Polka Dot Layers

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Ann Taylor is a tricksy bitch. She lures me into the store with the promise of an extra 50% off sale items, but then she puts this (full price) amazingly cute polka dot top right in front of me. What’s a girl to do? Buy the amazingly cute polka dot top, obviously. On the plus side, Ann Taylor gives college students 20% off full price items! (They don’t really advertise it, but it’s true. Just show your student ID.)

It’s clearly more of a spring item, and I’m excited to wear it on its own, but I’m not about to wait until April. So layering it is!

Oh, and don’t forget about the Take One, Pass it On Outfit Remix challenge! Check back tomorrow to see my first outfit. Take a look at the details and join in any time you want!

Top: Ann Taylor

Jeans: American Eagle

Necklace: Tiffany & Co. (similar cheaper)

Jacket: Andrew Marc (similar in other colors)

Shoes: Sperry Top Sider

Bracelet: Madewell

Yin Yang

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Prepare to be impressed: Kristin, my fabulous (in her own way) other half, picked out this dress all by herself and got it for me for Christmas! Even more impressive: she got it because it reminded her of this dress I had pinned a while back.

Since the dress is very minimalistic and severe, I thought this flowery statement necklace made for a good mix. As for the heels…I call them my sexy leprechaun shoes. Just thought you should know.

Oh, and I made an impromptu announcement yesterday about a remix challenge. Be sure to check out the details if you didn’t already!

Dress: Narciso Rodriguez for Kohl’s (similar here and here)

Shoes: Bandolino (similar here and here)

Necklace: LOFT (similar)

A Wardrobe Remix Challenge!

Do you wear clothes? If so, you’ll want to listen up.

I had an idea recently for a wardrobe remix challenge, and I want to share it with all you lovely people. I had been thinking of doing the 30×30 Remix challenge made popular by blogger Kendi of Kendi Everyday. BUT being the overachiever that I am, I thought it would be even more fun to come up with my own remix challenge. And I thought of one. You ready? It’s called:

The Take One, Pass it On Outfit Remix

Here’s how it works:

This remix can be done for any length of time you like: a week, a month, or more. The best part is that there’s no prep work of picking out a bunch of stuff before you start (which is the main reason I never got around to trying 30×30).

On day one, you pick out an outfit just like you normally would.

The next day, take one item from the first day’s outfit and mix it into a new outfit. Obviously, underwear doesn’t count (plus that’s gross), and neither does something like your wedding ring or your jeans that you wear 3 times a week anyway. But it could be a shirt, a dress, a belt, a necklace…whatever!

You can see where this is going…On day three, you would take a different item from the previous day’s outfit and wear it again in a different way. And so on and so on.

I’ll be doing the Take One, Pass it On Outfit Remix for the month of February!

Join the fun:

I don’t want to try this all on my own…everything is more fun with buddies. Except Solitaire.

Are you a style blogger? Try my remix challenge (for all or part of February) and document your outfits on your blog! Be sure to link back here in your posts so I can see how it’s going for you (and so others can join in too)! Tell me if you do a summary post at the end, and I will post your link on Sarah’s Real Life.

Not a style blogger? Try it anyway! You’ve got to get dressed, right? If you want, tell me how the remix works for you by chiming on Facebook.

Buried Treasure

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Over the weekend, I cleaned out our coat closet and found this denim blazer. I know it’s mine because it’s too small to be Kristin’s, but I honestly do not remember when or where I bought it. This is really strange for me, because normally I remember everything about my clothes: where I bought it, why I bought it, whether it was on sale, whether I got it as a gift, what I was doing the first time I wore it, the phase of the moon the first time I wore it. You know, normal stuff like that.

But this jacket is a mystery! I can’t complain, though, because the roller coaster that is Midwestern weather is at a high point right now, so this little guy was the perfect layer for my trip to campus today.

Thanks, denim jacket. See you in another 10 years.

Shirt: J. Crew

Jacket: Nine West (similar)

Jeans: The Limited (similar on sale)

Scarf: Marc by Marc Jacobs (similar)

Shoes: Steve Madden (similar)

Bracelet: J. Crew

Earrings: Kate Spade

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Snow Shoes…Sort of.

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As much I love suede, calf hair, and leather (real or faux) on my feet, it’s always good to have some shoes made of cheap man-made materials. If I’ve learned one thing living in Indiana for 9 years, it’s to expect the unexpected, especially in the winter. After my recent snow boot fail, I had decided to forget about trying to follow the weather forecast. I saw some snowflakes out the window, so I went for these all-weather heels in the hopes that not too much more would fall. I survived. Maybe “snow pumps” will become the new thing.

(Or maybe not. The future lawyer in me sees a lot of liability issues with marketing stilettos for icy conditions. Let’s scratch that idea. Snow strut at your own risk.)

Dress: Target (similar here and here)

Cardigan: (similar)

Necklace: Target (bought recently but can’t find it online)

Shoes: Macy’s Style & Co. (similar)

Belt: came with another dress (similar)

Tights: Frenchi (If you’re in the market for some new black opaque tights, I recommend these! They’re really sturdy feeling and the waist band is super comfy. Pretty warm too.)

