Tuesday, July 30, 2013

getting away with greasy hair

Maxi Dress: Forever 21 {option, option}
Fedora: (c/o Mom) Target {exact}
Sandals: Mix No. 6 via DSW {exact}

There must be something about the water at the indoor pool, because lately it has been leaving me with incredibly greasy hair. I wash my hair there, and after a few hours, my hair looks like it hasn't been washed in days. My go-to for times like these is either dry shampoo or a black headband, but thanks to my mother, now I have a new alternative: my fedora.

I wore this outfit when my husband and I went shopping for closet organizers. I felt much better in this outfit than I would have in just shorts and a tee (and a headband). I rarely feel confident when I have greasy hair, so I was incredibly delighted with what this hat did for me. Tossing on a hat is so effortless, and it really does go with almost any summer outfit. Can you pull off looking stylish with greasy hair? If so, what's your secret?!

Monday, July 29, 2013

a cold day in july

White Safari Jacket: The Limited {option, option}
Vibrant Ikat Print Scarf: The Limited {option}
Modern Stretch Cotton Ankle Zip Pants (Marisa): LOFT {option}
Flats: Dana Buchman via Kohl's {option}

As it seems with most of the nation, we experienced somewhat of a cold front this weekend. Temperatures dipped below 80 degrees (gasp!). While for some that might not mean much, for me it means jacket weather. I decided to give my denim jacket a break, and dig out something from the back of my closet. I bought this safari jacket in 2011 because it was incredibly inexpensive and I figured "it can go with anything". I wore it a lot that summer at work (often with the same cobalt skirt), but only once since then. Hopefully it won't take a dramatic shift in weather for me to wear this again.

What do you like to wear on cooler summer days?

Saturday, July 27, 2013

which shoes to choose?

I have a gift card for DSW and am trying to figure out how to spend it. I originally planned to invest in a great pair of black flats, but I have not had any luck finding what I want. Recently, I ordered these heels [shown below, right] in "pink" (purple).  In the mean time, I stopped by DSW to return a pair of no-go black flats. My friend wanted to spend some time looking at the clearance shoes, so I joined her. And then I found these heels [below, left]. I was on the fence about them because of the gold heel. Is that tacky? Does it look cheap? 

I would really love your opinion on the matter. Do you like either pair? Do you like one more than the other?

And just for fun, my friend had me try these heels on [below]. I thought they were absurd, but after about two minutes (which is how long it took to find a full length mirror and discover how ridiculously awesome they make my calves look), I was sold. Realistically though, they are probably going back... unless they shouldn't go back?

*All heels in this post were under $20.

Friday, July 26, 2013

polka play

Yesterday one of my colleagues and I decided to get together and catch up (where else but at the mall). I ended up getting this top and this skirt, which I think will be perfect for teaching. My teaching load will be bumping up from two days a week to three, and I'll be hosting office hours in between. With that much business casual attire on the horizon, I felt like wearing something playful. 

Peplum Cap Sleeve Top: Xhilaration via Target {exact}
Necklace: via Groopdealz
Black Maxi Skirt: H&M {exactsimilar}
Lavada Slide Sandal: Xhilaration via Target {exact}

While I was at the mall, I also tried on this top (with my maxi skirt). My friend thought it looked great on me (since I had the skirt pulled up above my belly button) and urged me to get it. I would have considered it if it were $5. What do you think about crop tops? Are they only appropriate for teenagers, or can a twenty-something get away with them?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

gravitational pull

Is it just me, or do you find yourself drawn to the same types of things? Often times when I go shopping, I find myself pulling clothes off the racks very similar to ones that I already own. It's a good thing I am aware of this gravitational pull, else I'd probably own thirty striped tops by now. 

Oh wait. 

(Just kidding. The count is less than twenty.)

Striped Sweater: Old Navy {option}
Women's Everyday Khaki 5" Shorts: Old Navy {same style}
Women's New Classic Flip Flops: Old Navy {same style

I find myself affected by the gravitational pull not only while shopping, but also when putting outfits together. Without much thought, I grabbed these shorts and a sweater for a trip to the grocery store (I always freeze in the grocery store). After snapping a few pics of this outfit, it was like deja vu. A black and white striped top with coral shorts again? You bet. Are there any color/pattern combinations you are repeatedly drawn to?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

hello, again

Last November I bought a top because it was $3.50. I wore it shortly thereafter... and then that was that. I decided enough time had passed and there was no time like the present to wear it again. Do you ever choose to wear certain clothes just because you haven't worn them in a long time?

Top: Worthington via JCPenney {option}
Vibrant Ikat Print Scarf: The Limited {option}
Shorts: The Limited {chambray option}
Sandals: Merona via Target {similar}

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

floral skirt debut

I'm trying this new thing where I don't wait forever to wear new clothes after purchasing them. I've already worn this dress three times since I bought it last week. (When on vacation, I have absolutely no problem wearing the same clothes multiple times.) I wore these shorts several times as well. I had not worn the awesome skirt I found at LOFT for $5, so I decided Sunday would be the perfect day to wear it.

