Friday, November 13, 2015

The Closet Series: Vol 1

First of all, let me start by saying, that I NEVER thought I would be blogging about fashion. But here, I am. Never say never. 

I often get compliments on my style at work primarily but also at church and the check-out girl at Spring Street Market. It's flattering, but I've never felt like it's anything special so it always catches me off guard and my response is typically an awkward "oh..thank you?!" Like I'm questioning the person's compliment. 

Here's the thing...I'm NOT a big shopper. I don't enjoy shopping. I don't like to spend alot of money on clothes. And I'm not a size 2, 8 or even 12. 

Fashion has changed for "plus size" girls and women through the years. I was mortified the time my mom had me try on a pair of BOYS HUSKY size blue jeans at JC Penney when I was little. Yes, it was traumatizing OBVIOUSLY if I distinctly remember all these years later. I was embarrassed to lay an XL anything on the checkout counter at a store for years. Now, I don't care. I guess I've owned my appearance and my body. 

Weight is a constant struggle for so many women, while I may always be losing a few pounds only to gain them back a few months later, I'm healthy. Goodness knows I've had every test under the sun run on me since July. Everything checks out great. So, I continue on. Be active and mindful of what I put in my body food and nutrient wise. It all makes a difference. 

That being said, it's not always the easiest to dress in a stylish way on a budget when you're not a single digit pant size. So, you find the style that works for you and go with it. 

These are my 4 Rules for Styling and Profiling..haha: 

1. Find ideas on Pinterest, find a blogger or two whose style you really admire and work from those style inspirations.

2. Be open to mixing and matching! Don't think stripes and floral go together? Oh but how they do!! Always thought leopard print was for grandmas? Nope!

3. Layering looks good on any body. 

4. Invest in "staple items" - a nice pair of black pants, a great denim jacket, solid color cardigans...pieces like this will never go out of style but CAN be styled for changing trends for years!

Every night before I go to bed, I lay out what I'm wearing for the next day. Recently, I've started prepping my outfits for the whole week on Sunday nights. (This is actually where this blog post idea came from, but since has taken on a life of it's own.) Who knows how long it will last, but it sure leaves any guesswork out of my sometimes rushed-to-get-out-the-door mornings. 

Today I'm sharing a handful of recent ensembles that I've worn to work. These outfit ideas would also work for church and date nights! Let's be real, clothing price tags add if I'm buying, I have to justify whatever it is to be able to wear to work AND church. If it doesn't have potential for multiple use, I'm not buying it.

First up: I've had this dark gray skirt for ever but seldom wear it. One day in the hospital Cafeteria, I saw a lady wearing a navy skirt the same length with a mustard cardigan and booties. She looked so smacked me between my eyes...I've got everything to recreate that look in my closet! (See what I mean about finding inspiration from someone else?!)

Next...another piece I have that is under utilized. This sweater vest is flowy and has a high neck. I paired it with a plain gray long sleeve top and my dark navy dress pants. To add a pop of color to all the gray, I work on my MIL's handmade necklaces and earrings. (P.S. neutral color shoes will go WITH ANYTHING. *this is key!*)

I rarely ever wear this gingham button-up. Why you ask? Because it HAS TO BE ironed. It looks awful when it comes out of the dryer. I was dying to pair it with a new floral infinity scarf I had recently bought. So, I bit the bullet, and drug out the iron and ironing board. A little pattern mixing with the gingham, floral and leopard and it worked PERFECT. *Everyone repeat after me, "leopard print is not just for old ladies!" WEAR LEOPARD PRINT!! Shoes, scarf, belt...find an accessory in leopard and start mixing it works!!

I love wearing black...but these days I LOVE mixing my black with browns. I mean, before Sheaffer, who even thought about mixing black and brown?!? I got this fringed bottom black tunic from a traveling boutique that goes around to different arts and crafts shows, flea markets, etc. This day I paired it with black leggings, but I have something different in mind for it come Black Friday and the Stafford Family Photo Session. Again with the touch of leopard accessory!! 

I bought this dress at the end of summer at Cato on the clearance rack for...wait for it...$5!! For $5 I KNEW I could easily make this a year-round wear. Add some leggings and a bright colored cardigan to distract all the dark and I was ready to go!

Another black dress in the closet! This is SUPER simple to change up looks. Brown belt and boots and denim jacket. Chances are, you have these pieces in your closet already! Mix and match those staple items ladies!!

Similar to my black dress, I have a navy dress that I wear year round also. For the Fall and Winter, I either wear gray tights with it or these fun plaid leggings. (I forgot the cardigan in the picture. For this outfit it was a long navy cardigan. With gray tights, I would add my denim jacket. In the Spring and Summer, I add either a white, pink or yellow cardigan!)

I love patterns and I love color. When I found this top right before Thanksgiving last year at Old Navy, I had to have it! It's solid black on the back, but this fun front has SO many colors. A fun top like this is great to wear with your staple black dress pants!

Finally, palazzo pants for the Fall. Whaaat?! After swearing I was too short to wear palazzo pants and that I would NEVER wear them, I bought two pairs back in May and they changed my life. Girls..they are SO comfortable! I feel like I'm wearing pajamas to work! In the Spring and Summer, I wore a tank and lightweight denim jacket. For the Fall, I'm wearing a plain white tshirt under a matching cardigan!

Like I said, I am NOT a fashion blogger, but maybe a sneak into my closet and how I piece items together will give you some ideas for how to wear items you've not worn in a while. It's amazing how many outfits you can create by just mixing and matching what you already have!

Shop your closets!!!

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