Sarah's Real Life
10. 30. 2014

flowy print boho dress, over the knee boots, statement necklace, fall fashion, indianapolis

flowy print boho dress, over the knee boots, statement necklace, fall fashion, indianapolis

flowy print boho dress, over the knee boots, statement necklace, fall fashion, indianapolis

flowy print boho dress, over the knee boots, statement necklace, fall fashion, indianapolis

flowy print boho dress, over the knee boots, statement necklace, fall fashion, indianapolis

flowy print boho dress, over the knee boots, statement necklace, fall fashion, indianapolis

I hope we weren’t the only ones to have a couple drool-worthy fall days last weekend. Because I’m nothing if not generous, and I want you all to have shared in the ridiculous prettiness I witnessed on Sunday. It’s not often you get to peep some badass foliage without worrying about outerwear. (Here’s another pretty leaf pic I posted on Instagram.)

After we dropped my MIL off at the airport (good riddance…just kidding, Cindy), we went to Holliday Park and ended up spending a good chunk of time walking around and exploring. And wouldn’t you know it – it was the perfect place to snap some outfit photos! So in case your weather or your schedule kept you from enjoying the weekend, feel free to live vicariously through me.

similar Dress* // Boots (on sale) // similar Sunglasses* // similar Necklace // Bag (on sale)

*Dress provided courtesy of H&M; sunglasses provided courtesy of SEE Eyewear.

10. 28. 2014
October budget breakdown

Wow, I haven’t bought this much stuff at one time since May! Before you rat me out to my accountant (joke’s on you, I don’t have one), let’s talk. You might remember that I held myself back a bit in September what with the whole lack of job thing. I saved my blog-related income instead of spending it on clothes like I normally do. Since I started working this month, I cut myself a little slack and added my blog income to my budget. But October just happened to be a very good month for blog income and gifted items, so I decided not to use my normal $150 “starting budget.” It was actually my goal this year to get to the point where I spend only blog and consignment income on clothes – blogging might not ever be my job, but it could at least be a self-sustaining hobby one day!

OK, enough about my hopes and dreams. Let’s move on to the really important stuff: shopping.

My Budget

          =$470

What I Spent

         =$509 (total retail value: $1,119 + tax!)

I know I always make note of how much I save off retail, but I don’t really go into detail on how I stay organized and on top of sales. I’m planning a post for next week where I’ll share all my savvy shopping secrets. Stay tuned!

What I Received

I hope you guys don’t think I’m a douche for bragging about the free stuff I get every month. I only do it to be honest and transparent about not just what I add to my closet but how it gets there. And as much as I love pulling out my gifted items and yelling “IT’S FO FREE” (a la Rebel Wilson in Bridesmaids), they’re not really free. They’re earned through the mediocre work I do here on this blog 5+ days a week! Thanks for reading! And be sure to check out the other Budgeting Bloggers.

10. 28. 2014

canadian tuxedo, double denim, burgundy hat, leopard shoes and belt, fall fashion, indianapolis style blogger

canadian tuxedo, double denim, burgundy hat, leopard shoes and belt, fall fashion, indianapolis style blogger

canadian tuxedo, double denim, burgundy hat, leopard shoes and belt, fall fashion, indianapolis style blogger

canadian tuxedo, double denim, burgundy hat, leopard shoes and belt, fall fashion, indianapolis style blogger

canadian tuxedo, double denim, burgundy hat, leopard shoes and belt, fall fashion, indianapolis style blogger

Yes, I’m rocking a Canadian tuxedo and I have no apologies for it. In my book, as long as your denims aren’t matching (or close to matching) and you throw in some leopard, you’re golden.

And speaking of golden, would you look at these leaves?! Beautiful, I tell ya. Fall is like that friend who’s always prettier and better dressed than you and who you’d hate if she weren’t so damn nice.

Jeans // similar Jacket (on sale) // similar Hat // similar Shoes // similar Necklace* // Bag (cheaper options below) // similar Sunglasses // Bracelet // similar Belt (on sale) // Lips “Crush”

*Necklace purchased with gift card provided courtesy of H&M.

10. 27. 2014

snow leopard sweater, faux leather skirt, shooties, statement necklace

snow leopard sweater, faux leather skirt, shooties, statement necklace

snow leopard sweater, faux leather skirt, shooties, statement necklace

snow leopard sweater, faux leather skirt, shooties, statement necklace

snow leopard sweater, faux leather skirt, shooties, statement necklace

snow leopard sweater, faux leather skirt, shooties, statement necklace

It’s unlike me, but I’ve been wearing a lot of black and white lately. I’ll blame it on the cooler weather. I must admit, it does make it easier to pull an outfit together. But because I’m a person with ambition who always wants to challenge herself, I plan to continue wearing colors and mixed prints and all that good stuff. An underachiever I am not. I mean an underachiever would not wear shooties – that’s a combination of shoes and booties. Consider yourself wowed.

similar Sweater (on sale) // Skirt // Shoes (on sale) // Bag // Necklace // Ring*

*Ring purchased with gift card provided courtesy of Shopbop.

