August 21, 2012

Today's Everyday Fashion: Commonalities


I'm kicking off today's post with some deep thoughts. You guys see maybe 3% of who I am through this blog, and I rarely if ever get into deep stuff, because I'm a strong believer that over sharing is not cute. ;-) But I spent today mulling over some tough questions about J's Everyday Fashion, and wanted to share them with you. I have always felt that the fashion industry is a very dark place, and I started this website as one small step towards being the change I want to see (more on my goals here, but you can think of it as someone who dislikes current politics becoming a politician - the best work, I think, can be done in the trenches). What I'm praying about: am I doing a good job of being that change, or am I just the same as the things I'm trying to change? How can I do better at shining a light? How can I be a good steward of the responsibilities I've been blessed with? What's the next step? I don't have answers and don't know when I will, but the wheels are turning.

Now, lets talk about girlie stuff, aka today's look. My outfit is very different from Miranda Kerr's outfit but we have three things in common - the same color scheme, the colorblocking trend, and we are both wearing silk camp shirts. I'm a huge fan of this look because it provides a fun alternate to a plain top and skirt for work, while still remaining appropriate for the office. (Simple pumps could be subbed in if your work place is conservative.) Would you wear these looks to work?

Inspiration photo: FabSugar
Shirt: Victoria's Secret c/o MJR Sales, $28 (same shirt)
Skirt: Limited, $39
Shoes: Colin Stuart c/o MJR Sales, $25
Watch: Michael Kors, family gift
Rings: My Stella & Dot website $49 and $69
Bracelets: My Stella & Dot website $34 and $32 and $59 and $59 and $39



































1. Forever 21 skirt, $14.80
2. Calvin Klein skirt, $79.50
3. White House Black Market skirt, $88
4. LOFT skirt, $49.50 

136 comments:

  1. I think your doing a fabulous job with J's everyday fashion.  Keep it up!

    xx Amy
    Leopard and Lillies

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  2. I think you're doing such a great job counteracting what all the other bloggers have out there. You don't have wanna be model shots or exclusively designer clothes. Such a breathe of fresh air! I do think you share a bit more than 3% of your life--especially when it comes to religion--but I don't see that as necessarily a bad thing. It seems that a lot of your followers are equally religious and appreciate it. But for those who are not, it might make them feel uncomfortable especially since it doesn't have to do with fashion at all. Just my thoughts!

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  3. J, first of all, I really love this outfit.  The colors are fabulous and while it's very simple, it also has just enough small detail to make it interesting.

    Secondly, there are so many things I appreciate about your blog - thank you for what you do!  You are so beautiful, and yet I love that you don't post 10 pictures of yourself with each post.  Your posts are about the outfit, how to make things work, how to combine different pieces... not about how stunning you are as a person.  You let your one or two pictures speak for themselves without your blog being an advertisement for your own personal beauty.  (And you really are so pretty - thank you for being so conservative in your photos!)

    I also appreciate how practical you are.  I love that you show how to use pieces in our closets... how adding a belt or a cardigan or whatever can change up a look and make it fresh.  You show how to get great deals and shop around.  You inspire us to use different colors together.  All in all, you make fashion reasonable, doable, affordable and fun.  I know my personal wardrobe has gotten so much better after following your posts over the last year!

    So... really long comment to really just say, THANK YOU for what you're doing.  Thank you for being different, for doing a fashion blog with a purpose and helping women to look their best.

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  4. I love your blog!  It is one of the blogs I look to for inspiration and for bare-bones fashion advice, which is more useful in the long term.  Anyone can buy the cutest thing from J. Crew and take a picture of themselves in it, but you take time and effort to put together affordable outfits from many different brands.  The fact that you list the prices is also useful, although your budget is more than my own.  I, personally, don't tend to look at the $$ factor for clothes, since I thrift almost all of mine.  If one of your outfits inspires me, then I think "I should look for a black/white top at Goodwill next week" instead of clicking on a link to buy it or whatever.  That being said, I think your budget seems attainable for someone who doesn't have kids and has a steady job.  You have a lot of interesting content, and I always look forward to your posts.

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  5. Love this look SO much - I just featured a colorblock skirt on my site today too! :)

    www.pennypincherfashion.com

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  6. gorgeous look! you look stunning, your blog is so amazing!

    www.modernsuburbanites.blogspot.com

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  7. You are doing a fine job with your blog! You inspire ladies everyday to take a second look at our wardrobes and make things work for our everyday lives.  And yes, I would wear this look to work! Love the color combo.  Heather

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  8. I'm a fan of this look - though I would never have put it together myself, so THANK YOU!  That's how I step out of my box.  One comment - do you think there is any chance of you doing a post on "how-to" shop MJR?  That site intimidates me, yet you seem to have a lot of success with it.  I know that isn't how you normally work your blog, but I thought I'd ask.  Oh, and if you do want to jump into "how-tos" I'd love your advice on how you figured out the layered necklace thing...I'm still struggling with that also.  Thanks!

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  9. CoffeebeansandbobbypinsAugust 21, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    J, love this skirt, so slimming!

    http://coffeebeansandbobbypins.blogspot.com/

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  10. I just found your blog via a pic on Pinterest and I love it! I have it bookmarked and read it every morning with my coffee :). Please continue on the path you are on, so helpful for the typical mom like me who wants to look stylish on a budget. Yay for you for such a positive voice in fashion, especially for normal women :)

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  11. I just found your blog via a pic on Pinterest and I love it! I have it bookmarked and read it every morning with my coffee :). Please continue on the path you are on, so helpful for the typical mom like me who wants to look stylish on a budget. Yay for you for such a positive voice in fashion, especially for normal women :)

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  12. I'd reiterate a lot of the comments - I love your blog! I have no intrinsic fashion sense or interest, largely because I feel overwhelmed by the cost of going out and buying new trends. I love how you piece together fantastic outfits from reasonably priced stores (the same ones I shop at!). I also appreciate that you share your monthly budget with us, which changed how I view buying clothes as a basic monthly necessity rather than a self-indulgent splurge. Since I started following you about a year ago, my conservative wardrobe (read: black and white, with occasional brown pieces) has a seen a dramatic increase in color and pattern, which makes me feel so much more confident when I go into work everyday! Thanks!

