Back to Black and Gold

This holiday season is all about parties, cookies, socializing, going out of my comfort zone and trying things (specifically speaking, foods/beverages) that I wouldn’t normally do.  And so far, so good.  Last night at one of the many parties (yeah I’m not a party person, so two in one week is a lot for me!) the Mr. and I attended, I met a fellow area blogger.  I told her how I dabble on a blog here and there, nothing fancy.  She got all excited and started encouraging me.  Who knew.  Here I was, boring me, and there she was saying “You have to start somewhere!”

I told her I write about life and the idiotic decisions I make.  She suggested that is great.  Is it?  I think my life is absolutely hysterical, so why not?

Want to hear a funny story of how this outfit for a party came about? Of course you do cause I don’t know how to dress myself and have relied on my students (fashion design majors) to dress me).  I panicked Wednesday morning.  I dread parties.  Like “I’d rather hide under a rock and never ever be seen again” dread. So I just threw anything into my bag for work since the party was at 6, at the school dining hall.  I figured I’d just stay through, use that 5-6pm time to do my hair.  Of course, that’s totally normal, right?

I panicked.  I forgot my makeup.  And earrings.  And scarf.  Thankfully I’m a “leave it in my office” kind of girl.  I cleaned out my desk (double win) and found enough makeup to make myself look passable, the earrings below (from a student who brought them back from her trip to Bangladesh) and my scarf was on the back of my chair.  So I was like “Okay, I think I can make this work, right?”


earrings. Believe it or not, they were hanging on my bulletin board all along.


So I didn’t know what I was doing.  (Do I ever?)  I tried to put the outfit together.  Literally, tried so hard.  The makeup defeat slowed me down.  I didn’t feel right.  I texted a selfie (my first real attempt) to a student/blogger.  She critiqued.  Was impressed.  She even told me to wear my scarf this way instead of looping it through.  She was pleased.  The selfie attempt was not as successful as I wanted, but first…


But before I get in front of the actual camera… …let me take a selfie

Great Success!  At least, I was told.  I tried, and apparently I succeeded.  And this post would not have been made possible if it wasn’t for the power of the selfie, the texting, and the cleaning out of my desk/office to find enough items to put together to look passable for a holiday party.  The Mr. was quite impressed, he was also impressed with the amount of cleaning I had accomplished within that hour of time…If only I can get that done at home…


I think I’m getting good at this thing…

After last night’s party, I was given blogging tips.  Like to just go ahead and do it, link similar items up to what I am wearing, and just make friends and have fun.  If I am not having fun, then this whole thing is not worth it.  So BAM!  We’re in business again.  I’m going to have fun again.  And I think I am going to like this thing.  For the ultimate selfie, I managed to snap a face shot on Instagram.


Scarf: street vendor in Paris (similar, similar, similar)

Shirt: Gap (similar, similar, similar)

Skirt:  Macy’s (similar, similar, similar)

Tights:  DKNY (similar, similar, similar)

Booties:  Just Fab (similar, similar, similar)


Happy Friday to you all!  Enjoy your weekend.  See you throughout the holiday!

Blog Signature



I have been in the professional workforce for over 5 years now.  And in that 5 years, I have not worn pants to work.  Except when I am job interviewing.  Even then, I typically lean towards the skirt suits.  Something about pants, I don’t know, I just never really thought of them for work.  I guess having to wear a uniform all my life, and then adapting a jeans and a hoodie uniform in college, I never really thought about it.  A subconscious thing, I guess.  Wearing a skirt all my life, and jeans?  I’m destined to wear dresses/skirts.  That way too, you don’t always have to mix and match shirts/tops.  And we all know that one of the reasons I started blogging was because I am so impaired when it comes to creating outfits…

Have you ever really thought about it?  Like honestly.  Have you looked back to your “roots” and figured out where some subconscious decisions come from? I would have never put it together, but as I was cleaning my closet, I pondered the meaning of life and the commonalities of my closet.  Things just work out like that sometimes.. I was taking inventory of life and clothing noticed “I never wear my suits, and there are ways to wear them partially.  Why not try them out?”  So myself agreed with myself and said “Let’s do it.”  And bam!  That’s how this outfit came to be.

