Friday, October 31, 2014

vest weather

On Sunday, the temperature hit 90 degrees. (Go figure I had two soccer games that day.) When I took the dogs out Wednesday morning, it must have been 50 degrees. I thought to myself, "If today isn't vest weather, I don't know what is."

Vest: J. Crew Factory | exact
Sweater: Old Navy | option
Shirt: Old Navy | option
Bracelet: via groopdealz | nearly identical
Jeans: The Limited | similar
Flats: BC Footwear via Nordstrom Rack | exact

[day 18 of the 21 day buffet: BC flats]

Thursday, October 30, 2014

sweatshirt tee, layered

Recently I came across this pin, and I could have sworn I first saw it sometime last year. Sure enough, the photo came from a post in 2013 {here}. I must have not thought anything of it when I saw it because I didn't have the short sleeve top to recreate the look. Fast forward to a year later when I have a short sleeve sweatshirt in my closet, and voila! A perfect outfit for office hours.

Sweatshirt Tee: J. Crew Factory | exact
Striped Shirt: The Limited | similar
Jeans: The Limited | similar
Flats: via Target | exact

[day 17 of the 21 day buffet: grey JCF sweatshirt t]

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

review: Loft & Target sweaters

This is an informal (and non-sponsored) comparison and review of Target's Chunky Pullover Sweater (by Merona) vs. Loft's Zipside Tunic (by Lou & Grey). 

I've been looking for a sweater that meets the following criteria:
1) It must be long enough to cover my bum (or at least some of it).
2) It must be able to be worn both by itself and layered over a shirt.

And ideally..
3) it would be the kind of sweater I would just want to thrown on with a pair of jeans for running errands or getting coffee with a friend, and
4) it would be the kind of sweater I can wear with my exact stretch pants for teaching.

The Loft sweater (left) has more stretch and so it ends up fitting me better overall. (I ordered a XS for reference.) The Target sweater (right) makes me feel like my movement is slightly restricted in the shoulder and armpit area. (I got a M for reference.) But, the sleeves of the Target sweater seem slightly longer. (I'm 5'7".) When I tried the Loft sweater in store, I could have sworn the sleeves were longer, so I wonder if I can stretch out the sleeves. Ultimately not a big deal though, as I generally push my sleeves up.

The Loft sweater (left) definitely allows for more bum coverage than the Target sweater (right). However, as seen in the first collage, the Target sweater extends below the button of my jeans, so it's still a win. The Loft sweater has (functional) zippers on both sides.

Both sweaters layer to my liking. The shirt I used as an example is a baggier popover, so I would assume that both sweaters would work with any kind of shirt underneath.

Additional considerations? 
- The Loft sweater is hand-wash only. (I didn't even bother to check the status of the Target sweater since it's the kind of thing I'd throw in a cold cycle without thinking twice.) 
- The Loft sweater is speckled black, white, and grey, while the Target sweater is a solid grey.
- The Loft sweater is ultimately lighter and stretchier, but it's also more delicate. I've already found three threads coming undone.
- The Loft sweater was originally $60, I bought it on a 50% off promotion. The Target sweater was originally $25.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

October Budget

1. Gap v-neck tee: originally $20, on clearance $6.50
2. J. Crew Factory baseball cap: originally $37, on clearance $5
3. Target floral skirt: originally $18 - 25% cartwheel coupon = $13.50
4. Target slip on sneakers: originally $25 - 25% cartwheel coupon = $19

= $44

The grey tee was on my wishlist, as was the floral skirt, so hooray for that. The hat was an impulse purchase, but I've already worn it twice, so it's not the worst purchase I've ever made. The slip on sneakers were also somewhat impulsive, but they are the perfect weekend shoe. (I haven't documented those outfits but you're not missing much. It's just bootcut jeans, a "stylish" hoodie or sweatshirt, and the sneakers.)

What didn't work...
I had ordered this sweater from J. Crew Factory in navy, red currant, and pack green, but when they arrived, none of them had "long sleeves" as they were supposed to have, per website description. What a bummer. Plus they were all really wide at the bottom but super fitted at the top. Back they went. (Along with this vest and this tee.)

I also ordered this shirt (in red plaid) from Old Navy, but it made me look like a lumberjack. This top (in natural) from the Limited was too baggy, and this cardigan from Gap was also way too oversized. It's not really a loss on any of these items, as I honestly don't need any of them.

