Wednesday, April 16, 2014

one year ago today: floral pants

DSC00193 Last night I had an interesting conversation on how much difference a year can make. On Monday we wrapped up our neuroanatomy course, and now we are starting with clinical neuro. I was reading some microbiology for the next block, and told a friend how six weeks ago I wouldn't have been able to understand any of the reasoning behind the anatomy, but now it all comes "naturally". I personally don't feel most days that I'm smarter than I was before, but these kind of situations remind me how much we have learned over the past year. He brought how much has changed in the last year, and the difference a year can make both professionally and personally.

Luckily, I have a very clearly documented past about what I've been doing for almost two years, so I went back to see what I was actually doing one year ago. And I was wearing this outfit, which is one of my least favorites I've posted on the blog. The proportions are all wrong, the pants were too big (and still slightly are, even after tailoring the waist), and it all just didn't feel right. This sparked the idea to do a semi-regular "one year ago today" post, where I re-wear something I wore a year ago, but try to improve or find a new way to wear something. First up, these floral pants. I was unsure at the beginning of the school year if I could get away with printed dress pants, but I think as long as I keep the rest simple, it definitely passes the dress code. 

Overall, I'm at a much better place than I was a year ago. Both personally and sartorially ;) 
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Pants: Target [save | beautiful splurge]
Blouse: Everlane [exact]
Belt: Everlane [exact]
Shoes: J.Crew Factory [exact]
Bracelet: c/o Color by Amber [exact]
Nails: Essie [exact]
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P.S. 500th post! That's crazy.

Friday, April 11, 2014

fvh in dvf

DSC00159My tax refund finally came back a few weeks ago (it always takes a bit longer because someone once stole my identity to file taxes) and I immediately bid on this DVF wrap dress on eBay, which was going for about $100 less than retail price (even thought it was NWTs). It's a purchase I've thought about for years, and I'm so excited to finally have one in my possession. While a patterned version would have been beautiful, I know that, for now, I'll get the most wear out of this black version. 

On a side note, I don't advocate for wearing shapewear on a daily basis, but certain styles of clothing call for a bit of help. I'm wearing this pair that I purchased in college, but I think I'd also like to add a pair like this for when I feel I need a bit more coverage in the legs. Does anyone have any experience or recommendations?
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Dress: DVF [exact]
Necklace: Le Tote* [exact]
Shoes: J.Crew Factory [exact on sale]
Nails: Essie [exact]
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* I received a six month subscription from Le Tote. If you'd like to try this fun service, you can sign up here!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

spring has sprung with boden

DSC00114 I first learned of Boden over a year ago through Lou - she always had the prettiest pieces that were fun but still work appropriate. I started receiving the catalog, and I always made sure to flip through the pages, even if I was busy with school. We keep a stack of magazines on our living room table, and my friends always grab the Boden catalog and say that every piece in it was made for me - and I always nod in agreement because how can one argue with stripes, polka dots, and tailored pieces? 

The answer is you can't.

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This all is to say that when I was given the opportunity to review a piece from Boden, I enthusiastically said yes. I was at the point where I was a bit tired [understatement] of the clothes I had been wearing all winter, so I was excited to pick something out that was pretty, colorful, and versatile. I was initially thinking of getting this dress because I had had my eye on it for months, or this skirt because the model looks so pretty in it, but ultimately decided to go with this skirt for several reasons. First, I find that skirts are a bit more versatile than dresses, which means I'll also get a lot more wear out of it. Second, I own very little green, and as it turns out, this skirt has green, yellow, and blue in it, making it that much easier to mix and match with clothes I already own. And third of all...it's really pretty. See:

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While I was putting in my order for this skirt, I also used my own money to order this tee as one can never have enough striped tees. I'm happy to say that I LOVE it. Many shirts tend to be too short on me, but these ones are perfect in both torso length and sleeve length. Overall, I'm very impressed with the quality of clothing and customer service that Boden has provided, and they will definitely be receiving portions of my budget from now on. While the prices are a bit higher than I generally pay for items, I think it's more important that the money is going towards a few well made pieces that I truly love than to make my budget stretch as much as possible. Boden clearly has fun making their clothes, so I'm excited to add a bit more color and life into my sometimes too-neutral closet!

