Sept 25, Wide Leg Jeans

In an effort to bring out something I haven’t worn in a while, today I am wearing my wide leg jeans. Personally, I love these jeans. I think there is something a little retro about them. My hubby, on the other hand, isn’t a fan. Oh well!

The trick with wide leg jeans is balance. Because they are voluminous, I need to make sure my top is more fitted, otherwise I look larger than I really am. Looking at the before photo, the high necked striped shirt and the long cardigan paired with the jeans is not flattering.

A little trick I learned somewhere is that your clothes should cut your body into thirds, not halves. In my before look- my top half and bottom half look about even- which makes me look frumpy. In the after photo, I have 2/3 legs and 1/3 top, which is a more slimming and appealing look. By replacing the long cardigan with a short fitted one- and a lower neckline on the tank (revealing a little more skin) I now look more polished and put together.

As for my shoes… this type of shoe is called an Oxford, or a Brogue and mine is made from Cole Haan (similar). I bought these years ago and while it’s a little funky, it is truly the most comfortable shoe in the world, and perfect for days when I am on my feet for hours. Plus, they are a fun alternative to the slip on tennis shoe that I normally wear (and love).

Jeans- Eddie Bauer, Tank- Banana Republic, Cardigan- J Crew, Shoes- Cole Haan

Sept 24, Growth Mindset

I’m not even going to talk about today’s outfit, party because I think it’s just an ok outfit (these early school mornings are killing me), and also the changes are pretty self explanatory.

Instead I want to tell you about something I learned about myself last night. 

I was out to dinner with friends and I shared that I have been trying some new vegetarian recipes for my family, and how my daughter has been reluctant to try my amazing concoctions. However, rather than force her to eat it, in our family we have what I call a ‘no thank you bite’ meaning you must take a bite and try it and then you can say ‘no thank you’. I always thought this was a great way of getting my kids to at least try new things. 

However, after I shared this story, my clever friend Stacey said, “why wouldn’t you call that a discovery bite? When you call it a ‘no thank you bite’ you are already setting the stage to saying no….” 

Wow! How had I never thought of that? She is totally right, and that is the perfect example of a growth mindset.

Have you ever heard this phrase? I honestly hadn’t until I started back teaching 3 years ago. Now, I hear it daily. Growth mindset is the idea that instead of saying to yourself ‘I can’t do that’, you say ‘I can’t do that- yet’! Meaning there is always a possibility that you may grow or learn something new! Cool, huh?

So, now I will say to my family, “would you like to discover Ginger miso salad?! Smokey cauliflower tacos? Chickpea faro stew… ?” and I’m hoping their response will be, “I’ve never had that- yet… but I’d love to try! “ Do you see where I’m going here? By simply changing the way I phrase my suggestion to try something new- I hope I can teach my kids to explore- and grow! 

I don’t know why I had to share that, except for the fact that it really made me reflect on how I present things to my children (and students) and maybe even possibly myself. Am I saying no to things because I haven’t mastered them? Am I afraid to try something new? Do have a growth mindset? Thanks to Stacey, I will now approach my life in a more open minded and exploratory way! We are never too old to learn! 

(jeans- Gap, flannel- American Eagle, boots- Nordstrom)

Sept 20, School Spirit

There are some days when I am excited to share what I’m wearing, and then there are days like today where I struggle. The issue for me is that I have a really hard time figuring out what to wear to the high school football game tonight. I know that sounds silly, but since I am always cold, the idea of having to dress in an outfit that can withstand sitting outside for 3 hours freaks me out a bit.

In my before photo I am wearing cropped jeans, a spirt wear shirt from my daughter’s high school and tennis shoes. Really bright tennis shoes. This outfit is one that I see women in all the time. And while I totally get it, it’s a quick and easy outfit that shows school spirit, it’s just not very cute (or warm!). So, to fix this look I have replaced the t shirt with a sweater in the same deep red that is our school color. I’ll be much warmer in the sweater, and the fun ruffle sleeves add some interest. To bring in even more interest, I have added a leopard belt. The pointy toed shoes are a huge improvement over the bright tennis shoes. And even though it is supposed to be around 60 degrees tonight, I will also bring a jacket and a stadium seat. If you attend a lot of outdoor sporting events, I highly recommend buying a stadium seat. They really come in handy and are much warmer than cold metal bleachers! 🙂

My sweater is old, from Nordstrom. My jeans, shoes and belt are all Target!

Sept 15, Black Joggers

When I think of wearing joggers, I immediately think of a very casual outfit, but today I am showing a way to actually dress your joggers up a bit- and perhaps wear them to work, church, or even out to dinner.

I started with this gorgeous wine colored polyester blouse from Nordstrom (similar). Growing up in the 70’s, when I hear ‘polyester’ I think of the Brady Bunch- but honestly, it’s come a long way since then. It’s a great (and more affordable) alternative to silk, plus it washes easily. Tip of the day, don’t be afraid of polyester!

