Floral Prints and Clearance Racks

I believe that taking chances with your style is important. Especially when you have a look you strongly prefer, it can be easy to get stuck in a style rut. And clearance racks can be a great way to kickstart your creativity and your risk-taking side!

Today’s top is off the JCP clearance racks from a few weeks ago. While it combines some elements that I know I love (florals and lace), I wasn’t sure about the shape or the fact that it’s fairly sheer. I tend to overheat easily and therefore typically want to wear as few layers as possible, especially in the summer. But I loved the way that two traditionally soft patterns were made just a touch edgier by the black geometric lines. It gives the shirt a more tailored look and breaks up the print in an interesting way. Plus it was on sale for $10, so I gave it a shot and really like it!

Today I’ve paired it with ankle crop skinny jeans, leopard flats (of course), and a nice bright statement necklace for a playful summer work look. I could definitely see wearing this more casually with shorts and sandals (if I wore shorts), or more professionally with black slacks and a cardigan, or even a full suit. It could also work well with a pencil skirt, either tucked in for a streamlined look with some texture and color, or untucked to add a little romance to a polished look.

So many choices! And all because I like cruising the clearance racks. My mother instilled in me the love of a good deal, plus, the better the deals, the more awesome new things you can add to your closet!

What has been the best deal you’ve ever scored clothes shopping?

Bold Prints and Low-Maintenance Outfits

With rain in the forecast and not enough coffee in my cup, I wanted a very low-maintenance look for today. My curly hair plus humidity pretty much means “don’t even bother” as far as a hairstyle goes, so the messy bun is a lifesaver in the summer!

For rainy and 90, I want something cool and this top fits the bill perfectly. It’s a cotton so thin that it falls almost like silk, which is pretty much the only way I will wear a button down top. Built a little top-heavy, I like the way button-downs look, but it’s nearly impossible to find a traditional button down that fits. 

This top was a Marshall’s find and it was the feel of the fabric that made me pick it up. This print is a lot bolder than I would normally choose, but once I tried it on, I fell in love. I feel like I should be stepping on to a yacht! I do find that I am much more likely to take risks when trying on clothes at a discount store like Marshall’s or Nordstrom Rack. I don’t know if its the way things are put together in a hodgepodge, or the lower prices, but either way, a lot of the risks I’ve taken at those stores have paid off!

I would encourage you to take risks in your own shopping as well. Especially in the dressing room. It doesn’t cost more than a few minutes to try something on, so pick up a new siloiette, a bold print (or a subtle one), a kimono wrap, or even a romper. If you hate the way it looks, no one has ever seen it but you. But you might fall in love. You might find a whole new favorite category of things, the way I did with pencil skirts. So go on, pick something to try on just based on the print or the cut or even the fabric. You might surprise yourself!

When is the last time you tried something new with your wardrobe?

Pretty Prints and Structured Tops

Are there any items in your closet that you feel are “special”? I absolutely love this top, but I rarely wear it because I seem to have convinced myself that it is something to be worn for a special reason. I got it years go when I first started attending trade shows for work and would only wear it for that. Now I’m trying to adjust my thinking about it and wear it for just the normal day-to-day.

Today I’ve paired it with a pair of dark wash boot cut jeans, a purple sweater (since it’s so chilly at work), and a pair of sparkly grey flats. The print and construction of the neckline are practically an accessory in and of themselves, so I chose not to wear a necklace with this outfit.

I do love this top, but it’s not as forgiving as I would like it to be. Something with structure worn as a completed piece, like a blazer, will often help to camouflage problem areas and can help create a nice shape (small waist, flare out at the hips). A top like this can do the same, but because it is a thinner material and worn closer to the body, things like a stray belt loop, or a little muffin top are more likely to be visible. 

The answer? Make sure you are wearing pants that fit well and don’t create extra bulges. In fact, this top in particular is really better worn with slacks. And be sure to get the top in question in the right size. Does it fit at the shoulders, bust, waist and hips? Also be sure to turn around and check the fit across the back, a shirt or dress that is ill-fitting may pull too tight at the level of your bra, or could fold and gather in the small of you back. Both of these mean that you don’t have the right fit and should probably try the next size up. 

When you shop for a fitted top or dress, fit is so important. Unless you know that you will take it to the tailor (and it’s something a tailor can fix!) don’t buy clothes that don’t fit quite right, no matter how much you like the color/print/fabric. They will end up sitting in your closet because you will always look better in something that fits properly!

Pink Shoes and a Lovely Boutique

So many exciting things to share today, not the least of which are these lovely hot pink flats. Too much fun! I have also discovered a lovely boutique that recently opened in my town and have a new cardigan and necklace to show off.

First, the shoes! I mentioned putting a pair of hot pink pumps back on the shelf at the store a few weeks ago, Continue reading

Editing Your Closet: 3 Steps to Get Started

I don’t know how it’s possible, but no matter how many times I edit my closet, there is always just one more piece I can take out. I’m not sure how this works because I feel like I edit out a lot more than I’m adding, so hopefully I don’t edit myself out of a wardrobe someday! But really, you should constantly be taking a careful look at what you have hanging in your closet (or folded in your drawers). Here are three guidelines on how to edit your wardrobe to help get you started.  Continue reading

Mixing Prints and Layering Up

Despite the fact that it will be 90 here today, inside my office it’s going to be about 42. Well, really more like 72, but still significantly chillier than the tropical humidity outside. Because of that, I tend to layer up for work. Starting with a tank or a tshirt, I add Continue reading