Monday, January 18, 2016

Gray and Pink Monochromatic

Details: Charter Club turtleneck / Banana Republic thrifted skirt / Loft tights / Nine West shoes / Francesca's necklace 

One of the best ways to realize the full potential of what you own already is to shop your closet. Even though it's so much more fun to shop J.Crew Factory when they are having a sale and convince myself that I need another polka dot sweater. To help find the inspiration to actually follow through with this, I've been participating in style challenges. Even if you don't like to post your outfits on instagram, making yourself do the challenge and observing others doing it is a great way to breath some life back into your wardrobe. It has me thinking of outfits and combinations that I haven't thought of before.

I am participating in Wear What Where's January Style Challenge and the prompt for today was color blind. I knew I wanted to go with this gray monochromatic look after I saw something similar on Cupcakes and Cashmere. For a little pop of color, I threw in the pink shoes and rose quartz necklace. Don't you love the combination?

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Oatmeal Tunic Sweater with Skinnies

Details: Sun & Shadow Sweater via Nordstrom / Gap Leggings / Sole Society Shoes / Michael Kors Watch and Cuff

I have been gravitating to longer, tunic style sweaters lately. They look great layered over skinnies, they feel sophisticated and they provide a different level of warmth and coziness. My mom and I found this one while shopping the Black Friday sales before Thanksgiving. I was lucky enough to unwrap it on Christmas morning. When I wear this sweater to work with my legging pants from Gap, it sort of feels like I am wearing pajamas. There is no better feeling after toughing it out in the snow and cold.

As I attempt to be less wasteful in 2016 (See Resolution) and invest in quality pieces for my wardrobe, I have been relying on Nordstrom a lot lately. They tend to carry brands that interpret trends with longevity in mind. Despite the fact that this sweater feels more modern, I can see it being useful in my wardrobe for a long time to come. Nordstrom has a lot of great sweaters under $100 and they have sales frequently enough that you may find one of these beauties marked down if you wait. This one was only $32, and is unfortunately sold out on the website. Southern Curls and Pearls is always posting about her great Nordstrom finds and she usually lets you know if the price drops on an item she's purchased so you can snatch it up to. 




Tuesday, January 12, 2016

New Year's Resolution: Save More Money




As someone who dedicates a large amount of her time staring into her closet, I know better than anyone how impulse buys can add up. With all of the disposable fashion available, it’s sometimes difficult to say no. For the past few years, I have been trying to cut my spending on trendy, fast fashion and invest more in pieces that I truly love and that will last a long time. Don’t worry. There will always be room for fast fashion. (See Gold Sequin Pants) But overall I have been trying to be less wasteful and extend the quality over quantity mentality to all of my spending habits. 

This is a nice segue into my Big New Year’s Resolution: Save More Money 

I knew I needed to take a deeper dive into my spending, but I wasn’t really sure how to start. Finally, after reading the article How I Cut My Spending by 50% by Refinery 29, that sort of jolted me into thinking differently about my money. If I subtracted my fixed expenses from my monthly salary and divided what was left in half, putting one half in my savings account and using one half for variable expenses I could actually save a lot each month. By variable spending I mean expenses like food, household items, gifts, and services like haircuts and oil changes. They tend to vary per month.

Using the number I was left with for variable expenses, I tried to figure out if that number would truly be feasible. One of the ways I knew I could stick to this number was by spending less on food and entertainment. I gave myself strict goals for each per week. These goals do not take into account rare situations such as travel or a large car repair, but I am ok with saving less when these larger expenses do come up as long as I am sticking to these numbers most of the time. After all, its large unexpected or expected expenses that leads one to save money in the first place. And if I decide that this plan is too restrictive, I can always adjust my spending and saving amounts to something more realistic. This at least is a good starting place.

Thing I’ve Learned Since Turning 30: Money by Cupcakes and Cashmere is another blog post I found helpful. She actually breaks out her spending by percentages, which is a really nice way of thinking about it. I would love to know how you budget and try to save more money throughout the year.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

J.Crew Wintress Puffer Coat





Details: J.Crew Wintress Puffer Coat / Old Navy Hat and Jeans / Hunter Wellington Boots

Just in time for winter to show its lovely face, I have a great coat recommendation for you. It's not black, just the right length, has a cute belt and a faux fur lined hood. These were my requirements going in.With the majority of puffer coats being black, these were hard requirements to fill. I tried to find a cheaper option, but in the end the J.Crew Wintress Puffer Coat was the option that had everything in addition to some really nice details like the gold buttons, fleece-lined pockets and sleeves with thumb holes.

Luckily, I was able to get it for 40% off, which is a steal for a goosedown coat that doesn't look too puffy as the product description says.

I especially love how my red hat (Christmas Gift!) and green Hunters pair so well with the navy. It's  a color that allows for bright or neutral accessories. Considering how long we have to wear our winter coats in Pittsburgh, it's great to have options.

How are you staying cute and warm this this winter?

