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10 Day Style Challenge – Part V

I bet that you never thought you’d see this day… It’s my fifth and FINAL post of the Freckles in April 10 Day Style Challenge! If you’d like to learn some background on the challenge or see the photographs and prompts that you’ve missed so far, check them out here: Part I, Part IIPart III & Part IV.

Freckles in April

 

Day 9: Open To Interpretation

This is a slightly different type of prompt that Days 1 through 8, for OTI we were given an image (the one below) and asked to put together an outfit inspired by it.

I took one look and emailed Holly in a panic: “I don’t own anything teal – No clothes OR accessories.” Luckily for me though, you were just supposed to use it as an idea to draw from rather than an outfit to be recreated piece by piece. So I took another look and tried to be more creative in my approach. I realized that what I liked most about the look was the colorblocking aspect. So colorblock I did.

{Top – Zara, Navy Sailor Pants – H&M, Cream Aviator Coat – Mango, Bag & Charm Bracelet – Vintage & Slingbacks – BCBGirls}

I’m a big dress and skirt girl, especially at work, so I was excited to put together another pants look. One of the biggest impacts of this challenge for me so far as been actually wearing clothes that have been sitting in my closet untouched & unloved for – in some cases – years. I need to do a better job of wearing all of my clothes – Which I actually made part of my February goals.

Day 10: Something That Scares You

This one was suggested by Miss Nemesis toward the end of the last round and I filed it away in my brain box. I think most (if not all) of us have some trend or ensemble we’d love to try if only it didn’t scare us silly. We’ve tried it in the safety of our bedrooms only to turn chicken at the last-minute and change into one of our go-to backup outfits before walking out the door.

I was pleased to read Kayla’s comment about trying new outfits on and then changing your mind and changing your clothes before leaving the house. I’ve done that so many times and I’m thrilled that I’m not the only one who does that! I’m a complete coward when it comes to so many things that I didn’t really know where to start on this one. My number one fear for years and years was wearing color, but I’ve actually managed to embrace them over the last few months. So what did I decide to go out in public in for Day #10 despite my terror?

PUFFS!!!

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I live in fear of puffs!

Confused? Understandable, let me explain. Puffy sleeves, draping tops, pointy shoulders, Dolman & batwing sleeves and cowl necks all fill me with childlike terror – basically anything that has extra fabric on top. And the insane part is that not only do I adore them on other people, I’ve even bravely bought a few pieces over the years after overly ambitious stints in dressing rooms. So I pulled a puffy-sleeved two-toned dress out of my closet AND a puffy-sleeved cropped faux leather jacket and headed to work.

{Dress & T-Staps: BCBG, Cropped Jacket: Miss Selfridge, Belt: Zara & Jewelry: Vintage}

I got a number of compliments and was really excited about the end result, hopefully this will be just the beginning of me facing my fears when it comes to fashion!While the 10 Day Challenge has ended if you haven’t gotten enough fashion you’re in luck, New York Fashion Week starts Thursday!

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10 Day Style Challenge – Part IV

This is the 4th of the five posts that I’m going to publish relating to the Freckles in April Winter Style Challenge. By way of background, the purpose of this little exercise is to challenge myself to try new styles, put together interesting clothing combinations that I haven’t tried before and learn to look outside the box when it comes to my personal approach to fashion.

If you’d like to catch up on what you missed so far, here are the previous installments: Part I, Part IIPart III.

Freckles in April

 

Day 7: Bright Colors

Winter tends to be a time of blacks, grays and browns. My trips into public places have been awash in people clad in dark neutrals. It fits the weather and, sometimes, our moods, but bright colors have their place in winter too! For tomorrow I want you to add bright color to your winter wardrobe. It can be all over color or a small splash- whatever works for you.

Rather than do an all-over color or even a single neon piece, I wanted to simply do a splash of color to brighten up an otherwise traditional look. Luckily I found some great inspiration on three fashion blogs that I like to frequent on occasion.


