30 Days of Real Outfits, Part 6

Almost at the end of my 30 Days of Real Outfits! We won’t talk about how many actual days it’s taken..

30 days of real outfits, Bobeau wrap

Day 22: LulaRoe Randy tee // J Brand jeans — More details on the top in my “What is LulaRoe?” post!

Day 23: Everlane cotton sweater // AG jeans // Theodora & Callum scarf // Ugg flats — This scarf is the ultimate argument for why you need to splurge sometimes. Just feels so amazing.

Day 24: Bobeau wrap (on sale!) // 7 for All Mankind black jeans // French Sole flats — This Bobeau wrap is great, but SO unphotogenic. Gets lots of compliments in person, though.

Day 25: Splendid cardigan // J.Crew leggings // Enzo Angiolini ‘Saylem’ Riding Boot (similar style on sale) — This is the closest I get to wearing leggings as pants. 

Day 26: J.Crew sweater (similar here and here) // AG jeans // Stella & Dot scarf // Tieks ballet flats

I realize that even though I’m wearing four different pairs of pants/leggings across these five pictures, you really can’t tell the difference. But I feel like I get a pass since it’s the middle of winter and I DESPISE stockings, so really what else am I going to wear on the bottom half?? (Why am I getting defensive about this? I don’t know.)

I have to call out my new Everlane cotton sweater, which is the same material as the short sleeved sweater I bought over the summer. Like it’s warm weather equivalent, this is a great basic — if not exciting — piece. And if you’ve followed my struggles of finding sweaters that don’t make me want to tear my skin off, you’ll know how few nice cotton sweaters are out there.

What is LulaRoe?

If you’re not asking the question, “what is LulaRoe?” yet, it’s only a matter of time. LulaRoe is a women’s (and girls, to some extent) clothing line that seems to be taking the mommy fashion world by storm. I’m sure the reach is more broad than that, but it’s certainly where I see it popping up in my circles. The line is made up of comfy, very wearable clothes — various tee shirt styles, leggings, tunics, and a few dresses — in a pretty wide size range.

lularoe

photos courtesy of lularoe.com

What Makes LulaRoe Unique?

There are two catches/differentiators, depending on how you view it.

  1. Their styles are consistent, but the colors and prints are constantly changing. This is good and bad, as far as I’m concerned. The good is that you’re unlikely to run into someone wearing the same piece in the same print. The bad is that when you spy an adorable blogger wearing the perfect gray baseball tee with leopard sleeves, you’ll probably never succeed in finding that exact print.
  2. You can’t order online. Their website looks like it had or is planning to have ecommerce at some point, but right now the only way to get these clothes is by working with a LulaRoe stylist. So basically, there are a growing number of women who host parties (or “pop up shops”) at their homes and invite friends and family, and then branch out through networking. Some, including the woman who introduced me to the line, also have Facebook groups, where they post inventory and sell to those who can’t shop in person.

Now let’s pause right there, so I can simultaneously rant and admit my personal hypocrisy. First of all, if one more person that I barely know or haven’t seen in a decade asks me to “join their Rodan + Fields team,” I might lose it. Offer me a sample of your Jamberry nail wraps? I’ll pass. Essential oils? GTFO.

These direct sales companies that cater to women wanting to make money in a non-traditional way tend to drive me CRAZY. Look, I’m happy for my friends who are successful in these pursuits, but I really wish there was a Facebook button that could immediately block all of it from my feed.

Here’s where the hypocrisy comes in: I have hosted a Stella and Dot party and continue to buy from them on occasion, and now I’ve dipped my toes into LulaRoe. Some of it comes down to liking the product, but I’ve also been much less turned off by the selling methods of the “stylists” for these two companies. Whereas R+F people are overwhelming in the number of posts and messages and invites they put out there, I have friends who sell S&D and LulaRoe that keep their business and their personal pages separate so people can actually opt in to seeing sales pitches instead of having them shoved in their faces nonstop.

My LulaRoe Reviews

Enough about my personal issues, let’s talk about the clothes. I’ve now tried three styles:

The Classic Tee is my favorite to date — really soft and nicely flowy with a slight high/low hem that adds some interest. At $30, I can definitely see myself ordering more of these.

The Randy Tee is the baseball style that I mentioned earlier. I like, but don’t love, this one. The bust and arms fit nicely, but it’s a hair tighter than I’d like in the waist, so it doesn’t sit quite right on my hips. That said, it’s cute enough for casual weekend wear.

