OOTD: All Cozied Up

This morning I laid in bed with the covers up to my chin, cuddled with Lola, and argued back and forth with myself about whether or not I’d venture out to Charlotte to visit my office. I had left some books there that I wanted to re-read while I planned for the next semester, and offices would close the next day until January. But it was cold. My phone let me know that it was only 29*F, and I tried to think of a million excuses to push it to tomorrow, but all I could come to were a million consequences from putting things off for one more day. The only reason I pried myself out of the bed was the thought that I could wear my new booties from Lane Bryant. Yes. Yes. That shallow of a reason. I wanted to wear booties. Welcome to my life.

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This outfit started with the booties. I typically only wear black shoes. I don’t know why (oh, right, I’m boring). But these low ankle booties intrigued me from the moment I saw them. I liked the buckle, the low heel, and the color, and when I got them they were comfortable (and still a bit stiff). It was a win! But I didn’t know how to wear them. I’m so, so used to black boots. I asked my friends Rachel and Jen, and they immediately said with jeans rolled up. Well I don’t follow directions well, but I still wore them with extra-short jeggings, and I went with a cream colored sweater that I hadn’t worn out yet, also from Lane Bryant.

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With the outfit itself having a calm color palette and intricate texture, I wanted warmer accessories and make up, so I reached for this bordeaux deep purple/red Aldo bag and Pixi lipstick in Rose Naturelle

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I also added brown and gold floral earrings that gave just a little shine to the look.

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By the way – update on the cold – it ended up warming to above 60*F by mid-afternoon. I was cozied up and worried I would regret it, but these short sleeves saved me. Thanks, North Carolina weather. I made it to my office and grabbed my books. I even stopped for a delicious coffee and creme brulee before heading back home. Getting out of bed ended up being totally worth it, so thanks LB booties for motivating me forward.

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Sweater: Lane Bryant (similar), Jeggings: Torrid, Booties: Lane Bryant, Handbag: Aldo, Earrings: Forever21

OOTD(s): Mad Dash to End of Semester

Hey everyone! It’s been awhile since I posted last. After Thanksgiving, we had just a few weeks to end the semester. I was indeed wearing clothes during this time, and if you follow me on instagram, then you probably saw some of my lovely bathroom selfies of outfits. It’s come to that sad point in the year when the bathroom at my workplace has better lighting than I can get at home, but when it’s dark before I even arrive home after work, taking outfit pictures is just impossible. But have no fear! I managed to put a few outfits together as I and my students made a mad dash to the end of the semester.

During those whirlwind weeks of meeting with students, grading, giving feedback, etc., I found that wearing pants/jeans seemed like a punishment in and of itself. Luckily, leggings + tunic/dress is a back up uniform I can call to at any moment, and I wore various versions of this over and over again.

First up was this overcast-gray zippered tunic from Evansblack jeggings from Torrid, and old booties from Evans. I’ve always loved the length of Evans’ tunics, and I used to shop with Evans a lot (and even collaborated with them back in the day), but they seem to offer less tunics or at least less tunic styles that I like then they did back in the day. That said, this was a goodie, and I love the small zipper details. This is a warm tunic. Do not let the shorter sleeves fool you. The material keeps in the heat, which is good on a cold day but bad in a heated office. You’ve been warned — choose where you wear this carefully! I didn’t do much to it since I hurried out the door, but there are lots of different options with scarves, jewelry, and jackets in kicking it up a notch.

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In the search for all my different options to wear with leggings, I unearthed this dress from, I believe, SimplyBe, that I probably bought back in 2012 or 2013. This is one of those dresses that I planned to wear many times and then never actually did. For some reason whatever was holding me back before didn’t stop me now. This dress has fluffy sleeves, feather print, and a matching belt. Again, the outfit is a bit no-fuss since I was heading into work, but a leather jacket or playing around with belts could also make this more interesting if I wear it again in the future.