Okay, so these pictures show me looking like I am wearing a maxi skirt.  I swear, these are pants… and I snapped these right before I headed out on Friday…hence the dark quality…



Happy Monday, my fellow friends.  Boy, I’m on a roll here!  Blogging two days in a row.  Look at me go!  And haha, I just noticed, it looks like I am floating…I am wearing black booties, but clearly it is not apparent in these pictures.  I also should start taking pictures at a further distance…maybe…probs not.  I love my little system of “right before you head home from work, snap a few blog pics!”


Denim Jacket: TJ Maxx (similar, similar, similar)

Scarf: gift (similar, similar, similar)

Tee: JCP (similar, similar, similar)

Pants: Ann Taylor (similar, similar, similar)

Booties: I forgot where (similar, similar, similar)



Again, good to be back.  Enjoy this Monday’s worth of link ups.  I swear, you go away for a while, and all these just show up!

Sophisticated Style @ Fashionably Employed (that’s here!)
Monday Bloom @ DC in Style
Let It Shine @ Still Being Molly
Mix It Monday @ Fizz & Frosting
Visible Mondays @ Not Dead Yet Style
How I Summer @ Pink Sole & Cha Cha The Fashion Genius
Manic Monday @ More Pieces of Me and On The Daily Express
Style to Inspire @ Rhea Et Cetera
Personal Style Monday @ Whitney Nic James
Monday Morning Gossip @ Join The Gossip
Inspire Me Monday @ Create With Joy
Be Awesome @ Fynes Designs
Monday Must Haves @ The Style Record
Mingle Monday @ Life of Meg
Creative Mondays @ Claire Justine
Thrifters Anonymous @ Colorblind


Casual Work Day

There have been days where my outfits have been on point.  There are days where I forget to take pictures.  Then there are the days where I am not on point and remind myself I haven’t blogged in a while.  And then there are days where “Oh shucks, there goes another day.”  And then there are days where my life has become one big post it note, EVERYWHERE.  My office, my planner, my house, my fridge, I think 3M should be paying me.

Then I got myself a life planner.  All the post-its disappeared.  And now I’ve been organized.  And I’m at ease. And now with the holidays coming, I am relying on that planner like it is my right hand.  (I am actually right-handed too).  So, thank you to all the bloggers who recommended the Erin Condren planners.  I’m in love. And I am organized.  And, well, I’m a better person now- I’m not always running around like a crazy person, asking “What do I have to do today?!”

And I now planned out all my posts.  I’m creating deadlines for myself.  Cause I’m one who operates under the “If I don’t write the deadline down…I’ll forget and miss it.”  So ha!  Here’s today’s post.  Goodness,  it feels good to be on point.





I froze in this outfit.  I was an idiot.  I should have worn tights.  It was really cold this week.  I didn’t get snow, thank goodness, but I did get a mess of cold weather.  I wore this thinking that I’d just warm up at hot yoga.  Yeah, I’m still doing that… that was one of my most favorite posts….


Sweater:  Gap (similar, similar, similar)

Top:  JCP (similar, similar, similar)

Skirt: Loft (similar, similar, similar)


Feels good to be back.  See you all next week!  Happy Weekend!

Don’t forget to link up with the greats!

Happy Fashion Item Friday to you //  SewSarahR

Passion for Fashion // Casual  Friday Link Up 

Favorite Fashion Friday // Sabby Style

Fab Favorites Link Up…with Style Elixir

Blog Signature


Oh and enjoy this week’s manicure

icy boysenberry polka dot

Transition to Fall

I know I wear this dress a lot.  A LOT.  Cause it is my favorite-est dress out of all of them.  It works in the Summer when my office is an ice cube from the AC, and it works in the Fall when I need sleeves, but need something lightweight.  Plus this is one of those dresses that no matter what state of physical fitness I am in, I always look good.  Like ALWAYS.  Remember the time I ironically wore Red White and Blue all week leading up to the 4th of July?  This dress made an appearance in my week of posts. But alas, the seasons have greatly changed.  It’s now cold in the mornings, and decently sunny warm in the afternoons.  So I can’t wear it with flip flops or sandals these days.  Instead I am wearing nude tights and heels. (I have a line of heels on the wall in my office -not visible to all the important meetings).

