Plaid Peplum

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See something you recognize? I mean besides me. Yep, it’s those boots I couldn’t stop blabbering about yesterday. I did indeed wear them 2 days in a row. This time it was for a fun karaoke night. I love karaoke, you guys. I mean, I don’t sing or anything, but I am so good at drinking and judging people. Hang on…before you tell me I’m a horrible person, let me just say: don’t bother; I already know.

While I have your attention, I gotta tell you wardrobe-challenge-lovers about the January Black Out Challenge. The goal is to NOT wear any black – with just a couple exceptions – during this cold and dreary month when we all stop caring about life or color. Don’t get too impressed that I came up with yet another genius idea, because this one wasn’t me! It’s the brain child of Nicole, and she’s the official challenge host over on her blog, VV Boutique Style. She already started the challenge, and I’ll join her to co-host for the last 2 weeks of the month. You do NOT have to be a blogger to participate, and everyone who tries the challenge for at least a week will be entered in a giveaway, plus both Nicole and I will do weekly roundups! You can get alllll the details here. I think it’s a really fun idea so I’m happy to help spread her idea to more people! Join in, or I will judge you like a bad karaoke singer.

Top (on sale for $9.99!) // similar Clutch* // Boots (in more colors/prints here) // Hat // similar Necklace // Jeans (on sale for $25) // Lips “Cruella”

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

5 Spring Essentials


Saturday was one of those days when I sat in the reserved section at a fashion show and interviewed a celebrity. You know, a typical weekend. In case you don’t recognize the adorable little man in the picture above, it’s Nick Verreos, who was on Season 2 of Project Runway. And on Saturday, he had the fabulous opportunity to meet ME and host a fashion show at Macy’s featuring “5 Spring Essentials.”

Nick was an amazing host. He interacted with the crowd and the models and explained each trend and how to wear it. And did I mention he’s adorable? And that he had a pocket square in his pink seersucker blazer? If I were a boy, I would want his outfit. Hell, I want his outfit anyway.

Oh right, the trends! Here they are. And be sure to check out some of the highlights of my interview with Nick at the end of this post!

1. Lace

I love me some lace in any season. I would definitely wear this lace top, maybe with faux leather leggings (because on me, this shirt would be a tunic), or just plain old skinny jeans. I would also wear it with the sassy face this model is making.


2. Peplum

A friend asked me recently when the peplum trend was going to end. Apparently she’s not a fan. The answer is: not yet. And I’m happy about it because I love peplum, including this fancy dress (which I couldn’t find online, but here is a similar one).


3. Printed Pants

Not to brag, but I totally wore polka dot jeans to this event without even knowing the printed pant was one of the spring essentials. I am so on top of it. I’m not totally sure how I feel about these floral jeans for myself, but I did like how the model wore them.


4. Dresses (Shifts, Sheaths, and Shirts)

The best part about this portion of the show was hearing Nick try to say “shifts, sheaths, and shirts.” But the dresses were pretty cute too. I liked the color combo in this shift dress, and I found it in coral online, too!


5. Pullovers

The outfit below led to a long tangent about “Flashdance,” which was good because talking about sweaters can only be so interesting.




So there you have it! I think my only complaint about the show was that all the models were tall and skinny. Since the audience consisted of Midwest department store shoppers, it would have been nice to throw one petite and one plus size model into the mix. But that’s just one petite person’s opinion. The show was seriously fun and I’m more excited than ever for spring. And of course it’s still freezing. Fantastic.

But wait. There’s more…


I was lucky enough to get to spend a few minutes with Nick in the beautiful ambiance of the Macy’s conference room to ask him any questions I wanted! We had a pretty interesting conversation. He told me that he wears H&M underwear, and he favors Indiana to win the NCAA Tournament this year. Keep that in mind when you’re filling out your brackets! Here’s a little more of what we chatted about:

Q: What makes you stop in the middle of the street, style-wise?

A: Somebody who’s working it from head to toe. I travel all over the country and I love it when somebody took the time to work it. It doesn’t mean they have to look especially fabulous. It could be a kid with 18 piercings and a punk mohawk and combat boots. I always say go 110%. If you’re only doing 95%, stay home! Being fearless with your style – no matter what kind of style – makes me want to cross the street faster and say, “who are you?!”

Q: What other Project Runway contestant would you like to dress you?

A: That’s a good question! I would say Jay McCarroll. He’s very quirky and fun. He does great prints, and I love prints. He just came out with a sock line. Printed socks! In airports, I get fabulous reactions!

Q: The name of my blog is Sarah’s Real Life because I document the outfits I actually wear. So I wanted to ask you, what do you wear on a typical day when you’re just dressing for yourself?

A: If I’m working a lot at my studio, I like a comfy pair of skinny jeans, and I roll ‘em up. And I go for the American Apparel deep V t-shirt. I like the deep V, the plunging neckline! Then I might just have a little blazer, roll up the sleeves, and then loafers. Sockless. I do Miami Vice Eurotrash. That’s my look. I’m owning it.

Q: What is your guilty pleasure TV show?

The Daily Show. I’m obsessed. And then BBC World News. I love finding out what’s happening in the world. The BBC makes me pretend I’m in Europe when I’m not. I need my tea and crumpets! I wish I could say the Housewives and American Idol, but I don’t watch much reality TV shows. I think it’s because I’ve been on one so I know too much. I almost feel like I can hear the producers saying, “We need you to start something with that person!” So it’s hard for me to watch. I think that’s why I go for John Stewart and BBC World News!


