inexpensive holiday outfit inspiration.

i’ll admit, i’m feeling a bit lackluster in my holiday style this year. i’ve opted out of buying anything new (waaaaah!) until after i know what christmas brings, but because of my recent closet purges, i haven’t really added anything that i feel exceptionally festive in.

i decided that i’m going to rely on my staple outfits, but i’ll add some festive holiday flair to them with some inexpensive items. think tights, socks, scarves, makeup and jewelry. it’s not exactly a reinvention of the wheel, but i think we all find ourselves in a place where we don’t have the “perfect” outfit and need a way to make what we have work for the occasion.

i honestly get a lot of inspiration for this from my friends. in particular, my friend caitlin is notoriously good at looking perfect for whatever occasion she’s in, whether it’s brunch or a bachelorette party, while hanna (she’s actually a cousin-friend) is amazing at using accessories + jewelry to look amazing ALL THE TIME. every time i’m with either of them, i’m like, alright, i am going to look adorable every day by copying them. it usually lasts for two days until i fall back into my old ways, but every now and again (like during the holidays), i get reinspired and try my best to live up to their awesomeness.

for the sake of this post, i’m going to take one dress and show how with a few changes to little things, you can have multiple outfits to wear to holiday events (which, if you’re anything like me, you have plenty of).

scarf + tights + hair

add tights, a scarf and a cute updo to any simple dress for a simple holiday outfit.

scarf: CAbi | dress: stitchfix | tights: target | shoes: macys (old, similar here) | makeup favorites: here



my original plan for this look was to wear my cranberry tights, because cranberry is festive and also you know i love it. but then i realized my cranberry tights had a HUGE run in them (please tell me that happened when i got home from wherever i wore them last, amen.) and had to improvise. i like how the purple tights turned out! they’re not too flashy for those of you who don’t like that sort of thing, but they add a fun, unexpected pop of color in a not too obvious holiday way. a topknot is always a good idea when going for the holiday vibe (and also when you were out at the last party too late and decided that washing your hair was overrated).

shoes + jewelry


necklace: CAbi | shoes: banana republic (old, similar here)



you can’t go wrong with leopard shoes. that’s a fact. they’re basically a neutral, and yet they scream, LOOK AT HOW GREAT AND FUN I AM! tell me, where is the downside? i paired these with the same purple tights as before, but you could wear black tights, grey tights, any tights with these, or go bare-legged if you live in a climate suitable for that sort of craziness. and i’m not usually a statement necklace sort of gal, but if any occasion calls for some glitz around your neck parts, it’s a holiday party.

makeup + jewelry


makeup favorites: here | eyeshadow + bronzer: urban decay naked on the run palette (unavailable) | lips: revlon (similar here) | necklace: target (old)



i love a bold lip any old time of year. give me orange lips in the summer, berry lips in the fall, and fuschia lips ALWAYS. but never is there a more fitting time for a classic red lip than the christmas holiday. it’s color appropriate, it’s fun, and it goes with everything. paired with some brown + slightly sparkly eyes, it’s classic without being boring. the palette i used for the eyes is unavailable, but use any matte light/dark browns with some brown/gold shimmer and you’ll match it easily. i went for a colorful necklace here to complement my lips and because my dress is so neutral, but it would be so cool to get something big and shiny and neutral to wear with something more colorful or festive.

hope you liked these ideas and that they gave you a bit of inspiration for this week. let me know if you’re like me and constantly looking for last-minute holiday outfits. what are your tips + tricks for making it work without going online shopping crazy?

