This is a post in which I teach you how to add a little pizazz...a little "oomph", if you will...to an ordinary look. Al's way. 
We begin with the basics: a button-down and jeans. A typical outfit for class, but for me, sans shoes. I don't normally run recklessly around campus barefoot, but for this post I made an exception (enduring a few stares along the way). It felt invigorating to go so far against fashion norms to not even WEAR anything on my feet. But the point of this post is not to advocate shoe-less-ness; what we have here is an outfit needing a little TLC. It's like a paper that has only your name and the opening sentence written (like the one I should be writing now). So we move on to proceeding paragraphs in this next step...

...by adding some shoes. It was fun while it lasted, feet. Now you are adorned with some colorful little fancies that neither compliment nor clash with the striped top, but still make you think twice about the cohesiveness of the outfit. And to that thought I say, "try and stop me from putting these on my half-pedicured toes". Mixing prints is my salute to the fashion world and so I wear this outfit collage with pride. 

And what's an outfit without bling? Or, in this case Bling with a capital B because of the overcompensation of bracelets. To be honest, I just rifled through my jewelry box and picked out the bracelets closest to the top. And the necklace, well, that thing is just a kick-ass addition to any ensemble. So of course this outfit was in need. 

And here it is. The Triple Whopper of pattern-mixing. The Big Mac of accessorizing. Adding piles of jewelry was not enough to complete this outfit. No, what else was needed was a matching bag and hat and ANOTHER print to make any conservative dresser's head dizzy. And voila. The final product of me gazing into the sky in my new and improved look. I could have continued adding to the outfit a jacket, a cape, a skirt to put over the pants, a teacup pig to put in my bag.... but things would have gotten weird. So to that I say I hope you've enjoyed this edition of how I make a normal outfit weird and that you've been inspired to do the same! (Go to class tomorrow barefoot, I dare you.) 

[Hat: Gap (similar), Top: Ralph Lauren (similar here and here), Necklace: Macy's (similar), Bracelets: all J.Crew, Watch: Guess, Belt: Kohls (similar), Jeans: Gap (similar), Shoes: Macy's (loving these) Bag: J.Crew (great fall version here)]



*Southern charm

[Hat: Saks Off Fifth (similar), Top: Robert Graham (similar), Watch: Guess, Pants: Gap (similar), Shoes: Zara (similar)]

Though I would not instinctively identify my personal look with one that reflects the "western" style (I'm thinking cowboy boots, plaid blouses, cowboy hat...the works) I would say said category's characteristics have been sneakily infiltrating my closet for a while now. It began with the 'Buy 1 Get 2 Free' promotion at the cowboy-boot store down the street from my sister's school in Nashville. Three pairs of boots for the price of one? Heck, I didn't care that I had been a true northerner for the past 13 years of my life - I was jumping on that deal. Then came the comfy flannels, the skinny jeans to tuck into the boots, and the Top 100 country songs that had somehow been downloaded onto a playlist entitled "Howdy" on my iPod. How'd those get there?
It didn't surprise me, then, when I found this top at Salvation Army and was immediately attracted to it's loud paisley print. (And, might I add, the fact that it is valued at over $200 and I got the sucker for $2. I should have my own TLC show.). I was immediately reminded of Ralph Lauren's infamous paisley blouses (such as this one) and succumbed yet again to another western look. 


*Goodbye summer

[Sunglasses: Ray-Ban, Tank: J.Crew (similar), Necklace: F21, Dress (worn as skirt): Urban Outfitters (similar), Shoes: Urban Outfitters (similar)] 

It's Friday! And the last day of summer! And I'm done with class for the week! Life is good. The only thing that would make it better is if I could find the perfect fall version of these sandals. A.k.a an ankle boot version. A.k.a this amazing pair...but slightly out of my price range. Alas, the hunt continues. 
Happy weekend! 



[Sweater: J.Crew (similar), Scarf: Gift (similar), Dress: F21 (similar), Shoes: Hunter]

There's nothing wrong with sporting a major color blocking look, even if you do resemble the primary and secondary color venn diagram from back in 1st grade. Discovering this red door on campus was a huge accomplishment; I'm think I'm going to start putting my outfits together to match it.  



[Jacket: Zara (similar), Top: Topshop (similar), Pants: F21 (similar), Watch: Guess, Bag: Jessica Simpson (similar), Shoes: Kohls (similar)] 

It's 2:30am and though it's premature I'm listening to Matchbox 20's "3am" because at this point, it's all the same to me. When I'm up this late (which, don't worry, doesn't happen TOO often) my mentality is "Well, I've already ruined all chances of getting adequate sleep; better just stay up another hour or so checking out those S/S 2013 collections I didn't have time to look at during the day." So I do. And I think, "Hey, this isn't too bad. Maybe I won't be too tired in the morning!" (as you can see I have many conversations with myself in the wee hours of night). And I wake up the next morning absolutely hating myself for thinking I could ever in my right mind run on that little sleep. But then what do I do the next night? What every college student does - make the same dumb decision again. And again. I have come to accept the fact that I will NEVER learn. 



[Top: F21 (similar), Shorts: Gap (similar), Purse: J.Crew (similar), Shoes: Macy's (similar)]

It was only after I stared at this shirt in the mirror for a good 30 seconds trying to piece together an outfit that I realized there was no way I could not resemble a cross between an avant-garde dressing prisoner and Beetlejuice. Then I got to thinking of how great the latter would make a Halloween costume... it would really only require me rolling out of bed and avoiding any makeup or hair straightener to REALLY look like him. 
Just kidding, I would also have to avoid my coffee to really get the crazy effect. 



*The boots are back

Ah, fall. There is so much to love about you...the trees changing colors, the chilly mornings and brisk evenings, the bountiful vegetables in season. But, most importantly (even more important than the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks), the emergence of booties. These little fellas are a fashion bloggers best friend when the time comes to throw your gladiators and open-toed heels into the summer pile. The boots are back, and they're better than ever. 
Not only are there enough styles to make your head spin, the comfort and versatility make them the go-to footwear for the season. Especially for me, who tends to cut walking time a little TOO close before class. I can't wait to get my hands on some of these (especially #3) for the upcoming season! 

1. Pacsun 
2. ASOS 
4. Kohls
5. Dorothy Perkins
6. Dorothy Perkins
8. Urban Outfitters


*Whine time

[Necklace: Kate Spade, Top: F21, Watch: Guess, Skirt: F21 (similar), Shoes: Zara (craving this pair)]

Well....while just about EVERYBODY who is ANYBODY in fashion is off to New York this week to attend what is the equivalent of Christmas in the fashion world, (New York Fashion Week, in case you forgot) poor little me is stuck at school where the closest I get to watching the runway is observing trendy students walk (nay, run) to class on the sidewalks through campus. 
I know, I shouldn't be complaining. I should be thankful I get to spend my time at school and experience college and further my education and blah..blah....blah.....
But doggonit, I want to live life in the glamorous lane this week with all those people attending their fancy little parties and sipping their tasty champagne held by their little wrists dripping in diamonds attached to their perfectly manicured hands...
Ok, whine time is over Al. 

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