From Brunch to Business: Cute Tops from Express

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I even talked myself into one of these cuties.

If you haven’t walked into Express in a while, you need to change that. They have a hot selection of clothes that tip on the dressy scale of dressy/casual (and a beautiful collection of business pieces) but they also have polished casual clothes, which you’ll see below.

I walked away with one of these pieces (and have already worn it twice in one week). And as I loaded these pictures I regretted not having taken home another top.

At the time I tried these on (which was a week ago) these tops were all under $30. They may be even cheaper now – clearance was an extra 30% off (isn’t that a beautiful sentence?)

Here’s the top I’ve worn twice now… Once with leopard pants and once with ripped gray jeans and pink heels.

Sorry the quality of the picture isn’t great – it was low lighting in there. This top is a satin material and I absolutely feel in love with the long, un-done tuxedo feeling sleeves.

Of all the tops I went to try on, this was lowest of my list of “need”, however trying it on I realized how many holes it would fill in my closet (case in point: I’ve already worn it twice). So my advice? If you’re headed towards the dressing room anyway, grab something you never would have thought about, it may be your favorite piece.

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This is more a lavender color in person, and I thought I would love it more once I tried it on, but it’s still something beautiful that could get tucked into a skirt or some high wasted jeans… You could also balance it out with torn jeans and booties.

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This is the piece I’m now wishing I would have grabbed. Love that it’s a higher quality material (silky feeling) and not just another striped top.

Another great thing to do, is style something you’re trying on. Don’t just throw it on and say no. Play around with it for a second. Don’t force yourself to like it, but give it a chance!

It’s got a t-shirt hemline which I’m typically not a fan of, but it’s long enough to overcome my annoyance.

express, west town mall, striped top, knoxville blogger, knoxville fashion blogger

express, west town mall, striped top, knoxville blogger, knoxville fashion blogger

 

The next two are tops that fall in the “casual but still polished” category. Such a fan of the silver thread in the button down shirt. Gosh, that with a pair of ripped jeans or shorts and some slip on sneakers – you are ready to stylishly pound down some brunch.

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express, west town mall, ootd, knoxville fashion blogger, knoxville blogger

 

Like I said, all of these tops were under $30! You can find them (except for a small in that black one *muahaha) at Express in West Town Mall!

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A Stylish Outfit With Zero Accessories

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2D759794-8DE0-477B-BDA5-AA0AD4D7E915

Sometimes less is more on point.

I walked out the door dressed for church a couple weeks ago without a single accessory.

I tried to accessorize, even put on a necklace, it just seemed odd not to. I think sometimes we wear things because it’s “what you’re supposed to wear” or it’s our little routine – “I always wear a ____”. But I want to change that. When you box yourself in to what you think you’re supposed to wear, you begin to stop wearing things because you feel good in them and do it out of obligation or habit. Let’s only wear things that make us feel like our best, wearing only things we love and feel beautiful in.

It’s not always the case, (and don’t tell Dolly I said this) but sometimes an outfit doesn’t need embellishing.

So how do you know when an outfit doesn’t need embellishing? The best answer is, when jewelry doesn’t highlight anything.

Now if you could see my ears better, I would have added some studs (probably pink ones), but you can’t really see my ears through all my hair.

So if you don’t have this going on, remember even the smallest of earrings can make an impact, add polish and make you look purposeful. That’s always the goal – looking purposeful. Like you put time and effort into your look (without having to put lots of time/effort into your look), and it doesn’t require a pile of jewelry!

A bold patterned anything – sweater, jacket, top – help to give life and visual impact which means you can minimize the jewelry.

Remember you’re adding highlights with accessories, and a page that’s fully highlighted isn’t easy on the eyes.

Sweater is from J Crew (exact sweater link! Ha, that never happens) | jacket and jeans Express | shoes Target (all of which I’ve owned for years)

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Watch How to Wear One Simple Outfit (you own) 4 Different Ways

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Oh, oh it’s magic! Or just accessories…

Walking into Charming Charlie in West Town Mall for this segment makes my mouth water in excitement.

I get so excited putting different looks together because I believe it will help you next time you get stumped with what to wear. It’s amazing how different a basic outfit of a white shirt and jeans can look with a few simple switches of accessories!

