Fancy outfit

So one of my Summer 13 goals was to have three “fancy” outfit shoots.  Originally I intended these to be shots outside of my house and yard.  But I’ve decided to stretch that to include outfit shoots that have new/different poses from my usual.  Mostly because it was about to pour buckets on this day, and I really wanted to photography my outfit without destroying my camera.  So there :)

SmilesGoWithEverything: Fancy

This denim jacket/shirt was one of my favorite thrifting finds of late.  I’ve seen so many of my favorite style bloggers wear denim/chambray shirts and make them look amazing.  I was at the mall recently, and found at least one denim shirt at every store I went to , but none of them fit just right, and they were all too expensive.  On a recent trip to my favorite thrift store, I found this shirt for a mere $8 and  I love it!   It’s cotton, comfy, cuffable and just the right shade of blue.  Thrifting for the win!

SmilesGoWithEverything: Fancy

On a sadder note, the above mentioned favorite thrift store of mine suddenly and abruptly closed up shop yesterday.  Turns out that the denim shirt will be the last thing I ever bought at their Tampa location.  They’re moving across the bridge to Pinellas Park, which is about 20 minutes farther away.  I’ll still check them out, but I’m really bummed out, because their old location was close to where I worked, so it was easy to pop in for a quick thrifting trip.  So, go visit your favorite thrift shop today.  You never know when it might be gone.

Have you ever found that perfect item you were looking for at a thrift shop?  What was it?

SmilesGoWithEverything: Dansko Cara sandals

Dansko Cara sandals

  • Top: Target (thrifted)
  • Jacket: H&M (thrifted)
  • Capris: St. John’s Bay (thrifted)
  • Watch: Fossil Outlet
  • Sandals: Dansko Cara (eBay)
  • Purse:  Timbuk2




By my nature, I’m not much of a make-up person.  Too much makeup makes my skin feel weird – even when it’s high quality.  Plus, I think I never went through the “make-up rite of passage” that most girls seem to go through at a young age.  Sure, my mom explained foundation and lipstick.  I had female friends who wore make-up.  I read Seventeen magazine.  But somehow, I never really learned good make-up techniques along the way.  And so I developed a boring routine of mineral powder with undereye/concealer, lip balm and maybe, just maybe, some mascara.  My attempts at eyeshadow and eyeliner often look worse than a pre-teen’s first attempt at eye makeup (no offense to pre-teens).

Thus, make-up counters have always scared me.  I usually tend to memorize exactly what I need, ask for it, and leave quickly.  The few times I’ve approached for make-overs or make-up advice, I leave with a look I know that I can a) never replicate at home and b) would never want to anyhow because it just doesn’t fit with how I like to look.

Recently, I had a positive trip to the make-up counter where I ended up with the perfect eyeliner for me, something that’s been almost impossible to find before.  Reflecting on this trip, I think I’ve figured out some tricks to get the most out of a trip to the make-up counter, without walking away with tons of crap on my face.

  1. Go when you don’t have time restraints: If you go to the make-up counter when you’re rushed, you either won’t stay long enough to find what you really want, or you’ll end up buying something you don’t really like impulsively because you just want to get out of there.  Carve out a little time.
  2. Have a very specific look in mind that you want to create:  Are you itching to learn how to create a smokey eye?  Let them know that’s what you’re interested in.  Want a simple, subtle everyday look?  Make that really clear.  Want a dramatic night out look?  Tell them.  If you can communicate clearly what you’re looking for, you’re more likely to find it.
  3. At the same time, be open to playing with new looks or something you might not have thought of: These people work with makeup for a living – they might realize that a pretty bright pink lip gloss is actually what will flatter you the most – even if you had never ever considered wearing something like that.
  4. Don’t be afraid to say you don’t like something: If the stylist thinks that dark purple eyeliner looks amazing on you and you can’t stand it, tell them.  No one can read minds – you have to communicate.  And if you don’t like something, make sure you ask politely for some make-up remover to take it off.
  5. Ask for samples or trial sizes: Many makeup counters have trial sizes of their products – if you’re trying something new, this is a great option.  This way, you can play with the products at home, see how they look with your wardrobe, and decide before you commit to spending more money.
  6. Don’t be afraid to not buy everything suggested:  Some salespeople will try to push products on you that you’re not interested in.  Don’t be afraid to turn them down.  Their feelings shouldn’t be hurt.  If someone is way too pushy, just politely thank them for their time and find someone who’s willing to work with you.
  7. It’s okay to say, “I’ll think about it”:  Just because you’re asking a stylist for advice, doesn’t mean that you are required to buy something.  If you’re just not sure, or you’re not ready to buy, simply be polite and say something like “Thank you so much for helping me out today.   You’ve given me a lot of great ideas.  I’m not ready to commit to something today, but I’ll definitely think about the products you’ve shown me”.

What’s your best tip for going to the makeup counter?  Anyone out there who’s worked at a make-up counter before that could offer some advice from the other side of the mirror?

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A few weeks ago, I wore an outfit with a new way of tying a square scarf.  Here, I’ll share with you what I did.

Start with a big square scarf.  Larger scarves like the one pictured work best for this method.

Fold scarf on the diagonal.

