Dressing up your collar on a budget

Okay if we’re being completely honest today, there’s a good great chance that I’ll be wearing absolutely no make-up this entire weekend and will probably go through the next couple of days with navy paint in my hair (free low-lights?).

Casey and I are spending the weekend making over her guest room (you can follow along behind-the-scenes on Instagram or Facebook) and we’ll both most likely be rocking our not so glamorous DIY uniforms — think old jeans, oversized sweatshirts and really messy hair. Of course we’ll be sharing our progress (once we make some!) but in the meantime, I thought I’d take a break from that hot mess and chat about a topic that’s a bit more sparkly! Why not, right?! It’s Friday.  birthday_bridget_cupcake_3_happyI’m no fashionista — not at all, not even close. I like shopping, I like finding & wearing cute clothes, but I usually default to one of my few staple looks regardless of what new clothes/styles I try.  I have a few “outfit looks” and pretty much just change-up the color and color to achieve one of these very few outfit combos. One of my go-to looks? A collared shirt with a bold necklace. Have you noticed me rocking this a little too often on the blog?! I get SO many compliments on this look at work, or even from strangers, so I thought I’d share this easy look that doesn’t require you to buy a ton of new outfits. bridget-casey-laughing-bedroom-computerIt’s actually kind of embarrassing looking back at our blog photos and realizing how much I default back to this combination, but I guess it’s comfortable and easy for me so I keep wearing it. Plus I just feel like it’s very much “me” at this point…. so why change just for the sake of changing, ya know? <– Reason #872 why we’re not fashion bloggers. #clueless

I’m definitely not suggesting this look is for everyone’s taste, but I wanted to dive into the details because I have found it’s so darn easy (and affordable!). Sometimes I read fashion posts and love the look, but feel like I don’t have enough of the items already in my closet or am not willing to buy all these new items to recreate it. HOWEVER, this look isn’t like that and can totally pare well with what you already have. You DEFINITELY don’t have to be a fashionista or even willing to shell out big money to try it out. All you have to do is invest in ONE necklace (at your price point) and I promise you can recreate the look over and over and over again (like in my case, maybe too much).

I wear some type of collar and necklace to work at least half of the week (oops), and I have found that I can wear these same shirts with these same necklaces on weekends too. Usually I’ll swap out the bottoms (substitute a skirt for jeans or pants) and the shoes (ditch the work flats/heels for booties or even converse) to bring the work-week look into the weekends with little fuss.  I don’t know about you guys, but I feel like when I buy clothes as an “adult”, I try to find pieces that I can wear to work and on the weekends because I just don’t have the space or money to buy such different clothes for each. That’s probably another reason why I love this so much. PLUS I wear the collar + necklace combo for every season, which is another bonus!

bridget necklace collar plaidMy go-to statement necklace is one that is just gold with no colored jewels (both a small one and this larger one in the photo). If you’re looking to try this yourself, I would suggest getting just a plain colored necklace to start out, because it’s super versatile and can pretty much match with a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g. Literally everything. I bought this one on sale at J. Crew Factory store for like $30, which is a lot MORE than I would typically spend on a necklace like this. But J. Crew’s quality is so good compared to others I have tried and if you’re just starting out, buying one good one that will match with just about anything is worth the $30 splurge. I promise you’ll get your moneys worth!

Here are some of the looks I found on sale at Target and J. Crew Factory store. But if you do decide to buy one from J. Crew, make sure you wait for it to go on sale… I would feel too bad if you bought it full price!

BridgetOver time I have collected a few more statement necklaces in a few different colors but to be perfectly honest, I wear the large gold one and a smaller gold one (also from J. Crew Factory store) A LOT more than I wear the colored statement necklaces. However, having one fun colored necklace could be a good investment if you find yourself getting a lot of use out of the first one you bought.  DIY Rookies 1I feel like adding a bold necklace really dresses ANY look up. Pairing the bold necklace with something as casual as a flannel can instantly make it look more “put together” and “fancy” yet you still feel very comfortable! bridgetExtra Credit: When I’m not wearing a bold necklace, there’s a pretty high chance I have some other collar combo on. What can I say… I can’t resist a good collar?! Bridget-Holding-Donuts-cake-standI have a few shirts in my closet that I wear alone, with a blazer, or under crew neck sweaters. Just like the statement necklace, these simple collars seem to match with just about everything and instantly layer in some serious cuteness without a ton of fuss or lots of new clothes.

I have a black one, pearl one, sparkly one and a DIY one. Between the few collars and the few necklaces, I swear I have so many combinations of outfits without having to buy a ton of clothes. My fashionista sister is probably cringing reading this post by now, but I just think that it’s so darn EASY, affordable, and can make a big impact without a ton of work/knowledge of fashion trends. There are probably already so many possibilities in your closet… all you need to buy is one statement necklace and you’re all set. <— my kind of fashion!

birthday_bridget_balloons_3_Happy

But like I said, I’m not a fashion blogger (not even close) so take my tips for what they’re worth. I just think it’s a solid option for some of you reading who like to look cute at work and on the weekends. Just another idea to consider next time you’re out shopping. But let’s be honest, I’m the one who will be rocking navy paint in my hair, an oversized sweatshirt, and no makeup this weekend, so maybe I should stick to the DIY and skip the fashion tips. I’m okay with that…

Happy Weekend!

Bridget Signature

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  • Erin

    Im soooo with you on trying to find clothes that can work during the work week and on the weekends! my work uniform is essentially ankle pants and portofino shirts. a Friend turned me on to them, and they pretty much stuck, it’s easy cuz i can have a million colors in both the shirt and pants and just mix and match. Yes i dress in bright colors frequently! Plus it makes it easy to dress year round. it’s too much effort to find seasonal clothes, and nor do i have the space to be able to do a season swap. I have a few sweaters, then in the summer i have some sleeveless shirts, otherwise my clothes are worn year round.

    • I’m glad I’m not alone!! Love the “work uniform” idea, makes the mornings (and shopping) so much easier. =) Thanks Erin!!

    • And Erin…your work uniform sounds just like mine. I have sooo many of those portofino shirts from Express. Love them!

      Casey

  • Summer Hogan

    Love the collar look on you! Such a classic style!

  • shawnna griffin

    great tips Bridget! Love ya! Ya’ll have fun this weekend! Happy Easter!

  • Kara D

    I’m all about the “work uniform” too! Portofinos FTW! I have lately felt like I’m in a clothing rut (I noticed that I get like this at the end of every winter and summer), and I hate trying to find new things that is fun. I’ve started using Stitch Fix, and while it can be $$$, I really like how they share styling tips and encourage me to break out of my uniform! (but no heels for this chick!) I really like how you wear the short statement necklaces under the collared flaps, I will have to give that a try! Happy Friday!

    • Portofinos are the best! And good idea to use Stitch Fix to liven things up for your wardrobe! We need to give it a try.

  • Lisa Martin

    I haven’t tried this kind of look before but love how it looks! I have some beautiful high quality costume jewelry that was my grandmother’s. Some have links with broken clasps or a cluster with one jewel missing, but I’m thinking that if I remove the sections that are in good condition and hook an inexpensive chain with a clasp to them I could diy something like the ones you’re showing. I’d love to try this look and using my grandmothers jewelry would make it even better! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Lisa that is sooooo cool! What a great idea to make some special, one-of-a-kind, personal jewelry!