10 Classic Fashion Staples

I always hear about seasonal fashion staples, but general fashion staples are less common. Here is my take of the 10 items every woman should have it her closet:

Medium Blue Skinny Jeans

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Ballet Flats

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Crew Neck Sweater

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Button Front shirt

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Loose White T-shirt

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 Mini Skirt

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Black Pants or Jeans

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Shift Dress

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Striped Shirt (boatneck)

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Leather Riding Boots

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It was difficult single out just ten items that I believe are the ultimate wardrobe staples, but each of these really do prove their function for any event and (almost) any season. The best part about these classics is that there has been so many redesigned versions of them, which justifies why a lot of people (especially preps) own more than just one of each of the listed above (with the exception of riding boots, one pair is usually all that is necessary). All of the variations have allowed them to stand the test of time. Classic pieces, like the ten above (and then some), are worth the price and hunt to find the perfect fit, color, material, and length because these are the pieces that you wear into the ground.

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My Lilly for Target Experience

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Lilly for Target…so many mixed emotions on this partnership. If you know what Lilly for target is, you’ll know how angry some people were with the collab in general, the little stock, the website crash, and the unfair eBay monopolies. I, for one, disagree with those who despise the idea of Lilly for Target because it will be sold to the ‘white trash’ aka those who don’t ‘deserve’ to be wearing such a special, preppy brand, when in truth it was the actual Lilly lovers who stayed up late, woke up early, and waited in line, not a bunch of phonies who don’t even know what Lilly is.

Besides that, the rest of the frustration is relatable. Luckily, I was the second in line (but still sprinted to the clothing sections), and got some decent selection, but although I never looked back, those behind me were most likely strangling each other with scarves or staring in dismay at the empty racks either because of the little stock or those who took whole rack of dresses to sell similar to a full price Lilly dress on eBay. The eBay monopoly is robbing people of their money and hopes!

Also, the online situation was very disappointing to me – I wasn’t sure when online shopping opened to the public, but I heard 11 o’clock (my time). At 11, I refreshed and refreshed the page and sometimes it appeared with an error page and other with just the lookbook. Then, after checking various social media sites, I learned that the site was open for about 10 minutes until the website crashed. By the time it half-way reopened for me, everything looked to be gone. Target claimed the site would be up and running ‘soon’, and I took that as maybe there will still be some items in stock… I stayed up until 1:30, then I realized the items were actually out of stock, and it wasn’t just a website malfunction. And then I cried until I realized it’s silly to get so worked up over the two dresses I wanted. But really though, why would they make the two cutest shifts online exclusives?!

I don’t find it fair, however, that under the criticism, the Lilly Pulitzer side of the collaboration is being criticized. I think Lilly did a great job with the designs, prints, and fit of the items. It was more so Target who is to blame for the little stock (online and in stores), the website issues, and worst of all, the unlimited amount of products costumers can buy (aka the evil eBay-ers).

My mom and I waited in line for an hour, and were second in line! At our Target, there was only 40 or so in line, but the merchandise was gone in about a minute. In front of us, were originally two ladies, but there group grew to about eight, which was not very fair. They were also the ‘buy everything’ type. I was listening to one say that she bought $1000 worth of Lilly the night before, ‘for her friends’ (and most likely to sell). But luckily, I go to a huge school though, so I am a professional at wieving in and out of people:) Once they opened the doors, I squeezed past the group in front of us and literally was running to the racks (while unofficially racing a woman next to me). I grabbed what I could and went to the dressing rooms, but I’m kicking myself for that now because I probably missed the sizes I needed in the frenzy of shoppers.

Anyways, I left with the Nosie Posey tank, the Happy Place fringe scarf, a pink shift , a navy shift, a pink raffia tote, and a crochet tank. I fairly pleased, considering so many were let down, but I wish I could’ve bought the Nosie Posey shift, the gold pineapple sandals, and the Happy Place shift. I got caught up in the moment and grabbed and ran to the changing rooms, which was a huge mistake, because there was never a ridiculous line for them, and I’m positive I completely missed a couple of things I really wanted. Because of Lilly for Target’s success, I so hope that they bring it back next Spring!

Please excuse the terrible format and wordiness of this post, I just have so much to say about Lilly for Target. Also, check out my Instagram (here), for some of the items I might be willing to trade for. I haven’t posted about this yet on my Instagram, but I do have a pink ‘See You Later’ shift in a size 2, that I am looking to trade for (hopefully the Nosie Posey shift in a size 4 or the crochet tank in an xs), so if you have something you might want to trade for let me know:)

Long-Term Wishlist

I’ve always been a dreamer in the sense of when I grow up. I hope to be a PA as an adult or something in the medical field, which may mean I would have the money to spend on the classic, beautiful, and well-crafted items below

Burberry Trench Coat ($1,795)

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I don’t even know how to explain how much I love this trench. Of course, $1,795 is a small fortune, and I’m not sure when I will ever reach the point that I would spend that type of money on a coat… but it is Burberry!

