“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.”
It's the holiday season and that means it's TIME TO SPARKLE!
Although we don't have any plans for New Years Eve yet, I wanted to have something fabulous on hand just in case. Something sparkly.
I found just what I was looking for at Ann Taylor:
The total cost of this outfit is $365! I knew I could pull together a similar outfit for much less.
I set out for our local Stuff, Etc. store. Stuff tends to have higher prices than other thrift stores, but they also normally have better quality and name brand items because they run on consignment. For this type of outfit, I figured they'd be my best bet.
At first, I wasn't too thrilled with my finds. They had a pretty limited selection of skirts. Because of that, I wandered into their dresses. That's when things really started to come together!
I found a great soft pink and rose gold sequined dress to start:
Then I found this white cable knit sweater:
And to top it all off, I found the most beautiful and perfect (and maybe worn one time) Nine West rose gold metallic heels:
Just look at the combination of these three items together - SWOON - #goals #ootdeveryday #paletteperfection:
This outfit is EVERYTHING. I feel so lovely in it. I want to wear it everyday. Can I wear it everyday? Too much?
Wondering how I styled the sweater and dress? I made the dress into a skirt! The top of the dress was a light enough material that I simply folded it down inside the skirt and tucked the sweater in to mimic the look of the outfit I wanted to copy.
In total, this outfit cost me just $29! Although I think the dress will be reserved for special occasions, I can see myself wearing the sweater and heels on a regular basis.
I'm now ready to ring in the new year in style - even if we don't go anywhere - you better believe I'll be rocking this look!
If you'd like to learn more about my "Outfit Imitation" series, click here!
“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.”
One of my biggest personal goals is to lead a more sustainable life. Rethinking. Reusing. Repurposing. A place I have really been honing in on is my closet. What do I really need? What can I rework into a new look? What can I use for something entirely different?
Because of this, I wanted to rethink this area of my blog. I don't necessarily want to encourage readers to go out and buy brand new things. Because that's not what I do. If I see something new I like, I normally ask myself, "Can I find it used or can I create it myself?" Many of my fashion posts already feature items that can't be linked because they're not new. They're deep discount or thrift shop finds that I've had for years.
I'm going to start a new series called "Outfit Imitation." The only new items you'll see featured in this series will be included in the outfits I'm copying because they inspire me! I'll visit a variety of different thrift shops to create the looks I'm after and share all of the details with you.
I can only hope that through this series others will begin looking at used clothing or the pieces they already have in a different way, finding that imitating the items we think we "NEED to have fresh of the rack" can provide the same level of satisfaction, if not more.
The first outfit I'm imitating is from my previous post about LOFT:
I love this outfit because it's very much my style. A long skirt belted at the waist with an oversize cardigan is my dream uniform for the upcoming winter months.
In one stop at the Crossroads Goodwill in Waterloo, I was able to find all of the pieces I needed to duplicate this outfit:
Here's more of a close up:
The total cost for the cardigan, belt, skirt and shoes was $15.50. If I were to purchase all of the items pictured in the LOFT photo, I would have been out around $300!
When I'm "over" this look, it will return to circulation in a thrift store for someone else to discover and love. It gives me happy feels when I think about clothing having a long life span with several different owners. It's pretty special when you think about what an important role clothing plays in how we express and feel about ourselves.
Show me what outfits are inspiring YOU. I'd love to see the thrift store gems you find to recreate your favorite looks! Tag me on Instagram (@countrywrennest) or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll feature any looks I'm sent on the blog within this new series!
I really like crop tops, but I've never felt like I could pull one off. I'm too "large," too "old," etc. Blah, blah, blah.
Well you know what. I gave a crop top a test run, and I loved it!
I didn't get too crazy with it, but for me, showing any amount of my stomach (outside of wearing a swimming suit) feels risqué!
The crop top I wore was actually a t-shirt knotted on the side to create the look of a crop top. I paired it with a full skirt that hit me in a very flattering part of my stomach. And although it's technically Fall around here, I wore a pair of black sandals because it was a nice, warm day out.
I especially loved the skirt. It is a vintage skirt I bought at an estate sale in Wisconsin this past Summer. It is a light, linen material, buttons up the front, and the print is gardening themed.
If you're like me, and have been hesitant to plunge into the crop top world - join me! No matter your size, age, etc., if styled correctly, a crop top can look good on anyone. I must say, I felt pretty confident, cute, and stylish - it was totally worth the risk!
I'm a Fall girl to my core, but I'm having a hard time accepting that Summer is almost over...Summer at The Farm is the best season. I think what I'll miss most is walking around barefoot in my garden.
To lift my spirits about the inevitable end of this lovely time of year, I put on my new floral dress and had a photo shoot!
This post is for styling inspiration only - I don't have outfit details - and here's why: The dress I am wearing came from a very unexpected place...the Gift Shop where I work, Covenant Medical Center! They have special order, "boutique" style clothing, so I have no idea how to tell you where to go for it! And the booties, I've had for years. They are awful to walk in (I almost broke my ankle walking in our yard with them) but they are one pair that I just can't part with. If I remember right, they were from Target.
