Outfit of the Day: Punk Floral

J. Crew punk floral with a yellow blazer and neon pink heels

J. Crew punk floral with a yellow blazer and neon pink heels

J. Crew punk floral blouse (similar at J. Crew Factory) • J. Crew schoolboy blazer (similar) • Target black jeans J. Crew Factory heels (similar) • J. Crew classic link bracelet

I love this print. I usually try to wait until J. Crew puts their brand new pieces on sale, but when the punk floral clothes went online, I immediately bought this blouse – and I’m so glad I did. It’s surprisingly versatile and goes with so much. And J. Crew has been great in bringing back successful prints, because this blouse is for sale at J. Crew Factory now! They also have this super cute skirt, and I am thinking about getting these pants. Ah, bold patterns. I love them so much.

Thank you Mom for taking my photos! (But this is why I hold my hands the way I do – see how weird my fingers look!)

J. Crew punk floral with a yellow blazer and neon pink heels

Linking up with Fizz & Frosting today!

J. Crew vs. J. Crew Factory – what to buy and when to save

If you’re a longtime reader, you know I could live in J. Crew. I absolutely love everything about that store, minus the prices. And while there are a few pieces I think are worth the price, some are better saved for your next trip to the outlet mall.

Comparing skirts from J. Crew Factory and J. Crew

Buy at J. Crew

  • No. 2 wool pencil skirt – I love the No. 2 pencil skirt for work – and I love it even better when I can find it on sale! The amount of wool is significantly different in the retail version – you can feel it when you put the skirt on, and you can see it when you’ve been sitting at a desk for eight hours a day and don’t have wrinkles when you finally stand up. The factory version of this skirt is noticeably less soft and wrinkles super easily. Save your money and buy the retail skirt. The skirt above on the left is from J. Crew Factory, while the one on the right is from J. Crew. See the wrinkly difference? 
  • Chino shorts – My favorites on a warm summer day, J. Crew’s chino shorts are thicker and less wrinkly (see above) than their factory cousins. They look nicer after several washes and come in an array of fun colors (I’m hoping to add melted caramel to my closet for the summer).

Buy at J. Crew Factory

  • Clare cardigans – virtually identical to their retail Jackie counterparts for half the price. The buttons are even the same, which used to be a complaint of mine – older Clares got crappy buttons that made the cardigan look cheap.
  • Anya shoes – also identical to the Cece shoes in retail. The only hitch is that Ceces come in 10.5, while Anyas don’t. I can usually get away with sizing down but it is a bit of a tight fit. And this is more of a personal issue – I have yet to meet many 10.5 ladies. :) And I’m sorry to say that J. Crew just discontinued Cece in favor of Emma, who I am NOT a fan of. (Sidenote: who comes up with J. Crew shoe names? Because I’d like to throw my hat in for that job.)


  • Jewelry – I think bracelets are better quality at J. Crew by far than at J. Crew Factory. But necklaces seem to be better at the Factory.
  • T-shirts – I am the J. Crew vintage cotton tees‘ biggest fan, but I also love the layering t-shirt at J. Crew Factory. I own too many of these. Seriously, it’s embarrasing.

Is there anything you buy at J. Crew Factory instead of J. Crew? Or vice versa?

outfit of the day: striped sweater

J. Crew Factory sweater

J. Crew Factory sweater

J. Crew Factory Charley sweaterGap shrunken boyfriend shirtJ. Crew Minnie pant • J. Crew Factory necklace Talbots ballet flats

This is an outfit that is over a year in the making! I have loved the outfit in this pin for what feels like forever – and could finally recreate it thanks to J. Crew Factory bringing back a sweater I missed out on last year. I love how they’ve been doing that, especially since prices are usually better for the factory versions.

J. Crew Factory sweater

Yes, I’m making a strange ballet hand pose in this photo. But I don’t care. I like it.

Thanks Annie for taking my pictures!

outfit of the day: classic neutrals

I love my tan blazer. Especially with polka dots!

I love my tan blazer. Especially with polka dots!
J. Crew schoolboy blazer
• J. Crew shell • J. Crew cafe capris • J. Crew Factory ballet flats (similar)  

So I’m a walking J. Crew ad. Again. It happens. Especially when it’s fall (J. Crew’s best season, in my humble opinion), and extra especially when I just want a classic outfit with neutral pieces.

