Tag Archives: fashion

Warm Weather Wardrobe Refresh

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When I was packing for my Florida trip, I realized that I’ve been wearing a lot of the same summer clothes for years. It seemed like the right time to freshen up the warm weather wardrobe. I found several tops at my beloved Ann Taylor Loft, as well as the dress pictured below. Everything is wonderfully soft and comfortable. I also had a hankering for some proper sandals, and this Steve Madden pair from DSW was exactly what I had in mind.

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For more casual wear, I picked up a few tank tops at Old Navy, including the one below. I’m a total tank top loyalist in the summer. The photography in this post is by my lovely and talented cousin Bailey Jordan. Check out her Instagram for more photos and her website for other design work. Bailey, thank you for making me feel pretty while also capturing me for the awkward turtle that I am.

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Blue & Burgundy Clothing Haul

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When I found myself wanting to spruce up my wardrobe, I was tempted to give Stitch Fix another chance. But first I decided to try finding clothes the old-fashioned way. That is, going to an actual store. My friend Jenny took me to an outlet mall, and we went a little crazy at Ann Taylor Loft. I went home with five new clothing items that I love (a better success rate than any Stitch Fix of mine), which seemed worthy of sharing. The new items are: the polka dot top, burgundy skinny jeans (!), burgundy lace tank top, leafy-printed sweater, and floral pencil skirt. The Loft was into this blue and burgundy color palette, and so was I.

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As always, Katie was my intrepid fashion photographer. Since we no longer live together in a house with a backyard, we had to venture out into the world. I did location scouting and everything! Shortly before sunset around Lake of the Isles turned out to be a great backdrop, even though I felt a little silly at times.

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A Stitch Fix for Fall

Now that colder weather is on the way, I decided it was time for another Stitch Fix. I specifically requested items on the casual end of business casual. This is my fourth Fix, and I haven’t necessarily felt like each one gets better than the last. But really, it’s a stranger picking out clothes for you based on limited information, so there’s bound to be trail and error. I was skeptical when I opened the box, but this actually turned out to be one of my most successful Fixes.

Even though Katie and I were having some lighting issues during our photo shoot, I’m fond of the results. I also took the opportunity to show off my new glasses.

1. Pomelo Priya Chevon Print Mixed Material Tank 

2. Kensie Jeans Kaleigh Ankle Biter Skinny Jean

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This first photo contains two of the five items in my Fix. I love the colors and print of the top, and the back is a softer material in the same blue as the trim. Although I like the idea of the blue pants, they were absolutely suctioned to my body. They were also too long, which is an especially bad look for skinny jeans. In the photo I’m trying to show how they bunch at the ankles. The top, however, was my biggest dilemma.

3. Skies Are Blue Lenor Button-Down Pintuck Detail Tank

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I was a little surprised to see two tank tops in my Fix, but both could be easily layered with a cardigan or blazer for winter. I was expecting to prefer the printed over the dark green. Then I put on this top, felt the soft fabric, and saw the great fit and beautiful details. I used a closer cropped photo than usual so that you can hopefully see the contrasting fabrics. This top has a little something special, and I’m keeping it.

4. Mak Breanne V-Neck Cotton Cardigan

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I was excited at the prospect of adding a cardigan to my small collection, but I would have picked a color other than gray. I do like the front pockets and general hint of “grandpa sweater.” Although I’m sure I would get use out of it, the decision came down to knowing that I could find something similar for a lot cheaper. If only it had been a nice mustard yellow…

5. Pixley Kathy Striped Fit & Flare Dress

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Stitch Fix, you got me again! I feel like such a lady in this dress. There’s a cute V-neck in the back, as well as some subtle gathering at the shoulders. As soon as I pulled it out of the box, I was thinking about the possibilities for dressing it up with colored shoes or cardigans. I can’t wait to experiment! Obviously, the dress lives with me now.

Two items are the most I’ve bought since Fix Number 1. It was tempting to keep both tank tops, but I picked my favorite for the sake of frugality. Plus, it’s September, so I probably don’t need to be buying too many tanks. The best part is that I have two referral credits to put towards the cost of the clothes. I’m not sure who I have to thank for most of my referrals, but I’m grateful all the same.

Want to try your luck with Stitch Fix? Here’s my referral link!

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Return of the Stitch Fix

I know, I know. I said I was taking a break from Stitch Fix. But then some lovely friends used my referral link, which resulted in referral credits to put toward my next Fix. Yes, the brains behind Stitch Fix are a clever bunch. Still yearning for some new summer tops, I learned from my last Fix to be specific about what I want. In this case, no pants and nothing longer than a short sleeve.

