Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Monday OOTD 3.30.15



Another weekend (three day!) OOTD. A little warmer today, so I threw on a vest as a light layer... and then soon regretted it when it started to rain a little.

I took a day off today to spend some time with my boyfriend for his birthday. This weekend was pretty relaxing - although much of it was spent doing chores. We did a little spring cleaning - donated some old clothes, cleaned the whole apartment, and went grocery shopping. It's nice to sit in a clean apartment - it feels like we just moved in. Back to the grind tomorrow though!

As for the outfit, I've been wearing a lot of stripes lately - I'm not too in love with the shirt and only really pull it out on weekends and on particularly casual days at work. The vest is my mom's, which I've stolen because she doesn't prefer the color. Ponte leggings from Uniqlo in a size S. These were actually much longer before I washed them. When I did, they shrunk upward, and the length is actually perfect now. Bag is MBMJ from a couple years ago. Shoes are my beloved Old Navy smoking slippers that I'll soon retire, since I snagged a nicer pair from J. Crew Factory on discount.

And then finally, the gold bar necklace that I thought warranted its own photo - I picked this up in store for around $4 - I really love the subtlety and the hint of gold in my outfits. I've been wearing it almost every day instead of a longer pendant chain. It's out of the way, but still elegant, and I think it really stands out on my skin tone.

Hope you had a nice weekend as well!
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Saturday, March 28, 2015

March Wardrobe Updates and April Planning



So last month, I wrote a post that detailed what I had bought this year, and what I had planned to buy this year. Here's an update on how that shook out.

PURCHASES

Spending in March was way above average due a combination of necessity and lack of self control. The only things that were planned were the cardigan, the maxi dress, and the striped heavy-weight tee.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, I needed to have a suit jacket for a professional meeting. That bumped up my planned April blazer purchase and cancel the Aritzia purchase all together, since the more formal one would be more versatile and relevant to my life.

Next, Gap had a clearance sale, and I picked up a striped tee. I don't regret it, since it'll get a lot of wear and it was only $5 and it was definitely my style.

Then, during a visit to my parents' over the weekend, we decided to go to an outlet mall, where I stepped into J.Crew and picked up two pairs of shoes. One pair to replace my Old Navy smoking slippers, which were looking pretty worn. I bought the Old Navy pair as an experiment to see if I liked the style or not on me. Turns out I do, so I picked these up from J.Crew as a higher quality replacement. The D'Orsay Flats though were definitely an impulse. But I do like them, and they'll fit into my summer wardrobe nicely.


March
Gap marled shawl cardigan (replace cardigan) - $28.30 - discounted base, plus 40% off, plus rewards
Old Navy black maxi dress (addition, summer) - $20.67 - discounted base, plus 30% off, plus rewards
Everlane grey/white striped heavy-weight tee (addition, spring) - $45
Gap grey/white striped short sleeve tee - $5 - 40% off clearance
Tailoring 3 pairs of jeans - black, gray, and dark blue, hem & taper
Old Navy Flower Print Poplin Dress (addition, summer) - $17 - 40% off
Halogen Black Suit Jacket - $128
J. Crew Factory D'Orsay Flats - $45 - 50% off in stores
J. Crew Factory Smoking Slippers - $50 - 50% off in stores - on sale now for $30 (ugh)



MARCH TOTAL: $339
Status: Over budget. :( 

PLANNING


It would have been smart and nice to spread out my March purchases over two months, but I guess this means that April will be a quiet month. I had three things planned in my last post that I've now narrowed down to specific items at specific stores.  Definitely a lesson learned here to control my spending. This is the first time I've itemized my clothing purchases, so it's a shocker to see it all together.



April
Aritzia black Kent blazer (replace) see last month's blazer purchase
Linen blend cropped pants - $32.94, will wait for a sale, since they come around so frequently
Collared, button down tank top, blousey (replace) - $30, with $30 shopping credit
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Friday, March 27, 2015

3.27.15 Fitting Room: Old Navy

Had a pretty slow day at work today so I popped into Old Navy during lunch, which is close to where I work. I've been craving color in my wardrobe. I've been in a little bit of a monochromatic funk and wanted to experiment and challenge myself to figure out how to wear color in multiple ways. One of the reasons why I've avoided it is because I hate thinking about what will match and what goes together. 

I also started to think about summer outfits and started playing around with outfits based on my Summer Wardrobe Highlights - and I realized that I only had enough pieces of clothing to get through 3 days of the week before I'd need to do laundry or wear clothes that were way too warm. 

Dresses were 40% off in stores, so I grabbed a bunch and tried them on. But first I'll start with something more in my comfort zone. Online, the base price has also been slashed by 40%, but there's an additional 35% off any order as well! 

Fit stats can be found in my about me page above! 


They've got a lot of the same style dress out right now, but in different patterns and materials. And the way the dress is constructed depends on the one that you pick up. But the fit is consistent across all the dresses, so at least they have that going for them. The first one I tried on was this blue patterned one. This one was unlined at the skirt but lined in the chest. Weird. The fit was fine throughout. The chest is somewhat tailored, and I was surprised that I filled it out, since I never do. 




