Turning Plain Basics Into an Outfit

Top: Cotton On (similar: one, two)  |  Striped cardigan: Target (similar: onetwo, three)
Shorts: Loft  |  Wedges: Target (shop, similar, similar
Clutch: DSW (shop, charcoal grey)  |  Necklace: c/o Bubble Necklace Co. (shop
I don’t know what it is, but when the weekend rolls around I often wear the same outfit multiple times over the short span of a couple of days.  This was my Friday and Saturday outfit, folks.  On Friday night it was actually cold enough to wear a cardigan!  (Then it shot up to 90 degrees the next day.)
But truth be told, on Friday I worked from home just wearing this all day:
Then, once B came home we decided to go out to eat.  It was late, though, and I was HANGRY (so hungry that you are cranky and angry…anyone?).  That meant I had to put together a “real” outfit, stat.  In a flash moment, I quickly turned this into the outfit I initially showed you at the top of this post. 
Many of you have commented on how the “before” and “after” pics that are sprinkled through out this blog have been really helpful for you to see how to create an outfit that looks decently pulled together.  I decided to break down today’s outfit for you:
My original combo was very plain, so I contemplated changing completely for dinner, but I knew that would probably take me longer than necessary.  I was too hungry for that.  It was oddly a little cold, so I needed a cardigan.  I opted for my (only) patterned cardigan to give my solid pieces some interest.  A polka dot, floral, or animal print cardigan would have worked just as well.  Even with the cardigan, my outfit was still missing a focal point, so I grabbed my go-to yellow bubble necklace to remedy that and to anchor the whole thing.  I did a quick partial tuck with the front of the shirt (you’ll notice it’s shorter in the 3rd and 4th pics), and I rolled the sleeves of the cardigan.  The simple addition of a clutch and wedges polished off the look, and we were off to tame the hangry beast.
Then I wore it again the next day for a BBQ, just with the sandals and a cross-body bag.
That’s the simple behind the scenes look at this outfit!
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  • Reply
    September 24, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    I'm so glad I'm not the only one. I do this too! I don't know if it's just that I'm happy to wear casual clothes or what. Though I can't stand summer, I will miss my simple summer dresses. I know I can layer, but it's SO much more work. 🙂

  • Reply
    September 24, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Hangry has to be one of my favorite words lol I think you always do a great job of accessorizing and mixing and this is one of my fav 🙂

  • Reply
    September 24, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Love the progressive photos…start to finish…basic to bam! Super cute look!

  • Reply
    Always Maylee
    September 24, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    I love the striped cardi! It really gives the outfit a whole new look.

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

  • Reply
    September 24, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    Love the progress photos too! Very helpful for me!

  • Reply
    Jamie Willett
    September 24, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    This is great! And I totally understand the meaning of "hangry"…haha!

  • Reply
    September 24, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    This is a great post! I love the outfit too!

  • Reply
    Alissa Futhey
    September 24, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    I am like this on the weekends also! So glad to know that I am not alone!

  • Reply
    September 24, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    First, you look adorable! Second, I TOTALLY GET HANGRY. I thought I was the only person who understood that phrase – so glad you do too!

  • Reply
    September 24, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Great outfit. I wish I could still wear shorts, but i believe that ship has sailed. It is amazing how just accessorizing your outfit properly can make all the difference.



  • Reply
    September 24, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    I just learned the word hangry last week – and I love it! So perfectly descriptive of a common condition.

    I work from home and homeschool my kids so I have to do what you've done here all the time. At home it's tanks, shorts / capris, and flip flops. When I go out of the house I add accessorizes and change shoes for a more polished look (the accessories always come off again immediately after I get home though).

    I think I need a patterned cardigan.

  • Reply
    September 24, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    I have to tell you thank you so much for all these wonderful ideas! I found you through a blog I use to follow and now you are my number 1 go to blog! You keep it real and the ideas are endless! Thanks! Your newest follower!

  • Reply
    September 24, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Hangry! Perfect word! I feel that way a lot so I'm glad I now have a word to define my feelings 🙂

    Also – I love this look! Seeing the before and after shots are definitely helpful, that's why your blog is so amazing!

  • Reply
    Stephanie Liu
    September 24, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Oh man.

  • Reply
    September 24, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    oh man. I just started following your blog this summer, and I have a feeling I'm going to be jealous when you're basking in your San Diego sun while I shiver through the New England winter.

