Month: January 2014

Plaid is No Fad

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I haven’t done many true “styling” posts. But I had to do one surrounding the $5 plaid leggings I purchased from after Thanksgiving. The leggings have since sold out, but click here for a style that is still available for an affordable $10.80

For anyone who says plaid is huge right now, they’re not lying. In my unprofessional opinion, plaid is always huge! It’s a classic print that can be styled conservatively or edgily.

I initially had the urge to buy plaid leggings after seeing one of my Instagram friends, @sachakaye rock her plaid leggings she purchased from Walmart! So, when I saw a pair on Forever 21’s website (at 50% off the sale price), it was love at first sight.

As soon as I got them in the mail, I immediately started playing dress-up. I have worn them several times since receiving them. Because they are leggings, I made sure to wear a top that covered my backside. I just can’t handle seeing rear ends in leggings. I did kind of push it with Look 1:

I wore them to work so I paired a black blazer from The Limited (ten years old) over a long sleeved mustard T-shirt from Banana Republic ($9 a couple years ago), black Nine West knee boots (gift from the hubs a few years ago!) and a black and gold necklace from Forever 21. The T barely gave me full coverage so I felt like I was pulling it down every time I stood up from my desk. But, I still got a lot of compliments. Maybe the lack of coverage is why ;). ha! I flatter myself.

I figure, you can’t wear plaid without trying to look a little preppy, so here’s Look 2:

I paired them with a longer black sweater from the Loft factory store ($14), an oversized white button down (stolen from my husband), ankle boots from the Kenneth Cole outlet ($25) and my tassel necklace from J.Crew ($23).

My third styling was inspired by the Forever 21 styling of the plaid pants:

I don’t have the picture anymore, but the website had the leggings paired with a high-low top and a leather jacket. So, I ordered this high-low top from Forever 21 for about $6. My leather jacket came from Banana Republic with a 40% coupon last year for $180 and I tried to amp up the edge factor with some $14 open-toe booties with a chain ankle strap.

I also tried to come up with a more “neutral” way to wear them, so I came up with Look 4:

I went with my recent $7 cream sweater from H&M, layered over a chambray button-down from Banana Republic (I believe I bought it for about $30 a couple years ago) and my $58 DV by Dolce Vita boots that I bought from Piperlime.

Since bold pieces tend to be remembered easily, I have put the leggings on retirement for now. Heaven forbid it looks like I repeat items in my closet too many times! But…when the leggings make like Jay-Z and come out of retirement…I’ll try to find a way to make them more “spring appropriate” — a difficult challenge since I feel like this tartan-style has a Christmas vibe. If you have any ideas for transitioning the leggings into spring, I’d love to get your feedback!!

The budding fashionista is on Facebook!

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I’m venturing out, people! Because I have committed to not shopping for 6 months (starting February 1st) I figure I will need to keep some sort of outfit log to track what I’m wearing. Remember, my goal is to try not to repeat an entire look in that timeframe. I think I can do it because I haven’t repeated an outfit yet in the past 3 months or so (a look at some of my looks below).

I am not a mathematician/statistician. If I did a closet inventory and calculated the different outfits I can create combining my tops with pants/skirts/shorts, plus include dresses/jumpsuits/rompers, I would technically be able to tell you if it’s even mathematically possible for me to achieve this feat. But, a mathematician I am not. I suppose I could enlist in the help of Mrs. Bratton, my beloved calculus teacher from high school, but I’ll leave her alone for now.  So, we’ll just have to take it day by day and document it….via Facebook (I do typically post outfits on Instagram, but I know some of you are not active on Instagram)!

Yes, the budding fashionista is joining the Facebook world! If you follow me, you’ll be able to keep track of my outfits of the day (#ootd for all you Instagrammers and hashtag lovers) and maybe even get a few style ideas.

Plus, there’s another reason to follow….drum roll, please!

Sale alerts! I don’t blog every day–there are just not enough hours in the day to be a mom, overnight news producer…AND full-time blogger. But, I do have the time for a regular FB post.

Often, I’ll get great deals or find out about a great sale and I want to shout it from the mountain tops! Now, I can shout it from the virtual mountain that is Facebook.