The next one is the print that they've been putting in the promo emails and the reason why I went in to the store (good advertising!). I picked it up in two sizes since the sizing at old navy is a little inconsistent on me at least. When I tried both on, I realized that they were super different. The XS had cut the pattern of the fabric off which made the dress have a weird empty space on the chest. The S, which was the one that fit me best, didn't have this problem though. I ended up picking this one up. 

Finally was this cobalt blue shift dress. I loved the color and the cut and the way it looked on. The fabric was rayon I think, which I can live with. But it was unlined which was a deal breaker. I guess I could've worn a slip, but I would've preferred if it was sewn with a liner. I may pick this up if it goes on sale anymore since I love the color.

So back story - I love the look of linen pants and have always wanted a pair. Every summer, I try on a pair from somewhere, and they never fit in my legs or they make my butt look big and I put them back because the color isn't right. I saw these linen pants on a mannequin and really liked the pockets and how it was styled with the cuffs and I liked that it was black - which is super easy to wear. 

These are SO comfortable. The linen is thicker as well. I like that they manage to be loose but without sacrificing the shape of my body. The length is also perfect - coming down to a cropped on me. And they fit my legs. Definitely getting these when they go on sale next. 




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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Summer Wardrobe Thoughts

In Chicago, Spring comes and goes in a blink of an eye. I've been using this time to dig into my closet and find some things that I can rely on in the heat and humidity in the Summer. I've always found it difficult to look put together in the summer while remaining cool and comfortable, especially at work. Last summer, I sacrificed the latter to look more put together and modest. This year though, I'm aiming to find a balance of both with a few additions and combining them with things that I've owned for a while. Here are a few items that I think will get a lot of rotation this summer. One thing I notice is that they're quite basic - meant to be paired with something or just worn alone.

DRESSES

black maxi dress / striped ponte dress, sold out (similar, similar
I've added two dresses to my work wardrobe that I can also dress down for life outside as well - a black maxi dress and a striped ponte dress. As someone who's felt very uncomfortable in a dress for the longest time, these two dresses make me feel like myself. The striped dress comes down long enough to wear to work, but I think I could stand to get it hemmed up about 1 or 2 inches since I'm shorter. I picked mine up from Old Navy on clearance, but have linked similar ones above (this one is on sale at Uniqlo now). It's made out of cotton and spandex and was $20 which was a steal for the material and how well made it is. I've washed it in the machine and threw it in the dryer once already, and it washes really well too! No wrinkles coming out of the dryer.

The black maxi dress is something that I've loved on other people and want to try for myself this summer. I picked this one up from Old Navy, also on sale for $23. This one is made from something like 97% rayon and 3% spandex. It's got a stretch to it and is very cooling to wear. I bought a 2P and it gives me about an inch of clearance between the ground and the end of the dress. I can't speak to the quality but the fabric feels smooth, but it also feels like it might pill as well. But for the price and the fact that I'm not sure if I even like maxi dresses - it's good enough.


TOPS

chambray shirt, sold out (similar) / loose fit striped tee / white box cut tee

I bought this chambray shirt at H&M about 3 or 4 years ago now. It's sold out now, but linked a similar one above. I wear it like a cardigan, over dresses, or by itself. Chambray reminds me of spring. 

The striped top is a new addition that I picked up at Gap. You can see it on me here. I haven't washed it yet, so I can't speak to how well it will hold up. I got it on sale for $5, so if it turns out to be terrible running through the wash, then at least I'll have only spent that much on it. But initally, I really love it! The sleeves are longer and I like to roll them up. Breton stripes are so easy to wear - comfortable, but still put together.

The white box-cut tee is also a new-ish addition as well from Everlane. I don't have a lot of white clothing, and to add one and separate out in the wash is a waste - so I've avoided white. But there is something really fresh looking about a crisp white t-shirt in the summer and I think it really brightens up my wardrobe.

BOTTOMS

This is the area where I struggle in the summer - basically if I'm not wearing a dress, I'm wearing jeans. Last summer, I picked up a pair of cropped light wash jeans from Eddie Bauer and relied on that to keep me cool. The rest of the time, I would cuff my skinny jeans - and when the humidity is past 90% or it's raining AND hot, I would want to die. So I'm not sure what to do here - maybe skirts? I think the problem is that I rely so heavily on a skinny bottom and a drapey top through most of the year, and I think everything else looks weird on me. 

Here are things I want to try: skater skirts, mini skirts, and finding a cropped chino that fits me.

OTHER

My suede camel boots are an old favorite - I bought them two years ago and have worn them religiously throughout the seasons. They're sold out everywhere, which makes me nervous, in case I have a horrible spill. I try and keep them maintained so they're clean, but have some wear on them which gives them character. 


I like a scarf in the summer as well - the light gray is a light enough color to wear for all seasons - the one I have is a little thicker, but is good for over air-conditioned offices and train cars. I can also see myself wearing this with my maxi dress as well to balance out the silhouette.

