My Top Picks: Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Hello, World!

So, I know social media is going crazy about the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Usually, I do a good amount of shopping during the sale, but this year I’m going purchase-free! I don’t need anything and I didn’t find anything I had to have. What is the sale, you may ask? With this sale, the items are all pre-season and hit the sale before they are marked up to join other fall merchandise. Therefore, you can snag upcoming trends at a reduced price! This sale works great if you’re looking for great fall essentials or pieces that will last a long time. I will say some people go WAY overboard and buy things that they may not ordinarily buy purely because of the allure of the price. So, here are my top tips:

  1. Buy Items You’ve Been Looking For for a While | Have you hunted for a great blazer and haven’t found one? Are you in need of a great vest, but haven’t found the perfect one? Now is the time to pull the trigger if you fall in love with one the items in the sale.
  2. Buy an Investment Piece | If you’re looking for a great new boot, coat, or handbag, now is the time. Invest in that one big-ticket item before the price goes up.
  3. Consider If You’d Pay Full Price | If you’d pay full price for an item, it’s a good item to get. If you’re only considering it because of the price point or considering it more than you would if it was full price, it should go back to the rack. We are more likely to impulse buy when we think we’re getting a deal, even if it’s actually better to just put it back and not buy it at all!
  4. Limit the “there’s a sale!!!!” purchases | Mindless browsing of the sale can result in thinking you need something that you don’t. Therefore, go into the sale with a list of types of items you will consider and only browse those items. This tip builds on the previous three.

Now, I will tell you what I use the sale to buy: coats, shoes (usually boots, but also flats, heels, etc. if there’s a good deal), vests, and tops. This may seem like everything, but usually, I get one nice coat, a pair of boots, and a pair of sneakers. I get 3-4 tops if there’s some I really like. I also will use this sale to buy some nice work clothes, typically pants, dresses, and work sweaters. Disclaimer: I buy any of the previously listed items but not all of them. My purchases change depending on what I need in my wardrobe. Below are my favorite picks with the prices of during the sale (DS) and after the sale (AS).

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Pendleton Port Townsend Raincoat (DS: $216.90; AS: $325.00); Barbour Saddleworth Quilted Vest (DS: $98.90; AS: $149.00);  1901 Original Blazer (DS: $109.90; AS: $159.00); Pendleton Timberline Field Coat (DS: $249.90; AS: $375.00); BLANKNYC No Limit Suede Moto Jacket (DS: $125.90; AS: $188.00); kensie Ruffle Twill Coat (DS: $129.90; AS: $198.00) Lauren Ralph Lauren Quilted Faux Leather Trim Jacket (DS: $104.90; AS: $160.00); Lafayette 148 New York Lyndon Tweed Blazer (DS: $398.90; AS: $598.00) The North Face Aconcagua Down Vest (DS: $68.90; AS: $99.00)

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Varsity Stripe Ribbed Sweater (DS: $29.90; AS: $45.00); Nordstrom Signature Cashmere Sweater (DS: $219.90; AS: $329.00); Leith Stitched Shaped V-Neck Sweater (DS: $43.90; AS: $65.00); Madewell Province Cross Back Sweater (DS: $45.90; AS: $69.50); Treasure & Bond Sporty Striped Sweater (DS: $45.90; AS: $69.00); Joie Leopard Print Sweater (DS: $218.90; AS: $328.00); Calson Dolman Sleeve Sweater (DS: $39.90; AS: $59.00); BP Twist Fron Sweater (sold out already! BUT keep checking because sometimes it comes back in stock after returns) Helmut Lang Cashmere Wrap Sweater (DS: $263.90; AS: $395.00)

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Spanx Camo Faux Leather Legging (DS: $72.90; AS: $110.00); Adidas Active Icon leggings (DS: $29.90; AS: $40.00); Zella Live In high waist leggings (DS: $35.90; AS: $54.00); adidas Active Icons Cropped Pullover (DS: $47.90; AS: $65.00); Nike Indy Sports Bra (DS: $25.90; AS: $35.00); BP. Front Zip Hoodie (DS: $31.90; AS: 49.00); Nike Logo Sports Bra (DS: $25.90; AS: $35.00); Nike Sportswear Rally Sweatshirt (DS: $51.90; AS: $70.00); adidas Orginals Tank (DS: $23.90; AS: $32.00)

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Rails Short PJs (DS: $98.90; AS: $148.00) | J.Crew Tipped Short PJs (DS: $56.90; AS: $85.00)

