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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Fall Shopping: Black Boots

Well, though I'm still in the market for some new cognac boots, I'm also debating about black ones.  I would like black ones for my maroon jeans and olive jeans.  Mostly the maroon, though, since cognac always looks a little weird and superhero-ish with them.  

I find that black boots can either look very motorcycle chic or very preppy and equestrian.  Not that I think anything is wrong with either of those, but that's not what I'm looking for in a black boot at the moment.  I want black boots with a little bit of detail to them, but not something that will look too hard or too preppy.  Finding that balance seems a little more difficult with black boots than with cognac boots simply because of the nature of the color black.  (Or maybe my tune will change when I try on a pair of black boots that is either "too hard" or "too preppy" and become smitten.  Who knows?)

Below are some that came up in my search.  They're all at different price points, but mostly under $100. 


They're in 3 categories: top row - no buckles, middle row - buckles at the ankles, bottom row - buckles on ankles and calves.  


Top Row: No Buckles

1.  Target - $75
2.  Nine West via Macy's - $110
4.  Rampage via Amazon - $59

Option #1 is exactly the look I want.  It's simple, but has that cute button detail at the top.  My only qualm is that it doesn't have great reviews, and for $75, 3.5 stars won't cut it.  Does anyone have these, and if so, how do you like them?

Option #3 is a close second, so I might hunt it down and give it a shot.


Middle Row: Buckles at Ankles

6.  6pm - $50
7.  Zappos - $89
8.  DSW - $70

Some of these might fit what I'm looking for, particularly option #5 or option #8.  I really like the seams that #8 has along the calf.  I think that's a nice way to give it some texture without adding more bells and whistles.


Bottom Row: Buckles at Ankles and Calves

9.  Target - $70
10.  Zappos - $85
11.  Target - $40


Since I'm still on the fence about whether or not I'm going to get black boots, maybe you can try to convince me.  Black boots, yes or no?  If yes, why?

65 comments:

  1. Nice selection!! This particular style is so versatile and universally flattering.

    Mixed plaids look in my blog today...
    Mysmallwardrobe.com

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  2. Black boots go with absolutely everything! Add a pencil skirt and a nice top and it is a super cute look!!!

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  3. I have #1 in Cognac and I actually REALLY like them. They look a little "worn" after a couple of wears but I like that look. I have actually been stopped a few times and asked if they were Frye's! I think they would be even better in black actually :)
    -Kelssey Layton

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  4. I also find it easy for them to go too severe/harsh - but I do like them on other people - so maybe I am too hard on myself! And I do have a lot of skirts that would work with black tights/boots. I think I am going to try a black bootie instead.

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  5. Ditto! I have a different pair of black riding boots and they go with everything -- and like you said, cognac boots don't always look like the right choice. I'd say depending on how often you were boots, go for one pair in each color! You're in southern California though so you may not need them too often -- I'm in the Northeast so I wear boots everyday for four months straight, so I need some variety!

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  6. I bought these Rockport's earlier this year in black. ( http://www.zappos.com/rockport-tristina-gore-tall-boot-black?ef_id=Sm5PsIjHo08AAALi:20131205154829:s) They are pretty simple, and waterproof which is a must here in Seattle. I think black boots should be a closet staple.

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  7. teresasreadingcornerThursday, December 05, 2013

    I have #1 (in black) and am actually looking to replace them. They are okay, but I think I can do better. I have some Anne Klein boots that I got after Christmas last year that are so much more comfortable than the Target ones. The Target ones tend to slouch on me a bit.

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  8. Have you seen these?

    http://www.famousfootwear.com/en-US/Product/35308-1030362/CARLOS+BY+CARLOS+SANTANA/Black/Womens+FAWN.aspx



    I tried them on at Macy's when looking for Cognac boots and then found them much cheaper at FF and also found a discount code online. The reviews are good and they were comfortable on. I didn't get them because I decided my existing boots could make it through another winter but I really liked them.

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  9. YES. I'm actually surprised this is a question! I come here for advice so to be the one advising you feels kind of weird. lol. They go with everything and if you're worried about them looking too preppy or too bikerish, focus on the outfit you're pairing them with and I think you'll be able to control that effect a little more. Right? What do I know, like I said, I come here for advice! :)

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  10. I have black, grey and brown boots. I definitely wear my grey ones the most. I too can't get over the biker chick feeling when I wear my black ones. Good luck with your decision!

