I visited the Chicago Botanic Gardens last week and fell in love with this pink and purple fuschia! The contrasting outer layer creates a bold surprise when the flower opens and is the perfect inspiration for fashionable layering. This color combination is fun, bright, and sure to put a smile on your face when you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror.
We all get stuck in fashion ruts every now and then because when we find a style that works, we want to embrace it. Today I realized that I am caught in the trap of trying to make everything versatile. It's cold here in Chicago and I decided that instead of wrapping myself in layers of down and fleece, I would go out and and find a new pair of jeans. Shopping for jeans is one of my least favorite activities, but I prepped ahead of time by scouting out the options online since I was trying to break my habit of buying the same jeans from LOFT (which are a little too short in the petite sizes, but way too long in the regular sizes). A few styles on the Levi's website looked promising so I walked into Levi's on Michigan Avenue...and immediately got distracted by an adorable printed sweatshirt. It wasn't part of my jean-buying mission, but I added it to my try-on pile anyway so I would have something uplifting if the jeans didn't fit well. They didn't, but the sweatshirt looked great!
As I was standing in front of the mirror feeling a bit bummed about the unflattering denim I had gotten my hopes up about, I found myself wishing that the sweatshirt was more versatile so I could justify buying it. But here's the thing: I wasn't at a loss for occasions I would be able to wear it. Actually I was thinking that this would be perfect for hanging out with friends on the weekend, a section of my wardrobe that is severely lacking. The problem I was getting hung up on was that I would only be able to wear it casually. It is not a piece that can be dressed up for a day at the office or dinner at a nice restaurant and as a result I was ready to skip it.
Although I write a lot about versatility here on the blog, I feel like I need to temper my enthusiasm for that topic with another sentiment. It's okay to have single-use clothes. In fact, to have a truly well-rounded wardrobe you will probably need to have a couple. Maybe it's a patterned sweatshirt that you can throw on with jeans and boots for a casual look to wear to the coffee shop or maybe it's a sequin top to wear to your friends' birthday dinners. Clothes don't have to be versatile in order to be useful. Just because I can wear a cardigan in every outfit, no matter the dress code, doesn't mean that I should or that I will enjoy doing so.
The motto of this blog is "love what you wear everyday." Somewhere along the way I got distracted from that. Luckily I had a pile of coupons burning a hole in my pocket so I got the sweatshirt from Levi's and another one (in a floral print) from LOFT. I might only get to wear them on the weekends, but that's okay. Not everything in your wardrobe has to be versatile as long as everything has a purpose.
Changing up your style for a new season can often be difficult because it has been almost an entire year since you last had to embrace that season. To help get your creative juices flowing, I have created three style challenges for you to try this week. These fall inspired outfits will help you rediscover your favorite cool weather pieces so you can happily retire your summer wardrobe until next year.
1. Fall weather means long(er) sleeves, but they don't all need to be the same length. Try pairing a long sleeved shirt with a sweater or blazer that only has a three quarter length sleeve. This will give a pop of contrasting color or pattern at the wrist for an interesting visual detail. Feel free to scrunch up the sleeves of the bottom layer if you want a softer edge.
2. More subdued colors are now on trend, but that doesn't mean that you have to dress in a monotone palette. Try mixing dark neutrals together, like a black sweater under a brown leather jacket or a dark blue silk blouse tucked into a charcoal grey skirt.
3. Long time readers will know that I absolutely love pattern mixing, especially florals and stripes. The cool weather is perfect for throwing on a patterned scarf over a striped tee or sweater. If you are unsure of where to start, pick a color palette and keep both of your patterns within it.
If you create an outfit you love from one of these challenges, please send me a photo! I love to hear from you all!
To view a larger version, click anywhere on the flowchart.
For a printable version, click here.
It is still hot and sticky today, but cooler weather is on its way. Check out these outfits for inspiration so you look stylish for the change of seasons and so you know what to look for when you hit up the Labor Day weekend sales!