Working It!

I am SO excited to be returning back to school. I am blessed that I get to be back in the school I worked at for my student teaching internship! I cant believe the 3rd graders that I once helped are now in 5th, where I will be!

The other night I was up late with my anxiety and just being a night-owl/Pitta type and decided to prep my wardrobe for the upcoming first week.

Then I kept going, and I have a months worth of outfits, enough to wear something different everyday…and then some! It makes me blush that I have that much clothing, but I’m happy that I am prepared for any weather or turn of events!

It’s January and January has always felt light blue and silver to me. Anyone else give colors to the months and seasons? For example: I love wearing lots of browns, blacks, oranges, and greens in October and November moving into maroon by the end of November and then blacks and gem tones in December… the on to teals and blues in January… No? Just me! Haha.

Well I have many teals and blues to wear this months as well as blacks and light-browns.

Before we go further a HUGE apology for photographing at night. I was VERy busy today running and was stuck in town, then when I got home I HAD to clean before blogging. So the clothes will not look the greatest or true to color, and I’m in a hurry. But it was a goal to get this post out there, so here it is!

This first top is a thick sweater with 3/4 sleeves, which was an instant dream-team for me. I’m a sleeve-pusher. I’m paring it with this great iridescent-ish necklace that really captures blues. I think it give the out fit something feminine. Paired with black slacks and light brown flats makes this outfit a move away from bland for me. I think the brown flats pick up the warmth from the necklace that the slacks and top cool down, as the stones are set in gold. This sweater would be great to wear with a button up underneath, sleeves rolled.

blog1

Next, I am very excited about this. I was having a hard time wearing this white cardigan and this grey shell. For what ever reason the sweater just didn’t seem right with the outfits I was pairing it with and the grey was almost purple, but this gorgeous amazonite mala necklace picks up the greys and whites and adds a pop of teal and orange. Paired with black slacks and brown flats.

img_4476-copy

img_4478-copy

Here we have the pretty necklace again, this time with a more polished sweater in teal. Again, I photographed at night and these photos just don’t give the color it’s justice. Definitely more green in person. (Check out instagram for any full outfit photos!!! @ashleyontherun) This sweater has buttons up the back. So cute! paired with black slacks and flats.

img_4479-copy

img_4480-copy

img_4481-copy

4th day… I. LOVE. THIS. TOP. There is something so great about an oversized-sweater! This sweater feels casual, but does not look it! Paired with a pretty gold flower necklace, black slacks and brown flats.

img_4482-copy

img_4483-copy

And for my Friday outfit! As a student teacher, I am suggested by the college to not conform to the “jeans on Friday” rule of the school I am in while student teaching. So in order for me to feel a little bit more comfortable while remaining professional as well as part of the team I decided on a simple, casual striped knit top with a black open cardigan, black slacks, and black flats. This top feels like a t-shirt compared to the rest of the week, so that is why it feels casual to me! Nothing too frilly! Stay posted to my ig to see if I share the full outfit.

So that’s my first week! I had so much fun gathering like pieces and making a theme or colorstory for each week. You can tell my first week was cool blues with pops of gold/brown. I’m dying to get Valentines week prepared! It is still a little bit early yet. I have red and pink slacks so that takes care on Monday and Tuesday’s bottoms! I’m keeping an eye out for a sweater with a big heart on it! And hoping to make a cute heart necklace. The rest of the week may be slightly less decked-out, but black and white with pops of red or pink.

Tops are all from Loft, and I do believe they are all still available as of this post. The gem and flower necklace are Loft. The amazonite mala is from True Nature jewelry on Etsy. Pants are low rise ankle pants from Express. Flats are Born.

Advertisements

I Daydream of LOFT

That’s a nod to “I Dream of Jeannie” if you didn’t catch that! Today I opened my email to find one of the many LOFT emails I receive. This one I opened rather than sending it straight to the trash. (I’m usually aware of their sales before they ever send an email! Call me a stalker…!) But this one featured some blogger stars styling LOFT items for work, which totally appeals to me. And, yes, the inspiration came!

I absolutely loved these outfits in particular:

blue

I just love the soft blue color of these pieces and how they are paired with warm brown, I would have never done that! When I see a cool blue my instinct is to pair it with black, making the look even more cold. I also have never considered a scarf wrap like this! Love it! (Not a fan of bootcut/flare with ankle boots…?)

boot

This one caught my attention because there are basically three things going on to me and one of them may be VERY useful! That would be the ankle boots with ankle pants! I had been curious about wearing these two things together, but thought it may be a strange look, but it pulls off well! She is also wearing a tunic/dress with slacks. How neat! And the vest is another thing slightly out of my comfort zone, but I’m trying to imagine myself possibly giving them a try. This might allow me to feel cozy without restricting my movement.

moto

And this is just amazing. I love the bo-ho look, always have. I’m a hippie at heart. But because I have a motorcycle, work at a Harley shop, and basically bleed Harley I really love how these two contrasting looks compliment each other! Very fun flirty feminine with a modern clean edge.

