Changing Like the Seasons

My house is a mess. A half-boxed, half-strewn about mess. My husband and I are moving on Friday into a house of our very own! Well, after 30 years of payments, it will be, but at least we can paint the walls.

One perk about my new house is its location – about 10 minutes from Kohl’s, and therefore about 10 minutes from LC Lauren Conrad clothes. If you’re hesitant to spend a lot of money on clothes, but you like her style, check out the clearance racks. You can find great deals, like 50% off the perfect sweater for this chilly weather.

I’m not a fan of winter, and I’m not a fan of Florida temps dropping into the 60s at night like they are right now. I’ve even been a little chilly in my house in the mornings and evenings, and I’m currently wearing the softest, warmest, pants I own. I sleep in them during the super cold winter months. I’m a little too hot in them right now because it’s still summer in Florida, but they’re so comfortable.

I got a compliment on the color of my work shirt today. It’s deep purple and one of the best colors to wear with my hair and skin color. I read that everyone’s invited to wear purple this Wednesday in support of a particular cause, and it made me wonder why we wear colors to support something. Wearing a certain color doesn’t accomplish anything concrete. Maybe it gives a feeling of being part of a team, like wearing colors for sports teams. Whatever the reason, I think I’d feel encouraged if a bunch of people wore a particular color just to support me.

Moving has made me think about change. For the first time, we’re buying a house. We have pet fish, but we’re going to add a kitten and a puppy. New opportunities opened up for me yesterday to pursue a longtime dream in performing arts. This major move into a house of our own makes it seem like a good season to make changes to just about everything we’re doing.

What’s going on with you? Any life changes in this changing of the seasons?

Pleated Skirt {Day 7 of 31 Days of Fall Fashion}

Pleats may remind you of your schoolgirl days, but they’re still on the runway this season, as shown by Bottega Veneta. Even if you don’t own one anymore, you can probably find one at a thrift store since they’ve been back in style for several seasons. Try wearing it with a fuzzy sweater or, if that seems too bookish, with a satin blouse.


I would prefer to wear my pleated skirt with a cropped sweater, but that will have to be a future thrift store find. Instead, I put on a cropped lace top by Moda International given to me by my fashionista friend. The outfit is a little dark for my taste, but it’s still romantic.

Do you have a pleated skirt in your closet? How can you style it this fall?

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Metallics {Day 6 of 31 Days of Fall Fashion}

Brands like Balmain are bringing us some shine and sparkle in time for the holidays. Besides traditional gold and silver, you can search your wardrobe for metallic jewel colors, like ruby, emerald, and sapphire. While you’re thinking about it, why not add some precious jewels to your Christmas list?


I wore my gold thrifted sweater with dark jeans by LC Lauren Conrad and black heels. The metallic effect of the sweater gives off just enough glamour to make me feel dressed up. And I have the perfect heart-shaped sapphire to go with it, given to me by my husband for our first Christmas when we were dating.

Do you have metallics in your closet? How can you style them this fall?

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Black and White Blocking {Day 5 of 31 Days of Fall Fashion}

I don’t typically wear black. This “color” seems to be a staple in many wardrobes, but white fits my personality better, and it’s the main neutral that I wear. When trends like black and white blocking come around, though, as seen on the Balenciaga runway this season, I have a few black pieces of clothing I can pull out of my closet.

Black and white blocking

I put together a monochromatic base with a thrifted top, Charlotte Russe capris, and heels. Then I added a white LC Lauren Conrad blazer. I never thought I would enjoy wearing blazers, but this one is pretty girly, so I like it.

Do you have black and white items in your closet? How can you style them together?

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Flirty Shoes {Day 4 of 31 Days of Fall Fashion}

Give your feet some love this season with a pair of flirty shoes. Check out these shoes on the Badgley Mischka runway. A little ruffle, a little bow, a little heel – you decide what’s flirty to you. My definition resides in black flats with ribbons, ruffles, and bows across the front that took me months to find.

black ruffle flats

It’s also taken me months to figure out how to wear this skirt without the little jacket that came with it. Thanks to runway inspiration, I found out it’s lovely with my satiny blouse and a fur shrug from my favorite fashionista. Now I just need fishnet tights!

Do you have flirty shoes in your closet? How can you style them?

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Gray Knits {Day 3 of 31 Days of Fall Fashion}

Must. Have. These. Mittens. Obviously my first thought upon seeing this outfit by Alexander Wang. As these mittens are not in my closet (at least until I fix my sewing machine), we’ll focus on the fuzzy gray knits. I wish I could touch them, and the furry mittens, and the soft wool through my computer screen.

Gray sweater

I’m all LC Lauren Conrad in this outfit. I bought these pants less than a year ago, so I’ve never worn them during fall or winter. Now I know they’ll work well year-round.

Do you have gray knits in your closet? How can you style them this fall?