Jimmy Choo Pointed Toe flats ($550)

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I tried these on at Nordstrom and fell in love! I am a sucker for pointy toes as they are classic and ladylike. I bet these are a thousand times more comfortable than pointed toe heels!

Salvatore Ferregamo Vara or Varina Flats ($525)

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I have been such a fan of Ferregamo Vara (small heel) and the Varina (flat) shoes. Some of my favorite bloggers, including Sarah Vickers and Sydney from Summer Wind have cultivated my love for these patent, bow-toed beauties

Prada Cap-Toe flats ($570)

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Such a classic! The colors, cap-toe, and bow all makes these flats worth the $570

Any Kate Spade Wicker Bag

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I can’t get over the handful of Kate Spade wicker bags available each season! The lemon one above is my favorite (next to the snail one) because lemonade is my favorite food (yes, it’s a food)!

The list is already growing as I think about it, but I think I will end it at these 5 to spare you from boredom and to spare me from depression, because it may take years to collect all these!

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Lilly for Target Giveaway!

IMG_4809Have you entered my Instagram giveaway yet? In honor of receiving 200 followers on my Instagram account (@pursuitofprepblog) I am hosting a little giveaway for a Lilly Pulitzer for Target cosmetic bag as well as a few other goodies inside. Since this is my first giveaway, I originally made the rules hard to follow, and many people assumed that if you liked my picture, you were entered, but there is more to it! The rules are as follows

1. Follow me on Instagram (@pursuitofprepblog)

2. Comment on one other account about my giveaway, tagging me in it 

(EX: “Enter @pursuitofprep ‘s giveaway”)

3. Visit my blog

4. Comment your Instagram username on any blog post of mine 

After that, you are good to go! The giveaway ends this Friday and I will announce it on Instagram:)

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Saturday Shopping

  Today I tagged along with my brother to the mall, Old Navy, and Nordstrom Rack, and while I didn’t buy anything (I’m so proud of myself!), everyone is really hitting the nail on the head with Spring fashion.

MALL

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This picture does not do these loafers enough justice! Soft leather, beautiful topstitching, and a classic design, it doesn’t get much better than that. Well done, LL Bean!

I also loved these driving mocs

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I finally found some Jack Purcell’s I could try on (for size reference, because they run different than Chucks). Nordstrom didn’t carry the classic JP’s, but instead the ‘Low Profile Slip‘ ones, which mean they have a thinner rubber foxing along the bottom and lack the extra rubber toe cap. I have yet to try on the classic sneakers, but I really loved the low profile ones, as they seem like they would be less bulky and more feminine (and the laces are cord-like, which is nice)

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Among all the other beautiful Kate Spade bags, I fell in love with the Tory Burch Robinson Micro tote/crossbody (so much that I took a picture with it). The only flaw is that it is $425, but long-term wise, that is the perfect size crossbody (I’m more inclined to like the smaller crossbody bags, but those with enough space to be practical like this one)!

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See what I mean? Kate Spade is so beautiful! Also, the scalloped items quickly drew my attention.

Oh, and I tried on a pair of Jimmy Choo pointed flats and decided they would be mine someday when I want to spend $550.

NORDSTROM RACK

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Espadrilles seem to be booming this season; they’re everywhere! My favorite espadrille style I’ve seen is laced ones. When I saw these at Nordstrom Rack, I fell in love (navy and white stripes also make them irresistible). Also these super cute wedges from the same brand, Tesori.

OLD NAVY

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I was so close to getting this black tote (looks so similar to the coveted Mansur Gavriel), until I decided it wasn’t too Spring appropriate. Old Navy did a great job with this tote though, especially the faux leather that feels almost like and looks like real leather.

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These shorts (mentioned here) are so comfortable, with pretty color options. The length, 3.5″ is also perfect!

Have a great end to your weekend

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A Guide to Shopping Secondhand

Happy Friday everyone! Perhaps the biggest challenge of finding clothing to wear is the hefty price tags. The best remedy for a lacking closet and a  hurting wallet is a visit to a thrift/secondhand store. Often enough, thrift stores are viewed as sufficient for only the tasteless (or most desperate) of people, but that is far from the truth! I pay a visit to Goodwill about once every two weeks (if not once a week) and always find something I love.

Here are some ways to make the most of shopping at thrift, secondhand, or consignment shops:

Find a suitable location

Thrift stores get a bad rep for being in a sketchy area with frightening clientele, but that’s just the opposite for me. I got lucky, and found a close Goodwill on the edge of a high-end neighborhood, so half of the store is comprised of decent brands. For example, I always see items labeled: Gap, Banana Republic, J.Crew, Ralph Lauren, LL Bean, Old Navy, Pottery Barn, Laura Ashley, just to name a few!

