Thursday, September 1, 2011

Guest Post: To Brighten My Day

While I am off on vacation this week, I asked a couple of my favorite bloggers from around the country to share how where they live might affect what they wear. Mostly because I want to know, and this was the easiest way to get them to tell me...

Today, it's Cee from Northern Virginia, who may just be the most creative layerer (I know that's not a word, but there really is not better way to describe her!) I've ever seen. I would pay her to come to Atlanta to teach me how to do what she does. Check her out over at To Brighten My Day.


Hello readers of This life, redefined...! I'm Cee and I blog at to brighten my day. While Tara is on vacation, I'll be stepping in today to talk about my personal style.

I'm an East Coast girl through and through. I've lived in the DC metro area practically my entire life, with a few years spent away at a southern VA school. My surrounding environment definitely played the biggest role in how my style has evolved. I'm a trend lemming and can pinpoint my style influences down to three memories:

1) I grew up in your average middle-class suburbia where mainstream trends ruled. I first began to notice "fashion" during my middle school years. Do you remember those popular old-school adidas jackets from the 90s with the big logo on the back? I threw jackets like that on top of everything, from jeans to skirts. These were definitely the years that I started dressing sporty-casual. Or, looking back at pictures, sporty-messy, lol.

2) In high school, Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle, and the likes became the "it" places to shop at. These stores were my first introduction to preppy clothing, but by today's standards, they're probably just considered run-of-the-mill. I didn't leave behind my sporty-messy style, but instead of sticking to one style a day, I'd try various combinations. Sometimes it worked, but most often times it didn't.

3) I was in for a shocker when I went away to college. What I thought was preppy back home was tame compared to what I saw while living in the South: girls in sundresses and pearls toting Vera Bradleys; guys in blazers, ties, shorts, and flip flops. The kicker is, this was somewhat normal everyday, but a must at football games. I can't say I immediately embraced this full-on preppy style (though I did blend in fairly well at sporting events my first year), but over time, the familiarity certainly grew on me.

Nowadays, I find myself gravitating towards a mixture of preppy, casual, and even the occasional feminine item. I typically start off with one piece to center my outfit around. This could be pink shoes, statement necklace, bright top, etc. I'm not very good at mixing patterns or colors, so most times you'll find me wearing something white or black, which goes with everything. Then I would start adding layers, either keeping the outfit top-heavy while showing some leg, or keeping the top simple and covering up the bottom. I try to play with proportions whenever possible. Through blogging, I've come to appreciate the difference accessories can make an outfit. Most days you'll find me finishing an outfit with a trusty scarf, necklaces, rings, or a combination of them all (sometimes I just don't know when enough is enough).

A few of my favorite outfits and my thought process while getting dressed:

(1) The navy blue equestrian scarf was the statement piece of this outfit. I kept the rest simple and casual with a white tee, bright skirt, and flip flops, a more grown-up version of my favorite uniform of tee and sweats. Of the three outfits featured, this is the one that I'm most comfortable in and probably best defines "me."

(2) I started with the neon pink tee, then paired it with the obligatory white item, a pencil skirt. Ballet flats or flip flips didn't feel right with this type of skirt, so I added a pair of nude heels. Even with the bright pink top, the top half remained a bit boring. I briefly considered my navy blue equestrian scarf (from outfit 1), but decided feminine pieces looked better with a girly skirt, so I loaded up on necklaces instead.

(3) I love getting more wears out of items by mixing casual with business (my closet and wallet both thank me!) This chambray top can easily be dressed down, but by pairing it with a work-appropriate skirt and dressy heels, it's now suitable for my business-casual work environment as well. My natural shoe choice for this outfit would've been simple black pumps. But I felt with the already darker (and somewhat masculine) palette, hot pink shoes are a bright and unexpected contrast.

A big thanks to Tara for letting me share and thank you for reading!


Thanks for sharing, Cee! I'd never even thought about dressing up for a football game until I moved down south, but you'd fit right in at the Georgia football games I've been to since I moved...


  1. Hello! I'm one of Cee's regular readers - Cee, thanks for introducing me to a new blog. ;D

  2. i love your style... and i'm from NC and went to school in SC... my husband went to Auburn and we know that preppy look you're referring to!

  3. These pictures are so impressive. I am sure my peers will enjoy these too.Best Business School


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