What I Wore: Pink & Wine

I don’t know if the color of this scarf is properly called “wine” but I’m going with it:

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Dress: H&M
Blazer: Cartonnier
Scarf: no label – I think it’s wool
Sandals: Clarks (retail)

Here’s a closeup.  The “wine” color is a bit intense/saturated compared to my normal wardrobe palette, but the pink/gold/orange tones in it lighten things up a bit, as does the pink jacket and the white dress:
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Mmmm, print-mixing…

I don’t do square scarves very often and this is why:WP_20170509_13_05_12_Pro

I can’t get them to stay where I want/showing the part of the pattern I want. Suggestions? Maybe I’ll just pin the sucker to my dress next time…

Here is the outfit sans blazer:
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Side view:
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Styling: I started with a dress; Tuesday = yoga day which calls for a simple one-piece to change into after 90 minutes of down dog. I wanted to warm things up with some red-based tones after having worn navy blue-heavy outfits the previous three days, and I knew the v-neck of the dress would work well as a spot to showcase a scarf; hence this particular number, with colors that make me beam!
I knew we’d have meetings in chilly parts of the building so I added a blazer, with this woman’s wide range of reds as inspiration for my color choice:

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From this post

That way I could also justify keeping my red nail polish on!

I rolled my cuffs and went to work (literally).

Thoughts: the print-mixing on this is my happy place. I really like how the pink/wine (mulberry?)/red all read together and have Costco lady above to thank for that. In hindsight I would have worn a gold necklace peeping through the scarf and my gold cuff to bring a little more polish (and pick up the gold tones in the scarf).

What are your tricks for making a scarf stay in place? What do you think of my smorgasboard of red-based hues?  Scroll down to comment.

Spring 10×10 Remix: Day 9

I’m doing the 10×10 spring remix hosted by Un-Fancy and StyleBee. I’m using 10 pieces of clothing to create 10 different outfits, using self-imposed limitations to spark some creativity. All the details – and the clothes (all thrifted)– here.

Day 9 – the penultimate! I paired the white Ann Taylor skirt with the peach leopard print blouse by Forever 21. I don’t think that counts as “high-low” in the original designer/mass market sense of the term…but these two are definitely from the high and low ends of the retail cost spectrum in terms of what I normally thrift! I finished it off with a Monet cuff bracelet and Clarks sandals (retail):

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Pockets!
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Painted nails left over from a weekend wedding – so fancy!WP_20170425_16_29_51_Pro

Close up on that pattern:
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Styling notes: rolled sleeves, natch. Tucked in shirt pulled out just a smidge to give it some insouciance.
I also love the look of more tailored shirts worn untucked over pencil skirts, but I decided to go with just one kind of top in my wardrobe for simplicity’s sake, and this looser version with some lovely drape and roll to it, tucked in to skirt or slacks for a more put-together flavor, feels more “me.”
I think this might look slightly better with my slide wedges but I felt lazy and went for comfort with the flatter sandals.
Last but not least, here’s another safety pin creation – the gaps in the blouse are held together by pins. You can probably see it a little more here than in the previous shirt, because I have one pin that needs some rearranging.  Same trick used on the skirt as well.

Thoughts: I’m a fan. I included this skirt in my 10×10 to establish it as a wardrobe staple instead of something I wish I’d wear but just haven’t gotten over the hurdle yet. And this second wearing got me there!  I like the lightness of these colors together – it’s a palette cleanser, but not so neutral that my eyes are searching for color. And you know I love the subtle funk in that leopard print…

 

One day more! Are you bored of my choices yet? I’m not, but I’m also looking forward to slowly adding some of my other clothes back in and seeing what really fits great with these staples and what can float on down the river to someone else.

See ya tomorrow!

 

Spring 10×10 Remix: Days 6 & 7

I’m doing the 10×10 spring remix hosted by Un-Fancy and StyleBee. All this work week and next, I’ll be using 10 pieces of clothing to create 10 different outfits, using self-imposed limitations to spark some creativity. All the details – and the clothes (all thrifted)– here.

