Friday, August 29, 2014

remixing a dress

To remix a dress, you do not need to go so far as to wear a skirt over it and pretend it's a top, or throw a top on over and make the dress look like a skirt. I'm not knocking these methods- they just don't work for me. And since they don't work for me, I'm going to go out on a limb and assume these methods don't work for others, either. So how can you wear the same dress without making it look like you're an outfit repeater? It's all about the accessories, baby. I guarantee you that if Lizzie McGuire had a touch of ice under her cap and gown, the only thing Kate Sanders would have been calling Lizzie out for would have been her mad bling.

But seriously. When it's too hot to make an old dress look new by wearing a cardigan or blazer, don't forget: a little bit of jewelry goes a long way.

(And don't forget that a bun always looks better in person than it does in photos. Or at least I'd like to believe that is true.)

Striped Ponte Dress: The Limited | option
Necklace: via Amazon | nearly identical - under $10!
Ona Scrunch Flats: via Target | exact

[Linking up with Bri for Third Thursday Threads: LBD]

Thursday, August 28, 2014

maxi skirts are my leggings

Unless I'm wearing a shirt long enough to cover my bum, I won't wear leggings out in public. Call me pretentious, I just won't. I will, however, wear maxi skirts. And I'll feel just as good as better than if I were wearing leggings. Although today I wasn't feeling as good as I could have-- I caught some sort of bug this week and it's only been getting worse as the week has gone on. Hopefully I'll be able to kick it this weekend. I would love that. (ha ha)

Tee: J. Crew Factory | option - under $10!
Hippo Necklace: Forever 21 | exact
Glitter Belt: Apt. 9 via Kohl's | similar
Maxi Skirt: H&M | similar, similar
Sandals: Mix No. 6 via DSW

[Linking up with Lauren]

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

this dress. that necklace.

Does planning an entire week's outfits ahead of time make me a nerd? I knew weeks ago that I would end up wearing my blue ponte dress sometime during the first week of school. I decided to pair it with my new necklace, as I couldn't wait any longer to wear it. I'm pretty enamored with it, which is a great feeling to have about a new piece. Have you felt this way about anything you've purchased recently? If so, what piece triggered that feeling?

(I forgot to get a close-up shot of the necklace, but you can see it here.)

Necklace: J. Crew Factory | exact
Dress: J. Crew Factory | option, with sleeves
Heels: Comfort Plus via Payless | exact

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

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

August Budget

1. Golden Goddess Necklace via Groopdealz: $13
2. J. Crew Factory brass and crystals pendant necklace: originally $55, on promotion $19
3. Forever 21 safari stud set: $2.50
4. Forever 21 hippo pendant necklace: $2.50
5. Forever 21 cutout elephant necklace: $2.50
6. Birkenstock Arizona Flat Sandals via DSW: $90 - $90 store credit = $0
7. J. Crew Factory love collector tee: originally $37, on promotion $15
8. Forever 21 green pendant necklace: $6
9. [not pictured] chevron necklace from random restaurant gift shop: $11

= $161.50 - $90 DSW store credit = $71.50

Ridiculous, I know. Forever 21 was offering free shipping with a $21 purchase, and I found a coupon code for an additional 15% off, so obviously I gave in and bought a bunch of cheap jewelry. I've been looking for a few simpler gold pieces, and these ended up working nicely. I am cutting myself off of new jewelry until the end of the year. Well, unless this necklace makes its way to the clearance rack. (I know it's ridiculous, but I not-so-secretly like it.)

In July, I mentioned I had my eye on a pair of Birkenstocks, since my feet were aching from Target sandals. I ordered both the Arizonas and the Mayaris, but settled on the Arizonas. I liked the look of the Mayaris, but the thinner strips seemed like they wouldn't hold up as well over time. Plus, the Arizonas just felt more like me. I've worn them so much over the past couple weeks (including the zoo and the pier) that I am very happy with my purchase. (And having store credit to pay for them made me even happier.)

I ordered the tee on a whim to qualify for free shipping. It was love at first sight (ha ha). It fit perfectly, and then I wore it to the zoo. And to see my parents. And to walk around downtown with my husband's family. I recently spoke to buying and wearing things that are more "me". I'm a jeans and t-shirt girl at heart, and I'm trying to find a way to translate this into my daily outfits.

