Today was all about the accessories! I wore my black and white, geometric print pleated skirt from Banana Republic with my black and gold studded Michael Kor’s t-shirt. Then I started piling on a ton of fun jewelry. I liked the way yesterday’s necklaces looked, so I found three more to wear together. I started with a long gold mini tassel necklace from C. Wonder, then added a single tassel pendant necklace from Ann Taylor, and finished the look with a vintage Chanel button charm that I bought at a Christmas boutique. The bracelets came next! I started with my hot pink, Kate Spade leather bow bracelet for a pop if color. A few more Kate Spade bangles and a multi-strand leather and chain bracelet from Forever 21 created the perfect arm party! Lots of accessories for a fun day!
We are experiencing quite the heat wave in sunny Southern California this week. It’s hot, but air conditioners are on blast, so layers are a must. You need to be ready for both extremes, indoors or outdoors. Today, I wore my black and tan polka dot sundress from Ann Taylor with a mint green cardigan from J. Crew. I love the huge bow that can be made from this dress’ sash. I added a mint green ombré pendant necklace that perfectly matched my cardigan and my Coach wedges and I was ready for a busy day.
Homework: How do you dress for the extreme heat and air conditioning?
I found this black and white heart print shirt at the Banana Republic outlet last weekend. It was too cute to pass up, and it was a deal at $20. Today, I wore it with a black denim pencil skirt from Ann Taylor. Since the top is sleeveless, I needed to add a cardigan to make it work appropriate. I bought this beautiful blue cardigan at the J. Crew outlet for only $12. Super bargain! I knew this shirt would be great to layer with a cardigan for work, and I also think it will look super cute with my white boyfriend jeans on the weekend. I’m really trying to pick out pieces that can do double duty for work and play.
Homework: What is your best double-duty purchase?
I bought this black dress with tan polka dots this past weekend at the Ann Taylor factory store at the Outlets at Orange. It was a steal at $25 and the cut is super flattering. Plus, I love that it has a thick sash/bow that defines my waist. It’s a great weekend sundress that can be worn with sandals, and with pumps and a cardigan, it’s completely work appropriate. For work today, I wore it with a short-sleeved coral cardigan from Ann Taylor Loft and my orange Kate Spade Popsicle necklace. The Popsicle necklace is a perfect reminder of a fantastic summer. Remember, I won the money to buy this necklace on a Sex and the City penny slot machine at Casino Morango. My Cole Hahn black and tan spectator wedges were the finishing touch, as they matched the dress and with the built in Nike Air technology, they are very comfortable. This outfit came together at the last minute and made me smile today!
Homework: What’s your best summer memory?
One of my favorite back to school traditions is picking out my first day of school dress. I was starting to think this was going to be the year that I didn’t have something to new to wear :(. However, I solved the problem by heading to The Outlets at Orange for a quick shopping trip. It is always best to hit an outlet mall on a holiday weekend, because stores usually offer extra discounts and incentives.
My first stop is always the Banana Republic outlet. I was greeted with huge signs that read “50% off entire store.” Music to my ears! And, I also had $20 worth of reward coupons. I ended up buying three dresses, a leopard wrap dress for $19.99, a navy shift with a lemon and lime pattern, and a navy blue fit and flare dress. I will be wearing these new frocks during the first week of school. Dresses are so easy! One piece, add a necklace, and you are ready to go! I also found three lightweight sweaters, gray with yellow polka dots, a leopard pattern, and a black and ivory striped “ciao” sweater. They look good on their own, but look even better layered with a denim work shirt. I also found two cute tank tops that will be great to layer with, one black with white hearts and the other is hot pink with a tiny bee print. They will be perfect with a pencil skirt and cardigan. Three dresses, three sweaters and two tops totaled $200. Now I need it to cool down so I can start wearing sweaters!
Next, I stopped by the Old Navy outlet. I am in love with all their graphic t-shirts. I wanted to buy them all, but settled on the black “j’adore” and white “holy chic” shirts.
My last stop was at the Ann Taylor factory store. They had the same deal as Banana, 50% off everything. I found this adorable black dress with tan polka dots for $20 and multi-strand pink necklace.
