Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Bunch o'trends in one

I'm feeling pretty stressed and a little uninspired this week, so instead of crawling into the fetal position and crying in my yoga pants I threw together a few blog trendy pieces and called it good. Polka dots, mint, a bubble necklace and pleats. And a mercifully small amount of neon. Thank me for that later.

Sweater: Old Navy
Skirt: ModCloth
Necklace: J.Crew via ebay
Belt: The Limited (old) 
Shoes: H&M
Clutch: H&M (thrifted)

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy

Hoping it's downhill the rest of the week for everyone, and thank you for reading! 

Friday, August 24, 2012

I am Old Navy. (And so can you!)

Today I'm blatantly copying an Ann Taylor look I fell in love with a couple weeks ago. If you'd like to see the original, more expensive, willowy brunette, non-existant hips version, you can check that out here.

Otherwise, here is my cheaper, short redhead, German hips, Old Navy version.

Cardigan: Old Navy 
Skinnies: Old Navy 
Belt: Target
Heels: Cole Haan (these sell for $280 retail but I scored them for $80 on ebay!) 

If you haven't been into Old Navy recently, it's worth the trip.  They've really stepped up their game and have included some great higher end look-alikes in the fall inventory. 

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend! This is a scheduled post as I'm traveling today, but thank you all for reading, commenting and following - I appreciate all of you and will be responding in a few days!  


Thursday, August 23, 2012

The blog formerly known as "Mini Me Style"

Hey all - just a head's up that the amazing Angie from Angie Makes is in the process of installing my fantastic new blog design!  Things may be wacky for a few days as links and urls are updated, but thanks for hanging in there with me.

We are now officially "Delusions of Grandeur"!

Academically Inclined: Callie from Coffee and Cardigans

I'm happy to present Callie from Coffee and Cardigans for today's Academically Inclined - Callie is a university student way ahead of her Uggs and leggings times! 

Hello! My name is Callie and you can usually find me blogging over at Coffee and Cardigans. I’m also a college student working on her undergraduate degree in public relations and communications.

My university’s campus, like many, lives up to the classic “sweatshirt, yoga pants, and Uggs” uniform. Since it rains 9 months out of the year here in Oregon, you might see the occasional pair of rain boots. But a bulky sweatshirt and some sort of stretchy, tight fabric on bottom is almost always a constant. Even the office where I work as a receptionist and my local internship welcome relaxed, casual looks. My environment, both educational and professional, doesn’t inspire much for dressing up.

But personally, I love getting dressed in the morning. Maybe it’s the style blogger in me talking, but taking a few extra minutes in the morning to put on a complete outfit makes me feel more confident, put-together, and ready for a day. I believe in boots, tights, dresses, and even low heels for a day of classes, activities, and work. Plus, I think it’s good practice. My future career will no doubt have me working in a professional environment that demands somewhat of a business casual wardrobe and polished look.

Over my first few years of college, I have definitely developed my own list of campus staple. I drift towards garments that are as comfortable as my sweatpants, but versatile and polished. Proof that comfort doesn't have to be sacrificed! Here are some of my college wardrobe staples:

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1. Denim jacket. My denim jacket definitely tops my list of campus staples. I wear it religiously through the fall and spring months. It goes with just about anything and it leaves me feeling a lot more put-together than a sweatshirt.

2. Stripes. Be it a tank, t-shirt, skirt, or dress, I have too many stripes in my closet. But adding a print to just about any outfit really makes it feel more complete. I have a striped tank that I remix again and again. But it’s such a classic piece, it goes with everything. And I think it’s a great alternative to an over-size college tee.

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3. Cardigans. Just like my jean jacket, I love cardigans as an alternative to sweatshirts or track jackets. My favorite is a mustard cardigan I’ve had in my closet for a few years now. It’s bright, cozy, and good for just about any occasion. I can pair with a pair of jeans and flats for class or throw it over a dress for a more dressy occasion.

4. Comfy jeans. My denim collection is very growing. Sometimes you just can’t beat a classic pair of jeans, but I always feel more dressed up in a pair of jeans than I do yoga pants or leggings. Plus, a classic pair of dark-wash jeans go with just about anything.

