Wednesday, September 30, 2015

outfit post: green portofino shirt, floral pencil skirt, grey pointed toe pumps

Inspiration - Kelly Ripa

Happy hump day! Wordless Wednesday. :)

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

outfit post: boucle jacket, white pleated keyhole blouse, black dress pants

Inspiration - Princess Queen Letizia of Spain

Playing around on the Pinterest and found a fantastic board of Princess Letizia of Spain's sartorial fabulousness. She has amazing professional Princess style. 

(Previous outfits with this jacket.)

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Monday, September 28, 2015

outfit post: fall 7x7 (7 pieces = 7 outfits)


Hee hee I've secretly been doing the start of a 7x7 over the past week! All the outfits on the bottom row (minus the jean jacket one) have been regular blog posts. (Muwahahaha so sneaky.)

The idea of this post is to show 7 outfits created from 7 pieces (not counting shoes/accessories this time) to help me to stretch my brain for different & new ways to wear a few items. Below you'll find my 7 clothing pieces with affiliate shopping links and the 7 outfits I put together.

(I originally got the idea from Audrey at Putting Me Together - one of my most favoritist blogs ever - who has hosted fun 7x7 remix challenges in the past.)

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Saturday, September 26, 2015

outfit post: burgundy shift dress, teal boyfriend cardigan, nude cutout flats

Inspiration - Lauren Conrad

Jewel tone colors + lightweight fabrics = Florida fall. Happy weekend y'all. :)

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

outfit post: reader shopping questions

 
Do you have a favorite source for clothes? Like do you always buy cardigans at Old Navy or work shirts at Banana? 

I don't have a real set method to my shopping for particular items at particular places. I live in a relatively small town so we're limited to pretty generic widespread stores like Banana, Ann Taylor, Loft, Target, Old Navy & TJ Maxx. When I travel to big cities - I try to pop into H&Ms or J.Crews or outlet malls. And thanks to the internet – more and more things are available online. But I like to try things on so I’d say I shop in person a bit more then online.

When I'm putting together the 'similar' affiliate links for the blog I use www.shopstyle.com to search for specific items I want to find that is similar to what I'm wearing. I like the site a lot because you can type in search terms ("sheath dress") and then use the filters (I use price & color a lot - "blue sheath dress under $100") to narrow down the results from a gazillion stores. It's a great way to figure out where to look for a particular item at a particular price point. (My inner computer nerd LOVES an organized database!) 

And recently I've started to use the ShopStyle App on my phone... a lot. I'll look up fun dresses or cool boots when I'm just goofing around on my phone. And extra bonus fun feature - just hit "Sale Alert" button and it will email me when the item I was looking at go on sale! It's fun and helpful and a little dangerous to my bank account.

Anyhoo I use the app a lot. If you want to download it - you can find it here:
http://bit.ly/1MLXecb 
(I get a bonus if you download the app from my link.)




How do you decide what to buy?

The way I organize my outfit inspiration photos is to dump them in seasonal Pinterest folders. Basically fall/winter & spring/summer. Any outfit photo that contains colors, shapes, ideas or similar items to those that I already own and is even remotely possible to use for outfit inspiration get saved. Oftentimes I find super cute outfits that I would love to recreate but unfortunately I don't own anything slightly similar. Those pictures get saved in a "shopping ideas" folder.

Over time I will notice trends to the items in the shopping folder - pieces of clothing that I can see being used in a lot of different ways and owning them would add some specific dimension currently missing from my wardrobe. Those items with both multiple pins & multiple uses get added to my short list of things I keep my eye out for when I'm shopping.



When you are shopping how do you decide if you should purchase something?

When I go shopping I have my mental list of items I'm interested in finding. When I come across one of the items, or a cool new find I hadn't considered, I always try them on. I try to be super good about only only purchasing things that I really really love. Things that I get excited about when I try them on. Excited being when you do that little happy dance/twirl/pose in the mirror when you see yourself. Or when you like it even more then what you're wearing at the moment and wish you could change into it for the rest of your shopping day. Excited not being a discussion with yourself welllll mayyyybeee if I lose 5 lbs/stand up straight/try it on at home it might be okay. If you're talking yourself into it for any reason - pass.

When I'm doing a good job at only buying pieces I love, then I don't end up returning very many things. (I haaate returning things. I just don't often have time to go to stores twice in the return period.) But every so often I will realize something doesn't work and I will take it back. But that's a pretty infrequent occurrence. Less then once a year?

