well, hello september! this time of the year is second only to the beginning of summer. the crisp mornings, the start of school and…the inability to figure out what to wear when it’s 50 degrees in the morning but 80 in the afternoon.
dressing in september is a lot of mixing summer and fall pieces. pairing an off-the-shoulder shirt like this one i LOVE from Anthropologie (it also comes in black and red!) with linen pants or jeans and booties transitions it from summer to fall.
a short sleeve top with a slouchy cardi and shorts. sandals and a long dress with a wide-brimmed hat. a short dress with a long sweater and booties. the list doesn’t end!
this time of the year is perfect for trying to make even more outfits out of what you already have! layer and try new combos before you feel like you have to hurry out and buy something new. some of my fav early fall combos is flannels with white dresses, chunky sweaters with shorts skirts and long sleeve blouses with with shorts.
there’s something so wonderful about the weather before it gets chilly — does anyone else just feel so hopeful and excited in months like May and September?! something about the changing of seasons!
i am excited to stick around st. louis in september (also defffff need to save all the dollars for hawaii, ya know?!) because it’s one of the most wonderful months to live in the midwest. i struggle in the winter so i am soaking in e.v.e.r.y. minute of good weather! what are you most excited about for the fall?!
coming from college into post grad, there have been so many gaps in my wardrobe. probably one of the biggest is that in-between style that in college would have been replaced by nike shorts and big t-shirts. now, my weekends are filled with seeing friends, adventuring and running errands. and i don’t really want to wear nike shorts and tees anymore. buuuut i don’t have those in-between outfits!
this romper is so close to what i am looking for! if you haven’t read this before, i have a lot of stomach issues and one tip my doctor gave me a couple years ago is to stay away from tight clothing. usually that’s not an issue because my style is very flowy but then i see high-waisted pants or try on dresses/rompers with a band around my upper stomach and get so irritated that my acid reflux flares up like clockwork. i was so so sad to return this romper because it is what cute weekend loungewear dreams are made of.
i mean the backkkkkk, come onnnnnn. i was genuinely so sad to hand it over but i have had dresses/rompers before where i just never wear them because they make my stomach so angry at me!
however, i am definitely still running around town in my new fav Soludos espadrilles. they’re neutral, comfy and at a good price point. nothing but good things to say about them still!
and last but most DEFINITELY not least is my new tote. i have been looking for a new tote bag for…a year. HA. i have almost purchased the Madewell Transport tote approximately 20580230 times but that steep price always stopped me because I really needed some work clothing and shoes.
well then my tote that i used to carry my laptop/camera in around town broke. for a few months, i just carried my laptop/big items and used a smaller bag because i just didn’t want to buy a tote.
then one day at Anthro, i was folding clothes to close the store and noticed this new bag. it was love at first sight. at $88, it’s a really quality bucket tote that checks all the boxes: super spacious, long strap, neutral leather color and a boho twist with the fringe detail. it’s funny how style works a bit like life: you’ll look and look and try to force something to work. and then one day, you stumble upon exactly what you’re looking for and be SO glad you waited! 🙂
i will be sharing weekend wear as i find options! do you have anything you love to throw on? do you rock lululemon outfits, casual dresses or jeans + a cute tee for your weekend vibes?! post grad keeps throwing me curveballs and makes me see gaps where i didn’t see them before! kind of didn’t realize how extreme my college closet was — either i was going out or going to class. needed that in-between space filled a bit.
happy, happy Monday! i am looking forward to getting my car washed this week. that sounds like the silliest thing but i have just have so much junk in my car between cleaning out my closet and buying/returning so much clothing/shoes the last couple of months. i need my clean, good smelling car back — this is the week!!!!! it’s the small things like a new air freshener that make my day.
i was so excited when i saw these pants come in at Anthropologie because they are the perfect mix of “i want to look put together at work” and “i want to look boho chic still.” which is basically my style in a nutshell. put together but not toooooo put together and boho chic but not tooooo chic. ya feel me?
the top is so easy to wear. i am just over difficult tops. like if you require me to wear some weird bra and a cami and be uncomfortable all day? i’m out. this color sold out so speedy quick, but the lavender color is on sale now!
these Madewell earrings that i can’t quit crushing on completed the look and i have just been LOVING those little guys so so much! i was almost nervous to wear them at first because they are so bold but i get so many compliments on them — even from men at work! which just absolutely makes me lol.