If there are specific stores you would like me to post on, let me know and I’ll do my best to stay informed for you!

You can certainly expect sale alerts for places like Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, J.Crew, Francesca’s, Lotus Boutique, etc. etc. etc. the list goes on.

Please don’t expect me to get too excited about ALL of the deals, i.e. buy one full priced dress, get the second half off. or 25% full priced sweaters. Nope, not my kind of deals. I’ll be sharing things like, 40-50% off full price and/or sale items. If it’s not a deal I find fabulous, I probably won’t post it.

Thanks for following me as I continue to balance my journey through fashion and finances!

Muffin Tops and Hanger Boobs

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January 1st has come and gone. And while many people have their resolutions set, I’m just now getting mine in order! I’ve never been a stickler for resolutions, I’m always procrastinating and this year seems to be no different. Every year I make the obligatory plan to try and work out more, spend less, save more. blah blah….

I want to do things differently this year now that I’ve had ample time to think about what I want to accomplish in the New Year (although, I really hate that the universe uses the “new year” as an excuse for a fresh start, goal-setting, etc. All this can be done ANY DAY of the year).

I need to give myself specifics. I need plan details. I need accountability–thank you, blogging!

First things first: Work out more. So far, so good. I worked out three days in the first full week of the month and plan to continue with 3-4 workouts a week. I’m pretty much forced to resume a regular running schedule anyway because I have to run the 8-mile leg in a relay of the Mercedes Marathon in February. Can’t disappoint my teammates! It’s  so twisted the only way I can force myself to run/work out regularly is to put my feet to the fire! But hey, whatever it takes to get ‘er done (I live in the south, I can say that).

How is that fashion related? Fitting into my clothes!! I started the winter season buttoning all of my pants relatively easily. So I figured I’m right doing ok and slacked off on the gym. And by slacking, I mean I quit going. Now, I’m dreading getting dressed for work. My first thoughts: Are these the loosest pants I own? Can I button these without my skin folding into itself? Maybe I should opt for leggings and a big, baggy sweater today.

So, my SPECIFIC fitness/weight goal is to proudly get back into a two piece by summer!

country club bikini

I didn’t wear a two piece at all last summer. In 2012 I wore a bikini, but kept my tank top on even while wading in the baby pool with the kiddies.  The proof is in the picture.

I have learned that I really do like a one-piece and find them to be rather sophisticated and appropriate as a mom of 2. But hey, if I can be a mom of 2 and rock a bikini, more power to me!

Second things second: something we all know I’ve tried to tackle–budget issues. It’s safe to say I crashed and burned in December. After my latest budget post, I did even more shopping during post-Christmas sales. A lot. I can’t even remember everything I bought, but I can safely say I probably went over by about $100.

It was fitting that one of my Christmas presents this year, was a book given to me by my older sister: Suze Orman’s The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous and Broke. By the way, sis: thank you for considering me worthy of a book that considers me YOUNG and FABULOUS! Flipping through it, I’ve already learned I’m broke by choice! Ugh! So, I’m considering a new shopping/budget/fashion challenge in 2014.

I am going to try and go 6 months without shopping and without wearing the same outfit twice. I’m inspired by @missjt123 on Instagram–a teacher who  made it her personal mission to go the entire school year without repeating an outfit. I can repeat items, just not entire outfits! Yikes!

This will help me get rid of clothes with “hanger boobs,” a term a former co-worker used to describe the pokey indentions hangers leave in your sleeves/shoulders when they’ve been hanging for a while!

I will start my challenge in February because, as I’ve mentioned in a previous post, January is the prime time for hot sales and I’m already getting my fill! I can’t wait to share my haul with you!

(here’s a sneak peek:

Now, a lot of financially savvy experts do not recommend giving up shopping altogether for fear it will end in some big binge. And that may very well be the case, but I am strategically planning on ending this challenge in July when more end of season sales will be kicking in! So, I’ll still be getting a lot of bang for my buck! Wish me luck…I’m going to need it!

I hope your New Year is going smoothly! And here’s a belated New Year’s toast to getting rid of muffin tops and hanger boobs!!