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  13. Your blog is the best J!! Keep up the great work. You inspire more than you know!!

    Oliviamoone.blogspot.com

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  14. Glad to hear there are wheels turning. Can't ever stay still, right?

    I looked at your goals and, in my opinion at least, you're succeeding. Everything you describe there is what I'm getting out of your site. It's been a revelation to me to be able to pull together lots of different outfits from the same pieces I already have. Your site taught me how. So thanks :-)

    As for next steps? What about sharing some of what your readers put together based on your principles? I'm no model, but I'd be willing to send you photos of my outfits. It might get you closer to the "real women" fashion magazine idea you have (which I love, by the way)? I'm sure other readers might be willing as well since it seems a lot of them also have blogs, fashion or otherwise. Plus you'd be spreading the love to those just starting out (after losing a job, having a kid, getting a divorce)--people who might need a little encouragement. I suspect you'd be great at being encouraging.

    Love what you do here though. If you never changed a thing, I would be just as happy. And if you decide to go a different direction, I'll watch with interest!

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  15. I just have to say I LOVE when you wear your hair au natural and wavy, it looks so gorgeous! and as always your outfit is amazing!

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  16. I think questioning and evaluating where you are in life, no matter what you're doing or who you are is healthy.  Praying you find some answers and feel refreshed by them.

    Also, those shoes are killing me.  I die.

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  17. Great look that I'm going to steal. I always appreciate your posts though my style is pretty different from yours - a little more edgy and structured with plenty of neutral colors. I'm always inspired to step out of my comfort zone and this outfit is a perfect meeting-with-clients ensemble.

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  18. I am new to your blog and am loving it:)  It is fresh, inspiring, and I love the positive atmosphere you have set up too.  It really is helping me with colors, patterns, and ideas of what to do in my wardrobe I already have.  I normally stay away from fashion magazine etc because of  the negative attitude they exude however your blog isnt anywhere like them.  

    Anyway, I do know that change can be good so maybe include something for older readers such as myself (48yrs), or different sizes and shapes.

    Oh, and I really like how you have links to other shops available too ~ great idea and so helpful:)  

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  19. J-I've never commented before but I feel compelled to tell you that you absolutely have been successful at the goals that you've given yourself. I read your blog everyday and find it reassuring to know that what I find will give my imagination a jump and that being fashionable is still attainable w/o the brand names! I will always be on a tight budget and working with what I have and it's nice to know that a fashion blogger has this type of woman in mind :)

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  20. Wow, here is some dark thoughts back at you but I'd consider them AWESOME thoughts.  You are an inspiration every day to me.  I think of you often and just because we see only 3% of you I feel like I know you even more. 

    Your blog (and I get a lot of them in my reader) is one of the best out there.  Maybe you think you need to change but why?  You have so many followers and it will only grow. 

    Don't change please!  (you know what I mean, I don't mean never change. I just mean only tweak, please.  Ha ha.) 

    I love you just the way you are!

    Thank you sooo much for my inspiration everyday.  You help me feel good about myself everyday.  In fact I wore an inspiration outfit yesterday of yours and got about a zillion compliments.  I thanked you over and over.  Did you feel/hear it?

    And when you feel good on the outside (shallow I know.. ha ha) you feel good on the inside.  More confident to tackle the world.

    You really are talented, J.  Never forget that!

    Jennifer
    (in Boise)

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  21. I can't get your "goals" link to work ... I would love to see that. 

    You keep fashion light and fun but I will think about this and answer in a day or two ... very thought provoking!  I liked the comment from another reader about people sending in their pics (real fashion) and somehow encouraging them..

    As it is your blog is very uplifting and I can tell that you have an encouraging type of attitude.  Thanks J!!! 
    pippa
    www.shopwithpippa.com

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  22. wow j - i feel we are on the same train of thought today. i wrote a post today talking about some of those same issues - being the CHANGE in the fashion industry, rather than perpetuating a negative self-image. or something like that. feel free to check it out if you want. i just hope to continue to shine God's light in all i do! and i love your blog because i do think you present a positive self image and tell women that they, too, can be confident in their skin and clothes! thanks for sharing, j!

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  23. I absolutely LOVE this look! Great take on Miranda's look. Those shoes are killer! :) I would totally wear this to work. I'm usually a dress or blouse/skirt gal and try to glam it up a bit with accessories!

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  24. Yours is one of the first "fashion" blogs I started to follow. Your simplicity appeals to me! i think you do a fabulous job but I thought I would like some diversity - for example although I admire everything you where, as a mom of a three year old and as a size 10, I feel like most of the things that your portray may suit my curvy figure. So maybe you could expand your bog to fit some curvy audience? Oh also would mind doing a must have Fall section for work? Thanks!

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  25. Life is full of crossroads, no doubt your recent trip to Africa has made you reflect on your own life, on what you have and what you wish to achieve. I personally love to read your blog, I enjoy every post, I guess this could be said for many of your ever increasing numbers of followers. 
    My advice, J ? Just enjoy what you are doing now, live in this moment, don't worry too much about the future. If necessary, something will come into your life to help you fulfil the goals you desire.

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  26. J, I LOVE your hair best like this. You look GORGEOUS when it's a natural wave like that. Flawless!

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  27. Thanks for sharing so much with us - many blessings!

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  28. I love to read your blog daily.  You are a real person that inspires her readers with attainable fashion advice.  When you read fashion magazines they are not realistic and can sometimes be offensive.  Awesome job J, keep it up!!!

