Today's Everyday Fashion: Making the Case for Rare Occasions

 
Faux fur vest, skinny jeans, ankle boots
Faux fur vest, turtleneck
Faux fur vest, ivory turtleneck
Faux fur vest, skinny jeans, ankle boots
Faux fur vest, skinny jeans, ankle boots
 

We've all done it: talked ourselves out of loving something on account of "I have nowhere to wear it." Maybe it's a cocktail dress for a special event, the cutest little outfit for brunch, or a faux fur vest when you live in sunny Florida (bingo). I'm here to say: it's time to stop overlooking the rare occasions and start giving more weight to one, simple question: will I reach for this over absolutely anything else in my closet? If the answer is yes and it's in your budget... you have a winner. Because what's the alternative? You wind up with brunch plans, a gala, or a super cold day and you have... absolutely nothing to wear. Not the end of the world (obvi), however, if the scenario isn't completely far-fetched then why not go for it? It actually does get chilly enough to wear this outfit here in FL, especially with peep toe booties. And you may even find yourself making those brunch plans or saying yes to the gala, because of the cute outfit waiting in the closet. Clothes have a funny way of making life more fun like that!

Vest: Love Token/Nordstrom Rack, $45 (similar below)
Sweater: Kohl's c/o, $13 (similar, similar, similar)
Jeans: Nordstrom, $78
Boots: Sam Edelman c/o Amazon, $29 (same, same)
Purse: Michael Kors/Macy's, $220 (similar, similar)
Earrings: Kate Spade outlet, $15 (same)
Approx. dates: Purse is 3 years ago. Sweater is 1 year ago. Jeans are recent. Vest and boots are new.

Faux fur vests on a budget

Today's Everyday Fashion: What To Wear To A Holiday Office Party

 
Holiday office party: icy blue top, sequin skirt
Holiday office party: icy blue top, sequin skirt
Holiday office party: icy blue top, sequin skirt
Holiday office party: icy blue top, sequin skirt
Holiday office party: icy blue top, sequin skirt
Holiday office party: icy blue top, sequin skirt
 

The secret weapon for your next holiday office party? A sequin pencil skirt! Not just any sequins will do though - so many versions are super stretchy, and feel way more "club" than office. This sequin pencil skirt (and several of the options below) are loose-fitting, and are structured, not stretchy. The rest comes easy. Try pairing it with a silky crew neck blouse, add some sparkle with a statement necklace or earrings, and keep the rest pretty simple. Or, for a colder climate, try it with a turtleneck and tall suede boots!

Coat: Zara, $89 (similar, similar)
Top: LOFT, $22 (similar, similar, similar)
Skirt: J.Crew Factory, $38 (similar below)
Shoes: Wet Seal, $9 (similar, similar, similar)
Purse: My Stella & Dot
Necklace: Saks Off Fifth, $22 (similarsimilarsimilar
Earrings: Kate Spade outlet, $15 (same)
Approx. dates: Shoes are 4 years ago. Skirt is 2 years ago. Top and coat are 1 year ago. Clutch and necklace are recent. 

Sequin skirts on a budget

Asos  /  WHBM  /  Forever 21  /   Nordstrom
Nordstrom Rack  /  Asos  /  Forever 21 (plus)  /  Macy's  /  Nordstrom
WHBM  /  Dorothy Perkins  /  Na'kd  /  Shoptiques

Today's Everyday Fashion: The Little Things

 
Red white blue outfit: red coat, stripe skirt
Red white blue outfit: red coat, stripe skirt
Red white blue outfit
Red white blue outfit: red coat, stripe skirt
Red white blue outfit: red coat, stripe skirt
 
 
 Inspiration: Jacquemus via  Harper's Bazaar

Inspiration: Jacquemus via Harper's Bazaar

 

Sometimes, it's the little things. A little red, white and blue ribbon pin that you bought online for $30 that has already created two amazing new outfits (using only old things) in your closet. (See the other one here.) And that little idea in a magazine photo that inspired you to add that same ribbon pin to a ruffled white shirt, which just happens to go perfectly with a stripe skirt from 7 years ago. The little ribbon pin and a little idea that sparked an even bigger one... sometimes, the little things are the best things! 

