Fall Capsule: Week 3 Work Outfits

I often think dressing for warm weather limits the number of ways I can style my clothes since it’s harder to use layers to change things up. This week I tried relying on swapping my footwear to give my outfits a fresh feel. While I didn’t feel totally confident in these new combinations, I am so glad I tried something different.

This insecurity in my styling really reinforced how easily I fall into the trap of trying to pick outfits that I think will get the ‘likes’ on Instagram. I realized that I was excited to experiment with some new combinations, but I was nervous they wouldn’t go over well. That ,and the refreshingly honest blog post from my friend, Jaana, at This Mom’s Gonna Snap got me thinking about the social media/blog game (you know…numbers, comparison, etc.). It also reminded me that my blog and Instagram aren’t (supposed to be) about that. I’m still mulling it all around in my head, but I do know that I don’t want to overthink because that really takes the fun out of it. It’s just my wardrobe after all.

Anyhow, here’s a look at what I wore to work this week. Monday we had a Teacher Inservice Day and I continued a class on incorporating movement in the classroom, so I wore comfy workout gear since I knew we’d be practicing what was being preached.


Tuesday

style notes // A few weeks ago I wore this dress with my clogs, which I think is a more obvious choice. I am excited to add different layers to switch up the look of this dress, but the weather isn’t quite there yet. I decided to try for a more dressed-down look by wearing my Birkenstock’s, a casual necklace, and pulling my hair back.

To be honest, I was very uncertain about this styling. The contradiction of more structured, formal clothes and Birkenstock’s is a look I’ve admired since the J.Crew catalog showed women’s pantsuits paired with white Birk’s a few years ago. But, in real life, I felt a bit off. And most of that, I realized, is in my head. Worrying about how others would perceive and judge the outfit, particularly on Instagram, totally dinged my confidence in trying new things.

While I love the ‘motivation’ I get from sharing outfits on Instagram, I have also noticed I sometimes think a little too hard about dressing for the audience and not for myself. That will definitely be something I stay mindful of, because it’s just no fun to avoid trying new things for fear of what others will think.

grades //

  • effortless: 8/10 because…white dress. Comfort and ease of styling was a breeze, but there’s always a paranoia about life messing up my dress.
  • styled: 8/10 mainly because of my own issues that Birkenstocks are not as ‘stylish’ as my clogs.

the items // Brass A-line dress (no longer available in white, but grey is amazing)Birkenstocks / Necklace c/o Natalie Borton (get 10% off with code PAIGE10)

#momstyle: It was a warm afternoon and we had no plans but to play outside, so I went to my easy summer outfit: cutoffs and a tank.


Wednesday

style notes // I always prefer to pair the boxy cut of this top with a slimmer bottom, so today I wore the new Madewell jeans I found on Poshmark. They are identical to my baggier pair, but a size smaller, so more of a fitted straight leg style than boyfriend.

My clogs have been my go-to choice for the start of school, and they’re such a good pairing with the Umber color of the top it was a no brainer. I also specifically chose this Natalie Borton necklace with the greenish-blue bead to go with this top. The colors perfectly compliment one another.

grades //

  • effortless: 10/10 The easiest outfit of the week. No fuss, no thought, but I loved the look.
  • styled: 10/10 One reason I love this top is that it feels so pulled-together standing on it’s own. Throw on a necklace and call it good.

the items // Umber T Top c/o Jamie + the Jones / Madewell jeans via Poshmark / Moheda clogs from Lotta From Stockholm / Necklace c/o Natalie Borton (get 10% off with code PAIGE10)

#momstyle // For the rest of the afternoon I took off my necklace and changed into my Birks, but the base of the outfit stayed the same.


Thursday

style notes // My big conundrum this morning was the tuck vs. un-tuck debate. A couple of weeks ago I wore my black wide leg crops and after seeing outfit photos decided that tucking in my shirt would have prevented the wide leg pants from making me look wide. So, I started with my black top tucked in, but I got self-conscious of my lower belly pooch so I un-tucked it. Being indecisive, I took to IG stories to get advice and it was 50/50 for a while, but eventually the tucked opinions took the lead. I started the day with my tee un-tucked, but after 2nd period, I ran to the restroom and decided to rock the tuck (pooch and all).

To create a more casual look (similar to Tuesday) I wore my Birkenstock’s rather than my clogs. I like the idea of wearing these pants on weekends instead of saving them only for work, so changing my footwear gets me into that mentality. My black Birkenstock’s always felt too harsh with these light-colored pants, so I’m loving this lighter taupe suede pair.

