Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I apologize for the lack of posts recently.  I had gotten sick along with my son from this cold front that made its way to Houston since my last post.  The temperatures are now climbing back up to the 60's and 70's.

Today I finally crossed off the last item on the Build Your Wardrobe Basics shopping list - the jewel-toned dressy blouse!  Hooray!!!  I found it, or should I say them, at JCP.  Have I mentioned that I never shopped at JCPenney before the fall challenge?  It's my favorite place to find shirts nowadays.  I actually couldn't decide between the regal teal and the intense plum, so I did what I normally do in these moments of indecision...I got them both!  The teal is such a beautiful deep blue turquoise-like color that was so flattering and difficult to find.  It reminds me of the ocean.  The plum was more of a berry-wine that looks so elegant.  I'm starting to gravitate to berry colors this season.  Since the shopping list mentioned that the blouse would be used to layer underneath the black sleeveless shift dress, I was imagining how these colors would look.  I think the blue would give off a nice pop of color and the plum would tone it down so other accessories could take the spotlight.  I would imagine the plum would pair very nicely with my brown tweed skirt for a quintessential fall look.

Lots to catch up on, plus pictures!

The outfits have been released for the past 3 days and they've been living up to the challenge's name so far (as in being very basic).  For Monday's outfit, I woke up feeling under the weather but got dressed up anyways because I was so excited for the challenge outfits to start.  This is what I wore:

The striped shirt I already had gotten for the fall challenge at Ann Taylor, same with the tassel necklace and oversized gold watch from Forever 21, the dark wash bootcut jeans are a Long & Lean pair I already had pre-challenge from 1969 GAP, and the Coach bag was one of the few items I purchased for this challenge.  I got it at the Coach outlet during my birthday weekend with my mom.  After getting dressed, something amazing happened!  I felt much better and even went out to run some errands as opposed to staying in bed.

I also realized how much footwear really completes an outfit! These were my DSW Lucky Brand flats that arrived yesterday and I was still wearing them around the house debating whether I should keep them since I sized up to 7.5 and they're a tad big, but I can't exchange them for a 7 since they are sold out. I love they way they look though!

On Tuesday, I got to wear another new purchase for this challenge: my Ann Taylor Factory leopard belt.  This was my first time belting an un-tucked buttoned-down shirt in my life!  I am amazed at how it creates a waist with a subtle peplum effect.  I have no idea why I never thought to try this earlier.  These are the moments I love about the style challenges: they really do encourage you to go beyond your comfort zone!

Also, I hadn't worn black dress pants for more than half a year and am amazed they still fit!  As you know from my previous post, I had been raving about this $10 JCP chambray shirt, when I came across the lighter Old Navy one for $20.  I think the darker one looks dressier and has a nice cuffed sleeve contrast, but I also really like the contrast in the buttons on the lighter one. I switched out of the dress pants for black straight leg corduroys for the first picture.  Which do you like better?


I decided to keep them both since they will be useful in different situations.  The darker one would be more appropriate for work or meetings, and the lighter one is more casual.

For today's outfit, I thought, "This is the GAP uniform!" Well, except for the leopard flats.  Never tried putting a button-down shirt under this denim jacket until today, but I like it!  I'm doing all kinds of crazy things here in the basics challenge!  Not sure whether the lengths of the tops work, but when I tried tucking the shirt in, it just emphasized my long torso due to the low rise in my pants, so I left it untucked.  My old GAP jacket is much shorter than I remember, but I know the waist-length works perfectly for summer dresses. These Banana Republic weekend chinos are my khaki pants version - I love them since they have a nice relaxed fit with just a hint of stretch.

All clothing was shopped from my closet.  The white button-down shirt is The Limited Essential Shirt.  I love the shirt since it's made of thicker material than other see-through white shirts.  Plus, this outfit worked surprisingly well for the 60 degree weather we had today.

During my trip to JCP, I confirmed that I will be keeping my DSW Lucky Brand leopard flats despite them being a tad big.  I had been eyeing the a.n.a. pair of leopard Epic ballet flats since they remind me of the memory foam cushioned Lucky Brand Emmie Flats that felt incredible on my feet.  However, I felt like the suede leopard print was too faded so I returned them.  The JCP ones were cushioned, but I really prefer the grosgrain trim and suede upper of the sold out DSW Lucky Brand Letah Flats.

One of the side effects from doing these style challenges is that you purge your closet of clothes that do not work.  The ones that are too old, no longer fit, or you never wear since you have nothing to wear it with.  You're more willing to part with them in exchange for ones that do work and work well.

I had purchased Umbra's Little Black Dress at Marshall's yesterday for half the cost and absolutely love it!  It completely cleared out my cluttered jewelry drawer and it keeps all my long necklaces nice and untangled.  I had been thinking of the best ways to organize my jewelry and this is pure genius!  The solution to all your jewelry problems - it takes up very little space, lets you see your entire collection at a glance, keeps everything in its own space, is user-friendly, and is so well-organized that you can find whatever you need within a second.  No need for fancy jewelry boxes, this does it all!

Based on the success of the jewelry organizer, I got myself a scarf organizer from Marshall's today.  Actually, it's 3 18-hole each scarf organizers for $10.  I ended up using one of them for a belt organizer and cleared another drawer!

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