Dress to Impress: The Work Wardrobe

05/04/15 | Blazer, Jacob | Dress, Cleo | Shoes, Town Shoes | Purse, Kate Spade | Pearls, J Crew | 05/08/15 | Shirt, Winners | Skirt, Winners | Shoes, Payless Shoesource | Bag, Kate Spade New York | OutfitoftheDay_1

Since I started back full time at work downtown, I have had to polish off my wardrobe. That includes blazers, dress pants and pencil skirts. I can’t complain, since I love this posh style, but it can get a little repetitive. I certainly can’t afford a new outfit every day! That’s crazy! Today, I am going to talk about how to keep your professional wardrobe fresh and new without buying piece after piece. Here are three top tips that I use to create looks and recycle clothing for work:

Keep the inspiring flows going. Not everyone can come up with 100 outfits using the same pieces week after week…let alone come up with them in the morning when you need to leave in an hour for work. Let’s be honest…it is pretty hard to pick out an outfit to begin with, let alone remember if you have already worn it. Through whatever method works for you, keep looking for fashion inspiration. Whether it is scrolling through fashion boards on Pinterest, or buying the newest copy of Elle or Vogue on a regular basis…make sure that you keep fresh ideas in your head. That way, in the morning, when you open your closet and ponder what to wear…you will be able to tap into those sources to make the choice a bit easier.

Buy the staples. It’s common knowledge that a woman’s work wardrobe should include some of the basics. Every woman should own a pair of black dress pants, in my opinion. If you work in the private sector and you need to look professional, then that can be your go to piece in your wardrobe that will tie an outfit together. Dress pants can be paired with a nice blouse of any colour. That is your professional look right there…it’s as simple as that! Here are some other staples that I feel should be included in any professional’s wardrobe: nude heels/flats, black heels/flats, black dress (conservative enough for work), blazer, pencil skirt.

Colour, colour, colour! Just because you work in the business world, does not mean you have to wear black and grey all day, everyday. I try and incorporate one pop of colour (if not more) in my outfit every day. Not to say that wearing all black isn’t okay, because it definitely is. I have ensembles that have no colour in them at all, but you want to make sure that you mix it up a bit. Accessories play a huge role with this tip…if you want to maintain your conservative look, but not be washed out, add coloured accessories and you are set!

I hope those tips helped a bit when picking out your wardrobe for the private sector. Although I love the professional look, I love to be fun and wear prints and wacky colours, but you don’t want to be too wacky in a work setting. You want to keep it fun, but keep it professional at the same time. People need to take you seriously when you are talking business…dress to impress! I pulled some looks off Pinterest to inspire, check them out:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Four Month Touch point: My Blogging Experience so far

Instead of reviewing my favourite brands, talking about style icons, or breaking down outfit details…I am going to get more personal on “Pearls and Polkadots” today. Saturday marks four months since I launched this blog. It feels like yesterday that I was setting up providers, getting my theme set up and beginning to get into my ‘posting groove’ as I call it. It is sometimes hard to make time, multiple times a week to get a post up, especially when you have no idea what to post next! As the months have gone by, it has gotten a little easier, but I have to say, writer’s block is always a problem.

Going forward, I have set a goal for myself. Now that school has let out for the summer, I will have my evenings free to prepare posts and get them up the next morning. I am aiming to post roughly three times a week! Five days is a little hectic, and once is not enough to keep momentum. Through blogging communities and my blogger friends, I have gathered a lot of tips to promote “Pearls and Polkadots”, and have got some great plans for the future! If you have joined me for this journey I am on (by subscribing to the right), than you will be experiencing everything as I experience it as well!

