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Finding the 'A-ha' Moment

March 30, 2016
This past weekend I had the pleasure of helping a college friend talk through her wardrobe and work through what concerns she has.  It was a step in the direction I'd love to take, helping women feel confident that they can reach into their closet and put something together that makes them feel good.

When I asked her what was her biggest concern, it was 'not feeling finished'.  And I get that.  Her workplace is very casual, so we didn't have much to discuss there, so she uses the weekends to feel more put together and like an adult.

I talked to her about finding that 'weekend uniform' which works for her.  Mine is a pair of shorts (printed, colored or denim) and a tunic style pop-over top.  When it gets warm outside I pretty much wear this combination both Saturday and Sunday.  But to feel 'finished' I work with jewelry, a cute scarf or pair of fun sandals.  Finishing is all about the extras....but not necessarily about having a lot to choose from.

Here are two weekend looks I put together using the same denim button down top.  Adding a dark layer over helps make the pieces more a 'look' and help create a slimming illusion by creating some vertical stripes on top.

























This was really an 'a-ha' moment for my friend...she had never even thought to wear her button up shirts unbuttoned!  She even made the statement that is even doubled her wardrobe options!  You can do the same with neutral denim and a printed button up!

Before we left I wanted to challenge her to put together an outfit for her evening mass that she would be attending later that night.  She started by selecting the base pieces, then we starting talking about how to finish the look with jewelry and an extra layer.  Here's her finished look, and I think she looks amazing!


I had a great time just talking through what items she could slowly incorporate into her wardrobe to help increase her options (BLAZERS!!) and how important it is to do a ruthless wardrobe purge every once in a while!

Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend, I'm still mentally recovering!  Keep interacting with me on Facebook, and if you're interested in a little wardrobe overhaul, contact me!  I'll see you all later, back here in my closet!

This Week in Outifts

March 26, 2016
Another week down, another week putting together outfits!  You'll start to soon realize I have a more 'capsule' style wardrobe and rotate and mix and match pieces a LOT.  Which isn't a bad thing! Most of us don't have the disposable income to be able to buy a new outfit every weekend.  I'm going to forego the normal links this week since I'm short on time, but if you ever have questions about an item I wore, leave a comment on catch me on Facebook!  So let's get into what I wore this week:

Monday - 

I actually had this blouse on last Thursday, St. Patrick's Day, and couldn't bring myself to not wear green on such a storied holiday for me.  I purchased this top at TJ Maxx a few summers back and I wore it all the time while pregnant with a white maternity tank underneath.  Paired with my trusty H&M crops and Target heels and it was a great mood boosting outfit for a Monday.



Tuesday -

When your schedule calls for you to be in the office before sunrise, it's going to be a long day.  I wanted to feel put together but comfy, so I paired my trusty joggers and Target v-neck t-shirt with this blazer I got from Nordstrom and a statement necklace to feel a little more put together.  Never underestimate how put together a shirt and blazer came make you feel.


Wednesday -

My fitness routine has been very consistent recently, and I've been pleased with the results I'm seeing. Today was no exception as I was feeling really long and lean.  To enhance that I did reach for black, which is naturally slimming, but make sure if you're still wearing something that has great fit!  Just because a shirt is black doesn't mean that the cut will flatter and enhance the slimming effect.


Thursday -

Last workday this week!  Kept it pretty simple with my crop pants and this layered shirt from Talbots.  I always through on at least one necklace to help me feel like I've finished a look.  Accessories do help create diversity in your wardrobe and I recommend investing strategically.  Once of the main reason I joined Stella & Dot is the opportunity it gave me to purchase modern, fashionable pieces cheap!!


Friday -

Good Friday!  I was in St. Louis at my parent's house, but was still wanting to look put together.  I was going to see my girlfriend and work with her on getting the most out of her wardrobe (see next week's blog post for more on that).  I couldn't travel with much, so I brought tops and bottoms that could be mixed and matched based on my mood for that day.  I picked this blouse up from my Talbots adventure and kept it neutral with my olive chinos from H&M.


Well, that's this week!  I've enjoyed summarizing these outfits and I hope you've all been getting some inspiration from them!

Have an amazing Easter weekend, whether you spending time with family or friends...and I'll see you later, back here in my closet.

