6 Ways to Wear a Denim Jacket

Not long ago, I was a denim jacket skeptic. Why would you want to wear jeans on your top half? Answer: because it’s awesome. Fast forward a few months and a dozen or so outfits, and the little jean jacket that could has earned its place in the latest installment of “How to Wear”!

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So, are you convinced yet? If you were looking for a new way to wear your jean jacket, looks like you’ve got your work cut out for you. And if you don’t even have a denim jacket yet, fall is the perfect time to shop. A little tip from me to you: There are plenty of trendy and embellished versions out there (multi-colored, studded, ombre, leather sleeves, you name it), but if you want versatility, just go with the classic.

The shade of blue doesn’t really matter, but make sure the bottom hem hits you between your waist and hip bones. Any shorter and you’re in tween territory, and any longer is likely to look frumpy. Most importantly, look for a great fit in the shoulders with a little stretch so you can move comfortably. Below are just a couple options to get you started! (Shop them here: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4)¬†

Jean Jackets
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6 Ways to Wear an Army Jacket

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I bought an army/military/utility style jacket in the spring after giving it a lot of thought. You know, the kind of thought that normal people put into things that actually matter. Initially I thought it was more of a tomboy look and not my style. Then again, I wasn’t even sure what my style was (except I knew it probably wasn’t tomboy). I figured I would give it a shot and make it work for me. AND I TOTALLY DID. Like a million times.

Since utility jackets are everywhere this fall, I figured it’s a good time to do a good ol’ How to Wear post on it! If you’re like me and think army jackets aren’t your style, this post will probably change your mind. As you’ll see, they can be pretty much everyone’s style:

(you can click on each photo to link to original post)

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I really like the juxtaposition of the masculine jacket with a very feminine pencil skirt and heels. If your jacket is a light fabric, it actually makes a very nice layer for a cold office.

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I really loved wearing this one! I wore it back in May, but don’t be surprised if I re-fashion it for fall with dark wash jeans and boots.

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Think olive green is a serious, no fun color? Maybe when soldiers wears it. But soldiers don’t wear it over a romper. At least not when they’re on duty.

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Even if you’re the LBD-and-ballet-flat-wearing type, you can mix things up a little (in a rugged kind of way) with a cute utility jacket.

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Clearly I’m starting to run out of style adjectives if all I can come up with is “casual.” Obviously an army jacket can be casual. But sometimes you have to state the obvious lest it be overlooked.

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“Sporty-boho”? Seriously, I’m full of crap. But what else can you call an outfit consisting of a crochet dress and sneakers? Let this ridiculous made-up style term be a lesson to you: an army jacket will be at home in pretty much anyone’s closet.

Need your own? Below are a few options for you to start shopping!

5 Army Jackets Under $100

All 5 of these army/utility jackets are under $100! Shop them here: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

Oh, and don’t forget to follow Sarah’s Real Life for more wearable advice:

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4 Tips for Proper Print Mixing

Today’s post is dedicated to my mother-in-law (congrats, Cindy). As a regular reader of my blog, she tries to up her style quotient by following my lead. Recently she showed me an outfit she wore after seeing all the times I’ve worn different prints together. It wasn’t pretty, people. Apparently I had not given enough step-by-step guidance on how to choose two prints that actually look good together.
After recoiling in horror at the bad outfit I had inspired, I decided I just couldn’t live with this on my conscience. So for Cindy and anyone else who needs tips on how to pull off the print mixing trend, here are a few tips and handy visuals to get you on the right track.
Note: Since this blog is all about real-life style, I’m taking a conservative approach with these tips. If you live in a fashion-forward city or work in a non-traditional office, feel free to scoff at my silly little rules!
Tip #1: Look for corresponding colors
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Tip #2: To play it safe, don’t put prints side-by-side

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Tip #3: Start with a neutral-colored print

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Tip #4: Consider the scale of the prints

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7 Ways to Wear a Button-Up/Oxford Shirt

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It wasn’t long ago that I had a whopping ONE button-up shirt in my closet. Then this magical thing happened: I joined Pinterest. I started pinning outfits from the blogs I followed (this was before I had my own blog) and I realized that a lot of those outfits included – you guessed it – a button-up shirt. Or is it a button-down? I guess it depends on where you start the buttoning.