10. 26. 2014

faux leather tunic layered over button up shirt, over the knee boots, rose gold jewelry

faux leather tunic layered over button up shirt, over the knee boots, rose gold jewelry

faux leather tunic layered over button up shirt, over the knee boots, rose gold jewelry

faux leather tunic layered over button up shirt, over the knee boots, rose gold jewelry

faux leather tunic layered over button up shirt, over the knee boots, rose gold jewelry

faux leather tunic layered over button up shirt, over the knee boots, rose gold jewelry

I was always under the impression that skirts and dresses worn in the office couldn’t be any shorter than just above the knee. Did I imagine that rule? Did I make it up myself just because I’m short so most skirts come to my knee whether I want them to or not? I don’t know. But over the years, I’ve seen many women in many different offices wearing skirts shorter (sometimes much shorter) than I thought was allowed.

Well, I was thinking this dress was a little longer when I put it on with the intention of wearing it to work. Turns out it’s a little shorter. But then I thought: what if I wear my over-the-knee boots so that there’s really only a couple inches of skin showing? Great, now my legs look longer and they’re covered in suede.

There was just no winning unless I started from scratch, and I didn’t have time for that, so I had to go to work in my stripper outfit. On the bright side, now I have plenty of $1 bills to use in vending machines.

In all seriousness, am I overthinking this? I guess I worry about whether I – a petite, youngish-looking blonde woman – will be taken seriously in the workplace if I’m dressed too cute or too sexy or too whatever. Being taken seriously is important because…you know…feminism and such. But as long as I’m overthinking, I’ll keep going. Maybe the truly feminist way to look at this is that I shouldn’t have to dress like a nun to be respected. I should be able to dress in whatever feminine way I want and still be respected because I’m awesome and super smart (I try to be, anyway). So there. I will flash some thigh for feminism. Alternatively, everyone else is doing it so I will too. And on that awkward note, I’m going to sign off.

Dress via Le Tote (buy similar) // Boots (on sale) // Bracelet via Le Tote (buy similar) // Ring* // Bag // similar Coat

*Ring purchased with gift card provided courtesy of Shopbop.

10. 23. 2014

bejeweled stripe top, printed pants, bow pumps, faux leather jacket

bejeweled stripe top, printed pants, bow pumps, faux leather jacket

bejeweled stripe top, printed pants, bow pumps, faux leather jacket

bejeweled stripe top, printed pants, bow pumps, faux leather jacket

bejeweled stripe top, printed pants, bow pumps, faux leather jacket

bejeweled stripe top, printed pants, bow pumps, faux leather jacket

Yes, I got another striped shirt. But most of my other ones have thin stripes and this one has thick stripes. Plus it’s bedazzled. In conclusion: I got another striped shirt. I decided to debut this one with a little bit of print mixing for work. I think this combo totally works without being too wacky because the print on the pants is so small. From far away, it doesn’t even look like a print! In fact, my camera seems to think it just looks weird and fuzzy. Sorry about that…I took these photos myself with my tripod. Hashtag real life?

Top* // similar Pants // similar Jacket (under $35) // Bag (cheaper options below) // similar Shoes // Ring // Lips “La Flamboyante”

*Top purchased with gift card provided courtesy of Shopbop.

10. 22. 2014

wrap dress, red bag, gray ankle strap pumps, pink ray ban aviators, rose gold jewelry

wrap dress, red bag, gray ankle strap pumps, pink ray ban aviators, rose gold jewelry

wrap dress, red bag, gray ankle strap pumps, pink ray ban aviators, rose gold jewelry

wrap dress, red bag, gray ankle strap pumps, pink ray ban aviators, rose gold jewelry

wrap dress, red bag, gray ankle strap pumps, pink ray ban aviators, rose gold jewelry

OK, wake up and take notes, people. I’m about to let you in on the next big thing: whisper necklaces. It’s a term I made up that means the opposite of statement necklaces. Statement necklaces have been the trend for a while now, so we’re getting to the point where everyone will feel like “rebelling.” So the next time you see someone wearing a dainty necklace like this, compliment her on her whisper necklace. If you say it confidently enough, everyone will think it’s a real thing. If anyone is like, “Um…WTF? Whisper necklace?” just be like “duh, it’s all over the blogosphere and it’s so fetch.”

similar Dress (under $50, and shop more options below!) // Bag // Watch* // similar Necklaces* // Sunglasses // Shoes (on sale)

*Watch provided courtesy of Dainty Wrist Jewelry; necklace purchased with gift card provided courtesy of Shopbop.

