Friday, January 20, 2017

10x10 challenge - day 7

Day 7 was Monday, which was back in the office for me!  Wow, I'm really behind, but I think I should be able to pick it back up today, and get caught up.

Outfit Details:
Boden wool blazer (newish/online), Uniqlo black turtleneck (new/in store),Uniqlo black skinny pants (new/in store), Born tall boots (old/online)

Initial Thoughts:
I really feel like I just need to add a horse crop to this outfit - it's definitely strongly equestrian-esque.  I do like it a lot though, it's pretty classic Laura style.

Style Notes:
I guess the major styling tip here is mostly black with a statement color piece in the jacket, which is something I like to do a decent amount.  I kept it pretty minimalistic with jewelry and it does feel more like me, less forced than some of the other options.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

10x10 challenge - day 6

I'm slowly coming out of my busy last couple of days, and catching up on the rest of my life.  I took a break on Saturday from the 10x10 challenge because I was prepping my dining room for painting, and didn't change out of work clothes all day.  I picked back up with day 6 on Sunday, which was church and then home to change back into work clothes and actually paint, so I didn't wear this outfit long, but I wanted to see how I could mix up this top into a new outfit.

Outfit Details:
Free People sleeveless tunic (new/thrifted), black cardigan (old/thrifted), Madewell jeans (new/thrifted),  J.Crew black cami (new/online), Superga sneakers (old/online?)

Initial Thoughts:
This one was not a winner for me, as I felt a little silly.  It was a combination of things - I'm not a huge fan of the dress over jeans look, and I thought the tunic shirt worked better over the black skinny pants.  I also had to knot up the ties at the bottom of the cardigan, because they were really long otherwise, and they were still a bit long for my tastes.  Another thing to note is that I switched out a shoe option - previously I had a pair of brown booties in the mix, but I hadn't worn them yet, and didn't see many opportunities going forward, so I switched them out for my black sneakers.

Style Notes:
I tried, I really did!  I unbuttoned my cardigan (worn on day 2 buttoned-up), I unbuttoned the shirt more, I rolled my jeans (not gonna lie, they've been rolled the whole time, I probably should unroll them!), and I casualified things with the sneakers.  Maybe it's just too many things at once and trying to hard?  One style piece that I didn't like was the length of the cardigan with the tunic.  I thought the shorter blazer from day 3 just hit at a better spot.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

10x10 challenge - day 5

Life has gotten a little crazy the past few days, and I haven't had time to document my 10x10 challenge, but I've been keeping up with it!  Day 5 was last Friday, and it was another office day for me.

Outfit Details:
Uniqlo black turtleneck (new/in store), wool long vest (old, me made), Uniqlo black skinny pants (new/in store), Born tall boots (old/online), long silver beaded necklace (old/Filene's Basement - RIP my bargain hunting ground)

Initial Thoughts:
I like this outfit a lot, although the back view photo lets me know I should probably iron a bit more. :)  This vest is the only me-made item in my 10 items, which leads me to another conclusion, which is that I tend to sew bright and colorful and patternful things, because I'm a magpie and attracted to all the flashy fabrics, but at least when I'm trying to operate on a mix and match basis, I tend to stick to more neutrals and solids.  In terms of me-made items in my closet overall, this one has probably lasted about the longest as well, since I looked back and it turns out I made it four years ago.

Style Notes:
I made this vest using a jacket pattern, but I initially mostly wore it as a dress, by belting it.  I like that it's versatile, but I do think it works better as a vest.  I'm planning on wearing it as a dress later this week, so you'll see what I mean.  I also tend to stay away from longer tops, but I think this works because it's open in the front, and therefore you can see my body and it's not super overwhelming.  The long necklace works well with the overall vibe too, I think.

Funny side note - since I posted that I was unhappy with my hair, it has been behaving properly and I'm ok with it again.  We'll see how long this lasts, but when it's short, it changes character about weekly.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Full Circle

Since I've been focused on my hair lately, I got to thinking the last time I had a color conundrum. About three years ago, when we were planning our move from the DC area to the Philly area (the urbanist in me cringes at having to add "area" to those - darn suburbs), I decided to pick a color and stick with it, so I tried out several colors in the months leading up to the move.  The most daring (and not actually what was planned) was what John dubbed "Shiny Pumpkin".  It lasts for about three days before I procured the necessary supplies to change it, but it makes me laugh to look at it.  Funny aside though, my hair cut is basically identical to what it is now.


10x10 challenge - day 4

I hesitated to include yesterday in the challenge, as I literally left the house only once, to go get the trash can off the sidewalk, but I figured, hey, I did wear challenge clothes, so let's throw it in there.  A lot of my life is days like this, so it works!  I definitely did not get too creative though, in part because it was close to 70 degrees out, and most of my challenge clothes didn't work.