As far as factoring price into those happy-dance items - I'll pay a little more for things that I know I'll wear more often (jeans, blouses I really love) and things that should look nicer for big events at work (suits). But as a really rough estimate if something is worth the price - I calculate $1-2 per wear for normal clothes and $5-10 a wear for special occasions. So if I really like a $12 shirt at Target it'd be worth buying if I'd wear it 6-12 times (and if I'm at F21 - will it survive 6-12 washes!)... and likewise I could justify buying a nicer dress for $50 if I'd wear it to 5-10 special events... It's not a hard and fast rule - if I reeeeally love something I might just ignore it - but as an estimate tool, to figure out if something costs too much, it gives me a good starting place to make the decision...


Do you buy lots of clothes to wear for this blog?

I often get asked if I buy clothes in order to post them to the blog. And the answer to that is I definitely do not. I don't buy anything specifically for the blog or any particular post. The great majority of the time I am working with clothes I already own and are already in my closet to put together outfits that end up here. And any new things that I buy are always things that are for my real life – which may get posted to the blog - but never purchased just for the blog.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

outfit post: floral sleeveless shift dress, teal cardigan, ankle boots

Inspiration - Kate Bosworth

Wore this outfit touristing around Boston with my sister (except swapped in sandals because it was surprisingly warm). This is the second dress (first here) I recently picked up at Old Navy. Love that it's a shift style because it's very forgiving around the mid-section. Good to accommodate all the lobster rolls I inhaled over the weekend!

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

outfit post: cream boyfriend cardian, bootcut jeans, nude cutout flats

Inspiration - Minka Kelly

Holy crap am I tired. I flew to Boston after work on Friday with Skylar to visit my little sister for the weekend. On the way up we had almost four hours of delays at our layover and didn't arrive at my sister's until after 1 am. And then on the way home Sunday it was a similar situation of ridiculous delays. We left Boston at 3 PM we didn't make it back home until 2:30 AM Monday. That's a long time for a 7 month old to travel. (That's a long time for a 34 year old to travel too!)

Skylar couldn't have been a better travel companion. She was great - sleeping on flights, playing on the airport floor during delays and giving huge gummy grins at other grumpy delayed passengers despite being a million hours past her bedtime. I was doing pretty good with the exhaustion myself but came very close to losing it when we arrived at our tiny home airport and two more delays happened:
  1. While everyone  from our tiny plane was waiting on baggage claim - I took Skylar to the bathroom to change her diaper. We came back out no more then 2 minutes later and all passengers and ALL the bags were gone. I had to wander around our completely desolate airport at 2 in the morning for another 20 minutes to find an airline employee to take their slow time to come unlock some random closet that they threw my "unclaimed" bag into. 
  2. Get Skylar and reclaimed bag into the car and go to pull out of the parking lot. Hand parking attendant my ticket and credit card. Little old lady says $91.00 and immediately swipes my card. Wait what? Two nights of parking in a small town airport long term parking costs how much? But then grumpy old lady says - oh my mistake - thought it was TWO WEEKS not two days! But then can't figure out how to cancel my credit card transaction. I sit for another 15 minutes while she tried repeated to cancel the transaction and then finally tries to tell me shes going to charge me another $20 for the right amount and to come back tomorrow to cancel the $91. Um no. Dying of tiredness. Finally just take the receipt and realize I will have to deal with it later or see the sunrise in this parking lot. No fun.
But - on a happier and less tired note - had a super wonderful time visiting my sister. She, despite just moving to Boston a few months ago, gave us a great tour of the city. We walked and ate and cuddled with Skylar. Despite the bumpy travel - the weekend was fantastic.

Then it was back to work on Monday very late and totally dead. Comfy clothes were necessary. (Um - this crepe tank is maternity - really need to replace it with a non-maternity less-see-through version...)

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And because I love pictures of her cute little face - here's Miss Skylar sitting on the sidewalk of picturesque Acorn Street in Beacon Hill. :)

Monday, September 21, 2015

outfit post: survey results

Back in January I put up a survey asking a bunch of questions about what you thought about how I do things around this little blogville, how they could be improved and for you to tell me a little bit about yourselves. You guys were super wonderful and helpful and almost 3,000 of you took the time to respond!! Whoa. That is so amazing and flattering. And while it has taken me six months to really analyze the results - I've finally made my way through them and hope to incorporate what I've found as much as possible in the months!

Without further ado here is some of the feedback you guys gave:

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ALL ABOUT YOU 
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Looks like Pinterest was the big winner for how you guys have found my blog amid the whole wide world that is the internet. Over 60% of you stumbled upon my site that way!

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It's awesome to find out that almost 75% of you read here multiple times a week up to everyday! Glad you find it fun enough to come back so often!!

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Seems like a pretty even distribution of ages between 20s and 50s. With highest group the same age as me - their 30s. 

