Monday, June 22, 2015

style q&a

I wanted to answer a few more questions you guys had during my survey in April. These are more style and clothing related - fitting for a post that includes one of more favorite outfits this month :)

How has your style evolved since you started blogging? What is the biggest lesson you've learned?

I think I've figured out what shapes look best on me - that probably comes with looking at hundreds pictures of yourself in various outfits! I also have really worked on having a more cohesive wardrobe - when I first started blogging, I felt that one outfit was completely different than the next. I feel my outfits now all go together.

The biggest lesson I've learned is to try new things or trends, but only if you really like them. There's nothing wrong with being trendy as long as you stay true to yourself. For example - pearls have been pretty trendy for the last year now. I love pearls, so this is a trend I'm all about. But a few years ago when neon was all the rage, I tried it because I felt I had to, and never wore that shirt again. Lesson learned.

What trend or style would you love to try, but you aren't convinced you could pull it off?

I really wish I could do the more boxy looks - I love so many things that Madewell comes out with that I know would never work on me. For example, I fell in love with this embroidered top online, but in real life I saw how boxy it was and didn't even bother trying it on. Part of that comes with knowing my body type and having tried on lots of different things over the years!

How do you resist the urge to buy something if it doesn't fit you 100% the way you want it to?

I've donated and sold enough clothes for less than I paid for them to really think about only keeping something if I really love it. I also know how annoying it is to want something to work out a certain way, and then have it never look the way you want it to when you try to put an outfit together. I'd rather just hold out until I find the exact thing I want, even if that means looking for the perfect gray cardigan for the better part of the last year.

Do you dry clean all of your clothes? I find that I'm lazy and wash them instead - do you notice that it makes a difference to dry clean most items?

I dry clean very little - but I also try to buy very few things that are dry clean only. If I do buy something dry clean only, I have to really love it enough to eventual force myself to drive to the dry cleaners to get it cleaned. What I feel has helped though is having a steamer - I have this one that was about $30 on Amazon, and it really helps with keeping clothes fresher and wrinkle-free!

Totally understand if you don't want to share, but I'm always looking for bra/underwear recommendations. But again, you're a professional and may not want that floating around the interwebs forever.

While you guys will never see me in my underwear, wearing the proper undergarments can really make or break an outfit. My favorite bra is this demi bra from Victoria's Secret. It is definitely not a push-up, but it provides me with the support I need, plus I find it very comfortable. For underwear, I really prefer a more covered style (so old and boring!) but I also hate VPLs, so I really love the bare/seamless pairs at VS.

Any recommendations for a college undergrad to revamp their wardrobe?

Find a pair of pants you really love on yourself - for me, it's black skinny jeans. They can be dressed up or down so easily, so they are super versatile. Having even one pair of pants (or skirt or whatever) that you know always looks good pulls together any outfit.

Second, look into thrifting! With a limited budget, but more time, going to thrift store is an amazing way to add some pieces to your closet you may not have been able to otherwise. I always went to the one in the nicest part of town, and I found such great deals.

What are your criteria for choosing "staples"? How do you assess whether a clothing item will be versatile? -- color? cut? length? ability to accessorize?

Staples for me are things I can wear either several different ways, or in several different places. Since I've been working on having a more cohesive wardrobe, the colors I'm now drawn to all go together - that makes pieces themselves more versatile because they will also probably go with several other things in my closet. 

I also have a few types of outfits, so if I can add another one of those items to my closet, I already know it will be a staple. For me currently that's slightly longer silkier "tees", like the one I'm wearing in this post. I have a few variations of this style in different colors and sleeve lengths, and they work so well in both my professional life (like how I wore it here for my family medicine rotation) or how I wore it three days later to go shopping (with skinny jeans and a cross body bag).

I want to know about lounging and gym clothes. I think you mentioned that you don't normally wear anything fancy, but I would love to hear how those lulu crops you got awhile back worked out.

I love my lulu crops and still wear them all the time, both lounging around the house and when I go to Pure Barre. I also have a pair of leggings from Old Navy that have held up very well although I find them just a bit thinner than my lulu crops, as well as a few of their work out tops. I am looking for something that provides just a bit more support up top, so if anyone has any suggestions (from all price ranges), I'd love to hear them! For lounging at home, we don't have AC, so most times I'll be in just shorts and an Everlane tee.

What are your top 3 investment recommendations for post graduation, clothing and accessory wise?

