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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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