In an attempt to spice up this photo shoot, I picked a book to go with each outfit. The results may be more awkward than spicy, but at least I didn’t whip out the big sunglasses again. As always, Katie was my intrepid photographer.

1. Renee C Tibbie Split-Back Mixed Print Blouse

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The first thing I noticed about this blouse was the vibrant colors. The second was its tent-like proportions. You can’t really tell in this photo, but from the side I could easily be hiding a baby bump. Apparently my eternal struggle with Stitch Fix will be loose-fitted tops. This seems to be an issue of my disliking something that’s a very popular trend at the moment. It was clear that this top and I were not meant to be.

(The book: Being Peace by Thich Nhat Hanh)

2. Sweet Rain Tyra V-Neck Chevron Print Blouse

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What’s this? A loose summer top with an adorable print that’s still fitted enough to be flattering? In my last Fix I was in love with the color of the mint green polka dot blouse, and this top is a similar shade while being mercifully sleeveless. In the next photo you can see more of the cute details, like the tabs at the shoulders. On the very day I received this Fix, I cut the tags off this shirt and wore it on a night out. I just knew it was a winner.

(The book: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell)

3. Bella Boutique Filbert Delicate Loop Lariat Necklace

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I should probably just change my style profile to say that I don’t want accessories. Although this necklace is pretty enough, I know how bad I would be about wearing it, so I can’t justify the expense.

4. Ezra Crista 3/4 Sleeve Lace Knit Shirt

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I was slightly perturbed to see the sleeves on this shirt. Even going outside for a few minutes to take photos, I felt overheated. The shirt itself has a cool look, but I would worry about ruining the fabric. There’s also an exposed zipper in the back, which adds a noticeable weight to the otherwise light material. Another one that wasn’t meant to be.

(The book: Selected Poems by E. E. Cummings)

5. Collective Concepts Lise Floral Fit & Flare Dress

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Katie and I may have been getting silly by this point in the photo shoot. “What else can you do with a book? Balance it on your head!” Anyway, when I saw this dress, I knew it would be a tough decision. The style is obviously a favorite, and the bright blue on navy is gorgeous. Unfortunately there were a few minor problems with the fit. The back felt a little tight, and there was an inner seam at the waist that kept hitting right at my ribcage. My practicality took over. If it’s not just right, I don’t need another dress.

(The book: The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood)

Maybe this time I will actually take a break. But I still have a referral credit to burn, so I’m not promising anything!

Want to learn more about Stitch Fix or perhaps even schedule a Fix for yourself? Here’s my referral link!

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Stitch Fix Strikes Back

Stitch Fix is wickedly addictive. If you get one Fix, then you wonder if the next will have even better clothes. This online styling service is based on user feedback, so theoretically each Fix should be a little closer to your personal style. Don’t know what on earth I’m talking about? Check out my first Stitch Fix review here, or visit their website.

I bought two out of five items from my first Fix, and I definitely wanted to give it another shot. When I opened my box, I was so excited by the bright colors and patterns. It seemed like they really got the message on my preferences. I was surprised to receive four tops and a dress, but I thought that might be a response to my only buying bottoms from my first Fix. For this Fix I requested fun summer pieces, and the results were unexpected.

Another thanks to Katie for being my photographer and loosening me up with Beyoncé songs!

1. Olive & Oak Tricia Textured Dot Front-Pocket Blouse

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Two of the four tops were a light, see-through fabric. Some people might wear them with just a bra underneath, but that’s a little exhibitionist for my taste. And in a hot, humid Minnesota summer, it’s hard to imagine wanting to wear two layers. The cut of this blouse felt boxy, and the fit at the shoulders was awkward. I did love the color though.

2. Fun2Fun Colibri Heart Print Tab-Sleeve Blouse

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I tried to make this top work because I like the print, and it has the advantage of not requiring an undershirt. The problem is that I wear mostly dark denim, and any outfit combination felt like an overload of navy blue. I also don’t see myself wanting to wear anything longer than a short sleeve for the next few months.

3. Pomelo Missy Polka Dot Tab-Sleeve Blouse

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This blouse was my favorite color and print combination. For that reason alone, I tried to talk myself into liking the rest of it. Again, it has the disadvantage of longer sleeves and translucent fabric. Overall, I just felt like there was too much material on skin for a summer top. Much to my disappointment, the mint green polka dots went back too.

4. Pomelo Downing Striped Knit Shirt

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My stylist suggested that this shirt would go nicely with the red pants from my first Fix. I liked knowing that she looked there for inspiration. Other than being a little uncomfortable in the high neckline, I didn’t have strong feelings about the shirt. I asked myself, if I were at a store, would I think this was worth buying? The answer was no.

