by Lara on January 12, 2013

in fashion

Welp… so much for not “over buying”.

After winter clearance sales are my weakness. I stock up on all the sweaters and cardigans and boots I can get my grubby little hands on and save a shit-ton of money  on things I will get years of use out of so, I’m not going to feel bad!
These are all shapes and colors I keep going back to in my work wardrobe and; my weight seems to have plateaued over the past few weeks so I’m feeling confident about getting more pants and skirts.

Here’s the latest online shopping haul, all ridiculously cheap.

Alpaca Blend Sweater Coat - Express

Alpaca Blend Sweater Coat – Express


Crew Neck Cardi – Express


Lace Print Pencil Skirt – Express

Drew Welt-Pocket Velvet Slim Pants  Women's Pants  THE LIMITED

Drew Welt-Pocket Velvet Slim Pants  – The Limited

Skinny Corduroy Jeans - The Limited

Skinny Corduroy Jeans – The Limited

Merino Blend V-Neck Sweater  Women's Sweaters  THE LIMITED

Merino Blend V-Neck Sweater – The Limited

Chiffon Trim Tee - The Limited

Chiffon Trim Tee

Glittery Jacquard Tee - The Limited

Glittery Jacquard Tee

Silence & Noise Split Hem Cardigan - Urban Outfitters

Silence & Noise Split Hem Cardi – Urban Outfitters

Kimchi Blue Back-Stitch Cardigan - Urban Outfitters

Kimchi Blue Back-Stitch Cardigan – Urban Outfitters

Cooperative Applique Panda Flat - Urban Outfitters

Cooperative Applique Panda Flat – Urban Outfitters

PANDA FLATS! I don’t care how much they will probably hurt my feet to break in.

DV By Dolce Vita Marko Suede Harness Boot - Urban Outfitters

DV By Dolce Vita Marko Suede Harness Boot – Urban Outfitters

Yeah… I went a little nuts last night but… all of that was less than $200!

Between buy one get one 1/2 off on already clearance prices and additional 40% off and free shipping and ebates and yeah… sick.

A lot of these items have already sold out in less than a day but there are still many deals to be had.

What are you going to try to score on winter clearance?

Now to do my taxes and get that refund!


work clothes

by Lara on August 12, 2012

in fashion

One month down at the new job!

I’m learning something new every day, making fewer stupid mistakes, learning all this legal mumbo-jumbo and feeling more and more confident about getting things done.  If I could just remember to do 2 spaces between sentences!  I’m doing it now to help develop the habit because seriously, it drives my boss crazy.  Apparently, every lawyer is a stickler for their own tiny details and mine is a total double space nazi.  No biggie though.  I got this.

One thing I haven’t gotten the hang of is work clothes and shoes.  My feet are covered in healing blisters from all those new shoes. I still have 2 pairs I’m terrified to wear because I’ve traumatized myself.

I thought I would be sitting at a desk all day but no.  I’m constantly up and down, running from office to office, from my cube to the printers plus, I’m on the entire floor of a highrise so… yeah, all over the place all the time.  I’m also downtown and want to try food at all the surrounding places and run errands on my lunch break.

I’ve come to the sad conclusion that heels are pretty much out of the question unless I know my boss will be out of the office for trial most of the day.  My day is a wee bit easier when he’s gone. I decided that if a pair of shoes aren’t comfortable the instant I try them on, I’m not buying them.  No more of this “they’ll stretch out” or “I can moleskine that rubby spot.”  I’m done with it.  I found 2 pairs of flats yesterday at Marshalls that felt like heaven the second I put them on.  They’re a brand called “Me Too”, are leather with grippy soles and I got them for $22 each when they’re normally $80.

I triple dog dare these shoes to hurt me!

Then, there’s personal style.  Those shoes really aren’t my true style but I HAD to get them. My aching feet are making me miserable.

I went so basic with my initial shopping – solid colored classic shapes – and I don’t feel like my true personality is really shining through.  I’ve also lost 10 pounds in the past 2 months and I’m down a size, so all those pencil skirts I got are a bit loose.  I’m not complaining… I just feel a little sloppy and a little boring. It’s all very work appropriate and I don’t feel out of place at all.  I just feel like I’m pretending… or I’m not being authentic.  There’s a whole mess of funkiness these fools have yet to see!  I still do my cat eyes and my hair is always a wild mess so that’s working for me.