10. 21. 2014

floral fit and flare dress, over the knee boots

floral fit and flare dress, over the knee boots

When I was in elementary and middle school, I did gymnastics. I wasn’t that great, but I was crazy strong and it was awesome. I used to challenge the boys in my class to arm wrestle, and I usually won (that’s the way I remember it, anyway). I quit gymnastics to focus on dance, which still kept me in great shape all the way through college and beyond, when I taught dance for a few years.

Then when I started law school, I didn’t have time to teach dance, and I didn’t have the money to take classes either. So for three years I basically had no regular exercise. Pathetic, right? I know. I’m blessed with a good metabolism, so I didn’t look like I had let myself go, but that’s how I felt.

So once the Bar exam was over, I started working on getting my guns back. I’ve been trying to give them a workout twice a week for the past couple months, and I’m starting to feel like my old badass self. Unfortunately, I don’t think my scrawny bod is ever going to have Michelle Obama-esque arms, but if I flex, I’m pretty intimidating…

floral fit and flare dress, over the knee boots

See? Watch out, muggers. You’re messing with the wrong girl. Also, this clutch is practically empty. So…move along.

floral fit and flare dress, over the knee boots

floral fit and flare dress, over the knee boots

I love how this girly dress (from H&M but not available online) is perfect for showing off my arms! I wore it to dinner to celebrate the first day at my new job last week. And let me tell you, I needed a lot of strength to shovel all that fondu into my face.

similar Dress* // Boots // similar Clutch* // Lips

*Dress and clutch purchased with gift card provided courtesy of H&M.

10. 20. 2014

high waist jeans, black riding boots, short sleeve sweater, plaid scarf, leopard clutch

high waist jeans, black riding boots, short sleeve sweater, plaid scarf, leopard clutch

high waist jeans, black riding boots, short sleeve sweater, plaid scarf, leopard clutch

high waist jeans, black riding boots, short sleeve sweater, plaid scarf, leopard clutch

high waist jeans, black riding boots, short sleeve sweater, plaid scarf, leopard clutch

high waist jeans, black riding boots, short sleeve sweater, plaid scarf, leopard clutch

On Friday it was almost 70 degrees, which sounds pretty warm, right? Except it was cloudy and super windy so it didn’t really feel like 70 degrees. If there was ever a day that it made sense to wear short sleeves and a giant scarf, Friday was that day. The combo actually was perfect for my Friday night movie date because you never know what temperature you’re going to get in a theater. Now that I think about it, in a way, all of Indiana is one big movie theater: unpredictable temperatures and a crap ton of popcorn kernels.

Scarf (only $17!) // Sweater // Jeans // similar Boots (on sale) // similar Bag // Midi Ring* // Lips

*Midi ring purchased with gift card provided courtesy of Shopbop.

10. 19. 2014

pinspiration, black ponte pants, black tee, blue blazer, silver pumps, silver bag

Left image source: GBO Fashion (used with permission)

pinspiration, black ponte pants, black tee, blue blazer, silver pumps, silver bag

pinspiration, black ponte pants, black tee, blue blazer, silver pumps, silver bag

pinspiration, black ponte pants, black tee, blue blazer, silver pumps, silver bag

pinspiration, black ponte pants, black tee, blue blazer, silver pumps, silver bag

pinspiration, black ponte pants, black tee, blue blazer, silver pumps, silver bag

Let me just say that having a job again is unequivocally a good thing. But let me also say that it’s an adjustment after my long spell of “funemployment.” Now I have to shower more often and come up with office-appropriate things to wear on multiple consecutive days. I did this for four years before I went back to school, but somehow it seems harder now. So to make my life the tiniest bit easier, I’ve been turning to my Pinterest boards for outfit ideas. On a side (but related) note, it drives me crazy when people cite Pinterest as a source. Nothing originates from Pinterest. It’s just a place to organize stuff you like from other places. If you asked me where I got my shoes and I said “my closet,” that wouldn’t be very helpful, would it? So while I did go to my Pinterest board to find the idea for this outfit, the inspiration really came from Shannon at GBO Fashion.

While Shannon’s version would be perfectly wearable for a weekend, I needed a business casual version. I swapped out the denim for ponte pants and went for a plain black tee sans cute French words. And that concludes the latest installment of “Pin to Real Life.” Now if someone could just tell me what I want to wear on Monday, that would be great.

similar Jacket* // Pants // Shoes (on sale, more sizes here) // Necklace via Le Tote (buy similar on sale) // similar Bag (on sale)

*Jacket purchased with gift card provided courtesy of H&M.