Clothed with Grace: April 2014

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Stripes and Bicycles

About a week ago I made a quick trip to Old Navy to search from some new spring clothes for Grant and found this button down with bicycles all over it for $13 and a cute pink spring sweater for $7. Not too shabby. Grant might end up being picky like his dad, we only found one Super Hero shirt that was of his liking. I have a number of outfits planned for this top but thought I'd come up with a work look first and I love how this turned out :) 

Cardigan: Jones NY (thrifted) almost exact
Button down: Old Navy  same
Skirt: Loft (thrifted) similar
Necklace: Purple Peridot same
Bracelets: Stella and Dot RenegadeUrbane and Style this Life c/o  same 
Wedges: Aerosoles similar

Linking up with:

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Pretty Florals

I am so glad that spring is finally here to stay! I actually wore this the Saturday of Easter Weekend.  Grant and I decorated eggs, went to the library, and then the park.  Once we got home I'll admit I took off the scarf and jewelry, then we went on countless walks, scooter rides, and played outside.  Grant will now actually play in the backyard on his own, so I can get chores done inside and see him from the window.  That my friends, is a great great treat.

Chambray: Gap similar
Scarf: Plato's Closet similar
Jeans: Joe Fresh (JCP) similar
Necklace: Stella and Dot same
Bracelets: Stella and Dot and Style This Life c/o  same 
Shoes: Target same

Monday, April 28, 2014

Stripes and White

Last summer I found this dress at Loft and love it. I've worn it quite a few different ways, but decided to pair it with my white blazer today.  Let me tell you, this blazer is one of my favorite purchases, I love the collarless style and how well it pairs with dresses and more casual looks.

Blazer: JC Penney same
Dress: Loft similar
Necklace: Purple Peridot same
Necklace: Purple Peridot same
Bracelets: Stella and Dot RenegadeUrbane
Heels: Fergalicious similar

Friday, April 25, 2014

Survey Results and Spring Style

About two weeks ago I asked you lovely readers to take a survey and offer some feedback to me as I move forward to make this blog the best it can be.  I really appreciate all of you who took the time to participate!

Here are some things I found:

First, 92% of readers who took the survey visit my blog daily or multiple days a week.  Thanks so much!  It feels so great to have so many of you stop by my little spot in the blogosphere so often!

I also asked about what types of blogs you all read, no surprise 98% of you said you read fashion blogs and then about 35% of you also said you read food, fitness, lifestyle, and home decor blog too.  I love how there are so many blogs out there that can give us inspiration in so many aspects of our lives!

When it came to my blog content 91% of you said you most looked forward to my OOTDs.  I didn't limit this to only being able to select one choice so 44% of you said you also looked forward to my how-to posts.  I think sometimes I overthink if my OOTDs are really worth readers time or if my how-to posts would be more applicable, so it was great to hear that you like seeing my daily outfits.  I guess this makes sense, before I started blogging I had 5-6 blogs I looked to for outfit inspiration.

I also asked what you would like to see more of, and the majority of you said my content was fine as is, while some of you said you'd like to see more how-to posts and splurge vs. save posts.  I'm hoping my recent series on "Wardrobe Essentials" helped fit the bill for you all. : )

I was also curious about your age ranges and educational levels.  I'm 34 with my Masters in Education and I was curious if you all were similar.  Here's what that looked like:

  • 26% of you were 21-29
  • 40% were 30-39
  • 23% were 40-49
As for educational level, not all answered this question, however, 90% of you had a college degree or higher.  

It was interesting to see that most of you were similar to me in age and education, although I think that makes sense as you probably relate most to those of you who are similar.  To those of you who don't match me in age range and education level, thanks so much for taking the time to read my blog anyway!

Social media has taken such a center stage in recent years, so I was also curious as to how you all "followed" me.  The majority of you had my blog bookmarked, while "Bloglovin" came in second.  I found this very interesting.  Just like how many of you matched me in age and educational level, I was the same way before blogging.  I had a few blogs bookmarked and didn't follow anyone on social media.  I'd say the exception to this was you girls in your 20's, so many of you follow me across all social media outlets, thanks so much!  Thanks, it make me sharing out there worth it!  

Lastly, I asked you for a three words that you would use to describe my style.  The words that showed up the most were classic, fun, cute, and professional.  Although there were a lot more words used multiple times it was cool to see these words repeated.  I love these four and would use them to describe my style too. I want my blog to be a true reflection of me and my style, so I'd glad that's coming though.  

Today's outfit was worn last Friday while I had the day off with Grant.  We went to an Easter Egg hunt and then had friends over for lunch.  It was such a nice treat and I love that it's getting warm enough to be outside.  I love how these sandals and this necklace help to make the outfit a little more special too.

