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 ┬ájust 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. ­čśë

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!

 

 

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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┬áme 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…

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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.

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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┬ábarely 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?

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┬áboutique 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!