My Favorite Accessories

Accessories are the much needed finishing touches to an outfit. Simply adding a necklace can bring an entire look together. There are some pieces in my wardrobe that I just can’t live without! I wanted to introduce to you all to some of the staples in my  wardrobe. A lot of the pictures I take I don’t really get a close up of them, so here they are!

My Alex and Ani bracelets are by far my favorite pieces that I wear. They show so much about a person if you just look close enough. I always mix and match my gold and silver together. I have a wide range of charms, everything from an anchor, cupcake and even Saint Anthony! They go great with any outfit and add just a little something extra. I first heard about them about two years ago from my best friend from college. She lives in Rhode Island and started telling me about these bracelets and how they were made in the USA and made of recycled materials. So cool right?? Here are all of my bracelets. You’ll see them with a lot of my outfits.

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The Statement Necklace is such a bold piece, that it makes people want to look at the rest of your outfit. These four are from J. Crew, the first and last are J. Crew factory and the other two are from J. Crew. The third necklace I have been lusting over for a while now and the second was somewhat spontaneous because I just loved that it had such a “Gatsby” feel!
IMG_4677-001Here are some other places you can find some amazing necklaces:

Pink Pineapple
Bauble Bar

Charming Charlie
Stella & Dot
Target
Etsy Shops (try searching J. Crew jewelry)

About a year ago I found a spiked bracelet at Claire’s and fell in love with the $3 accessory. Then this past Christmas I added two more spiked bracelets, one from Stella & Dot and the other was an Alex and Ani forming my Spiked Bracelet collection!

IMG_4689-001There are a variety of rings I wear but these are a few of my favorites.The Amethyst ring I just got on my trip to Las Vegas from Pawn Stars! I thought it would make a good story! The Tiffany Bean I got for my 18th birthday and I think is so cute. The other two are “two finger” rings that I am obsessed with. And lastly is an vintage opal ring from my grandmother. I love midi rings too, I didn’t picture them because they were too small.

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These are some of my favorite accessories! What are yours? How do you wear them?
Tag yours on instagram at #TOGdetails and show us some looks!

Until next time,xoxo
Ellen

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Twosday Two Ways

Hey all,

Once again it’s Tuesday and that means “Twosday Two Ways” is in full swing. This week Ellen and myself decided to do a two ways with a staple accessory: the Bubble Necklace. This statement necklace has become quite a popular piece to have in ones closet. It can spice any outfit up and can be worn as an only accessory or with other accessories. So without further ado:

Courtney: Bubble Necklace Styled100_4620This is something I would wear to work. I enjoy mixing prints and this statement necklace brings the outfit together. I added a gold sparkle bow belt to tie in the gold from the necklace. Simple yet stylish.

Blouse: J.Crew Factory on sale
Pencil Skirt: J.Crew Factory clearance
Belt: Express clearance
Necklace: Etsy
Flats: American Eagle Outfitters

Ellen: Bubble Necklace Styled 

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My bubble necklace was my first statement necklace! I absolutely adore it. Because it is such a fun necklace I really like to mix and match my prints and styles. I have bubbles, elbow patches, plaid and glitter, and somehow it all worked!! Kinda like a funky Grandpa!

– Gap Sweater, Loafers and cropped pants – J. Crew Factory plaid button down –
– J. Crew Bubble Necklace –

As always tag your twosday style with #TOGtwosday and follow us on instagram @theoxfordguide.

xoxo Courtney & Ellen

Blazer on a Date Night

Living in the city of brotherly love as a single twenty something year old means that dates may arise and that you may need to dress up a little more than you normally do. Recently I joined a “dating app” and I was asked out to dinner by a guy. Being the typical girl that I can sometimes be, I instantly ran to my roommates room and pleaded on what in the world should I wear! She looked at me and stated “Don’t you have a fashion blog?” Sometimes even us fashion bloggers have a wardrobe crisis. Once I calmed down from sheer excitement, I found out where I would be going on this date and decided that I didn’t want to over or under dress for the part. I was going to a nicer restaurant and most people who have been there or heard of it told me to “dress to impress” and “dress cool.” Yes, I scratched my head just like you are probably doing. How does one “dress cool?” I looked my closet up and down and decided my best option was a blazer. I love that blazers are so versatile. It is a preppy school look and a business type look, but paired with the right items, it can be worn for many different settings. Needless to say I have acquired a lot of blazers in my clearance rack shopping, so I have a few choices to choose from. Seeing as I went on two dates with the same gentleman and wore a blazer for each date, I decided I might as well share “the tricks of the blazer trade” as seen through my perspective.