I am too excited to check the mail today.  I ordered an eye shadow palette as recommended by my favorite youTube-r Zabrena from Macshadowcombos on her “Frugal Fridays” video.  I am a dork, admitted.  But hey, for $13 bucks, how can you go wrong?!  So tonight I guess I will be experimenting (not only what Zabrena taught but some of my own concoctions…)

And, no, to those of you have emailed, those are my real eyelashes.  Yes, they are extremely long.  Naturally.  And, yes, when I curl them, I look like I am going to a glam party, or a photoshoot.  And if I don’t curl them, they end up hitting my glasses lenses and its just a pain.  Yes, I know, it’s a good problem to have…

Casual Wrap Dress



This dress photgraphs a lot better than I thought it would.  I actually love how good this looks.  I know, I am vein when it comes to it.  But really, it comes out a lot darker and brighter than it looks in reality.  Reality, it is a lighter navy, a faded red, and a tanish gray.  Lame.  I think the lighting really helps.  I may have to revert to this when getting my “professional photos” done.  It really looks fantastic.  (Besides, how often do I wear a suit?  I want something that would make me look fantastic and confident so that when it’s time to smile, you can tell I truly enjoy what I do.)

Dress:  Banana outlet (similar, similar, similar)


Happy link up Tuesday!

Style Sessions @ Style Elixir
Trend Spin @ Walking In Memphis In High Heels
Style Swap @ Myriad Musings
Confident Twosdays @ I do deClaire
Tuesday Pretties @ Glossy Blonde
Tremendous Tuesday @ Induffinitely Me
All About You @ Mama And More

“Oh that’s a dress, not a shirt.”

Common statement in my office today.  I closed myself away from society and just got my work done.  Graded papers, organized my files, put some relaxing music on and cleaned up.  I’m not going anywhere, but it was one of those days where I needed to reset completely- like get myself together.  And I figured, since I really wasn’t dressing up or doing anything too major, why not be comfortable.  And this dress is fantastic because I keep the space heater on in my office, which it essentially becomes an incubator. Which means after sitting at my desk, grading papers, and focused on nothing but what I was doing, I got quite warm and very flushed.  Had I stayed in my office a little while longer, I may have fainted…thank goodness for my water bottle.


Check this out- finally!  my nails look fantastic today.  I did them when watching Scandal (which, can we discuss how I feel it’s a let down this season?!)  We all know my non-crafty ways and my shaky hand, so when I came across an opportunity to always have good nails, you know I was the first to sign up!

And besides, I don’t have to end up on PinterestFail blogs, which may be my worst nightmare.  Could you imagine?  Oh my goodness…then again, I feel like my crocheting swatches/samples should be posted up there- I am terrible at crochet!  Wait til I post those pictures, you may just laugh til you cry…

Side Note: No, they are not at distracting when reading/skimming with my finger across the page, and/or writing.  I just think they are fantastic, and everyone should try Jamberry at least once!

IMG_1391 (1)



So cool.  I am awesome.  Happy Friday indeed.

Happy Friday to you.  See you next week!

Dress: Stitchfix (similar, similar, similar)

Denim Jacket: my mother’s (similar, similar, similar)

Boots: JustFab (similar, similar, similar)





Happy Friday.  Enjoy the zillions of link ups I am now participating in.


Neutral Reset

Whenever it rains, it pours.  Watching the weather forecast, I had prepared a head of time.  I planned on wearing my hair up, I planned on my rain shoes.  The outfit was just the rest to fall into place.  So here I was, knowing it was going to rain all day, and wondered, staring at my closet “What would work on a gray day like this?”  I reached for my gray sweater dress, but remembered it was too humid and warm to wear my favorite winter dress.  It’s the middle of October here!  Come on, Clare, THINK!

So I went for a neutral reset.  I’ve been dying lately, coming up with outfits, and coming up with new ways to pair them all.  So I figured, take the rest of this short work week to reset myself.  Reset my thinking, get myself ready for the change in temps.  I’ve been really excited to welcome the cooler, chillier temps, and can’t wait to break out all my scarves, but in the awkward in between times, I don’t know what the heck I am doing!

