Mini Packing Capsule

Ok, so I have mentioned maximizing your suitcase for the summer in an older blog post, see here. But when you’re going out of town for a shorter time, sometimes packing (at least for me) is harder, because I only need 3 and it’s hard to decide!

So, I thought I would share what I do when packing for a mini trip. For reference, we are heading to Charleston for a long weekend. This is a joint bachelorette/bachelor party that my husband and I are attending. We will be spending some time jointly and other times seperate so I’ll be with the girls.

Consider the Activities

When packing, I try and consider what I will be doing. For example when going to the beach, I know I will mostly be in a bathing suit and I will need more “cover up” type clothes that are easy to throw on over a bathing suit. For this trip, our itinerary is flexible and I know some key activities we will be doing.

We are going to a concert one night and I don’t know about you, but concerts tend to be a little gross and I want to make sure I pack clothes/shoes that don’t easily show dirt and aren’t fragile.

Us girls are going to be doing a lot of Charleston exploring (eeek)! So I know I want to pack comfortable shoes as well. I also know we will be attending some semi-dressy restaurants.

Consider the Weather

I mentioned this in my How to Maximize Your Suitcase this Summer post last summer. Considering the weather is one of the most important things when packing. I’m sure you already knew that! So I know that in Charleston, it will be in the 50s/60s and mostly sunny on the days we will be there! Therefore I want to pack layers, we will be walking quite a bit and while it may start out chilly it can quickly get warmer with all that movement (at least for me haha).

Consider how You’re Styling Your Hair

What? Haha, yeah I say this, because a straightener or curler will take up room in your bag and if you aren’t planning on styling your hair much, it will probably be an unnecessary space taker.

 Consider Your Accessories

I tend to not wear a ton of accessories anyway, but when I travel I especially don’t. This is in part due to the fact that I don’t like the carry the extra things and also in part due to the fact that I don’t want to lose things that I care about! So I may pack a cheap necklace or pair of earrings, but not much.

I also consider my purses. Am I going to need a huge purse or would a belt bag be better? Or maybe I need both? These are questions I ask myself.

All things Considered…

Now it’s time to plan out your wardrobe for your trip! I sometimes jot down a few notes about what I need or want. This is just an organizational tool I use, but it isn’t for everyone!

So, here are the key things I wrote down for this trip:

  • I need shoes of some sort that won’t get ruined at an outdoor concert.
  • I need comfortable shoes
  • I may need semi-dressy clothes for dinner one night.
  • I will be styling my hair so I will need my styling tools
  • I need to pack layers for the weather.

And with that here is my Mini Packing Capsule:

Outfit 1 (travel day)

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Outfit 2

Day Time Outfit

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Night Time Outfit

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Outfit 3

Day Time Outfit

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Night Time Outfit

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Outfit 4 (travel day): Outfit Repeat!

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Links:

Day 1 Outfit (travel day)

Bing Tee

White Leggings

Similar Sneakers

Bag

 

Day 2 Outfit Day

Yellow & White Striped Tee

Jean Jacket

Jeans

Shoes

Bag

 

Day 2 Outfit Night

Jean Jacket

Bing Tee

Jeans

Shoes

 

Day 3 Outfit Day

Layer 1 Top

Layer 2 Top (similar)

Jeans

Shoes

Bag

 

Day 3 Outfit Night

Top

Similar Jeans

Shoes

Bag

 

Day 4 Outfit (travel day)

Bing Tee

White Leggings

Similar Sneakers

Bag

 

Hope this helps!

Why I tuck…

Why I tuck…

Let me preface by saying that I am aware that not everyone likes the look of a tucked in shirt and that is totally fine. However, if you’re on the fence about it or just simply wondering why some people tuck their shirts I am here to tell you!

I have thick thighs, it’s something I used to struggle with when shopping for jeans, because they would fit my legs and not my waist or vice versa. Now that I have found a store that carries jeans that fit my body type (thanks Madewell) I have found some style hacks to help make me feel like my best fashionista self. Hence the tucking.

So, let’s cover the different types of tucks and why they do for your outfit…

The Front Tuck

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Turtle Neck | Similar Sweater | Jeans | Shoes

The front tuck is probably my favorite tuck. This tuck looks particularly good when you are layering shirts as I did in the picture above. If you try and tuck layers all the way around it can sometimes add bulk to your jeans.

