Cozy Stripes

cozy stripes 3cozy stripes 4cozy stripescozy stripes 2Outfit Notes: Sweatshirt-Target // Leggings-Kohls // Necklace-Target clearance // Boots-old

Recently, Simon got some new fall/winter clothes. When I dress him on chilly mornings, I find myself jealous of his selection of baggy, cozy sweatshirts. I kept wishing they were in my size so I could borrow them. Is it wrong to borrow clothes from your child? I think it is supposed to go the other way around. (In middle school I lived in my Dad’s big, baggy flannels, which I wore with my intentionally ripped up jeans.) Thank goodness Simon wears a 3T, so I don;t have to wrestle with that temptation.

Anyway, when I was at Target the other day I spotted this cozy striped top, and I intentionally bought it in a too-big size. I have been living in it ever since. It is so comforting to be completely enveloped in a warm, loose sweatshirt. I am addicted and may be reverting back to my middle-school baggy clothes ways.

Autumn Casual

autumn casual 1autumn casual 2autumn casual 3autumn casual 4Sweater: TJ Maxx

I love my skinny jeans, but once in a while it is nice to take a break from them. I recently dusted off this old pair, which is so old that the brand has long worn off of the waistband inside, so I can’t even tell you where they came from. They are well-broken in and comfortable though.

I recently bought this fun sweater at TJ Maxx. The price was right, and I love the mix of polka dots with stripes, navy with yellow. It seems that I have been drawn to yellow lately, since my last two top purchases have both featured the color. I think it is the influence of Fall Trees and their bright leaves.

I am loving the Autumn weather so far. It is cool in the morning, but most days the sun has been out, making it warm enough to go without a jacket. I know this won’t last long so I am soaking it up while I can.

Linked up at:
pleated poppy

Casual Brights

neon sweater 2new mocsneon sweater 3neon sweaterSweater and Shoes-TJ Maxx
Jeans-Kohls, old

I’m not really a neon person, even though it is a big trend right now; but this bright, happy, candy-colored sweater caught my eye on the clearance rack the other day. Even though it is a sweater, I can see it being paired with jeans, skirts, and even shorts all through the Maine Spring and Summer. (It gets cool here at night!)

I’m also so excited about my new Minnetonkas. I found them at quite a marked down price, and in aqua, which is one of my favorite colors. They just might be the most comfortable shoes ever! While I was asking myself whether or not I should really buy them, even if they were marked down, I remembered this post over at Feathers and Freckles about three different ways she styled her Minnetonkas. Versatile shoes that can be worn with anything–from casual to dressed up, from jeans to dresses–are exactly right for someone like me.

In case you are wondering, I am at my husband’s Grandmother’s house in the above pictures. I have always loved that floral chaise lounge! Her nice, BIG, kitty is named Fritz and he is quite happy to bask in the sunlight there.

(Linked up at The Pleated Poppy)

Refocused


(Beach wear: T-shirt was thrifted for a dollar, Skirt is from last year at TJ Maxx, hat is from a year or two ago at Old Navy)

I haven’t been here for a while, and I am sorry. The truth is, I was not being lazy…I was actually being contemplative. I have made some personal resolutions lately with regards to shopping and style, and I was not sure at first how this blog could continue to fit in with that. I almost deleted this project altogether.

You see, Jeramy and I have been doing a lot of soul-searching and discussion about the goals we have for this family. Things that we have always talked and dreamed about, but never knew quite where to begin. Sustainability and Simplifying are two of the main goals we have, and shopping is often a very unsustainable and cluttering act.

We want to live with less, and be happy with less. We want to really ask ourselves if something is a need or a want before using our dollars. We want to avoid spending at big-box stores, and buying unethically created and sourced goods (such as clothing made in a sweat shop).

I also want to let go of the hangups of life that just do not matter. Admittedly, clothing, makeup and hairstyles fit into that category of being silly to focus on. If you are happy and healthy, it doesn’t make sense to worry about having the right shoes to match a certain outfit, or a celebrity-worthy haircut. There is a certain amount of guilt for me associated with wasting my energies putting on eyeliner and owning 10 different scarves.

So, I have spent a lot of time recently thinking about this, and ways to allow my desire for self-expression and love of style to still fit into my newly refocused life. Here are the conclusions I have come to:

~I can think about how to mix and match pieces already owned in new ways, rather than buying new clothes.

~When shopping is necessary, I can make thrift shopping my first option. This way I am buying recycled goods, and keeping my dollars local, as well as being more friendly to our budget.

~If purchasing a brand new item is necessary, I will first ask myself if it is truly a need. If it is, then I will opt to shop at smaller businesses and for handmade whenever possible. I will also keep quality in mind, since better made items will last longer.

~Over time, I will simplify my “beauty” routine. (I hate calling it that…) I will swap products out for more natural ones, even making my own homemade concoctions when possible. I can share the results with you here.

~I will opt for haircuts that require less continual maintenance, since they are expensive. I will continue to dye my own hair instead of paying for it, and will perhaps switch to henna.

Some of the above I have already been working toward for a while now, such as switching to natural shampoo and shopping at thrift stores.

I think it will be possible for me to continue to discuss body image, style, and clothes here without feeling or being fake, and that is what I aim to do.

Thoughts?

My First Foray Into Pattern Mixing






(Outfit Notes: Earrings-a gift from my darling nephews//Top-GAP brand, Thrifted//Belt-Maurices//Skirt-Thrifted//Sandals-Target)

I have seen a lot of other women mix their patterns up a lot lately, and have wanted to try it out. Wearing solids all the time may be safe, but it means clothes with fun design and pattern get worn less, and it hinders wardrobe creativity. I know that when you mix patterns, there are certain guidelines you can follow to make sure it looks like you are dressing on purpose, rather than just throwing things together and appearing a bit clown-like.

I will be figuring this list of guidelines out as I go, but the one I used on this day was to keep my patterns in the same color palette. The blue and white stripes of the shirt match the blue and white colors that are present in the skirt, which pulls the whole thing together. I also wore matching blue earrings, and kept my shoes and belt neutral.

I have to say, I loved this outfit. It was comfortable and fun, and made me feel festive for the Fourth of July celebration we were having.

Do you mix patterns? If so, are there any “rules” you follow?

Reclaiming The Horizontal Stripe





(Outfit Notes: Necklace-Target/Top-TJ Maxx/Skirt-Old Navy/Stockings-too old to remember/Peep Toe Heels- Mootsies Tootsies)

Whenever I dress for a special occasion, I strive to achieve the perfect balance of looking special and not looking like I tried too hard. Effortless dressing is very difficult for me, as I tend to over think my style combinations. Last evening was my 5th wedding anniversary, and Jeramy and I went out for a nice dinner in Portland, Maine. A stripey, 3/4 sleeve top paired with heels, pretty stockings, and a flouncy skirt seemed like a good juxtaposition to me.

My Dad took the pictures of Jeramy and I together right before we left, and I forgot to have him take a full body shot to show the whole outfit together, but hopefully you can get the idea by piecing together my top half with the detail shoe/stockings shot.

I should also note that I packed a pair of jeans and my favorite comfy black flats, which I changed into after dinner for our walk around the Old Port. My heels were fun and cute, but not the best choice for a stroll along cobblestone streets. It pays to plan ahead.

Finally, I want to add that I recently have allowed horizontal stripes back into my wardrobe. Horizontals have many naysayers, who make rules that you must be a size zero to wear them. I have finally come to the conclusion that these rules are bogus, and that if I like wearing a certain print, I am gosh darn gonna do it, regardless. I am reclaiming the horizontal stripe for women of all body types.