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  29. I love your rendition much better. Defintely puts a good light to colorblocking. I think a lot of people have a hard time getting that trend right. I love how you colorblocked and still kept to a specific color theme. I think you are doing a great job with your site.  Today in fashion its always about labels and high prices and its I feel there needs to be more people out here promoting savvy shopping.  I for one live for a good sale and I am a total believer that its the person who makes the clothes not vice versa. Keep doing what you're doing because its working.!! =)

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  30. I really enjoy your blog!  I think you are shining a beautiful light into the world.  I like how you use pieces you already have to make your looks "new" and if you like something you wear it many times.  I agree with one of the other commenters that I like what you do now and if you make changes I will read with interest.

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  31. I read your blog because you're atypical of the fashion community.  You seem very down to earth and accepting of everyone. Also, you pick out things I would normally think are really whacky and make them look cute.  Honestly, I think a lot of your inspiration photos are really weird looking, but your outfits are almost always incredible.  It fascinates me that you can look at something really weird and be inspired by it, and then pull off something really cute.  I've never been into fashion, and I've tended to stick to a few certain looks.  Reading your blog has encouraged me to step a little outside my comfort zones and try new things.  Thank you for doing what you do :)

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  32. I think you do a great job of making fashion accessible -- you and Kendi are both two of my favorites because Old Navy and similar stores pop up in your looks. I think you do a good job of portraying who you really are unlike other bloggers who are wearing things I could never dream of affording.

    I say start an offshoot of your blog for other things you want to share.... I know that a lot of bloggers have little side projects where they post random thoughts. (Out of the Pantry by the Broke-ass Gourmet is a good example of this.)

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  33. I would definitely wear the skirt!!!! I completely understand your thoughts and questions re. your blog. I know that I started my blog to try and make a difference and help people but at the same time add a little flair with fashion. I am fairly new to your blog but I feel like you are doing a great job at showing us "normal" people how to put together designer looks for next to nothing. I thank you. Keep up the good work. Remember its all in your intentions. If your intentions are good, people will see that.

    Agi:)

    vodkainfusedlemonade.wordpress.com

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  34. Hi, J! Your blog is one of only two that I follow regularly, though I'm always on the look-out for more information and I've visited many fashion blogs.  So you are doing a fantastic job already.

    But if you're looking to freshen things up, then I think the approach you took for the two web shows I watched was great.  It would be great if you could adapt those into a series as well, for example showing how you evaluated items out of your clients closets and determined what they needed to freshen things up, the advice you gave them for how to mix things and how to think about their wardrobes going forward would be really helpful.

    I enjoyed the guest posts while you were away, as well, but I'd like to echo others who have asked for greater breadth of body types/lifestyles than what you can personally show on your blog.  I'm 40, with three kids, a curvy but decent figure, and a lot of different kinds of commitments in the course of a single day.  Short shorts, miniskirts, and skinny jeans don't work that well for me.  I love your blog and I use it a lot for accessorizing, color combos, etc., so you are a great resource.  But if you are looking to create a "real woman magazine," then it would be helpful if you could start including women whose lifestyles are less similar to yours as a way of reaching those of us who love you but can't dress like you. :)

    I want to repeat, very strongly, that I love what you've been putting out so far and wouldn't be looking for you to change if you hadn't asked for our thoughts. I'm only telling you what would be appealing to me and my friends, for what it's worth.  Also, I was wondering if you've been reading Overdressed by Elizabeth Cline and if that's what's prompted some of your thoughts?

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  35. I am not loving this look. I'm sorry, don't get me wrong. I adore your shirt and the shoes are gorgeous. But I'm not a huge fan of the skirt. I think a pair of white trousers (maybe the same cut as Miranda's) would look really great. Miranda's picture says: chic and sexy, and I don't see that with the skirt you're wearing. Maybe this is because I'm not a big fan of pencil skirts in general. 
    Anyway, could you see yourself wearing a pair of pants with this outfit instead?

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  36. This outfit is fun! I like it a lot!
    http://work-it-blog.blogspot.com 

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  37. I love checking your blog everyday, and look forward to seeing what you've put together. I can relate to your blog, because I'm also on a budget & it's really neat you share your monhtly budget with us.

    Maybe some extra stuff you could do is make videos on your hair & make-up routine? I've read before you donate your clothes once a month, maybe show what you're donating and why? Maybe you could start some challenges like wear this shirt 3 different ways to help get your readers to think outside the box?

    Just some ideas?

    Have a great rest of the week - Angela

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  38. I have been looking for this skirt but it's alway sold out and I have to try things on. 

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  39. J, as a long time reader of your blog, I agree that you are one of the most down-to-earth bloggers out there.  You really focus on showing us how we can mix colors and imitate high-end looks at affordable values.  I feel that many other female bloggers are overwhelmingly vain, and that their blogs are mainly about emphasizing their beauty.  As for your conflicted feelings, please know that showing women how to feel beautiful is a noble and respectable vocation.   I believe (as a Christian) that as long as you are keeping Christ (not your work) as the center of your life, not spending beyond your means, and sharing your good fortunes with those less fortunate (as we are all called to do), you need not feel worried about your career.   And, from what I have seen of your blog, you are already doing those things! 

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  40. First off, the top and the skirt are both cute!  I never understand how you always seem to have just the thing to put together an outfit based on an inspiration photo without spending a gazillion dollars.  Maybe more posts on how you do that?  As in, do you see inspiration photos and then buy pieces or do you search out inspiration photos AFTER you buy items?  And, if it's the latter, how do you find the photos?

    I know you do the monthly shopping posts, too, but more on that would be great!  As in, why you put things on your list, why you bought something (if you had an inspiration beforehand), etc.  Showing the entire process of putting together an outfit from start to finish would be really helpful for people, too.  