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What I liked about each of these looks – and what I hoped to achieve with the outfit that I was putting together for myself – was to use the color as a way to highlight and emphasize. A way to draw the eye to certain pieces that I wanted to show off. In this case my accessories – gloves, scarf and gorgeous faux leather planner.

{Bags – Vintage & Longchamp, Coat – bought in Rome yeeears ago, Scarf – from Manila market, Dress – Max Studio, Ballet Flats – Lucky, Jewelry – Vintage & Gloves – A gift from my mother}

I absolutely love this coat and I was thrilled to be able to make it part of my look after rescuing it from the depths of my closet. Which I have to admit was half the reason that I wanted to do this challenge in the first place, rediscovering buried treasure!

Day 8: Dress Up A Coat

Coats in and of themselves tend to be icing. I think just about everyone who lives in a cooler climate has a decent, good-looking coat that adds instant polish or style to their outfit. The idea of dressing up a coat hadn’t really occurred to me (possibly just because I live in AZ which doesn’t have a real winter) until I saw this post from Elsie at A Beautiful Mess.

Want to know what went through my head when I read this prompt?

THIS IS MINE!!! MIIINE!!! (Insert evil laugh here)

And why, you ask? Because right behind ‘purse addiction’ on the list of reasons why my friends and family will one day send me to rehab is ‘coat fetish.’ I kid. You. Not.

Clearly my issue was going to be narrowing it down. Then I had a moment of blind panic when I realized that I had already worn my two favorite coats. OH. MY. G*D.

P.S. I refuse to apologize for the fact that clothes, my closets and getting dressed make me so emotional – it’s just who I am. 🙂

The next step was to find some direction and then pick which coat would become the foundation of my look. Similar to the great post that Kayla found on A Beautiful Mess, I found a fab Do It Yourself style post that included one of my favorite things in the world – PEARLS. The Beaded Collar Blouse post that Moda, Moda published was a simple-to-follow How To on spicing up a standard blouse with extras like studs, beads or pearls.

Perfect! And while I’m determined to try this out on one of my blouses in the very near future, I didn’t want to do anything quite this drastic to my chosen coat yet so I used this as inspiration and went a slightly different route…

Rather than glue individual pearls to my coat lapels, I deconstructed a couple of costume jewelry pearl necklaces and sewed the strands on either side, under the adorable Peter Pan collar of my cropped coat. As a finishing touch I pinned some cute vintage heart charms to one of the strands of pearls, to give it a retro-feel.

Stay tuned for the final Challenge post next week!

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10 Day Style Challenge – Part III

This is the third installment of the 10 Day Challenge: Winter Edition hosted by the lovely Kayla of Freckles in April. This is such a great idea because it really forces you to get out of your comfort zone, give up your go-to outfits, and try something truly new. I urge you to give it a try if you’re interested in spicing up your fashion routine – Join us!

Would you like to see what you’ve missed from this challenge so far? Check out Part I and Part II.

Freckles in April

Day 5: Pattern Mixing

Our other repeat from the last challenge. I chose this one specifically because it was difficult for people. BUT the thing I read most from that day was, “This was hard but I love my outfit!” And that is what I am going for here. So tomorrow I want you to mix up some patterns and love it.

I’m not going to lie. When I read this prompt I freaked out a little. I’m a solids girl. Yes, I have patterned pieces and I mix them in on occasion, but mixing all patterns? Ek! Luckily I found some amazing inspiration.


{Source, Source & Source}

AND OnTheRacks had impeccable timing and published a post filled with gorgeous photographs from an editorial that was just bursting with patterns and prints and gave me even more inspiration.

