Oxblood and Speeches: Fall

Well, Hello there, October.  Can I just say that I am glad that it is October?  For most of the month of September, I thought that it was October.  I kept seeing dates that were 10/whatever and I was thinking that I either had something coming up or had missed an important meeting or event.  And, not to mention that September is a hard word for me to type fast.  I misspell it, a lot.

Tuesday my students delivered their first set of speeches.  I was so excited and anxious to hear them– I really had some high hopes.  But, as soon as the first student started I was reminded that these are beginning speakers and this is their first time.  The mistakes were plentiful.  I wouldn’t be so upset by it if it wasn’t things that we had covered and discussed.  They have a time frame of 5-6 minutes and the first student talked for over 11 minutes.  I have never had that happen.  I had decided that at 15 minutes I was going to stop him.  Luckily, he stopped himself.  This, and their uncertainty about what to do as the speaker and how to fill out the evaluation forms quickly negated my excitement.

I have to remind myself of all the things that they did well and remember that it is their first time.  So, let’s take a positive approach.  First, all 5 of the speaker’s that went on Tuesday made it through their entire speech without fainting or having a heart attack.  Secondly, many of them voluntarily dressed up and used presentation aids– which wasn’t required, so technically they were going above and beyond.  Third, all of them had their note cards and revised outlines.

I know that the speeches that the remaining students deliver today will be much stronger because they got to see their peers go and they can learn from their mistakes.  Sometimes, I just have to remind myself that no one is perfect and the reason why they are taking this class is to become better public speakers.

Black cardigan: Target. Printed ruffled tank (black): Target. Sunglasses: unknown. Red earrings: unknown. Black and red bracelet: gift from sister. Pandora bracelet: gift(s). Red leather bracelet: souvenir from Niagara Falls. Oxblood cropped pants: J.C. Penney. Black pointy-toed shoes: Shoe Carnival. Silver watch: Fossil.

Plus, I am just feeling stressed out because I got behind on my schoolwork– grading, preparing handouts to go to the printer’s, and prepping for lectures.  And, one week from today I have the regional bartender flair competition that I will be competing in.  And, (of course) one of the full-time teachers in my department is coming to do my annual teaching evaluation next Tuesday.  So, I have a lot on my plate.

On Sunday, which was date night with the BF, we went on a short shopping trip.  Last week we washed laundry and some mysterious red substance ended up ruining several of our clothing items.  Some of them were saved after a $75 dry-cleaning bill, but others were not salvageable.  I felt bad that my BF lost two dress shirts, so I wanted to go to J.C. Penney to see what they had on sale.  I scored big time and we found two dress shirts for him–one with a tie, on clearance for a total of $15!  I also bought myself something while we were there.  I was telling my BF that I wanted a pair of cropped pants and I was blabbering about oxblood being the “it” color for Fall.   And then we came across these pants.  He was a little unsure of them, but I knew that they were winners.

I liked these pants and was excited to wear my new ruffled printed tank top that I purchased from Target a while back.  At the time I didn’t have burgundy pants so I had planned on wearing them with black pants and a royal blue cardigan or a magenta button-up shirt.  But, once I added these pants to my wardrobe I saw an entirely different option for this tank top.

What do you think? Do you find yourself following certain trends? Did you go crazy for orange this Spring/Summer because of Pantone?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

-Carla

Friday Duplicates

Sometimes I come up with multiple styling options for one piece of clothing.  It’s a fun rainy day activity to take a piece of clothing and see how you can manipulate it to work in different outfits.  Can you tuck it in to make it look and feel different?  Can you wear it in a different type of outfit than it is intended–work wear, casual, day vs night, etc.  But sometimes this works against me!

I have so many ways to wear one piece of clothing that it is all that I want to do– wear my new creations.  But, I can’t do that.  People frown upon the idea of wearing the same piece of clothing everyday.  I can get away with wearing the same outfit or piece of clothing twice in close proximity if I know that I am not going to see the same people, but other than that it’s a no go.  People will think that you don’t wash your clothes.  And then they will think that you are gross and make up mean nicknames behind your back.

