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Lessons Learned

13 Aug

It’s hard to believe that I started this blog six months ago. As a perpetual fire-starter and non-finisher of projects, sticking to something for six months is a big deal for me.

I started Pink Chai without a plan or a clear idea of what this blog was going to be about. The only thing I knew was that I needed to get out of my rut and start making some pretty big changes in my life. One thing I’ve always believed in is the way the you look and dress really affects how you feel, so starting with my clothes made complete sense. I haven’t upgraded my wardrobe much (in fact, I purged most of it out), but I have started learn how to maximize what’s already there. And as much as I cribbed about it, the 30 for 30 challenge really helped with learning how to stretch my wardrobe.

So in honor of  half a year of blogging about my good, bad, and questionable outfits, I’ve chosen my six favorite looks and shared the lesson learned below.

{Secretary Chic}

The lesson here is easy; classic pieces with simple accessories always look good. A basic black skirt and pinstripe blouse are dressed up with a black belt, hose, and stacked bracelets. If I was wearing this outfit for an evening out; a quick switch to high heels and it would be perfect.

{Double Whamy}

This one is a two-in-one for me; embrace colour and ignore the “rules”. Normally I would wear a monotone outfit and add colour through a scarf or cardigan, but lately I’ve really tried to infuse my outfits with layers of colour. The hardest part of this has been ignoring all the strange rules I’ve created in my subconscious about colour combinations. Things like never wear red and green together because they look to “Christmasee”, or black and navy together look like you got dressed in the dark, etc., etc. Glad to say that I’ve gotten over that!

{Pink Perfection}

This one is all about stepping out of your comfort zone. I had this skirt for months but was never courageous enough to wear it until I started the blog. But once I wore it, it instantly became one of my favorite pieces and I’ve worn it several times since then.

{Copy Cat (or Monkey)}

This outfit made me realize that I can create a look that is sort of “dressed up casual”. I usually go for outfits that are one extreme or the other: super casual or very dressed up, but something like this actually works a lot better for my life right now. In a look like this I’m just as comfortable playing at the park with kids, or dropping in for a quick visit with a client. (Most of the projects I’m working on right now are with pretty laid back and casual clients).

{Inspiration to Outfit}

Recreating an outfit that I was inspired by might be the most important lesson I’ve learned. In the past I would look at a great outfit and think that I would have to purchase every piece (or something very similar to it) in the original outfit to recreate the look, but that’s absolutely not true. This look was inspired by a very bold floral skirt and shirt with a large gingham check, not exactly the same but the idea is similar.  (Inspiration outfit here)

{Bad Hair Great Skirt}

This one was a real eye opener for me: if something works repeat it. When I started this blog I had all these wonderful ideas about creating original outfits everyday, and never repeating the same look twice, what was I thinking? Now I feel the total opposite, once I find a silhouette and a look I love and feel comfortable in I try to recreate it with other pieces from my closet. This outfit incorporates so many things that I love; cardigan with a thin belt, knee-length pleated skirt, patterned flats, and colour. It will definitely be repeated!

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Get Shorty

18 May

khakhi shorts, white t shirt, navy cardiganCardigan: Gap Kids, T-Shirt: Smart Set, Shorts: Old Navy, Shoes: Payless

Thank goodness for sunshine! I can not believe that it was actually warm enough today for me to wear shorts (which I probably should have ironed), and even sunglasses. I’m so excited I am accepting virtual high fives right now.

Shorts are something I love to wear but really struggle to find. Generally they are too short, too tight, or just plain ugly, but these ones are really growing on me. As a self-proclaimed pencil skirt addict, this is definitely a welcome change. Now I just have to remember to take my pictures before or after high noon. Sorry about the bright white.

Now that we have all that important small talk (or should I say short talk) out of the way, I have to say thank you to all of you for being just plain awesome. Last week Pink Chai was listed in Links A La Mode, and the response was amazing. I’ve received emails, comments, and tweet shout outs from so many of you. Thank you for recognizing my little effort, and re-assuring me that I’m not totally crazy for taking this on. It can be really stressful putting yourself out there on the internet, and a little blog love can go a long way. You rock!

Pink Chai Featured on IFB Links A La Mode!

6 May

Tipped Off

Edited by Meghan Donovan at WIT & Whimsy

This week’s Links a La Mode demonstrates the one thing we fashion bloggers aren’t afraid to do. Give advice. With all the shopping, hunting, reading and networking we do across a multitude of channels, it’s no surprise that we develop certain skills when it comes to finding the best bargain, tracking down the ultimate vintage find or just knowing how to dress for our body type. Read up on all of this week’s posts featured in Links a la Mode for a wealth of information for everything from dos and dont’s to curbing those nasty little shopping habits we all can be guilty of here and there.

