I wrote this
post for Sugar & Spice back in 2011 and focused on using a few key items from my own existing wardrobe to create a plethora of holiday outfits. What is fascinating to me is that here we are, five years later, and this is still extremely relevant. I'm sure you have similar staple items in your wardrobe that you could mix together so create your own holiday capsule wardrobe for "go-to: outfits so you don't have to worry about what to wear at the last minute. Check it out for some inspiration!Hi Everyone, I’m Iris from 260 Days, No Repeats! I have challenged myself to wear remixed outfits from my closet… It started out as a one-year thing but, has since evolved and kept on going. During this experience, I have learned that you don’t need all new items of clothes to have a fresh new look. I am constantly finding ways to take the things I wear every day and pair them with completely different items! There are no limits... With the holidays on the horizon, I’m sure everyone’s social calendars are filling up. While you might feel like there is nothing in your closet that is going to work you can take a few key pieces and put together a plethora of fabulous outfits! I chose a great dress, sparkly sweater, sparkly t-shirt, classic pencil skirt, and pinstripe blazer and mixed them into 12 different holiday ready ensembles. What pieces would you pick? How would you put them together?
Red Embellished Sweater – RED via Loehmanns
Green Sequins Embellished T-shirt – Ellen Tracey via TJ Maxx
Black Pencil Skirt – Old Navy
Black Pinstripe Blazer – Calvin Klein via SYMS
Mixed Metal Earrings – ModCloth
Belle Fleur Ring – Stella & Dot
Rhinestone Earrings – New York & Company
Gold/Silver Teardrop Earrings – V’ta Jewelry
Black Pumps – Candies via Kohl’s
Black Belt – Adrienne Vitadinni
Can you see yourself utilizing similar pieces from your own wardrobe in similar fashions? What would you do differently? It doesn’t have to be exact; You could throw a pair of pants or jeans in the mix for more casual gatherings and you are covered for every situation!
Do you drink coffee in the morning? Yup, me too. Do you feel incomplete without it? Yeah, I know what you mean but. I digress... To satisfy that your craving Is part of your morning routine to pick up your coffee on the way to work at Starbucks, Dunkin, or perhaps the local coffee cart? I used to but, not anymore. Why? Because, I started looking at how much money my daily "treat yoself" Grande Soy Latte was costing me and, while $20 here and there to refill your Starbucks card doesn't seem like an excessive amount, it added up; I estimated to the tune of over $1000 in 6 months. Isn't that crazy? I know, that's what I thought too. To address the (caffeinated) leak in my spending I thought about alternatives AKA less expensive coffee sources but, the coffee carts/delis near my office aren't cranking out steamed soy milk beverages at all and the watery coffee from other places wasn't satisfying my caffeine craving. With no great alternatives popping up I realized that sometimes when you've gotta get things done (and satisfy your need for caffeine) you have to do it yourself. Which is what I am now doing as part of my morning routine. It's pretty simple, here's what you need.
Get a coffee that you like. Flavored, Mild, Caffeine Free (wierdo) whatever floats your boat... perhaps try out some of the different offering at you local grocery store or head to a local coffee house or market so you can try some of their special blends. Whatever you end up picking make sure it's something you enjoy. If you really want to get fancy in your attempts to be your own barista you could grind your own beans at home for the freshest cup but, that move is a next level coffee maneuver.
If you are into fancy coffee beverages investing in a frother might be worth it. This was the one I picked even though they do get (much) more elaborate. I have an espresso/coffee maker combo at home and enjoyed whipping up the soy milk before I poured it into my espresso for a yummy latté. While it doesn't substitute the high steam of an industrial grade machine it's good for creating bubbles and frothing up you warm beverage.
Lastly you need the perfect vessel to transport your coffee to work in the morning. I cannot thank my cousin enough for her recommendation of the Zojirushi. It keeps your beverage hot or cold for hours and hours and hours (no exaggeration.) It was battle tested when my squad and I filled it with ice water and spent a day on Governors Island for the Jazz Age Lawn party. Even after hours in the sun in 100° plus weather there was still frigid water inside! I also use it on a daily for my morning coffee hot or cold. Don't believe me? Try it yourself... I'm sure you will be satisfied.
