What I wore (to work) Wednesday

10/10/2012 at 1:06 pm | Posted in look good feel good | 9 Comments

It’s back! WIWW!

Horrible fluorescent lighting, fuzzy iPhone photos, the “I’m smiling at myself in a mirror” grimace. I know you’ve missed that face.

And let’s just go ahead and state the obvious: I need a hair style. This pull-it-into-a-bun-every-single-day strategy leaves little to be desired. But the clothes? I’m wiggling outside my comfort zone, you guys! In fact I’m wearing bright orange cords today with a top THAT ISN’T MATCHY.

Progress, friends. Slow and steady.

Here are some recent outfits, brought to you (with much gratitude) by birthday money and gift cards …

Say hello once again to the trusty red pants. I think I wore them every other day all summer. But this particular outfit hints at change, and that’s why I love it.

I have never, ever paired red and leopard print. In fact, I’ve owned those flats for YEARS and hardly ever worn them. Because I’m afraid I’ll stick out. Or I’ll get it wrong. But that totally defeats the purpose of owning animal-print shoes, right?

And I adore this new stripey top, mostly for the cool zipper detail at the neckline:

top :: loft
capris :: loft
flats :: bandolino
necklace :: banana republic outlet

Helloooo wallpaper. Wouldn’t that print be awesome on a pair of pants? Okay. Maybe not.

It’s hard to tell, but this outfit actually has more color than the photo lets on. The skinnies are eggplant, and the necklace has canary yellow beads. I’m thinking a bright cardigan would work better next time, though. My metallic flats are an old standby from a few seasons ago. They’re as comfy as slippers, and they actually look better as they age.

top :: loft
cardigan :: target
skinnies :: loft
flats :: gap
bag :: urban outfitters

Disclaimer: I took the following photo at the end of the day. Hence the crumpled shirt and tired eyes. But still. The yellow is cute, right? It has little button detail on the sleeves so you can wear them up or down. And here’s my birthday necklace in action!

top :: loft
skinnies :: loft
flats :: gap
necklace :: anthropologie

One of my favorite fashion bloggers recently asked on Facebook how people felt about wearing the same clothes more than once. I have to admit, I almost un-followed her on the spot. Because really? How can real people afford not to wear the same stuff over and over again? Part of the fun, after all, is mixing up those pieces in new and different ways.

So it’s no surprise that the same cords and flats make more than one appearance in this post. Otherwise, I’d have to go naked. And it’s getting too chilly for that.

pleated poppy

What I Wore (to work) Wednesday

08/08/2012 at 1:41 pm | Posted in look good feel good | 5 Comments
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I accessorized this week! And wore shoes with actual heels! Glory be.

This outfit was my favorite, thanks to my Diana Ross disco necklace. Love that thing. The wedges gave me big-time blisters, but that’s a fashion rite of passage, right?

top ::: Old Navy outlet
skirt ::: Loft
necklace ::: Banana Republic clearance
wedges ::: Target

And here I am in the girls’ bathroom because I totally forgot to snap pictures at work that day. This top is one of my very favorite finds in the Anthropologie clearance closet. The pleats, the drawstring waist. And pockets! Win.

The red flats could walk on their own, they’re so old. But they have little star punches. And they fit like slippers. So I simply can’t bear to part with them.

top ::: Anthropologie
(skinny!) jeans ::: Gap
bangles ::: H&M
big ol’ feather earrings ::: Target
flats ::: no idea (and the brand has worn off!)

Next up is my second-favorite Anthro purchase of all time. I picked up this necklace in Manhattan and wore it to BlogHer ’10. So did Ree Drummond, so that totally makes us soul mates. *

This top is sheer, so I had never dreamed of wearing it to work. But I love the little flappy square appliques, and with a cami and cardi (I’m down with the lingo), it looks just fine for the office. Duh.

Also? I love that it hangs a little longer in the back.

top ::: Gap
cardi ::: Target
necklace ::: Anthropologie
pants ::: Loft
flats ::: no idea! (see above)

So there you have it! Another week of recycling the clothes that actually fit me. And getting a little braver with accessories. And actually smiling for the camera, thanks to some friendly prodding from The Deputy.

Progress, friends. Slowly but surely.

