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Friday, April 27, 2012

Be BOLD

Last weekend my boyfriend surprised me with a last minute trip to the hot springs in Glenwood Springs, CO.  This meant packing very quickly and sticking to a specific color scheme/ plan. Below is what I wore Friday to work, Friday night, and Saturday.

FRIDAY- WORK
Outfit Details: Bright pink blazer and orange sleeveless top- Forever 21; Black high-waist pants- Kohl's; Black flats- Chinese Laundry (Ross); Gold circle necklace- Target; Pink and Gold and Orange and Gold bangles- Forever 21.
Coral and orange nails

FRIDAY NIGHT
Same blazer, top and jewelry from the day; Black skinny jeans- Love Culture; Gold and silver sandals- Forever 21; Pink and orange color block clutch- Target.
SATURDAY
Outfit details- Pink dress- Old Navy (old); Orange bow belt- H&M (came attached to another dress)l Gold circle necklace- Target; Pink and gold and orange and gold bangles- Forever 21; Sandals- Forever 21; Pink and orange color block clutch- Target.


SUNDAY- CHANGING IT UP
Outfit details- Black and white striped tank- H&M; Turquoise bandage skirt- Forever 21; Turquoise/ Green and Gold bracelet- Forever 21; Sandals- Forever 21; Gold circle necklace- Target; Green and blue color block clutch (yes, I bought the same one in two different color schemes) - Target.

I stuck with the same color scheme for two days and mostly the same accessories the entire weekend to make last-minute packing a lot easier. Luckily the weather was nice and warm so I didn't need to plan for major changes.

Thank you for reading! Have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Shopping at discount or consignment stores

If you are on a budget then you can find great deals on name brands at discount stores and clothing consignments stores. Ross, TJ Maxx, and Marshall’s all sell current trends and name brands for around one-third of the price you would pay in the department store, however, sometimes they get merchandise for which sizes have been mislabeled or pieces of the garment- say a belt that was originally attached, is not included. This is where garment inspection is key. Consignment stores tend to sell “gently used” clothing and you can literally build an entire wardrobe of name brand clothing for $100, however, garment inspection is the only way to ensure the lasting quality of any item you purchase from these stores.     
  • Things to look for at discount stores: 
    •  Check to make sure there is no loose stitching or tears in the garment- just the fact that other people may have tried on the garment before you means it could have some wear and tear already.
      • This means ALWAYS trying it on. You don’t necessarily have to do this at the store since they tend to have pretty lenient return policies.
    • Make sure that all enclosures (buttons and zippers) are in good shape.
      • Make sure zippers shut easily and stay shut - walk around outside the dressing room to make sure the zipper doesn't come undone.
      •  Make sure buttons are securely fastened, if they are loose and you love the garment, I suggest buying a spool of thread to enforce them. This is the easiest thing you can do to prolong the life of a garment
    • When purchasing shoes make sure that the tread is not worn (sometimes items are not fully inspected when they are returned), look to ensure the construction is solid and, in particular, when buying heels, that the heel is firmly attached.
    •  Finally, make sure everything fits true to size- this is why trying everything on is so important!
  • Things to look for at consignment/ thrift stores:
    • Clothing is gently used, fabric is not overstretched, there is no loose stitching, and the bottoms of jeans are not ripped, cut, or shredded at the bottom.
    • Check to make sure all enclosures (buttons and zippers) are securely fastened and in good working order, not to mention that they are all there in the first place.
    • Smell the clothing- Okay, maybe this sounds weird, but if it’s made out of cheap fabric it can retain someone else’s body odor for a very long time!
    • For shoes, inspect wear and tear, only buy ones that look like they were never worn or only worn once.
      • Also, since the soles of shoes tend to take the shape of an individual’s foot, I ALWAYS suggest buying shoe liners/pads  for the shoes. Not only will they make them more comfortable, but they will help the shoe conform to the shape of your own foot.
    • For purses:
      • Inspect the straps to makes sure they are not worn,
      • The tubing inside the straps is in one solid piece and not broken up- this means the straps are about to give.
      • The straps are securely attached to the purse and not in the process of separating.
      • All enclosures are accounted for and are in good working condition.
      • Liner is not ripped inside the purse (look around the seams).
You can find amazing deals on great items at discount or consignment stores, just always follow these steps to ensure the quality of every item you are buying.