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Skirt: c/o Boden [exact]
Necklace: Express
Shoes: J.Crew Factory
Purse: Kate Spade
Nails: Essie

linking up with Mix + Match Fashion
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P.S. Have you seen who wore the Boden scarf better? It's a close race!

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Boden through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated by POPSUGAR to write a post about Boden, all opinions are my own.

Monday, April 7, 2014

cute study outfits ... or how to be comfortable for 8 hours at a time

As a medical student, our job is to sit and study. For a majority of each day, our butts are in a chair and our noses in books. For me, it would be really easy to just throw on yoga pants and a sweatshirt every single day, but I also feel a bit like a slob if I do that all the time. Dressing nice puts me in a better mood, I feel more confident, and more driven to get work done. Plus sometimes there's a cute study buddy around ;)

I think it's definitely possible to dress cute, get the most wear out of the clothes in your closet, and still be comfortable enough to study for eight hours at a time. The secret? STRETCH. I love love love my Madewell jeans, but the fabric and lack of stretch doesn't make them the most comfortable when sitting down for long stretches of time. Comparatively, the fabric composition of my AE jeans, and especially of my ponte pants, makes my pants as comfortable as yoga pants while still being and looking like real pants. Of course there are days where yoga pants are still worn, but I generally try to wear real clothes, especially if I'm not studying at home or at a friend's house. I've been asked to share more of my study outfits, so here's a sampling from the last few months:

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Top: Loft [exact on sale]
Jeans: Gap [exact]
Scarf: gift from White Coat Wardrobe
Shoes: Old Navy 

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Sweatshirt: Old Navy [exact]
Jeans: American Eagle [exact]
Shoes: Aldo [cute similar]
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Tee: Everlane [exact]
Sweater: Gap
Jeans: American Eagle [exact]

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Cardigan: Old Navy
Tee: Everlane [exact]
Jeans: Joe's Jeans [exact]
Scarf: Victoria's Secret
Shoes: Tory Burch [exact]

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Blazer: J.Crew [exact]
Tee: Urban Outfitters
Scarf: c/o Boden [exact - have you seen who wore it better?]
Jeans: American Eagle [exact]
Shoes: Tory Burch [exact]

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Sweater: thrifted Ralph Lauren
Jeans: American Eagle [exact]
Flats: Lucky [exact]
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Sweatshirt: Everlane
Tee: Old Navy
Pants: Gap [exact]
Shoes: Gap 

and of course there are yoga pants too...
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Sweatshirt: Everlane [exact]
Pants: Victoria's Secret [exact - love that it comes in talls!]
Vest: Gap 

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Sweatshirt: c/o Everlane [exact]
Pants: Target [exact]

I received this sweatshirt from Everlane a few months ago for their release of their new sweatshirt line (I have a few of the older ones too that are no longer available). I was a bit skeptical when I first heard about the short sleeved sweatshirts because I thought it would be more like this kind of cut off sweatshirt, but it totally isn't! It's long enough on my torso with the sleeves going down to just before my elbows. I wear it a ton, especially when I stay home in yoga pants. I think it's a cute way to wear a sweatshirt without wearing another one of my many Wisconsin sweatshirts ;)

Got any cute study outfit tricks? Please share!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

fran versus fur: nova's floral scarf

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I received this scarf a few weeks ago for a future collaboration with Boden, and I've been so excited to wear it. The dark background makes the floral pattern perfect for this winter/spring transition we're going through. I was so excited about it, in fact, that I let Nova, my friend Kira's horse, borrow it too ;) Just goes to show how versatile it is....


