel so much better knowing that I just threw something together. It's weird, I know, but what can you do? (Oddly enough, my outfits this week are seriously lacking in color, though. Hm.)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Black and White Striped Sweater

Occasion: Class
Sweater: Old Navy
Jeans: Charlotte Russe
Purple flats: Old Navy
Hi, my name is Kate and my philosophy on fashion is easy breezy lemon squeezy, i.e., the less effort, the better the outcome. Seriously. The days I actually try, I end up disliking what I wear. Maybe it's just the perfectionist in me - I'm much more satisfied with something I've put together last minute because I can fall back on the excuse that it was last minute. It's hard to justify why an outfit goes wrong when you had the time to put it together. Seriously, though. Do you agree? Are your favorite outfits the ones you've thrown together, or the ones you've taken diligence to put together?

[Also, a note about the sweater: I saw it in Old Navy when it was brand-new, full-price and I couldn't bring myself to spend $40 on it. Over spring break, I found it... for $8. Could it be that that is one more reason I love this sweater? Or is it just because it's black and white, which I'm quite partial to.]

Weekly Wants continued below....

Monday, April 9, 2012

Quality vs. Quantity

Top: Forever 21 - old
Pants: Apt. 9 c/o Kohl's - old
Not pictured: black heels:  Xhiliration c/o Target - old
This has been one of my favorite tops I've ever purchased. I got it three or four years ago. The only reason I don't wear it more often is because it's pilling. I am waiting for the day when Forever 21 re-releases it. I highly doubt they ever will. Lately many of my old clothes are becoming my favorites, mostly because of the quality. Is it just me or has quality plummeted recently? I bought a top from Forever 21 a few weeks ago, and it started unraveling on the hanger!

My mom told me when I was younger that I had to choose: either have a lot of cheap clothes, or a few high-quality (expensive) clothes. Naturally, my philosophical self asked, "Why can't I have lots of high-quality clothes?" I see her point, nonetheless, and try to find high-quality clothes at affordable prices. Some stores have pleased me when it comes to a cost:quality ratio, provided that I have coupons.

What do you prefer? Lots of low-quality or a minimal amount of high-quality? Or have you found a way to get the best of both worlds? (Share!)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Navy Floral Fuchsia Friday

Everything: The Limited
Necklace: Forever 21
Wedges: Merona c/o Target
I've had a particular outfit hanging on my closet door, waiting to be worn, for a while now. My patience is short, so I went ahead, and just switched out the pants. Once again, I woke up with the intention of wearing something entirely different and ended up falling back on something I wore last year. Oh well. 

Can I just say how much I love the navy and fuchsia together? What colors do you love pairing together?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Pops of Yellow, Take 2

Shirt: American Eagle - really old
Necklace: The Limited
Belt: borrowed from hubby
Jeans: Charlotte Russe
Flats: Dana Buchman c/o Kohl's
When my in-laws came to visit us, they brought a bag full of stuff that my mom had sent down with them. I left that bag in the dining room and completely forgot about it until last night. In that bag was a shirt. This shirt, to be exact. I literally have not worn this shirt in years. Years. I almost put it in my Goodwill pile before moving. Now I'm glad I didn't. Do you have any oldies but goodies hanging around in your closet?

[This is the same necklace I wore yesterday.]
[Next time I'll try a taupe belt.]

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Pops of Yellow

Yes, I wore this shirt at the beginning of the semester. Yes, I wore it with black pants. But I have a good excuse! I had three other outfits planned, all revolving around a pair of grey pants. Well, little did I know that I gained weight. Enough to make the pants have an unflattering stretch to them in the front. So, I had to change my outfit (and I was already running late), nothing looked decent, and so I finally settled for this. 

... at least I had the yellow to give it a different feeling... 

Everything: The Limited
Flats: Dana Buchman c/o Kohl's

The one thing I'm not sure about is when does accent become accent overload? I was considering wearing a yellow skinny belt, but thought it was too much with the necklace and the flats. What do you think? Is there a magic number?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Effortless Style: Navy and Floral

I was contemplating going to class today in jeans and a tee, until I thought of my blog and this awesome streak I'm on. Here's a great example of what I mean when I say this blog is all about effortless style:

Polo: American Eagle - old/gift*
Cardigan: Old Navy - old/gift*
Scarf: The Limited
Jeans: Charlotte Russe
Cognac flats: Steve Madden c/o DSW
*[I'm not really sure what to call it when my article of clothing is so old, it's back from the days when my mom would buy the majority of my clothing.] 

Did I ever mention that I love navy and white together? Maybe after the semester is over, I'll work on some flashbacks/ one piece, X ways - type projects. Just an idea...

I haven't worn a polo in ages, mostly because I just don't know how to wear one without looking masculine. I've seen bloggers recommend wearing it with something feminine, like a skirt, or heels, but I'm still not sold. Do you wear polos? If you do, is there a particular way you like to jazz them up? How do you wear them?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Modern Day Snow White?

Today one of my students came up to me after class and said "You look like Snow White today." At first, I thought it was a slight against my pale skin. (My husband even made a comment to me about how white my skin is this weekend.) I asked what made her say that, and she said "the blue and yellow." Oh.

Occasion: Teaching
Cardigan, Cami & Skirt: The Limited
Cognac flats: Steve Madden c/o DSW


I can't quite say that I see the similarity. Good thing I didn't have any red in my outfit. I was considering adding red accessories, but wanted to let the skirt do all the work. Tell me, which outfit would you be more likely to wear? Would you wear a skirt this color? What kind of accessories would you wear with it?

Modern day Snow White?
And have you ever been inspired by a Disney princess (or any other fictional character for that matter)? [I'm considering now intentionally wearing my green skirt on Wednesday with a purple top (maybe throw in some red-orange too) to see if she thinks I look like the Little Mermaid.
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