Tag Archives: OOTD

How to Dress Your Best in 15 Minutes or Less

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I scheduled a photoshoot with my friend Jane last month, and I spent days planning my outfit meticulously. I had it all laid out the night before, and took my time getting dressed the morning of. Fifteen minutes before I had to leave, I decided to look at the weather…….which was twenty degrees below what I’d been expecting.

Of course, this wasn’t one of those outfits that I could add layers to in order to make it appropriate for fifty-degree weather, so I had T minus fifteen minutes for a full-blown, “back to the drawing board” outfit change. Cue panic and chaos. I proceeded to try on seven different random things in rapid succession, all while I started sweating my makeup off.

In the end, this look that I pulled together turned out miraculously well, even after the five minute swear-word-filled altercation I had with this pair of fishnets. Here’s why.

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Putting together your 15 minute OOTD:

  • [4min] Pick a focus piece: identify something in your wardrobe that is, or could be made, weather-appropriate. (My focus piece: the space print dress)
    • (Bonus [2min]) Imagine 100 other people own this same focus piece. Quickly brainstorm an unexpected way to wear it that most of those people wouldn’t think to try. If you can’t think of something in under a couple minutes, no worries — go with the classic approach.
  • [2min] Not warm enough on its own? Throw on some basics over or under. If you want to keep your look unique or unexpected, either find something in a color that most people wouldn’t pair with your focus piece, or layer in a way that most people wouldn’t think to. (My layer and unexpected addition: black bell sleeved top)
  • [2min] Pick the pair of shoes that makes the most sense with this outfit. Avoid uncomfortable heels unless you know for sure you won’t regret that impulse decision later in the day. (Admittedly, I failed here; these shoes ended up being a poor choice for walking around the city…)
  • [2min] Accessorize! Pair with one or more of the following: scarf, tights, statement socks, hat, statement necklace. (My key accessory: fishnets)
    • Build up on your accessories; after picking one statement accessory, add on a bunch of simpler ones to add complexity to your look. (Add a hat! Instant outfit polisher)
  • [1min] Jacket: Don’t bother overthinking your outerwear — pick something you know will work well with the weather. With 15 minutes to dress, you want to make sure you’re comfortable.
  • [5min] Makeup: keep it simple. Just do your normal everyday look, but if you want to add a pop, go with lipstick in a fun complementary color.

And in order to allow the above to happen, you need to…

Preparing for the last-minute hustle:

  • Do you have any items that are super hard to wear/make look good, and you have a tendency to forget about this struggle every few months? …So you try them on only to find them unflattering/awkward and remove them? Keep them at the end of your clothing rack so you don’t bother with them during any 15 minute hustles!
  • Have a staple set of layering basics: solid cardigans, blouses, tights, etc.
  • Have go-to pieces of jewelry that are easy to match to, including minimalist rings/chokers/earrings. These types of jewelry take absolutely no effort to throw on to any everyday outfit, but immediately make you look like you put more thought into it.
  • Find your everyday simple makeup look. This is unique to everyone, but for me it’s a lightweight Tarte BB cream (shade: tan), NARS blush, Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara, and a fun lipstick to complement my outfit.

Taking these steps and keeping the panic levels down when you find yourself with 15 minutes to get dressed will guarantee you end up out of the house in something that isn’t sweatpants and a “I woke up like this” tee. 🙂

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(Dress and Unicorn Purse from Modcloth, Blouse from H&M, Hat from Saks Off Fifth, Fishnets from Missguided, Heeled sandals from Amazon Prime, Necklace and Rings from Forever21, Lipstick from Beauty Bakerie in shade Raspberry Tiramisu

Photos taken and edited by my talented friend Jane x)

Love Your Self (Valentine’s OOTD)

Why do you get dressed in the morning? What makes you pull on your favorite dress, match the tone with the sweep of blush on your cheeks, and put on a chic pair of sunglasses?

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We’ve all dressed to impress someone. The hot barista who whips up a five star latte, the cute coworker in that other department, the bass player in that one cover band, the fellow fashionistas on Instagram.

