work outfit: dandelion top + pencil skirt

Yay – finally a new blog post!  I had an entire series of posts planned for the end of last week, went to work on them and could not get “Blogger” (the web interface for this page) to work – ugh!  It took me almost an hour to load one picture and finally had to give up and go to bed.  I then left for a horse show and returned late Saturday.  I’ve noticed numerous bloggers switching to WordPress (similar, but different interface) and have to wonder if it wasn’t because of problems with Blogger.  Anyway, the good news is, it’s working again!  #enoughramblingalready
Today’s post was inspired by a Pinterest photo I found awhile back.  I honestly don’t know who the blogger is in the photo – if you do, please share! –  but I fell in love with her outfit.  I loved that she matched her shoes to her skirt and used a light and fun print to tie in the outfit.
My outfit:
Top: LOFT
Some fun options:

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work outfit: tropical skirt + tie neck sleeveless blouse

When I picked up this pencil skirt (almost sold out, now on super sale! check stores!) I just loved the color, but needed some inspiration for color pairing.  Neutrals were the obvious (white, beige), but wanted to wear something more interesting. I turned to InStyle magazine and their “what to wear with **** color” for inspiration.  Never fails! I was really happy with the way this turned out. I feel both professional and fun!
Flats: Banana Republic (similar, similar, similar)

 

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a blog reflection + work outfit: ikat a-line skirt + yellow necklace

J.Crew Factory skirt, LOFT top, Target necklace, Merona flats
(**A lot of babble below about the blog, if you prefer the outfits only and could care less about my bloggity heart to heart – feel free to scroll down for an outfit post! 🤓 )
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Hey all, I know, I know, I’ve been absent again!  The “lull” I spoke about in my last post unfortunately continued for the last couple of weeks.  I honestly felt like I needed to sit down and truly reflect on what this blog means to me and what my goals are moving forward.  If you’ve taken a peek at the “about” section above, I originally started the blog a year & a half ago after all the inspiration I received from Pinterest, other blogs, magazines, etc.  I wanted to learn to dress better for my workplace and feel more confident.  I also loved the fact I had a “diary” so-to-speak of all my outfits!
When I first discovered other style blogs years ago (thanks Pinterest!), I had a long list of everyday favorites.  Since then, that list has unfortunately dwindled. It used to be that most bloggers had everyday jobs just like the rest of us. Unfortunately, blogging has turned into a full-time job to some and with that comes lots of $$, sponsored posts, and un-attainable and un-realistic outfits (all my opinion of course).  Bloggers that used to purchase affordable clothes and played with colors, trends, and prints are now wearing very similar (if not the same) types of items that all cost about 4 car payments. It’s not realistic, and although the pictures are beautiful, I find zero inspiration in a $500 pair of heels, and a huge, fluffy midi skirt that I could never wear in real life.
I also had to come to the realization that I will never be one of those bloggers.  I’m short, slightly overweight, I have a very real job, a ton of student debt, a husband, and a goal was to always keep this blog very, very real. Have you noticed I never wear heels?  That’s because I don’t own a single pair.  I can’t wear them to work and wear wedges when I go out, so why have them in my closet?
  Thanks to the discovery of GOMI (“Get Off My Internets”), I know I’m not the only one that feels that way!  (It’s a hoot – you should check it out – basically all kinds of funny snark that most of us would never be brave enough to say, but we all think it!) A lot of readers express their annoyance with the movement in blogging and how unattainable and unrealistic things have become (some of it’s also downright mean… but entertaining… or I’m slightly evil LOL).
So, I sat down and realized I have a couple of options. A) Shut the blog down… or B) Make a statement and although I may never replace my income with this blog, I can find satisfaction in that I’m true to who I am, what I wear, and hopefully inspire those that want to read a blog by someone just like them!
I do shop at the same stores over and over and over,  but there is a reason for that. They are affordable (Sales, rewards, and free shipping! What’s not to love?), obtainable (have you read the return policy for some boutiques? Sometimes you either can’t return an item… or you have like 7 days… no thanks, when I can get the same item from Banana and have 45 days to return it to my local mall!), and I feel relatable to my readers. Those big box brands are easy to work with, and you can always find the item on sale. Sure, no one wants to wear the exact same outfit as someone else, but that’s where I need to be more diligent about providing you “similar” items, versus only the original.  I totally get that some people may hate the way J. Crew items fit them and find it much easier to shop at places like Macy’s or Kohl’s — I feel that way about certain brands also!
After much consideration on what my goals and inspirations are, I do want to continue with the blog – very much so!  I just needed to re-focus on what is important to me in regards to this blog (being relatable!) and what direction I want to head in. It truly is all about inspiration. I want to be more transparent about where my outfit ideas come from and also pass along new bloggers and favorites I find along the way — because like I said earlier, some of the bloggers I used to follow have long been deleted!
If you made it til here, I truly appreciate your support and thank you for reading my blog.  If I could provide an “upgrade” for you, in addition to providing more inspiration, it would be to take more aesthetic photos.  I’ve said in the past I would love to take photos outside; as much as I roll my eyes at the Chloe bag other bloggers are carrying these days, their pictures are very pretty!  #goals
Anyway, thanks for making it this far and below I have a new outfit post. Enjoy!
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When I search for inspiration photos, I always pick out one piece in my closet and go from there. I found the picture of Reece Witherspoon below (love her style!) on Pinterest.  I don’t own a yellow bag or flats, so used this yellow necklace instead, paired with other neutral accessories. My skirt is old, but I found several other blue & white printed skirts that would work just as well!  My top is also old, but LOFT brought out a near identical dupe this season – one of my favorite easy tops to piece with just about everything.
Top: LOFT (dupe, similar, similar)
Flats: Target (same, similar, cute for summer!)
Necklace: J. Crew Factory (same style, similar, similar)
Handbag: Target (same, similar, similar)