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Early Planning Stages of “Pearls and Polkadots”

If you don’t know my story, then here it is: I opened an Instagram account apart from my personal account about eight months ago called “@mystyyle” (follow me!). I would post my outfits of the day and mainly use the platform to get inspiration from other style bloggers. I didn’t think of starting a blog until a blogger suggested I do so on one of my photos. At first, I thought it was a crazy idea…what do I have to say to the world? Who would read my posts? I would have written the idea off completely, except I started gathering more followers, likes and an overall following. I didn’t blow up over night, but I did have a steady increase of people joining my network. It started to become more and more logical…why wouldn’t I start a blog? It would be an outlet, somewhere to focus my interest and really express myself.

So I did.

It has been four months of heaven and I have to say, it never gets old. The blogging community is always full of new people, fresh ideas and support that you wouldn’t believe. Everyone believes in everyone, which is so refreshing! It has been an interesting and positive road so far and I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

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Closet Organization 101: Drab to Fab

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When it comes to storing clothing, you must be smart! We would all love to have a closet the size of our bedrooms, but for most people, that is not a reality. Over the years, I have accumulated many articles of clothing and unfortunately, my closet was suffering, which was evident by the bar beginning to bend from the heavy weight. It was at that moment that I realized…it was time to re-organize.

Re-organizing truly is a pain…it’s a huge project and you really need to clear a day or two when you know you will have the time to finish what you start. Last week, I hopped on Pinterest and went pin-crazy for all things closet organization which led me to my ultimate design. This past weekend was the perfect weekend to set my plan in motion. With the help of my Dad and left over cabinets, poles and screws around the house…we put together a closet for the low cost of $50.00!!

So how did I do this? I am going to give you the lowdown on making over your closet, step by step:

1. Research, research, research! 

If you aren’t on Pinterest, go set up an account now. You will not regret it. Before any big project, you have to know what you are getting yourself into. Not only do you need time, you need to know what you are doing and what you want the results to be.

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2. Set a budget. 

Having someone come in and make-over your closet can cost you hundreds (maybe thousands) of dollars. You absolutely do not need to spend that much money on a closet (wouldn’t you rather spend it on clothing!?). Wal-Mart or any other large department/home organization store, sells pre-made kits and shelving. With that being said, this is not a $20.00 project. Be prepared to dish out a reasonable amount or use an old shelving unit and fashion your own “kit” (all you’ll need to go get is the hardware!) 

3. Choose your design. 

After sifting through Pinterest and setting your budget, you must choose the design to follow. You may find actual plans that you can download for free online, but don’t count on that. Use your imagination and think of how you can replicate your design idea with the things you have or can get for a good deal. Keep in mind that you need to choose a design that fits the space you have available to you in your closet. I have a double closet and it is reasonably deep, so I had a pretty fair amount of space to work with. The design I chose to replicate was one I found on Pinterest, of course:

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4. Clear out the closet and get to work!

Once everything is cleared out of your closet, the relief is unreal. Not only is it satisfying, it is equally horrifying. Yes, your closet is clean…but your room will be a mess! The pile of clothing on my bed was scary, I contemplated if there would actually be enough space. If you have accounted for the amount of clothing you have in your design, you should be fine!

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5. Organize, organize, organize! 

This is the fun part! Putting everything back! If you are doing this in one day or over the course of a weekend, space Step 4 and 5 out. Take a break in between because both are HUGE jobs. This one in particular, is where your organization skills come into play. This is your closet, so organize it the best way you see fit! I like grouping my clothing by colour and by type of clothing. Blouses stay together, coats stay together, dresses stay together…but that’s just me! Let your obsessive, hair-brain, OCD kick in and work towards the goal of a clean, organized, and beautiful closet! The finished product will be picture worthy!

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BEFORE & AFTER

Before: Not only was the bar bending, there was no space for shoes and space was not being maximized!

After: With the cubed shelves and double bars, space is maximized and the floor stays clean

My closet went from drab to fab in just one week! Hopefully, you will be able to use these steps to effectively maximize the space in your closet! You will not regret it (I sure don’t!). Below, I have included more shots of my new fab closet!