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  11. I have some knock off 50/50 Stuart Weitzman boots I found at Off Broadway last year that have a small wedge heel. I love them bc they are easier to zip up over jeans since they are elastic in the back half - also not biker at all! You might check there!

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  12. Haha! Hey, I need advice too. :) But I guess the question isn't whether or not I could style them. It's more that even though black does go with everything, I'm not sure that I would choose them over my cognac pair often enough to justify buying a black pair. You know what I mean? I'm pretty deliberate about some of my shopping choices, so I'm trying to figure out if they would actually fill a hole that my cognac pair can't fill, and if that hole is significant enough for a ~$50-100 purchase.

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  13. I have some but they have a tall heel. I love them with dresses or skirts but not so much with jeans. I do have an older pair of no/low yelled black boots, but I rarely reach for them. However, when I do, I always regret not having replaced them with a cuter pair. I think they have a place in every closet. Get #8!!!

    Patrice
    http://dittothatstyle.blogspot.com

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  14. Have you thought about looking for gray boots instead of black? It would soften the look but still be similar enough to match maroon pants! I wear gray boots when my tan ones won't do.

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  15. I say yes, but it's a cold day in Hell when I'd say no to boots. Personally, 7 and 11 are my faves.

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  16. I have black and cognac boots and I would have to say that I wear them about 40/60. The thing I love about having both is that it adds another option to the remixable wardrobe. You can make the same outfit look completely different again just by adding black boots instead of cognac. An easy way to change things up and keep things feeling fresh. My black boots have one buckle at the ankle. They don't have to feel too "biker" if you don't style them that way. In fact I love adding them to things with florals or lace to sort of tone down the ultra feminine feel of some things and I love the contrast. Plus I actually like pairing black boots with my cognac jacket too. Most of the options you've chosen lean toward the English Riding Boot look and they tend to be pretty classic. My faves are #7 (I like the zipper up the back) and #8. I say go for it!

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  17. I know they're not nearly as good quality as some you have listed but if you're unsure about the expense being worth it or if there's anyone who just can't afford really expensive boots I wanted to mention that both Walmart and Kmart have a really great selection of rather fashionable boots right now. I especially think many of kmart's are very cute and they're running a bogo special right now so you can get more than one pair for crazy cheap. On cyber Monday I seriously got both my sisters boots for $18- and that was for both, not each! And if you're nice and take care of them they really will last a long time despite being cheaper quality. Just a suggestion for those on a budget :)

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  18. I wear black boots all the time, but have always had heels, and wanted a more comfortable option this year. I got these: http://www.dsw.com/shoe/steve+madden+kambyy+boot?prodId=275698&productRef=SEARCH


    I love them. I actually just bought the brown/cognac pair too. But I live in Nebraska, so I'm pretty limited to boots for about half the year. Living in a warmer climate, you might not need to have as many boot options. Maybe wait until after Christmas and see what kind of sales are going on - so it would be more like a $30-50 investment instead of $100.

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  19. Does anyone have suggestions for slim calf boots? My sister has very thin calves, and all the boots she finds are huge in the calf on her. She could really use one about 11'', and most are at least 12.
    Thanks!

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  20. I was leery of black (but found the same issue with cognac boots plus maroon jeans) so I bought a pair of charcoal grey boots that look similar to #6. Except, since I'm a curvy girl with thick calves, I got mine at Lane Bryant: http://www.lanebryant.com/plus-size-accessories/shoes-view-all/boots/buckled-riding-boot/15834c18443c14571p183916/index.pro

    I'm really liking the grey with maroon, or dark denim, or even some of my summer ankle pants in medium blue and grass green--you can't tell they aren't normal skinnies under the boots, and paired with grey boots and a neutral sweater they're really cute!

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  21. I just received some black booties from DSW. They are suede with feminine details, so they are neither too preppy or too hard. Maybe choosing a different material than leather/faux leather will help your decision?

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  22. I agree with you. I feel that black boots make outfits a bit 'harsher'/edgier, which is not always what I want in an outfit. That's why I usually stick to a dark chocolate brown as a neutral that goes with everything. But, with colored jeans I feel that black would be best. I do like the ones you're favoring, the button detailing is cute!