Then there’s the Irma Tunic. I had high hopes for the gray striped version I ordered in my normal size, despite the warning that this style runs very large. That was an understatement. The bodice was enormous, but my bigger issue was the extreme high/low hem that was about a foot longer in the back. I really wanted to make this one work because I’d love a good tunic in my wardrobe, but this one didn’t cut it. I know it’s a popular style, so maybe it would have been different in a smaller size, but I’m dubious.

Pros and Cons, and My Consensus

At the end of the day, there are some pros and cons to this brand.

PROS: Cute, very wearable styles. Fun colors and prints (although some are much cuter than others). Reasonable price point. Supporting other women in their entrepreneurial endeavor.

CONS: No real online shopping option (and therefore no easy returns/exchanges). Clothes have to be hung to dry (otherwise “you’ll be sad,” according to the brand). Synthetic materials (if that matters to you). Some sizing inaccuracies.

So, will I buy again? Yes, I can see myself buying more of the Classic Tees because of the price point and simple style (great for layering, by the way). And I’d like to try the leggings, which people seem to be obsessed with. But unless I can get myself to an in-person sale, I’ll probably hold off on trying any additional styles.

I am in no way being compensated for this post, but if you’re interested in shopping LulaRoe and don’t know anyone who’s selling, let me know and I’ll connect you with my friend’s Facebook group, so you can get in on the action.

 

Links À La Mode, The IFB Weekly Roundup: January 7

It’s been a while since I’ve submitted a post to IFB’s Links a la Mode, but it’s always great to be included in their roundups! Make sure you check out the other selected posts, which are heavily New Years focused.

Links à la Mode, January 7

SPONSOR: Amazon’s Shopbop Acne Studios, Stuart Weitzman Boots, Jonathan Adler Home & Gifts, LIVE THE PROCESS, Sara Barner, Marie Marot, Faux Fur Coats, Lace Up Tops, Micro Bags, Men’s To Boot New York

30 Days of Real Outfits, Part 5

real outfits 5

Day 19: Pleione tunic // AG jeans // Frye boots (similar here) — I LOVE this tunic and own it in two colors, but as you can see probably here, it wrinkles very easily. Something to keep in mind if you’re really bothered by wrinkles.

Day 20: J.Crew shirt // J Brand jeans // Ugg flats — I don’t feel that all of my J.Crew plaid shirts are appropriate for work, but this one isn’t plaid, and somehow in my mind the popover style makes it a bit less casual?

Day 21: Bobeau open cardigan // LulaRoe tee (more info on this in an upcoming post!) // Banana Republic pants (really old, but similar here and here) // Franco Sarto booties

Do you ever have one of those days where you’re excited about what you’re wearing, and then at some point you see yourself in the mirror or a photo and realize you don’t look quite as good as you thought? That was Day 21 for me. I’ve always really liked these pants from Banana Republic as an alternative to jeans without having to wear dress pants, but I realized after taking my bathroom selfie that they’ve gotten baggy in the knees and generally don’t look great anymore. And I thought that my cardigan was more flattering (maybe it really is, in person?). And I really really need to wear more makeup — as previously mentioned, it just makes me feel better about myself. Oh well. That’s one of the points of these real outfits posts — some self reflection on what I choose to pull out of the closet and put on my body, and what actually works for me.

So long, beloved pants. We’ve had a nice ride, but it’s time for you to go. Perhaps I need to do some shopping for a replacement pair…

30 Days of Real Outfits, Part 4

At this rate, it’s going to take me three months to get through my 30 days of real outfits.

real outfits

Day 14: Caslon blouse // Mother jeans // Report Signature flats (similar here) — I freaking love these flats, which are a really bright blue suede, and wish I could own them in every color. 

Day 15: Yumi Kim blouse // AG jeans // Tieks ballet flats

Day 16: Ugly Christmas sweater // AG jeans // L.L.Bean flats (other great red flats here and here) — We had an ugly sweater party at work, in case you’re questioning my professionalism ;)

Day 17: Hinge poncho // 7 for All Mankind black jeans // French Sole flats

Day 18: Details in this post on my winter uniform

OMG I AM SO BORING. Seriously, I am wearing the same jeans in three out of these five outfits — which, to be fair, are not actually outfits from five consecutive days, but still. I am not kidding you when I say that I paused in the middle of writing this post to order four pairs of jeans from Nordstrom so I have a new option to break up the monotony (details on what I ordered are at the bottom of the post, and I’ll let you know what I end up keeping!).