Finally, sunglasses. I'm wearing the folding Wayfarers right now, but I think I may give these to my boyfriend since he looks great in them. I'm looking for something a little more feminine - I've started to realize that my clothes are quite plain and not overtly feminine. I also have always wanted a pair of sunglasses to hide behind, something glamorous, old Hollywood. Immediately, my mind goes to a classic cat-eye shape. Not sure where I'll find these - Nordstrom has some cheap pairs that I may want to experiment with. Warby Parker has some interesting ones as well - and they have a free home try-on program which definitely appeals to me. 
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Monday, March 16, 2015

Weekend OOTD 3.15.15

jacket - banana republic
jeans - eddie bauer

First outfit post ever here. This weekend was so relaxing! It's nice to see the sun especially after a long winter. I wore this outfit on Sunday - went out for a light lunch at a sushi place close to the apartment, then grocery shopping, and then did some chores (laundry, organizing) before going out for a long walk along Lake Michigan before the sunset. 

I picked up this striped shirt on sale at Gap for $5 (can you believe it?) - it's loose fitting and made from a smooth rayon that I find does not wrinkle despite being rayon! I have not washed it yet, so we'll see how it holds up.

UPDATE: Just pulled this shirt out of the washer - minimal wrinkles! Gap says this is made out of 100% rayon, but it's got a stretch to it, which makes me feel like they must have blended this with spandex or something. Minimal shrinkage as well. Definitely a buy - it is on sale for $19 plus an additional 35% off if you sign up for email. 
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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

To Silk or not to Silk?


I have been wanting to add a silk shirt into my wardrobe for a while now. Through a series of unfortunate mishaps (delayed shipping + weird stain on a shirt I ordered) with Everlane, I have some shopping credit that I think I want to use to discount the price of one of their silk shirts.

This would be my first silk shirt that I ever own. I know nothing compares to silk when it comes to drape, fabric strength, etc. It keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It's a natural fiber. The only thing that's keeping me from biting the bullet and buying one is the upkeep. I'm very much a wash-and-wear type of person, and the thought of having to handwash an item that I know would get a lot of rotation in my closet tires me. 

But still, I've got my eye on either the Silk Rounded Collar or the Silk Sleeveless at Everlane. The Sleeveless might be good for the summer and would replace a similar polyester blouse that I took out of my wardrobe (didn't like that it didn't breathe, also didn't like the bow tie at the top). But the Silk Rounded Collar might be more versatile all year round - silk already is a cool fabric for summer, and I do like the rounded collar, which feels feminine. Either black for the Sleeveless or light gray for the Rounded Collar. 

I've tried alternatives to silk - mainly polyester & rayon. Polyester doesn't breathe or drape as well, but it's washable and easy to take care of. Rayon wrinkles the moment I put it on, and although it's washable (or at least, I've washed mine), it tends to shrink and lose its shape. Both materials also are very staticky, which I don't like. 

I think I'll wait on this one - maybe until April. 
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Sunday, March 8, 2015

January/February Purchases & Wardrobe Planning

(via Unsplash)

Today, I am a year and three months out of college and a year and three months into my first job - and yet still dressing very much like a college student. I'm fortunate enough to work in a very casual work environment (advertising), however, still am required to look sharp since I'm client-facing (strategy & analytics). Here, I'll document my journey toward a work & life wardrobe that stays true to my personal style. I'm not necessarily on a budget, but I am frugal with my purchases and think that quality can be found at any price level.

If I could describe the way I like to dress, I guess I'd say comfort is a big priority. Clean lines, basic, simple, and also pretty monochromatic, although I'd like to change that! My uniform in the Fall/Winter was a pair of skinny jeans, camel suede boots, a drapey, solid color knit sweater or tee, and a big scarf - usually in a light gray. I wore a lot of black, charcoal gray, camel, and navy.

In order to stay conscious of my purchases, here's a list of what I've bought the past two months. Preface - I did clean out my closet of MOST of my clothing in January, getting rid of things that either did not fit right, did not fit at all, or things that I just didn't love (color, cut) - so the purchases below are really re-purchases of things that I previously owned and have upgraded & replaced. I've also marked things that are additions to my wardrobe now that I have somewhat of a vision of my style.

Springs are quite short in Chicago, so Summer is really just right around the corner. I've always struggled with what to wear in hot and humid weather, while still looking professional and put together. I'm testing out the black maxi dress to see if that might work. It seems like it could be quite versatile for both spring and summer both professionally and casually. Cropped pants are also a possibility too - probably in a chino/khaki type fabric.

January
Uniqlo black ponte legging pants (replaced)
Uniqlo white oxford cloth button down (replaced)
Old Navy striped ponte dress (addition)

February
Everlane black box cut tee (replaced)
Everlane white box cut tee (replaced)
Everlane grey marled tunic short sleeve sweatshirt (addition)

March
Gap marled shawl cardigan (replace cardigan)
Old Navy black maxi dress (addition, summer)
Everlane grey/white striped heavy-weight tee (addition, spring)
Tailoring 3 pairs of jeans - black, gray, and dark blue, hem & taper

April
Aritzia black Kent blazer (replace)
Casual cropped pants in ?? (addition)
Collared, button down tank top, blousey (replace)
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