I can’t decide which element I want to try first! I can easily go slip on some ankle boots to see if I like how it looks on me. But I’m definitely dreaming of purchasing some more pieces from LOFT soon! They are having a great sale right now!

Here’s a few of the things I’d love to get:

brown

I can see myself pairing this with the dandelion sleeveless top from earlier this year. It is ivory with a sweet orange and light blue floral print. The challenge will be which color of slacks will work best!

flower

This top gives me spring and art teacher vibes! I would love to pair it with my red slacks and maybe even my turquoise cardigan! Gotta love some loud contrast!

hippie

This is the shirt version of the “hippie dress”. I really don’t know which one I would prefer! So I will probably end up with neither! hahaha In all honesty I’m really not much of a dress wearer. I really love wearing slacks and jeans.

holiday

This looks like a perfect holiday top! I just love that shade of green. I have one in a similar silhouette, but in maroon and I just love the way it feels on.

white

Love how fresh this top is. It looks to be the same cut as the shirt just above. It has a casual vibe, but is still dressy. Check out those “poet’ sleeves! How would I get creative with this top? maybe tucking it into some dress pants, or not, and wearing a necklace that had  just a few colored gems/beads in it? hmmmm.

Well, perhaps it is just about time for me to do a round up of my “newer” pieces and see where I’m at! Fall has been fairly warm, so I don’t feel like I’ve been getting to really wear the pieces I’d like to style or the outfits I love just yet! I have my eyes set on this FANTASTIC pair of pumpkin spice pants at Express that might just make all of my fall dreams come true. 😉

It has still been very busy when I have free time at home and I am soaking up lots of friend time when I get the chance. Last night my best friend and I got together for wine, classical music, wall decor hanging, and AHS! It was a fun night. We even got a short dog-walk in and some yummy snacks! So that’s my life right now! Hurry up and do homework, hurry up and spend time with friends, hurry up and watch your favorite shows or read your book… I love it! I just can’t wait for homework to be such a huge part of things! But this is only the beginning of the tough stuff!

Any way, have a lovely Fall weekend! I will hopefully be spending time with Michael riding ATVs and getting some outdoor Autumn decor going, which gets me one step closer to a blog post!

How about you all? Any great outfit/fashion finds? Do you have some current #loftlove? Have any fall plans?

Love Y’all!

 

 

Back to School!

The kids in our district will be returning to school in 2 days. This, and the fact that I received a new top from LOFT in the mail, has me really excited! My semester does not start until next Monday and I have no access to my syllabi, so on my day off I think of doing the only other things I can to prepare for school: Organize last semester’s reading material and my wardrobe!

I am so excited about this new wildflower peplum top! It is currently no longer available, but there are other GORGEOUS tops in the same/similar print. I really wish they would have designed the white wildflower top in petite or XXS, but it’s all good…

Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 5.22.02 PM.png

So many people, myself included, are looking for inspiration for teaching wardrobes, and as female teachers I think we get really excited about Pinterest and Instagram posts that have darling outfits put together. They have become novelty to me!

Everyone’s district has different guidelines for a dress-code, and every person has their own style and tastes. In my district I have felt a lot of pressure, especially as a future teacher, to dress as professionally as possible. This means bottoms made of suiting material and dressy tops.

Now, you will find plenty of teachers that wear colored denim, khakis, knit maxi skirts, etc., but I know for myself, I will prefer to begin by building a business casual wardrobe, and relax from there… If I so decide. I do love colored denim and boots! Teaching the older grades will have me in less of a fuss to wear comfortable clothes, because I think I will be down on the ground less. Not completely off the ground, but on it less.

So that is my style aim. My next caveat is my body type. I am tiny. Super tiny on top, normal tiny on bottom. I also have limited access to good stores. But I came across LOFT, and they carry tons of petite styles. Almost every one of their pieces comes in petite!

I was a long time Maurice’s shopper. They used to offer great pieces for the office, but as their company is evolving their sizing has gone up slightly, and I can rarely find not only things that are small enough, but tops that have an appropriate neckline or back. Many of their pieces would still be great for the general office, but as a teacher I need more options. That is where LOFT saves me. So many of their tops fit and have higher necklines.

Now, not all of my tops HAVE to “choke” me, but I just have to be a little more prepared when I do where other necklines.

My favorite type of top to wear, I have noticed, is a sleeveless shell.

 

These tops are so versatile for me. They allow me to wear cardigans with out getting too hot and they can be mixed and matched if you are creative! Easily worn with pants or skirts.