it just makes me so convicted every time i think through a purchase (and usually spend a little more) that i really love this capsule closet mindset where i am building a closet that in five years, will have so many pieces i LOOOOVE. right now i’m at like 70/30. i freaking am obsessed with 30% and the other 70% will eventually be phased out. but hey, this girl has trips to take! people to eat dinner with! dinner parties to throw! plants to buy! slow progress is good progress.
the only downfall of these pants is that the slit makes them billow so so much. and i’m tall so that’s saying something! one thing i want to remind you all that i constantly remind myself is that a lot of things you don’t like (i.e. length, waist size, strap length) can be fixed by a seamstress! i am going to find a good one in STL to just sew that slit right up and then the pants will be my dream!
already scheming to pair them with a blouse-y top, a white button down, a little tank with a jean jacket, a blazer or a sleeveless top for a night out to dinner! i like to be able to think of at least three outfits when i buy something and with these pants, the possibilities are endless.
oh and those espadrilles. they are life-giving. i really need shoes but am having time finding some that match my style and are comfortable. i can’t even tell you how many pairs of shoes i’ve ordered this summer and returned. i have become SO picky!
but espadrilles feel SO me! i wore them all day at work today and i am basically a Soludos convert. my other flower embroidered espadrilles are by some DSW brand and these feel even softer. didn’t know that was possible. anywho, they’re so neutral being black and white stripe and i just couldn’t recommend them more! here’s a sneak peak at another style post for next week with a better shot of them. 🙂
i have been more and more excited lately about creating content here. and doing style posts more quickly so things don’t sell out. quick shout out to my dear friend Clair who was so excited to help me snap some pics this weekend — it’s hard to find gals that are just as pumped to do this as me! 😉
it’s a work in progress over here at ae but i’m seriously so grateful to have readers who are so patient, encouraging and just so darn sweet as you all are.
i have always loved jewelry. and it used to S H O W. i remember in high school i had this standing contraption for it to all hang on and a jewelry box and random little trays around my room. but i really didn’t wear most of it. i mean i occasionally wore the random costume pieces for school dances or sorority events but it just kind of lay there and gathered dust.
so naturally i got rid of it all. and then more. and then more until i literally only had left what i wear on a regular basis + a couple of statement pieces. #helloAnthropologie
like i realize from every purge whether it’s jewelry, shoes or home goods, i realized i had way too much and i should focus on my favorites. right now, i only continuously wear three kinds of jewelry:
a watch: right now it’s a Fitbit Blaze — post on that soon! i loooove it even though i stinkin’ miss a traditional watch face.
dangly earrings: i don’t really wear stud earrings currently although a pair is on my list to try again but i mainly love statement earrings. i just absolutely adore the way it looks with your hair pulled back in a neat, low bun or ponytail and the way it can make an old shirt look and feel new. i eyed the pair in the photo from Madewell for about three weeks before i decided i liked them enough to buy them full price and i seriously still am smitten! i also have a pair of thin gold hoops i got forever ago at Lucky Brand and i wear those at least once a week. jewelry is definitely a soft spot for me. i like shoes and bags but i don’t really shop that much for them (STILL on the hunt for a cute heeled sandal, that’s how picky i am). oh but sparkly littles. they get me every time.
so jewelry for me, if i love it, is so worth it to invest in! it’s my favorite travel gift to myself (yes, i do buy myself when i go on trips – more on that later) and especially when you’re working a smaller closet, it can completely turn an outfit around. stay tuned for more jewelry finds as i’m always on the hunt! for more inspo, check out my sparkly littles Pinterest board — ooooh, the layers of rings and necklaces just woo me!
ps yes, i am still wearing this dress i recommended on this post multiple times a week. i will recommend it until i turn blue in the face. still considering getting it in black….
wow! so many of you resonated with the post last week about my intentional shopping method. it makes me feel so much less alone in this season of slowwwwwww growth. all over my life, but also with my closet. i honestly just get annoyed now when i need something so desperately because i want to be able to say no and spend that money on a flight.
but also i have a full-time job and i can’t wear Birkenstocks to work… 😉
so even though i would love to just not buy anything at all, i need to be okay with buying a bit every now and then. which is the thought process behind intentional shopping: being intentional about what you buy so you can streamline your money towards what you really love, whether that’s supporting your family, traveling or investing in hobbies.
i got a lot of questions about how to find and fill those gaps in your closet, basically where to put your intentionality to work.