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Tory Burch Flat (DS: $164.90 ; AS: $248.00); Steve Madden Slide (DS: $49.90 ; AS: $79.95); NIKE Free TR8 (DS: $74.90; AS: $100.00); Tory Burch Marsden Over the Knee Boot (DS: $349.90; AS: $578.00); Cole Haan Harrington Grand Bootie (DS: $144.90; AS: $220.00); Tory Burch Pump (DS: $169.90; $258.00) 1.SLATE Sisteen Half d’Orsay Pump (DS: $59.90; AS: $89.95); Converse Shoreline Sneak (appears to be sold out now, but here is a similar option)

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Monogram Passport Holder & Luggage Tag (DS: $47.90; AS: $73.00); Rebecca Minkoff Satchel (DS: $196.90; AS: $295.00); Tory Burch Marsden Pebbled Tote (larger size) (DS: $352.90; AS: $528.00); Madewell Bucket Bag (DS: $129.90; AS: $198.00); Monogram Oversized Tote (great carry-on or overnight bag) (DS: $42.90; AS: $65.00); Chevron 20-inch spinner carry-on (DS: $103.90; AS: $139.00)

So, there you have my top picks! Keep in mind that a lot of the items are pricier because it’s best to buy investment pieces during the sale. Furter, I usually only buy one or two big-ticket items and they last me years! I buy basics more than anything (the Lush tops I bought two years ago are tops I still regularly wear). This round up is not meant to imply you should buy a bunch of super expensive stuff!

Truly,

Callie leigh

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Identifying the Young Professional Wardrobe: Best Starter Pieces

Hello, World.

As I recently discussed, I’d like to clean out my closet and upgrade my wardrobe. As I’m getting older and becoming more “professional” and less “student,” I want my wardrobe to reflect that. I’m all for wearing leggings and a sweater to class sometimes, but I also want to ensure I have more blouses and transitional pieces. I like the idea of having clothes that can be professional or casual. By casual, I mean slightly more dressed up than purely casual. So, I wanted to share my favorite picks for building a “young professional” wardrobe.

You may be wondering: what exactly does a young professional look like? Well, I learn by examples, so I wanted to share a few examples of what a young professional wardrobe is to me. A few of my favorite bloggers recently styled some outfits that I went “ooh I want that!” For casual, but still young and professional, I love Grace Atwood’s style:
Grace Atwood - Topshop Jacket // Madewell Tee // 7 for All Mankind Jeans // J.Crew Belt // Steve Madden Sandals // Palmgrens Bag  // Polaroid Sunglasses

photo via

For classic, timeless, and slightly more dressed up, I love Carly Heitlinger’s style. As a future lawyer, my business attire will be more formal, but I love feeling put together even when hanging out on weekends. A recent favorite outfit of mine is this:

Carly Heitlinger

photo via

I actually just bought the shoes featured in this post because I loved them originally, and they’re currently on extra sale from J. Crew Factory!

Obviously, a suit always looks professional. What I think of when I think of a young professional, though, is more of your casual, everyday life. You know, when you’re with friends, running errands, getting brunch, running to networking meetings, etc. That’s why I think a young professional wardrobe just takes your everyday wardrobe and amps it up a bit.
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I want to go over why I’ve carefully chosen the above pieces and add a few others I think are equally great for starting your “young professional wardrobe.”

White Blouse | I love a white blouse and I think any outfit becomes chic with a white blouse. Under a suit or under a casual blazer or jacket, it’s bound to look great. Also, pair with either slack, a dress pant, or ripped jeans, it complements any look.

Fitted/Tailored Blazer | Any young professional needs a tailored blazer. There is a reason Tan always gets the men on Queer Eye a well-fitting blazer!

Vest | I swear by vests in the fall and winter. From about October to March, you can usually find me in a vest. I think they look great and less sloppy than some jackets.

Fitted or Tailored Blouses | Gone are the days of flowy t-shirts, I think blouses can make even the most casual outfits a little nicer. I recently bought more blouse style shirts, rather than just the normal t-shirt and my outfits feel more put together.

Blue Blouse | The same principles that apply to white blouses go for blue blouses in my opinion. One white, one blue = the closet staples you need!

Pencil Skirt | I used to hate the idea of a pencil skirt. This summer I basically live in one. Pencil skirts are classic, always look chic, and always pass the professional test, even when paired with more casual pieces.

Casual Blazer | Throw a less formal blazer over any outfit and you immediately look more professional, slightly more chic, and way more put together!

