Outfit Obsessions, vol. 5

Here are a few late spring/early summer outfits I’m completely obsessing over lately! ūüôā If you’re new around here (hello & welcome!), every three months–at the end of every season–I like to share some of my recent favorite outfits to provide myself with some much-needed inspiration. The best part about these particular outfits is that I can recreate most of them with existing pieces in my closet (I don’t have the pieces for Blair’s outfit, but it’s so fun and inspiring!). Because I went so over budget last month, I’ve really been focused on putting together new and creative outfits with what’s already in my closet (though I’ll be honest, I haven’t completely stopped shopping this month). Right now, I’m into light layers and showing a little leg. I hope these looks inspire you as well!

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Source: Crystalin Marie

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Source: Daily Mail

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Source: Kendi Everyday

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Source: Atlantic-Pacific

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Source: Death by Elocution (Tumblr)

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May showers

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After the few days of warm, nearly-summer-like weather, the rain has made an appearance. It actually has been storming (woo!), which is way more exciting than just rain, as you can imagine. We had a pretty good lightning show last night! It’s nothing like those crazy storms the Midwesterners get with nonstop lightning, but it was decent for Utah standards.

I have a little secret when it comes to this outfit. I wore it yesterday…and on Tuesday. Yup. It was originally supposed to rain yesterday, and then it looked like it was going to rain more on Tuesday, so I wore this on Tuesday. It didn’t rain all day until later Tuesday night, and I was so mad! I feel so dumb walking around in rain boots when it clearly isn’t going to rain. The storm ended up coming through yesterday, so I decided to wear this outfit again so we could get proper outfit photos (you know, when the ground is wet/it obviously had been raining). I just can’t do rainy day outfit photos when the sun is shining and the ground is dry, haha! ūüėČ Plus, I was so comfortable wearing my box tee and jeans that it was nice to wear twice.

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Paul & Joe Sister top via Anthropologie (last seen here) / Madewell jeans / Hunter boots (last seen here) / J.Crew earrings / ModCloth umbrella

Sugary sweet

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I was inspired to pull out this sweet pink dress by this pin I found on Pinterest. I was drawn to the light colors paired with the deep red shoes and couldn’t wait to try the look out myself. I originally bought this dress for my Suzy Bishop (Moonrise Kingdom) costume for comic con, but it’s too cute to not wear in everyday life. My style tends to straddle the line between cutesy/twee and sporty/somewhat minimalist, with some prep thrown in for good measure. I don’t dress as cutesy as I used to, but Peter Pan collars are totally a guilty pleasure of mine!

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Ellen Tracy coat via Nordstrom (similar) / ModCloth dress (old; exact in black or exact in sage green; last seen here) / Nordstrom loafers (thrifted; last seen here) / Clare Vivier for & Other Stories bag (similar from Talbots; last seen here) / LOFT sunglasses

Nautical or nice

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It has been really warm here lately…and I mean, like, 80 degrees warm. Like WAY too warm for spring. Why does Mother Nature always do this?! I just want a few weeks of 60s-low 70s, but I suppose that’s asking too much. On the plus side, I’ve been wearing dresses or shorts nearly every day and finally broke out this adorable dress. I styled it in pretty much the most basic way possible–with matching earrings and sandals. While Mother Nature is busy overachieving in the temperature department, I’m busy underachieving in the styling department.

But hey, the title of this post?! Love it. Puns get me every time.

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Fashion Union dress via ASOS / Salt Water sandals (exact) / LOFT earrings (last seen here) and sunglasses

May Day

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This post is also known as “50 shades of oatmeal”, which was the first thing Chris said when he saw this outfit. He’s not wrong, haha! I’m impressed by his knowledge of oatmeal as a color.

Um, can you believe today is May first?! This year is flying by, I swear. Freakin’ me out. Also, is anyone else’s Facebook timeline or Twitter feed completely overloaded with the Justin Timberlake “It’s gonna be May” meme? I can’t decide if I’m sick of it or not.