{Dress – Vintage, Shirt – Zara, Booties & Belt – BCBG, Clutch – Forever 21, Jewelry – Vintage & Tiffany’s and Christian Dior Sunglasses}

The pictures may show it, but as hard as I tried, I just could not get comfortable in this outfit! I was actually going to change and try again but I ran out of time since I had a dinner guest coming over and needed to prepare. I was glad that I thought of mixing a black & white floral printed dress with a blue and white striped shirt and a similarly colored belt, but I definitely wasn’t in my element…Day 6: Decade or Region

I’m sure we all have a decade that speaks our sartorial language and over the past few years we’ve seen a huge interest in vintage fashion. Victory rolls, wide legged jeans, neon…all places we’ve bravely gone before but don’t mind revisiting. My inspiration pictures start in the 20s but you can go as far back as you want for inspiration (know how to update a fig leaf? I would love to see that).

You guys know how much I love 60’s fashion and channeling the likes of Twiggy but I wanted to do something a little bit different for this prompt. With Mad Men being all the rage last year and Banana Republic even launching a capsule collection based on the show’s fashion, I thought I might give the late 50’s a go.

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I adored both the Louis Vuitton Fall 2010 Ready-To-Wear collection and Michael Kors’s 2008 Ready-To-Wear show (in fact, I inherited a khaki Escada suit from my mother that I want to have tailored in the style of the latter) so I used them as my inspiration for today’s look.

{Skirt, Blouse, Bag & Jacket – Zara, Faux Fur Scarf – BCBGeneration, Sunglasses – Christian Dior, Kitten Heels (sorry Hayley) – Steve Madden, Jewelry – Vintage and Gloves – H&M}

So. Much. Fun. It was such a blast to throw together this outfit and go a little over the top for work. I especially loved the button-up back of the blouse with the sweet leopard-print Peter Pan collar. Definitely one of my favorite pieces to wear right now. Stay tuned for more fun over the next four looks of this challenge.

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10 Day Style Challenge – Part II

Welcome to Part II of Freckles in April‘s 10 Day Challenge: Winter Edition. In an attempt to keep my personal style interesting and steer clear of fashion ruts I’m participating in this fashion challenge. Each day Kayla provides us with a theme for our outfit and we dress accordingly, then share the pictures.

If you’d like to catch up on Day 1 & Day 2 you can see them here.

Freckles in April

Day 3: Embrace A Trend

Sometimes it’s easiest to just stay in our own little comfort zone of classics and basics and ignore passing trends. But for tomorrow I want you to pick a trend that intrigues you and go for it. Neon nails? Sure! Faux fur? Heck yes. Red pants? You know I love ’em.

This is such a great prompt, it really makes you face your fears and try something new and unusual. I stood in my closet and spent some time on Style.com weighing the pros and cons of various trends. Would this one be flattering? Am I brave enough to try this? And you know what I decided to go with?

STAR STRUCK!

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As much as I’ve adored the Dolce & Gabbana star-studded gowns that have made it to the red carpets lately, the key to making this trend work for me was going to be translating it into a day-to-day, wearable format. Sadly that meant the hotpants were out too. Tragic really.

Tunic – Zara, Cigarette Pants – Juicy, Bag – Express, Jewelry – Vintage, JewelMint & Tiffany’s, Scarf – Zara, Flats – Lucky & Blazer – Aqua

Slim pants and a tunic is one of my favorite silhouettes, so taking a style that I’m comfortable with and than amping up the trendiness with prints, accessories and jewelry kept me from feeling completely out of my element. I was amazing by how many star-studded pieces I’d accumulated and it was fun to pair them all together in one look.Day 4: Channel Someone

For tomorrow I want you to channel someone. Alive or dead, fictional or real, famous or regular Joe – doesn’t matter. The trick here is to keep your outfit from looking costumey. You don’t have to copy them exactly…just try and capture the flavor. Pick something they might wear. Give their hairstyle a go.

When I saw this prompt my brain went into overdrive! Audrey Hepburn. No – Grace Kelly. No – Jackie O. No – Twiggy. No – Someone original, someone no one else will pick. To save my pride I’ll lie about how long that little conversation in my head went on for and just say that it went on for a while.