Date Night look #1:

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Top: J.Crew Factory Clearance
Blazer: Cynthia Rowley, TJ Maxx clearance
Jeans: Express Legging in Black
Necklace: PinkPineappleShop Crown Jewels
Bracelets: Alex & Ani
Cross-body: Coach Factory Clearance
Lipstick: Cover Girl Lip Smoochies (#text me)
Perfume: Aerie Sheer (discontinued)
Ulta Nail polish in freshwater pearl.

Date Night #2:

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100_4576Top: Cynthia Rowley, TJ Maxx
Blazer: GAP Clearance
Jeans: Express Dark Wash Skinny
Necklace & Bracelet: J.Crew Factory

Both outfits I paired with a simple pair of black riding boots that I got on clearance at DSW shoes.

I look forward to updating with more Blazer looks, but for now I hope that these two very simple pairings may help you with a date night look, or even a dressier yet casual look.

Tag your blazer looks on Instagram with #TOGblazer

xoxo Courtney

One Polka Dot Skirt, Three Ways

My J. Crew Factory Navy Polka Dot Skirt (that is a mouthful) is one of those pieces that caught my eye on the mannequin in the store and that I absolutely loved once I put it on. Then, I brought it home and “didn’t have anything to wear” with it. My mom always tells me that I need to broaden my horizons with clothes so that is why I started doing these articles, and buying this skirt…. I want to show everyone that there are so many ways to mix and match. You have a closet full of clothes that can be worn all different ways,
so let’s get creative!

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– Grey Madewell T-Shirt – DSW Loafers – Francesca’s Purse- – J. Crew Factory Necklace -“Pawn Star’s” Ring – Betsey Johnson Watch – Maui Jim Aviators –
– Ulta Make-Up – Gap Belt

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– JCPenney Gold Flats – Gap Chambray Shirt – Alex and Ani Gold Bangles – J. Crew Necklace – LULU by Lulu Guinness for JCPenney –

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I always try to wear a pencil skirt in the “traditional” manner. Shirt tucked in to accentuate my waist. Well I was inspired by a photo while browsing through Tumblr, so this was my first shot at it.

– J. Crew Factory Sweater – Anthropologie Scarf – Ralph Lauren Boots –
– LULU by Lulu Guinness for JCPenney –

Want your own Polka Dot skirt? Check out these sites:

PARISCOMING
ASOS
White House Black Market
ModCloth
River Island

I hope you all enjoy! and Tag your new looks to #TOGnewagain
So let’s dig out those buried gems you have hidden in the back of the closet and
try something new. Remember you loved them at one point
so let’s breathe some new life into them!

Until next time,
xoxo
Ellen

Twosday Two Ways!

Happy Tuesday all! This Tuesday we decided to work with our blue button downs with the white collar. This style of oxford is typically worn in the business world by men with a white collar and white french cuffs, but who says girls can’t join in on this style? It’s always fun to mix business and pleasure!

Ellen

My shirt has a definite masculine cut. It is called a boyfriend shirt from J. Crew. When I was in college, I was obsessed with going to the Short Hills mall; I got my fashion fix without buying! However, I was working my minimum wage job on campus and we had just gotten paid, I found myself in J. Crew buying this absolutely adorable shirt that was (with my student discount) $12!! Since then it has been a staple in my wardrobe. Great for the office and also such a great Saturday afternoon shirt.IMG_4641-001

Today’s style has a lot going on. I have the yellow statement J. Crew bubble necklace, a pair of ankle khakis from the Limited and some purple ballet flats I got on sale several years ago from Macy’s. I wore a bright pink lip today ( I mean c’mon PA is not the warmest place right now) with a top knot because I woke up a little late today! SHH!! The makeup and Oh! Lola perfume is all from either Ulta or Sephora and my headband is from… Pier 1! I threw on my red glasses and I was out the door!

