Fall Outfits for When It’s Still Hot Out

How does one dress for fall in the southwest? Or, really, anywhere right now –because in early September it’s still toasty in so many parts of the country. I’ve been thinking about this question an awful lot since moving to Vegas. Here are a few items I am thinking could help me ease the transition into fall–especially when it’s still several months off if you live in the desert!

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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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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?

One fancy buy for Fall: A leather jacket

I’ve been on the hunt for a good leather jacket for several years now. Yes, years. And in that time, I’ve owned 2 jackets that were almost perfect, but not quite–both because I was trying to jump the gun when I saw them on sale. Anyway, this time, I decided to decide on exactly what I wanted in a leather jacket (minimal hardware, that cool waterfall effect on the front) and then wait until I found THE ONE.

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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.

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

Conference packing, Spring edition

This week I am headed to a conference that poses a packing challenge because I am wrapping in 2 days of conference with 12 days of visiting my parents in Phoenix. This called for some extreme minimalism: 2 shirts, dress pants, 2 pairs of shoes, and a sweater.

I blogged recently about my hatred of dress pants, and the good news is I’ve found a pair I like a lot at Loft. I actually managed to make a conference outfit that feels like “me” this time around, also, which is progress because I really don’t enjoy business casual clothes.

I’ve started to think more seriously about building a business casual capsule wardrobe as well. I won’t be on the job market for another year, but I’m a slow shopper so I would like to get a start on this now. As part of a capsule wardrobe, I like to pick 4-5 colors and focus on buying clothes in those colors so everything matches (this makes packing for anything AMAZING!).

However, I’m not really sure what colors to go with on this. I would love to do black/camel as my neutral bases and blush (pictured here) and burgundy as accents. However, I can’t deny that I tend to gravitate toward navy and grays also. But, because I’m going to start with a small business wardrobe I think I should start with more limited colors. (PS: I just got these Sam Edelman flats and they are the most comfortable flats I’ve ever owned. Conference MVPs for sure).

What do you think? What colors would you go with? If you’ve built a business capsule, do you have any advice about what items to start with?

Spring 10×10 picks

Starting the Style Bee/Un-Fancy Spring 10×10 style challenge on Monday. If you have lots of clothes and feel like mixing them up is difficult, you should join! Pick 10 wardrobe items and style them into 10 outfits over the next two weeks. Here’s what I’ve got: jeans, culottes, a sun dress, three shirts, two sweaters, boots, and sandals. My wardrobe is very black and white right now so I tried to pick some stuff to lighten it up.

How to avoid looking like an undergrad in grad school

 

Is this a common grad school anxiety? I think it is. If you’ve come straight out of your undergrad, you probably want to look older so that you don’t get hit on by some guy in the dining hall line who asks, “so, are you a freshman?” (#truestory). Some ideas:

-Messenger bag or tote>backpack. Some suggestions.

-Mix one business casual piece in with your casual wear (in this case, oxfords).

-Sweat pants/workout clothes are awesome and you have every right to wear them but they may increase the risk of the aforementioned junior-guy-hits-on-you scenario.

-Glasses have been shown to boost your perceived credibility.

You could also just decide you don’t care if someone mistakes you for an undergrad! But on days when you do care, the above can be helpful.