Thursday, July 31, 2014

Teacher Style: Floral Skirt Inspiration

Ah, the floral skirt. Maybe it's not everyone's teacher staple, but the looks I provide would work with just about any printed skirt, an item of clothing I think should be a teacher staple. In fact, tomorrow, you will see how the same formulas apply to a different patterned skirt. Yesterday, I failed to bring you a casual Friday look with the blue pencil skirt, but I've brought you a casual look today with the floral skirt.

1. Buy patterned skirts that share some of the same colors. That way, you can mix and match shirts, cardigans, shoes, and accessories. The look is completely different without spending an exorbitant amount on an entirely new outfit.

2. When you can't experiment with color, experiment with cut and texture. In the looks below, you'll see a cardigan with a little ruffle, a short sleeved button up, and a lace shirt. This way, I'm playing around with more than the color scheme of the skirt.

3. Pick a pattern that does not scream only summer or fall. Pick a pattern that works well for any season. Instead of choosing a floral pattern with a white background, which seems more "spring/summer" to me, I picked one with a navy background. It has enough color to work for warmer months, but it's not so light that it looks awkward in the winter. (For confirmation, I provided you with a previous look from the winter.)

The Skirt: Francesca's
Options: Macy's (on sale), Asos, Ann Taylor (not colorful but remixable), ModCloth 


Look 1 (casual Friday): tank + chambray + sneakers
(Tank: Target / Chambray: Old Navy / Sneakers: Converse)

Look 2: colored cardigan + neutral tank + colored flats + pendant necklace
(Cardigan: New York & Co. / Tank: Target / Flats: Target / Necklace: Old Navy)

Look 3: colored top + colored heels
(Top: LOFT / Necklace: Old Navy / Shoes: Dana Buchanan via Kohl's)

Look 4: lace top + nude heels + statement necklace
 (Top: Old Navy / Heels: J.Crew Factory / Necklace: The Limited)

Look 5: white button up + big belt + metallic flats + pendant necklace
 (Top: LOFT / Necklace: Lauren Conrad / Flats: Audrey Brooke via DSW / Belt: New York & Co.)

Look 6: colored sweater + leather jacket + braided belt + tights + booties
(Sweater: J.Crew Factory / Belt: Francesca's / Booties: Nine West / Leather Jacket: Wilson's Leather)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Teacher Style: Colored Pencil Skirt Inspiration

Meet cobalt blue, my favorite color if I could actually choose a favorite color. Now, keep in mind that you can apply the following formulas to any colored skirt! I tried to make sure that every look I created this week could transfer to any wardrobe of any color palette. Today, I do not have any perfectly casual outfits for a Friday, but if I'm going to wear a skirt on Friday, it won't be a pencil skirt. Pencil skirts are for kicking butt and taking names. By Friday, my butt has been kicked and I don't know my own name. If you wear pencil skirts on casual Fridays, please share your ideas in the comments. Teach us your ways ;)

Anyway, the first four looks are previously worn outfits. The last three are newly created. Aren't you lucky?

The Skirt: The Limited

Look 1: printed button up + neutral belt + neutral shoes
(A gingham top would look great would just about any color skirt. I could've tried a colored belt-- orange perhaps? I think it'd work great with gray boots in the winter/fall.)

Look 2: plaid shirt + lace shirt + neutral shoes
(Plaid and lace? Yes, please. Look at your plaid shirts differently. Try one with a pencil skirt. It's a little feminine and a little woodsy. If it's not cold outside, wear some booties or heels and nix the tights.)

Look 3: neutral blazer + colored top + neutral shoes
(If you check out look 5, you'll notice that the color scheme is the same, just swapped.)

Look 4: neutral blazer + lace top + neutral shoes
(If it's too warm for a blazer, try a cardigan instead.)

Look 5: colored cardigan + printed button up + neutral shoes
(Again, look 3 uses yellow, blue, and nude as a color scheme just like this outfit does. Allow one outfit to inspire another. It'll make your life easier.)

Look 6: colored cardigan + striped top + statement necklace + neutral shoes
(I thought coral was a bit unexpected. I tried not to be super patriotic by wearing red, so I went with coral instead.) 