Boring, but at the same time, isn’t a reset boring?  What else do you do when you have to reboot your computer at work?  You fill your time with boring mundane tasks.  (Or if you are me, you clorox wipe your desk, phone, office door handle and keyboard down.) Right?  Tell me you are with me.


Sweater:  Nordstrom Rack (similar, similar, similar)
Tee:  Ann Taylor (similar, similar, similar)
Skirt: Banana Republic (similar, similar, similar)
Shoes:  Hunters (similar, similar, similar)

By the way, thanks to one of my students/blogger buddies.  She sent me this long list of Thursday link ups.  We promised each other that we would link up to everyone this week.  Personally, I think it’s a little much, but she reminded me of our future projects, and I thought, “Ugh, I hate when she is right.  I really should link up.”

What I Wore To Work @ Mix & Match Fashion  //   Working Girl With Style @ Simply Just Lovely  //  Let Your Light Shine @ I’m Perfectly Human  //   Spotlight Weekly @ Living in Color Style  //   Style Confessions @ Sequins & Style  //  Throw Back Thursday @ Happiness At Mid-Life  //    WIWT @ The Red Closet Diary  //  Three-fer Thursday @ Perfectly Coutured  //  Thursday Favorite @ Sincerely Jenna Marie  

“Looking Fresh, Clare”

Yes, that was the theme of the day.  At least, a few too many students who saw me hurriedly rushing around campus thought so.  I honestly wasn’t thinking.  And, well, I had to try out my new Stitchfix piece.  Let me tell you, me and Lizzy, we are style bffs, for sure.  She knows me all too well.  Thankfully, I was smart enough to make the connection to style this dress the way that the style cards suggested.  (Okay, it suggested booties, but while I am still on the hunt for said booties, these tall boots will suffice.)  And BAM!  I’m looking “Fresh.”  Now, I don’t know if “fresh” still means “good/stylish/pretty/insert your adjective here” like it did when I was in college, or if “fresh” is meaning something different these days, but I had to put throw it all out there.


Speaking of being fresh, today I’m celebrating my 4 year wedding anniversary.  Me and the Mr. got married on October 10, 2010.  Notice the trend?  10.10.10.  Pretty awesome day if you ask me.  I see a ton of my friends on Facebook are also getting married a year from today.  What a great day to get married. *selfish*  So back in the stitchfix note, I told Lizzy that because the fix was coming a week before the anniv and my birthday (yeah, the poor Mr., two days later is my birthday), I’d need a dress for our dinner date.  She knew, based on my style, and the fact that 10.10.14 is a Friday, exactly what to send.  I am telling you people, if you don’t do Stitchfix, you are missing out.



Dress: Stitchfix (similar, similar, similar)

Denim Jacket: my mother’s (similar, similar, similar)

Boots: JustFab (similar, similar, similar)


Oh and life update:  I’m picking up yet another hobby.  I may not be good at this, but in time, just like anything else, I need practice.  My students and I wanted a new challenge.  We’ve decided to pick up and teach ourselves how to crochet.  Youtube has become so helpful.  And I currently have a skein of gray yarn and a crochet hook on my desk, and it’s beginning to scare me.  CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.  Wanna see the picture of what my messy test practice crochet looks like?  Check out the “Instaupdate” on my sidebar!


Happy Friday.  Enjoy the zillions of link ups I am now participating in.* (see side note)


Side note:  I am a “mentor blogger” to one of my students.  She started blogging, and would ask me zillions of questions.  Now that she’s taken off, and become a huge name out there, I’m kinda slacking off.  She keeps me posting, and even reminds me to post.  So good for her to keep me accountable.  Yet, when she emailed me a blog post of ALL THE LINK UPS, I was a little overwhelmed.  But I think that’s a good thing.  We keep pushing each other to become more accountable, and better bloggers.  For now, we are currently working on bringing our blogs up to speed, but we hope that one day, we too can co-host a link up.  And maybe not on a Friday, cause there are already 6 that we participate in :)