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One of the last events I attended as part of the semester was my program’s end of term potluck. I decided to take a little more time to get ready and to look festive, so I pulled this tunic/dress from Evans that is a green/blue (more green that it appears here), my new studded boots from Lane Bryant, and I *gasp* put on jewelry for work. I topped the look with a silver chain bracelet and silver earrings from, I think, Forever21 (similar earrings here).

I really like this dress, its texture and color, but holy-static-cling. I didn’t realize it was going to be such an issue and was unprepared to deal with it making its way north while walking across campus. Later I used a dryer sheet to neutralize it before heading out with friends, but I think I’ll have to invest in anti-static-cling spray before wearing it out again.

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Grades were due yesterday, and I received my course evaluations this morning. I’m now officially allowing myself to not think about work for the next week. So far my break plans include decluttering and organizing my apartment (a continuation of a project started months ago), going to the movies, seeing family and friends as much as possible, and enjoying sleeping in with Lola. Tomorrow I’m heading in to Charlotte to explore some places that I don’t usually get to during my work week, so follow along on Instagram or Snapchat if you’d like to connect more day-to-day.

 

OOTD: Dressing with Your Vision

A couple weeks ago I reached out on Instagram and Facebook to seek out your advice on how to style Eloquii’s (now sold out) fit and flare dress. You all gave me multiple suggestions on how to go about it, and the challenge I made to myself was to not spend any additional money on the look. While I got a lot of suggestions, from wearing it with a scarf and moto jacket to “Russian winter theme”, I started with the following suggestions:

eloquii1eloquii2 Now I don’t own a pea coat currently, but I had the booties. My immediate thought was to wear it with this oversized chain necklace I owned, but I felt like it was a style or look I had done in the past, so I started playing with some of the jewelry I have. I was originally going for a shorter necklace, but then just put on the long one to see how I liked it. Then I added in a different chain necklace and found that I really liked the layered look. This is actually the first time I’ve worn layered necklaces. Living on the edge, y’all!

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I also just finished watching Good Girls Revolt on Amazon Prime, so I went with straight hair with a braid along the front.

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I added in the long coat I had from Target. It has a close feel to a peacoat without the distinct button pattern you’d expect.

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I really loved dressing with your vision. It pushed me to try something new, and I think it wasn’t as safe as maybe my first reach would have been when I went to wear the dress. Thanks Eloquii, Sally, and Sarina in helping me style this look!

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Dress – Eloquii, Boots – Evans, Coat – Target, Long Necklace – Charming Charlie, Short Necklace – UrbanOutfitters

You’ll have to let me know if you like offering styling. I’d love to do a post like this one every month or two since it helps me get out of my rut of typical styling choices :).

OOTD: Another Simple (but cozy) Fall Outfit

Interrupting your Election Day anxiety-cheering-whatever-your-emotion evening with a short post of a simple Fall outfit that I wore today. November has finally brought in the cool crisp weather that I’ve been wanting all October, so I could finally wear a jacket and not sweat underneath it. Also, I happen to fall under the anxiety camp in terms of today’s emotions, so layering up in a jacket and scarf was just what I needed to feel a little more cozy during an uncertain time.

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Easiest fall outfit = black leather jacket, jeans (in black or blue), boots, and a scarf. I’m always up for  easy-peasy outfit that looks pulled together but takes no thought (because at 6am, I’m not thinking well).

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The scarf was featured in my last vlog post, and it came free from GwynnieBee (referral link). Jacket is a splurge item from Sejour at Nordstrom, though there are similar more affordable options here, here, and here. Plain black tee from Old Navy, jeans from Torrid, and ankle boots from Evans (similar).

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I hope that however you feel about elections, that you all are having a good evening. I’m currently watching Good Girls Revolt, snuggling with Lola, and everything feels okay (for now).

