from the archives

printed dress a pretty penny

{a lost outfit from spring 2012}

I’ve been in a style rut for the last several months.

I’ll be 29 this fall, which makes my knees a little shaky no matter how resolved I am to gracefully embrace the big 3-0. As I round out my 20’s I have this overwhelming urge to simplify everything, including my style. Suddenly my closet feels like a hodgepodge of cute and colorful clearance rack separates that are too young and fussy and… unmixableI have an idea of how I’d like to dress these days, but my clothes don’t want to cooperate. My bargain hunting habits of the last decade have come around to bite me in my almost-30 ass. 

So I did what any girl in a creative rut would do: I turned to Pinterest for inspiration. This may have been a terrible idea, because it kind of made me want to throw out all my clothes and start from scratch. Which is both ridiculous and unrealistic. Unless we win the lottery, I’m not getting a grown-up shopping spree any time soon. And we don’t play the lottery, so there’s that.

In the meantime, I’m hatching a plan for [slowly] building a capsule wardrobe of timeless pieces that play nicely together to ease into this new chapter. More on that later.

Growing up is all kinds of weird.

37 Comments

  1. allthatsbeautyandfasion

    Reblogged this on allthatsbeautyandfashion.

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  2. toopretty12

    Reblogged this on The Pretty Canary.

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  3. Cute combo. I’m starting to warm up to denim accompanied by other pieces, such as your patterned dress and jacket. Very cute!

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  4. The denim jacket is definitely a timeless piece!

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  5. i’ve been trying to do the same thing as of late!

    http://www.modernsuburbanites.blogspot.com

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  6. I would like to start wearing more denim (besides jeans, of course). I love how it looks against the dress here.

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  7. Love your blog! All things ‘Denim’ definitely fall in the ‘timeless piece’ category!
    http://www.fashiontheories.wordpress.com

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  8. Love the old look! And trust me, aging is quite fun, and wonderful, and you will have a blast!

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  9. aaah I can so relate to this! Creeping to the big 3-0 myself and my wardrobe is… well a bit of a “hodgepodge” like yours! I’ve also been thinking lately that I should try to dress more… “grown-up”… it’s a work in progress. Looking forward to seeing your capsule! :)

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  10. I just turned 29, and leading up to it I was having some of the exact same thoughts about how my wardrobe just didn’t seem right for such an age… I think coming up with a capsule wardrobe of timeless pieces that look expensive/high quality (whether or not they are) is definitely the way to go about fixing this on a reasonable budget, which I started to do, first with a grown-up handbag and pair of leather pumps. (And then I got pregnant, and that’s one way to get a whole new wardrobe that fits your current style, ha!)

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  11. OMG I’m going though the same things. I freak out a lot so I stated pulling things out of my closet and throwing them on the floor. Then I put them on ebay :)

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  12. Love the outfit !

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  13. I’m doing something similar, but it’s because I’ve just graduated and all my clothes are student-y and are fine for a student life but nowhere near presentable for getting a job! I don’t like growing up one little bit, it’s too expensive!

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  14. The outfit is awesome as usual. I just turned 32 recently and am finding that I really want to change up and simplify my style so I hear you!

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  15. I am with you- now that I am almost 30, I am regretting all the ridiculous trendy clothes I bought that I can’t wear anymore. Not that I can’t be trendy at 30, but it is a different kind of trendy – more simple and classic like you said. It’s hard to know when to transition. I don’t want to ever say my age and have someone look at my and make a face that says, “Oh, based on that outfit I thought you were 19.”

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  16. Vanja

    I went through the same thing a couple of years ago, and then again last year when I became a mom. I definitely had to get rid of some too-young-outfits that were purchased impulsively in my mid-20s and slowly acquire a new collection of more grown up, polished pieces. Just remember that 30 is not what is used to be and we can probably still get away with a lot more than we think. Good luck!