And let’s face it, I have an entire closet full of clothes so I don’t need to be wearing the same item over and over again.  That’s the story behind this dress.  The last time that I wore it I brainstormed two or three additional ways to wear it for the upcoming Fall/Winter season.  And I’ve practically been counting the days until I could wear it again.  I thought that I wore this dress on a tuesday/thursday but I just figured out that I wore it on a friday!  It’s a good thing that I waited three weeks before wearing it again.  (I told you that I was having a rough week.)

Jean jacket: Wal-Mart. Feather earrings: Charlotte Russe.(?) Black flowered dress: Target. Black v-neck shirt: Target. Bubble necklace: E-bay. Brown belt: (thrifted.) Green socks: Target. Brown boots: Old Navy.

I really liked this outfit, but the dress felt short.  I don’t know if it was because I had bare legs (except for the socks), or what. I thought about wearing my bubble necklace– I even took half of my pictures with it on, but it didn’t read the way that I wanted it to.  I thought that the necklace would match the green in the dress and the green socks a little better, but they were two far off in my opinion to look right.  So, I went without the necklace this time around.  I’ll have to come up with a different outfit to wear my bubble necklace.

My Friday class is behind my T/TR class in some things, and ahead of them in others.  It mostly has to do with the number of speeches and requirements that dictate what chapters we cover and when.  In my Friday class we talked about introductions and conclusions and presentation aids.  It’s a requirement for my Friday class that they have a presentation for their first speech but not for my T/TR class.  I also duplicated the funny question game in this class, as well.  They were a little bit more receptive to it, thankfully.

Now that the week is done, I have a stack of outlines to grade, a handful of quizzes, lecture to prepare, and items to prepare for the printer’s.  Oh yeah, and working at my other job most of the weekend.  Ahh, I must remind myself that I am grateful and blessed to have two jobs– especially when some people don’t even have one.

-Carla

Swept Under

If it seems like I’ve fallen off the face of the earth, don’t worry I can assure you that I haven’t.  But, it does sort of feel that way.  I’m at the point in the semester where things start to move faster and the first big assignment is due.  My students dread it and so do I!  It kind of feels like getting swept off your feet by a big wave.  You can see it way out there and as it gets closer you try to prepare yourself for it, but sometimes you just can’t jump high enough and you get swept under.  That’s how I’ve been feeling this past week.

Some how, some way I’ve been slowly getting behind on things– prepping lectures, making quizzes, getting the next big speech assignment packet sent to the printers, blogging, etc.  And it’s not even like I don’t have time– it’s that I don’t have motivation!  I seriously spent like 5 hours catching up on the Fall premieres of Dancing with the Stars, Castle, Criminal Minds, and a few other shows.  I know in a sense that I probably needed that time to just sort of veg out– I can’t shake that nagging feeling that I should be doing something more productive–laundry, dishes, practicing for the upcoming flair competition.  I’m just feeling so repressed by all of items on my iCalendar.  Everyday it’s something.  Tuesday nights I teach, Wednesday nights I close down the bar, Thursday nights I teach, Friday morning I teach and then work at the bar that night, Saturday morning I usually do chores and work at the bar, Sunday morning I open the bar, Monday night I close the bar and then we start all over.

After I get home from work (teaching or the bar) I try to spend a few moments of quality time with my BF.  Usually I have a day off from the bar in there somewhere– mostly Friday, Saturday, or Sunday and that becomes “date night” with the BF.  But, everyday it is something.  And on top of my work schedule there’s always extra meetings at school to attend.

In order to catch back up, you are going to get a two for one post!  This week has really started to feel like Fall and to me that means layering.  When I leave for school in the afternoons the sun is out and the weather can feel mild, but I know when the sun goes down that the temps are going to fall and when I come out of the building at 9pm its going to be a bit chilly-willy.