Since I have thick thighs, as I mentioned earlier, when I wear shirts that aren’t tucked in, they tend to hit me at the widest part of my body. This gives me no shape whatsoever. Tucking the shirt not only creates a shape, but it leads the eye to the smallest part of my body. Not to mention, the slouchy look gives off a very effortless, but put together vibe and I am here for it.

*Interested in layers? Check out my layering for winter post here.

The Side Tuck

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Similar Shirt | Similar Jeans | Shoes

The side tuck is similar to the front tuck in the way it creates a shape for your body. I like to side tuck with shorts and lighter jeans. To be honest, this is just a personal preference, because it gives me summer vibesI think it’s because I wear a lot of tees in the summer!

Side tucks look best with tees (i.e. not button down shirts) and regular button jeans (i.e. not button front jeans). Otherwise, the eye would be carried in different directions and this would appear odd visually.

The Complete Tuck

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Turtle Neck | Cardigan | Jeans | Similar Shoes

I don’t rock the complete tuck as much as I would like to, I tend to just front tuck and walk out of the door, but I love to tuck all the way around when I am feeling a little bleh with my outfits. A complete tuck just gives a whole different vibe to an outfit.

This tuck is nice when you layer a cardigan over a shirt and you wear the cardigan open (as pictured), because it creates less bulk under the cardigan. A complete tuck also looks good when you are going for a casual look with a tee shirt and jeans!

*Keep in mind that for each tuck, I wear high waisted jeans. This is because they hit my waist at its smallest point. Every body is different, so of course you should do what works for you and makes you feel the most comfortable.

Hope this helps! Also, keep in mind that tying your shirts in knots can also create a shape, not just tucking! Play around and find what works best for you! I love to see you guys recreate looks, so tag me on insta if you try any of these out (@budgetandbrunch)!

 

4 Easy Valentine’s Day Looks

4 Easy Valentine’s Day Looks

I don’t know about you, but I’m not one to “dress up” on Valentine’s Day. I don’t typically celebrate it per say, we may go to dinner, but we don’t buy things it’s all part of our new year’s resolution to stop buying so much STUFF!

However, I do like to dress in reds and pinks. So I raided my closet, because I typically wear very dark or neutral colors. I put together a few outfits to give some ideas of how to dress in the spirit of Valentine’s day without having to go buy a special outfit (unless you’re going somewhere super chic and cool for v-day!). Below are four “outfit formulas” that anybody can put together for Valentine’s day!

 

Outfit Formula Number 1:

Sweater + Jeans + Sneakers = Dressed Down for Valentine’s Day

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Similar Top | Jeans | Shoes

Outfit Formula Number 2:

Blazer + Cardigan Sweater + Jeans + Loafers = Slightly Elevated for Valentine’s Day

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Similar Blazer | Similar Top | Jeans | Shoes

Outfit Formula Number 3:

Cardigan + Sweater + Jeans + Loafers = Dressed Cozy, but Elevated for Valentine’s Day

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Similar Cardigan | Similar Top | Jeans | Shoes

Outfit Formula Number 4:

Hair Clips + Button down + Bandana Scarf + Jeans + Loafers = Stylish for Valentine’s Day

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Hair Clips | Bandana Scarf | Top | Jeans | Shoes

*Petite Jeans

20 x 20 Challenge–What does it even mean?

20 x 20 Challenge–What does it even mean?

Ok, so I have done a lot of research on this. I first saw it when I was in the Instagram rabbit hole. Intrigued, I clicked on the # and began scanning. Essentially, the idea is to select 20 pieces from your closet and make 20 days worth of outfits.

I decided to do this, because I have entirely too many clothing items and I really want to hone in and figure out what pieces I need. This sounds simple, but in reality I had a hard time deciding what I did and didn’t want in my wardrobe for this challenge.

I decided to use Conni Jespersen’s (from @artinthefind) advice and ask myself some essential questions:

*FYI She is an amazing person to follow along with especially if you want style/organization tips!

