Today's outfit is brought to you by my need to wear something other than a chambray shirt on Zoom calls. A few weeks into this new world, I realized that I was a really big fan of colorful skirts and pants, so my tops tended to be solid colors and understated. That was all well and good until I entered a universe where people could only see from my underarms and up. I decided to get a few new shirts that would make my days less likely to run together.
I decided that I wanted to get a few shirts that differed from my current styles, so I spent more time than I will admit looking through Nordstrom Rack and Macy's looking at some new brands. This top is from Madewell, and this brand might become a new favorite. I liked the details and thought it would be cute now and throughout the summer.
As I mentioned yesterday, my approach to feeling as normal as possible during all of this is to get ready each day. I'm not really wearing "normal clothes" because I feel no need to wear work pants, but I definitely realized early on that I needed to be reminded that life was still moving forward even in the middle of all of this, so I needed to wear real clothes and make plans and whatnot. I didn't want to feel like every day was a sick day (which is how I felt the first few days when I just wore whatever I felt like wearing). I know that plenty of people don't need to get out of their sweatpants, and I respect that. I'm just saying what has worked for me.
Now, back to my new shirt! :)
I wasn't originally thinking this one would work with work pants, but now I'm thinking it might. I'll have to try it out, but I'm not really motivated enough to dig those out of the closet...maybe if I hit a new level of boredom...
I am thinking that this top could be dressed up with some cute wedges or worn with denim shorts and Birks. Once again, I should probably try that out, but that's not happening. Let's not get crazy!
I'm including the link to the shirt here! Hope this makes your day a bit more fun!
I'm back--at least for tonight! :) We'll see how long this lasts.
I know everyone has their own approach to dealing with this new normal, but I quickly discovered that I needed to wear real clothes--to get ready, to have an official start to my day. I also just didn't want to let clothes I like wearing hang in my closet just because I wasn't going out to dinner. I figured that I shouldn't just wear clothes for other people. I could wear them just because I like them. So that's what I've been doing.
And I decided that if I didn't have to rush to get ready and head out the door, maybe it would be fun to play a little bit.
I'm hoping to focus on repurposing things in my closet or talking about multiple ways to wear the same item. If you are looking for ways to stretch your budget, I hope these posts will help.
So--here we go.
Today's oufit is rather straightforward. I bought the shirt to go with a solid colored skirt and a patterned cardigan, but then I realized that the cut would allow me to use it as a cute shirt for jeans and wedges (although who's wearing shoes these days?). Last summer I jumped on the tie waist bandwagon, so now I see all button down shirts as tie waist shirts. :) This small change on this shirt helped me figure out a way to avoid feelings a bit frumpy when I don't want to tuck this shirt in (since it's long and lacking in shape on its own).
The jeans are some of my favorites--the girlfriend cut by Gap. They have a bit of stretch, and I really like the color and the gold stitching.
I'll try to come back and update this post with a few other ways I've styled this shirt in the past.
Style thoughts for the post-isolation world:
--Shirts like this are really handy. They work well for those parts of spring when it's still chilly outside but you feel silly wearing a sweater in April. I also like these shirts because the fabric is thin enough to go easily under a jean jacket or blazer but still will work on its own.
--I originally bought this to wear with a patterned cardigan and solid skirt because I was playing with mixing patterns.
--This shirt also works with fitted work pants and a jean jacket.
--For me, florals are tricky, so I try to pair them with fun jewelry and fun shoes. As a librarian, I always worry about fitting into a spinster librarian stereotype, so I want to try to play with floral patterns a bit.
Below are links to similar shirts and jeans. Not all of the shirts are button down, but I think you could maybe knot them or tuck them in.
Here's hoping this is the first post of my efforts to getback in a routine.
Today's outfit it brought to you by a need for a cheery outfit for a long week. Maybe I'm the only one like this, but this time of year seems to wipe me out. I've finally gotten back to the gym now that I've finished up my grad school coursework, so I spent most of this week with serious regrets about getting back in shape. :) I definitely focused on flats this week as I tried to work past those miserable first few days of getting back in shape.
These pants are a bit longer than they should be, but I'm wearin' 'em anyway. This is where companies selling pants in "short" comes in handy. I'm not the right frame for petites, but regular pants are always a bit too long. So any time a company sells "short" pants, I'm happy.
