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Mixing Styles and Middle School Memories

Style

I’ve been wanting to share this outfit for awhile, not only because I love the pieces in it, but because it brought back a memory that made me smile. And it’s one from middle school…so smile-inducing memories are few and far between ;)

When I was in eighth grade, one of my favorite outfits was a pink top that had some pleating and ribbons down the front paired with army green cargo pants. That was the year my family moved abroad for the second time. Being a new kid at school (again), a little bit of outfit planning went a long way in getting me ready to put myself out there to try to make friends. This outfit was one that I pre-planned in a notebook before school started, and it’s the first outfit that I have a specific memory of feeling “stylish” in. I thought the combination was so cool, and it’s the outfit I immediately reached for when I was invited to hang out with some new friends at the mall and I wanted to bring my A-game.

(Side note: my mom hated this outfit. Sorry, mom :))

While I like to think that those new friends I made didn’t just like me for my outfit, I still give it a little bit of credit. It sounds silly, and maybe even a little shallow, but that beribboned shirt and cargo pants gave me the confidence boost I needed to swallow my introversion and begin those friendships…some of which are still going strong today.

Fast forward more than a decade: my in-laws gave me this gorgeous ruffle-hem, bell-sleeve top for Christmas. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to pull it off, but I loved the way it looked on the internet, and added it to my wish list, just in case. It was totally different than anything I owned, and even though it was wildly impractical with a baby, seeing its dry-clean-only silhouette hanging in my closet reminded me that even though I’d been living in t-shirts and top knots for three months, I still had a personal style. I wore it on one of the first dates Dave and I took after Charlie was born. And a few months later, I wore it to church, paired with the first pair of my pre-pregnancy pants that zipped–the ones in these pictures.

While this combination is, hands down, much more elegant than the one I wore in eighth grade, the effect was the same. I wasn’t in a new place, but I was in a new stage of life, and one that I could certainly use a confidence boost in. And, just like it did back then, that’s exactly what it gave me.

(The exact pieces I’m wearing are sold out, but I’ve linked a bunch of similar ones below!)

Blush bell-sleeve top

Olive pants

Silver flats

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  1. Kristen says:

    Love!!

  2. Dana says:

    I’m trying to remember this pink shirt…probably wasn’t allowed to borrow it ;)

  3. Allison says:

    So stylish, elegant, and simply pretty. :)

  4. Kristina says:

    So pretty! I’m far from being a fashionista but as a fellow introvert I totally get the confident boost that comes from wearing a cute outfit. Thankfully it works just as well today for a job interview as it did back in the day on a first day of school :-)

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