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Mixing and re-purposing clothing

6 Jun

Well the 31×31 Mission: Put Together challenge is over. There are a few items I wore to death during May and don’t want to see again for a good long while – I’m happy to have my full closet to wear again. Overall, though, it was a fun challenge and I am very happy with some of the new clothing combinations I came up with. I never would have put some of these things together normally! I also tried a bunch of new hairstyles in an effort to get some variety going, which I’ve continued.

My favorite new outfits included:

Day 15

This skirt/dress combo I wrote about two weeks ago

Day 11

This pattern-mixing, belted-cardigan, so-much-going-on outfit! It’s not noticeable in the picture, but this white cardigan has a beige pattern on it. I never would have thought to pair it with my leopard print tank top. It made me feel a little daring while still not being too out there.

Day 3

Blue striped scarf on blue striped dress. When it SNOWED IN MAY, a couple days into the challenge I didn’t have a lot of options as far as warmth went. I never would have worn a patterned scarf with this striped dress, especially one that also had stripes, but I think it really worked.

I’ve just now noticed all of my favorite outfits included that same belt. I only wore it 5 days out of the 31, but man do I love that thing!


I made a new dress!

23 May

Ok, so I sort of made a new dress.

I’m doing the 31×31 challenge associated with May’s Mission: Put Together so I only have 31 items of clothing (including shoes and accessories!) to wear for the month. By last week I was getting sick of my options. One of the things I picked was a long-ish brown skirt:

Day 7

I was brainstorming ways to make it look different – tuck a shirt in? wear the skirt high so it’s shorter? – but didn’t have a lot of options with the other items in my 31×31 closet. I saw my favorite red dress hanging there, though, and had an idea:

Day 15

The brown skirt is full enough it looks fine (great, even!) with the extra fabric of the dress underneath. I love this colorblock look so much I think I prefer it to either item on it’s own!

Have you ever had a style brainstorm and came up with a non-traditional way to wear something?

Ideas for wearing button-down shirts

16 May

I’ve been participating in RA’s Mission: Put Together (M:PT) and last week I asked everyone in the pool what else I could do with button-down shirts. I almost always wear them unbuttoned with a neutral tank top underneath, but that gets pretty boring. I’ve been trying some new things through the M:PT challenge, including being brave enough to wear it completely buttoned. It sounds like it shouldn’t take bravery to do that, but I’ve always been just a little too busty to fit the proportions of button-down shirts and no one likes to see gapping!

Day 6

This top is cut pretty well for me, though, and I was pleased with how it worked! Can you believe this is the first time I’ve ever worn it buttoned?

I also tried it over a definitely not neutral top another day:

Day 13

What do you think? Do you have any other ideas for ways I can wear it? (Thanks to RA for the suggestion of rolling the sleeves!)

How would you wear this shirt?

11 Apr

Last year I ordered a bunch of stuff from Eddie Bauer and decided to peruse the clearance section before checking out. I liked the look of this Cotton Lawn Tunic, but it wasn’t available in my size. They had the next size up and it was only $3, so I threw it in the cart. Since it’s one size too large and a flowy tunic, I knew I wouldn’t be able to wear it as-is but figured a belt might make it wearable. (My solution to everything is to add a belt.)

For reference, here is the shirt without a belt:


Not very flattering. I usually wear it with a wide black stretchy belt, like so:


I’m not sure about the color, though. In person, especially, the black is too much. This shirt seems like it would go better with brown or another color in the “natural” family. It definitely needs a wide belt, though, and I don’t have any wide brown belts.

Do you have any suggestions for how I should wear this shirt? Does the black belt look OK? Should I accept the shirt just isn’t going to work and eat the three dollars?

Stomach minimizing swimsuits

28 Mar

Now that spring looks to be finally here (*crossing fingers*), I’m digging out last year’s clothes and figuring out what to buy. I bought my current swimsuit for our five-year anniversary trip to Las Vegas last May. I can’t find it for sale anywhere currently, but here’s a picture. Jantzen apparently changes their collection each year and you wouldn’t want to be caught wearing last year’s fashion, would you?

Jantzen Women's Pretty Pin Dot Tank, Red

Jantzen Women’s Pretty Pin Dot Tank, Red


I love it and I think I look good in it, but it’s a little va-va-voom for family outings. It looks just fine on the model, but when I put it on it’s cleavage city. Perfect for an anniversary (and Vegas!) but not so much when we’re with my parents.

The always stylish K recommended this swimsuit from Target as flattering and stomach minimizing, so I went to check it out.

ASSETS® by Sara Blakely® Women's Halter Swim Dress - Black

ASSETS® by Sara Blakely® Women’s Halter Swim Dress – Black


Thanks to my large thighs, though, the skirt portion on this particular suit rode up too much and ended up being sort of a belly ruffle, which…no. I tried on a few others and of course, the one that looked the best on me?