Courtney

I have had my blue button down menswear shirt for about two years now. I have always been in love with GAP clearance section. It is my go to for pretty much any season and any fashion item. I found this lovely shirt on the clearance section with an extra 50% off for an amazing steal of $8! I wasn’t completely sure about how to wear it at first, but I knew I wanted to have it in my closet. I tend to dress down more than up, so I like to make this “menswear” a bit more of a relaxed feminine look.

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Here is something I would wear to school, to meet friends out for lunch, or even on a casual date. I paired my GAP button-down with my Express Skinny Jeans in dark wash, Steve Madden Oxford flats and Lulu Townsend clutch (both DSW clearance finds). The statement piece was a gift from TJ MAXX. To finish off this look, I would roll on some of my Aerie perfume and (because I wear very, very little make-up) I may throw on my Cover Girl Lip Smoochies in “#textme” red and be on my way.

Remember that fashion is what you buy, style is how you wear it. As long as you are true to yourself, your style will come shining through.

Tag your looks based upon our Two Ways Twosdays on Instagram with #TOGtwosday so we can check out how you styled your looks.

xoxo Courtney & Ellen

Las Vegas is my Lover

This past weekend I went to Las Vegas, yes for the weekend. Flew out Friday, returned Monday. I have always been a chronic over-packer. What if it rains? What if it snows? What if I meet Beyoncé? I mean the possibilities are endless when going on a trip to Vegas, especially with your sorority sister and college roommate.

So I took this opportunity to try and really plan out everything. From the first day to the last! I mean let’s face it, I’m not going away for a month to travel Europe.

1. Always! Pack the basics
There are only a handful of items you truly NEED. Contacts and glasses (if you wear them), Make-up (if you wear it), a phone charger. Then there are your daily outfits. Again, going back to the over-packing thing I tried to do two outfits a day, one for the day and one for the evening. So doing the math, I would need two outfits for Friday, two for Saturday, two for Sunday and one for traveling home Monday. In total 7 outfits, packing 18 pieces (not including PJ’s and undergarments). For an over packer, I think I did pretty good!

2. Keep it neutral
Pack clothes that go together in multiple ways. I made sure to have one olive jacket and one camel and olive sweater. Two pairs of black heels, one was a stiletto, the other a bootie. For the day time I brought brown leather flip-flops, the classic Sperry and gold flats. All my tops and dresses were either black or Earth tones. Many trips that I would go on, I would not pack heels, there just isn’t a need in some places.

3. Pack for the weather
Before going I checked to see what kind of temps I’d be working with. It was cool for Vegas but it is easy to get overzealous when you’re coming from -12….
So I packed two scarves, one for flying and one leopard print. Everything else could be layered. The sweaters fit under the jacket and a few tanks. I packed two pairs of jeans, one a dark wash and one was lighter with holes. I also packed a pair of leggings.

4. Pack for the location
When vacationing at a place that is also known as Sin City you can imagine that it has a different dress code then most areas. The dresses I packed for Vegas I wouldn’t bring with me to Disney or Cape May. I knew during the day we would do a lot of walking so I packed some comfy shoes, because my feet needed a rest after all that walking in my heels. There were two very handy pieces that I packed, fold-up shoes and a cross body bag. We did so much walking that it would have been impossible to do in heels, so the fold-up shoes were lifesavers! The cross body bag was great too because it fit in my purse for on the plane and it was hands free for lots of pictures and dancing!

Lastly folding your clothes properly goes a long way. A little trick I learned is knowing what to put where. Putting smaller items in between those slats at the bottom of your suitcase can hold a lot. Also rolling your clothes is such a space saver!! So overall, I think I did pretty good. I still have a long way to go in the world a traveling and packing light but this is truly a step in the right direction!