Case in point? With the right pieces, a day on campus in jeans and a cardigan is just as comfortable as yoga pants and Ugg boots. Getting dressed in the morning can make a gal feel more awake and put-together. And that means a better day in class, work, internship or any other activities you might have planned. A huge thank you to Bonnie for having me today!

Thank you, Callie, and thank everyone for reading! 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Is it Friday yet?

Hi all!  As happy as I am to be teaching a traditional undergrad course again (I taught online all summer), this first week is completely kicking my ass.  Thank you so much for all your words of beginning-of-the-semester encouragement - I'm super behind as far as responding to comments and emails and feel like a total jerk because of that, but I value each and every one and will have it together in a few days!  In the meantime, I could barely keep my eyes open for the pics, but here's an outfit.

Blazer: Express
Top: Zara (old) 
Skinnies: F21
Heels: Jessica Simpson Calie

I hope you are having a wonderful week so far!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sheer & Nudes

Ha ha - not as exciting as the title suggested, is it?

Top: Ross
Jeans: AE (thrifted)
Necklace: F21
Belt: Shop Mapel
Shoes: Nine West via Ross

Classes started today and as you read this I'm probably in a pencil skirt somewhere practicing my best I'd-better-not-see-you-texting-under-the-desk face.  I wore this to run some errands on Sunday in preparation for the new semester. (Dry erase markers and boxed wine? Check.)  Keep your fingers crossed for me. 

I hope everyone has a fantastic week!


Friday, August 17, 2012

The People Have Spoken

Thank you all for holding my hand through my little identity crisis and to everyone who voted, commented and emailed me about a potential blog name change! You have been heard, and at some point next week my title will officially change to Delusions of Grandeur.  (The new url will be  ... "" and every other possible derivative were lamentably already taken. Finding one that doesn't trick the eyes into seeing straight up "doggy style" was tough, so this was the best I could come up with.) And since my template already looked like crap before its spontaneous metamorphosis into a pukey, even crappier shade of green a couple days ago, I think I'll completely change it, too.  So keep your eyes peeled!  My new url should automatically point to the new site, but wanted to give you a head's up.

I spent most of the day yesterday grading in my pj's and crying into my cornflakes over an 8-hr departmental meeting I have to attend today, so no outfit pictures unfortunately.  But to entertain you in the meantime (and as a peace offering to the 21 of you who were not in favor of this momentous decision), here is a totally awkward pre-adolescent picture of me with a bird on my head.

Have a great weekend, and I'll see you soon!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Academically Inclined: Meet Katie!

Hi, everyone! I’m Katie, one of Bonnie’s former graduate school colleagues.

I started graduate school and teaching undergraduate Spanish classes immediately after I finished my BA in Spanish and I didn’t know exactly what to expect. The way I imagined I would need to dress and the way I ended up dressing for teaching and academic conferences were radically different. The summer before I started grad school, I bought a suit for the first time in my life and stocked up on plain dress pants. It didn’t take me very long to realize, however, that (at least in my department) I didn’t need to wear such formal clothes on a daily basis. This was a relief to me, since I felt that I could express my personal style much better in other ways.

I also had to be careful not to drift too far in the opposite direction. While I was a professor-in-training and an amateur scholar, I was also still a student. There was no dress code of any kind, and on days I didn’t teach, jeans and casual tops were perfectly acceptable to wear to class. Clearly, no one was wearing suits to teach class every day, but others dressed extremely casually and I hoped to find a happy medium. Since I was a young TA (only 22 when I started!) and an inexperienced scholar, I wanted to develop a professional wardrobe that was relatively comfortable, had a personal point of view, and still made me look qualified enough to be taken seriously at conferences and in the classroom. The clothes I chose helped me to establish a professional distance between me and the students who were practically my age.

The best way that I’ve found to accomplish this kind of style is through buying clothes in classic shapes (pencil skirts, blazers, button-downs) whose details aren’t so run-of-the-mill.  In the outfits I’ve chosen for this academically inclined post, I’m showing how the potentially boring outfit of a white blouse and a pencil skirt can be rescued.

Anthropologie is one of my favorite sources for interesting pencil skirts. Unfortunately, Anthropologie prices aren’t generally amenable to graduate student budgets, but if you’re willing to wait for their sales, you can usually get a good deal. Since the skirt is so bold, I chose a solid, classic top that has increased visual interest in the flowers on the chest. 