ASSETS® by Sara Blakely® Women's Push Up 1-Piece Swimsuit - Black

ASSETS® by Sara Blakely® Women’s Push Up 1-Piece Swimsuit – Black


Has the phrase “push up” right in the name. It isn’t as eye-catching as the red polka dot suit so maybe I can get away with a little push up, though? It looked so good I think I have to have it.

All three of these suits are quite flattering and if you’re looking for something to hide some extra padding around the middle I highly recommend looking at these brands.

Fake bling

14 Mar

(Do we still say bling? Did we ever? Or do people hate that word?)

I was going though boxes in our basement the other day and came across my stash of fake engagement rings. When I was in college I decided on a whim to buy myself some very pretty fake jewelry.

Actually, if you must know, I spent an embarrassing about of time tooling around eBay in those days, stumbled upon the fake-jewels selection, and suddenly had to have some. And although I looked at all sorts of colors, I like diamonds. Even if they’re not real. I talked myself into them thinking surely they didn’t look TOO much like engagement rings and I’d of course be able to wear them whenever I wanted.

However, when they arrived the screamed either “wow, that ring her finace bought is incredibly fake” OR “that is some SERIOUS ring there, her finace must be rich!” Either way, the word finace was involved and I knew I couldn’t wear them out of my dorm room. Ever. But I’d put them on and wear them when I was alone because pretty things make me happy. I did not pretend to be married (or engaged), I just pretended to own a fabulously expensive ring. It was lovely.

This ring right here, or rather, one exactly like it, was my favorite:


And hey! You can have one just like it if you’re in the market for a fake diamond. I checked out good ol’ eBay last night and there are still all the fake engagement rings you could desire. The one pictured is on sale for $10.80! (See, I told you they were cheap.)

Have you ever had an unfortunate style match?

28 Feb

Soon after I posted about how much I love Modcloth headbands, Taylor Swift went on an extremely-photographed date with Conor Kennedy (old news, I know!) wearing the exact headband I said I liked best. Except the way she wore it…wasn’t the greatest.

I have no idea what happened to the pictures in that old post (they disappeared!), but here is the one I’m talking about:

Profile - Copy

Polka dots!

It also happens to be my profile pic everywhere – blog, Facebook, etc. – so I didn’t enjoy this pic:


What do you think? Did she steal my style? Do I win ‘who wore it best?’ or do you think I need to take a few pointers from Taylor? (and/or ditch the headbands!)

Valentine’s Day Accessories

14 Feb

I enjoyed reading everyone’s responses to last week’s SAO Says question – Do you wear a Valentine-y outfit on Valentines Day?

Given that today is already Valentine’s Day, I suppose it’s too late for shopping advice. But I decided to do some window shopping for accessories I think would add a subtle but cute Valentine’s note to my outfit.

I’m a much bigger fan of red than pink and I think something like this looks ‘special occasion’ yet not tacky Valentine-y.


Plus it’s on sale! Only $787.50. What a steal!
(Image from Bloomingdales)

This one is pink and maybe a little too Valentine-y, but I love it.


Image from J Crew

And, finally, from the I could actually afford this section, this adorable fuchsia scarf from Old Navy:

Image from Old Navy

Image from Old Navy

Did you end up wearing anything Valentine’s-inspired today?

Do you LOVE your clothes?

31 Jan

I’m working on cleaning out my closet…and dresser…and random tub full of more clothes. If I ask for advice on what to get rid of, I get a lot of “only keep things you love!” A good idea, especially if you have so many clothes you should probably only keep a quarter of them, but my whims change pretty often and I don’t really have clothes I consistently love. I can think of several outfits I love right now, but I don’t know that I still will at this time next year. Also, as much as I’d love to wear them every day, I think a rotation of three outfits would get old pretty fast.

I don’t want to go shopping and building an entire wardrobe of only things I love sounds really expensive. I’m perfectly happy with my wardrobe of things I “like some days” instead of L.O.V.E. But…that’s almost everything. How do you clean out your closet? What do you keep?


Here’s the stuff that was easy to get rid of on the first pass. 35 items and it barely made a dent!

Beyond Victoria’s Secret

17 Jan


I’m not always the most perceptive, but I have noticed that once you’re past a certain age (and I’m talking 25 here, maybe 30) you’re supposed to be too classy for Victoria’s Secret. Certainly as far as bras go, you’re theoretically supposed to be looking for higher quality in both the fitting process and product. Is this right? I mean, my current bras come from Motherhood Maternity and have clips for nursing, so clearly I’m not one to talk. My underwear also may be from a certain low-budget maternity store and, no, I have not been pregnant for 18 months now. (They’re comfortable, okay?)

Honestly, being as I’ve always believed no one should ever have words on their behind, I was never much of a Victoria’s Secret shopper. Still, with no Nordstroms nearby to go to for a bra fitting (sob), can you help a lady out? Where should I go?

(photo credit: Victoria’s Secret. All of the Nordstrom ones had actual ladies in the bra and I didn’t feel like hitting you with that unexpectedly.)