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 — neither was complicated, but both looked sharp and pulled together, which is impressive on snow days, when half the campus is in sweats — or, worse, leggings as pants — and rainboots. 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 — 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.

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.

Did you forget how to wear color?

I’ve had a busy week with some uninspired outfits, so I haven’t been doing regular outfit posts. Looking back at the past few days, though, I noticed a trend: I wore almost no color this week.

Monday: Gray top and jeans, though points for trying with the pink shoes. (Outfit originally posted here)

Tuesday: Black top, jeans, black sandals.

Wednesday: Black tank top, gray cardigan, jeans, pewter shoes. (Flashback: almost the exact outfit I wore in one of my first posts, back on March 8!)

Thursday: Hard to tell, but the cardigan’s navy with black detailing. Still, dark cardigan, black tank, jeans, black shoes.

And today I’m in my black uniform polo for work. Ack! At least I’m rocking my Missoni flats today for some color.

Seriously! I do wear black a lot because it’s a school color and I work for my school. Still, there’s no reason to go a whole week with barely any color! I might need to start up Colleen’s Color Rotation Challenge again just to get out of this boring pattern. I think I stick to neutrals because they’re easy, but I know color can be just as easy, too — I like wearing color, when I remember to! Here’s hoping I can get a better color spread next week. Cheers!

Rockin’ the ruffles

I had my first exam of the year Monday, which is surprising given that it’s late September, but I’m in a lot of classes that focus more on work or discussion than testing. After spending about 12 hours studying Sunday and getting up early Monday to study while working my morning shift, I didn’t feel like putting actual effort into my clothes, but I still had to look decent for my evening shift. Solution? One of my standby outfits  from my summer job: the ruffle shirt.

I like ruffled shirts because I think they make getting dressed easy in that I don’t feel obligated to accessorize with them. Yes, I’ve got a wide expanse of bare neckline up there, but I also have a huge ruffle down my front — that should suffice, right? If had had more time, I would have grabbed a pair of big earrings, which usually makes up for the lack of necklace without competing with the ruffles.

I had really planned to participate in Kileen’s Color Brigade this week, but I didn’t plan ahead enough. The rules require at least three colors, and though some would argue I did fine with gray, white and pink, I want to hold myself to the challenge of three colors. I’ll get it next week!

On a related note, how much do I love my pink shoes? So much. They’re low wedge sandals that a friend talked me into buying on a trip to Target in May, and I’m so glad I caved. They’re perfect for tossing on with a neutral-laden outfit like this one. It took me a while to stop instinctively reaching for my black wedges every day, but now that I’ve grown comfortable wearing these, I can’t go back! These were probably the gateway purchase to my Missoni flats, actually. Cheers.

PS — Photo experimentation continues. Is blurring out the top half of the face more or less creepy than blurring out the whole face?

In support of T-shirts

I’ve been reading fashion blogs for nearly a year now, and I think I can safely say that I have never seen a T-shirt. I’m not talking about $30 Banana Republic “T-shirts,” or even $8 Old Navy “T-shirts” — those, to me, are just shirts, and they’re worn all the time. The basic T-shirt, however, gets no love. People wear them to sleep or to the gym, but never in real-life situations. I realize most bloggers I read are adults with jobs, and you can’t wear T-shirts to work, but really?  You guys never just get up and throw on a T-shirt and jeans to go to the store?

I’m a college student, so I’m surrounded by T-shirts every day. There’s always some group handing them out on campus, sorority members seem to get new ones every week, and the bookstore sells them so inexpensively that anyone with some measure of school spirit has one in at least four colors. Admittedly, most people do wear them lazily, with athletic shorts and baseball caps and things that I don’t think belong in classrooms. I know we read and like fashion blogs because we like fashion, and T-shirts aren’t fashionable. But I don’t think it’s necessary to stigmatize T-shirts as sloppy, lazy wear, either. I think it’s perfectly acceptable to make one your outfit for the day, as long as you put some effort into it.

The easy thing is to put the shirt on with sweats or jeans, grab your nearest flip flops, do whatever is necessary to kind of tame your hair and run off to class.

But it’s so easy to make a few small, easy changes and make the look a ton neater! Check out what I did today:

Roll up the sleeves and pull up the hem so the shirt actually looks like it fits right. Add a tank top underneath to pick up one of the colors in the shirt. Wear flats instead of your flip flops. BRUSH YOUR HAIR.

I know it’s still not fashionable, and I know it’s not something most of you would put on your blog for a day. But it’s something I can still pull off in college, and I think it’s fine. I honestly welcome your thoughts on this topic. Let me know where you stand on T-shirts.

(Unrelated, but the shirt is a concert T-shirt from Train’s summer tour. I had the pleasure of seeing them (and Maroon 5!) at two different tour stops, and they were wonderful both times. It’s kind of a weird shirt, but Train has been my favorite band since junior high, and it was exciting to find a non-black concert T, so I’m rolling with it. Cheers.)

Everyone’s a princess today

Everyone’s been asking, “Why is the whole world so obsessed with the Royal Wedding? Who cares?” I’ll admit, it is not remotely relevant to our lives. But I am a huge Anglophile — I have this grand dream of moving to London after I graduate — so I do care. Not enough to get up at 4 a.m. to watch, to be sure, but I care.

And honestly? Even if you don’t care, everyone should watch it just for how beautiful everything is. Kate was gorgeous, most of the royals were very well dressed, and London itself was just breathtaking in all the shots I saw. I had the privilege of visiting Westminster Abbey when I was in London two years ago, but to see it all polished up and wedding-ready today was a treat.

Anyway, with the wedding on my mind and the most beautiful weather we’ve had in a long time, how could I not wear a dress? I stayed at home for most of the day, so I didn’t want to waste one of my favorite dresses, but even in a simple one I felt pretty as a princess.

The dress has the same story as most of my dresses: Saw it on, thought, “I want that,” and bought it the next time I was in a store. I love the sweetheart neckline and the flouncy skirt, and it ties in the back, too. I wasn’t comfortable wearing it on its own walking around campus, because I’m not a fan of super-thin straps (and exposed bra straps, ugh) in an academic setting, so I tossed on my white cropped cardigan, too. Finish it off with my fave Target wedges and I’m good to go. Looking at it here,  it probably could have used a necklace, but I wasn’t sure — can I wear a silver or gold necklace with pewter shoes? Is combining metallics allowed? Always a struggle.

The one issue with this dress is that it’s super young-looking (My roommate said I looked like a 12-year-old. Thanks.). Any ideas on how I could mature it up? I thought wearing the wedges instead of flip-flops was a good call, but I’m not sure what else to do.

Aren’t those lilacs so pretty? They just bloomed across the pathway from my dorm, and I love walking past and smelling them. Springtime 🙂

I’m not going to have a post tomorrow, because I have a very important audition that’s going to last all day, and I’ll likely just be in shorts and a t-shirt. Wish me luck — see you Sunday!

Previous Older Entries