I have a pretty standard go-to outfit. That usually looks like t-shirt + jeans + scarf + ballet flats (maybe + cardigan) = every day. I tend to get antsy about feeling like I’m wearing the same thing every day. Yet, at the same time, I rail against the idea of not being comfortable in my clothes. Anyone else feel me?
I’m not about to sacrifice my comfort just for the sake of not looking fashionable. I love my t-shirts + jeans + scarves + ballet flats + cardigan formula… so I find myself in a dilemma.
Hence my excitement when I discovered the blog Putting Me Together had created a style challenge. I’ve been following the Putting Me Together blog for years and years. I always loved her style and the way she presents herself on her blog. She looked perpetually comfy, and oh-so put together. I first started with her winter challenge and LOVED it (which I mentioned previously here)- so I went all in when she released her spring challenge.
Let me break this down just a bit. Style Challenges host a bunch of different challenges for different seasons and styles. After you sign up for one of the challenges, you get a shopping list. The list provides you links to similar items (encouraging to shop your closet first). It also provides tips for finding pieces that work the best together. Once the start day rolls around- an outfit arrives in your inbox every day for the duration of the challenge.
You can also participate in the Facebook group connected to the challenge. This gives you access to tips and encouragement from all of the other ladies participating with you.
How to Stay Comfy and Look Fashionable (at the Same Time)
(based on what I’ve learned via my style challenge)
Completer pieces make anything look put together.
A simple t-shirt and jeans can look put together when you add a military jacket and a necklace.
Completer pieces being that final extra layer to the outfit- for example, I added own items as completer pieces; a leather jacket, a utility jacket, an olive vest, a long cardigan, a patterned scarf, a solid scarf, a long pendant necklace, a flashy statement necklace, and a short necklace.
Add variation with different colored pairs of jeans (including a white pair!).
Jeans act as the major staple in most closets. Shake up your comfy staple with jeans in different colors (pink, red, yellow, green, turquoise, etc. etc.).
*sidenote about white jeans: I understand- they sound terrifying at first. I had never owned or even tried on a pair before I start the spring challenge. I tried on tons of different brand and styles before finally settled on a pair I felt comfy in (GAP Factory’s girlfriend cut and leg skimmer cut). Don’t buy them if you don’t feel comfy in them- but I would also encourage you to keep trying them on. I totally get the they-show-all-my-lumps thing and the I-can-never-keep-them-clean thing. Let me just say- I love them for spring now.
Try to stick with a unifying accessory neutral.
Meaning- aim to work with mainly one metal tone with your jewelry (gold or silver) or one neutral leather with your belts, watches, and shoes (black or brown leather).
This is not a hard and fast rule- it just makes getting ready simpler.
Don’t be afraid try a trend or two.
But don’t feel like you have to embrace all of them. I wasn’t so sure about bell-sleeve tops or the cold-shoulder style.
When I’m out shopping I keep trying them on just to see. I finally bought a stripped bell-sleeve top that I love. I still haven’t been able to pull the trigger on the cold shoulder- but at least I’ve tried it out.
Now, these are not all of the tips and tricks I’ve learned by participating in the style challenge. I think you should consider participating in one yourself. It is one thing to read about this stuff and another to participate and learn first hand.
Questions About Starting a Style Challenge
Do I have to spend a ton of money buying a whole new wardrobe?
Nope! Shopping your closet is highly encouraged and affordable options are provided. You can spend money if you want, of course. Also within the Facebook group are a ton of tips and tricks for finding great deals on awesome pieces.
How strict is the challenge?
Not very. The women you connect with in the Facebook group and incredibly encouraging and supportive. Even while encouraged to try new things, the challenge encourages you to find pieces that make you love (aka are comfy).
I’m not super skinny or (or insert body concern here)… will the challenge still work for me?
Absolutely- the coordinator of the challenges I participated in gave plus size and petite size options for all of the pieces she recommended. Again- you are encouraged to make it your own.
Do I have to participate and post my outfits in the Facebook group?
Absolutely not- but I would highly recommend it. I didn’t really participate the first time. When I decided to go for it and post my outfits- I received so much more out of the challenge. It went beyond just fashion and well into personal growth and support. They are the most amazing group of women I have ever met.