Allover Lace Tee: The Limited {option, option}
Shells and Stones Necklace: The Limited {option}
Petite Aqua Floral Print Full Skirt: LOFT {exact}
Mix No. 6 Route Flat Sandal: DSW {exact}

I felt the outfit was plain when it was just the tee and skirt, so I added the necklace. I wasn't sure whether it was the best option, since it consists of shades of reds and oranges, while the skirt consists of shades of blues and greens. Do you think the necklace works, or would you opt for something different?

Monday, July 22, 2013

skirt chaser

If you had to select one skirt from your closet as your favorite, would you be able to do it? This skirt would be in the running for me. The only thing keeping it from being at the top is that I feel like Marilyn Monroe when I wear it, but far less glamorous than she. 

I wore this outfit while running errands. I didn't realize how windy it was and so for every trip to and from the car, I had to hold down my skirt, which essentially left me waddling in parking lots. I may or may have not flashed some people in front of Chipotle. Kate-0, wind-1.

Tee: The Limited {similar}
Skirt: Xhilaration via Target {similarish, dress option}
Sandals: via Target {this year's version}

Despite the skirt's proclivity to be blown up, the length and fit are ideal-- I really should have bought the other skirts of the same style when I got this one. The print and color are what leave me less than excited to wear the skirt. It wasn't until I saw Lilly pair it with a plain black tank that I became inspired. I opted for a tee rather than a tank because I've been neglecting my stock pile of scoopneck tees.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

closing thoughts on cost-per-wear

At the beginning of the week, I opened up the topic of cost-per-wear for discussion. After some reflection, I can't say that I have come to any significant conclusions, but I can share with you my thoughts on the matter.

Cost should not drive a purchase...
I have bought too many items because they were a great price. If only all tops could be $8! But they can't. And more often than not, the tops that you really love aren't going to be $8. 

...but it should be taken into consideration.
Would I ever spend $60 on a black maxi skirt? No. Regardless of how much I loved it. One might argue that as long as I stay within my monthly budget, it doesn't matter. The thing is, black maxi skirts come and go. They are not unique, and you can find them in just about any store this summer.

I initially raised the topic of cost-per-wear because I tried on a $90 dress that I thought was fabulous, but wasn't ready to spend the money (even if birthday money would cover it). Even with a student discount, $75 was still too steep. Two days later, it was 40% off. $50 is still a lot, but it's reasonable.

Cost-per-wear is a helpful tool...
Thinking about cost-per-wear is great when it comes to shoes, purses, and blazers/jackets. Too many of my shoes come from Target because I broke my first rule: I let cost decide my purchase. I didn't want to spend $40 for a pair of black flats two years ago, so I bought a pair from Target for $15. They fell apart in less than a year (even though I continued to wear them). Who wants to spend $15 on flats every year?

The point is, yes, $60 is a lot to shell out for a pair of shoes (when you're used to spending $15 on them) but shoes get a lot of wear. The same goes with jackets. I paid $67 for my Gap fuchsia blazer, and have featured it on the blog seven times (plus at least one or two times I wore it without blogging it). That puts my current cost-per-wear at about $9. If I wear the blazer seven more times this year, the cost-per-wear falls to $4.50. I was apprehensive about shelling out so much for a colorful blazer, but I feel much better about it now. The same story goes with a pair of heels I spent $40 on. 

...but it's not a solution.
The reason I say this is because cost-per-wear requires some sort of knowledge of the future. I don't know about you, but my fortune telling skills are lacking. I don't know what the week has in store for me; how am I supposed to know how much I'm going to wear a particular item? 

What I see now is that you don't have to know how much you're going to wear a particular item. The important thing, however, is taking a moment to seriously think about it. Yes, the pink shorts and white top I bought last week were super cute and fairly priced, so even though cost-per-wear would eventually be low, I realized they weren't smart purchases (so I ended up returning them).

With that said... I should have bought this dress when it was available in my size. I have missed my chance, but it might not be too late for another fabulous dress. Given my love of bears, is $98 too much to spend on this dress?

(Answer: yes. But if you know of any coupons/promotion and/or want to donate to my fund, I'd appreciate it!)

Monday, July 15, 2013

open forum: cost-per-wear

One of the perks of visiting my parents is the unlimited cable. I have been able to watch a few episodes of What Not to Wear this week. One incredibly helpful shopping tool that really stuck with me was B.A.S.E.

B = body appropriate
A = age appropriate
S = situation appropriate
E = expense appropriate

Ask yourself whether the item passes the four tests. (Does it flatter your body type? Is it meant for your age? etc. I think they are pretty self explanatory, but see season 8, episode 6: Jordan)

I personally find the most difficulty with the E: is it expense appropriate? 