 

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Styling Help: Maxi Skirt & Jacket

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{Skirt} dreams really do come true.
ootd, knoxville style, mom style, how to style an outfit

style help, help accessorizing, west town mall, how to style an outfit, help styling, outfit styling, knoxville fashion blogger, knoxville fashion, elizabeth ogle

For years I’ve tried to pull off a tulle skirt (as evidenced by this failed attempt in 2014). The thing with these skirts? You don’t want to look too young, too costume-y, too much like a ballerina or too little of a girl playing dress up (let’s be real, there’s a little bit of that look going on).

When I found this beautiful leather jacket, I knew I could balance out it’s short/tight look with a big ole’ skirt. Amazon for the win: Wedding Planning WDPL Women’s Long Tutu Tulle Skirt A Line Floor Length Skirts 

But what about accessories?

The neckline of this jacket rules out a necklace – it would be too hard/awkward looking to try to work one with the way the lapels fall. And since I was wearing my hair up and am currently obsessed with all things earrings – I knew I wanted something sparkly hanging off my lobes.

Enter: New York & Company in West Town Mall.

They really have fantastic accessories and they’re ALWAYS on sale. On the day I went shopping it was a buy one get TWO free sale. So I got these gorgeous earrings, the bracelet (pictured) and other gold bracelets for later use – all for right under $30. That’s a deal.

I’m proud of myself for venturing out of what could have been my comfort zone of silver jewelry and instead going for some rose gold. It was hard, and I almost changed it at the last minute, but that pop of pink against the navy and gray, really added something special to the whole look. And surprisingly I’ve already wanted to reach for all my jewelry a second time so I know it won’t go unused this spring/summer.

Thanks for hanging in the blog over the past week and a half – I was having behind the scenes technical hiccups that prevented me from being able to get in and add new posts. But we’re up and running again, so check back tomorrow for more content!

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Two Quick Tricks to Help You Get Dressed This Spring

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*Bear hugs Winter goodbye.

Okay so I’ve got to come to terms with the fact that winter is over this week (OR DO I??)… Actually, I consider winter fully and completely over – as in stop reaching for winter colors/textures – by Easter. So if you want to join my “Still Celebrating Winter Over Here” party, feel free to do so until April 1st. And that’s no joke.

For the rest of you, keep reading…

Spring isn’t as drastic as a shift in seasons as thinking about summer can be. But the good news is if you master these two tricks I’m about to give you, then you’ll seamlessly transition into that season as well. So what’s the first trick?

Think of one look you want to rock this spring. Just one.

Example: for me, this spring I want to rock a graphic tee, jacket, jeans and jewelry. Whether it’s a necklace or bold earrings, I want to rock them with a jacket, tee and jeans. The good news is, I can vary that look in a multitude of ways – swap out the jeans for a maxi skirt, change out jackets, do a plain t-shirt with a patterned jacket and so on and so forth.

What that one look as done, if you’ll notice, is it’s created a myriad of looks for me to choose from. It’s also directed my focus to what I’m going to buy to start prepping for spring looks. Right now, I’m on the hunt for fun earrings to jazz up my collection. I’m also tracking down great graphic tees because the rest of the ensemble I’ve got in stock.

See how that works? Once you’re finished you have a whole collection of looks to swap out and wear in different ways – but all of it translates you and your style in varying degrees of dressiness. Which means you’ll ALWAYS have something to wear.

Give yourself a style challenge.

A couple weeks ago I pulled out the pieces I wanted to wear before the season ended and forced myself to choose from that group. I wanted to be sure to get use out of all my favorites. But what it did was made outfit decisions way easier.

The good news about doing this with your spring wardrobe, is that you can pull out pieces you might not have touched in a while. Making it feel like you went out and bought some new clothes. And even if your style doesn’t lend itself to definitive” spring-like clothing (IE: florals, light pinks, etc.) then pull out pieces that are lighter weight or just a bit flowy-er and make a capsule wardrobe out of them.

Still need some help? Check out my spring post from last year. I just re-read it and was reminded about how genius I am (AND SO HUMBLE).

Let’s make this our spiffiest spring yet!

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