Watch | I think a nice, professional style watch can upgrade any outfit! Watches, to me, indicate you’re a young professional because the only people I know who wear nice watches are people who work in nice offices.

Mules | Paired with jeans, a mule-style shoe makes you look fashionable and professional, but also have a laid-back “she’d be fun to hang out with” vibe!

Ballet Flat | I feel like this shoe choice is self-explanatory. Obviously, every professional needs a flat in her closet.

A Great Pump | I found a great pair of Nine West nude pumps at TJ Maxx over spring break and I love them. They make a slightly more casual look feel more expensive and refined. A great pump can upgrade an outfit quickly and easily.

Casual Blouses with Slightly Dressier Touches | Lately I find myself wearing tops that have great details. I love a button down with a front-tie, or a tee with a silk ruffle sleeve, or a sleeveless top (a must in humidity!) that has a ruffle. Peplum tops also fit this category as being slightly more dressed up, while still looking casual.

High-Waisted Denim Shorts | Ill-fitting shorts are a fashion pet peeve of mine. I recently bought a pair of high-waisted Madewell denim shorts, and I will pretty much exclusively buy their shorts from now on. Seriously, a well-fitting denim short can transform your look.

A Great Work Tote | I love Mark & Graham, Madewell, and Michael Kors for totes. A great tote is a perfect complement to a great wardrobe. Totes need to be able to hold: water bottle, shoes (usually heels), book, and wallet in my opinion! I recently bought a Michael Kors bag, which I love because it’s spacious but compact when zipped up!

So, there you have my starter guide for the young professional wardrobe!

Truly,

Callie leigh

My Advice: “Prepare to be Humbled”

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Hello, World.

I recently started my summer job and I am working with some law students from other law schools, and we regularly swap “war stories” about our law school experiences. It’s funny to compare notes and see what is consistent and what is not. When we were talking about advice given or received about law school, I said my advice to incoming 1Ls is “prepare to be humbled.” I usually laugh after this, often trying to lighten the mood of the rather dark sentiment I’ve just relayed, especially when I see the person on the receiving end of this advice either attempt to roll their eyes in an undetectable way or look at me with wide, fearful eyes. The thing is, I don’t say this to be cruel or mean and it isn’t meant as a scare tactic. However, I do mean it.

The reason I say this is simply because law students are, in many capacities, the highest achieving people from their respective colleges. We likely graduated with honors, were leaders in our extracurricular activities, maybe worked in the legal realm between college and law school, and are, if nothing else, academics, logical analysts, and deeply successful people. It is common that Type-A personalities end up in America’s law schools, so it is unsurprising that when you put all the very intelligent, diligent, hard-working Type-A students in an environment grounded in grades done on a curve we start to feel … humbled. Maybe we’re no longer the smartest people in the room. Maybe we struggle with torts or criminal law in ways we’ve never grappled with the subject matter before. Perhaps our writing is suddenly receiving grades previously only known as part of the scale and not where we fell on it. I’ve had people who I’ve given this advice to excel in law school classes. However, I do not mean “prepare to be humbled” to apply only to the grades received in classes. In some way, law school humbles the human spirit. If you’re excelling in classes, maybe your social life is not what it was in college. If your social calendar is full, maybe your grades are slipping lower on the curve, unable to move up the slope. Maybe you applied for the job you were confident you had, only to be rejected from it. Maybe you applied for 80 jobs only to receive 20 emails, 18 of which were rejections and the other 2 were botched interviews.

So, in law school, and in life, prepare to be humbled. Being humbled is not a bad thing. In fact, it is more grounding than anything. There is a reason people say “she’s so down to earth” as a positive compliment to people. Humble people, kind people, always get further in the long run. The people who are not this way may be wildly successful, but my personal belief is that it is better to be humble than the inverse, which is arrogance, aloofness, or just outright condescension. Sometimes you are the smartest person and the room, and others you are not. A good rule of thumb in law school is this: act equally in either scenario because people will likely not respond well to you telling them, informing them, or implying to them that you are the smartest person in the room!

Truly,
Callie Leigh

Stylish Academic’s Guide to Doing It All

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Hello, World.

I was having a conversation with an alumnus of my law school last weekend, and he mentioned that law associates who come in guns blazing, who charge the highest amount and work all hours of the week won’t [usually] last a year at his firm. Then he mentioned that it’s the same for law school – some students go in so hot that by the second semester, they cannot hang anymore. So, why is burnout such a real problem among young professionals and how do we prevent being one of the shooting stars (this is a How to Get Away With Murder reference, which if you aren’t watching, I recommend you start! So wickedly entertaining)? Well, a lot of not burning out is pacing yourself and preparing properly.