This was a skirt I tried on at Forever 21. It fit perfectly and the zipper worked fine. I would have bought it if I hadn't inspected it. I found this loose seam on the side and decided NOT to purchase it. While some may say that would be an easy fix, since the fabric is chiffon it is very difficult to sew without leaving needle marks or having it unravel entirely.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

For the love of polka dots

I'm pretty much obsessed with polka dots, but that's only because they can be paired with almost anything. The outfit pictured below can easily be worn to work, then just ditch the blazer for a dinner date.

Outfit Details: Polka dot blouse- Love Culture; Belted red pencil skirt- Forever 21; Black blazer- H&M (old); "Antique" locket necklace- Forever 21; Earrings- Target; Bracelet- homemade; Rosette heels- Madeline Stuart (Ross).

Monday, April 23, 2012

What's Not To Love About An A-Line Dress?

I absolutely LOVE A-line dresses because not only do they have a classic shape, but the retro appeal makes special occasions or even a day at the office feel a lot more fun.

I LOVE polka dots!
The outfit I wore to my cousin's wedding in December
Outfit details: Red and black belted dress- Lauren Conrad (Kohl's); Black cardigan and tights- Merona (Target); Black and white oxford T-strap heels- Aldo; Pearl bracelet- gift; Mesh wrapped clear stone bracelet and earrings- Forever 21; Black beaded bracelet- homemade; Necklace- "homemade" (click here to learn how).
Outfit Details: Grey Dress- Bailey Blue (Ross); Coral Cardigan- Be Cool (small boutique in California); Necklace- Charming Charlie; Mesh wrapped gem bracelet- Forever 21; Wedges- American Eagle (Payless)
Get retro!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Color Blocking Inspiration

Last week I was quite proud that one of the older ladies I work with tried color blocking! She paired a bright blue button up shirt with a pink pencil skirt and bright blue suede flats. She normally dresses pretty conservative which made her efforts even more impressive. Break away from the typical black and grey work attire and add some color! You'll be glad you did.

My friend Kayla sent me an pictures of an outfit she put together based on my blog:

Outfit Details- Black tunic- on sale at Express; Neon yellow body con skirt (yes, she layered this)- Forever 21; Black leg warmers- gift; Black patent heels- Merona (target); Woven string earrings- New York Boutique.
This is such a fun casual look! I love the yellow and pink together. Great job, Kayla!

Do you have an outfit you want me to feature on my blog? Email your pictures and outfit details to dietfashionista@gmail.com

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Spring Clean Your Closet!


I wish I had a closet this big!
Anyone who has ever lived with me can attest to the fact that I clean out my closet twice a year- in the spring and fall. I get rid of items I no longer wear or can never imagine wearing again.  For items that are still fashionable and in good shape, or that I bought duplicates of (yes, this has happened, I once bought a red skirt that was similar to one I already owned but decided I liked the new one better), I sell them to Plato’s Closet (a clothing consignment store by my house), and for other items I usually donate them to the Epilepsy Foundation through clothing bins in local parking lot.

I don’t like donating to Goodwill because I don’t like the idea that they sell the items they receive, if I am going to donate something then I want it to be provided to someone who needs it for free. I like donating to the Epilepsy Foundation because I found out a few years ago that I have epilepsy. While I have great insurance and benefits than enable me to afford my anti-seizure medication and regular check-ups with my neurologist, not everyone has the same luxury. Many people spend most of their money on their medication so that they can simply live a seizure-free life, and this often means not being able to afford clothing. Find a cause you care about or that resonates with you or someone in your life, and donate your unwanted clothing to that cause. 

 My rules for cleaning out my closet:
  • Separate clothing into 5 different categories:
    • Keep
    • Donate
    • Sell
    • Repair
    • Throw away
  • I keep clothing that I wear on a regular basis or that I purchased for a particular reason (i.e. Wedding appropriate dress)
  • I sell or donate anything that I haven’t worn in the past year, the only exception being special occasion dresses and clutches.
    • This includes not only clothing, but shoes, purses, belts, scarves, jewelry, etc.
    • Let’s be honest, we all buy things or receive them as gifts and never wear them. For items with the tags still attached sell them to a clothing consignment store. You will likely get more money for them because they were never worn.
  • I repair anything that is easily fixed:
    • Loose hems, seams, buttons, etc.
    • This process also involves thoroughly cleaning all of my purses, cleaning my jewelry, polishing my shoes, taking items to the dry cleaners, and re-waterproofing things like jackets and shoes (you can find a spray for this at most shoe stores).
  • I throw away clothing that is damaged beyond repair- this includes shoes and purses.
 Try it this weekend and clear up some closet space!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pink and Stripes