*Speaking of celebrity besties, check out these hilarious photos of my friend Andrea with Vanessa Lachey.

pleated poppy

What I Wore (to work) Wednesday

08/01/2012 at 7:52 pm | Posted in look good feel good | 18 Comments
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First things first: public bathroom lighting is so very unflattering. And given that I’m ready to dive head-first into a stall if anyone walks in on me (Hi Becky! Hi Vee!), most of these shots are fuzzy. Okay. With excuses out of the way, here we go …

I’ve owned these two pieces for years but never put them together. The top is pretty flowy, so I usually wear it out. But when experimenting in my closet, I discovered that it actually looked better tucked in. Huh.

top ::: Target
skirt ::: LOFT
sandals ::: Target
big silver earrings that you can’t see ::: Target

Up next is a dress I haven’t worn in YEARS. Like, to a wedding in 2006. But I’ve held onto it all this time because of the classic lines. I love the structure and the little bow. And most important of all, it’s super-comfy. I don’t usually wear dresses and heels to work, so this was a stretch for me. A good stretch.

dress ::: (ancient) Liz Claiborne
heels ::: 9 West
earrings ::: Banana Republic outlet

I wanted to wear some sort of statement necklace with this, but nothing in my collection seemed to work. So I chose simple stud earrings. Seeing these shots confirms my suspicion: the whole look is too conservative. What would you have done differently? Help me, lovely readers!

pleated poppy

On being a smaller Big Girl

07/26/2012 at 8:05 pm | Posted in look good feel good | 22 Comments

I wore skinny jeans today. In a size 10.

Those are words I NEVER EVER thought I’d utter in my adult life. I honestly can’t remember the last time I fit into this size, much less on the bottom half of my body. High school?

I’ve always been a big girl. Tall, yes. And big. Hands almost as big as my 6-foot husband’s hands. Size 10 feet. Broad hips that helped me carry and birth two babies. I have always loved my body, even when it was softer and more jiggly.

But the elation of finally seeing the results of how hard I’ve worked for the past seven months is too awesome for words.

I still reflexively head for the size 14 part of the rack when I shop. And then I have to remind myself. I’m smaller now.

Still big. But not BIG big. I reach for the 10’s.  And the grin spreads across my face.

It really does feel too good to be true.

I’ve been a size 14 for so long that I accepted it as my fate. I never really liked having to scrounge for the very last pair of jeans in a towering pile of smaller sizes, or reach way around the back of a huge rack loaded with size zeroes (really, who can wear those?).  I’d throw caution to the wind when I came across a size 12 that looked reasonable. But it was always too snug.

Now my size 12 shorts, purchased just a couple of months ago, are falling off my hips. I never thought this would be my reality.

Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not writing this to slam my fellow big girls, or to say there is anything wrong with being a size 14. Or a 20. Or higher.

Size is just a number, right?

It shouldn’t matter to me, but today in this moment, sitting (comfortably!) in these jeans, it makes me happy.

(p.s. I’ve been working up the nerve to do a before-and-after photo post with numbers. The numbers that no woman wants to share. Stay tuned …)

(p.p.s. The jeans are technically “skinny bootcut,” but that still counts right?)

What I Wore (to work) Wednesday

07/25/2012 at 1:39 pm | Posted in look good feel good | 10 Comments
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So. Only one outfit this week.

Because I’m lazy. And wearing the same stuff over and over. Also, pretty much every piece of clothing I own droops or sags on my frame now. Cry me a river, I know. It’s a good problem to have, and I’m grateful for my new body. But it sure is frustrating getting dressed on my non-mom-uniform days.

I’m trying to hold out on the shopping until fall, mostly because new clothes don’t really fit into our budget right now. And I want to wait and see where my weight levels out. I’m taking a small batch of summer clothes to the tailor, so that will help. I just need to get more creative with what I’ve got. Hello accessories.

This outfit makes me happy because it reminds me of a very fun outlet shopping excursion with Julie. The outlets are sort of our thing, and she is always my good luck charm. So whenever she visits, we hit em up. Big time.

One last thing: I need to find a full-length mirror. Just so you guys know that I’m not secretly wearing Jams or parachute pants down below. I’ll work on that for next week.

top ::: Old Navy outlet
pants ::: LOFT hand-me-downs from Laura
necklace ::: Banana Republic outlet
ruffle flats ::: Gap

pleated poppy

What I Wore (to work) Wednesday

07/18/2012 at 11:10 am | Posted in look good feel good | 8 Comments
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I found this top in New York during BlogHer ’10, and I’ve worn the heck out of it ever since. The cap sleeves always feel a little too poufy but now that I see these photos, maybe they’re not that bad?

top ::: H&M
pants ::: Gap
bangles ::: H&M
earrings ::: Anthropologie

Laura just gave me these red pants (in a size 10!), and I’m in love. The cardigan is an old favorite. The fit is a little slouchy, and it’s not quite as long as I’d like, but hey. Mint green. Pretty beading. Am I right?

cardi ::: Target
top ::: Gap
pants ::: LOFT
shoes ::: Target

Casual Thursday in the house. I found the headband and earrings at one of my favorite local shops, and I think I’ve worn this tank every other day. Old habits die hard, right?

top ::: Old Navy
jeans ::: Gap
headband, earrings ::: Cat Banjo

So what do you think? How could I have been more adventurous with these outfits? It’s hard digging out of a fashion rut, friends. Inspire me!

pleated poppy

What I Wore (to work) Wednesday

06/27/2012 at 3:30 pm | Posted in look good feel good | 12 Comments
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top ::: Old Navy
jeans ::: Gap
crazy huge earrings ::: Hot Pink and Sequins

(here’s a closer look, from Instagram)

These earrings are some of my favorites. They’re made from upcycled leather by the talented Erin DeLargy of Hot Pink and Sequins.

