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Friday, March 15, 2013

Dressing For Yourself

Sorry for the weird black thing on the left.


This outfit has been in my Go Chic or Go Home ensembles for a while as one of just a handful of outfits I created with this striped blazer.  I prefer it with the brown boots because I love brown and black together as well as blazers and boots, but black heels streamline the look a little more and help make it a bit more office appropriate.  Which shoes do you prefer with this outfit?

On another note, the last time I wore this striped blazer I asked for ideas for how else to style it and most of you guys suggested pattern mixing.  You might have noticed that I don't do a lot of that.  It's not that I hate it or that I'm scared of it.  Once in a while I'll subtly mix prints here and there, but for the most part I just don't think it's for me as I genuinely don't enjoy it or feel awesome in it.  However, sometimes I feel tempted to wear an outfit with boldly mixed patterns regardless of the fact that it doesn't feel like me just because it seems "in" and because I'll probably get a lot of props for it.  But I think it's really important to dress in ways that make you happy and make you feel like you, not for the sake of being hip.  If I'm dressing more for others than for myself then I feel like I'm doing it for the wrong reasons.  Know what I mean?

Just to be clear, I'm not saying all this to hate on pattern mixing.  I just bring it up as a confession and an example of how it can be tempting to follow trends simply because they're "in" though we might not even really identify with them.  It's one thing to try new things and do something out of your comfort zone to grow yourself--that is still for yourself, for the sake of your own growth.  And yes, please do that because it can be fun!  I think it's another thing to do something because you want to do what's "in."  If you've given something a shot and really don't feel like it's your thing then be free to be YOU! Try new things, stick with what you enjoy and what feels like YOU, and anything else that's a "thing" that you don't identify with, leave it be and don't feel bad about it.  Enjoy being you, not what magazines tell you to be!

Okay, I think I'm done with my random soapbox.  Do any of you fall victim to dressing in ways that don't feel like you, or is it just me?




Shop for the Look:
Top: Old Navy (similar, similar)
Blazer: Shade Clothing (similar, similar, similar)
Jeans: Forever 21
Boots: Dolce Vita via Macy's (for shopping options click here)
Black Pumps: H&M (similar)
Necklace: Forever 21 (similar, similar, similar)


52 comments:

  1. I totally agree with you about following certain trends! I feel like I'm wearing a costume instead of feeling comfortable. I also have a bit of a confession as well: If everyone is wearing a certain trend (even if I like it) I purposely avoid it, not wanting to be a cookie-cutter of the next gal. I know, I know. I guess I'm a bit of a rebel in that respect!

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  2. Dominika ČupkováFriday, March 15, 2013

    Love that combination of strips, green and brown boots :)

    Greetings from Slovakia
    www.thedominica.sk

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  3. I'm one of the people who suggested pattern mixing but I completely understand if it's just not your thing. For me, I fall into the category of having tried pattern mixing in order to "grow" and I discovered that I LOVE it! Pattern mixing is totally ME.

    However, there are lots of things that are trendy that just aren't me. Mustard and Rust look horrific on me, scarves make me feel strangled, and blazers just don't seem to fit into my lifestyle (full-time housewife and homeschool mommy). All of these things look adorable on you but don't work for me.

    I think personal style is ALL about finding what makes you feel good - like the very best version of yourself - and then rocking it!

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  4. I love this post so much!! Aside from your outfit (which is adorable and I love both shoes, but the boots would be more my style too) I am so glad you got on that random soap box :) I do actually struggle with dressing for other people sometimes more than for myself because generally, my style (what I'm comfortable in) is not typically "in style" if that makes sense. I know my taste is somewhat weird, but I love it and while I'm all for testing out new looks, I sometimes need that reminder to just wear what is "me". So yay! Good post (as always) :)

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  5. I'm constantly trying new things out, but most of them are utter failures. MOST of the time, I realize it in the dressing room, thankfully. I feel like a lot of these trends are meant for very tiny humans. I am not, alas, a very tiny human, so, for example, the "nautical stripes" trend is out. Yellow looks like hell on me. Skinny jeans are a nightmare. (I'm convinced skinny jeans are some kind of an international conspiracy).


    If pattern mixing isn't your jam, then there's no reason to do it. Not everyone needs to look like a Pinterest board.

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  6. I work in a REALLY casual office so I would get odd looks if I wore the version with heels. Boots are definitely more my style. I understand what you are saying about pattern mixing. I think that many go over the top with it. I think its great that you know what you like and what you are comfortable in.

