Clothed with Grace: September 2013

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What Shopping Has Taught Me: Size Doesn't Matter, fit does.

I thought it would be fun to do a little mini-series this week about tips I've learned shopping.  Today's tip is size doesn't matter, fit does. What you are looking at today my first maxi dress.  That's right, folk, my first one.  I don't know if it's the fact that I'm short or what, but I think I've always had in my head that I just won't find one that is the right length.  Also, I am way to clumsy to hold a dress all day that is too long when I walk.  I actually tried this dress on this summer at Loft in a medium and hated it, it was too big, too long, and it just looked awful.  Do you think it occurred to me to try another size?  Nope, I just thought it was me.  About a week later one of my most stylish friends was sporting this dress at a BBQ and she look amazing.  Sigh.

Anyway, I was in Loft recently and this dress was now on sale, I decided to try a small on and what do you know? Perfection.  Perfect length, fit, etc. Now I also want this one and this skirt too. So cute.  Moral of the story,  try two sizes before deciding the item is a yes or no.  I tend to do that with tops, but now I'm realizing I need do do that with everything. My tip is to hold the top, dress, or pants up in the size you think will fit.  If it looks fuller, try a smaller size too.  If it looks narrow, try a size up too. Everything is cut differently and stores vary in size.  Although I have a lot of size small tops from Loft, if I tried a small at Old Navy, it would probably be way to small.  No one sees the size but you, what others do see is the way your clothing fits, and that's definitely what counts.

Denim Jacket: The Limited similar /Limited Coupon
Dress: Loft $26 same /Loft Coupons
Necklace: Stella and Dot same /Stella and Dot Coupons
Bracelets:  Chimera, Moxie , Renegade Stella and Dot
Shoes: Target $30 same /Target Coupons

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

How to Pattern Mix

Recently I had a friend ask me about pattern mixing and how to do it.  I thought it would be fun to plan a post around that topic. I think a lot of it can be trial and error, but here are some examples of how I think pattern mixing works well:

First up is pattern mixing with plaids.  Below are two great examples. One is with polka dots, I did a similar combo here and can't wait for it to cool down so I can wear this combo again! I think the key to pattern mixing with plaid is to coordinate colors.  On the left the black and white polka dot coordinated with the subtle black and white in the plaid underneath.  The same thing applies to the second picture the blue plaid underneath coordinates with the blue and red striped sweater on top.  

Next up is one of my favorite ways to pattern mix: stripes and florals.  Love this! Just like I said above, I think coordinating colors is key, but I think the size of the pattern really helps make this combo successful.  In both of these cases the stripes and floral are smaller sized which really help the pieces to mix well and feel like the combo is meant to be, and not like you got dressed in the the dark. Here's one way I mixed stripes and florals.

Next up is pattern mixing with polka dots and stripes; I also love this combo.  This combo can tend to look messy if you're not careful, and definitely works best when you coordinate colors and pattern size.  Keep this combo simple and classic.  The examples below do just that: the example on the left adds a great navy blazer to finish off the look, and the example on the right finishes the look off with a simple red belt and classic flats.  The last think you want is to look like you're in the circus and this combo can do just that if you try to over style the outfit.

My last tip for you is to start small, then go bold.  I think a scarf is a great way to try out pattern mixing for the first time; it's a small addition but it can make the perfect impact.  I love the example on the left of mixing stripes and florals.  Most ladies probably have these two pieces in their closet, and if you're wanting to give pattern mixing a try, this is a great place to start.  Now to the picture on the right: I LOVE this look and can't wait to give it a try, but I definitely think this bold combo isn't where most of you will want to start with pattern mixing.  Once you get comfortable with pattern mixing you can go bold, just like the example on the right. 

Source 1 / Source 2

Also, I'm guest posting about my favorite places to shop over at Thrify, Fun, Fashionista today.  I'd love for you to stop by and say hi. : )

Monday, September 23, 2013

Chelsea and Ginny Take On: Movie Night

This week Chelsea and I are taking on Movie Night.  I love movies, as does the Grantster.  My husband's taste in movies is tricky, though.  After renting like four ridiculously awful movies from Red Box I swore he love, she cut me off from movie picking.  Urg.  Each week Grant and I go to the library and get new books and they also have a pretty sweet collection of kids' movies; we pick out a few each week.  Most recently we borrowed The Neverending Story.  It was definitely one of my favorites as a kid and I think Grant and I have watched it four times this week. Love.