  1. Look at the piece in question: how does it make you feel?
  2. Do you love the the cut, color, and style?
  3. Is it a piece you are “iffy” about?
  4. How much wear do you get out of the piece? (versatile pieces are key)
  5. How often do you wear it?

For me, I try  to select neutral pieces that can be worn repeatedly.

I consider the pieces I typically buy as investment pieces. 

What I mean by this, is that I wear them for years–if you didn’t know, I am a recovering fast fashion addict and I have tried hard to get back to repeating outfits/pieces. The cool thing about the 20×20 challenge is that the goal is to create 20 different outfits with 20 pieces!

So, I decided to hone in on a color scheme for this challenge which wasn’t hard, because I typically buy neutral clothes.

Below are the pieces I selected. I have linked each piece based on the number listed beside it (or similar options).

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  1. Brown Sweater
  2. Chunky Sweater (size down)
  3. Striped Turte Neck
  4. Black Turtle Neck
  5. Blazer (size down)
  6. Cardigan (size down)
  7. Stripe Sweater
  8. Graphic Tee | Similar Graphic Tee
  9.  Vintage Jeans | Petite Option
  10. Cali Demi Boot Jeans (size down)
  11. Skinny Button Fly Jeans | Petite Option
  12. Black Skinny Button Fly Jeans | Petite Option
  13. Everlane Loafers | Madewell Loafers
  14. Mules
  15. Similar Boots
  16. Sneakers
  17. Bag
  18. Bar Necklace
  19. Horn Necklace
  20. Bandana Scarf

Below are the 20 outfits I put together.

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Keep in mind these are outfit combinations that you can probably go in your closet and create. The pieces do not have to be exactly like mine, but rather use the formula. For example:

Cadigan + Graphic Tee + Straight Jeans + Sneakers = My outfit number 13

Hope this helps! Be sure to leave a comment for any questions and catch me on the gram trying to sport these outfits!

Click below to see how I maximized my suitcase this past summer!

How to Maximize Your Suitcase this Summer

Layering for Winter

Layering for Winter

When it comes to layering, there are a few tips and tricks that I live by. Since I hate getting super hot, I thought I’d share how I layer in order to stay cool in those warm places…

I start with a basic neutral outfit. For example, a black or striped turtle neck + jeans + boots.

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Next, I layer something warm and easy to take off, i.e. a cardigan, flannel, or sweater.

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Then, I put on my outerwear, a coat, hat, and/or scarf.

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When layering, I always make sure you can see the bottom layer. This is why I like to build on top of a long sleeve turtle neck. It is easy to make sure the neck and sleeve peek out ever so slightly. The turtle necks pictured are from Madewell, they’re nice and thin which makes them great for layering, then you don’t get too hot. They’re also easy to tuck and don’t add a lot of bulk. Pro tip: I always size up in coats in order to have enough room to layer.

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Left to right:

Outfit 1: Similar Hat | Turtle Neck | Cardigan | Similar Coat | Jeans | Similar Boots

Outfit 2: Bandana | Turtle Neck| Flannel | Jean Jacket| Similar Coat | Jeans | Boots

Outfit 3: Turtle Neck | Similar Sweater | Similar Coat | Jeans | Similar Boots

*The Old Navy Sherpa Coat is SOLD OUT as of 12/19/19 which is why I didn’t link that one.

That’s it, it is really that simple! Don’t overthink layers, they are meant to be easy and basic. If you want tips on how I “cuff ’em, tuck ’em, and go” click here. I also mention pattern stacking in that blog post if you’re interested 😏!

Madewell VS Old Navy: The Sherpa Coat

Madewell VS Old Navy: The Sherpa Coat

Ok, by now we all know the deep love I have for Madewell! It is a land full of magical clothes that I cannot resist…however, when I saw an $84.99 Old Navy  Sherpa Coat for Women dupe for the $258 Sherpa Estate Coat I knew I had to order it and give it a shot!

Lets compare shall we?

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Color

The color is actually very similar in person versus how it may look in the photos. The Madewell Sherpa Estate Coat has more of an off white/yellow tint to it than the Old Navy  Sherpa Coat for Women in some of the online images, but it is hard to see in person. If you like the color of one, you should like the color of both.