Links à la Mode: May 5th

SPONSOR:

Tory Burch at Shopbop: Bags, Wallets, Clutches, Dresses, Shoes, Flats, Sandals, Sunglasses, Shop the Runway & Outlet Sale

Friend Friday: Inspiration

22 Apr

green cardigan and gold belt

I’ve been enjoying the weekly Friend Friday feature on Modly Chic for a while now and have finally decided to take the plunge and join in. The Friend Friday feature is a way for bloggers to share more about themselves with their readers, and get to know each other better. Let me know what you think of my post!

1. Which celebrity (celebrities) do you look to for fashion inspiration?

Vintage Looks – Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Coco Channel

Everyday/Casual – Reese Witherspoon, Dia Mirza, Katie Holmes

Dress Up – Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Garner, Reese Witherspoon (I totally adore her)

2. When it comes to your own personal style, what inspires you?

I try to pay attention to what people around me are wearing. When I’m on the train, or window shopping at the mall, I always see people wearing the cutest little outfits and then try to recreate them from my own pieces. And of course,  I follow so many great style bloggers that it’s hard not to be inspired. Currently though I am going through a period of re-inventing (or finding?) my personal style, so I’ll keep you posted on this one!

3. How do you hope to inspire your readers?

This is a hard question for me to answer as a relatively new blogger, but I do hope that I can inspire moms that may have put fashion and getting dressed up on the back burner after having their babies. I’ve always been a strong believer in the saying “the caregiver needs to feel good about themselves.” For me dressing well and looking good goes hand in hand with being a happy mom, hopefully someone else will find that from my musings also!

4. Outside the realm of fashion who/what inspires you?

I am extremely inspired by woman who come out of places of adversity and reach amazing heights. Lately I’ve been going through a huge transition in my life and feeling a sense of”misfortune” and then I’ll watch something on tv, or read an article that will remind me of how lucky my life really is and it’s instantly uplifting. 

On a lighter note, I’m totally inspired by; thought-provoking films, Bollywood comedies, vintage photos, fresh flowers, lattes, crayons, and cooking. Basically anything I can get totally wrapped up in!

5. And since Idol is ending… Which songs inspire you?

When it comes to music I’m a total Bollywood junkie. I’m not even embarrassed to say that I probably don’t know any of the songs on the top 40 right now unless they are in Hindi. Hit me up sometime if you want a rocking iTunes playlist with 70’s Bollywood hits:)

Friend Friday: Most Important Blogging Lessons

19 Mar

Being relatively new to the blog world (Pink Chai launched on Feb 14th) it seems a bit premature to be writing about important blogging lessons, but that’s the topic for Friend Friday so I’m going to run with it. Friend Friday is a project created by Modly Chic as a way for fashion bloggers to share more about themselves and create connections with fellow bloggers. I’m actually looking forward to participating in this weekly feature as a way to connect with readers and the blogging community!

On a side note; I realize it’s Saturday today but chose not to post this yesterday to show my support for the bloggers day of silence for Japan.


So here are my top 5 blogging lessons for fashion and style bloggers:

Take More Pictures Than You Need:

The first week of blogging I only took about 2 shots per outfit, not enough! Trust me you need to take lots of pictures to choose one that works. In fact, I just read a stat somewhere that says for every ten frames shot, only one image is general usable. I’m not very comfortable taking pictures of myself (yet) but I’ve found it is getting easier everyday.

Schedule/Plan Your Posts:

As a writer I completely understand that some days inspiration strikes and it doesn’t matter what’s on the editorial calendar, you just have to run with your story. On the flip-side, there are days when there isn’t a drop of inspiration, that’s when a pre-written post or list of ideas can really save your sanity. I don’t have a very sophisticated system for planning posts, just a pretty little notebook I keep with me all the time to jot down ideas and inspiration. Another way to plan your posts is by having a weekly feature, just like Modly Chic has created with FBFF, or Emily at Cupcakes and Cashmere does with 5 Things. If you decide to do a feature, work at creating something original and unique to your blog.

Plan for Days Off:

As with any new project I’ve been overwhelmed and excited by this blog and in my early zest I may have over-committed. Without really doing my research I thought it would be a great idea to take a picture of myself every single day; epic fail. Even creativity and style need to take Sunday’s off. My new plan is to try to post outfit pics 3-4 times a week.

Network With Other Bloggers/Fashion People:

Just like any other industry there is a huge community of fashion and style bloggers that are out there and open to connecting. I’ve already met some great online friends through twitter, Facebook, and forums. Read their blogs, comment, reach out in a genuine way and they won’t disappoint! (PS: If you want to connect with me I’m on twitter, or you can email me pinkchailove(at)gmail.com)

Be Authentic:

I haven’t ready every post on the Friend Friday list, but I would wager that at least 99% of them include this suggestion. There is just no way around authenticity. This includes every part of your blog; posts, outfits, recommendations, everything. I wrote a post about intentions, and was really scared to share it with the whole wide interweb world, but the comments were amazing and uplifting. It really showed me that readers reward honesty and authenticity.