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  41. WOW! Love this look and i LOVE your blog. It's so down-to-earth! <3

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  42. Love all of these ideas Erin, thank you! :-)

    To answer your question about inspiration photos, check out this post I did that explains my process: http://www.jseverydayfashion.com/2011/06/todays-everyday-fashion-using.html. I purposely save photos that have items that I already own (or plan to own). I don't ever buy things just so I can copy one photo, it's more that I find photos that matches what I have.

    I do try to explain the "why" behind each piece in my monthly budget posts, but I love the idea of explaining the process of creating an outfit. Will think more on that.

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  43. Really appreciate this encouragement CB. I am humbled. :-)

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  44. Pam, both the White House and LOFT shopping options are new fall pieces, so they should have them in stores for at least a month, if you want to try them on.

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  45. Thanks Angela! Ask and you shall receive. Here's a link to my video with my makeup routine: http://www.jseverydayfashion.com/2010/12/video-my-5-minute-makeup-routine.html And here is a link to my Table of Contents, with a whole bunch of Flashback Friday posts, which show you things like black skinny jeans, 14 ways: http://www.jseverydayfashion.com/p/table-of-contents.html

    I actually don't donate once a month, but I have done and am planning to do closet sales for charity a few times a year. They are public so you can see what I'm getting rid of, and I'm hoping to do an other one in just a couple weeks!

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  46. I love Miranda's outfit and would wear her pants (or similar ones) in a heartbeat! I don't think I would invest in a pair of colorblocked pants (too trendy, and I already have the skirt). One of my goals for this fall is to start wearing more work pants though, so stay tuned!

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  47. I love your blog! I think you underestimate how much you empower women through this form of communication... No, you don't "lay hands" or necessarily heal people directly, but you absolutely teach, encourage and inspire women. I think you must know your "niche" is unique, but what you might not be aware of is how much seeing real, everyday fashion made accessible can inspire and lend confidence to so many women in so many ways.

    It might not feel like ministry-- but I do think that your ability to support, encourage and share some of your own confidence with so many women is a talent!

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  48. Hi J!  Love that skirt!  It makes me wish I hadn't passed up one just like it in TJMAXX last week!  I've never posted a comment on your blog, but I felt like I could possibly provide some words of encouragement to you. First of all, your blog has been such a blessing!!  This has been my first stay-at-home-summer as a teacher and I was able to spend some time reading through my favorite blogs. I'm a 23-year-old wife, public school music teacher and youth/worship leader at my church. Also, I have always had a love for fashion!  Since getting married and taking leadership roles at church, I have had to spend a lot of time thinking about what my clothes say about me and how I am influencing those I am teaching or leading.  Your blog has been so helpful when it comes to dressing for all of the areas of my life.  Your outfits are young, fun, modest and versatile!  My favorite post ever has to be the colorful cardigan one from last year.  I have never realized how many outfits I have in my closet for church/work JUST by adding a few cardigans.  Your articles have also helped me to be a good steward of my wallet!!  My husband loves that!!!  I have never spent less on my clothes, but I have never been more happy with my closet :-) Getting dressed and going shopping have each been so much more fun and I don't have to feel like I'm compromising in any way, which has been a weakness for me in the past. 

    Your posts have all been so perfect for where I am in my life style/wallet-wise and I have yet to find any other blogs that accomplish that.  You approach a self-absorbed industry with such humility and honesty.  It's refreshing and I think your readers appreciate that.  So whatever changes you feel you might need to make (and we're always changing so sometimes it's inevitable), keep being you and people will keep reading! 

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  49. Thank you so much for this feedback Cindy. I haven't heard of that book but will look it up. You are saying everything I want to do with fashion - I want to highlight women who aren't me (frankly I find posting pictures of myself embarrassing) and who have a range of body types and ages. The problem with that is just having the resources to do so. I'm only one person, and I can't wrap my head around how I can take on such a humongous task alone. I think it's going to take a huge amount of money up front, and I'm going to need a team. I'm considering looking for investors, and saving my money in the meantime. There's no way I can bring you guys that kind of content on my own though. I did guest posters, which I thought were fab, but my stats were way, way down those 2 weeks, so I don't think just having people send it photos is going to cut it. The wheels are turning though. :-)

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  50. As someone who wears scrubs to work everyday, it was easy to let my wardrobe slip into disarray after college. I follow your blog every day and Through you I've been able to re learn how to put together an outfit and i have pride in my appearance again. Thank you for all your hard work.

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  51. I love this advice. Thank you so, so much. Reflecting on this today.

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  52. Thank you Sangeetha! One of my closest friends is curvy and reads the blog and she takes the same exact combos I'm showing, just buys pieces that fit her curves better. You can use the color combos and make changes to suit your body type. I also was thrilled to present 15 guest bloggers recently (including one gorgeous plus size fashionista!), but unfortunately that content wasn't very popular so I'm stumped. I can't model curvy fashion myself, but posting other people doesn't seem to be a hit. Any suggestions?

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  53. Thanks Pippa! It is a link to my "What is J's Everyday Fashion?" tab, here ya go: http://www.jseverydayfashion.com/p/what-is-js-everyday-fashion.html

    Also, I was thrilled to present 15 guest bloggers recently, but unfortunately that content wasn't very popular so I'm stumped. I can't model curvy fashion myself, but posting other people doesn't seem to be a hit. Any suggestions?Edit
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  54. I'm going to start repeating these positive affirmations to myself in the mirror each morning (just kidding, LOL). No really, thank you so much though, this was very uplifting! :-)

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  55. I completely agree Mary. The evaluating should never end. Thank you!

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  56. Thank you so much for sharing your story Bliss! I appreciate it.

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  57. Thank you Rebecca! I recognize you as someone who comments often and I always appreciate your feedback so much. Thanks again. :-)

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  58. This was really sweet (and made me blush), thanks for the encouragement Chrysta!