And what's currently in the mail...
I fell in love with this sweater during a recent trip to Loft. There was no way I was going to pay $60 for it, so I waited for it to go on sale online. In the mean time, I found this (cheaper) version from Target, so I'll wait to compare the two.

I'm also really excited about this jacket from Old Navy (a cross between their typical military jacket and J. Crew's field jacket). I've been on the hunt for the perfect military jacket and this one will hopefully fit the bill. 

And what I have my eye on for next month...
I feel terrible about shopping for myself during the holiday season, so I'm getting it all in while I don't feel too bad about it. (Hey, at least I'm honest.) I have been looking for the perfect pair of black booties for a few months now, and almost thought I had it narrowed down to this heel or this wedge, but when I eliminated the wedge, I realized the heel option offered no ankle support and I felt like it was an accident waiting to happen. In the mean time, I found this no-heel option and this chunky heel option. I'll mull them over in the following weeks.

How did you do this month?

[Linking up with Fran for Budgeting Bloggers]

Monday, October 27, 2014


(Since when did 'twofer' become a real word?)

Today I'm bringing you two outfits, one from this weekend and one from today (for days 15 and 16 of the 21 day buffet - day 15: lace baseball tee, jcrew chinos; day 16: white jeans). My goal was to finish by the end of the month, and that may only happen if I bring you a second twofer this week.

Anyway, I wore this today:

Sweater: Old Navy | option
Necklace: Forever 21 | similar
Pants: Apt. 9 via Kohl's | option
Flats: Christian Siriano via Payless | option

and I wore this on Saturday:

Top: The Limited | exact
Necklace: via restaurant gift shop | option
Pants: J. Crew | similar style
Flats: via Target | option

Friday, October 24, 2014

can't concentrate

I don't have too many pieces in my closet that I got in high school, but this graphic tee is one of those pieces. I've always considered myself a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl, and in high school, I went through a phase where I felt I could get away with wearing jeans and tees all the time if they were fitted tees. 

This tee is too short to wear with jeans present day, but it's perfect for tucking into a skirt! After a conversation with Inge about this tee (admittedly, a long time ago), I decided today was the perfect day to wear this tee. It's a Friday, it's the last day of graphic tee week (co-hosted by Andi and Priya), and it's adorable. What more could you ask for? [Maybe a few more graphic tees...?]

 Tee: (old) Abercrombie & Fitch
Belt: Apt. 9 via Kohl's | option
Skirt: (gift) The Limited | similar, similar
Flats: Christian Siriano via Payless | option

[day 14 of the 21 day buffet: purple ponte skirt]

[Linking up with Andi and Molly]

Thursday, October 23, 2014

la la laa

My tee has a singing dinosaur on it. But you might not be able to tell because this awesome jacket is hogging the spotlight. The last time I wore this jacket, I made it fancy. This time I made it casual chic. I have to say that I love how this outfit turned out. And I managed to wear my overly neglected booties. Talk about a win-win.

Tee: Charlotte Russe | also seen here
Jacket: Gianni Bini via Dillard's | similar
Skinny Jeans: The Limited | similar
Booties: Candie's via Kohl's | option

Side note: You may have noticed that I'm trying to find new backgrounds for my outfit posts. You may have also noticed that the quality of the photos has been sub-par. I'm not sure whether it's the lighting or my camera (or both) but bear with me as I figure it all out. 

[linking up for graphic tee week, and here and here and here]

[day 13 of the 21 day buffet: booties]

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

dark horse

I try my hardest to make sure I arrive to class at least five minutes prior to the time it officially begins. During that time, I set up any media I need for the day and look over my notes. While doing so today, one of my students asked me, "Where do you shop? I mean, where do you get your clothes?" Me: "umm... Target, Old Navy, The Limited, mall stores mostly, why?" Student X: "Oh you just always look so put together." It was a really nice compliment to receive. But it made me think. A lot. 

At first I was worried that my students might think I have a closet the size of Cher's from Clueless. Then I thought of why the compliment meant so much to me, and I realized it was because I don't think of myself as always looking put together. I don't create pin-worthy outfits, and my blog doesn't stand out from the rest. But that's relative to the blogosphere. Relative to every other woman in my building, I might be a contender for best dressed.

I think I've let myself gradually disconnect from reality over the past few months, and live in the blogosphere. I roll my eyes at people who can't put their iPhones down for one minute, but am I any better when I spend most all of my free time on my laptop? (No.) So I'm making it a personal goal for the rest of the semester to dedicate myself fully to preparing for my comprehensive exams. So watch out self, because I'm coming at you like a dark horse.