 

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work outfit: pencil skirt + tank

I have a couple new items I just want to rave about this week!  You all know my love for all things J. Crew runs deep.  My outfit here is pretty boring overall — I wanted something cool and easy to fill in a short 3 hour work shift this afternoon.  I started out wearing the Tory Burch flats shown in the full outfit picture (which are incredibly comfortable), but ended up switching them out for these fun aztec-printed flats! I also picked up the fun clutch from Target shown in the second picture — right now accessories are buy one, get one 50% off! — and it’s a lot of fun!  The aztec flats are on clearance as well. 🙂
Instagram photo:
Flats: J. Crew Factory (clearance!)
Necklace: Banana Republic (30% off with BR card, use code BRSUMMER)
Handbag: Kate Spade
Outfit photo:
Clutch: Target (buy one, get one 50% off!)
Flats: Tory Burch

 

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work outfit: seersucker skirt + henley blouse

A little over a week ago I posted a few outfit creations from J. Crew Factory new arrivals (here).  I couldn’t wait to wear this new seersucker print pencil skirt, and planned to bring my outfit to life with the embroidered print top. Unfortunately when the top arrived it was way too big (size down!). I loved the top though and quickly mailed it back for hopefully an exchange!  I went ahead and paired the skirt with your typical white/light pink classic pairing with seersucker print.  I felt classic and clean all day long to work, but will be excited to pair the skirt next with the embroidered top.

Top: LOFT (similar, similar)

Skirt: J. Crew Factory

Necklace: Express

Watch: Michael Kors

Flats: Banana Republic (similar, similar)

Handbag: Target

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I also have a fun find!  One of my favorite necklaces from last year, this gold coin necklace that I wear all the time is back in stock!  I’m not sure if it’s “back by popular demand” or they just had overstock, but you won’t be disappointed!  Also, use code “BRSAVE” for 40% off today! Also, scroll down to the bottom of their page to see yours truly wearing the necklace 😉 #humbled.

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work outfit: striped skirt + white blouse

In theory, I wanted this outfit to turn out better than it did. I recently sold an older simple oxford white blouse and replaced with the one shown in this picture. I love that the sleeves are 3/4 length, making it just slightly different than the norm.  I found on Pinterest an outfit very similar to this, however the blogger was wearing cognac high heels and a denim jacket (on top of her also plain jane oxford shirt). Somehow, my outfit turned out insanely slightly more dorky  >:-)

Flats: Target
Handbag: Target

 

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work outfit: teal blouse + pencil skirt

LOFT flutter top, J.Crew Factory pencil skirt, Target Merona bag, Target Merona flats

This is what I wore last Friday to work. It’s very colorful, but also very simple. I only had to pop in for a few hours to cover another pharmacist’s lunch break and didn’t want to put in a ton of effort.  I felt like the top itself with the bright color and tie-neck added enough interest I could get away with minimal jewelry and no prints.  Ohh and lookie here, it’s Monday again. 🙂

SHOP THIS LOOK:
Top: LOFT (sale!)
Handbag: Target
Flats: Target

 

work outfit: plain tee + pink pencil skirt

I wore this outfit to work a couple days ago and it was somewhat of an afterthought. I wanted to wear this floral necklace and knew I needed to keep it simple in order not to over-do my outfit.  The pencil skirt matched pretty well and was an easy pick. From there I decided to keep it even more simple with a plain gray tee.  Albeit simple, I was very happy with the overall result!
Tee:  Ann Taylor
Skirt:  J. Crew
Necklace:  Bauble Bar
Handbag:  Kate Spade (same style, similar)
Flats:  Banana Republic (similar, similar)
Watch:  Michael Kors

 

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work outfit: floral skirt + pink tee

I waited forever and ever and ever (or so it felt like) to purchase this skirt!  It finally went on sale, plus an extra 40% off (plus I had a reward… always helps!) a couple weeks ago and I was ecstatic!  It’s so flowy and pretty, and one of those pieces you hold onto in your closet for awhile.  The same print comes in both a pencil skirt and pair of pants. I chose this flowy pleated skirt since I don’t have anything like it in my closet, and so happy I did!
SHOP THIS LOOK:
Top:  Ann Taylor (similar, similar)
Handbag: Kate Spade
Necklace: Express

 

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work outfit: polka dot pencil skirt + sweater

Feeling bright and cheery in this semi-loud outfit!  When I originally placed the order online for this pencil skirt, I received a pair of white jeans instead.  J. Crew’s customer service is nothing short of amazing, and they immediately sent out a new skirt.  I had to make an exchange for a couple other items that didn’t fit, and they agreed to waive all shipping if I returned the elusive jeans.  Deal!  Meanwhile, when the customer service rep pulled up this navy dot skirt to re-order, her response was “Wow, those are BIG dots!” Needless to say, I was a little worried to now see this skirt in person.  Clearly her idea of big dots, and my idea of big dots, are skewed because I’m quite happy with the dots. 😉 I do recommend going down one size as these skirts run a little big in the waist.
Sweater:  J. Crew (my color is old)
Flats:  Banana Republic (similar, similar)
Necklace:  Purple Peridot
Watch: Micheal Kors (similar, similar)