Feeling Put Together for Easter

March 23, 2016
I'm so excited to announce my partnership with my local Talbots store for this post!  It's been a place I've always known about, but never felt was my style.  That is until I went for a little fall fashion event with my alumnae chapter in November.  I was amazed that they'd updated their look for the fashion forward working woman....with a preppy under current.

I worked with the ladies there to put together a few looks that you could wear at your family gathering, no matter it's level of formality!




Let's get into the looks!

This first look is what I consider most traditional for Easter.  If you were going to church and then a more formal brunch after with a full family affair.  Right when I walked into their 'staging' area I saw these pieces together and it just screamed 'EASTER' at me -- directly.

I'm wearing a sz 12 in the dress and a medium cardigan.  The dress is a classic sheath cut and hits me just above the knee.  I would recommend some great nude flats or heels to finish this look off, and your favorite Stella & Dot accessories(although most jewelry in these pictures is from Talbots as well)!



The next dress is for those who might not want something so form fitting.  I would still consider it perfect for church and after events!  The skirt is really flowy and I loved spinning around in it!  Again, for reference I was a size 12 in this as well, but I felt I might have been able to go down a size for my personal fit preference!




The next sets of outfits are for those that aren't incline to wear dresses, or are maybe just getting together with family and want to feel 'adult' and put together.  I went into today's styling knowing that I would be buying these pants, since I saw them in the catalog just two days ago.  But when I paired them with this blue and cream peplum-esque top, the whole outfit HAD.TO.BE.MINE.  I feel it really is the epitome of my style - modern classics.



I realized when I got home, Rob never got a full length view for the pants.  They are a skinnier fit, cropped right at the ankle bone.  I'm in a size 12 pant and size 10 top.  I can see me getting some MAJOR use out of both these pieces come full spring/summer weather!

I also wanted to put together a look in case it was a little chillier in your neighborhood, or if you don't happen to like your arms (which is totally OK).  I got a large in this sweater, and definitely could have gone down a size!  It's a great weight for summer days with shorts and will keep you warm when it gets a little brisk at night!


The final look I really wanted to make sure I put out there is the casual one.  I know not everyone goes to church, or has a big to-do with family.  Sometimes it's just you, your fur baby and some Netflix on Easter.  Although, even if you were with family, I think this next outfit would still make you feel 'together' in front of your in-laws.  I even rocked the completely casual vibe by being barefoot!

It's from the T by Talbots active wear line.  These jogger style pants have a heathered-like print that gives them interest, and the whole darn outfit was just comfy.  I could definitely see pieces from this line fitting easily into a busy mom's weekend wardrobe.  I was a large in all these pieces, would probably only go down to a medium in the cardigan for fit.



I recommend if you're still looking for that nice outfit for Easter, swing into your nearest Talbots to give some of these options a try!  They are investment pieces, so go in knowing you may pay more than you normally would, but you're going to get an item that will power through several trendy seasons.  I look forward to working with Talbots in the future!

  


I'm excited to go home for the holiday, see friends and help a few college friends style their wardrobes! I hope you all get to spend quality time with your loved ones!

I'll see you later, back here in my closet!

Transitioning seasons

March 21, 2016
Have you ever bought something for an upcoming season, but can't wait to wear it??  It's happening more often as retailers put out future season pieces earlier and earlier!  I try to figure out how to make the most of these purchases, so that's what inspired this post today!

I was flipping through my latest issue of People Style Watch and this 'Look for Less' is really what inspired me.  I liked that the white fringe pieces scream summer vacation, but using army green and heavier shoes has made it wearable as the seasons *slowly* shift.


I had purchased this white beach tunic from the Stella & Dot summer preview collection mainly for our summer vacation come May and any pool going to do this summer.  But I liked the way it was also wearable day to day.  Below is my interpretation of the Look for Less, using a jacket I recently purchased from JustFab and my trusty neutral booties.

Disclaimer - I probably wouldn't wear this until it was MUCH warmer, or unless we were going directly to the beach....it's pretty short and even I was feeling a little self conscious on the length.




But, I also wanted to find a way to really wear this now, when it hovers around 50 degrees outside so you still need your legs covered.  So I tucked the tunic into a shirt (using the length to my advantage and wearing it loose) and paired with a great pair of boyfriend denim.  This is something that I think would look great a lots of skin tones and body types. 

