Nov 13th, Bold Stripes

As you all know I have an obsession with stripes! I just can’t get enough of them- and I apologize if you are getting bored with seeing me in stripes day after day…

Today I am wearing a blue and camel colored striped sweater. As you can see- the stripes on this sweater are much wider than I usually wear- and I will warn you that you have to be careful with stripes this wide- they can add bulk to your frame. That’s why I went with the skinny jeans- the contrast of large on top means the bottom must be small. It’s all about balance.

On the right I have left the sweater all alone- and simply paired it with skinny jeans and flats. I think this works- its plain, simple, yet I like it.

On the left I have added a light blue oxford shirt under the sweater, and then also switched out the ballet flats for my ever present Target brown boots! By adding the shirt underneath I have added a layer of interest- and warmth. I like the shirt tails peeking out under the sweater- and I love the boots because I can wear socks and my feet will be toasty warm all day!

Which do you like better?!

Sweater: J Crew, Shirt; Target, Jeans: CABi, Boots: Target

Oct 30th, Checked Shirt!

I have collected a few plaid/ checked shirts over the past year.

I really love the way they are preppy, but can also be great layering pieces.

Just be careful, alone a checked shirt can look a little too cowgirl or too grunge. My faded, baggy mom jeans and sensible black shoes aren’t helping much either!

On the left I have replaced my red plaid shirt with a cute blue and white one. I then switched the mom jeans for these dark skinny ones. I then decided to throw on my fur vest- loving the contrast of the preppy shirt with the rocker vest. To finish it off, I chose my light brown boots from Target.

It’s cute, funky and fun!

Enjoy your day!

Shirt: Land’s End, Vest: Marshalls, Jeans: Anthropologie, Boots: Target

Again, I have skipped jewelry… probably should add a bracelet or a little dainty necklace… something small and understated.

Oct 24th, Un Original!

Here’s a little trick I thought I’d share- in case you hadn’t seen it before!

I can’t claim it as my own idea as I’ve seen many gals on blogs do this-which is why I titled my post un-original!

Rather than let this little summer dress sit in my closet unworn for 3 seasons, I’ve transitioned it to a fall piece by layering a sweater over the top. I then added my light brown Target boots and a belt to emphasize my waist.  To complete the look (and follow my ‘rule of 3’) I’ve added a necklace.

For you newer readers, my ‘rule of 3’ is that I feel like the top half of my outfits must always have 3 elements to it. In this case, the sweater (1), the belt (2) and the necklace (3). It isn’t a hard and fast rule- but one that I usually try to stick to.

And, for you gals who hate wearing belts (ahem, Erin I’m talking to you)… here is the look minus the belt.

I think it still works even without the belt, don’t you?
This outfit is really comfy- and casual- I could wear it anywhere!

Ok gals- I want to hear from you- belt or no belt?! Please comment!

It’s been a while, so I thought I’d link to Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday. Be sure to check it out, there are literally hundreds of ideas!

Dress: Old Navy, Sweater: Banana Republic, Boots: Target, Belt: so old I honestly can’t rememeber!, Necklace: Stella and Dot

Sorry about the dreadful lighting- it was still dark outside when I took these photos.

March 11th, Sunday, Cozy Sunday

 After being totally drenched while sitting on the sidelines at my son’s lacrosse game yesterday, today I’m planning on spending the entire day inside, staying cozy by the fire, reading my book and watching Downton Abbey.

I may never even change out of my jammies!

But, since you don’t want to see that- I am showing you what I will wear- if I have to leave the house!

I’ve talked about dressing in all one color to make you look taller and thinner, but this outfit on the right does nothing for me. Here’s why:

1. The fit of the pants is not flattering. They are a loose fit and cargo style- meaning there are pockets on the thigh which is adding bulk to my legs. In a skinny cut, the pockets work, but in this style- you can’t tell the shape of my legs- they just look big all over.

2. While I love all one color outfits- this plain black top and bottom with the neutral (and shrunken) cardigan is just too plain. Also, because the sweater is so small and you see a solid mass of black- it actually makes me look a bit large in the tummy/ hips.

3.  I say this a lot, but there is nothing interesting in this look. Nothing to make you think, ‘oh, that’s cute’.

(Let me just tell you that my husband looked at the before picture and commented ‘oh my gosh that’s awful- you didn’t really wear that, did you?’) I want you to know I never actually wear the before pictures- they are purely for comparison. (That being said, a year ago- yes, I used to dress like the before pictures!).