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  59. Thank you so much for this feedback Jessica! I agree that this website is not exactly a great place for "religion" per se, but rather just living my life as a spiritual person which is bound to come out from time to time. I don't plan on posting sermons anytime soon though ;-) and if anything in particular rubs you the wrong way please feel free to let me know so I can take that feedback into consideration!

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  60. Thank you Alison! I agree, the wheels should always be turning. I'm glad that they are. I'm trying to press in and listen.

    I am also totally on board with sharing reader looks (I love it when people post them on Facebook!). I was thrilled to present 15 guest bloggers recently, but unfortunately that content wasn't very popular so I'm stumped. I can't model curvy fashion myself, but posting other people doesn't seem to be a hit. I want to highlight women who aren't me and who have a range of body types and ages. The problem with that is just having the resources to do so. I'm only one person, and I can't wrap my head around how I can take on such a humongous task alone. I think it's going to take a huge amount of money up front, and I'm going to need a team. The wheels are turning though and I'm always welcome to suggestions if you guys have them! :-)

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  61. I would absolutely wear this look to work, but I'd have to sub in the simple pumps for sure. I love this color combo and the colorblocking makes the look really interesting without being flashy. Love it!

    As far as your questions...I hope you get closer to figuring it all out. I know that as a blogger myself, I sometimes pose the same questions. I haven't figured it out either. Just know that I adore your blog and I love coming here for daily inspiration. Every woman wants to feel good about themselves, and dressing well is something that definitely helps me to feel better.

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  62. I love the beginning section. :) I read it because as a Christian we should always be striving to be a light. Good thoughts. Keep praying and thinking about it!

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  63. Oh J, how I love u girl! Your amazing heart and your ability to not be shy about your beliefs is one of the reasons I come here everyday! As well as your fabulous fashion sense too, of course! lol! I love this look though, I'm really into colorblocking lately!  And I want that shirt!

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  64. Your positivity IS a shining light. Your entreprenuer mindset is a great example for women and men all over the world. I truly admire you and you are an inpiration to all. God Bless

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  65. I think you are awesome, and I am so glad I found your blog!  I am clueless as to what to wear, and I am finding out what I like and don't like with regards to my style because of your blog.  I also don't have a lot of time or money, as I am a full-time working Mom of a one year old and a three year old.  I cannot wait to check my email every morning to see your blog!  Keep up the good work!

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  66. Keep praying!  I think you provide a great service to many women.  I recently found your website through pinterest and think you have a great attitude regarding fashion that comes across in the outfits you chose and your comments.

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  67. Hi J! I think the very fact that you even ask yourself those questions shows that you are in a good place with the work you're doing, or that you'll always have the right checks and balances in place. I can definitely tell you have a heart to help other people through your work here.

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  68. This is one of my favorite outfits! I hardly comment. ( Busy mom of 4) but I had to let you know that I appreciate your blog the most. As some have said it is all about the outfit here not some fashion show with tons of pics. You keep it real.

    I found your blog  a little over a year ago and it been my favorite! You inspire me! I was able to get out of the t-shirt and sweats mentality. Now I don't look in my closet wondering what to wear? Just open up your blog and get tons of ideas with what I already own. And all that you suggest is on a mommy friendly. Not dishing out $300-400 bucks on purses, shoes, etc.  A lot of those bloggers have been dropped by me… But you keep kicking! LOL

    Thanks J!

    ~Nina

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  69. Ah ha. I get that. People are used to seeing YOU. They like your style and your "voice". Makes perfect sense that those wouldn't have had the appeal that your normal posts do. However, I too am a problem-solver by nature (and also a marketer) so how about these ideas for easing people into the idea of you + others:

    1. Use your reader's photo as outfit inspiration for your own outfit.
    2. Use your reader's photo, but you write the copy (maybe for what worked in the outfit for you & you pick the "similars"). Make sure your face is in the content (maybe like your avatar there) so the content is still properly branded for people using feed readers.
    3. Apply a curatorial eye. Diversity is good (size, shape, etc), but not when it comes to the quality of the photo, the writing or the styling. I don't want to be negative so I hesitated to say this, but in my opinion, not all of those guest posts were up to your usual standard.
    4. Let readers submit a photo they'd like to see you recreate through your wizardry.
    5. Maybe make it a regular feature, like "Yoursday" on Thursday. That way it isn't a bunch of strangers all in a row. People might just have tuned out until you got back?
    6. In your "similars" include a couple options for curvy girls for the main piece you're styling around. Or just figure out a way of labeling or highlighting the ones that come in more sizes.

    I'm going through growing pains with my business as well so I sort of get this whole reevaluation thing. None of these suggestions are intended to solve the problem for you. As you say, you need to let the wheels turn, think and pray. I just think you have a whole lot to offer so I just really want you to succeed, stay true to yourself and feel like you're making the impact you want to make. 

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  70. Those are very good questions to ponder every now and again.  Personally, I can say that you have made a positive impact on my life by sharing parts of yours.  From outfit ideas, to insightful blog posts.  Before reading your blog my wardrobe was so plain jane.  You've inspired me to try different things and provided me with great "free" tools in order to learn how to dress for sucess on a budget.  I'm definetly more comfortable in my own skin and ready to rock outfits that at one point and time I simply wasn't confident enough to wear.  Those days are over and I largely have you to thank for that.  You are on the right track and the best is yet to come!

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  71. I love this blog and check it everyday for the fashion ideas and for your good natured, down to earth attitude. I love that you show your successes and failures.  I need a step by step guide to fashion (as I am definitely challenged) so I absolutely loved your posts on effective packing and when you showed how you wore each outfit on your trips. You have made fashion much more accessible to me, and to me, that means the world! I used to look at fashion magazines and feel intimidated ("I could never wear that", "I can't afford those clothes", etc). Even watching make-over shows bug me as the hosts are so cruel to the guest they are making over. This blog is a positive place for me to go where I can get inspiration about fashion that is relevant to my life! It is always a good idea to question your motives/your direction, etc because you don't want to stagnate. But please know, atleast from MY point of view, you are going in the right direction :)

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  72. I really love your blog...I struggle with fashion and knowing what to wear. I really enjoying seeing your outfit pictures and suggestions it is very helpful! Im trying to find some cut colored skinny jean and a grey and tan pair that arent too expensive, do you have a recommendation?