Pockets

The pockets are placed in the same spot on both coats and have the same lined look. Both pockets are deep and lined with sherpa!

Buttons

Both coats have a zipper and snaps. However, the Madewell version doesn’t show the snaps when it is closer whereas the Old Navy version does. You may notice it in the photos I have, but just an FYI if not. The Old Navy one seems to be sturdy. I have had it for a few weeks and wear it daily. So far, it has lived up to my expectations.

Length

Left: Old Navy  Sherpa Coat for Women   Right: Madewell Sherpa Estate Coat

The length looks extremely different, as you can see in the photos from above, but this in part due to the fact that Old Navy has a petite option in this coat. Other than the price, this was another reason I went with the Old Navy one, I didn’t want a coat that was quite so long and Madewell doesn’t have a petite option (yet) in this coat!

Lining

The lining of the coats are different. The Madewell Sherpa Estate Coat has italinan sherpa on the inside while the Old Navy  Sherpa Coat for Women has more of a faux-suede lining on the inside. I have to say that the Madewell one seemed like it was warmer and slightly thicker because of the lining. However, as warm as I tend to get in all of the seasons, I am ok with it!

Texture

Both pictures: Old Navy  Sherpa Coat for Women

The texture of these coats is pretty similar. I do think that the Madewell one is softer that the Old Navy one, however the Old Navy one is still pretty soft. The faux-suede lining inside of the Old Navy coat is also very soft and I love the way it feels!

Long story short…

…if you are on the market for an investment coat that will be sure to last throughout those harsh cold winters, the Madewell Sherpa Estate Coat may be the coat for you, but if you are looking for a warm enough coat to get you through the winter, the Old Navy  Sherpa Coat for Women may be the one for you!

Side note (as of 12/10/19): Both coats are currently on sale! The Old Navy Sherpa Coat for Women is 20% off with the code: SWEET making it $67.99 and the Madewell Sherpa Estate Coat is 25% off with the code: GOODCHEER making it $193.50!

 

Other outfit details:

Staged photos 😏:

Similar Top | Vest | Similar Jeans | Boots

Fitting room photo:

Top | Similar Jeans | Mules

 

 

When in doubt, cuff ’em, tuck ’em, and go!

When in doubt, cuff ’em, tuck ’em, and go!

Ya gotta love being either too short or too tall for clothes, am I right?

In my case, I am always a little too short for clothes that aren’t sized “petite” or “short” and lets be honest with ourselves, there is always a piece of clothing that doesn’t come in your size. Rather than trying to make myself fit into clothes, I am a firm believer in making clothes fit me 😏. When I find that my shirts or even my pants are too long, I “cuff ’em, tuck ’em, and go”.

What does that even mean? 

Well let’s take shirts/sweaters for example, if you have short arms, like me, you may find yourself constantly pulling up your sleeves of feeling like you have no waist due to your extra long top. This drives me absolutely crazy, especially when I am doing something with my hands!

To solve this issue I have learned to cuff my sleeves, tuck the front, and be on my merry way out the door. I do this with pants as well. I personally do not like to tuck my pants in my booties (knee boots are different story); therefore, I cuff my pants–only when needed.

When cuffing my sleeves I try to follow the wrist rule. When I stretch my arms out, I want to be able to see my wrist bone. I also cuff only once or twice. I don’t like to add too much bulk (especially when layering).

When cuffing my jeans I take into account a couple of things. First, my shoes. Are they high? If so, I try to cuff them just above to where a little bit of skin is showing. Are they low? If so, I definitely want to go just above my ankle–this adds height! I also consider the jean and how I want the cuff to look. Sometimes, I go for a thicker cuff. This is to add visual interest. Other times, I cuff at just the hem line. This typically depends on the top I pair it with or my mood haha!

This “cuff ’em, tuck ’em, and go” technique not only adds visual interest, but it looks purposeful and thus, nobody will even notice that the clothes you’re wearing weren’t exactly  “made for you” 😉.

With that being said, I pulled together some examples of outfits for you guys in which I have had to “cuff ’em, tuck ’em, and go” and I truly wouldn’t have it any other way ❤️!