Tee: The Limited | save, spend, go broke
Necklace: Shy Boutique | same
Cardigan: via Target | similar
Skirt: Old Navy | same style
Wedges: via Target | similar

[day 12 of the 21 day buffet: any cardigan, ON striped skirt]

[Linking up with Andi]

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

graphic tees + wild things

Over the weekend, I planned to wear this outfit for day 2 of graphic tee week (co-hosted by Andi and Priya). What I didn't plan, however, was to play hooky today and go to the zoo. Remember that baby bear I got to see this summer? Well, since then, she grew up a little, and she got a new friend, too! They're so adorable. I could have watched them all day long. [I love bears.]

Button up shirt: Old Navy | option
Graphic Tee: via Target | similar
Pants: LOFT | option, option
Flats: via Target | exact

On an unrelated note, I've decided that I am going to return the black gingham shirt. There's nothing unique about it, so if I decide in the future that I actually do want one, I'm confident I'll be able to find one. I'm going to make the most out of this shirt. I actually felt really comfortable in this outfit today, and could imagine wearing this outfit again (although replacing the tee for a solid top). 

Monday, October 20, 2014

graphic tee love

When Andi announced that this month's week-long theme was graphic tees, I jumped with joy. I love graphic tees, and all tees for that matter. I knew which tee I'd roll out first: my love tee. [added bonus that it's one of the items from my 21 day buffet]. I had planned to wear it with black pants, but when the weather forecast revealed that the high would hit above 70, I decided on a skirt. But not just any skirt. My new floral skirt.

I was in Target on Saturday getting coffee with a friend. She wanted to check out the clearance racks, so I followed along. As I perused beside her, I found this skirt. It didn't have a clearance sticker on it, so I went to the price check scanner, and it showed it wasn't on sale. Boo. I decided to walk around with it anyway. As I did, a bunch of outfit possibilities popped into my mind. Since that rarely ever happens, I took it as a sign that the skirt should go home with me. Finding a 25% off coupon on Cartwheel solidified the decision.

This is also probably the most I've ever pattern mixed before. What do you think? Does this work, or is the skirt best meant for solids? If so, what color should I pair this skirt with next?

Tee: J. Crew Factory | cute alternative
Cardigan: (c/o Mom) Banana Republic | option
Skirt: Xhilaration via Target | exact
Flats: J. Lo via Kohl's | similar, similar

[day 11 of the 21 day buffet: love tee, any cardigan]

[Linking up with Andi and Priya for Graphic Tee Week, with Laura for Confident Tuesday, and with Molly for Let it Shine.]

Saturday, October 18, 2014

black dress, blue scarf

Last weekend, I went shopping, hoping to score some great deals and to try to knock off some things from my wishlist. It was an unsuccessful trip, to put it simply. I bought this hat because it was $5 and I had store credit. While I don't see myself ever wearing it to school, it's perfect for those days I prefer to go incognito. When I got home, I perused the online sales and ordered a lot of stuff. Most of the orders have come in by now, and there's one word to sum it all up: disappointing. 

These sweaters from J. Crew Factory are not long-sleeve as they claim to be. Apparently 'bohemian red' is a fancy way of saying 'neon salmon', because this vest was not an adequate replacement for the berry one I really want(ed). I was so excited for this tee, but it fits nothing like my other collector tee. Also, these jeans from Gap are going back because there is too much room below the crotch (a problem I have never experienced before). I tried this cardigan on in store, and was so excited to see it on super sale. But when it arrived, it was huge. Comically huge. 

I guess the moral of the story is that I'm probably going to end up spending the next six months in skirts and dresses. And that I should probably just learn to make my closet work. That's what I tried to do with this outfit. I found this gingham shirt last month at The Limited, but I just don't think I can bring myself to keep it when it's so similar to the one I'm wearing below. Have you bought something similar to something else you already own? How did you justify the purchase? 

Shirt: Old Navy | option
Dress: Old Navy | very similar
Scarf: J. Crew Factory | same style, same color
Wedges: via Payless | option

[day 10 of the 21 day buffet: Old Navy dress]

[Linking up with Style Elixir, The Modern Austen, and Penniless Socialite]

Friday, October 17, 2014

pink pants!