    I'm totally stealing "hangry", too. It's perfect!

  • Reply
    September 24, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    I end up looking like that a lot with working from home… which is fine, but it's handy to be able to turn it into something snazzy with a moment's notice when you finally get to leave the house! The bubble necklace is pretty much always my solution… and you look adorable.

  • Reply
    Roxanne Cooke
    September 24, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    I love that you use the term "hangry," too! Such a perfect descriptor. Also, I'm a new follower to your blog, and I love it! So many fashion blogs seem intimidating to me, or don't really offer styling advice, just pictures of outfits. You break it down and make it very accessible, so thank you!

  • Reply
    Paper Sidewalks
    September 24, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Thanks for this tip. It was super helpful! And I totally understand the whole notion of being Hangry…I've definitely felt that on a day or two 😉


  • Reply
    She Dabbles
    September 24, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    I was talking about being hangry today and got a funny look from my coworker! I love the simple pop of this look; too cold here now for shorts, but replace the shorts with white jeans and I'm ready for fall!


  • Reply
    Soris Mena Cox
    September 24, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Love the pictures showing how to go from basics to a pulled-together look!

  • Reply
    September 24, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    Thanks for doing the photos in a step-by-step photo block like you do. It makes dressing in my own closet easier because I follow your steps with what I own, and I always can pull together a never-before-worn outfit without much fuss! You're a fashion mentor 🙂

  • Reply
    Kacie Ellis
    September 24, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    I get hangry too! I need food in my belly or the monster is released. lol. Great outfit 🙂


  • Reply
    Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie
    September 24, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    The biggest fight my husband and I ever had when we were dating was on a Friday night. I was STARVING and we couldn't decide where to eat. We'd go somewhere and it'd be busy or he'd suggest something I didn't want. My blood sugar was down and I just lost it. I think we had McDonald's 😉
    I love your step-by-step for this outfit. I will remember it the next time I am stumped!

  • Reply
    September 25, 2012 at 12:22 am

    I love your blog!


  • Reply
    September 25, 2012 at 2:30 am

    I am so hooked on your blog! I love your ideas and how real and practical they are! Totally following you!!

  • Reply
    September 25, 2012 at 3:08 am

    It's amazing what accessories can do a basic tee and shorts! You look great! Love the pop of color.


  • Reply
    pretty little things
    September 25, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    love how you show how basics can be pulled together for a polished look! xo


  • Reply
    the domestic fringe
    September 25, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Very cute! I love how you changed it up so quickly.

  • Reply
    September 26, 2012 at 3:28 am

    I just came across your blog and I LOVE it! You have done such a great job organizing outfits and how to pair things together, it makes a lot of sense out of what seemed like chaos to me before. And thank you for shopping at "normal people" stores like target and making darling outfits that are affordable. I've gotten many outfit inspirations from your photos. I have WAY too many clothes and this blog is helpig me keep the useful, remixable pieces and donate some things i wear less often. I want to "pin" you on pinterest. Please consider adding a pin button to your blog 🙂 Thanks!

  • Reply
    Audrey @ Putting Me Together
    September 26, 2012 at 5:12 am

    Welcome to the blog, Amy! So glad to hear it's been helpful to you. 🙂 About Pinterest–I guess I thought everyone else just used the Pinterest plug-in on their browser like I do. I installed it into my browser from Pinterest and it lets me pin any image from any site.

  • Reply
    September 26, 2012 at 7:56 am

    Love your blog, Audrey! I found it a couple weeks ago and have read through all your entries… I love the way you find several ways to wear different pieces. The best part is that your style is simple, put together and not too flashy.. just the way I like to dress too!

  • Reply
    Priya Pappu
    September 26, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    I'm all for making up words and I think "hangry" is a great one! I find myself in that mood all too often. This outfit is so simple, but really cute. I love the way you layed it out in steps!

    perfectly priya

  • Reply
    September 28, 2012 at 2:58 am

    love the progression of this outfit, and it is perfect for the weekend!
    – Heather

  • Reply
    Tara Espinoza
    September 30, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    I LOVE your blog.
    And I now realize that I need a statement necklace! Thanks for all your ideas!

