Sarah's Real Life
04. 09. 2013


Welcome to another episode of “How to Wear.” I’m your host, Sarah. (I’m practicing for my future in the game show industry. With this economy it’s important to have a backup plan.) I picked leather jackets for this one because they’re such a good in-between-seasons layer. In fact, some of these photos are from way back in the fall! Go ahead and drink in the versatility of a leather jacket, my friends.

No. 1…


There’s something cool about combining a shirt that says “buttoned up” – literally – and a jacket that says “I’m a rebel without a cause.” I’m partial to printed oxford shirts, but I think this would work just as well with a solid.

No. 2…


Another great juxtaposition: girly and rugged at the same time. I wore this last fall so the brown and black seemed appropriate, but I’d like to try it again this season with a more colorful dress.

No. 3…


A leather jacket is one of those classics that will never go out of style, so I like it mixed with other classics: jeans, a striped tee, and tortoiseshell shades.

No. 4…


I don’t know exactly what possessed me to wear a leather jacket with a floor-length flowing skirt and suede heels, but I’m glad I did. If you’re going out in the evening, it can get chilly, so why not try something besides a boring old stole?

No. 5…


Note that I saved this one for last because if I put it first you wouldn’t have read the other four. I’m tricksy that way. But really – the whole point of this post was to remind you that leather jackets (real or otherwise) are just jackets, and you can wear one with pretty much anything and you’ll probably look cooler than you did without it.

See the original posts for each of these looks: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

My jacket is from Express’ “Minus the Leather” line. The jackets come in a variety of styles and colors.

03. 19. 2013
March is basketball season at its best, and here in the great state of Indiana, people are a wee bit obsessed with the sport. This week I did a special feature for twentysomething Indy on how to wear your school colors in a business casual environment. Here’s a peek at one look I put together for my own alma mater. See the rest of the article here (even if you didn’t attend an Indiana college, you might find some inspiration!).
IU look
Shop the Look: Blouse ($49.00) // Pencil skirt ($35.94) // Earrings ($45.00) // Pumps ($49.95)
01. 26. 2013

This post has now been updated for 2014! Click here to see it.


It’s time for the long-awaited next installment of “How to Wear”! This time I’m talking ankle boots or booties. They’re so darn adorable, but they can be hard to wear. They cut off your legs at the ankle (as you might have guessed), which can make you look shorter, which in turn can make you look fatter. I don’t mean to speak for all women, but I tend to shoot to look more like Gisele and less like Danny Devito. The key to wearing ankle boots is elongating your legs as much as you can while still showing off the shape of the shoe.

Your ankle boot styling options depend on the kind of heel you’re working with, so I’ve split my examples into 3 categories: wedges, flats, and heels.

Wedge ankle boots


Wedge boots are my favorite so I put them first! You get extra height, which makes them easier to wear, but they’re still comfortable. I wear my wedge ankle boots with cuffed skinny jeans all the time. Skinny jeans make my short legs look as long as they’ll ever look (still not that long). But cuffing them a bit helps show off the shoe. If you have cropped skinny jeans, that would work too.


Wedge ankle boots can work with a skirt or dress too, as long as the hem falls a few inches above the knee. The more leg that’s showing, the longer your legs look. Just keep it decent, OK ladies?

Shop Wedge Ankle Boots: Save // Spend // Splurge

Flat ankle boots


Flat ankle boots are the hardest. They accentuate my lack of height, but I still love them! I wear them with cuffed skinny jeans just like my wedges. You’ll notice in both of the above outfits I tucked in my shirt – if you’re already cutting off the leg line at the bottom, you don’t want to do it at the top too!


Friends don’t let friends wear leggings as pants. Always cover your junk. That said, leggings can be very slimming on your stems, and you can get away with a short tunic. Flat booties with leggings can be a fun alternative to sneakers or flip flops with a super casual outfit.

Shop Flat Ankle Boots: Save // Spend // Splurge

Heeled ankle boots


Heeled ankle boots can be worn almost any way you would wear regular old pumps. They’re a great option for the winter because they’re a little sturdier than pumps and you get more coverage on your chilly feet.

Shop Heeled Ankle Boots: Save // Spend // Splurge

See more How to Wear posts:

Army Jacket     Oxford Shirt     Denim Jacket     Flared Skirt

12. 09. 2012

In today’s edition of the world-famous (in my world anyway) How to Wear Series, I have for you a round-up of some of my favorite layered looks from the past few months! My layering used to be limited to cardigans over tank tops.

And I wore cardigans over tank tops like it was my job. In fact, I was the CEO of CardiTank, LLC. No I wasn’t. That’s not a real thing. It was actually TT&C, Inc., and I was COO.

Anywho, recently, I’ve been pushing myself to try more interesting combinations. As the weather is cooling down, there’s no better time to talk about piling on the clothes! Let’s do it!

1. Chambray + Cardigan

A nice mix of casual and preppy, but you can make it less preppy with a fun print like leopard. Leave the cardigan open or button it up (or somewhere in between).


