4 combos for adding color back into my summer outfits

In the winter, I sort of look like a grayscale (almost typed Greyscale..too much GoT on the brain!) cartoon. But, maybe because winter was way too long this year, I am now finding myself craving more colorful outfits. The problem is that I don’t find pairing colors as “effortless” as picking neutrals. After browsing Pinterest for way too many hours, here are some colorful outfits I’ve put together lately:

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How I figured out my personal style in grad school

When I arrived at my MA program, I had a lot of clothes, and liked clothes, but was also one of those people who never felt “pulled together,” and especially not in a way that looked effortless. Fortunately, I had a habit of stress reading blogs. And I soon found capsule wardrobe bloggers. Through their influence, I figured out that my problem might actually be too many clothes, going in too many directions. So I started doing a couple of things to find the direction in my style. 

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My choices for the Summer 10×10

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The Summer 10×10 starts Friday, so I’ve picked my 10 items of clothing out to get ready to make my outfits. Here are my picks (some not pictured):

-4 tops (boho, knit tank, tie t-shirt: all thrifted, and chambray: J Crew investment)

-3 bottoms (linen pants, white midi skirt: thrifted, jean cut offs: here)

-1 dress (here, on sale for $40)

-2 pairs of shoes (converse, sandals thrifted)

No black clothes!

I tried to pick lighter colors this time around and gave myself the challenge to pick no black clothes. Black is my go-to neutral color and I’m trying to move toward tan and white in the summer.

On my agenda 

My 10×10 this time consists of nothing but dissertation writing and social time. I need outfits that are appropriate for field work (I am doing qualitative research in a casual, but masculine, environment–I usually opt for muted colors and pants in that situation), but that’s my only constraint. I tried to pick fun items to remind me to go outside, downtown, and away from my laptop in general.

The other challenge of my 10×10 is that it’s so hot that all clothes seem like bad options. I picked linen and other soft, breezy items for that purpose.

That’s my 10×10 kick off–see you on Friday with the first outfit.

What is a 10×10 Challenge and why is it useful as a grad student or busy person?

The Summer 10×10 challenge is fast-approaching (start date: July 27th) and while my Instagram is abuzz with participants, I would like to make a quick invite to grad students/academics out there. A 10×10 is a 10-day challenge where you pick 10 items of clothes and remix them into 10 days of outfits. (More on that here!). I’ve completed 4 challenges now and I think they’re a great opportunity for grad students in particular! Here’s why:

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A bunch of adult things no one told me you should do to take care of clothes.

So it turns out that when you stop buying all of your clothes from Forever 21 (ok but still some of them..), they can also last a lot longer…and they can last even longer if you do some basic maintenance to keep them looking nice. I feel that no one ever told me this?? In the last year I’ve been taking some baby steps toward being an adult when it comes to clothing maintenance. Here’s what I’ve been up to that I’ve found worth my time/money.

Continue reading “A bunch of adult things no one told me you should do to take care of clothes.”

More color, please!

This season marks my three year anniversary of dressing using a capsule wardrobe, and I have no idea how I got dressed before I made the change! If you don’t know what a capsule is, it’s based on the idea that too many clothing options lead to decision fatigue, and dressing with less options will maximize your wardrobe. Caroline, over at Un-Fancy, suggests 37 pieces, and the idea is that they should all focus on a similar style and color palette. Here’s a get started guide if you’re interested. 

When I first got a capsule, I was in love with allll the colors (teal, seafoam, lavender, blues, red, pinks, yellows….to name a few), and I basically quit color all together, because I realized that if you buy only neutrals everything matches. Lately I’ve been missing color, though, so I am working on incorporating more color into my capsules. Here are my picks for this spring and summer:

My ideas for how to bring color back into my life are pretty apparent in this pic:

-Select only a couple of colors

-Pick colors that pair well

-Focus on adding color with accessories 

-Steal Home Depot paint chips to keep myself on track (taping these up next to my closet has been helpful and reminded me of what colors I should focus on)

I’ve been enjoying this tomato red and yellow so far. Here’s a link to my pretty yellow sandals, red purse, and all the bandanas