Saturday, February 28, 2015

Spring Capsule Wardrobe

Not going to lie friends, I'm a little wary of transitioning to my spring capsule when the coldest temperatures of winter are upon us and I see snow out of my window... But we'll press on.

I'm loving the simplicity of this capsule. Nothing fussy, nothing that stands out too much or is hard to wear. Thrifting gave me a taste for kind of random things that can sit in my closet all year and be worn once because it happens to work for the situation, like the plum leather pencil skirt I found right before starting my winter capsule. I put it in the capsule thinking I could make it work, maybe I still can, but for now I'm going to tuck it away and add in some skirts I know I want to wear. I'm hoping that the weather warms up quickly so I can wear these with no tights! I'm definitely excited for this capsule.

I kept 20 pieces from my winter capsule, pulled 13 from storage, and bought 2 new pieces.

I love these colors- they feel fresh and easy to me. Also note there are only 35 pieces pictured... I'm still working on the last few things. I think I'll swap out the tank tops for sweaters until it warms up sufficiently. I'm not sure how taboo that is to switch items- the tank tops and sweaters would be in my keep pile anyway... Also have I mentioned I haven't cleaned out my closet? Maybe as I'm likely to be stuck inside this weekend, I'll write about that trauma.

It was definitely really fun to plan this capsule, it's full of items I really want to wear and will easily work well all together. Bring on the spring! 

Friday, February 27, 2015

"Fun" Friday

At my school we do jeans with a school shirt on Fridays thus Fridays are always a struggle for me- I don't like wearing hoodies and sneakers at work because I don't wear hoodies and sneakers in real life. But that seems to be the trend on Fridays for most teachers. So "Fun" Friday is not very fun.

I've been trying to elevate my Fun Friday style by adding some more interesting pieces with my school shirts (which are not included in my capsule). Today I wore the vintage sweatshirt my lead teacher lent me, it's super cute alone but it was real cold today so I layered a scarf. I also love wearing high-waisted jeans with my school shirts, it adds something a little more detail into the mix. And they're so darn flattering.
Vintage school sweatshirt, Target scarf (similar), Gap jeans, Zara boots (similar)

Here are some other looks for "Fun" Friday:

Sporty with sneakers and a bomber jacket

Nordstrom Rack bomber jacket (similar), Gap jeans, Target shoes

Preppy layering a button up
Mango button up, Gap jeans, Gap ankle boots (similar)

Adding some sparkle with a statement necklace
Target cardigan (similar), Gap jeans, Gap ankle boots, Target necklace (similar)

Stacking up a scarf to keep it cozy
Gap jeans, Gap ankle boots, scarf was a gift from two beautiful friends!

Professional with a blazer
Lauren Conrad blazer (similar), Gap jeans, Gap loafers (similar), 
Ebay necklace (this is the necklace, I painted it to be blue instead of orange)

This is what I would wear on a Friday I knew I'd have a walk-through... Its like "Yes its Friday, look at my school spirit, but man I am so professional I just have to rock this blazer."

Thursday, February 26, 2015


Yesterday we were told to dress in Western theme for today... I'm not sure why... But this was my attempt. Chambray and jeans with boots. And turquoise jewelry. So Western.

Also how is it that we had two snow ice days this week but its dragged on forever! I'm so glad there's only one more day! I'm also so glad I only have 2 days left of my winter capsule, I'm excited to bust out the midi skirts and flats. Not that the weather is not necessarily going to cooperate... But I can dream.