5. 41Hawthorn Floral Knit Fit & Flare Dress

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Now this is more like it! I feel like a broken record on my Stitch Fix feedback, talking about how I like my clothes to be fitted and figure-flattering. The cut of this dress is my absolute favorite style to wear. I was nervous about yellow on pale skin, but Katie and I agreed that it worked. The textured fabric is so soft and gives it a special touch. From Fix Number 2, this was the keeper!

Stitch Fix is based in San Francisco, and I’m guessing there are some regional differences in what’s considered summer wear. These are all nice pieces, and most of them photographed beautifully. They just didn’t fit my needs. That being said, I’m sure I will do Stitch Fix again the future. As my mom pointed out, I would go broke if I always loved everything they sent. Even if you only find one item to purchase, the experience is fun.

If you’re interested in trying Stitch Fix, why don’t you use my referral link?

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Say Hello to Stitch Fix

Stitch Fix has taken over my apartment. It started with one roommate, but soon we all wanted to try. For the uninitiated, Stitch Fix is an online styling service that sends you five clothing items or accessories, which you can then choose to either purchase or return. The items are selected based on a style profile that you fill out on their website. I don’t usually post about fashion, but blogging seems to be a tradition in the Stitch Fix world. If this doesn’t interest you, no worries. I’ll be back soon with my usual subject matter.

Don’t make fun of me for wearing sunglasses in many of the pictures. A fashion blogger I am not, and the glasses made me feel less self-conscious. A special thanks to Katie for being my photographer!

1. Under Skies Shawn Box Pleat Detail Blouse

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According to the Stitch Fix website, they focus on sending quality pieces, not complete outfits. However, my stylist sent a top that could potentially be paired with each bottom, and I enjoyed that a lot. I considered buying this blouse just because it looked so cute with the skirt they sent, which you will see below. If the blouse had been a brighter color or had more detail, I probably would have. As is, it didn’t seem special enough to warrant the expense.

2. Pink Martini Halia Striped Pleated Skirt

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When my Fix arrived, I tried on everything for my roommates, and this skirt got the biggest reaction. The photo doesn’t do justice to the stripes, which are white, light blue, and dark blue—so cute! I love how the skirt accentuates my waist, and the pockets are an added bonus. Keeping this item was the easiest of the decisions.

3. Pomelo Striped Heathered Dolman Top

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Being the nerd that I am, I read many Stitch Fix reviews while waiting for my own box to arrive. Dolman tops seem to be a popular piece for them to send anyone wanting casual wear. Unfortunately, this was the one item where I felt the sizing was off. My roommates assured me that the loose fit was correct, but I still wonder if a smaller size would have been more flattering. I’m also just accustomed to wearing fitted clothing. Petite girl problems!

4. Liverpool Vinny Ankle Length Colored Skinny Jean

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I wasn’t surprised to get skinny jeans in my Fix, but I didn’t expect them to be red! They are also ankle-length, which gives me happy thoughts of Audrey Hepburn. I just bought my first pair of Gap jeans and considered it a big investment, so I didn’t expect to buy jeans at Stitch Fix prices. But these are my favorite color and they fit perfectly! When I knew the tops didn’t work, I decided to splurge a little.

5. 41Hawthorne Grace Lightweight Flecked Dot Scarf

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I don’t wear scarves as accessories, even though I think they look good on other people. (Truth be told, I don’t wear accessories in general.) I liked this scarf in theory, and it actually photographed very nicely. However, it brought up another petite girl problem. I find that too much fabric on top looks overwhelming on my frame. So after being pleasantly surprised by the photos, the scarf was still sent back.

I didn’t expect to keep both bottoms and no tops from my Fix, but the surprise is part of the fun. I’m working two jobs currently, and I wanted to do this as a treat for myself. Mission accomplished!

If you’re interested in trying Stitch Fix, here’s my referral link!

 

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A Beautiful Mess Photo Challenge: Photograph a Collection

My favorite crafty ladies over at A Beautiful Mess blog have released a photo idea book. Since their photography is probably my favorite thing about the blog, I couldn’t wait to pick up a copy. This book does not focused on technical skills. It’s more a collection of ideas meant to inspire readers, and that’s exactly what it’s done for me. As I try out ideas from the book, I want to share them on my own blog. Hopefully this post will be the first of a series.

One idea that jumped out at me was “photograph a collection.” My largest collection is obviously my books, but I wanted to try something different. In the past two years, I have also gathered quite a collection of dresses. They’re my favorite for work or a night out. Or really, almost anytime. I love bright colors, stripes, and patterns, and somehow that translates to a lot of pink dresses. I decided to focus on those instead of tackling the whole collection.

Here’s an ode to pink, patterns, and creative cropping.

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