Search Wisely

When secondhand shopping, it’s easy to fall into the abyss of not-so-nice clothing. Thrift stores tend to be unorganized, so when staring down an aisle, all you see is miss matched items, colors, materials, etc. I used to stare down the aisles in horror then push all the clothing back and slowly move down the whole rack until I had picked over every piece. What a waste of time! Then my mother taught me a simple trick: search the aisles for what catches your eye. There is three ways to use this tip:

  • First, I like to search for in season colors, my favorite colors, or eye catching garments. For example, because my favorite color is pink, I look for pink clothing first, then maybe navy, then anything striped, etc. But I don’t solely search for my favorite colors, while missing other cute pieces; I look for colors that attract me or look good on my skin tone.
  • The second way I “search wisely” is by material. I quickly skim the endless rows for textures or materials that feel of a decent quality. I usually can tell just by looking at the outer side of the garment if it is a more quality material.
  • Lastly, search for what fits your style. It helps to look for colors and materials, but it’s really all about what fits your personal style. For me, I check the button down section the most, as well as the dresses and skirts area. I also like looking through the shoe section, because there is never a shortage of classic flats, loafers, or even leather riding boots. Other than that, I look for preppy brands, classic patterns, timeless styles, and a good fit. If I see something that’s really cute but also very trendy, I put it down because I like to try to follow the rule, “If it will go out of style, don’t buy it”.

Sign up for the card

For the popular thrift shops, like Savers and Goodwill, you can sign up for a card. I have a Goodwill card and it (as I imagine other companies will do) allows me to earn points every time I buy something. Once enough “points” are accumulated, there are discounts or cash back options. It’s very worth it to get a card or account because you are already spending little money, and they throw on discount and special sales.

Go as often as you can 

People are quick to decline a trip to Goodwill, partly because they never find anything. Let me tell you: I find amazing, barely worn clothing and shoes at Goodwill routinely. Since the Goodwill is relatively close to my neighborhood, I often take a trip there once a week (if I’m not super busy). Because most of those who shop at Goodwill are typically searching for ordinary, cheap clothing; the nicer brands that appeal to a refined eye, remain untouched. Larger thrift stores get hundreds of donations daily, so there is always a variety. Also, routine trips to a thrift store may impart the finding of an item you might’ve miss last week.

Here are a few of my many Goodwill finds:

2 Ralph Lauren Oxfords (OCBD’s)

Gap striped shift dress

Old Navy Striped shift dress

Red Minnetonka Thunderbird boat shoe/mocs

Talbots lambs wool/rabbit hair cardigan (a shetland-like material and very soft!)

Eddie Bauer OCBD (one of my best button down fits, surprisingly)

Gap white jeans

Gap boyfriend jeans

2 (yes 2!) LL Bean Field Coats

J.Crew utility jacket

O’Kief and O’Kief quilted barn coat

Several Gap OCBD’s

Madewell shift dress

Gap cashmere cardigan

Platinum Sperrys

Brand New Asics

AND MUCH MORE!

If you think thrift shopping is a waste of time, I encourage you to try again, because you could be missing out!

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Forever 21 Contemporary

Despite critical opinions of Forever 21, in the past year, they have made a huge leap towards better quality and designed clothing while still keeping the price point low. Plenty of people complain of the low quality, but I have never had anything from there unravel in the wash or rip when I bend over. Some of the pieces Forever 21 makes are so outlandish and not at all my style, but there contemporary line (called Love 21) has some great dresses, blouses, skirts, and shorts. Of course, not the preppiest of items are found here, but Love 21 is abundant with pretty details, embroidery, chiffon, classic cuts, eyelets, lace, linen and stripes. So, if you are a proclaimed critic of Forever 21, I would give it another chance with their new arrivals.

Here are some of my favorite new arrival from Forever 21’s contemporary line:

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Pretty and feminine with a modern shape, this top is great for spring                         (it looks exactly like one of my favorite shirts from Nordstrom Rack)

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I’ve never seen a chambray tank top, so this is a unique change to the basic tank

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A classic cut with a twist on the stripes, this dress is on my wish list.

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If you’ve read this post, you’ve seen this dress before; it looks so ladylike and subtle, if only I can find it in stores.

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These linen drawstring shorts look so comfortable and flattering. Plus, linen shorts always seem to be made in lighter colors (comes in ‘khaki’ also), but the navy is right up my alley

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 Embroidery was on my ‘Spring Staples‘ post, and shortly thereafter, I found this in stores after loving it online. I tried it on and fell in love! Unfortunately, my cart was already full and my wallet was not

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Another beautiful embroidered piece, this dress is just the inverse of the above shirt’s colors. Blue & white is such a great color combo, especially for embroidery.

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Looks like the Lilly Pulitzer Elsa at a fraction of the price! A floral blouse is perfect for Spring

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