Also, I love J. Crew. In case you didn’t know that already.

outfit of the day: punk and pink

J. Crew punk floral with a pink blazer

J. Crew punk floral with a pink blazer

J. Crew swoop top in punk floral • H&M blazer • Target jeggings • J. Crew necklace • Talbots ballet flats •  J. Crew classic pave link bracelet and Stella & Dot renegade cluster bracelet

It might be officially fall, but I can’t help but still wear pieces that are very summer. I’ll put this top away for a few months soon enough – but in the meantime, it was perfect for a slightly-chilly Friday outfit. I will never, never, never get enough of this blazer. I don’t shop at H&M very much, but I need to because jersey blazers are the best. They’re like work-appropriate sweatshirts. I like this one so much, I just bought another jersey blazer in black that was also on sale. Thank you, H&M for finally adding online orders.

Thank you Annie for taking my pictures!

J. Crew punk floral with a pink blazer

Linking up with Mix & Match Fashion!

outfit of the day: punk floral and yellow

J. Crew punk floral top with yellow jeans

J. Crew punk floral top • Ann Taylor jeans (similar) • Talbots shoes

This was the post that almost didn’t happen. I’ve been planning this outfit for a while because I was determined to pair another fun color with this blouse – which is one of my favorite. But because of our work schedules, my boyfriend can only take my pictures after work. If it’s a later night, picture time gets pushed back. Or if it’s an even later night, we both are starving and eat dinner first – and then I spill on myself and my outfit. Please don’t try and play spot the stain – I think I got most of it out.

I’m on a bit of a spending freeze since buying a new computer, so even though J. Crew is torturing me with beautiful fall arrivals (I know – WAY too early for those!), I’m comforting myself with pieces like this blouse. It was a bit of a splurge, but definitely one of my favorite buys this year. And one of my favorite parts of it is in the picture below – it has a keyhole back!


outfit of the day: punk floral (plus sponsor intro!)

J. Crew punk floral - bright green with neon pink

J. Crew punk floral - bright green with neon pink

J. Crew punk floral swoop top (it keeps selling out online and then popping back, so keep checking!) • J. Crew No. 2 pencil skirt (last year, but here’s this year’s cotton version) • Karen Scott peep-toe heels • Tiffany’s and Zenzi via Stitchfix bracelets

This top is part of J. Crew’s punk floral collection, which makes me laugh, because I am the least punk person ever. Apart from a few colorful hairdos, I am about as punk as a bright pink skirt with a green top. Bright color is punk, right?

I have seen this top on adorable outfits from Annie and Tara and when J. Crew had a 20% off sale (and I saw it in my size), I went for it. I love LOVE the color and can’t wait to try this top with jeans for the weekend or white pants. Oh the possibilites.

J. Crew punk floral - bright green with neon pink


   A cute navy blazer with patterned leopard jeans

It’s Sponsor Intro time, and I’m super excited to introduce you to Katy of Sugar and Chiffon! Katy was one of the first bloggers I connected with when I started my blog, she’s a fellow Midwesterner and she just graduated from law school! Which basically means she’s amazing. (I mean, obviously – look at those pants!) I’m so excited to have Katy sponsor my blog! You can also check her out on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest!

Name: Katy Hanawalt
Where I live: Cleveland, Ohio
Favorite Foods: Iced coffee, good cheese, chips & fresh salsa, and peaches when they are in season
Free Afternoon: Probably go shopping! I love going to Marshalls/TJ Maxx/Home Goods and spending hours digging through everything.
Current Nail Polish: something neon pink from Zoya. I got it done at a salon and can’t remember the name, but it’s super bright and fun.
Favorite music on my iPod: This one always throws people…mostly rap and old, classic rock. Right now I really like Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Pitbull, and I’ve been playing that Florida Georgia Line “Cruise” remix with Nelly nonstop. Simon & Garfunkel, Pat Benatar, Bon Jovi, and Journey are always favorites.