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  23. I love black boots and your picks are fabulous!

    http://www.ourlifeisbeautiful.com/

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  24. I originally started out looking for brown boots because I just loved the look of them, but settled for a pair of black ones because I couldn't find brown ones I liked in my price range. Until a week after I got my black ones. However, though I now have both, I find myself wearing my black ones the most, especially in winter. They just dress up an outfit more than brown boots do. Now, I'm a work-at-home mom, so "dress-up" is relative. But jeans have an entirely different look with black boots than brown. Leggings and a tunic with brown says, "you're lucky I'm not still in my pajamas," while the same outfit with black looks like you put a lot more effort into getting out of the house.

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  25. I love #4! I think I may order just to give them a shot!

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  26. I already had brown and just recently bought black. I got the boots from Target and wear them 2 or 3 times a week. I find that the black boots go with so much and can really take a dress into winter. I think black boots are one of those staple items everyone needs in their wardrobe. Plus, you have so much style already that they are just going to extend that. You will get lots of wear out of them and I can't wait to steal your ideas on how to wear them. Order away!!!!

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  27. I think that having multiple pair of black boots with different heel heights and leather textures is a must. Today, skinny jeans and a flannel looked very dressed down when paired with boots with a textured leather, buckles at the ankles, and no heel (my Harley boots). Switch to a pair of boots with a sexy, spiky heel and a more matte leather and the outfit felt tremendously different. Of the boots you posted I really like #8 and have a similar pair for my "everyday" boot. Grab those now, then get yourself a few more pair on clearance this spring :)

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  28. Def get them in clearance in the spring!! That's how I stocked up last season. I have a pair that look just like 8 that I got at target last season crazy cheap. Love how they look! They aren't real leather so the quality is a little less. I got some all leather cognac ones on sale as well from Anne klein, and I love them so much more, one bc of the color but two bc of the workmanship (and smell!)

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  29. Definitely get a pair! I wear mine more than my cognac boots. I like the sleeker styles of the top row since my current pair has a buckle. My issue is that I don't wear leather, so I get stuck with cheaper options, not as well-made.

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  30. I just got a pair of black riding boots about 6 weeks ago an continually surprise myself with how much I wear them! They look pretty similar to #2

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  31. Aww! I'm still kicking around, perusing blogs but really just being the fly on the wall. But I'm still keeping up with my outfit photos just for my own reference. I guess it's kind of like an OCD/archive of ootd's that I can refer to when I run out of ideas. I really love how your blog has evolved so much and the fact that it's got a casual-ever-day-vibe that I can use for inspiration. I can relate to all of your looks and I cannot find one that I wouldn't want to recreate, so keep it up girlie!

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  32. I have dressy black boots and have REALLY been wanting some casual ones. I like a lot of these - especially in the first row!!

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  33. I have the same problem as your sister. Hoping someone as answers.

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  34. ashley @ sunnysideshlee.comFriday, December 06, 2013

    yes, to the black boots but i always think they should be like riding boots and not cowboy boots - ie. small heel. i have wide calves and purchased a pair (on super discount last spring) via Aerosoles in the brown and even though they have 2.5 stars, i love mine. the reviews say they fall apart or aren't good for rain or snow. So i usually only wear them when it's a dry day and do not have any problems with them ... and they come in black. I've been wanting a second pair in black.

    http://www.aerosoles.com/eng/product/with_pride/with-prid

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  35. I'm on the fence about knee high black boots as well- all my casual knee high boots are taupe or cognac, but my black knee highs all have heels (which I don't really like wearing with pants), and I wanted to buy a pair like the ones you have listed above. But I totally feel you on the "too equestrian preppy" or "too tough girl" vibes these boots give off, which is why I've been having such a hard time finding a black pair as well! :(



    And those Target boots in #1 are $75?!?! I swear last year they used to be like, $40 or $50 something? I remember because my friend was telling me about how much she liked my Frye boots, so I was telling her that Target had a knock off version, and the next time I went to Target, I saw that there was a pair in her size on clearance (an online return, I think they weren't carried in stores last year?) and it was marked down to $11 so I bought them for her.

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  36. I try to access your blog sometimes hahaha. (creepy stalker.) Thanks for the many kind words! Means a lot coming from you. If you open up your blog again you'd better let me know.