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When I was in middle and high school, nobody wore cropped pants. It was either capris right under the knee (what were we thinking?) or flared pants that were at least an inch too long. Anything else, and you were wearing “highwaters” and basically committing social suicide.

Times have changed and I’m so glad, because I love the cut of these pants! And I can continue loving them because the bottoms of them won’t get torn up and dirty from dragging the ground.

So…how many years do you think it will be until these are highwaters again? Be sure the let me know because I don’t want the kids at school to tease me.

Vest: LOFT (similar)

Pants: Ann Taylor (extra 50% off!)

Shoes: J. Crew

Sunglasses: Kate Spade

How to Wear Ankle Boots

This post has now been updated for 2014! Click here to see it.


It’s time for the long-awaited next installment of “How to Wear”! This time I’m talking ankle boots or booties. They’re so darn adorable, but they can be hard to wear. They cut off your legs at the ankle (as you might have guessed), which can make you look shorter, which in turn can make you look fatter. I don’t mean to speak for all women, but I tend to shoot to look more like Gisele and less like Danny Devito. The key to wearing ankle boots is elongating your legs as much as you can while still showing off the shape of the shoe.

Your ankle boot styling options depend on the kind of heel you’re working with, so I’ve split my examples into 3 categories: wedges, flats, and heels.

Wedge ankle boots


Wedge boots are my favorite so I put them first! You get extra height, which makes them easier to wear, but they’re still comfortable. I wear my wedge ankle boots with cuffed skinny jeans all the time. Skinny jeans make my short legs look as long as they’ll ever look (still not that long). But cuffing them a bit helps show off the shoe. If you have cropped skinny jeans, that would work too.


Wedge ankle boots can work with a skirt or dress too, as long as the hem falls a few inches above the knee. The more leg that’s showing, the longer your legs look. Just keep it decent, OK ladies?

Shop Wedge Ankle Boots: Save // Spend // Splurge

Flat ankle boots


Flat ankle boots are the hardest. They accentuate my lack of height, but I still love them! I wear them with cuffed skinny jeans just like my wedges. You’ll notice in both of the above outfits I tucked in my shirt – if you’re already cutting off the leg line at the bottom, you don’t want to do it at the top too!


Friends don’t let friends wear leggings as pants. Always cover your junk. That said, leggings can be very slimming on your stems, and you can get away with a short tunic. Flat booties with leggings can be a fun alternative to sneakers or flip flops with a super casual outfit.

Shop Flat Ankle Boots: Save // Spend // Splurge

Heeled ankle boots


Heeled ankle boots can be worn almost any way you would wear regular old pumps. They’re a great option for the winter because they’re a little sturdier than pumps and you get more coverage on your chilly feet.

Shop Heeled Ankle Boots: Save // Spend // Splurge

See more How to Wear posts:

Army Jacket     Oxford Shirt     Denim Jacket     Flared Skirt


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Yesterday was my wife’s birthday so I took her out to dinner at the Melting Pot. Except for the part where I gestured wildly about chocolate fondu and accidentally knocked my pinot noir all over my lap, it was a great time. Good think I elected to wear black, right? I should probably just always wear black when I’m around chocolate or wine because I tend to get very excited about them, and one or both is bound to wind up as an accidental accessory.

Dress: INC (try this, this, or my favorite)

Vest: Ya Los Angeles (similar)

Coat: Victoria’s Secret (similar)

Shoes: Bandolino (similar)

Controlling the Weather

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Yesterday was nice and toasty, all the way up in the mid 20s! As you can see, I got a little braver than yesterday and went outside, but I didn’t get quite brave enough to take my coat all the way off.

There was supposed to be a chance for snow showers all day, so I prepared by wearing my rain boots with fleece socks. And of course there was not a single flake. I know they say you can’t control the weather, but in my experience you can. For example, if there’s a chance of snow, the best way to keep it from snowing is to wear footwear appropriate for snow. If I had worn suede flats, there would have been a blizzard I’m sure.

Top: H&M (similar)

Coat: J. Crew

Jeans: Ann Taylor

Boots: Hunter

Socks: Hunter

Necklace: J. Crew (other tortoiseshell link necklace here)

Hat: handmade gift (similar)

Bracelets: Forever 21, Stephan & Co.

Could I Be Wearing Any More Clothes?!

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Yes, I am well aware that pictures look prettier when you take them outside in natural light. But guess what? The wind chills yesterday were below zero and that’s just not happening. I bundled up the best I could so I could stay alive long enough until the heat in my car kicked in.

Let me give you a rundown of just how many articles of clothing I was wearing:

  • Fleece-lined leggings
  • Dress
  • Jacket
  • Scarf
  • Coat
  • Hat
  • Gloves
  • Fuzzy socks
  • Boots
  • Belt & bracelets (a girl’s gotta accessorize)

I kind of felt like Joey in that episode of Friends when he puts on all of Chandler’s clothes. You know what I’m talking about.

Leggings: Pitaya

Dress: H&M

Jacket: Zara


Coat: Kenneth Cole Reaction (similar)

Hat: handmade gift (similar)

Boots: Matisse (I love these that are on sale!)

Belt: Madewell (similar)

Bracelets: Forever 21