Petite Fashion Challenge #13: Stylish for under $100

This month’s Petite Fashion Challenge, hosted by Really Petite (thanks for hosting!), was to put together a professional outfit for under $100, with bonus points if you included shoes and accessories in the price. I managed to meet the challenge, shoes and all!

I’m including two photos, but they’re basically the same outfit. I got these beautiful argyle-knit cardigans from New York & Company several weeks ago, and I’m enjoying trying to figure out how to wear them. I couldn’t decide what looked best here, so I thought I’d include both and ask for opinions. What do you like better? Blue or Yellow? Tucked or untucked?

Outfit Breakdown

Cardigans: New York & Company Pointelle Argyle Pattern Cardigan in Olympic Blue and Yellow (yellow is sold out online now). Originally $49.95 each, but on sale at buy one, get one half off, and I also had a 30 percent off coupon, making each one $26.25.

Skirt: Banana Republic pencil skirt. Found at Goodwill for $5; total cost with alterations about $20.

Tank top: Old Navy Jersey-Stretch Tank in Russian Navy, $10.

Pumps: Payless (old), $20.

Earrings: Cracker Barrel, of all places, approximately $6.

Necklace: Gifted, $0.

Total outfit cost: $82.25.

I had a great time with this challenge. I know I try to shop smart, price-wise, but I never really think about how much an entire outfit costs. Because I’m a college student, most of my clothes are inexpensive, but I guess it all adds up! A fun learning experience. Can’t wait for the next challenge!

Finally joining the Color Brigade!

One of my favorite fashion blogs is Cute & Little, by Kileen. Kileen is one seriously stylish person — I’m always impressed by the beautiful outfits she puts together! Even her casual days are worlds more sophisticated than my dress-to-impress days. It’s amazing.

Kileen runs the Color Brigade. I’m not sure exactly what the history of it is, but it’s a weekly feature on her blog. Here’s the challenge: Wear an outfit that combines at least 3 colors (patterns count as one color). I always love the outfits, and I’ve been meaning to join in for months. But every week Monday rolls around and something happens — I oversleep, I have to wear something specific for whatever reason, I get lazy and wear something basic. You all have seen my struggles with color.

This week, I was determined to do it! I woke up Monday ready to go… and realized I had woken up late and still needed to finish a homework assignment before getting to work. So. That ended up being a uniform polo day.

But today, today, I finally did it!

Oddly enough, this outfit started with the gold tank top. It was a work day, so I was aiming for black and gold, and I had planned to wear the tank top with a plain black skirt and a black cardigan. But I had my plain black skirt on the same hanger as this tiny-floral patterned one, so I thought I’d switch it up and make it more interesting. Then I spotted this pinkish cardigan next to my black one and guessed it might work with pink flowers in the skirt. I ran it by my roommate, just to make sure I didn’t look dumb, and she approved it. Ta dah! My first Color Brigade outfit.

Close-up on the skirt pattern. I don't know why it's so brown here! It's a black skirt with pink and gold flowers.

I wish I had had the time to put some more effort into this outfit, and to take some better pictures, but it’s not a bad start! Here’s hoping I can pull it off again next week. Cheers.

P.S. — No posts over the weekend because I traveled home and had occasion to make some questionable fashion decisions — I refuse to put effort into looking nice for dentist appointments, because nothing good comes out of dentist visits, and I may or may not have broken out the old letterman jacket while attending an event for my high school. Whoops. But, I managed to throw on an uncharacteristic amount of color for my drive back to school! Look at this. I had a bright green shirt that matched a stripe or two on my beloved Missoni flats, and coordinated with a tank top in another shoe-stripe color. Not a black cardigan in sight, either 🙂 Maybe there’s hope for me after all.

Not even college names on t-shirts can escape the retouching tool of my Internet paranoia.

Petite Fashion Challenge #7: The Little Black Dress

My second Petite Fashion Challenge! So exciting. Last month this was an extremely fun day — I got a chance to ‘meet’ a lot of new petite bloggers, and a lot of people visited Grammar and Style for the first time, too. I love challenge days because they really make you feel like you’re part of a community!

Today’s challenge, hosted by Jessy of The Little Dust Princess, is the Little Black Dress.

A little black dress (LBD) is essential in every woman’s wardrobe. It’s always great for back-up if you run out of outfit ideas for a night out. Adding a pop of colour to your LBD will change up its look and make your dress a little less boring.

For this challenge, add a pop of colour (or two) to your little black dress to change up the look. You could add anything from an accessory to a blazer, or even nail polish!

Be creative anddddd good luck!

I know the Little Black Dress is the classic “night out” dress. Wear one for a night on the town, going to classy places and hanging out with friends. They’re easy to wear, flattering and always in style.

However, sadly, because I am a 20-year-old college student, I don’t really get excuses to wear fancy LBDs. So, here’s something a little different for you: the dressed-down LBD. Still not anything I would wear to class, but simple enough for a day out shopping or a casual dinner.