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There’s nothing wrong with it, per say. But I know that sometimes, that special someone doesn’t take notice, and it’s all too easy to feel like all that effort you put into getting dressed that morning went to waste.

Well I say, it wasn’t a waste at all. It was glorious! Did you see yourself?! How did you feel, walking around in that outfit? Did you feel like a total babe? Did you have an extra pep in your step with each click of your heels? Did you make finger guns at yourself in the mirror?!!

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If you did, you didn’t get dressed for someone else at all, my friend. You got dressed for YOU!

Identify that quality in your outfits that makes you think you’re going to impress someone else, and use it to impress yourself. If an outfit makes you feel cute or sexy, put together more looks just like it so you can feel that way more often. You don’t need to wait for a special occasion or an encounter with your crush to dress your best — everyday is an opportunity to do just that.

So… tomorrow, put on those dancing shoes, wear your favorite lipstick, and remember to LOVE YOUR SELF. And if you don’t have a special someone to share tomorrow with, that means you have a lot of extra love to spare for yourself.

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xx

(Dress was a #StylishSurprise from Modcloth, Turtleneck and Unicorn Purse by Forever21, Silver Harah Sandals by Dune London from DSW, Sheer tights by Victoria’s Secret, Socks and Necklace from NastyGal, Sunglasses by ZeroUV, Earrings from H&M, Haute Flash Lipgloss by Milani)

Selective Memory Loss, or How Each Year I Forget I Hate Winter

You know that feeling you get approximately mid-July, where you yearn for Christmas and winter-time, for rosy cheeks and holiday carols and sweater weather? Each summer, without fail, I find myself deeply nostalgic for the winter-time, and reminiscing about roasted chestnuts and gingerbread chai from winters past.

What I forget, each year, without fail, is that the winter is not synonymous with December and the holidays. No, winter only really emerges after the holidays, when the chestnuts have stopped roasting and gingerbread is a distant memory; the winter sucks the life out of the first part of the new year and you can’t even cry about how cold it is because your tears will freeze on your face!!!!

One of the most difficult parts of the winter for me is getting dressed. As much as I love fashion, I am far too dramatic about the cold to compromise the stability of my own body temperature for fashion. I never understand how some people in the city can comfortably walk around with bare legs when it’s below freezing! The very thought makes me shiver.

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My winter go-tos begin and end with leathers and sweaters. First of all, leather pants are a winter God-send, and if you don’t own a pair of (p)leather pants with a thick lining inside, you haven’t experienced true warmth. Leather pants are so fabulous and fierce, but what no one knows is that they are actually one of the warmest things you can wear in the winter! Denim? Puh-lease!

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Also, sweaters. I am so thankful that sweaters have made a huge comeback this season, along with jewel tones, because few things in the winter look as effortlessly chic as a jewel toned oversize sweater.

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What are your go-to items for staying warm in the winter? I hate to say it, but apparently Punxsutawney Phil has predicted a dire six more weeks of winter so don’t put any of those winter staples away just yet.

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(Sweater by Express, Leather pants by H&M, Cat clutch by H&M, Cat Eye Sunglasses from ZeroUV, Ultra Satin Lip in Hutch by Colourpop)

Chase Away The Winter Greys

Don’t get me wrong: grey is a great color. It’s neutral, but unexpected. It can take on cool and warm tones. It’s a compromise when all you want to do is dress in black and white. Fashion-wise, it’s wonderful.

Yet there are two circumstances in which I hate grey:

  1. When it works its stubborn way into my own hair
  2. When the winter sucks up the sun and the city looks and feels grey

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I have to admit: it’s been several months now that I’ve been posting an #OOTD daily on Instagram, and the process turned a bit grey for me in this past month. I started fashion blogging in an effort to add color to the world around me and inspire others to do the same, but somehow the colors felt muted by the obligation to release something each and every day. On top of that, the stress of keeping engagement on the increase was washing the colors out even further.