Here is how I improved the before look. I tucked in the blouse, added a cool necklace, rolled the hem of my joggers and swapped out the boots for these cute peep toe booties. Now have a cute outfit that is super comfy while also being stylish.

*full disclosure I’m not actually wearing this today, but I totally would! Instead I’m heading to yoga 🙂

Sept 14, Waffle Top

I first noticed the waffle top last winter and knew I wanted one. They are comfy, casual and inexpensive- so really- in my opinion, the perfect top!

But, as usual, it all comes down to the styling. The shirt with just a pair of dark jeans looks a little blah. To improve my outfit I changed into cropped faded jeans- which are perfect for the weekend. I then added a black vest, both for warmth and style. Push up the sleeves, do the half tuck, add a belt and finish it all off with cute leopard slides, and now I have a cute outfit perfect for whatever is in store… unless it starts raining- and in that case will have to replace the slides with rain boots.

The jeans, top and vest are all from Nordstrom Rack and the shoes are from Marshalls. Belt is Target.

Sept 12, Back to School

Today is my first day going back to school. For those of you who don’t know, I’m a substitute teacher in elementary schools. I have missed teaching, and am excited to be back in the classroom!

For my back to school outfit I have chosen this black eyelet dress. While it’s still chilly this morning, I will add a denim jacket, and since I will be on my feet ALL DAY I need super comfy shoes like tennis shoes. But, comparing the before and after photos- you can see that subtle changes make all the difference. In the before photo my jacket is too dark and the sleeves are too long. I also have on white tennis shoes, which I usually love- but in this case feel like they look like nurse shoes. In the after outfit I have replaced the dark denim with a more faded one- which gives contrast between the dress and jacket. I also rolled the sleeves to give it a more casual vibe. I chose my Converse All Stars instead of the white tennis shoes. They are still super comfy, but look better. My last little detail is a necklace that I threw on. It’s so hard to see, but if you look super close, you can see a little black dot at my neckline. Tiny detail, but it still matters.

Sept 8, Camo Leggings

Today I’m dressing super casual in my camo leggings and a top. I actually went on Instagram for inspiration again, and this time wasn’t very lucky. I found a ton of photos of women posing in camo with their butts, their boobs or their rock hard bellies! Not really what I was looking for…

In my before outfit I tried a black v neck top with the camo leggings. I’m fine with the black, but the length is too short and overall it just seemed a little too dark. I decided to try a white tank instead. I like the contrast of the bright white with the leggings, but this top is also a little short, so I needed to add this grey cardigan to cover my butt! To add a little interest, I threw on a long necklace and my black tennis shoes finish the outfit. Definitely not my favorite outfit of all time, but it’s warm and comfy and will have to do!

Enjoy your Sunday!

Leggings- Nordstrom Rack

Tank- Fabletics

Cardigan- Target

Shoes- Adidas

Sept 2, Fall Transition

Happy Labor Day! Hope everyone is having a wonderful day!

For today’s outfit I have chosen shorts and a button down plaid blouse. I think this is a good transition outfit because while it’s still warm outside (hence the shorts), I also want to recognize that summer is over and fall is on it’s way. I choose this plaid button down because to me, it is a perfect fall shirt.

But as always, it comes down to the styling. In the before outfit, I have on my denim cut off shorts and Converse All Stars. It’s a super casual, relaxed outfit. But I think it’s a little too casual, so I swapped out the denim shorts for these cute linen ones with the tie belt. Tucking in the shirt defines my waist- which as a result makes my legs look longer. Rolling the sleeves and unbuttoning one button also help make this outfit a little more stylish.

Shirt- Nordstrom

Shorts- American Eagle

Slides- Target

Oct 24th, Good Old J Crew!

I’ve titled this Good Old J Crew because I bought this skirt 2 years ago and it’s one of my favorites. I usually wear it all summer long- with a t shirt and sandals as seen on the right.

Today I decided to try and make this a fall/winter look by pairing it with tights and a black turtleneck. Typically turtlenecks can be really matronly- but with the short sleeves and paired with a mini- I think this works. The long necklace creates a v down the front of my body- which breaks up the solid black a bit and also draws the eye down- a good slimming trick.

To keep my legs warm, I’ve put on black tights and black menswear inspired shoes- this is all the rage this fall, and although I hate to be too trendy, I decided to give this look a try. I bought these at DSW and they are ultra comfy and I think they are super cute.

To keep the look current, I’ve created a small arm party with a group of silver stacked bracelets.

Hope you have a great Monday. Sorry for the delayed post- I had a rough morning. Two kids who both got up on the wrong side of the bed… it wasn’t pretty!

Skirt: J Crew, Tights: DSW, Shoes: DSW, Tops: Louis Permilia, Necklace: Gift from my sisters! (love you guys!)