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  73. Hi, just started checking out your blog and LOVE LOVE LOVE it! Don't worry so much about putting the "Deep" stuff down, you are blessed with an amazing talent for fashion! Be yourself!

    While I'm writing, can you please let me know where I can find the skirt you have on? The limited doesn't have it on their website. Thanks!

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  74.  I complete agree with everything Christy said, well put! :)

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  75.  J, I'm so glad to hear that you are gonna start wearing more work pants!  Like you, I wear a lot of skirts (and dresses.)  I have a new office job and I definitely want to wear more dress pants this fall/winter.  It might sound basic, but sometimes I have a hard time choosing shoes (type of heal or flat) to go with different dress pants (style.)

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  76. don't sweat the small stuff. you need to get your blog on a syndicated website like LUCKY or glamour and write write write. once you have that platform you can be the change in the world you want to see. i think this time of year is instinctively a time of CHANGE because it's back to school --new beginnings, fresh starts, etc. i truly admire you as a woman who combines type-A personality with a creative and interesting perspective. do you and you can't go wrong!

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  77. Although I love both pieces on their own, I'm not sure I'd wear them together- I'd probably just pair the top with a plain black or white skirt. Then again, I tend to err on the conservative side. On another note -- your hair looks fantastic!! I love it! Did you use a curling iron or is your hair just naturally that great?

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  78.  The Limited skirt is sold out online - it sold out earlier this summer.

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  79. Thanks Jen! My exact skirt is sold-out (I bought it a few months ago). I will always link to an item if it is still available online and if it's not, then I will provide similar options like I did in today's post! :-)

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  80. Thanks Kp! I saw a bunch of great camel options on Old Navy's website this weekend, and if my memory serves me correctly they had gray, too. Mossimo brand at Target also had some great cords in different colors so I would check there.

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  81. Thanks Christy, I appreciate your feedback so much! I think I was due for a check-in and if I ever veer in the wrong direction please feel free to set me straight. :-)

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  82. Thank you so much Nina! I love working with mommies to help them feel fabulous! :-)

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  83. Kate, I am so encouraged by this, I can't even tell you. Thank you for commenting!

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  84. Thanks Kate! This is my hair au natural. 

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  85. Not basic at all, I've always had a hard time feeling fashionable in work pants. Hoping to get a little better at that part of my closet this fall/winter!

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  86. "I have never spent less on my clothes, but I have never been more happy with my closet " - this makes me over the moon with happiness!! Thank you so much for sharing your story with me, and I'm honored to have been a small part of that journey. Thank you again Mallory for taking the time to comment!

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  87. So many rock star suggestions Alison!! Can I please hire you if I start a fashion magazine? :-) Can't tell you how much I appreciate you brainstorming and putting some thought into this with me. Being the only one behind this website can be tough, I don't have a team or a board of directors that I can have an honest check-in with. YOU are my board of directors today (haha) and I appreciate that so much! :-)

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  88. Just found your blog this summer and have been checking it daily since. I have enjoyed trying out some of the outfits you post. Just this week I tried a shirt over a dress . . . A new combo for me :). I also enjoy the small pieces you share; thank you for shining His light.

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  89. I LOVE your blog, it's still my favorite.  Keep it up girl!

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  90. I've only been reading your site for a month or so and I can't even begin to explain how much you've inspired me already! You've helped me to think out of the box, fashion-wise, but you're also an inspiration to me, life-wise, from some of the small snippets of your personal life you've shared. I also have to say you're one of the most involved bloggers I follow - from commenting personally back to people to following me back on instagram, it's just a few BIG things I've noticed that not a lot of other bloggers I read take the time to do. That makes me feel like you do actually care about your readers and in your own way you are shining your light, and you are doing a GREAT job!

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  91. You are wonderful! Don't change a thing! Since I discovered your blog in April, I have been a devoted follower everyday. You open my eyes to looking at myself, and my wardrobe completely different. You also inspired me to start my own blog. It's small, but I have faith that my little message will help people as well :-)

    www.mrsskeelsdeals.blogspot.com

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  92. I just started reading your blog last month and I can't begin to tell you how much you've already inspired me! You don't only help me think out of the box fashion-wise, but from the small glimpses you've given of your personal life, you make me inspired to be a more well-rounded person. I think you're doing a great job using the platform you have - you've really redefined blogging in your own way. To me, your light is shining brightly and in all the right directions! Keep up the good work - I know from all the comments I'm not the only one who can't wait to see your updates everyday!

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  93. Hi J,

    Thank you for being honest about your thoughts about your blog. I feel sometimes that your blog is about just recreating a look instead of working with your closet to make it work. For example, I really love seeing how people style 1 piece/style different ways with different pieces in their closet, and I know that you used to do that a lot more (like you had a post with 10 different ways to wear a navy blazer, and a post about "safari" looks). I feel sometimes the blog goes in the direction of just recreating a look to recreate it, not because they are pieces you would wear in real life. I would love to see your own take on working with your closet because I know you have some great pieces, instead of recreating j.crew catalogs. You have great style, I think you just need to think about how real women dress themselves with the clothes they have.

    Thank you for listening. I really do enjoy your blog but sometimes am confused about the goal.

