Archive | March 2012

Polka Dots and Powerpoint

I felt so drab wearing only black and white and grey today so I threw in a little colour! It was my third day of school and I already had to stay late to fix old Powerpoint presentations to match the notes that the students were given.  It’s nice to be doing something useful! I have a great Polka dot dress that is too short to wear to school, so this shirt is the next best way for me to get my fix!

Scarf ~ clothing swap, similar from Chapters (actually, I really want this scarf, it’s more of a pinky-coral colour than this orange one)

Cardigan ~ Joe Fresh 2009, $12.00, similar from Old Navy

Shirt ~ J.’s Closet (Joe Fresh), free. Similar from Modcloth 

Pants ~ RW&Co, ~ 2007.

Belt, trouser socks and shoes ~ all Joe Fresh, all at least one year old.  Similar shoes from Aldo

Necklace, Aerie, 2010, $5.00 on sale

Glasses ~ clearlycontacts.ca.  They are always having great sales and giveaways, such a good deal and a great way to change up your look easily!

I’m wearing glasses in all my pictures right now because I have an eye infection 😦  Hopefully I can go back to contacts soon, but I am at least used to wearing them all the time now.  Coming soon, my fashion icons and the outfits they have inspired!

See you soon!

First Day of School!!

Today was my first day of student teaching and I am very excited for the next 6 weeks!  Just a little outfit post today.  A nice mix of old and new items (not brand new though) and nice and colourful.

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Shirt ~ RW&Co, December 2011, sale $12.99, similar here

Skirt ~ Sears, December 2011, sale $26.00, similar here

Belt ~ Joe Fresh, sale $4.00, similar at Joe Fresh

Cardigan ~ Jacob 2008, similar on Modcloth

 

 

 

 

 

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Tights ~ Anthropologie 2010, $22.50 here

Shoes ~ Payless summer 2011, similar here

 

 

 

This is also my first outfit post, so many firsts in one day!  I took all these pictures myself, easier than catching J. when we are both home.  A work in progress but it’s only up from here!

What is appropriate? Leggings

Sorting my wardrobe into “teacher appropriate” and “inappropriate” is not as easy as I thought it would be.  For starters, I sorted out all of the obvious “inappropriate” pieces: skirts and dresses that are too short, tops that are too low-cut, jeans, anything too casual.  But after that, the cuts started to get harder.  “Is this too tight?” “Is sleeveless okay?” “Is this pattern too juvenile?” These questions are all pretty subjective.  I know that erring on the side of caution is the best way to go but I don’t want to be too cautious and end up being boring.  There are some items that I’m on the fence about, but maybe if I style them the right way, they can stay in the line up.

Today I’m posing the question: “To wear leggings or not to wear leggings?”

Leggings are full coverage, so what’s the issue?  Well, I have a few:

1. Although I always make sure they aren’t see-through, are they just too tight for standing at the board in front of high school students?

2. Are they too casual?  The school I’m places at doesn’t seem to have much of a dress code so this might not be an issue.

3. Are they too young?  Will I look too much like a University student? or (heaven forbid) a high school student?

Pairing leggings with a tunic and a longer cardigan solves the “too tight” problem but will I then look too young and frumpy?  Some teacher fashion blogs I’ve read are all for leggings, but they are also elementary school teachers; I won’t be sitting on the ground too often.  The one reason I want to keep leggings in my wardrobe is because they are so great to wear with boots.  I have big calves so wearing skinny jeans in boots has never been an option for me and sometimes I don’t want to wear a skirt.  What I really think would work is a thicker riding pants style of legging, but I am on a strict no-spend diet when it comes to clothes so I will have to work with what I’ve got.

Wore it Well ~

 Shanele from Shanelesheek styled these riding pants perfectly; not too casual and with great colours.  I am going to try to do something similar with my leggings and see how it turns out.

T.B.A. (To Be AVOIDED)~

Rose Byrne (never heard of her) is showing a little too much with these leggings, and that’s only from the front.  Even though she appears to be in decent shape, these pants are doing nothing for her figure.

This entry was posted on March 9, 2012. 3 Comments

My Closet

{MY CLOSET BEFORE}

I love love love my closet.  When J and I were looking at apartments, the huge open-concept closets in this place were a real selling point.  I even took the smaller of the two bedrooms and still have tons of space.

Now that you have seen my closet, you know my weakness, I LOVE clothes!  My wardrobe is a collection of impulse buys, steals, lots of clothing swap gems, vintage pieces and some of the items are so old I don’t remember when I bought them.  I try to purge my closet twice per year but I still seem to have so many clothes! Having a huge wardrobe has it’s pros and cons.