OOTD: Marble

Over the last year I’ve been working toward buying more quality pieces for my wardrobe that could work well in a professional environment as well as evening/”going out” type of situations. Finding pieces with eye-catching and adaptable styles in good fabrics and in my size is a tall order that I often can’t achieve, but I do feel that in the past couple months I’ve made some great discoveries as I’ve found more brands that offer these kind of pieces (mostly) in my size. Now when I’m considering higher-quality items, I’m thinking of quality materials, polished styles, and better fits, not necessarily higher price points. This look has some of my latest finds that are helping me improve my wardrobe, and I wore it out today to an academic conference:

1arimg_8618Top: Eloquii, Skirt: Melissa McCarthy Seven7, Shoes: Lane Bryant

I’ve known about Eloquii for years. In fact, I still have pieces from their first existence as a sub-brand of The Limited, but I am not a regular shopper of Eloquii because they do not offer all of their styles in sizes 26 and 28. I had a couple months there where I would go to their site, and literally every. single. item. I. wanted. stopped at a 24. I also had purchased some items about a year ago that I thought had good promise, but they ended up being slightly too tight and too short, and so they never became a part of the circulation of my wardrobe.

I’ve been really impressed with Eloquii working toward offering more sizes lately. They now have some petites as well as the “Viola” cut, which is meant to fit shapes where a person’s bottom/pant size is 1-2 sizes larger than their bust/top size. When looking at their site at the Viola options, I saw a few styles up to a 28 that I liked, and Eloquii always has great sales, so I took advantage and decided to try them out once again.

I was pleasantly surprised. Everything I ordered fit me really well, and this top, which was purchased at a 28, is even a little big in the bust and sleeves. Not at all what I was expecting from my last experience of things being too small (I like this top so much that I’ve already ordered it in a size down). Putting on this top, the fabric was denser and nicer than one typically gets in plus size clothing. And, I should say, with the coupon this top was only $35 dollars — “nicer” pieces are not always expensive. This is cheaper than some Old Navy tops and 1000x better quality. Once I tried it on, I knew immediately that I wanted to pair it with the marble print pencil skirt that I had purchased from Melissa McCarthy Seven7.

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Melissa McCarthy’s line has impressed me over and over again. She has great quality items. This skirt’s fabric is so nice, the print is vibrant, and her pieces would work wonderfully for tall people. Most impressive– after one season of offering items up to a 24/3X, she expanded to a 28/4X. I’m hopeful that she’ll keep exploring more sizes, but I will note that her dresses and skirts are roomy and many could fit someone at a size 30.

At 5’4″, I need to alter her items (for example, I pulled up this skirt to be right underneath my bust — that’s how long it is on me), but it is always easier to take fabric off than to not have access to it at all because it’s too small/short/etc. Melissa’s line is just outside of my typical price range. It means not spending money on more affordable fashion that won’t last as long in order to purchase one piece from her. Now, this isn’t hard for me because I own too many clothes as it is, but it might be harder for others who are building their wardrobe. She does occasionally have sales, and I recommend hopping on it when she does.

1rimg_8608Top: Eloquii, Skirt: Melissa McCarthy Seven7, Shoes: Lane Bryant

Lastly, Lane Bryant has been impressing me lately with shoe options. Often times the shoes I like are “online exclusives”, so I take a gamble on them, and these cutout block heels really paid off. The heel height is perfect for me–I cannot do high heels. The base is cushy and comfortable. I’m into the ties, and I love that the ties are suede and just as nice looking as the shoe themselves. I think I bought these with a coupon too, and I feel that these shoes look more expensive than they actually were.

I finished my look with cheaper jewelry – simple silver earrings from a local boutique and a really old faux white-marble stone ring. One place I haven’t made investments? Jewelry. Maybe someday….

Have you tried these brands — what did you think? What brands do you buy from for higher quality pieces? 

Review: Little Red Dress

On the occasion that I need dressy attire or semi-formal wear, I always look to Kiyonna first to see what they have available. I started wearing Kiyonna when I attended a wedding in 2010. I had never had a dress that fit me so well, and I felt elegant in the piece. So when I had an occasion this past summer, I looked back over their collection again. I still wanted the great fit and elegance of Kiyonna, but I also wanted to select a style that was more bold than the demure styles I typically pick. I was really intrigued by the shape of their Foxfire faux wrap dress, so I picked it up via their Amazon shop in ‘Merlot’. I was excited to try on this style, but even more excited about the color. My life needed a little red dress.