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how to find your personal style (part three).

if you missed my first post or my second post on this topic, i highly recommend taking a moment to go back and read them. it will give you all the background you need so you won’t be lost as we jump into part three of this series. make sure to save or pin these posts so you can come back to them if you decide to use these tips down the road!


okay, so by now you’ve hopefully cleaned out your closet, identified your personal style themes and given your style a name. high five, amazing job, does it feel wonderful? hopefully! now your ready for the last step, filling the gaps and living your damn life.

not everyone will need to fill gaps. you might have started with enough clothing or had a good enough grip on your style to get rid of just enough to have a solid wardrobe. i was almost there, but did find some gaps here and there that needed to be filled (and still need to be filled, if we’re being honest). you might find that once you went through your dresses, you were left with a handful you love, which makes you want to wear more dresses like that, but you need to invest in a few to round out your collection. in my case, for work and everday dresses, i love jersey knits with tailored waists and swingy skirts, as well as shirtdresses with belts. but i only have one or two of each of these. i could stand to pick up a couple more in black, gray, or green (hell, maybe a nice blush color too).

edited wardrobe dress wishlist

you might also find that you’re fine with jeans, but your shorts collection could use a little boost. i realized that while i am totally set with my tank tops, short sleeve shirts and sweatshirts, i’m woefully lacking in simple, long-sleeved shirts. this is a problem where i live, and i’m not sure how i didn’t realize this sooner? question mark? once you fill your style gaps, all you have to do is remember what you’ve learned and go out into the world & look gorgeous.

edited wardrobe wishlist 2

how to find your personal style

(filling gaps AND looking gorgeous)

  1. identify gaps in your wardrobe. are there any items that you know you love, but you’re starting out with only one or two pieces? when you look at your wardrobe, is there anything you’re outright missing like long-sleeved shirts, blazers, or shorts? once you see what you’re missing, make a list of the key pieces you want to add to your wardrobe. [insert photo collages of key pieces for wardrobes; tops/bottoms/dresses]
  2. fill the gaps in your wardrobe. don’t feel like you have to do this all at once. in fact, anytime you add pieces to your wardrobe, it should be a well thought out process, and you should take the time you need to do it right. don’t buy a piece just because it’s the right color, or has the right length of sleeves. anything that you buy should be something you love, because otherwise you’re going to have to repeat step one of this process over and over again. now that you know your style inside and out, you can tell what you love and what you’ll wear, so make your choices accordingly.
  3. look gorgeous. this is self-explanatory. now that you know what clothes make you feel good, getting dressed everyday isn’t going to be a chore because you know you’ll love anything you put on. and when getting dressed isn’t a stressful process, you’re going to be happier and more confident in your own skin and your personal style.

i hope that these tips have been helpful for you. i know that my mornings are so much easier now that i’ve gone through this exercise, and easy morning make me really happy. hopefully you find the same to be true. also, if you ever want help naming your style, please let me know because i live for that stuff!

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how to find your personal style (part two).

if you missed my first post on this topic, i highly recommend taking a moment to go back and read it. it will give you all the background you need so you won’t be lost as we jump into part two of this series. make sure to save or pin these posts so you can come back to them if you decide to use these tips down the road! click here to read the final post in the series. 


now that you’ve gone through and cleaned out your wardrobe, you’re starting with a clean slate. you’re hopefully down to the clothes that you love and actually wear, which is the best feeling ever, right? and now comes the fun part, at least if you’re a nerd like me. taking what you have and using it to find what your personal style really is.

the great thing about the next step is that it allows to to learn things about your style that you might not have been aware of before (who knew that you liked relaxed denim more than skinnies?), and it allows you to be creative while still following a style blueprint that you set for yourself.

the important thing to remember as you go through and identify themes and name your style is that you need to make it a judgement free process. for example, i realized that i own a silly amount of leggings. but because i did the work to figure out what i love and wear, that’s okay, because they all get some use, even if it means i’m not the high fashion maven i wish i could be. once i let go of some of my preconceived notions of my style, i’m able to more fully express myself in what my style actually is instead of what i wish it was.

how to find your personal style

(identifying themes and naming your style)

