Wednesday, October 1, 2014

the damage… september, 2014!

At the end of each month this year I am planning to pause to take a look at my spending as it's related to my closet. I call these posts "the damage." Each month my target budget is $300 and only 5 pieces of clothing or shoes. For 2014 I chose 5 items because I am working on making my closet a more curated place and also to try to put an end to the constant closet clean outs where loads of clothes get sent to charity - but I have failed pretty miserably at the 5 things goal. It was a lofty goal I experimented with this year and I guess you win some you lose some, but this was in the "lose" category for sure. Oh well, just keeping it real here for you gals!

 For some this budget may sound like a lot and for others it may not... for me personally this is my monthly goal. It works for my budget and lifestyle and doesn't break the bank. Shopping budgets are a personal thing, but I share mine here to show how I stretch my budget and work to create a well curated and fully stocked closet.

September was a bad month for shopping for me… I came away with a few great pieces but I mostly did my shopping online this month - which isn't necessarily out of character for me - with little to no luck. I returned a TON of stuff that didn't fit or I didn't like - which is very out of character for me.  I hate returning stuff and rarely, rarely do. I like to make final decisions in the fitting room.  Not only is it a huge pain to run to a million stores (again) to return or pack up boxes to return I always just feel disappointed doing it.  I hate to send back a gorgeous jacket or pair of jeans when they don't fit.  So overall it was a weird shopping month. I feel like I am a little behind on my fall wardrobe because of it.

Let's take a look at the pieces I did buy and keep this month…

Black Drapey Sweater, LOFT, $54.50 with coupon $29.50 (worn here)
White Lace Front Sweatshirt, LOFT, $59.50 on promotion for $29.50 (worn here)
Grey Jeweled Sweatshirt, LOFT, $54.50 on promotion for $29.50 (worn here)
Grey Button Back 3/4 Sweater, LOFT, $44.50 on promotion for $29.50 (worn here)
Space-Dye Blouson Tank Dress, LOFT, $54.50 on promotion for $21.80 (worn here)
Scarf, Zara, $29.90

Total Spent: $169.70 (saved: $127.70)

Thoughts on the budget: Obviously when shopping doesn't go as planned and there are returns it can be good to be under budget!  And last month I was quite over budget - so it does even the budget out a bit.  I am thankful for that.  LOFT always has great promotions and I took advantage of them this month for sure!  There are a few stores where it never makes sense to buy an item full price… LOFT is one of those, they have so many great deals.

Thoughts on the pieces: I didn't mean to buy only from LOFT this month (with the exception of the scarf). But I really love their offerings lately.  It's no surprise that I am into neutrals lately and this shopping month proved that as well.  I am sure you gals will ask, so these are the items I returned: these boots, this jacket, these jeans, this jacket.  These items would have definitely put me over budget and for October I am deciding if I should re-order in different sizing or not.  Stay tuned!

Do you share your monthly shopping budget on your blog? I would love to read it - share in the comments!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Have you seen the Elie Tahari for Kohl's line?

Elie Tahari just launched a clothing line for Kohl's inspired by the city that never sleeps - New York City! With an iconic reputation for modern womenswear Elie Tahari inspired his line for Kohl's after the city where he got his start in fashion.  With fun plays on cityscapes and skylines, and see if you can spy the Chrysler Building in one of his patterns… this line is perfect for dressing up or down for weekday or weekend wear.

I am loving the neutral palette and classic lines of this collaboration. Look for this line at your local Kohl's or online now!  Here are my top picks:


Aren't these such fun pieces? Check them out soon!

This post is sponsored in collaboration with Kohl's and Popsugar. All opinions are my own.

Monday, September 29, 2014

my everyday style: casual style with a lace sweatshirt!

I absolutely LOVE the sweatshirt trend these days… but I have to be careful in which styles I choose and how I style them other wise they can look really frumpy on me (or so the fitting room mirrors have told me).  This could actually be a blessing in disguise as my closet could be about 20+ strong right now with sweatshirts but instead I only have two or so.

This lace front sweatshirt is soft as a dream and fits just right with no frump quality.  It's the perfect relaxed fall piece and while I loved wearing it on it's own, it will be awesome to layer as well - I can tell already.

On another note I recently had an a-ha fitting room moment… I am often between a size XS and S at many stores and I recently found that a Small Petite from LOFT fits perfect!  So if you are on the petite side and are often between sizes try going up a size in Petite sizes and see how that works (perfect for those stores that carry petites like LOFT, Banana Republic and sometimes J.Crew).