Outfit Details: 
J.Crew white tee (new/online), Madewell jeans (new/thrifted)

Initial Thoughts: 
This is about as basic as you can get, and overall is not a bad look, but not one of my favorites.  I think the major thing contributing to it is the fit of the tee.  I bought this tee in both black and white, and I feel like I've had it before, but the fit is not quite right.  I probably should have gone up a size to avoid all the horizontal wrinkles.  Another thing that bothers me is that I hang it up in my closet, but the shoulders get weird and don't relax once I put it on.  I was mostly intending it as a base layer under other things, so I think it's probably best to leave it in that category, rather than a stand-alone piece.

Style Notes:
Hmmm...what can I say here?  I rolled my jeans, that counts, right?  One thing I did do differently that I haven't done in a while is leave my bangs down.  I'm in a bit of a hair rut, and want to grow it out, but it's in the midst of the really painful stage where my bangs are having an existentialist crisis.  My hair kind of has a life of its own - it's super thick and it knows what it wants to do, which is take over the world (or my head), so I've been taming it via barrettes.  It's funny though, I'm always pleasantly surprised in the photos that it doesn't look at bad as it does in my head/the mirror.  Maybe I'm just less critical of photos?  I don't know, but it's been a good experience for me learning to chill a bit and do something different.  

Side note:  Anyone have any ideas on what to do with my hair?  My current idea is to grow it out to a one-length bob just under my ears, but that will take a while, as my hair grows super slow.  I also haven't dyed it in probably about 2 years at this point, but I'm getting the itch bad.  One the reasons I've been holding out is that I've accepted that I should be a grown up and leave the dying to professionals, and I haven't found a place I really like yet or figured out what I want exactly.  I think my days of bleach blond are behind me (again, with the whole grown up thing), but beyond that, I'm pretty open!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

10x10 challenge - day 3

I've been operating a day behind on my 10x10 posts, so figured I would catch up today!  If nothing else, the challenge has been great for my blog posting. :)  I typically go into the office once or maybe twice a week, but the challenge has caught me on an office kick - I'm heading into the office three times this week, and two or three next week.  The weather is also on a bit of an upswing, with highs around 50 today, so I don't have to bundle up quite as much.  I took a little liberty today as well, of introducing an eleventh item into the mix, but it's basically outerwear.  I have several blazers, but since I don't go into the office much, I've been struggling to wear them lately.  I wanted to add them into my styling practice, and give me another option for office-appropriate wear.  I wore it as my jacket on my commute and have barely had it on in the office, so I guess it pretty much is outerwear for today!

Outfit Details:
Boden wool blazer (newish/online), Free People sleeveless tunic (new/thrifted), Uniqlo black skinny pants (new/in store), Born tall boots (old/online), J.Crew black cami (new/online)

Initial Thoughts:
I originally intended to wear this tunic with the cardigan from yesterday unbuttoned, but I wanted to dress things up a bit, and I'm glad I did.  The jacket isn't quite a perfect color match, but it helps ground the tunic and make it more formal looking, as well as cinch my waist a bit more.

The tunic is a different shape for me, as I've tried to do the gathered thing several times, and I never have been happy with it.  I think there is something about the looseness of it and the location of the waistline that I really like about this version, and I think I'm going to try to replicate it.  I also really like the fabric of the tunic.  I believe it's technically called a voile, which is a loose-weave, somewhat sheer fabric, which reminds me a bit of cheesecloth, but it's soft and breathable in an easy way.

Style Notes:
I've already discussed a bit the blazer over tunic look.  I actually hesitate whether this is a dress or a tunic, but it's somewhat sheerness leave me to place it in the tunic category, making pants appropriate (vs. tights).  I think I might actually shorten it a touch, as it has a raw hem to begin with, which I'm not a huge fan of, but that will make it more obvious it's not a dress.

I also added in some delicate gold jewelry, with a link necklace and large gold hoops.  I go through phases of chunky vs. delicate jewelry, but I'm pretty happy in the delicate camp right now.  I also am pretty neutral-toned I think, so I mix it up a bit between silver and gold.  I do tend to just stick to metals though, with not a lot of stones/color.  With all my weird color-matching tendencies, it just gets to be a bit too much to add color in the jewelry.

What do you think, is this outfit a keeper, or a bit crazy?  I'm leaning towards keeper, but it's definitely outside of my normal style.

10x10 Challenge - day 2

Day 2 of the challenge was more on the casual side, as I mostly worked from home and then went out to dinner for a friend's birthday.  I didn't end up taking photos until I got home at night, so excuse the lighting!

Outfit Details:
black cardigan (old/thrifted), Madewell jeans (new/thrifted), Born tall flat boots (old/online), J.Crew white cami (new/online)

Initial Thoughts:
This is the level of comfy vs. stylish that I like for at home/errand days.  Too often I fall into the tee and jeans rut, and I like that the cardigan has a bit more detail to it with the twisted button band and tie at the bottom.  While I love my tall boots with black pants, I'm not as crazy about them with jeans any more (this used to be my staple winter look).

Style Notes:
I tried multiple things with this outfit (before I went out, not for just hanging out at home), but I really just liked it on the plainer side.  My main ideas were adding a scarf (which I didn't like how much it covered up the neckline) and a long necklace (again, it looked wierd with the neckline), so I just added some large silver hoops and called it a day.