I'll put shopping links below!  But check out my stellar modeling!

Straight out of senior pictures 101






Tunic - Stella & Dot
Jacket - JustFab
Jeans - Old Navy
Booties - Famous Footwear
Bag - Longchamp

I enjoyed putting some more casual looks together for you guys!  I hope you have a great week, and I'll see you later, back here in my closet!

This Week in Outfits

March 19, 2016
Another week down!  I find myself saying to co-workers 'It's been one of those days' a LOT recently.  So I was intent on not letting another week wear me down....however, by Thursday I was struggling.  What do you do to keep energy when your work load really starts to weigh heavy on you??

Monday - By now you'll start to see a lot of repeats in my work wardrobe....and that's totally normal!  I'm not someone that buys or receives new clothing every week.  Hopefully you'll find some inspiration in my combinations!

Cardigan - similarsimilar
Blouse - similar, similar
Pants - exactsimilarcurvy fit
Shoes - similarsimilar
Jewelry - Stella & Dot


Tuesday - I couldn't wait to wear my new HM crop pants!  I wanted to wait until my tried and true heels were back from the shoe doctor (getting re-heeled).  

Top - similarsimilar
Pants - similar (couldn't find the exact style online, in store only)
Heels - exact


Wednesday - I always feel particularly feminine in this conservative sheath dress.  It's from Banana Republic Factory a few years back...and to think when I bought it I couldn't even zip it up all the way!  Set non-scale goals for yourself!

Dress - similar, similar
Heels - similar (LOVE), similar
Jewelry - Stella & Dot

Thursday - I was actually wearing blue until 10 minutes before I left for work until I realized I couldn't let St. Pat's go by without wearing green....so this outfit came together pretty last minute.

Top - similar
Vest - similar, similar
Joggers - exactsimilar
Heels - exact

Friday - We had a designated casual day at work to do annual record retention (aka throwing LOTS of paper away).  It's tricky being casual at work..I always reach for dark wash denim to still feeling put together if you're thrown into a meeting last minute!

Shirt - similar, similar
Tank - similarsimilar
Jeans - curvy, similar
Shoes - exactsimilarsimilar
Jewelry - Stella & Dot

I'm also moving all my daily pictures to a new Instagram account (@MeanwhileBackInMyCloset) so go follow me there and remember to like my facebook page for your chance to win $20 in Stella & Dot cash!

Short work week for most people next week, and I've got some Easter inspiration outfits coming mid-week!  So I'll see you here, back in my closet!

Goals

March 16, 2016
Today's blog is going to be a little different, I don't have any planned content...I just wanted to chat.  Chat about goals.  I was asked by a girlfriend of mine 'What's your goal with the blog?'....and really, I didn't have any concrete plans.  That's weird for me as I'm really goal oriented and type A -- I work well towards a desired outcome.  I have work goals, home goals, fitness goals, so the fact that I didn't have a 10 step plan for this blog got me thinking.



Whenever you Google 'successful blogging' or something to that extent, there are always a few outlined 'rules' to line you up to be successful.  However, you don't always have to have a measure of success to define if you do something.  But there are some key things to blogging:

1) Are you passionate about your content?

Well, yeah -- but I'm passionate about a lot of things.  Fashion and beauty have always been what I'm 'known' for in my friend circle.  I have taken years to cultivate a style and have found what does and doesn't work on my body.  But that doesn't mean I'm not into exploring trends and opening my style.  That's what I hope to do here.  I want you to also start to get passionate about how you feel in clothing.  It can have a real effect on your day, mood and how you present yourself at work, to your kids, in your dating life.



2) Do you have something unique that other blogs don't provide?

This one is tricky.....there are a LOT of fashion blogs out there.  I read several daily.  Where I hope to be different is that you can be fashionable at any size, with any budget, without even having to buy new clothing.  I don't have a lot of disposable income to go buy a new bag every month, but I do enjoy using rental sites to allow me to spend a weekend in a fantasy.



One thing I also hope is that women will also welcome me into their own closets...I'd love to help!  I know so many women that work in a business casual work environment that feel in a rut or don't know how to really grow an 'adult' wardrobe.  My dream would be to be a personal stylist and help women feel confident in what they wear each and every day (a girl can dream).

3) Do you have an end goal?

