Patterned Jacket

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(Sometimes when taking outfit pictures, I’m not sure what to do with my hands).

My favorite impression Kristin Wiig did on SNL was of Suzy Ormon. The quote is on my Pinterest “Spiffy Jackets” board. She says in the perfect rendition of Suzy’s definitive staccato voice, “I got decorative buttons tattooed down my chest, so that it always looks like I’m wearing a jacket.”

Her delivery and the visual she creates is comedy gold.

Let’s talk about jackets. But instead of decorative buttons, how about a good patterned jacket.

What you won’t find in what I’m about to say is me talking about patterned blazers. While I’m certain there are people in this world who can pull them off, I am not on that list. So I won’t speak to what I cannot wear.

What I’d like to talk about is more along the lines of outerwear.

I got this gray and black patterned jacket from Forever21 when they were running one of their ridiculous I-feel-like-I’m-stealing kind of sales. I think I got it for less than $20. It’s not a jacket I went look for, but I do love having it around for days when my look could use a little pattern play.

If you need a light jacket for cool fall days, consider one with a pattern! I know it might be out of your ordinary, but I think it will end up being a jacket you reach for more often than you might think (I know that’s what happened to me).

I’ve tracked down some more here, here and here. It will help you to dabble in some pattern mixing if you haven’t, and at the very least it will cuten up some of your patternless looks. There are so many made up words in that sentence. Have a great weekend!

Treat Yo’ Self to Cute Only You Can See

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You know how people say that integrity is doing what’s right even when no one can see you? I’m going to borrow from that because I think having great style is being cute even when no one can see it. These little studs from Francesca’s are a great example of that.

The minute I saw them I knew I had to have them. And as far as I know, I’m the only one to ever really enjoy them. I’m not even sure if people can see them around all of my hair. But I wear them because they’re just another layer of cute that I love.

Same goes for the rest of these…

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And yes, that one with the words on it does say “Elizabeth” is that not the coolest thing ever!? They were a gift :)

There’s a special kind of confidence that comes with secretly wearing something cute. Like your underwear. Which sounds like a joke, but it’s a good example. Cute underwear can really make a girl walk taller, can’t it?

What have you treated yourself to lately that’s something only you’ll enjoy? And maybe someone will catch a glimpse of it, or you’ll post a giant picture of it and hashtag the crap out of it (crazy kids) but for the most part you bought it because YOU love it and you want that extra secret layer of cute.

That’s fun. Let’s all try it ;)

Treasure Tromp

The Best Hair Spray for Sleeping

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Every day with my hair is like a surprise party. When I wake up in the morning, two things usually pass through my mind – what have I done with my hair, and how has it survived the night.

It’s not a, “WHAT HAVE I DONE WITH MY HAIR?!” It’s more along the lines of me trying to remember what my hair style was the day before. Did I straighten it? Is it wavy? Did I wear it up? Once the fog clears and I’m walking towards the bathroom, the next question is how did it survive?

Some mornings it looks like I’ve barely laid my head on the pillow – which are the best because it means I hardly have to spend any time on it getting ready! Other mornings (aka: most of the time) it’s me surveying the damage of my pillow rampage (seriously, do I thrash around on that thing?) and trying to determine if it’s salvageable or if I need to wear it up.

I get especially sad when it just can’t be saved because it takes a long time to do my hair and if the style doesn’t survive the night, then all that work only lasted me a couple of hours. There are times when I’ve considered sleeping standing up. No joke.

To help with this problem, I’m always on the hunt for a great hair spray that will lock down my look and make it so that I don’t have to do as much work the next day.

I’ve tried Nexxus, NYM, Tres Semme, Aussie and a whole slew of BirchBox samples, and while they all have their strengths, the one I’ve found to be the best for holding my style overnight, is Dove.

It’s got a great hold to it and really helps it so that I’m not waking up with kinks or untamed poof, but instead I wake up with the hair I went to bed with.

Now I just need to work on remembering to spray down my hair BEFORE I get all snuggled in the bed #hateitwhenthathappens.

Perks and Quirks

I once read that the title of your blog post can’t be witty. It has to tell the reader what they’re going to read about.

I hated reading that, because coming up with witty titles is right in my wheelhouse – it’s the load bearing beams of my wheelhouse.

Today I threw out what all of those wildly successful bloggers had to say about titles, and just boiled it down to, “Perks and Quirks”. Because  I want to show you all of the perks of TheSpiff and hopefully expose some of my quirks along the way (in the least creepster way possible…I’m now rethinking the use of “expose”).

I’ve been writing a blog for, well remember Xanga? Yep. So, let’s put 2001 on the time stamp. It wasn’t until 2009, a year into my marriage and months after graduating college that I decided to give myself an endless homework assignment combine my love of writing and fashion, fuel it with my passion to see women comfortable in their skin and start writing a blog legitimately.

