Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April Budget

A busy month kept me from doing much shopping in the great outdoors, but it didn't stop me from browsing online. My mantra this month has been, "I need bottoms, not tops"; I've found myself saying it multiple times: on the blog, to some colleagues, and even to myself. Lo and behold, all of my purchases this month were skirts! 

1. Joe Fresh (via JCPenney) Print Mini Pencil Skirt: $40 [EDIT: RETURNED, Gifted by Mom = $0]
2. The Limited Collection Wide Band Pencil Skirt: originally $60, on promotion $23 [EDIT: RETURNED]
3. The Limited Pleat Front Dot Skirt: originally $60, on promotion $23 [EDIT: RETURNED]

= $0 [!!]

I haven't yet received the skirts from The Limited, so whether I keep them or not is up in the air. [EDIT: The polka dot skirt wrinkled too easily and was too light.]

I bought the Joe Fresh skirt in person, but it's not a perfect fit. I should probably go up a size, but they didn't have one in store, online, or in any nearby stores. But then again, if I lose the weight I put on over winter break, it should fit fine. (Unfortunately this concussion has put me out of commission and kept me from working out.) Also, I paid full price for it because I adored it so much and have been on the hunt for a versatile print skirt for months. Given that it's not a perfect fit, I'm not sure it's worth the price I paid. Decisions, decisions! [EDIT: My Mom bought the skirt in my size for me!]

As I mentioned in a previous post, I almost bought this top, but decided against it because I just didn't love it. I also bought this scarf, but ended up returning it because it was too short and too wide.

How did you do this month?

[Linking up with Fran for Budgeting Bloggers]

red + snow leopard

I was once advised by a professor to wear red if you have to give a presentation because it will make you appear confident. I've followed that advice since then, with no exception today when my supervisor came to observe me teach. I wanted to appear confident, or at least to hide the fact that I hate being observed. (I don't know why, but I can't act natural when I am being observed.) I chose the red cardigan, paired it with my favorite black ankle pants, and added the snow leopard top because I haven't worn it in a while. I let the top stand alone, lest I be accused of wearing a statement necklace everyday ;-P (I did intend to wear dangling earrings, but couldn't fit a single complete pair.)

Top: Old Navy | option, option
Cardigan: The Limited | option
Ankle Pants: The Limited | option

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

grey + grey + yellow

Shopping the clearance section (whether online or in person) can be a dangerous thing. Okay, dangerous is a strong word, but it can be a gamble. I've bought my fair share of clothes in the past just because they were $10, and then ended up not wearing them more than once or twice. In an effort to be smarter about my purchasing and spending habits this year, I've refrained from gambling by avoiding the clearance section... more or less.

I bought these pants for $12, and at the time I wasn't confident that I'd wear them that often, but they've quickly become my go-to pants for casual non-work looks. I would strongly recommend making room in your budget for a pair of grey pants if you don't already have a pair! 

Embellished Sweater: *Old Navy | option
Plaid Shirt: (c/o Mom) American Eagle | option
Necklace: The Limited | option, Rent the Runway
Zip Pocket Pants in Gray Charles: *Old Navy
Black Flats: Mossimo via Target

*save 25% w/code SAVE

Monday, April 28, 2014

Pinspired: black + pink

It's been a week since my (mild) concussion, and I'm still feeling the effects of it; I'm exhausted by simple decision making and am finding myself zoning out more than usual. It's hard to be sure whether these are symptomatic of a concussion, or whether it's just me being more me than usual. Either way, it was a "let Pinterest choose your outfit" kind of day. [Outfit inspired by this pin, via A Devine Life]

The last time I wore this skirt, I pointed out that a finite set of tops and skirts can lead to many, many different outfit combinations. Case in point: swapping out the blazer for a sweater has created a new outfit! Have you put together a new outfit that was made up of mostly the same elements as a previous outfit? 

