Color By Number

This colorful shirt/pants combo was already laid out for this week. Upon news of my new position, Jill suggested we celebrate by visiting a TJ Maxx she had recently learned was very close to school. The clothing and shoe choices were lackluster, to say the least, but we did find quite a few gems in the jewelry department* (pun intended). We found two colorful sparkly necklaces that I couldn’t decide between, so I just bought both. I added this blue one to this colorful outfit and threw in the white cardigan to temper the colors (and for much needed warmth!). These colors are insane together, but because it’s mostly solid colors, and the patterns are minimal and mild, it works.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: a ridiculous outfit is always calmed down by adding a simple black blazer (or any solid, neutral colored topper). The “big” pieces that you notice are the white cardigan, green pants, and tan shoes which are all solids that work well together. Everything else is like an accessory.

*Side note: I have only recently discovered the magic that is the TJ Maxx jewelry section. It’s kind of annoying to have to ask someone to see the pieces, and you have to pay for them at the jewelry counter. But in my experience, they have EXCELLENT finds – not unlike the rest of the store. Highly recommended.

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I JUST noticed how the tan buttons wink at the tan shoes.

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Green Tidings and Cheer

The Friday before Christmas Break was a celebratory one, in several ways. Perhaps the best part about working in a school is all the snacks! Teachers love their food, and they love to share it more.

I wanted to wear something festive but comfortable since I was going straight from school to the airport. I figured this green cashmere sweater fit the bill: a nod to the holiday colors and nice and toasty for the frigid plane ride. I also kept the jewelry minimal, in case it would set off the metal detector (it’s happened before!). This one big statement necklace had me covered. These jeans are as comfortable as leggings, and I try to wear my biggest shoes rather than pack them.

Do you go all out while holiday dressing (kind of like this) or keep it more subtle?

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Accidental twinsies!

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How A Leopard Changes Its Spots

No seriously, they can!

I got a lot of compliments on this hairdo (two french braids, ends shoved under the other with Spin Pins), which was really just a solution to waking up too late to wash it. But most curiously, this necklace inspired a lot of compliments from the preteen boys. They are generally charming young men who have grown up around a lot of women, so usually this wouldn’t phase me. But after being perplexed by the third “I like your chain”, a fourth young man explained that it looked like I “stole a lock chain and dipped it in gold.” I was also told I’m “just like 2 Chainz.” Ahh, boys.

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  • Sweater old Forever 21 (similar)
  • Tee Nikibiki (buy in Suntan)
  • Necklace Forever 21 (buy)
  • Trouser jeans old Gap (similar, last worn)
  • Bracelets old Forever 21 (similar)
  • Shoes Dr. Scholl’s via TJ Maxx (similar, last worn)
  • Nails Sally Hansen Lustre Shine in Plume (buy)
  • Lips Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Rendezvous (buy)

Sequin-tial Order

Red Boots: Take Two.

I wore this to school the same day we had our holiday party. This sequin sweatshirt is PERFECT for when I want something special, but not really dressed up. I liked that it had the holiday sparkles, but was still appropriate for a place called Buffalo Wings and Rings.

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  • Sweatshirt old Forever 21 (similar)
  • Denim shirt American Eagle (buylast worn)
  • Pants Jessica Simpson via TJ Maxx (similar)
  • Boots Nature Breeze via Barefeet Shoes (buy half size up, last worn)
  • Bracelet 1 Ebay (buy), Bracelet 2 old Forever 21 (similar) , Bracelet 3 old Tiffany & Co (similar, similar)
  • Nails Sally Hansen Smooth and Perfect in Air (buy)
  • Lips Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Rendezvous (buy)

Vivian Campbell*

*Vivian Campbell played guitar for both Def Leppard and Whitesnake. Get it (nudge, wink)?

Hmm, this outfit didn’t photograph as well as I had hoped…

I WAS, however,pleasantly surprised by how well the shape of these pants held up after a long day. Don’t you hate how some skinnies get all stretched out in the knee and tush after 45 minutes?  These pants are from last week’s American Eagle haul. These were only $20! The print is kind of a watercolor/abstract animal print in cream, lavender, tan, and blue (get a better look on the AE website). Although the cream technically makes these post Labor Day appropriate, I feel like they will probably get more use in the Spring.