Loft Chambray shirt (on sale!), Target cardigan (similar), Gap jeans, Gap ankle boots (similar)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Failed Monochrome

This morning I woke up feeling as gray as the sky so I intended to go all gray- sweater, skirt, and boots. When I peaked outside, however, I saw the gray sky I was channeling was also spitting some sleety icey stuff. So that immediately disqualified my gray suede boots for use today. So I went for a bichromatic look rather than all monochrome. This is after the roller-coaster weather veered up to a pleasant 45°. I'm looking forward to some consistency!
Gap Factory sweater, Banana Republic skirt (thrifted, similar on sale!), Zara riding boots (similar)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Hairstyles for the Teacher on the Go

Alright friends, its been a long, cold few days. I've been cooped up in my house, cleaning, organizing, and of course pinteresting. I've been fiddling with my hair recently, trying to figure out if I want to cut it or just try out some new hairstyles. I don't think I'm ready (read: E is ready) for me to do any serious chopping, but I will definitely do some sitting in front of the mirror with bobby pins and sore arms the next few days.

As a teacher, especially of tiny students which require me to lean over and around and bend over and roll my head all over in songs, my luscious long locks get battered  daily. I leave the house with supermodel hair and come back home looking like I got caught in a wind tunnel then noogied by 5 older brothers. I generally end up in a high pony or with my hair down and looking a little sloppy. I need to kick it up a notch!

If you're similarly looking for some ways to tie up your locks, take a look at some of these styles I've shared below!

Random observation- why are all these women blonde? Weird!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Spring Purchases

Well friends, it's been almost 2 months since I began my capsule wardrobe. It has definitely been an adjustment. Its not always comfortable, nor is it always fun. I've had a few moments of inner panic as I look in my closet and see only outfits I've already worn and longing for the box full of my other clothes. But then I remember that I haven't been shopping because I'm sad or bored or alone, and I'm not spending unnecessarily. I reflect on the outfits I've come up with and how each one is really something that I want to wear and feel confident in... So I think I'll stick with it, at least one more season. Change doesn't happen overnight, or even in a few weeks! The shopping habits and mindset I've created took me a long time to develop, so if I want to create a more thoughtful and efficient system for myself, that will also take a while. Plus, to be honest, I think planning and calculating and searching for the perfect piece is kind of fun.

I like to play a word game when setting up goals and expectations (coincidentally, this is a great technique for older students). I like to choose 5-10 adjectives to describe what I want out of the process or experience, or to describe myself. I did this a few months ago when I felt like I needed an attitude adjustment, and it was so effective I've been doing it every few months about different things: my home, going back to school, the new semester, and my clothing. The adjectives for this upcoming capsule are:


Like I said when discussing my spring inspiration- spring will be kind of boring. I feel like winter is so fussy, with all its layers and jackets and scarves and generally too much of everything. The prospect of warmer temperatures makes me want to relax out of my 46 daily layers and ease into something simpler.

Now, I know I'm going against one of the rules set down for capsule wardrobes by Caroline at her amazing blog Unfancy, but I haven't been including my outerwear in my capsule. This matters less and less the closer to summer I get, but for spring, Texas weather is like a pinball machine and the temperatures are likely to continue bouncing all over the place, so I'll still need a variation of jackets to reach for. It would be a huge pain if one day I needed a winter coat and the next I'd be in sandals.

So, according to  capsule wardrobe plan, at the beginning of March (Wait what? Here is my explanation) I will do my switch to the spring capsule. Based on an evaluation of what I already have, I really only needed to add a few things to my closet to be ready for spring. After these purchases, I still have $30 left in my budget. 

What I bought:

Upgraded Moto Jacket (not a part of the capsule, but I wanted to share!)
Check it out, its lovely. Although a little squeaky and still faux, it definitely is an upgrade from my last moto jacket which was from an equivalent of Forever21. Great investment!

Graphic Blouse

I fell in love with this dreamy graphic blouse from my beloved Loft, which was on sale for $22. With shipping it was $32, so about 1/3 of my budget. That might seem a little strange, but I know that this is something I can wear not only this spring, but in any season because of its neutral palette. I'm not one for patterns generally, but this is just the bit of spice (yes to be a black and white blouse is spicy) that I wanted for spring.

The Perfect Striped Tee
I've searched high and low, and it is no where to be found! I want slightly longer sleeves, a loose but not baggy fit, and I want mid-sized stripes. Is that too much to ask? Apparently. 