Sweater: Old Navy
Chambray: Old Navy*
*take 25% off w/code SAVE
Necklace: c/o Mom-in-law | option
Skirt: The Limited | similar, option
Heels: Comfort Plus via Payless

[Linking up with Molly and Jen]

Friday, April 25, 2014

Pinspired: chambray + fuchsia

Most of my "Pinspired" looks are the result of intentionally recreating an outfit I have pinned. Today's look was put together on a whim, only to later realize that I had similar outfits already pinned (like this one, this one, and this one). I wasn't planning on wearing the blazer all day, but it was cool enough to keep it on. Do you ever put an outfit together, only to later realize that your outfit is the same as one you already have pinned? 

On an unrelated note, this skirt has been neglected for over a year (last worn). Why? Because after washing it, it developed a crease that would not come out-- regardless of how many times I put it through the dryer, or how many times I tried to iron it. A few weeks ago, it dawned on me that I should just try washing it again. And so I did. And the crease came out! Hooray for putting an old skirt back into rotation!

Occasion: Teaching
Blazer: Forever 21 | $14 option
Chambray: Old Navy | similar
Necklace: The Limited | option
Skirt: Merona via Target | option
Flats: Christian Siriano via Payless | option

Thursday, April 24, 2014

a rainy day outfit

Sometimes I build an outfit around one item I really want to wear. Today, I really wanted to wear my rain boots. I also wanted to wear my military vest. And my striped dress. Rather than choosing to built an outfit around one of these items, I decided to wear them all at once. The tights and cardigan were added to keep me warm.

Dress: Old Navy | option
Vest: Old Navy | option
Cardigan: J. Crew | option
Necklace: Forever 21 | option
Boots: via Target | option

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Pinspired: mustard + stripes

Today's look was inspired by this pin {left: Merrick's Art, middle: the daybook, right: me}. I was so focused on the belted cardigan and striped skirt, that I didn't take note of the belt placement and buttoning the bottom buttons of the cardigan, rather than the middle. I also wish my cardigan were brighter, but I can't justify getting a new one... at least not until this one falls apart. I hope this striped skirt never falls apart -- it is one of my favorite skirts! Easily the best $9 I've ever spent at Old Navy! I'm thrilled that the weather is getting warmer so I can wear it without tights. Do you have a striped skirt? Do you love yours as much as I love mine?

Cardigan: The Limited | option
Shirt: (c/o Mom) Eddie Bauer | option
Belt: The Limited | similar
Skirt: Old Navy | save, spend, splurge
Wedges: Dexter via Payless | option

[Linking up with The Pleated Poppy and Mix and Match Fashion]

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

white, floral, and navy

Did you have a good weekend? I got a mild concussion playing soccer on Saturday which put me out of order until yesterday afternoon. Luckily, I didn't have any serious side effects. Unfortunately, I had to spend my weekend sitting still and doing nothing. 

Today my husband took me to go see Disney's BEARS. You should go see it. Now. Because it's not in theaters much longer. After the movie, we went to a few stores. I popped into J. Crew for a bit, and was surprised to see how much they had on clearance. The racks could barely contain all of the hanging sweaters and shirts. I was really tempted by this top (in vanilla), but when I learned it was final sale, I passed. I just didn't love it enough. And really, I need bottoms, not tops. After some shopping we had a bite to eat and went back home so I could get some work done. All in all, it was a great way to make up for a lousy weekend! 

Top: Old Navy | option, option
Cardigan: (old, c/o Mom) Old Navy
Necklace: The Limited | option
Belt: The Limited | similar
Pants: Apt. 9 via Kohl's | similar
Flats: Steve Madden via DSW

Friday, April 18, 2014

pantone challenge :: freesia

Today is the fifth and final day of Heidi and Marissa's Spring Pantone-Inspired Color Challenge. The color of the day is "freesia". I interpret it as a friendly yellow. It's not in your face. It's perfect for dipping your toes in the yellow water, and it seems to be flattering for any skin tone. Even my fair-skinned friend was wearing this same color today, and it looked great on her.

