Tuesday, April 30, 2013

So About That Shopping Ban

Skirt: Target; Top: Old Navy; Cardigan: Target; Shoes: Payless; Bracelet: Kate Spade

A few things about this outfit:
  • I just bought this skirt for under $7 at Target although I'm supposed to be on a shopping ban. I'm now considering my "ban" as more like a "cutback." 
  • I also bought a top (that happens to be the perfect shade of African Violet) to go with it from New York & Company after seeing it on H&K Style Journey, but that's not getting here until tomorrow. I kind of hope it doesn't work so that I can return it and not feel guilty because I don't really feel as guilty as I should about buying the $7 skirt.
  • This skirt is kind of hard to walk in. I'm not used to such pencil-y pencil skirts. 
  • It also rotates slightly when I walk, but I have that problem with most skirts. I think I must walk crookedly or something.
But besides all the guilt and difficulty walking, I really liked this outfit! Purple is one of my favorite colors to wear, so I was excited about African Violet day. And I'm even more excited for Lemon Zest day tomorrow!

Bridget also wore violet pants today.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Those Are Some Shoes

At first when my coworker came into the kitchen while I was getting my tea and exclaimed, "Those are some shoes!" I felt a little awkward and confused. I guess I forget that outside of the blogging world, leopard print pumps are not an everyday occurrence. I quickly realized that she meant it as a compliment, and we chatted about how animal print is a great neutral and how a little goes a long way. I ended up getting two other compliments on my shoes, from a male and a female coworker, in a meeting I was in.

Shirt: New York & Company; Pants: Gap; Belt: H&M; Shoes: Anne Klein via DSW;
Watch: Michael Kors; Bracelet: Marc by Marc Jacobs

Really, I think I was more expecting a comment on all the green I was wearing today, which is why I was probably caught off guard at first. And then I made matters worse in my own mind by getting Green Giant juice for lunch (a mix of apple, lime, cucumber, and wheat grass). This calls for another appearance of my Jolly Green Giant Halloween costume from 2008. All kidding aside, I did like the tone-on-tone aspect of my outfit today, and I don't hate tucking my shirts into pants as much as I used to.

Gettin' Stuff Done

After being sick for almost a week, Bridget's feeling all better. She still has a lingering cough, and she'll be on antibiotics for another week yet, but I'm just glad she's back to her old self again.

While I took our healthy child out of the house for some fresh air, my husband had some of his friends over to work on the basement a little more. Things are really coming along now! Part of the drywall is up, and he suspects that'll be done by next month, and from there things will go pretty quickly. Woohoo! I'm already looking forward to the unveiling party we'll have whenever it's done. Hopefully this year...

Here's what I wore for running errands yesterday and for Inspiration Monday:

Jacket: Kohl's; Polka Dot Top: J.Crew Factory: Lace Tank: Wet Seal; Watch: Zing Boutique;
Jeans: Kut; Shoes: TOMS

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Finally Finished a Dress

Back in late summer of 2011, I bought the Butterick ‘52 Retro pattern B4790 after reading about it on What I Wore. I got the FF size since I fit the measurements pretty closely for a size 20. Oh vintage sizes, you kill me. Maybe I don't mind vanity sizing after all. The top ended up being a little loose, so next time, I'm going to cut the chest area down to an 18.

The pattern is described as very easy, and thankfully, it was. The only complicated instructions were for the hem, which I assume were intended to make the garment look more finished. I just pressed the ends under and sewed normally since I didn't really understand what the instructions were trying to tell me. Since I'm going to be the only one wearing it, I wasn't too concerned. Really, the most tedious part was the hand sewing of the buttons and snaps, and that's just because I don't like hand sewing.

It wouldn't be a project of mine if I didn't mess something up. I had to rip out about half of the seam after I sewed the bodice to the skirt because some of the bodice fabric folded over and got stuck in the seam. It's in the back, so luckily my mistake is not too noticeable.

I made the mistake of sewing these buttons on with white thread instead of navy blue.

Next up is to use the same same pattern with this Marc Jacobs fabric I bought in New York. The only problem is, I can't decide what color bias tape to use. Nothing looks quite right. Thoughts?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Dressed by Lindsey Again

Here's the second outfit from my friend Lindsey, and the second of three looks inspired by Mindy Kaling. I guess we have the same style, which made me want to watch her show and read her book right away. So now I'm almost caught up with The Mindy Project.

Top: Fred Boutique; Tie: Was a headband; Cardigan: Rodarte for Target;
Skirt and Belt: New York & Company; Shoes: Target

Although I don't have any printed, high-neck tops, I still wanted to try to work the tie in since I thought it was a key part of the outfit. It looked a little awkward this way, but it worked alright as long as I kept my hair in front of my shoulders. And of course my friends know how much I like yellow! The other Mindy Kaling look I have coming up is also yellow, which, for anyone who watches the show, may give you a hint of what's to come.