I went for this one from Gap. Partially because it was on sale... But also because Caroline from Unfancy has pretty much the same shirt and it looks about perfect on her. (Let's pretend I'm not borderline obsessed with Unfancy. Ok, thanks.)

What I'm still searching for:

Gray Sheath Dress
Every time I browse my pins, I regret not buying this perfect one from H&M! I may or may not be stalking this on ebay.

I might wait a while on the sheath, because anything worthwhile is likely to send me over my budget, but I might also spend a few weekends thrifting for one! They are surprisingly hard to come by, even on the internet.

Cool Sneakers
Between my extremely picky sense of style and my big feet, I've really had a hard time finding some colorful sneakers to add a kick (harharhar... sorry) to my closet. These are some of my favorites, notice the trend?

I'll be out and about today in this cold, rainy weather, seeing if I can use up that last bit of budget on some worthwhile investments!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Weekend Stripes

Quick outfit post, just something I wore to a fundraiser for the Baha'i community- something called Kabob Fest. I know what you're thinking- "Kabob Fest? Is that real?" Yes. Its real and its heaven.

Loft top, Banana Republic Skirt (similar midi style), Gap ankle boots (similar)

Friday, February 20, 2015


Happy Friday! I had crossing guard duty every morning this week and you better believe I'm glad this week is over. This is my Goodwill dressing room selfie after I changed out of my "fun Friday" clothes and got a haircut. I may or may not be searching for the perfect jeans to make cut offs for the summer. I don't think its too early... even though its definitely February... Because soon all the hipsters will be trolling Goodwill for high waisted mom jeans to chop and shred. So I'll be searching. If you're out there, perfect mom jeans, I'll find you!

Loft blouse, Topshop jacket, Gap jeans, Gap ankle boots (similar), Target necklace

Enjoy the weekend! Hopefully where ever you are you're inside and not dealing with the so called "arctic blast," which is anything from -30 and 40. Break out your old man sweaters people!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Spring Brainstorming

I'm dreaming of spring... Consistently warm temperatures and actually seeing my shins and ankles is far too seductive to ignore. I searched my Pinterest and found some common themes that make me excited for rainy days, blossoms, and that amazing hue new grass has as it pokes up through the ground. Sorry guys, it looks like its going to be a boring spring. Basically, all I want to wear in the coming months is black and white, good jeans, and full skirts. And florals, because spring.

Here is my moodboard for spring... I was a little worried about making a moodboard but then I realized that a moodboard is essentially a glorified collage... And pre-k has that on lock, so I went for it.

I've already done most of my spring shopping, if I'm being honest, and I'll share an update on that in a few days. Somehow I have a very short list for spring. Now I just have to wait 2 weeks to enjoy the boring! (What? Two weeks, Kate? I thought you were changing in April like everyone else who does capsules!) (Yes, good reader, I was, before I made this fancy diagram!)

The problem with capsules...

The problem with capsule wardrobes is not an actually issue about capsules. The capsule so far is great! The problem I discovered has to do with how the capsules are split up.

As I usually do in the midst of winter, I was daydreaming about the beautiful (read: ungodly hot and unreasonably bright) summer months ahead. I imagined me frolicking in the Texas sun, lathering sunscreen on my pasty arms and legs and inconveniently forgetting that corner of my forehead that always seems to be more freckled than the rest...

As I reminisced about lovely days in shorts and sandals, I began to wonder when these long, hot days will begin. Last year it was super hot (read: anything over 85°) starting in mid-May and lasting until the last breath of October (see diagram below). I've always preferred hot to cold, so it's a good thing I ended up in Texas. But as I began to think about the implications of this persistent heat and general unpredictability on the contents of my future capsules, I got a little nervous. How am I supposed to predict Texas' bizarre weather choices? Or really any states',  I know Texas doesn't have a monopoly on wacky weather.

