Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Adventures in Polyvore

Have you started using Polyvore yet? It's fun—I'm no fashion blogger but I'm a human and by law I'm required to wear clothes. Might as well have fun with that, right?

I wrote a post about Polyvore over on Oklahoma Women Bloggers, and really just started digging into the site a few months ago. I'm learning that it's a great way of organizing your wardrobe almost like paper dolls. Pick out items that you like and then build an outfit or a collection or an entire wardrobe, complete with accessories.

I created a Polyvore account a few years back, but just used it as a wish list. Now I'm realizing I can use it for practical purposes as well, building outfits around pieces that I own. My OKWB post was all about styling a denim dress in August, and I used that dress to make outfits including pieces that I already own and things that I would like to add.

I've been an accessories hoarder collector for years, and love to find fun and interesting pieces in unexpected places, especially when they're on sale. As someone whose weight has fluctuated over the years, it's easy to shop accessories all the time. Especially those times when you're not really feeling it shopping for clothes. Accessories for me have always been an easy pick-me-up, but I'm tired of hiding behind the same old T-shirt and cut offs.

Polyvore is helping me to shop my own closet for items that I have, and inspiring me to pick up pieces where and when I can, based on the things that catch my interest on the site.

For instance, the composition book in this picture is actually a tote bag I scored at a local bookstore—one of the outfits I curated in August had a tote bag printed with a newspaper print, but this one spoke to me even more (ahem, just look at the header of my blog if you wonder why). The gold clutch in the photo? A pencil case I found while shopping for school supplies at Target. And the necklaces were all on sale at Kohls and WalMart. The tote was $20, a full-price splurge. The necklaces and pencil case were $20 total. Not a bad score for pieces that I'll use.

In September, I used Polyvore to help me style some outfits based on a piece that I wanted but hadn't yet purchased: patterned ankle-length pants. With a print so small they work pretty much like as a solid color, I've been eyeballing pants like this for a while, but before I buy something that will go into the Pit of Despair section of the closet (i.e., the Island of Misfit Toys, also known as Purchases I Made and Have Never Worn), I used this site to plan how to wear them. My goal is to rid my closet of this Pit and only have items that I really love and wear.
This is the first outfit I made using the patterned pants as a base. I have a similar shoe and sweater set, and how cute is that bag? I like to play around with luxury goods that I don't have, it's part of the paper dolls aspect of Polyvore that I really enjoy. This is a total ladies-who-lunch outfit what with the pearls and Chanel handbag. Who doesn't love a structured Kelly bag?

Now with denim. Because everything goes with denim! And leopard. And cowboy boots. Love it all. I call this my casual Friday look, with great, simple accessories and a few fun touches. I'm really thinking I need to find this leopard bag.

I'm learning how to really play with my clothes, and what's more playful than mixing patterns? I love the black and white print of the pants with these leopard shoes. And yes, a Ramones T-shirt. I don't care if I'm over 40. Ramones are legit. One thing you can count on in the collections that I put together is that I will always (ALWAYS) have a punk-rocker-chic look in the mix. It's my happy place.

This is another step from my comfort zone, but I really love how it all plays together. The stripe in the top with the print on the pants, and bringing in a color that I don't wear (yellow is not a good color on me) but I still really like by using accessories. Yes, it might be matchy-matchy with all the yellow but I don't think it's overkill and I like how the black and blue compliment one another. A nice professional look with some menswear-inspired touches in the jacket and loafer.

In reality, when I shopped for my printed pants, I found a great pair on sale that were blue and black, so all of the outfits here are not true to what I would probably pair them with, but it's a good start. And I found such a good deal on the pants, I also picked up a printed pencil skirt with a black and white small print that would work with most of these as well.

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