  • Sweater: old Caslon via Nordstrom (similar)
  • Tee: old Hinge via Nordstrom (similar)
  • Tank: old Love on a Hanger via Nordstrom (similar)
  • Pants: American Eagle (buy here, but cheaper in stores)
  • Shoes: Dr. Scholl’s via TJ Maxx (similar here and here)
  • Necklace: old Claire’s (similar)
  • Ring: gift (similar)
  • Bracelets: I.D. bangle – gift (similar), friendship bracelet – homemade (DIY), italian charm bracelet – various (similar), silver beads – gift (similar)
  • Nail polish: Rimmel in Steel Grey (buy here)

Bowdacious

This is that black pencil skirt I talked about from my recent successful TJ Maxx outing.  It is quite stretchy and comfy, although the panel of faux leather got pretty toasty as the day went on, resulting in my own personal Zaggora hot skirt.

I’m still on the hunt for some super comfortable black wedges for school, so I decided to go with these boots. That’s a LOT of leather for one daytime look, so I countered it with this sweet bow sweater. I also opted not to wear the black tights I tried on, reasoning that the little shot of skin softened the severity of my bottom half.

I sort of feel like I’m in an SS uniform with all this leather and coat, but Jill insisted that she likes to see what girls really wear when they leave the house.

  • Sweater: old unknown – the tag just has a heart on it (similarish here and here)
  • Skirt: Willi Smith via TJ Maxx (similar here and here)
  • Boots: old Kenneth Cole (similar here and here)
  • Bracelets: pink Forever 21 (similar here and here) skulls via Ebay (buy here)
  • Earrings: Forever 21 (buy here)
  • Jacket: old Tahari (similar here)
  • Scarf: gift (similar here)
  • Nail polish: NYC in Cashmere Creme (buy at Target or here)

*** UPDATE: Turns out J. Crew just came out with a VERY similar bow sweater. Check it out here.

*** And the Factory version here.

Alas, Poor Yorick!

Since I will be in costume at school on Halloween, I thought I’d bust out some of my fun “spooky” goods to wear the day before. Here’s one of my standbys: the skull shirt (more about it here).  I originally paired it with a black jacket, but the outfit desperately needed a pop of color.  None of my colorful jewelry was speaking to me, so I dug this purpley-blueish cardigan out of retirement.

Thanks to Hurricane Sandy, it was windy and cold here in Chicago (though, I guess we can’t exactly complain…), but I braved the elements and took off my coat for photos!

*Side note: my cami is pulled down way too low over my hips, it should’ve been hiked up like 4 inches to just peek out under the blouse. But I was too cold to think about it!

I DO NOT know what’s happening here, but it’s a good shot of the rouching on the sweater and the hi-lo hem on the blouse. Below is another awkward shot, but I’m very proud of myself for venturing into darker eye shadows instead of my usual shimmery pink or peach.

  • Coat: old Tahari (similar here)
  • Cardigan: super old Limited (similar here and here)
  • Blouse: No Rest For Bridget (buy it here or in black here)
  • Tank: old Poof! (similar here and here)
  • Pants: old Cynthia Rowley (similar here and here)
  • Shoes: Dr Scholl’s via TJ Maxx (similar here and here)
  • Bracelets: Double Skulls from Ebay (buy it here or here in Black), Movie Monsters were a gift (similar here and here)
  • Nail Polish: OPI in I Only Date Werewolves and He’s My Boo (buy here or buy 2012 version here)

All Mouth and Trouser Jeans

You guys, I went to TJ Maxx yesterday after school and BOY did I score. I found this 2-ply cashmere sweater in this gorgeous color for $50. Fifty bucks!! I found these camel suede wedge pumps made by Dr. Scholls (for $25), so you know they are mega comfy. (I also bought a black pencil skirt with a faux leather panel, but that’s for another day.)

It turns out that only pay days are Casual Friday (aka We Can Wear Jeans), but these are technically denim trousers, so whatever.  If I had a little more time in the morning, I probably would’ve ironed a crease to make them fall a little better, but alas, one must prioritize.

Oops, we had to temporarily suspend the shoot to allow this trucker to do his job!

  • Sweater: Fenn Wright Manson via TJ Maxx (similar here in pine, here, and here)
  • Camo tee: old Forever 21 (similar here and here)
  • Necklace: J Crew knockoff via Ebay (buy here in Orange) (real one here, factory here)
  • Ring: old Forever 21 (?) (similar-ish here, here, and here)
  • Earrings: Gift (similar here and here)
  • Pants: Gap Modern Trouser Jean (buy here) (similar here and here)
  • Shoes: Dr Scholl’s via TJ Maxx (similar here and here)
  • Sunglasses: Jill’s again (buy them here) (similar here and here)
  • Nail Polish: OPI in He’s My Boo (buy here or buy 2012 version here)
  • Lipstick: Revlon Moon Drops in Orange Flip (buy in drugstores or here)