Just one more reminder: he’s adorable.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Everywhere. However, opinions expressed are my own!

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

Switch it Up

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I love that I wore this dress for NYE, and then made it work for the office (yep, back in an office again thanks to my internship this semester). Adding a collared shirt officially makes everything business casual. It’s a rule. Next I’m going to try it with a space suit, and then a bikini. And then a space bikini. That way, if I get into work and my supervisor asks if I can meet with a client who’s tanning on the moon, I’ll be appropriately dressed while still representing the state of Indiana in a professional manner.

Shirt: H&M

Dress: c/o eShakti

Shoes: Sole Society (sign up here)

Lipstick: YSL Glossy Stain No. 16


Who Spiked the Sock Bun?






20121023-213720.jpgI think this was my favorite look of the week. I actually wore it on Tuesday, but I wanted to save the best for last. This outfit was awesome for 3 reasons:

1.  I wore my new spiked necklace I found on clearance at Target for like $7. Score! Like most shopaholics, wearing something new just makes me happy.

2.  I wore my striped peplum jacket, which I got a few months ago and have worn before (see here and here). Even though it’s not new, I got at Zara in Chicago, so wearing it makes me think of how fun that trip was.

3.  I finally rocked a sock bun in true fashionista fashion. Is fashionista fashion redundant? Probably. Anyhoodle, I’ve admired this cute little up-do on some of my favorite bloggers – like Kendi and Kimberly – and I like how it makes a typical bun look more large and in charge. Because that’s obviously what buns have been missing all these years. I made a couple of attempts that failed miserably. In searching for tutorials, I found two different “techniques,” if you can call them that.

One is where you put your sock donut at the end of your ponytail and just magically roll it down into a bun. Apparently it can be done, because that’s what happens in this video, which doesn’t seem to have any special effects. But I tried it and…didn’t happen. According to my trusty hair stylist, it’s probably because my hair has a lot of layers and/or is too straight. Fail.

The other way (and now I can’t remember where I got the link) is to put the sock donut around the base of your ponytail (over the elastic) and just spread the hair out and over the sock, securing it with another elastic and pinning the ends. Well, since my hair is actually pretty long now, the “ends” were several inches long and I couldn’t get them all neatly wrapped around the bun. Double fail.

“But wait,” I said to myself, “why does my sock bun have to look perfect like everyone else’s?” And I responded to myself, “Self, you are so right. You always are.” Then me, myself, and I went on to discuss how we had worn countless perfect ballerina buns in our many years of dance classes and we needn’t try to replicate them now that we’re grown-ups.

So in the end, I went with the second sock bun method, and I pinned random end pieces but didn’t worry about little bits sticking out. That’s me, throwing caution to the wind, as always. But I like it 🙂

Jacket: Zara

Tee: Target

Necklace: Target (I’m also a fan of this gold one and this colorful one)

Pants: Jag Jeans

Shoes: Bakers, old (similar but expensive version here, cheaper version here)







20120911-225342.jpgI had a bit of an Americana vibe going on Monday in this outfit with my muted red, white, and blue! Maybe I should have posted this on the 11th. That would have been patriotic, but alas, I am a completely unthoughtful person.

I was excited to wear my peplum jacket again, but this time I wore it more as a shirt so that it looked extra peplumy. And much like yesterday, I’m still walking the fine line between summer and fall. That’s what the sandals are for – to remind you that the autumnal equinox (I’m gettin’ technical, y’all) has not yet occurred.

How are you guys rockin’ your fall colors in this still-pretty-warm weather?

Jeans available at The Limited

Peplum + Lace






A casual peplum top was on my wish list (no really – it was official), and I happened to find this at Zara when I was in Chicago last month. What luck! It zips in the front so it can be worn open like I did here, or closed. When it’s zipped up, it shows off the peplum shape more, so that’s on my to-wear list (I don’t have an actual to-wear list, although that’s totally something I would do).

I wore this out to dinner and a comedy show last Friday. I actually wore the same thing to work that day, but with flats and a full-size bag. We’ll just skip the cliche part where I tell how this outfit “goes effortlessly from desk to cocktails” or some crap like that. Let’s just say it’s cute and call it a day, shall we?

If you want to see how I wear this (and many other things) next, be sure to follow me on Bloglovin’.

If you’re a style blogger and you’d like to see your face – and your link – on this blog, check out my outfit challenge.






Last week I happened upon a blog post by Style Sprite where she wore a cute and funky floral peplum skirt. Then I remembered this peplum-ish top that I hadn’t worn in probably almost a year.

Well, when I decided to redo my handy dandy outfit inspiration cards (scroll down or click here for yesterday’s post), that top was one of the first on my list to wear.

I love the structure of this top, and I decided to accentuate the positive (anyone else singing now?) even more with the belt. Since the dark plum color is more fall-ish, I kept everything else light so that no one gets confused on what season it is – obviously a legitimate concern when it’s 85 degrees outside.

Top: Ann Taylor / Pants: Express / Belt: Target / Shoes: Payless / Bracelet: American Eagle / Necklace: really old and probably from Wet Seal or somewhere like that