i love that question! but full disclosure, it’s taken me about a year to wean my identity from the latest and greatest trend to focusing on what i need. IT’S HARD. i love style but i also know that my heart is way more full when i travel or do photography or get dinner with friends than having one more piece of clothing in my closet.
but ALSO: this has been the most i have felt myself in my clothes because i think and plot and try on until i am absolutely sure.
so let’s get started!
how to find the gaps //
essential tip: purge before you look for the gaps.
set that aside in a line by itself because it is C R U C I A L.
otherwise clothes you don’t actually wear or don’t fit will be super sneaky and fill those gaps, leaving you confused when you go to pull an outfit together and “can’t find anything to wear”. this used to happen to me all. the. time. for example, my friends would be like oh let’s go to dinner and i’d look at my bursting closet thinking to myself, wow i have nothing to wear.
what?!?!? but there’s so much clothing, my mom would say! and i agreed. but nothing i wanted to wear or felt like me.
it’s because i had bought things willy nilly on sale or because other girls were buying them, only to leave them hanging there for months (or years #imtheworst).
so step #1: purge. i wrote a three part series last summer about that process if you want to read about it more! here’s at the links to Part I, Part II and Part III!
the next thing you need to do is evaluate what you already have. this can be super revealing and a bit shocking. on both sides — either a slap in the face that you have way more than you thought or a reality check that you really do actually need what you thought.
for example, just the other day i was annoyed with buying more work clothes and went through my (small) closet only to find a couple more tops that were hiding and also made a point to see what i could pair together to make it seem like i have a new outfit. sometimes it just takes one new pair of pants to make m a n y new outfits! i have a post in the works for these pants but i want to share them with you now because they filled a gap (work bottoms) AND created so many new pairings because of their neutral color. sneak peek.;)
step #2: take inventory of what you already have
if it helps you to write this part down, do that! i divided categories like such:
work tops/night out tops (trying to sync these up so i don’t have to buy double!) vs. casual tops
works jeans (1 pair of flares, 1 pair dark wash skinnies, 1 pair of black skinnies) of vs. very casual jeans (1 pair of boyfriend jeans, 1 pair of levi’s)
…etc, etc! you can also look through your jewelry, bags/clutches, shoes, work out clothing and anything else you put on your body! 😉 some other gaps i identified alarmingly quickly: lack of bras that actually fit (#nevernotgrowingandchanging), simple jewelry i actually wear, work appropriate summer shoes and dresses that were appropriate for more than running errands or going to the pool.
#3. identify the gaps and quantify what you need to buy to fill them. not want. n e e d. yes, i could buy 10 pairs of shoes to wear to work. but i really only need maybe 2-3 if i’m being real and also if they serve in two gaps – both to work and in my daily life.
how to fill the gaps //
it’s pretty simple! i have a little note on my phone with my gaps and it’s the BEST thing i could ever do when i want something because i double check with my note, which decides for me if i buy the item. obviously sometimes i say yolo and buy a white maxi just because, but i really try to stick to this note. otherwise i am frustrated time and time again with those darn gaps. in the past 9 months, i have bought a new bra, new work shoes, black jeans, jewelry, and casual tees all because of that note! and i am slowly filling the gaps in my closet. it works wonders! i try not to advise unless i’ve heeded the advice. 🙂
why don’t i just show you mine!
and that’s about it! i usually reevaluate every 3ish months. since i have fewer pieces of clothing, i will really be kind of continuously doing this method as i wear through items. but isn’t that wonderful? to live in such a materialistic culture and wear something to the point where you can no longer? that is countercultural and so good for us. less is more.
i am kicking off a series today that i am very, very excited to share! and that i kind of invented. i have always like the idea of a capsule closet and follow quite a few bloggers that use that system. for someone who loves style as much as i do, i also love the ease of opening my closet to a wardrobe curated with intention and attention so the attraction of a capsule collection was strong!
but the more i thought about it, the more i realized that it just doesn’t fit my lifestyle. most of the women that are doing it are moms or entrepreneurs. which makes PERFECT sense! less thinking, less shopping, more ability to mix and match when you’re too tired to be creative.
i also just don’t have the budget right now to buy all the necessary items and i like the idea of buying pieces over time instead of being rushed to find them right now. a capsule wardrobe, for those who aren’t familiar, is a collection of pieces that can be worn together in various ways and are typically bought at a higher price point since the capsule can be worn for many seasons.
so i am starting my own thing. it’s called intentional shopping. after i read Seven by Jen Hatmaker last summer, i purged my closet and because way more honed in on what i NEED, filling the gaps in my closet instead of randomly buying shirts at h&m and going on shopping sprees in the nail polish section of Target.
