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OOTD: New Beginnings

June 23, 2014

I mentioned a couple posts back that I was moving, and I’ve been getting settled in over the past 2 weeks. It’s not the most luxurious apartment ever, but it is my (and Lola’s) little place all of our own. I had a good laugh looking at the mismatched furniture on the way over, but slowly things are starting to come together. I’ve even added more than the pics below, but I’m in the process of unpacking all of my clothes, so a more updated look will have to wait.

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Lola got settled in pretty quickly, for which I am so thankful. I was more worried about her than me, but she’s done really well with not barking at neighbors and spending more time by herself (she’s lived with 3 adults her whole life). Of course I immediately unpacked my dresses, but I’m realizing now that was probably a bad idea since I need more closet room. Guess I will have to work on closet space based on seasons.

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My friend Rachel’s grandparents were giving away their old couches, and thankfully she asked me if I needed them. Initially I was only going to have a love seat, so it’s been great having more seating for when people come around. I absolutely love my room. I went from a basement bedroom with no windows (still a nice room though) to a bedroom with 2 windows and an en-suite bathroom. I’m enjoying it!photo 1 (11) photo 5 (1)I rescued my grandmother’s old table from a warehouse and Ikea came to the rescue with chairs. The main thing I still need to work on is continuing to unpack and to actually decorate. White bare walls are everywhere, but I don’t have much art at the moment.

Besides getting settled into my new place, I also visited Charleston with some of my family. You can check out my instagram for some pics from there, but I’ll also be doing a post on what I wore and the exciting thing that happened while there in a few days.

Now that I am back home, I’m getting ready for my summer class to start in July. That means lots of planning and getting my office re-set up this week, but I’m enjoying how that’s getting me out of the apartment. Today I headed over to Starbucks to work on my syllabus some more and I wore a top that I picked up recently from ASOS. For a long time I thought that jeans were the hardest thing to buy, but, with recent luck with Old Navy and Torrid, it’s been tops that have been giving me the most trouble. I think this is because I tend to be attracted toward non-stretchy fabrics, and typically they are cut too straight from the bust to hips for my body type. Almost every shirt I try on is too tight in the hips by an inch or two – companies, can you make some tops with wider bottom hems?!

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This shirt is a peplum shape which makes it more comfortable for me to wear. I actually wish I had bought this in a 22 rather than 24 so that the top portion would sit closer and end more near my waist, but I like that this top is a unique look for my closet. I can’t tell you how many plain Old Navy boatneck tees I wear in a week, so it’s fun to wear something that has a more assertive style.

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I paired it with post earrings and some button rings I made years ago. I could easily change this look up with more attention-grabbing accessories, a belt, or fancier shoes, but a Starbucks work session just didn’t call for those things.

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ASOS Curve top, Torrid jeggings, Target flats, Forever21 earrings, button rings

I have lots of pretty clothes that I’ve been wearing and wanting to show you, but it feels odd to try and take pictures on my back deck. Apartments aren’t known for their privacy, ya know, but maybe I’ll risk being that weird new girl with a tripod soon :).

Thanks for sticking with me through all these new beginnings!

 

OOTD: Simple Summer Style

June 18, 2014

For some reason every year I begin begging for summer in March and conveniently forget that a North Carolina summer means one thing: humidity. Yuck.

It’s been stifling hot here, and it’s only June, but I’m remembering quickly that for me less means more when it comes to my summer style. Over the last year, I’ve been slowly falling back in love with Lane Bryant. They’ve really worked on their designs to make them more contemporary and on trend, and I appreciate it! When I was in the store the other week, I was specifically looking for tops in anything but black (I officially have too many clothes in that color), and I stumbled upon this beauty.