It’s silly but there’s this girl I work with whose style I really admire.  I’ve been studying her choices… longer cardigans, rolled sleeve blazers, slim pants, funky patterned blouses… I’m really feeling her look and I’m taking notes.  I own all of these things, it’s just a matter of putting it all together.  Fall is way more inspiring to me than disgusting sweaty Summer.  I get up in the morning, look at the weather report and just aim to not be a sweaty mess.

I also need to tap into my jewelry collection and play with accessories more.

I got these slim grey ankle pants, which are a bit longer on me since I’m short.  It’s amazing how myself I felt in these, opposed to the wider leg trousers I’ve been sporting.  Those make me feel a bit older than I want to feel.

$25 and in a ton of colors

Wider legs are super trendy for Fall too though.  Really, I think we’ve gotten to the point where everything is in style these days.  I got my first September issue (ELLE) yesterday and I’ve devoured it for ideas.  Inspiration was desperately needed.

I can’t wait to unleash the layers, texture and my own personality this Fall!

So, how do YOU show your personality in your boring office wear?



new wardrobe

by Lara on July 6, 2012

in fashion

You guys! I got a job! I’ll be starting Monday as a legal assistant for a large firm in downtown Richmond. It’s an incredible opportunity and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. Seriously, 1 1/2 weeks of a job hunt and something amazing happened! I know my mom was looking out for me. It’s all too much!

So, I’ve had to do some shopping! Considering I’ve been living in sneakers, skinny jeans and deep V tees for the past decade… plus I’ve gained some weight… I pretty much needed an entire work wardrobe. I already had a few basics that would work well in an office setting but those are mainly for Fall/Winter, and I have a ton of blazers.

It’s been over 100 degrees for a week!

Just to get through my interviews, I got 3 pencil skirts at Target ($20 each) and 4 tops at Marshall’s (all around $15 each) and some Spanx. Holy hell those things are amazing!

This is a terrible pic of my pre-interview shopping:

Today, I spent the morning with my dad and he was SO sweet. My mom was a great dresser before she got sick and my dad insisted that he give me some money to go shopping – that my mom would’ve wanted it, to treat myself for the new job. He started crying. It broke my heart. Oh my gosh.

So, this afternoon, I shopped until I dropped. Here’s what I got – all on crazy crazy sale!

First off SHOES! I have a TON of shoes but almost everything work appropriate is for Winter. I got 5 pairs today – Report (apparently I can wear modest sandals if we’re not meeting with clients), Life Stride nude, Kenneth Cole metallic pewter snakey print, Blowfish black flats, Chinese Laundry red flats- all $19 a pair at Marshall’s, TJ Maxx & Ross!

Oh – on Thursday when I had my 2nd interview at one place (got that job too but turned them down) and the giant interview at the law firm (HR lady then two attorneys), I had time between interviews to go home and chill out. I noticed a weird chunk had come off near the sole of my black peep toe pumps – pretty much the only pair of shoes that went with any of my outfits. I had no other option but to hit it with a Sharpie marker before I flew out the door. That kinda freaked me out… so worried about good impressions!

I can’t believe I went to a mall today. Got this silky polka dot top at Express on clearance for $17

The Limited was having a major sale – additional 50% off clearance and there was still a ton of stuff. I got this coral drape neck top for $17

pale grey skirt from The Limited $15

purple/black/cream pleated skirt from The Limited $16

Oh this dress! I love it so much! It was $98, marked down to $25! From The Limited.

Everything got wrinkled in my car – Adrienne Vittadini dress – $128 down to $20 at Marshall’s

More wrinkles! Calvin Klein dress $40 at Ross

lightweight fuchsia cardi – $16 at Marshall’s

all the colors are off in my pics  – this is a light mustard cardi – $20 at TJ Maxx

I already have a few other tops, some decent higher neck tees, a black and a red cardi and that’s about it for now. I think I’m pretty well set for a bit! I should get a nice skirt suit for when I have to attend client meetings but could make do with one of those dresses in a pinch I guess.