Now for what to wear,  I could have put together a cute little outfit for you, but reality is, when it's movie night at my house, I'm wearing lounge wear or pajamas.  I thought I'd spare you those pictures though, and share a Polyvore set with you instead.  Recently I discovered Gillian O'Malley's line at Target, and I totally love it.  The material is super soft and the tees below are actually on major sale ($3.88) in stores right now.  I might have bought five..... They also have awesome lounge pants and shorts too. I also like to wear slippers and cozy up underneath a blanket, and I love the Chenille options below.

Movie Night

Here are some current Target coupons too.

Now to Chelsea at Whatcha Makin' Now, she has made some caramel popcorn, yum!  Stop by Whatcha Makin' Now to see the final product. : )


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Leopard Two Ways

Today I'm excited to be collaborating with the sweet Lauren of Modern Modesty.  Lauren has fab style and although she's new to blogging, she's definitely finding her groove.  We decided to show you two ways to wear leopard today.  I love how Lauren used accessories like a belt and shoes to show off this trend; for those who aren't ready for a leopard dress like I am, this is a great way to try out a trend.  Make sure to stop by Modern Modesty to check out the details to Lauren's look and to say hi to her.  It'll definitely be worth your time.  

Now to my look: Recently I found a leopard print dress and Target and although I liked it, I didn't love it. It sat in my closet unworn for a few weeks, then one day after school I decided to stop by Goodwill for the first time in months, and what did I find? This dress.  For $5. I'm pretty much in love. The Target dress got returned and I now have an extra $25 bucks in my pocket.  

Now, I mentioned recently that I was going to be more purposeful with my purchases and not buy, just because something was cheap. (Hence returning the Target dress). Along with this dress there were two other dresses that were really cute, one of which was a Loft one (with tags). I year ago I would have snatched them up without a second thought. This time, I passed. Why you ask, I didn't love either one. Good deal on not, they wouldn't fill holes in my closet. I'll let someone else enjoy them instead. 

Have you entered my sponsor's giveaway for a J Crew inspired necklace yet here?

Dress: Emma and Michelle $5 (thrifted) similar
Cardigan: Banana Republic $7 (thrifted with tags!) similar / Banana Republic Coupons
Belt: Target $12 same /Target Coupons
Necklace: Target $8 love this sale option
Bracelets: Chimera, Moxie , Renegade /Stella and Dot Coupons
Shoes: Fergalicious $30 similar

Here are some great options for a leopard dress, I'm so loving the forth shirt dress one.  Do I need two leopard dresses? Maybe : )

Monday, September 16, 2013

Chelsea and Ginny Take On: Game Day!

This week Chelsea and I are taking on Game Day! Now, I'm from Nebraska, and if you know anything about Nebraska you know we only have one team: The Huskers. Win, lose, whatever, Huskers fans are relentless in their devotion their team.  Today I'm going to show you how to dress for a day game and how to dress for a night game, and Chelsea is going to share an amazing appetizer with you.

This is what I wore for last Saturday's game.  It was an 11:00 game and pretty nice weather, so shorts and a tee worked great. I'm not a big t-shirt wearer, so I like to keep it feminine with fun jewelry, and this necklace from Stella and Dot works perfectly for showing my team spirit. 

Shorts: Forever 21 $16 similar
Necklace: Stella and Dot  same
Bracelets: Stella and Dot  Chimera, Moxie , Renegade 
Shoes: Target $10 same

 Now to the night game: I think the key is layers, since you're outside and the weather can be unpredictable, I think a cardigan or light jacket is essential. I wore the same Stella and Dot Jewelry here to keep it feminine and  I also broke up my jeans and boots to finish off this look.  