Jacket: The Limited (old) similar
Shirt: Target (last summer) similar
Necklace: Edith Marie same c/o
Jeans: CAbI similar
Bracelets: Stella and Dot and Style this Life c/o
Sandals: c/o fibi and clo same 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Wardrobe Essentials: Putting it All Together, Spring and Summer Edition

I've had so much fun revisiting this series this spring!  Here's a recap of all the topics I've covered:
I've also made a graphic with all the essential pieces included (except accessories) for you all to have too!

I also have a special treat for you today.  I've created Twenty-eight outfits based on these essentials. To get a copy of this for yourself all you need to do is subscribe to have either a weekly wrap-up, daily post, tips and tricks, or special offers sent to your inbox.

  • The weekly wrap-up with show you all the the posts from the week in one email on Monday morning.  
  • If you sign up for daily posts, it will be sent to your inbox daily. 
  • If you sign up for tips and tricks I plan to send out a special email weekly that will include content that hasn't been featured on the blog.  
  • Lastly, if you sign up for special offers I plan to send out an email weekly sharing sales at stores I love and also to let you know about any special deals specifically for My New Favorite Outfit readers.

Get My New Favorite Outfit in your inbox!

What would you like to see in your inbox?

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Building a Wardrobe: Spring and Summer Skirt Essentials

Today I'll be continuing my Building a Wardrobe Series: Spring and Summer Edition. On the first day I discussed layering essentials, next I discussed pants and shorts, then dressesshirtsshoes and accessories, and lastly I'll share skirt essentials today. I love a good skirt and this Spring and Summer there are a few skirts I think are essential to add to your wardrobe.

  • First I suggest a great print. Pick a print with coordinating colors to the rest of your wardrobe and tops, but a print is great because with the varying colors it will be very versatile.
  • Next I suggest a white skirt, I love white bottoms and they can instantly add a chic-ness to any outfit.
  • I also think getting a maxi skirt or dress is great too. I love the ease of them and they are definitely perfect for the warmer months.
  • Forth I recommend a more casual skirt in a stripe or print.  These can be great for weekend get-togethers and brunches when you want to dress up a bit, but don't want to put on a pencil skirt.
  • Lastly I recommend a great bright colored skirt.  Either a solid or an eyelet like the one below.  

maxiskirt / white skirt / print skirt / coral pencil skirt / stripe skirt

Today I'm wearing a spring essential: a bright skirt.  I found this skirt last summer at Target and waited until it went on sale to snatch it up.  Turns out it was a pretty good idea because J.Crew Factory is selling similar one' but price isn't nearly as good as Target.  The inspiration for today's look comes from Lisa at Respect the Shoes.  She has a similar blazer and I literally ogled over it every time she wore it.  Then when Loft came out with a  similar one, I was excited to scoop it up.  I love it with this bold skirt here.

Blazer: Loft  same
Top: Loft similar
Skirt: Target  similar
Necklace: Edith Marie  same
Bracelets: Stella and Dot and Style this Life c/o
Heels: Audrey Brooke similar

Linking up with:
What I Wore Wednesday

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Building a Wardrobe: Spring and Summer Shoes and Accessories

Today I'll be continuing my series on Building a Wardrobe: Spring Summer edition. On the first day I discussed layering essentials, next I discussed pants and shorts, then dresses, shirts and today I'll share shoes and accessories.

One of my favorite thing about Spring and Summer is getting to go put away my boots and pull out my sandals.  Although most of you heels can still be worn for work this Spring and Summer, wedges and sandals are great to have too.  Here are the ones I suggest:
  • I think a great brown or cognac leather wedge sandal is worth the money.  Because it's a wedge you can really dress it up or down, therefore getting a lot of use out of them.
  • I also love a good nude peep toe.  These can be a great go-to for work, but also great with ankle pants too.
  • Next, I recommend a black wedge for the same reason I recommended the brown wedge above.  You'll wear them like crazy!
  • Forth, I recommend a metallic flip flop.  I love flip flops and the metallic can easily be dressed up or down. I wear mine with my maxi, ankle pants, and shorts.
  • Fifth, I recommend a pair of boat shoes like the Sperry's below.  These are perfect with your shorts and ankle pants and perfect for wanting a real shoe but wanting something that works for Summer.
  • Lastly, I recommend a basic go-to flip flop.  I like these cream ones because they'll go with most casual outfits, but J.Crew's flips flops are really comfortable and well made.