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Lose It Challenge Is Complete

The 10-week challenge I was participating in at work is now over. Here are my results:

Initial body fat: 31.6%
5-week body fat: 30.8%
Current body fat: 30.7%
Down 0.9% total

Initial weight: 188 (actually 188.2, but 188 is what I typed into the machine)
5-week weight: 185 (actually 185.2, but 185 is what I typed into the machine)
Current weight: 182 
Down 6 pounds total

Pathetic. But at least I'm still going in the right direction. And I've definitely noticed a change - my face looks thinner, and my clothes are fitting differently. Now that I'm starting to wear my summer clothes again, skirts I haven't worn since probably August are noticeably looser than they were. Only 7 lb to go until I reach my short-term weight loss goal! It looks like such a small number, but knowing me, it's going to take the rest of the year to lose it. Sigh. Time to start running again!

As far as our team goes, the other two members both went down, too, but we don't stand a chance at winning. Which is fine. I didn't really expect to. We were chatting with another challenge participant while we were getting measured, and one of the guys on her team lost 20 lb! Men. Still, It was good to have another source of motivation for a couple months, even though I slacked off during the second half of it.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Dressed by Erin

I've been looking for an excuse to wear over-the-knee socks, and my friend Erin unknowingly gave me that opportunity with this inspiration picture.


I like the look of tall socks, and I think I can pull it off OK, but I have a feeling that it catches people off guard here. It's not a style you often see in these parts, plus it's not something a 30-year-old mom usually wears. While I'm not sure what other people were thinking, if anything, I liked it. My mom, whom I was shopping with at the time, kind of liked it, too; however, my husband was not a fan. I ended up changing into what my mom and I bought (you'll see that in another post) to have dinner with my husband later, but this outfit worked for shopping. It was comfortable and easy enough to get in and out of to try stuff on. Maybe it was a little fancy for the mall, but that's fine.

Top and Skirt: Kohl's; Tie: From an old top; Cardigan: Old Navy;
OTK Socks: American Apparel; Boots: Target; Bracelet: Michael Kors

Sorry about the lighting. The half direct sunlight and half shade was a bad idea, in retrospect.

I'm also linking up with Balancing a Hectic World for Inspired My Style.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Dressed by Corleen

Corleen of Barely Practical presented me with the challenge of recreating the 60s mod look in a fashionable way without making it too costumey. She provided me with this Fashion Tag post for inspiration. I don't have many graphic geometric prints or shift dresses, but I thought this dress fit the bill pretty well.

Dress: Kohl's; Turtleneck: Target; Shoes: Chelsea Crew

My "walking to and from the car" version is below. Those yellow shoes, as cute as they are, are still not broken in, not that TOMS ballet flats are that much more comfortable. I'd be interested to try their updated version.

Jacket: L.L.Bean; Flats: TOMS

As many times as I've worn this dress, and as much as I like layering shirts under dresses, I never thought to do it with this one. I ended up really liking this combination. So thanks for the inspiration, Corleen!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Maybe Next Weekend

As much as I wish I had Emmy Rossum's exactly yellow skirt she's wearing in the Inspiration Monday photo for today, I don't. I actually thought I did because it looks so much like something I would have. The material is similar to fabric I have sitting in the dining/sewing room waiting to be made into a dress; and for a minute, I thought that I might actually finish it this weekend. Ha, yeah no. I've been saying that almost every week since August 2011 when I bought the pattern (and now I'm not using either of the fabrics I showed in that post). Maayyyybe next weekend... I did finally start it, though, by cutting out the fabric yesterday. The pattern claims it's very easy, so hopefully the sewing part will be quick and painless. Whenever I get to it.

Skirt and Shirt: New York & Company; Necklace: ?; Shoes: Michael by Michael Kors

Don't ask me why I'm grabbing my skirt like that. I've been doing it all day, I think because it fits differently than it did last year when it hit me more at the waist.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Pink and Gold

 Well this was a fun Style Imitating Art. I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else does with it.

This skirt, which I'm worn before for SIA, seems better suited for the holidays, but I think the pink sweater springified it somewhat. I'm trying really hard not to complain about the weather since Illinois got hit with bad flooding and Minnesota suddenly has tons of snow to shovel. In comparison, the annoyingly unseasonably cold weather doesn't seem so bad.