PROS

-I don’t have to do laundry that often (about once per month)

-I have so many outfits to make and remix

-I don’t (easily) get bored with the selection

CONS

– When I do have to do laundry, it is an ordeal.  The folding and putting away is never completed

– My room ends up being a mess because I try stuff on and then throw it on the floor. Worst. Habit. Ever.  This is the cleanest it ever gets

– It can be overwhelming

I have never had a problem putting together a cute outfit from what I have, but this year I was presented with two new factors:

1. I have to not only dress professionally, I have to dress like a teacher.  This mean comfortable AND professional; classy BUT more conservative than I am used to; grown-up enough to distinguish myself from the students BUT not frumpy or old-fashioned.

2. 2012 has started out with a tight budget, I will be doing 5 weeks in the classroom after completing my condensed course work, which means I can’t work nearly as much as I need to.  Extras are out which means I have not bought any new clothes since boxing day and I will not be buying any more until May at the earliest.  This means I have to work with what I’ve got.

So here is the closet count of all my clothes:

Tops – 20

Tanks- 17

Pants- 5 dress pants, 4 jeans

Skirts- 18

Dresses- 28

Sweaters- 5 sweaters, 17 cardigans

Shoes- 28

Outerwear- 2 winter, 3 spring/fall, 2 summer (not counted)

Total: 114 (142 including shoes)

That’s a lot of clothes!! BUT WAIT!  What happens after I take out anything that’s too short/tight/uncomfortable/ low-cut/young/old/frumpy/fancy?

Tops – 12, 7 tanks (for layering only)

Pants- 5

Skirts- 8

Dresses- 10

Sweaters- 4 sweaters, 15 cardigans

Shoes- 12

Outerwear- same

Total: 61 (73 including shoes)

This practically cuts my wardrobe in half! OMG what am I going to do? Factoring days that are too cold for skirts, days that are too long for heels, and who knows what else, I may as well have a minimalist collection of clothes just like Bridget at Money After Graduation. A big part of transitioning my wardrobe from student to teacher will be remixing pieces and being creative.  I hate wearing all black and I want to stand out so wearing pant suits or not-so-little black dresses all the time just isn’t going to cut it.

{MY CLOSET AFTER}

The Clothing Swap

{MY HAUL}

– nine tops

– one scarf

– one coat

– one hat

– two skirts

– workout shorts

– one bag

I don’t remember where I first heard about clothing swaps or I would give them credit, because they are the best idea ever!  The concept is simple: get a bunch of your friends together; everyone brings the clothing they don’t wear any more; everyone drinks wine and tries on everyone else’s clothes; everyone goes home with free new stuff!! Afterwards you can even take the reject clothes and donate them to Goodwill or another charity organization afterward.  At the end of my last clothing swap, we donated almost 6 bags of clothes to the people of Slave Lake after a fire destroyed their town last year.

Some of your friends hoard clothes and you have no idea!  I have seen people show up with multiple suitcases full of stuff, I have gotten items with the tags still on!  If you have nicer items, you can have a clothing auction instead and make a little money too.

Caution! You still have to be careful at a clothing swap even though everything is free.  You are drinking and trying on clothes so you judgement can be impaired.  You can easily end up with something that *almost* fits, something that fits well but is not your style, or something that is forced upon you because “it’s so great and it needs someone to love it!”. The last clothing swap I attended, I came home with two garbage bags worth of free clothes.  I did end up getting rid of about 1/4 of the items because of the above reasons, but many of the items have served me well over the last year.

I like having these events at the beginning of spring. Maybe it’s the “spring cleaning” bug that inspires it, but I know my wallet can be thankful for the timing.  Spring is my very favourite shopping season because I am such a sucker for pastels, dresses, bold colours, floral prints, and flowy fabrics.  I have not even set foot in a mall in the last month because I know it would be masochistic to see and know that I can not have. My Things I Love list on Modcloth grows every day but I don’t dare add any items to my shopping bag.

So I went to my first clothing swap of the season and hoping it would satisfy my cravings. I took 20 items with me, including a coat, a purse and a pair of shoes.  5 of the items were almost new but just didn’t fit right so I was hoping to make a little money off of them too.  I came back with 16 items, including a few things I really wanted: a statement coat (red), a cloche,  new workout shorts, a scarf, and some tops (which I don’t have many of).  I’m sure some of it won’t work out, but that’s ok, because it was all free!!

{What I started with}