(photos by Jennifer Ketchum)

Details:
Jeans, Gap (similar or similar)
Bracelet, Towne & Reese ℅ - old, but similar
Boots, Sam Edelman (similar)
Bag, J.Crew - on sale!! What a steal!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

how to style waxed denim!

Lately I have found myself pulling from my archives for new blog post content… have you noticed that? This is why:

I think that once you wear an outfit it's not done or expired.  I wear pieces multiple times (two days in a row sometimes even!) in real life… so I really feel like I should highlight that here on the blog.  I don't always have time to shoot one piece in 4 or 5 different looks… but pulling from the archives is a great way to highlight the versatility of one piece  - especially over the years or seasons.  The clothing we add to our closet should hold up style- and quality-wise to a high number of wears over the seasons and years.

Ultimately we want our wardrobes to feel fresh and new to us even when we've already worn everything once before. Mixing and matching the pieces we love into new outfits is the way to do it… (I talked more about that here) If we are always depending on new purchases to make getting dressed fun it can be expensive and a huge disservice to the great pieces we already own.

My kids and I have started watch The Cosby Show re-runs on Hulu.  That show has to hands down be one of the best shows ever - it is rich with humor, thoughtful family scenarios and parenting advice and I never get sick of watching the old episodes, it's so fun to see my kids watch them for the first time.  Granted my outfits in re-runs don't hold a candle to The Cosby Show in re-runs… but  still.  Nothing wrong with a re-run in my opinion.


waxed denim options:


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

my everyday style: jeweled sweatshirt!

I think we can all agree that sweatshirts are a major win this fall.  In flattering cuts and super soft fabrics - I am a fan.  Add a few jewels to that sweatshirt and we are really in business.  





(photos by Jennifer Ketchum)

Details:
Jacket, H&M (old - but similar)
Sweatshirt, LOFT (or similar or similar)
Jeans, Gap
Clutch, J.Crew Factory
Sunglasses, Warby Parker
Shoes, Piperlime

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

wish-listing for fall.

I feel like my wish list for fall is a million miles long right now! Am I alone? I always seem to fall into the trap of 'wanting all the things' each fall and this one is no exception.  The only problem is that I am kind of set on sweaters and tops and my wish list right now includes shoes, jeans and jackets - which tend to be a little pricier than a top or sweater. I've created quite the predicament for myself…

1. I am a little late on the Birks trend here… but I think they would be so fun with jeans and cozy sweaters this fall as one last hurrah to sandals. 

2. The sweaters at LOFT are killing me right now with their cute-ness.  This jeweled one is a definitely favorite.

3. The AG Stevie jean is one of my favorites… this distressed pair is swoon worthy!

4.  I've loved the Regent blazer since it first popped up at J.Crew this fall and last week I stopped by the store and made the mistake of trying it on… it's SO gorgeous in person and fits so amazing! This is going to be a hard one to resist.

5. I can never have enough plaid scarves. Who's with me?

6. A black moto leather jacket has been on my wish list for about 4 months now. It's hard to pull the trigger because the leather versions are $$$ and even the "pleather" versions aren't super inexpensive either.  This leather jacket is great… just great, isn't it?

7. I can't stop it with the distressed denim and this black pair are really calling my name.  I love Madewell jeans so much too.  Tough decisions here people.

8. This bag. That is all.

9. I have a really appetite for burgundy this fall.  These shoes are just delightful!

10. Again LOFT is really excelling at tops lately… I tried on this leather sleeve tee recently in store and left it behind, now I am having second thoughts.

What is on your fall wish list?

Monday, September 22, 2014

my everyday style: a little sporty!

Athleticism and physical activity don't come naturally to me whatsoever. I think it's because I tend to be quite uncoordinated and I'll be frank - I don't love to sweat so much either.  So this past summer when we had two quite "active" vacations on the docket I knew I needed some footwear that could work on mountains and trails and keeping up with my kids.  

I'm so glad that sneakers are having their moment "in style" right now because I wore these a lot this summer… all while still feeling like I was at least a little on the fashionable side.  Since then, I continue to get a lot of use out of these puppies.  They are perfect for fall weekends around town - or for hiking. I'm all for a versatile and handsome shoe.





(photos by Jennifer Ketchum)

Details:
Sweater, H&M (similar)
Gingham Top, Gap
Jeans, AG
Shoes, New Balance
Sunglasses, Warby Parker

Thursday, September 18, 2014

9 pieces | 9 outfits… fall 2014!

