Transformation Tuesday: Graphic Dress to Graphic Blouse

Transformation Tuesday is a series covering wardrobe transformations. I hope it challenges you to expand the form and function of pieces in your closet.

A recent trip to the thrift store yielded this green and white Banana Republic graphic dress. As you can see, it could stand to be taken in at the sides, and perhaps the sleeves could be shortened to a more flattering 3/4 length. But that may be a project for another day. For now, it’s cold outside, and I know I’ll be layering this piece with other items so the cut is not as important as it would be if I were wearing it alone.

Whenever I see a dress, I also see a blouse. Today I styled my new dress as a top. Tucking it into a pencil skirt fixed the fit issue, and I just pushed up the sleeves with my cardigan I really like that I’m not drowning in the print after covering the bottom and sleeves with some solid pieces. Also, yay for my kitchen having the best light in the house!

Transformation Tuesday: Graphic Dress  to Graphic Blouse|| amayawrites

Dress – Banana Republic (thrifted)
Cardigan – Target Merona
Skirt – Ann Taylor LOFT
Fleece-lined leggings

How would you style a graphic dress?


My 2015 Vision Board

I was inspired by this post from Light by Coco to make a vision board. Here is how I am visualizing 2015!


Images sourced from Pinterest searches

From right to left, top to bottom:

  1. Do a handstand. Build strength. Continue my yoga practice. Stay strong.
  2. Run more. Make a habit of it. Increase distance. Find new trails.
  3. Keep a prayer journal. Be consistent. Be faithful. Become a prayer warrior.
  4. Keep an art journal. Be consistent. Improve on texture. Improve on light.
  5. Keep knitting. Use yarn from the stash. Make my first sweater.
  6. Give better gifts. Remember birthdays. Don’t wait until the last minute.
  7. Maintain my blog. Post regularly. Keep up social interactions. Take more pictures for it.
  8. Do more “big girl” paperwork. Help with taxes, mortgage. Create and maintain a budget.
  9. Curate my wardrobe. Nicer shoes. Sleeker shirts. Increase professionalism.
  10. Pray more.
  11. Communicate. Makes more calls. Skype more. Remember birthdays. Friends, family, acquaintances.
  12. Eat what I love. Indulge in complicated dishes. Fill the pantry with my favorites.
  13. Bake a perfect loaf of bread.
  14. Handle my anxiety. Journal. Talk. Breathe. Fight back. Stay positive. Remember to smile.
  15. Work toward my dream. Get my sub license. Assistant teach. Stay sharp. Find a mentor.

The Uniform

I don’t mind having a uniform look. In the cold weather, it’s a long sleeved shirt, slim pants, boots, and a scarf. Really, it’s almost too common, but I try to add edge to it. Today, I tucked black jeans into brown boots and I clashed my maroon sweater with a rich blue, tasseled scarf.


Now I’m off to go choose a different outfit. I just smeared my sleeve in cinnamon roll frosting.

How I Manage A Capsule Wardrobe in College

I didn’t mean to end up with a capsule wardrobe. I’m aware of the process and admire the concept, but packing for my last semester of undergrad, I didn’t think about putting together a small wardrobe, or keeping my items under a certain number. I did ruthlessly choose only the items that I loved and felt comfortable in. I did a few edits this weekend, pulling out my few summery pieces and putting them away. I put everything back in my closet and did a quick count. Including my two jackets and two cocktail dresses, I have 35 items.wadrobe.jpg

Not all of my clothes are pictured, and I didn’t count my scarves or shawls even though they are picture.

The totals are:

  • 4 skirts
  • 2 body-con dresses
  • 2 cocktail dresses
  • 4 pants
  • 5 sweaters
  • 2 dolman tops
  • 4 nice tee-shirts
  • 2 plain black long sleeve shirts
  • 1 denim button-up
  • 4 tank tops
  • 3 cardigans
  • 2 coats

I do laundry about twice a month; it’s easier now that I am wearing boots because before I was limited by the number of invisible socks I have. I wear most of my garments twice before washing them, unless they get stained. It’s not apparent to anyone that I have a small wardrobe, or else they’re just not commenting on it.

I’m just so pleased every time I open my little closet and see my favorite things; looking put together has become convenient because I simply don’t have very casual clothes (by choice – capsule wardrobes can certainly exude casual style if the owner desires). Even when I wear my wide-legged jeans and a loose sweater, the colors and fabric are on point so it never looks sloppy.

I can tell that I am on the verge of needing to replace a fair amount of my items as my taste in fabric changes (matures, maybe). For example, I have a bright red sundress that is made with a very swingy jersey; it was a favorite when I got it a few years ago, but these days I desire a thicker, sturdier fabric for dresses and will probably replace it with a ponte fabric piece. Some of my items are getting to be four years old and starting to look it with pilling and color fading. I am starting to research the lifespan of higher-end clothes, as these four-year old items are the exception, not the norm, of the places I tend to shop at.

Capsule Wardrobe Resources:

From the Browse

I’ve been browsing the internet for a whole plethora of things. The realization that I go back to school for my last semester in just three weeks has put me in a mood of self-improvement, bucket listing, and planning. I’m not only moving my life one last time, but I’m also leaving the household that, for all intensive purposes, I have been running since I got home from Tanzania. There will be voids to be filled, at least for the next four months until I come home for good.

For planning my fall and winter wardrobe, I’ve enjoyed the content from Caroline at Un-fancy. I’ll be working through her capsule wardrobe planning guides before I go back, although at this point I’ve been so spartan in my wardrobe culling that the best of the best remains. Even if you are like me and at this stage of wardrobe planning, there is nothing like going through this little guide to really feel like a curator. My posture improves just thinking about it.

Angela at Wool and Wanderlust makes me want to do all sorts of things. Photograph, bake, picnic, have lots of children, wear black eyeliner.

I can’t wait for Jennifer L. Scott’s new book At Home With Madame Chic to come out. Right now I’m reading through Lessons with Madame Chic (again) and it’s lovely as usual. I may write a “Lessons from Mama Africa”, would you like that?

Humbling of humbles. The Pacer app has informed me that I have only been active for 46 minutes today and I have only just walked 5000 paces despite a 40 minute jaunt after lunch. On the bright side, the counter makes me want to get up and do chores.

I’m going to go stay on my feet for a bit before I do some marathon knitting. My hemlock ring blanket is in the last third of its bind-off and all I can think is “this had better block out” because it’s rumpling like a dried up octopus. I want to finish the Seaglass Shell before I go back to school because I think I’ll be able to wear it for another month. At school, I’ll work on Christmas knitting. Last month (Christmas in July), I knit 2 1/2 socks and conquered some personal colorwork demons.