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I was immediately drawn to the faux leather and how the design was suitable for day and night. I’ve been trying to find items that I wanted to wear in the classroom and out, and the higher neckline allowed me to do it. I loved the chiffon hem that goes on the front and back, but when I tried it on the chiffon was cut a little too tight around my hips (this is my number 1 clothing problem, as most item are cut pretty straight and I’m a full size bigger at the hip). Well a little at home scissor work allowed me to take off the chiffon in the back and now it’s most definitely one of my favorite summer tops. I wore it around town today to run errands, dog in tow, and it’s such a striking top in person.


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Colorful accessories would look really nice with this, but I went with gold jeweled sandals and big earrings. My recent trip to the salon has me even more blonde and I’m trying to get used to having a bit different coloring too.

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raIMG_9904Lane Bryant Faux Leather Top, Torrid Cropped Pants, Nine West Outlet Sandals (similar), Forever21 Earrings

Coincidentally enough, when I got home from running errands I had a surprise package from Lane Bryant with a preview of their Isabel Toledo collection and her signature scarf. Amanda from Fashion, Love, and Martinis suggested I take it with me to the beach, so it looks like you will see it soon as I leave for Charleston tomorrow night :). Thank you, Lane Bryant, for the sweet and unexpected gift!

So.. about your summer style — do you keep it simple or do you still like to layer and accessorize? 

OOTD: First Dip into Crop Tops

June 2, 2014

I never really considered myself a “modest” dresser until I started blogging, but I think that modest is a good term to describe my style. Half my shy-ish personality and half my profession, I tend to choose more covered up styles, BUT I still like to wear trends and figure out ways they work for me. I’ve been seeing crop tops all over blogs for over a year, and plus size bloggers have shown over and over again that there are so many ways to wear crop tops, and actually of all the skin showing trends, it’s probably the most demure.

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From the Corners of the Curve and Garner Style

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GabiFresh and Lolly Likes Fatshion

I could see myself wearing this style with skin showing at the beach, but I wouldn’t wear that on a day to day basis, so how do I then wear the style? Well this past weekend I went shopping with my friend Brittany to a fancy-pants Forever21 that had a large plus size section. The only item I saw that I wanted was a crop top (which was lucky since I am pretty much out of their size range waist down), and as soon as I tried it on I was thinking of various ways to wear it. I wanted to wear it in a way that drew attention to the scalloped hem, which was my favorite part of the top.

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I paired it with a bright blue maxi skirt from Old Navy. Most crop tops I see are a bit more flowy and oversized, and this one is fitted on me, but I still liked being able to work with proportion by choosing where my skirt sat on my waist and how much of the lace from the crop top laid over it.
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I chose scalloped edge studs as well and simple sandals to complete the look.

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Forever21 Top, Old Navy Skirt, Nine West Sandals, House of Harlow 1960 Earrings

So this was my first dip into the crop top pool (okay, maybe more like putting just my toes in), but I really love the end result. I could ramp it up with more accessories if I ever wanted, but for me this is the perfect running errands–meeting friends for lunch–daily life look.

Are you a crop top lover (either on yourself or others)? How do you like to style them?

 

Review: JDSports Trainers

June 1, 2014

If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, then you probably are aware that I’m a flats girl. If I do wear heels, they are wedges and pretty plain, but lately I’ve been getting into tennis shoes/ sneakers/ trainers, so when JD Sports approached me to pick a pair and try them out, I knew I wanted something that was very new for my closet.

I tend to go with neutrals on my feet and comfort is the ultimate goal, so I kept the comfort idea but decided to bring in color and fun details that my typical shoes lack. After going back and forth over a couple different designs, I decided to go with a pair of converses.

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I went with the Dainty Ox Summer style which has a texture on the main part of the shoe and braided laces. These aren’t wide so I wondered how they would fit, but they are very comfy and have plenty of room.

When it came time to style them, I wanted to pick something that would let the shoes stand out. I’ve been loving seeing a lot of bloggers wear shorter dresses with sporty shoes, so I picked a simple cream dress to go with these.

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This dress hit me right above the knee, which is the perfect length for me as I really don’t like wearing any shorter. I prefer this dress free flowing, but you could always belt a similar style if you prefer that shape.

