Category Archives: Wear

My Closet, the Giver of Life Lessons

enhanced-buzz-26652-1412872622-8(image credit – because unfortunately that beautiful closet is not mine. #goals)

Getting rid of just about everything in my closet was a byproduct of my quarter life crisis. Apparently, when you’re questioning who you are, your closet also takes the opportunity to reassess itself.

I didn’t have the answers and unfortunately, neither did my closet.

The only problem with getting rid of basically all of your clothes is the whole filling it back up with stuff you love part. And when you’re deep in the process of aggressively paying off debt (think “gazelle intensity”) shopping kind of falls by the wayside. So I found myself with a depressingly empty closet, and no budget to immediately add new things.

Alas, there are lessons to be learned in every experience, and while my closet wasn’t able to tell me which direction to take with my life, it definitely had a thing or two to teach me in the process.

First, it’s okay to live with holes (both of the wardrobe hole and physical hole variety).
There have been times in my life where I’ve felt something was missing. Whether it was lack of passion in my work, or feeling lonely during the times John and I were dating long distance, or losing a friend and feeling that void big time. But the most important thing to remember is that those feelings and voids are temporary. There are always new jobs to explore, solutions to relationship roadblocks, and new friends you haven’t met yet. Living with a hole can give you clarity on what actually needs filling back up in your closet and in your life, and makes your future decisions all the wiser.

You can follow the trends and wear yourself out trying to keep up, or you can just do what the hell you like.
As much as I love fashion and it’s ever-changing nature, what I love more is the process of defining what feels like me and is true to me alone. That’s what makes getting dressed fun. And this is exactly why FOMO (fear of missing out) and comparing yourself/your life to those people you are friends with on Facebook from high school but never talk to (guilty) are both activities that don’t deserve your mental energy. Same goes for comparing your closet to that of a fashion blogger with an endless supply of “c/o” items coming in each month.

If you look at someone else’s life and try to follow in their footsteps or emulate their style, you’ll be entering the endless game of catching up. But if you just learn to be happy with what you have now, you’ll feel more full than ever. Do and wear what makes you happy and forget the rest. Like Amy Poehler says: “Good for her! Not for me.” Take that simple, fantastic advice to heart and appreciate others while still loving what you’re working with.

Sometimes, you just have to let go.
The most painful part of my closet purge was getting rid of some of my shoes. Whether they were winter boots no longer practical for my Florida lifestyle, or pumps attached to fond memories of my life at 21, letting go of the past and of things that no longer fit your life is hard. Know what’s harder? Letting go of people. Letting go of regret. Letting go of guilt. But when you do let go, it’s amazing how much better you feel. Letting go is hard, but it’s absolutely necessary if you want to move forward.

At some point, everything will feel wrong and look wrong and make you feel so blah.

Just like your wardrobe crisis, you’ll also have your fair share of life crises. When I felt like I didn’t know who I was or where I wanted to go I looked to my closet and saw much of the same. I saw things that no longer felt like me, and everything I added was a reflection of my blah upon blah mood. But this is part of life, and it’s also part of figuring out your style. Sometimes you have to feel and experience all of the wrong stuff in order to get to the right stuff.

You can always start over, and it’s not impossible.
A lot of the times, you already have most of the things that you need to reinvent the wheel both in your closet, and in your life. Getting rid of basically ALL of my clothes made me realize there were some true gems to be unearthed. Those gems became the building blocks of my wardrobe rebuild, but I found I was happy with only those items and didn’t feel a great urgency in adding new items. If you’re feeling unsettled in life, take a moment to weed out all of the negative stuff and think about all of the great things you have going for you already. Roof over your head? Sunshine? A loving and respectful partner? Cookies? I bet you feel better already.

Figuring it out requires confidence and a willingness to experiment.
Remember when you were completely fearless with fashion? For me, that time was mostly in high school where I went through different personas rapidly until I settled somewhere in the middle that felt the most “me.” But some of that confidence and experimentation seems to dwindle as we age, and we find ourselves playing it safe more and more.

