Wednesday, July 27, 2011

to recap.

I learned quite a few things during my 10 outfits from 10 pieces project. First and foremost, it's definitely doable, but maybe not for 10 days in a row (you end up being dirty and not washing things, and then when you do, they turn blue). I also learned that nothing beats a basic, whether it's a dress, skirt, jeans, pair of heels, etc. If you have some classic, neutral items in your wardrobe that you love and fit great, you can turn them into tons of different outfits. Which leads me to my next lesson- accessories are key. You can create so many unique looks with that same classic dress/skirt/top by throwing on various accessories. I used belts, necklaces and scarves the most in this project. Here are some of my current favorites:

From R-L: F21 Rolo Chain Bib Necklace, J.Crew Leopard Print Scarf, Kate Spade Cut to the Chase Bib Necklace in citron, Zara Elasticated Belt, J.Crew Patent Tab Skinny Belt in warm jade, F21 Ikat Print Scarf, Zara Necklace of Threaded Stones, Kate Spade Bow Belt.

Did anyone notice I only posted six of my outfits from this project? I forgot to take pictures of two of them, and for those of you good at math, yes I was short by two. Oops. I'm going to stick with blaming it on the weather and the washing machine.

Friday, July 22, 2011

and gets bested by the weather & a washing machine.

OK so I cheated again. But I have several things on which to blame my cheating ways. They are as follows:
  • a heat wave that is slowly broiling the Midwest.
  • a very aggravating washing machine that always spits out HOT water even when you push COLD.
  • my incredibly flimsy backbone.
I will not bore you with the details (tee hee hee, I totally will)...after packing for 6 hours on Wednesday (we're moving this weekend), I remembered that I needed to wash the white v-neck tee I had worn 3 times without washing (this is why it's hard to make 10 outfits out of 10 clothing items. I shall try again when I have laundry in my apartment). I ran up to the laundry room, threw my stuff in and resumed my packing spree. Only when I went back up to put my stuff in the dryer did I remember the dreaded third washer from the right's issue (or is it the second...see if I could remember anything this might not have happened). It always washes things in warm/hot water, and I put jeans and my white shirt in together. BOLLOCKS. I now have blue clothing.

My wonderful husband went to Target for me after his work dinner to try to find a replacement white v-neck tee, but couldn't find anything. I was going to improvise and wear a crew neck white shirt, but I checked the weather before getting dressed and discovered there was a high of 99 degrees. Just thinking about my poor little legs suffocating in skinny jeans, with sweat dripping down my back and soaking through my white t-shirt (too much?) put the nail in that coffin. I threw on this outfit that I bought for my mixing prints project, and was cool and comfortable all day long.

Yes, I know my head is cut off. I looked like a dork. One of these days I'll get better pictures, I promise.

J.Crew outlet striped tee and skirt with J.Crew suede cutout heels.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

and cheats just a little bit.

Yesterday we had a company outing- a boat cruise on Lake the stifling heat. We had the same event last year, and upon finding out I announced to my team that we all had to dress in nautical themed outfits. I remember I wore my navy and yellow rope print mini skirt from J.Crew and patent leather orange Sperry's...and was shocked to find that I was the only person who found dressing in theme highly exciting. Not one to be deterred, I decided that yesterday would be a "pass" day on my 10-outfit challenge so I could channel Gilligan once again.

I pulled out my trusty orange skirt from J.Crew that I bought for a previous post, a new navy and white striped shirt that I got at Zara for $15 (I've definitely already gotten my money's worth from this versatile shirt) and tan Calvin Klein wedges. I accessorized with gold earrings shaped like coral (or a tree? But I went with coral for the theme) that I bought in Cleveland at this adorable store called Yellow Cake by Valerie Mayen.

Please ignore my red face and salty expression in the second picture. If you didn't know, "salty" is the new cool word among the youngsters (as Rick and I learned from his little brother & co, we are so hip).

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

to go on a colorful safari.

I was a little frantic getting dressed this morning (are you noticing a trend??) and almost threw in the towel on this project. I had an idea in my head to wear the silky green shirt from J.Crew over the orange BR dress to make it look like a skirt, and as I was pulling on the shirt I convinced myself it wasn't going to look right. After trying to put it under the dress, and then cinched with a belt over the dress, I went back to square one and knotted the ends at my waist. I threw on a necklace to try to disguise the top of the dress peeking through and the Ann Taylor pumps, and I actually really liked the end product! It's a unique color combination that I wouldn't normally choose and I loved the shirt tied in front. Oh, and I felt very safari with the rolled sleeves and army green, hence the post title :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

and gets halfway there.

Here are outfits 4 & 5 from my 10-outfit from 10-items challenge! The jeans, the white t-shirt and navy cardigan (all J.Crew outlet) were comfy and casual for the office last Thursday, worn with the very comfortable J.Crew outlet flats. I also threw on my favorite bib necklace from BR.

For dinner in Cleveland on Friday (our friends' parents were nice enough to invite us over while in town for a wedding), I wore the J.Crew jeans again with the light pink top I wore earlier in the week. I dressed it up a bit with the teal chain-link necklace and the Ann Taylor heels.

The outfits might start to get a little interesting this week, considering I've already worn everything and I'm on outfit #6. I guess that's part of the challenge! Bring it :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

to resemble a watermelon.

Here's outfit #3! I might have been told I looked like a watermelon, but I loved this dress (BR outlet $45) and necklace (J.Crew outlet, $15). I wore the Ann Taylor heels again, which were much more comfortable the second time around, thank goodness.

and remains neutral.

