Finding Your Winter Uniform


I feel like for most of Winter, I end up in what I would call my "winter uniform": black pants, a cute top, and some form of booties. There's nothing wrong with this look, but it can get a little bit monotonous. I start to feel like I'm in a fashion rut. So I started talking with a friend, whose style I admire, about her winter uniform. Tracey has a great aesthetic; a lot of really classically designed, neutral pieces combined with tailored silhouettes. This is almost the opposite from my style. I love color. I like exploring new and out there patterns and textures. I decided to try to dabble in a little bit of what I would call "her style" and I have to say, it was not as easy as I thought it was going to be. In this post, I'm going to talk about how to step out of your bubble and find a new winter uniform. 

The first step in changing up your winter style is identifying what your current winter wardrobe is. Do you wear a lot of chunky, oversized sweaters and riding boots? Are you constantly in dark washed jeans? Are there any items in your closet you wear excessively? As I said before, a black Ponte pant, a cute sweater, and some form of boot is my winter go-to. I can admit that I am guilty of over using this outfit. Every now and then, I might mix it up by adding a blazer or a scarf, but the key elements remain the same. 

After identifying your current style choice, the next step is to look for something outside of those bounds. What do I mean, you ask? I mean look for something different in terms of silhouette, texture, or color. For me, I always wear brightly colored tops and black skinnies, so I decided to go with a more neutral palette and joggers. By changing both the silhouette and the color scheme, this outfit is already wildly different from what I would usually wear. These differences help to push me in a new direction and to expand my fashion horizon. 

The final step in creating a new winter go-to is to pay attention to the details. Accessories matter! The winter white clutch I'm carrying with this look really compliments the silver tone of the sweater. If I had chosen a black bag or even a camel colored bag, it would not have matched as well with the mostly navy look I was going for. In turn, the metallic of the sweater pairs well with the dramatic earrings I'm wearing. The scarf matches back to the pants and the pumps in a way that ties the entire look together. Each accessory is a small portion of the entire outfit, but it is an important factor in the overall look. 

Sweater: H&M
Joggers: Asos Curve
Clutch: BCBGeneration
Pumps: Cole Haan
Scarf: Target
Earrings: Target and Forever 21

Photo credit: S. Hoffman

Chelsea Madkins is a shoe buyer for Dillard’s department store. On the side she runs the fashion blog, Obsessions of a Fashion Nerd. It is her goal to help women feel not only more comfortable, but more confidence in and empowered by what clothing they wear.
Follow her on Instagram: obsessionsofafashionnerd


Why You Should Stop Spending to Keep Up with the Joneses


One of the struggles I face as a blogger (*gasp*) is how to constantly come up with new content without breaking the bank. I always want to make sure I am bringing something new and exciting to my audience. In this social media obsessed day and age, it is very easy to look around and see all the things you don't have and feel discouraged. This is something that I don't think anyone is immune to.  When I look at some of my favorite bloggers, Rochelle JohnsonGabi Gregg, and Anna Obrien it is easy to get a case of the wants. Having said that, I know that I cannot constantly be spending on clothing. It is very easy for a small shopping bug to get you into serious credit card debt. As a blogger, I have to budget for apparel like I would a business expense. So when I get the itch for something new but it is not in the budget, I turn to my closet and see what old pieces I can revamp to make feel new again. (You may remember the skirt from this post.) In this post, I am going to share five steps on how you can do the same.

5) Look at the new trends for the season and see what you are inspired by. For me, I am really loving the tapestry inspired looks and pearls. I have been seeing pearls as embellishments on shoes, apparel, and handbags. I like that both would add elements of sheen and texture to my outfits. Think about the trends you like and make sure they are things that are going to work with your overall look. It defeats the purpose if you have to buy another item just to wear whatever piece you revamp. What trends are you noticing for fall?

4) Go to your closet and look for an item that you may have once loved, but are not getting a lot of wear out of. Have you worn the item in the last four months? Could the styling of this piece work with the new trend? Is the piece very simple in its styling? Pearls are an easy trend to incorporate in an outfit; you can sew them on by hand. I scavenged mine from an old bracelet I no longer wear. The same less is more policy can work for the tapestry/embroidery look. A needle and thread will cost way less than a new skirt.

3) Develop a game plan for how to alter your forgotten favorite. For this skirt, I knew I wanted it to have a fuller body and that I wanted it to be shorter. This was simple to fix by cutting off a few inches and sewing on additional layers of tulle. I also wanted to have pearls thrown throughout the skirt in a random pattern. For this, I got a thicker thread to hand stitch the pearls on. The happenstance placement would allow the pearls to catch light throughout the skirt. 

2) Gather the supplies needed to transform your piece. For me, it was extra tulle, pearls, thread, and a pair of scissors. Be sure to check around your home for things that can be reused. Walmart and craft stores are great to load up in supplies for future projects. The point of this entire project is to make it high fashion, but keep it low budget.

1) Alter your piece. There are a ton of tutorials on YouTube if you need help. I have been blessed that my mom taught me to sew at a young age. I started by creating two tulle ruffles and sewing them onto the elastic waistband. Once I saw how long the layers were, I shortened and hemmed the original skirt to match. The pearls were hand stitched on to finish off my project. I now have a one of kind piece that not only fulfills my need for something new, but acts as a creative outlet as well.

Tank: Donna Karan
Skirt: formerly Gap
Booties: Gianni Bini, via Dillard's
Jacket: Elvi
Necklace: Creative, South on Main
Earrings: Aldo. Clutch: Aryn

Photo Credit: J. Vige

Chelsea Madkins is a shoe buyer for Dillard’s department store. On the side she runs the fashion blog, Obsessions of a Fashion Nerd. It is her goal to help women feel not only more comfortable, but more confidence in and empowered by what clothing they wear.
Follow her on Instagram: obsessionsofafashionnerd