The last big life change I made was at 23 when I moved from PA to FL to move in with John. It was scary and exciting but so worth it! I was confident in my decision, and it paid off. Now, at 26, I feel another big life shift coming on and for a long time, I let fear get in my way. But fear sucks. Let go of the fear, make a change, and don’t be afraid to experiment along the way. You won’t get it right the first time, or maybe even the fifth time, but you’ll get there.

I still don’t have the answers, and despite how many times I’ve asked my closet it doesn’t seem to have them either, but that’s okay. Whether you’re cleaning up your closet or cleaning up your life, remember that the pain is part of the process. And there are lessons to be learned in even the worst of situations, as long as you’re willing to pay attention.

How to wear polka dot jeans (without looking like a 6 year old)

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Top: Target (available in store) | Jeans: Target | Flats: Forever 21 | Bag: Michael Michael Kors (last seen here) | Bracelets: Loft

I’m going to let you in on a little secret – I LOVE edgy fashion trends, but when it comes down to it I almost always shy away from giving them a try. Take leather for example: I couldn’t stop pinning outfits with leather to my pin boards, and I even wrote a post all about leather, but I never invested in any leather pieces for myself. Why? Because I was clueless as to how to wear it and make it fit into my wardrobe. I felt the exact same way about polka dot denim, until I spotted these at my local Target.

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They didn’t originally catch my eye because of their perfection; I was initially intrigued by them because I thought they belonged in the little girls section. The denim was a lighter wash, and the polka dots just reminded me of something I would have worn when I was six. But, I had been swooning over polka dot denim for months (and obsessively pinning polka dot things) so I decided to give them a try. I headed into the fitting room and quickly learned the first rule of polka dot denim: don’t knock it til you try it. Although I was less than impressed with these pants on the hanger, they looked AMAZING on. So, I urge you not to judge your polka dot denim by the hanger alone, try it on instead…you might be surprised!

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As soon as I slipped the jeans on, I learned the second rule of polka dot denim: avoid wearing printed denim with a printed top. But Stephanie, print mixing is HOT right now! I know – but honestly, I haven’t figured print mixing out yet so if you’re new to this I recommend sticking with solid tops. When trying these pants on, I was wearing a striped top, and it was way too much with the printed denim. As soon as I tried on this adorable green blouse, my outfit felt much more polished.

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Lastly, thanks to my new neon cap toe flats (first spotted on Yi-chia at Always Maylee), I discovered the third and final rule of polka dot denim: if you want to make a statement, do so with jewelry or fun shoes. Luckily, I was sporting my new neon cap toe flats when I tried these jeans on and they were the perfect pop of color to complete my outfit. Jewelry and fun shoes are the perfect way to pull your outfit together.

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So, let’s do a quick recap:

  1. Don’t judge polka dot denim based on its hanger appearance alone. Try it on! You’ll probably fall in love.
  2. Don’t pair polka dot denim with a printed top (unless, unlike me, you are super at print mixing).
  3. Use accessories to make a statement. Add a fun pop of color with your shoes or jewelry to give your outfit a little something extra.

What are your outfit-making rules when it comes to polka dot and printed denim?
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PS- John deserves a huge shout out for these pics, and all the outfit post photos on my blog for that matter. John, if you’re reading, I love you! Thanks for putting up with me and always taking photos for me, you’re the best. 🙂

Making a Statement

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Top: ModCloth | Jeans: LOFT  | Necklace c/o: Cathryn Ann Designs | Bag: Michael Michael Kors | Shoes: Nine West

First things first — hello! I’m totally ashamed of my sporadic blogging over the past few months. Between time spent with my lovely man and puppy, a new promotion and some changes at work, building up my photography site and branding/brainstorming business planning and all of the other great things that have been going on lately I’ve been letting this little blog fall behind. So I’m bringing it back with a bang today with my first outfit post in a loooooong time.