I watched a fellow law student my 1L year constantly stay up until the wee hours of the morning, only to get up early to be able to commute to school. This person worked constantly, rarely taking breaks and sort of overworking himself past the point of efficient studying. There were a few times I watched him fall asleep in class. I mean, if you’re sleeping through lecture, you cannot possibly be helping yourself. Also, if I noticed, there is a high probability the professor noticed considering we sat in the second row. At the time, I just kept feeling like that lifestyle just wasn’t sustainable. When I had my first day of property second semester, my professor, an older man who’s been teaching for years, said something about how last semester was over and the people who did well may do worse and the people who didn’t do well may do better.

Well, burnout was real, and a lot of those people who burned the midnight oil in the library looked so tired and worn out. A similar burnout occurs during finals. People don’t pace themselves, and by their last exam, their fingers flutter over their keyboard at a lag and their eyes don’t stay open without effort. Doing it all can be exhausting, but it doesn’t have to be. There are smart strategies for getting it all done without suffering from complete burnout. So, today I want to offer my guide to getting it all done and remaining intact in the process.

Going back to How to Get Away With Murder for a moment, the law students who are referred to as the “Keating five” seem to be doing it all. They seem to be the top of their class, assisting their professor in criminal case trials, having a personal life, and covering up murders. I mean, the five stars are busy people. One of the interesting things about TV that we all know? It’s scripted and only shows us the highlights. We obviously don’t need twenty minutes of footage where the law students are studying in the library. The fact they study is implied by their status as a law student. However, there could be twenty minutes of footage of someone studying or someone working and it wouldn’t be inaccurate, just boring. Still, those boring moments contribute to the person’s outward success (if the students don’t study, their grades suffer, and ultimately they may lose their status as one of the chosen criminal law students). The boring moments are part of the “doing it all.” The reason we don’t focus on them, however, is because we focus on people’s major moments even though we are well aware that there’s much more that goes into that moment.

ONE || Find something that releases stress. The quickest way to get it all done without killing yourself is having something that you love that doesn’t cause stress. In fact, it shouldn’t be a neutral activity, but an activity that actively releases your stress. If you do not have something that releases your stress, you’ll be too stressed out to get everything done well. Remember, a lot of people get everything done, but they cut corners and don’t always get it all done properly.

TWO || Stay aware of your limits. Become familiar with any limits you have, and stay aware of them. If you know you are not someone who can work on Sunday nights, build a schedule that excludes Sunday night working. If you know you’re not someone who works well with a certain personality type, figure out ways in which working with that personality becomes easier (or figure a way to work with them less). Knowing your limits allows you to better play to your strengths.

THREE || Do what makes you happy. This may seem like an odd tip, but I feel like doing it all doesn’t really mean anything if you aren’t doing what you love. It’s a lot easier to stay vigilant and motivated if you love what you do. If you don’t love what you do, chances are every step on your career road will feel like you’re weighted down.

FOUR || Be selective. You can do it all, but when I say all I mean you can do everything you want to do. If you don’t want to do something, you are wasting precious time. When I was in college, my friend proposed that I try to be Co-Editor-in-Chief with her for the school newspaper. I thought initially, yeah, that’d be a good resume builder. However, after more thought, I realized it wasn’t something I necessarily wanted to do and I knew my efforts would be better spent on the things I loved. So, be selective in what you want to do, then do it all!

FIVE || Stay organized. When you’re trying to do too many things at once, chances are something slips through the cracks. So, make sure you have a well-established system of staying on top of your tasks and commitments. For me, I make to-do lists. Loads of to-do lists. To-do lists help me track what needs to get done when. I put them in order of highest priority to lowest priority. I also have a section of things I should get done if I have a really productive day and finish my to-list early.

My final tip is this: doing it all is about preparation. You can do it all, but you want to be sure you’re prepared for what’s coming and that you remain in control of your schedule. If you become overwhelmed, you’ll probably start to let things slide, and your work product is diminished. Stay on top of your life and make strategic moves in your career. Look at things with the big picture in mind (aka do NOT get bogged down in too many details, but don’t lose sight of making sure the details are right). Life is about balance. If you are unbalanced, you cannot succeed because you will not know how to handle a heavier workload, a moved-up timeline, etc. Doing a lot of preparation on the front end will make the end result much better (and far more stress-free).

How do you do it all?

Truly,
Callie leigh