So who wore it better?




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Skirt: J.Crew Factory [exact style on sale]
Blouse: H&M
Scarf: c/o Boden [exact]
Shoes: J.Crew Factory [exact]
Belt: thrifted
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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

sleepy

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These last couple of weeks have been kind of draining. Between school politics, neuro-anatomy, practicals, and not having a spring break, I am just so tired. At this point the only real thing keeping me going is that we are done in seven weeks (which is actually pretty crazy!). This summer will all about traveling around this side of the country, and hopefully making a trip out to the west coast as well. I may be missing Seattle a little more than is reasonable for someone who has only spent one week there ;) 


(P.S There was still snow on the ground this morning, but it ended up being 65 degrees today so... NO MORE SNOW! ... just lots of wind)
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Blouse: Le Tote [exact]*
Skirt: Banana Republic [save | beautiful splurge]
Shoes: Banana Republic [exact]
Belt: H&M

* I have received a 6 month complimentary subscription. Try it for yourself here!

Friday, March 28, 2014

march budget

1. J.Crew Blazer: originally $198, on sale for $105 [currently on sale for $178 + 30% off]
2. J.Crew Factory Cardigan: originally $79.50, on sale for $30
3. J.Crew Factory Blouse: originally $75, on sale for $20
4. Old Navy Hoodie: originally $30, on sale + reward: $15
5. J.Crew Sweater: originally $79.50, on sale + giftcard won from Coast with Me: $0
6. The Limited Dot Skirt: originally $60, on sale for $30
7. The Limited Blouse (not pictured, seen here): originally $50, on sale for $25

March Budget: $225

Quarterly budget: $57 in February + 225 in March = $218 left for April

Like I mentioned last week, March was all about trying out new things - new brands, new styles, and new colors. At first glance, my purchases are not (at all) out of the box or different from what I have purchased in the past, but I did branch our a little from my usual go-tos. A cardigan in a color I don't own anything in, a cute sweatshirt for studying and lounging, a pencil skirt in a bright color and pattern. It breathed a bit of life back into my closet without it compromising my own style and preferences.

It was also a month of purchasing and returning. I had a large Zara order that ended up being completely returned. I purchased my go-to school pants in black, and although I got them for great deal, I've decided that I want a pair of black skinny ankle pants that actually go down to my ankle, so they will be returned for now (unless they come out with them in talls, and then I'll be all over that). I saw this super cute top on Hello, Gorgeous, and thought it would be great both for under blazers at school, and for going out (during our abundant free time). Unfortunately, tops with no stretch pull across my chest and unflatteringly flattened everything, so I had to return it. And most disappointingly, this dress didn't work for me. You can see why here:

It's meh on its own - I may have ordered it a size too large as there was a ton of extra fabric around my waist. Belted, and standing a certain way, it was pretty dang cute. But in all honesty, the fabric is pretty stiff, and the dress is way way waaaaaaay too short on me. Since the fabric is stiff (it kind of feels like canvas), the whole dress rides up all the way when you lift your arm or bend over. So the "dalmatian" dress isn't going to happen for me. If they had only made it out of a softer fabric, and added 2 more inches to the hem!

Looking into April, I just ordered these shoes from Madewell (but didn't include them in this month's budget since they haven't arrived). Madewell is currently having a 30% off sale items (use code BYEMARCH), and I've had my eye on these shoes for a year (wow...what a difference 12 months makes!) so I finally decided to go for it. We'll see if they work out! Other than that, I also currently have a dress and a pair of pants at the tailor, so I have around $100 left to maybe buy a few spring pieces. Maybe even buy something outside of the white/grey/black/blue color palette I seem to buy everything in!

Did you stick to your budget this month? I'd love for you to link up with your purchases and goals - we had the most link-ups ever last month, so make sure you guys are checking out these other bloggers. They're such an inspiration!