local outfits spring

mixing name brands with local finds

ann taylor blush skirt3ann taylor blush skirt5ann taylor blush skirt2ann taylor blush skirt9ann taylor blush skirt6ann taylor blush skirt4ann taylor blush skirt7

skirt: Ann Taylor // shirt: Lush // shoes: thrifted Sundance (more flatform sandals) // purse: STRUT (similar, not really similar but so cool!) // earrings: Beehive Boutique (similar) // rings: Moulton
photos by Chelsea Laine Francis

Yesterday’s post was full of birthday wishes yet fulfilled, but today’s is the birthday wish already come true. I snagged this pleated blush midi skirt on super sale from Ann Taylor as an early birthday gift to myself, and I couldn’t be happier with it. A couple of days into waiting for my package to arrive, I started to worry that the skirt wouldn’t live up to my dreams — what if it was too *small? what if the color was really more pantyhose than blush? what if it showed up wrinkled and I never got the pleats straight again? — but as soon as I opened the box, all my doubts melted away.
As I stood in my closet putting together outfits, I realized that the skirt called for a pair of nude wedges and a simple bag. Except, I don’t own those things, and that’s not really my style. Instead, I started adding pieces with a dose of personality: my thrifted chartreuse flatforms (seen here & here), my pink fringe purse (seen here & here), and my biggest, boldest statement earrings (seen here).
What I noticed later about all of these items were that I found them all locally. It’s not unlikely that I’ll run into a gal wearing this same Ann Taylor skirt (I mean, it’s a great piece!). However, I’d say it’s pretty improbable that I’ll see someone wearing these same earrings, carrying this same purse, or even rocking these same shoes (though not technically local, being thrifted suggests that they aren’t on the rack of your major mall right now).
I’d like to think that a major portion of fashion blog readers are looking for a path to their own personal style. Sure, someone might purchase something after seeing it on a blog or they’ll copy an outfit even, but all in hopes of dressing more like themselves — the most stylish, confident version of themselves!
So here’s the tip: buy the name brand things — from Ann Taylor, J.Crew, Old Navy, and the like — but don’t style them exactly the way you see in the catalog or even on the blogs. Focus some of your attention on shopping local and shopping small so you have the items in your closet that no one else has. A great skirt is awesome, but personal style comes from what you do with it!
Have you picked up anything from local or independent shops lately? What’s your favorite way to make a classic buy stand out as your own?

*Sizing note: I’m wearing an 8 in this skirt, same as my yellow skirt from Ann Taylor. My usual size in skirts is a 10, so I would suggest sizing down in AT skirts!

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