A Classy Fall Work Look

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J.Crew Factory Foulard Drapey Tie-Neck Top, Loft Ponte Flippy Skirt, Everlane Modern Loafers in Burgundy, Forever 21 Pearl Barrette

My favorite season is nearly here. If I’m being honest, I probably look forward to summer more than fall. The warm sun is such a nice reprieve from the inevitably long and cold winters we experience in Pittsburgh. But every year without fail, I go crazy for everything fall. The chill in the air cured with a mug of hot cocoa. The plaid blanket scarves. The frightful decorations and smiling pumpkins. I can’t help but look forward to cozy nights spent cuddled under a blanket, with a good book or a spooky movie, and a savory dish baking in the oven.

My style sense is no different this time of year. I reach for what feels comfortable. I was drawn to the silhouette of this skirt because of its flattering, timeless fit and flare. The blouse is one that I know will be in my wardrobe for years to come. The classic pattern will stand the test of time and can be worn just as easily with a pair of jeans. They both pair perfectly with my trusty Everlane Modern Loafers – still one of my best purchases of all time. I make the look feel current with an of-the-moment pearl barrette.

I’m making a real effort this fall to only add pieces to my wardrobe that fit me and my style. When I say that, I mean what actually looks good on my body, but also my personality and daily routine. I’m looking for trusty and reliable, but also elevated pieces. Pinpointing my style has been the hardest part, but it’s becoming clearer, the more I practice. As I get older, I notice that I‘m gravitating more toward to classic, timeless patterns and colors in sophisticated cuts. I’m starting to turn down the trendy pieces made of cheap fabrics more and more in favor of quality staples that will last.

What do you prefer? Trendy pieces or classics? What are you most excited to add to your fall wardrobe this year?

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Floral Patchwork Wrap Blouse

 Anthropologie Floral Patchwork Wrap Blouse / Articles of Society Jeans / Jack Rogers Sandals 

This top is so me. It’s quirky, it’s undecided, it’s beautiful, it has many layers. And yet it works. It’s like organized chaos. I’m all about it. Somehow every pattern and every color is boldly on display at the same time. There’s a balance to the crazy that I’m obsessed with. It’s outfits like these that make me feel like I get to wear what’s on the inside: a patchwork of experiences that all somehow fit together to make this random but beautiful life. Also, I’m claiming this as my Mamma Mia shirt! It’s the type of shirt you can stuff in a suitcase and wear anywhere yet look confidently cool and at home. What outfit defines you?

On Gratitude

Details: $7 Thrifted Limited Dress (Similar), Nordstrom Hinge Ankle Boots, Loft Necklace (Similar), Target Tights (Similar)
On Thanksgiving, I’ll be wearing this $7 striped dress from Goodwill. Cute, right? I found it while hunting for our Halloween costumes, and I knew it would be the perfect little special occasion dress and elevate-the-every-day work dress. We took these pictures at Squire’s Castle, one of my favorite parks in Cleveland. It’s this dress that inspired what I wanted to write about it when it came to my feelings on gratitude this year.

I realize this is just a dress, but it and other things I’ve thrifted or repurposed over the years holds a lot of meaning for me. It represents a resourcefulness that I’ve discovered in myself to take what life has given me and make the most of it. I can’t afford my dream wardrobe. Well, truthfully I probably can, but if I spent my money on that I would have nothing left in my savings account. And, my dream wardrobe has far too many dresses, fussy heels, and sequins for my actual day-to-day life. That’s why it’s called a “dream wardrobe.” Something to aspire to that inspires my actual wardrobe and occasionally leads me to ask for gold sequin pants for Christmas that I’ll only wear once a year. We all have one or two items like that in our wardrobe, right?

Just like any idealized version of reality, dreams of achieving perfection can sometimes cause us to be envious of others who we believe have achieved this sort of state of nirvana, and worst of all, it can cause us to stop being grateful for what we DO have. But the reality of the situation is that what we do have is so much better than a dream. A dream can be something that inspires you to take a leap of faith and elevate the every day, which is amazingly helpful when you need motivation. But sometimes I think we can forget that a dream is only a dream. As inspirational as it can be, it can also be fake, shallow, and two dimensional. And truthfully, reality is so much more satisfying. Because of it’s twists and turns, reality challenges you to take what DO have and make it interesting, different, fun, quirky, and uniquely you.
That is why I love writing a style blog so much. It doesn’t have to be about buying certain brands so that I can fit into a particular mold and get more followers. It’s taking the clothes I do have and styling them in a different way. It’s walking into a thrift store not knowing what I’ll walk out with. It’s taking something old and making it new again. It’s realizing that what you have already is exactly what you needed in the first place.

