Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What I Wore: Tax-Free Shopping Weekend

We had a tax-free shopping weekend the first week in August when my sisters happened to be in town.  I hadn't seen them in two whole years!  I'm telling you, my sisters are my favorite people to go shopping with.  It's too bad we live so far away from each other!  They never hover impatiently.  We all just have a silent agreement to allow the others to browse independently.  At the same time, we don't get offended if one of us wants to check out a different store while another is still shopping.  Do you have your favorite shopping besties?  

I took them to a fun shopping area in Little Rock where some of my favorite stores are located.  The kids tagged along with us that Saturday, so we brought along some lollipops and our Nintendo DS's.  Yes, my youngest sister and I both own them. (Anyone else out there?  C'mon, I know some of you do...)  I knew I wanted to be comfortable that day so I wore some comfy gray jeans, a lightweight sleeveless mint top, and a pair of simple sandals; all items that could easily be removed and put back on when trying on clothes and shoes.  My trusty backpack purse would allow me to shop hands-free, and held all the shopping necessities: my wallet, a water bottle, and the treats and DS for the kiddos. 

Middle sister wanted some shorts and was able to find a great pair on sale at J.Crew.  Little sister wanted some tennis shoes but DSW didn't have anything she liked this time.  I went ahead and bought a pair of petite dark wash modern skinny jeans at Loft. I've realized recently how important it is to buy clothes that fit me well, so I like Loft for it's petite section.  All three of us bought necklaces and posted a challenge for our friends on Facebook and Instagram to see if they could match the necklace with the sister.  It was interesting to see what people guessed. 

When I go shopping, I like to look somewhat put together, but not go overboard. One of my friends from college and I would joke when we'd see girls all dolled up at the mall and whisper, "DTK," to each other.  "Dressed to Kill."  As a mom who doesn't have a lot of time to go shopping by herself, I need a simple outfit for those quick changes in the dressing room.  On the flip side, I have also gone clothing shopping in just a t-shirt, shorts and athletic shoes and even though it shouldn't be this way, the clerks in some stores just don't always give you quality service when dressed super casual.  (Imagine the scene from Pretty Woman when Julia Roberts tries to shop on Rodeo Drive for the first time.)

What do you like to wear when you go clothes/shoe shopping?
P.S.  Linking up with Tucker Up for What I Wore Wednesday!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Lovely Lookbook: Dress Edition

I haven't blogged in awhile and I have a good reason.  August is the busiest time of the year for me because it's back to school I go.  I'm a middle school teacher at a private school where I have the privilege of teaching 5th through 8th grade English.  Yeah. You English teachers out there know what I'm talking about.  Don't get me wrong, I really do love what I do, it's just that everything else in my life seems to end up on the back burner when I'm focused on the beginning of a new school year.  Throw in a husband who is an assistant principal, a first grader, and a pre-schooler, and you can imagine how cray-cray life has been these past couple weeks at the How's house.

Now that we are back into somewhat of a routine, I decided that I want to continue blogging here; documenting my style journey as it continues to evolve.  I have to admit that I've felt pretty good about my "comfy teacher style" outfits for work.  I've learned to remix pieces and utilize what I already own.  The best thing is I'm getting dressed in less than five minutes and I haven't felt frumpy yet.  It just goes to show that when you own pieces that you feel good about wearing, you can avoid that moment of standing in front of your closet saying, "I have nothing to wear!"

Today I'm linking up with Caitlin and Sarah's first edition of a style challenge they've entitled "The Lovely Lookbook."  Both of these young ladies blog about style in a way that I can get on board with.  They're all about shopping your closet and making clothes work for your body type.  Check out their blogs and you'll see what I mean. 
This month, The Lovely Lookbook is featuring dresses, so I thought I'd participate in show and tell time.  Here's my steal of a deal: a black and white striped fit and flare dress by Peter Som for Kohl's.  

Original price: $68
Clearance price: $20, minus $10 off coupon in the mail
I paid: $10 plus tax
Eek!  I cannot even begin to express my excitement when I found this dress!  I'm 5'0" and recently figured out that after having two children, I can't shop the juniors department anymore.  Fortunately, many stores that I love carry petite sizing.  The day I purchased this dress I wasn't looking for a dress at all.  I browsed the petite section and nothing really caught my eye, so in hesitation I picked through the regular clearance stuff.  This dress instantly came into view.  I was like: My size? Check!  Modest neckline? Check!  Modest length? Check! Hides my baby belly and scoliosis curvature? Check!  Remixable for every season? Check!  Remixable for different occasions?  Check!  Timeless color and pattern? Check!
I wore this to work on Thursday when we have to wear a skirt or dress for chapel.  I paired it with gold flats and a neutral statement necklace (both purchased on clearance). I chose simple gold earrings, and even wore a gold clip in my hair. 

I felt comfy, cute, and stylish all day.  It was about 90 degrees so I chose not to layer a cardigan or jacket.  I felt like the necklace and the gold shoes were enough to pull the outfit together.  You better believe I'll be wearing this dress again for other seasons and occasions.  Because it's neutral, I can definitely add some color with accessories and completer pieces.  It would also be fun to do some pattern mixing!  

Do you have a dress that you absolutely love?  How do you style dresses for different seasons and occasions?
P.S. Linking up with The Pleated Poppy What I Wore Wednesday!