When it comes to fashion, I definitely jump aboard and participate in the latest trends. I was obsessed with mint and am still in love with peplum tops, and after seeing those gorgeous J. Crew inspired bubble necklaces on every blog I came across over the summer, I just had to have one for myself. But for some reason I just kept putting it off and never ending up getting one. Needless to say I was thrilled when Cathryn of Cathryn Ann Designs contacted me about doing a little collaboration on the blog. She sent me over this bubble necklace and I was totally giddy with excitement when I got it! I honestly had a hard time picking out a piece because everything in her shop is so adorable. It’s full of so many fun, colorful statement necklaces and bracelets – check out her shop here.

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The thing I love most about this necklace is that it makes a statement and is the perfect outfit completer. For those of you familiar with Molly’s blog, this necklace is totally my “completer jacket” (if you have no idea what I’m talking about, read her post here). It’s the perfect piece to give any outfit the extra pop it needs.

What’s your favorite way to make a statement?
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A girl can never have too much __________.

Top: Modcloth | Pants: Loft (old) | Shoes: Nine West Outlet | Earrings: Target (old)

John and I are completely addicted to watching American Pickers. I’m definitely no history buff, but after watching a marathon the other day I realized that picking and collecting antiques and my love for shopping may not be all that different after all. Frank, one of the show’s main stars, seems to have an affinity for oil cans. In a recent episode, Frank was attempting to purchase a new oil can from a seller (who stated that it wasn’t for sale) which provided the perfect opportunity for Mike, the show’s other main star, to poke fun at him. He said something along the lines of, “Frank just keeps buying oil cans, lines them all up and stares at them. I’ll tell him ‘don’t buy that, you already have that one,’ and he’ll say, ‘but I don’t have it in green.'” It was in this moment that I truly identified with the show and turned to John stating, “see? It’s like my love for leopard print.”

In my opinion, a girl can never have too much leopard print. Sure, I may have a pair of leopard heels but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t buy leopard flats, and leopard loafers. And while I have this leopard print necktie blouse, I’m going to need a long sleeve leopard blouse for fall and winter, am I right? The way I see it, when you find a trend you love, there’s no reason not to invest in it. No matter the trend you choose, you can never have “too much” of something that makes you both look and feel great.

What trends or prints do you keep adding to your wardrobe? Do you believe you can ever have “too much” of a certain trend or print?

 

Feelin’ Fall

Fall is one of my favorite seasons, and judging by all the buzz on the blogosphere I’m guessing I share my love of fall with a lot of you reading this. While Fall in Florida may mean the temperature dropping from 80 to 79, I’m not letting that prevent me from writing about it.

Fall Lust List

  • First up is a good homemade pumpkin pie because let’s be honest, pumpkin pie (or pumpkin anything for that matter) is the best part about fall. At least for me.
  • It’s no secret that I love peplum (see outfit post here) and I’m also loving leather so why not find a piece that combines these two trends into one?
  • You can never have too much pumpkin-whether it’s a scented bodywash, a pumpkin spice latte, a candle, or a real pumpkin.
  • Beat the cold weather (or the heat for me) by curling up with a good book. Add blankets, PJs and a glass of wine and you have a recipe for a fantastic lazy Sunday afternoon. I’m super excited to pick up Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.
  • Red lipstick can take any ordinary outfit to the next level, and even though John may have said I resemble a clown when I tried some on this is still a must have fall beauty item for me.
  • I’m always down to add more animal print to my wardrobe so this season I’m in search of the perfect pair of leopard loafers. They’re perfect for any occasion and can easily be dressed up or down all while remaining incredibly comfortable.
  • Oxblood/burgundy/whatever color it is is obviously a huge fall trend. I can’t wait to snag the perfect pair of (insert correct color name here) skinny jeans.
  • Since there isn’t any evidence of fall approaching Florida anytime soon, I have to resort to constantly burning scented candles to bring about the feeling of fall. Candles are the perfect way to add fall into your home decor this season.
  • Obviously a brown leather Michael Kors bag is totally out of my price range, but a girl can dream right? I’m in desperate need of a new bag and this one is too pretty to pass up.

What’s on your wish list for fall? How are you incorporating the season into your own life and wardrobe?