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Last week, I posted mini outfit-of-the-day style tutorials on Instagram in celebration of Coastal Fashion Week. I’m not sure how that differs from any other week, but I like to think my outfits were more on point. I chose several style aesthetics to appeal to several different audiences, because I know my personal style may be a little over the top for some people (and not very wearable long term).
I’m expanding each tutorial to give justice to each look. It’s challenging to give extended advice through social media.
Monday: The alternative suit (business wear)
Classes started Monday. I generally opt for a suit for the first-day-of-the-semester teaching marathon. This semester I’m teaching for almost 4 hours on Mondays. I wanted breathable, comfortable fabrics. I was also looking for cool and chic pieces.
Despite wearing a blazer, two students mistook me for a student. Sigh. Short people problems.
- Grey cotton sleeveless Express sheath dress (thrift) – $6
- Navy cuffed New York and Company jacket (sale/BOGO 50%)- $35
- Grey Forever 21 stiletto booties (Christmas gift)
- Necklace, earrings, and bracelet set (Wantable subscription box) – approx. $30
I chose simple pieces for this look. The jacket has a striped lining that can be easily cuffed. I chose statement jewelry to add detailing.
This is a good alternative to a matching suit set. The jacket adds a professional element, but the shoes and dress add a little casual style. I was trying to balance serious with approachable.
Invest in a tailored jacket. The buttons should fasten, or the jacket does not fit properly. The jacket has a feminine cut that draws in at the middle, creating a feminine silhouette (and making me look thinner). The stilettos, cuffing and accessories add a modern flare to an otherwise ordinary neutral outfit.
I love a bold lip. It says power. Again, I simplified the makeup. The red adds a pop of color and keeps me from looking drained or sallow as celebrity makeup artist and YouTuber Lisa Eldridge says.
For red lipstick, choose a red that compliments your natural undertones. My undertones are pink. The red I’m wearing is considered a blue red rather than an orange red. I know, it’s quite confusing. You can find helpful tutorials and color charts online.
I kept the eyes simple with a bit of shimmer. As you can tell, my eyes have a little discoloration underneath despite using a reflective concealer. I chose colors that would brighten the eye area. You can’t see the shadow from a distance. This is obviously a closeup shot. Shimmer on the eye lid combined with a nude eye liner in the waterline and light reflective concealer adds light around the eye. Avoid eye liner on the bottom lid if you are avoiding shadow or darkness.
Tuesday: On-the-go chic (business wear)
I wish I had more photos. Tuesday was insane. I managed to convince my husband to take a pic before the sun set on our way to eat tacos. Yeah, taco Tuesday. The humor was lost on us until halfway through dinner. Tacos make everything better.
There is a grey cami and an Ann Taylor vest underneath the jacket. It didn’t work out the way I had intended.
Side note — I love this pic. I think it’s one of my best. I was talking when Steve snapped it. Somehow, it looks very model-ly.
- Patterned cropped pea coat with a butterfly collar (consignment/60% off) — $6.40
- New York and Company black ankle pants (clearance) — $8
- Snakeskin Merona heels (thrift) — $4
- Embellished Mossimo cami in grey (not pictured) — $9
- Black pinstriped Ann Taylor Loft cropped vest (not pictured) (consignment/60% off) — $4.20
- New York and Company thread through rhinestone earrings (sale) — $8
I would like to point out that I am 5’1″ before someone thinks “I can’t wear cropped pants or jackets; I’m too short.” The pant can help elongate the leg if paired with the right pieces and shoes. The jacket stops at the top of the hip. When I pair it with a 3-inch heel, I look taller.
Mixing patterns 101: mix patterns with the same color palette. You are mixing the colors, not the pattern. Trust me. It goes. Snake skin, as with any other animal print, is technically a neutral like black, white or navy. It can be pair with anything.
The mixed patterns and the alternative cuts to the pants and jacket make this look very chic and fashion forward.
I chose very neutral makeup. I’m wearing Flower by Drew Barrymore Lip Butter in Haute Honeysuckle. I don’t think I’m wearing blush either. I bronzed and highlighted with the e.l.f. Contour palette. It’s simple, but I spent a lot of time refining my skin tone.
Wednesday: Young professional (business wear)
I managed to incorporate navy, grey and black into my wardrobe this week. I needed a little color in my life. This look is a tutorial on modernizing neutrals for a polished trendy ensemble.
- Navy New York and Company ankle pants (the match to the jacket in look 1) (clearance) — $8
- Python New York and Company blouse (50% off) — $25
- Gap pink cardigan (thrift) — $4
- Gold metallic studded Mossimo flat (thrift/new with tags) — $5
- Solitaire rhinestone necklace and silver bracelet (Wantable subscription box) — approx. $15
The pants have a small dotted pattern. The shoes also have a slight pattern. Remember, python is a neutral print.
Tan and navy can be very dull and harsh for some skin tones. I’m so ivory, that it will wash me out completely. Hence the reason I chose a bright pink cardigan.