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Photo 1: Flannel | Turtle Neck | Similar Jeans / (Petite Option)| Boots | Bag | Sunglasses

Photo 2: Similar Sweater | Jeans / (Petite Option)| Boots

Photo 3: Blazer | Turtle Neck | Jeans / (Petite Option)| Boots | Bag |Sunglasses

For reference, I am 5 ft tall. In photo one, I am wearing petite, photo two I am wearing regular, and photo three I am wearing regular!

*This also works with clothes that are slightly too short. Don’t get me wrong, there is a point of no return with some clothing, but if things are slightly too short, you can “cuff ’em” and pair them with higher boots to make the outfit look more purposeful and if you have high waisted pants you might even be able to tuck ’em 😉!

 

Dressing for the Holidays

Dressing for the Holidays

The holidays can be stressful, from spending money to dealing with the absence of loved ones…it’s hard. I try not to worry to much about my outfits and whether or not they “look” holiday enough. Sometimes I think we get too caught up on this type of thing and forget to just be! That’s not to say I don’t buy anything or put effort in to my looks, but I don’t buy specifically “holiday” looks.

So, I teamed up with Lindsae Metz and Adriana Kincaid to bring you some Holiday inspired looks without the hassel!

P.S. Both of these ladies are amazing! I strongly suggest following them on the ‘gram and their beautiful blogs!

 

*Everything mentioned is TTS unless otherwise noted!

I try to shop my closet!

Monochromatic with a Dash of Holiday Cheer

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Similar Top | Jeans | Boots | Scarf | Similar Bag

If you’ve followed along with me for a while, you know I LOVE a monochromatic look, especially a white on white/cream on white situation. I feel like white on white/cream on white can certainly pass for a holiday look (think winter wonderland). Thus, I paired my cream mock neck with white denim, a brown bag, and leopard shoes (because lets face it, leopard is a neutral too).

To pull the look together I added a simple “holiday” scarf! This scarf is so soft and cozy. Not only is it super stylish, but it keeps me nice and warm in the cool temps and is easy to take off when you get into a warm place!

 

Just add Plaid

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Similar Top | Jeans | Similar Mules | Similar Bag

Another similar pair of shoes*

Plaid always reminds me of winter/holiday cheer! I am so happy I purchased this Loft top years ago! The neutral colors in it always remind me of Thanksgiving for some reason! I also adore the ruffled shoulders!

I paired this top with white denim to, again, go for that winter wonderland vibe! The sparkly mules remind me of New Year’s so I always try to wear them around the Holiday season! The great thing about this outfit is that most people own some sort of plaid in their wardrobe, so it’s super easy to duplicate!

 

For the Warmer Holidays

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Top | Similar Jeans | Boots | Bag

I decided to throw in an outfit that could be warn in your warmer geographical areas! An easy “go -to” option for Holiday looks are jeans and a green or red top. I went with an olive green, because I don’t own a lot of “Holiday green” and since this is all about using what you have instead of breaking the bank, I went with it. I paired this top with slim-wide leg cropped pants to keep it cooler.

I added my booties since it is November/December! This is a simple outfit and can easily transition to a warmer outfit with long sleeves, a coat, and/or a scarf!

 

Jeans + a Scarf

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Top | Similar Jeans | Boots | Scarf | Bag

Nothing screams fall/winter quite like a turtle neck! That’s why I decided to pair this black turtle neck with a plaid scarf and jeans to create a simple, no fuss outfit. Just add booties and you have a chic holiday inspired look!

 

Subtle Holiday Colors

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Top | Similar Bottoms | Similar Mules | Bandana Scarf

Another similar pair of shoes*

If you celebrate Christmas, you know that red and green are “Christmas” colors and I don’t know about you, but anytime I pair those two colors together I always think of Christmas even if it’s July!

So, for this outfit I decided to take my green paper bag pants, black turtle neck, and red bandana scarf to create subtle Christmas colors! Just add sparkly mules and you have a true holiday look!

 

Slightly Dressy Vibes

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Top | Bottoms | Similar Mules | Bag

Another similar pair of shoes*

I bought this dark green mock neck as part of my birthday present to myself from Madewell. I LOVE it, it fits just like my red and navy ones from last year! The color is a beautiful deep green and I decided to pair it with some black pin checkered pants and sparkly shoes to go for a slightly elevated look.