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This one surprised me a little bit. I thought that in general lots and lots of bloggers read blogs. So I thought that it would be a bigger percentage of other bloggers as readers. But turns out 85% of you don't have a blog yourself. Very interesting! :)


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DOING WELL & IMPROVEMENT
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I loved hearing why you guys find it worth your time to come back to the site. And it was great to know that you do so for a variety of reasons from looking at pictures, to getting ideas for get dressed or helping you pack. It was also so great to get feedback some of your favorite things about the blog:
  • "Relatable -- you wear real clothes from normal stores and attend a regular office job"
  • "Great variety of inspiring work outfits!"
  • "I appreciate the budget-friendly majority of your pieces! Makes me feel confident that it doesn't have to be all $$$ all the time!"
  • "Your professional look. You incorporate sensible trends and affordable pieces. You aren't trying too hard to be "Fashionable" with a capital F!"
  • "The packing inspiration I receive from your posts! I was able to go on a 10 day cruise with the hubby and only pack a carry-on! He was impressed! :)"
  • "You wear the same brands I do and have the same style I do so I get tons of ideas about how to wear my clothing. I love seeing one piece multiple ways. It makes my wardrobe stretch further and opens up so many possibilities."
  • "My job is pretty similar to yours, so it is extremely helpful to see how you creatively put pieces together. Your style isn't too wild--it's very classic--and I like that." 
  • "I love that your outfits give me ideas for what to wear that I wouldn't have thought to put together myself! (I'm a fashion dummy...)" 
  • "Outfits are easy to put together. I can duplicate without having to purchase all new clothes for one outfit. I feel like you live in the same 'world' I do. So often fashion/outfit blogs leave me feeling overwhelmed and hopeless. I have a very limited clothing budget but with Outfit Posts I leave feeling encouraged...I can totally make an outfit happen with what I already have! And for that I say "Thank-You"" 
  • "I love the relational database/cross-referencing- flipcard view, being able to look at your monthly/annual summaries and looking at how you've worn any one piece multiple ways is fascinating. This is a very clever format that other fashion blogs don't have. Go programmer girl!"

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My missing head just beat out my too long pants for the most annoying thing about my blog. A few (of many!) reasons given for not liking the fact I crop my head:
  • "You blog is too impersonal without showing your head."
  • "I wish you showed your head because I would love to see makeup/hair/earring inspirations to go with your outfits."
  • "I think hair/makeup really completes an outfit so your missing head drives me crazy!"
  • "Your too long pants. Dragging your hem on the ground is pretty unsanitary IMHO."
  • "The head cropping of photos. It inhibits seeing overall proportions and color choice. Is there a way to maintain your anonymity and give a whole picture?"
  • "I would love to see your face (not in a stalker way of course!)"
  • "Cropped head. You can't be THAT ugly!"
While on the other hand some of you commented you like that I crop out my head because:
  • "I don't mind your missing head. I can more easily picture myself in the outfit."
  • "I understand not including your head in the interest of your privacy!" 
  • "I kind of like the cropped head photos, it makes you really focus on the outfits!"

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Majority of you like the types of posts I typically include. The winner of least liked type is the One Suitcase posts. I think it's really useful for me to hear what your least favorite thing on the blog are so I know how to focus my energy on stuff you like:
  • "Suitcase posts. Just because they don't work for me personally, I don't travel much."
  • "Seems like the outfits are getting pretty plain. Maybe do more accessories. Don't get me wrong, I'm a solids kind of girl, but I want to know how to spice them up a bit more."
  • "I also sometimes think you could do so much better than the literal translation of outfits. Kinda boring because even I can take a magazine outfit pic and copy it for my own outfit piece by piece."
This kind of feedback is so interesting because if I were just looking at my Pinterest stats -- the One Suitcase posts are the pins that bring the most people to the blog in the first place! :)