One of the most popular series here on the blog is definitely the 9 pieces | 9 outfits posts.  This fall I had fun pulling together some classic pieces with some great trends to create an easy to wear capsule wardrobe for fall.   I love the laid back vibe this season has with comfortable sweaters, track pants, tailored jackets and simple and gorgeous shoes.

I hope these 9 pieces and 9 outfits give you inspiration on how to mix and match your wardrobe and key pieces this fall.



the accessories: 

To see all the 9 pieces | 9 outfits posts - click here!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

my everyday style: le tote boutique box!

2014 is all about the subscription box. Is it not? And I, for one, am a huge fan of this type of service.

Enter Le Tote - a try before you buy personalized clothing subscription service. You tell them what you like/love/want to try and then they send you a box of clothing & accessories in your size for you to try… or buy! You decide!  You can wear stuff and return it all or wear stuff and keep and buy the pieces you like - even at a discounted rate.  One of the things I love the best is that the shipping is LIGHTING fast.  It's almost unbelievable how fast you can exchange your tote for a new one.  And with a monthly subscription you can change in your tote as many times as you want.  With this type of service you can totally experiment with your style and even treat the service like your own personal shopper.

I've gotten a few totes from Le Tote already and I have loved trying new styles and brands that I usually wouldn't choose for myself.  This gorgeous sweater has already gotten it's fair share of attention in my closet and this delicate bracelet that they recently sent couldn't be more my style lately.  I highly recommend you try out the service yourself!

Today I've partnered with Le Tote to not only highlight their really cool service - but to also give my readers an awesome discount on their first tote.  Use code: GoodLife for 50% off your first tote! (awesome, right!?!?)








(photos by Jennifer Ketchum)

Details:
Top, via Le Tote
Bracelet, via Le Tote
Jeans, Gap (similar, similar or similar)
Shoes, Madewell (similar or similar)
Sunglasses, Ray Ban
Bag, J.Crew

*this post is sponsored by Le Tote in partnership with Collectively, all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

lady like for fall…

The general theme and "style" for this fall is super neutral and a little on the tomboy side.  I'm loving the neutral vibe, I could wear black/grey/cream/navy for days on end.  But the tomboy trend throws me for a loop - I love the sneakers/graphic tee/ripped jeans stuff too… just sometimes I feel like I still need to add a little dash of femininity to my looks.

These lady-like pieces will take your neutral/tomboy style to new heights this fall...

Monday, September 15, 2014

my everyday style: waxed denim this fall!

It's always nice when a few trends carry over from one year to the next.  Not only is it easy on the wallet… but it's like bringing out old friends from your closet.  Waxed denim are one of those trends I was happy to see up for a repeat season.  Since I pretty much only wear jeans all fall/winter, I love to see variations on denim to keep my looks interesting and fresh.

Waxed denim elevates a look just a touch - I love that a simple outfit like this suddenly looks a little on the dressy side with waxed denim, heels and a sparkly necklace. On another note, a reader recently asked how I wash my waxed denim.  I wash them on cold water inside out and let them air dry.  This has successfully kept the "wax" look shiny - also I wash them as little as possible, but that is my standard rule for any jeans.





(photos by Jennifer Ketchum)

Details:
Denim Jacket, American Eagle - ℅ (old but similar)
Sweater, LOFT
Necklace, Baublebar (similar or similar)
Bag, Madewell
Sunglasses, Warby Parker
Heels, Sole Society (similar or similar)

Friday, September 12, 2014

my everyday style: the first of fall!

We've definitely gotten our first feel of fall here in West Michigan with a few very chilly mornings lately! Brrrrr! I'm still in denial that bathing suits and flip flops aren't in our normal repertoire of clothing anymore… so I still sneak in a few sandal wears here and there.  Usually I am sneaking in jeans & sweatshirts in August… but this year it was the other way around.  The summer was just too too short.

There are a few things about fall I sure do love though…
- dark nail polish again
- dark hair again (just got the summer sun taken out of my hair and it feels so fresh!)
- optional leg shaving
- cozy scarf wearing
- quiet afternoons at home while my kids are at school
- cider and donut indulging, which I have plans to do this weekend!







(photos by Jennifer Ketchum)

Details:
Scarf, H&M (old but similar, similar or similar)
Sweater, Banana Republic - 40% off today!!!!
Jeans, Gap (old but similar, similar or similar) - 25% off today!
Bag, J.Crew - arguably the best leather bag available for the price. I adore this bag.
Sunglasses, Ray Ban