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As a part of my annual January reassessment of my life, I realized that I didn’t want fashion blogging to be an obligation. It’s something I started spontaneously to make each day more fun, and I want to rekindle that feeling.

In parallel, the sunless days of early January were bumming me out, so as I got dressed in this outfit, I thought to myself: “Be your own sunshine.” I donned my brightest shirt and faced the day anew. Then I realized, why not apply that mantra to the other greying part of my life (besides my hair): the daily obligation to provide content on Instagram.

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I’ve decided I’m not going to pressure myself to post on Instagram everyday, and man — the feeling that resulted from this revelation is indescribable… Like anyone who says the word indescribable, I will counterintuitively go on to attempt to describe the feeling.

I feel lighter and happier. I feel better equipped to inspire others. Inspiration doesn’t come on a daily schedule (between the hours of 5pm and 11pm for increased engagement). If it seems like I’m taking a step back, I apologize. It’s true that I’m taking a step back, but not to distance myself, but to look at the bigger picture. I want to bring you guys high quality and inspiring content, but at my own pace. I’m not planning on doing this professionally — I love my career too much — and I’m not going to stress about followers or engagement in other ways.

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So where does this leave us, here on the blog? Better and brighter than ever, I hope! I will continue posting on here every couple weeks in my attempt to create inspirational content! If one person out there is inspired, that’s enough for me.

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To YOU, the kind soul who is reading this post: don’t let the winter months erase the colors from your life. Wear the colors, live the colors, and BE the colors! Like I said before, be your own sunshine. How? My first step is wearing bright colors; the feeling of inner brightness just seems to follow.

xo

(Dress by H&M, Blouse by Rock&Republic, Boots by Nine WestEye Lash Sunglasses by ZeroUV, Rouge Cream Lipstick by Sephora in Valentine-discontinued)

Bring On The Tinsel

My office is having its annual holiday party today, and I’ve been excited from the moment I got my invite.

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Gardini Floral Print Dress by French Connection

I came up with several dress possibilities, ranging from embroidered cocktail dresses to velvet gowns. It is very rare that I get to dress up, so I was thrilled with the long anticipated opportunity.

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Clutch by Kate Spade, Choker by Guess, Torque from Retail Therapy

But then I realized this week, with growing amounts of horror, that the majority of my coworkers were planning to dress as they would on any other workday. Any other workday. I’m at a health tech start-up, so I’m talking lots of flannel, graphic t-shirts, Converses, and joggers.

On a normal day, these are clothing items I can happily get behind, but on what may very well be the most fabulous workday of the year?! Devastating!

I’m all about pushing the envelope, fashion-wise, but even I can’t over-dress two standard deviations above the fashion formality norm. If plaid and sweaters were going to be the baseline, I certainly couldn’t bust out the lush red velvet gown that I was planning on wearing.

Enter This Dress.

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Work appropriate, classy enough to satisfy my dress-up cravings, and absolutely gorgeous. I tend to love most of the French Connection finds I happen upon in my favorite department store, Lord & Taylor, but this one in particular caught my eye like no other. The cut is immensely flattering, the colors are rich, and while it’s free of the embroidery, lace, and velvet I was so deeply hoping to wear at our holiday party, it still makes a lovely statement.

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BCBGeneration Darron Pump from DSW

To ensure no one would accuse me of not dressing up after I hyped up my dress-up desires for so long, I paired it with these affordable BCBGeneration heels, which make the classic Valentino Rockstud style attainable for those of us who aren’t yet able to drop a thousand dollars on a pair of heels. (One day! *shakes fist*) They are surprisingly not uncomfortable to walk in, look stunning in person, and are easily confused with the real deal! (I have coworkers who own actual Valentinos and even they thought I was wearing a pair!)

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Coat by BB Dakota

Now that I’ve got my OOTD sorted, bring on the white wine! The red wine! The cider! The champagne! And, let’s face it, the hangover!

What are you guys wearing to your work holiday parties? I hope your work party dress codes are fancier than my office’s!