Leave it to me to forget that work would be closed this past Monday (observance of Easter); I spent the first half of the day in pjs and the second half in workout clothes. And yesterday was a whirlwind of meetings, prepping for church council, and voting in a special election, so today you get TWO 10×10 outfits. Aren’t you lucky? :X

Day 6

Post-vote pics at home from a very fore-shortened perspective (thanks to the Spouse for capturing photos):

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H&M dress; J. Crew belt; Monet cuff bracelet; sandals by Clarks (retail); “I’m a Georgia voter” sticker courtesy of the GA elections department (placement courtesy of my preschooler).

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Blazer by Merona

Styling notes: I did the same trick with my belt as last week, turning the buckle part around to the back so it didn’t weigh down the belt below the waist seam. I’ve trimmed up a bit from running more lately; I think it may be time to put another notch in my belts so this isn’t a problem the rest of the summer.
I’ve stuck with a relatively simple necklace here, in a length that fits the v-neck; come full-on summer I’ll probably pair this with some of my bold, shorter necklaces. I could probably also pair this shorter necklace with a longer pendant, but as I’m a fan of cleaner looks that’s probably a stretch.

Thoughts on this outfit: So this dress is a keeper. I love the cut, the length, and the different (for me) neckline. I’m just going to ignore the odd lining around the neck, or perhaps chalk it up to “character.”
The blazer is super comfortable, like wearing a sweatshirt, and I love the silhouette as well – my ideal blazer silhouette, skimming without flaring. I’m going to wear it with my blue sheath dress as well, but if I can’t convince myself it goes with my grey dress pants, I’m not sure how much additional wear I’ll get out of it. Y’all know I love print mixing, but layering this pattern right on top of my patterned blouses doesn’t always look right. And I want blazers that work with most of my wardrobe, not just 1 or 2 pieces. I’ll probably keep it through this summer and then send it on if I don’t find enough slots for it.

Day 7
Today we’re back in blouse-and-pencil-skirt territory.  Huzzah!

I paired the linen/cotton “soft wash shirt” from Banana Republic with my H&M pencil skirt and the same Clarks sandals (retail) above:WP_20170419_12_11_55_Pro

I had planned to keep the same jewelry as well, until I noticed that the (mostly) solid color blocking here felt kind of… boring. The outfit was asking for a little more interest, so I swapped out my gold studs for dangly earrings I made, and suddenly there’s a bit more oomph happening:
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Closeup on those earrings, made from thrifted parts:
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Here’s the outfit in profile:
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Styling notes: added some pizzazz to plain outfit with a little more “out there” jewelry; rolled those roll-tab sleeves ’cause it’s gonna get warm this afternoon.

Thoughts on this outfit: blouse + pencil skirt = win. Love the earrings.
Still not sold on the shirt; it is very soft but still has more structure/stiffness than my normally silky blouses and thus doesn’t lay as well when tucked in. Relatedly, the texture is a little too…hmm… rustic? for my taste. I don’t hate it, it just doesn’t look quite as polished paired next to something smoother. But my white skirt is also textured and this skirt is rumpled enough to pass as textured… ha.
I know I want to be able to wear it out over pants, and that would involve tailoring (either by myself – yipes – or an actual tailor), so I might just leave it as is and donate it for someone else to enjoy. When you’re using two paragraphs to convince yourself about a thrift find, it may be time to let it go.

 

How’s your 10×10 going? Whether you’re doing one or not, is your spring weather throwing you curveballs fashion-wise?
I’ll be away from the office this Friday and Monday as well, so look for Day 8 tomorrow and Days 9 & 10 next week.

 

Spring 10×10 Remix: Day 5

I’m doing the 10×10 spring remix hosted by Un-Fancy and StyleBee. All this work week and next, I’ll be using 10 pieces of clothing to create 10 different outfits, using self-imposed limitations to spark some creativity. All the details – and the clothes (all thrifted)– here.