Anyway, the outfit. I was originally going to wear a different look, but I knew I wanted to title this post “May Day” and the other outfit didn’t fit the vibe very¬†well.¬†I¬†think of young girls with flowers in their hair and flow-y dresses as they run around delivering May Day baskets. I ended up throwing this together a couple of mornings ago; I love how it’s monochrome, but the¬†different textures¬†add interest. I just wish the dress was a touch longer. It didn’t feel nearly this short the last time I wore it! I was glad to have the cardigan covering up in case of crazy wind, which did lift¬†the skirt¬†a few times. I didn’t realize this until last night, but I guess I was subconsciously copying a look that Taylor Swift wore a while ago. Am I allowed to say “great minds think alike” for this one? ūüėČ

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American Eagle Outfitters cardigan (similar) and dress (old; last seen here) / Earthies sandals c/o (last seen here) / My Monogram Necklace necklace c/o (last seen here) / LOFT sunglasses

April budget

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  1. Madewell Jeans (seen here): $79 (originally $128)
  2. Madewell Dress (seen here): $57 (originally $98)
  3. LOFT Skirt: $19 (originally $69.50)
  4. LOFT Top: $11 (originally $39.50)
  5. LOFT Sunglasses (seen here): $13 (originally $24.50)
  6. LOFT Jeans: $37 (originally $69.50)
  7. Lilly Pulitzer for Target Shorts: $23 (originally $24)
  8. Lilly Pulitzer for Target Top (seen here): $30 (originally $32)
  9. Old Navy Dress: $16 (originally $35; paid with PayPal)
  10. Fashion Union Dress (via ASOS): $45 (originally $50)
  11. Target Sandals (seen here): $28
  12. Earthies Sandals (courtesy of Earth Brands; seen here)

April Total = $342

$413 ($500 quarterly budget ‚Äď $87 overspent) ‚Äď $152.50 (March) – $342 (April) = -$81.50

Saying that I went a little overboard this month is an understatement. I actually have a lot listed on eBay right now but it’s not moving very quickly, which is a bummer. As always. I know that’s a really lame excuse but, to be completely honest, these were all really good buys and I don’t regret any of them. I just wish I was able to contain myself a little more since I know I have a hard time banning myself from shopping for a month. And I was doing SO WELL the past few months! I have a couple of last minute orders that should be arriving within the next week (and will be counted in next month’s budget post if I keep anything), but otherwise I’m hoping to stick to only buying items with gift cards I’ve had saved since Christmas. The only reason why I haven’t spent them yet is because I keep forgetting that I have them, lol. Anyway, I hope I can make thoughtful purchases with the gift cards and truly limit my spending in May. I’m going to NYC in June and I’m planning on¬†shopping there!

So as far as what I got this month… LOFT had a huge flash sale at the end of March and I placed a huge order because of that. I ended up only keeping two things from it because I ordered a bunch of things in two sizes and, you know, budgetary reasons. I fell in love with the windowpane skirt that everyone has; I realized why everyone loves it so much! I also picked up a nice flow-y top for the spring and summer.¬†When LOFT had their 50% off sale plus free shipping, I placed two orders: one for the white jeans (in two sizes) and one for the sunglasses. I ended up keeping the jeans in the smaller of the two sizes after much debate because they feel really stretchy so hopefully I don’t look like a stuffed sausage to other people, lol. White jeans have been on my wish list for a LONG time so I’m very excited to finally have a pair that work for me. I originally was considering two other pairs as seen here, but in the end I like the LOFT pair the best. I decided on the sunglasses since I left my ModCloth pair at my parents’ home and was nervous about only having one pair of sunglasses.

I stopped in Madewell one weekend when both the jeans and dress were on promo. The additional 30% off sale applied to them, and they let me stack my student discount on top of that (though I heard J.Crew might not be doing that anymore? I hope that’s not the case). The jeans topped my spring/summer wishlist and I’m so happy to have been able to pick them up before spring ends!

As briefly mentioned in this post, I shopped the Lilly for Target madness in stores and got my hands on the crochet tank top and pompom shorts in the “upstream” print. I’m not a typical Lilly girl, but I love the versatility of the top and the cute, unexpected print on the shorts. I also liked the shorts because they are navy and white–two colors I own already and wear a lot, so they fit into my wardrobe seamlessly!

I picked up a couple more dresses to round out my collection a bit: a basic navy sheath dress from Old Navy, which I wore just last week since it’s perfect for dressier events, and a fun striped crop dress from ASOS. After cleaning out my closet over the past few months, I realized that my dresses took the biggest hit and I was ready for new ones to love. I love how the striped dress gives the illusion of a matching crop top and skirt (I LOVE matching sets but have such a hard time finding sets I love at a reasonable price point).