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I loved the ruching on the side and the way the “wrap” dress front hangs on the body. I could have done without the halter strap on the dress — just a normal sleeve and shoulder would have worked for me, but it does add something different to the dress that not all dresses have.

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The back comes down in a deep-v, and the dress fits closely to the body.

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I kept my jewelry simple because I just can’t take a lot of jewelry. These earrings worked well and brought in other colors to the look without demanding a ton of attention (similar style here).

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I also pulled out a clutch that I got years and years ago from Evans when I used to do blogging collaborations with them. It’s still in great condition, and I love the beading and color.

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I love this little red dress and how powerful and beautiful it makes me feel. It’s a great option for a date night or for an event where a less-than-modest dress is appropriate. As always with Kiyonna, the fabric is heaven, and the size fit just as described in their size chart. I highly recommend this piece!

*Shopping tip: this style is available on their Amazon shop but not their regular website. I sometimes find the Amazon store has other colors too. Downside- no discounts.

**Dress purchased on my own. Post was not sponsored.

OOTD: Ready for Work, Thanks to Torrid

Styling looks that are a. work appropriate, b. slightly “well dressed” but still meeting some level of comfort, and c. fun is not exactly an easy thing to do. Some days when I go to work, I am thankful that I had enough energy to wake up and dry my hair. Other days I’m stuck to what’s clean and available. Then I have my on point days, where the stars align. I can fix my hair AND have an outfit that not only “works” for work but also is an expression of my style. The following look is one of the latter–though, I’d make a small edit next time…

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Continue reading “OOTD: Ready for Work, Thanks to Torrid”

OOTD: My Summer to Fall Dress – Summer Style

A few weeks ago I decided to purchase a wrap dress as a transition piece for fall to summer. When I look for dresses that will transition from summer to fall/winter, I look for one that is short enough to wear with tights as it gets colder and one in a color and/or print that would lend well to the fall season. While I had originally imagined that fall look (black tights, scarf included), I had the opportunity to wear it in its summer version today as I hung out at my parents’ for a boat ride and then dinner.

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When I first spotted this ASOS Curve wrap dress, the color and price were what I noticed first. At $32, this dress is cheaper than most plus size companies’ prices for a sweater. I tend to go for jewel colors in the fall, so this shade of green-blue was right up my alley. I didn’t realize the wrap was a faux wrap, as it is sewn in, but I was happy to discover this, especially because the length is a little shorter than what I usually wear.

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I accessorized the look with a couple different pieces: gold jeweled sandals from the Nine West outlet, a gold ring from ASOS Curve, a shell bar necklace from Charming Charlie (similar), and cat eye sunglasses from BP at Nordstrom. I’m really, really into these sunglasses, and I highly recommend stopping by the junior’s section in Nordstrom to look at sunglasses and jewelry if you’re ever in there to shop.

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The dress is definitely shorter than I am used to. In fact, I was thinking this is the first time I’ve seen my knees in a pic outside of a swimsuit in awhile. The length can feel uncomfortable on me. Mostly I worry that the skirt will jump up too much when I walk and reveal my bottom half (eek). This will be fine once I’m wearing it with tights, but my mom also did a quick check for me, and it seems to be more in my head than actually happening in reality.

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If you’re looking for a comfortable and affordable wrap dress, I definitely recommend this piece. ASOS Curve sometimes runs large, and that works for people like me who wouldn’t typically fit in their size range.  I recommend sizing down a size or two from your typical size that you would wear at Torrid or Lane Bryant. I will share my fall styled look for this dress in a couple months or whenever it cools down enough for tights.

P.S. The pups were on hand to “assist” with my attempt to take pictures, but they ended up completely ignoring me.

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