As for things I purchased that didn't work out... 
- The Forever 21 online order was initiated because of this top. I don't know what to say. I just didn't love it when it arrived. So back it went (or goes, as it's still sitting on my desk).
- After such great luck with my blue ponte dress from J. Crew Factory, I ordered this ponte dress, hoping for repeat success. It fit terribly. It was too tight on the arms, too small across the shoulders and back, etc. I didn't really like the feel of it either, so I wasn't motivated to exchange it for a larger size.

Already planning next month's budget...
- I have my eye on a few things, including three pieces from The Limited (this top, this shirt, and this blouse). I also really like this blouse from J. Crew Factory which is similar to the blouse from The Limited, so I'll have to see which I like more (and which fits better).
- I'd like to add another vest to my collection for this fall. I love this one -- it just needs to go on sale!
- Jeans. I need a decent, adult-looking, well-fitting pair. I'm ready to splurge, which leaves little wiggle room for anything else. But that doesn't mean I'm not still interested in other things... 
- Heels. I may put a $10 coupon towards these. I also have a $10 coupon which may go towards these. I also feel like zebra print heels (like these, but an inch shorter) may be in my future.
- But absolutely no scarves and no jewelry (if I can help it).

[Linking up with Fran for Budgeting Bloggers]

Monday, August 25, 2014

Back to School

It's been so long since I've dressed up for work, I almost forgot how to! But luckily I teach afternoon classes this semester, so I had the morning to figure things out. The only thing I haven't figured out yet is how to dress for triple digit heat. I opted for an a-line skirt for air flow comfort, and a top I knew I could count on.  (As I put this post together, I found that I also wore it during the first week of school last year.) Luckily the a/c was on in the classroom I teach in, so I was comfortable. At least until I set foot outside. Then I started dripping sweat like I was wearing a sweater in a sauna. I wanted to get inside as quickly as possible, so I snapped a few photos of my outfit and called it a day. A terribly hot day.

Lace Top: The Limited | similar, similar
Necklace: Forever 21 | option, option, option
Skirt: The Limited | option, similar
Flats: J. Lo via Kohl's | similar, similar

Friday, August 15, 2014

navy week :: navy-ish shorts

"Isn't it Navy Week? Where's your navy?" my husband asked as he took these pictures. I told him my denim shorts were my navy item, to which he responded, "Your shorts are blue, not navy." Tomato, tomahto, am I right? It's the last day of Navy Week! Link up your looks after the jump!

I've been waiting all summer long for the weather to cool down enough for button up shirts, and that day finally came. So I celebrated with a shirt I haven't worn in a long time. I know this outfit may look boring, but honestly, I love how I felt in it. I'm also having a long shirt moment. So I'll probably spend the weekend in it. What do you like to wear on the weekends?

Top: Old Navy | same in solidsoption
Shorts: The Limited | last seen here
Sandals: Mix No. 6 via DSW

Thursday, August 14, 2014

navy week :: navy peplum

It's Day 4 of Navy Week, and it's also the debut of my navy peplum top... which I've had for over a year. Can you believe I've never worn it? Not once? I've tried it on countless times in my bedroom, and almost wore it once with white jeans, but that day ended up being really rainy. I'm not sure if it was the color that drew me in initially, or the sleeves, but either way, I loved the top. I still do, but I just feel like it looks weird on me. Or is it just that the belt and necklace don't work together? Bah! The longer I look at this outfit, the more things I find wrong with it. Am I just being too critical? Should I give the top another shot?

Peplum Top: Forever 21 | option, option
Necklace: via Target | option
Belt: The Limited | option
Skirt: Joe Fresh x JCPenney | option
Sandals: via Target | exact

Join the fun! Show us how you wear navy in the link party!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

navy week :: navy floral maxi

On Monday, Andi featured her new navy floral skirt on her blog. I adored that outfit and everything about it so much that it made me want to get a navy floral skirt. I quickly remembered that I already have a navy floral maxi dress, which is kind of like a navy floral skirt. Perfect for navy week! (Join the fun and link up your navy looks after the jump!)

The last time I wore my floral maxi, I included a photo with a chambray blazer that I had found on clearance at Target. I ended up returning it, but I let it inspire this outfit - which I wore to the zoo. My husband and I planned to arrive at the zoo when it opened (it seems to be when the animals are most active). It was a surprisingly cool morning, which meant I would need to layer up. A blazer felt too formal, as did a cardigan. So I went the casual route by tying up my chambray shirt. I would love to tie up my chambray shirt more often during the summer, but it's usually too hot to. Maybe that means I need this sleeveless version?