outfit of the day: flowers + whatever works wednesday

Gap floral blouse with J. Crew No. 2 pencil skirt

Gap floral blouse with J. Crew No. 2 pencil skirt

Gap shrunken boyfriend print shirt • J. Crew No. 2 pencil skirt (different colors) • J. Crew Factory emery flats

My love affair with Gap shirts continues. I LOVE them. I don’t know if I can quite convey how wonderful it is to find blouses that don’t gap in the center. Seriously it should not be this hard (AHEM, J. Crew!) to find blouses that fit ladies with big ladies. Plus look how fun this blouse is! For all the colors I have in my closet, I am sorely lacking in prints that aren’t stripes or polka dots. It’s so nice to add a good floral to the mix. I can’t wait to style this blouse with something more casual!

Now anyone want to try and figure out WHAT is going on with my hair?! Your guess is as good as mine.

While you’re blog reading today, hop over to Coming Unstitched. I’m featured on there!

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy today!


Now it’s time for Whatever Works Wednesday!

Whatever Works Wednesday link-up party on smalltownbigwardrobe.com


How it works:

  1. Make sure your link is no more than one week old (older links will be deleted).
  2. Add your link (please link to the specific post and not to your main blog page).
  3. Add a link to my blog in the post you linked up to!
  4. Visit as many other links as you can!

my j. crew picks + sponsor info

First of all, I have to say thank you for the comments, tweets and messages after my blog post yesterday. I am so thankful for my readers, and I really appreciate you all letting me vent. I’m excited about taking these steps forward and looking forward to expanding my blog!

J. Crew rolled out their March 2013 arrivals, and as usual I want everything. But there were a few pieces I really have my eye on (aka, am hoping they go on sale immediately!).

My favorites of J. Crew's March 2013 arrivals

Pencil wrap skirt – I love the pink and blue colors together, and the shape is super flattering.

Charlie fatigue jacket – you can’t tell, but the jacket is lined with striped jersey. SO COMFY.

Jeweled sweatshirt – Between the color and the delicate beading, I think this might be the only sweatshirt I can wear to work.

Collection Etta sequin pumps – Beautiful rose gold sequin heels that are way more expensive than I can afford, but a girl can dream. Seriously, these shoes are MAJOR.

Bright droplet necklace – I love longer necklaces, and the porcelain blue color is perfect for spring

Crystal necklace sweater – Green, blue and a built-in necklace? Sold.

Indigo floral popover – I’m always looking for cute prints, and I love the pintucking around the collar.


And now sponsor info! I waited probably longer than I should have to accept sponsors. For some reason, having sponsors on my blog scared me. I think it’s the fact that it involved money. I’m nervous about anything involving money/business. But I knew I had to at least try, and Passionfruit makes selling ad space very, very easy. And being scared of something is a stupid reason not to do it. Even if that something is as small as a $5 ad.

Buying an ad is easy! For $5 in March, you’ll get a 200 x 200 ad on the right side of my blog. I’ll introduce you as a sponsor and tag you in Twitter and on Facebook throughout the month. Ads cost $5 and last for 30 days. All you have to do is visit my sponsor page and reserve your spot.

Also – have you submitted a question for “Ask Catherine”? No? What are you waiting for? I’ll answer any question – fashion, blogging, political. Yep, I’ll even get political. Anything for you all.

Please keep in mind I reserve the right to turn down sponsorships if I think your product/blog doesn’t fit with my message and my readers.

outfit of the day: inspired

Blazer, thrifted • sweater and belt, J. Crew • pants and shoes, Old Navy • bracelets, J. Crew and Target

I bought this sweater from J. Crew last year after doing the normal wait until it goes on sale, then hedge because it’s out of stock in your size dance. I took the bait and ordered a size too big because I had to have this sweater - and ever since then, I’ve regretted it. It’s a beautiful sweater, but it looks sloppy if I wear it alone (or at least I’m self-conscious about it being sloppy-looking all day). Blair of Atlantic-Pacific has this sweater too, and I was inspired to recreate one of my favorite outfits of hers that incorporates it. I’m still not sure about the belt – but it seemed a cute way to rein in a slightly-too-big sweater.

Sidenote: LOFT totally copied this sweater for their holiday roll-out (I mean seriously, was a ripoff ever more obvious?), so if you’re looking for a similar item, buy it here!

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