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High Ruffled Neckline {Day 2 of 31 Days of Fall Fashion}

The high ruffled neckline trend came to my attention when I saw the Marc by Marc Jacobs collection for Fall 2012 – see this dress. I adored the purple color, but I also liked the quirkiness of the neckline. The clothes on Alexander McQueen’s runway this season are stunning even if they aren’t immediately relevant to everyday activities. I almost passed on referencing them in my 31 Days series, but then I noticed the high ruffled neckline.

High ruffled neckline

Last year, after seeing the Marc by Marc Jacobs collection, I found a satiny blouse with a similar neckline and lace detailing at Goodwill. Despite the blouse being at least three sizes too big for me, I bought it. I still haven’t altered it, but thanks to today’s photo shoot, I now know that I can coordinate it with my plum skirt! Seriously, I need to alter this blouse so I can wear it out of the house.

Do you have a high ruffled neckline in your closet? How can you style it this fall?

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Ruffles and Lace {Day 1 of 31 Days of Fall Fashion}

Because my fashion sense tends toward a romantic style, I enjoyed seeing ruffles and lace on the runway, like this dress by Alberta Ferretti. The runway looks inspired me to put together a ruffled dress that I bought at New York & Company and a Charlotte Russe lace top that my fashionista friend gave to me. I also added my ruffly black flats.

black lace and ruffles

On its own, the dress looks sporty, which doesn’t fit my personality. Wearing the lace blouse over it transforms it into a romantic style. I also don’t usually wear black, but because the lace and ruffles give the outfit a romantic look, I just need a reason to wear it now!

Do you have ruffles and lace in your closet? How can you style them this fall?

31 days of fall fashion

31 Days of Fall Fashion

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What do you like about fall fashion? I especially like the fabrics that are uncommon during the warmer months. Velvet, tweed, and fur make my heart skip a beat.

Runway fashion inspires me. In their own unique ways, designers make clothes look like pieces of art. By browsing through runway pictures, I discover new ways to wear clothes I already own.

For the next 31 days, I’m going to share with you trends from the fall runways. You might find many of them in your closet, and others you can pick up at your favorite clothing or thrift stores. Following the trends doesn’t mean following the masses if you incorporate them into your personal style. Instead, trends will keep your look current and give you a boost of creativity for your wardrobe.

To read more 31 Days blog posts, visit The Nester.

Day 1: Ruffles and Lace

Day 2: High Ruffled Neckline

Day 3: Gray Knits

Day 4: Flirty Shoes

Day 5: Black and White Blocking

Day 6: Metallics

Day 7: Pleated Skirt

Five Steps to a Focused Style

For years, I had a mismatch of clothes in my closet. I shopped sporadically and picked up an item here and a couple others there, with the end result being a collection of tops I couldn’t wear with any of the bottoms, and a collection of bottoms I couldn’t wear with any of the shoes. Not only was it practically impossible to put together an outfit, I didn’t have the pulled-together look I was after.

A year or two ago, my style changed dramatically. Basically, I grew out of the teen stores like Aeropostale and Charlotte Russe and into a more grownup and sophisticated look. Many of the items in the LC Lauren Conrad collection at Kohls fit what I was looking for, and they were generally within my price range.

I picked a color palette of white, coral pink, sea foam green, and light blue. After buying a few tops, bottoms, and pairs of shoes, my wardrobe now contains a cohesiveness that makes it easy to choose what to wear and to look stylish. I’ve been able to mix in additional colors, and I always feel good in the clothes.

If you feel like your wardrobe is a mess, here are some steps you can take to refocus it.

1. Figure out what your style is. Consider what you enjoy wearing the most, look through magazines and websites, and study types of styles, such as classic, romantic, punk, etc. When I figured out that the style I enjoyed wearing the most was romantic, I realized that I would be happiest wearing soft colors, floral patterns, lace, and bows.


Enjoying the beach with my husband at sunset.

2. Choose a neutral. Common wardrobe neutrals include black and white, but you can be creative and pick any color. The point is for some of your wardrobe staples to be in that color so you can mix and match. I chose white as my neutral, and besides regular blue denim jeans, I bought white pants, a white blazer, and white shoes. I don’t wear all of these together, but they coordinate with most of my colorful tops.


Spending time with my Mom.

3. Design a color palette. What are your favorite colors to wear? Do they look good with the neutral you chose? Light blues and greens are my favorite colors to wear, and they go well with white.


Exploring a nature preserve. The tennis shoes are just for hiking 🙂

4. Shop selectively. You don’t have to buy clothes from one designer, but keep your style, neutral, and color palette in mind as you shop. Something might look awesome in the store, but it might not match anything you own or fit the style you like to wear.


Visiting friends at one of my favorite places, Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

5. Branch out. Once you understand your style and colors and have some pieces to start with, it’s easier to see how other colors and styles might blend into your wardrobe. I bought a couple of yellow tops and two light gray sweaters, all of which I can wear with bottoms and shoes that make up the main pieces in my wardrobe.


At a wedding with my family.

What’s your style and color palette? How do you focus your style?

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