In honor of Black Friday I want to talk to you about holiday shopping and what my (best) practices are.The reason that I put so much thought and effort into holiday (and birthday) shopping is because there are lots of people on my list to shop for which means it can be costly in terms of money but, also in terms of my time. I also take it to the "next level" (yes there is a spreadsheet) because I want to make sure that I give the people in my life that I care most about gifts that they will actually appreciate and enjoy. By making a plan about shopping in advance and implementing these practices I have been able to tackle holiday shopping without getting very stressed or maxing out my credit cards. To be honest, most of the time, I don't even participate in the craziness that is Black Friday or Cyber Monday because they are so protracted beyond what they used to be that you can find savings starting at the beginning of November (OMG, you've already missed out) and those very limited "door buster" deals are not worth the aggravation and time they would potentially cost me. While everyone might not feel the same way, I have found that with planning I am able to tackle holiday shopping without going crazy.
- Budget - Take a look at how many people you
feel obligated to need/want to buy gifts for. There might be some people who pop up closer to the holiday but, for the most part, you know who your main beneficiaries are and you can ballpark how much money you want to dedicate towards their gifts. I'm not saying that you need to stick with this to the last penny for everyone but, having an idea of what you can spend overall helps from overspending on your favorite person or cheaping out on someone that you wanted to get a swell gift.
- Shop all year - This is not for every person on your list (ahem, children) but, sometimes when you are out you might see something that would be perfect for your Mom, BFF, gardener, etc. that you know they will love to matter what time of year you give it to them. This helps in terms of limiting the amount of time you will spend shopping during the holiday season and hopefully ensure that you will avoid shopping at crunch time (Ex: Christmas Eve) completely.
- Save all year - Take a look at your budget and see what the total is, then divide that by 52 which would equal how much money you have to save each week. This is the most rudimentary budget but, it totally works for Hubby and I. We take money each pay period and set it aside for holiday and other gifts and when
December November comes we don't have to think twice about where the money is coming from. It goes into a separate gift specific checking account so we don't mix that money with funds for everyday purchases... next level maneuvers.
- Re-Gift - Not everyone does this, or thinks it is acceptable to do but, I do, under the right circumstances. I am a difficult person to shop for an often find myself with lovely things that I am never going to use and have no option of returning for credit to purchase something else that I might like better. I also get things for free sometimes (event life, yay) or as part of monthly subscription boxes that are not a good fit for me. In those situations, I would rather give those nice things, that are not my speed, to someone else who would enjoy them.
- Get Crafty - If you are the type of person who is able to use paper maché and popsicle sticks to make cool things you should totally do that for your family and then open an Etsy shop. In all seriousness, sometimes the best gifts are heartfelt and personal so if can make something as opposed to buying it that might be the way to go in terms of making someone smile and possibly keeping yourself on budget.
I feel like it's finally Fall. While PSL has been in our faces since September 1 the weather (hello 80° days) has not been in alignment with that autumn reality and all the other fall paraphernalia until more recently. While summer is my favorite thing, I appreciate the changing of the seasons and get excited about the opportunity to be super basic and wear a flannel/plaid/puffy vest combination to do some sort of autumnal activity. How serious am I being? You will never know... but, in all seriousness I do get excited about the changing of the seasons because that means fun things are on the horizon like, holidays, seeing family, layering, and wearing amazing fall colors like mustard. When I put this ensemble together it really struck me as being a great combination of less traditional fall colors (read: not red orange, yellow) but, still in line with cooler weather. Thoughts? On another note, I have to share a secret with you... these were Hubby's pants. Could you tell? I didn't think so. When Hubby was getting rid of them because they were too tight on him I thought, "Why get rid of a perfectly good pair of (fancy) pants? I could incorporate them into my wardrobe instead of picking up a trendy 'boyfriend chino'." That's a win!
- Top: lace trim shell, Merona; black cardigan, 14th & Union
- Bottom: Sharp Grey Emerson straight chino, Banana Republic
- Shoes & Accessories: black pumps, Sam Edelman; silver bead earrings, Tiffany & Co; paisley infinity scarf , gift from Mom
Don't forget to enter the Nordstrom gift card giveaway!