Monday, August 10, 2015

the basics

Here&Now: Vera Bradley Ella Tote
I got a reader email the other day that asked such a great question I wanted to respond to it on the blog. 

The question: "I was wondering if you had tips for staying on trend with quality pieces on a teacher budget. Your outfits are composed of such great items and they appeal to my taste, but sometimes are a little out of my price range. How do you manage the balance?"

I think that it has been surprising how rough teaching is on my clothes! Many of my clothes come from Old Navy (I love their ballet flats & button downs!), & outlet type stores such as J.Crew Factory, Gap Outlet, & both the Banana Republic & LOFT outlet stores too - I am fortunate enough that Nashville has a mall with these budget friendly stores close by. More of my foundational pieces, like my favorite J.Crew schoolboy blazer or Cole Haan wedges, I got from saving up & timing my purchase to hit up a big sale (I find the best sales around Memorial Day & Labor Day). Lastly, I am very specific on my birthday & Christmas wish lists, and my family is generous enough to have pitched in & gotten me some bigger ticket items in the past. Every year for Christmas I send my husband a click-able list of items I want from J.Crew, easy on him, & I end up super happy as well!
Here&Now: Teacher Style Basics, top 10 pieces
{ What I wore to teach: J.Crew Factory top + skirt // Old Navy ballet flats // "Ella" tote ℅ Vera Bradley // Stella & Dot necklace }

Here&Now: Top 10 Teacher Style Pieces
I think it is important to keep in mind that building your dream wardrobe takes time. I have been looking at my closet critically for the past 5 years (especially in the last 3+ since I have been blogging). I have a specific list of things that I want (I keep it in my purse to help me avoid impulse buys!), & I add to my closet slowly over many months/years. I try to take great care of my clothes so that they last for many years, preventing me from repurchasing my favorite items season after season. I look for quality pieces that work well across many areas of my life (like this amazing Vera Bradley leather tote). Additionally, I shop smart - keeping an eye out for sales, & stalking my must have pieces for price reductions like a crazy person. Below I have linked my top 10 favorite pieces from my Teacher Style wardrobe + many of my go-to stores are having sales, that I have highlighted below as well. 

What are your best tips for cultivating a balanced wardrobe? How do you decide when to save & when to splurge?
Here&Now: New Vera Bradley Collection
Here&Now: Teacher Style, Top 10 Pieces for Fall
Here&Now: Teacher Style, balancing quality and quantity
{Sales}
Banana Republic: 25% off with code BRSAVE (Cardmembers, 30% off with code BRCARD)
J.Crew: 30% off sale styles + 50% off final sale (code COOLSALE)
J.Crew Factory: 20% off (code WEARTHESE)+ $25 off jeans
Old Navy: 40% off (click over for sale codes)
Ann Taylor: Buy 1 item at full price, get another at 50% off (code HURRY50)
LOFT: 25% off when you sign up to be a LOFT insider 
Vera Bradley: free wristlet with $100 purchase
Gap: 40% off, including Gap Factory purchases

{Shop my top 10 Teacher Style pieces}

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