As I’m sitting here beating myself up for being totally lame in my sartorial pursuits, I’m trying to think of it another way: maybe I’ve just found my style. For years I’ve felt that I didn’t really have an identifiable style. I would float from look to look, never really nailing down what I loved best and what worked best for my body. And even though my current choices aren’t exactly original, they’re what I feel good in (most of the time). Maybe that’s okay, even if it means that — spoiler alert! — I’m a sad excuse for a fashion blogger (which I’ve never really considered myself to be, anyway). The reality is that I despise tights/stockings, which makes wearing dresses and skirts outside of summer pretty impossible, and I love jeans and my new workplace that allows me to wear them everyday. This doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t branch out from time to time, or that I won’t wear dresses in the summer, but I think I need to accept that this is my reality.

Deep thoughts for the first day back from a blissfully-long winter break.


P.S. If you’re in the mood to look back, here are parts one, two and three of my “real outfits” series.

My winter uniform and a new bag (finally)

I realized recently that I have developed something of a winter uniform. As previously discussed, I tend to gravitate to skinny jeans and a more loose fitting top, but it’s become more specific lately. I now own at least five J.Crew plaid shirts that I’m wearing pretty much nonstop on the weekends and days off.

Winter uniform

Cuyana leather tote bag

J.Crew plaid shirt // AG jeans // Banana Republic booties // Cuyana leather tote

I’m also wearing the new Cuyana leather tote that I got for Christmas from my parents. You might remember that I’ve been debating my next everyday/work bag for months and couldn’t decide whether to go with something structured or more unstructured. I obviously ended up deciding on a more unstructured, slouchy style and I’m loving it. The leather is yummy, it fits a TON, and with a purse organizer, it doesn’t feel too much like a bottomless pit.

Below are some of my favorite J.Crew plaid shirts that are currently in stock (click the photos for details). The top three are ones that I own, and the bottom are others I like. I’d love to hear if you have any other favorite plaid shirts, or what your winter uniform looks like!

A closet full of clothes and nothing to wear

We interrupt your regularly-scheduled ‘real outfit’ posts (we’ll call this Day 13) to bring you this very important question: How is it possible to have a ton of clothes and never feel like you have the right thing to wear??

holiday party outfit

Karen Kane sweater // 7 for All Mankind black jeans // Nine West pumps

The husband and I were invited to a Christmas party at the home of one of my new coworkers — the first adult Christmas party we’ve been to in a while (office holiday parties don’t count). I had ordered a blouse from Everlane that I thought might work, but sadly it didn’t arrive in time. So I stood in my closet the morning of the party and stared at my clothes and determined that I owned nothing appropriate for the occasion.

Getting dressed for work? Great. Going to run errands on the weekends? Covered. Dinner at a kid-friendly restaurant? No problem. But you throw a cocktail party or baby shower at me and I struggle to put together an outfit.

This time around I made a trip to the mall and found this great Karen Kane top (bonus: the brand is made in the USA and it was majorly on sale!) that was exactly what I was looking for. I KNOW I’m not alone in this first world problem, but maybe someday I’ll actually have a wardrobe filled with clothes I love that cover the occasions I need them for. Someday.

30 Days of Real Outfits, Part 3

This post has been sitting in draft for a week and I skipped more days, but better late than never? The big news (taking liberties with that term, clearly) is that I chopped off my hair. It had gotten very long and it was time for a change — and as my mom always says, “It’s just hair, it grows back.” I think I’m down about eight inches and I think I like it. I’ll be honest, I really liked my long hair, but it was just way too easy to default into throwing it up in a bun and calling it a day…which I did most of the time, recently. The shorter hair really forces me to actually take a few minutes to do my hair, since the tiny little baby ponytail I’ve got right now isn’t so cute. It remains to be seen whether I stay short for a while, or let it grow back out.

PicMonkey Collage

Day 9:  7 for All Mankind ‘Josefina’ boyfriend jeans // Michael Stars top (similar style) // ONE by Faubourg du Temple jacket // Franco Sarto booties

PicMonkey Collage3

Day 10: AG jeans // J.Crew flannel shirt // L.L.Bean vest // Hunter boots

Day 11: Mother jeans // Hinge camisole // Bobeau open cardigan (this year’s version in solid colors) // Enzo Angiolini ‘Saylem’ Riding Boot (similar style on sale)

Day 12: J Brand pants // Banana Republic sweater // Stella & Dot scarf // Tieks ballet flats // Kendra Scott ‘Elle’ earrings

Other than the big hair news, we’re in the midst of Christmas craziness, hence the photo with the giant hand saw — my husband insisted on going to a tree farm this year instead of picking a tree from a parking lot. I could go either way, but it was fun for the little guy.

