Friday, June 27, 2014

June Budget

I can't believe how quickly this month went by. I guess focusing more of my attention and energy to working out and researching kept me from spending too much time shopping! 

1. J. Crew Factory Textured Charley Sweater (in bright hydrangea): originally $60, on sale for $22.50
2. Old Navy Women's Printed-Jersey Pencil Skirt (in black stripe): originally $23, on sale for $17
3. J. Crew Factory Short-Sleeve Pocket Sweatshirt (in heather dusk): originally $60, on clearance for $17

= $56.50

Regarding these purchases... 
The short-sleeve sweatshirt has quickly become one of my favorite pieces. I've worn it around the house (a few days in a row now) and to the grocery store, and foresee it becoming my go-to for casual Friday. I know the striped skirt was an unnecessary purchase, but for how much my other striped skirt gets worn, I'm confident that this new one will prove itself to be a good purchase. The sweater was a splurge, but periwinkle is my favorite color-- I couldn't pass it up! Of course the sweater is cheaper now, so I'll see if I can't get a price adjustment. 

Re: items that didn't make it into this month's budget
I recently spent some time with family, and one of those days was spent at an outlet mall! My mom bought me this popover and these shorts (in brilliant yellow). I immediately wore the popover the next day out to dinner.

I was waffling over these flats after seeing them on Lilly, but I waffled too long and my size sold out before I knew it. I also had my eye on this t-shirt, but it sold out of my size (both in store and online) before I decided I would be willing to spend more than $10 on it. Oh well. If I get bored next month, I might try to make my own.

I'm not sure there's anything I'll be looking for in the month of July, but I'll have my eyes open since it is my birthday month and I already have some birthday money to spend. I'm still waiting for this top to go on super-sale (I'd spend $17 on it). I'll keep you posted if I get any other ideas in the mean time :)

[Linking up with Fran for another month of Budgeting Bloggers.]

Friday, June 20, 2014

dress week :: maxi dress

Let me paint you a picture. I'm on the patio, soaking up some sun. My husband comes out and says, "Are you hungry? I am. Can we go get some food?" What is a girl to do when she's in her bathing suit and not ready to go out in public, even if it is just to pick up some Chipotle? That's easy: throw on a maxi dress.

In hindsight, I should have thrown on my fedora, but I've grown attached to this headband. I've also grown attached to wearing dresses, so it's slightly bittersweet that today is the last day of Dress Week. If you haven't already, stop by Andi and Heidi's blogs and check out others' dresses! And have a great weekend!

Maxi Dress: Forever 21 | option, option
Earrings: gift from Mom
Sandals: via Target | exact

Thursday, June 19, 2014

dress week :: faux maxi dress

Would you believe me if I told you that I don't own a black maxi dress? I've been tempted to buy one on numerous occasions, but I've resisted because I already have a black maxi skirt. After seeing so many great outfits revolving around black maxi dresses on Pinterest, I thought I'd take a stab at putting together one of my own. With a black tank and black maxi skirt, I created my own faux black maxi dress. I used an elastic belt to enhance the illusion.

On a side note, when starting my closet purge, I almost got rid of this knit cardigan. I decided against it because I had no good reason to do so. I thought, "You know, I might wear this again some day." And wear it again I did. I think it complimented the belt and faux maxi dress in just the right way. Have you ever worn a faux maxi dress?

Also, I'm linking up with Bri from Work Clothes, I Suppose for Third Thursday Threads. This time around, the theme is "Must-Have for Summer." After giving it some thought, I'd say the black maxi skirt/maxi dress is the summer must have. It goes with everything. Graphic tees. A tank and a scarf. And the list goes on. What is your must-have for summer?

Cardigan: The Limited | option, option
Tank: SO via Kohl's | same style
Belt: The Limited | similar, similar
Maxi Skirt: H&M | exact
Sandals: via Target | exact

[Linking up with Andi and Heidi for Dress Week!]

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

dress week :: bear dress

If you're new to my blog, you might not know that I love bears. But now you do, so you're all caught up. I knew as soon as Andi announced that she was co-hosting Dress Week with Heidi that one post would feature my bear dress. Of all my dresses, it's my favorite.

I know that this is basically the same way I styled this dress the first time I featured it on the blog, but oh well. I wore this same outfit a few weeks ago at our soccer team's barbeque, too. This time, though, I passed on the necklace and also threw on a loose headband. If you really want to see me style this dress in a particular way, don't hesitate to let me know!

