Passed

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I have this weird knack for remembering what I wore on certain occasions, even when the occasions aren’t memorable. (Like: Remember that day it rained and I had to mail a letter? That was the last time I wore X dress, and I wore it with Y shoes.)

But I’ll have a good reason for remembering this outfit, because it’s what I wore the day I found out I passed the Bar! Yep, it’s true. I know because I read the notice slowly, multiple times and out loud, just to make sure I understood it correctly. I had fully prepared myself for the worst, and I like to think I would have handled my failure gracefully, but now we’ll never know because (did you hear the news?) I PASSED!

Also, technically I was wearing pajamas when I got the spectacular news. But this is what I wore earlier in the day, and what I put back on to go out and celebrate with Kristin, who was my sanity-saver, laundry-doer, dinner-maker, and flash card-assembler all summer long. She’s probably just as happy as I am that all that work was worth it. Let’s all take a nice, big exhale of relief together: AAAHHHHHHHHHHH. Have a great week!

Top (on sale) // Pants (under $30) // Bag // similar Shoes (exact may be avail. in DSW stores) // Earrings* // similar Bracelet // Lips

*Earrings purchased with gift card provided courtesy of Shopbop.

On Not Trying Too Hard

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This might come as a surprise considering I put pictures of my outfits on the Internet every day, but it’s not my goal in life to make everyone dress just like I do. I do wish more people would make an effort to have a personal style, but it’s not that important to me what that style is. Nevertheless, I guess some people (including me) look at style blogs for ideas on how to dress, so for those interested, I’ma drop an advice bomb on ya today.

Here’s what I’ve figured out over the years: there’s a fine line between rocking a great style and looking like you’re trying too hard. Go to any wedding reception, and you’ll probably see multiple women wearing the following: a cocktail dress, 3- or 4-inch heels, a statement necklace, bracelet, earrings, a fancy clutch, dramatic eye makeup, bright lipstick, and a hairstyle that took at least 30 minutes. They all look great, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a predictable look. In my opinion, when you look like you’re trying really hard to look chic, you look less chic.

But avoiding the trying-too-hard look is easy. And fun. All you have to do is replace one predictable thing with something unexpected. So for example, I put on this nice dress and did my hair to go to a bridal shower over the weekend. At first I put on heels, but then I swapped them out for these studded flats. I like that the flats are a little edgy, which is cool paired with such a girly dress. Bonus: they’re more comfortable, too! Other good options (which I might do next time I wear this dress) would have been to put my hair in a ponytail or throw on a denim jacket. You get the idea. And the same thing works the other way around – you can add a little something fancy to an otherwise casual ensemble just to make things more aesthetically interesting.

OK, that’s my little bit of totally amateur advice for the day. Do with it what you want, and happy styling!

Dress (on sale) // Necklace (on sale) // Bag // similar Shoes // Sunglasses

Spend or Save? You Won’t Find the Answer Here.

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The elusive “they” say that you should spend more on the things you’ll wear for years, and less on trendy items. In general, I’d say that’s pretty good advice. Then again, sometimes I don’t even know whether I’ll wear something for years at the time I buy it. I got this dress for about $40 I think. Not super cheap, but definitely not what I’d call an “investment piece.” It’s from the Isaac Mizrahi line for Target…that shows you just how old it is, because Isaac hasn’t been designing for Target since 2008! But I distinctly remember buying this from the Target in my college town, which means it’s more likely 2007 or earlier. Since when is a cream, mod-style crochet mini dress a staple to keep in your closet for years? It’s really not. But it is for me. And if I had known at the time I bought it that I would have it for 7+ years, I might have spent more than $40 on it, but it would have been a waste of money because this one has held up perfectly.

And to make you (or maybe just me) scratch your head even more: Less than a year ago I spent $70 on Kate Spade sunglasses, and I now realize they look ridiculous on me and I think I’m going to sell them. So…spend or save? WHO THE HELL KNOWS. Have a good weekend.

similar Dress // Hat (on sale) // Jacket // Shoes* // similar Necklace (on sale) // Bag (on sale)

*Shoes purchased with gift card provided courtesy of H&M.

Complimentary

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A fine arts degree is useful for very few things: impressing your friends at museums, answering Jeopardy questions, and knowing all about the color wheel. Unlike the first two, that last one is actually useful on a regular basis. I love wearing complimentary colors because it’s way more fun than  just matching your colors or pairing a bright with a neutral.

In case you’re a total color wheel novice (maybe you majored in one of those practical subjects like philosophy), complimentary colors are sets of one primary [red/yellow/blue] and one secondary [green/violet/orange] color that are across from each other on the color wheel. So they’re sort of like opposites, which means they make each other look brighter.

I loved the pattern of this chevron scarf, so to make the blues really stand out I decided to wear it over an orange sweater. Thanks, college.

Scarf // similar Sweater* (under $20) // Jeans (on sale) // Bag // similar Shoes (on sale) // similar Sunglasses (under $20)

*Sweater purchased with gift card provided courtesy of H&M.