A year after that decision I pushed “publish” on my very first post for TheSpiff. If you’re thinking that’s a long time between things and that I probably was watching too much Gilmore Girls, then you’d be right. But I was also working hard perfecting the site, coming up with a domain name, and pre-writing 3 months worth of blogs to get myself started.

Until I birth my first child, my proudest moment remains to be the night when I finally figured out how to manipulate html code so that my site looked exactly the way I wanted it. I will never forget that.

Fast forward to today and I’m now four months in on a newly revamped site (I paid someone this time). Today I wanted to kind of show you around and point out a new feature!

First off, take a look at my social media icons there on the top right. I know it’s like I’m introducing you to your right hand – it’s nothing you haven’t seen before. But maybe by “take a look” I mean click on them and hit follow… ;)

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I’ve got several great Pinterest boards that you’ll be pinterested in. I’m trying to drill down into the details of dressing, so I’ve got one on tights, jackets, shoes (etc.)…all stuff I would really wear. I don’t know WHERE I would wear some of it, but I don’t pin unless I truly like it.

Finally, and really the purpose of this diatribe, is I’ve recently added a way to subscribe to TheSpiff! If you’ll enter your email address in the box on the bottom right, you’ll get my posts in your email inbox. No more of this type, type, type, click, scroll nonsense, you can simply open your email, click and boom you’re reading one of my fashion/beauty nuggets for the day.

I make it oh so easy. It’s one of my quirks, I like to make things wildly easy on people. ;) …I also volunteer too much and sometimes I sing in the shower.

A Harvest of Blessing

This Dress Will Totally Come in Handy

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For the past 10 months I’ve been living out the prequel to the movie “27 Dresses.” It’s called, “27 Bridal Showers.”

Beginning in March all the way to this past weekend, I’ve become a bit of a shower professional. And it’s been quite the whirlwind. I threw my very first one, got ready for another in less than an hour, attended another after running a 5k, and so much more in between.

When it comes to what to wear, do, bring, or help with at a shower, I know.

Including what to wear to a shower on a fall day! This past weekend I got attend another one for a sweet friend. Leading up to Saturday I found that figuring out what to wear to a fall shower during the day was a little harder than what I expected.

Cue the patterned belted dress.

Dressy enough to fit in at a party full of girls, but not so dressy that it looks like I’m trying too hard. I love the sheer sleeves, and most importantly the fact that it went well with flat boots. When your running around balancing hors d’ oeuvres, moving presents, playing games – it helps to be in flats.

If you’ve got a shower coming up, consider a dress like this! I got this one at Express a couple years ago, but I’ve tracked down three along the same lines. Here, here (my favorite) and here.

A printed dress translates to easy accessorizing – a few bangles, a big ring, add a bold lip and you’re ready to dominate at bridal bingo, toilet paper wedding dresses, fill in the vows…whatever. I’ve played them all and then some ;)

P.S. Look at me wearing a pattern that’s not stripes or animal print! Ha, it’s like a hybrid of the two, but still it’s totally different. I’m so proud of me! *wink.


Shopping My Closet

Recharge

The other day someone told me they wish they could be a blogger.

Immediately what flashed through my mind was like a movie montage of my blogging journey - typing through blurred eyes late into the night, literally rolling over onto my office floor out of frustration, collapsing on my keyboard while the blank white page of WordPress menacingly glowed (it’s possible).

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Like anything in life there are risks and rewards that come with running a blog.

I can still remember the first time someone ever told me they read my blog and it helped them tremendously…the woman was standing in an elevator with me and as soon as she said it, my eyes filled up with tears. <–That’s probably the scene that needs to go at the end of the montage I mentioned above.

What I try to keep in mind on weeks like this one when I’m feeling drained, is that without a doubt this is something God has woven into my fabric. It’s something He’s called me to do. So to keep on chugging I’m going to take a bit of a break. Just today and tomorrow.

I’m going to plug myself into the wall and recharge because right now my battery is flashing that there’s only 10% left (thank God it’s a metaphor and that I won’t actually shut down in a second). I’m thankful for encouraging blogs like this one, that help me take the pressure off myself for a bit. I know on Monday I’ll come back with a wave of fresh fashion inspiration.

Just wait for it. And remember to recharge yourself!

Fall Bags & the One Thing I Forgot

Not showing up on time for my TV segment is the new “showing up to school in my underwear” dream. I’ve dreamt it a couple times now, and every time wake up so relieved after realizing it was only a dream.

I haven’t dreamt about leaving something at home. I’ve only done that in reality.

Like yesterday when I realized I left the Laser Cut Accordion Wallet at home. Boo.

It’s a beautiful wallet too! See…

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It’s got a nice amount of room and plenty of pockets. Plus, how about this gorgeous laser cut design? It’s so cool and feminine at the same time. Definitely not something that should be forgotten, so forgive me for leaving it on my dining room table.