Finally, I added two new pairs of sandals this month. After seeing the Target sandals everywhere and being sad about the fact that my store didn’t have any, Fran was so kind to go to her store and buy them for me. Of course, my store received them just before my pair arrived in the mail, haha. I guess we are just behind everyone else a bit. I had jeweled sandals on my wishlist, too, and while I had my eye on a different pair, the Target sandals were a great compromise at a much nicer price point. Additionally, in the spirit of transparency, I was lucky to receive a pair of shoes courtesy of Earth Brands. I picked out neutral wedged sandals because I wanted a pair that would get lots of wear this spring and summer!

There aren’t very many things left on my wish list, thank goodness! I’d really like a pair of black shorts, a pair of navy shorts (likely buying J.Crew’s chino shorts), a seersucker dress, a floral skirt, dark wash denim shorts (from Madewell, of course), and some items from Uniqlo’s Airism line. I always have my eyes peeled for the perfect grey dress, striped tees, and other fun tops, though! I don’t know why, but I have a harder time feeling content with my spring/summer wardrobe. I hope I can figure that out more this year (I think I said this last year, too, haha…I REALLY hope it happens this year, though!).

 Linking up with Franish & my fellow budgeting bloggers

Girly girl

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Two outfits ago, I loosely interpreted the look of¬†an angsty teenager in my black clothing and dirty Converse. Two days after I wore that outfit, I wore this ensemble and felt like the ultimate girly girl in my statement earrings, crocheted top, bright skirt, and jeweled sandals. While I never considered myself much of a “Lilly girl”, this top was my #1 pick from the Lilly for Target collaboration, and I¬†absolutely adore it!

I was one of the crazy ones who stayed up a bit on the night before the Lilly for Target launch to watch the madness ensue online, and I also convinced Chris to tag along with me to Target before the store opened the next morning (he has a Red Card…how could I not try?!). We ended up being a little less than 10 minutes early and were ~10th-15th in line. By some miracle I was able to snag this top (as well as a pair of shorts and the pineapple serving dish) without issue. Chris was a great wingman and knew exactly what I was going for before we stepped foot inside. (The dish wasn’t exactly on the list I shared with him, but I had eyed it on the website earlier and once I was in store, I had to have it!)¬†I’m glad the trip was worth it because I don’t wake up early for just anything, haha. ūüėČ I feel very lucky to have been able to snag what I wanted (minus being able to try on one of the shift dresses) considering the horror stories I heard in other parts of the country.

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Lilly Pulitzer for Target top (sold out online but check stores for returns; don’t buy on eBay for inflated prices; similar by Alythea) / Madewell skirt (old; similar from ASOS; last seen here) / Target sandals / LOFT earrings (last seen here)

Cobalt // turquoise

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Something about cobalt and turquoise together makes my heart happy. So, you can imagine how ecstatic I was when I thought of this outfit in all of its cobalt and turquoise goodness. AND, because it was so nice out, I decided to pair the colors with my white shorts instead of white jeans (I do have a pair of white jeans–finally!). I’m so excited that spring is finally here, though I’m already dreading the unbearably hot summer days. I hope spring hangs around for another month or so!

P.S. I’m visiting a friend this weekend and (probably) won’t be on as much. The next post will go live on Monday, and in the meantime, feel free to follow me on Instagram!

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J.Crew Factory sweater (old; similar from J.Crew; last seen here) and necklace (old) / Gap shorts (similar) / J.Crew flats (old; new version; last seen here) / LOFT sunglasses

Shadows are walking on the wall

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Sometimes, I know exactly what I want to title my outfit posts. I’ll think of an outfit combination and then just know what short phrase sums it up perfectly. Other times, I think of an outfit, note it, wear it many days or weeks later, edit the photos, sit down and write the post, and yet… I can’t think of a single phrase to sum it up. Did I do anything of note when I wore it? No. Did I wear something new and exciting? No. Can I think of anything witty? No. So, here we are… I’m pretty much done with this paragraph and guess what? Still title-less.

I ended up going with song lyrics. Does this make me an angsty teenager? I sort of feel like I personify an angsty teenager in my beat up old Converse which really are my step mom’s but I stole them out of her closet years ago. I’ve held onto them even though I haven’t worn them in a couple of years. I should probably try to clean them, haha… They’re looking a bit yellow.¬†I actually like the high-top Chuck Taylor style more than the low-top; I had a pair of low-tops and they cut into the back of my heel so bad. High-tops it is for me! What style of Converse is your favorite?

