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 23, Black and White, Day and Night

Today’s outfit is not a before and after, instead it’s a day to night look. I’m teaching school today, and then going to dinner with friends this evening, so I wanted an outfit than can easily transition from one to the other.

I started with black jeans, because they are an easy base for any outfit. Plus, being black they will hide any dirt that I may get on them while at school today.

As most of you know, I rarely wear prints, but every now and then I find one I like such as this cute top with the little hearts. It’s fun and different! For my school outfit, I added a draped cardigan which is comfy and warm. I finished the look with flat black booties since I will be on my feet all day. These are super comfy- and best of all, I can wear socks with them!

For my evening outfit, I will swap out the cardigan for a blazer. I have been seeing a lot of blazers lately on Instagram, but most of them are oversized and more of a throwback to the 80’s. This fitted version is not as trendy, but it is still stylish and adds some polish to my look. To dress it up even more, I replaced the booties with these cute peep toe heels.

Jeans- Gap

Top- Marshalls

Blazer- Nordstrom

Cardigan- Calypso

Booties- Nordstrom Rack

Peep toe Booties- Marshalls

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 19, Leather Jacket

First off, let me apologize for not blogging the last 2 days. I posted my outfits on Instagram, so if you’re curious, head over there to see what I wore…

Now, on to today’s look. Funny story about this leather jacket. My husband bought it for me years ago at Nordstrom, and while I think it’s gorgeous, I was never really sure how to wear it. So, it sat in my closet for years gathering dust. I actually had it in a pile of clothes that I tried to take to my local consignment store to consign. Having never done that before, I wasn’t aware of the process. The lady at the store was sort of rude to me since I didn’t have an appointment. Without even looking at my clothes, she told me she wasn’t interested in what I had. I sheepishly left feeling rather insulted. When I got home I left the bag of clothes in my garage, not sure what to do with them. A few days later I saw on Fashion Jackson (one of my all time favorite Insta style gals) a fabulous photo of her wearing a leather jacket- so I decided to resurrect mine from the garage and give it a try… and here you go!

Tonight I’m going out wine tasting with some friends, so I decided this would be a perfect night to break it out. It’s a much more stylish look than the North Face jacket on the left. Other little changes that you may notice- I am wearing a much cuter white top in the outfit on the right. The top on the left has a weird neckline (that V is so high!) and it is too clingy. The top on the right is rayon, which drapes much better. I also swapped out the rounded toe leopard flats for the pointy toe version and added a long necklace. By making these little adjustments, I now have a cute and stylish outfit to wear out tonight! So thank you rude sales lady, you actually saved me from giving up a fabulous jacket!

The details on this jacket make it interesting!

Jeans- Gap

Top- Nordstrom Rack

Jacket- Nordstrom

Shoes- Nordstrom Rack

Sept 16, Opposite Day

Today’s outfit is jeans, a top and a super comfy long cardigan. Originally I started with blue skinny jeans and a white top with the cardigan, but then I decided to try the opposite of that look- white jeans and a blue top.

Personally, I think both looks work- but I like the version with the white jeans, simply because it’s a little different for me. So next time you are getting dressed- think about flipping your outfit around and trying something new!

Jeans- Gap

T shirt- Nordstrom Rack

Sweater- Marshalls

Shoes- Dr. Scholl’s Marshalls

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 11, Hostess

I’m titling this post ‘Hostess’ because my before outfit reminds me of something I would have worn back in 1987 when I was a hostess at the Steak and Ale in Kansas City! Those were the days…not!

I love a good pencil skirt, and on certain occasions I will wear mine, but definitely not styled like this! With the starched shirt and black ballet flats, I look too formal. I’m not working in an office, or hostessing at the Steak and Ale, so I need to change this look asap!

Instead of the prim and proper pencil skirt, I have chosen this bamboo skirt from North Face. If you look closely, you can see the hemline is uneven, which gives it some interest. Since it’s bamboo, it is super soft and hangs well, giving a more casual vibe. Instead of the oversize formal button down shirt, I have chosen this cute linen top from Uniqlo. I really like this top- there is something about the shape of it that I love, and it pairs well with everything. To add some spice to the outfit I have chosen my leopard slides and a huge bag for running errands.

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

August 24, Maxi Dress

I have to say I have the BEST friends in the world- and I am so grateful for them. Yesterday, to keep my mind off my son being 2000 miles away, my friends Alice, Annie and Christy planned a girls day out of tennis, lunch & shopping. This is what I wore!

I started off with this cute grey maxi dress that I found at Marshalls for $20.

I love a maxi dress. It’s such an easy and comfy outfit- but a little plain on it’s own. So, I swapped out my flip flops for my cute snakeskin sandals. I then threw on my denim jacket (rolled the sleeves of course) and added a cute long necklace with a turquoise stone.

Have you noticed I’ve been finding some great stuff at Marshalls lately? I love that store! The key is going often and being very particular. I know what brands I like- and I study what is currently trending- and then see what I can find. Some days I walk away empty handed- and that’s ok!

My jacket is from Target (similar), the shoes are old and from Clarks, but here are some similar ones. The dress is Marshalls, but Here is a similar one I found on Amazon!