No additional observations this time, other than the fact that I’m really sick of my shirt/sweater options for work. I have my eye on this cotton vneck sweater from Everlane, which looks like a great base to add fun jewelry or a scarf to. I have the short sleeve version of this and have been happy with how it’s handled wash and wear. But I should probably hold off until after the holidays…we’ll see.

30 Days of Real Outfits, Part 2

One week in and I’ve already missed several days (including Thanksgiving). While I was tempted to just stop doing this, I’m going to power through and keep posting until I get to 30 outfits, even if it takes more than 30 days to get there.

PicMonkey Collage 2

Day Five: Banana Republic sweater // Vince boyfriend trousers // Kate Spade “Tock” ballet flats

Day Six: J.Crew flannel shirt // AG jeans // Frye boots (similar here — on sale!)

Day Seven: L.L.Bean Signature dress // Hue leggings // Banana Republic booties

Day Eight: Nasty Gal tee // AG jeans // Tieks ballet flats // Stella & Dot necklace

Early observations:

  1. Holy Banana Republic, Batman. I very rarely shop at Banana anymore, but it was my holy grail for so long that it still dominates my closet — even more than I realized. That’s not a bad thing per se, but does remind me that I should branch out more.
  2. I need to wear more makeup. Not so much because I’m trying to impress someone, but I really do feel (and, I think, look) better when I have some color and definition on my face.
  3. Work wardrobe vs. weekend wardrobe. Thanks to the business casual + jeans dress code at my office, there really isn’t much of a difference between what I wear to the office and what I wear on my off-time. I can’t decide if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I could probably stand to be a bit more polished at work sometimes, but it’s SO nice to be able to wear jeans.

More thoughts to come, I’m sure!

30 days of real outfits

I’m feeling lost — both in my blogging and my personal style. Every time I sit down to write a new post, I end up writing a few paragraphs, walking away, and then never coming back to it (you should see my draft folder). So, in my latest attempt to kick start things, I’m setting a goal of posting my outfits for 30 days. They will not be fancy, but they will be real. My goal is to get my blogging voice back, and maybe gain some insights into what I’m actually choosing to pull out of my closet, so I can start the new year with a better outlook on my style.

Of course I decided to start this on a random Thursday in the middle of November — the first of the month or at least a Monday probably would have made sense, but whatever. I’ll likely be posting these in bunches, because writing a post every day is just not realistic for me these days. So without further adieu…

PicMonkey Collage

Day One: Soft Joie sweater dress, J.Crew leggings, David Kind glasses, Franco Sarto booties (50% off right now with a few sizes left!)

Day Two: Caslon blouse, J Brand pants, Tieks ballet flats

Day Three: J.Crew top, Mother jeans, L.L.Bean flats, TOMS sunglasses

Day Four: Anthropologie peplum tee, Banana Republic pants, J.Crew denim jacket, handmade knit cowl, Ugg flats

These outfits cover two work days, a Saturday of running errands, and a trip to the Crayola Factory (hence the very bright background and little boy who just wanted to play and not take pictures). It’s a pretty good representation of my style — skinny pants/jeans, loose-fitting tops, flats, and a dress thrown in here and there.

Things you can expect to see over the next month:

  1. The bathroom at my office. I have to get the kids up and out the door in the morning, and by the time I get home it’s completely dark out, so…bathroom mirror selfies are where it’s at.
  2. Mom buns. Sadly, I rarely do anything with my hair these days other than throw it into a ponytail or bun. Maybe seeing pictures of myself every day will make me reconsider that.
  3. Flats, flats and more flats. I can probably count on my fingers the number of times I’ve worn heels since I started the new job.
  4. My kiddos. They love being in front of the camera, even if the faces they make sometimes suggest otherwise.
  5. Not much makeup. I LOVE makeup. I own a TON of makeup. But during the week, in particular, I tend to wear very little. Most days, I fill in my eyebrows, put on some mascara and lip gloss, and call it a day.

If anyone has any brilliant suggestions for staying motivated — either in terms of style or blogging — please share!