So where did I end up?

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I really wanted to channel a 60’s-era Mod girl but since Twiggy is a bit out of my range size-wise, I went with Jean Shrimpton who not only had some curves, she also had long hair with straight, dramatic bangs.

E Voila!

Dress – Burberry, Boots – Zara, Coat – H&M & Purse – Vintage

Pretty simple, I wanted the focus to be on the key pieces so I didn’t add a ton of accessories. The perfect little black shift dress, my Sergent Pepper coat and some go-go style boots to finish the look off. This challenge is turning into one of the most fun and creative outlets that I’ve found in a long time, I am really, really enjoying myself. So stay tuned for the next two looks and I promise to keep posing like a mad woman! 🙂

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10 Day Style Challenge

In an effort to shake things up style-wise I decided to participate in Freckles in April‘s 10 Day Challenge, which started on Monday, January 23. I don’t know about you, but I have favorite pieces in my closet and tried-and-true looks that I throw together on a regular basis. Perhaps too frequently… While it’s great to have some go-to looks to save you time in the mornings, sometimes that can mean a style rut or even – gasp – forgetting about great pieces that are smashed in the back of your closet.

Freckles in April

The 10 Day Challenge: Winter Edition consisted of Miss Kayla providing a daily prompt for inspiration and the participants using said prompts to choose their look for the following day. Since the majority of my day is spent in the office and I don’t always change before running errands or going out after work, I wanted to include some work looks as well as more casual attire over the course of the 10 days. I’m going to share the looks with you two at a time so that I don’t overwhelm you with pictures of me for the next two weeks.

You’re welcome!

My friend Liz was kind enough to act as photographer over the course of the 10 day period and she’s doing a great job despite my complete and utter hatred of having my picture taken. Hopefully this challenge will be the beginning of me sharing more of my daily fashion looks!

Day 1 : Layer It

I’m starting you off easy! But the biggest perk of doing a winter challenge is that we can wear layers. Layers add depth and complexity to an outfit as well as warmth. It’s a great way to work in pattern or texture and there are a million different ways you can go about it.

What I love about layering is that it gives you a chance to give an outfit depth. As amazing as a fabulous dress or a great suit can look, layers allow you more creativity and a chance to make a look wholly your own.

Source, Source & Source

I wanted my layers look to be colorful and fun so that it got me out of my all black phase, warm enough to survive the day and professional looking so that it would be appropriate for a Monday at the office.

Dress: BCBG, Coat: Zara, Purse: Zara, Gloves: H&M, Tights: Kate Spade, Pumps: Very Volatile, Pashmina: from market in Manila & Sunglasses: Christian Dior

 
I was worried that the red coat with a thick black belt would be too Santa Clause but the vibe ended up at the other end of the spectrum, closer to Little Red Riding Hood. It turned out pretty well if I do say so myself!
 

Day 2 : Monochrome

There is just something about a monochromatic outfit that feels so wonderfully organized and clean to me. Last time I went safe with blue..we’ll see if I can be a little bolder this time!

I agree with Kayla’s comment above, the first word that I would use to describe most monochromatic looks would be “clean.” And who better to take as my inspiration than the King of Clean himself – Michael Kors?

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I’m not going to lie, it took ever fiber of self-control that I have not to wear all black for my monochromatic look. Its safe. Its slimming. Oh, and I have any entire closet full of it… But, it’s also my go-to and the point of this little exercise is to mix things up.

Dress: Banana, Purse: BCBG, Jewelry - Vintage, JewelMint & Tiffany's, Booties: BCBG & Coat: H&M

I was surprised by how well the various shades of grey worked together – the tights and booties ended up complimenting the dress even better than I’d hoped. No, I’ll never be Zoe, but I can emulate her style! Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?

Stay tuned for the next eight looks of the challenge, including some separates and street clothes…

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