Belatedly, a Valentine’s Day post

Sorry for the lengthy absence! It’s been a crazy two weeks β€” traveling, schoolwork, work-work, sporting events, bad weather, the usual. But, don’t worry β€” I have some good posts coming up! I have a few new sweaters and nail polishes and styling tricks to show off. Stay tuned.

Before I get to the good stuff, though, I have to post my Valentine’s Day outfit, just because I liked it. It’s nothing crazy, I didn’t go full-out heart-spangled, but I never pass up an opportunity to dress for a holiday, even in college, so I had to go somewhat pink and flouncy. I tried to tone it down with brown accessories, and eventually I added a light gray cardigan, too. I don’t think I’ve ever belted this skirt before, and I’ll do it again, for sure β€” I really like the shape it creates.

Look at that flawless hand heart. You’re impressed.

I had a low-key but fun Valentine’s Day; four of my friends and I hadΒ  “Singles Awareness Soiree,” where we baked cake, watched a movie and laughed a lot. Overall a great night. How did you celebrate? And at what age do you think I have to give up dressing up for holidays? πŸ˜‰

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.

Necessity is the mother of… fashion?

Okay, lame title, but I actually said that to a friend today after she complimented my outfit. Pretty much everything I wore today was chosen because I needed to make up for something that wasn’t working.

I wore a dress because my jeans are all dirty. I wore Oxfords because it was supposed to snow and the shoes I first wanted to wear aren’t waterproof. I wore my chain-knit black tights because my argyle ones were missing.

Close-up on my ($5 from Walmart!) "chain-knit" tights

I even wore my glasses today because my eyes decided they’ve worked hard enough this week and weren’t feeling contacts. Today wasn’t perfect β€” I woke up late (again), couldn’t find half my clothes, meant to belt the dress but ran out of time and couldn’t do anything about the baggy sleeves. And yet, apparently by accident, some things went well. Don’t you love it when that happens? Cheers.

Time machine

I got dressed in a hurry today, just throwing on a cardigan over the first semi-decent shirt I grabbed. At some point in the day, though, I thought about the shirt I was wearing and laughed when I realized it’s one of the oldest shirts I own.

I am not entirely positive, but I’m pretty sure I bought it back in eighth grade, when Hollister was just starting to get popular and everyone wanted to be wearing their clothes. I don’t remember what made me choose it at the time, and I don’t think I wore it much for the first several years I had it, either. It’s grown on me lately, though β€” it’s simple, but I like the color and the detail around the neckline.

Having the same item of clothing for seven years is not remarkable if you’re an adult buying quality, investment items, but when you’re still wearing a $20 Hollister shirt that you bought at 14 when you’re a few weeks shy of your 21st birthday, it’s amusing.

I only have photos from college on my laptop, so I couldn’t find any really old pictures of this shirt, but I made the even funnier discovery that I actually wore it the day I moved into college as a freshman.

One shirt, two totally different looks. Then: Lace cami, short shorts, flip flops. Now: Cardigan, jeans, wedges. My favorite part? Aside from having grown out my bangs, my hair is pretty much the same. Love it. Cheers.

Boots and Skirt and Boots and Skirt and Boots and Skirt…

One of my friends taught me the secret to beat-boxing: Just say “Boots and Cats” over and over. It sounds ridiculous, but I dare you to try it. Go ahead. Try.

So, if Boots and Cats works, Boots and Skirt can work, too, right? I don’t know. Seeing as there’s really not a non-silly way to beat-box, might as well go with it.

Today I did that thing were I got tired of wearing jeans and was determined to wear a skirt, regardless of what the weather did. Lucky for me, it turned out to rain all day. Awesome.

Proof that I took this first thing today: If you look closely, you can totally see my retainer. Awkward.

Wearing white tights on a rainy day was not a good call, but the outfit worked, for the most part. I picked this sweater up on clearance at Target a few months ago, and I love it β€” it’s super soft, and it’s a great dress-up, dress-down piece. I like wearing it like this for college, but I can see myself someday attempting to wear it with a pair of brown slacks for a job. I really want a light blue collared shirt to wear under it, but the tank works for now.

What do you guys do on days when you just don’t want to wear pants, but the weather isn’t quite cooperating? I have to figure something out β€” I’m predicting a rainy spring here because we’ve had such a mild winter. Missouri weather is always a challenge. Cheers.

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.

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.

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