I skipped my typical longer pendant necklace because with the high-waisted pants it starts to feel ‘crowded’ around my midsection.

grades //

  • effortless: 9/10 Once I decided on how to wear my top, it was an easy and comfortable outfit.
  • styled: 7/10 The more unique cut of the bottoms takes the outfit a long way, but I don’t think there’s anything else particularly standout happening here.

the items // Black tee (made in USA) c/o Tapered Collection / Everlane Wide Leg Crops / Birkenstocks 

#momstyle // An warm afternoon bike ride and park visit called for my favorite summer dress. I switched into my older black Birk’s because I’m still babying my new ones. 🙂


My favorite this week by far the T Top and jeans I wore Wednesday. The colors are just so good. While I like the more casual styling of my normal work clothes on the other days, but I’m still not 100% sold. I’m not sure if it feels too casual  or more ‘un-styled’ than I tend to prefer for work? But, it’s definitely something I am going to continue to try.

Are you a fashion risk-taker or do you tend to play it safe? 


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14 Comments

    1. I love the white dress and t-top, especially the color. I’m probably not a fashion risk taker. Everyday is mom day (even though both of my kids are at school from 7-3.) I recently took Instagram and FB off my phone and have tried my best not to look at them. It really does suck up time and mental energy and I don’t want to do it anymore. I’m sure at some point I’ll put them back on, but I’m enjoying the break for now.

      Living in Seattle you are constantly changing clothes as the temperature fluctuates but the rain season has started so…it rarely matters what I wear since it always covered with a rain coat, and if it’s really bad out there, wellies! I did recently splurge on a nicer raincoat (my old one was great for walking the dog in Hyde Park but not super fashionable being very stiff proper rain coat material with a boat anchor print). I bought a Helly Hansen raincoat that was on massive sale and I’m hoping that it works, and some ‘fashionable’ high barn boots that can double duty for the grocery store and chores – if I ever find a barn to ride at.

      1. Andrea,
        I still haven’t pulled the trigger on taking an FB/IG break, but I have thought about it many times. It sounds so refreshing. I imagine I don’t even realize the time and mental suck, but it would be so obvious once they were removed.

        I hope the new raincoat works out. Outerwear is tricky because the most functional is typically not the most stylish!

        Have a great weekend,
        Paige

      1. Andrea, I have the same problem! It’s so rainy in Portland that what I’m wearing is all covered up by a rain jacket. And being that the major part of my day is running kids around town, I don’t even get to stop and take my coat off and most places I go to!

    1. Something I’ve noticed with tucked vs. untucked and the pooch dilemma is that people who rock high waisted bottoms with a top tucked in almost always have a pooch but somehow it looks fashion forward anyway since it highlights the natural curve of the spine in and still can look balanced. I just decided to stop worrying and let it exist since I love wearing high waisted bottoms.

      1. Teresa,
        That is a VERY good point…thanks for bringing that up. I think the low-waisted create a muffin top and the high-waisted create the pooch, so what’s a woman to do?! I like your attitude to just embrace it and rock it 🙂

    1. Wow. Paige, I really happen to think ALL of your outfits look balanced and adorable, even though I know what you’re saying when you express that it kinda takes ‘balls’ to wear the more stolid Birks with some pieces rather than a shoe that is a bit more ‘streamlined’ or whatever. But honestly, I think that’s why I love your blog so much. I am not really a fashion risk taker, so when you take these little ‘risks’, and it gives types like I the courage to step out of what we think is traditionally an ‘accepted’ silhouette and try something a bit more funky and casual and therefore stylish. I LOVE your clean white dress with the necklace and taupe Birks – it looks fully pulled together, comfortable and cute, and the Birks take the ‘fanciness’ of the dress down a notch so it’s great for work or casual pursuits. Your autumnal Wednesday outfit is a perfect case in point about versatility. The way you wore it for work, with the clogs and accent necklace just looks rich and yummy and makes you look tall and thin. And then the same outfit sans necklace and with the taupe Birks ALSO looks just as flattering and cute and cozy . So PLEASE continue to take these so-called risks and show the rest of us how great and versatile the same core pieces can be with just a tweak to shoes and accessories, ’cause by ‘owning’ them, you’re actively showing how a simplified wardrobe can have exponentially varied looks, all of them truly terrific. We benefit from the courage it must take for you to put your looks out there. Probably the most inspiring of the bunch for me personally is how you’re wearing the Everlane crops, which look SO good on you. I have always been too self-conscious about my shorter frame, large round bum and muscular thighs to even entertain wearing a wide leg pant, let alone a cropped one in a light color (!!) And yet I see how charming and flattering they look on you and it really makes me want to try them for the first time in my LIFE (hee hee)!! Sorry I can’t help you with whether or not tucked vs. unlocked looks better – I keep looking at both the looks and they’re equally good — the untucked elongates your torso, but the tucked looks super chic and stylish. (BTW, what pooch? I don’t see it, mama.) I’ve gotta give those wide-legs a try. Also BTW, Everlane has a pop-up denim shop here in LA through this Sunday on Melrose Ave. I WISH they had other items to try, but it’s just their new denim line. I tried all the styles on and ended up getting the high rise skinny ankle jean in medium blue wash and they’re great! Just enough (not too much) stretch to accommodate my derriere and still go in at the waist, and a really pretty color blue that I do not have in my jeans wardrobe (else I wouldn’t have let myself buy them). The girls working the pop-up store all had very different body types, but each one looked so cute in the different styles they chose to wear. It was great to see. Speaking of Everlane, what size is your 100% human tank? On the website it says the tanks are in Men’s size, so I’m wondering if you went with S or XS? I really want that one or the muscle tank (having trouble deciding upon which style) since I love the message of that campaign and the fact that some of the proceeds go to supporting LGBTQ causes. Which tank style do you think would get more wear?