Look 7: neutral cardigan + polka dot blouse + big belt + neutral shoes
(Cobalt and black just work together. Everyone knows that. Especially Andi and Brynn.)

Items Remixed In Future Looks This Week:
* Bird print blouse
* Lace top
* Polka dot blouse

* Yellow cardigan
* Coral cardigan
* Black cardigan

* Nude wedges
* Black wedges

* Statement necklace
* Big black belt

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Teacher Style: Black Skirt Inspiration

Lauren suggested I offer some ways to dress down my teacher looks. I think that's a great idea! I don't know about your work place, but mine fully supports casual Friday. Everyone else loves jeans. I'll be honest: I love dressing down some of my favorite skirts even if everyone at work asks me why I'm "so dressed up." The weekends provide me enough opportunities to wear jeans and dress down. I want to buddy up next to my skirts as much as possible during the week. Going to work is a great excuse, no? :) I couldn't come up with a good casual look for yesterday's khaki skirt, but I definitely found one for today's black skirt.

How many of you have to go from work and get right on the road to travel somewhere else for the weekend? Often, my husband and I visit our friends in New York. Sometimes, we don't have time to stop at our place first, and we have to hit the road immediately. If you find yourself in this same boat (car?), dress down a skirt that you can rewear on/remix for a day trip the next day at wherever your destination might be! Or, if you're going out that night, dress down the skirt at work and bring heels and a statement necklace to dress it up for a night out!

I apologize for my lack of hilarity in these posts, but I'm a woman on a serious mission, which distracts me from my usual antics. Fear not, dear readers, I have some lovely bloopers up my sleeve that I plan to share this weekend. You're welcome in advance.
The Skirt: LOFT (dressier one) / Elle (more casual, cotton one)
Options: exact Elle skirtsimilar jersey LOFT skirtpretty black eyelet from LOFT
Note: Looks 1-4 are pulled from the archives and feature my dressier black skirt from LOFT
Looks 5-9 are new and feature my more casual black skirt by Elle (via Kohl's).
It's really hard to dress down the pleated, chiffon skirt from LOFT, so I hunted for a fabric I felt transitioned easily to more casual OR dressy wear. This Elle one fits the bill.


Look 1: colored top + neutral blazer/cardigan + neutral shoes + big belt
(Don't have a pink top? No big deal. Wear ANY OTHER COLOR. It's a black skirt. Every color goes with it. Apparently, even navy goes with black these days. You might try adding your pop of color in a necklace or pair of shoes instead.)
 (Top: The Limited / Blazer: Forever 21 / Heels: Naturalizer / Belt: Came with dress)

Look 2: Printed blouse + colored shoes + belt 
(Yeah, I go back to brunette every now and then. Do not be alarmed. No matter how frightening my face actually looks here. I look a little like a leprechaun. You might choose black shoes instead of colored ones like mine. Or, try some gold flats so that there's a pot of gold at the end of your legs.)
 (Necklace & Top: New York & Co. / Belt: Target / Shoes: ModCloth)

Look 3: striped top + neutral cardigan + colored shoes
(No colored shoes? Try a colored necklace or belt instead!)
 (Top: Marshall's / Heels: Apt 9 via Kohl's / Cardigan: Old Navy)

Look 4: lace top + neutral belt + neutral shoes + feminine jewelry
(I thought the cognac was unexpected, which made me love it. Also, I wish my hair would cooperate like that right now.)
 (Top: The Limited / Belt: New York & Co? / Heels: Me Too via DSW / Necklace: Target)

Look 5: white button up + neutral shoes + statement necklace
(Feel free to add a pop of color in your shoes or jewelry!)
 (Top: LOFT / Heels: J.Crew Factory / Earrings: Francesca's)

Look 6: Printed button up + colored cardigan/blazer + metallic shoes
(This shirt makes me realize how much I wish I had a cobalt blue cardigan.)
(Cardigan: Express / Top: LOFT / Flats: Audrey Brooke via DSW)

Look 7: black tank + black belt + black shoes + white (or a colored) blazer
(I totally tricked my mom into thinking this was a dress. HAHA! It is not. It is a black tank tucked into a black skirt and belted. How wonderfully devious. I told Mom this is my "take names and kick butt" outfit.)
 (Top: White House Black Market / Shoes: J. Crew Factory / Blazer: LOFT)

