Style

SPRING STYLE + WHY I (SOMETIMES) AVOID SALES

Back when I decided to give up shopping for a month (you can read about my Dry January here), I hadn’t realized just how many sales there are in a given month. Especially in January. And apparently… in April. Armed with my new shopping philosophy this year (less is more, stay true to my personal style and think of my bigger financial picture before hitting ‘buy’) I had been doing extremely well so far this year. In fact as of today I’ve only bought ONE SINGLE ITEM OF CLOTHING so far in 2019. #humblebrag

But then this past week hit and it was like all of my favorite stores conspired to put their cute new spring clothes on sale and tempt me. I nearly hit ‘buy’ at no less than 3 different stores this past weekend alone. But each time, something stopped me. And that’s my “wishlist”. About a month ago, knowing I would inevitably want/need a few new things for the season ahead I made a list of things that made the cut. A new spring blazer (the ones I had for work in Fall and Winter got a ton of wear so it makes sense to get a lighter weight one for this season), a belted shirtdress (the one shown in these photos was something I got last summer and wore countless times – a new color will be good to add into the rotation). And so on.

So this past weekend, every time a sale nearly tempted me (hello cute gingham swimsuit that’s only $27!) I referred to the list. Is it on there? If not, then pass. For god sakes I already own a gingham bikini! But it’s so easy to get swept up in 50% off and something shiny and new. I’m not saying I’ll never impulse buy again, but after years – nay, decades – of that habit, I’m more than willing to at least finish out this year with a more stringent approach.

That being said, a new spring bag was on my list and this one (which is, ahem, on sale right now) hits all the marks. Feels fun thanks to the gingham print but the neutral colors means it will match with nearly everything in my wardrobe. What’s on your “wishlist” this spring. See more of mine here.

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HOW TO DEFINE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE

If I scroll back a few years into the blog archive there are quite a few outfits that don’t feel like “me” – not to say that I’m embarrassed of anything I wore, it’s just that it would likely have been better suited to someone else. A floral kimono comes to mind.

The funny thing about defining your personal style is that it can take years to figure out.. but at the same time you kind of knew the answers all along. Think of the icons you loved when you were a kid. Mine were Jackie Kennedy, early Elvis and Dolly Parton and the cast of shows like The Wonder Years and Happy Days. I’ve always known that I loved tried and true American staples. A 50s-era full skirted dress, New England fisherman sweaters, borrowed from the boys vintage Levi’s and 70s-style stripes. It’s what I feel most myself in. So why did I try to fight it with those palazzo pants or that body-con dress? Maybe, like finding a partner, you just have to try things on for size. Even if you know they won’t be right for you in the end.

Years ago I wore a huge velvet bow headband to my Mom’s 50th birthday party. It was a whole look. But it felt like me. A little bit vintage schoolgirl prep, a little bit modern without trying too hard. My sister’s boyfriend at the time asked me if I thought I’d look back on pictures of the party down the line and regret such a bold fashion choice. I figured I’d see myself in those pictures and feel pleased that I was confident enough to wear exactly what I wanted at that moment. And p.s. exactly that style of headband happens to be having a major moment right now. But I’m willing to let bygones be bygones.

The point of the story is that if it feels quintessentially “you” at that moment, then wear it. Even if what feels like “you” shifts over time. Although spoiler.. I still love a good hair accessory.

I’ve been thinking a lot this year about my wardrobe and the fact that I’m a happier with fewer things, but ones that all feel quintessentially Jess. The funny thing is that back in my shopping heyday I would have found this idea sort of stifling, but in fact it’s been so refreshing. Every morning I get such a happiness boost when I look into my closet and realize I truly love everything in there. And when I go to add new pieces, I simply ask myself if I’d feel like “me” when wearing it.

Now if only I had saved that velvet headband…

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COLD WEATHER STYLE IN WINTER FLORALS

January has been a sort of bizarre mix of both incredibly busy and incredibly quiet for me. At my full time job I’ve been absolutely swamped with three photoshoots stacking up in the span of just a couple of weeks this month. But outside of work I’ve kind of hunkered down and tried to set a tone for the year. I’ve been at the gym every single morning before work. I’ve been getting in bed early every night to allow time for reading. I’ve staved off alcohol (okay I’ve had 3 total drinks so far this month.. but still that’s a drastic cut-back in comparison to December) and haven’t done any shopping. I’ve even been popping over to the gym on my lunch breaks to walk an extra mile on the treadmill while I read. It’s felt good – but I’ve also been missing this space! Now that I’ve got 2 out of 3 photoshoots for work under my belt (and the last one today as we speak), I’ll have more regular content going forward this year. January – what a strange month right?