however, this style of shopping is s l o w. it requires lots of buying, trying on, pondering, switching out sizes and pairing with other items already in your closet. not only that, but it takes even longer for someone fresh out of college where the wardrobe was extreme high’s (cocktail dresses for events and tops for going out) and extreme low’s (yoga pants and oversized t-shirts).
but i am really embracing the slow style. yes, i have worn the same 7ish pairings of the same 5ish tops and two dresses and one pair of shoes while i order and compare prices and quality. but the upside is that when i win, i win big. i love the piece and i am so happy that i waited. i want my whole closet to be done yesterday. but i also want to travel and decorate my apartment and grab dinner with friends.
one of the biggest takeaways from Seven was when Jen talked about how she realized that people don’t really care or notice what you wear — or if you outfit repeat. and then tying that to living abroad and seeing women wear the same beautiful piece multiple times a week, i was sold on less, exactly what you like and want pieces is more.
so i’m calling this style of shopping “intentional shopping” and what does it mean for you? it means that if i recommend something here, you can bet your bottom dollar i love it. no more impulse buys, no more “fast fashion” (okay, maybe occasionally) and lots more buying pieces i love.
i also wanted to share this with you all because i was beginning to feel self conscious that i will be sharing some clothing with higher price points, especially since i use my employee discount at Anthropologie and the URBN brand stores. but i just love the idea that in a couple of years, i’ll have a closet full of nice pieces that fit well in all the right places and have purpose in my closet. it takes longer, but the result is me reaching for clothing and shoes that i love and make me feel good.
so this outfit!! this one i am proud of because dresses have been the most challenging gap of my closet to fill — partly because everything looks like a tunic on me since i have daddy long legs. this dress has been a constant since i bought it a couple of weeks ago. there’s no need for a camisole or special lingerie which is great when it gets hot and i don’t have to layer with weird bras or camisoles. i have been especially loving it with a pair of statement shoes like these espadrilles!
they’re like my shoe-mates. gahhhh i feel so happy when i wear them. 🙂
quick quip about intentional shopping: this does not mean it can’t be fun pieces like embroidered shoes or statement earrings! it’s all about how much you like it and how often you will wear it.
for example, i would love to buy this really cute pair of fancy heels for when i would need fancy heels. which at this point in my life? is probably VERY rarely. so even though i love them, i wouldn’t buy them now.
on the flip side, let’s say i see a pair of booties for $200 and i know i’ll wear them work at least twice a week. i’d buy those.
it’s all about filling the gaps in your closet with pieces that make you feel good.
these shoes are just seriously me in a nutshell. i love that they’re work appropriate but feel a boho and very Anthro chic. i have also paired them with jeans and a couple tops — i get compliments on them all the time! i honestly forget about DSW all. the. time. so when i popped in and saw these, it was a good reminder to head over there every once in a while! i like to know that if i wear a pair of shoes and don’t like them, i can return them which is why i tend towards Nordstrom, Macy’s and Anthropologie but i knew these were definitely not going back. i have a post coming up soon all about espadrilles and my favorites because i love them so much — they’re just so summery – both work appropriate and perfect for dinner with friends!
i hope these posts help you find work clothes that you can also fit into your life outside the 8-4 hours. building a more “professional” wardrobe is killer for me because i refuse to buy something super business-y that i wouldn’t wear in real life. some other pieces i have added over the last months are this top from ann taylor loft (they have like 1 piece every couple of months that i love! it’s a very odd store relationship hehe.) and this blouse from free people along with those black jeans and nude flats. this dress was a win last summer. i wear it with a jean jacket to work and feel just a bit more ania in my cube. all of those pieces were more expensive but i’ve worn them over and over and over!
although my closet is growing ever so slowly because i have become so critical of every piece i buy, i really love and would recommend everything i keep so you can always count on the integrity of my suggestions!
do you have any dresses you’ve purchased lately that you love and wear to work?! it’s been by far the hardest thing for me to find — everything is so short on me. 😉
can’t wait to continue to slowly but surely share style posts, including one next week that will help you find the gaps in your closet and what to fill them with!
as much as i love having a minimal wardrobe and shopping with intention, sometimes you just need to buy a dress that makes you want to prance through a field and pick flowers.