  • Reply
    October 9, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    so cute and I love that necklace. i almost bought one that looks exactly like it at j crew for like $85+ stoked you shared the onto to snag it on the cheap! super cute outfit. i also love that you share that you re-wear outfits. i totally do the same thing– once i find a great combo, why think to put something else together?? new crowd, same outfit, but nobody knows but you. brilliant.

  • Reply
    November 9, 2012 at 3:02 am

    The way you pieced this together is so simple and logical! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Kelly Buckner
    January 17, 2013 at 5:42 am


  • Reply
    February 3, 2013 at 12:54 am

    What do you think about this kind of look for busty women? I think I'm probably about the same size you are in general, but with a much larger bust (if I call it a bosom, will that make me sound ancient?). I'm wondering specifically about the necklace – I love this kind of thing when I see it in blogs, but I keep putting similar necklaces in my shopping cart and then not buying them. I'm worried it will just look wacky, I guess, but maybe I'm being too timid. (Would love thoughts from other busty ladies as well….). Anyway, thanks – I love the blog and it's been super-helpful and inspiring for me.

  • Reply
    Audrey @ Putting Me Together
    February 3, 2013 at 6:39 am

    I've heard from my bustier friends that a dangly necklace like this one wouldn't work well, but they can definitely do a shorter statement necklace that hits above the bust.

  • Reply
    Janie P.
    March 19, 2013 at 3:08 am

    I love your blog! I am a huge emotional shopper, I shop for ever occasion! lol my only thing is a dont wear jewlery because of my religion. Any Suggestions for someone like me who doesnt wear jewlery? Ho to subsitute or avoid the "column" look you mentioned and still pull the outfit together?

  • Reply
    May 2, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    For a fairly large bust I find that v-neck tees are just the best!

    About the necklaces, some can look "off" on bustier women. Try to keep it flat agaist the chest above the breasts (these are the best, either bigger statement ones or small dainty ones) or go with a long pendant necklace that hits below them. This particular necklace would not look good on me because the bottom would fall away from my body and dangle.

    If you have any fashion questions submit them at theasksection.blogspot.com

  • Reply
    Erin Brennan
    August 30, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    For the record, I say Hangry a lot. It accurately describes most of my pregnancy. I now have a 2-month-old and read your blog during night feedings. I'm super excited to be fashionable, in a practical way, which I have never been before. I just went post-baby shopping and used your advice to buy pieces I can remix. I'm even inspired to invest in some belts and accessories which I've never done before. Thanks for breaking things down so practically, understandably, and inspiring me to move beyond my comfort zone. I actually feel confident enough to pull this dressing myself thing off!

  • Reply
    Audrey @ Putting Me Together
    August 30, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Wow, Erin, that's great to hear! Really encouraging to hear that you're feeling confident about being able to dress in a way that you've been looking for. I'm so happy for you! Congrats on the baby, too. 🙂

  • Reply
    November 11, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    As someone with a bustier bosom, I love short statement necklaces that hit in the space between the collarbone and breast. It's just enough room to make a beautiful piece shine.

    Personally, I find longer necklaces to look funny squished between the bosoms; but they can work if they are very simple.

  • Reply
    December 11, 2014 at 3:53 am

    This is just what I need some helpful tips to update my almost 10 year old wardrobe! I hope you keep up the good work. I love the pictures that you post, as a visual learner all my life its good to see practices in pictures. Good work!

  • Reply
    Audrey @ Putting Me Together
    December 12, 2014 at 5:22 am

    So glad to hear that! Good luck!

  • Reply
    January 14, 2015 at 6:09 pm


  • Reply
    January 27, 2015 at 11:17 am

    Wow-I just found this blog and I absolutely love it! You are so clear and informative! Love your style, and thanks so much for the inspiration!

  • Reply
    April 15, 2015 at 4:20 am

    I just found your blog and i am so glad i did. Now i can dress better. Thank you.

  • Reply
    April 28, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    Wow, what a change! I like that you put the pictures of just the cardigan and necklace added by themselves, they do help, but both added together is a wow factor.

  • Reply
    Diana @ Bumps Along the Way
    May 18, 2015 at 10:03 am

    Posts like these are so so helpful! I typically dress like your before around home and TRY to dress it up a bit to leave the house. So helpful to see the process!

  • Reply
    July 31, 2017 at 10:55 pm

    When you went to the BBQ did you have on the necklace as well?

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