What I wore yesterday

035cropped

  • White top: Banana Republic Non-Iron Shirt
  • Cardigan:  Stein Mart
  • Skirt:  Alfani, Macy’s
  • Shoes:  Tahari, DSW
  • Necklace:  Judith Ripka, QVC
  • Bag:  Ross

029cropped

I had to teach all the kids at church yesterday.  It’s probably not a big deal for a lot of people, but it makes me a nervous wreck!  I’m NOT a natural teacher, and my brain shuts off when I’m in front of a large group, leaving me flustered and tongue tied.  I imagine I have that ‘deer caught in the headlights’ look the entire time.

Do you get nervous in front of groups?  I know some of you are actual teachers.  Any tips for me?

I finally got around to wearing this Old Navy scarf…

0041

  • Dress:  Talbots
  • Scarf:  Old Navy
  • Belt:  Kohl’s
  • Boots:  Clarks Mascarpone Mix

So back in November, I mentioned this scarf from Old Navy was on my wishlist.  I first saw it in the store, but didn’t have time to stand in a long line and buy it just then and figured I’d order it online.  So, it sat in my online shopping cart until one day, when I decided it was time to place my order, I discovered it was sold out.

Of course.

But, living where I do, I figured there was a decent chance it was still available in the store, so I headed back to Old Navy determined to find one.  (Oddly, there’s nothing like a quest that makes me want something even more.  It’s nuts, I tell you.)  And I found one scarf left in the entire store, gracing the neck of a display mannequin high out of reach.

And then I had to be that woman who asks an employee to bring over a ladder to retrieve an item off a display.

I so hate being that woman.

Will I wear it again before it warms up too much around here?  Who knows, but it’s mine.  All mine.

Look who decided to jump into my photo for fun?

0011

Yes, it’s hard to believe this tall teen with attitude is the same sweet boy who once appeared in this post with his buzzed hair and pajama pants almost 5 years ago:

0033

Awwww.   Sweet memories.

And another Banana Republic Non Iron Shirt…

Banana Republic Non Iron Shirt

  • Top:  Banana Republic Non Iron Shirt
  • Skirt:  Alfani, Macy’s (November 2011)
  • Shoes:  Nine West Rocha, DSW
  • Necklace:  Target

I check Banana Republic occasionally to see if they have any new colors of their Non-Iron shirts available.  I own them in a ton of colors already, but I like the fit and how they wash up so much, I figure I could always use another when they go on sale.  This light blue color is my newest acquisition, and I paired it with a necklace I got on clearance at Target a while back.

The shoes were another clearance find last month from DSW.  They’re Nine West, another brand I tend to collect.

Merona cropped

Do you have a brand or style you tend to stock up on?

If you can believe it…

5 years ago today, I started this blog.  It all began with this post.

Seriously.

And here I am 5 years later, still posting pictures of myself online.  Crazy.

Banana Republic polka dot

  • Top:  Banana Republic Non-Iron
  • Skirt:  Talbots
  • Boots:  Clarks Mascarpone Mix
  • Necklace:  World Market

I haven’t always been consistent, and my blog hasn’t turned into anything very big, but that was never really my intent.  This has been a place for me to figure out what I like and what works for me.  It’s a learning process, and, 5 years later, I’m still learning, and I can tell I always will be.

One of the things I’ve learned is to take a chance.  Maybe there’s a new trend you’re seeing out there, but you think there’s no way you could pull it off at your age, or with your body type, or for whatever reason you’re thinking.

I say, just give it a chance!  Go a little out of your comfort zone every once in a while. Try it on in a store, because just like you tell a child (or adult!) about to try a new food: “You’ll never know until you TRY it!”.  If you like it, fantastic, and if you don’t, you never have to try it again.

Another thing I’m still learning is to accessorize.  This doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money.  In fact, sometimes it’s better when you don’t, especially for those items you can tell are trendy (bubble necklace, anyone?). It helps to add some new items to your wardrobe occasionally to keep it fresh and interesting.  A necklace here, a scarf there – something that keeps you a little excited to get dressed, and helps your outfits look put together and intentional.
BR top, Talbots skirtOne thing I’m still working on, and will always be working on, is FIT.  I love this skirt, but it doesn’t exactly love me.  The waist needs to be taken in, and the pockets should probably be sewn shut to keep them from gaping open and drawing more attention to my hips.  Even if you’ve spent a ton of money on an outfit, if it doesn’t fit you correctly, it will never look like a million bucks.

When I first starting blogging, I shopped a lot.  And I bought a lot of clothing just because it was a new hobby.  I paid more attention to style and price than fit, which left me with a closet full of clothes, but little to really wear.  Over the years I’ve slowly learned that if something doesn’t fit well in the store and I’m not willing to pay the high price of getting it tailored, I should probably leave it hanging on the rack.

One last thing I’ve learned is to invest in key items.  I think the Clarks Mascarpone boots I’m wearing here are a great example.  I bought them on Black Friday in 2011, and I still love and wear them 3 years later.  I knew I wanted leather boots that would fit my short, wide calves and that were a style that could be worn for several years. I spent time researching online, tried pairs on in a store, and eventually bought my pair when there was a sale.  It wasn’t impulsive, and I didn’t rush into it.  If you don’t have a large budget for clothing, it may seem counter-intuitive to drop a lot of money into one item, but in the long run, it will save you money and keep you from replacing that item over and over with cheaper alternatives.

Talbots skirtThanks to everyone for sticking with me over these years, and for the support and encouragement you’ve given me.  I truly appreciate it!

What I wore yesterday

Calvin Klein Striped Maxi 

  • Maxi Dress: Calvin Klein, TJ Maxx
  • Cardigan: Cable & Gauge
  • Necklace: Stella & Dot Kimberly

I haven’t worn this maxi for a while, and frankly, it’s because I thought it shrunk in the wash.  The other day I put it on, and realized it hadn’t, or maybe it’s because I’m down a few pounds?

Either way, I’m happy.

Footwear with a maxi dress in the cooler months seems trickier to me than during the warmer months.  In spring and summer, it’s easy to pair sandals with a maxi and look casual but dressy at the same time.  But in the winter, I think boots look best.

What do you wear with your maxi dresses in the cooler months?