Day 5: Get excited, no coat today! It was warm enough to wear just this cotton tunic and I am all in. I saved this gloriously Delft-plate-esque Chico’s top for Friday because it felt a little more casual than some of my other blouses… although on closer inspection the print is quite dramatic and that by itself makes it feel a little more formal.
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I paired it with my Vince Camuto pants and flat sandals instead of a skirt and wedges because I knew I’d be doing a lot of carrying stuff up and down stairs as a I break down the altar from Maundy Thursday and get ready for Good Friday. #holyweek #akaclergycrunchtime

Side view, with slits up the side for a little give in the hips:
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You may remember the original had little tassels but they were a different blue and kind of raggedy:
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I thought they made the otherwise striking print and clean silhouette look a little ratty, so I cut them off and just tied the ends in a simple overhand knot. They look weird actually tied together so I just let them hang:
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Closeup on that gorgeous pattern:
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Let’s take a second to discuss the hair. This relaxed side-ponytail is my current favorite hairstyle. It basically comes out of a mindless “agh, I need to tie my hair back to keep it from getting in my breakfast/coffee/toddler’s current art project” and then 20 minutes later I look in the mirror and realize it’s gorgeous so I secure the hair tie one more loop to keep it there.  I can’t make it look this way on purpose if I try!  Sigh.  (PS If you are wondering, I am still doing no poo 18 months in; update post to come.)

Bonus: when I try to do a different pose and it turns out horribly corny:WP_20170414_10_19_24_Pro

Thoughts on this outfit: It’s a win. 3/4 length-sleeves are my fave and the bold pattern, as I noted above, dresses up an otherwise poolside-worthy top (don’t get me wrong, I’d still take it to the pool). So light and breezy but with a great torso-skimming cut. (I’m looking at you, soft wash shirt – THIS is what we’re aiming for!)  Those bright, contrasting colors will feel even more spot-on once the weather heats up.

Happy Passover to those celebrating, and a meaningful Good Friday and Easter to those celebrating as well. (I meant to wish the same for Maundy Thursday yesterday but forgot.)

Scroll down to tell me how your remix is going and what you think of Day 5.  I’ll be back on Monday to start off week 2 of the 10×10. Thanks to all those who have commented for making it so enjoyable thus far!

10×10 Spring Remix: Day 3

I’m doing the 10×10 spring remix hosted by Un-Fancy and StyleBee. All this work week and next, I’ll be using 10 pieces of clothing to create 10 different outfits, using self-imposed limitations to spark some creativity. All the details – and the clothes (all thrifted)– here.

Day 3: You may be getting tired of this Tahari by Arthur S. Levine dress coat (coat dress?) but I’m not! It goes with everything:
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Sandals by Clarks (retail); shirt by Banana Republic; pants by Vince Camuto; bracelet by Monet; necklace = heirloom

I actually thought about wearing my grey marled Merona blazer pictured in the post mentioned above, just for some variety; but the grey in it is juuuust different enough from the grey in these Vince Camuto pants that I wasn’t feeling it. There goes my idea to pair its pattern with these solid pants for a “casual suiting” look! (Don’t worry, the blazer will still get plenty of wear in this 10×10, paired with skirts and my dress.)

The action shot – long-haired people, you know that move where you untuck your hair from the coat/jacket/cardigan you just put on?
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Without the coat:
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This is the “Soft Wash Shirt” by Banana Republic – a mix of linen & cotton. I love how soft it is and how it combines that softness with some clean lines – see those seams on either side of the placket? They give it a little polish that brings its relaxed linen texture from “weekend” to “work wear”:
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And check out the roll-tab sleeves (y’all know I love a good roll tab):
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But. (Why does there have to be a “but”?!) The “fitted” look those seams give it is just not fitted enough for my torso:
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Meh. Now we’re back in weekend territory.

See the difference when I pin it behind my back?  Don’t know why I didn’t see this in the dressing room.
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It’s not terribly noticeable (especially when I’m wearing a coat/blazer), but not ideal. I’m not sure if I should re-donate it as-is so someone else can enjoy it, or take it to my tailor and see how expensive it would be to bring it in a little. With a spot of tailoring it could be a wardrobe star this summer when Atlanta hits 90+ degrees and 90 percent humidity every day.
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My overall feeling about this outfit? The color palette is right in my wheelhouse, and I love the way the coat looks over the blouse. I am not happy with the fit of the blouse, but since I included it to get a better feel for how it plays with the rest of my wardrobe, I see that information as a win. I’m looking forward to pairing it with a skirt next week to see how it does tucked in, since the fabric is stiffer than the blouses I usually tuck.