    Franziska

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  94. J, I really enjoyed this post. I mean, your self reflection was so attractive that I missed to look at the outfit! I just want to let you know that, as a follower of your blog, I think you are successful in your goals. I am not originally American (you might have already realized that from my English). I come from a Muslim country where women are forced to wear all dark and baggy clothes. When I finally made it to the states, and was obviously free to wear what I want to wear, I just realized I do not have any style! Your blog helped me slowly change my wardrobe on my student budget, and put together outfits that I like. Thank you! I hope I have not over shared ;-)   

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  95. Thank you for a being so candid and so very human.  I read different blogs everyday because I love all things fashion related but sometimes when I am reading, looking over photos, see designer this, high priced that, I end up asking myself is it my love of clothes or am I aspiring to be something that the industry wants me to be?  I honestly think some people have lost sight of their inspiration and the reason for their blog in all the Louboutins, Prada & Tom Ford.

    I appreciate your efforts to bring affordable conscientious style choices and that you will not accept something that is outrageously priced. It is nice to know that morals and value still do exist.

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  96. I’ve read through all the comments, and I really like what Alison had to offer in the form of suggestions.  Here are a few of my own thoughts, in addition to some piggybacking off what she said:
    1.       I think encouraging readers to post their own versions of the outfits you post (or even links to similar items, like you usually have at the end) is a really cool idea.  Perhaps you could add an easier way for readers to submit their photos/links via the main website and not just on Facebook?  A more streamlined process may increase the level of participation.   I do think it would be nice to showcase an “all shapes and sizes” photo collage, but it is unrealistic for us, as readers, to expect you to seek out the people to make this happen – God made us all unique for a reason. J
    2.       Don’t underestimate the possibility of “free” help v. “hired” help.  From the sounds of it, you have a larger connection with your readers than you may even think.  Maybe you could add a separate section on the blog for “recruiting” where people could sign up to offer their help?
    3.       I am generally of the same opinion as you that over-sharing of personal info/stories/etc.  can be an extreme put-off, but at the same time, if you are only offering up 3% of yourself,  maybe something in that other 97% is relatable to many others?
    4.       In addition to posting comparable finds, maybe you could also mention any special deals the retailer is running – I know a lot of the sites you shop on (me too, for that matter) run periodic sales & promotions, and that would be awesome to know, as a reader (everyone loves a great deal!).   This is assuming, of course, that the retailers do not have some policy against this, legally speaking. J
    Other that these items,  I have to echo what most of the other people have said – your blog is truly awesome, and you have inspired so many of us to WANT to dress well (I have an impressive new pencil skirt collection going, thanks to you ;)).   While one could argue there’s always room for improvement, there’s also a lot to be said about reliability.  So, keep doing what you’re doing, but take your time to get a feel for how you can appeal to you users even more – no matter what, the majority of us will all keep reading with great enthusiasm!

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  97. I think you summed up my thoughts with this -  "is it my love of clothes or am I aspiring to be something that the industry wants me to be?" I am asking myself the same thing and trying to be really honest with myself. Thanks for your feedback, I really appreciate it! :-)

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  98. What a neat story Gizelle! Thank you so much for sharing! Trying to imagine that kind of change in wardrobe, it really put things into perspective. Thanks again.

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  99. I just found your blog on pinterest, so I can't comment on what it is or should be.  I was looking for ways to style my new turquoise skirt, and liked your pic with one.  But I will tell you that I intend to keep reading - I like your ideas, and you've already helped me wear what's in my closet :)

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  100. Keep doing what you do! I see you as a gal who loves God and has a gift for fashion and is willing to share it! Even though I don't have the same clothing budget and could never get away with such bright colors or short skirts/shorts, you've helped me to stay current in my wardrobe, thus keeping me relevant and giving me influence with my colleagues who may not yet have a relationship with Him. 

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  101. Thank you so much for the feedback Franziska! To give you a little background info, my original tagline was "bridging the gap between fantasy fashion and everyday life" - and the goal was to show you how to take designer looks and make them your own. That is still a type of content I'm a huge fan of, but it is certainly not the purpose of what I do, helping people is. I think showing looks like today's can help women (feel confident that they can look just as fab for less, and using what you already have in your closet versus buying something new). But overall I'm interested in being helpful in any way possible. 

    I hear ya on the realness of the outfits though and that is definitely something to consider! I want this blog to be a magazine format versus a personal blog, but I do often post "dress up" looks that might not have as much practicality as a casual errands look. Is that the kind of content (casual) that you would favor more? 

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  102. A friend recommended your blog a few months ago and I haven't missed a day since.  I'm 55 and while I can't pull off the short skirts and shorts and high heelsI can easily adapt your youthful ideas to something age appropriate for me. I think you make fashion fun, practical, and accessible to everyday people like me.  You ARE a shining light.  How refreshing to  find someone like you in this very secular world we live in.  Hugs and prayers to you as discern what's next in your life.  You are truly a beautiful young woman - inside and out. 

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  103. Your blog was an inspiration to me. You've educated me about fashion now for over a year and you are one of the reasons I started my own blog. Please continue because your talented and fabulous! 80% of the time my work outfits are inspired by you. I'm a teacher, so this is a very practical resource for me! 

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  104. Hi, I love your blog. It is such a great inspiration and I love the fact it doesn't send me off to shop online, but rather into my own wardrobe! If I look and feel good, I am so much happier in myself and able to be a good mother, wife, person etc. Fashion is an escape for me, it's fun! By the way, I bought a copy of the Miranda Kerr pants online at Countryroad.com.au - can't wait to wear them!

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  105. Amazing stuff HIlary!! Thank you so much for sharing your ideas, this is great. I have had visions of outfit photo sharing websites (that market seems to be way saturated), and of organizing a network of affordable personal shoppers, and haven't abandoned either of those ideas yet. I also love the idea of posting more coupon codes (I used to do this, back in the day!) but I think for all 3 ideas I'm going to have to hire some help (I have been tossing around that idea anyway). So many ideas, so little time! It's exciting. Thank you again!

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  106. Love this quote!! "It is high time that the ideal of success should be replaced by the ideal of service." - Albert Einstein
    And this is so much sage advice Rosanna. I would like to work with more mission-based companies for sure, and I love your tips about hiring a CFP. Thank you so much!!