Suppose you find a dress for $80. In order to get the cost-per-wear down to $1.67, you would have to wear the dress twice a month, every month, for the next two years. 

But this gets me to wondering: what is a reasonable cost-per-wear? The idea behind cost-per-wear is that you could buy a skirt at Target for $20, but if you only wear it twice, that puts the cost-per-wear at $10. However, if you buy a skirt at J. Crew for $80, and wear it twenty times, that puts the cost-per-wear at $4. Essentially then, the J. Crew skirt was the better purchase since it had a lower cost-per-wear.

Let's go back to the $80 dress in question. I myself couldn't imagine actually wearing a dress twice a month, every month, for the next two years. So suppose you only wear the dress once a month for the next two years. That puts cost-per-wear at $3.33. Is that a reasonable cost-per-wear? 

Do you think about cost-per-wear? It seems like a really tricky concept to master, so is it easier to just decide based on your budget? Suppose your monthly budget is $100. Does purchasing an $80 dress simply mean you can only spend $20 more that month?

While I was in undergrad, I put a price point on every type of item. I wouldn't buy any top that was more than $20, wouldn't spend more than $30 for pants, etc. While I am no longer committed to this approach, I often find myself wondering about whether there is any merit to it.

How do you decide what is a reasonable amount to spend on a particular item?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

birthday presents

I know I said I was excited about working with what I had in my closet, and I am. But that doesn't mean I can't purchase items let my mom purchase items/birthday gifts that I've been eying for some time, right?

Women's Drawstring Dress in Navy Stripe: Old Navy

Pintucked Sleeveless Top in white: The Limited [edit: returned]
678 Ombre Frayed Hem Shorts in mint: The Limited

Drew Essential Shorts in shocking pink: The Limited [edit: returned]

and the best deal:

Petite* Aqua Floral Print Full Skirt: Loft

I found the skirt on (final) sale for $4.98. I've been looking for a floral skirt for some time now, and so when I walked around the store with this skirt and saw how many colors match up with it, I was sold. I just wish there had been more that was my style/my size, since pretty much everything else on final sale was $4.88!
*I'm not petite, but when the shoe skirt fits...

Do you like any of these picks? If so, which is your favorite? I'll be in town for another week, so if there are any I should return, I have enough time to do so. (I really would love your opinions!)

Friday, July 5, 2013

maturity in a maxi skirt

It's been four days since my birthday, and I already feel more mature. All of a sudden, I am actually really excited about what already resides in my closet. Do I have holes in my closet? You bet. Am I eager to fill them? Meh, not so much. Don't get me wrong - the moment I find my dream leopard print blouse, the credit card will be in hand ready to swipe. Until then, let's see what I can do with what I have.

Tank: SO via Kohl's {same style}
Scarf: The Limited {option, option
Ring: Charlotte Russe {exact}
Bracelet: The Limited {similar, similar}
Maxi Skirt: H&M {exactsimsim, sim}
Sandals: Xhilaration via Target {exact}

I bought this maxi skirt over Memorial Day weekend, and although today marks its debut on the blog, it has already had some good wear in the month of June. From here on out, I would like to be able to say the same about anything that finds a home in my closet, or for that matter, already has a home in it. See? Only a few days older, and already so much more mature :P

Have you been wearing any particular item(s) a lot lately? Which one(s)?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

ikat and bobbles

Monday I celebrated the big 2-6. Thanks for all the birthday wishes, they definitely helped make my day! My husband and I decided to go out Saturday after our soccer game with our teammates, and reserved Monday for the two of us. It was a great weekend of celebrations, and there are still more to come with the 4th of July and then a trip to Michigan! 

Dress: Forever 21 {similar, option, option}
Necklace: via Amazon {same style}
Sandals: Bandolino via Macy's (c/o Mom) {option, option}

The last time I wore this dress, it was suggested that I add a statement necklace. I gave it a shot with my most statement-y necklace of all. I'm not a huge fan of the way it turned out, but hey, you live, you learn.

I hope you all have a wonderful (and safe!) 4th of July :o)

Monday, July 1, 2013

carpe diem

Just the other day I stated I was envious of those of you who are still able to wear ankle pants. The weather prediction for Friday was high 90s, but when I woke up to low 80s, I decided to seize the day and wear ankle pants. Talk about walking on the wild side!

Cardigan: The Limited {option, option, option}
Top: Banana Republic (c/o Mom) {optionoption}
Belt: came with a skirt
Crops: Apt. 9 via Kohl's {exact}
Sandals: Mix No. 6 via DSW {exact}

I hope you all have a wonderful Canada Day! I wish I could join, but I'm too busy celebrating my birthday :)

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