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smart style series – week one

Hi friends!

I’m starting a new blog series this week called “Smart Style” that is aimed to help you start creating an affordable and fashionable wardrobe – and the best part is, we’re going to make it EASY.

Do you ever find yourself just staring at a closet full of clothes but feel like you have nothing to wear?  Do you feel overwhelmed at the thought of putting an outfit together and looking cute or trendy?  Do you feel like your whole wardrobe could use an overhaul, but you just can’t afford to buy all new everything?

Well guess what, I’m here to help!

The idea for this post came to me a couple of weeks ago.  When the spring season starts coming around, I always feel like my winter clothes are too “winter-y” and don’t have much of a spring selection.  I can also never find shoes that feel very “spring-ish” to me (see how technical I am in my made up words?). I feel like there’s often a gap between winter and summer in fashion in general, but especially in my closet, so I decided to get ahead of it.  The thing is… I don’t want to spend a bunch of money for a lot of different looks.   In a general sense, I like to be frugal and strategic with my shopping.  So I decided to make a game plan.

Here’s the first look and below it is the plan!

Game Plan:  Build a spring wardrobe with staple basics AND make it affordable

What does that mean?

ONE pair of denim + ONE pair of shoes + multiple tops = MANY different options/looks

So off I went to find the denim and the shoes, since they’re the biggest component to the system.

I wanted a cute, fitted pair of distressed jeans that could be really versatile and finally found a pair I loved.  The problem is, they were $88.  I was eyeing them down for weeks and was this close to just biting the bullet and buying them.  I told myself to wait for a good sale, because I really don’t like paying full price if I don’t have to.  I waited and the deal came – half off (making them $44)!  So denim?  Check.

Next, were the shoes.  I am loving the pale pink I’ve been seeing coming around in shoes, but again, I don’t want to break the bank.  Especially because the second it becomes flip flop weather, I will likely opt for an open toe shoe or sandal.  I ended up running into Old Navy with my girlfriend and while I was moseying around, thinking I couldn’t really find anything, I found these adorable driving loafers in pink!  They had multiple colors, are very comfortable, and are under $23 ($18 TODAY).  Even though they come in some great color options, I really loved the pink for spring.  It’s easy to get boxed into the same colors – tan, camel, black… but I think you’ll find in the upcoming weeks of this series, that the pink is a really fun and versatile color and will go with pretty much anything you put it with!  Try it – switch up your normal colors and throw in a pop of a statement color.  You’ll feel more stylish immediately!

Next came the first top!  Since it’s still oscillating between the 30’s and 40’s in Chicagoland, I needed something that I can wear now with jeans, but could still wear in the spring with shorts.  I found this adorable front tie sweater at Target for under $23!  It’s really comfy, with nice long sleeves to cover your hands if you are always cold like me.  The tie front is really cute and trendy, and $23 is a really incredible price for a nice sweater like this.  In the spring, I’ll wear with shorts, some cute sandals like these (also currently on sale), and push the sleeves up (and probably throw my hair up in a top knot just to make the “look” different.)

Finally, as a bonus piece, I added this handbag.  I am in the process of transitioning out of a diaper bag, but still need a couple of goodies for my little one in tow, so this is the perfect size for me.  It has a strap too, to make it a cross body bag if you prefer that!  It’s a staple/investment piece at $69, but the quality is incredible and it’s really lightweight.

So there is the beginning of my Smart Style series!  I wanted to let you know my mentality of how I’m building my wardrobe right out of the gate, so you can take a look at yours and see what you might need.  Do you have a pair of jeans that make you look and feel good?  Do you have a cute pair of shoes that will transition to spring, that also go with just about anything?  Let’s lay the framework for your new spring wardrobe with those first… Next up, the cute tops!

Find all of the details to this week’s look + sizing info below.

Here’s a sneaky peaky of next week’s look!

This week’s details:

  1. Low Rise Ankle Jeans – fit TTS (true to size) but don’t have stretch in them, so if between sizes, size up – currently $44 **I am 5’4 and got the SHORT size in these (I usually do regular) to make them a bit more cropped
  2. Pink Driving Loafers – (pictured above) – fit TTS but only comes in whole sizes, size down if between sizes – currently $18
  3. Front-tie Pullover Sweater – also comes in plus sizes – fits TTS (wearing XS) – comes in grey, too – $23
  4. Sole Society Satchel – this comes in blush, powder blue (that looks like a grey), and camel (as pictured above)
  5. Rosefield Watch in Rose Gold – this beautiful everyday watch comes in lots of different colors/styles – find my favorites linked on my shop page under the watch icon.

I’d love to hear what other looks you might like to see or what keeps you in your closet vs out the door – comment below!

See you next week for part two of this series!

xo, tess

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  1. Lou Ann Chambers
    February 20, 2018 / 3:27 PM

    Beautiful outfits , Great job! All the Best!

    • Tess
      February 20, 2018 / 3:49 PM

      Thank you Lou Ann!! I appreciate your support!

  2. February 20, 2018 / 3:32 PM

    Such a great idea! I love this outfit… especially the color of that sweater and those cute shoes!!! Love the jeans too!! Can’t wait to see next week’s look!!

    With Love & Style,
    ♥ Amber

    • Tess
      February 20, 2018 / 3:48 PM

      Thank you, Amber! Always love your style too!!

  3. February 23, 2018 / 2:51 PM

    I love Sole Society bags! The black and white print inside is always such a fun surprise!

    • Tess
      February 23, 2018 / 2:57 PM

      They’re so great!! An awesome quality, too!!