Winter Style Challenge – Day Nine // Open to Interpretation

Hooray! Ten days of inspirational style prompts. God knows I need some! Check out Kayla’s post explaining the challenge here if you would like to play along.

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Today’s prompt was visual. Get inspired by this outfit:

Then go make one of your own.

I had many ideas.

The first idea — was that I NEEEEEEEDED to buy these pants. (In the Green color, of course!) The problem is that “sateen finish” pants are the kind that wrinkle AS YOU ARE PUTTING THEM ON. I am too old for that. Sorry NY & Co. I can’t hang. Also, they fit weird. Too big in the waist, too small in my thighs. Story of my life — thank you CrossFit.

So my second idea was to pair a fun bright color with some neutrals. So I busted out my new hot pink blazer and a khaki skirt. Because HOW CUTE IS THIS BLAZER?

Cute right?

But I’m not sold on it just yet so I haven’t cut off the tags. It’s the button placement. I could do an entire post on that, but I’m afraid the verdict is going to be to take it back and keep looking and my desire for ONE HOT PINK ARTICLE OF CLOTHING is so strong right now. Le sigh.

Anyway, other more pressing problem: my khaki skirt is now too big. Yay! Except um, boo! So I still had nothing to wear. And at that point I was already like 15 minutes late to work.

So in the end, I did this:

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Boots and Pants + some green. Consider that prompt interpreted. There are also some stripes in there because um…obviously. That’s how I roll.

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Tomorrow’s prompt is Something You Are Afraid Of…and already, I’m shaking in my boots.

Winter Style Challenge – Day Eight // Dress Up A Coat

Hooray! Ten days of inspirational style prompts. God knows I need some! Check out Kayla’s post explaining the challenge here if you would like to play along.

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So I mentioned previously that I only have one coat, and what do you know I already wore it the other day! I was quite stumped this morning about how to dress up a coat because along with only owning a single coat I also do not have:

A) Any broach or pin or broach/pin-like accessories
B) Scarves that aren’t cotton-y and don’t really dress up my coat as much as they dress up my outfit
C) Any desire to put a belt on a bulky pea coat

So…see? Stumped!

But as I sat in my closet pacing around I remembered a trench coat that a friend sent to me as a hand-me-down. I had never worn it but I thought hey — I could put a belt on that, right? I mean it comes with a belt. Why do I have to leave THAT particular belt on it. I don’t!

And so I didn’t. I added my own belt. And a leopard print belt, in fact:

And while I don’t LOOOOOOVE it, it definitely took me out of my comfort zone, and the whole process demanded more creativity than I am used to putting into coats. And honestly, it was kind of fun!

Can I get some extra credit for pattern mixing too? Boy, this entire outfit was exhausting! :)

Anyway, like I said, I don’t feel like it’s an 11 out of 10, but I will tell you that belting a coat is something I WILL try again. So, victory I think!

Winter Style Challenge – Day Seven // Bright Color

Hooray! Ten days of inspirational style prompts. God knows I need some! Check out Kayla’s post explaining the challenge here if you would like to play along.

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I took the easy way out today and I will totally admit it. I went for monochrome with a pop of color. (Sidebar: Pop of Color is quickly becoming an expression that really makes me want to roll my eyes when I hear it.)

Anyway, I took the easy way out because I wasn’t feeling super hot this morning, slept in late, had to work and was freeeeeeeeeeezing. So…in the end, we have this:

I have to say, as plain jane as this outfit is though, I still really love this headband, which was a total impulse buy at Target ages ago. Impulse buys, for the win! It’s the perfect way to glam up second day hair in a ponytail. ha!

I just may have to head over to Target on Sunday and make some impulse buys when the Jason Wu for Target line comes out. Have you looked at some of the cute stuff?

Get in my closet!!!

Winter Style Challenge – Day Six // Decade or Region

Hooray! Ten days of inspirational style prompts. God knows I need some! Check out Kayla’s post explaining the challenge here if you would like to play along.

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Well we have passed the summit! This is the last week of style challenges and honestly, this week is a little bit harder for me. I’m already feeling intimidated by the prompts but hey — that’s the point, right? Get a little creative.

Today’s prompt was to get inspired by a decade or region, and about 10 minutes before I ran out the door I still had no idea what I was going to wear. I had planned to wear a dress that would work for a 70s vibe in my mind, but then I tried it on and what do you know…it no longer fits. UGH. I mean…score! It’s too big! But you know…bad news since it was kind of my option.