Dress: Anthropologie | great alternative, odd alternative 
Belt: came with Target skirt
Sandals: Mossimo via Target | exact

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

dress week :: lace dress

It's Day 2 of Dress Week (co-hosted by Andi and Heidi) and here I am with my white lace dress. I don't know what to say about this outfit. I wanted to wear my lace dress. I knew we would be in some air conditioning, so I threw on the cardigan. It looked odd unbuttoned. It looked odd entirely buttoned up. Solution? Partially buttoning the cardigan, and adding a belt. (Also slightly tucking the edges under because the cardigan has a deep scoop neck.) I'm pleased with how this outfit turned out. Do you have a lace dress? How do you style it?

(Please ignore the awkward hair standing on end and look at the pretty dress instead!)

Dress: Forever 21 | more options below!
Cardigan: The Limited | option
Belt: The Limited | cool option
Sandals: via Target | exact

lace dress options, all under $50!

Monday, June 16, 2014

dress week :: hi-lo

My husband and I celebrated our three year anniversary this past weekend! This was one time when I did not have a difficult time deciding what to wear. I knew over a week in advance exactly what I was going to wear: the same dress I wore for our second anniversary! I feel so happy when I wear this dress. I just wish I had more opportunities to wear this dress. (I'd feel slightly overdressed wearing this dress to Target or the library.)

I'll be showing off four more dresses this week because...  (drumroll, please)... it's Dress Week! Andi and Heidi are co-hosting this fabulous theme week, so be sure to stop by their blogs and see how others are wearing their dresses!

Necklace: via Amazon (gifted) | same style
Denim Jacket: via Target | similar
Dress: The Limited | in black, in pink
Sandals: Mix No. 6 via DSW

[Linking up with Andi, Heidi, Marissa, and Molly]

Sunday, June 15, 2014

kicking off dress week

This week Andi and Heidi are co-hosting Dress Week! I love theme weeks, and am so excited because dresses are my favorite article of clothing. Just in case your dress selection is need of an upgrade, I've put together some of my favorites in different styles so that you can run out and get one for yourself! Don't forget to join in on the fun this week! 




What kind of dress type is your favorite? Do you have a variety of dresses in your closet, or do you find yourself gravitating toward the same kind time and time again?

Friday, June 13, 2014

the back-up plan

I'm one of those people who totes extra things around "just in case". I have a granola bar in my purse or backpack at all times, just in case I get hungry. I have a couple of hair ties around my wrist, just in case one or more of them breaks. And I bring along an extra layer with me if I'm going any place where the a/c may be cranked.

I planned on wearing these pants with my mint gingham shirt, and stowed the sweater in my bag just in case I got cold in the library. On my way to campus, it started to rain. On my way to the library, the rain became a cold rain. Long story short, the sweater came in handy. Do you tote odds and ends along because you might find yourself needing them? Or do you just deal with whatever comes your way?

(Men's) Sweater: Old Navy | similar (men's), similar (women's)
Belt: Old Navy | exact
Pants: Apt. 9 via Kohl's | similar
Sandals: via Payless | option

[Linking up with Style Elixir]

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


How to achieve the library-chic look:

Step 1: Toss hair up in messy bun or ponytail. Optional: put pencil in bun.

Step 2: Throw on a pair of comfy pants. Since leggings are not pants, leggings are out of the question. Plus, you don't want to end up looking like every other female undergrad.

Step 3: Pick your favorite button up shirt. And then roll up the sleeves. Nothing shows that you mean business like rolled up sleeves.

Step 4: Add a scarf. Rolled up sleeves show that you're serious, but it can also put you at risk of getting cold. A scarf can help keep you warm, and at the very least, add some interest to the outfit.

Step 5: Put on fun flats or sandals. Skip the sneakers. We're going for library-chic here.

Chambray: Old Navy | exact
Scarf: H&M | exact (now only $7!)
Exact Stretch Pants: The Limited | exact
Sandals: Mossimo via Target | exact

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

Monday, June 9, 2014

triangles on my dress

Last weekend, my husband and I were trying to figure out what we wanted to do for lunch when out of the blue, he suggested we go on a lunch date! I was so excited, and I knew exactly what I wanted to wear: my triangle dress.