Look 8: colored cardigan + patterned blouse + neutral shoes and belt
(Any colored cardigan will work. I just love red, black, and white together.)
 (Cardigan: The Limited / Blouse: White House Black Market / Heels: J.Crew Factory / Belt: Target)

Look 9 (casual Friday!): colored tee + denim vest + pendant necklace + sneakers
(I love these shoes. Everyone who hangs out on this blog often knows how much I love them. I love the pop of color the shirt provides. I am wearing a pendant necklace, but you can't see it very well in this particular picture. If you can't do casual Friday, swap the sneaks for flats and the vest for a cardigan. Easy peezy, lemon squeezy as my co-teacher always says.) 
(Top: LOFT / Vest: Lauren Conrad / Shoes: Converse)

Items Remixed In Future Looks This Week:
* Bird print blouse
* Lace top (I used two different lace tops, but I could've used the same)
* Black tank
* Polka dot blouse
* White button up
* Orange top

* Yellow cardigan
* Red cardigan

* Gold flats
* Black wedges
* Converse

* Statement necklace
* Big black belt
* Gold belt

Monday, July 28, 2014

Teacher Style: Khaki Skirt Inspiration

 When I started the Teacher Wardrobe Series last year, I squeezed it all into one week. I felt rushed because Rome was not built in a day, and this wardrobe was not built in a week. This time around, I'm approaching the idea a bit differently. For the new few weeks, you will see themes for the week (pants, shoes, dresses, accessories, and anything you all request).

This week is based on five skirts from my closet. In fact, I also used a small selection of cardigans, shirts, and shoes to show you how remixable your skirt collection probably already is. Additionally, I scoured my archives to find some ways I already wore some of the pieces I chose. I included those previous looks in the collages.

Today, I am starting with the khaki skirt because Kate (love her and wish she lived close enough to visit!) asked for some inspiration for her khaki skirt. Kate, I hope I delivered.

Just as I did before, I provided a large collage followed by larger images of each look. I want you to see some of the detailing! 

 Skirt: The Limited 


Look 1: Striped shirt + scarf + big belt + printed heels
 (Add a pop of color in the scarf/belt. If it's too hot, replace the scarf with a statement necklace!)
 (Top: The Limited / Heels: via Marshall's / Belt: New York & Co. / Scarf: gift)
*Dog is not puking, but I don't know what she is doing.*

Look 2: Printed cardigan + white button up + skinny belt + boots
(Love the visual interest the cardigan, which sadly no longer fits, adds. A solid color cardigan also works. If it's too warm for boots, swap them for flats or heels or even booties!)
 (Cardigan: LOFT / Button up: Express / Boots: Steve Madden / Belt: New York & Co.)

Look 3: lace shirt + colored necklace + big belt + heels
(Uses a similar formula to the first look but replaces stripes with lace and a statement necklace instead of a scarf. You might also choose to add color in the form of shoes or throw on a blazer if it's cold. I think this outfit is actually my favorite. I love the combination of neutrals with the little pop of pink from the necklace.) 
 (Top: Old Navy / Necklace: Old Navy / Heels: J.Crew Factory / Belt: came with dress)

Look 4: printed button up (sleeveless for easier layering) + black cardigan + long necklace + heels
(I could add a belt if I wanted. I could tie the shirt instead of tucking it. I could add a pop of color with a cardigan or a non-neutral shoe. So many options for remixing!)  
 (Top: LOFT / Cardigan: The Limited / Heels: J.Crew Factory / Necklace: via Poshmark)

Look 5: colored cardigan + printed blouse + colored shoes
(I love this color scheme. I really think this outfit might be what I wear on the first day of school! This formula works with any color scheme and pattern. Try a green cardigan with a striped shirt and black shoes. Try a scarf instead of a necklace. Try a cropped blazer instead of a cardigan.)
(Cardigan: The Limited / Top: Lauren Conrad via Kohl's / Shoes: Dana Buchanan via Kohl's)

Look 6: neutral button up + big belt + neutral shoes
(I could add a statement necklace. I could swap a white shirt in place of the blue one. I could wear a colored oxford. I could add a pop of color with a blazer or shoes.)
 (Button up: Tommy Hilfiger / Shoes: BCBG / Belt: came with a dress)