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  7. Thanks for this post- good thing to be reminded of!! For me it was a little bit the opposite- I was NOT wearing outfits that I liked because my college roommate didn't think that brown and black should go together. Now I see it all over the place and realize I should have just gone with it! And on that note, I like the boots better :)

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  8. I want to try new things... all the time. It's just so... easy to wear what I've always worn. I have a variety of color in my closet, but find myself wearing different combinations of the same basic pieces. A lot of grey and white. A lot of plain slacks, hardly ever a dress or skirt. I have really been trying. Scouts honor. I am feeling pretty good today. I wore a skirt. It's green. I painted my nails hot pink. I'm trying. :)


    P.S. I love the looks above with the boots.

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  9. I get what you are saying... I tried pattern mixing, and I feel ridiculous in it. Though, I have seen people wear it and the are adorable! I have recently come into my blazer OBSESSION and I think that it would be cute with a solid colored button down. I like how the heels class it up a bit, it would be fun for dinner with friends or work... the boots just look cozy though. I would probably wear it both ways.

    I have always felt like I didn't have a style, but as I'm starting to look more closely at my closet and what appeals to me in magazines I'm finding that it has just been a little bit more obscure. Great post as always Audrey!

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  10. I still haven't really tried pattern mixing, though I put my baby in an argyle sweater over her polka dot onesie. Does that count? I don't have a ton of clothing with patterns, so I'm not sure it's a trend I'll be diving into just yet.

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  11. Lizzi DallingerFriday, March 15, 2013

    I'm with you 100% on dressing for yourself. I've dipped my toes into some of the recent trends and found both good and bad--yes to peplums, for instance, but no to skinnies, which make my legs look like chicken drumsticks. I will *not* wear something I don't feel fabulous in, just to be on-trend.

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  12. I don't know that I've ever commented on a post before, but I had to thank you for saying that the "trendy" things are just not for everyone. It's totally possible to look put-together and current without doing what "all the other fashion bloggers do" - or whatever.


    I've tried a little subtle pattern mixing, and while it looks fine, it's just not me. It's nice to see others feeling that way and saying it out loud. I really appreciate your saying it!

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  13. I am not a pattern mixer, totally not my style. I also have a hard time with skinny jeans, and colored jeans. It is hard for me to wrap my head around them.
    I am starting to figure out what I like within style/trends, and I am excited with what I do like and wear.
    I appreciate you blogging about style and how to put clothes together, and to build a wardrobe. It sure helps me! Thanks!

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  14. I actually really liked your pattern mixing ideas--I just saw the ones you mixed from my closet on Go Chic or Go Home yesterday. I imagined myself wearing the the floral dress with the striped blazer and just knew I wouldn't feel like myself in it, though I kept thinking that someone else would really, really rock that outfit! I'm glad you've found such joy in it! I just LOVED hearing you say that pattern mixing is totally YOU because it makes me so happy when we find new things that are fun for us and capture a bit of who we are!

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  15. Love this blazer. I've been eyeing a stripe blazer now for a while, waiting for it to go on sale. Love your outfit Audrey.


    Agi:)


    vodkainfusedlemonade.com

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  16. I know how you feel about being pressured to dress like the trends. I bought bright colored skinny cords, and pastel skinny jeans, and feel totally awkward wearing them. They look fine on me, but I just don't feel like myself. But I never would have known unless I tried!

    Thanks for helping me realize it's okay to not go with the trends!

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  17. This post is right on time for me. I love skinny jeans because my legs are long and defined so they work for me. However, I will not do every color in the rainbow. I stick to red and mint because they work with my skin tone. I have always been a blazer girl but yesterday I mixed a stripe blazer with another print blouse and I just didnt feel empowered like I always did so I would not do that again. I do love mixing some colors but not prints. I hate sequins at night much less to wear it during daylight. Style is very personal and as you grow, you find what works for your body type, skin tone and what works for you psychologically. I love your look by the way; we have such similar taste.

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  18. I totally tried out pattern mixing on my toddler before starting to wear mixed patterns myself! I'm using her as my guinea pig for bright colors too.

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  19. i love the heels look! gorgeous blazer. i'm not as big a fan of black and brown mixed, unless it's a black dress with all brown accessories.

    kw ladies in navy

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  20. Thanks Audrey! I feel like I'm a bit late in figuring out my personal style. I spent my youth trying to be trendy and my 20s trying to be invisible. Now, at almost 35, I feel like I'm really coming into my own style. I think I'm finally old enough to have recaptured that little kid joy in wearing exactly what I like and not caring what anyone else thinks.

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  21. I haven't bought any colored denim because I wouldn't wear it to work and it seems silly to buy something I can only wear two days out of the week. So, that's the trend I'm not getting into.

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  22. I love the outfit with heels. And I agree, it's more work appropriate (for my work at least). As for trends, I've been loving really bright colored blazers on others and I love the bright pink one on you. I went and tried on a few and it just doesn't feel right. Can't tell if it's me scared of trying something different or it's just not my style.