The pants are great. They are stretchy and comfy, and since they are from Loft, you can find them on sale if you just wait long enough. And I like that they are such a fun color.
The top is from Gap Factory from last year. It was one of those purchases from the end of the season that I got to wear this season. I love when that happens. It's so fun to start the season with something new that I didn't just buy. :)
The necklace is my favorite. Express sent me a larger-than-expected birthday coupon, so I thought it should be used on a fun new necklace. So that's what I did.
The sandals are old favorites that have held up much better than I expected, and I just keep thinking they won't make it another season, and then they do. Love it when that happens.
Okay--so below you'll find the links to my pieces (or similar options):
Happy Teacher Appreciation Day. It's the end of the year...kinda... At my school, we still have about six weeks left in the year, but since AP testing started this week, it feels like the end is coming sooner rather than later.
I find that during these last weeks I wear mostly casual dresses. These are great because they work well during days of proctoring, packing up, and just being physically worn out, but they also work really well for summer days in the city or grabbing dinner with friends.
This one came from a major sale at Gap Factory. I think the jacket and the dress together were $30. When I bought it, I was thinking I would wear it with wedges, but I've been particularly worn out this week, so I went with my Birks that are three years old and feel like old friends at this point and always make my feet happy.
I bought the jacket because I had found that my love of neutral tops had made it hard to grab a jacket on the way out the door. I couldn't really throw on my jean jacket with a chambray shirt, and my other jacket didn't always match the style of my outfit. At such a good price, this seemed like an easy choice for having a way to keep from freezing in a restaurant without overloading on denim.
Here are my spring survival tips:
1. Keep it simple. Have some easy dresses or outfits that you can just throw on for days when you are just worn out.
2. Wear comfortable shoes. Whether you are proctoring a test, running around finishing up paperwork, or packing up your room, happy feet will make everything better.
3. SLEEP whenever possible.
Below are the links to my dress and jacket. Hope this helps if you are looking for some easy outfits for these last few weeks.
I'm linking both parts of my outfit below. The striped version of the dress only has one size left, but the other colors are available in most colors. The jacket is available in S-L.
If you're like me, you have about 2 days between winter and summer. I'm always looking for tops that get me out of my cardigan rut and work well when the weather is just starting to warm up. (Sorry for the dusty mirror!)
I also think shirts like this are pretty forgiving when the winter hasn't been my best fitness season. I like these tops because they are kind to me while I work off the Girl Scout cookies I ate while in winter hibernation, but they still work once I've slimmed down a bit.
I kept it super simple and just paired this shirt with a pair of skinny jeans and a pair of suede shoes that I wear with almost anything. I'm linking the items I can find and a few other options. Enjoy!
The shirt is from Loft, and I feel like they've been my go-to for a while now. I've found their latest shirts really transition well from work to dinner. It seems like they are feminine enough that I don't feel frumpy, but they aren't revealing, so I feel appropriate at work. This one is sold out, but I'm linking a similar option...and a bright, spring-ish option.
And here are the jeans I live in these days and several options for loafers (since my shoes are a few years old...). I think loafers are the best this time of year. You don't have to worry about having cold feet in the morning (since it was 34 degrees here this morning), but you don't look like you are still living in winter when it's 65 degrees at 5:00. I'm posting several neutrals and a few fun pairs!
Today we had one of those weird, "Hey! Look! It's spring...maybe..." days, so I decided to keep things pretty simple. The thing I like about this outfit is mixing black and beige. I don't know why I like doing that, but I do.
I also like this sweater because the back has a fun surprise. As one co-worker said today, "Oh! That's fun. I wasn't expecting that!" I'm thinking that this one will come up in my wardrobe quite a bit this spring. It's a light sweater, and the stripes on the back seem to give it a bit of a spring look.