I looked at the pair of boots sitting in my closet and thought: I have to be able to create something a little 60s/mod with these, right? (But you know, also work appropriate as well as WARM!) so here is what I came up with:

On short notice, I’m pretty happy with it.

Dress/Tights and Bracelet are from (shocker) Target. :)

Crappy iphone pic courtesy of me being in a rush. Ratty Chuck Taylors in the background are because I peeled off my shoes last night and practically crawled into my bed. Basically, it’s a Monday.

Winter Style Challenge – Day Five // Pattern Mixing

Hooray! Ten days of inspirational style prompts. God knows I need some! Check out Kayla’s post explaining the challenge here if you would like to play along.

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So as I mentioned when we talked about embracing trends the other day, I don’t have A LOT of items of clothing with patterns to mix. Actually the truth is, I just don’t really have a lot of items of clothing. What happens when you lose 100 lbs is that you must REPLACE YOUR ENTIRE WARDROBE. While this sounds like fun in theory, it gets a tad expensive and so you learn to be efficient without being boring. My closet right now – it’s efficient. But efficiently full of only solids and stripes, really. Don’t believe me? This is it, friends:

And every single item has been purchased in the last 12 months. I do have another rack of outerwear and a couple dresses, but besides what you see the only other thing you’re missing is some dressers full of workout clothes, underwear and socks. And no one needs to see my sock drawer, okay?

That was a lengthy intro to let you know that I’m not trying to take the easy way out with today’s challenge, but that my options are limited. So the only patterned things I have, I’m wearing (and mixing) today!
Winter Style Challenge

Stripes and Polka Dots! It will have to do :)
Winter Style Challenge

(Along with a GIANT PICTURE OF MY HEAD!)

Scarf: Gap Outlet
Jacket: Jones New York via Ross
Shirt: Banana Republic
Jeans: Old Navy The Flirt
Heels: Target
Bracelet: Banana Republic Outlet

So that was my valiant effort! More patterns are on my list because it is clearly a place that my wardrobe needs to grow. Noted. But I can’t wait to get inspiration from everyone else participating today because pattern mixing sort of scares me.

I’m off to go check it out in the flickr pool.

Winter Style Challenge – Day Four // Channel Someone

Hooray! Ten days of inspirational style prompts. God knows I need some! Check out Kayla’s post explaining the challenge here if you would like to play along.

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I give myself a hard time quite a bit for what I consider very simple style tastes. I’m not super trendy, rarely flashy and don’t have a closet full of hot little numbers to don at a moments notice. So when thinking of someone to channel for today’s prompt, I immediately starting feeling like I wouldn’t measure up. And how stupid is that?

I kept thinking to myself:

“I want to channel someone who is comfortable when they have to sit through a 4 hour sales seminar in the afternoon.”

“I want to channel someone who can throw on pieces in their closet they look like they would be cozy, but also chic.”

“I want to channel someone who looks classic, but not boring.”

And then I had an A-ha Moment that involved a sweater:

Winter Style Challenge

I have so much love for this sweater. It’s from Gap Body so OBVIOUSLY it feels like pajamas! Overall I am super comfortable, but the gold and turquoise jewelry, combined with some comfy and stylish boots make me feel like I’m not leaving the house looking like a total trainwreck.

Do you know what I call this sweater?

My Ralph Lauren Sweater.

Every time I put it on I feel like I should be sitting by a fire drinking hot tea at the wood paneled Lauren Family Compound. I mean, right????

So this channeling exercise was a nice reminder that comfortable and classic can be stylish all at the same time. I mean HELLO isn’t that what The World of Ralph Lauren is based on? And no one’s calling him a slouch!

Winter Style Challenge – Day Three // On How To Embrace A Trend

Hooray! Ten days of inspirational style prompts. God knows I need some! Check out Kayla’s post explaining the challenge here if you would like to play along.

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Today’s challenge was: Embrace A Trend.

This made me panic a bit, friends. But “embrace” is a nice word, I think, when talking about trends. You don’t want to completely snub them, right? Or at least I don’t. I find fashion a fun thing to keep up with because it’s fascinating to watch how aesthetics are influenced over time and I enjoy seeing an artist’s cohesive vision be interpreted by the masses. But enjoying that element, and actually executing a trendy wardrobe aren’t always kissing cousins. You see I don’t ever really purchase designer pieces (you know this, my love for Target is well-documented!) and while I enjoy scrolling through runway looks, I am still the type of style student who thinks LAYERS are hard. So what’s a girl like me to do?

Well let’s get back to the warm, fuzzy hugging. How can someone like me embrace a trend?