I recently read an article about how to be the best blogger you can be, and one point of advice was to not publish posts that do not show off your best self. That advice might be better reserved for blogs with thousands of followers. I will publish my outfits, regardless of how much I dislike them. This one is no exception.

Top: The Limited | option
Scarf: The Limited | save, spend
Cardigan: The Limited (gift) | option
Ankle Pants: The Limited | option
Flats: Christian Siriano via Payless | option

literate & stylish

Thursday, April 17, 2014

pantone challenge :: hemlock

Today's color for Heidi and Marissa's Spring Pantone-Inspired Color Challenge is "hemlock". I interpret "hemlock" as a sad mint, as one that lost its pizzazz. Or maybe it's just a more tame, less bold version of mint. Regardless, I feel like out of all the colors in this week's challenge, "hemlock" is one that I actually have in my closet. Truth be told, this top wasn't actually in my closet. It was in a bag, ready to be donated. After wearing it today to run errands, I am thinking I am going to hold on to it, at least for a little longer. Have you ever put something in a donate pile, but ended up keeping it?

Top: The Limited | option
Cardigan: (taken from mom) Charter Club | option
Jeans: The Limited | last worn
Flats: Old Navy | option

literate & stylish

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

pantone challenge :: dazzling blue

This post could also be titled "lost in translation". I wanted to make this pin {via Hello, Gorgeous} my own, since I had the elements to recreate it. I considered adding a blue bubble necklace ("dazzling blue" is today's color for Heidi and Marissa's Pantone-Inspired Color challenge), but the necklace and glitter belt together seemed like too much. I ditched the necklace and let my heels fit the "dazzling blue" bill. It seemed to work... in theory. Something just feels off about this outfit.

But then again, it could just be that I am incomplete without my watch. I could have sworn I put it on this morning, but when I got to my office, I realized it wasn't on my wrist. I have no clue where it is. I'm lost without it. I really hope it turns up. My husband got it for me for Christmas in 2010, and I've worn it nearly every day since. Has your world been turned upside-down from losing something?

Dress: Forever 21 | option 
Cardigan: Merona via Target | option
Belt: Apt. 9 via Kohl's | sim, sim
Heels: J. Crew Factory | option

literate & stylish

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

pantone challenge :: paloma

"Paloma" is today's color for the Spring Pantone-Inspired Color Challenge (hosted by Heidi and Marissa). While others may see it as just plain old grey, I think of it as a means between the extremes of light grey and dark grey. The color "paloma" makes me think of a top my aunt gave me years ago (worn today), although the word "paloma" itself makes me think of Palmolive and getting my hair washed with it when I was younger to combat the grease. Did your mom ever try any odd home remedies on you when you were younger?

Scarf: J. Crew Factory | option
Cardigan: Old Navy | last worn
Top: Banana Republic (gift) | last worn
Pants: Old Navy
Flats: via Target

literate & stylish

Monday, April 14, 2014

pantone challenge :: radiant orchid

If you didn't already know, I love participating in challenges and theme weeks. Last week: Floral Week. This week: the Spring Pantone-Inspired Color Challenge (hosted by Heidi and Marissa). I don't have anything in "radiant orchid" (which is surprising, considering how much purple I have in my closet), but it made me immediately think of this neglected sweater. Even if this is a loose interpretation of "radiant orchid", it's a win for no longer neglecting this sweater, and for getting to wear my new favorite scarf again! 

Scarf: The Limited | option
Sweater: via Target (gift) | option
Pants: The Limited
Flats: via Target

literate & stylish

Friday, April 11, 2014

floral week :: floral dress

Today's look was inspired by this pin {via Damsel in Dior}. When I pinned it, I got my mind set on wearing this floral dress with this grey blazer. It wasn't until recently when I enlarged the pin that I realized she is actually wearing a striped blazer. Oh well. The blazer has a stripe lining. That's gotta count for something.