Black blazer: (thrifted.) Flowered print shirt: Wal-Mart. Coral earrings: (thrifted.) Red belt: (thrifted.) Black shorts: Target. Silver watch: Fossil. Button ring: self-made. Black booties: Dillard’s.

I have an entire Pinterest board filled with “Winter Shorts.”  I don’t know why, but I love the look of wearing shorts with tights and booties.  So, I thought that it was time that I re-created this look (again.)  I wore these shorts last Spring in an off-season way, but I wasn’t entirely in love with the look.  This time, I wore sheer black pantyhose instead of opaque tights and I think that it turned out a lot better.

When I got home from class my BF said, “You’re wearing shorts?!”  To which I responded, yes.  But if you think about it, wearing shorts is sort of just like wearing a skirt in the Fall.  And nobody thinks twice about a woman wearing a skirt.  Class that night is sort of a blur at this point.  I remember that we talked about evaluating speeches and watched some video’s, but that is about all.

Thursday is a little bit more memorable in my mind. Again, it was a day with Fall weather and layers were in order. I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to wear, but I knew that I wanted to wear a dress and “Fall-erize” it. I tried on a few of my dresses and added layers underneath or over, and in the end I ended up with this purple maxi-dress. Underneath of it, I have a long-sleeved light purple shirt. This is to give a little more coverage in the bust, and some additional warmth. Then, I added the brown jacket and the scarf that I tied to make it an infinity scarf. I was o.k. with the outfit, but I can’t say that I really loved it. I just sort of ran out of time and had a heaping mound of clothes piling up on the bed. Oops.

Purple maxi-dress: gift. Light purple scoop neck t-shirt: Old Navy. Purple scarf: Wal-Mart. Brown jacket: unknown. Bronze hoops: Charlotte Russe. Gold Watch: Wal-Mart. Brown boots: Old Navy.

Thursday night was not the best night of the semester.  Apparently, there were two questions in the online activity that the computer marked wrong, even though the students gave the right answer.  I had one student e-mail me to tell me about it, and then another.  I looked in to it and discovered that these two students were correct.  I responded to them both via e-mail and asked them not to mention it to the other students– I was curious to see how many of them were really paying attention and caught the mistake.

But, neither of the students had read my response e-mail and one of them came into the class blabbering to everyone about the mistake.  This got other students in on the bandwagon and had everyone whipped up into a frenzy before class even started.  And, they were all worked up to the tune of a total of one point.  The questions are worth 1/2 a point each.  Now, in the course there are a total of 1,775 points on the table.  So, 1 point is .08%.  It’s not even one percent of their overall grade!  Anyway, all they wanted to do was to focus on this and not on the lecture material.  They finally forced my hand and I had to address it at the beginning of class, rather than during the lecture when we covered the material that the questions were over.  I was thoroughly annoyed.  And, I didn’t hide my annoyance very well.

I also had an activity planned for them to practice impromptu speaking.  I come up with random questions like, What did you want to be when you were little and why?  The students go up to the front of the classroom and pick a question at random and then take a few minutes to answer the question.  All the questions are pretty silly and funny.  Mostly, it’s designed to give the students some practice with impromptu speaking and get them a little bit used to speaking in front of the class before their first speech on Tuesday.

But, they were all in a complain-y mood over the two questions on the online activity, so they were being sourpusses and didn’t want to play the funny question game.  One student in particular who went up there got a question about dressing up for Halloween and he gave every excuse as to why he couldn’t answer the question.  I mean, he totally could have just made something up, described a friends costume, a costume that he would really like to do, etc.  But, instead he wanted to be a stick in the mud and take all the fun out of the game.

It was just one of those nights that takes all the wind out of your sails.  I have them every once in a while.  What do you do on days like that?  Are you good at hiding your annoyance?  I can’t imaging what teachers of crazy hormonal teenagers do in situations like this!