Use bright color sparingly and combine with neutrals. You don’t want to look like a flashing neon sign.
Metallics are neutrals as well. You can mix your metallics. It makes the look more fashion forward.
Speaking of fashion forwardness, the shoes are studded in the back. I purchased these shoes about 12 months before studding became a trend.
I think the lipstick is Julep Light on Your Lips in Soiree, a kind of oxblood purple color.
Here’s a closeup of the bracelet:
Thursday: Boho chic (casual to business wear)
I think this next look is my favorite. Then again, I’m a sucker for boho. I was boho way before it was trendy again.
Here’s how to elevate boho styling and add boho elements into your wardrobe.
- Grey Mossimo fitted short-sleeved sweater (thrift) — $4
- Black New York and Company pointe skirt (sale/50% off) — $25
- Brown over-the-knee boots (Amazon sale) — $30
- Abstract print Brokedown scarf (Popsugar Must Have subscription box) — approx. $8 (normally $80)
- Vintage beaded bracelet (antique store grab bag) — virtually free if dividing the price up equally among all the items in the $6 bag
- Beaded earrings from New York and Company (sale) — $6
Emily is totally responsible for this pose. She’s getting better at giving direction. We may make a fashion photographer out her yet.
To elevate bohemian style, avoid fringe and messiness. The top really makes this outfit more chic, because it is fitted. It is not boho. The skirt is slightly boho, but it made from a sheen material appropriate for business wear. The boots are definitely boho appropriate. It was cold that day. I left most of the boho in the accessories.
Here’s a closeup of my makeup and accessories (that scarf though):
I’m wearing Loreal Colour Riche Lipstick in Brazil Nut. The eye is neutral except for teal eye liner that you may not be able to see.
I love green and blue together in all shades. Matching colors 101: if it is in the same color family, it matches. Yellow + green = blue. Therefore, green and blue match.
I love this bracelet. It makes a statement. Statement pieces are great, but take a cue from Coco Chanel. Less is more. Limit your statement pieces to one or two total. I purchased an entire plastic bag of jewelry for this one bracelet.
FYI: The ring is vintage. It belonged to my grandmother. The nails are Zoya in Genevieve (a dark grey).
I wasn’t going to take a picture with this coat initially. I grabbed lunch at a nearby deli. This coat caused a scene. One woman said it was the perfect accent piece. Agreed. Nothing like a classic trench in a very non-classic color.
Friday: Rock-n-roll chic (special occasion)
It’s fashion show day, y’all.
I planned my outfit in September. I was happy to have an excuse to wear leather leggings for once.
This was my pre-show, pre-hair appointment outfit. I felt it deserved a special mention. The hat was $5 at Versona. This is what I look like without any makeup.
I was due for a trim. My friend Whitney, owner of Salon West 54 Hundred, cut and styled my hair. She’s like my personal hair stylist. You know, if I was famous and had money and all that.
Notice the statement earrings in the after shot. I think I was trying to be model-ly again. I’m not sure what I’m doing.
I love this picture, so I thought I would share. The lipstick is Zoya in Cameron, a very pale pinkish-hued nude.
I’ve proclaimed my love for these wonderful eye shadows in my winter favorites video. Whitney and I snagged the black after watching a Lisa Eldridge tutorial, recreating the editorial Kendall Jenner look on the December 2015 Vogue cover.
From there, I bought the entire Walgreens Maybelline section apparently. These shadows last forever.
This is the color Lisa used in the video. I applied it on the top lid only.
- Mossimo black lace cami (Target) – $9
- New York and Company black sheer high-low 3/4 length sleeve blouse (clearance) – $16
- Black faux leather leggings with zipper detail (Amazon/sale) – $25
- Snake skin Tahari sling back heels (thrift) – $12
- Ruby Chain earrings (Wantable subscription box) – $7
Fashion tip: Flesh-colored nipple covers are your friend if you’re wearing a sheer top.
I’m incorporating so many trends, so I decided to scale back a bit. I did have a necklace, but I opted out.
If you have a larger midsection, a high-low top can act as camouflage. I ordered the leggings online and hoped for the best. They did not flatter my bum at all.
Not. One. Bit.
I ditched my original top idea and contrived a stylish way to hide my unflattering bum.
No photographers were harmed in the making of this blog. Carry on.
We found this awesome street art mural. We have several of these downtown. I’m also posting this photo to prove that I am curvy. Let the record show that I do have wide hips and thighs. For some reason, everyone thinks I’m skinner than I really am.
Curvy girls unite!
I’m going for sultry and serious. I’m not sure I nailed it. The shoes look great though.
This is my favorite shot. I admit it’s a little badass. I’m one step away from a Joan Jett video. Okay, I’m dating myself a bit.
Which look did you like best? Comment below and let me know.
All photos are property of the author and Frugal Fashionista Mag unless otherwise stated.