Cardigan: Apt 9 $5 (thrifted) similar /Kohl's coupons
Jeans: Old Navy $19 similar  /Old Navy Coupons
Necklace: Stella and Dot  same
Bracelets: Stella and Dot  Chimera, Moxie , Renegade 
Boots: Aerosoles $47 similar

Now to Chelsea's amazing appetizer. My mouth is watering as I write this.  Seriously.  Make sure to check out the details to this at Whatcha Makin' Now!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Chelsea and Ginny Take On: Cocktail Hour

This week  Chelsea and I are taking on "Cocktail Hour." Gone are the days of weekends at the bar, but getting invited to a cocktail hour or Girls' Night and home can be great.  I'm going to cover how to dress and Chelsea has the best idea for a "Mix Your Own Beer" Bar.  Say what?  Look for the link down below to go check Chelsea's post out!

As I've gotten older I feel like I've done a pretty good job of perfecting work wear, weekend wear, my casual style, and church clothes. However, I feel getting dressed for a girls' night or cocktail hour is tricky.  My 20-something's self was a pro at 30-something self is not.  Today's look is one that I think is perfect for a cocktail hour after work or night with the girls.  I really like the polished look a blazer gives, but the sequined top takes this out of the normal realm of work wear. I also love the contrast of the black top with the fitted white jeans. Add a heel and some jewelry with bling and you've got a great cocktail hour look.

Blazer: Loft $30 (gift card from same
Top: Express cute option
Jeans: CAbi $5 (thrifted) similar
Necklace: Stella and Dot Sutton
Bracelets: Stella and Dot RenegadePeacockUrbane
Heels: Bandalino $30 similar

I've decided to start showing you some options for similar pieces and take some of the work out of shopping for you. Here are some great cobalt blazer options; I'm loving the second one. 

                                    Wallis Blazers · Anne Klein Blazers · Macy's Blazers

Now, go stop by  Whatcha Makin' Now to see all the details for how to recreate Chelsea's awesome "Mix Your Own Beer" Bar.  If this idea isn't amazing, I don't know what is!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Outfit Perfection

You are looking at two of the best purchases I've made lately. One, this dress and two, this blazer.  If you read my post Wednesday you know I felt like I was playing dress-up with my clothes while trying to prepare some posts lately. I wasn't feeling like "me." This outfit today is me. I wore this to church recently and felt like a million bucks. I feel like I've been working to create a polished look and a cohesive closet. Over the last few months I've stepped away from thrifting and shifted towards more purposeful shopping; this blazer and dress have come from that. I still pay attention to the price tag, but that's no longer the biggest contributor into me deciding to make a purchase. I'm thinking tats a good thing.

Dress: Loft $35 same (with giftcard from Chippmunk giveaway I won)
Blazer: H&M $25 similar
Necklace: Stella and Dot just bling from Sutton
Bracelets: Stella and Dot RenegadeUrbane
Shoes: Bandalino $30 similar

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

On Being Yourself

About a week ago my husband was out of town for work, so Grant and I had more weekend time than normal. I decided to try to get a bunch of outfit pictures taken, and Grant pretty happily obliged. I was gearing up for an exciting mini-series set for next week, and other than this outfit, none of the other looks were working out.  It was windy, too sunny, and I didn't feel great in the clothes. I was frustrated. What I should have done was just call it a day and try again later, but darn-it, I had a plan.  

What I realized as I was looking at the pictures I'd attempted to take was I looked like I was playing dress up; I didn't look like myself. Boo. Bad blogger.  I took a step back and had some fun with the Grantster at the splash park, had a movie night, went to church the next day, then came home and scrapped a few outfits and tweaked a few more. I made the outfits me. Surprise, surprise, pictures were suddenly a breeze. When I started this blog almost a year ago it was because I was getting excited about my clothes and style again. Each look was "my new favorite outfit" I need to keep that in mind as I get dressed each day; I shouldn't be dressing for my blog, my friends, of even you (sorry) I should be dressing for myself. 

Dress: Loft $5 (thrifted) similar
Cardigan: Jones Wear $5 (thrifted) similar
Necklace: Charming Charlie similar
Bracelets: Stella and Dot RenegadeMoxieTriple Wrap
Shoes: Coach (circa 2002ish) cute option on sale

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