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April: Looking Back

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April has come and gone, which means school is out, work is beginning and summer is just around the corner! The snow has finally melted completely off my lawn and I awaken to birds chirping every morning now! This is my favourite time of year because finals have ended and I have so much freedom. I kick off my summer break reading list, relax on the weekends and coordinate even cuter outfits than I can in the winter! My all time favourite season!

This April, we saw lots of fun prints, simply put together threads and completely comfortable looks (which everyone loves). Towards the end of the month (entering finals), I got a little more casual, but the looks I have chosen to look back on in this post pulls from a variety of different styles of outfits of the day. I love pearls, which I always wear (the JCrew pearls, top left hand corner, are the best), mainly because they go with almost everything. I wore a lot of stripes and polka dots, because why not? I love fun patterns and these are two of my favourite patterns ever made.

I have to point out my apple sweater separately because this is probably the best sweater I own. Being a teacher in training, this sweater fits me perfectly. It is made by JCrew Factory, and I got the last one (unfortunately). However, JCrew always has fun motif sweaters (animals, fish, etc.).

Finals are over! Summer vacation has begun! Four months of student freedom!! See ya later April.

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How to Wear a Blanket Scarf!

1/6/15 | Cowle Neck Shirt, Old Navy | Pants,  Old Navy | Boots, Sorel Footwear | Blanket Scarf, Garage Clothing | Watch, mark. by Avon | OutfitoftheDay_41/12/14 | Reindeer Crewneck, American Eagle Outfitters | Plaid Blanket Scarf, Garage | Boots, Sorel | Watch, mark. by Avon |

There are so many types of scarves out there that you can add to your collection of accessories, but one must-have, in my opinion, is the blanket scarf. You have your regular scarves, infinity scarves, but blanket scarves are limitless! You can even use it as a – can you guess? – a blanket! That’s how big they are. Cozy, warm and comfortable are only a few words to describe this must-have. Blanket scarves are probably my favourite must have of the season – especially because there are so many different ways to wear them…which is what I am going to show you today.

Classic and Simple… 

The first way to wear them is the classic and simple way, fold one corner to the diagonal corner and cross the ends behind your head and bring them forward. Follow the below tutorial for further assistance (click the picture for a link to her blog). In my second and third photo (above), I usually wear my scarf this way. It keeps me nice and cozy. OutfitoftheDay_3

Belt it… 

This is not a look I do too often, but I just got into it! To do this look, like shown in the photo below, drape the blanket scarf around your shoulders, forming a cape. Pull the ends over the front of you, crossing them (you don’t have to cross them) and then take a skinny belt and belt it over the end pieces hanging in the front. That way the scarf appears as a vest or a sweater and it looks cute! I find that this works really well when you want to pattern mix. As you can see, I have paired this plaid blanket scarf with a leopard print belt!

1/25/15 | Turtleneck, Old Navy | Blanket Scarf, Garage | Pearl Necklace, J Crew | Jeans, Kenneth Cole Reaction | Booties, Winners |

Wear a cape!

This is similar to the belted look, except minus the belt! If you drape the scarf over your shoulders and let it hang there, then it makes for a cozy and comfortable look that keeps you cozy! It resembles a poncho or a cape and it is so warm! This is a great way to wear it because it’s easy and can be thrown on in seconds!

Knot and Tie… 

Some people like scarves to stay on so they are not fixing it all the time. Sometimes, that is the case. If I am wearing my scarf under a heavy coat, I want to make sure that pieces of it aren’t falling out and getting stuck in my coat zipper or moving around under my jacket, so I knot it. See the tutorial below to see how to tie a blanket scarf (I would make my own, but I didn’t have time…so here is an easy tutorial that I found).

There are many ways to wear a blanket scarf. I am constantly looking for new ways, but these are the ways that I use the most (particularly the first one for a more casual look). Blanket scarves are warm, cozy and comfortable and this scarf will always be my must-have, favourite scarf!

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