Thursday, February 27, 2014

read the directions

As a graduate student, I had 2 categories of clothes: 
1. jeans + button downs + flats, for school
2. short skirts + heels, for going out on da town
It worked for me, it was easy, I didn't put much thought into it.

Now, now… I'm going to be a teacher (part time currently, full time starting in June) & I need to add professional attire into the mix. Part of my recent style paralysis is due to the fact that I want to find professional attire that not only works for wearing to teach, but also for my everyday lifestyle as a 26 year old - going out with friends, date nights, running day to day errands, etc. This goal is as much for budgetary purchases, as it is about maintaining a well curated closet.
{ What I Wore: dress ℅ Muse Apparel (now on super sale!) // Urban Outfitters blazer // Steve Madden Pumps (similar) // Daisy Gem chunky chain necklace (similar 1 // 2 // 3) }

all photos | Zipporah Photography
Muse Apparel gifted me this dress for Christmas (thanks y'all!) & I thought it was perfect to wear it to work. However, as I was getting ready to put it on, I noticed it had the cutest tag with an illustration of three women on it. One woman was wearing a chevron peplum dress, another had on just a chevron top & the third one just a black skirt. I gave it a double take - the chevron peplum dress made sense, but what about the other two?

Spoiler alert: this dress is a transformer!
{ What I Wore: Banana Republic trench (similar) // Le Tote tank & necklace // ShoeMint heels // skirt, detached from the Muse dress }
The peplum top zips off, leaving behind this gorgeous black pencil skirt. I love that it has a bit of a leather look to it & the zipper detail is my favorite! Two completely different work outfits from 1 dress (& I can dream up so many more)!
{ What I Wore: Gap cardigan // chevron peplum top, detached from Muse dress // Chip & Pepper for Belk denim (these are flattering for age 15-75!) // ShoeDazzle heels (similar 1 // 2) // tassel necklace ℅ GroopDealz }
And then the peplum top can be worn on its own as well. This outfit suits my general day to day activities perfectly!
Moral of the story - if your clothes come with directions, read them!
What piece is easily transformed in your closet?

P.S. Today is the last day to enter to win 1 of 2 custom prints!

P.P.S. My school is heated by radiators that make every room the temperature of the Sun & by this point in the Winter tights make me ragey… so I just run from my car to the building. Not perfect, but it works. Kindly excuse my blindingly white, bare legs!


  1. It was always tricky to shop when I was teaching! Luckily, my school was pretty casual (dressing up to other teachers was a t shirt, khaki's and sneakers). I just made sure when I bought something that I could dress it up for school and dress it down for the weekend! Loved that it was business casual!! My classroom was SO hot too- I had 31 computers in there!

  2. That last outfit is my absolute favorite! It makes me want to ditch the skinny jeans for awhile.

    26 and Not Counting

  3. I think the last outfit is my favorite! You look so long and lean. I actually really love business casual (I feel like a lot of people don't like "work clothes"). Right now I only have to wear it once a week but I look forward to it every time! I bet you will be in my boat and love your new workwear :)

    ~Sarah of Sarah's Real Life

  4. I love the last outfit!! I really want that dress!


  5. oh my god this dress is awesome!!! love that it's so versatile. perfect for any occasion!



  6. these looks are so cute! the skirt and red top are my most favorite!

    ladies in navy

  7. whoa! i'm actually in the same boat -- recently graduated from grad school and hoping to enter the teaching world soon. i'm on a quest for a more professional wardrobe but i agree that the pieces have to be versatile and budget friendly-- that dress def. fits the bill! nice pick! -jill


  8. That dress is awesome and all three looks are perfect for work! And, yes to classrooms with poor temperature control! My mom's current room is crazy hot and my old classroom was so cold that during my planning period I would sit in my closed up car in the sun just to warm up again...

  9. I love muse apparel! Love the three different ways you styled this :)

  10. wow, that is the most versatile thing ever! love that last look.

  11. I’m a big fan in finding clothes that work for work and play. Great outfits!

  12. Wow this is a really cool dress, love all the different options you get from it!

  13. I am loving all of these looks! My favorite is the first one!



  14. What a great dress and love that it transforms!!! I love the last outfit...those jeans fit you so well and great pop of color.


  15. Woah what a cool dress, I love that you can take the two pieces apart. Too cute.

    Kristina does the Internets

  16. That black and white tip is amazeeeeballs. Seriously. Love, love, love it!


  17. I too have been protesting winter and refusing to wear tights under my skirts & dresses. Sometimes, I rock some grody looking sweat pants under my skirt/dress to get from my car to the building, but lately, I've been going in bare-legged.

    I'm really impressed you can wear heels while teaching. Seriously.


  18. How amazing that the dress zips apart into 2 pieces! I LOVE that! The dress is great but the separates are even better!!!


  19. no kidding- this dress is equally lovely as separates or one piece! I like the outfit with the red top the best :)

    ok I am SO glad I'm not the only one who is totally over tights at this point. I thought that made me a bad blogger or something, but they make me ragey now too!!!

    ♥ perfectly PRIYA


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