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  107. Sounds like you did some serious soul searching in Africa. And that's always a good thing. As for your blog, you are adorable and so is everything you find for us! Wish you all the best. (P.S. - Any idea where to find pants like in the inspiration photo? Ha.) 

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  108. I just recently started following your blog. Everyday I get an update, from bloglovin, on all of the blogs that I am following....and truth be known, I go down the list to find 'J's Everday Fashion" first. This blog is everything a women wan; all of the fashion trends, at a reasonable price bracket and showing us how to take a little search in the closet to find most of these pieces. I think this blog is genius and I enjoy checking it out everyday!

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  109. Part of what I love about Miranda's outfit, is the simplicity. Her only bit of jewelry are the sunglasses. Reminds me of that Coco Chanel quote: "When accessorizing, always take off the last thing you put on." Her body becomes accented by the clothing cuts and lines, and as Coco also says, we "notice the woman." Seems to me, that is what you are doing here. Allowing us to be confident without spending a pile of cash to do it. Confident women get noticed. 

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  110. Thanks Ann! A reader below linked to this website and said they got a pair just like Miranda's -  Countryroad.com.au. Hope this helps!

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  111. Wow - you're a wise woman to be asking those questions. I'm a 31 y.o. woman who gets quite a bit of inspiration from your looks. These help me save money by working with what I have. This, in turn, helps my husband and I to afford tutoring for my nephew who needs math/reading help. Basically, you won't know until heaven how many people you are helping... 

    I think sometimes society, and maybe even the Christian community today, discounts beauty and art as being not important, or at least not near as important as other things. Churches in the past were made to be beautiful with stained glass/sculptures etc. to inspire us about the beauty and awe of God. Today, churches are often designed to convert to gyms or concert spaces. :0( But it's obvious through animals, the sky, and nature that God is ALL ABOUT beauty for its own sake. He loves it! And you promote it and show it with the beautiful colors, the punch of your outfits, the acceptance of your body enough to post self-taken pictures. I think that's a wonderful and holy thing, you using your talents. And clothing can change us from the outside-in, which is totally ok! God has wired you with these amazing skills - things that other people really aren't good at (at least I'm not). But we can learn with people like you around. And...folks know you're a Christian. That speaks volumes in itself - people see your blog and want to be like you, and are influenced because of your faith. It's a place of responsibility and leadership, but it seems you're handling it very very well.
     

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  112. Well now you've gone and made me cry. :-) Thank you LG for sharing your point of view! I was reading "Captivated" in Africa, and it talks a lot about how important beauty is to God (just look at nature, like you said). Thank you again for your encouragement! 

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  113. Thanks for the suggestion! I enjoyed the posts by other bloggers while you were in Africa!

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  114. I don't normally comment on the internet, but I felt like your first paragraph was really speaking to me. I would like to say that since I found your website, I find myself more and more likely to really scope out a good bargain, or hold out to purchase that one special piece that my closet is missing.  This results in saving money (very important, as I am poor graduate student) and also taking care of my clothes more, as I feel more pride in the hunt and finding of the clothing. So, I cannot speak to your personal goals, necessarily, but I can say you have improved my outlook on fashion; this is one of the first blogs I check daily and makes me EXCITED about fashion again. 

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  115. I read a lot of the comments and have this suggestion. You could try once a month or so to have a curvy blogger do the same inspiration photo with you. Your traffic shouldn't drop as with guest posters b/c you would be there too. And we would get to see another interpretation of the same outfit. It would take coordination but if you planned it in advance it might not be too much effort.

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  116. I saw similar trousers at FOREVER 21 in London today! xoxo

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  117. love this combination!

    Natalia,http://my-crazy-idea.blogspot.com

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  118. http://www.countryroad.com.au/shop/woman/clothing/pants/60148898/7|8-Panelled-Pant.html
    To be exact - a great Australian label!

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  119. I like that skirt, and also the combination. I remember when I'm watching television, I heard some tips of choosing the right clothes and they said it is good to choose the black blouse.. It can fit it in any body, if you're fat it is not too much reveal because black color can make a shape on your body. Like this skirt, it can make a good shape in your hips.




    cheap bracelets

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  120. I've been reading your blog for a couple months, but this is the first time I read the "What Is J's Everyday Fashion" page. I think you are doing a wonderful job of staying true to the vision you have for your blog. I follow a bunch of fashion blogs of all styles, but your outfits are among the few that I consistently think "I could do that!" You are doing exactly what you set out to do, don't doubt it!

    And I was surprised to see you went to KU - had no idea! I'm a K-State girl myself!

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  121. Just the fact that you have given yourself the time and attention to examine your spiritual gifts says a lot about your faith and purpose for the blog!  Here's another example of how your efforts are helping others...
    After prayer and self-reflection of my own, I decided to answer a challenge that kept resting in my heart - go one year without purchasing anything for myself (it seems I've been a little too focus on myself instead of the blessings and purpose in my own life).  I'm in the third month and things have been a lot easier than I expected (which is divine intervention in itself), but season changes have always been when my shopping instincts kick in.  I found your blog and have been SO thankful for all the posts and idea inspiration!  I've used your photos and started shopping in my own closet.  Let's face it, we feel much more energized about the tasked set out before us when we can look in the mirror and give ourselves an approving nod and smile.  Because of your talents, I've been spending a lot more time cultivating my spiritual gifts and haven't been distracted by material ones.  THANK YOU!

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  122. Thank you Lacey! I appreciate you weighing in and it is always great to hear from a fellow Kansan. :-)

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  123. Thank you so much for commenting Robin! :-)

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  124. Allison, thank you so much for sharing your story! I admire your self-challenge and for sticking with it. I wish you the best on your journey, and am honored to be a small part of helping you with some fashion inspiration! Thank you again! :-)

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