Remixing: School day to school board

Today was a difficult day to get dressed: I had to sit through a day of classes then attend a local school board meeting on a work assignment, all with an inch or so of snow on the ground and even more in the air. How to go from put-together casual to professional with minimal effort? My solution: A basic top and sweet accessories. Just a plain Forever 21 black turtleneck sweater, with a super pretty, multi-strand, multi-color New York and Company necklace and matching earrings.

The outfits:

For the school day, skinny jeans and my favorite black boots, which are not as waterproof as I would like but still functional.

For the school board meeting, Banana Republic slacks and my favorite black wedges (heels would have worked better with the slacks, but, again, snow). I also swapped the big, colorful earrings for plain studs.

I loved both looks today β€” neither was complicated, but both looked sharp and pulled together, which is impressive on snow days, when half the campus is in sweats β€” or, worse, leggings as pants β€” and rainboots. Cheers.

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My fall/winter uniform

Fun fact: I spent my first- through eighth-grade years in a uniform. Plaid skirt, polo, the works. I think that’s part of the reason I’m just starting to really think about clothes: I went through grade school wearing the same thing every day, then high school trying to wear something different every day, and now that I’ve figured that out, I can try to actually look decent every day.

But, I’ve come to realize, having a uniform was a pretty handy thing. Life’s always busy, and any day when I have to make one fewer decision is a good day. On days when I don’t feel like thinking too hard about what to wear, I turn to my favorite standby: my American Eagle cable-knit v-neck sweaters.

I don’t remember which one I got first, or when I got it, but these days I have five. The striped one is the newest; the purple one is my favorite. The colors and necklines change a little year to year, but one thing never changes: They’re honestly perfect for every single occasion. I’ve worn them with Chucks to class, with black slacks and heels to work, with skinny jeans and knee high boots for just about everything else. They work with scarves. Short necklaces. Long necklaces. Tank tops. T-shirts. Skirts. Seriously, I can’t get enough of them.

I’m cheating with the outfit photo below, because I’m wearing a Tommy Hilfiger version that I “stole” from my mom, but it’s basically the same thing. How many times have I wore variations on this outfit in the past two weeks? Seeing as only the solid blue one is clean right now, looks like five. I’m sure if you read back on this blog to last winter, you’ll see them several times. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.

Sorry for the horrendous Photoshop abuse. Sunshine + snow = death of my camera.

So if I go multiple days without an outfit post, you all can probably safely assume it’s because I’ve fallen into my uniform trap and I’m too embarrassed to admit it πŸ˜‰ Cheers.

Sweet Home Chicago! Skating in the City.

I’ve been to a lot of cities in the past year, and lived in a few states, but today, my first day in the city since May, made it clear to me that I am forever a Chicago girl. I grew up in the suburbs, but my parents have taken me downtown from a very young age, and I worked there a few summers ago, so I feel like it’s my city.

I didn’t get many good pics today, because I was with a friend and we were mostly just walking and talking, and we didn’t really get out by the lake, which is where the best pictures are taken. Next time.

Millennium Park's Cloud Gate, commonly known as "The Bean."

Millennium Park Amphitheatre

Awkward corner of the Skyline, taken from Buckingham Fountain. The tall, silver-blue, roundish one in the middle-back is Trump Tower.

Our main activity today: Ice skating! I’m a terrible skater; I think the last time I skated was at least four years ago, and I only went a few times before then. You’d think that the ten years of ballet I took in grade school would have given me good enough balance to skate well, but nope. Not good. Today wasn’t all my fault, though β€” it was a bit too warm, so the ice didn’t hold up well. Even my friend, who played ice hockey growing up and actually could skate, had trouble. Oh well. It was still a fun day! Cheers.

Sweater: Gap (old). Scarf: My university bookstore, oddly enough. Jeans: L.E.I. (old). Skates: Chicago Park District πŸ™‚

Finally joining the Color Brigade!

One of my favorite fashion blogs is Cute & Little, by Kileen. Kileen is one seriously stylish person β€” 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 β€” 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. β€” No posts over the weekend because I traveled home and had occasion to make some questionable fashion decisions β€” 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 πŸ™‚ Maybe there’s hope for me after all.

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

Missoni for Target flats! Worn three ways.

I know I’ve been saying that I was working up to a big post, and this is it!

I’m sure you all followed the big Missoni for Target fiasco earlier this week. If not, in a nutshell, the collection went on sale last Tuesday and was basically sold out both in-store and online by the end of that same night. So. Everyone went a little crazy, to say the least.

I had my eye on the collection all summer, and when the lookbook came out I knew that if I got nothing else, I had to have the ballet flats. Missoni is all about bold, bright zigzag knits, and I’m more of a basic solids-and-stripes girl, but I figured I could handle a pair of shoes. Plus, everyone needs a crazy pair of shoes, right? So I had one of my friends, who works at Target, keep an eye out for me, and when the collection finally arrived he was able to snag a pair in my size.