This is the kind of dress I want to spend my summer in (provided that the temperature stays below 90 degrees). It's lightweight and comfortable, and it's something I can wear for running errands or going on a lunch date. I was honestly tempted to get the same dress in another pattern, but I figured I could (and should) just wear this dress on repeat. I did just that this past weekend when my husband and I went on another lunch date after an early morning soccer game. 

Dress: Merona via Target | exact
Skinny Belt: The Limited | option
Sandals: Merona via Target | exact

Friday, June 6, 2014

closet inventory: two weeks later

Two weeks ago, I counted all the items in my closet. After posting about it, I took a long, hard look at my closet. My initial reaction was PURGE! I wanted to get rid of 95 items over the course of the next three months. I was so set on accomplishing that goal that I started purging the following morning. Between Goodwill and the local consignment shops, I got rid of 26 things. (I have a ThredUp bag, but am on the fence about sending it in.)

There are two ways to look at what has happened. We could cheer me on and say, "Way to go, Kate!" But I think we should say, "What are you doing, Kate? But really?" I'm not short on space. I'm not moving any time soon. And although I need money as much as the next grad student, I am not so desperate for cash that I need to sell my clothes for pocket change.

So why did I feel the need to get rid of things from my closet? And why was 300 the magic number? Once I cut down to 300, would that mean I would have to get rid of more before allowing myself to buy new clothes? I've racked my brain over these questions for the past two weeks, and I've managed to unearth a host of issues and reach one conclusion: I want getting dressed to be a less overwhelming experience.

I'll make a confession: I'm not creative. Sometimes I wonder whether I had a hemispherectomy, because, let's face it, the right half of my brain gets used so little, I wouldn't know if it had been removed. I see getting dressed as a creative process, so for someone who is not right-brain dominant, it can get taxing.

Thursday, June 5, 2014


This is what a day at the library looks like. G-l-a-m-o-r-o-u-s. Glamorous, glamorous. (The flossy, flossy)

If you're growing weary of my casual summer looks and want to relive some of my more polished work looks, head on over to Basic Training, Corporate Style. I'm in the Oh-So Sophisticated Style Spotlight today! 

After an unproductive spring semester, I'm taking control of the situation and making this summer what I want it to be. I've put exercise back in my daily routine, alternating between running and swimming laps. Now hopefully I'll have more stamina for my weekend soccer games. (Even if I don't, there's a silver lining: my shin guard tan lines are coming along nicely.) I've put dissertation research back in my daily routine as well. I threw this outfit on, grabbed my books, and went to the library. It was a productive session, so I'm taking pride in that for the moment. Hopefully the rest of the summer follows the same tune. g-l-a-m...

Short-sleeve Cardigan: The Limited (gifted) | similar
Scoop Neck Tee: The Limited | similar
Shorts: LOFT | similar
Flip-flops: Old Navy | exact

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

striped // dress + scarf

I've worn this dress a few times already this summer but haven't bothered to document it on any occasion because I literally just wear this dress with these sandals. Nothing exciting. But this time, I made it really exciting by adding the scarf. (This should be an indication of how engulfed I am in my research lately when double stripes qualifies as exciting.)

On an unrelated note, while looking for an option I could link up for this dress, I discovered one at Banana Republic's Factory Online Store! Did you know that they had an online store, or have I been in the dark this whole time? While the selection may appear limited, there are some real gems in the collection, including (but not limited to) these ankle pants, these shorts, this top, this tee, and this tank. Maybe Christmas in July can be a real thing this year?  

Dress: Old Navy | romper option, option
Scarf: souvenir from Spain | option, option
Sandals: Merona via Target | exact

Monday, June 2, 2014

my new favorite skirt

I bought this skirt in April, but ended up returning it because the fit just wasn't right. Neither the store nor the website had the size I needed in stock. Buuuut luckily my Mom is so awesome that when I told her about this skirt, she went out and bought one in her local store, and sent it to me in a care package along with some other goodies! I'm so excited about this skirt!

On Thursday I mentioned that I had two pieces in my closet that I have a hard time styling. This pink top is the other piece. I've only worn it once on the blog (with green shorts), but haven't been sure how to wear it in any other way. I thought my new skirt would make for a perfect pairing! 

Top: The Limited | option, option
Skirt: Joe Fresh via JCPenney (gifted) | save, splurge

[Linking up with Molly and Katie]
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