Inspiration to Execution

Inspiration to Execution: Color Blocking

Hello Friend!

As you likely know, J. Crew catalogs are a constant source of outfit inspiration for me. The most recent catalog features beautiful outfits centered around color blocking. While many of the outfits are amazing (obviously, it’s J. Crew!), the outfit on the left is in a league of its own. Besides the beauty of each individual piece, the colors together are vivid and eye-catching. Therefore, I had to attempt a similar look.

Because the essence of color blocking lies in the colors, I chose to use the same color palette as the catalog photo. As I have told you many times, when you are inspired by something, first shop your closet and find items that can make do for your interpretation.

color blocking j crew catalog inspired outfit

As I looked around my closet, I had only one item of each color. Luckily, they were all different articles of clothing and thus could be paired together. Instead of pants, I had a green skirt. For the second color, the periwinkle blue, I also had an option in my closet, a blouse. Finally, for the camel coat, I had a camel long vest which succeeded in tying the whole outfit together.

color blocking outfit inspired by J Crew

Because this was a work look, I kept my accessories clean and neutral. Thus for my jewelry, I chose a simple monogram necklace, stud earrings, a watch and a fun ring.

color blocking j crew catalog inspired outfit

Because the outfit is so colorful, I chose neutral for the rest of my accessories. Consequently, for my bag, I turned to my ever faithful cognac Rebecca Minkoff tote. In addition to the shoes, I also added a pair of cognac heels.

color blocking and j crew catalog inspired outfit with Rebecca Minkoff medium mab and baublebar ring

All together it makes for a fierce outfit. While I chose to make this a work appropriate look, I think with a few tweaks it can be a fun evening out look as well.

color blocking and j crew catalog inspired outfit

Finally, I hope from reading this post, you can tell I thoroughly enjoy taking outfit inspirations and turning them into real-life looks. In addition, I hope you will try to do this for yourself as well!

If you would like to shop the look, please see the items linked below!

Inspiration to Execution: Gingham on Gingham

Hello friend,

As you likely already know, I like wearing J Crew clothes. They always seem to put out classic yet compelling prints. Moreover, they tend to pair those prints together very well. Take for example, this amazing gingham on gingham outfit recently on their website.

This outfit is one I definitely wanted to emulate. I had seen similar looks by them before, and was ready to try my hand on a gingham on gingham outfit. So I set out to find myself a similar look. Luckily, I already had a large gingham print skirt. As it was in blue, I paired it with a blue gingham shirt, also already in my closet.


I chose blue prints for both to easily unify them. As the inspiration picture clearly demonstrates, using the same colorway for the top and skirt makes the outfit cohesive.

gingham on gingham outfit

Fortunately, the combination worked out well. I added a cognac belt to break up the mass of blue gingham. Because the gingham added so much of a preppy vibe, I chose a bold fringy statement necklace to balance that out.


For shoes and purse, I chose to stay neutral. But I could not help adding a third print in the shoes.


Overall, I like the look. Isn’t it surprising how wearing one print in different sizes can look so chic?

blue gingham on gingham with leopard

What do you think of this outfit? Would you wear gingham on gingham? If you are inspired to try, I have linked some similar items below.

Inspiration to Execution: Plaid on Plaid

Hello friend!

As you may know, I am a big fan of J. Crew. I adore their gorgeous prints and saturated colors. Most of all, I am constantly inspired by their penchant to mix prints. I take a lot of my outfit inspirations from them. This plaid on plaid outfit in one of their catalogs caught my eye and stole my heart.

J Crew mad hatter ad plaid shirt with gingham skirt and cherry print clutch

It features the cotton midi skirt in oversized gingham paired with a plaid shirt. Now I would have loved to go out and buy this entire outfit. However, budgetary confinements prevented me. More importantly, I felt I could make a similar look with items I already owned. So I turned to my closet. I quickly found a large gingham skirt from Boden in navy check. Then it was on to my plaid shirts. I didn’t have a summery one that matched the skirt. But I did find a more substantial flannel shirt from Old Navy. Since Autumn is technically here (although it is still quite warm), I made my version more of a fall appropriate look than the ad.

plaid old navy shirt with gingham skirt and red heels

The ad snuck in a third print in the form of a clutch. I did similarly with my leopard belt. Given that my outfit was a fall look, I did not think fruit prints would work. But leopard print never fails!

plaid on plaid with leopard

I chose red pumps to echo the mix of red in the plaid shirt.

plaid on plaid with leopard and red pumpsFor accessories I chose a classic twist of pearls. I love the look of feminine pearls against a masculine plaid print. I added some fun rings and rounded off the look with a couple of leopard cuffs from Charming Charlie.

plaid on plaid j crew inspiration

And that is how I came up with my plaid on plaid outfit. It may not be an exact replica of the J. Crew ad, but it has the same feel of it. I hope that you can take inspirations such as this and make it work with the items you already own. Let me know what has inspired you and how you translated that inspiration into your own outfit.