Any suggestions?


wardrobe woes

by Lara on December 16, 2011

in fashion

We’re always talking about purging our closets, getting rid of clutter… all in the hopes of not becoming a hoarder and ultimately refining our style.

Why are we being so hard on ourselves about keeping things we like?

There’s that “1 in 1 out” rule where you get rid of something old when you buy something new. This can also apply to home decor items. I actually did this for a while with shoes and soon ended up playing games with myself… holding onto shoes I didn’t want anymore during the initial purge, just so I could use them in the next trade. Ha! The more I thought about it, it’s such a stupid guideline. I mean, how do you decide what the perfect number of things is? Is it based on space available? It it some arbitrary number you pull out of the air? What if you really don’t want to get rid of something? The only thing I see this working well for is your basics. Your fave white tee bites the dust so you toss it and get a replacement. That makes sense. This obsession with an ultra-minimalist lifestyle is kinda grating on me lately.

There’s the “If you haven’t worn it in 1-3 years, it’s time for it to go” rule. This one makes some sense to me but it still can’t be a hard and fast rule. What about formal wear? What about that fantastic skirt you simply adore and really want to hold on to? Is it hurting anything to keep it? What about wanting to hand things down to your daughter? Women’s weight fluctuates so much too so, I see nothing wrong with keeping a size up and down in your closet as well, just in case.

There are plenty of ladies who are pure collectors. They buy unique pieces and have amazing wardrobes of well-made items. Things go in and out of style so frequently, I wish I still had a lot of my clothes from 10 years ago. Frequently, I have purger’s remorse. If I had the closet space and the money, I would love a collection that spanned decades!


There are those who subscribe to the French mindset of shopping – keeping a basic wardrobe of classics and only adding 3 or so key pieces every season. This makes you pause and really think about the look you want to achieve that particular season and what trends you’re interested in, carefully editing your shopping list. It allows you to shop a bit more extravagantly on a few quality items rather than a ton of cheap stuff. I have never done this – sitting down with a budget and list in mind, having everything else work around a few new pricier items, sourcing, buying them and being done. I definitely know when my wardrobe is missing a key item though. For instance, I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect brown knee boots for years. This Christmas I finally get them!

I kinda just get non-basic things as I see them. “Oh! I like those shoes! Oh! I like that sweater!” It’s all pretty compulsive and I don’t think much about how it will work with what I already have. That’s when you end up standing in front of your full closet and feeling like you have nothing to wear. I don’t think in terms of outfits. Well, when you pretty much wear jeans all the time… any sweater will go with anything but… you know what I mean.


So, how do you shop and approach your wardrobe?



Ultra 10

by Lara on May 30, 2011

in fashion

The Ultra 10 collection is 10 items of clothing that become your core wardrobe for a year. All made-to-order and of organic and recycled fabrics, they will also mend and recycle your collection when you’re done with them – plus offer you a new set in a year at a discount. The total for the whole collection is $918.

You get what technically amounts to 15 pieces as a few are multifunctional because of length and zippers:

vest * backless top * cropped top * white shirt/dress * skirt * top/dress * stretch pants * cotton trousers * 2-in-1 blazer * 3-in-1 dress-jacket-skirt


I think this is a pretty interesting concept since this isn’t supposed to be an addition to your existing wardrobe. This is meant to be your core for an entire year. They’re encouraging buyers to participate in a challenge and share how you mix up the pieces. There’s currently only one participant.

I like the overall look of the pieces except for the crop top but; I couldn’t see myself wearing this as my core wardrobe for a year. The price really isn’t that bad when you think about it. Of course you don’t know what the pieces actually feel like or how they’re constructed.

I would worry about wear and tear, constantly laundering the pieces which will fade them, and basically being bored.

I’m also not the most eco-minded person out there, while I do love simplicity in my home. Then, the more I think about it, I do kinda go to my same fave pieces over and over. Could I make these new faves? I just don’t know. It seems more like the perfect travel wardrobe to me.

Could you do it?