-Carla

Professional or Waiter?

Friday morning I wore the “super-duper” professional outfit that I had planned to wear on Thursday, but didn’t.  I wanted to wear something that looked nice, but that was also comfortable.  And, to be honest, I didn’t shave my legs so pants was a good option.

Class was good; we covered the chapter on organizational strategies and informative speaking.  My Friday class is just now getting to this chapter.  I covered it earlier in the semester in my T/TR class, which I think made a little more sense, but hindsight is always 20/20.  For my Friday class, it ended up being a nice review.  Some of the things in the chapter they knew and were spot on, but then there were a few things that had slipped their mind.  So, all in all, it was good.

Blue button-up: J.C. Penney. Pearl drop earrings: J.C. Penney. Black vest: unknown. Black dress pants: J.C. Penney.  3 Strand pearl bracelet: Elder Beerman.  Silver Watch: Fossil. Pandora bracelet and charms: Gifts. Black reversible belt: Wal-Mart. Gray and black shoes: Payless.

After my students took their quiz over last weeks chapters and I lectured over the two chapters for this week, we had a little bit of time left.  I was able to show them some video examples of informative speeches.  I was glad that I was able to do this because next week we have 3 chapters on the syllabus to go over and I am pretty certain that there won’t be any time left to spare.  For my T/TR class, however, we will be watching video examples on Tuesday since we only have one chapter to cover.

It’s a little difficult having a different schedule for each class, but when I was planning the syllabus there were reasons why I chose to have different schedules.  I am pleasantly surprised that my Friday class is doing so well.  During the Spring semester my Friday class struggled a lot with the material.  That is the driving force behind the reasons why there are a different number of speeches in my Friday class and my T/TR class.  But, this group of students is on the ball and seem to be taking the time to read the chapters and do their homework.  Only time will tell.

What do you think? Do you like this outfit? Does it say professional or waiter to you? I also debated with the shoes. Originally, I had planned this outfit in my head with my black booties, but then I thought about my black oxford-esque shoes. Ultimately, I chose these gray and black shoes because the heel height was right and I thought they looked nice.
Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
-Carla

Clothing, False Perceptions, and Talking

Last night was not everything that I hoped it would be. It started out o.k., but ended on a slightly sour note. Let me explain.  I woke up feeling like a touch of the flu was coming on.  So, I made myself an Emergen-C cocktail (no booze!), and spent most of the day on the couch trying to get over that general feeling of lethargy.  I read the newest edition of Cosmopolitan, caught up on an episode of Rookie Blue, and petted my adorable orange cat, Cosmo.

Eventually, it was time to shower and get ready for school.  After I showered I did take a few minutes to compose some outfits for the coming week– expect lots of Fall-ish colors.  Then, I got ready for class, packed my lunch, and took my outfit photo’s for the day before I headed off to campus.

Once on campus, I went into the adjunct faculty room where I hold my “office hours.”  The problem with this is that this room is absolutely freezing.  Not exactly what I needed when I wasn’t already feeling too hot.  I made a quiz for next week and reviewed my notes for the evening and then I decided that it was just too uncomfortable in there.  I took my lunch bag and ate my dinner outside.  It was much more comfortable out there.  After a while I packed up all my stuff and headed down to my classroom.  There was a class in there before me, so I didn’t get the chance to go in and set up as much as I would have liked.

In the ten minutes before class began, a few of my students were already in the room.  I usually announce to them that “we are having a quiz, and even though class hasn’t started now is a great time to ask any questions that you may have about the quiz, the syllabus, or class in general.”  But, they usually never ask any questions.  They don’t even usually talk to each other.  It’s very quiet and awkward at times.  One student, whom I will call, Eric asked me “if I like quiet before class began?”  I shook my head “no.  I don’t care if you talk.  It’s a public speaking class.”  And still, no one talked.

Once class actually began, I again announced that if anyone had any questions about last week’s material that I would be happy to answer them before the quiz.