I Put Some New Shoes On

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You know how when you were a kid and you got new shoes, you would stare at your feet when you walked? Well I buy plenty of shoes for myself now so I should be over the novelty, but for some reason I couldn’t stop looking at these! They’re just so…pointy. And snakey. Oh, and comfortable, which is a pleasant surprise for Target shoes. Usually I wear heels when I wear a pencil skirt because it looks a little more chic and professional, but I decided on these flats for a few reasons: (1) because they’re new and I’m a five-year-old girl who can’t wait to wear her new shoes, (2) I had a long day of work, a job fair back at school, dinner plans, and errands so I didn’t want to be tempted to amputate my own feet by 8:00pm, and (3) I just like to throw a little something unexpected into the mix. 🙂

Shoes // Necklace (on sale) // similar Top (on sale) // similar Jacket // similar Skirt // similar Sunglasses (under $15) // Lips “Punch Drunk”

P.S. If you find yourself near a magazine stand this month, pick up Redbook Magazine and flip to page 58. It’s me! 🙂

How to Save a Shirt

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20120831-172420.jpgJust a simple and comfy outfit for a relatively quick trip to school! In case you didn’t notice, those are polka dot feathers on my shoes. Awesome, I know. But there’s a story behind this shirt. After I tell it, you will either think I’m a genius, or you’ll think I’m a hot mess. I like to think I’m an ingenious hot mess.

So I bought this shirt last year on clearance at a Theory outlet. I got it for around $20, which was probably a million dollars off. I think the fact that I got it for cheap made me forget the entire back panel is real silk (which is why it’s so lovely and drape-y and soft). I’m allergic to being domestic, so when my clothes are wrinkly, I just use Downy Wrinkle Releaser. I very rarely use an iron. Too much work.

Maybe you can see where this is going. This silk shirt was wrinkly, and my dumbass self sprayed this Downy crap all over it. After it dried, the silk was covered in little discolored splotches. Oops.

Never one to give up on a cute item of clothing, I devised a plan. You can’t see stains…if the whole shirt is stained. I filled a bowl with water and a little bit of the evil wrinkle releaser and soaked the shirt in there for a few minutes. Then I rinsed it off and let it dry. The shirt was a uniform color!! One trip to the dry cleaner later (to freshen it up), and it’s good as new. Success.

Taste the Rainbow

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Sometimes I don’t understand what people are wearing at the mall. There are those girls strutting around in their strappy heels…whom are you trying to impress? You’ve got a lot of walking to do, and you choose the least comfortable shoes you own? Plus you’re going to spend 5 minutes taking them off and on in every dressing room. Not practical. Oh, and don’t get me started on the ladies who rub their full face of makeup on the last white shirt in my size.

When I have a big shopping day ahead of me, I dress strategically: a top with a wide neck hole that’s easy to take off without messing up my hair, comfy shoes that slip on and off quickly, no jewelry that’s going to catch on fabric, and no messy makeup or lipgloss.

Luckily, these rules apparently still allow me to dress like a bag of Skittles, which is a life goal of mine.

In case you’re wondering, my shopping was quite successful. Mustard yellow jeans, polka dot tank, striped polo, and a mixed-print skirt. Stay tuned…

On a Whim

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As you know, friends, I am a bit of a planner when it comes to deciding what to wear. Normally I plan my outfits the night before so I have plenty of time and I’m not rushed in the morning. Plus my brain doesn’t function at its full capacity until about 2pm.

I had an outfit planned for this particular day, but I felt crummy in the morning and wasn’t too psyched about wearing the rather snug-fitting pants and heels I had selected. So my options were: wear the uncomfortable pre-planned outfit, or – gasp! – think up something new on the spot!

Maybe the heartburn lowered my inhibitions, but I decided to go for it! I started with this skirt because it’s my go-to piece when I’m not feeling well. The fabric is really stretchy without being tight. I basically can’t feel it. I grabbed this sweater to add some color. Then I realized that I’ve never worn this skirt with a belt. Boom. Done. And the shoes…I wore these because (a) I happened to look at them, and (b) I have feet.

Oh, and may I call your attention to my newest spotted manicure?  If you haven’t already tried this, you can read my tutorial here. For this version, I used a nude color for the base coat, then did spots in a Sally Hansen white and Essie Mint Candy Apple. The only problem is that my nails kind of look like candy so I have to remember not to eat my fingers. I’ve been successful so far.

Yes, I Do Own Jeans

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I know you see a lot of business casual on this blog, and on weekends I’ve been wearing lots of shorts and skirts because it’s been so hot this summer. Once classes start back up in a couple weeks, you’ll find that I do in fact wear jeans a lot when left to make my own dress code.

This past Friday was one of the few Fridays I actually worked this summer, and I got to put together a little casual Friday outfit (can I say Friday again? Friday). I actually wore different jeans than the ones pictured to work but after sitting all day the waist band got kind of stretched out so I changed into these to go watch the Olympics at my friends’ house. Which reminds me: trampolining? Crazy.

Chambray Take Two

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This is only the second time I’ve taken my new chambray top out in the world. The chambray’s debut became one of my most popular posts, so that put a lot of pressure on me for take two. This is also the second go-around for my new bubble necklace. When I blogged the first bubble necklace outfit, I asked for input on how to style it next. I think the floral print dress got the most votes, so naturally I completely ignored the feedback and wore whatever I damn well felt like.

Not really…I do value your opinions, dear readers. It’s just that on Saturday, I had to go to Law Review Orientation (a.k.a The Over-Achievers Convention). It was a day spent listening to various speakers, eating pizza, and learning how to edit scholarly legal articles. Basically a bunch of smart people sitting around and soaking up each other’s awesomeness. Not exactly a sundress-worthy occasion. But I promise I will wear the dress/necklace combo sometime this summer.

Hope everyone has a great week! (I know I will, because I’m leaving for Chicago on Thursday!)

Bubble Necklace available in various colors at J. Crew or other less legit sources

Top available at Madewell