On the left is my re-worked outfit. While I am not in the exact same color from head to toe- I am wearing dark/ similar colors, so it still has the illusion of one long vertical line.

Instead of loose fit cargos, I’ve opted for skinny jeans in a dark wash. I’ve said this over and over again, but I really believe that almost anyone can wear skinny jeans (or slim leg). As long as you pair it with something bigger on top you will create the illusion that your legs are thin.

As for my top, instead of a plain t shirt, I have on this wonderful purple top. It has a lovely draped neckline, and then also has ruching at the sides- giving the top enough movement for you not know what is me- and what is the top.

I’ve then added this fun long cardigan. It’s got these wonderful ruffles cascading down the sides and back- giving it lots of interest.

Finally, I’ve added a necklace and my boots to complete the look.

So remember, just because you are dressing in all (or close to) all one color- it does not mean you have to be boring.

Love the ruffles on this sweater!
I love the way this sweater is even cute from behind!

Jeans: Anthropologie, Sweater: Anthropologie, Shirt: Nordstrom, Boots: DSW, Necklace: H&M

March 8th, Layers

 I’ve finally figured out why I’ve been having so much trouble getting dressed lately (actually, a reader made a comment that clued me in.)

I blame it on the weather.

We keep getting little spring teasers (the sun is shining, cherry trees are blooming, not to mention every store in the mall has their entire spring lines on display), yet spend 5 minutes outside and you’ll know it’s still winter in the Northwest. ARGH!

What to do?

Layer!

They add so much warmth and interest to your outfit, don’t you think?

On the right the plain checked shirt with the boring blue jeans is not cute, especially paired with these tennis shoes!

On the left, I’ve replaced the faded jeans with my dark skinny jeans- traded the tennis shoes for the brown boots, unbuttoned my shirt a few buttons and then added this cute cardigan (that I actually have on backwards).

I think it’s a cute, easy outfit for volunteering at school today!

I’m linking with one of my favorite sites today- Melissa from All Things Chic. Be sure to check out the cute red dresses she is showing today. I think I need one…

By adding the layers (tank underneath and cardigan over) I've made a much cuter and warmer outfit!

Shirt: Land’s End, Sweater: Land’s End, Jeans: Anthropologie, Boots: Target

March 4, All About the Footwear

 One of the most common questions I get from readers is ‘don’t your feet get cold in ballet flats?’.

The simple answer is ‘it depends’.

As long as I am going to be indoors most of the day, then my feet are fine in flats. If I’m going to be in and out a lot, then my feet definitely get cold, and I am much happier in my boots.

So, that being said- this outfit was designed around my shoes.

To be honest, most mornings that is how I plan my outfit. I think to myself; ‘What is my plan for today? Where will I be? What am I doing?” and then I go from there.

If I’m going to be on my feet all day- definitely flats, if I’m just going to work and will be sitting at my desk- I’ll wear heels, if it’s cold- boots with socks.

Last winter I wore my black boots almost everyday. This year I’ve been trying to change things up.

The one shoe I am trying to avoid are my ugly Uggs. Yes, they are warm and comfy- and if you ask the moms at the school bus stop- they will tell you that occasionally I will have them on- gasp! It’s early and they are easy to slip on, but as soon as I get home, shower and get dressed I chose a cuter shoe.

Now for my outfit today- on the right I am wearing head to toe blue- which I just said on Friday is a great way for petite gals to look taller- but in this case, it’s too boring and isn’t very flattering.

On the left I’ve switched out the Uggs for my brown boots and traded my blue button down for this cute grey and blue striped turtleneck. To add some style and warmth I’ve thrown on my brown leather jacket. It’s an easy and stylish way to keep warm while running errands.

I know, you don't even have to say it- these jeans are to baggy around the knee.

Shirt: J Crew, Jeans: Nordstrom, Jacket: Marshalls, Boots: DSW

Feb 1st, Work It Wednesday

Today I am participating in Work it Wednesday and showing a pencil skirt worn 3 different ways.

I’ll be totally honest here- when I first became a stay at home mom, I wore sweats every day. It was so easy to just wear comfy, lounge type clothes all day.

However, I’d go to the grocery store or a playgroup and see moms that looked adorable and stylish and I would feel insecure.

That was when I decided I was going to put some effort into my look. I was tired of looking and feeling frumpy.