[FYI: the weird splotches on my shirt and nose are just bits of sun shining through the trees.]

Chambray: Old Navy | similar
Maxi Dress: Forever 21| option, option
Sandals: via Target | exact

Follow the jump to link up your navy looks!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

navy week :: navy button skirt

Once upon a time, I met up with a friend to get some coffee and walk around Target. While we were inside, it began to storm -- we could hear the thunder from inside. We walked around the store, twice, waiting for the storm to die down. It never did, and I needed to get home. And so I decided to brave the storm. I was drenched before I even made it halfway through the crosswalk. Go figure by the time I got home, the rain let up (or it just wasn't raining on my side of town). I knew if I didn't take pictures then, I would never get a picture of the outfit. So here's my navy button skirt for day 2 of Navy Week. 

Don't forget to stop by Andi's blog (she's co-hosting Navy Week) and link up after the jump! 

Scarf: The Limited | option
Top: The Limited | option
Bracelet: via Groopdealz | similar
Skirt: (c/o Mom) Tommy Hilfiger | option
Sandals: Mix No. 6 via DSW

Follow the jump to link up your navy looks!

Monday, August 11, 2014

navy week :: navy panel top

Navy Week is here, and I am stoked. It means I have a legitimate excuse to wear navy all week long. Andi and I are co-hosting this wonderful theme week. There will be a link up party in each of our posts all week long, and we'd love to have you join in on the fun! Link up your navy looks below!

About this outfit: my husband and I were getting together with some of his co-workers for a casual bite to eat. I wanted my outfit to be cute, comfortable, and simple. Wearing this navy top and orange/white chevron skirt together turned out to be a good decision; I received several compliments on the outfit! Note to future self: pairing a solid tee with a print skirt is a winning combination. Do you have any notes for your future self?

Top: The Limited [similar short sleeve option]
Necklace: The Limited [option, option]
Skirt: via Target [options: mini, maxi]
Sandals: via Payless [almost exact]

Saturday, August 9, 2014

kicking off navy week

This week Andi and I are co-hosting Navy Week! If you don't know by now, I love theme weeks. I also love navy. I've included some navy items below that I would not mind having in my closet. Do you love navy as much as I do? I hope so, and I hope to see your navy outfits this week!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

this is me

Sometimes I put unnecessary pressure on myself as a personal style blogger to come up with an amazing outfit. Doing this frequently results in an outfit that does not feel "me". Instead, I feel uncomfortable and my entire day goes to waste. I fixate on the outfit, and that inevitably turns to questioning why I'm in graduate school instead of in a cubicle or a corner office or an ideal world for that matter.

This summer, I've made a conscious effort to fill my life with more positive energy and eliminate as much negative energy as I can. Swimming and biking have been great for this. In terms of style, wearing outfits that are actually me is key. Getting dressed does not go without some trial and error because I'm still not entirely sure what me is. But I do know it when I see it, and when this outfit came together, I said to myself, this is me.

Tee: Forever 21 [option]
Necklace: J. Crew Factory [similar in red]
Skirt: H&M [option, option - both under $25]
Sandals: via Target [exact]

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

because she said so

Recently, Danielle expressed how much she wished she had a cobalt blue cardigan. That got me to thinking about my cobalt blue cardigan, and how rarely I wear it. (Three times in the past two years, to be exact.) I thought that was a surefire sign I should donate it. But then Danielle spoke to me. I believe her exact words were "stop neglecting it, woman!" What other option did I have than to do as she said? 

Cardigan: The Limited [similar]
Tank: SO via Kohl's [similar]
Skirt: LOFT [option]
Sandals: via Target [exact]

[Linking up with Lauren, Laura, and Laura]

Friday, August 1, 2014

cold v. comfort

I started this post before I left for vacation, and then forgot about it until I reached for my striped skirt yesterday. I wore this outfit to the library. Rather, I should say I wore this outfit in the library. I wore the skirt alone with a graphic tee to the library. Sometimes I get so cold in air conditioning, so I come ready and equipped with extra layers. My husband told me I looked ridiculous wearing so many layers in the summer, and for once, I actually agreed with him. But I can't deny how comfortable I was. Do you brave the cold, or do you risk looking ridiculous for the sake of being comfortable?

Sweater: Old Navy | option, option
Scarf: The Limited (gifted) | option, option
Skirt: The Limited | similar, option
Sandals: via Target | exact
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