      Thanks so much for your post.
      Hope you have a great Saturday! xoxo

      1. Holly,
        I can’t even begin to say how much your kind and thoughtful words mean. I often worry that my blog and outfits are too ‘plain-Jane’, but I try to remind myself that I’m trying to connect to women just like me. Regular women with regular figures, regular budgets, regular jobs, regular lives, who appreciate more high-fashion bloggers, but are also wanting something more relatable.

        The wide leg crops are fun to wear, but they are out of my comfort zone (probably a lot because they don’t look on me anything like they do on the models), but I’m really trying to embrace that. That is so cool that you were able to go to the Everlane Denim pop-up shop. I tried the Bone in the Modern Boyfriend fit. The fit was great, but I think for a lighter color I want something not so snug on my thighs, so I’m going to try a size up when they restock. I bet the high rise skinnies are so comfortable!

        As for the tank top, I have an XS and it’s still slightly large in the arm holes, so I wear a bralette underneath. I would have a hard time deciding, but I like the lower cut neckline to give it a more feminine feel. I also think the box cut tee is very cute. The tank is so soft and comfy – you’ll love it!

        Have a wonderful week,
        Paige

        1. Aww, Paige, you’re so welcome. Yes, the Everlane pop-up was fun, and thanks for the advice about their tank sizes and styles. Please don’t ever think your outfits are too ‘plain-Jane’ – it’s their simplicity that I LOVE. I live in this city (LaLaland) where everyone is trying to look cool or trendy or ‘retro’ or rich or grungy or young or sporty… or whatever (I could go on 🙂 ) I know several people who own trendy shops here, or can spend a fortune on clothes and do, but I seldom see anyone wearing something I’d like to emulate in the way I aspire to emulate your style.
          You too have an awesome week. xoxo

    1. I like the IDEA of being a fashion risk taker more than I actually do it. Just today, however, I decided to wear a pair of purple tennis shoes that I had gotten on a whim a while ago (but had never worn). It gave a fun pop of color to an otherwise basic outfit (heather grey T-shirt and off-white crinkle cotton pants).
      I like your new “mom-style” information. It very informative to see how small changes (shoes, accessories) can change the look of an outfit.

      1. Anne,
        Way to rock the purple sneakers! I think my favorite way to change up looks is with different footwear. I don’t mind having a small wardrobe, but I like to have more shoe options because it totally changes the feel of an outfit.
        And thank you, it’s good motivation for me not to just throw on sweats the second I get home!

    1. Paige, I have been struggling more than usual with what ‘instagram people’ think – what gives? This is a great reminder to chill a bit and just focus on being myself.

      I LOVE your Wednesday outfit. That Umber T Top was such a great choice! I love it on you. And those jeans look really good too. I am glad you went with the tucked on Thursday. Isn’t it funny how sometimes it takes half the day to figure out exactly how we want to wear our items on some days.

      Overall I really liked your mixing casual with dressy. I know it can be tricky with those suede sandals. I think white Birks mix really well with dress clothing, but I think it’s hard to find the white ones in leather. I think part of the mental block might be that because your feet feel SO comfortable, your mind is saying: this does not compute! 🙂

    1. Paige! I’m a risk taker to a fault. I look back at some outfits, even recent ones saved in my phone, and I’m just like “what am I doing??” But I do think it helps me learn.

      And I have to say you have always had such great style, but over the last year or so, it has really evolved into something so simple, but so put together — every look is something we can aspire to! Can’t even pick a favorite because I’m just like yes, yes, and yes. Well done lady. And thanks for the shoutout 🙂

      1. Jaana,
        I totally admire your risk-takerness. It totally suits your fun personality. I tend to be a little more calculated in my choices, but I think that’s just my personality (hello, math teachers). But, I want to be more of a risk-taker, so now that I’m in a good place with my wardrobe, maybe that’s the next phase?! And thank you…I totally agree. Since last fall I feel I’ve finally found my ‘vibe’. It took forever for me to just accept that I love simple, basic outfits. And then to learn how to kick them up a notch. It feels good to have settled in a bit.
        xo,
        Paige

    1. I love your candid thoughts Paige! Styling is so hard for me as well and I ALWAYS overthink it. I seriously love that T Top on you and I love the way you paired it with those jeans. Also, I love that you rocked the tucked pooch because 95% of us have them and you just have me a little nudge to not care so much about mine. 😊

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