Shorts: Old Navy
Top: Milwaukee boutique
Sweater: Ann Taylor LOFT
Necklace: Forever 21
Shoes: Nine West
Purse: c/o Mimi Boutique
Most days I’m all about the over-sized purses. I like being able to carry everything all in one place – computer, wallet, phone, camera, all the necessary cords, lip gloss, mirror, etc, etc, etc… But there are days in which the large bag is impractical. For those moments a small, goes-with-everything purse is ideal. I want something that I can easily throw my phone, lipgloss and wallet into but not something that is going to feel like my shoulder is falling off should I need to lug it around for several hours.
This Stanley Foldover Ruched Black Clutch from Mimi Boutique fits the bill perfectly. I’ve used it multiple times this past month – out with friends for my birthday, on the Chicago architectural river cruise, and even several times to school when I want to take all my school necessities in one large bag and a smaller one that I can grab if I need to run out for lunch or a mid-day coffee.
With the black coloring, and brown edging accents, this little purse (or clutch if you detach the strap) goes with nearly every outfit. Plus all the interior and exterior pockets make it easy to store all quick-access essentials. And I love the gold zippers and the leather tassels attached to the front zipper. Stay tuned for more details on the below outfit later in the week!!
Skirt: Gap Outlet
Shirt: New York & Co.
Cami: Ann Taylor LOFT
Watch: ??? online retailer
The thing I look most forward to in the chillier months is the footwear. Knee-high boots, over-the-knee boots, booties, shooties, whatever… It’s all good. While I love heels, sandals, strappy wedges, there is just something so great and comfortable and easy about fall shoes. These little heel-less booties were an end-of-last-season score. While I loved them at the time I had a difficult time figuring out what to pair them with. Fast forward to this season and suddenly I am seeing the potential in a number of different outfits.
This denim skirt is on the more fitted side so I try to pair it with a roomier top, to balance out the full look. At the same time this blouse is long and can be overwhelming. Half tucking it in helped give it a little more structure while still keeping the billowy feel. Plus the colors in the shirt go perfectly with the booties. Score.
What do you most look forward to in your Fall wardrobe??
Shirt: The Limited
Shoes: Christian Siriano
Do you remember school picture day? That awkward day in which you are dressed up, usually in what your mother thinks is the best outfit you own. You tried to pull your hair into some semblance of order. Maybe mom even let you dab on a little mascara, blush and lip gloss. All this prep and then you take a seat against a standard tye-dye looking backdrop and get one chance to smile before the next student is taking your place.
Yeah, I didn’t miss that at all! But last week was picture day at school and let me tell you it is no better as a teacher. Ok, well maybe it is slightly better since my hair cooperates most days and I know how to successfully apply my own makeup. But the cheesy smile, the tacky backdrop, the awkward seating on top of a box, yeah… it’s all still the same. And it is still the one-picture wonder. You get one chance to smile your best, tilt your head just right, and not blink. It’s almost like the DMV.
This year I figured I would try to do a little manipulating of my own by wearing the cobalt top. It’s a color that usually brings out my eyes and makes me not look pasty white. I figured that was a better option than a classic black top, which was my first thought that morning.
Hmmm… Maybe now my dad can replace my Senior Year picture that sits in his office with my new school picture. HA!
Jacket: Jessica Simpson
Earrings: Stella & Dot
We’re officially in Fall and it can be felt in the air. And while I don’t mind these 60* days and chillier mornings I am not looking forward to the cold, snowy winter! This maxi skirt has been a staple in my closet all Spring and Summer, but now that the cold weather is approaching I’ve been mulling over how to winterize it without looking like one big billowy sack. The great thing about Fall is the layers, but that can also mean some unflattering silhouettes. So instead of opting for a longer or flowing sweater to provide a little warmth, I went with this more structured jacket. The billowy effect in the front adds a vertical appeal instead of a horizontal one, elongating the skirt and my surprisingly short torso.
In addition to experimenting with winterizing some classic summer pieces, I’ve also been trying to step outside the usual hair-down style I’ve worn for the last year. Now that it is finally grown out to such a length that actual styles, braids, buns and twists can work – I’m trying to force myself to not go the easy way out with my typical wash-and-wear look. I’m still in debate over the sock-bun. I love the look from the back but I think it is a little harsh looking from the front. Hmm… maybe that just means I need to place it higher on my head.
Skirt: Ralph Lauren Outlet
Vest: Milwaukee boutique
Bracelet: Nordstrom Rack
One of the most challenging things about the last month is coming up with new and creative ways to work the business casual angle. Before this I haven’t worked in any kind of formal business setting in well over 7 years. And while my closet certainly has a number of things that can be considered business appropriate, there are a number of things that are perhaps borderline. I’m trying to be creative and not fall into a uniform of sorts with a constant rotation of pencil skirts and tailored shirts.
This outfit takes the traditional knee-length pencil skirt and then adds a very laid-back feel with the basic white t-shirt and then a bit of an edge with the army green studded vest. While the vest does add a layer of structure to the look it isn’t as formal as a jacket. Plus this combination is much more my style than a tailored jacket and pencil skirt combination would be.
Most days I am in heels but on this day I was looking for ease of movement so the leopard print flats were an easy choice. While they have black tips, the leopard print still goes well with the overall color scheme and it all somehow balances out the black.
“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”- Eleanor Roosevelt
Another year, another birthday. It’s days like today when I take a moment to look back at the last 365 days and I’m always astounded at what has taken place in that amount of time. 365 days isn’t a huge span of time. Sure, when you’re a teenager it feels like forever but then you blink and it’s over. Even more so in your twenties and now as I begin to wade through my thirties I realize this increment of time we call a year, is really nothing in the grand scheme.
And yet, in the last year, I did so many things…. I quit a retail job that was fun but draining. I almost started back to school and then changed paths at the last moment. I spent six months working full time on the blog. I traveled to California to spend three weeks in San Francisco. I, yet again, picked up, packed up and moved – this time from Milwaukee to Chicago. I jumped into a new career – leaping feet first into something completely unknown and thrilling. I welcomed my second nephew into the world. And of course there are a million other, little every day things that are significant only to me.
I’m a different person today than I was 365 days ago – and yet I’m the same too. I’ve also come to realize that the 30s aren’t as scary and daunting as I thought they would be. There is a new kind of freedom that comes from being more secure in who you are, where you’re headed, what you want and what you truly need. Here’s to many many more years.