Friday, March 25, 2011

Playgrounds & Lollipops - When In Rome

{Cardigan: St. John; T-Shirt: James Perse; Jeans: Forever 21; Shoes: Tory Burch; Necklaces: Carolee and vintage; Earrings: Kate Spade; Nail Polish: Essie St. Lucia Lilac; Lipstick: Mac Ladybug}

I don't necessarily dress to try and stand out, but if I look a little different, I don't mind.  When I first became a mom I started buying very "basic" items to help me sort of blend in and because I thought the more basic, the more I'd be able to stretch my dollar.  But I quickly started to feel too basic and went back to my usual ways of picking out clothes that had some sort of different quality about them.  I started to learn how much I disliked blending in.  I tend not to shy away from prints, subtle embellishments or bright, bold colors. 

That is not to say though that I like to stand out to the point of being uncomfortable.  I don't mind overdressing for an occasion, but if I feel too overdressed, I fidget and fuss all night.  Same goes for work. I've mentioned before that my work dress code is very, very casual.  Flip flops, jeans and unkempt hair are standard workplace attire.  I started to quickly fall in to that dress code by keeping accessories to a minimum, wearing very light makeup and flesh tone shades of lipcolor; the more androgynous the better.  When in Rome you know?  But since resigning, I'm starting to get my mojo back and the real Andrea is popping out at work.  What have I got to loose after all?

When I came into the office yesterday wearing this ensemble (much more suited for my old company's dress code), people literally did a double take.  Some said "You look cute."  One person, I kid you not, just sort of stared for a minute and then said "Wow, that's a lot of stuff."  Um.  Thanks.  I guess?

So let's recap what we've learned shall we?
  1. Don't be afraid to step a bit out of your comfort zone, baby steps at first to test the waters.  See just how comfortable you feel being a little daring trying something new or different. 
  2. Not mentioned above, but also very important, is step outside of your comfort zone, while still keeping it functional to your real everyday life.  These necklaces are a perfect example; I had to tuck them away for about the first 4 years of being a mother because baby and toddler hands are inexplicably attracted to them.  Granted, in all honesty, I would loose the necklaces if I was going to the park :)
  3. As it relates to trends, when wearing something very sweet and ladylike in your wardrobe, funk it up a bit with motorcycle boots, slouchy boyfriend jeans or ripped jeans.  You don't want to end up looking like a prude after all ;)  This Parisian style guide from Lonny is a fun little resource on how to mix opposing styles and trends.  I think I want to have it printed and framed for my imaginary office.
  4. Lastly, I also didn't mention above but it's probably the most important thing I learned from this post was this: Be Creative!  I have had the shoes, cardigan and necklaces in my possession for the past 4-5 years and I haven't worn them for at least 3 years.  After writing this post, I am really taking a hard look at the items I already own and haven't worn in a while.  If they are classic and I loved them 5 years ago, surely I can find a way to fit them into my current life, right?  5 years ago I would have worn this cardigan with a pencil skirt and heels to work.  Now, pairing it with boyfriend jeans and a T-shirt is the perfect combination that suits my current lifestyle.  
Class Dismissed :)
Happy Friday friends!

p.s. I used to work at St. John and had an outstanding clothing allowance; otherwise I could have never afforded to buy a piece on my own!


  1. I love your shoes. I've always wanted a pair of those! Here's my observation with flats: they can't be cheap. Any time I have ever tried to deviate from this rule, my feet suffered. Actually, you can say that about most shoes, but for flats this is really true for me.

  2. So chic! I love the bun and layered pearl strands. xx-Jackie

  3. You look gorgeous, Andrea!

  4. Great lesson, Andrea! You look absolutely stunning. Love this look from head to toe. Have a fantastic weekend.

  5. this is my favorite P&L outfit ever!

  6. but seriously, can you get your shoes off that light couch...you're making me nervous! :)

  7. love! love! love! this post!!!- I'm not an "in Rome" girl either!!- I think "style" is when someone knows exactly what they like and aren't afraid to show it!:)
    Happy weekend!
    p.s. I love all that "alot of stuff" you wore!

  8. Darling, just darling. I need you to go shopping with me so I get out of my uniform: cardigan, jeans, flats, maybe a little crazy with a scarf outfit. I need help.

  9. "thats a lot of stuff" ??? what in the world. it's funny when people are baffled by effort. i've known women who actually feel threatened by effort, regardless of where it is exerted, because of the comparison factor. but i'm on your side...it feels good to make a little effort and see a good result, whether its in making dinner, learning a skill, or putting a cute outfit together. you go. in the words of stacy and clinton: it takes the same amount of time to put on a bad outfit than it does to put on a good one. :)

  10. Very Audrey Hepburn...LOVE this ensemble!!!

  11. Great lesson! I tend to try to fit in at least somewhat, but in my own style... I don't like feeling too overdressed but it's worse to feel underdressed.

  12. this style seems to suit you SO well! you look gorgeous and super fun! xo

  13. Hahaha - I should have read this (especially #1) before I tweeted you! Whoops. You look great, I especially love your shoes. My dog ate one (the left) of the only pair of Tory Burch shoes I've ever owned....he's lucky he still has a home!

  14. love! as I just recently wrote a similar post on my blog http://imlearningtoembrace.blogspot.com about "getting my groove back after becoming a mom" thanks for sharing!

  15. Such a cute blog and such a cute you!! I'm your newest follower -stop over for a visit!!

  16. Super chic and love the hair. I just cleaned out my closet, like majorly cleaned it out. No more buying just to buy for me. Thanks for the inspiration!

  17. woohoo i am your 240th follower!!!
    i heard about your blog from Rachel at No 17 ( you are a great friend for talking her out of those overalls) and i am so glad i read your post!
    I have a two year old and i am kinda in the stage where i am just realizing i don't wanna dress like a "mom" anymore
    yes! Glad i found you !!!!

  18. You look amazing! I love the hair and lip color especially...I never fell like I can pull off in any shade of red.

  19. now thats MY kind of outfit! feminine,classy and little bit of a bohemian flair w/ the cropped/ripped jeans.
    love love love!!
    and i completely dig you giving over to YOUR style and owning it.
    it seems like we feel the need to blend all the time which is odd because the stuff we are attracted to stands OUT from the "norm"!

  20. i love checking out your style! i've been reading your blog for a while, but never commented. after reading this post i knew i had to come out:) i am married to a minister so i think people expect me to look dowdy and plain. well, i couldn't be a bigger fan of accessories. the bigger the headband, the better! i get stares from the congregation because i certainly dress different from the rest, but i've gotta be me. and this preacher's wife likes fashion!

  21. this is my favorite P&L outfit ever!


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