What do y’all think of the outfit? Would you donate the shirt or take it to the tailor? How’s your remix going?

 

10×10 Spring Remix – Day 2

I’m doing the 10×10 spring remix hosted by Un-Fancy and StyleBee. All this work week and next, I’ll be using 10 pieces of clothing to create 10 different outfits, using self-imposed limitations to spark some creativity. All the details – and all the clothes – here.

Day 2: white H&M shift dress paired with the same dress coat (Tahari by Arthur S. Levine) as yesterday, Clarks sandals (retail), and a little added interest with a leopard print belt by J. Crew and my new (to me) cuff bracelet (Monet):

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This dress. I love the length, the neckline is new (to me) and fresh, and the sleeves aren’t so cap they feel like afterthoughts:
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It has interesting structural details – 2 subtle pleats up front, diamond-shaped bias seams on the side (I’m making up these terms as I go along), and a strange, Jessica Rabbit-reminiscent lining showing through at the bust :
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Styling note: I turned the belt around because the weight of the metal buckle was pulling down in the front and keeping it from lining up with the very obvious waist seam. Ta-da:
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It’s hidden when I wear the coat but makes for an unexpected detail even when not hidden:WP_20170411_11_23_23_Pro (1)

This outfit is my sweet spot – a classic sheath dress with something a little funky to keep it from being boring. The coat is, again, super elegant and I dig that it’s not the exact same length as the dress, which keeps the pairing from looking too matchy-matchy or cutting me off at the knees.

Though I’m still not sure how I feel overall about this dress (that weird lining!), I’m excited to style it a different way next week to get a better feel for  whether it’s a keeper – which is, after all, why it’s in my 10×10.

What’s your Day 2 look like? What do you think of this look? Scroll down to comment!

Metallic Wedges and Making Room for the Pieces You Want

You’ve probably heard the idea that if you’re ready for something new to come into your life (a job, a relationship, a piece of clothing) but you’re holding on to the old one, what you’re really communicating to the universe is that you aren’t ready – not yet.

I don’t know if that’s true, but it sure seems to work as far as my wardrobe is concerned.

I had been thinking about upgrading my attracts-all-the-fuzzies navy blazer for a few weeks, but hadn’t let go of it yet because I was afraid I’d need it for an outfit.  Then I realized that holding on to it was probably clogging up my attempts to find a fresh one, so I thanked it for its service – this post is starting to sound very new age – and put it in the donation bag, and lo and behold, found my new (to me) blue plaid blazer on my next thrift trip:
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Since this bag’s straps now have split and are coming out of the body, I’ve been looking for a new (to me) leather bag for several weeks with no luck.  The bag in better days (and not just because of the wine):IMG_2393
I kept thinking it was such a great bag and that surely I’d need it for the rest of winter, but then I just started using my gold bag instead, which looks a little summery but works just fine.  I finally put the leather bag in the donation bag last week (yes, yes, after thanking it – it’s been through a lot!); I’ll let you know what turns up next.

And now, for the star of the post.

In the last few years these great Clarks metallic wedge sandals have been my go-to to dress up my summer wardrobe. (They’re thrifted! Still can believe my luck).   They’ve accumulated so much wear that, even last summer, I was taking pictures only from the bird’s eye view to obscure the wear and tear on the wedge heel.  But even here you can see the paint peeling off the sole:

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I thanked them awhile back and started keeping my eyes open for their replacement.  My criteria?  Moderate wedge heel for a dressier look than my more casual flat sandals; dull metallic to go with all my summer clothes; comfortable.

Last week I found them:

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I’ll miss the cool braided look of my old wedges but am happy with these.  What do you think of them?  And what’s your experience with holding onto things you aren’t really ready to let go of?