Since then my collection of buttoned, collared shirts has grown and I’ve played with lots of ways to wear them. If you’re like I used to be and think oxford shirts are plain and boring, I recommend looking for prints. I’ll link you to some options for your shopping enjoyment at the end of this post!

So without further ado, here are 7 ways I’ve worn my button-up shirts!

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Layering an oxford under a sleeveless dress is great for in-between weather, and it’s like making a whole new dress! Boom: wardrobe multiplied.

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There’s something about the juxtaposition of a tough leather jacket and a prim and proper button-up that I really like.

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Try to find shirts that are a little long so you have room to tie the ends right at your waist. I love this option in the summer especially.

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Oxford-under-sweater is probably the combination I’ve done the most. If you have a few button-ups and a few sweaters, you have endless combinations. Well, not exactly endless but I don’t feel like doing the math. Above are a couple examples with jeans and below are some office-appropriate options.

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Let’s not forget that it’s perfectly acceptable to wear this classic shirt on its own. We don’t want it feeling insecure from always being covered up.

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Besides leather jackets, you can also let your oxford peek out from under any jacket or blazer. At the risk of looking like a frat boy circa 2008, I’m in favor of a popped collar in this limited situation.

Want to add to your own oxford shirt collection? Check out the options below!

oxford shirts

Shop here: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

5 Ways to Wear a Leather Jacket

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Welcome to another episode of “How to Wear.” I’m your host, Sarah. (I’m practicing for my future in the game show industry. With this economy it’s important to have a backup plan.) I picked leather jackets for this one because they’re such a good in-between-seasons layer. In fact, some of these photos are from way back in the fall! Go ahead and drink in the versatility of a leather jacket, my friends.

No. 1…

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There’s something cool about combining a shirt that says “buttoned up” – literally – and a jacket that says “I’m a rebel without a cause.” I’m partial to printed oxford shirts, but I think this would work just as well with a solid.

No. 2…

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Another great juxtaposition: girly and rugged at the same time. I wore this last fall so the brown and black seemed appropriate, but I’d like to try it again this season with a more colorful dress.

No. 3…

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A leather jacket is one of those classics that will never go out of style, so I like it mixed with other classics: jeans, a striped tee, and tortoiseshell shades.

No. 4…

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I don’t know exactly what possessed me to wear a leather jacket with a floor-length flowing skirt and suede heels, but I’m glad I did. If you’re going out in the evening, it can get chilly, so why not try something besides a boring old stole?

No. 5…

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Note that I saved this one for last because if I put it first you wouldn’t have read the other four. I’m tricksy that way. But really – the whole point of this post was to remind you that leather jackets (real or otherwise) are just jackets, and you can wear one with pretty much anything and you’ll probably look cooler than you did without it.

See the original posts for each of these looks: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

My jacket is from Express’ “Minus the Leather” line. The jackets come in a variety of styles and colors.

How to Wear Ankle Boots

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

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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

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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.

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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

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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!

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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

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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

5 Ways to Wear a Bubble Necklace

Welcome to another installment of the “How to Wear” series. This time we’re talking about the ever (and perhaps¬†over) popular bubble necklace. I’ll admit this style has become a little overdone in the fashion and style blogosphere. HOWEVER, in my everyday life, I’ve yet to run into anyone else wearing one. Not that I’ve noticed, anyway. This leads me to believe that – at least in Indianapolis – the bubble necklace is not a huge mainstream trend, and people might still have at least a tiny bit of interest in seeing my thoughts on what to wear with one. If you’re sick and tired of seeing these damn necklaces, feel free to leave now (but come back soon…pretty please).

So without further ado, here are 5 ways I have styled my neon green bubble necklace:

1. Make something bold even bolder by putting your statement necklace over a bright print

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2. Jazz up a casual top like chambray (this might be my favorite combo)

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3. Make the necklace the center of attention by adding it to a monochrome outfit

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4. Play with the color wheel and put your necklace against its color opposite (red/green, blue/orange, yellow/violet)

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5. Wear it to work with a shift dress and jacket

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Find your own bubble necklace in a range of colors and prices!

Time to pick your favorite! And tell me if there’s a way you wore your bubble necklace that I didn’t cover here. See the original posts: 1¬†/ 2¬†/ 3 and 4¬†/ 5

Don’t forget to follow me on Bloglovin’, even if you hate bubble necklaces. I promise I wear other jewelry.