No one talked.

Eric asked a general question, “Are we doing well on the quizzes as a group?”  It was a good question.  To which I responded, “Some people do very well, 9’s and 10’s.  Some people do not: 3’s and 4’s.  But, everyone seems to be consistent with themselves.  The students getting 5’s and 6’s get the same score nearly every time.”  I went on to explain to the students that the quizzes are not meant to be a torture device, but a way to measure whether they are grasping the material, or not.  And they can use them as a barometer.  If they are not getting the scores that they want they need to ask themselves, why not?

Are they reading the chapters, carefully?  Are they coming to class and taking good notes?  Are they asking for clarification on terms and concepts that they may not understand?  Are they reviewing the material and studying for the quiz?  Are they focusing on the right material from the chapter– can they identify the most important material or do they focus on the lesser important content?  And lastly, is there something that they need me to do differently?

No one talked.

And then I handed out their quiz.  After I collected the quiz I lectured over chapter 3: finding resource material.  After chapter 3, I started on chapter 4: identifying and evaluating supporting material but we didn’t get to finish the chapter.  We got about 3/4 of the way through.  I always seem to be running out of time in the class.  Truth be told, I would like to forgo the quizzes because they take up valuable class time!  There is so much more that I would like to give to them in the classroom, rather than taking time away for quizzes.  Perhaps I will make their next quiz a “take-home” quiz.

Back to my story.  After class was over, one of my students informed me that he would have to miss Thursday’s class due to a family matter.  He asked if he could take the quiz early.  I explained to him that there is no make-up work, that you have to take the quiz at the time that it is given.  He made some good points, that he wanted to put himself at a disadvantage and take the quiz early, not late.  He also stated that he didn’t think that he should be punished for having to miss class for a family issue.

I tried to explain to him that regardless of whether he wanted to take the quiz early or late it would be at a different time than the rest of the group, and I would have to make that an option for all students and it just gets too difficult to do that and be fair.  I also tried to explain to him that it’s not meant to punish him, that it isn’t a policy that is just for him, but that it is for everyone.  And, I can not play judge and jury on whether one student has to miss class for a good reason or someone else has to miss class for a bad reason.  So, we have the blanket policy that will cover all events.  But, I do appreciate that he genuinely cares about his grade and having to miss class.  But, I think that he is putting too much emphasis on one 10 point quiz, when there are over 1,000 points for the whole course.  One missed quiz will not cause him to fail the class.

He kept going on, even trying to jokingly offer me money, and he finally gave up.  At that point, Eric said to me, “I want to talk, but I feel like you will be mad at me.  You seem very strict.”

I assured him that I would not be mad at him, that I want the students to talk and participate.  I also added that I am strict, but I am also a pretty easy-going person.  To which the other student replied, “So you should let me take the quiz!”

“I said I was easy-going, I didn’t say that I was a push over.”  And then we had to part ways.

This whole exchange makes me feel a little deflated.  First of all, I want my students to take me and the class seriously– I want them to put in the time and effort that this class requires and not try to cut corners.  The quizzes are designed to make sure that they are reading the material and coming to class prepared.  And, if they don’t there is the consequence of doing poorly on the quiz.  But, I do want them to feel comfortable talking and answering questions and letting their personalities come through.  I have to find more ways to engage them in the classroom.

I always just feel this pressure to stand up in the classroom and lecture over the material using Powerpoint.  I do hope that playing Pictionary with them on Thursday will help break the stigma.  I have been wanting to incorporate this for a few classes now, but we keep running out of time.  Pictionary is one way that I help them meet and interact with some of their classmates, and a way that I get them up to the front of the room without focusing on being up there in front of everyone.  It is a very helpful tool in beginning to eliminate speech anxiety.