If I follow the schedule prescribed by my capsule wardrobe guru Caroline at Unfancy, then my summer wardrobe will be worn from July to the end of September. While this might reflect the weather generally in Texas, it poses a huge problem for a teacher. Everyone knows that as soon as summer vacation opens its welcoming arms, teachers shed their cardigans, slacks, and flats for a real person wardrobe of cut off shorts and tank tops. Many a former student has been startled by this transformation as they stumble upon their teacher a week after school gets out and they've gone from buttoned up matron to sunburnt beach bum. Or at least a sunburnt teacher in shorts. So I was sad that it seemed that I would have to keep my slacks in my capsule year round. Don't ask me why slacks depress me, thats pretty much self-explanatory. I just don't want my capsules to have items that I will only wear for half of the three months. I only get 37 items (give or take) for the whole season, so I want them to be wearable.

Naturally, in order to orient my understanding of how the seasons work, I made a diagram.

I hope this makes clear how confused I was. Capsules say the seasons are one way, society tells us they're another, and Texas is just Texas. You'll note I had to make a new season for Texas, what I called Autumnal Summer, because the calendar says fall and the temperature says "Don't make me laugh!"

I decided, after examining my diagram and comparing it to the schedule I follow for the academic school year, that it makes the most sense for me to follow the traditional description of the seasons, as follows:
Winter: December, January, February
Spring: March, April, May
Summer: June, July, August
Fall: September, October, November

There are two implications of changing my own capsule wardrobe schedule:
  • I'll be off of the schedule of the rest of the capsule wearers, but I also get to change out my clothes earlier!
  • I change out my spring capsule for summer when it makes sense to, and will have only two weeks of overlap with summer and the fall semester beginning. But I will still suffer through 2 months of a fall closet that in no way resembles the fall clothes of the rest of the country. But we get like three months of what other people call fall and we call winter, so I'm good on boots and sweaters regardless. 
Clearly I think way too much about the weather, but ever since I found this quote, I've begun to really consider the temperature when making my clothing decisions. 

Food for thought! Look for my posts on my spring capsule inspiration and purchases in the next few days!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Berry Cold

So my pants are berry colored and it's berrrrry cold today... Harharhar... Sorry, its essentially Monday.

I realize that this sweater is my go to for the coldest days, but this week and next seem to be full of them! I'll have to be a little more creative. There's only so many ways to wear a huge turtleneck and riding boots.
Gap Factory sweater, Old Navy turtleneck, Target pants (similar), Zara boots (similar)

Monday, February 16, 2015

Feeling Cold!

After this lovely weekend of 60's and 70's, today was a total sensory shock! Trekking across campus today was rough with the cold wind pushing against my layers. Keeping it simple for this relaxed day with stripes, drapes, and boots! I'm actually feeling kind of 70's layering my turtleneck? At least I'm cozy!

Old Navy turtleneck, H&M jeans, Zara boots (similar), Target cardigan (similar)

Valentine's Blush

Before the color blush came into the world of fashion like 3 years ago, I never wore pink. Actually, I haven't worn pink by choice since I was 6. I have only brothers and loved running around with them and wearing hand-me-downs, so for the past 17 years or so, I've avoided pink because I thought it was too girly. To be honest, I still don't like pink. But blush is like pink's older, more elegant cousin who only comes to visit when you need to look cool and feminine. Pink wants to go see a rom-com and Blush stays in to cook a fancy romantic dinner that is somehow low maintenance and relaxing.

Regardless of the differing extracurricular activities of colors, blush has become one of my favorite this season. With the exception of summer, which I think requires a little more punch, blush can be part of any palette for spring, fall, and winter. It pairs beautifully with so many colors! These are my favorites.

For Valentine's Day, I figured I'd put to use my favorite Loft purchase and wear some pink blush. I paired this blouse with a full black skirt and nude flats. E and I went with a group of friends to sushi in Dallas, then wandered around the Galleria. The day was warm, sunny, and all-around stunning, so even with my reputation for always being cold, my moto jacket stayed firmly in the car until the sun went down.