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J.Crew tee (old; similar; last seen here) and pants / Old Navy shirt (old; similar from J.Crew Factory) / Converse sneakers (old) / Kate Spade necklace via Nordstrom / Clare Vivier for & Other Stories bag (similar from Talbots; last seen here) / LOFT sunglasses

Title lyrics: St. Walker by Young the Giant

Lingering thoughts after TxSC

A month ago today, I was on my way to attend the Texas Style Council CAMP–a small, life-changing blogging and small business conference focused on creating a meaningful online presence. (Check out my recap¬†if you’re interested in reading the breakdown of my experience.) Since that weekend, I’ve been reflecting on what I learned about myself and the blogging community. I wanted to share some of my lingering thoughts instead of keeping them bottled inside. I hope you’re prepared for a bit of a brain dump… ūüôā

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I’m not as outgoing as I thought I was. When I first got to TxSC, I found myself not really talking to anyone unless someone approached me first. During the mixer the first night, I was so overwhelmed at the number of new faces¬†that I made a beeline for the drinks and ended up meeting a few people that way. I did introduce myself to Tieka of Selective Potential because I’ve been following her blog since before I started mine and I caught her when she wasn’t talking to anyone. During the “khaki cool” jamboree, I talked to Caroline of Unfancy when she was alone by the fire (it was rare to see her alone!). I rarely approached someone if they were in conversation with someone else because I did not want to come across as rude. However, I noticed plenty of other people joining in conversations and it never seemed rude…maybe it was because they knew each other? I’m not sure, but I was hyperaware of how I¬†may come¬†across to people. I felt like such an awkward turtle. I hung out mostly with my cabin mates because, as you might expect, we got to know each other the best since we were together every night, sharing sink space and chatting until our eyelids grew heavy. Also, I was not brave enough to just give people my business card after meeting them. I wish I had been, especially because now I have over 100 business cards and no one to give them to.

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It was harder to talk about blogging than I thought it would be. As a grad student, I meet with people in my field fairly often and am always discussing “business matters” (i.e. current and future research projects). When I’m with family, everyone asks about school and what I’m doing. I’m used to answering¬†questions about my research even though I dislike them because I can’t explain what I do very well. I was nervous that people at TxSC would ask about my research, but not one person did (woo!). Instead, we talked about what we had in common, of course–our online presence, which generally meant blogging. It was exciting to be at a conference and talk about something other than science! With that came a whole new set of challenges, though. Blogging is not something I bring up to people in my everyday life unless it’s my boyfriend and I’m bouncing ideas off of him or someone asks me about it. I feel like it’s still this thing that no one really takes seriously even though it’s such a fun hobby (or even a business) for so many people, me included. Even though I was with all these women who also blogged about their personal style, I still found it hard to talk about it. It sounded silly to me when I mentioned that I blog my style and my cats. No one ever laughed, and I never felt judged (even when I was wearing thrown-together outfits to combat the cold and a ginormous poncho to avoid¬†the rain), but talking about blogging is still new to me. I can say this, though… Because of TxSC, I’m more proud of my blog now than I was just a month ago.

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The blogging world needs more friends, mentors, friendtors, and champions. Blogging does not need to be a rat race of who can make it to the top fastest and stay at the top longest. We do not need to feed into the idea that the bigger the following, the better. We do not need to get sucked into having the latest trends and wearing only new pieces in every outfit post. What we do need is more people–fellow bloggers–willing to be friends, mentors, friendtors (friends and mentors), and champions (those who have your back always). We need more people leaving thoughtful¬†comments and fewer people commenting just for the sake of leaving a link back to their blog. We need passionate bloggers who are willing to share their stories. We need more people lifting others up than tearing others down. I want to make connections with bloggers who are on the same level as me–newcomers with meaningful content even if their numbers aren’t at the top. I love so much the bloggers I chat with regularly online, and meeting bloggers in real life at TxSC was huge for me. I appreciate the “bigger” bloggers who are still interested in connecting with others. We are all just people trying to get through life and blogging about it on the way, right? Let’s continue to cultivate a positive environment for each other and for whoever decides to join the blogging world in the future. ūüôā

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Photos by Chelsea Laine Francis