Shoe Essentials

I decided to show you the essential jewelry I recommended last Fall again today in case you missed it the first time.  I don't really have any new recommendations for essentials, as I think silver, gold, and mixed metals are the best place to start. However, I have added a few bold necklaces from Edith Marie this Spring and love them all.  Once you have a few basics then I recommend adding bolder statement necklaces. Here are details on my thoughts on essentials:
  • Statement necklaces and bracelets are a huge trend right now.  It's important to decide what will fit your wardrobe best.  I like to have a mix of both gold and silver and mixed metals are huge this year, making that option the best of both worlds.  
  • Spending more that $20 on a piece of jewelry might not be an option for you.  Luckily Target has tons of great affordable options.  All the affordable options below are from Target.
  • Spending more on jewelry can pay off in the long run.  All the investment pieces are from Stella and Dot, and yes, they are more expensive.  However, they are all 12k gold and sterling silver, meaning they won't discolor your skin or wear out after a season.
  • Bright bold statement necklaces are also great options, but when beginning to buy jewelry stick to more basic like the neutral options below, as they'll be more versatile and more easily worn and utilized.
  • Jewelry can easily be the the "show stopper" of any look, so take some time to find a few pieces you love to make every outfit stand out.

Building A Wardrobe: Jewelry

Affordable Jewelry
 gold pave necklace /gold earrings /silver earrings / silver pave necklace /  gold jeweled bracelet / gold pave bracelet /  gold crystal necklace /silver jeweled bangle / silver cuff /  silver jeweled necklace 

Investment Jewelry
sutton, mixed metal necklace / silver necklace /  renegade bracelet in gold and silver /  urbane silver bracelet / moxie mixed metal bracelet / kahlo mixed metal bracelet /   phoenix mixed metal necklace / eden bangle in gold /    rebel pendant gold necklace   

Lastly, today I thought I'd share some essential belts.  These haven't changed since I did the series in the Fall, but I thought I'd show a refresher today. 
  • I think skinny belts are most popular right now, but I recommend have a wider black and brown one, as these still look great when you want to belt a dress
  • I also recommend having a metallic one, I have a brown metallic and I wear it all the time!
  • Look at the bright colors you wear most, consider buying a bright belt in that color or in a complementary color.
  • I also recommend getting a leopard belt, well, because it's leopard : )
  • Lastly, I recommend having a skinny black and brown belt, these are the ones you'll probably wear most often.
  • Shop the clearance racks, especially at Kohl's.  I've gotten most of my belts there for between $1-$2 bucks.  
  • Belts can be key to defining a waist and I highly recommend wearing them with most outfits, you'd be surprised how much they can add to your final look!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Building A Wardrobe: Spring and Summer Shirt Essentials

This week I'll be continuing my Building a Wardrobe: Spring and Summer Addition. On the first day I discussed layering essentials, next I discussed pants and shorts, then dresses, and today I'll share my thoughts on essential shirts to add to your wardrobe this Spring and Summer. Here were my thoughts on Fall and Winter essential shirts, if you want to take a look.

When it comes to adding shirts this Spring, I think it's important to think about buying shirts that you can wear alone or layered.  I tend to steer clear of thin tank tops as I get older because I just don't feel comfortable wearing them alone anymore.  Instead I tend to buy short sleeve and sleeveless shirts.  Here are the one's I suggest adding:

  • Purchase a few bright colored tops that have some sort of detail to make them special. like lace, a pretty collar, or stitching details to make the shirt stand out.  Shirts like this can be great for work or weekend and you can wear them without any layers and still feel put-together. Get these in coordinating colors to other pieces you're adding, these will be bases you can pull from often, so make sure the colors match your wardrobe.
  • I'd also recommend getting a white and/or cream top with details too.  I prefer this to a standard tee, although there is nothing wrong with that either.
  • I'd also recommend a couple of striped shirts, black and white is great.  I really like the sleeveless one's as they'll be great under blazers for work or cute on the weekend with a pair of bright ankle pants.
  • Lastly, I recommend a sleeveless chambray.  Chambrays are such great classic pieces and having a sleeveless version will be very versatile this summer.  
  • After making this I realized I didn't add in any print tops. I would suggest get a great floral or print top to too.  Since layers don't always work during the Spring/Summer a great print can really make an outfit stand out.

stripe shirt / navy top / cream top / coral / chambray top / shripe sleeveless shirt

Today I'm wearing one of the options listed above, a bright colored shirt.  I recently found these cobalt pants at Loft for $4. Yep, in Loft.  $4.  Thank you to whoever returned these bad boys after letting them hang in your closet all winter.  I really liked them, but didn't really want pants, so I altered them into ankle pants instead.  Then I went to my Pinterest board and looked for some inspiration for styling.  What do you know, Tara knew exactly how to wear these.  I love how this look came together and am so happy to have these pants in my closet. 