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  17. I just turned 30, and I’ve been having these same thoughts! I find myself feeling “old” when I go into certain stores (Forever 21…blech). Also, my husband told me that I need to think about stepping it up a little (but in a much nicer way than that lol). Can’t wait to see posts/suggestions on building a timeless wardrobe!

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  18. I am so with you on this! I’m also turning 29 this fall (eeep!) and my closet definitely needs to catchup. Lately I’ve been focusing on just staying away from synthetic fabrics when I’m shopping. That seems to help me steer clear of silly impulse purchases!

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    1. That’s a great tip, Dotty! I’m trying to do the same, and adopt a rule that I won’t make a purchase unless it’s something I can get a lot of wear and versatility from. It’s going to take some practice to stay away from the siren song of the clearance rack and focus on investment pieces instead!

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  19. I just turned 30 this year and I remember the same feeling you’re having now. It’s not so bad after all, if that makes you feel better! ;) I can also relate to the timeless wardrobe transition. One of my favorite pieces to mix and match is a chambray shirt.

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    1. One of my closest friends swears that turning 30 is the best thing ever. Like all the neuroses of your 20’s are over and you finally start to feel comfortable with who you’ve turned out to be ;-) I second the chambray shirt recommendation. I love this chambray tee from Piperlime (and it’s on sale!): http://piperlime.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=95844&vid=1&pid=656074002

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  20. Great outfit post. Love how you paired a denim jacket with a dress….looks very casual and chic.

    http://styleandcreations.wordpress.com/

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  21. I think this blog is very very beautiful. i’m fashion blogger follow me

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  22. Oof, lady…I hear you loud and clear! With a new internship and (hopefully) full time job as a school counselor happening within the next year, I’m kind of in transition with my style and closet as well. I feel like I have some great basic pieces, but I’m wanting to make sure I look age appropriate and professional, but still fun and like me! It’s so hard to strike a balance. Plus, not having hardly any money for new clothes is hard as well. I’m trying to make do with what I have, but it’s a challenge, for sure!

    brynnash.blogspot.com

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    1. Good luck on the job front, Brynn! When I first started working after college, it took a while to build my 9-5 wardrobe. I always loved Express for workwear that still felt young and fun. Their Editor pants and pencil skirts were staples for me, and I kept my eyes peeled for sales to stock up. LOFT also has some really cute quality basics that you can dress up for work or wear more casually on your off time. And, of course, consignment shops are a great place to find good deals!

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  23. You know what they say 30 the new 20, now days women look better with age and I’m sure your one of them :). As for the new closet think “less is best”, I agrees with your thought of simplifying everything, minimalistic looks do wonders.
    http://www.fashiondiction.wordpress.com

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  24. tamerabeth

    I believe as we all mature that good quality at discount prices in all your basics and timeless styles are best. All the fun will come with trendy accessories, it is very classy. TJB

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  25. Those bracelets are so cute!!

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  26. silverbrogues

    I love Pinterest for inspiration:)

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  27. […] mentioned in an earlier post that I’m working on upgrading my closet for the grand finale of my 20′s. This means avoiding the temptation of clearance racks and […]

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  28. Hi, enjoying reading your blog, I too have spent the past few months updating my wadrobe with simple staple pieces rather than whats’s fashionable or a cheap bargain. I find it so much easier to dress now and use accessories to dress it up and add that personal touch.

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    1. That’s exactly what I’m going for! Which have been your favorite new additions to your wardrobe? I’d love ideas on which staples give the most mileage.

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  29. I am totally with you on this! As I am nearing 29 this fall, I am starting to feel my style start to shift, which I definitely feel like it should. You have a great outlook on where you want to go- timeless pieces that you can wear years to come.

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    1. Thank you, Natalie! My latest two purchases have been a great pair of dark skinnies and a chambray t-shirt, both of which I’ve already worn several times. I feel like my life is about to become a whole lot simpler ;-)

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  30. […] I made a rash decision: I couldn’t move forward with creating a well-edited wardrobe with all this stuff taking up valuable closet real estate. I bagged it all up neatly (it took […]

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