  1. notice any common color themes. what colors does your style tend toward? are all your tops in vibrant, bold colors? do you lean more towards neutral tops with colored bottoms? or are you black on black on black, all day everyday? once you identify your color themes, you have a better idea of what to add to your wardrobe in the future. if you’ve figured out that you NEVER wear pastels, then you also know to not buy any pastels, because they’ll just go to waste. how-to-find-your-personal-style
  2. notice any common style themes. when i took a closer look at my wardrobe, i was shocked at how clear my style became. i clearly favor classic dress silhouettes, styles with nipped-in waists, and relaxed tops with fitted bottoms. when you start to notice style themes in your own wardrobe, you might see that you love tops that show off your arms, or high-waisted bottoms. it doesn’t matter what you find, as long as it helps you identify your style more clearly for the future. how-to-find-your-personal-style
  3. let go of your preconceived notions. we all have trends and styles we wish we could wear and look good in. but the reality is that some of us (me) will never look good in some styles (racerback tanks). and it’s okay to be okay with that. once you let go of what you wish your style was, the sooner you can embrace what your style is, and make it your own.
  4. give your style a name. this is my favorite part of the process, because you get to nerd out a bit. when you name your personal style, you make it official. i’ve dubbed my style “classic bohemian”. i tend to like classic cuts and colors, but at the same time lean towards styles that are more relaxed and easygoing. now whenever i see the words “classic”, “relaxed”, “bohemian”, “comfortable”, “polished”, etc. describing clothing, i know that there’s a good chance that it’ll fit my style. your style might be “retro chic” or “uptown polished”, but whatever it is, it’s yours to embrace!

next week i’ll share the final post on this topic and talk about filling the gaps in your newly identified personal style. hope to see you there!

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how to find your personal style.

follow these links to read part two and part three in this series. 

i like to think of myself as a how-to blogger. i’m not necessarily a style blogger, or a beauty blogger, or a craft blogger, or any other “type” of blogger. i know that makes me a lifestyle blogger. but isn’t a lifestyle blogger just someone who blogs about how to do life? that’s what i think it is and this is my lifestyle blog, so what i say goes. kablam.




in the spirit of how-to blogging, today i wanted to dig a little deeper into my post about using the konmari method. one of the things i mentioned in that post is how i learned that i’m a big fan of neutral tops paired with basic OR colorful bottoms. after cleaning everything out, the bulk of my wardrobe now consists of black, grey, beige, white, stripes and green shirts. in the past, i would use this realization as an excuse to go shopping for more shirts, because i obviously NEED that adorable purple top from banana republic since i have no purple shirts.

but what i’ve realized that i don’t need any purple tops, because i don’t have any purple tops.

was that confusing? here’s what i mean. because i’ve gone through my wardrobe and narrowed it down to only what i love + wear, if i don’t already wear a color, then chances are, i’m probably never going to wear it. it would be a waste of money to buy anything but what i know i’ll love and wear. and we don’t want to waste money do we? no, we do not. once you find your personal style, everything from shopping to getting dressed gets easier, and i think we can all get on board with that.

i’m going to start out with the first, and in my opinion, most important step: cleaning out and organizing your wardrobe. it’s hard to identify your style amidst the clutter of an unorganized wardrobe, so this step is going to help you see what you have + love, and allow you to identify your personal style more easily.

how to find your personal style 

(clean out your clothes)