The wildflower and sunflower yellow top will get worn most during the first and last of the school year. I tend to wear lots of orange, brown, and black in October and then begin mixing in other fall colors and eventually winter colors.

The next kind of tops that I have are ones with sleeves.

 

I’m trying to add more of this type of shirt to my wardrobe to get away from wearing cardigans most of the time. I’m excited about the possibilities of the black and white top because there are some great colors that it will pair with! Pink, red, yellow, burnt orange…

Next up, sweaters. First, cardigans.

IMG_4443.JPG

Ive got a head start on fall AND colors that are a little out of my comfort zone!

Pullovers also exist, but rarely get purchased! I have two more in mind that I want to get!

And the last category… DRESSES! I VERY rarely wear dresses! But I adore the ones that I have purchased, and They do get worn at least once a year.

SO there you have my LOFT collection so far! I’m so happy that this brand is there for me. Their style can seem kind of strange at first, but as I am getting older I can definitely embrace their simplicity.

Now… That can’t be ALL that I own, of course. It’s definitely a good start, but I have a few pieces from other brands that I still LOVE.

Tops come from Maurice’s, JCP, Buckle, and Forever 21. Dress are Angie, Maurice’s x2, JCP, and Forever 21. Cardigans come from JCP, Maurice’s, Buckle, Charlotte Russe, and Forever 21. Some of them I have had for years.

Let’s talk about dress pants! I buy all of mine from Express. Again, one of the few places that makes them small enough for me. But there are two other MORE important traits about their pants.

  1. Slim leg opening. The columnist barely boots and ankle pant create a slimmer silhouette, and when you are 5’3″ you need that in order to not look short and stumpy!
  2. Tailored and well made. These pants will last if cared for.

Now, it may seem like I am a bit high maintenance when it comes to my clothing, to some. I could definitely be wearing items that are more expensive or less expensive, but these were purchased on sale, and others have been held on to for a long time. I think it also takes time to figure out what works best for you! I invest in Express pants because I know they will flatter and last. I invest in LOFT items because they flatter, are work appropriate, and can be often found on sale at reasonable prices. Don’t ever shop there at normal price, unless it’s something you MUST have and you know it will sell fast. This does happen!

I also will probably not always be able to shop like this, that is why I am trying to build up a wardrobe now. This has also taken all summer! I purchased my first LOFT top in May. I also received a raise in January and my living situation lightened up a lot, so investing in my career has been a rewarding luxury.

One detail about my style, I noticed, is that I do not accessorize much and that is exactly what makes the teacher outfits I see so fun! That is definitely one goal for my wardrobe. In the coming weeks I will not be making many purchases, as I am saving up for a new fitness watch. (I lost my Fitbit!). But here is my brainstorm for my wardrobe:

  1. Tops from Loft (Fall and Outside the Comfort-Zone): Pullover sweaters, basic shells (black, white), cardigans (grey, white, brown)
  2. 3-4 Express dress pants, skinny ankle (hopefully a sale will pop up, they usually do a buy one-get one)
  3. FOOTWEAR: aiming for two pairs black and two pairs brown… undecided on brands
  4. Jewelry: a couple of statement necklaces, a couple that are just nice

If you take a look closely at my wardrobe you can see that there is a good amount of oranges, browns, creams, and blacks. I definitely love to dress up for October, and these colors also work well into November.

I am excited to plan my October outfits. I am hoping to have enough to mix-and-match something unique for every day! So, fall is always on the list as well!

Using each kind of top (shell, cardi, sleeves, etc.) it is easy to diversify your look. I currently do not have many outfits that are fun colors, most of them have a fall look, so building up some other outfits that are outside my comfort-zone has been an exciting challenge!

In the future I hope to share my outfits with you! (And someday I will have a master closet that I hope I can organize and share!)

So how about you? How do you all plan your outfits and wardrobes? What are your favorite places to shop? Do you have a style that you embrace? A style that you try to break away from?

The LOFT addiction is growing fierce friends, but seriously LOFT. Stop it with all these adorable dandelions! I just can’t!

I currently own the first top, and the second is on it’s way. Just look at that ruffle! Obviously I had to won both…!

Then there’s the dress…

imageService (2)

My flapper dreams come true. This will be in the next batch i order I think. I really don’t think I could wear this to school, but regardless I have to have it in my wardrobe!

And the rest:

I’m just in love with this cute little print and all the different silhouettes theyve created with it.

While checking out my order last night, something glitched and the items I had deleted went back into my bag and I ended up purchasing twice as many dollars worth as I wanted to…!!! BUT this gives me the opportunity to try on what I like and return what I don’t like or what doesn’t fit. Hoping some cardigans will work out, I chose some FUN colors! I’m definitely aiming for the polished art teacher look. I’m still trying to bulk up my professional wardrobe with truly amazing pieces.