I also feel that I can help achieve this goal with my clothing choices.  Maybe instead of focusing on being professional and all business-like, I need to focus a little more on outfits that make me seem more accessible.  For me, I think that translates into wearing pants and flats.  And, adding in accessories with more personality.  I think that if I start to show them more of my personality they will start to show me more of their personality.  At least it’s worth a try, right?

Sorry for the long story, but that comes from the writer in me!  But, without further ado, here is the outfit that I wore last night:

Black and grey dress: J.C. Penney. Black belt: borrowed from blazer. Pandora bracelet and charms: gifts. Silver watch: Fossil. Black tights: Target. Black booties: Dillard’s. Black blazer: not shown here (thrifted.)

This is the big blog debut of my booties!  I purchased them about a month ago, and after breaking them in by wearing them around the house, I wore them to a meeting on campus.  The first time that I wore them, it was only for a few hours but my feet were very sore.  I was very upset.  These booties are by Antonio Melani and cost $100.  This is the most that I have ever spent on a pair of shoes, but I was looking at them as an investment piece.  They are made from leather– which is a big plus in my book.  After wearing them to teach in last night, I have to say that they were more comfortable than the first time that I wore them, but I am still not convinced that they were worth the major investment.  Only time will tell, I guess.

I wasn’t as comfortable in this outfit as I would have liked to be.  First, without some sort of cinching around the middle, this dress is waaaaay too 70’s mod/ maternity looking.  I thought that just the blazer would be enough, but I was a little too warm in it, so I knew that at one point I would want to take it off.  I took the fabric belt from the blazer and tied it around my waist so that the dress would look o.k. with or without the blazer.  The other reason why I was a little uncomfortable was because of the length of the dress.  It is longer than fingertips, but it still feels so short!  Even paired with the dark tights I felt like I was showing a lot of leg.  And it just made me feel a little self-conscious. I think that this dress is better with an opaque tight or even leggings.

What do you think? Are there outfits that are “appropriate” by all the standards and rules, but just leave you feeling uncomfortable? Do you have better days when you feel completely comfortable in what you are wearing? Maybe it was because of the impending sickness, the outfit, or a combination of the two that came across to my student that I would be mad if he talked. Whatever the reason for that perception, I want to figure it out and change it, fast!
-Carla

Friday 2: Keeping Polished

Not to toot my own horn or anything, but so far I think that I am doing pretty good at not slacking off on outfits for Friday.  I have been really trying to plan outfits ahead of time to help combat ending up with outfits that don’t make me feel great.  And, even though it’s only week 2, it’s working.  Now let’s just see if I can keep it up!

My Friday class is going well (so far) and that makes me happy.  Spring semester I had a lot of difficulty with my Friday class.  Since it only meets once a week we have to cover a week’s worth of material in a little over 2 hours.  That means 2 or 3 chapters.  Because it is a Friday morning class it is very easy for the students to walk out the doors and forget all about school.  I mean, it’s the kick-off the the weekend!  There’s all sorts of weekend diversions, and then by the time Monday rolls around it’s time to get back to work.  Whether that is a job, or just school.  And we all know how that goes– it takes us a day or two to get in the swing of things and by then it is Wednesday and we’re thinking about the weekend again.  Oh yeah, and that little thing called class.  This sort of thinking happens to me sometimes, too.

Black t-shirt: Old Navy. Bronze hoop earrings: Charlotte Russe. Khaki skirt: (thrifted.) Gold Watch: Wal-Mart. Nude pumps: Target.

Even though it is the end of week 2, I still had a handful of students who were frantically trying to track me down between Thursday evening and Friday afternoon for my signature to allow them to enter my courses.  Some of them understand more than others that they are facing an uphill battle.  One of the things that my college really tries to stress is student success.  If it is going to mean that the student is not going to be successful because they joined the class later in the semester then we are encouraged to say “No.”  However, the students don’t always understand why you won’t just sign their paper.

