Mission: Dress like a grown-up.

As much as I try to dress somewhat  fashionably or decently or whatever, I can’t escape the feeling that I’m dressing like a teenager. I wear t’s and Chucks, flouncy skirts, Forever 21 galore. I like the way I dress, but I’m starting a real internship this summer; I need to dress in a way that will make people take me seriously. I’m young, and I’m petite, and I’m tired of being called “adorable.” So, time to dress like a real person.

To help me out in this endeavor, I went to the library and checked out some books by Nina Garcia. I’ll be honest here — I really have no idea who she is. Some wonderful person told me that I should read her book The One Hundred, so I did. I read two others, too: The Little Black Book of Style and The Style Strategy. I didn’t like Style Strategy — some snobby part of me thinks that a style book should not require actual reading but rather be made up of bullet points and pictures — but the other two were fairly genius. She  has a great personality, an interesting personal story and a very accessible set of tips and tricks — even someone fashion-illiterate as me understood it all. Sure, some of it was not so practical for me — can’t afford Pucci or Christian Louboutin, Nina, sorry — but I’d recommend the books nonetheless. At some point I’ll probably do a more thorough post about The One Hundred, but for now I’m keeping focused on my mission.

Her books were all a little different, but they each repeated the list of “classic must-haves”:

  • Classic high-heeled pump
  • Ballet Flats
  • Trench Coat
  • Classic white shirt
  • Little Black Dress
  • Cashmere cardigan or turtleneck
  • A great bag
  • Denim

“The One Hundred” had a ton of different items, including the ones above, but there were a few I think I can easily work into my wardrobe (read: ones I can afford). I’m listing them alphabetically, just as she did.

  • Animal print flats
  • Ankle booties
  • Bangles
  • Blazer
  • Boyfriend cardigan
  • Denim Jacket
  • Hoop earrings
  • White sundress
  • Pearl necklace
  • Metallic sandals
  • Sailor Stripes
  • Wrap dress

So this, I guess, is my shopping list. There are a few other things that I’ve found around the various blogs I’ve been reading — for example, Jean at Extra Petite, who is probably one of my heroes, writes that her go-to is a ruffled blouse and a pencil skirt, so I’m going to look for some of those — and I would love suggestions from any of you, because I’m always impressed by how all of you look. I notice that a lot of you shop at LOFT, Gap, H &M, Banana Republic, etc., so I’m going to give those places a shot (though I’ll always be a Forever 21 addict!).

What do you guys think? What else do I need to do, what do I need to buy, where do I need to shop, to look like someone who has a job (and is good at it)?

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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!

In the Works

This is a tricky time of year for me. I’m two weeks away from spring break, finally, but the two weeks might possibly kill me. Three big projects, one ridiculous class, the constant fight to maintain my sanity.

This blog is one of the methods of escape I have. Some people run or journal or drink themselves silly to keep going; I eat cookies and climb rocks and now occasionally blog. It’s so far removed from what I do and focus on in my actual life that I feel like I’m being someone else for a while.

In addition to keeping up this blog, I’m embarking on two other ‘personal’ projects for the next few weeks. I’m filling you in, hoping that it will give me a reason to stick to them. Can’t tell you I failed, can I? More