Loft button up, Banana Republic skirt (I love this longer version), Chinese Laundry flats

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Thrifted Favorites, Part One: The Tale of the Amazing Camel Leather Riding Boots

I've mentioned before that some of the pieces in my wardrobe are thrifted. What I did not mention is that thrifting may or may not be my biggest hobby. There is something so rewarding about digging through racks and racks of weird 90s cropped sweaters and brightly colored capris and finding a gem that adds a little extra oomph to your closet. Some of my favorite items are thrifted, and I want to share my all-stars with you to give you an idea of why thrifting can be a killer way to spend an hour or two. Or four, if you're me.

The Tale of the Amazing Camel Leather Riding Boots
I found these at a Salvation Army in Wichita, where there was nothing good on the racks. I turned to leave, then I spotted their enormous shoe display. Usually thrift stores don't have a plentiful supply of shoes that can fit my obnoxiously large feet (I wear size 10, which for someone who thrifts is annoying because all the shoes seem to be size 7). I rarely check out the shoes for this reason, as well as its slightly gross to think of someone else's foot sweat touching your feet.

But then I saw these. Two thoughts came to mind- they're not my size, and they're not real leather. I pulled them out of the rubble of nasty kitten heels with peeling soles and tried them on, my eyes only slightly popping when I found that not only could I zip them over my heel, but they were essentially brand new and therefore not grossly sweaty. These beauties were in pristine condition, and even though the material was questionable, I gladly paid all $14 dollars and took them home to wear as I pranced through fall leaves and sipped tea wearing gloves. 

Since buying these boots, which was quite early in my career as a thrifter, I feel like my style was really kicked up a notch. I have always considered shoes one of the most important parts of an outfit; they say so much about the person's idea of style and comfort. If you put two people in the same outfit in front of me, one in well-cared for suede loafers and the other in Champion sneakers (athletic brand from Target), I can tell a lot about how they perceive themselves and want to be perceived by others. I loved these boots immediately because they made it seem like I had put thought into a more expensive purchase rather than the Target flats and sneakers I had been running around in. They also made me feel way more polished and grown up. Thus started my love for good shoes.

An extra bonus is that, after much research, testing, and speculation between E and I ((Full disclosure: I just googled the brand)), the boots turned out to be real leather. I thought they must be real because the Thrift Gods were smiling on me that day. Regardless, for the last 3 years I've worn these boot so much that last winter I had to get the heel replaced because I had worn through the rubber and could hear the click of the nails every time I stepped.

I don't know how fashionable riding boots are these days, everyone seems to be exclusively wearing ankle boots, but I'll always love them because darn it, they keep my legs warm. I love styling them with black skinny jeans and an oversized sweater, or with button up layered with a sweater so I look like I'm about to go play polo with the lads at the club. They're a fall staple for me because that camel color sings bright leaves and jackets, despite the fact that now they're significantly more scuffed up that I would like. However, I'll probably wear them I find another pair of perfect brand new riding boots from Salvation Army. So I'll wear them forever.

Head to toe thrifted: similar scarf and dress

Forever 21 shirt (similar), Gap jeans

Target sweater (similar on sale!), Mango button up (similar), Gap jeans
Apartment 9 necklace (similar)

Can't thrift your own? Here are some similar options:
Lauren Ralph Lauren at DSW
Zigi Soho at DSW
Loeffler Randall Marit amazing perfect boots that are ungodly expensive!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Oversized Stripes

I'll be real- it was nearly impossible to get out of bed today. A long day of work and class is not exactly inspiring, so I relied on one of the few pieces of sparkle I have in my jewelry box to brighten my day. I got this necklace on eBay after reading posts from other bloggers who have found awesome statement necklaces for like a dollar. I scoured for weeks- I wanted the right colors to be as wearable as possible, I wanted sparkle but not too distracting, and I wanted the perfect size. When I finally got my shamefully cheap necklace, I realized that this necklace was none of those things. The colors are fine, but the gray is a little weird. The sparkle is so flashy. But the biggest issue is... This necklace is giant. Like, unwearably so. This is the only outfit I can wear this bauble with, I'm trying to both match the gray and hide the majority of the sparkle- but I'll be darned if it isn't a charming combination.