Can’t wait to share!

Oh, and happy like 8 days vegan!

Teacher Proof

This may be one of the most odd posts I ever write, but I think there are several reasons I am doing so.

What happened was: I spilled a drop of foundation on my brand new LOFT top. “Oh, boyyyyy… Who CARES?!” they’re thinking, but let me share a lesson with you all.

image

This is the face this top gave me before I realized what had happened. Just sheer joy.

I should not have felt the whirlwind of emotions that I did, but I did! This stuff wasn’t coming out. This had happened to me maybe 8 years before, and one reason I switched to Bare Minerals. I switched to Bare Minerals liquid because of the brown powder mess I was constantly wiping up… Anyway.

When I got home I started treating it with Shout. NOPE.

Treated it with Shout over night. NOPE.

Tried treating it with Clorox 2. NOPE.

I could see just MINIMAL progress, so something in me decided to keep trying.

I did a lot of Googling as well.

I picked up a Tide-2-Go, OXI-MAX, Bleach, Hydrogen Peroxide, even Ammonia… I was desperate and curious.

Tide-2-Go wasn’t working and the marker tip freaked me out that I would scrub it all stretched out. Oxi over night made the most progress I had seen, but came to a halt. Then I got crazy trying the peroxide and ammonia… NOPE!

I had finally lost it… So to try bleach.

image

To my surprise it didn’t harm it at all. I started with 1 minute soaks… nothing… 5 min soaks… nothing… FORGET IT! I whipped out the Tide pen again and scrubbed. soaked in bleach and scrubbeddddd. Soaked in bleach and SCRUBBEDDDDDD!

image

And it went away!

Almost completely. Only I can really see where it was.

At first there was a strange smudging of the fibers where I had rubbed it so hard, but nothing I didn’t think I couldn’t live with. So I blow dried it and ironed it and even that went away!

image

You are asking why I am so obsessed over a tiny little spot at the bottom of the shirt that no one would really even care about… Well for one I had spent $50 on it, it was an important part of a vacation memory, and I had been wearing it for the first time when it happened. AND because I’m a bull in a china shop and it sometimes gets me down that I am so naturally careless, but I think it’s because I am proud of pursuing a remedy rather than settling for a stained shirt that is sub-par or even buying a whole new one.

image

The most important thing this shows me is just how resilient this shirt is and that it is definitely teacher approved! Thank you LOFT for designing a shirt that can withstand bleached and being stretched out!

Find clothes that are teacher proof!

LOFT Love=True Love

I have FINALLY found a store that speaks to my needs. LOFT. While they have appeared to me in the past to be the “Christopher & Banks” of a younger age group…I find myself addicted. (There are some rather amusing articles about the epiphany that is Ann Inc. and Loft) I’m growing up folks! They have great blouses for teachers: higher necklines and forgiving fabrics. They have fun colors and patterns. LOFT creates a boutique look with many of their items and, because we don’t have one in my hometown, I will be one of few that is rocking these amazing pieces. What REALLY sealed the deal, however, are the petite sizes. Folks… I don’t have to worry about my small chest and narrow shoulders anymore!!! Do you have ANY idea how amazing it feels trying on pieces of clothing, one after another, that actually fit?! I mean they really, truly fit me! Yes, I’m small, but I am not a junior anymore!!! I have been forced to shop the Junior section for too long now. Junior styles are way to young. Too many crop tops, low necklines, sheer, just no… it’s too youthful now. As a “young” professional (I’m 27 now, so I’m actually a woman…right?) I need to be able to command respect and LOFT will help me accomplish that!

So here are the pieces I have purchased so far!

loft1loft2loft3loft4

There are a few more that I have my eye on! And a few that have already disappeared… sad face.

I’m not in love with their online return system; they charge $8.00 for shipping. And I’m not sure that their sizing is SUPER reliable so I have to be careful with long sleeves. I personally think the quality is adequate to good, even great in some cases. The fabrics and details are nice. Some prices do not match the quality, as in the case of the green dress above. This dress is fully lined, but made out of t-shirt-type knit. It was originally almost $80.00, going for $74.88 currently. I think it could have went for a little less. Now they DO have amazing sales if you can catch the item you want at the right time, perhaps they have a system that i can figure out, but in the case of this dress I really should have waited to see if I could pay 60 or even 50. I see it pilling in the future and possibly even getting faded. Thankfully I’m the type that doesn’t dry most of my clothes (socks and lounge stuff makes the exception) and I don’t wear dresses too often. The construction won me over, though!

If you are a young professional that has never given LOFT a try, do so. It is worth your time, even if you think you might not like them or if you still end up not liking them. Loft can be a whole lifestyle going from work to casual to play to relax time. I love how easy this store makes things!