This bag made by Cambridge Satchel Company is my go-to bag for conferences. It was a splurge purchase, I but I like its classic shape. It doesn’t hold quite as much as I’d like, but it also keeps me from carrying around too much extra stuff that I don’t really need… 

This is another take on the pencil skirt / white top combo, but the white top doesn’t always have to be button-down to look professional. This white tee also has a unique texture that adds interest without clashing with the patterned skirt. The gold embroidery on this black pencil skirt makes it anything but boring. (It’s actually really shiny in person.) 

My favorite part of this outfit are the shoes. These were another splurge purchase and, after I bought them, I was worried I wouldn’t get enough wear out of them. However, they are comfortable (I’ve come to embrace wedges and flats and put heels on the side) and more versatile than I imagined they would be. I like to use this necklace to draw out the color in the toe of the wedge.

The moral of my style story is that you can still look professional while expressing a personal point of view. It’s all in the details! Thanks for having me, Bonnie!

Outfit 1:
Sleeveless blouse: New York and Company
Printed pencil skirt: Anthropologie (on sale!)
Heels- Aldo (old)
Bag- Cambridge Satchel Company (from ModCloth)

Outfit 2:

Skirt- The Limited
Necklace- J. Crew
Shoes – Jeffrey Campbell

Thank ou for reading, everyone, and have a great day! 


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Party in the Front

This is actually a strapless high-low dress I found at Target about a month ago. But as I've been entrusted with 25 young, undergraduate minds as of next Monday morning, I figured I'd better get my professor act back in gear.

Dress worn as skirt: Target
Top: Banana Republic (old) 
Necklace: H&M (recent) 
Shoes: H&M (recent) 

Thank you for reading everyone, and I hope you're having a great week!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Monochromatic Blue

Hi all - linking up today with Everybody, Everywear's monochromatic feature today! So here's a bunch of blue!

Cardigan: SteinMart
Shirt: H&M
Skirt: Old Navy



Monday, August 13, 2012

Backless Striped Shirt and Tutorial

This weekend I took a perfectly work-appropriate striped turtleneck and did this to it (inspired by this top and Trash to Couture's idea here and here): 

Skirt: H&M



Should you not have enough scandal in your closet, here are the instructions. 

What you'll need: 
1. Old striped tee or turtleneck - I found this one for a few bucks at a secondhand store
2. Sewing machine - this would be extremely tedious, although possible to do by hand
3. Ribbon or elastic similar in width to black stripes- I found this finishing ribbon at a craft store

I also needed: 

Instruction manual

Energy drink. But wait until after step 3

1. With chalk or a fabric pencil, draw the line of your boat neck - you'll be folding the material over and hemming, so cut conservatively at first.  Measure from the edge of the collar to the tip of the boatneck on each side to make sure your neckline is even.  Carefully cut along the mark to make your neckline, making sure to preserve the seam that connects the front and back of the shirt.

2. Decide how wide you want the opening to be in the back - again, measure evenly from each side of the collar seam, then draw a vertical line to the bottom hem to indicate where you'll cut out the back fabric. Remove the center panel. 

3. Fold raw edges over and hem. I used a blind hem stitch so the thread wouldn't be visible on the right side of the fabric. The finished edge is shown here:

4. Pin the ribbon on the wrong side of the garment and sew to fasten it in place on the right side with a straight stitch.  In the inspiration photo all the ribbons were the same size - to get the tapering effect I made the ribbons shorter as I worked towards the bottom.  In hindsight, it would have been easier to start at the bottom and lengthen the ribbons as you go up - my increments were approximately a quarter of an inch.  Try on the top after adding a couple ribbons at a time.

And voilá! A few hours later and this is the effect.

Lastly, I appreciate everyone that weighed in on my blog name over the past few days! The majority of the responses were along the lines of "do whatever makes you happy", with a few saying definitely change it, and a few saying don't because it could be confusing to readers.

I do think changing it would make me happy. So my final title candidate is "Delusions of Grandeur" with a tag line of "Short and poor, but we can pretend".

What say ye, friends? If the vote is nay, I swear I'll drop it. Srsly.
Have a wonderful day!  Linking up with Still Being Molly!

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