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  23. Thank-you for this post. I agree you have to stick with what feels like you. I am slowly expanding my comfort zone but have definitely found things that just don't work for me. Scarves makes me feel claustrophobic so they're out, colorful jeans don't work for me either but I am trying new color combos with my other clothes, more accessorizing, using belts in different ways and colorful shoes and those are much more "me". I want to look good and put together but NOT trendy so I dance around finding pieces that work for both. I work with college students but don't want to dress like one....I have to stick with what I like and what feels right.

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  24. I love black and brown together and I'm not into pumps, so I like the outfit with the boots better. But I agree the one with heels is more office appropriate.


    And I totally agree about dressing for you. There are so many trends I'm avoiding right now... boyfriend jeans, pastels, heavy pattern mixing, over sized everything.... that just aren't ME and don't fit with my style goals at all. We each have to find our own balance of looking current while looking like ourselves at the same time.

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  25. Experimental BeautyFriday, March 15, 2013

    I love your soapbox speech! I agree that you should dress for you, not what's in (unless that's totally you). I wouldn't mix patterns either. And I'm not a fan of the skinny jeans for my frame. I've got some curvy hips and skin tight on my bottom half just feels uncomfortable and not me. I prefer the less popular straight leg but boot cut is really my denim of choice!

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  26. Yes! I have to talk myself through this almost every day. :)

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  27. Agree with you ont dressing for yourself part! You look lovely and yes, heels does make it more polished.

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  28. Cynthia @ Go Chic or Go HomeFriday, March 15, 2013

    Really like this outfit, Audrey! Love black and brown, and it's great how the look transitions from day to evening just by swapping the shoes.

    Pattern mixing is something I enjoy on other people but my basic style gets a little "overwhelmed" by it (unless the patterns are subtle). That being said, an easy remix that I've grown to like is leopard flats + a striped top or patterned scarf. The patterns are far enough apart and leopard almost feels like a neutral.

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  29. Absolutely agree! I think it's definitely worth giving trends a go - especially if you can use items from your existing wardrobe - but you should not be wearing things to solely please other people. I know a few times I've had a go at something new not feeling sure it was "me", but by the end of the day decided I loved it after all. But other times I'm still not totally comfortable with a look after trying it, or maybe it just doesn't suit me (like neon, I know I can't go there), and I'm totally happy to give that stuff a miss.

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  30. I love your "dress for yourself" speech....I have a striped blazer so I'm always excited to see how you wear it...however, it is is just not me to mix pattern with a stripe...though I have worn my leopard flats with my striped jacket....P.S. I love the black heels...

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  31. I love the striped blazer with the green top! I think it looks better with the heels (more polished, like you said) but I, too, live in my brown boots, so you should definitely go with what is comfortable for you.


    In that vein, after reading all of your lovely fashion blogs for the past several months, I have come to the conclusion that even though blazers look great on all of you, I'm just not a blazer kind of girl. (I'm always tempted by a great moto jacket, though!) I will try something new every once in a while, but if it doesn't work, I quickly feel uncomfortable in it. I have noticed since I finally started my own style blog a few weeks ago that I'm more willing to try something new.

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  32. I've never really gotten into the whole pattern mixing thing, and I've only attempted it once or twice with subtle prints (mixing stripes with floral) but I think the main thing is that most of my wardrobe is solid colored so it's not like I could mix a lot of prints anyway :)


    I like the look with the boots!

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  33. I'm totally with you - I've not been much of a "pattern mixer" myself, although sometimes I like it on other people. I think it's awesome that you dress for yourself, and not for your readers/your blog. You have such a clearly defined sense of style, and I appreciate how you stay true to that.

    I definitely used to dress for the trends/other people instead of for myself, and it resulted in a lot of items in my closet that weren't flattering, weren't my style, and just sat in there, largely unworn. I've done some big closet purges, and I know that everything in my closet right now is very "Brynn." I just feel much better when I'm wearing things I like!!

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  34. YES. HIGHEST OF INTERNET FIVES.


    I like pattern mixing and I feel pretty natural with a bit of it going on. What I can't do? neon. EVERYONE LOVES IT. ok, well almost everyone. but I know myself and I know that I just can't. and I think that's okay.

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  35. I agree completely! It's very easy to fall prey to trends when they are EVERYWHERE and the 18 year old models who wear them make them look so classy and effortless :P HOWEVER, at my ripe old age of 40, I have learned that there are trends I can wear, if only for the season, but I must ALWAYS stay true to myself...I like skinny jeans and I have some that look good...with the right top and boots...but I look BEST in bootcut/flared jeans and when I wear them, I look and feel my best!