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  37. Those look really nice! I really like them in black. Thanks for the tip. :)

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  38. I recently bought the Ryder boots from Payless and I'm a big fan. Especially because I got them for $25. They go great with black pants, or black tights (as seen here. Plus, they are really comfortable. I have searched for black boots for over a year, and I was never satisfied with the $70-100+ ones. For $25 they are not perfect, but they are so worth they money. If I had not gotten them, I probably would end up getting a pair without a square buckle. Have you looked at Sam Edelman "Penny" at Nordstrom? They are a pretty penny, but they're pretty nice if you aren't looking for a stiff shaft. Good luck!

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  39. I'll have to read again and dissect this when I'm not so distracted tomorrow. Have to pack for a 1 week trip during the holidays(in much colder climate than OC), but hoping to do more mix & match so I don't have to pack a huge quantity. I've overpacked before and not worn most of it, and other times pack by outfits but end up rotating 3 or 4 outfits.

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  40. Boots 8 and 10! Black boots are classic and a staple of modern-day wardrobe. Black does not clash with any pant color either -- short black boots even work with white jeans! So YESS on the black for sure. Styles 8 and 10 are very similar, but style 10 is more rugged than 8 (I like 8 the bestest...). Clean lines with simple details (if any) are how u want to choose black boots! Happy hunting(: (Love ur blog by the way!)

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  41. I have 4 I really like them this is my second year and they have hold on good. There really comfortable I had bought mine at belk during there black friday last year for 20.00.

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  42. Audrey, I'm surprised with something classic like boots that you'd want to buy only cheap ones. After buying Steve Madden boots last year and having them completely fall apart without even getting a chance to wear them this fall, I did a lot of research about boot and shoe brands. I've learned that for classic shoes that don't go out of style such as cognac and black boots, it's better to spend some money now to have them for years and years to come than to replace a $50 pair every year or two.

    In my research, I found Frye boots to be the best since most styles are made from 100% real leather and are built for equestrian riders so they're built to last. I bought my pair on eBay for less than half price (but I got lucky) and although it was a bit scary to throw down $200+ dollars on one pair of shoes, seeing the difference in quality was a huge wake up call for me. Now a lot of boots I see just look cheap in comparison. I just ordered my dream pair of black leather boots since Amazon is having a great shoe sale and I'm hoping they work out just as well as my first pair! I don't mean to rant, just something I thought I'd share, hope you don't mind :)

    Lauren
    Exploring My Style

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  43. I agree with you, but the thing is that personally for my wardrobe, while I consider black boots classic, I don't see myself wearing them a whole lot. For me it's not just about whether something is "classic" or not, it's ALSO about how often I will wear it. It's not worth it to me to spend $200 and have them last for years if I will hardly wear them. On the flip side, I think that since I won't wear them all that often I could make $50 boots last for 5 years. (I actually have $50 black boots from over 5 years ago that I wore minimally and that are still in excellent condition.) But for cognac boots? I am totally willing to spend more on them (and I have, and I plan to in the future again) because I wear them more often than any other shoe in the fall and winter.

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  44. I forgot you had said that, then it totally makes sense! Do you have your eye on a particular cognac boot yet? I agree, they are my most worn shoes during the fall and winter too! My calves just get so cold in anything but boots. I keep finding myself wishing I had black boots so they've been on my list for a LONG time! Can't wait to see the pair you choose!

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  45. I have the black Target Boots (the Kasia style) that you are on the fence about. I've had them about 3 years now and couldn't be happier with them for the price I paid. More than once people have complimented them and/or thought they were Frye boots and were very surprised to learn they were from Target. So considering you aren't sure you will even get much wear out of them, I think they're a great choice. You're welcome to email me if you want more real-life pictures of them. :)

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  46. Thanks so much! I would love a real-life picture of them if you don't mind. Thank you!

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  47. I have gotten too much from your blog not to give back. You should try mixing up your boot shapes - you seem to like mostly riding boot styles but I'd like to recommend this engineer-style boot:

    http://www.target.com/p/women-s-mossimo-supply-co-katherine-genuine-leather-engineer-boot-black/-/A-11243136?ref=tgt_adv_XSG10001&AFID=Google_PLA_df&LNM=|11243136&CPNG=Shoes&kpid=11243136&LID=PA&ci_src=17588969&ci_sku=11243136&gclid=COSk3PCB5rsCFeJF7AodLQYAuw

    I have had two pairs now and ALWAYS get compliments. The shape is great, very flattering, and it makes your legs look like BA-BAM! Plus it's from your FAVORITE store. Just another shape to mix it up in your closet. Keep up the good work!