Gap sweater (similar), Loft chambray shirt (on sale!), Mango jeans, Gap ankle boots
Necklace from eBay 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Playing catch up

This week has been madness! I'm so glad to finally be catching a break after rushing home from a cancelled class to see E before he went to work. I'm trying to catch up on my outfits, its been busy enough so far that I haven't been home when its light enough to get a decent shot!

Lauren Conrad blazer (similar), thrifted button up, Mango jeans, Gap loafers (similar)

Joe Fresh button up (similar, super on sale and lovely), thrifted sheath dress (similar), 
I love this dress! I hadn't originally put it in my capsule for this season but I added it back after missing it and day dreaming about looking like a 40's secretary going to a funeral. I love this length but it was killing me on campus going up and down the stairs! 

Hope the rest of the week is a little more laid back for everyone!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Weekend in Wichita

This weekend I got to go back to my hometown, Wichita, to visit with my dearest friends and family. I'm the luckiest! We meandered downtown and visited one of Wichita's calling cards, the Donut Whole. It was delicious and so refreshing to be outside in February wearing so few pieces of clothing! We also stopped into one of my former thrift store favorites, where they had so many glorious old man sweaters that I had to be dragged away. Luckily the warm weather made it a little easier to leave them behind!
Ann Taylor button up, H&M jeans, Gap ankle boots (similar), Target purse (similar), Citizen watch

If I could, my outfits would always be documented outside in natural light and a warm breeze... Thanks M!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Gray and Blush for a gray day

This time of year usually gives me the blues- it's cold and gray, sometimes my expectations for the holidays are unfulfilled (I have three holidays this month- Valentine's Day, the Baha'i celebration called Ayyamiha, and my birthday which  I consider a holiday!), and spring still seems so far off.
But this year the usual feelings are absent, I'm feeling more positive than I expected. Hopefully it'll carry me right into spring!

Target cardigan (similar), Loft button up (on sale!!!), Banana Republic skirt (thrifted, similar), Gap ankle boot (similar), H&M necklace (old, couldn't find similar)

Sorry I'm a little glowly in this- I forgot to turn off HDR!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Birthday stripes

Today is my birthday! I had a nice day working with the kids, who shouted Happy Birthday in random spurts when they remembered, then I had class... Which was not as nice! But now I'm relaxing with an embarrassingly large piece of cake and Friends reruns. Ah, 23 feels good!

When I planned my capsule, this was one of the outfits I envisioned. I love this top, it was a spur of the moment clearance purchase that actually has paid off. Its cozy and relaxed, but structured and light enough to be layered in different seasons.

Loft cropped sweatshirt (similar), Ann Taylor blouse (on sale in different colors!), Gap high-waisted jeans, Gap ankle boots

Monday, February 2, 2015

Gray and plum, bundled

Today is the first day of my morning crossing guard duty, and a sublime 25° dawn greeted me as I marched to the sidewalk, wrapped in so much clothing I could have been a walking rack of winter accessories. Under all those coats, scarves, hats, and gloves was this outfit. Believe it or not, even though I have leggings and extra layers under the sweater, I was still a popsicle when I went back to class. The kids looked at me like I was an abominal snow woman, although they would hardly know what snow is! Last week we discussed the seasons and what comes with them, it was hard to convince them that the 75° weather was in fact happening during winter.
Gap factory sweater, Halogen pants (thrifted, similar), Zara riding boots (old, similar)

I love the texture of these pants! The color is perfect for any season!

© my teacher style 2012 | Blogger Template by Enny Law