I love how this dress is light and easy. It's just the right length and I love the peek-a-boo cutout in the front. I usually shy away from sleeveless dresses because I am insecure about my arms, but I made an exception for this dress! I picture myself transitioning it into winter by wearing an olive green cardigan, black tights and heels with it.
Here's a close-up of the print and of the booties:
Those booties are so cute though, right?! And here's one more, with our new family member, Homer, stealing the show!
My favorite high fashion designer line is, and always will be, Alexander McQueen. I'm quite obsessed, actually. From skulls and leather to floral and lace, this line offers collections that are me in clothing form. I only wish the prices weren't absolutely insane...for a "commoner" like me, owning one of these pieces is highly unlikely, so daydreaming about them will just have to do!
A long-time favorite accessory of mine is their Knuckle Box Clutch:
Being a collector of scarves, I've also pined over their classic skull scarf:
In one of their most recent runway shows, they walked some KILLER leather jackets with floral embellishments down the runway layered over flowy, floral dresses. The contrast was absolutely stunning:
Do you remember these? Alexander McQueen introduced the Armadillo shoe - OUCH - but what a beautiful, special creation:
A few years ago they launched a line with mirrored prints and out of this world silhouettes. It started a huge retail trend (mimicking the print concept at least):
And lastly - here are a few of Alexander McQueen's most famous works. I love each piece equally. I appreciate the fantasy and the pushed limits. I love the exotic materials and whimsy feel. Every single detail is like fashion porn to me - it makes my heart race!
Weddings, graduations and getaways are in full swing. We're already booked every weekend through July!
Our first big event was the wedding of our sweet friends, Ryan and Sarah. The whole affair was simple and classic. Good weather, good ceremony, good company. I was in tears watching Sarah come down the isle to the song "Here Comes the Sun" in her lovely dress, her dad on her arm, smiling from ear to ear, with the sunlight glowing through her blonde hair. And the vows. The most genuine vows I have ever witnessed. I love love - and these two together are spilling over with it!
I kept it light and easy with my outfit, taking inspiration from Joel's outfit for my accessories.
The shirt I wore is actually a shirt dress! It was a tad bit too short for a wedding, so I opted to layer a longer, more appropriate, skirt over it. The shirt dress is from JCPenney and the skirt is from Old Navy. To tie my outfit with Joel's, I chose a caramel brown (my favorite tone of brown) leather belt and heels. The belt actually came with the shirt dress and the shoes are also from JCPenney. All discount finds at the time I am sure!
I ended up matching quite nicely with my hubby. We enjoyed our evening together so much. I count myself lucky that he is mine everyday! Here's a picture of us in all of our cuteness!
One of my favorite people now has a line at Target...Victoria Beckham a.k.a. Posh Spice! I fell in love with her when she was with the Spice Girls and followed her as she blossomed into a refined fashion designer. Her clothes are ev(clap)ery(clap)thing(clap). They are modern, well-tailored, feminine and classic.
I previewed the line on Target.com and wanted to share a few of my favorites. The prices are definitely right. The most expensive item appears to be only $40. For Victoria Beckham?! I'll take one of each!
Downsizing my closet has challenged me to get creative with what I have. I was scrolling through my Pinterest for some fashion ideas and couldn't help but start yearning for spring. Light jackets. Exposed legs. Exposed arms. Ahhh.
The outfits that caught my eye don't look traditionally "springy," but to me, they seem like the perfect transition outfits into spring. I spotted many items I already have that I can put together to create these looks! I love the girly touches mixed with edgy pieces. Sweet and Sassy. Always the perfect balance.
I've been anxious to post an outfit with my new babies - black Converse high tops (aka Chuck Taylors; aka Cons). I've literally wanted these shoes for over a year. I finally pulled the trigger and got them. They are just as wonderful as I imagined they would be.
I'm still trying out different ways to wear them, the photo above was the first time I wore them out of the house. I paired them with a shirt dress from Target that I knotted at the hip to give me a little more shape. The pleather jeggings are also from Target. They are fleece lined and super comfortable. The only other item I paired with the outfit was a necklace my mom gave me for Christmas that carries a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt on it.
I'm excited to play around with these shoes as the weather warms up. Cons are my go-to sneaker, I now have two pairs to get me around.
Below are some close-ups of the outfit!
I'm not a huge prints person...wait...who am I kidding? I'm a huge prints person. Floral prints are my normal go-to, but I do fancy other prints on occasion.
An "other print" dress that I really like and have had forever is from Target. It honestly looks like a dalmatian or a snow leapord print. But I love it! The cut of the dress is young, the print is fun, and the black/white coloring is classic. I normally pair this dress with a black scarf, tights, and boots.
Wearing clothing with busy prints can be a bit intimidating. But if you really love the print, there's something pretty empowering about wearing it after you have it on. Put your fears aside and get ready to stand out!
A close-up of this print: