Clothed with Grace: September 2013

Monday, September 30, 2013

Chelsea and Ginny Take On: Casual Friday


This week Chelsea and I are taking on Casual Friday. We get to wear jeans on Fridays, as well as school pride tee shirts, but that's just not my style. I like to wear dressier jeans or boyfriend jeans, but stay more professional on top. I love this blazer and would love to get this option too. This look would also be great with cute ankle pants or a pencil skirt, and I like that versatility. I added my leopard heels to keep it fun and I'm super happy with the result. What's your casual Friday go to look?

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Blazer: Kohls $17  Kohl's Coupons
Sweater: JCrew (like a decade ago) option with horses! / JCrew coupons
Button down: JCrew (old) similar
Jeans: Old Navy $5 (thrifted) similar /  Old Navy Coupons
Shoes: Fergalicious $15 similar  / Shoe Dazzle Coupons
Necklace: Stella and Dot Sutton
Bracelets: Stella and Dot  Chimera, Moxie , Renegade 

I don't know about you, but by the time Friday comes around I do not fee like cooking. Chelsea at Whatcha Makin' Now has five great, easy dinner options to help out. Make sure to stop by to check them out, and for sure get the recipe for Mexi Fry Nachos, say what??? Yum!


Friday, September 27, 2013

What Shopping Has Taught Me: It always goes on sale.


Wednesday I share with you that size doesn't matter, fit does.  Then, on Thursday I shared that you shouldn't trust hanger appeal.  Today for my final day of this mini-series I'm sharing what I think is the most important tip of all: it will always go on sale! Back in my less frugal days I'd go shopping on Friday at 7:00 for an outfit for that night.  We did this a lot and I specifically remember spending $80 on a bedazzled belt at Express.  That is insane, people. Luckily, I've gotten wiser as I've gotten older.  

Although I'm declaring Express' Portfolio Shirt the perfect blouse, it's $50. Boo. Enter the "Flash Sale." Everything in Express was 40% off. That, my friend, is always when you buy.  As much as I love this shirt, I love it more for $30. Now there's bird print and a polka dot dress option.  I die.

*i just checked this morning and the Portfolio Shirt is on sale for buy one get one half off.

I know it can be annoying to have your inbox filled with promotions from different stores, but I use those emails to know when to shop.  I delete frequently, but when the deal is sweet enough I am sure to take advantage.

After buying this shirt  I immediately knew the first way I wanted to wear it was like this. When Tara wore the combo this summer I was in love, so I was excited to get to recreate it for work.  I already have few more looks lined up for this blouse and I'm definitely not ruling out getting this blouse in a third color either (when it goes on sale again, that is.) : )

Interesting in growing your blog?  Let me help, check out my sponsorship options!







Blouse: Express $30 same / Express Coupons
Scarf: (free via clothing swap) love this option
Jeans: CAbi $5 (thrifted) similar
Bracelets: Chimera, Moxie , Renegade / Stella and Dot Coupons
Shoes: Kohl's $26 same c/o Chippmunk /Kohl's Coupons

Thursday, September 26, 2013

What Shopping Has Taught Me: Don't trust hanger appeal.


Yesterday I told you that you size doesn't matter, fit does, and today I'm going to be talking about hanger appeal.  I think I'm very guilty of making quick cruises through stores and missing potentially cute things because they just don't hang well.  Case in point:

This. Dress. Sigh.... I had walked past it, completely unimpressed at Target. I'd originally had my eye on this cute option, until I saw the Target dress on my blogging friend Kim and I knew immediately it was a great dress, it just looked awful on the hanger. I literally went and tried it on and bought it about two hours after seeing it on Kim. I mean Target is "on the way home..." I also got really excited because I've been wanting to recreate this pin (along with the about twenty other striped dress looks), and now I can! I also already have a second look planned for next week by pairing the dress with this. So excited. Morale of the story:  seriously, don't trust the hanger, if it looks like it has potential, try it on. You might be pleasantly surprised.



*Also, this necklace? Rue 21 for $10. I'm surprised the alarms didn't sound when I entered the store, being I'm not a 12 year old girl, but whatever, it's super cute!







Denim Jacket: The Limited similar /Limited Coupon
Dress: Target $22 same / Target Coupons
Necklace: Rue 21 $10 (in stores)
Belt: ? (Plato's Closet) similar
Bracelets: Chimera, Moxie , Renegade
Booties: $29 (ebay) same on Amazon

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. : )



           

Friday, September 20, 2013

Better Late Than Never

Ever have those pieces you want in your closet but you just don't buy? Well for me it's this pink skirt. This summer Jessica of Bows and Sequins wore this pink skirt multiple times. Each time I saw it I loved it, but hadn't seen the perfect one to buy myself. Enter Target. I saw this skirt and waited and waited for it to reach the perfect sale price before buying, finally at $6.88, I made this skirt mine. It's really a summer skirt, so I probably should have just bought it at $20, because I will probably only get to wear it once before it's too cold, but better late then never. :) 

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







Jean Jacket: The Limited (old) similar  /Limited Coupons
Shirt: Free from clothing exchange similar
Necklace: Stella and Dot Sutton /Stella and Dot Coupons
Bracelets: Stella and Dot RenegadeUrbane
Shoes: Target $10 same

Here are some great options for a pink skirt.  The second and forth are my favorites.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Double Floral

I've been back to school for five weeks, wow that flew by! I really like my kids, which is great, but I am buuusssyyyy. I'm not sure what is different,  but every single moment at school is quickly filled with some task, student, or assignment to grade. FYI: I do t think I've been caught up on grading once since school started.. I just can figure out why I'm busier now??? I'll adjust, it's about working smarter, not harder, right?

Now to my outfit: Last spring I saw this pin and was in love. I had just gotten this dress from a clothing swap at church but didn't have a floral scarf or booties, since I just recently got both I was ready to give this pin a try. I think this will be a fun fall transition look for sure.

*I ended up wearing a black belt instead of this taupe one. The taupe is ok, but I think the black ended up being better.

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






Scarf: $4 Plato's Closet (options below)
Dress: Target, Free at clothing exchange Target Coupons
Bracelets: Stella and Dot  Chimera, Moxie , Renegade 
Belt: Express Express Coupons
Shoes: Wanted $29 (ebay) same on Amazon

Here are some great floral scarf options, so cute!