Here are some photos of my outfits from Friday to Monday:

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Now it’s your turn, share your favorite packing tips and things that you have learned over the years. Every trip you learn a little more! So tag us on Instagram at #TOGpacking  and I hope all you over-packers out there can use this to help you!

xoxo
Ellen

DIY Chalkboard

Chalkboard paint is so much fun! I have always loved the idea of having a chalkboard in my house that I could change for the seasons and holidays. When I moved into my boyfriends there was a hook that said “walk me” that held our dog’s leash. One night it broke and then we had this ugly nail sticking out of the wall. So I went out and made my own little chalkboard.

All you need are three items:

PaintChalkBirch Plaque

You can get all these supplies at your local Michaels or A.C. Moore. You spray the board with the Chalkboard paint, the birch plaque is a very porous wood so it might take a few coats but that also means it dries faster. Once it dries, get creative! I usually look up fonts online and get some ideas from, where else but Pinterest!

A few quick tips:

  • Always use a pencil sharpener when working with chalk. It’s easy to sharpen and helps you get all those little details
  • Dip the chalk in water- it helps to bring out the color
  • Always have some paper-towels handy (both wet and dry for quick fixes)

Here are some of my pieces!

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 Tag your chalkboard pieces on Instagram at #TOGchalk

xoxo
Ellen
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As Ellen had been busy making her Chalkboard, I was busy crafting one of my flower vases with chalkboard paint. I love chalkboard paint. I love going on Pinterest and looking at the different ways folks use it to upscale normal everyday household items. It’s superb from writing on glass containers for flour, sugar, salt, etc. or for mason jars as wedding favors. The things you can do with chalkboard paint are as endless as your imagination can take you.

Here I ran to my local Michael’s craft store and bought a bottle of FolkArt chalkboard Mutli-Surface paint and a paint brush. It was 3.99 for the paint and .50 for the brush. I also purchased a Chalk Marker from Target’s super sweet Dollar Bins. I used an old glass milk jug that I got from a local milk distributor.

chalkboardCollageMake sure you have a clean surface and put down some paper to catch any mess.
I chose a design for my chalkboard section and cut it out of paper. I then taped it onto the vase where I wanted it painted.
Paint a layer. Wait and hour and Paint a second layer.
Wait 24 hours for the paint to dry/cure.
Draw on your vase/jar/glass container. I wrote “flowers” since that’s what I’m using it for.

Tag your chalkboard pieces on Instagram at #TOGchalk

Enjoy

xoxo Courtney 

Don’t Blow the Entire Wedding Budget…

I love fashion (obviously). And unlike my amazingly thrifty counterpart, I am not a budget babe. My mother has always said “Ellen, you have champagne taste on a beer budget”. I will admit I enjoy the finer things in life, and by enjoy I mean looking at them from afar while I eat my Auntie Anne’s Pretzel, a less classic Holly Golightly.

Now, I’m not saying that I go in to Fendi and pull a Carrie Bradshaw, no no no! But if I really like a shirt at J. Crew or Anthropologie and I have the funds*, I’ll buy it. There is one condition to my spending a pretty penny, it needs to be practical! Like a great leather purse or a tailored black blazer. I spend money on style, not on trends.

So this is where my title comes into play. The biggest back and forth I have with myself:

The Wedding Dress
To spend, or not to spend, that is the question.

We’ve all seen it on “Say Yes to the Dress” the classic “pull the dress that is out of their price range and have them try that one on” bit that they do. The bride always falls for it. But here’s my concern: What do you do with the dress once it’s been worn on your big day? Play a game of paintball in it? Pack it away in your attic? Wear it out every Friday night to dinner?

I would consider myself an extremely sentimental person, hence why I love photography. You are capturing a moment in your life forever. But when it comes to a $5000 gown, my boss better get ready to have me celebrate Wedding Dress Friday once a month.You better be damn sure if I spend over what I earn in one week on an item, that I will need to wear it until it falls apart. I have been lusting over a pair of black Louboutin’s, I chose black because a black leather pump will always be in style. I always try* to get my moneys worth out of everything I buy.