The dress itself is super basic —  I got it for about $14 at Forever 21 last year. I love the cut of it — the length is perfect, and tie-waist dresses are my favorite. I’m not crazy about the low-cut  front, but, as you’ll see, I generally work around that.

To dress it up, or down, I suppose, I add a colorful tank top under it. The color brightens up the dress and makes it a little less night-out-LBD, and having the extra layer prevents the whole “This feels uncomfortably low-cut” issue, which also makes it more acceptable to wear in a casual setting. I thought the neckline and color plus a necklace would be too much, so I skipped a necklace in favor of flashier earrings.  If I was going out to dinner, I’d throw on wedges or heels, but to wear around all day I’d stick with my flat black sandals.

Tadah! It’s an LBD, but it’s worn simply. Cute and classy but not overdone.

Bonus outfit: My formal LBD. This dress, from Macy’s, was love at first sight. I needed a formal black dress because my school colors are black and gold, so at some point I will be required to wear formal black and gold; I figure a black dress with gold accessories will be the easiest way to do it. I wore the dress to my aunt’s wedding a month ago and was so pleased with everything about it. The cut is fantastic and extremely flattering, and it was comfortable, too.

I stuck with a black belt and black shoes for the wedding, because it was a “Black & White” wedding, but I would love to experiment with it by wearing different accessories. Red belt/shoes? White? Pink? So many possibilities. An adventure for another day.

Can’t wait to see all of your LBDs!

Cheers, MG

Everybody, Everywear — Maxi

Have you all heard of the event Everybody, Everywear? I don’t remember how I stumbled across it, but I’m in love with the idea. Basically, they pick a pattern or item of clothing that everyone has to wear, then post pictures. How cool is that?

I’m cheating a little, because I didn’t actually wear this outfit today; I wore it Sunday, because today was a dress-up-for-work day — blouse and slacks. But, I still wore a maxi look for the first time, so I’m sharing anyway.

The brilliance of this: that is not a skirt. That’s actually the dress that started my dress obsession, the first one I saw in a Heritage 1981 window and knew I had to have. Sadly, these days it’s not fitting me as well (or maybe I’m just becoming aware of the fact that it never fit me well 😉 ) I used to wear it as a standard tube dress, with a brown or navy tank top under it to make it school-appropriate.

Sunday, though, I just wasn’t feeling it. On  a whim, I pulled it down around my waist, and, lo and behold, I loved the way it looked. I swapped my brown one for a white one — “Wear plain white tops to balance your trendy maxi skirts!” all the magazines say — and put on my leather sandals to keep it laid-back.

I didn’t think I could pull off the maxi trend, because I’m so short — I had a maxi dress before they were cool and had it altered to knee length! — but I think this works. It’s not true maxi, more tea length, but it’s still longer that I usually go, and I loved the way I felt wearing it. I’m definitely going to keep an eye out for more tube dresses to wear as skirts, because I think that might be a good solution for us petite girls who want to try maxi without paying for alterations. Cheers!

Maxi Skirt/Dress | Everybody, Everywear

Color Rotation Challenge

I read about fashion challenges on blogs all the time and always want to participate, but I never seem to find ones I think I can handle. But last week, I stumbled upon the Color Rotation Challenge, hosted by Colleen of Scrap and Run, which has my name all over it.

The hardest part of my day is deciding what to wear. I struggle even on basic jeans-and-tee days. Most often, my way of overcoming this is asking my roommate what color I should wear. She almost always says green, which I really don’t own, and I’m stuck back at square one, but at least it’s a start.

Now, with the Color Rotation Challenge, Colleen’s taking care of that for me. The basic gist of the challenge is that you wear a set color every day, each day a different color, through three cycles. The rotation we’re going with: Pink, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and then any pattern.

The rules, from the original post:

  1. Rotate colors.
  2. Don’t repeat clothes if you wore them for that color but say you wear black pants with a red shirt for red then you can repeat the black pants. It also fits if you have cardigans and are wearing a few colors. (This outfit would work for red or for black in the rotation as an example.)
  3. You don’t have to be monochromatic. Just make sure you include the designated color somehow that day.
  4. Variations of colors work. Don’t stick to colors in a crayon box. Coral, teal, turquoise, burgundy, sapphire, etc can all fit into a certain color. So make it work however you want.
  5. If you have something special, you need to wear a certain outfit for, you can skip a day or two. Really do whatever you want. It’s just for fun.

I’m excited about this. I’ve even rearranged my closet in preparation.

It’s going to be a challenge — I wear a lot of black, and I don’t have very much orange. I’m going to cheat once or twice — have to wear green for St. Pat’s, you know — but I hope to mostly stick to it and enjoy not having to make decisions in the morning. The challenge begins today, March 15, with something pink. Let’s see how it goes. Wish me luck!