Not really....I'm just here to see what comes out of my brain.  I love hearing feedback on what you'd like to see.  I have many facets to my 'fashion' life - fitness, work and casual - but I mainly focus on work since it's a majority of my wardrobe.  If this takes me places and allows me to make income, great -- if not, I'm not going to be put in the poor house.  I am very fortunate to have a (relatively) stable, well paying job that affords me the comforts to do something like this only for fun.




SO....that was pretty wordy.  I hope to spark your interest (or renew it) in feeling great in the clothes you wear.  But know that not every day is a fashion show for me....I'm rocking a t-shirt and college sweat pants as I write this -- and that's life.


Thanks for reading, and as always - I'll see you back here in my closet!

One Hour In....

March 14, 2016
When I was walking through H&M last week, I realized they had a lot of great pieces.  I felt no one I knew was talking about how professional some of the outfits look for the working woman.  BUT, I also know most women I know don't have a lot of time to just walk around a peruse a big store like that.

So I came up with a potential new series.  I spent one hour in a larger store, and put together as many work and casual outfits as I can.  Hopefully I'll inspire you to take a look yourself, or see that fashion is pretty accessible.

At H&M, the most expensive piece I pulled was a $50 dress.  Most tops are around $10-$20, pants are $30-$40.  It's pretty easy to get a versatile piece that you can really get your money out of.  I pick up two of the items I tried on, out of 12 pulled.  And that's only because I wanted to keep my wardrobe budget in check.

Here's what I found - disclaimer I'm either a L or size 12 in this store:

This oversized cardigan was at the front of my store, and I wanted to open my outfit horizon (so to speak) to not just my preppy style.  It felt more boho to me, but in an attainable manner.  It would be great for an evening out with friends.  The tank is also a fave (I bought gray last week) and would look great alone with white, khaki or olive pants/shorts.



Then, immediately to the left in my store is what I would call their 'working woman' section.  It's a lot of separates, power suiting options, dresses of all cuts and fabrics.  I was drawn to these crop pants since spring is coming and I pulled a few different tops to show how many weekly outfits you could get out of these pants and some black pumps!  These pants did come home with me!  You'll be seeing them next week!



For full disclosure, this peplum top didn't zip up all the way in the back....I have more broad shoulders/back so something to think about on this specific top.


I grabbed this dress because I wanted to break out of my comfort zone with prints.  It wasn't really structured, but I figured some of my belts at home could change that.  After trying it on, if you're hippy at all it will fit weird.  The cut is a little to straight down from the shoulder.  Also the physical fabric felt a little light for the workplace, I wanted to have some leggings on under it to make myself feel covered.


So...this maxi.  I grabbed it because I KNEW it wouldn't be my style, but again - wanted to show a complete picture of what they offer.  Once I put it on I was so torn!  The print isn't as overwhelming in person as you'd think....the tie detail allows you to get a little risque if you choose and there are two slits to allow for more (air) flow around the legs.  The only thing I couldn't get around were the long sleeves.  If it had been sleeves it probably would have gone in the bag (it's $20, FYI).  If my style were more boho, it would be perfect.


This dress would make a great work dress with a cardigan or blazer and then great for date night or a summer wedding without!  The back cutout detailing is a cute addition -- and it has POCKETS!



Further into the store they have a LOT of casual clothing.  Most of it I wasn't drawn too because it looked too juvenile.  They have a lot of cheap basics (the short sleeve t shirt below is 2 for $10).  And my store has a section for maternity...which Peoria was really lacking.

This outfit below is REALLY my weekend style.  Comfy and functional, with a hint of being put together.  I bought this olive chino pants and and currently wearing them with my fave Target relaxed t-shirt.  I grabbed the sweater to show an option for those chillier spring nights that are going to hit us.


Overall, I was pretty impressed with the range of selection at H&M.  I will put a disclaimer that with the price I'm not expecting things to last for decades.  But if you're in a bit of a style rut, it's a nice place to purchase a more trendy piece to give life to your wardrobe.

I'll probably do another one of these are a store like TJ Maxx or Marshall's.  I'm going home for Easter and there are larger version of those stores in St. Louis.  Any other places you'd like me to go and put things together for you?  I'm open and ready for your feedback!

Have a great week, and I'll see you back here in my closet!

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