Beginning of December outfits + reading

I am currently enjoying what we in dissertation-land call draft purgatory. You know, where you have sent a draft of something to your advisor, and they haven’t given you comments back yet. So you do nothing. For like a week.

Usually I love draft purgatory. But I have a lot on my mind right now, job market-wise, and have definitely learned over the last month that research is your only form of agency on the job market. You can’t control the jobs. The only thing you can do is try to graduate.

Anyway. Here’s what I’ve been wearing lately.

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Shiny mules: These are the exclamation point on all my outfits now! $22 at Target. Another great source of styling inspo is Natalie Borton, who is rocking gold mules!

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Cyber Monday: In search of work shirts

I got a request to post some good shirts that go under blazers–a topic that I think is always a problem for me (I’ve already ranted about it here). In the spirit of Cyber Monday, here are some nice work shirts at good prices!

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Shawl color shell by Ann Taylor (which is 50% off everything through Monday, $30)

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Style on a budget: Sezane lookalikes for cheaper

If you don’t know about Sezane you should probably skip this post, because I think the cool French clothing company is out to steal my whole wallet. They’re unsuccessful, though, because $120 for a shirt is noooooope not happening on a graduate student budget. 

….but that doesn’t mean I can’t look. 

Looking at expensive clothes is a hobby of mine. It could be purely painful, but I actually like looking at the inspiration and then keeping a phone note of items I want to find on sale or thrift. In the spirit of that, here are some Sezane pieces I have been coveting, along with cheaper “dupes” of those items.

White lace shirts: Sezane is all about the lace shirts. I couldn’t believe my luck when I found this lookalike at Loft for under $30. I bought this shirt this week! More lookalikes below.

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Wearing florals for winter

I’m flexing my styling muscles this week to try a new combo that I’ve seen on Pinterest repeatedly this season: layering floral dresses to make them stretch into winter.

It’s clear that dark floral patterns are in right now, and that makes the 90s kid in me extremely happy.

Loft (comes in plus and tall sizes)/J. Crew Factory/Loft (comes in plus sizes)

See how I’ve been styling my current dark floral dress below.

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My Fall 10×10 picks

The Fall 10×10 starts today and there’s still time to join. Just pick 10 clothing items and restyle them to make 10 outfits over the next 10 days. Easy, right?

Hah. By day 8 I’ll be making all sorts of strange combos, I’m sure. But that’s kind of the point. This is a great challenge for learning to use what you have while also identifying wardrobe gaps. Usually by day 10 I have a pretty good idea of what items could be nice additions to my seasonal closet, which is why I (try) not to shop for the season until the 10×10 is over. Here are my picks for the next two weeks:

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Blazer (thrifted, similar)

Shirts: Long sleeve, pink button up (thrifted, similar), white button up

Plaid shirtdress (old, similar)

Sweater: Vetta (can be worn 3 ways, so this is probably gonna be the 10×10 all star)

Bottoms: Green dress pants, tweed skirt (thirfted, similar), jeans

I’m pretty excited about a couple of potential combos right out the gate! And I’m hoping that these layers will help me cope with the Colorado 40 degree temperature span. 

Are you doing the 10×10? If not, what are your wardrobe all stars this season that you could mix and match?

A week of outfits: Transitioning from grad school to 9-to-5

Today, my friend Sue, who graduated with her MA last year, talks about dressing for your first adult job!

Hi y’all! I’m Rebecca’s friend Sue. I just graduated and I’m back in the working world. Before I got my MA I worked at a Fortune 500 company, so I had to adjust my wardrobe for grad school (the West, a more casual vibe). I moved back to the East Coast this fall and started a new job so I had to adjust my wardrobe again. 

Monday
I typically start the week in a dark dress – I think because it’s easy to roll out of bed Monday morning, put on a dress and not worry about mixing and matching. I typically pair with a cardigan or (maybe) a blazer. My office is business casual, leaning more towards the business than the casual…no casual Friday’s here! I had a few staple dresses from grad school but definitely have been in a bit of a buying frenzy and utilizing Rent the Runway Update! 

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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.