  1. use the konmari method. if you’re into the idea of a capsule wardrobe, but the idea of making a new one every season is exhausting, then this might be the method for you. go back and read my original post for more details, but the general idea is that you go through all of your clothes at once and you choose what clothes to keep based on if they bring you joy or not. so at the end of the exercise, you should be down to only clothes you love and wear, and you’re starting with a clean slate.
  2. use the backwards hanger method. this is a very common method to get rid of clothes you never wear. you turn all the clothes in your closet so the hangers face one way. when you wear an item of clothing, you turn that hanger around to face the opposite way. then at a specific date in the future, three months/six months/etc., any hangers that you haven’t turned around to face the opposite way are the ones that you should get rid of. the idea is that if you haven’t worn a piece of clothing in that amount of time, chances are you are never going to wear it, and it should just go. finding your personal style
  3. keep a “not interested” bin in your room. this method is great if you’re a little nervous about “giver’s remorse”. you keep a bin in the corner of your room, and whenever you come across an item of clothing that you aren’t interested in, or you find that every time you put an item on you end up taking it off and not wearing it, you put it in the bin. instead of taking the clothes to give away right away, you just keep them in the bin, and then every month or so, if you haven’t missed an item or needed any of the items in the bin, you give all of them away without looking at them again. the idea is that it gives you time to change your mind, but once you’ve hit the limit you’ve given yourself, you commit and give it all away at once. i like this method a lot, and i’ve used it myself many times in the
  4. get rid of things that aren’t in good condition. if you are really hesitant about getting rid of any clothes, start small with this tip. forget about figuring out what you want to wear, and what you actually wear. go through your clothes and just get rid of items that are stained, have holes, or that don’t fit you the right way + aren’t the right size. you can be certain that you aren’t ever going to wear these things, and can feel okay getting rid of them. it won’t completely reset your wardrobe, but it will get rid of the clutter and make the rest of your clothes easier to see.

once you’ve cleaned out your clothes, you will be at a place where you can assess your wardrobe easily, and you’ll be able to start identifying your personal style more specifically.

next week i’ll continue this topic and explain how to identify patterns + themes and how to give your personal style a name…which is more important than you might think!

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my work uniform.

if you’ve been around for a while, you might remember when i originally posted about my work uniform, over two years ago. that was pre-baby, pre-job change, pre-lots of things in my current life. and while it hasn’t changed up too much, my style has grown up enough to warrant an update.

the biggest way my work uniform has changed is that button-down shirts are now on the list of acceptable items. they used to be strictly forbidden (by me) because of the way they made me look pregnant (or so i thought). as someone who has now actually been pregnant, i can tell you with certainty that when we all say, “oh that makes me look pregnant”, 99% of the time we do not, in fact, look pregnant. that being said, i won’t wear just any button-down. in fact, i am very, very picky about them. but the good news is that the kind i like to wear happen to be very easy to find right now.

work uniform

my favorites are the calvin klein zip-pocket roll sleeve shirts. the fit is wonderful; they’re fitted without being tight, and tailored without being too formal. i have them in four colors (and am biding my time to buy a fifth) and i wear them so often that Mister Man has been asking if i’m ever going to buy new work clothes (so judgey!). i told him that i’m just dressing like men do, in pants and shirts every day. it’s my uniform after all. i buy mine at herbergers, but you can also find shirts like this at h&m, forever21, and other boutique type stores.

i’m still loving my black skinny pants and i’m probably due for a new pair. they are all i wear now, because my legs were blissfully unaffected by my pregnancy weight. come to think of it, if i’m staying true to my konmari principles, i should probably just get rid of all my other work pants…the skinny fit lets me wear flowier tops without being too unbalanced in my proportions, and they look really put together when paired with leather booties or a classic black pump.

i will throw on a sweater/t-shirt combo every now and then, but since i’ve just now started to get serious about getting in pre-baby shape, the fitted things haven’t felt as comfortable to me. i’m much more likely to throw on a pullover sweater or a shirtdress. regular dresses were off-limits until i was done breastfeeding because i didn’t want to get completely disrobed three times a day while pumping. but now that i’m done, i’m back on the dress train. my latest favorite is one that i got in my last stitchfix. it feels like a sweatshirt, hits at the perfect work length, and is tailored enough to be appropriate for my office. also, same shoe reason as above. i wear it FAR too often.

work uniform

so to sum up, my work uniform is basically:

  • skinny black pants + loosely fitted button down
  • skinny black pants + pullover sweater
  • dress + tights (optional)

pretty easy, right? i love having a limited number of options to choose from in the morning. it makes the start of my day so much smoother when i don’t have to think about things matching or being appropriate. i just know that whatever i grab out of my closet is going to work. do you guys have self-imposed work uniforms, or are you more throw on whatever you’re feeling kind of people?

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