I don't know about you, but I have a really hard time dressing in typical fall attire when it's 75 degrees outside. I grabbed my pink pants for Third Thursday Threads, my popover for day 9 of the 21 day buffet, and a bright necklace. I know I just questioned the expiration date of bubble necklaces yesterday, and while I'm still not sure about them for the blogosphere, I'm quite comfortable wearing them to office hours. Do you still wear your bubble necklace? Or have you gotten rid of yours already?

Popover: (c/o Mom) J. Crew Factory | exact
Necklace: via Amazon | same
Pants: LOFT | option, option
Flats: J.Lo via Kohl's | similar, similar

Thursday, October 16, 2014

love for snow leopard

I love leopard print as much as the next girl, but sometimes I think snow leopard print doesn't get the love it deserves. So when I first saw Audrey wear this outfit, I knew I would be recreating it, and that my snow leopard top would be the star of the show. I opted for some bling instead of a belt, mostly because I've been neglecting this necklace for too long. (I thought about a bold bubble necklace, but I'm not sure how I feel about those these days. Outdated? Irrelevant? Meh?)

Eye on Conservation: There are an estimated 250,000 leopards in the wild. 6,500 of these are snow leopards. And 35 of these are Amur Leopards. Thirty-five. To put that in perspective, I have more students this semester than the earth has Amur Leopards.{source}

[day 8 of the 21 day buffet: white jeans]

Blazer: Forever 21 | similar, similar
Top: Old Navy | tank optionshirt option
Necklace: J. Crew Factory | exact
Jeans: Apt. 9 (Kohl's) | last seen here
Flats: Mossimo via Target | exact

[Linking up with Simply Just Lovely and Happiness at Mid-Life]

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

debut: slip on sneakers

We interrupt regularly scheduled programming to bring you this outfit. I mentioned on Monday that I impulsively bought these slip on sneakers. I was so excited to wear them out and about, I completely forgot about the 21 day buffet. Oh well. You win some, you lose some. I felt like I won in this outfit since I was comfortable all day. But as I put this post together, I wondered: does the print of the scarf clash with the print of the shoes? How would you style these shoes?

Top: Old Navy | similar, similar
Scarf: The Limited | option, option, option
Jeans: The Limited | similar
Belt: The Limited | similar
Shoes: via Target | exact

[Linking up with The Pleated Poppy and Penniless Socialite]

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

burgundy + olive

This outfit taught me two things: (1) I really like the way burgundy and olive look together. (2) I really need new jeans. Or I need to go for a few more runs. Or eat fewer pumpkin muffins. Wait, no, that can't possibly be right. New jeans it is! Or so I thought. Between Old Navy, The Limited, and Loft, I must have tried on 30+ pairs of jeans this weekend. I went home empty-handed. It's okay, though. Money not spent on jeans means more money to spend on pumpkin muffins. 

Shirt: (c/o Mom) American Eagle | option
Cardigan: (c/o Mom) LOFT | similar, similar
Vest: Old Navy | similar, similar 
Skinny Jeans: The Limited
Boots: Not Rated via DSW | similarw/heel

[day 7 of the 21 day buffet: booties & a cardigan]

Monday, October 13, 2014

sweatshirt tee, fancily

For day 6 of the 21 day buffet, I picked my short-sleeve pocket sweatshirt. I intended to wear it simply with black pants and a statement necklace. I grabbed the denim jacket for the ride to campus, and ended up wearing it after class when I went to Target with a friend. I want a long sweater that isn't fitted and can be worn alone or layered, and I was hoping this tunic sweater would be the one, but it was too tight in the arms.

Have no fear, though, I did not go home empty handed. I left with these slip on sneakers. My friend tried to get me to go home with any pair of shoes other than those, but I couldn't resist. Is she right? Am I ridiculous? Are those shoes ridiculous? Or have I just fallen prey to all things casual?

[Also, big thanks to those of you who offered your advice regarding the black booties. (If you haven't, you can do so here.) I'm still thinking about them, but I'll let you know what I decided.]

 Top: J. Crew Factory | exact, option
Necklace: via ShyBoutique | same
Denim Jacket: via Target | similar
Pants: The Limited | exact
Flats: Christian Siriano via Payless | option

Saturday, October 11, 2014

reader response request: wedge v. heel

I've been on the hunt for a black bootie of some sort for this fall/winter. I finally thought I had decided on this wedge bootie, but then yesterday I saw this heeled bootie, and now I can't decide! 

My main plan is to wear them when I teach (paired with tights and a skirt, or even worn under bootcut black pants), but I'd also like to be able to wear them for other occasions as well. Thoughts? Opinions? Please share! 



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