that’s all there is to it for this post. i don’t know about everyone else, but sometimes in the midst of feminism, i feel like it’s not cool anymore to look soft or delicate. but i love that style. and i just want to say that there is a space for ALL styles at the table. let’s not confuse being strong with not being soft because i think you can be both and be a boss woman all the same.
also, find friends that will take photos of you prancing through a little park field right next to a couple having a romantic easter picnic. those are the keepers.
i have a growing collection of little white blouses. short sleeve, florals, tanks, striped – i’ll take any variation honestly.
there’s something about the color white that i find so flattering and feminine, especially with summer coming soon and warm tans on the horizon. i am eyeing this swimmie with a white top and i love love love white dresses like this one. but we’re not quite there yet with this weather. #eyerollemoji
in march and april, all you reaaaaally want is a little summer sun but we are handed spring showers. so lately as i wait for true dress weather, i’ve been wearing white blouses with skirts, jeans, black pants and everything in-between! it makes me feel like the weather is warmer than the rain outside is currently proving.
although my collection is good as is, i thought i’d gather a couple of my favs on the web for you all. i have this floral h&m one and have given the link to so many girls because the trendy shoulder ruffles but at a good price point. below i linked a couple more in a variety of price points and styles – happy white blouse shopping!
here’s the honest to goodness truth: i haven’t purchased a piece of clothing from target since soffe shorts for track in high school. i just don’t fit into their clothing very well being 5′ 9″ and having…curves. #manifeellikeawoman
so you can imagine my surprise when i walked into target the other day and saw this dress as i strolled through the store on my way to grab some cotton rounds (my life is thrilling, i understand).
my first thought: “wait, that’s cute.”
my second thought: “but there’s no way they’ll have my size or if they do, that it’ll fit well.”
(fun fact: the target i live by is the busiest in its’ district. i just order a lot of things to the store because the selection goes down so, so fast!)
then i did something i haven’t done in a LOOOONG time at target and i tried on the dress. i had the time and i have been prioritizing building the dresses portion of my closet so i figured this could be a great first step.
and it fit! it even runs large which is better for my boho vibes and anti-tight clothing style. i usually don’t love the short in the front, long in the back look — but this one proved me wrong! it’s so flowy and multi-length at the bottom that it doesn’t look as extreme as the online photos make it seem. oh and ps, it does have a comfy slip so you don’t have to worry purchasing that separately. i don’t have money to go around buying slips for every dress i own – i need to buy important things like cotton rounds.
this is a great dress to wear to SO many occasions from Easter celebrations and summer weddings, date nights and backyard bbq’s. and for the price point of under $29.99? dress dreams come true around the world.
i am trying to get better at snapping photos of clothing right after i buy them because i can’t tell you how many times i’ve purchased something, waited a month to take a photo and it’s already sold out! and ALSO, dresses are buy one, get one 50% off right now at target with free shipping at $25 sooooooooo…i’m sorry if this was the week to stick to your budget. 😉
happy spring to all! i hope you have some sunshine in the forecast soon.
last weekend i spent some time making a blog calendar for this little spot on the web and it felt so good! i had such clarity about where i want this blog to go and what i feel is most relevant to you all.
the reason for the monthly style picks is for you all to see what i’m eyeing. so often with bloggers, they’ll comment back to me that they got a top on major discount and in a way, i wish i had known to stalk that top too. that way i would’ve snagged it on sale as well!
with these monthly posts, which will start happening the first week of every month, you’ll get an inside glance into my shopping brain and be able to see what i’m stalking until i can afford it. that’s the biggest tip i can give for shopping: put an item in your online bag and then just wait. be patient. wait some more.
here’s a great example: this free people sweater has been on my radar since september. SEPTEMBER, PEOPLE. even with my employee discount, i still felt like it was a bit overpriced so i put it in my free people and macy’s online shopping bags and would check in every so often. then, last week, i was able to score it on macy’s by downloading their app, getting 25% my first app order and applying a discount code that was running last weekend. this might sound completely absurd and sometimes it is, but that’s the way i shop! i can’t afford to spend $130 on a sweater at this point in my life so i have trained myself to be patient. sometimes it results in me missing out. but that’s fine by me because it helps me reroot in the fact that if i don’t end up getting it, that should not be the end of my world.;)
now that i’ve explained this new series better, here are my march picks! these are items i am considering buying or just really wish a magical fairy would drop on my doorstep. each image is hyperlinked to its’ source so if you also love any, feel free to shop via each photo!
do you have any items you’re eyeing? should i add something to my list? comment below if you have something you’re just obsessing over til that price drops. 😉