Take a look at the second of ten outfits for this project- I went for a fresh and girlish look with the pale colors and flowered belt. I loved the pink top (J.Crew outlet, $25) and the flats were incredibly comfortable (J.Crew outlet, $40), but I think I could have sized up in the khaki skirt (BR outlet, $20). You could see the outline of the shirt tucked in (as seen in the second picture), and it kept riding up when I walked, threatening to give my fellow commuters a free peek at my booty.

Thanks so much to my lovely friends Kate and Gary for having us over last night, and for giving me a great backdrop for the pictures! And to my hubby for taking them, of course :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

to start the week off right.

I was so excited this morning to wear my first outfit from my 10-piece wardrobe. I jumped out of bed (that's a complete exaggeration, it is Monday after all...), put curlers in my hair and was ironing my khaki skirt when BOOMMM- a huge thunderclap shakes the windows, followed by torrential downpour. I decided a khaki skirt might not look too good soaked to the bone, so I opted for the skinny jeans I bought instead. As I was running upstairs to grab them, my bestie Jenn called to say she was driving to work and could pick me 5 minutes. I stuffed my belt (J.Crew) and necklace (Kate Spade) in my pockets and ran out the door, so please excuse my slightly disheveled hair and lack of make-up :)

I'm loving the first outfit though! The shirt (J.Crew outlet, $20) is not wrinkling as much as I thought, and the jeans (J.Crew outlet, $33) are holding their shape quite well. My tootsies are hurting a little from the Ann Taylor pumps ($40), but I am the ultimate believer in beauty is pain. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

for 10 in 10.

Have you ever seen those magazine articles that claim you can take 10 pieces of clothing and make a bajillion different outfits? I just saw one on that claims you can make 7 weeks worth of outfits with 10 different articles of clothing...I love Lucky, but seriously, are they insane?? You can't wear the same dress 3 days in a row, you just can't, unless you want to be the smelly kid in class.

However, after I thought about it some more, I realized mixing and matching and stretching the life of the clothes I buy is technically the point of my blog. I decided this had to be my next challenge, but I knew 7 weeks was completely out of the question. I settled on 2 weeks of work outfits and 1 weekend of outfits, with 1 free day each week for work (mostly because I'm not working a full week until August, basically. Hello wedding season!!) So that makes 10 outfits from 10 pieces of clothing. I originally set my budget at $250, but upped it to $350 when I spent $180 at my first store. Tee hee hee, I'm such a rule breaker.

I mentioned in my last post that I had my husband with me on this shopping expedition, so I had to work quickly (good thing spending mass amounts of money in a short time period is my specialty). We were up at the lake house for the 4th, so we headed to the outlets. I was hoping to find some great deals so I could stretch that $250 to the max, and my wish was granted! I spent a total of $320 for 2 pairs of shoes (heels and flats), 1 cardigan, 1 dress, 1 skirt, 1 necklace, 1 basic white t-shirt, 1 silky button down, 1 chiffon-y tank and a pair of jeans! I got everything at J.Crew, BR and Ann Taylor. Check out the pictures below!

Outfit #1 will debut on Monday, July 11th. I decided to kick off an exciting week (Cedar Point, a wedding, my birthday and the final HARRY POTTER movie) with even more excitement :)

Monday, July 4, 2011

and got herself hitched :)

Wow, that was quite the sabbatical from my blogging career!!! I do have a good excuse, marrying my best friend and all, but that was a very long break and I'm so excited to be back!

A lot of planning went into our big day and we were lucky enough to have everything go off without a hitch. It was literally the best, most fun and perfect day. There's nothing like dancing the night away with the love of your life, your awesome families and your best friends!

I thought I'd share some pictures, of my outfits of course.

Here's all of the beautiful bridesmaids outside the church after the rehearsal. I had my only minor meltdown of the weekend about my dress for this night, so I dragged my lovely friend Casey all over Michigan Ave looking for another alternative, before dragging my other lovely friend Megan down to Kate Spade to buy the adorable dress I'm wearing in the picture (hint hint, I'm the one in white). I had previously purchased the seafoam green shoes (also Kate Spade) because they happen to be my husband's favorite color. The layered necklaces are Kate Spade as well, and those were bought in the pre-rehearsal shopping spree along with the dress. All I can say is, thank goodness for Kate and their new bridal line...

Close-up of the layered necklaces and my husband's preppy paisley tie/checked shirt combo (can you see why I married him??) My dad and new mother-in-law round out the pic!

Meet Reggie, my wonderful wedding dress! I got her from Priscilla of Boston and she originally came with a big bow, which ordinarily I would love, but I wanted to style her up a little bit myself. I had the flower made from, and after trying about 15 different pink ribbons, finally found the right color/width combination. The seamstress was a miracle worker and this thing fit like a glove, and felt great! But me being me, I figured on the most special day of my life, why not have 2 dresses??

Meet dress number 2! I got this sassy little number from Bella Bridesmaid in Chicago. After 10 hours in Reggie, my legs were definitely glad to get a little cool breeze, and getting down on the dance floor with my sissy was a lot easier. I felt like a bird with all of the chiffon petals, which reminded me of the scene in The Notebook where Noah says "if you're a bird, I'm a bird" and just added to the romance of the day in my champagne-infused mind :)

Sparkly Jimmy Choos. Enough said.

There's a little glamour shot for you. I loved how everything came together, and truly felt like the princess that the 3-year old waiting for the hotel elevator thought I was :) It's amazing what a hair and make-up team and hours of preparation can do!

My shopping budget is thankfully restored, and my new (very patient) husband helped me shop for my next project at the outlets this weekend- stay tuned!