Happy Wednesday Everyone! We've made it halfway through the week. I like to see who else out there ended up dressing according to the rules of Mean Girls- "On Wednesdays we wear pink." I also decided that I was over looking uber preppy this week


Outfit Details: Blazer- H&M (old); White and black striped tank- H&M; Magenta pencil skirt- Forever 21; Rossette kitten heels- Madeline Stuart (Ross); Watch- Nixon; Earrings, belt, and necklace- Forever 21; Bag- Kenneth Cole Reaction (Ross).
Thank you for reading!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Weekend Finds

I thought I would share a couple of my weekend finds- 6 plain but colorful pencil skirts from Forever 21 ($56), Kenneth Cole Reaction Quilted purse from Ross ($30), and Steve Madden nude patent heels from Ross ($20). Yes, that's right, for $106 I purchased 6 skirts, a purse, AND a pair of heels! Happy shopping everyone!


Lady in Red

It is my personal belief that every woman should own a red dress, preferably one that pairs well with a blazer and can be worn on its own for date night.Start your work week off by wearing a bright solid hue to convey that (even if you hate Mondays) you are confident and prepared for whatever the week might throw your way.

Outfit details: Red sheath dress with pockets- Fashion Star (H&M); Black blazer with red pinstripes- Charlotte Russe (old); Black faux suede wedges- Dexter (Payless); Black beaded bracelet- homemade; Necklace- gift.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Coral

My favorite color this spring is coral. You can find it in many shades and mix and match shades of it with pink and orange. If you are spending a weekend away from home and want to pack light, then I suggest you figure out your color for the weekend and play with different styles. Below is how I wore coral (especially a coral blazer that I love) all of last weekend for a variety of different events, beginning with work.

WORK ON FRIDAY 
The auto-adjust on my camera made the blazer look more orange than coral in the left photo, all other photos accurately depict the true color.
Outfit Details- Coral blazer, peach dotted circle skirt ( I LOVE polka dots!!), all jewelry- Forever 21; White gathered shirt- Merona (Target); Nude patent heels- Mossimo (Target).
NIGHT OUT
Outfit Details- Coral Blazer, beaded bracelet, and gold leaf necklace- Forever 21; Black skinny jeans- Love Culture; Coral/pink/orange wedges- Christian Siriano for Payless.
SUNDAY BRUNCH
Outfit details: Bright coral linen blazer, white lace sleeve slub shirt, and multicolored skirt- Forever 21; shades of coral wedges- Christian Siriano for Payless.
Accessories: Earrings and bracelet- Forever 21; Necklace- Target.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Ready, set, GO!

We all have those mornings when we realize instead of hitting snooze we accidentally turned our alarm off all together. There's nothing quite like the morning panic attack of realizing you only have 20 minutes to get ready and get out the door. This is why I always suggest having a fail-safe set of plans for these mornings, this includes knowing exactly what you will wear. I have three very simple emergency outfits:
1. Black pantsuit with a colorful shirt
2. Black blazer, black pencil skirt, and a colorful shirt
3. Black sheath dress

Since I work in an environment where suits are part of the office attire, this makes choosing what to wear a little easier. I always suggest adding colorful shirts to a black suit and basic gold or silver jewelry. Also, familiarize yourself with quick hairstyles like playful pony tails, top knots or the sock bun, so you can make your dirty hair look polished in a flash (I suggest investing in a good dry shampoo and shine spray for these days). I also suggest figuring out a 5-minute quick makeup routine- mine includes Garnier tinted eye roller for under my eyes, e.l.f. tinted moisturizer for my face, e.l.f. all over color stick for my cheeks, loose mineral powder, lightly applied eyeliner and mascara.

The emergency kit you keep at your desk will help out on these mornings too.  Go home tonight and figure out your emergency outfits and contingency plans for days you oversleep, you'll be glad you did someday.

This outfit was worn with a black blazer I keep at my office "in case of emergencies." Outfit details- Green puffy sleeve top- Love Culture; Black pants- The Limited; Blue faux suede heels- Forever 21; Necklace- gift; Leaf earrings- Forever 21; Watch- Nixon. I threw the heels in my bag (since I have a LONG commute) for an added touch of color with the suit and, after rubbing dry shampoo into my roots, I teased the hair at the crown of my head, pulled it into a low pony tail and spritzed it with shine spray and hair spray.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Black and Pink

Always a feminine color combination, adding a light pink to any black outfit can help add just a hint of color for spring.

Outfit details: Black and pink lace dress- Forever 21; Black blazer- My Michelle (Kohl's); Purse- My Flat in London (gift- I lost the Queen Bee at the grocery store a few years ago and replaced it with a crown heart from Michael's); Bracelet and earrings- Forever 21; Tights- Kohl's; Black faux suede wedges- Dexter (Payless).

Friday, April 6, 2012

Tax Return Money

I always wonder how people spend their tax return money. This year I received quite a large return and it went to buying some new clothes and shoes, savings, and paying off my credit card! What a win! The shoes I purchased:

Left- shades of coral strappy wedges by Christian Siriano for Payless; Center- Forever 21 blue faux suede pointed toe heels; Right- Mossimo patent round toe heels in camel (Target).


Happy tax return season everyone!!! I am also getting the brand new camera I purchased around Christmas fixed so all of my blog photos should improve soon! It was knocked out of my hands and dropped at a concert last month, I'm surprised that's never happened to me before with how many concerts I attend.

Skinny Slacks

The only time I ever wear skinny dress pants to work is on "casual Friday" since we are never allowed to wear jeans.  It is a look that is suitable for day or night. I got compliments on it a couple months ago and since then I've noticed the amount of women in my office who wear skinny dress pants or ankle-length slacks on Fridays gradually increase.

Outfit details: Vintage navy blue blazer; Floral tie tunic with chiffon sleeves- Forever 21, Black belted skinny dress pants- Love Culture; Side bow heels- Steve Madden (8 years old and still looking great!); Antique looking locket necklace and gold bracelet- Forever 21.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Spice Up A Plain Dress

A plain dress is just that- plain. Until you add accessories!

Outfit Details: Burgundy sleeveless dress- Merona (Target); Black short sleeve cardigan- Ross; Black satin bow belt- Forever 21; Necklace- Charming Charlie; Pearl bracelet- gift; Mess wrapped clear stone bracelet- Forever 21; Black bow flats- Chinese Laundry.

Outfit details- Grey button sheath dress with button details and black cardigan- Merona (Target); Necklace and earrings- Charming Charlie; Burgundy checkered tights- Forever 21; Grey and burgundy bow flats- American Eagle (Payless); Hair- sock bun!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Skirt Length in The Workplace

Skirt length- surprisingly a pretty controversial topic. Unfortunately it is quite common to see women trying to pull off the "sexy secretary" look and just ending up looking trashy in the process. A good barometer for all of your work-related fashion choices is to take note of the reaction of your colleagues. Furrowed brows and disgusted looks are never good, compliments are. If you abide by the following guidelines you should be fine: 
  • Always wear skirts that are knee-length (think classic pencil skirts or A-line skirts). This is a good rule whether you are baring your legs or wearing tights.
  • If you absolutely MUST wear a skirt shorter than knee-length, then go by the rule we all learned in school- make sure the skirt extends past your finger tips.
    • I always suggest wearing opaque tights or leggings with skirts shorter than knee-length to disguise how short it actually is. 
    • Finally, if you absolutely MUST bare your legs in a skirt shorter than knee-length (are tights really that “heavy”?) then I suggest wearing flats or small kitten heels, since this will draw less attention to your legs than sky-high heels. 
Left- knee-length pencil skirt; Center- some of my collection of knee-length skirts (purchased at Ross and Forever 21, the front one is chiffon tiered, not bandage- in response to a comment I received); Right- shorter than knee-length shift dress (goes past my finger tips) worn over black leggings with ankle boots.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Obligatory Suit

It can be pretty hard to spice this combo up, outside of just mixing and matching.  I suggest adding interesting accessories, playing with hairstyles, and adding colorful shoes.

Mix and match pieces of suits and statement jewelry for a more dynamic look:

Outfit details: Lace long sleeve shirt- Forever 21; White blazer- H&M (old); Grey pants- The Limited; Necklace- Charming Charlie; Earrings- Forever 21.
Outfit Details: My Michelle 2 piece suit (Kohl's); Plain burgundy shirt- Mossimo (Target); Necklace- "homemade", see picture below for details.
Make your own statement necklace- I combined 3 choker length pearl necklaces I own by tying the ends together with black satin ribbon and adding a rhinestone broach for visual interest. I wear this all the time!