I really wanted to go to the Nordstrom Rack, as I have $200 in Nordstrom Notes, but I was all shopped out! Next time!
Homework: What is your favorite back to school tradition?
I am so excited for this school year; I can’t contain my school spirit! Today, I’m wearing my favorite black, a-line skirt from Banana Republic with a raspberry and white striped, boat neck tank top from Ann Taylor. I topped the look with a charcoal gray leopard print cardigan and a flowered headband from Forever 21. My silver and bling necklace is also from Ann Taylor and my bow sunnies are Chanel.
Now I just need to find a first day of school dress!
Homework: Describe your perfect first day if school outfit.
Whenever I need a last minute outfit, I always fall back on a classic color palette like red, white, and black. Today, I combined a red a-line skirt with a white eyelet t-shirt, both from the Banana Republic sale rack. I added a black and white textured cardigan from Ann Taylor to the outfit because I love that it ties with a bow. My gray snakeskin Tory Burch ballet flats tied the whole outfit together. My rhinestone bracelet from Charming Charlie and my white enamel “H” bracelet from C. Wonder completed the outfit.
Homework: What is your favorite classic color palette?
This weekend I drove to Woodland Hills for a sorority reunion. I was really excited to see some of my Alphi Phi sisters that I kept in touch with via Facebook, but some I hadn’t seen in twenty-five years. We had a blast and I will be sharing more about the reunion this week.
Today, I wanted to focus on my travel outfit. It was about a two hour drive from Orange County, so I need to be comfortable. I ended up wearing my new camo flouncy skirt that I bought during our outlet field trip last week. The skirt was less than $20 at the Banana Republic outlet. I wore it with a black, satin-trimmed t-shirt, also from Banana Republic. I added my new Kendra Scott emerald green earrings from the Nordstrom Anniversary sale, a tassel necklace from Ann Taylor, my fedora, and my black Tory Burch sandals to complete the look. When I arrived, it was super hot and a group of us sat outside to greet people as they arrived. This out was perfect! Casual and cool!
Homework: Clearly, my straw fedora is my favorite accessory this summer. What is yours?
I love today’s outfit! I found this INC dress on the sale rack at Macy’s for $12. I kept it in my closet for a long time and wasn’t ready to wear it until recently. Today, I decided to go bold. I paired this bright patterned dress with my neon yellow cardigan from J. Crew. Then, I piled on the bling! Three rhinestone necklaces… from Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, and J. Crew were exactly what this dress and sweater combo needed. I then grounded the outfit with my black Coach wedges. This is the type of outfit that makes you standout, as you certainly can’t fly under the radar wearing these bright colors!
Homework: How do you style bright colors?
I’m headed out to do a little outlet shopping this week with two of my college sorority sisters. We have a reunion coming up soon, so we thought it would be fun to shop for some new outfits. Now, I’m sure you have figured out by now, that I wouldn’t just show up at the outlets without doing some prep work, or what I like to call R and D (research and development). First, I went online and printed out maps of the outlets. Where we are going there are two separate outlets that are right next store to one another. It’s important to look at all the choices and come up with a plan of attack. I started by highlighting the stores I want to visit. For this particular trip, I don’t really need anything specific, I’m looking for some good deals. I have a budget in mind, and will do my best to stick to it! I will for sure start out at the Banana Republic outlet. I’m hoping to find some summer work dresses that I can wear during the first weeks of school when it’s still really hot. Once I know how much of my budget is spent on basics at Banana, then I can move on to Kate Spade and Tory Burch. I definitely hope to find something fun! Kate Spade usually has great deals on jewelry and Tory has amazing shoes and bags. Also on the list is Coach, Burberry, Ann Taylor, J. Crew, Michael Kors, and Joe’s Jeans. All my favorite brands! Who knows what I will find!
In preparation for this shopping excursion, I cleaned out my closet and made a trip to Crossroads Trading Company to sell some clothes that no longer fit (too big, yay!). I made $70 selling things that I would have normally donated without thinking about the money making potential. It only took about a half an hour and I have an extra $70 to spend at the outlets.
Homework: How do you prepare for an outlet shopping trip