But now it got a lot of attention on the blog, so I think I’m back in its good graces. Be sure to stop by West Town Mall and check out the new Vera Bradley store! It’s gorg-eous and right inside the Charming Charlie’s entrance.

 
Shopping My Closet

Your Complete Guide to Tights

Superman, Batman, Robin – all of them prove a lot can be accomplished while wearing tights, and that it can all be done looking good.

Now that the season for tights has arrived, my outfit possibilities have quadrupled. They are one of the things I look forward to wearing the most in the fall/winter. Not only because they unlock so many great skirts, but because they are so very comfortable and slimming. And since someone once looked at my calves and asked if I play soccer, leg slimming is just what I need (never played soccer in my life outside of 3rd grade phys ed).

Here are some things to keep in mind when buying, wearing and caring for your tights…

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Buying Tights

There are a lot of different kinds of tights out there. The two main words you need to pay attention to are “sheer” and “opaque” because they make a difference. Sheer is obviously going to let a little leg show through, while opaque means completely blackity black. Or navity navy…burgundity burgindy…and so on and so forth.

One of my favorite places to get them is The Limited. They have a great selection and they are really well made. You are going to pay a little more, but this means you won’t be running to Walgreen’s every weekend for a new pair. If you do happen to snag them on something, note where they’re snagged. If it’s below the knee you can keep them to wear with boots, if it’s higher up you can remember to wear them with certain skirt lengths. That way at least you wouldn’t have to get rid of them right away.

Wearing Tights

Opaque tights are going to let you get away with a bit of a shorter skirt. I hate the word “thigh” but because I love you, I’m going to use it to say – if your skirt is so short it’s showing where the tights weave pattern changes to the control part on your upper thigh *cringe* it’s TOO SHORT.

Sheer tights are best to pair with black boots. The sheerness will add a texture difference and will make it so the two blacks aren’t competing with each other.

Patterned tights are fun…if used in moderation. If your calves have never been confused with the muscles of a soccer player, feel free to wear patterned tights till the cows come home listening to the fat lady sing. I limit myself to wearing very discreet patterns, or minimizing their visual effect by pairing them with boots/booties.

Washing Tights

For the most part, tights can be washed in the gentle cycle then hung up to dry. As I write this, I’m realizing that the tights I washed with all the colored clothes were accidentally put in the dryer. Now I’m nervous to go open the dryer. Avoid that mistake and wash them separately. Do remember to wash them, though. For the love of all things, wash them.

For some great outfit ideas that incorporate tights, click here to see my Pinterest board!

A Harvest of Blessing

Dry is the New Cute

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One time I read an article telling me how to pull off the “wet hair look” that was showcased during New York Fashion Week.

Since one designer sent models down the runway with wet looking hair, it was now a “thing” and the article explained how we could achieve that same look for when we walk out the door.

Yeeeaa…I don’t think so.

Let’s say I follow the article and get my hair all slicked back and wet looking…I can only imagine the comments that would follow the moment I walked out the door. Scratch that, the comments would come before I walked out the door because I’m sure that would open a whole box of jokes from my husband (I know if he tried that look he would get a couple rounds from me).

Some things are best left on the runway.

Since the 7 day planner includes a whole lotta rain in our neck of the woods (yay!) I thought I’d put together some cute options for keeping yourself dry AND cute.

You definitely want an umbrella that showcases your personality. If for no other reason than to make it easier to spot when it’s hanging out with other ones by the door. This leopard cutie is from JCP and is on sale (at least online) for $16.80.

How ’bout them boots! They’re Tommy Hilfiger’s version of the rain boot. Does that man know how to make a rain boot, or what?! They’re also on sale at Belk for $69.99. They’re super chic yet classic enough to be in style for a long time, making the extra splurge totally worth it.

The trench coat will probably go out of style around the same time breathing air becomes passe.

Go ahead and get you a cute one that you can wear in the rain. And who better to make it than GAP? No one. That’s who. Grab this one at the West Town Mall location for $128 (psst: they have a coupon in the school coupon book).

Floral & Polka Dot Pattern Mix

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I own one floral tunic that gets pulled out every time I have a girly event to go to (i.e.: baby shower, high tea).

It’s because it’s the girliest thing I own. After I got married my husband helped me realize I was going to have to give up some of my menswear inspired looks – like the pair of suspenders I used to rock. Man, those were cute.

Now I can say that tunic isn’t the only girly piece I own. This floral top from TJMaxx can join the ranks.

I love it because it’s great for pattern mixing. This polka dot sweater from Target plays off the tiny floral pattern perfectly, particularly because the polka dots are about the same size as the floral but more spread out so together they’re not visually overwhelming.

The floral top was a spring/summer purchase, but see how I worked it into a fall look?! Nailed it. I mean…Girls, isn’t it lovely? *she giggles holding tea cup.

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