The pants are just my black Loft pants that I love,
But I do want to rave about the shoes. They're from a company called Nisolo, and I love them. I had been looking at their website for a few years and dreaming of buying a pair, but they are pretty pricey, so I hadn't taken the plunge. At Christmas, they had a 40% off sale, and I went for it. I'm so glad I did. As a kid, my dad had two pairs of Cole Haan shoes that he wore all the time. And any time they got beaten up, he'd polish them or get them resoled. It was a brilliant way to have nice shoes on a tight budget. I decided that getting a nicer pair of shoes that were well crafted with ethical practices would be a good investment. And, so far, I think I'm right. I wear these shoes all the time, they go with everything, and I've never had a pair of shoes that were so comfortable right from the start. I can see these being my version of the shoes my dad kept for years, and I like that from an environment perspective (not throwing out or giving away cheap shoes just to buy more cheap shoes), and I like it from a style perspective (these just look nicer than a cheaper pair that would wear out in a few years), and I like it from a small business perspective (since I'm supporting a small business that invests in its workers and values them). So, all that to say, I love these shoes.
I threw on my favorite spring earrings and a necklace I've had for a while. I think most of these items are still available, except for the necklace. I've linked the pants, shirt and shoes below along with a few similar jewelry options! Enjoy!
I thought I'd take a minute and share my thoughts on good sneakers. On Thursday I took a sick day to catch up on sleep and try to give myself my best chance of avoiding the flu and other illnesses that seem to be hitting my students rather hard. I could just tell that I was run down, and I thought preventative maintenance was in order.
So, when I got ready for the day, I went with a comfy sweater and a super comfy pair of sneakers. I also wore these on Friday, but I forgot to get a picture.
My favorite moment of wearing these sneakers was the following conversation with one of my students that I saw in the hallway on Friday. It went something like this:
Student: Oh--look at Ms. Taylor, wearing the New Balances.
Me: Yeah--they're so comfortable.
Me: Oh--I guess that's not what I'm supposed to say about my sneakers.
A few years into teaching, I decided to go from my standard Converse (don't get me wrong--I still have my Converse and love them, but they just aren't meant for hours of standing/walking) to a pair of sneakers that were a bit more unique and also were designed a bit more thoughtfully. I found that not only did the move to a more unique sneaker up my outfit game, but they were also WAY more comfortable, which is all I really wanted on a Friday after a long week of dress shoes.
But back to the present. On Thursday, I paired the shoes with a casual pair of jeans, a striped t-shirt, and my new favorite cardigan. It's basically gone, but I'm linking another option along with a jeans option and a striped shirt.
But mostly I'm including options for your own fun sneakers. I got mine on sale a while ago, but they are still available in other colors (maybe mine...unclear). Enjoy!
Yesterday I came to work to discover that my work BFF and I had accidentally dressed as twins. And then I went to the library during my planning period and discovered that there had clearly been a memo about wearing burgundy on Thursdays. At the end of the day, I looked in the mirror and thought, "This is such a teacher outfit, but I'm a teacher, so that works."
I must say that I've gotten so used to having a bit of stretch in my pants, so any time I wear a pair of normal pants that are less forgiving, I find myself a bit uncomfortable. It just seems that without stretch the pants must fit perfectly, right from the beginning. Not only will they not stretch to accommodate that big meal I ate last night, but they also don't do well if I'm losing weight because they become bagging pretty quickly. You just kinda have to hit on the perfect size. This pair was one of those pairs you buy because you realize you have no pants and are tired of wearing skirts all the time. I really like the color, and I really like being able to wear neutrals without feeling frumpy, but I wouldn't wear these on a long day or if I was doing something that was really interactive. But for a typical Thursday, they are a fine option. Loft doesn't have my pants for sale anymore, but I'm linking Gap's go-to pants. They have a ton of colors on sale, and I have a few pairs of these that I'm fond of. Just click on the picture.
The cardigan was a $12 purchase from a flash sale, and I really love anything with stripes and any cardigan that has embellishments on it. I also love that this one is really lightweight and stretchy, so it goes easily over a long sleeve shirt, but it will also do well over a dress in the spring. I can't find anything similar, but I'm linking a few options at the bottom of this post.
The tank top is one of my new favorites. Express has these in a bunch of colors, and it's just a bit looser than most tanks, so I don't feel quite as self conscious.
The shoes are the same ones I linked the other day, but I'll link them again. Again, I'll admit that I now am a person that wears Dr. Scholl's shoes, but I'm okay with that because they've really upped their game, and the shoes are cute and super comfortable. I'm officially at the age when I just don't want to have a pained look on my face all day just so I can wear shoes that I thought were cute when I put them on at 7:45 that morning. I've also noticed that my back-up shoes that I keep under the desk rarely get worn these days because my feet are just generally happier.