This would be perfect for a holiday office party! Not to mention these pants feel like PJs!

 

I hope this helps. I tried to use staple pieces that a lot of people have in their closets! Let me know if you replicate any of these looks by tagging me or using the hashtag #budgetandbrunch

 

 

 

 

4 Ways to Style a Leopard Midi Skirt

4 Ways to Style a Leopard Midi Skirt

Ok, so if you have followed along with me for a while, you know that I am a shortie and I often look for clothes that help elongate my legs. Needless to say, midi skirts that don’t “shrink” me even farther are hard to find; so when I found this Leopard Midi Skirt for $15 (score)–I had to try it!

So I decided to style this midi skirt with 4 different “looks” in mind!

FYI: All items featured fit TTS and although this s=midi is no longer available I have linked similar ones at the bottom of the page!

Look 1: The Relaxed Look

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Top | Similar Skirt | Similar Sneakers | Jewelry

*(FYI: My top is from Target but it isn’t available online so I found one on Amazon to link)

If there is one thing I love it’s comfort mixed with fashion! Pairing a graphic tee with a leopard skirt may seem like a bold move, but it can truly elevate a graphic tee so much. I decided to pair my “girls” graphic tee from Target with my Midi and I truly couldn’t love this tee shirt any more. Could it BE more perfect 😏?

I completed the look with some white sneakers and felt like I was ready to take on the world. I think this is my favorite look! You could also elevate the look with some minimalistic jewelry and a denim jacket for cooler days!

 

Look 2: The Sweater Weather Look

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Similar Sweater | Similar Skirt | Boots |Bag

I couldn’t not incorporate a chunky sweater! With the temperatures chaining-at least here in NC-I wanted to show a warmer option. I don’t know about you, but I tend to get hot very easily; so although it may be 45 degrees outside, I need to wear something breathable. Pairing a cozy chunky sweater with a breathable midi is perfect for those of us that tend to get a little warmer during the fall/winter days! I paired a cream sweater to create a monochromatic look, because I am SO in to monochromatic lately and it can be so easily done.

Side note, iff you don’t get hot easily, you could always wear tights!

I decided to pair this outfit with The Kat Chelsea Boot  for a styling cozy vibe. I absolutely love these boots and I am so glad I purchased them! They have quite a high heel but because it is a chunky heel and the inside is padded they feel great!

 

Look 3: The Holiday Inspired Look

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Similar Turtle Neck | Similar Skirt | Similar Mules | Earrings

Is there anything more classic than leopard paired with red? Wether is a bold red lip or a bold red turtle neck, it creates a timeless look! I wanted to show a holiday inspired look sense several Holidays are right around the corner (eek)!

The turtle neck helps create a cozy feeling and warm up the outfit while the midi skirt allows for movement and a little wiggle room just in time for the eating season 😉. I decided to go with my gold glitter mules from Madewell, because I mean what else would I pair with this haha. Although these exact mules aren’t available anymore, I have linked similar pairs!

To dress this look up even more you could throw on some tights and heels!

 

Look 4: The Versatile Look

Top | Similar Skirt | Similar Sneakers | Heels

Let me start by saying I love this Shrunken Ex-Boyfriend Shirt from Madewell! It was the perfect addition to my closet. I think having a dressy-ish button down in your closet is important because it is such a versatile piece. You can literally pair it with anything! This one in particular is a little shorter so it fits my torso great.

When putting these two looks together I wanted to show how versatile this outfit could be! You can go from business casual to business chic by simply swapping out the shoes! Of course, you can always elevate the look by accessorizing with jewelry or tights. I also decided to tie a front knot with this shirt to create a visual was it line and somewhere for the eye to fall. It also helps create a chic look with minimal effort!

There you have it folks, 4 different ways to wear a leopard print midi. I love how each of these looks creates a different vibe and you can wear it however you’d like depending on your mood!

Here are some more similar skirts in case the one linked isn’t your style! Hope you enjoyed the read, be sure to subscribe and let me know what you’d like to see next!

Similar leopard midi

Similar leopard midi

Similar leopard midi

Similar leopard midi

Similar leopard midi