Aside from all of that I’ve also been trying to wear things other than a huge black parka (most days I don’t succeed in this battle) – but the weekend before last when it wasn’t quite so frigid I mixed it up with this floral puffer look instead. Almost one more month closer to Spring my friends.. not that I’m counting.

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WINTER NEUTRALS + A $500 TARGET GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY!

After reflecting on 2018 and setting some big goals for 2019, I figured it was time for the first outfit post of the year! Plus (if you scroll all the way down – a pretty great giveaway to get your year started on a fun note. Because honestly who couldn’t find $500 worth of things to scoop up at Target?!)

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I mentioned it last month as well (in this post) but I truly never get tired of a winter whites look. These skinny ivory pants and fisherman style sweater are two of my most worn wardrobe items – they go with a million different things but I especially like them paired together and then topped off with complimenting neutrals. Simple and feels fresh for a new year.

Hope you’re all settling into the back to work groove. I’m powering through (while eagerly anticipating the weekend again).

2019 is here and we are celebrating the New Year with a Target giveaway! One lucky winner will bring in the New Year with a Target shopping spree. Woo hoo!

HEARTS OF GOLD BLOG | PRETTY IN PINK MEGAN | STREET STYLE SQUAD | SO HEATHER

SINCERELY KATERINA | FROM THE FAMILY | SYLVIA JADE | RD’S OBSESSIONS

THE CONFUSED MILLENNIAL | L. AVENUE | CUP OF CHARISMA | SHE SHE SHOW

BRIANA ANDERSON | MICHELLE’S PAIGE | JEANS AND A TEACUP | I’M FIXIN’ TO

THE STEELE MAIDEN | GLAM R ME | BIG HAIR AND FOODIE | TO THINE OWN STYLE BE TRUE

THE MIDDLE PAGE | LIFE OF ALLEY | TWO PEAS IN A PRADA | LEGALLEE BLONDE | A LILY LOVE AFFAIR

GLAMOROUS VERSATILITY | STREETS, BEATS AND EATS | THE LUSH LIST | BEAUTY WITH LILY

One lucky winner will get a $500 Target E-Gift Card. This giveaway is brought to you by the talented influencers you see above, be sure to check out their websites for some fun New Year’s posts! Enter by performing the actions listed in the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

Make sure to do the actions in the Rafflecopter before marking they are done! Marking done doesn’t automatically perform the action. Good luck! Winner will be announced in the Rafflecopter on this blog post.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

One winner, giveaway runs from January 1, 2019 to January 15, 2019 (concludes at 11:59 PM on the last day). Open to the U.S. and Canada only. Void where prohibited. By entering you are agreeing that you are performing the actions in the Rafflecopter that you have marked as done. By entering you acknowledge that you are agreeing to the newsletter subscriptions and all other terms & conditions of the giveaway. More giveaway details can be read in the terms & conditions here. Winner will be announced within 14 days of the conclusion of the giveaway and entries will be verified by the hosts. Thanks for participating, I can’t wait for you to get to know you more as you follow along!

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WINTER WHITES WITH TALBOTS

As much as I love a good, colorful holiday moment (exhibit A and exhibit B) – I also love a simple, ‘winter white’ cold weather look.

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I love how this ivory faux fur lined parka is neutral enough to go with everything but still really brightens up a dreary winter day (as opposed to my typical black parka that just plain depresses me by the time February rolls around). Perfect for taking a spin around the ice rink.

Speaking of ice skating – this Winter I’m determined to embrace the activities that can only be done in cold weather (instead of spending approximately 3 months wishing for 70 degrees to show up again). Even if that’s just cozying up inside and allowing more time to read, or finally watching a bunch of classic old movies I’ve never seen. Things I’d never do in summer. Winter is exactly the time! And if I do have to actually you know, leave the house, at least I’ll be bundled up in a cute coat.

Talbots Parka, Cashmere Sweater, Grey Ankle Jeans and Fair Isle Scarf c/o – all 40% off right now!  

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The Steele Maiden © 2012

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle. Based in NYC.