Put tip of the triangle behind your neck and have the narrower ends where you can see them.

Tie these two ends in a knot, leaving tails of about 5 – 6 inches.

Twist the scarf around so that the larger part of the triangle is in front at an angle.  Tuck the ends in underneath or leave them hanging out on the side. C’est fini!


The last time I did a Wardrobe Inventory was back in 2009.  Back then, I was only working part time, and still struggling to figure out exactly what I liked.  I was beginning to experiment a lot.  Some of those experiments were fantastic, others were duds.

My outfits have started to fall into a repetitive rut, so I felt like it was time to take a good look at my wardrobe once again.  I counted and photographed pretty much all my clothes.  The only stuff I skipped out on: summer clothes (swimsuits, shorts, etc), workout clothes, and pajamas.  I didn’t include accessories this time, but I might come back to that later. (Note: Counts are total, some items aren’t pictured)

Casual Tees: 9

Strengths: Several good comfy, interesting tees that are good for weekends.

Weaknesses: Not many solid tees.  Need more interesting graphic tees.

Work Tops: 13

I was surprised to see how many work tops I actually have.  Most mornings, I have trouble figuring out what to wear for work.  This area may need weeding.

Strengths: Lots of great, colorful sleeveless tops

Weaknesses: Need more short sleeve, 3/4 and long sleeve tops.  Weed the ones you don’t wear anymore.

Layering Tees:  10, Tanks: 7

I just recently did a lot of thrifting in this area, so I’m doing really good here.

Strengths: Tees and tanks are long enough to be tucked in.

Weaknesses:  Get more colors and patterns.

Sweaters: 5, Vests: 5

Strengths: Good weights and fabrics for Florida

Weaknesses: More cashmere.  More colors.  More handknits.  More light cotton sweaters.

Cardigans: 13

You can never have too many cardigans, right?  I may need to weed this a bit, but most of these I wear on a regular basis.

Strengths: Lots of lengths, weights and colors

Weakness: More cropped cardis to wear with dresses.  More cashmere.  Need a cropped white cardigan.  More handknits.

Jackets/Coats: 5

Yeah, I’m lacking here.  But bear in mind that I live in Florida, so I don’t need a ton of coats and jackets.

Strengths: My red coat is perfect for most of Florida’s winter.

Weaknesses:  I’d like a pretty wool coat for when I travel (one day).  New hoodie to replace grey one, which has seen better days.  Track jacket. Casual, structured jacket.  A cropped blazer would be nice too.

Jeans: 4

I don’t need a ton of jeans, in my opinion.  I only wear jeans three days a week (Fri, Sat, and Sun).

Strengths: Dark and light washes, good fit (yay for Gap Curvy!)

Weaknesses:  I’d like to have a pair of ankle length skinnies in dark denim again. Need to dye my black skinnies – they’re getting faded.

Slacks: 5

The first thing that hits me: they’re all so dark!  I need some lighter colors, and also better fits (Gap, why did you stop making Curvy slacks?  They were perfect!)

Strengths: Love my grey Gap Curvy slacks.

Weaknesses: Most don’t fit well.  Need some khakis, olive drab.  Need casual chinos.  Another pair of cords would be nice too.

Skirts: 3

This is an area I’ve struggled with in recent years.  I have trouble styling skirts, so I tend to not really look for them when I shop.  I need to get more intentional about this.

Strengths:  Love the print on my green skirt.  My pencil skirt fits like a dream.

Weaknesses: Need a colorful pencil skirt.  Casual jersey skirt.  Denim skirt.  Try a maxi.  Basically more skirts in general.

Dresses/Tunics: 11

Like cardigans, I also believe that you can never have too many dresses.  My collection has improved greatly, but there’s always room for more.

Strengths: Lots of great sleeveless dresses.  My navy blue dress and my LBD fit amazingly.

Weaknesses: Need more dresses with sleeves.  More solids.  Knit a sweater dress.  More Boden :)

Over this past year, I’ve grown into a bit of a style rut.  I’ve been focusing very heavily on my job (which I love!), paying off my debt (which I don’t love) and generally trying to be happy.  Unfortunately, this has resulted in frequently repeating the same boring outfits all the time, a serious lack of creativity in getting dressed, reading fewer style blogs, shopping less, etc.

I miss being stylish.  I miss posting outfits regularly.  I miss getting fantastic inspiration from the blog-o-sphere.  This weekend, I’m setting out to do something about that.

Now of course, I know that I can’t expect the same involvement I had when working a part-time job.  I won’t be posting seven days a week.  I don’t have the time to trawl Etsy for hours every day.  I can only fit so many blogs in my Google Reader before missing one day turns into a ridiculously large number of unread posts.  But I can still do something.

Here’s my plan to get out of this funk and into some creativity:

  • Bring back the Wardrobe Gaps list! (I’ve already started writing and updating a new one.)
  • Inventory and Weed my wardrobe
  • Add more style blogs to my Google Reader (already done!)
  • Start a Pinterest account (signed up for my invite already)
  • Start being more focused in my shopping – shop to fill gaps specifically.
  • Put together at least one blog-worthy outfit a week and post it
We’ll see how it goes!
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