So here are a few of my Thursday dressing tips:
1. Know your wardrobe. If you love neutral tops/cardigans, make sure you have some skirts or pants that can add some color to your outfit. If you know that you buy every flow-y top you can find, make sure you're jeans/work pants are fitted enough to balance out the outfit.
2. Know yourself enough to know what you will and won't be up for. I've often been guilty of buying clothes in a bit of an optimistic mood, and then realizing that I'm not really willing to be that uncomfortable all day or it's never going to be a good time to wear pointy-toe heels to school.
3. Know that it's okay to have outfits that are just so teacher-y and practical. If it makes you comfortable, looks put together, and works for what you'll be doing that day, then wear it.
Okay--click below for links to the shoes and tank. I'm also including a few options for a similar cardigan and a few more cute Dr. Scholl's shoes (just to prove my point that they've really gotten better about making cute shoes).
I thought I'd add another blog with some casual teacher outfit ideas. If you're like me, this time of year is plagued with late openings and disrupted schedules, so you tend to have more days that call for a more casual outfit. This one includes one of my new favorite cardigans. It's super cozy and layers well over a t-shirt or silk shirt. I'm also wearing some of my favorite jeans and a cute shirt I grabbed super on sale from Banana Republic's Factory store. I added some booties to make it a bit cuter. I feared that pairing it with flats would make me look a bit too much like a soccer mom, and since I don't fully understand soccer, and I'm not a mom, I wanted to avoid that. Anyway--I've linked a ton of similar boots below--a few pairs that will work well for winter, one whimsical pair that I just thought were adorable, and a few pairs that I thought might work well for spring. Enjoy!
And here are some cardigan options. I'm sad to say that the cardigan I have is nowhere to be found on the Loft website, but Express has some cute options for colder days, and I've been staring at this cardigan from Banana Republic, waiting for the price to drop enough that I can justify buying it. :)
And here are the links to the shirt and jeans I'm wearing.
(Sidenote--please excuse my dusty mirror. I promise to dust before I take more pictures. :)) Last week, I got an alert that Loft had a sale with pants and tops on sale for $12.88. I grabbed a pair of cords and this top in the sale. With the weather being in that weird stage that goes from winter to spring-ish, tops like this are super useful. As much as I want to spend the last few weeks of winter wearing all my favorite sweaters one last time, it's just a bit too warm in my classroom to be bundled up.
I'm always worried about shirts like this making me look like I'm hiding a pregnancy given their flow-y nature, but I think pairing it with skinny jeans helps with that.
My feet were a bit beat up from a busy week of hosting a conference and teaching, so I gave them a day off by wearing these grey slippers from Dr. Scholl's that I picked up last year with a coupon from DSW.
As I've mentioned several times, I try to use my Fridays as a chance to wear cute tops that don't work so well with dress pants or skirts. Sometimes I just throw on a school spirit t-shirt and cardigan, but if I can, I try to put together something that makes it easy for me to grab dinner with a friend without having to go home and change (since I feel like if I'm wearing my school shirt out to dinner I have to be a bit more careful about what I say about work, etc.).
Here are my February Friday tips:
1. Counter the February slump with an outfit that makes you feel like more of a "real person" and less of a tired teacher. As one of my favorite co-workers says, sometimes you dress the outside hoping it'll influence the inside. :)
2. Wear those cute long sleeved shirts you bought but haven't worn as often as you thought you would. If you're like me, you saw yourself wearing cute little outfits all winter but snow days, delayed openings, and general winter fatigue made you pass on those outfits in favor of comfy favorites.
3. Pay attention to the weather. And then know that it might not affect the temperature of your room at all...so dress in fabrics that can handle a cold classroom in the morning and the warm temperatures that will hit you when you walk out of the door at the end of the day.
I'm linking all three of the items I'm wearing. The jeans really are heavenly. They keep their color, hold their shape, and are so comfortable that I showed up to the movies last night, my friend asked why I hadn't changed into my yoga pants like I said I was going to, and I told her that the jeans were just so comfortable that it didn't make sense to change.