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ASOS Curve Dress (similar), JDSports.co.uk Converse Trainers, Forever21 floral studs

I think the dress and tennis shoes combo works really well if you know that you’re going to be walking around a lot or if sandals are not comfortable for you. Around where I live, this is probably a more unexpected combo to wear, so that can be fun too.

I’ll admit that tennis shoes for me used to be reserved to band camp and going to the gym, but it’s fun to see them incorporated into fashion. How do you incorporate them in your fashion outside of the gym? What styles of tennis shoes do you gravitate towards?

Prepping for my New Place

May 29, 2014

The countdown has finally begun — 7 days until I’m in my first place. At 26, I am very aware (sometimes harshly so) that many of my peers have had their own places (and perhaps live-in partners, children, or even home ownership) for years, but this is my first big step into adulthood and financial independence and responsibility. I remember in high school thinking that I would be engaged by the time I graduated from college (HA!) and that I would immediately have a job teaching high school English (double HA!). I didn’t anticipate an incredibly rocky student-teaching experience or going immediately from undergrad to graduate school (while living with my parents), but I am here, and I’m really happy with where I have gone since then.

As much as I sometimes feel shame for being part of the generation that continues to live with their parents into adulthood, I would not trade the experience of the last few years. Living with your parents as an 18 year old is a very different experience than living with your parents during your mid-twenties. I am much more interested in my parents and close with them now. I understand their points of view, and while I still might close my ears when my dad gives me advice on evvvverrryythinnng, I also know their strengths and experiences better. There is a certain element of me “not growing up” while I live here, but there’s also a certain amount of joy in that too. Almost every day I lay across my mom’s bed and talk to her. Thursday nights are reserved for watching Project Runway with her and acting shocked when we don’t agree on a design. I laugh at them for how patterned their weeks are (same restaurant every Wednesday and ordering salmon each time) and they show me how being so messy/disorganized can come back to bite me in the bum (at times ;)). I’m lucky in that they will hear me when I say I don’t need to be “parented” on something and lucky that they love and care for my dog as much as I do. It will be weird to go from a house of 4 to just me and Lola, but I’m ready for it.

As I’ve prepared, I’ve realized how normal it is for me to buy clothing and how odd it is for me to buy things for my home. I remember looking at a dress at eShakti at $70 and thinking it was a good price for what I wanted, but spending $77 on 3 sets of towels took me multiple days to commit to. Something isn’t right here! I’m cutting way back on shopping for clothes and putting my money elsewhere, which feels weird but good. And after going through my closet to pack, I’m realizing that I have so many clothes I barely wear, so hopefully that will help me feel like I’m spicing up my wardrobe.

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, then you already have seen a couple things I’ve been working on:

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I bought a few things from mostly Target and IKEA, stained some furniture, and assembled. I also have boxes and boxes of stuff. I had been using my bedroom’s closet as a bookcase, and even after clearing out a ton of books to give to the local library, I still had 3 boxes of books alone. I’m starting to think that I have a bit of a hoarding problem.

Something that I also discovered while buying for my place is that, just like with my clothing style, I don’t really have a defined home decor style. When I was in college, I was into the very romantic, shabby chic look, and I still have some furniture from that time that I need to use in my own place. I like hints of vintage but not a lot. I like wood details and simple styles. I like pops of color with mostly neutrals in the room, and I tend toward cooler colors for the most part. I guess this makes me think that I’m a store’s dream customer because I’m reactionary to items rather than someone who comes in knowing what they want. Since it’s my first place, I’m not too worried about it being perfectly decorated. I’m figuring that all out while also working with furniture that some of my family owned and are graciously giving to me.

Even though I’m having a bit of a style crisis, I did go shopping for some things, shown below. I’m excited some things are coming together, and I’m starting to think about artwork and walls. I’ve already ordered some prints of my Instagram photos and some prints from etsy, so good things are coming :). Below is a Polyvore set, so I believe you can click the individual pieces and go to the original source of where I bought them.