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Outfit Ideas

Merry Christmas Eve! As you get ready to lounge on the couch to watch your favorite Christmas movie or sip a cocktail at your aunt's Christmas party, I hope you have something special to wear whether it be festive jammies or a sequined frock. Here are some outfits from blog post past to help you get in the spirit. 

Burgundy Pants

Add a little prep to your Christmas step with a blazer, riding boots and cable knit sweater.

Buffalo Plaid

Make a statement with buffalo plaid, red and cream.

Red Skirt

Add a pop of read to black tights and stripes for a subtle, but classy statement.

Red Dress

Easy as pie idea: Pair black tights with your favorite red dress.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving Outfit Inspiration

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays to get dressed for. You can incorporate all of the rich colors of fall with a few hints of glam. See rhinestone encrusted neckline of my Limited Sweater below. 
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 


Wear the main color of fall in a combination of various patterns and shapes. Also, legging pants mean you can eat more.  Details: Thrifted Lush Jacket / The Limited Sweater / Gap Leggings / Sole Society Shoes


Break out leopard print and denim for a more casual look. Details: Thrifted J.Crew sweater / J.Crew blouse / Old Navy Jeans / Halogen Boots via Nordstrom 


Cranberry corduroys mean you can spill food and no one will notice. Details: Gap Sweaters / Blank NYC Pants / Halogen Boots via Nordstrom

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Day of the Dead Skull Face Paint


If you are still looking for a quick, inexpensive Halloween costume, I have the perfect idea for you. I tried this last night and I have to say it wasn't easy, but it wasn't too difficult either. The key is having a plan. I did a lot of research before I started, Googling Day of the Dead Skulls and Day of the Dead Skull Face Paint. Then I practiced by sketching out some ideas.

Next I applied a layer of white paint all over my face and eyelids. I used Halloween store paint, which was really cakey. I found this tutorial for flawless white face paint, and the key takeaway is to mix it with moisturizer so it goes on smooth. Then I drew two red circles around my eyes and colored those in. After that I drew yellow dots around the two red circles and blue petals around the yellow dots. Next I drew the top flower, the bottom flower and the vines to fill out my cheeks.

Lastly, I filled in the black dot on my nose and outlined the circles and the flowers. Next time I might try to outline the top and bottom flowers in a lighter color. I may also try to use something other than primary colors, but for handing out candy this is perfect as it wont be too scary. If you plan to wear this to a costume party, just put on a black turtle neck and pants and put a flower pin or crown of flowers in your hair.

What is your Halloween costume this year?



Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Maroon Pencil Skirt




The Limited Skirt / Ralph Lauren Shirt / Gap Sweater / Old Navy Boots / Michael Kors Watch and Cuff / J.Crew Factory Necklace

There is something dark, moody and perfectly fallish about the color maroon, which is why this pencil skirt has become one of my staples lately. It pairs just as nicely with this plaid button down as it does with a dramatic sweater. It contrasts nicely against the other rich colors of fall: navy, emerald, gold and orange. And it goes with just about any shoe. I could add countless more pieces of this color to my wardrobe. Is there any particular item or color you are wearing a lot lately this fall?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Instagram Roundup October 12 - 19

If you aren't following me on Instagram, you may be missing out on my daily outfit posts. Here is just a round up from the past week. To see more, follow @cosmocleve. I hope you are having a great week so far!




Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Black Legging Pants




Gap Legging Pants / Audrey Brook Shoes / HD in Paris Shirt via Goodwill / Target Cardigan / J.Crew Factory Necklace / Stella and Dot Earrings

My typical black work pant just hasn't been doing it for me lately. It harkens back to high school when I had about a thimble of style sense, reaching for the thing that was simplest, easiest and cheapest. There is nothing wrong with purchasing clothes with that mentality. If that works for you, more power to you. Personally, expressing myself and emoting a certain level of confidence is achieved in the way I dress. Not to mention I work in a creative field that allows and behooves me to be more expressive.

I first noticed the black legging pant via J.Crew's Minnie pant. Wanting to avoid spending $90 on a pair of pants, I decided to keep my eyes open for other options. I found these black legging pants at Gap over the summer marked down to $15. I could not pass them up. Although I will admit there have been some growing pains, I feel like I am finally getting used to them.

They are a little higher waisted and revealing in the wrong area, which makes them an interesting match for most of my tops. It's best to wear a top that covers the butt of these pants, however, when a tunic is not readily available, I have found that some sophisticated layering tricks will take care of this problem.

You are probably aware of the look that J.Crew and Abercrombie and Fitch seem to think is completely normally — intentional untucking of shirts. It's been around for a little while. In fact, I think it paved the road for conscious uncoupling. I employed that trick here by tucking in only the front of the shirt to create that neat, appropriate-for-work look, but left the back untucked. I then layered a cardigan over this to cover most of the untucked shirt. A little shirttail peaking out can actually look cute and still seems appropriate for work.