Look 7:  colored cardigan + different colored necklace + neutral tank + colored shoes
(A neutral skirt is the perfect foundation for color experimentation. If you're not into more traditional color blocking, try a more subtle version like this one. I think the yellow cardigan is kind of unexpected. A blue, orange, or green one would work just as well!)
(Cardigan: Express / Tank: White House Black Market / Flats: Target / Necklace: Old Navy)

Look 8: colored blazer + striped shirt (or any pattern) + neutral shoes + tights
(I thought you might want to see a more fall look. If it's too hot for tights, try taller boots or booties. If the weather is warmer, try for a cardigan instead of a blazer, and swap out the wedges for flats.)
(Blazer: Marshall's / Top: Old Navy / Wedges: Marshall's / Necklace: boutique)

Items Remixed In Future Looks This Week:
* Bird print blouse
* Lace top
* Black tank
* Polka dot blouse
* White button up

* Yellow cardigan
* Red cardigan
* Black cardigan

* Red heels
* Magenta flats
* Black wedges

* Magenta necklace
* Big brown belt
* Big black belt

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Teacher Style: Skirt Inspiration (13 Looks)

Last year, I created what I called the Teacher Wardrobe Series (click the link at the top of the blog to access all of the posts). I considered doing another round but wasn't exactly sure what to do until today. (Well, as you're reading this post, it's actually yesterday that the idea came to me. Semantics.) In order to clean out my closet and determine what closet "holes" for the school year that I wanted to fill, I played dress up. ( that still anyone else's favorite game? OF COURSE IT IS.)

I wanted to try on all most of my skirts to be sure I wanted to keep them. I based the decision on fit (comfort, length, and tightness) and remixability. At the same time, I wanted to determine whether or not a few shirts were worth keeping. As you can see, the striped shirt is a clear winner despite the fact it almost found itself expatriated from my closet.

I highly suggest laying all of your skirts out at once and organizing them by color and also pay attention to type (pencil, A-line, etc.) I lined up all of my solid skirts in one row on the bed and my printed skirts in another row. I realized three holes I'd like to fill. One, I'd love to own an orange skirt. I own all of ROYGBIV except for the O; that bothers me more than it should. Plus, I really love orange. Two, I'd love to own a black skirt that's A-line and a bit more casual. I have one that's dressy and chiffon; another is the pencil skirt you see below. Three, I'd love to add a gray skirt that can be dressed up or down (maybe not jersey but a thicker, sturdier cotton and still in an A-line?) Do I need these items? No. However, if I happen upon them at an obscenely good price, I could be persuaded to make them mine.

Important note: I fully believe that it never hurts to try something on even if you think "it'll never work on me." No pencil skirt ever fits you but you love that one, try it on, and find out that it fits like a dream. It's like a Sisterhood of the Traveling Skirts moment. Allow both clothing items and people to surprise you by giving them a chance. However, with that being said, determine which cut you like best and gravitate toward that silhouette if you'd like to feel less overwhelmed by options.

For you Pinterest lovers, I created a main image in case you'd like to remember this post in the future. If your eyes aren't made of magnifying glasses, then you might want full-sized images, which I provided, of course. 

Skirt 1: Pink LOFT skirt with pockets (bought on thredUP)
(Shirt is Tommy Hilfiger Outlet; Shoes are J.Crew Factory)

 Skirt 2: Navy A-line Jersey Skirt from LOFT
(Flats are Merona from Target; Shirt is Tommy Hilfiger Outlet.)

Skirt 3: White Pencil Skirt from LOFT  
(Shirt: Tommy Hilfiger Outlet; Shoes: J.Crew Factory)

Skirt 4: Pleated Mustard Skirt from Banana Republic
(Top: Mudd via kids' section at Kohl's--what? I have no chest!
Shoes: Mia via DSW
Cardigan and Belt: New York & Co.)

Skirt 5: Printed skirt from White House Black Market 
(Top: New York and Co.
Cardigan: The Limited
Shoes: J.Crew Factory)

Skirt 6: Black Pencil Skirt from The Limited
(Top: New York & Co.
Cardigan: The Limited
Shoes: J.Crew Factory)

 Same Skirt as before, but I opted for all black and white with a bit of a print. I figured I'd show you both looks.