Blazer: Cynthia Rowley (TJ Maxx) similar
Top: Express: same
Pants: Loft similar
Necklace: Edith Marie same
Bracelets: Style This Life  same c/o and Stella and Dot
Heels: Nine West same

Friday, April 18, 2014

Building a Wardrobe: Spring Summer Dresses

Today is the third edition of my Building a Wardrobe Series: Spring and Summer addition. On the first day I discussed layering essentials and yesterday I discussed pants and shorts .Today I'll be sharing with you some dresses that I think will be perfect to add to your wardrobe this Spring. Here were my thought's on Fall and Winter essentials, some of which will cross over.

For Spring and Summer:
  • First, I recommend getting a cotton, knit, or jersey dress in a great, bright color.  This can be a great go to piece for casual get togethers or BBQ's on the weekend.
  • Second, a recommend getting a great lace or eyelet dress.  The texture makes it interesting, but also will allow you to dress it up or down with shoes and accessories.
  • Third, I recommend getting a dress with a great print or stripe.  Dresses like this will really stand out as being special and you'll always feel great wearing them!
  • Lastly, I recommend getting a more structured dress in a bright color you love that will be perfect for work or church. 

Today I'm wearing an essential dress in a bold print.  I picked up while in Kansas City at The Garment District.  It was originally $72 and I got it on sale for $20!  I don't have anything else like it, so I think it'll definitely be a fun addition this Spring. Also the  Kim is back in stock at Edith Marie, I seriously love this necklace!

Denim Jacket: Limited (old) similar
Dress: The Garment District similar
Necklace: Edith Marie  same
Bracelets: Stella and Dot and Style  same This Life c/o  same 
Heels: Audrey Brooke similar

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Building a Wardrobe: Spring and Summer Pants and Shorts

Yesterday I started my Building a Wardrobe: Spring and Summer Additions series my covering layering essentials. Today I'm going to continue my series by sharing some essential pant and short options with you.  You can check out my Fall and Winter pant and jeans essentials here. First up is pants today.

As a teacher I don't wear very many pants once Summer hits, but ankle pants are great in Spring and also work appropriate for those of you who aren't lucky enough to get Summer off.  Here are some I'd recommend adding to your closet:
  • First, I'd recommend getting a pair of bright colored ankle pants in a color you love and that will easily coordinate with other pieces in your closet.  I'm showing a pink-red color below.
  • Secondly, I recommend a great pair of skinny ankle jeans if you don't already own a pair; these are great for date nights and weekends!  
  • Third, I recommend a fun pair of print pants, there are a ton of options this year. I prefer a darker color like the one's I'm showing below.
  • Lastly, I recommend a pair of white ankle pants.  This are perfect for Spring and Summer and you'll be able to get a ton of wear out of them.  I'm wearing mine for a date night look here.

Next I'll show you some short options I think are great for this Summer.  I'm showing quite a few because I know as a Mom who will stay at home this Summer shorts are a must!  I wear them pretty much every day. Now, if you have to work this summer, having 2-3 pair is probably sufficient. Let's also talk about length. I'm most comfortable in a 3"to 5" inseam, 5" preferably.  However, a 3" can be good as long as it's looser through the thigh on me.  

  • First, I recommend a pair of distressed denim shorts.  Be careful with denim, if it doesn't have a distressed detail or cuff they could end up looking like "Mom jeans." I have similar one's to those shown below and I love them!
  • Secondly, I recommend at least one pair of colored shorts in a color that coordinates with other pieces in your closet.  You want them to be mixable. : )
  • Third, I recommend a cute pair of floral shorts.  This can add interest to any outfit and because of the mix of color can be worn with a lot of different tops.
  • Forth, I recommend a pair of white shorts, I wear mine like crazy!
  • Fifth, I recommend a short with a print on it.  Just like the floral shorts, they'll be very versatile due to the mix of colors.
  • Lastly, I recommend a pair of stripe shorts....mostly because the ones below are so stinking cute! 
floral shorts / stripe shorts / boyfriend shorts / white shorts / bright shorts / print shorts

Today I'm wearing a Summer essential, white jeans.  I love these and wear them like crazy once it starts to warm up! I'm also excited about my new necklace sent over by Edith Marie.  You ladies have seen me wearing a lot of jewelry from there recently and for good reason.  The quality is great and nothing is over $20.  If you haven't checked this shop out yet, I highly suggest it! Also, for the next week use MyNewFav to get 15% off your order!

I had a really hard time picking which piece I wanted from Edith Marie, since I love so many but landed on this necklace due to it's versatility.  Here are three different ways to wear this necklace, and three ways are fun and make this necklace so versatile! 

Outfit Details:

Blazer: Loft similar
Top: Target same
Necklace: Edith Marie same c/o
Jeans: CAbI similar
Bracelets: Stella and Dot RenegadeUrbane