Skirt: Narciso Rodriguez for Kohl's; Top: Jason Wu for Target; Sweater: New York & Company (gift);
Shoes: Target; Bracelet and Brooch: c/o Wantable

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Dressed by My Husband

From our honeymoon in Puerto Vallarta. This must've been before I felt seasick.

This is the Dressed by: Special Anniversary Edition since today is my husband's and my fourth wedding anniversary! When I mentioned it to him the other day, his reaction was, "It's only been four years?" Haha, I then reminded him that we've been together for seven, and he felt better about that. I guess neither of us can say, "It feels like just yesterday," but that's fine. I don't think that's a bad thing.

Even though our wedding feels like forever ago, I know we both remember it as one of the most fun days of our life together. We did things exactly how we wanted to do them - a little bit traditional and a little bit nerdy and quirky - and it was pretty darn near perfect.

Traditional vs.


To the outfit! I figured asking my husband to dress me would go one of two ways - he would get excited, pick out a white T-shirt and jeans, and insist I wear no makeup; or, he would be impossible and refuse to do it, and I would end up having to take my best guess while trying to get any input or positive reaction from him. It ended up being a mixture of both. I had to do some negotiating and give him options instead of letting him loose on my whole closet; but after he was done, he was like, "How hard was that? I picked out an outfit in two minutes." Well, it's a lot easier with only having to choose among 25 pieces strewn on the bed in plain sight. Still, we were both pleased with the end result, and I even got a casual outfit idea out of him that I can use later!

Top: Target; Skirt: New York & Company; Boots: Kohl's

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

You're Very Springy

I had a woman comment on my spring-colored clothes yesterday in passing. I was pretty sure it was a compliment, but just in case it wasn't intended as such, I kind of chuckled and said, "Yeah."  I have such a way with words, eh? Regardless, I really loved this tank top and cardigan together, and I'm sure I'll be wearing some version of this again in the future.

Tank Top: Rachel by Rachel Roy; Cardigan and Boots: Target;
Pants and Watch: New York & Company; Necklace: Forever 21

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

New Series: Dressed by

Since my last reader-participation blog series went so well, I was thinking about doing another one. My idea is to have different people in my life, like friends, family, and bloggers, pick out outfits for me. Then I of course would wear the outfit on a day where it's appropriate (jeans for weekends, work clothes for work), take a picture, and give that person credit when I blog about it. I thought it might be a fun social experiment to see how others view my style. Plus, I enjoy dressing other people, so I thought it might be fun for others to turn the tables on me.

A couple of my friends and a handful of bloggers have already sent me inspiration pictures to go off of, and my mom offered to take me shopping to pick out an outfit for me. (I'm excited and scared at the same time...)

The first idea came from my friend Lindsey.


I don't have a striped sweater like that, so I was debating between a striped short-sleeve sequin sweater from J.Crew and a Jones New York purple sweater.

Sorry about the dirty mirror.

Peep-toe shoes didn't really seem like an option since it was still snowing out, so I wore my favorite heels instead with a pair of cords to make it work appropriate. The skinny cords were a little casual, but I justified it because I wore this on a Friday. Since the pants were pushing the work-appropriate lines enough, I went with the simpler sweater.

Sweater: Jones New York (gift); Shirt: New York & Company;
Cords: Old Navy; Shoes: Vince Camuto; Necklace: Etsy

If any of you have any outfit ideas for me, I'd love to hear them. You can email me at mixedupbek@gmail.com. Maybe sometime this week, I'll set up a web form to make submitting ideas easier. As of right now, I'm planning on doing these weekly on Tuesdays or maybe biweekly until I run out of submissions.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

How to Wear a Graphic T-shirt

...But not in a grunge way. That should be the subtitle of this post. Grunge is cool and all, but it's not really my style. I was a little young to participate fully in the grunge movement the first time around, but that didn't stop me from borrowing a plaid flannel shirt of my dad's and wearing it all the time in the late 90s.

I really like the idea of dressing up a band tee, but I don't often get the opportunity to try it out. When I think of wearing a T-shirt, I default to jeans and sneakers or sandals; this time, I wanted to branch out and funk (funk...I said funk) it up a bit. First, I took to Pinterest to get some inspiration.

With a jacket

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

With a skirt

Sources: 1, 2, 3&4, 5, 6

Upon Googling the topic, I also found great suggestions in an article on CollegeFashion.net. Today, I went with the blazer + band tee look:

Blazer: Gap; T-shirt: Miggs show; Jeans: Kut; Boots: Madden Girl; Necklace: Etsy;
Bracelet: Pandora; Sunglasses: Target

Here's how Bridget styled her Beatles T-shirt. She actually picked this outfit out herself entirely except for the tights, which I helped her with.

Entire Outfit: Gifted by the in-laws; Tights: Target