I felt a bit weird getting dressed up when all I was doing was running errands. But after a while, I started to enjoy creating outfits- and I enjoyed the way I felt put together when I was out and about.

So if you’re stuck in a rut and needing some inspiration, you’ve come to the right place. Hopefully you will find some tips and suggestions on how to update your wardrobe and how to wear your clothes no matter where you are going!

Here are my different outfits using a brown pencil skirt as a base:

I’ve paired it first with a white tank, and then added this pink ruffled cardigan and a belt.

The next look is my favorite. Here I’ve paired the skirt with a crisp white button down layered over a tank and my leopard belt. It’s so simple and so classic and I love it.

Be sure to invest in a good white shirt- this one is wrinkle free fabric from Brooks Brothers, which I love! This is a classic piece that I will wear for years.

Isn’t it interesting to compare how much longer my legs look when the shirt is tucked in (middle picture)  as opposed to with the cardigan (on left). Amazing!

The third look is with a denim shirt and brown braided belt. This is a much more casual version, perfect for someone who doesn’t want to seem too dressy!

So hard to see the detail of this cute skirt in this lighting. Sorry!

Skirt: Nordstrom, Cardigan: J Crew, White Shirt: Brooks Brothers, Denim Shirt: Martin and Osa, Boots: DSW, Leopard Belt: Target, Braided Belt: American Eagle

Jan 13th, Change is Good

 For years this outfit on the right is what I wore everyday- jeans and a solid plain t shirt.  To be honest, I dreaded getting dressed each day.

Besides the fact that this outfit is so boring and shows nothing of my personality, I hated the way my body looked in the not so flattering- plain- t shirt. I always feared a stranger would ask me when my baby was due- even though I wasn’t pregnant.

After years of dressing this way, I finally decided I’d had enough! I needed to find some style.

I started to go through magazines and tear out pictures of outfits I liked. I’d go to the mall, read magazines, or watch TV (Desperate Housewives) to find inspiration (this was all before I discovered the wonderful world of style blogs!).

Then slowly I started to build my wardrobe. I took careful stock of what I owned and what I needed and gradually added items.

This outfit today is a good example of how I’ve changed.  I’ve got on my  black skinny jeans and I’ve paired them with this cute ruffle shirt and then added a long cardigan over. I remember buying this cardigan (Anthropologie in Los Altos) and it seemed expensive at the time. Yet, when I wear it I feel great.

I love the ruffles on both the sweater and the top underneath (I never would have done that before!) and think this is a lot more interesting than a boring old solid t shirt.

Jeans: Gap, Sweater: Anthropologie, Shirt: Ann Taylor Loft, Boots: Target

Dec 23rd, 30 for 30- Day 23

I wore this brown pencil skirt last Friday, but since I was on a plane all day, no one saw me.

I decided to wear it again, but this time I paired it with my denim shirt layered over a tank.

You can barely see it, but I’m wearing this gorgeous bracelet that my sister gave me for my birthday. I absolutely love it- and would wear it every day if I could!

Have a great Christmas Eve Eve… are you done with your shopping?  I’m going to a white elephant party tonight and need a gift. Any suggestions?

I love this bracelet! Thanks Kara!!
The lighting outside is so bad you can't see the pattern in this skirt.

Skirt: Nordstrom, Denim shirt: Martin and Osa, Leather Jacket: Marshalls, Boots: DSW, Bracelet: J Crew

I’ve linked up with Fashion Friday. Be sure to click here for some other cute fashion ideas!

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Dec 19th, 30 for 30- Day 19

This one is for my neighbor, Laurel. She asked me a long time ago if I ever wear any prints besides stripes- and ever since then I’ve been thinking a lot about that. She’s right, I really tend to avoid any other prints. So, in order to expand my horizons a bit- here you go!

I’ve paired this cute printed top with my cream jacket. The bright red color , the cute pattern and the draping of the neckline makes it interesting.

As for my jacket, I’ve said this before, but it is honestly like wearing a sweatshirt. It’s cotton, so very comfy and not restrictive at all!

I’m also wearing this gorgeous mother of pearl necklace that a dear friend made me for my birthday. It adds a nice touch to my otherwise bare neckline.

On bottom I have my skinny jeans and brown boots. A polished  and easy outfit. Now I’m off to see the Chimpmunks movie. UGH!~

Even though I'm just going to the movies today, it is still nice to put a little effort into my look.

Jeans: Madewell, Boots: Target, Top: Macy’s, Jacket: Kohls, Necklace: Gift