 

What I Wore & How I Styled It: Steve Urkel Chic

Last week, without realizing it, I dressed like a great style icon of the 90s – Steve Urkel:

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I subbed a belt for suspenders, but otherwise I had his look down: coordinating cardigan, high-waisted pants, high hems on those pants, and ankle socks:

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Swiss dot cotton button down by Merona – thrifted
Wine corduroy pants by Style & Co. – thrifted

Merino wool cardigan by Talbots – thrifted
Leopard print hair belt by J. Crew – thrifted
Socks by Target – retail
Shoes by Clarks – retail

How’d I get to this fabulous combination?

First up: base pieces.  I started off wanting some warm hues after a week in my travel wardrobe‘s polar palette, so I paired this button down with these pants:

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The current iteration of this shirt, you may have noticed, is a true button down instead of the former popover tunic. I swapped the tunic version (too narrow in the chest/hips) for this same brand/print in a slightly larger size.  Yes, I cried a little to lose the popover cut and length, but I wanted to wear this great textured pattern more often than the constant tug-and-reposition act was inspiring me to do.  Comfort over style, people – or rather, style informed by comfort.

Next: a topper. My workplace is chilly in some spots but the temp outside was supposed to hit 66 F – hey Hotlanta, I love you so much this time of year! – so I decided to add a thin cardigan I could layer/unlayer with ease.  I went back and forth between the one on the left (from my spring wardrobe), which would have made for an interesting contrast in hem lengths, and the one on the right, which brought some extra punch in the pattern department:

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Hmm, the outfit on the left is basically this same outfit, translated for warmer weather.

Surprise surprise – I just couldn’t resist the contrast of two great patterns (one subtle) in related colors and chose the cable pattern one.

I buttoned the top several buttons because, left to its own devices, the top button flops around and doesn’t stay put, but I left the bottom several unbuttoned because I wanted the contrast in patterns to show through:

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Since the hem on this shirt isn’t as long as it used to be, I next had to decide whether to tuck or untuck.  The relatively similar length of the button down and the cardigan answered that for me – I’d much rather have a visual contrast between hem lengths than have them line up in a way that cuts me off:

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Well, then, of course the high waist drew attention to itself and looked funny with no belt.  Out came my trusty leopard belt – a print that functions like a neutral:

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A little less of a closeup:

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Last but not least, metallic bronze flats that would pick up the warm browns in the belt and the shiny gold of the cardigan buttons; and striped socks with all the constituent colors represented (a feat that makes me ridiculously happy):

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That’s a lot of sock showing.

 

So what do y’all think of my high-tide, pattern-mixing homage to Urkel – is it “No sweat, my pet”?  Or more along the lines of “Got any cheeeeeeese”?

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Scroll down to comment!

 

Travel Wardrobe: Cold Weather in a Carry On

No Friday ReBlog today because I haven’t been reading enough (any?) blogs over the holidays to find good stuff for ya.  It’ll be back next week; in the meantime, send me your favorite thrift- or style-related blog posts at leah AT thriftshopchic DOT com or leave ’em in the comments.

We went to the Great White(ish) North for a week over the Christmas holiday and I had to figure out how to pack for cold weather in a carry on. The limited parameters on my wardrobe were not as dramatic as this trip when I packed my stuff and my kid’s into a tote bag (which I promptly forgot), but I did need to think practically about how everything would go together since warm clothes take up more space and thus afford fewer slots to play with.  Everything is thrifted unless otherwise noted.

Using the template from the How to Pack a Travel Wardrobe post, I’m factoring in:
-length of trip (6 days);
-weather/activities at destination (cold; family time + church + exercise); and
-laundry facilities (check!)

Knowing it would be cold, I started off with this wool/cashmere/angora sweater from the Loft, which is as cozy a garment as you’d hope to find:

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Then I picked out tops to go underneath:

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4 tops, with plans to either rewear or wash depending on how many living room dance parties were to be held.  L to R: Coldwater Creek, Piazza Sempione, Loft, J. Crew

I also tucked in a sleeveless undershirt in case it got REALLY cold – didn’t need it but was glad it was there.  And I wore leggings (see below) under my pants when were going to be outside for a significant amount of time.

