Guest post: Outfits (on a budget) by Lola

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tonight please welcome Lola to the guest blogger fold! She does a great job of explaining her concept so I'll leave it to her words. If you're interested in writing a guest post, please email me or click the "contact" link near the top of the blog. On to the guest post!

I approached Roxy with the idea of creating a blog post that focuses on affordable Anthropologie outfits after realizing that many Effortless Anthropologie readers are graduate students. Anthropologie's target demographic may be 'women with an annual household income of $150,000 to $200,000,' but most grad students don't have nearly that income to work with. Even those of us who receive research stipends or are paid to teach earn, on average, one tenth of those figures.

Regardless of whether I should be able to afford it, I'm still drawn to Anthropologie clothing. I've managed to build up a wardrobe of Anthro items through sale maneuvers and generous gift cards from family and friends. Today, I will share some outfits that I have created using only items that cost under $100. Most of these items are currently available on the Anthropologie website or on sale racks at Anthropologie stores across the country.

Because I spend a large portion of my days teaching undergraduates and meeting with faculty, I try not to wear anything that is overly short or low-cut. For those who are curious about fit, I'm approximately 5'6". I generally wear sizes 4-6 in Anthropologie dresses/skirts and size small in sweaters/shirts/tights.

Verite Dress - $80 (on sale right now)
Pinwheel Tights - $10 (on sale right now)
Submerged Necklace -$48

This is my 'hip professor' outfit, although I tend to wear it on days when I don't have to lecture at the blackboard (I get nervous about raising my arms above my head to write while wearing a strapless dress'). I love to bring out the chocolate brown belt on the Verite Dress by matching it with my tights and shoes. The sweater adds some much-needed color to the ensemble. In the picture, I'm wearing the Dawn's Break Cardigan (purchased at Anthropologie last year for $50) but any monochromatic cardigan in a bright color would do the trick.

Fluttering Pencil Skirt - $80 (on sale right now)
Wind Rippled Tee - $30 (on sale right now)

Some might say that the Wind Rippled Tee with the Fluttering Pencil Skirt is a combination with too many ruffles. I personally can't get enough of Anthropologie's ruffled pieces, so I wear them whenever possible. The only caveat is that you want to make sure that the ruffles don't add too much bulk. Fortunately, this isn't a problem for the slimming Wind Rippled Tee or the figure-hugging Fluttering Pencil Skirt. Since the ruffles are a little overpowering, I try not to wear any accessories with this outfit. I also pull my hair into one clean upsweep so that it doesn't compete with the neckline of the Wind Rippled Tee.

Solo Stroll Skirt - $50 (on sale right now)
Gentle Current Cardigan - $88 (no longer available - the Graceful Point Cardigan ($88) is similar)
Shades of Gray Tights - $10 (no longer available)

The Solo Stroll Skirt is tricky because of the diagonal ruffle. You must wear it with a fairly short shirt or the ruffle will get hidden underneath (and give you a lumpy physique). I like to wear mine with a basic black tee that I bought on the Anthropologie sale rack for $20 last year. I'm a huge fan of wearing different shades of gray together, so I decided to pair the skirt with a charcoal-colored Gentle Current Cardigan and the Shades of Gray Tights. I splurged on a pair of Flaxen Wedges ($138), but any brightly colored shoes will add a little pizzazz to this outfit.

Sideswept Sweater Dress - $70 (on sale right now)
Scarf Trick Sweater - $80 (on sale right now)
Duchess Headband - $32 (no longer available - the gold Triple Strand Headband ($32) is similar)

This is my 'first day of teaching' outfit. As a young instructor, it can be difficult to get my students to see me as an authority figure rather than a friend, so I try to look a little more mature on the first few days of class. I like this combination because the burgundy in the dress matches perfectly with the burgundy in the scarf, plus the sweater has more of a 'blazer' feel to it. I know that it sounds crazy to wear a sweater over a sweater dress, but the Sideswept Sweater Dress is very lightweight (and short-sleeved) so it can be layered underneath of a more substantial sweater.

Sidewise Denim Skirt - $88
Climbing Cowlneck - $48 (only available in stores - call Customer Service to track one down)
Lacy Floral Tights - $15 (on sale right now)
Seychelles Ballet Flats - 44 (no longer available through, but you can find them on in a variety of colors)

This outfit is ideal for a quiet day of research. The Climbing Cowlneck is extremely comfy and the Seychelles Ballet Flats are more like slippers (beautiful, silky, d'orsay cut slippers!). The Sidewise Denim Skirt gives the outfit a casual feel, but even when I'm being casual I like to dress things up a little by pairing the ensemble with Ruffian's grey Lacy Floral Tights.