I was so thrilled to get them! The colors were not exactly what expected, and they’re a little more low-cut than I usually wear, but I love them. Also, I had no idea how fashion-savvy my coworkers were until I wore them to work right after I got them and was swarmed by at least four people, much to the bafflement of our male supervisors. That was a good laugh.

Anyway, because colored shoes are so far outside my usual dressing habits, I knew I had to start wearing them right away. I also wanted to try to wear them in as many ways as possible, because a lot of the time things like colorful shoes become items I wear once a month, with the same shirt every time. Ready?

Tuesday, I kept it simple. I had a tank top in the exact color of one of the zigzags, and threw a black cardigan on to keep it school/worksafe, which picked up the black zigzag, too. Opted for cuffed skinny jeans to show off the shoes!

Wednesday was even easier. This plain black dress is one of my favorite items of clothing, because it’s cute and simple enough to be the perfect backdrop for whatever crazy accessories I choose to throw at it. Also, how delighted was I to discover that I had a headband that matched a zigzag in the shoes? So delighted.

Thursday was my most work-friendly outfit with the shoes. Again, I tried to keep things mostly simple up top to balance the shoes. I wanted to wear this with black slacks, but the only pair I have at school right now are tailored for heels, so that was no good. But it still works!

So there you go, one pair of multicolored zigzag shoes, worn three ways. I have several more outfits planned β€” when I first got the shoes, I thought I would be in trouble because I didn’t think I had many items in appropriate colors, but in the past few days I’ve come up with tons of combinations of what I have, combined with black and white and gray.

I had hoped to wear the shoes at least five days in a row. Unfortunately, I have learned the unhappy lesson that even with its colors and zigzags, Missoni for Target is still nowhere close to Missoni. Check out the soles of the shoes after three days of simply walking around a college campus:

Seriously. It’s disappointing and pretty much unacceptable, and if I didn’t love the way they look I would take them back. But I do, indeed, love them, so after class today I took them to our local shoe repair shop to get proper soles (then walked home barefoot, to the amusement of the repair man). I’ll have them back next Friday, at which point you can expect to see them again. Terrible soles and all, I’m so glad to have them in my closet! Cheers!

Did any of you manage to snag Missoni for Target items? What did you get? What do you think?

Day 10 β€” Petite in Pink

Today was day 10 of the Color Rotation Challenge β€” pink instead of red because I messed up yesterday β€” but also the day of my first Petite Fashion Challenge. Cheers!

I love the Petite Blogger community, because they’re all extremely stylish women who are as tall as or even shorter than me. I’ve struggled with being 4’11” for a while, but these ladies rock it, and they all inspire me.

The challenge was to “dress up your jeans and tee.” Easy enough. Started with a basic Old Navy T β€” hot pink, XS β€” and pair of my favorite Old Navy skinny jeans. I have always been totally in love with Old Navy’s t-shirts, because they’re cheap and comfortable and come in a ton of colors. I’m a little concerned about how this one looks super tight in the chest area, but I just bought it and they always stretch, so it should be okay.

For the dressed-up version, I added my other wardrobe staple: my black Target cardigan. I feel like I cheated at this challenge because it’s really my basic uniform, as a college kid: jeans, t-shirt, cardigan. I went a little out-of-habit by wearing a scarf instead of a necklace, so that’s a good thing, and I finished it off with my favorite black boots.

Sorry I’m kind of late to the challenge β€” I ended up traveling home for spring break today and didn’t have WiFi access! Better late than never. If you’re new, checking out my blog through the challenge, hope you stick around! It’s a good time.

Also, a heads-up to my Color Rotation friends: Because I am home on spring break and have a limited wardrobe, I might be mixing up the rotation. If I have to dress nice and I only have a casual yellow outfit, I might swap those days. Bear with me! The important thing will be, I will still wear a different color every day, which is the real thing I’m getting out of this challenge. I’m breaking out of my black-white-gray-blue standard.

Counterfeit Cowgirl

Friday night was a big night for me: My first country concert.

I’m not really a country fan. Train has been my favorite band since 7th grade, I can’t do homework without Michael “Love of my Life” BublΓ©, and I am a huge, huge fan of Latin pop sensation Juanes. I can tolerate country for a while, but once they start singing about pick-up trucks, I’m gone.

The guy I saw Friday, though, has been known to cover Train songs, so I was interested. Also, my roommate is a big country fan, so I thought it might be a nice “roomie date” for us. At $15 a ticket, there wasn’t really much to lose, so we decided to go.

I was told that the more you dress for a country concert, the better it will be, so I went for it, hardcore. Plaid western shirt. Borrowed cowboy boots that are likely not going to be returned because I love them. I even matched my belt to my shoes!

The concert itself wasn’t that awesome, but I had so much fun dressing for it that it was definitely a worthwhile time. For someone who hasn’t been on anything larger than a kiddie-farm pony, I looked pretty convincing, yes? So fun.

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