 

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New Home Buys by theplussideofme featuring birch furniture
Although I’m excited, I’m trying to remind myself that my new apartment adventure isn’t all that interesting to other people (believe me, I have to stop myself from tweeting about getting an internet package and I already tweeted about setting up power), but hopefully you all will still enjoy these posts too.
So I’m wanting to hear about how you bring your style into your home. What’s your favorite home stores, blogs, or styles? Does your fashion sense meet your home? Can’t wait to share with you. 

OOTD: Luna Lace

May 14, 2014

As part of Kiyonna’s Blogger Brigade, I have gotten the chance to try so many of their styles within the last year, but there was one dress that I saw many others wear that I hadn’t gotten my hands on yet — that is until now.

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(image from Kiyonna’s website)

I love the design of the Scalloped Luna Lace Dress (slightly different than the regular Luna Lace Dress). I have the top version in two colors, so I knew I’d also love the dress. It’s perfect to wear to a spring/summer wedding, and I’m sure with the right jacket you could wear it out for a more casual day and evening too.

Now here comes the predicament — What do you do when you get a dress that calls for accessories that you don’t own? I’ll admit that I was tempted to go to the store and scoop out a necklace that went well with it (I may have actually done this at Forever21), BUT I am trying to be much smarter with my money and not buy accessories that only go with one item (consider me a recovering shopaholic). I originally imagined this dress with a great statement necklace in a contrasting color, but I just didn’t have it. Instead, I worked with what I already had

For my first look, I went for a more evening-ish look with a statement earring. Instead of a high contrast necklace, the earrings worked in similar colors but picked up more on green than the blue of the dress. To bring in a different pop of color, I went with a berry colored lip (more noticeable in person).

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I also thought about how I would wear this with casual accessories. I’m a little in love with white accessories lately, so I went that route. Again, I didn’t have a necklace, so I decided a headband and bag would do.

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arIMG_9657Scalloped Luna Lace Dress, Target Bag, Clarks wedges (similar)

The dress fits like a dream. If you’re worried about bra straps showing, no worries! The sleeves are not lined, but the top/neck is, so you will not be able to see straps underneath it.

So what do you do about accessories? Do you buy accessories for specific clothing items (or maybe events–which I’d probably do)? Is your style so consistent that it’s easy to mix around jewelry? Any tips?

OOTD: Hello There, Summer

May 12, 2014

Woo! The spring semester has finally ended, and although it had some amazing moments and inspiring work from my students, I’m happy to be on the other side of it. Last year, I went straight from spring to teaching over the summer to 2 weeks later starting at a new school, and as a new teacher, I’m pretty excited for some time to reflect and revise my classes before I get back in there in July.

As my last act of the semester, I went in to box up my office in preparation of moving to a different room. I needed something casual, but since I was able to sleep in past 5am I was energetic enough to actually dry my hair and intentionally pick what I wore (you don’t even wanna know the state of my hair this past month). I’ve been saving up to move into my own place, so lately my clothing purchases have been restricted to more frugal places, so this outfit (besides the shoes) is all Old Navy.
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I’ve been shopping a lot from Old Navy’s regular women’s Tall section. This works well for me with their soft fabric tops and soft fabric dresses, but this vest is on the small side (though that didn’t stop me from wearing it). I’m kinda in love with the style and length. I can see myself wearing it with maxis and dark denim skinny jeans. Unfortunately, the plus size section does not have this in green, but they do have it in khaki.

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For some reason my hair looks half blonde and half brunette, but I promise you that it’s evenly blonde. I’ve been wanting to get back to a lighter color, and I’m kind of in an in-between state, but I’m enjoying it.

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Old Navy Tall boatneck top, Old Navy Tall vest, Old Navy Plus jeans, Target flats (last year)


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By the way, I know I do not blog as often as I used to, but I do update instagram a little more regularly–you can follow me here (and comment on instagram so I can see and follow you back!)

 

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