For starters, it helps to get friendly with patterns or color combos you hadn’t thought to pair. Last year I fell in love with stripes. This might seem like a really tiny thing, but I was NOT a person who wore patterns. Solids were awesome! Polka dots and prints were a no-go. A year ago you would have never caught me even contemplating something like Fair Isle, but you know — had there been ANY SNOW ON THE MOUNTAINS at the end of last year, I would have found myself an adorable little tunic and rocked the heck out of it drinking hot chocolate in the ski lodge. That baby step of stripes has opened my mind to future possibilities. Hearing that Pantone picked Tangering Tango to be the color of the year, I immediately though…whoa, that’s some ORANGE! Won’t be wearing that, I don’t do orange. But then I saw things like this popping up everywhere and I thought: Ok, orange! No big deal! I could maybe do that. So now it’s on my radar. Of course I don’t own anything that could pass for Tangerine Tango yet but the point is: I’m open!

So — today, as far as trends go, I played it safe. I haven’t purchased a single item of casual clothing in months so while I’d love to be sashaying the heck out of a pair of hot pink pants (hello this is perfection!) I don’t actually own any yet. But last year, after spending way too much time on Pinterest, I was inspired to purchase some items in a color combo that had absolutely NEVER crossed my mind: Mustard and Navy.
(I know, you are laughing at me right now, I know. Everyone has to start somewhere!)

(From left to right, sources include: Academichic (RIP! loved that site!), Dee-Construction, and A Beautiful Mess)

So after all of that! Here is my trend baby step:

Winter Style Challenge

Cardigan: Merona for Target
Tank: Banana Republic
Jeans: Old Navy – The Flirt
Sparkly Shoes: Payless
Bracelet: Target

It won’t win an Oscar for Best Accessories or Most Trendy just yet, but it is helping me open my eyes to new possibilities. And that is what keeps things fashion thing fun, I think. Next stop HOT PINK PANTS.

They will be mine.

Winter Style Challenge – Day Two // Monochrome

Hooray! Ten days of inspirational style prompts. God knows I need some! Check out Kayla’s post explaining the challenge here if you would like to play along.

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Today’s challenge was:  Monochrome.

The only color that is pervasive enough in my closet to have multiple pieces is black.  I suspect I am not alone on this, but that doesn’t make me feel any less amateur. In order to (attempt) to keep from looking like I was heading down to the funeral parlor to see Phaedra and Apollo I had to find some fun accessories to add into the mix.  The leopard print belt jumped right off of it’s hanger.
Winter Style Challenge

Headband: Target
Jacket: Gap
Tank: Old Navy
Pants: Merona for Target
Shoes: Missoni for Target
Ring: I forget, actually. Probably — TARGET! :)

Overall I think this outfit is acceptable.  I would like to have more items in the same color family that aren’t identical. I think I will add that idea to the little shopping list I keep! (Along with some self tanner because HOOOOOO BOOOOY it’s been a long time since my legs have seen the light of day, and it shows!) It did make me grateful for the belt though. That was kind of an impulse buy that I bought for a holiday party last year and I figured I’d never wear it. Now it is one of my favorite things in my closet!

So monochrome was a success! A safe success, but I think a success nonetheless.
(Apparently I want to be a fashionable Dr. Seuss. Don’t mind me.)

Winter Style Challenge – Day One // Layers

Hooray! Ten days of inspirational style prompts. God knows I need some! Check out Kayla’s post explaining the challenge here if you would like to play along.

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Today’s challenge was: Layers.

Can I just tell you I am not that fond of layering. Sure, I like it in theory. It always looks pulled together on others. But you see as someone who grew up being not supermodel thin, and with the shoulders of a defensive lineman, I am hard wired to layer as little as possible. Keep the bulk down! You know? But since I’ve dropped some lbs, and since it is super cold and rainy around Sacramento today, it was not a bad day to have to experiment. So experiment I did.

Here’s what I came up with:

Winter Style Challenge

Coat: Gap Outlet
Striped Sweater: Gap Outlet
Chambray Shirt: Gap
Pants: Merona for Target
Boots: These bad boys! (So awesome if you have enormous calves, like me!)

I have to say, I felt uncomfortable in this outfit. To me, the thing about layers is that they are shifty and I feel like I’m always pulling at myself. But I think it looked better than it felt, so maybe I will try again with a different combo.

I want this challenge to help me step out of my comfort zone a little bit so I’m looking forward to playing along, even if it does make me feel out of my element.

Are you naturally good at layering? What is the secret?

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