Then pants that picked up the colors in the sweater and would serve as great neutral bases:

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L to R: Banana Republic, IT! Jeans

I wasn’t keen on the grey at first, since I had a grey turtleneck; doing too much grey because it’s just depressing when it’s dark and cold. But the corduroy on the dark grey ones is almost like velvet, making them so chic I knew they would dress up my otherwise comfy outfits.   I thought about bringing my navy cords, too, but since I couldn’t justify 3 pairs of pants (no room!), I decided to keep the grey and just not wear it with the grey top.  (Look for a post next week introducing the caramel velveteen pants.)

Jewelry:
Same ol’ earrings every day, plus one pendant necklace, the cream and dark taupe of which would jive nicely with my sweater:

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Necklace DIYed from Goodwill parts.

Shoes:
I went for one these two, to cover church (bronze flats by Clarks – retail) and everything else (navy Pumas):

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Plus sneakers for running (retail).

 

Workout clothes:
Luckily my sister-in-law is pretty devoted to her running schedule so I knew I’d get a chance to run with her – motivation!

I packed a silk undershirt to layer and keep me warm:

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And a bamboo tech shirt to layer on top:

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It wasn’t cold enough to need more than that – I just had to run about 5 minutes to warm myself up and the silk kept me nice and snuggly.

I also brought bulky but oh-so-worth-it track pants from highschool to keep my legs warm while running.

I brought two pairs of leggings, one for sleeping and one for layering under the track pants, both American Apparel (retail).  Here was my shirt to sleep in (and to wear one day before I slept in it):

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Faded Glory.

Sadly, I discovered ANOTHER hole in it, so it’s hereby consigned to winter sleepwear with no daytime cameos:

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Outerwear
I wore my trusty red wool peacoat on the plane (well, used it as a blanket) and packed my freshly thrifted winter accessories in the outer pocket of my carry on so I could get them out first thing after landing:

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J. Crew

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No tags.

Here are my outfits.  There’s not a lot of variety, but I liked the formula.  Furthermore, I had no one to impress and just wanted to look put together and feel WARM.  Mission accomplished:

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(worn twice)

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(worn twice – except for the bowling shoes, those were just worn once)

 

What are your strategies for packing sufficient cold weather clothes into a small space?  Do you ever just pick one simple outfit formula and wear variations of it to keep packing super simple?  Scroll down to comment, and Happy New Year!

 

 

What I Wore/How I Styled It: Summer Dress in Winter Weather

I thrifted a lovely little number this week and felt inspired to wear it right away – the sign of a good thrift.  There was just one problem – it was a cotton shirt dress.  Even in Atlanta, December is not always friendly to warm weather clothes.  But I was determined.

My biggest tip for wearing warm weather clothes in cold weather? Layer both over and under.

So I started with a sleeveless undershirt to keep me warm.  (If it had been even colder I would’ve gone with my cream turtleneck.)

Then I put the dress on and tried out a few different leg-coverings: regular thin-ish cream leggings, cable-knit white leggings.  The first seemed too summery, and the second were too white – not the warm cream tone I was going for to pair up with this delicious caramel dress.  Then it hit me that my cream corduroys would be the perfect color and warmth.  Et voilà:

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I spy an undershirt:img_4804

I nabbed two of these rings at the Goodwill the other week and popped one on as a necklace and wore one as a ring:|img_4805

Hello glorious safari details:  img_4796

Then I popped my big fuzzy sweater on top to make sure I was cozy.  First wear of the season for this baby:img_4794
Sorry it’s a little blurry – I’m still not great at taking outfit selfies!

And here’s a sassy little bow:img_4791

My favorite – roll tab sleeves!  This sweater is kind of like a shedding polar bear, though:img_4803

 

Last but not least, textured socks and bronze snakeskin flats:img_4801

Shirt dress: Jones New York, thrifted
Undershirt: Cuddleduds?  Can’t tell for sure; thrifted
Sweater cardigan: Loft, thrifted
Corduroys: Lauren jeans by Ralph Lauren, thrifted (new with tags) and tailored
Socks: Target, retail
Shoes: Clarks, retail

 

What warm weather pieces do you wear in the cold, and how do you style them?  Scroll down to comment?