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You guys seemed pretty evenly split between the types of posts I currently do. Which is great - it means lots of you are enjoying all the different ones. A few suggestion you gave me of things you'd like to see more of that I already do:
  • "More celebrity inspired posts." 
  • "Date night/girls night outfits."
  • "More cold weather clothing. I know you live in Florida but maybe you could occasionally do a post showing what you would wear somewhere colder?"
  • "Maybe try more wildcards in your wardrobe that stretch your style." 
  • "More information around how do you decide on your daily outfit?"
  • "I would like to see more casual outfits.  Since I stay at home, most if the work post don't really apply."
  • "I live up north (way north from you!) and would appreciate a few more colder (my cold) weather options, maybe with a coat option! I wish I could wear dresses in the winter, but that just isn't that possible!" 
  • "Would like to see more ways to use a suit.... Together, broken up with other items, etc."
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Shopping suggestions, budgeting posts and tutorials were the three biggies in things you'd be interested in seeing from the list I provided.  The other bonus on this question was feedback you gave me for things you'd like to see beyond the choices I gave - you guys had a TON of great suggestions! Here are just a few of the ideas you guys gave:
  • One theme was incorporating trends:
    • "Posts that focus on a certain fashion trend of the season and ways to mix and match with it (example: have a week where you post outfits that are inspired by or use a fashion trend of the current season…this will help me as I try to choose outfits that go with the season.)"
    • "Using trendy pieces with basics"
    • "How to add trendy pieces in a professional way."
  •  Another theme one was what to wear to holidays/events:
    • "One topic I would like to see is work and casual outfit ideas for the holidays."
    • "Maybe holiday/party style?"
    • "Events-what to wear to...(weddings, parties, office events etc.)"
    • "Special occasion outfits (wedding guest)"
    • "Maybe specific occasion posts? Wedding attire (as a guest) ideas, Christmas Party dress ideas, etc"
  •  A third theme was cold weather clothing:
    • How to dress in cold weather...like negative temperature cold weather.
    • Cold weather clothing
    • How to wear scarfs
  • More in depth work outfit info:
    • "Suggestions on building a work wardrobe"
    • "Work outfits for specific events at work (meetings, presentations, lunch with your boss, holiday parties etc.)"
    • "How to dress for more casual work outfits/casual friday"
    • "Difference between Work Outfits and Casual Outfits for dummies"
  •  Hard to share all the suggestions you gave but here is a grab bag of a few other interesting ones:
    • "Remixing, shopping your closet first, cleaning out closet - how do you decide what goes?"
    • "Tips on accessorizing."
    • "Day-to-Evening change-ups."
    • "Maybe do a color series? If you have red pants, five different ways to wear them sort if thing."
    • "I'd be curious what you budget is (not to pry), if you have one/how do you decide what to spend money on"
    • "As mentioned above, I would love more budgeting posts, how often you shop, what you buy and how good about recycling things from your collection (like wearing an item for a year or two)"
    • "Favorite places to shop/go to locations for clothing"
    • "Let readers send in a photo of an item they are having difficulty styling....you help show how to style. for example, I have a black/grey striped skirt from Old Navy...only seem to wear it with black shirt."
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OTHER BLOGS
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And finally - I asked what other blogs you guys enjoy - here's a list of the top ten "Other Favorite Blogs" you guys listed. With only a few exceptions it was basically a list of what I read too! Great choices! :)

Saturday, September 19, 2015

outfit post: september shopping wishlist

Here's some random things I've been eyeing lately:

Flannel Shirt - While we don't really get full blown winter here in Florida - starting late October we do get what most of you would call "late fall" for the next few months. So my Florida fall/winter uniform usually consists of jeans, a comfy flannel shirt and some flats. Because my chest is still a few sizes bigger from nursing I need to pick up a shirt or two to tide me over this year so I don't burst a button on the too small shirts I currently have in my closet.
Trench Coat - I have had a navy Banana Republic trench four about 15 years that has been around the world with me. It has endured countless planes, trains and automobiles and done pretty well holding up. But now the interior pockets have disintegrated, some of the seams are starting to go and I lost the belt a few years back. I'm ready for a new one. Here are a few (not ridiculously priced) ones that I'm considering -
Booties - I have one pair of booties that I love but they are super casual cowboy-esque with buckles and slouchiness. Now I want to add a second pair that are slightly more sophisticated.

Black Work Dress - I was in Starbucks this week and saw a girl come in wearing a black dress, cream cardigan, simple necklace and ballet flats. She looked so professional and so cute. It made me realize I don't have a work LBD. I want something simple and flattering. A dress that I can wear on repeat any time the, "I don't have anything to wear" feeling strikes.

Beige/Tan Blazer - On the topic of work upgrades, I currently have three work blazers - black, navy and grey. I'd like to add a Beige/Tan color into the mix. I think it's a color that, when paired with the right tops, can be worn year round. (All of these blazers pictured have tan options - but for some reason that color isn't necessary what is showing in the widget...)

Friday, September 18, 2015

outfit post: burgundy printed shift dress, ankle boots, gold coin pendant necklace

Inspiration - Old Navy

It feels like it's been months and months that I've been seeing squeeeeeit'sfallyouguys messaging in stores and in magazines and on blogs. But here in good ole Florida it's been hotter than <substitute your favorite southern expression for death heat - billie goats in pepper patches comes to mind> and impossible to consider wearing anything resembling fall or layers or boots. But, then, we had a single  lovely miracle day this week with highs near 70 and lows in the fantastic 60s. So I took the opportunity to wear my new lightweight shift dress from Old Navy with my favorite ankle boots. (Of course the next day the temperature was back to 95+.) But that one day was lovely. :)

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