Skirt 7: Sequin-covered pencil skirt from White House Black Market
 Who says a party skirt, of the right length, can't be work appropriate? This might actually become my first day of school outfit. I love it so much. 
(Cardigan: Banana Republic via thredUP
Top: New York & Co.
Shoes: J.Crew Factory)

Skirt 8: Pink Scalloped Skirt from LOFT
(Top: Lauren Conrad via Kohl's
Cardigan: The Limited
Shoes: J.Crew Factory)

Skirt 9: Khaki A-line skirt from The Limited
This color combination is my favorite of the bunch. This look is also a strong contender for day 1. 
(Top: Lauren Conrad via Kohl's
Cardigan: The Limited
Shoes: Dana Buchanan via Kohl's)

Skirt 10: I threw a wild card at you. It's actually a Banana Republic Outlet dress I disguised as a skirt.
(Top: LOFT
Shoes: Sole Society)

Skirt 11: polka dot pencil skirt from Forever 21 (this skirt is OLD)
(Top: New York & Co
Shoes: J.Crew Factory)

Skirt 12: Khaki & Coral Skirt from Lauren Conrad
(I came up hopelessly empty on these options.)
  I think this outfit looks better than it photographed. Poo.
(Top: The Limited
Shoes: J.Crew Factory)

Which look is your favorite? Would you like to see more skirt inspiration? You haven't seen even half of my collection. Would you like some pants inspiration? What about dresses? I hope so because I was planning to throw all of these at you.

Note: modify looks based on your needs. Can't wear heels or open-toed shoes? Wear flats instead. Need a cardigan to cover up your arms? Okay, do it. Every school has different rules for dressing, so do what works best for you and your environment. Even if that means wearing bicycle shorts under your skirts because you crawl around on the floor with small children all day. (I think sticking with pants might be better in this case, but to each her own.)

What exactly is boho chic?

I feel like I tried this shirt on with every pair of shorts that I own. All of them either looked stupid or no longer fit me. What gives? I'm working with slim pickings. The end of July quickly approaches, so is it worth it to buy more pairs? What are your thoughts on the matter?

My brain can function only in a list right now, so here it is.

One, what is boho chic? I guess it means hippie inspired, flowy fabrics. I'm going to say that this top qualifies, especially because I chose to wear it for exactly that reason. I did not want to feel constricted, so this top felt like a formidable choice. 

Two, doesn't this shirt look like a henna tattoo? The stitching reminds me of henna. Is that weird? If the rest of the top weren't flesh colored, maybe I wouldn't think so. Ah, who knows.

Three, I can't believe I wore a bracelet today without throwing it across the room. Usually, I will attempt bracelet wearing and grow so frustrated with its clanging against the keyboard that I angrily toss it off my wrist. This one slides up far enough that it's out of the way when I type. Looks like I know what kind of bracelets to look for in the future.

Four, no one would know we are in the summer season based on my pasty skin. Will that mean everyone my age later on will look like a rawhide, and there I will be with lovely, unwrinkled skin? I will tell myself this lie in order to feel better about having nothing to show for the sunshine and summertime once school starts.

Five, a few weeks ago, a mouse scurried across my foot as I reached for a 2a.m. snack in the kitchen. A few days ago, a spider fell on me in the shower. Yesterday, a bug crawled up at me out of the toilet. Today, I saw a cockroach crawl OUT OF THE SINK. Why do I even bother cleaning this breeding ground for disgusting things? I think I need a bat. Or a chicken. Or a toad. They can eat the creepy crawlies. Have you ever seen Stephen King's It? You know the part when the clown comes up out of the drain? Yeah, that's my reality. I can laugh things off, but even my sense of humor has its limitations.  

 The Look:
Top: Francesca's (really cute and similar)
Shorts: Jennifer Lopez via Kohl's (exact in two washes)
Sandals: Sole Society (exact
Cuff: gift from Mom awhiiiile ago

 I also wore the top this way. As you can see, I'm super creative with it.

Linking up for shorts week with Andi and Ginny.