Thursday is my Friday, so I wear jeans to work. Unless I have a meeting or interview. Casual Thursday rules.

Sophie really wanted to be part of this next photo, and how could I resist? Also: this is what my hair does on low-humidity days. Which we get, like, three times a year in the South.

top ::: Banana Republic Outlet
skirt ::: Loft
necklace ::: Anthropologie clearance closet

I’m not sure if this next outfit works. You’ll have to tell me (be honest). The black top is an old standby, and I did the frat-boy tuck because my pants were driving me crazy. I used to go to work in blacks and browns all the time. And I still do, when the mood strikes. But today I wanted a little splash of color. Enter the trusty Target beads.

top ::: Loft (you cant’ see it, but it has raw-edge pleats down the front)
pants ::: Gap
necklace ::: Target

And look! It’s a Suzanne fashion miracle. I wore something besides flats to work! Glory be. I bought these wedges at Target last season and had never worn them, until today. For shame.

pleated poppy

What I Wore (to work) Wednesday

06/13/2012 at 9:52 am | Posted in look good feel good | 8 Comments

tank and cardi ::: Old Navy
pants ::: Gap
necklace ::: Banana Republic clearance bin

Yup, that’s me taking a picture of myself in a public restroom. One that, at any moment, several readers of this blog (and plenty of other women who don’t read it) could walk into and bust me.

But I’m starting a little experiment. Lucky you!

Every week, I’m going to try to link up with Lindsey at the Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday. My friend Beth Anne, who is most certainly not afraid of photographing herself in public spaces, inspired me to jump in. She has a great sense of style and an even better sense of humor.

Why do this, you ask? Good question.

I don’t know if it’s the weight loss, or the fact that I’ve had two babies and am finally reclaiming my body, but I want to start taking better care of myself and putting more energy into my appearance.

I am as low-maintenance as they come. I don’t own hair products, and I only wear make-up on special occasions. Mostly because I don’t really know how to put it on, but that’s a post for another day. I have a bunch of cute clothes in my closet, but I have this habit of wearing the exact same pieces over and over again. I’m one of those people who sees something really cute in the store (usually Target or Old Navy), takes it home, hangs it up and NEVER WEARS IT.

I’m weird, I know.

As crazy as this sounds, especially because I write a blog, I don’t like to draw attention to myself. I’ve practiced a top-knot in the bathroom at home (thanks to Jess’s tutorial), but I continue to do the same things to my hair every single day. I own a bunch of cute accessories — H&M bangles, funky Anthropologie necklaces, pretty scarves — but I’d rather just smile at them in my closet than actually walk out the door wearing them. WEIRDO.

Sooooooo. Since the three days I work each week are my best opportunity to wear something other than sweats, I’m going to start documenting my outfits. I want to be braver about my fashion choices. I want to make more of an effort. Mostly, I want to feel better about myself.

And knowing that you guys are part of Operation: Look Good Feel Good really helps.

I love fashion. I’m a Vogue subscriber, and I seriously look at every single page, especially the crazy ads and anything that Grace Coddington styles. One of my favorite websites is What I Wore, and you guys know I love to link up with Mandy for Steppin’ Out. I don’t thrift (yet) and I’ll probably never wear a sock on my head, but I want to take more risks. Have a little more fun, especially with the pieces I already own.

So, here goes!

Yesterday (pictured above), I boldly wore a necklace that’s been hanging in my closet for years (this reminds me, I’ll have to show you guys the awesome jewelry hanger that Laura made me). And I tried not to match! On purpose!

Today, I’m wearing my new orange maxi skirt, which I bought for a wedding rehearsal dinner and never thought I’d wear to work. But it’s so comfy and pretty. And it’s like a blanket for my legs, which are usually freezing in the office A/C during the summer. Fashion and practicality? I’m onto something here.

tank ::: Target
skirt ::: Loft
necklace ::: Anthropologie (clearance closet — holler)

And here is what I usually do with my hair from the months of April to October. Someone needs to make special hair products for women who live in the South. Seriously.

pleated poppy

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