Since our lives, careers, and preferences are so different, it's hard for me to say "everyone needs to have these three things", but you can't go wrong with a pair of professional pants, a nice work bag, and a watch you love to wear. For me, those have been my straight black pants, my newest tote bag, and my DW watch.

What's your dream purse/bag?

I've been saving up for a classic Chanel flap bag for two years now, and plan on buying it for myself for graduation in two years. My other current dream bag though is the Chloe Marcie bag. Maybe some day :)

How far in advance do you tend to pick out your outfits? a week before, the night before, five minutes before?

Honestly, usually the morning of. Sometimes I know I want to wear a certain item, so I'll build around that, but I don't spend a lot of time putting anything together. For someone who likes to plan everything else, what I'm wearing that day usually isn't planned ;)

What are the key staple pieces you have in your closet that you think every girl should have?

A pair of pants you love to wear. A coat for each season you experience. A dress to wear to a wedding, and one to wear to a funeral. A pair of shoes you can comfortable walk long distances in, and a pair you can't ;)

What pieces are totally worth the extra splurge?

Completer pieces - coats, bags, and shoes. Real leather will always last longer, and gets better with age (my absolute favorite is my Coach cross body that I got second hand that always looks great).

What are the 3 best fashion tips/advice you've learned since starting your blog?

Understand what looks best on your body type, have a "uniform" that you know will always look good on, and wear what you love, not what everyone else is currently wearing.

What is the one piece in your closet that you find the most valuable to you? In terms of versatility... the thing you grab for or appreciate the most.

Honestly, it's the thing you hardly see - my tank tops! I wear these tank tops from Express under just about everything (except dresses). I feel they just hold everything in - less jiggle every where around.

On the outside? I would say it's my simple black shirt dress. It's currently a size or two too large on me, but I just love how easy it is to throw on and go. I used to wear it to every single exam I had!

How many clothes do you have?

Here's my closet inventory from last year - I plan on writing a new post within the next week or so!

I am the same size as you, a 10/12, but only 5'4" .... do you have any tips on dressing slimmer that you might have picked up from the internet, friends, or your own thoughts on the subject.

Like I mentioned above, I wear these tank tops under everything because I do feel it makes me look slightly slimmer and more streamlined. They aren't shapewear, so they aren't super tight or anything, but they do work wonders.

Other things I've learned just from seeing clothes on myself, and figuring out why I like or don't like something. So I don't like my upper arms, so I've figured out that cap sleeves just emphasize that meatier part of my arm, so I don't buy them anymore. Because I have a bit of a chest, rounded necklaces don't like as good on me either, so I prefer either a v-neck or a straight across top.

What's in your everyday purse? I'm just curious what sort of stuff you have to have handy.

Another post coming up soon!

What size do you wear?

I'm between a 10 and a 12, more 10 than 12 currently. I wear a size 31 in pants and mostly buy large tops

You don't post your outfits every day. so what do you wear on those days when we don't see your outfits?

Now that I have a bit more free time, I've been really working on photographing my outfits every day! But on days that aren't photographed, I'm usually wearing jeans and a striped top (because I'm addicted and I know it).

How do you stay motivated to do hair and makeup everyday?

I'm a blondie, so I look quite different without make up on just because I have very light eyelashes and eyebrows. I know that I don't feel confident when I'm not wearing make-up, and only my boyfriend, closest friends, and family have seen me without any make up on. Putting 20 minutes a day into looking my best is worth it to me. Some days I just put more effort in than others ;)

What do you find most frustrating about clothes shopping?

The inconsistency between what the pictures show and what the clothes actually look like. That's why I do my review posts, and also often leave reviews of the items with pictures so others can see how the items actually look, rather than pinned back and edited.

Why don't you wear more color? ;)

Because I just don't like to :) Nah, I do like certain colors, but I also love the looks of more neutral outfits.

Kendra Scott 'Rayne' Stone Tassel Pendant Necklace
Top: Ann Taylor [similar in black]
Pants: The Limited [exact]
Shoes: Tory Burch [save | exact]
Watch: Michael Kors [save | exact]
Necklace: c/o Rocksbox [use code "franishxoxo" for 1 month free]
On a side note, Ann Taylor is currently offering 50% off your entire purchase. Here are a few of my picks - I'm thisclose to buying the embroidered top. Isn't it the prettiest?