    Truth is, you feel far more "on trend" when you are wearing what looks best on your body/your skin tone, than you will ever wear just trying to wear the trend....


    Love all this age wisdom ;)

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  36. Versatile Style by TraceyFriday, March 15, 2013

    I personally like pattern mixing and the interest it gives my outfits.. i do agree with your message of dressing for ourselves and just because we are fashion bloggers doesn't mean we have to embrace every trend that comes along... Feeling great in what we are wearing and staying true to ourselves is important!

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  37. ...and thank you for being true to yourself and encouraging all of us to do the same!

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  38. yep! I totally get it. I'm tempted to "dress for other people" all the time.

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  39. Great advice! I have bought too many items that were a "trend of the moment" and never actually wore them out because it wasn't me. In my head I wanted it to be but it wasn't. Thanks for being open about this!

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  40. Very well stated and it doesnt apply to just clothes. Excellent advice!

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  41. I love the idea of pattern mixing but a quick scroll through my outfit photos since the beginning of my blog shows that I don't really, you know, DO it all that much. So I hear you! Anyway, this combination of pieces works totally great!

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  42. I love your blog and your style! This is the first time I have commented. I have some brown boots similar to those and I have worn them all winter. So comfortable and I like your idea of mixing with navy. Looks good! But to me, the heels look best because that very cute striped jacket says, "spring is here"!

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  43. Great post and great advice! :)

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  44. I don't think I dress in ways that aren't 'me.' There are some things that I haven't tried yet because I thought they might be 'too much' but I still really like them and want to try them. There are some trends that I just flat out don't like and won't try them even if they are cool. BUT, I love your striped blazer. I think it is so cute!

    Amy

    Fashion and Beauty Finds

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  45. It took me until nearly the age of 30 to really start dressing for ME. I spent a lot of my 20's just wearing what other people said looked good on me but I never really felt completely put together. I finally did a HUGE wardrobe purge this past fall! I had only a few pieces of clothing left at the end of it. And now I'm rebuilding my wardrobe based on what I feel awesome in. I've gotten some adorable dresses, tops, a new pair of bootcut jeans that drive my husband wild, and today a new denim jacket! Squee!


    I'm not so into pattern mixing. I just don't feel like myself in it. I'll do one pattern and the rest solids. My look is very simple and classic. I have very stark coloring - fair skin, dark hair and eyes - so I like strong colors on myself.

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  46. I just bought a striped blazer from Gap this weekend, now I need to figure out a few way to wear it so I can justify it! I like yours with the boots.


    I've dabbled with pattern mixing, but I have still stayed within my comfort zone. I don't do two loud patterns together, I usually do one bold and one more subtle. Through blogging, I've expanded my comfort zone, which I am SO excited about. There are some trends that I just can't do (peplums just aren't my thing, but I LOVE them on other people!).


    -AJ
    FitTravelerAJ.blogspot.com

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  47. Can't get enough of stripes this season, your blazer is awesome!!!!!!By the way, I'm hosting a link up party and would be glad if you decided to participate!
    http://dcinstyle.com/

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  48. HappinessatmidlifeSunday, March 17, 2013

    So true! I am truly influenced by what I see in magazines, stores and fashion blog but I always stay true to myself when it comes to dressing. I think I have taken a little more color combo risk in my style but I still keep to what makes me comfortable. Some things that I never joined the bandwagon are printed pants & mustard colors...they just are not for me.


    Alice
    www.happinessatmidlife.com

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  49. I'd do it with a graphic print shoe!!! You know - the adorable ones they've had at old navy... Umbrellas, hearts, general cuteness. :) that way it's subtle pattern mixing.

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  50. I've realized this as I've been re-working my own wardrobe and nailing down a real "mom uniform". As a young mother and SAHM I have really felt judged because of what I wear by basically, oh, everyone? :) You know. Mom hair, mom jeans, mom shoes, and apparently there is also a mom swimsuit that I'm not supposed to buy, either. So I found myself overdressing to compensate and hopefully dodge the criticism waiting around every turn.

    I had my first epiphany about a month ago when I realized that if I were a nurse, I'd be wearing scrubs, and if I were a teacher, I'd be wearing business casual (at least I did when I was teaching) and as a mom, I was allowed to wear the clothes that best suited the tasks of my profession. I didn't have to get dressed to pearls and heels. It may sound dumb, but it was really freeing!

    The second epiphany was that once I found what worked for me, I could do whatever I want! I am the boss telling me what is and is not appropriate. If I like to wear neutral, almost bland pieces, and then let my personality show through my shoes, I can do that. If I want to mix patterns or pieces that aren't necessarily trendy, I can do that. And if I want to be trendy, I can do that too. :)

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  51. little late to this post - but i completely agree, just because something's a trend, doesn't mean it works for everyone!

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