2. Long-sleeve shirt + Dress

This works in almost any season. Just make sure the shirt doesn’t make any funny bulges under the dress. This is also a good chance to play with complementary prints.


3. Tights + Dress + Chunky Sweater

A dress becomes a skirt when you cover up the top half. It’ll be our little secret.


4. Leggings + Tunic Sweater + Vest

Any ol’ vest will do…sweater, puffer, or even fur. Just be sure you don’t make yourself overly bulky.


5. Oxford + Sweatshirt

This is one of my favorite combos, in case you can’t tell. A little collar and cuff make a sweatshirt look like real clothes instead of pajamas.


6. 3/4 Sleeve Shirt + Rolled up Cardigan + Belt

You didn’t think I was going to leave out cardigans altogether, did you? For something a little different, let the bottom layer peek out on all edges, and top with a belt.


7. Leggings + Dress + Boyfriend Cardigan

Winterize a summery tank dress by layering over and under.


Ta da!

So there you have it…that was a lot of layers. Kind of like those Pillsbury biscuits that are so amazing. Damn, now I want a biscuit. Well just one last thing (and it’s not breakfast food, sorry): A few items you can grab to make sure you’re ready to get your layer on this winter.
Layering Essentials
1. Chambray: Madewell, $69.50  //  2. Cardigan: Madewell, $85  //  3. Plaid shirt: J. Crew, $88
4. Turtleneck: Calvin Klein, $39  //  5. Belt: J. Crew, $19.99  //  6. Leggings: Target, $5
7. Sweatshirt: Zoe Karssen, $80  //  8. Vest: J. Crew, $138 //  9. Dress: Jigsaw London, $98
Add your favorite pair of jeans and you’d probably have about 4 million outfit combinations. Give or take. Here are a few:
  • 1 + 2 + 6
  • 3 + 6 + 2 + 5
  • 3 + 7 + jeans
  • 3 + 9 + 5
  • 4 + 9 + 8
  • 1 + 8 + jeans
  • 9 + 2 + 5

(You didn’t know we’d be doing math today, did you?! Any other good combos you would try?)

Follow me on Bloglovin’ for many more layers of awesomeness.
11. 21. 2012

This navy skirt was a total clearance rack impulse buy, but it was $10 well spent. I’ve worn it so many times already, and there’s no end in sight. The above-the-knee length is perfect, as is the waist band and cute flared shape. Every girl who knows what’s good for her needs one of these babies.

So let’s get this party started. Here are 5 ways I’ve styled this flared skirt:

1.  For evening

I believe this was actually the skirt’s debut! I wore it with a silky top, a statement necklace, and bright heels to see a Broadway show this summer.


2.  With a belt

Since the skirt is solid, this patterned belt added some pizzazz. Well, maybe pizzaz is a strong word, but it added something. I’m sure of that.


3.  Disguised as a dress

I paired my navy skirt with a navy shirt to look like a dress. It’s only as I write this that I remember I already have a long-sleeved navy flared dress. So this was kind of pointless. But at the time, I was in wisdom tooth extraction recovery and was on some drugs, so I’ll blame that.


4.  For fall

This was the most recent permutation of my ever so versatile skirt. With a sweater and boots, I was ready for some cooler weather. (I’m thinking some bright tights would be another cold-weather addition. Stay tuned!)


5.  On vacation

Florida seemed like a good setting to try a knotted gingham button-up and orange flats with my skirt.


In case you’d like to add a flared skirt to your wardrobe, here are some I picked out just for you!

Flared Skirts

1.  Kirna Zabete for Target, $27.98  //  2.  Dorothy Perkins, $59

3.  ModCloth, $47.99  //  4.  Miss Selfridge, $50.00 (comes in other colors too)

5.  ModCloth, $32.99  //  6.  Topshop, $76

10. 17. 2012

It’s been a few weeks since I did a new post for my “How to Wear” series. Let’s remedy that problem, shall we? I’m taking a look back at several ways I’ve styled chambray. It was only a couple months ago that I lived a chambray-less life. It was a sad time. I had this crazy idea that denim belonged on your bottom half only. Oh, how my eyes (and my closet) have been opened.

1.  Knotted with a high-waisted skirt

I like this particular style so much that I wore it twice within a few days! I think tying the ends of the shirt looks kind of fun and playful, and if you put that knot in the right place (on the smallest part of your waist), it gives you more leg length.20120918-161120.jpg

2.  With a statement necklace and printed bottoms

This outfit is obviously from the summer, but the same idea would work just as well in the cooler months. Printed pants are everywhere these days, and they’re just begging for a chambray friend. And of course if bubble necklaces (like this one) aren’t your scene, any big, chunky necklace will do!


3.  With a pencil skirt for upside-down Casual Friday

If you work an office job and you’re allowed to wear jeans on Fridays, why not turn the dress code on its head and wear your “jeans” on top? Here, I still kept it office appropriate with a classy pencil skirt and a belt at the waist.