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  48. I like this post. Your style has gotten better and better over the years!

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  49. Okay, I hope this doesn't look like spam because it has a link in it, but saw these flats on zappos, and they look like yours, and the price is decent. Anyway, in case someone's looking...http://www.zappos.com/softwalk-napa-luggage-soft-dull-leather-black-patent-man-made

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  50. Hey there, I've started weeding my closet and dresser, so I'm reading through your advice on wardrobe renewal. I have a question about shoes. Sadly I can't wear heels or most flats (all kinds of foot trouble.) I can wear most boots, sneakers or anything with a little ankle or arch support, wider toes ect. In other words, "sensible." I'm always at a loss on what to wear with a skirt, since the obvious choices (heels, low-profile flats, strappy sandals) aren't an option for me day-to-day. I also spend a lot of my work day standing on concrete floors (hence the foot trouble.) Thoughts?

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  51. thefabulousmrswingFriday, February 28, 2014

    Just curious what it is about the flats that doesn't work for you. Could you add some sort of insole or arch support to the flat to make it work?

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  52. This is awesome! Thanks so much for the help. I was doing a Google search for help with putting outfits together and stumbled upon your site. It is very helpful and I can't wait to go looking for these pieces so I can put together these great outfits. Love this style and simplicity.

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  53. Wow. A friend of mine recommended this post to me as I did a lot of traveling the past two weeks. I modified some of your tips to fit with spring/summer weather but otherwise, I stuck to your tips and was amazed by how much easier it was to pack. I HATE packing for trips, especially clothes. And the past two trips have been a breeze because of your wonderful, practical tips. Thank you for this post. You have made packing fun, easy, and I felt like I had lots of choices during my trip without filling our suitcase to the brim!

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  54. Thanks so much, Audrey, for helping us all do a better job with packing.

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  55. Thanks to you I have started to minimize my wardrobe to items I love! Hopefully I can sort out the fall wardrobe since fall is my favorite season. I live in southern California and it's still hot! Should I hang on to the summer clothes still?

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  56. This just totally blew my mind. Not only is this great for travel, but also for what I'll call a "body in transition" wardrobe. I'm currently pregnant, and have been trying to wrap my head around how to piece together a versatile maternity wardrobe without spending oodles of cash, since I obviously will only need the new wardrobe items for 4 months or so. This is my official starting point, and I think I will honestly probably only add some basic formal wear and workout clothing. I'm literally about to run upstairs and practice doing this with the clothes I have in my closet right now, then I'm gonna hit up some maternity stores this week! Thank you!


    PS- This guide would also be great for someone who is working on weight loss, and is continually updating their sizing until they finally hit their target. Or for parents dressing school children who are growing FAST. So many applications!

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  57. Hi! This one actually might be more helpful for you--How to Build a Capsule Maternity Wardrobe. ;) http://www.puttingmetogether.com/2014/07/how-to-build-capsule-maternity-wardrobe.html
    Congrats on your pregnancy!!

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  58. Hi there! I'm very excited about your blog! I have a question. You have brown boots here, what color changes would you make if the boots were a grey color. Not charcoal grey but more like gunmetal. Certainly not black. I'm trying to make due with what I have. Thanks!

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  59. Hi Tammyjo! Gosh, that's a pretty huge question that I don't think I could answer very quickly. I think it just depends on your style and the look you're going for. Like, I think that color could work with many of the looks here since both cognac and gunmetal grey are neutrals. It would just give a different feel to the outfits.

    I do think gunmetal grey looks great with purples and blues though! (As well as yellows and greens and reds, haha.)

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  60. Hi, I LOVE this entry. I have really resinated with you when it comes to style and how to build my wardrobe. You have helped me. Thanks! I found this particular entry on pinterest and then read almost your whole blog it feels like. I was wondering if you did a similar entry, but with spring/summer clothes? I would love to see it.

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  61. I'm so glad to hear that, Lindsay! I'm currently working on one for spring (maybe followed by a second). There's a few more under the "One Piece Many Ways" tab at the top of the blog: http://www.puttingmetogether.com/p/one-item-many-ways.html. The 7 Piece 7 Outfits post is for spring/summer. Good luck!

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