So, I have adopted a policy.  Before signing their paper to allow them to enter the course, I sit down with them and take 5-10 minutes to give them some background about the course.  I give them a copy of the syllabus and explain to them how much material that they have missed.  Then, I tell them to think about their options and to show up for the next scheduled class.  If they show up with the homework in hand, I know that they are serious.  If they don’t, or they have all sorts of excuses about why they couldn’t get it done, then I don’t sign the paper.  But, the buck doesn’t stop with me.  Even if I sign, my department chair OR dean can still veto the addition.  It’s a good system that really does keep in mind the ability for the student to succeed–even if it does cause some distress for some students who are told “No.”

I was very comfortable in this outfit. It seems very simple and basic, but it is the small details that make it interesting. For example, the d-ring “belts” on the skirt and the fact that I am wearing nude fishnet hosiery. I’m pushing the envelope but not too much. I hate to admit it, but this outfit idea also came from Pinterest. I know it shouldn’t matter, but it makes me feel kind of fraudulent that these idea’s are coming from somewhere/someone else.

What do you think?  How would you have worn this outfit?  Would you have added more bling to dress it up a little, or do you go for the minimalist look?

-Carla

Mid-Week Exhaustion

Thursday was exhausting! I assigned my students a quiz on this online lab and every one of them was having one problem or another. (Multiplied by two, since both of my classes had to complete an assignment on there!) It started out with students showing up on my roster for the course, but not showing up in the grade book on this website. I was desperately trying to figure out why some students were and others were not. The students said that they didn’t do anything differently or additional to the directions that I provided.

The online help system of this website was nowhere near helpful. I could not locate the information that I needed. Eventually, I opened a help ticket but the person who was helping me seemed to have no idea what I was talking about. And I couldn’t find a phone number for the life of me to call and talk with an actual person.

So, all day long I was fielding e-mails from students saying that they did everything right and they had no idea why they weren’t there. Some of them found and completed the quiz without any issues, but most of them did not. I got so tired of typing the same directions to the students. Then, I come to find out that a handful of them were looking on their school website for the activity and not on this outside website. Ugghhh. It was so mentally draining. They expect me to be able to diagnose their problem and explain to them why its’ not working, but that is very difficulty to do remotely. I have no idea if they are in the right place, or not, or why they are getting one error or another.

Technology is supposed to make things easier. And it does, when it works. When it doesn’t it just makes things ten times more difficult.  So, I kind of copped out with my outfit.  Not entirely, it’s just that I can’t take credit for coming up with this concept– I browsed my Pinterest boards (again) for inspiration.  And I came across this photo:

Image via Pinterest

And I thought to myself, I could replicate this outfit pretty easily.  I may not have the exact denim jacket that this woman has, or that specific white shirt, or a leopard print pencil skirt.  But!  I do have a denim jacket in my closet (two, actually), a white t-shirt, and a similar colored pencil skirt.  So, I rounded all these items up and here is my take on this simple outfit:

Jean jacket: Wal-Mart. Gold Link necklace: Wal-Mart. Gold Hoop earrings: J.C. Penney. White boatneck t-shirt: Old Navy. Black and Gold pencil skirt: J.C. Penney. Gold Watch: Wal-Mart. Black Pumps: Payless.

That’s the thing about fashion and style.  It’s not always about having a specific item, but it’s about seeing the potential in the items that you do have.  I bet half of you have a white shirt, denim jacket, and fancy skirt hanging up in your closet right now.  Did it ever occur to you to put those items together for a simple but polished look?  I have to say that this outfit reminds me very much of another outfit that I wore with a similar theme: a basic everyday top and a fancy skirt.

Plus, it’s nice to see pieces in a different light.  Just because this skirt look fancy that doesn’t mean that it should only be worn for fancy or evening events.  By being more open and not resigning your clothes to only certain uses it really helps you open up possibilities.

Here are some other ways that I have also worn this skirt: with a black turtleneck and a white button-up.  What do you think?  Are there other possibilities that you see for this skirt?  I love finding new ways to wear clothes in my closet.
-Carla