4.  With sequins for evening

Put a sequin tee or jacket over your chambray shirt like I did below, or maybe you have a sequin skirt or dress. There’s something cool and unexpected (I think) about sequins and chambray. It’s kind of like a tuxedo t-shirt: it says “I want to be formal, but I’m here to party.”


5.  Under a sweater

You want to get a chambray shirt that doesn’t have too much extra room around your arms, because then it will fit nicely under a sweater, cardigan, or sweatshirt as long as the outer layer isn’t too tight. The possibilities here are endless, so go nuts. I’m partial to animal print myself.


6.  With colored denim

I know some people pull it off like it ain’t no thang, but to me, chambray with blue jeans is just too Texas Tuxedo. Non-blue jeans, on the other hand, are perfect! A super casual look, but you don’t look like you’re about to round up cattle, or whatever people do in Texas. I don’t want to know.


6 1/2.  Under a sweater and with colored denim (yeah, I went there)

In case you love all these ways so much that you want to combine them, here…let me help you with that. Now the only challenge is to see if you can wear chambray knotted under a sweater with a statement necklace, pencil skirt and colored denim. And then roll in a pile of sequins.


So, do you have a favorite?? Tell me in the comments!

Put some chambray in your life:

09. 14. 2012

This edition of the “How to Wear” series is all about mixing and not matching! I love mixing prints, but I know some people are a little freaked out by how to do print mixing without clashing. True, not ALL prints are going to look good together, but here are a few ways you can try print-mixing without looking like an old blind lady. Click on the pictures to go to the original post and see more details.

1.  Start small with a printed scarf and a nautical striped tee.

Both of these prints are simple – only 2 colors – and one is neutral, so there’s not much danger of clashing.


2.  Get a neutral print bag and pair it with anything (except an identical print).

With a bag, it’s like the extra print is detachable, so you can always set it down if you want your clothes to stand alone. (But please do not leave your bag unattended in an airport.)


3.  Mix 2 different versions of the same print.

Here I layered two different polka dot prints. Playful and cute!


4.  Let one pre-mixed piece do the work for you.

If you can find a piece – like this skirt from Anthropologie – that already has different prints in it, you can rock the print-mixing trend without even trying!


5.  Pick 2 prints in the same color scheme for a unified look.

Since the stripes and the floral print here are both navy and white, it almost looks like they could be part of the same dress.

20120829-164954.jpg6.  Mix your top and your shoes with a solid in between.

Here’s another [probably nearly] foolproof way to mix it up. Put some distance between your prints if you’re not sure whether they look good together.


As a final tip, just use your best judgment. The simpler the patterns, the easier it is to get away with mixing them. Here are some other prints that could look cool together:

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08. 31. 2012

Welcome to another installment of the “How to Wear” series. This time we’re talking about the ever (and perhaps over) popular bubble necklace. I’ll admit this style has become a little overdone in the fashion and style blogosphere. HOWEVER, in my everyday life, I’ve yet to run into anyone else wearing one. Not that I’ve noticed, anyway. This leads me to believe that – at least in Indianapolis – the bubble necklace is not a huge mainstream trend, and people might still have at least a tiny bit of interest in seeing my thoughts on what to wear with one. If you’re sick and tired of seeing these damn necklaces, feel free to leave now (but come back soon…pretty please).

So without further ado, here are 5 ways I have styled my neon green bubble necklace:

1. Make something bold even bolder by putting your statement necklace over a bright print


2. Jazz up a casual top like chambray (this might be my favorite combo)


3. Make the necklace the center of attention by adding it to a monochrome outfit


4. Play with the color wheel and put your necklace against its color opposite (red/green, blue/orange, yellow/violet)


5. Wear it to work with a shift dress and jacket


Find your own bubble necklace in a range of colors and prices!

Time to pick your favorite! And tell me if there’s a way you wore your bubble necklace that I didn’t cover here. See the original posts: 1 / 2 / 3 and 4 / 5

Don’t forget to follow me on Bloglovin’, even if you hate bubble necklaces. I promise I wear other jewelry.

08. 25. 2012

Welcome to a new series that I like to call “How to Wear.” Actually, I don’t just like to call it that; I do call it that. Now that I’ve been posting my daily outfits consistently for a good chunk of time, I can look back and reminisce about the good ol’ days. You know, like 2 months ago. I’ve never liked repeating an outfit, but I do like wearing my favorite pieces in different ways. So let’s get to the good stuff and check out three ways I’ve styled this floral sundress.

1.  For a casual and functional traipsing-around-on-a-hellishly-hot-day ensemble (sorry, I’m not good at brevity): with a knotted belt, comfy sandals, a cross-body bag, and minimal jewelry


2.  For a night at the theater (said with a British accent because it’s cooler that way): with a statement necklace, wedges, and a summery bag20120824-193834.jpg

3.  For a summer wedding: with sparkles, nude pumps, and a sophisticated clutch

20120824-193911.jpgThere you have it! Which one is your favorite??

For the original posts, see here and here.