I’ve been listening to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Magic Lessons podcast lately, and I would highly recommend it if you are a creative soul or if you just need a nice, encouraging person to listen to. In an episode where she interviews comedian John Hodgman, he talks about how he feels when embarking on new creative endeavors. Instead of feeling fear or anxiety to try something he’s never done before, he described feeling grateful for the opportunity to be creative. I loved hearing that sentiment because it is something I relate to, and I don’t think that philosophy has to stop there. I would like to extend the idea of being grateful for the chance to be creative to my everyday life. Instead of getting frustrated that something isn’t going the way I planned, I would like to tackle the unplanned with a little creativity and be grateful for the chance to do so.

After a year that was challenging in different ways — from the political to the personal — I am grateful that with a little creativity and vision, you can make the most out of what you have, and sometimes, it can be better than what you dreamed. I think this can easily be true of wardrobes. And with a little bit of effort, I think you can make it true in your life as well. 

Fall Ankle Boots

Like any true romantic, fall makes me reach for dark, floral patterns and feminine details. To balance out that vibe, I occasionally drift toward something a little more rugged like these Hinge ankle boots from Nordstrom. The side slit had me at hello and is a great update to a classic boot. They look great with jeans or bare ankles. Since the weather has only just started to feel like fall, I took advantage of the opportunity to wear these boots with bare legs. And when I can top off a look with my floppy hat, I am pretty much in own personal fall heaven. I wore this outfit (sans hat) to my sorority’s alumnae association founder’s day celebration. It was equal parts comfy and cool-girl dressy for a relaxed yet special occasion fall brunch.

Details:
Hinge Angle Boots via Nordstrom (Currently 33%Off)
Last Year’s Billabong Dress via Nordstrom (Similar)
Last Year’s Hat via Pavement (Similar)
Charming Charlie Necklace (Similar)
Kate Spade Purse (Similar)
Old Rayban Wayfarers (Similar)

Fall Hat and Olive Tunic

 Details: Jane Dress (Similar) / Pavement Hat / Old Navy Boots / H&M Necklace 

Hello all! I hope you had a wonderful and very filling Thanksgiving. Mine was especially relaxing this year so I’m thankful for that. And the food was ah-mah-zing. I think my favorite dish this year was my sister’s cheesy potatoes. I had to keep going back for more. I actually wore this dress for Thanksgiving, but styled it here for work with this asymmetrical cardigan to stay warm while in the office. I also didn’t wear the hat to work, but wore it for Thanksgiving so posed with it here.

I got the dress on a website called Jane.com. They feature daily deals from various boutiques and the prices are really good. This particular dress isn’t available anymore, but they have many more cute dresses. They carry a variety of on-trend clothes, accessories, home decor and products for babies and kids. I am definitely going to shop from them again, especially when I am looking for a specific trend, but don’t want to spend too much. What sites do you shop on? Did you score any great Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals?

First Lady Copy Cat

I saw some pictures the other day of Mobama wearing a dress with this exact same print. I purchased my skirt at a consignment shop (originally from Target). I was happy to see we share the same excellent taste. Either that or Michele is reading my blog for style tips. I am going to go with that option. Just to see how it feels for a few moments.

This skirt and jacket were two of my best finds from my local consignment shop, which is closing (insert sad face). The skirt was a little big, but I fell in love with the print so I took it to my tailor to have it taken in. I love the results!

Tulle jacket via Avalon
Target turtleneck
Target skirt via Avalon
Franco Sarto Boots via Nordstrom
J.Crew necklace

Spring layering

Gap sweater / Target button down / J.Crew Outlet skirt / Hue tights / Ann Taylor vintage thrifted shoes / J.Crew necklace / Michael Kors watch / Ray Ban wayfarers
Spring wouldn’t be spring without its feeble weather. The forecast for the week is calling for highs in the 50s and 60s. As sad as that makes me, I was happy to get another stab at some of my winter favorites. After all, I love my cable knit sweaters just as much as my flowy skirts and dresses. Pairing a bright skirt for spring with a chunky sweater is just what today called for. This is what I like to call transitional dressing, folks. It’s the art of mixing clothes of different seasons for a refreshing take on your wardrobe and something to help pass the days until you are running barefoot in the grass through the sprinkler. Here’s to one last run at sweater season. You were good while you lasted. Also, here’s to Mad Men being back! Cheers to that!