Inspiration to Execution: Leopard Print with Red Stripes

Hello friend!

As you know from reading my style evolution and other fashion philosophy posts, I rarely wear an outfit the same exact way. I like to tweak it a bit each time to keep things interesting for me (and you!).

One great example is this post from Brooklyn Blonde featuring this gorgeous outfit of leopard print with red stripes.

Brooklyn Blonde pattern mixing red stripes leopard print clutch red pumps outfit

I love this outfit. It has many of the attributes I enjoy: color and print. The pattern mixing is an added bonus of course. So I set out to try to emulate the look. Knowing I cannot wear ripped denim to work, I attempted some more work appropriate looks.

For the first look, I swapped out the camel coat for a camel skirt. I loved the results. It’s not the same exact look, but it works for me and my lifestyle.

pattern mixing red stripes leopard print cardigan red pumps outfit

Next I tried it with a soft trench and pumps in a cooler nude than the camel she wore. I also changed the leopard piece to the skirt. This also works well for the office and has the same overall feel of her outfit.

pattern mixing red stripes leopard print skirt and soft trench coat outfit

For another mix, I went back to the camel skirt, but this time brought in the denim element in the form of a jacket. I moved the leopard to the shoes. This is still work appropriate for me, hurray!

pattern mixing red stripes leopard pumps with denim jacket outfit

I also wanted some casual options. The first way I wore it is an almost exact replica of Helena’s look.

pattern mixing red stripes leopard print clutch red pumps and distressed denim outfit
To play it up a bit, I also tried it with a fur leopard print vest. I opted for a trendy pair of sunglasses here to further “funk” up the look.

pattern mixing red stripes leopard print fur vest with distressed denim and red pumps outfitSeeing how many looks I could come up with from one inspiration was astounding. Truthfully I can probably mix these items up some more and get a few more outfits. So when you see a look on someone that has key elements that you love and already own, take note! You can use that inspiration to make multiple similar looks as I have done.

Now don’t feel like you have to go out and buy multiple items in leopard or red stripes. This post is simply to encourage you to be creative. You can create similar looks with what you already own. The key is to know what you like and to be brave enough to mix it up.

Would you wear leopard print with red stripes? How would you wear it? Please share below!

Inspiration to Execution: Leather Jacket and Pleated Midi Skirt

Hello friend!

Welcome to my first outfit Inspiration to Execution post. In this series I’d like to share how I take the inspiration for an outfit and turn it into one that works for me. I spend a lot of time on Instagram and fashion blogs. Those both provide a lot of inspiration for my outfits. But outfit inspiration does not stop there. I am often inspired by color combinations I see on billboards, other people, and also toys. Believe it or not, this specific outfit was inspired by a doll!

Anthropologie leather jacket with pleated pink skirt as seen on Polished Whimsy blog

If you follow me on snapchat, you have seen my love for the fashionista barbies. Their outfits are incredible. So when my two Instagram friends @michellerosborough and @teachthriftwear decided to start a Barbie outfit challenge, I was all in.


The first challenge (September 2) featured a pretty pink pleated skirt and a black leather jacket. Now I didn’t have the exact elements, but I made do with what I had. I chose a blush pleated skirt I had purchased years back in London. To pair with it, I picked the only leather jacket I have. It is olive green, but the overall effect is similar.

Baublebar Linette Drops earring as seen on Polished Whimsy Blog

For jewelry, I went with a statement earring. The gorgeous Linette Drops from Baublebar fit the bill perfectly. They are eye-catching yet still delicate and feminine. It is just right for the look. Since the earrings were a focus piece, I skipped a necklace and went for a few large rings.
Leather jacket and pleated skirt on polished whimsy blog

This was definitely a twirl worthy outfit. The delicate pleated skirt had the perfect “swish” factor as I walked.

outfit inspiration from polished whimsy blog

I hope you see how easy it can be to get outfit inspiration from our surroundings. First, take a moment to look around. Second, identify what speaks to you. Then take that inspiration and turn it into a fabulous outfit. This method will keep you looking fresh and unique. Most of all, it will keep you excited about wearing items already in your closet.

What has been a unique outfit inspiration for you?