So I’ve been looking into dresses that won’t break the bank. One that I won’t feel guilty about if it gets shoved in the back of my closet never to be seen again.
These are some that I found:

Embellished Neck Chiffon Shift Dress $148.00
‘Laura’ Ruched Sweetheart Silk Chiffon Gown $230.00
LUCY dress – I Do! Ivory $410.00
Embellished Illusion Back Sheath Dress $398.00
Xscape Cap-Sleeve Lace Gown $179.00
DV Dolce Vita Dress – Liliana Botanical Lace $121.00
Arabelle gown $575.00

Heidi gown $595.00

Enjoy! Tag us in your Instagram pictures at #TOGwedding

P.S. I’m not engaged, I just thought it would be a fun piece to write about!

xoxo
Ellen

Twosday Two Ways.

It’s Tuesday again, so that means “Twosday Two Ways” is up again on the blog. This week  Ellen and myself decided to go a little off the winter-radar and style a pair of Mint Skinnies. Why in the fashion world would we decide on such a spring time color in the dead of winter? Well for that exact reason, because fashion should have no boundaries. We wanted to show that you can still pull off a “spring time” color in the winter. Pastels and Whites in the winter time are just as great as in the spring, they even bring a little color to the drab days of cold and snow.

Style #1: Courtney
(Apologies again for the poor quality photos as I have yet to find my camera) PicMonkey Collage
Mint Skinny Jeans: Indigo Rein (TJ Maxx)
Blazer: Cynthia Rowley (TJ Maxx clearance)
Tee: Aerie by American Eagle
Shoes: Nine West (DSW clearance)
Accessories: Alex & Ani bracelets

Style #2: Ellen

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A Very J. Crew Factory Outfit

J. Crew Factory
– Mint Cords
– Navy wool blazer
– Striped Shirt
Target Scarf
Gap Loafers

Hope this Tuesdays stylings brings you some inspiration to go outside your normal winter go-tos and allows for some peppy pastels and whites into your day.

As always,
xoxo Courtney & Ellen

Graphic Tee Dressed Up.

Lately I’ve been looking for more casual ways of dressing up a basic piece. Yesterday I found myself in the clearance section of J.Crew with an additional 50% off sale items, so the budget fashionista that I am, I was in all my glory. I perused the rack of tops and came across two graphic tees that I couldn’t pass up. I purchased them and instantly started thinking of ways I could work them into my wardrobe of both casual and dressier, for a more work style.

So this leads me to today’s post: the Graphic Tee Dressed Up. Both tees are from the recent clearance rack at J.Crew:

Graphic Tee 1: Two ways.
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Look #1: Mixed Prints.
Red Cheetah Print Pants: Gap (clearance)
Scarf: Charming Charlie
Purse: Poppie Jones (DSW clearance)
Wedges: What’s What (DSW clearance)
Accessories: Alex and Ani bracelets, Pink Pineapple Shop Anchor Bracelet.

Look #2: BoHo Chic.
Maxi: Gap Outlet
Hat: Charming Charlie
Purse: Target (clearance)
Sandals:Target
Accessories: belt from Express, Alex and Ani Bracelets, KJP gold anchor bracelet.

Graphic Tee 2: Three ways. 
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Look #1: Casually Pink.
Blazer: Gap (clearance)
Jeans: Express
Flats: Nine West (DSW clearance)
Purse: American Eagle
Accessories: J.Crew bracelet & necklace, Flower necklace from Target

Look #2: Graphics & Plaids.
Skirt: J.Crew Factory (clearance)
Purse: Coach Factory (clearance)
Shoes: Nine West (Lord & Taylor)
Accessories: Pink Pineapple Shop necklace, J.Crew bracelets

Look #3: Military Chic. 
Military Jacket: Gap (clearance)
Plaid Button Up: Gap
Jeans: Express
Purse: American Eagle
Boots: Dirty Laundry (DSW clearance)
Accessories: Charming Charlie watch, KJP anchor bracelet.

As you can see, I like to reuse some accessories. I shop clearance more than I shop regular priced items. You never know what you might find, or what you may not have thought you liked until you saw it on clearance. I love dressing up a graphic tee and having many different ways to wear it makes the shirt go a long way. How would you style a graphic tee?? tag us on instagram with your pictures with #dresseduptee

xoxo Courtney