Jacket: J.Crew Factory, $58 (similar below)
Top: H&M, $40 (similar, similar, similar, similar)
Skirt: H&M, $30 (similarsimilar, similar)
Ribbon pin: Nordstrom, $29 (similar, similarsimilarsimilar)
Shoes: Vince Camuto c/o HSN (similar, similarsimilar)
Purse: Mud Pie c/o, $25
Earrings: Kate Spade outlet, $15 (same)
Approx. dates: Skirt is 7 years ago. Shoes are 2 years ago. Coat, top and purse are 1 year ago. Pin is recent.  

Red wool coats on a budget

Bloomingdale's  /  Nordstrom  /  Amazon  /  H&M
Amazon  /  Asos  /  Bloomingdale's  /  Macy's
Amazon  /  Boohoo   /  Eloquii (plus)  /  Missguided

Today's Everyday Fashion: #GivingTuesday

Navy+cape,+plaid+top,+red+skirt,+riding+boots.jpeg

I love blogging about fashion, but it's definitely not my life's purpose. A career path, certainly. But things with deeper meaning like giving to and helping others, are things I think about more often, and are far more exciting than clothes! That's why I love the idea of #GivingTuesday, the day that falls after Cyber Monday and Black Friday. (I only wish that it came before Thanksgiving - giving first, THEN the shopping!) Today is a time to reflect, and strategize how we can give back: 

1. TIME - Let's start with the one thing that absolutely anyone can contribute no matter your age or station in life: your time. Many nonprofits and charities could not function without a large amount of manpower. Take the Feeding Children Everywhere initiative we recently participated in - they sent 4.4 millions meals to Puerto Rico, which required the help of 54,000 volunteers! Does it feel like your schedule is too packed and there's no way you can help? Please hear me when I say that I understand that feeling. During our busiest season we work 120+ hours a week, and barely have time for self-care or socializing let alone volunteering. But Joshua and I recently spent a Saturday afternoon cooking for and serving a Thanksgiving meal for the homeless during an absolutely INSANE week, and it was magical. Volunteering is funny like that - when you are stressed to the MAX and have zero time is often the best time to do it!  

2. SKILL - There's using your two hands and feet to volunteer (TIME) and then there's using your qualifications or (SKILL) to help others! Whatever your abilities may be, there are tons of exciting ways you can make a difference. A great resource for getting started is Taproot, a website that allows you to enter your skills, browse available projects, and apply to help pro bono. For me and Joshua, this is definitely one of our favorite ways to give back. It means sitting on the board of a nonprofit, donating consulting and/or social media services, or doing pro bono blog posts or photography sessions. We don't always share publicly, but a couple examples you've seen here on the blog include going to Haiti to establish best practices for a nonprofit/fair trade brand, and utilizing one of the unique perks of my job (free clothes!) by donating or doing closet sales for a cause.

3. MONEY - There's a saying, "where your treasure is, there will your heart be also," and I couldn't agree more. I feel proud knowing that anyone examining our checkbook would see how passionately we give (I only ever post about my clothing budget here, but we donate 4-8 times that amount to charity each month), and furthermore I'm WAY more excited to donate money, than I ever am about buying myself something. Giving time is important, but giving money is equally so. You can find tons of great fundraising events happening near you via the official #GivingTuesday website, or check out this Today Parents article: 7 ways to help children suffering in Syria's civil war. Or, in leu of Christmas gifts this year, why not consider helping a child in need, in a family or friend's honor? One site I recommend is COTN (Children of the Nations) - they provide you with a printable gift receipt to put under the tree.

4. LOVE - Time, skills, and money all take a bit of thoughtful planning, but as we go about our day we have the opportunity to give every moment of every day. We can give love! We can hold the door open for someone, cover the bill for the family in the grocery line in front of us, run errands for a new mom, or bake cookies for our neighbors. Two holidays ago I posted 20 Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season - and I love re-reading it for tons of ways we can be giving back every day - not just during the holidays!

Which way do you enjoy giving back the most? 
What's been your most rewarding volunteer experience?  
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