How To Be A Well-Dressed Mathematician

I find it often takes people by surprise when they discover I’m a mathematician AND fashionista.

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Blouse from SheIn (link to item, highly recommend this particular piece!), Skirt by Forever21, Boots by Nine West

It’s as if the two are mutually exclusive; as a mathematician, do they expect me to bolt out of bed at 3 in the morning, shrug on on a tweed coat and pajama pants, and run to the lab to frantically scribble proofs onto a blackboard, covering myself head to toe in chalk dust? (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

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Sunglasses by Express (link to item)

In my experience, being a math nerd has only improved my sense of fashion. People forget that mathematicians? We’re good with patterns. It’s one of the reasons I struggle to wear solid colors alone. There’s just something so appealing about a patterned fabric, especially of the geometric variety. And if one patterned fabric is nice? Imagine wearing two!

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Fashion is all about combinations and permutations of a (sadly) finite set of clothing (though I’ll admit that my set of clothes increases in volume at an alarming pace, with a steep slope post-Black Friday, when I have no self control, and tiny decreasing blips in the weeks after, when I sheepishly return a couple impulse buys).

This skirt and blouse? Two of my favorite Black Friday purchases. They are patterned fabrics, so an immediate pupil-pleaser in my eyes (pun intended), but they are also incredibly versatile and will contribute to many successful sartorial combinations in their future.

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Rings from Aldo (link to item)

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Going back to the topic of math fashionistas; I’ll admit, I did endure some minor hardships as a result of being both a woman in STEM and a women who puts a decent amount of effort into getting dressed in the morning. I got the impression during grad school that some fellow mathematicians thought less of my brain based purely on my appearance. And that can be discouraging.

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This skirt is an optical illusion

But if you find yourself in similar shoes, don’t let it get to you. If they think mathematicians (or other brainiacs) can’t also be fashionistas (or in any way passionate about fashion/beauty), let yourself be a walking, talking counterexample! You exist, therefore you are. Q.E.D.

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Black And White Thinking

The world is not black and white, certainly… but half of my closet is.

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All photos are by the incredible Angie @ AngelitasPhotos. Leather jacket by French Connection (on sale, UK only. Potentially also here, have never ordered from this site). Leather pants by H&M

Dressing in black and white, just like thinking in black and white, is easy. But that said, dressing in black and white is also super chic and fabulous, whereas thinking in black and white can fall hugely short of capturing reality.

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Hat by Kathy Jeanne Saks Off Fifth (on sale). Top from Debenham’s (similar here and here)

Add some color, on both fronts. Wearing black and white? Use your face to add in some color: vivid lipstick, louder blush. Taking photos in a black and white outfit? Find a beautifully vibrant background to enhance the contrasts in your clothing.

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Face: BB Cream in Tan by Tarte Cosmetics, Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal by Becca Cosmetics, Blush in Seduction by NARS Cosmetics, Lip Whip in Raspberry Tiramisu by Beauty Bakerie Cosmetics, Brow Zings by Benefit Cosmetics, Eyeshadow palette in Morning Java by Clinique

If you’re thinking in black and white, do the same thing, but figuratively. Imagine how someone else might be thinking in grey, or in technicolor, and try to step into their shoes. The world is never so simple as to fit into just black and white. We live in a wonderfully complex society, filled with wonderfully complex people.

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Hair: Blowout in style Cosmo-Tai by the Drybar

Some of these wonderfully complex people will likely be at your Thanksgiving table tomorrow. And as wonderfully complex people tend to enjoy talking to other wonderfully complex people, discussions may arise around recent events that have encouraged a comeback in black and white thinking.

So let the color in. Paint with those colors. Speak with those colors. Live and breathe those colors. Encourage and inspire others to do the same.

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But don’t stop dressing in black and white. Because…hello, fabulous.

Have a happy Thanksgiving. ❤

All photos by Angelitas Photos. I HIGHLY recommend her for anyone looking for a tri-state area photographer. She’s super talented and such a joy to work with. Check out her portfolio or @portraitsbyangelita on Instagram.

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