I finally busted out my blue suede heels (which I've been neglecting for months-- whoops). Are they too bold for this outfit? Maybe. But they make me happy, and isn't that ultimately what matters? What have you worn lately that makes you happy?

Blazer: Merona via Target | white option
Dress: Gap | this year's version
Heels: J. Crew Factory | option

[Linking up for Friday's Fab Favorites, Sunday Style, Fashionably Employed, and April Flowers]

It's the last day of floral week-- link up with Andi, Brynn, and me if you haven't already! (And even if you have, feel free to link up again!) Big thanks to Andi for allowing me to co-host!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

floral week :: all things floral

Even though I am cutting back on purchasing and bringing new things into my closet, it doesn't mean that I don't still enjoy window shopping. I've put together a few collages of floral print items I'm adoring, in honor of floral week (and due to unforeseen circumstances that kept me from putting together an outfit post today)!

I'll be back tomorrow for the last day of floral week with Andi and Brynn. Share an outfit of yours featuring a floral print! (Link-up after the jump.)


Links to Shop:
1.  The Limited  |  2.  J. Crew  |  3.  Old Navy
4.  Target  |  5.  LOFT


Links to Shop:
1.  Kohl's  |  2.  J. Crew  |  3.  Kohl's


Links to Shop:
1.  Gap   |   2.  The Limited   |   3.  Banana Republic
4.  LOFT   |   5.  Forever 21   |   6.  Anthropologie

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

floral week :: floral scarf

Today marks day 3 of floral week, which I am co-hosting with Andi and Brynn. I said yesterday that I like floral prints because they allow for so many different outfit combinations. I should mention that I enjoy theme weeks because I also try to find a way to incorporate otherwise neglected pieces into my outfits (like yesterday's top). 

In other news, I decided to return the two tops I had included in my March budget. I decided that since I barely wear today's blouse as it is, I couldn't justify keeping something so similar. When I made the return, the clearance rack was overflowing with the same blouse (still at the same price). Maybe I'll go back in a month and buy it if/when it's cheaper. But then again, I said the same thing about these pants when they were $10, and I haven't seen a deal like that since.

How are you styling your floral prints? Join the link-up party below!

Top: gift from mom-in-law
Scarf: gift from friend
Pants: J. Crew | similar
Belt: The Limited | option
Wedges: Merona via Target | option

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

floral week :: floral tank, again

I like floral tops. I especially think they are a smart piece for every closet. In every floral top, there are bound to be at least three colors that can be pulled out by coordinating cardigans, blazers, or pants. Take my floral tank, for example. I've worn it before with my honeydew cardigan (thanks, Caroline, for identifying the name of the color of that cardigan) and I plan to wear it soon with my peach cardigan.

This top has been overly neglected, but floral week gave me as good of a reason as any to wear this top. If you've been neglecting any of your floral items, now is the time to wear them! Link up your floral looks below (after the jump)!

Blazer: The Limited | save, spend
Necklace: The Limited | option, option
Top: LC Lauren Conrad via Kohl's | option
Ankle Pants: LOFT (c/o Mom) | option
Flats: Dana Buchman via Kohl's | option

Monday, April 7, 2014

floral week :: floral tank

I am happy to announce that I am co-hosting Floral Week with Andi and Brynn! We're having a link-up party all week, so wear your floral prints and join the fun! (Link-up after the jump!)

I was prepared to wear heels with this outfit, but when I woke up this morning with jello legs, I knew that wasn't going to happen. Soccer season has resumed, and boy howdy, do my muscles feel it. It's a nice feeling though.

Do you know what else I feel good about? The purchase of this skirt. I've been much more thoughtful about my spending and purchases since January. I was really excited about this skirt, but hesitant about spending so much on a skirt. It's the third time I've worn it in 30 days, so I'd say it's turning out to be a good purchase.

Floral Tank: Old Navy | option
Cardigan: The Limited | option
Necklace: Groopdealz | same
Bracelet: The Limited | option
Skirt: The Limited | option, polka dot
Flats: via Target

link up after the jump!

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